Friday, April 30, 2010

Homemade Ground Turkey Meatballs

Very yummy and easy to throw together...

1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/2 c. bread crumbs (fine)
1/4 c. fresh or 1 tbsp. dry parsley
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Mix and shape into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Saute in large skillet until browned and no longer pink.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

1 week from today...destination Jamaica!

It still hasn't hit me that in 1 week from today we will be Jamaica bound! I am so excited to step off the plane into warm weather, white sands and the relaxing feeling that comes along with vacation.

But before I get ahead of myself, there is a lot more to a vacation now that we travel with our sweet baby girl. Gone are the days of picking out magazines at the airport and sipping on a festive drink! Now there is definitely more prep involved. Here are a few things we usually do to make the trip go as smoothly as possible:

*New toys(great at target in the $1 section)
*Snacks galore(even if they aren't the healthiest)!
*Portable DVD Player(she doesn't like the head phones much, but we are def. bringing it)
*Her baby and nana(we almost never leave home without them)
*Paper and crayons

One thing I like to do is bring out one thing at a time and drag each toy, snack, etc. out as long as possible!

This traveling experience will be the longest we have had via car, plane and bus! We are driving 8 hours to MN on Weds. and staying over night and heading to the airport at 4am to make our 6:30am flight!!! An early morning for all, but I am hoping she is sleepy and naps on the plane. Next we have a lay over in Miami. I think that will be ok, by then a little stretch will be good for her. We land in Jamaica in 2:40pm and let the festivities begin! Oh wait, we do have to catch a bus that takes us to the resort, but by then we will be pros at the whole traveling business and just be happy to be there! In Jamaica everything is "NO PROBLEM" oh if we could all live by that motto!

Sophie loved trying on shoes for the big day! Those will be perfect with her dress, which arrived on Monday with a week or so to spare...whew! She thought she would try on my shorts to see if they looked ok on her and this morning I painted her toes for the first time!
She looks like a beach beauty to me!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

SW Stuffed Peppers!

One of our favorite healthy dinners is Southwest Stuffed Peppers! I found this recipe at

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did last night! Great as left overs too!

6 large red, yellow, orange, or green peppers
1 lb. extra lean ground beef (less than 10% fat) (we used ground turkey)
1-2 tsp. olive oil if needed
1 onion, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed well and drained
1 can diced tomatoes and juice
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles with juice
1 tsp. chile powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 cups cooked brown rice (use boil in a bag, so simple)
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used Mexican Four Cheese Blend which is low fat cheeses)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In large frying pan, brown ground beef well and drain off fat. Push ground beef to the side, add a bit of olive oil if pan seems dry and saute onion 3-4 minutes, until well softened. Add rinsed black beans, tomatoes and juice, green chiles and juice, chile powder, and cumin. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.

While mixture simmers, cut tops off peppers and remove seeds.

When mixture in pan seems dry, turn off heat. Let cool about 5 minutes, then mix in cooked rice and cheese. Stuff each pepper with the meat/rice mixture, pushing it down so peppers are tightly filled.

Place peppers in a dish small enough to hold them compactly and cover with foil. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake 10-20 minutes more, until tops are slightly browned and pepper skin can be pierced easily with a fork. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jamaican Mother's Day...

I was looking through photos of Sophie last year and I just can't believe how much bigger she has gotten! With Mother's Day just 2 weeks away, along with our wedding I couldn't help but post a tribute to Mother's Day. This year Mother's Day will also be our Wedding Day! What an amazing time for us! These pictures are from our first Mother's Day together in Louisiana and I can't wait to post this of this year in Jamaica!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Deployment downer...

With our wedding just 3 weeks away I can't help but be reminded that Jake's deployment is just weeks following. I try my best to enjoy the time we have together now, but I daydream about what it is going to be like when he is deployed. I look so forward to him coming home every night and Sophie does too. She runs to the stairs when the garage door opens to greet him. I am so blessed to have such a great family that will help to fill the void. We are hoping to come home for a good part of the summer and possibly visit Jake before Sophie's 2nd birthday(she can fly free).

We had a meeting on base last week about their deployment. I know what Jake does for a living is very important, but it definitely put things in perspective listening to his commander talk very seriously about their mission. It gave me chills thinking that this fun loving, wonderful man I am about to marry, plays a such huge part in protecting our country.
I'm so proud of you babe.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Healthy snacks...

I thought I would share a few of my favorite healthy snacks. This is great for breakfast too! All you need is Vanilla low fat yogurt, almonds slivers(or chopped), craisens, and apple slices. You can use different variations of this depending on what you have too. I have used grapes, raisins, walnuts, and bananas too. Delicious and nutritious!!

Another one of my favorites is veggie pizza. You need reduced fat crossiants, reduced fat cream cheese, 1 dill packet, and what ever veggies you choose. We usually use broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower with a little shredded cheese on top.

Almost every weekend I make mini quiche in our muffin pan. You whisk together the eggs or egg whites with salt and pepper, in a separate bowl have turkey sausage chopped, onions and peppers(I cook onions and peppers and then add the sausage in frying pan. Then spoon the egg mixture into each individual muffin cups about half full, next use about a spoonful of the sausage mixture(I usually add colby jack cheese to mixture too)until cups are full. Pop in the oven at 350 for about 10 min or so, you can tell when they are done just keep a close watch.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Menu...

This year it will just be Jake, Soph and I for Easter so I decided to put together a yummy dinner even if it is just the 3 of us:) I found a recipe for tangerine-glazed ham and baby carrots on! I haven't eaten ham in years, but this sounded so good I am going for it! Next up, roasted asparagus with parmesan! I wanted to incorporate a couple of my favorites so we are also having scalloped corn and cheesy potato casserole! I am still working on a dessert...anyone have any ideas???

To potty train or not to potty train...

I have been going back and forth since Sophie turned 18months(February) about when I should start potty training her. It always seems like there is a better time. We put it off because of our trip home last week thinking it would be better to go for it without the travel inconvenience, but now with Jamaica just 5 weeks away I am not sure that is the best idea.

Jake is deploying shortly after our wedding and I am not sure how she will react to him being gone. I am hoping to have her trained before her birthday, but when will we find the time???

Sure looks like she is ready by these pics though doesn't it!? HA!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Catching up...

I have been trying to get better at posting more often, but the weeks just seem to fly by! So instead of posting everything in the past few weeks I will give a recap.

Our visit home was awesome as usual! We fit so much into one week I can't believe it. First, we celebrated my Dad's birthday. So glad I was able to be home for that. Mom's birthday is in April, but I was able to give her gift to her then too! We also had a great visit with Uncle Rod, Amy and sweet Colin. It was so great to meet the newest addition to our family! My sister was so kind to throw me a surprise bachelorette party! It was so great seeing everyone! Sophie had so much fun showing off all her tricks and silly personality for everyone. I think she liked the bigger audience!

All in all a great trip and looking forward to our next excursion...Jamaica!!!!