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Paleo Zucchini Meatloaf

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My husband has recently discovered that he is allergic to a ton of foods, so we have basically been eating paleo or primal since he has to be on a new diet. I concocted this meatloaf last night and was very happy with how it turned out. We served it with spaghetti squash and some leftover sweet potatoes and it was delicious! It makes about 6 adult servings. It fed our family of 2 adults and 2 kids for 2 nights. Win!

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Ingredients

-1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

-2 small zucchini (shredded and slightly squeezed of moisture)

-2 eggs

-1/3 cup of almond flour

-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

-1/4 teaspoon pepper

-1 Tablespoon minced onion

Directions

-Mix all ingredients in large bowl and then place in a greased pie plate. Top the meatloaf with a raw piece of bacon that has been cut in half.

-Bake for 35 minutes or until cooked through.

-Remove bacon pieces and serve.

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Cookie Butter Rolls

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What is it about stress and eating crappy?! Why do they go hand in hand so darn well?

The other week we were going to a party where there would be food, but it was late enough that I needed to eat a snack. So, instead of going for a banana, yogurt or some other healthy choice, I decided to make these delicious goodies. Because sometimes…okay, every time you’re having a bad day, eating some buttery bready creation warm out of the oven always makes it better. ALWAYS.

(Recipe adapted from this recipe.)

INGREDIENTS

-1/2 cup white sugar

-1 teaspoon cinnamon

-1 can Pillsbury Grands Jr. Buttermilk Biscuits (10 biscuits)

-approximately 1 cup Cookie Butter (from Trader Joe’s) *could use cream cheese, peanut butter or any type of jam/jelly as an alternative

-1/4 cup of butter

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a round 8-inch cake pan.

2. Stir the cinnamon and sugar together in a separate bowl. Melt the butter in another bowl.

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3. Flatten and roll each biscuit into a 3-inch round. Put about a tablespoon full of cookie butter into the middle and fold each side up and pinch the edges to seal.

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4. Dip each biscuit “ball” into the butter, then roll in the cinnamon and sugar. Place into the cake pan.

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5. Pour any extra cinnamon sugar mixture over the uncooked biscuits. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

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6. Take out of oven and let cool a little before you consume one or five. (I won’t judge you.) 😉

ENJOY!!!!

10 on 10: April

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10 on 10 April 1

(starting top right and go clockwise)

1. A day starting with cuddles is the best.

2.Walking to work helps me wake up.

3. Coffee and strawberries at my desk.

4. One of my students locked my iPad with a secret password. Grr. Fortunately I got it unlocked.

5. Such a big helper. So thankful for his thankful spirit.

10 on 10 April 2

(start at top left and go counterclockwise)

6. Spent some time at our local park.

7. Made these super yummy biscuits for dinner.

8. We found a caterpillar and we plan on watching it to see if it becomes a butterfly.

9. No nap for this guy means he was asleep by 6:10pm. Yowza.

10. Liam helped me chalk my hair. Find out more this Friday.

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Cream Cheese Bars

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I found this recipe on pinterest and knew I had to make it.

I mean with croissants, cream cheese and cinnamon sugar, how could you go wrong?!

It took about two minutes to make and even less than that to completely consume the entire pan.

So good.

INGREDIENTS:

-one roll of croissants (12 count)

-one bar of cream cheese (8 oz)

-cinnamon sugar (enough to cover top, we keep it on hand, so I just shook it over)

DIRECTIONS:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Roll croissants out and cut in half. Put half in 8 x 8 pan and pinch seams together.

2. Take cream cheese and spread entire amount of croissants. We used strawberry cream cheese.

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3. Cover with remaining croissants and pinch seams together.

4. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.

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5. Put in oven for 20 minutes.

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This recipe has so many other options. I’m thinking Cookie Butter instead of cream cheese. 😉

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Pumpkin Pancake Muffins

I feel weird even posting this recipe because it’s so simple.

But I love me some simple recipes.

Only three ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix 2 cups of pancake mix, 1/2 of a 15 oz. can of pumpkin, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice and 1 1/3 cup of water.

Stir together until well incorporated.

Scoop into muffin cups. Have you ever used these scoopers before? I got mine from Pampered Chef. If you don’t have one, I suggest running out to the store to get one immediately.

We topped ours with mini chocolate chips because they make everything cuter.

Ready to bake for 18-20 minutes. Be aware that they might not appear ready when checked with a toothpick because of the pumpkin, but they will be ready. Don’t cook longer than 20 minutes.

They are DELICIOUS!!!! And if you are doing weight watchers, they are only 3 points each! Woot!

Makes 1 dozen. Good luck not eating all of them. 😉

Minute to Win It Party

Last year I turned 30. This was a big milestone and I should have done something big like go skydiving (although my husband thinks that if I did this it would be irresponsible since I’m a mother) or take acrobatic classes. Can you tell I am not afraid of heights?

Unfortunately I had three weddings back to back (one of which I was a bridesmaid and one that was out of town), so my birthday got put to a back burner and not really celebrated in the typical HUGE fashion that a milestone birthday calls for because I just didn’t have the energy.

Well, this year I wanted to do something fun, but still intimate. I decided a dinner party would be a special way of spending time with my friends. My outstanding friends, Rob and Heidi, agreed to host the party since our backyard was a wreck and being prepared for sod.

I made a Chorizo Bake, but substituted it with Soyrizo (or soy chorizo). It doesn’t look like much, but it is super tasty, easy to make ahead of time and inexpensive.

We also had sangria, margaritas, chips and guacamole and salad. I am so thankful for lovely friends that volunteer to contribute to the meal.

It was awesome to get to sit and eat “family style” with all of my friends and listen to the happy conversations around me.

For entertainment, I “hosted” a Minute to Win It Challenge. The original title is a TV show (although I’ve never seen it). The point of the NBC show is that the contestants do crazy things and if they are able to complete the tasks in under a minute, they win an absurd amount of money.

Some of the challenges I got from online and others I modified or made up completely.

Here is a glimpse at the hilarity that ensued (sorry for the lousy pictures, I only had my phone with me and it was fairly dark):

Egg Blow-Contestants have to use a piece of cardboard to get their color Easter Eggs into the blue, taped-off square.

Back Flip-Contestants place pencils on the back of their hand and flip them up and catch them. They start with one pencil and work their way up to six.

Junk In The Trunk-Contestants place an empty kleenex box that contains six ping pong balls behind them and shake their booties until all of the ping pong balls come out.

A Bit Dicey-Contestants place a popsicle stick in their mouths and then stack six dice on top of the end of the popsicle stick building a tower.

Helmet Head-Contestants had to stand 6 feet away from a helmet placed on the ground and throw fifteen cards into it.

Shake It Up-Contestants hold onto a pedometer and shake it at least 150 times in under a minute.

Light As A Feather-This game originally was planned to have the contestants keep two feathers in the air by blowing them, but this proved to be too difficult, so they had to keep one feather afloat in the air, but hitting it with their hands.

Breakfast Scramble-Contestants had to put together a 4 x 5 “puzzle” of pieces I had cut out of identical cereal boxes. (This was SUPER hard…especially since for some reason pieces of one puzzle were missing. Oops!)

Bottoms Up-Contestants have a yo-yo tied to their back belt loop, then they have to swing it around to knock over four soda cans that are placed in a square around them.

Lastly, as a tie breaker, I had the teams work together to answer as many questions as they could on a “Rena is 31!” quiz I made up.

The team “Fist Wolf” (formerly known as “Iron Fist”) were the winners. Unfortunately all they walked away with were high fives and the pride of winning because I totally blanked on providing prizes. (These things happen when you throw yourself a birthday party.)

We enjoyed some ice cream sandwich cake (recipe here). So yummy.

We ended the night playing a dance game on XBox Kinect, which was super fun and a great way to work off the cake we had just consumed. 😉

All in all, I had a perfect night and am so thankful for friends that put up with my silly ideas and don’t mind laughing at themselves.

Crackcakes

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To say that I’m “addicted” to chocolate chip cookies is an understatement. When it comes to the evil dessert, I have absolutely NO self-control and could eat until I am sick.

This past week, we went camping and I made chocolate chip cookies to use with s’mores instead of graham crackers (I really need to be put in rehab).

With all of the moving around during camping, the cookies got pretty smushed, resulting in lots of delicious cookie crumbles.

So, I got the bright idea to make chocolate chip cookie pancakes, which I am now deeming “Crackcakes”.

I used Krusteaz pancake mix (found at your local grocery store or Costco) and mixed per the instructions.

Quickly after pouring the mix onto the griddle, I added some crumbles to the top and let it cook. Then I flipped the pancakes over and let the chocolate chips get all melty.

The end result is the yummiest, softest “cookie” you’ll every have. Good luck only eating one.

(I ate six. True story.)