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There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

Apple Crisp Steel Cut Oatmeal

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

I am working with Bob’s Redmill and Stonyfield for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. But all opinions are my own.

I love the start of fall. The leaves are changing colors. There is a crispness to the air. And some of my absolute favorite produce is in season – squash, pumpkin, pears and apples!

There are so many ways to use apples, including canning homemade applesauce and turning them into sweet, cinnamony apple crisp (with homemade vanilla ice cream of course!)

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar. The perfect healthy breakfast.

Dessert For Breakfast

I don’t always have time to bake apple crisp. But I do always have time to make apple crisp steel cut oatmeal.

Soak the oats in whole milk plain yogurt a day ahead to make them easier to digest. Then add freshly diced apples, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a bit of coconut sugar for a sweet breakfast treat. The coconut sugar adds a great maple flavor that pairs beautifully with the apples and cinnamon.

Don’t forget to top your oatmeal with your favorite granola (ours is kettle corn granola!) for that crunchy apple crisp topping.

Steel Cut Versus Rolled

Even if you are not a big oatmeal fan you have to give this a try. I grew up hating oatmeal. I wanted to like it so badly. But I couldn’t handle the texture.

Then I tried steel cut oats. What a world of difference! Once you try them you won’t want to go back to the rolled variety. Steel cut oats keep their texture and don’t get mushy.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

All around apple crisp steel cut oatmeal is a great breakfast. It does take about fifteen minutes to cook. So if you are pressed for time on weekdays you can save it for a weekend treat. Or just cook a big batch at the start of the week and reheat it on the stove or in the oven for a quick breakfast.

Make It Your Own

My husband loves to eat his oatmeal with fresh, raw milk on top. My daughter likes a dollop of vanilla yogurt on hers. It’s almost as good as apple crisp with ice cream!

Are you in need of a delicious fall breakfast that the kids will love?

Grab some Bob’s Redmill steel cut oats and coconut sugar and Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt. Then hit up your local orchard for your favorite variety of apple. You’re already half way to an amazing breakfast.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

Apple Crisp Steel Cut Oatmeal
Yields 4
A hot breakfast of steel cut oats, sweet apples and coconut sugar.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup steel cut oats
  2. 1 cup warm water
  3. 1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt
  4. 1 3/4 cups water
  5. 1/2 cup coconut sguar
  6. 1/2 cup peeled and diced apples
  7. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  8. pinch unrefined sea salt
  9. Optional toppings: milk, yogurt, granola, raisins, dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the oats, 1 cup water and yogurt. Let sit 7 - 24 hours at room temperature.
  2. When ready to cook, combine the oat mixture, 1 3/4 cups water, coconut sugar, apples, cinnamon and salt in a medium sauce pan.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook on low, stirring frequently, until the oats and apples are cooked, 15 - 20 minutes.
  4. Serve warm, plain or topped with milk or yogurt and granola.
Notes
  1. You can prepare the oatmeal in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat on the stove or in the oven with extra water added.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Creamy Zucchini Egg Muffins

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that includes plenty of protein, healthy fat AND vegetables? Creamy zucchini egg muffins combine nutrient dense eggs with creamy whole milk yogurt and fresh summer veggies to create a simple and delicious start to the day.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

I am working with Stonyfield, Le Creuset and Kitchen IQ on this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been paid to provide positive feedback.

Is your zucchini starting to pile up in the fridge like mine? I’m always looking for new ways to use it.

I love making chocolate zucchini cupcakes, zucchini crackers, soaked gluten free zucchini bread and especially zucchini cake! Our whole family enjoys it grilled, roasted and sauteed. I try to freeze some as well.

Yet no matter how diligent you are it seems there is still more. I’ve got a fun, kid-friendly recipe that will get your kids to eat zucchini for breakfast!

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Eat Your Veggies…I Mean Eggs!

In my house the zucchini is not the hard part…it’s the eggs. Three of us can’t even eat eggs. My oldest can (lucky girl!). But she has always struggled eating eggs. She picks at them, holds them in her mouth, complains about the texture.

But I did not hear a single complaint about these creamy zucchini egg muffins. In fact, she told me she really liked them!

There are two secret ingredients.

  1. Whole milk plain yogurt – it really adds a rich creaminess to the eggs.
  2. Cane sugar – I know what you’re thinking. Add sugar to eggs? Don’t worry, it’s only 1/2 tsp. But it really does something to the flavor.

A little back story on the sugar in eggs. When I was little and had the chicken pox I didn’t have much of an appetite. The only thing I would eat was the scrambled eggs my big sister made (multiple times a day for me). There was something different about them. We called them “oops eggs” because she didn’t make them right. But I loved them. We figured out later that she added a touch of sugar to them!

She was probably only about twelve years old. So she did a great job taking care of her little sis!

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

The final component of these eggs is the vegetable. Sauteed zucchini and onion really boost the flavor of the egg muffins. When you put the yogurt, sugar, sauteed veggies and eggs together you create a flavorful, healthy breakfast (or lunch or dinner) any kid will love.

New Kitchen Tools Are Fun!

One thing I loved about making creamy zucchini egg muffins was using my new cutting boards and measuring spoons from Kitchen IQ. The cutting boards come in four colors. Can I just say that as a mom of kids with different allergies that is so cool?! Everyone has a color. No cross contamination. It’s great!

I love the bright colors…and so does my toddler. She frequently grabs the cutting boards off the shelf just to play with them.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Even more than the cutting boards I love the measuring spoons. It is so easy to level them. And they nest together for easy storage. Who knew that measuring spoons could make such a great toddler toy too? My one year old loves trying to stack them over and over. She also loves to help me cook and bake with them.

Is your zucchini still going strong?

Give creamy zucchini egg muffins a try. You just might be adding sugar to your eggs more often.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Creamy Zucchini Egg Muffins
Yields 6
A high protein, veggie-packed egg muffin perfect for busy mornings.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 pastured eggs
  2. 4 Tbsp. Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt
  3. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar
  5. optional: any additional herbs and spices
  6. 1 cup diced zucchini
  7. 1/4 cup diced onion
  8. 1 Tbsp. butter, olive oil, tallow or coconut oil
  9. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Sautee the zucchini and onion in 1 Tbsp. fat of choice (about 10 minutes). Season with salt. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat the oven to 400*F. Grease a muffin pan.
  3. In a medium size bowl combine the eggs, yogurt, salt, sugar and seasonings. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the cooled vegetables.
  5. Divide the egg mixture into 6 greased muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool 3 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. You can bake these in advance and eat cold, room temperature or warmed.
  2. You can freeze these muffins for up to a year. Thaw and heat to serve.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

Learning To Embrace BOLD {With A Giveaway!}

Sometimes your true nature gets lost in the shuffle of daily life. After a career, marriage and three kids I’m finally learning to embrace bold again.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

I am working with Stonyfield and prAna for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment but have not been paid to post positive reviews. All opinions are my own.

When I was younger everything about the way I dressed was bold.

I wore my big brother’s blue suspender’s with comfy shorts (that my mom made) and my favorite t-shirt (with a roller coaster on it…one of my favorite things!).

My big sister cringed at the outfits I created. It was like tom boy meets athlete meets comfort queen.

In junior high I had a favorite outfit that consisted of bright kelly green jeans and a green and white striped shirt (from the GAP no less! It really was in style).

In high school you’d find me in bright orange tanks with matching wedge flip-flops or red soccer jerseys with matching warm-up pants.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

You might think I was outgoing and outspoken. But, no. I was not confident in myself at all. I was quiet as a mouse and very insecure. But I knew what I liked. Without realizing it I was dressing for my energy type to a tee.

Once I started working full time and then having kids my style faded. At work I wore basic tan or black dress pants with a button down or sweater most days. At home I switched over to yoga pants, nursing tanks and old t-shirts. About the farthest thing from bold you can find. Lots of black and gray.

Bold but not brash.

A few months ago I heard about Dressing Your Truth and decided to check it out. These days I’m completely lost when it comes to my own style. I have none. And I don’t even know how to shop for myself anymore (my husband usually shops for me). I figured it couldn’t hurt to see what it was about (no I am not an affiliate…I haven’t even taken the course. It was just really cool to watch the videos and be reminded of my true nature).

It actually surprised me to realize I am a Type 4. The reason I was surprised is because Type 4 is BOLD. Me? Bold? Are you kidding?

I’m quiet, reserved, introverted. My clothing makes me fade into the background.

But the more I thought about it the more I realized I really am bold! I just haven’t been letting that boldness come through for many years now.

I am smart and strong-willed.

I am structured and organized.

I am determined and dependable.

But I don’t always let that show.

Time to get it back.

About the same time I was given the opportunity to try some new clothes from prAna. I was going to do my usual boring pants or top in a plain color. But I decided to be bold and go with yellow patterned pants.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

I have never in my life worn pants like this! To be honest I was a little nervous to wear them for the first time. To my great delight instead of feeling self-conscious I felt confident. A great feeling I haven’t had in a while.

Feeling happy.

Then just a few weeks ago I ordered a new pair of boots. I’ve needed new boots for about three years now. I wear my winter boots almost year round for everything from grocery shopping in deep snow to walking through mud at the milk farm. They finally gave out and started letting water in. I never spend money on myself, so this was a splurge (even though I used birthday money that was intended to update my wardrobe!!)

I decided to get some all-purpose farm/rain/winter boots. Instead of getting black or gray I went with bright green.

Can I tell you how happy they made me feel?! I call them my happy boots. And I wear them even when I have no reason at all to be wearing boots. Just because. I think they make other people happy too. I’ve gotten lots of compliments. I love that instead of fading into the background I’m able to be bold. I love that my boots get me noticed. They are true to my nature…true to my youthful spirit of bold, fun expression through my clothing.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

What I’m craving.

I’ve been craving some direction in my style for quite some time now. This summer I’m finally getting it! I’m on the hunt for a new wardrobe that shows my boldness.

Want to know what else I crave? Yogurt. I haven’t eaten any in almost two years now. Yogurt is one of my favorite foods. Especially for breakfast on hot summer days.

When my little one with allergies is weaned I look forward to trying all of the Stonyfield Whole Milk Greek Yogurt flavors (my husband and daughter sure love them!). Though to be honest I’m sure I’ll go for vanilla first. I am really craving that!! It’s always been my favorite.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

I’m loving my new prAna pants. They are so fun. The only down side is that as my daughter gets older and nurses less my weight starts to go back up (a good thing for my health, not so great for my wardrobe). So the pants are tighter than I had hoped (they were the right size when I ordered them, but not by the time I got them). It’s a good thing they are stretchy! An added bonus.

But that is part of the process – accepting myself, accepting my body as it changes and still being true to myself and my bold personality.

I have yet to figure out a bold hair style. I’ve pretty much always had long straight hair. All suggestions are welcome.

In the mean time I’m ready to satisfy my summer craving for bright colors. No more hiding. You don’t have to be outgoing or loud to be bold. I am embracing my quiet boldness.

It’s your turn!

prAna and Stonyfield want to help you embrace your style and satisfy your summer cravings too!

One lucky reader gets a pear of the same Kara jeans I got, in your color of choice.

Are you a Type 4 that wants something bold? Or are you a type that needs a softer, more subtle color? Does your style reflect your personality and true nature? I’d love to hear!

What are you craving this summer? A new wardrobe? Delicious food? Long days at the beach? Working in the garden?

Share your summer cravings and enter for your chance to win below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No more boring fruit. This simple creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing transforms any combination of fruit into a special side dish.

Creamy Orange Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

Nothing says spring like a fresh fruit salad. Top it with this creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing for a treat the whole family will love.

No more boring fruit. This simple creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing transforms any combination of fruit into a special side dish.

It’s no secret. I LOVE salad. I could (and sometimes do) eat it every day (I’ll be sharing my secret super food dressing soon!).

But my family…not so much. For my husband a “big” salad is about ten pieces of lettuce. So when I was challenged by Stonyfield and The Cookful to create a new salad dressing it took some real thinking. What could I make that my family would actually like?

No more boring fruit. This simple creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing transforms any combination of fruit into a special side dish.

Skip the lettuce.

Instead of going the traditional lettuce salad route I opted to create a fun fruit salad! Use any fresh fruit you have on hand (especially what’s in season!). Add a burst of flavor with Stonyfield vanilla Greek yogurt (now available in full fat!!), freshly squeezed orange juice and poppy seeds.

I used what we had on hand in the house – Fat Free Vanilla Greek Yogurt. You could also use whole milk yogurt combined with a little maple syrup. But the Greek yogurt really adds a nice thickness.

This creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing is so easy to make. My big kids can make it by themselves (they are learning to do so much from The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse!!).

No more boring fruit. This simple creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing transforms any combination of fruit into a special side dish.

Great for oral sensitivities.

My oldest has a very sensitive mouth. Any hint of tartness or tough skin in her fruit and she won’t eat it. One fruit she usually does not like is grapes. She makes some pretty good pucker faces when she tries them.

But the other day all I had in the house was a bowl of grapes. I gave her a dish topped with creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing. Not a single complaint! She licked the bowl clean. It’s that good.

No more boring fruit. This simple creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing transforms any combination of fruit into a special side dish.

Spruce up your salad.

If you like sweet salad dressings (like me!) you could even use this on a lettuce salad. Add some crispy pecans, dried cherries and feta cheese. Delicious!

Looking for some other great salad dressing recipes? The Cookful has plenty to choose from . I think the No Egg Caesar Dressing would be great.

Ready to add some extra flavor to your fruit salad?

Try this super easy creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing. No more boring fruit.

No more boring fruit. This simple creamy orange poppy seed salad dressing transforms any combination of fruit into a special side dish.

Creamy Orange Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
A creamy fruit salad dressing with a pop of orange flavor.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup Stonyfield vanilla Greek yogurt (fat free or full fat)
  2. juice of 1/2 - 1 orange (depends how strong you want the orange flavor)
  3. 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
  4. pinch unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all of the ingredients.
  2. Chill for 10 minutes.
  3. Serve over fruit as a salad, on the side as a dip or on a lettuce salad.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Notes
  1. This makes enough for a large fruit salad.
  2. You can replace the vanilla yogurt with plain yogurt and 1 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/

Have you heard of The Cookful?

It’s a great new site that really digs deep into specific food topics. They came up with some great salad dressing recipes!

I am working with Stonyfield and The Cookful on this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment, but I have not been paid to post positive reviews. Opinions are my own.

Stonyfield Grassfed Yogurt and Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Review | Just Take A Bite

Stonyfield Grassfed Yogurt and Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Review

When it comes to the low-fat craze yogurt has been on board for many years. Fear not! Stonyfield is bringing back some healthy fat to your diet with their whole milk Greek yogurt and grassfed yogurt!

Stonyfield Grassfed Yogurt and Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Review | Just Take A Bite

I’m very excited to tell you about some great yogurt today! For once, a company is moving in the RIGHT direction when it comes to offering healthy choices.

Stonyfield is now offering whole milk Greek yogurt and 100% (for REAL) grassfed yogurt.

Every time I see the grocery store shelves lined with Greek yogurt I cringe. I just don’t get it. You’ve taken all the healthy fat out. And boast about how much protein it has. All I see is a major imbalance.

If you want your protein to count you need to eat fat with it. Carbs too! (my kettle corn granola is the perfect addition!)

Stonyfield Grassfed Yogurt and Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Review | Just Take A Bite

But what really got me excited was Stonyfield’s new 100% grassfed yogurt.

Here are some details directly from Stonyfield:

While some products may claim to be made from milk sourced from grassfed cows, that does not necessarily mean that the cows were fed a 100% grassfed diet. Our Organic 100% Grassfed is made with milk from cows, who have eaten all grass, all of the time, even in winter! And we’ve heard they just LOVE the fermented grass they eat in the winter months. To make sure our consumers recognize this difference, we have sought out and gotten independent certification of it – by the PCO. Look for the label on the cup! 

How cool is that?!

We got to try all the different varieties. Since my youngest and I are dairy free I had to trust the opinions of my family.

Stonyfield Grassfed Yogurt and Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Review | Just Take A Bite

Four Year Old

My son tried the whole milk Greek + honey once before his dairy allergy diagnosis. He loved it! And of course he loved the cool container, especially since we never buy individual yogurts unless we are traveling. No complaints, except he wanted more when it was gone.

Seven Year Old

My daughter tried all of them. Her favorite hands down was the grassfed yogurt. Just the right texture and sweetness.

She didn’t care as much for the Greek because it was quite tart. Which is saying a lot since we normally only add a bit of honey or syrup to plain yogurt and aren’t used to sweet things. So I added a touch extra honey to hers.

Husband

My husband enjoyed all of them. Though he too isn’t that crazy about Greek yogurt. It is very thick and tangier than regular yogurt. He thought the sweetness was good in all of them. But would definitely choose the grassfed for overall taste and texture. Really he’d choose the Oh My Yog! over both of these. Have you tried them yet?

Stonyfield Grassfed Yogurt and Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Review | Just Take A Bite

Even though I can’t taste the yogurt I still get to weigh in! Here are my thoughts.

Likes

  • I LOVE that the yogurt is full fat (which we need!).
  • I LOVE that the yogurt is organic and some of it is 100% grassfed.
  • I like the variety of flavors.
  • I like the convenience. We can finally buy a full fat individual size yogurt if we need something when we are on the go.

Dislikes

  • The flavored Greek yogurt containers have a strange design, and it was hard to get the filling out of the little cup. Especially the honey that gets hard when cold. I think it would be better to just make it fruit on the bottom and not deal with the flipping and scraping.
  • All of the yogurts besides the Greek + honey have cornstarch. With a rising number of people with corn allergies that really limits options.
  • Natural flavor – it’s in everything, even organic food. But it is almost the same as artificial flavor and has the same impact on my daughter. It makes her crazy and unable to focus. So in spite of the good quality of the yogurt I can’t let her eat it without consequences.

Stonyfield Grassfed Yogurt and Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Review | Just Take A Bite

Overall I am very happy with the latest yogurts from Stonyfield. Quality dairy that hasn’t had the healthy fat removed. I’m all for it. But we’ll be sticking to the plain yogurt and adding our own sweetener and fruit most of the time to avoid the thickener and natural flavor. That’s life with allergies!

Have you tried any of the latest Stonyfield full fat yogurts? What do you think?

I am working with Stonyfield for this review post. I have been compensated for my time commitment to use these products. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Nachos In A Jar | Just Take A Bite

On The Go Nachos In A Jar

Don’t resort to fast food and packaged foods just because you aren’t home for lunch. Stonyfield and Ball brand jars are teaming up for a New Year on the go! Try these on the go nachos in a jar for a filling meal that is easy to prepare and packed with nutrition.

Nachos In A Jar | Just Take A Bite

I am working with Stonyfield and Ball Canning for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. But the opinions and ideas are my own. I have not been paid to post positive reviews.

When the New Year arrives just about everyone is ready to hit the ground running. That includes both our schedules and our healthier food choices.

Just because you are busy does not mean you have to resort to junk food. Create your own “to go” meals using Ball brand jars.

Nachos In A Jar | Just Take A Bite

Canning jars everywhere.

Me? I use glass jars for everything.

I mean everything.

At any given time I have five to twenty-five jars in my fridge containing things like milk, broth, salsa, salad dressing, leftovers, olives, beans, bacon grease. Just about anything you can think of.

I also use them in my cupboard to store homemade graham crackers, Wheat Thins® and kettle corn granola.

Nachos In A Jar | Just Take A Bite

Glass jars are just right.

Basically my house is packed with canning jars. I’ll even share a post tomorrow about mason jar lunches kids can make! Ball brand jars are safe for food, safe for the dishwasher and come in all shapes and sizes to meet any needs.

My favorite size is the wide mouth pint. The wide mouth makes it easy to get your hands in. Even an immersion blender fits to make things like homemade Miracle Whip®!

Nachos In A Jar | Just Take A Bite

My nachos in a jar fit perfectly in the wide mouth pint! Layers of your favorite nacho toppings all packed neatly into a jar.

You can use chips (I love the Garden of Eatin’ blue corn chips) to dip right out of the jar or dump the nachos into a bowl when you are ready to eat.

Better yet, crumble chips into some of the layers and eat it with a fork. That is a delicious lunch on the go!

Nachos In A Jar | Just Take A Bite

Keep it simple.

I kept my nacho preparation simple with whole cherry tomatoes, olives, beans and chunks of avocado. You can add refried beans, salsa and guacamole if you like.

The add some tang with Stonyfield Greek yogurt or whole milk yogurt in place of sour cream.

I gave this to my husband for lunch. It got his seal of approval (and that means a lot!).

Are you starting the year with a busy schedule? In need of some easy lunches?

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the New Year stand in the way of keeping yourself healthy. Create fun Ball brand jar meals on the go like these nachos in a jar.

Nachos In A Jar | Just Take A Bite

On The Go Nachos In A Jar
Serves 1
Simple layered nachos you can take on the go.
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Choose any of the following
  1. 1/4 avocado, cut up
  2. 1/4 cup chopped lettuce
  3. 2 Tbsp. grated cheese
  4. 3 Tbsp. plain Greek or whole milk yogurt
  5. 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes (whole or chopped)
  6. 2 Tbsp. salsa
  7. 1/4 cup pinto beans, black beans, refried beans or chickpeas
  8. 1/4 cup olives (whole or chopped)
  9. 1/4 cup guacamole
  10. Tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Layer the chosen ingredients into a Ball canning jar (wide mouth pint works well).
  2. Optional: Add layers of crumbled chips.
  3. Serve straight from the jar with chips for dipping or with a fork. Or dump the contents into a bowl and serve with chips for dipping.
Notes
  1. I like to use Garden of Eatin' organic blue corn chips. Use whatever chips you tolerate.
  2. You can leave out the chips for a grain free nacho or replace corn chips with a root chip (potato, beet, etc.).
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

The Best Christmas Gift | Just Take A Bite

The Best Christmas Gift

I was challenged by Stonyfield to write about the best Christmas gift I ever received. After thirty five celebrations it’s hard to settle on just one! Mine comes in a small package.

The Best Christmas Gift | Just Take A Bite

When it comes to gifts the most significant ones for me always seem to revolve around babies.

Lately I hear a song on the radio a lot called “A Baby Changes Everything.” Every time I hear it I pause and reflect.

The most important birth was that of Christ Jesus. Long ago in a stable in Bethlehem. That baby sure changed everything! What an amazing gift that God sent to us. He is the reason I am even writing this post. There is no Christmas without the birth of our savior.

I received another “baby” when I was five years old. It was a birthday present. My first Cabbage Patch Kid. It was all I wanted.

Every store was selling out as soon as the dolls arrived. Finally one day just before my birthday a store nearby got a few. My mom called to ask…there were ten in stock.

By the time we got there only five were left!

It took me all of ten seconds to choose the one I wanted. She had a little tuft of blonde hair and a pacifier. She was mine. I named her Caroline Rebecca. I never wanted to let her go.

From that moment on I knew (even at five years old) that all I really wanted to do when I got older was be a mom.

I took her with me wherever I went. I played with dolls any chance I got. I pretended to nurse her, feed her, change her. She was my world.

Fast forward about twenty years. Happily married. Ready to start a family and have the children I have been wanting for so many years.

But it would not be that easy. In 2006 we started our long, lonely walk through the world of infertility.  The one thing I had dreamed about since I was five years old seemed like just that, a dream. I didn’t know if it would become a reality.

The Best Christmas Gift | Just Take A Bite

But in 2007 God gave us our first miraculous gift after various fertility treatments.

I found out I was pregnant in August and my daughter was born in April of 2008.

We started the journey again in 2009. After five emotionally and physically draining rounds of IVF we found out in September of 2010 that I was pregnant. My son was born in May of 2011.

Two precious gifts.

The Best Christmas Gift | Just Take A Bite

Yet I knew my family was not complete. I had dreamed since I was five years old of having a big family. I always wanted four children.

In 2013 we did our last round of IVF. Unfortunately it ended in a miscarriage. My dreams were crushed.

But after 6 months of hard work, a lot of physical challenges and healing and days and nights of prayer we got our best Christmas gift.

In December of 2013 I found out I was pregnant. We got to share the good news with our children and extended family as a special Christmas surprise. My oldest was the first to find out. Her reaction at only five years old was priceless (as you can see in the photo at the top).

The Best Christmas Gift | Just Take A Bite

In August of 2014 my daughter was born. She has changed my life in so many ways. She has brought me down a path of healing. A baby was the only motivation strong enough to get healthy. She has taught me what it means to truly sacrifice as I have had to give up a lot to keep her nourished and thriving over the last sixteen months – food, time with friends, outings with my family, travel. None of it was as important as taking care of my little miracle.

She has taught me about contentment and true joy.

Johanna means “God is Gracious.” He is indeed. And she reminds me every time I get her out of her crib and she gives me a big hug, every time she runs over, hops in my lap and snuggles, every time she comes up behind me and gives me kisses on my back, every time she laughs so hard she almost falls over.

A baby really does change everything. A baby (all of them) has been the best Christmas gift I ever received.

The Best Christmas Gift | Just Take A Bite

Whether or not there are any more precious gifts in my future I don’t know. Whether or not my childhood dream of a large family is part of God’s plan I don’t know. That is in God’s hands. His plans and his timing are perfect. I just know that the miracles He has entrusted to me so far have truly changed my life.

It is said that good things come in small packages. I wholeheartedly agree. From a tiny little baby in Bethlehem to the precious little ones sleeping upstairs as I write this. God has been gracious and changed my life through the miracle of a baby. It is the by far the best Christmas gift ever.

Creamy Cranberry Jello | Just Take A Bite

Creamy Cranberry Jello

Looking for a kid-friendly spin on cranberry sauce? Try some creamy cranberry jello! It is packed with nutrients and kids will love the taste.

Creamy Cranberry Jello | Just Take A Bite

I am working with Stonyfield for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. But the opinions and ideas are my own. I have not been paid to post positive reviews.

I’ll be honest. I always skipped the cranberry sauce growing up.

Tart, gelatinous red stuff shaped like a can…not really my thing. I’m not even sure I ever actually tasted it!

It looked that bad to me.

Not much has changed.

Fast forward thirty years. I’m still not entirely sure I’ve ever tasted cranberry sauce. I honestly couldn’t tell you what it tastes like. Even though it sounds really good…assuming it’s not out of a can.

I’ve never made it or served it to my family (though this homemade version from Raising Generation Nourished sure looks good!)

So when challenged by Stonyfield to recreate a holiday dish using yogurt I figured I should try to improve on the one Thanksgiving dish I never even bother making.

Creamy Cranberry Jello | Just Take A Bite

I turned cranberry sauce into creamy cranberry jello!

Sweet success.

My kids love it.

A little sweet. A little tart. A little creamy. Perfect.

Creamy cranberry jello really couldn’t be any easier to make either.

Five ingredients. Five minutes of hands on time.

The cranberry comes from pure cranberry juice. The creaminess comes from Stonyfield Plain Greek yogurt or strained whole milk yogurt. And the jello comes from quality grass-fed gelatin.

I love the simplicity of this dish and that it is very kid-friendly. I also love that you can make it up to a couple days in advance. One less thing to think about the day of Thanksgiving or Christmas!

If your kids tend to be hesitant to try new foods and flavors like cranberry try using these fun Thanksgiving printables.

Thanksgiving-stickers

They can be printed out on a self-adhesive paper and placed on soup bowls, paper plates, napkins and glasses. Cute illustrations can sometimes motivate children to eat, but if that’s not enough, writing out funny rhymes or riddles about food can really do the trick.

They can also be used for labeling each dish so those with allergies know what’s safe.

Are you still finalizing your holiday meal plans?

Be sure to keep cranberries ON the menu this year. Nobody will pass them up in the form of creamy cranberry jello. Not even the kids!

Creamy Cranberry Jello | Just Take A Bite

Creamy Cranberry Jello
Serves 8
A creamy, kid friendly twist on cranberry sauce.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups pure cranberry juice (NOT cranberry juice cocktail)
  2. 1 cup organic cane sugar
  3. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or 1 cup whole milk yogurt, strained
  5. 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan combine the juice, sugar, salt and yogurt. Whisk until combined.
  2. Add the gelatin while whisking to prevent clumping. Let sit one minute.
  3. Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the sugar and gelatin are dissolved (about 3 minutes, mixture will be warm).
  4. Pour into a heat-safe serving dish.
  5. Refrigerate until firm.
  6. Serve cold.
Notes
  1. If you like your jello on the softer side use 1 1/2 Tbsp. of gelatin. If you like it firmer use 2 Tbsp. of gelatin.
  2. You can turn this into finger jello by using 2 1/2 - 3 Tbsp. of gelatin.
  3. You can add whole cranberries to the jello before refrigerating.
  4. You can replace half of the sugar with honey. You may need to increase the gelatin slightly.
  5. You can substitute coconut yogurt to make this dairy free.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/

Looking for more delicious jello recipes for the holidays? Give these a try!

Candy Corn Finger Jello

Pear Lime Jello Salad

Strawberry Lemon Jello Salad

Cherry Rhubarb Jello

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

My Simple Mommy Style | Just Take A Bite

My Simple Mommy Style

I don’t know much about style, but I’m sharing my simple mommy style today. It’s all me. prAna and Stonyfield are helping too! There is even a giveaway!

My Simple Mommy Style | Just Take A Bite

I am working with Stonyfield and prAna for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. But the opinions and ideas are my own. I have not been paid to post positive reviews.

It is almost comical for me to use this post title.

Style? Me? Ha!

I don’t really have one. Unless comfort is a style. In all seriousness, I like to keep things simple.

Which is why I was so excited when prAna wanted to join forces with Stonyfield for this #JustBeYou campaign.

Comfortable clothes that are actually stylish!

Now we’re talking.

It was hard to choose just one item to try. But I went with the Kara Jeans. I have the hardest time finding pants that fit (without having to shop in the juniors section), that I can move in and that are age appropriate (old college clothes aren’t really cutting it anymore in my mid 30’s!).

It doesn’t take much effort to put them to the test at my house. With three young kids I spend half of my day on the floor playing, picking up toys, changing diapers, etc.

I really love these pants! They let me move, and they are super cute. They work well with flip flops or boots (perfect for the ever changing Michigan weather). I can wear them to church or just working around the house.

My Simple Mommy Style | Just Take A Bite

I actually wore them the entire day – morning until bed time. Normally half of my day is spent in “comfy” pants. You know, the ones you wouldn’t leave the house in but you put them on the minute you get home.

The prAna Kara jeans fit my simple mommy style perfectly.

I like all things simple. My decor. My clothes. My food. Simple.

I like my yogurt the same way. My absolute favorite flavor is vanilla, like the new Oh My Yog! Madagascar vanilla bean. Add some granola and I’m good to go for any meal. I could eat it all day long.

I’ve been dairy free for a little over a year now while nursing my youngest with a dairy allergy. One of the first things I’ll be eating when she’s done nursing is vanilla yogurt!

My lifestyle is simple too. I am such a homebody. We are pretty busy with the kids’ activities and school drop off and pick up. But I’d be content to stay home every single day.

What would I do? Read books and color. For real.

Comfy pants, a stack of books, creative coloring and delicious vanilla yogurt.

It’s my dream day. It’s me! Simple life spending time with my favorite people – my kids.

I chose dark green pants. I don’t have any green pants. I thought I’d be “bold.” Plus they hide stains pretty well when I spill on myself in the kitchen or when little hands and faces wipe food all over me. Both happen way too often.

PrAna clothing is super cute and comfortable. But it is also sustainable! Check out their story.

How about you? What is your style? What does a dream day look like for you?

prAna wants to help you #JustBeYou

They are giving away one item (up to a $99 value!!) to one of my readers!

The giveaway is only open for one week. So be sure to get your entry in!

I’ll warn you, though, it will be hard to pick just one thing! I need to do more browsing to add to my Christmas list.

In case you want to buy more or are ready to start your Christmas shopping you can get 15% off with the coupon code JBYF15HDAP. It is good through December 15, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.