Mermaid Water

I love birthdays. I really love summer birthdays. Especially mine! I like to create a new alcoholic beverage for all the adults at my parties. This year was Mermaid Water. Because those that know me, know I’m part mermaid. 😉 This drink made a nice size pitcher and even those who don’t really drink (like my mom) even found it to be refreshing. We enjoyed ours lounging by the pool. 


Mermaid Water

Ingredients:

3 shots of Spiced Rum

3 shots of Coconut Rum

3 shots of Blue Curaçao

1 bottle of Pineapple Juice

3 limes, sliced 

1 lime juiced

Ice

Directions:

Place a half the sliced limes along the bottom of the pitcher. Full halfway with ice. Add the shots of both spiced and coconut rum. Add 3/4 of the bottle of pineapple juice. Add the juice from the limes. Top with remaining pineapple juice. Add three shots of the Blue Curaçao. Garnish glasses with limes, add ice and serve! 

You can always adjust the amount of alcohol and pineapple juice to fit your taste. As always, drink responsibly! 🍹 Cheers!! 

Next drink up will be my newest favorite: Dirty Shirley Temple!

Bacon Wrapped Hotdogs

It’s summer!! Well at least in Florida. And summer means drinks and barbecuing and fun outside. 

To kick off summer I made bacon wrapped hotdogs stuffed with cheese. The bacon made a great wrap but requires constant watch on the grill. To round out the meal I made myself a Dirty Shirley Templr. Because hey, sun’s out so the rum’s out. 

Bacon Wrapped Hotdogs stuffed w/cheese

Ingredients:

Package of bacon

Package of hotdogs

String cheese

Directions:

Slice string cheese into strips. Slice a slit into the hotdog. Place cheese into slit. Wrap with bacon. Secure with toothpick.

Heat up grill. Turn heat to lowest setting. Place hotdogs onto the grill. Check on hotdogs every few minutes to prevent burning. Rotate as needed.
And serve with your favorite alcohol! Or any drink of your choice 🙂
Enjoy and happy grilling!

Tater Tot Breakfast Cups

It was a rough day of being sick, and the last thing I wanted to do was cook. This meal is not only easy, but simple enough I could enlist my kids to help. Bacon, eggs, cheese and tater tots; the perfect breakfast for dinner combination!


Tater Tot Breakfast Cups

Ingredients:

36 Frozen tater tots

12 eggs

1 package of bacon

Cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tin by spraying with non-stick spray. 

Cook bacon in skillet until desired crispness. Chop into small pieces. 

Place 3 tater tots per muffin cup. Crack one egg over each cup. Season with salt and pepper. Top with bacon and cheese. 

Bake for 25 minutes, or until eggs are cooked through. Run a knife around the edges to loosen. Serve warm! Top with salsa or eat on their own. Enjoy!!

Zucchini Corn Chicken Fritters

It takes a little creative thinking to get my kids to eat certain veggies. Zucchini is one of those veggies. So, since I know they love ground chicken patties and corn, I mixed them all together with a little bit of shredded zucchini and they gobbled them up! Best part, they had no idea here was any green veggies in them! 


Zucchini Corn Chicken Fritters

Ingredients:

1 zucchini; shredded and drained of Ezra water

1/2 can of corn; drained

1lb of ground chicken

1 handful of Monterey Jack cheese

1 egg; whisked

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

1 tsp of pepper

1 tsp of garlic powder

1 tsp of dried minced onions

Directions:

Preheat 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet to medium heat. Shred zucchini and press out any excess water. Place into medium bowl. Drain can of corn and add half to the zucchini. Add ground chicken, cheese, egg, bread crumbs and spices. Mix well with hands.

Form into parties and place into the heated oil. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until chicken is cooked through. Continue with the rest of the chicken mixture. Top with extra cheese. 

Enjoy! 🙂

#Whoneedsalabel?

This blog usually consists of food and travel and the occasional comments about cooking in general. Here lately, life has been so hectic that even cooking a meal that is picture worthy is a struggle. We are in the final stretches of school, so travel is on the back burner for now as well. That doesn’t mean life has stopped. It doesn’t mean that we are hiding in a hole waiting for the first glimpse of summer break.

Life is full of labels. Ones I am quite sick of seeing or being pushed onto me. #Imnoangel #plusisequal #skinnyisbetter #mediumwomenunite. The list goes on. While I am all for body positive image, being in between the Medium woman label and the Plus Size Woman label, we should all feel comfortable and happy in our own skin. Why does my body need a label? But these labels are going beyond our looks. They are stepping into our careers choices, whether it is working full time, part time , working from home or raising kids, labels are everywhere.

We are told to be individuals, be our own person, don’t let society define you. However, we are put under a label of some kind. How am I to be my own person when society is putting in box of conformity?

Why do we need a label? Why can’t we just be a uniquely, wonderfully made creature? If you were to wear your label…what would it read? Is this one that you gave yourself or one that was given to you?

Chickpea Taco Bowls

In an effort to eat healthier, I am attempting more meatless meals. I was worried, being a huge carnivore that I would miss the chicken in this dish. Surprisingly, it was very filling! I used chickpeas and my regular taco fillings and loved it. Even my oldest son was a fan. This is a keeper!


Chickpea Taco Bowls:

1 tablespoon of Oil

1 can of Chickpeas (drained)

1 can of Corn (drained)

1 can of Black beans (drained)

1 can of Rotel (drained)

1 package of taco seasoning

1 can of Green Chili Enchilada Sauce

1 package of Lipton’s Taco Rice

Cheese and other toppings

Directions:

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan on medium heat. Add chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper. After chickpeas of cooked for about 5 minutes, add in corn, black beans and Rotel. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Mix up taco seasoning as directed on package.

Cook taco rice according to the package.

Add taco seasoning to the mix. Bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

After rice is finished, transfer to a bowl. Top with chickpea mix. I added the green chili sauce per bowl depending on the person eating. However, you can mix it all in before dishing it up.

Top with cheese and any other desired toppings. I topped ours with my mom’s Avocado Salsa.

Enjoy!

Spicy Hawaiian Chicken

   I love going to our local Farmers Market. This last Saturday I went with a dear friend and our kids got to experience shopping local. This particular vendor is a favorite of mine. My honey, lemon jelly (which I’ve used for chicken tenders) and now this new jam! Packs a punch on its own and adds terrific flavor to chicken. The kids loved it! To add extra spice, I added the jam to the chicken right after it was out of skillet. 
 
 Spicy Hawaiian Chicken:

Chicken breasts

Hawaiian jam (a Hawaiian glaze will work just as good)

1tsp corn starch

1/4 cup hot water

1tbsp oil

Directions:

Mix corn starch and hot water until blended. Add jam, mix well.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in skillet over medium heat. Coat chicken with jam mix. Add to skillet and top with remaining mix. Cook on medium-high until chicken is cooked through. 

Serve with your favorite sides!   
I served ours with orange bell peppers, sautéed in the remaining glaze, pineapple chunks, black beans and yellow rice, and this wonderful blend of Thai style veggies by Green Giant. 

Enjoy!!!!

 

Because I’m Happy

Bloggity

I have struggled immensely with this concept this year. In the process of eating better, furthering my education, and raising three slightly difficult children on my own, being happy and content in my situation is hard. I see family members who do not have to struggle like we do, who can provide the moon and everything in between to their children, and we are saving every penny to be able to have at least one little family trip this year. I turn down purchasing items for myself or going without to ensure my children do not.

Theif

I compare my life to others and wonder how did they get it so easy? They have found love, they don’t struggle, they have nice, clean homes and pedicures. And here I am, crashing in bed by 9:15 p.m. from sheer mental and emotional exhaustion.

However, I know in my heart of hearts that I am not to compare my life to everyone else’s highlight reel. Yes we struggle. Yes life is hard. But I am trying to make the best of it. At least I can say my kids don’t feel the struggle. They are safe from the stress and the worry.

The amount of money you have, the places you can travel, the clothes hanging in your closet, are all mere items that can be whisked away at any time. There is no contentment or security of life in those items. I am learning that my happiness is what I make of it. Being content in what life throws at me and hitting right back. I’ll be damned if this season of my life defines me, or defeats me. In an instant all those things could be gone. Some families are one job away from bankrupt. I am raising kids who value the little things and cherish the vacations because they are not every day occurrences. Trips out for dinner, movies, and shopping are all treats that we savor.

Be that person who appreciates what life is and can fully live on very little. Contentment comes from within. Happiness is within your control. Don’t compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel. May your life be better than what is on Facebook. Relish in those moments when life seems to be running smoothly and fight like hell when its not.

Be happy. Not because of your situations, but because of your spirit. Today, choose happiness. Choose love. Choose grace. And above all, choose to be grateful. You’re on this side of the dirt. That alone is reason to smile.

Overnight Oats

January is just about over and now it’s time to get my head in the game a prepare for our Disney trip. One way I’m doing that is getting my eating back on track. Nothing feels worse on vacation than feeling uncomfortable on those rides. So, here’s the first recipe of my first day! 

I’m not a big breakfast eater. I love breakfast food, just not at breakfast time. But, to eat healthy all day I have to start the morning off right. So I threw together overnight oats. It’s very easy and I put mine in my Blender Bottle for easier grabbing on the run. 

I apologize for the picture quality, I was surprised how well they turned out.

  

Chocolate Coconut Overnight Oats

1/2 oats (old fashion or steel cut)

3/4 cup 1% milk (can use almond or cashew)

1 tbsp pure cocoa powder

1 tbsp unsweetened coconut

1 scoop Cookies and Cream protein powder (vanilla or chocolate would work as well)

Directions:

Mix protein powder, cocoa powder and milk together. Set aside. Add oats and coconut to a container with a lid.  Mix milk mixture with oats. Secure lid and refrigerate overnight. Stir and enjoy!

21 Day Fix approved foods.

Happy eating!!

Banishing the Winter Blues

Adventure

The month of January is usually a hard month for me. While it’s gives me the opportunity to start a new year fresh, there is still residual insecurities from the year that has past. The colder weather and cloudy days certainly don’t help any. Even here in Northern Florida, we have cold mornings and lots of rain. With that being said, as I begin to shake off what was and let go of the expectations that did not come through, I plan for this year. New adventures, new trips, new relationships. Not really a new me, I am pretty content with what and who I am at the moment, but perhaps working towards a slightly better me.

Each year I am lucky enough to take my three kids on a trip. One year was to Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL and that fall a cruise to the Grand Cayman’s and Cozumel. The next year was to Universal Studios and mini weekend vacations. This year holds some big adventures.

First, my youngest daughter has hit double digits. It’s a big deal in our house. And my oldest is hitting the teenage years this summer. Another really big deal. But, the biggest adventure we have planned, and this is HUGE for us, is our very first trip to Disney World. While I know this is not a big deal to a lot of people, but for this single mom struggling to make it each month, this is GIGANTIC! Spring Break is going to be great adventure.

While personal things are also making life a little more of an adventure, I am ecstatic to give my kids this opportunity. Adventure is out there. Stop waiting for the next best thing, and make your life the best that there is. Start small with little weekend getaways. Save every last penny in a jar designed for your trips. Make a plan and stick to it. Research and look for ways to explore your destination without costing you a fortune.

It is possible to have amazing vacations without breaking the bank. Some of our favorite trips where little camping trips we took. Even a few nights away from the daily grind can refresh your soul. Take some “you” time. If you have the ability to travel, why aren’t you? What is holding you back?

Throw your hands up in the air, and let adventure take control. Shake off the winter blues, get that calendar out, and start planning!