Last time I did a typical dinner night post, some of you asked for more! They are nothing special but kind of help with quick dinner ideas.
On Thursday night, I made a quick fix to enjoy during the Sound of Music. First I roasted peppers, zucchini, squash, carrots, and onion with olive oil and garlic seasoning.
After roasting the vegetables, I popped them in the refrigerator to cool for an hour. Hot vegetables on a salad? Not good!
I topped the bowl of salad with the roasted vegetables.
Then I topped the salad with chicken that I cooked on the indoor grill. The chicken had been marinating in Teriyaki sauce all day.
Before I forget to mention…the chicken was also refrigerated. I can’t do hot foods on cold foods when it comes to salads.
I found my new favorite salad dressing. It taste like Olive Gardens! Marzetti’s Roasted Garlic Italian Vinaigrette!
To put a little carb into my dinner, I made roasted red potatoes. You can find my recipe here.
And that is my quick dinner night post!
Christmas is a wallet shrinking machine! The number of people I buy gifts for seems to get larger each Christmas. I spend money traveling home, baking goods, preparing dinners, buying presents, buying Christmas cards, buying gift wrap, and purchasing outfits to wear for parties and church. On top of that, I have to pay for my normal groceries, dog food, car payment, car insurance, memberships, medical issuance, vet bills, cell phone bills, entertainment, dining out, etc…
See how the holidays can get stressful if you don’t budget? That is why I like to do a lot of DIY on Christmas, especially decorating!
I found an inexpensive tree at Target on sale for $50.00. It was pre-lit and 6 ft. tall which is perfect for an apartment. The 6 ft. trees at other stores were over $100 which is crazy for a 30 day set up! When we buy a house, then we will talk about getting a better tree.
Gingerbread men are my favorite. They are super fun to decorate and also smell great. That is why I chose to make them for my DIY ornaments.
To shorten up the time with these ornaments, I bought Pillsbury cookie dough. These were also the cheapest! You could make your own, but I like taking the easy way out.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
All you have to do is roll out the dough and cut out shapes as if you were making sugar cookies!
Make sure to flour the surface, or the dough will stick.
Lay the cookies on a baking sheet.
Pierce a hole in the top of the gingerbread man. I forgot to pierce a ton of cookies. It’s okay if you do, too! Just use a toothpick to make a hole after taking the cookies out of the oven.
Bake 10-13 minutes. It’s okay to burn them a little. I like the darker tint.
After taking the cookies out of the oven, let them sit on the tray until they harden.
You can also make other shapes with the leftover dough! I made stars and trees. They cook much faster.
As you can see I was getting carried away and made a huge mess. But a messy kitchen is a happy kitchen!
The mess even made its way to my floor.
After all of your cookies are baked, it’s time to decorate!
I had a lot of the decorations on hand already, making it much cheaper.
If you don’t have anything on hand, I would recommend getting a couple bottles of sparkles, twine, a paint brush, and squeeze paint. (Puff paint). You could also pick up some jewels to bedazzle your people.
Let the ornaments dry for 8 hours before you place them on your tree.
I still have a lot of cookies left to decorate. I will probably do something simple like adding sparkles and writing names on them.
Even though it is Christmas, you don’t have to make them all “Christmas-y”. You can make them pink and stick a candy cane in their hand and the whole Christmas vibe will reappear again.
This one used to be my happy little gingerbread man. I turned my back for a minute and caught Grumples gnawing off his leg. So I added angry eye browns and made the tragic accident work!
Here are a couple of my gingerbread boys. It’s really fun to use your imagination and just start decorating. Soon you get an idea of what you want.
I think kids would LOVE this project.
In 2nd Grade my teacher brought in a box of gingerbread ornaments for us to decorate which is where I got my inspiration for this project.
Decorations are usually $3.99-$10.00 a piece at stores. These (including the ones not pictured) came to only $0.39 per ornament! Personal ornaments are SO much better than the store bought. They make great gifts, too.
I also learned my lesson and placed the ornaments at the top of the tree. Grumples cannot be trusted!
After all of my gingerbread people were up on my tree, I sat down for a glass of almond milk eggnog! It’s truly beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Although, I’m only 10% done Christmas shopping.
Some of you were asking where I got my tree skirt! It’s the softest thing ever. I bought it at Home Goods on sale for $39.99
I’m totally lamesauce tonight. I wore myself out today going here and there, doing this and that, making messes and cleaning messes…The list goes on. On top of that, I woke up at 6 am this morning to beat the gym crowd. I wanted to do a quick update post before I dose off with some things you can expect tomorrow!
Yesterday and today, I made gingerbread people tree ornaments. Apparently, Grumps thought they tasted pretty good. That little stinker! I will be sharing my DIY for them in the morning!
Just in case you didn’t know…I like grapes. Nuff said.
Oh! And lately, I’ve been posting all kinds of eggnog finds on my Instagram. Today I found another great one! It’s CalifiaFarms almond milk. I still like the So Delicious coconut one a tad better. But this one is still worth the chug. I found it at Whole Foods.
I also picked up some great stocking stuffers for my upcoming post!
While I was out, Grumps and I stopped to get his photo taken with Santa at Petsmart! He was such a good pup!
I try to juice 30 minutes within waking up every morning. Jeremy also likes to grab a juice before he heads out the door. It’s a great boost of energy while cleansing the body. I don’t juice as a meal replacement. I juice before breakfast and that is it. I eat about an hour or two after my juice.
Here are a couple of my favorite juices I like to make!
1 orange, 2 cups baby carrots, 1 grapefruit, 1 lemon, 3 celery sticks, 1/2 inch ginger, 1 cucumber. (Peel is washed and left on all fruits and vegetables)
2 pears, 1 lemon, 1 grapefruit, 2 cups spinach, 3 celery sticks, 1/2 inch ginger, 1 cucumber
(Peel is washed and left on all fruits and vegetables)
2 oranges, 2 cups of carrots, 1 lime, 6 large celery sticks, 1/2 inch ginger, 1 cucumber (keep peel on all fruits but peel the cucumber)
What kind of juicer do I have? A Cuisineart CJE-1000 and I bought it at Macy’s.
The juice is better for you if you drink it right away. It starts to lose nutrients the longer it sits. If you plan on storing it for a while, make sure it’s in a closed tight container and refrigerated.
I can’t promise you that this will be my last eggnog recipe. I am actually making a trip to Whole Foods to pick up more later on today. As you know, I love experimenting with recipes. They do not always turn out, but when they do, I get super excited. These turned out well, even my non-eggnog-loving boyfriend enjoyed them!
I wanted to make the batch a little smaller that way I didn’t have too many hanging around my cabinet. Little recipes are perfect for two. The eggnog muffins are super healthy (But do not taste healthy). You can grab one to go with your breakfast, snack, dinner, dessert, or lunch!
I enjoyed a couple muffins with a glass of wine while watching the Sound of Music last night on NBC. What did you think of the performance? I’m dying to hear your thoughts!
Ingredients: *1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour, *1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon, *1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg, *1 Tbsp Baking Powder, *1 Large Egg, *1/4 Cup Vanilla Yogurt (Not Greek. I used CarbMaster), 2 Packets Stevia (Can be replaced with honey) *1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract, and *1 Cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Eggnog (Can be replaced with ANY brand/kind of eggnog)
Preheat oven to 355 degrees.
You could use ground nutmeg seasoning, but I highly recommend buying whole nutmegs and grating them as you go! Nutmeg loses all flavor when pre-ground and kept in containers. Do you have an old container hidden in your cabinet? Go smell it! I bet it’s smell is just about gone.
Add all dry ingredients to a mixing bowl, except the Stevia.
Sift together the dry ingredients until blended.
In a separate bowl, whip together the large egg and yogurt.
Stir the vanilla into the wet ingredient bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl. Stir 1-3 minutes.
After the ingredients are mixed together, add the Stevia or honey.
Fill a pan with 8 muffin liners. Fill the liners with the batter 3/4 full. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.
Bake for 17-19 minutes. Keep an eye on them as all ovens cook differently. Use the toothpick method to determine if they are done.
I was so happy with how well these rose! When you’re experimenting with recipes, you just have to cross your fingers and pray they turn out.
Recipe Makes 8 Muffins
Serving Size: 1 Muffin
Nutrition Per Serving: 85 Calories, 16 g Carbs, 1 g Fat, 4 g Protein, 2 g Fiber, 4 g Sugar
They go perfect with a tall glass of eggnog or milk!