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Buffalo Chicken Bites

It’s no secret that I love cooking appetizers. It’s probably my favorite food category to cook. I am always looking for new and creative finger foods to serve to friends during cookouts and especially football season.

A few weeks ago I tried a mini version of something I have made before, but with a more simplistic twist.

Nolan bought be a mini muffin tin for Christmas, and I use it all.the.time. As a matter of fact, I used it last night to make egg-muffins for a school breakfast! Anyway, I wanted to make something bite sized for our Memorial Day cookout and after some thinking I settled on Buffalo Chicken Bites, because who doesn’t love buffalo chicken? If I had to guess, I would say without exaggeration that if you cut Nolan open, he is made up of 75% buffalo chicken. In fact, I know he is having a really shitty day of work today so I have a buffalo chicken sub here waiting for him when he gets home. #wifeoftheyear

To make these buffalo chicken bites, I started with my typical buffalo chicken dip recipe. That includes a large can of chicken, light ranch dressing, Franks, and cream cheese. For this batch I used a whipped chive cream cheese to keep it light-consistency wise, not calories 😉 Next I used a package of flaky biscuits and cut each one into 4 pieces.


I took each smaller piece and stretched out the corners. I then placed them into the mini muffin tin which I lightly sprayed with olive oil cooking spray.


I filled each cup with a spoonful of buffalo chicken dip, and then topped them with shredded mozzarella cheese.


Into the oven they went, cooked according the the biscuit instructions. (I honestly can’t remember how long or at what temperature.)20170529_121210

I think these are the cutest things I have ever made! They were a HUGE hit with our friends and a recipe I plan to use again and again and again!




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This Week’s Eats {06/7/17}

After last week’s lack of food prep I really wanted to get back on track this week. Something else I noticed after last weeks eats is just how different my body feels when I eat bread and other gluteny carbs throughout the day. A large number of people with thyroid disease also have celiac disease. In fact, thyroid disorders are 4 times more likely in those with celiac disease than the typical population. With my hypothyroidism I have certainly noticed a gluten /metabolic connection. Now I would rather die than never eat another Bertucci’s roll but I am making an effort to limit gluten throughout the day. Bottom line, there is no bread in this weeks eats. (but of course there will be plenty of gluten in some dinners this week.)

Breakfast this week is semi-prepped. We left a graduation party on Sunday with a huge veggie platter so I cut up and cooked some of them to add to scrambled eggs each morning. Multi colored bell peppers, carrots, and broccoli. I’m also planning an egg-drop STEM activity with my 5th graders this week, so the more empty egg cartons I have the better 😉


Snack this week is cottage cheese. My mom got me hooked on the chive flavor and I’m hoping the garden vegetable flavor is just as good. I love the cute little single serve cottage cheese products out there today, but from what I have seen they are really high in sugar and pretty pricey when you compare it to the full size price. So I have been buying big, and packing 1/2-3/4 of a cup for snack each day.


I am so excited about my lunches this week. I tried another new-to-me product from Trader Joe’s and they are not disappointing me. 20170604_202032Spiral cut veggies is something else I really wanted to try but they take a lot of effort to make. This box of pre-spiraled frozen carrots cost …I honestly don’t remember how much but it couldn’t be more than $3. I cooked them up in a skillet according to the directions on the box. After about 10 minutes they look like this!

20170606_173257I bought two boxes of these and cut each box into two servings, totaling 4 meals. (One day this week I will bring a leftover stuffed pepper for lunch). I had never really had vegetable “noodles” before so I wasn’t 100% sure what to serve them with but I settled on pairing them with TJ’s Italian style chicken sausages and some marinara sauce. I cannot stress enough how great their chicken sausages are, and only 110 calories per link. I plan on eating them all.summer.long.

20170606_173853It doesn’t really make sense but this lunch is HITTING the spot this week. I’m shocked at how much flavor is in these spirals and how well they pair with spaghetti sauce and the flavor of these sausages. I mean I knew it would be decent but man is it blowing my mind. I know I sound like an irrational food nerd but I get so excited when I find something easy and affordable that I love. These spirals will definitely be a repeat buy, and I hope they come out with different vegetable spirals in the future. Once again TJ’s knocks it out of the park.


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Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust Review

Saturday’s shopping led me to my second favorite place on the planet, Trader Joe’s.  I went in with the intention of picking up a few things, and of course ended up grabbing 1,000 things. But the best part about TJ’s is I only spent about $50 on my 1,000 things.

Before I go on a TJ’s run, I always check out the blog What’s Good at Trader Joe’s. I have been reading them for years and they have rarely steered me wrong with their item reviews. This weekend I had my sights set on a few particular items including their Cauliflower Pizza Crust.


I am a big cauliflower fan and I have been very curious about cauliflower crusts but to be honest, it sounds like so much damn work. Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking and putting time into my recipes, but this just isn’t something that interested me enough to spend hours working on. So when I saw that TJ’s was selling an already made crust I had to pick it up. Calorie wise, it’s much smarter than a typical crust at only 480 total, but the crust is pretty small. 20170603_181245I cooked it according to the directions and it got pretty crispy. However, as soon as I topped it with sauce and such, it got really flimsy. I went with a typical margarita pizza, topped with sauce, mozzarella, tomato slices and fresh basil from my garden. Overall it was decent, I’d give it a 5/10. It definitely wasn’t fantastic, or crispy at all. If I could get it crunchy it would be so much better. Nolan told me to buy another and let HIM make the pizza next time which he assures me will be better than my “lame meatless pizza”. At $4 a crust, I might just be willing to give it a try.


But let’s get real-I like cauliflower which is good because you can definitely taste it, but if you are using this crust thinking it will taste like bread, you will be pissed. It’s like the spaghetti vs spaghetti squash debate. Just because they are both called a crust does NOT mean they are created equal. There is just no substitution for crusty bread, sorry folks. In this substitution show down, gluteny crust wins 10/10 times.



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Where Did the Week Go?!

Ohhhh what a week. I feel like I’ve said this a lot lately, but this time of year for a teacher is just exhausting. Wasn’t this a short week? I’d never know it by the way my body felt Friday afternoon. I swear I did sit down to blog once or twice but I think I was asleep on the couch by 9:00 each night. But I did manage to take a few pictures so here are a some highlights from the week.

  1. We had a low key Memorial Day with a few friends and great food, including these adorable appetizers. Recipe to come!


2. THIS was meal prep this week……


Yes, I ate deli meat out of the friggin container on Tuesday. The lack of food prep this weke was partly due to the festivities we had on Monday, but partly because on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week my 5th graders and I were at an outdoor reservation and I needed to bring a brown bag lunch. Every year our district sends the 5th graders (and their teachers) to an outdoor classroom type reservation to engage in team building activities-camp style. We are there from 9-2:30 each day and it is absolutely my favorite part of the year. It’s amazing to see the kids come alive outside. take risks, and have fun. On those days I did actually buy bread and make turkey sandwiches to bring with me.

3- Can you see why I love this 3 day field trip!?


It’s absolutely gorgeous and we really lucked out with the weather. As a teacher, I have very few responsibilities while we are there because the reservation’s staff takes care of the kids. For those 3 days I got to hike around the lake, explore the woods, and bounce around from group to group. It’s the best.

4. My plants are defying the odds and a few are already beginning to flower!!!!


My expectations are still low because my track record with plants is AWFUL, but I am so excited to see all of my plants are growing and a few actually have buds! If I even get 5 vegetables from this garden it’s a win in my book.

5. Date night included take out and a puzzle. Very low key since we were both too tired to put together a fun date. Nolan has been trying to get me to try the Turkish restaurant down the street so he took care of the ordering.

Top- Sultan Pie- Ground beef, fried eggplant, marinara sauce, and Parmesan cheese Bottom Left- Lamb kebab Bottom Right- beef gyroturkishOverall the food was O.K, but nothing I would be in a rush to order again, with the exception of the gyro. Nolan is much more adventurous when it comes to international flavors and he just loves the Turkish and Mediterranean spices used in the cooking but I could really take it or leave it. But it was really fun to try something new, especially from the comforts of home.  And yes, we did a 500 piece puzzle together for entertainment. Now I know some people have very strong opinions about sharing puzzles, Kara,  but we both have what the other lacks which comes in handy in most life situations including puzzling. My attention span paired with Nolan’s ability to visualize and his spacial reasoning makes us quite a puzzle team. It may sound very lame but it was the perfect date night in. I just love him :-)

6. My current favorite thing about being a homeowner is mowing the lawn. Honestly, it makes me feel like a badass chick, and there are few smells better than that of freshly mowed grass. This is only my second time doing it but my lines are getting a little straighter! It’s also a great way to get in some steps! I think I hit 22k that day between my hikes around the reservation and doing the front and backyard.


Well that’s about it for this week. Nothing overly exciting but it definitely kept me busy. This weekend I have a few events to go to that I’m really excited for, but today there is nowhere I need to be which is my favorite kid of weekend day. :-)



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Date Night:

Happy Friday!! I hope everyone enjoyed their week and has something to look forward to this weekend. I am siked to have the 3 days off to recharge and hopefully enjoy some nice weather.

Last week since it was my turn to host Date Night, I bough tickets to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 at the 3D IMAX theater in town. Now it’s very rare for Nolan and I to go to the movies together because we have pretty opposite taste in films. He is very into the Marvel, X-Men, superhero movies and I am not. At all. So usually we wait for a few weeks after they come out and then stream them from a movie site online so we aren’t paying $24 to see a movie that one of us doesn’t want to see. However, because date night is about making the other person happy, and because Nolan was really excited to see this one, I bought tickets. He loved it and because it was in 3D I was thoroughly entertained and really enjoyed it.

Since the tickets were pricey and because we have been eating out a lot we opted to come home after the movie and just have snacks and drinks at home. I had recently made a trip to Trader Joe’s so I had lots of goodies on hand to much on. I am obsessed with brie and TJ’s prices are always reasonable and their selection endless. I paired it with their Fig and Olive crisps which are VERY crispy FYI. Like, break a tooth crispy, but packed with flavor and bits of deliciousness. This cheese/ cracker combo is out of this world. 20170520_174732


I also used a few TJ ingredients to create a little sangria cocktail. Red wine, sparkling water and frozen fruit is my favorite and very low cal sangria recipe. When it comes to buying frozen fruit I generally stay away from strawberries because they get really soggy and take up a lot of space in the bag, but I really like them in sangria mixtures.


It was the perfect ending to a long week and a great date. :-)





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