Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

A friend of mine gave me this recipe to try out, so this was my first time trying it. It is AMAZING! The best part of it all is that it’s pretty guilt-free. When I tried it I really felt like I was eating something unhealthy. You have got to give this one a try. I put it all together in my Nutri Ninja, so the cleanup was super easy. Please let me know if you try this one!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp (a pinch) of salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped semi or bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)

Throw all of your ingredients into your blender, food processor, or Nutri Ninja (bullet) & blend until smooth. Fold in your chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips) & fill up your muffin tins 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes for mini muffins or 16-18 minutes for standard size muffins.

 

Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinner: Bowtie Lasagna!

Here is a recipe for an easy lasagna using bow tie pasta that my stepmom gave me. I filmed this over a year ago when I lived in my old house when I was thinking of starting my blog. This is not a healthy recipe ny any means, but it’s a good one for those nights you want some comfort food, or when you have company coming over. Let me know if you try this recipe!

Heres what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (or Italian sausage or whichever meat you prefer)
  • 1 box of bowtie pasta
  • 2 8-ounce pkgs of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 16-ounce container of cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan (optional)
  • 1 24-ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Italian seasoning 1-2 teaspoons.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add your pasta. Boil pasta to al dente per package instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, brown your meat until cooked thoroughly. Drain excess fat.
  4. Add your jar of sauce to the browned meat and heat through.
  5. In a large bowl, add 1 package of mozzarella cheese, your package of cottage cheese, your Parmesan, and your Italian seasoning. Add in your cooked/drained pasta and mix thoroughly.
  6. In your 11×13 casserole dish, add your pasta/cheese mixture, covering the bottom evenly.
  7. Spread your meat/sauce mixture evenly over your pasta.
  8. Add your other 8-ounce package of mozzarella on top.
  9. Bake on 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F and cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  10. Allow to sit for a minimum of 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

EASY Homemade M&M Blondies!

Have you ever needed to whip up a delicious, homemade dessert/treat in a pinch? This is the recipe to have in your recipe box because it is so quick & easy & contains ingredients most people always have in their pantry anyway. You could even exchange the M&Ms for something else (chocolate chips, nuts, or even make a glaze to drizzle over the top out of simple ingredients). On occasion I use sprinkles instead to make my confetti blondies! The options are endless, so choose whatever you have or whatever you would enjoy the most!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups M&Ms (however many you want!)
  • 8×8 inch pan
  • Parchment paper

image

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat your butter until creamy and pale.

image

One at a time add your sugar, vanilla, and eggs.

image

image

Then slowly incorporate your dry ingredients.

image

Fold in your M&Ms.

image

Line your pan with parchment paper and spread out your mixture.

image

Sprinkle more M&Ms on the top.

image

Bake at 325 degrees for roughly 40 minutes.Cool before cutting into 16 squares. Enjoy!

image

Blue Apron Unboxing & Review (plus get a free week!)

A relative sent us a coupon code for a free week of Blue Apron. I was really excited to try them out, as I had already been interested. The only doubts I had, were 1) Cost…would it make sense for a family on a single income? 2) We have 5 people in our family & it accommodates only 4. Our relative, however, assured me that the serving sizes are quite large so it should work for us (especially since one of us is a toddler!).

All I did was signed up with a user name & gave basic information (name, address, phone number). They did need a credit card number because they would bill us if we didn’t cancel the first trial week. Simple enough; I was happy with the easy process. I told them we would take chicken, beef, or seafood.

My box arrived on a Wednesday & here is the unboxing video:

I waited until Thursday to make my first meal. We decided to have the steak sandwiches with lemon aioli sauce & roasted carrots first. Here is the process of making the meal:

2016-02-11 15.53.48

2016-02-11 17.56.41

2016-02-11 17.58.25

2016-02-11 17.52.00

2016-02-11 18.55.02-1This meal was amazing! The steak was top quality. The recipe was very creative & allowed me to try some new things. All 5 of us loved it & surprisingly there was quite a bit of steak leftover. Delicious!

Friday’s meal was miso-honey chicken with roasted bok choy & sweet potato wedges.

2016-02-12 15.24.50 2016-02-12 15.48.56 2016-02-12 17.33.55 2016-02-12 18.12.55

I actually thought we would enjoy this meal even more than the night before, but we didn’t. It was still good; we all liked it, but agreed we would never go out of our way to eat it again. I must say I wasn’t crazy about the miso flavor, so this may be why. This time we had barely enough food for all 5 of us & the baby was even sick & didn’t have much of an appetite. All in all it was ok…just not for us.

In conclusion, we feel like Blue Apron is an amazing company. The price is a big high, but when you get that kind of luxury, you’re going to pay for it. It is; however, not as high as I initially thought it would be. We tried to cancel our service before getting charged, but missed the cut off by a few hours! It is ok though; and in fact we are a little bit excited to try one more week!

Try Blue Apron!!

Click here to try a free week of Blue Apron!

I do hope you try it! Let me know if you do!

Kelly

Oil Pulling 101

Oil pulling, according to Tummala Koteswara Rao, is ancient Ayurvedic practice. It was introduced to the western world in the early nineties, but its popularity seems to have peaked just in the last few years.

Oil pulling is the act of swishing oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes to “pull” harmful bacteria and toxins. It’s as simple as that. Traditionally sesame oil was used, but coconut oil has become the more commonly used oil due to its antibacterial properties.

I was quite intrigued about oil pulling and decided that since there is simply no harm in it, than why not? I’ve been oil pulling on and off for almost a year now and it has done great things.

There are so many benefits of oil pulling. They are as follows:

  • Whitens teeth
  • Prevents cavities & gingivitis
  • Strengthens teeth and gums
  • Helps TMJ
  • Helps headaches
  • Improves acne, psoriasis, & eczema
  • Cures hangovers
  • Removes toxins from the body

In my experience with oil pulling, I can say with confidence that it has helped whiten my teeth. I’m a coffee drinker, so this is one of my favorite benefits of oil pulling. Also, the first time I tried it I had a terrible toothache where a cavity was developing. The second day my tooth no longer hurt and it seemed to help reverse the cavity! I do feel like it has only done wonderful things to improve my oral health, but I really can’t say that it helped cure anything else; however, that is enough for me! In ancient times oil pulling was how they maintained oral health!

I must say that it’s really hard to get past the taste and texture of the solidified oil in my mouth. After the first 30-60 seconds the oil warms up enough to become liquified and then it is smooth sailing…it actually is only solid up to 76 degrees and then it becomes a liquid. If I remember I will put my jar of oil on top of the oven while it is on and that will liquify it, which makes for a more pleasant experience.

Directions:

Using extra virgin (unrefined) coconut oil, take 1 tablespoon and put it in your mouth. Immediately begin swishing. Continue this for 10-20 minutes. I usually end up going for 15, never any less, and never go longer than 20 minutes because the toxins in which you just pulled could become reabsorbed. When the time is up, spit your oil out in the trash can. Make sure not to spit into the sink because as the oil solidifies and could potentially clog your drain. Do this every morning before eating and before brushing your teeth. Rinse your mouth with warm water and be sure not to swallow any of the oil. Brush and floss. Repeat daily. I usually take a couple of days off per week and I occasionally get out of the habit, but always go back to it.

The reason I choose coconut oil is because it is amazing! It certainly isn’t the cheapest, but with its antibacterial properties I find it to be the obvious choice. Here are some other awesome uses for coconut oil:

  • Cooking with a high smoke point
  • Add to food or drinks
  • Use in place of lotion…it makes your skin feel AMAZING
  • Makeup remover
  • To help diaper rash
  • Prevent age spots
  • SPF 4
  • Prevents stretch marks
  • Kills yeast
  • Hair treatment
  • Chapstick
  • In place of lanolin
  • Helps eczema and psoriasis
  • Helps increase milk supply for breastfeeding mothers
  • Improves insulin levels
  • Sunburn relief
  • Shaving cream and aftershave
  • Season cast iron pans
  • Helps get rid of cellulite
  • Has anti inflammatory properties to help with arthritis
  • Soothes bug bites
  • Tanning oil
  • Stimulates hair growth when applied topically
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Natural deodorant
  • Helps with cold sores

There are skeptics out there, but from experience I can say that it is a great practice with proven benefits. My daughter, who is almost 10, also does oil pulling…always ask your doctor, but it is safe for children (who are old enough to not swallow any), and those who are pregnant and breastfeeding. I hope you’ll give it a try; there is certainly no harm in it!

Photo of the Week!

FB_IMG_1450997614597My favorite photo this week is this photo of my 3 kids on Christmas Eve. As a tradition, they open their Christmas pajamas after dinner christmas eve. This year I was able to get them matching PJs:) I rarely get a photo of the 3 of them together. Mainly because of their age differences, it’s hard to get them together.

This week has obviously been a little hectic for me. I had my mom here, and then my dad, step mom and little sisters, and then Christmas a couple of days after. So my blogging schedule has been out of whack. I have all 3 of my kiddos home with me for another week, but I plan to work on some things with them for my blog. Plus, big things in store for Mamarazzi Blog in 2016! Stay tuned:)

How to Make Santa’s Favorite Cookies!

1

I heard once that Santa’s favorite cookies are M&M cookies! So we make them for him each and every year. I wanted to share with you all! Here’s how…

You’ll need:

22 1/4 cups all purpose flour

31 tsp salt

41 tsp baking soda

52 sticks (1 cup) butter

71/2 cup granulated sugar

61 cup firmly packed brown sugar

102 large eggs

111 tsp pure vanilla extract

123/4 cup chocolate chips & 3/4 cup M&Ms

13Reserve some M&Ms to put on top of cookie.

 

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375° F.

9

Sift together your dry ingredients and set aside.

20

21


22

23

24

 

 

Cream together your butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs.

16

1719

18Slowly add in your sifted dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
25Add your chocolate chips and M&Ms.26After everything is combined, use a cookie scoop to put identical size scoops of dough 1 to 2 inches part on an ungreased cookie sheet. Add a couple of christmas colored M&Ms on the top of cookie so they all look the same.
28

29

30Bake cookies for approximately 9-10 minutes. Times will vary depending on your oven.31

32Cool on cooling rack and put out for Santa Claus!
34

Merry Christmas!

DIY: Christmas Ornament Decorating

This week we decorated our salt dough Christmas ornaments! We used acrylic paint, glue, and glitter.

2015-12-05 20.40.35

2015-12-05 20.42.14

2015-12-05 20.43.492015-12-05 20.45.262015-12-05 20.46.172015-12-05 20.47.52


Alana using crafting ribbon to hang the ornaments on the tree!
2015-12-05 20.49.43Noah’s little handprint! 
2015-12-05 20.54.30

So my final conclusion is that it was fun. I would gladly do it again. More than anything, this will be a memory that will last a lifetime. It was a great bonding experience with my kids for 2 weekends in a row:)

Bad Mommy Confessions!

  1. Sometimes I hide in the bathroom just for some alone time!
  2. I am 14 months post partum and I still wear maternity pants because I refuse to buy bigger jeans…and, er, I like to be comfy!
  3. I do everything with my phone in my hand…I even mop the floor sometimes with my phone in my hand…which is just sad!
  4. I open drinks, snacks, and even children’s Tylenol and use it before paying every time I go shopping. The children’s Tylenol thing has happened twice recently.
  5. I regularly take my 14 month old out wearing pajamas.
  6. I got all the way to Target before noticing my baby wasn’t buckled into his car seat! This is one I have a hard time admitting, but most of us have done it once in a lifetime and this kind of thing doesn’t happen twice! Scary!
  7. I’ve never taken my kids on a real vacation because that is a luxury for two income families.
  8. When I don’t have anywhere to go, I don’t even look in the mirror. My hair remains unbrushed, jammies stay on, and yesterday’s mascara more than likely is smeared under my eyes…but I don’t care, so I don’t look!
  9. I have no self control when it comes to ice cream so I can’t keep it in my house.
  10. We have one night a week that we call ‘fend for ourselves night’. On these nights we are, for the most part, on our own. The big kids can make a sandwich for themselves, or we eat leftovers, or…GASP…even a microwave dinner! However, the other six nights of the week I do cook well balanced meals!

Well there it is folks! I got it off my chest! Lol what are YOUR confessions?