Date Night at Farmstead Flatbread

Somehow every date night we end up spending so much time leaving instructions about the baby, prepping bottles, and laying out pjs, that we completely forget to make dinner plans! We end up in the car, driving around, asking each other over and over what we’re in the mood to eat, neither one of us decisive enough for an answer.

We passed Glens Falls and continued driving north on Route 9 while we tossed around ideas. I was about to suggest giving up on dinner and going to Martha’s for ice cream when I spotted it. We probably would’ve passed by without noticing anything out of the ordinary, but I’d read about a new restaurant in the old Sutton’s store.

Farmstead Flatbread has a reputation for good pizza, good wings, and good beer. Since that pretty much sums up our interests and hobbies as a couple, (someday I’ll tell you about our brewery-themed wedding) we knew we had to try this place.

When we first walked in, I was shocked. I’d been to breakfast at Sutton’s many times. I remember strolling at a painstakingly slow pace behind my mom in the gift shop for what felt like hours as she looked at every. single. trinket. I silently prayed if I kept quiet, I would eventually get a truffle from the bakery counter. I even saw Rachael Ray in the bathroom once.

Now I hardly believed this could be the same place! It’s open and rustic and fun with a hipster flair. Think metal chairs, lots of wood, and cafe lights. I’m pretty sure Rachael would still approve.

The Pizza

We were seated directly in front of the wood stove, which I worried would be hot and sort of awkward because the chef was cooking right next to our table. It was the opposite. I didn’t feel the heat, and watching the cooking process was one of the highlights of our dinner.

The chef even called a few kids over to get a closer look at the oven. (Not Hansel and Gretel close though, don’t worry!) He explained the process to them and answered my question about how many pizzas he loses in the oven a night, which is surprisingly not as many as I would’ve thought.

The other family-friendly perk is that the food came out in no time. The kids can order, watch it go into the oven, and see it pop out a few minutes later. Oh, and the food is sourced locally. Check the chalkboard in the dining area for the featured local ingredients.

The Beer

I’d rate myself slightly beyond novice when it comes to craft beer, but my husband is a tried and true beer geek. He took one look at the beer selection and called this his new favorite place. Later when we were sitting at the bar, I asked him to rate his top 3 craft beer bars north of exit 17, and this placed. It has a nice mix of local beer and unique beer from all around.

The Other Stuff

A few random things I loved about Farmstead Flatbread:

  1. They had live music on a Thursday night, which added to the whole vibe. 
  2. They hold something called a Bluegrass Brunch on Sundays, and that sounds phenomenal. 
  3. The back of the bar is made out of a vintage pharmacy case, which is simply awesome for us people who have a weird obsession with throwback furniture.
  4. They are on beermenus.com, which notifies you as the beer selection is updated! It’s a beer nerd thing.
  5. There were a lot of people in flannels, and flannel-wearing people always have a good time.
  6. The wings. Just trust me. Chipotle Maple.

Have you tried Farmstead Flatbread? What did you think?

Farmstead Flatbread on Facebook

@farmsteadflatbreadNY

 

 

Best Dressed Baby (on a budget!)

People constantly ask me where I shop for the baby’s clothes. I’m a little biased, but I’d have to say he is a pretty adorable little model! So…I’ll let you in on my shopping secret. You have to be willing to dig around, get a little dirty, and have the ability to schmooze. (That’s actually a word, by the way. I had to look up the spelling.)

Consignment shops. Consignment sales. Garage sales. Online garage sales. 

{Oh, and Instagram, but that’s not cheap, so I’ll save that for another post.}

That’s it! I got all my good finds digging through bins and bins of baby clothes.

Now, I was pregnant during the summer, so I had way too much time on my hands to get my little October baby’s closet prepped. Garage sales are probably the most work because they’re so hit or miss. I had plenty of misses. But, you might end up hitting the jackpot like I did when I pulled up to what I can only describe as some sort of mansion just after the sun came up on a Friday morning. (This is the BEST time to go, by the way.) There were rows of untouched bins of baby boy clothes. “Oh, he never even wore half of these!” admitted the mom, who looked like a clothing designer herself. Score!

Consignment shops and consignment sales are a little easier to navigate. You’ve got enough of a selection here to know you’ll find something in the size you need, and they usually have quality standards, so everything will be in good condition. 

Of course, load up on the Dreft and wash it all once or twice when you get home! I bought lots of different sizes and spent at least a week sorting everything into plastic bins, washing and folding neatly so it would be ready to go when baby needed it. (Boy, am I glad I did that before the baby arrived! People warned me I wouldn’t have this kind of time on my hands ever again, and they were totally right.)

This upcoming weekend is huge for consignment sales in our area. They’re bringing out the spring & summer gear just in time for the season change over. The tricky part is the competition factor. (If you’re like me, though, that’s what makes it so thrilling!) Every mama within a 30 mile radius with an interest in a bargain will be at these sales.

Want a head start? Enter to win 2 presale passes to the KTNS sale. Where’s your favorite thrifty spot?

Kids' Exchange Consignment Sale

April 29th

9:00-12:30 SALE OPEN
12:30-1:00 SALE CLOSED
1:00-3:00 HALF-PRICE SALE

This shopping blockbuster features over 20,000 new and gently-used items, including: maternity; kids' clothing sizes 0-16; toys & games; books; DVDs and gaming; play kitchens and train tables; sports gear; room decor; cribs & strollers; baby gear and furniture; and LOTS more! Free admission, free all-you-can-bounce, free face painting and pony rides. The sale is cash only. Visit the website at exchangesale.org for all sale information. Sale proceeds benefit non-profit organizations.

Sip & Canvas Mother’s Day Giveaway!

Raise your hand if you were bummed when you read that Sip & Canvas in Glens Falls would be closing!  Luckily, one of the instructors, Robin, decided to take over the business starting in May and will keep the painting (and sipping) going into the foreseeable future! 

They’ll be in the same Glens Falls location and are accepting gift cards through April before the business changes hands. To celebrate this new beginning, we’ve teamed up to give away 2 seats to a May class! Check out all the paintings offered in May, including a few family paint nights when the kids are invited too.

I admit, I’m famous for stick figures and having to label my drawings. I figured there was NO WAY my canvas painting would look anything like the picture on the calendar, especially if I was going to be drinking wine at the same time I was expected to be creating art. (On second thought, maybe that would help?)

Anyway, the instructors at Sip & Canvas are amazing. They somehow walk you through the whole experience and explain each step in a way that makes it totally do-able. The studio itself is inspiring- you’ll feel like a real artist when you take a seat in a stool in front of your own painting station. Bring a friend or two, and it’s a night to remember. Don’t worry about taking a selfie, they’ll gather your group for a photo to commemorate the evening!

Who would you bring to a night out at Sip & Canvas? Where would you go for dinner before your painting sesh? Comment below for extra entries in the giveaway. Happy Mother’s Day, ladies!

Easter Bunny Roundup

Tis the season for chocolate eggs, jelly beans, and of course…the bunny himself! Here’s a roundup of a few places you and the littles can meet up with The Easter Bunny in our region.

Moreau Lake State Park

Applebees

Dine with the bunny to benefit the March of Dimes! The first 100 kids get an Easter book.

Tickets are $7 per person. Contact the foundation for reservations. projectcameronsstory@hotmail.com

Wiggle Worms Playland

April 8th 10:30-11:30

Meet The Easter bunny and enjoy juice, muffins and story time!

Cost is $9 per child and includes all day admission to playland. (1/2 price for members)

Registration required 761-0000

Brunch with Bunny at Liberty Ridge Farm

This one’s a little bit of a drive, but worth mentioning because it looks like so much fun if you want to make a day of it! You couldn’t ask for a better backdrop- Liberty Ridge is beautiful. This includes food, bunny, visit with baby animals, and egg hunt.

April 15th, registration required, cost for brunch is $26.95 per person, children under 2 are free. Extra fee for pony rides ($5 cash) and mimosas. (Yes, please.) No strollers on the farm, so be sure to bring those baby carriers.

Glens Falls Farmer’s Market

The bunny will be on hand for pictures while kids create Easter crafts at the Farmer’s Market on April 8th. Stop by April 15th for an egg hunt. All activities are free!

Where’s your favorite local spot to grab a picture with the bunny?

Sunday Prep Series Week Three

Well, this is it, mamas! Jenn is providing us with the last guest post in the series. She’ll show us a lineup of healthy & delicious meals for the week. Remember, we do all the cooking on Sunday (in under 2 hours) and it will provide your family with lunch and dinner through mid-week. For breakfast, try these smoothie packs!

We’d like to extend a great big THANK YOU to Jenn Wolfe for giving us a glimpse into her kitchen the past few Sundays. She’s answered all of our questions and provided inspiration and advice for making wellness a priority for the entire family. 

Of course, we have a few last questions for her. We need every burning question answered! But, don’t worry! If you still have questions for Jenn after the meal prep series is done, her contact info is at the end of this post. 

Now that we’re going to be shopping on our own, can you tell us the best way to navigate the grocery store?

Absolutely! Learning how to work the grocery store to your advantage is key! To get clean, whole foods you will mainly stay around the perimeter of the store. Going up and down aisles leads you to bags and boxes of foods with several ingredients. Many of the ingredients you can’t pronounce or recognize, and guess what? Your body won’t either! 

What’s the best way to turn our favorite recipes into meal plans for the week?

Great question! I think about the foods I love and create meals out of them. For instance, this week’s Pad Thai is a favorite of ours, but with a couple simple switches of ingredients and pasta it can be made much healthier. There are plenty of healthy substitutes. I share these with my clients to allow them to feel they aren’t being deprived while making small daily adjustments to meet their personal wellness goals. Remember to keep it simple, keep variety in your meals week to week, and avoid processed foods. 
 

What tips do you have for getting the family on board with making health a priority?

I’ve always cooked one meal and everyone eats that meal. Thankfully we have no dietary restrictions (other than mine), and my girls and husband eat (and like) everything. If you aren’t as lucky, and you’ve been struggling to find a meal everyone will eat, I think starting out basic is key. Choose a protein everyone likes, choose a vegetable everyone likes, and play around with the starch or complex carb. Then the next week, play around with a different food group while sticking with your safe foods for 2 of the 3 meals. No one will go hungry. Let’s face it, if they are hungry enough- they will eat!
 

Ok, ladies! Let’s get shopping.

Shrimp  Pad Thai


18oz raw shrimp (2 bags if you are feeding 4 people) OR chicken breasts or shrimp isn’t your thing
4oz (56g) flat brown rice noodles
3 tbsp garlic paste
1 red bell pepper
1 cup mushrooms (chopped)
1 cup green onions (chopped)
1.5 cup bean sprouts
Fresh cilantro

Sauce:
1/4 cup rice vinegar (or fish sauce)
1/8 cup coconut aminos (low sodium soy sauce)
1/8 cup red chili pepper sauce
2 tbsp coconut sugar
Juice from 1 lime

  1. Boil brown rice noodles. Drain and set aside. Do not OVERCOOK- they get mushy!
  2. Chop veggies- bell pepper, mushrooms, green onions, limes, cilantro.
  3. Peel and devein shrimp OR slice chicken breast into small pieces.
  4. In a bowl, mix rice vinegar or fish sauce, coconut sugar, red chili pepper sauce, & fresh lime juice.
  5. Spray a nonstick skillet with coconut oil, then add garlic paste.
  6. Toss in Shrimp OR chicken breast pieces and cook.
  7. Finally, add noodles, then fresh veggies and the sauce.

Note: This is Sunday dinner for us because we’re using shrimp. If you’re using chicken, it will last longer in the fridge.

 

Stuffed Chicken with Spinach and Feta


1  tablespoon olive oil, divided
1  medium onion, chopped
10 oz spinach, fresh
1  teaspoon zest of lemon
1⁄4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1  teaspoon table salt, divided
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1  lb boneless skinless chicken breast

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet heat 1 teaspoon oil and saute onion until golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Wilt spinach (steam spinach or heat damp spinach over medium heat in nonstick pan); stir in zest, feta, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, set aside.
  4. Slice chicken breast in half lengthwise and place even amount of spinach mixture on each breast.
  5. Roll up and secure with toothpicks.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.
  7. In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat.
  8. Cook chicken, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove toothpicks.
  10. Cook 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F.

Cucumber Quinoa Salad


1 English cucumber, diced
2 cups chilled, cooked quinoa (Cook the night before to save time on Sunday)
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup julienned or roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves
1 batch Lemony Italian vinaigrette (see below)*

*You can also use Italian dressing or Braggs Vinaigrette instead of making your own 

Lemon Italian Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, homemade or store-bought
pinch of salt and black pepper

Turkey Taco stuffed sweet potatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tsp olive oil

1 ¼ cup canned crushed tomatoes
¼ cup grated pepper Jack cheese
2 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley

1 Package of Mrs. Dash Taco Seasoning OR these ingredients:
1 ¼ tsp ground cumin, divided
¼ + ⅛ tsp salt
¼ + ⅛ tsp ground pepper
¾ lb. lean ground turkey
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp paprika

  1. Pierce sweet potatoes all over using a fork.
  2. Cook in the microwave on HIGH until tender when pierced with a fork, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  3. Let potatoes rest until cool enough to handle.
  4. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop the flesh out of the potatoes and place in a medium-sized bowl. Reserve the skins.
  5. With back of a fork, mash potato flesh until most lumps are gone. Stir in olive oil, ½ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  6. Divide mashed sweet potato evenly between the potato skins. Place on baking sheet.
  7. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat with cooking spray.
  8. Add ground turkey and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through.
  9. Stir in garlic, chili powder, remaining ¾ teaspoon cumin, oregano, paprika, and remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper OR 1 package Mrs. Dash Taco Seasoning.
  10. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes.
  11. Spoon the turkey mixture into each sweet potato.
  12. Heat Potatoes in oven or Microwave when you are ready to eat.
  13. Top with grated cheese if desired.

Chicken, Beans and Cauliflower

1 lb chicken breast

4 garlic cloves

2 green bell peppers

3 tbsp green onions

1 Large Onion

2 tbsp Mina Harissa OR red chili pepper, red bell pepper, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar & salt

1 15oz can Tomato Sauce

Salt and Pepper

EVOO

2lbs or cauliflower OR buy already RICED in the frozen sections of grocery store

2 14oz cans of low sodium black beans

  1. If you’re making your own RICED cauliflower you will need a food processor. Add cauliflower florets in batches and process until “rice” forms. If you process too much it will turn to mush. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Preheat a large and deep non-stick skillet on medium heat and add EVOO. Add cauliflower rice and cook for 3-4 mins. (If you bought frozen, skip step 1 and cook now.) It should be golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and add to bowl.
  3. Add more EVOO to skillet and add onion, garlic and green bell peppers. Cook for 7 minutes.
  4. Add Chicken and cook for 5 more minutes.
  5. Add tomato sauce, black beans, and Mina Harissa. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10 mins.
  6. Remove from Heat. Add rice and sprinkle green onions on top.
  7. Serve on its own or with extra brown rice for those hungry people In your family!

* Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Hard Boiled Eggs

  1. Put as many eggs as you can eat in 4 days in a pot. They have to be covered in water.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour cold water over and when you can handle peel and store in zip lock baggies. This makes it easy to grab and go! 

More photos of the finished product!

Here’s how to contact Jenn for guidance on health and wellness, information on AdvoCare and the 24 Day Challenge:

Website: www.wellnesswithwolfe.com

Email: wellnesswithwolfe@yahoo.com

Facebook: Jenn Wolfe /jennifer.wolfe.77715

Instagram: @wolfe.jenn

Do you know of a mom with something to share in a guest post or series of guest posts? Contact us!

How to Build a Maternity Wardrobe on a Budget

 

Some of you beautiful mamas out there LOVE being pregnant. You’re glowing, you’re excited, and you’ve never felt better! I wasn’t exactly in that boat.

I mean, I was absolutely thrilled to be having a baby, but I’m about the most impatient person in the world! 9 months seemed like an excruciatingly long wait, especially when I already felt like I’d been waiting 31 years to be a Mom. I felt nauseous, exhausted, and though I kept checking the mirror for it, I was definitely not seeing the infamous “glow”.

I’m prone to bloating even when not pregnant, so buttoning pants was out of the question pretty early on. (The ol’ hair tie trick saved me for a little while!)

First, I tried to rework my closet to accommodate the bloat. I was NOT going to be that pregnant girl wearing baggy t-shirts and athletic shorts every day, and let’s not even talk about buying a pair of jeans with elastic on the top. Ugh. (Eventually, I ended up doing both.)

Here were the biggest challenges to my maternity wardrobe:

  1. I’m a teacher. I needed to look professional during the week, but fashionable comfort was my go-to on the weekends.
  2. Being due in October in New York meant my closet needed to be equipped for 3 out of 4 seasons with temps ranging from 50 degrees (or less) to 90 degrees!
  3. I refused to spend a lot of my fashion budget on clothes I’d only be wearing for a few months.
  4. Pinterest made me want to be the cutest, most fashionable pregnant lady anyone had ever seen. (Yes, you might find a board on my Pinterest called Pregnancy Goals.)

For the first 2 trimesters, I was able to rework some of my existing wardrobe to fit my expanding belly.

Step One: Scour your closet, and KEEP these items:

-Long tank tops

-Long t-shirts

-Leggings, Especially LuLaRoe!

(If you haven’t heard of LLR, you need to find a consultant in your area. The leggings are like butter.)

-Those cotton sundresses hiding in the back of your closet that are way too short to wear but that you can’t stand to get rid of because they’re SO cute (These make adorable long shirts with leggings!)

-Stretchy dresses or summer dresses (They work even with a slight belly.)

-Stretchy maxi skirts

-Stretchy jeans (Dig those jeggings out from the back of your closet because when you don’t have ANY jeans, you’ll want these. Promise.)

-Cardigans

See? You actually have a really good start to your maternity wardrobe if you can breathe life back into some forgotten pieces in your closet. If you’re anything like me, these won’t work for your big belly in the third trimester, but they’ll get you through for now.

Take everything else from your closet and store it away somewhere for 9 months. This way, you won’t be staring longingly at those skinny jeans. It also makes getting dressed in the morning a little more organized.

Clothing Items You Won’t Want to See Again for 9 Months or More:

-Crop tops (Some girls can totally pull this off. Me? No. I didn’t even have any to begin with unless we’re talking about my favorite Dave Matthews tank that accidentally shrunk in the dryer.)

-Skinny jeans without stretch

-Any tight dress with a zipper and no give to the fabric

-Heels (Again, some of you glamorous moms can pull this off. My feet were swollen, and I was way too tired to try to give off the impression that they weren’t.)

-Flowy shirts or tanks (These just weren’t flattering in my case- they made me look much larger.)

Now It’s Time to Shop! Here are the Basic Items You’ll Want to Get You Through the Next 9 Months:

Maternity Budget Capsule Wardrobe

Luckily, I had a few items given to me by friends. I was also able to hit up the local consignment shops for some gently used maternity items. Check out Cuddle Bugs Consignment in Moreau and Saratoga! They have a large selection of maternity, including nursing tanks and covers!

I splurged on these items, and they were totally worth it:

1. Maternity Jeans. ($35)

This pair of cropped skinny jeans caught my eye because they would get me through almost every season of the pregnancy. Looking back, I wish I would’ve bought them a size bigger because they weren’t the most comfortable in the third trimester. In the beginning, a friend recommended buying full panel in any pants, and I was thanking her later. You’ll want to hike everything up over that belly!

2. This tank. In. Every. Color. ($13)

They’re long, they’re comfy, and they look cute under all your existing cardigans. And they’re everything on the weekends. And in the summer. Just get them.

3. These T-Shirts ($15)

(See all the reasons above.)

4. A Maxi Dress (Prices vary)

For days you want to feel pretty but don’t want to sacrifice any comfort, go with a maxi! Be sure to check this site for coupons and clearance. If it’s not on sale when you’re shopping, try again next week. They run new promos all the time.

5. Cotton T-Shirt Dress (Prices vary)

Comfort + Fashion = Cute & Happy Mom. I actually wore this one to my baby shower. It was a Jack n’ Jill Baby-Q, so this dress was perfect.

6. Crop Stretch Pants ($32)

These were my faves because I could get away with wearing them to teach, but no one knew they were entirely made of stretch and had a stretchy panel. The best part is they have an elastic band you can tighten up at the top of the panel. That sounds super dorky, but trust me, when you can’t wear a belt, elastic is a lifesaver. Buy these a size up for sure.

7. Maternity Leggings (Prices Vary)

You’ll want several pair of these if you’re anything like me. I wore them almost every day to school during the cool weather months because I could get away with pairing them with a tank and cardigan, a light weight tunic, or even one of my regular-sized short dresses. On the weekends, there’s nothing better!

8. Lightweight Tunic ($20)

To finish off your wardrobe, you’ll want a few lightweight tunics for days you want to throw something on quickly without having to put in much thought. And there’s the whole comfort theme going again!

Reworking my wardrobe around comfort really worked to make my 9 months a lot easier. I even came to like my maternity wardrobe better than my normal one! I might even still wear my full panel leggings from time to time. 😉 What tips do you have for stretching your closet to make room for a baby belly?

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive compensation.

Sunday Prep Series Week 2

Written by Glens Falls Mom, featuring Jenn Wolfe

Welcome back to our Sunday Prep Series! If you’re just tuning in for the first time, take a look back at last week’s post for some introductions and the tips & tricks to help get started with Sunday meal prep. We’re prepping breakfast, lunches, and dinners in under 2 hours. Yes. Seriously. 2 hours. (I tried it myself, and every last dish was clean by the 2 hour mark. I even had to stop halfway through to feed my 5 month old!)

Thanks to the fabulous Jenn Wolfe for letting us have a peek into her kitchen again this Sunday! Jenn is a local mom, teacher, and business owner who makes health and wellness a priority in her house every day. She loves to post ideas for meal prep, so we asked her to share, and she agreed! 

We’re starting off this week’s posts with a few more questions for Jenn. 

Thank you for joining us for the second post in our Sunday Prep Series! Let’s get into some of the details of prep day. Can you tell us about the kitchen equipment we might want to keep on hand for Sunday Prep?

This Sunday’s food prep will include the use of a crock pot, baking sheets, muffin tins, large mixing bowls, cutting boards and knives. Most of these items are staples in anyone’s kitchen. If you don’t have a crock pot, I seriously encourage you to get one! 

Tell us about freezing on Wednesdays. Why Wednesday? What’s the process like?

Assessing your leftover foods is important to do on Wednesdays because you shouldn’t let cooked food last more than 3-4 days. Luckily in my house between my kids and my husband we rarely have to freeze food, but when we do I use freezer safe containers that stack easily.

How do you recommend we organize our Sunday Prep recipe ideas? Tell us more about how you pick your recipes and how you mix it up from time to time.

I wish I could say I was super organized! The truth is I often shop first, and then figure out what I am going to do either while I’m walking around looking at ingredients and what looks good (I avoid shopping when I’m hungry), or when I get home. I try to avoid boredom with food. Last week was full of chicken recipes, and although they were different, I knew I wanted more variety this week. I made the meatloaf cups a few weeks ago, and my husband and kids LOVED them, so I knew that would be a good fit. The crock pot recipe is always a crowd pleaser. To better answer your question, I mix and match protein (chicken, ground turkey, pot roast, steak), spices, and pair them with a different grain or starch each week.

One last question…we’ll make it a fun one! What’s your favorite local activity to do when you’re done with meal prep on Sunday?

I’m a HUGE fan of being outside. If I’m not coaching my girls sports teams, I love to drag them up mountains. We call it “Girls Day”. One of our favorites is Sleeping Beauty. We hike to the top and then I reward them for hiking by taking them down to Shelving Rock waterfall. We spend the afternoon splashing away and enjoy a picnic lunch. We’ve made some great memories out in nature!

We know what you’re really here for…the recipes! Here’s what you’ll need from the market this week:

 

Remember our tip…try to shop on a day other than Sunday to avoid burnout. You don’t want to spend the entire day shopping and cooking, unless you like that sort of thing! 

Groceries

Other general cooking tips to keep in mind:

Focus on the meal you struggle with most. If you rush to get breakfast in, make some easy eggs cups, make ahead breakfast sandwiches, etc. If you struggle with lunch/dinner, prep those items you need most.

Make a plan, stick to your grocery list. This is time and money saving! I’ve found Hannaford To Go to be extremely helpful. Don’t try to shop and prep in one day, that can be overwhelming.

Keep it simple! Don’t attempt several new recipes. It will monopolize your time and you will never want to do it again. Think/shop/cook in food groups and then mix and match.

Mix things up. You don’t want to be bored. Food should be fun!

Have plenty of storage containers and zip lock baggies handy.

Here’s how Jenn says a typical Sunday should go:

A typical Sunday prep takes me about 2 hours start to finish, including clean up. I make and focus on lunches and dinners.

I also make hard boiled eggs and I bag nuts for when we are on the go or as salad toppers.

I plan for 3-4 days. If I get to Wednesday and I find I have a lot of leftovers, I will freeze and use later.

Food prep shouldn’t be overwhelming, start small, and keep it simple.

Maximize your time in the kitchen by:

Chopping veggies while protein is cooking. You can also chop them the night before and store in a zip lock bag.
 
Lay out all ingredients on your kitchen table or counter so you save less trips to the pantry or fridge.

Clean as you go. I always make sure my dishwasher is empty and ready to be loaded. It’s much less overwhelming when you finish and don’t have a sink full of dishes!
 

Dinner Prep

Make a few dinners ahead on Sunday, and you’ll have a quick, ready-to-go dinner for the weeknights!

Turkey Meatloaf Cups

Mix ground turkey (1-2 packages) in a large bowl with…
1 egg
¾ cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Chopped onions
Chopped peppers (Use the tops of the pepper you’re slicing for the cups- less waste)
 
Slice peppers into thick rings
Lay on baking sheet (Use parchment paper for easier clean up!)
Fill cups with meat loaf mixture
If you have left over meat loaf mixture- freeze or put into a muffin tin and bake
Add ketchup and sriracha to the tops of each cup (If you like it spicier…add sriracha to mixture too)
Bake at 350 for 30-40 mins or until ground turkey is done
Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of the cups
 
Turkey Meatloaf Cups
 

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls

Combine chicken thighs, 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, ½ cup chicken stock, chili powder and cumin
Make sure Chicken is covered
Add more stock if needed
Cover with lid; cook on high for 3-4 hours
Add 1 cup of rice, black beans, chopped onions and remaining chicken broth
Replace lid and continue cooking on low for another 3-4 hours
Check rice in the last hour of cooking, stirring occasionally 
(6-8 hours total cooking time)
 
Notes:
If it’s too dry, add more chicken broth
If rice is cooked but there’s too much liquid, take lid off and let cook on high to evaporate liquid
You can also cook rice separately and add the black beans/onions in the last 30 minutes of cooking time
Top with salsa or other desired toppings!
 
 

Sausage, Peppers, Onions Over Rice

Cook turkey sausage in a large saute pan
While turkey cooks, slice peppers and onions
Remove sausage when cooked 
Add peppers and onions to the pan, using remnants of sausage for extra flavor
When peppers are cooked, chop and store with peppers and onions
(Total cook time 25 minutes)
 
Notes:
We will eat over brown rice during the week
Batch cook the rice so it is already cooked for use in other recipes
 
 
 

Lunch Prep

Chicken & Salad

Chicken this week will be cooked three ways to serve over salads. Use mushrooms and cucumbers in salad along with any other salad toppings you like! To prepare the 3 types of chicken, use aluminum foil in the pan to separate. On baking sheet, lay down parchment paper and roll aluminum foil to create “walls” between each flavor of chicken.

  1. Sriracha/Lime Chicken
  2. Lemon/Garlic Chicken
  3. Buffalo Chicken

Evenly coat in sauce and place lemon or lime slices on chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Place on salads when cooled.

Breakfast

Egg White Muffins

Grease muffin tin with olive oil or coconut oil
Pour in egg whites
Bake at 350 for 20 mins or until fully cooked
*Add turkey sausage, spinach, tomatoes, or whatever you like to jazz these up!
 
 

Here’s how to contact Jenn for guidance on health and wellness, information on AdvoCare and the 24 Day Challenge:

Website: www.wellnesswithwolfe.com

Email: wellnesswithwolfe@yahoo.com

Facebook: Jenn Wolfe /jennifer.wolfe.77715

Instagram: @wolfe.jenn

A special thank you to Jenn for helping us with this series! Keep following along for the next post in our Sunday Prep Series.

The Macro-Friendly Mac & Cheese That Broke the Internet

 

Ok, so it didn’t exactly break the Internet. But my macro-friendly mac & cheese recipe from my old blog has been pinned over 1,000 times on Pinterest. That makes me Pinterest famous, right? I’m a one-hit Pinterest wonder.

To be honest, there isn’t anything crazy special about this mac & cheese. And you might be wondering what macro-friendly even means! Well, I’d need a longer post to explain counting macros. In a nutshell, if you actually measure the fat, protein, and carbs you take in every day, you can make big changes in your health and lifestyle based on these numbers. 

At one time in my life (pre-baby) I measured and counted these macros to study my eating habits. I made adjustments and learned a ton about what I was putting into my body. (I will write a more detailed post about this in the future if you’re interested in how to do this yourself.)

While on this food journey, I wanted some mac & cheese. Because, well, who doesn’t crave a bowl full of cheesy carbs now and again?

The great part about tracking your macros is that you can eat whatever you want. It’s the anti-diet. But, you want to be sure you’re keeping your fat, protein, and carbs at a certain number for the day. So, I set out to make a single-serving mac & cheese that would fit within my daily numbers.

This can easily be made into a family-sized recipe, and it includes a serving of broccoli, which means the kids will be getting their veggies in. You could also throw together a single serving for your own lunch…if you have that kind of time!

Macro-Friendly Mac & Cheese
Serves 1
Ingredients
  1. 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 tbsp coconut flour
  3. 1/3 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  4. 1/2 cup skim milk or 2 tbsp light cream and 1/2 cup starchy water
  5. 1/3 cup elbow mac
  6. 1 cup frozen broccoli
  7. Dash of salt and pepper
  8. Dash of nutmeg
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Boil mac and cook broccoli according to directions, reserving starchy water from pasta.
  2. Heat EVOO in a small sauce pan. Add coconut flour and combine.
  3. Add milk or cream/starchy water mix, then stir in cheese to finish sauce. Set aside.
  4. Drain pasta. Combine with broccoli and cheese sauce, adding starchy water as needed to thin out the sauce to desired consistency.
  5. Add salt and pepper, sprinkle with nutmeg.
Calories
319 cal
Fat
15 g
Protein
20 g
Carbs
31 g
Print
Glens Falls Mom http://glensfallsmom.com/

Setting up for Success with Sunday Prep

 

Written by Glens Falls Mom, featuring Jenn Wolfe

We all know preparing weekly lunches and snacks ahead of time sets us up for success for the week. If our lunches are yummy enough, it’s much easier to pass up that treat someone baked and left in the office break room. We might be less likely to bust open a bag of chips after work if there are snacks in the fridge already cut up and ready to eat.

But who has time to give up an entire day off of work to cook?

Here’s how Sunday prep usually goes for me:

  1. Check Pinterest for meal prep ideas.
  2. Pick out the most complicated (but delicious-looking!) prep plan ever.
  3. Print out pages and pages of shopping lists. 
  4. Spend half the day at the grocery store.
  5. Spend the other half making a disaster out of the kitchen.
  6. Finally fill the fridge with meals for the week and realize I have nothing for dinner tonight.
  7. Ignore all the dishes in the sink and order pizza.
  8. Decide not to do Sunday prep ever again.

(And that was BEFORE I had a baby!)
So each Sunday when I see my friend Jenn Wolfe posting her Sunday meal prep pictures on Facebook, I wonder how she has it all together. She is a busy mom to twin girls, a teacher, and she runs a business on the side! Where is she finding time to make health a priority for her family? I had to find out.

Of course, Jenn being the generous person she is, she offered to meet with me to share her tips and tricks! Here’s the really exciting part. She’s going to share with you too!

We’re thrilled to present the first article in our Sunday prep series, where Jenn will share her meal prep plans in hopes of inspiring you to get in (and out of) the kitchen on Sundays. It’s all about your health and the health of your family.

When we started discussing how we would lay out the series, I asked Jenn if she wanted to do recipes and shopping lists (like the Pinterest-style Sunday preps I mentioned above). Her answer was no! She wanted to keep things simple. (I knew I liked this girl!)

Our Sunday prep series will give you ideas for an easy weekly meal plan, but any ingredient can be easily substituted for something your family likes. Everything is designed to be done and ready to go without taking up your entire Sunday. 

Let’s get to know Jenn and why she’s so passionate about health and wellness, then we’ll get straight to the cookin’!

In the Kitchen with Jenn

We love your posts about Sunday food prep and inspirational quotes! What are some ways you spread awareness about health and wellness? How does it tie in with your business?

I love to hear my posts are helpful! I’m passionate about empowering women to take charge of their health and wellness. Women are often the gate keepers of nutrition in their home. They may do the grocery shopping and most of the cooking. Teaching women how to take charge of these aspects of their life impacts the rest of their family.

I have been a Independent Distributor with AdvoCare for 3.5 years. I offer free coaching to all clients. I teach people how to eat clean, grocery shop, supplement properly to fill nutritional gaps, incorporate exercise and of course, food prep.

I offer consults to discuss goals, supplementation, workouts and strategies for success. I also have get-togethers at my house a couple times a month. Women come for a multitude of reasons- support, accountability, interest and ideas. I offer conference calls as well, so I can reach women that are not local. My philosophy is where there is a will there is a way. I’ll support you in any way I can. Your goal becomes my goal.

What inspired you to begin your journey with health? What are some of your goals going forward?

I was inspired by some of my close friends that were having success with AdvoCare. I had never used supplementation before, but was feeling very stuck and insecure in my own skin 3.5 years ago. After having my girls, I felt like everything changed. Having been an athlete growing up and being active I was able to maintain a healthy weight, and eat what I wanted. That all changed.

I was around 200 lbs and I would yo-yo diet by restricting calories and strapping myself to a cardio machine. I’d lose the weight, only to gain it right back when what I was doing wasn’t sustainable anymore. I was frustrated, and simply not being the mom or wife I wanted to be.

I said yes to AdvoCare and began the 24 Day Challenge. It is a very structured, fool-proof program offering a daily meal guide, cook book, and grocery shopping list. I realized then that I had no idea how to eat, cook healthy, or supplement properly. Those 24 days were the catalyst to everything that has happened since. I knew if I could do this, anyone could!

I have lost over 50 lbs, went from a size 14/16 to a size 8/10. From that point on I have shared with others, and expanded on what I can offer my clients. My goals moving forward are to continue helping others realize this is something even the busiest person can do.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. I’m busy too- I teach kindergarten full time, raise two little girls, coach their sports year round, and also run a business. I find value in what I offer and what I provide to my family. We aren’t running through a drive thru on our busy nights because we have a healthy meal waiting for us. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.

Tell us about a failure, challenge, or a time you had to overcome a fear during your journey.

Full disclosure and vulnerability… (Being more vulnerable is my New Year’s Resolution) I am currently experiencing my biggest challenge ever in my journey, and possibly in my life. I have been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis for years, but am dealing with a side affect from the medication I was on. It’s directly affecting my lungs. I am having difficulty breathing, am often short of breath, and experience extreme fatigue. I have also recently been diagnosed with Chronic Lyme.

Why is this so difficult? I love working out, typically 5-6 times a week, and I haven’t been able to since November. I am often so tired I hardly want to get out of bed, let alone work, cook, clean, etc. While these obstacles are difficult to be dealing with, I know that there is a lot still in my control.

I know I feel better when I eat better. That motivates me to continue food prep and move my body even if it’s just walking or stretching. I’ve been able to maintain my weight even though I haven’t been able to workout. This is directly related to food prep and my mindset. After all, nutrition is 80% of a healthy lifestyle.

What is the secret to making time for health as a busy mom?

You have to prioritize. Sometimes you have to look at your house and say, “Maybe the house isn’t perfect today, but I’m going to get my workout in.” Many times I wake up early before the day gets away from me and work out, or even food prep. That way I don’t feel “mom guilt” or like I’m missing out on too much. Some women I coach struggle because they are always at their kid’s practices or events, so I recommend that they walk during the practice or design workouts that they can do while they wait. Health is the greatest wealth of all.

Let’s talk Sunday prep. Why do you find it so important to your weekly routine?

It’s crucial to my weekly routine. I teach full time, so I am out of the house each day until 4 or 5:30 on the days I work out or have meetings. If we have sports, we typically aren’t home until 7-8pm. Having food prepped and ready to go saves us from binge eating, ordering out, or hitting up a drive-thru. 

It saves a lot of time by simply mixing and matching food that is already cooked and simply heating it up. Dinner is on the table in less than 10 minutes. It also saves money. Eating out is expensive!

What are your tips for making shopping for Sunday prep quick and easy?

Focus on the meal you struggle with most. If you rush to get breakfast in, make some easy eggs cups, make ahead breakfast sandwiches, etc. If you struggle with lunch/dinner, prep those items you need most.

Make a plan, stick to your grocery list. This is time and money saving! I’ve found Hannaford To Go to be extremely helpful. Don’t try to shop and prep in one day, that can be overwhelming.

Keep it simple! Don’t attempt several new recipes. It will monopolize your time and you will never want to do it again. Think/shop/cook in food groups and then mix and match.

Mix things up. You don’t want to be bored. Food should be fun!

Have plenty of storage containers and zip lock baggies handy.

What does a typical Sunday prep look like for you?

A typical Sunday prep takes me about 2 hours start to finish, including clean up. I make and focus on lunches and dinners.

When I cook, I start with the items with the longest cooking time, typically my protein- a roast chicken, turkey meatloaf, cauliflower rice stir fry, stuffed peppers, etc.

While my oven is being used, I’m chopping veggies to be roasted.

After that I’m prepping my salads for the week and my dinner for that night. (I learned this the hard way. I would finish all my food prep for the week, and forget completely about dinner that night!) Now, I put dinner in the crock pot.

Some dinners I make in the crock pot are roast chicken, ground turkey and quinoa burrito bowls, pot roast, homemade soups and chili.

I also make hard boiled eggs or egg white muffins for snacks, and I bag nuts for when we are on the go or as salad toppers.

I plan for 3-4 days. If I get to Wednesday and I find I have a lot of leftovers, I will freeze and use later.

Food prep shouldn’t be overwhelming, start small, and keep it simple.

Ok, let’s get into the nitty gritty. What’s cookin’ this week, Jenn?

To start, you’ll want to get your dinner for tonight going in the crock pot. You can set it up now and forget about it for the day!

Crock Pot Chicken

Place on 4 foil balls to keep out of liquid
Place onion in cavity
Drizzle olive oil, lemon juice and fresh ginger
Top with fresh basil and pepper
Cook on high 6-8 hours depending on size of chicken
 
We’re starting with the recipes that need to cook the longest, so next will be our protein for the week. Each week you can switch up your proteins or cook different types of protein, but I’m sticking to chicken this week to keep things simple.
 

 

Pesto Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken

Cut boneless breast in 1/2 length wise
Spread pesto on each breast
Add sundried tomatoes
Drizzle with Olive Oil
Bake at 375 for 30 mins
 

Pesto Artichoke Chicken

Cut boneless breast in 1/2 length wise
Spread pesto on each breast
Add Artichokes
Drizzle with Olive Oil
Bake at 375 for 30 mins
 

 

Chicken, Peppers and Onions

Dice Chicken
Slice peppers, and onions
Place in skillet 
Drizzle with olive oil, garlic, parsley, and pepper. 
Saute on the stove top for 15-20 mins

While all of this is cooking, you can start chopping veggies and preparing snacks and salad toppers. 

Roasted Veggie Tray

Chop Brussels. I chop off ends first, peel outside layer, and then cut in 1/2
Chop Sweet Potatoes in small wedges. You want them relatively thin, as these take the longest to cook.
Chop Red Onion in large rings. Save this for LAST or your eyes will be burning! 🙂
Place on baking sheet and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil on each veggie. 
Bake 375 for 40 mins or until sweet potatoes are done.
 

 

Sweet Potato Mash

Cut 2 Sweet potatoes into smaller chunks (This will decrease cooking time)
Boil until soft (approximately 10-15 mins)
Drain water and put in bowl
Add chicken broth, garlic and salt and pepper
Smash until you get them the consistency you like
 
 

Hard Boiled Eggs

Cover eggs with water
Bring to a boil
Turn off heat and cover
Let sit for 10 minutes
Drain and cool with cold water before peeling
I place 2 in a zip lock bag for storage and easy snacking!
 
 

Salad Prep

Place lettuce in containers
Add veggies you want (this week was mushrooms, cucumbers and left over artichokes from my chicken dish)
Add chicken when it’s finished and cooled down
 

 

Nuts, Trail Mix, Celery

I added these in baggies so they are easy to grab in the morning. We eat as a snack, or as salad toppers. 
 

Remember…

  • On Wednesday, freeze any leftovers for lunches/dinners next week!
  • Add in egg white muffins or another breakfast item if desired.
  • Start simple! We purposefully only used chicken this week and used the same ingredient in more than one dish to keep the grocery list short and the kitchen time for a minimum. You want to get IN the kitchen and OUT of the kitchen! You can add more variety as you get your techniques down.
  • All this prep was done before the kids and husband were out of bed. The goal is not to spend the entire day in the kitchen. Remember to shop ahead of time!

And here’s the finished product!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you’re a shopping list person, here it is!

 

What advice would you give other moms interested in making health a priority for their family?

Support and accountability are extremely important. I’m here to help and support you in your transition. Start with one thing and slowly build. If you try to do food prep, diet, exercise, supplementation, convincing your whole family to join you, it can be very overwhelming. Truly, I started with myself, and from there, over time, it spread to my entire family both immediate and extended.

Here’s how to contact Jenn for guidance on health and wellness, information on AdvoCare, your financial goals, or to become part of her team of leaders:

Website: www.wellnesswithwolfe.com

Email: wellnesswithwolfe@yahoo.com

Facebook: Jenn Wolfe /jennifer.wolfe.77715

Instagram: @wolfe.jenn

A special thank you to Jenn for helping us with this series! Keep following along for the next post in our Sunday Prep Series.

Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts {And How to Break up with Bitter Brussels Forever}

When you’re making your Sunday grocery list, I bet brussels sprouts aren’t the first on the list. In fact, they may conjure up memories of bitter chunks of ickyness slathered in butter. If this is your only memory of brussels, I’m begging you to give them another chance! You might even be able to convince the little people in your house to eat their veggies when you attach the words “maple” and “bacon” to the title.

Making a few small changes to the way you prepare this vegetable makes all the difference. Follow a few simple rules to break up with bitter brussels forever.

Does this look bitter and icky to you? {If you answered yes, fine. Just scroll on by this recipe. But seriously. They’re good. And they’re covered in bacon & syrup…just sayin’.}

 

First rule of Breaking up with Bitter Brussels: DON’T buy them in the freezer section. Brussels sprouts are best when purchased fresh. You may even be able to find them at our local Farmer’s Market! Buy more than you think you’ll need- they cook down quite a bit, and they’ll go fast. They are even better as leftovers because the syrup has a chance to really sink in.

Rule number two: Slice ’em super thin. This takes a while, but you want to slice them as thin as possible and rinse them off well. The thinner they are, the less bitter they are.

Third. Cook them for a really long time on the stove top using low heat. To really soften the brussels, we need them to cook on low for at least 20 minutes, being careful not to let them burn.

Fourth rule of Breaking up with Bitter Brussels: READ through all the directions below. The technique is important here. This time you are not allowed to skim through my writing. Please and thank you.

Ok. So now that you want to try these delicious little sprouts, here’s the nitty gritty. (Full recipe at the bottom)

You’ll Need:

4-6 slices turkey bacon (you could certainly use the real deal bacon)

1 tbsp olive oil

A big bag of fresh brussels sprouts

1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup (or full sugar if you’re up for it!)

Salt & Pepper

Water

1. Fry up some turkey bacon in a pan. Remove, let cool, then chop into smaller chunks.

2. Leave any bacon fat in the pan- there’s not much in turkey bacon- we’ll keep it! Add 1 tsp olive oil and let it get nice & hot.

3. Slice the brussels thin & rinse. Be patient, this takes a little time, but the thin slices are worth it.

Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

 

4. Sauté the brussels in the pan for a few minutes. When everything is warming up, add 1/4 cup water. Any time the brussels start to brown, add a splash of water to keep them from burning.

Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

5. Turn the heat down to low and cook on low about 20 minutes, watching to be sure they aren’t burning and adding water as needed. You can add the bacon about halfway through cooking time.

6. When they’re all nice and brown, add some salt & pepper.

7. Top with syrup while still warm.

8. Thank me for helping you rediscover this vegetable. 😉

Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 4-6 slices turkey bacon
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. A big bag of fresh brussels sprouts
  4. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  5. Salt & pepper
  6. 1/4 cup water (and additional needed)
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Fry up some turkey bacon in a pan. Remove, let cool, then chop into smaller chunks.
  2. Leave any bacon fat in the pan.
  3. Add 1 tsp olive oil and let it get nice & hot.
  4. Slice the brussels thin and rinse well.
  5. Sauté the brussels in the pan for a few minutes. When everything is warming up, add 1/4 cup water. Any time the brussels start to brown, add a splash of water to keep them from burning.
  6. Turn the heat down to low and cook on low about 20 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent burning. Add water as needed to loosen up and prevent burning.
  7. Add the bacon about halfway through cooking time.
  8. Add salt and pepper and top with syrup while still warm.
  9. Serve hot!
Print
Adapted from Thanks to a fellow Mama for sharing this one with me years ago!
Adapted from Thanks to a fellow Mama for sharing this one with me years ago!
Glens Falls Mom http://glensfallsmom.com/