• Pork Lemongrass Baguette and Dreaming Tree Wine

    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #ShareWineandBites #CollectiveBias

    I love to make different foods that we wouldn’t normally eat. And this Pork Lemongrass Baguette is right up our alley! We don’t eat a lot of pork and I have been trying to incorporate it a bit more into our meals. But you guys, this recipe calls for fish sauce and if you have ever smelled fish sauce you might be doubting my recipe planning. But I promise you, you won’t be disappointed! Don’t let the fish sauce deter you. I didn’t even say anything about it until after dinner and after I heard all about how delicious it was and then I told my husband to smell it! hahaha!

    I also found the most perfect wine to go with our Pork Lemongrass Baguette. The Dreaming Tree Crush is a story of artistry and a wine from none other than Dave Matthews. It was inspired by the desire to make high quality California wines that are accessible to wine lovers everywhere.

    The Dreaming Tree makes high quality, delicious wines that are affordable so that anyone can enjoy them. My favorite is the Chardonnay.

    I started with using boneless pork chops. I know that might not be the typical meat cut choice, but I wanted something small and thin for a lighter meal rather than large chunks of filling meat. I also took each of those pork chops and cut them in half to make smaller pieces. Then I made my marinade and let them sit overnight in the refrigerator before having my husband bbq them.

    While the pork was grilling I sliced some carrots, red onion and cilantro for topping and then put the sandwich all together.

    Look at this Pork Lemongrass Baguette…. Are you drooling? Because I am. This was delicious!

    The Dreaming Tree has an amazing commitment to sustainable wine making practices and is celebrating donating over $1M to environmental programs that protect tree and forestry programs across the country.

    I bought my Dreaming Tree at a local wine store but I have also found it at my local grocery store and supercenter stores. To find where you can buy it- visit their website and type in your zip code… It is that easy!

    Another great snack to pair with these wines would be something as simple as cheese and bread or even a popcorn like BoomchickaPop!  It really goes great with anything.

    Needing more info about The Dreaming Tree? Find them on Facebook and Instagram

    Ingredients:

    2 lbs boneless pork chops
    carrots
    cilantro
    (4) 6 inch baguettes
    Marinade for pork (recipe below)

    Lemongrass Pork Marinade:

    1/2 C. chopped lemongrass
    1/2 C. sugar
    3 tbsp fish sauce
    1 tbsp ground black pepper
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tbsp sesame oil
    2 tbsp olive oil

    1. Mix ingredients for marinade together, add pork and let marinade overnight.
    2. Next, you want to grill until the pork is completely cooked on BBQ
    3. Slice Baguettes in half the long way, adding grill pork, sliced carrots and chopped cilantro
    4. Enjoy!

    Now you know some of my favorite pairings with The Dreaming Tree Crush, what would you pair with it?

  • Summer’s Mermaid Birthday Party

    Last weekend my little girl turned FIVE years old!

    We went back and forth a little on what type of party she wanted, but ultimately settled on a “Mermaid  Birthday Party”.

    Thankfully Pinterest is always my friend and guides me to the best of the best crafters with awesome ideas to create a great party.  Here are some shots from the day. And by “some” shots, I mean, I am sorry for an extremely picture heavy post.

    Welcome Mermaid sign for the front door.

    Summer helped me “design” her very own birthday shirt. She did a pretty good job.

    One of my favorite things in our house has always been our chalkboard wall. The kids play on it all the time and it always gets used for birthdays and holidays.

    Our party was mid day so we just did some finger sandwiches, and snacks.

    I was going to make my own rock candy, but for real, after reading how to do it and that it can take a couple of weeks for the crystals to grow I decided to bag it and just buy them!

    How fun are these marshmallow pops? They are super cute and the were really delicious!

    The clam shells were also a big hit. It is just frosting in between two nilla wafers and a sugar bead for the “pearl”

    Love my sweet birthday girl!

    Everyone loves mermaids– What is your mermaid name? Mine is Mara Aqua Rain

    I got these hula hoops on clearance a while back so I grabbed them for “party gifts” for the girls!

    Last minutes I decided I didn’t want to make cupcakes myself. I was swamped with other things and was just running out of time. Walmart to the rescue and the colors were exactly what I wanted. I made these adorable little cake toppers to go with them.

    A pinata was really the only “game” I planned and the kids all left with bags of candy!

    Look at all these sweet girls (and one boy!)! I am so grateful for all of our amazing friends that gathered around my girl to celebrate!

    After presents and some cake and lots of playing with friends it was time to wrap up our day of fun!

    This little Mermaid was as happy as a clam! Happy Birthday sweet girl!

  • Delicious Crock pot Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

    It is a rainy day here in the Pacific NorthWest and sometimes I might complain about that but not today. Today I am grateful for this rain and watching is wash away some of this insane snow we have had that doesn’t want to go away!

    That is why today I wanted to share this Crock pot Chicken Tater Tot Casserole with you.

    It is so easy to make and it is a perfect warm meal to have on a cooler rainy day.

    chicken-tater-tot-casserole

    The ingredients are few, which I love, and with in just a few hours you’ll have a yummy dinner.

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    I started with spraying the inside of the crockpot with non stick cooking spray and cover the bottom with tater tots.

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    Add half of the bacon bits

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    Then a layer of cheese.

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    Now add in your diced chicken

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    Next you’ll add another layer of cheese and then tater tots

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    Add the rest of the bacon bits

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    And top with cheese.

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    Turn on the crockpot and let it cook!

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    Then enjoy every last bite!

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    • 1 32 oz. bag frozen tater tots
    • 1 3 oz. bag bacon pieces
    • 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
    • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • salt & pepper
    1. Spray your crockpot with cooking spray
    2. Cover the bottom of the crockpot with tater tots
    3. Sprinkle with half of the bacon bits
    4. Top with a layer of the shredded cheese
    5. Add diced chicken on top
    6. Layer of shredded cheese
    7. Top with the rest of the tater tots
    8. Add the last of the bacon bits and shredded cheese
    9. Pour milk over the top.
    10. Cover and cook on low about 4 hours.

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    We are tater tot casserole lovers but this was really a fun change from how I normally make it with hamburger!

    Have you ever had this? Did your family love it as much as mine?

  • Finding balance with Garlic Parmesan Asparagus, Sweet Potatoes and Salmon

    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #BalancedMealsMadeEasy 
    Starting from the beginning of the year I really have been working hard to work out and pay more attention to what I eat. Finding balance in my life. One of my problem times is right in the middle of the day when my husband is at work and kids are at school/napping. I find myself checking out the fridge or pantry for something to snack on.And if you have been around my blog for any time, you know I am all about making things easier for myself and my family. Prepping meals ahead of time is definitely one way I have made things easier.
    I headed to my local Fred Meyer (You can also get it from Kroger) to grab the Rubbermaid® Balance™ Meal Kit. Right now you can find it on sale for a limited time from $19.99 to $14.99.I love this kit for many reasons- like the recipe book that comes with it that contains 35 recipes. I have already made a couple of different recipes from it!The Rubbermaid® Balance™ Meal Kits are healthy well-balanced meals made easy. I love that it takes the guess work out for me. What is not to love with a quick and easy, all in one solution? No need to measure food, the containers are labeled and it is easy and convenient to transport.

    Now it is time to make a delicious meal! I know that like so many of you it is hard to put yourself first and make sure you are eating the right food for your body. But I am working hard on that. Finding balance can be hard but something finally clicked in my head that if I am not healthy, how can I keep up with my energetic kids?

    I started with salmon, asparagus and sweet potatoes. Lightly brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

    Added minced garlic

    And sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

    Place in the oven for 20 minutes and when you take it out you have an amazing dinner. I made this for my husband and I and set the third serving aside for my lunch the next day.

    I even made some couscous to go along with it. It was a perfectly balanced dinner that I felt great about eating.

    • Salmon (3 fillets)
    • asparagus (1 bunch)
    • sweet potatoes (2)
    • salt and pepper
    • minced garlic (5 cloves)
    • olive oil (1 tbsp)
    • Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)Preheat oven to 400°Lay Salmon, asparagus and diced sweet potatoes out on a cookie sheet and mat. (pictured above is only about 1/2 of one sweet potato. I cooked the rest without cheese afterwards.)
      Lightly brush everything with olive oil
      Season with salt and pepper
      Add minced garlic
      Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
      Bake for 20 minutes
      Serve immediately

    I packed the rest away and it was perfect for the next day. Picking Summer up from preschool and just a short while later dropping Tyler off for kindergarten doesn’t leave a lot of time for lunch so I’m glad I was able to get it ready ahead of time! Go grab your Rubbermaid® Balance™ Meal Kits from your local Kroger your Fred Meyer today!

    And make sure to check out Rubbermaid on Facebook and on Instagram @Rubbermaid

    Now you know how I am finding balance and my favorite thing about the Rubbermaid® Balance™ Meal Kits is that it makes it easy to pack a healthy, well-balanced meal, what is your favorite thing about it?

  • Zucchini Tots

    When I first saw Zucchini Tots, I was totally intrigued. I love tater tots but obviously it is frowned upon to eat them all the time. So I wanted to make these ASAP and I did just that.

    These are so easy to make and are done in just a short amount of time. Then you’ll be enjoying these zucchini tots like I am!

    zucchini-tots

    After you shred your zucchini, it is important that you try and get out as much of the water that you can. They will hold together better if you do and you get a nice crispy outside if there is less water. I used a cheesecloth, however, you could use a clean towel. Really it’ll do the trick! Place the zucchini on the middle of the cloth and squeeze into a ball and squeeze the water our over a bowl or the sink.

    Then you are going to mix all of your ingredients together until well blended.

    I sprayed my mini muffin tin with non stick cooking spray then filled up each of the little tins to the top.

    Next, you’ll pop these little babies right in the oven and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes. You want to get them nice and brown on the top!

    Then pop them out of the tins and enjoy every delicious bite!

    • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
    • onion, minced (1/2 small)
    • shredded sharp cheddar (1/2 cup)
    • grated Parmesan (1/2 cup)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • salt & pepper
    1. Preheat oven to 400°
    2. Grate the zucchini and use a cloth to get out as much of the water as you can. (the more you can get out the better!)
    3. Add all additional ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
    4. Spray a mini muffin pan with a non-stick spray.  You could alternatively shape these into tots and place on a baking sheet.
    5. Fill the muffin tin with the mixture, and bake for 15-20 mins or until the tops have turned golden.

    As a result, these are one of my favorite snacks because they are so delicious! Let me know if you give them a try!