Green Juice Recipe

I’ve never been into diets, but at the start of this year, I was definitely feeling like I needed to get back to eating healthier after a long holiday season. We’ve had a juicer (on sale here & also here) sitting on our counter since my bridal shower almost 6 years ago and had yet to use it, so I decided this would be the year we get into juicing. We started out with one green juice recipe and have been making a couple of different ones each week and I love it so far!

Juicing requires lots of fruits and veggies, but I think it’s worth it, as I really do love the taste of them. I don’t love spinach, but it’s great in juices, and I like that other flavors mask this nutrient-rich veggie. I started out using a lot of kale, but it’s more expensive and I found it doesn’t actually make as much juice as spinach, so lately I’ve been scaling that back.

Today I’m sharing one of my go-to juices, made with apples, oranges, parsley and spinach. I think this one is so refreshing. The recipe below makes a little more than 32 ounces for me usually, depending on how big the apples and oranges are. I make that much so my husband and I can have 2 days’ worth, but you can easily scale it back.

Have other juice recipe recommendations? Leave them in the comments below – I’m always looking for new recipes to try out!

Healthy-Green-Juice-Recipe

Green Juice Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 sprigs parsley 
  • 6 apples
  • 3 oranges
  • 8 oz (about 6 big handfuls) spinach

Directions

  1. Turn juicer onto highest speed (on my juicer it’s level 5)
  2. Remove stems from parsley and put in juicer
  3. Remove core from apples, cut into large pieces and put in juicer
  4. Peel orange, cut in half or quarters and put in juicer
  5. Put about 6 big handfuls of spinach in juicer
  6. Pour into glasses and enjoy

Best Amazon Finds of 2018

I’m not sure what I did before Amazon Prime. It’s become my go-to for everything from dog food and kitchen gadgets, to jewelry, travel essentials and gifts. No more going to miscellaneous stores or waiting a long time for orders to come in – it’s 2 days with a click of a button. I looked back at alllll of my purchases over the past year to give you my best Amazon finds of 2018.

Tt was hard to top 2017’s Dash egg cooker or this compact spiralizer, but this year’s picks included several significant purchases for one reason or another. Whether it was changing the way I pack for travel or accessorizing with trendy, inexpensive pieces, Amazon did it all.

If you’re on the hunt for a good gift for a guy in your life, I highly recommend a Yeti cooler. And while I didn’t list out baby and toddler gifts below, I also purchased little board book sets for several of the nuggets in my life (here & here).

Here are my top picks in no particular order, which I love for all different reasons.

2018 Best of Amazon

Self-Care & Beauty:

1. Acupuncture MatIf you’re curious about what acupuncture can do for you but aren’t into needles or committing to appointments, try this super affordable acupuncture mat. Lay on it for 20+ minutes a day and relax – promise it doesn’t hurt.

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Best Podcasts – Vol. 1

My husband is going to laugh at me when he sees this post, but that’s OK. I’ve been walking around listening to podcasts to and from work, while I do laundry, get my nails done, you get the point… all the while acting like podcasts are a new thing. News flash: they’re not. But I’m just now getting into them and I’m slightly obsessed. Who knew there were so many good ones out there on literally any topic you type in the search field?! And with my less-than-15-minute commute, it’s hard to get into a book or mag, so I love that I can listen to podcasts door-to-door.

So here goes the start of a new blog series… with my favorite podcasts and episodes. I’d love to get recommendations from all of you in the comments so I can continue trying new ones out!

Best Podcasts - Vol. 1

NPR’s How I Built This with Guy Raz – Stitch Fix: Katrina Lake (April 2, 2018):

I love this podcast so you can’t really go wrong with any episode – scroll back to old episodes and you’ll find stories about how brands like Kate Spade, Patagonia, Framebridge and even Instagram came to be the successful brands they are today. This is a great, more recent episode about how Katrina Lake came up with the idea for Stitch Fix, her online personal shopping service that uses technology to curate boxes of clothing just for you based on your preferences. As someone who has tried – and enjoyed – this service before, this was particularly interesting and inspiring. The company went from Katrina testing out the idea with 20 friends and acquaintances to where it is today with over two million customers and a billion dollars of annual revenue.

Skimm’d from the Couch – Sara Blakely: Founder and CEO of Spanx – Episode 008:

This is another girl boss success story, this time with another company I personally love, Spanx. I practically live in the brand’s faux leather leggings – you’ll find four different colors/styles on constant rotation in my closet. In the podcast, she tells the brand’s story, talking about what made them so unique in the marketplace: the fact that all of their products are essentially inventions, not just a new version of something that already exists. I loved this quote from Sara: “Sell the problem you’re solving, not the product.” She also encourages women starting businesses to think about what they got out of each failure, because there’s always something.

Bachelor Party by The RingerReflecting on ‘Laguna Beach’ and ‘The Hills’ With Creator Adam DiVello Plus His New Show ‘Music City’ (Ep. 13)

If you watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette, this podcast is a must while it’s airing – host Juliet Litman recaps each episode and has lots of guests from Bachelor Nation chatting about it with her. But I’ve quickly discovered that I also love her off-season podcasts… this one bringing me back to high school and college with Adam DiVello, creator of “Laguna Beach” and “The Hills,” which resulted in my Lauren Conrad obsession. I’ve been meaning to watch his new show, “Music City,” and going back in time with him in this podcast made me want to check it out even more – especially because it’s based in Nashville. What I found cool was that he mentioned that “Laguna Beach” was really a reality version of “The OC” – and “Music City” has a similar approach where the idea for the show came from doing a reality version of “Nashville,” which I also love.

Young Adulting by Grace Atwood & Becca Freeman – Ep 3: Advice/ Passions, Promotions + More

I’ve been a longtime follower of Grace’s – her blog, TheStripe.com, is one of the few that I read a few times a week. She’s so real, I love her style and we love the same kinds of books. After she got me hooked on the YA series “The Thousandth Floor” (more to come on that in my next book review!), I was excited to hear she was launching a podcast where she’d be talking about “bad books and good advice” with her former Baublebar coworker and friend, Becca Freeman. Admittedly, I listened to episode 1 and 3 – I want to read the books before listening to the book episodes! Episode 3 gives some good advice about turning hobbies into careers, including the benefits and drawbacks. Read more about this episode in Grace’s latest blog post.

 

Healthy Bagel Recipe

Bagels definitely top my favorite foods list – if only they were better for you, I’d eat one every day… maybe two. When I started seeing a healthy bagel recipe popping up all over Facebook from one of my favorite blogs for recipes, Skinnytaste, I was skeptical. But I also knew that I’m very rarely disappointed with Skinnytaste recipes, so I went for it. Verdict: A+.

Healthy Bagel Recipe via Skinnytaste

The best thing about this recipe is that there are just 5 ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt, Greek yogurt and egg white – and I usually have all of them in my fridge, so I can whip these up anytime. I’m not kidding when I say that this recipe is a matter of mixing up these ingredients, kneading the dough, rolling them out and sprinkling with your favorite topping. For me, that means Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning, but you can use anything like sesame seeds, dried onion flakes or poppy seeds.

Healthy Bagel Recipe via Skinnytaste

This weekend was my second time making them and I am definitely getting the hang of the shape better than I did my first try. I will say that they have the best texture when they’re fresh out of the oven, but I still loved them as an easy at-my-desk breakfast topped with cream cheese throughout the week. Just throw them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. I haven’t tried this yet, but Gina from Skinnytaste also says you can slice then freeze them if you want to make them in bulk for later.

Head over to Skinnytaste for the recipe – let me know how it goes!

Healthy Bagel Recipe via Skinnytaste

Healthy Bagel Recipe via Skinnytaste

Weekend Reading – February 4, 2018

When I first started this blog, I had a Friday Faves series where I shared a quick four links of favorite things I saw over the week. For this year, I’m going with an updated version of that, complete with articles I loved, shopping picks and awesome sale finds. If you have any recommendations for links or items to include in my next Weekend Reading post, comment below or message me!

Hope everyone had a great weekend and are getting together with friends or family for the Super Bowl… go Pats! Hank is showing his team pride in today’s pic. :)

Weekend Reading - February 4, 2018

Links I Love:

Shopping Finds:

  • Loving this gold metal mirror (on sale!) with this table for our work-in-progress updated entryway. Made a huge difference already! Shop similar mirrors here, here & here (this one pretty similar to the one I bought but way less $!). If you like this style table, they also have it in a coffee table, night stand, dresser and even bed!
  • The coziest thermal that’s all over Instagram is a must-buy. I’ve been stalking trying to grab it in the lilac color – right now I have gray.
  • Having a serious debate with myself over whether or not this straw crossbody bag is worth the price tag (also comes in a smaller version here)… Remember that other bag that was all over Insta last summer? There’s now a near-perfect dupe for under $45 on Amazon.
  • I’ve been bringing back my high ponytail here and there and need to get these velvet bow hair ties. But I’m also thinking I could make them myself for way less money…

Sale Picks:

  • This flowy floral tank that I wore in Palm Springs. Perfect with jean shorts or regular jeans.
  • My go-to oversized sweater from last year, shown in the pic in this post.
  • The best faux leather jacket/sweatshirt combo. I wear it all the time and also have it in off-white.
  • A sherpa pullover that looks like the coziest thing ever. Can’t wait for this to arrive! I got it in light pink and it also comes in white.

Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast Casserole

I love breakfast. And I also love any reason to get together with friends, especially when it gives me a reason to either try out a new recipe or share one of my go-to’s with everyone. Recently a few of my out-of-town girlfriends were visiting and we decided to do a potluck brunch at my house instead of going out. I made a delicious french toast casserole recipe inspired by the one my mother-in-law makes, which has always been a favorite of anyone who tries it.

For this recipe, you’ll want to make it the night before so the bread can soak in all of the flavors. The recipe is for a 9×12 inch dish, but if you are bringing it to a tailgate or big event, you can grab a bigger aluminum tray, increase each ingredient by 1/2 and do three layers of bread instead of two. Read on and save/pin this for your next brunch event! Just add champagne…

Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole Recipe

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Light Buffalo Chicken Dip

Hope you all had a great weekend! I caught up with lots of friends this weekend and then spent today doing lots of food prep and catching up on the Bachelor. I’m so excited for one of my friends who lives out of state to visit this week and bring her new baby girl. I’m planning on serving a bunch of dips and easy appetizers, so today I made one of my favorites, a light version of buffalo chicken dip. Then when my guests arrive, I’ll pop it in the oven and it will be good to go with tortilla chips!

The best part about this dip is there are lots of different ways to customize it based on your preferences. The recipe below combines a few different recipes that friends and family have shared, and it’s super easy, especially if you prep your cooked chicken in the slow cooker. Just throw a couple chicken breasts into your slow cooker on high for 3 1/2-4 hours and it will shred nicely. The key with this recipe is to put the chicken in the buffalo sauce before adding the ingredients. I’ve also included some other ways to make it at the bottom – feel free to make it however you want!

Light Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

Ingredients:

  •  2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 8 ounce package of reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups Frank’s hot sauce
  • 1 cup fat free ranch dressing
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Directions:

  • Heat chicken and hot sauce over stove on medium until chicken is thoroughly soaked.
  • Add cream cheese and stir until melted.
  • Add ranch dressing, sour cream  and shredded cheese. Stir until blended.
  • Pour into square baking dish (optional: add bread crumbs and more shredded cheese).
  • Bake at 350 degrees for at least 20 minutes.
  • Serve with Tostidos or pita chips.

Light Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

Variations:

  • Add bread crumbs and/or another cup of cheddar cheese to the top, bake it in the oven for 20 minutes or so on 350 degrees
  • Instead of baking, cook stovetop on low heat for 30 minutes (note: you will need to stir frequently because it begins to bubble when hot)
  • Omit the sour cream and double the cream cheese
  • Add in blue cheese crumbles and/or dressing (I personally prefer ranch!)

Light Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

What’s your favorite dip recipe? Share it below!

Crock Pot Turkey Chili for Game Day

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

While our team sadly didn’t make it to the big game last night, we still had a few friends over and had ourselves a nice little night. Because really, the food, drinks and friends are the best part of any sports game anyway, right? I went on a cooking spree in the morning, prepping for both the game and today’s snowstorm. My favorite thing to do is throw in a slow cooker meal while I make other appetizers, and today I’m sharing my favorite chili recipe. It has just the right amount of spice and is so easy to make. Plus it’s great as leftovers.

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Football season may be officially over for the year, but there’s still college basketball to use as an excuse to entertain with friends and family. I personally love to enjoy a good glass of red wine in the winter, and this weekend I discovered and tried out Black Box Wines, which went perfectly with our Sunday Funday food and are going to be a go-to for bringing to other peoples’ houses for days like this. These wines come in 3 liter eco-friendly boxes (equivalent to four 750 ml bottles) and stay fresh for up to six weeks. But the best part is that it’s actually great wine (they’ve won over 50 Gold Medals for quality!) for 40% less of the price of comparable bottled wines. I went with the Cabernet Sauvignon but can’t wait to try other varieties.

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Anyway, back to the chili… for this recipe, I tried to keep things on the healthy side and used ground turkey. If you’re doubling the recipe for a big slow cooker, you could consider doing half and half with ground turkey and beef. This recipe requires very little prep. Just brown the turkey, add onions until they’re cooked through, then put them both in the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, set on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Then add your favorite toppings (I love a little cheese, sour cream and green onions) and you’re good to go!

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

For more game day entertaining and recipe inspiration, visit SimpleEntertaining.com. And I’d love to hear what your favorite game day recipes are – leave them in the comments! Cheers!

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

 

Crock Pot Chili for Game Day

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 can (7 oz) Mexicorn
  • 2 jars (16 oz each) salsa
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp hot Mexican style chili pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, green onions, cheese, avocado

Instructions

  1. Saute the ground turkey, onion and garlic until turkey is browned. Drain excess fat.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients (other than option toppers) with turkey, onion and garlic in the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Add optional toppers and enjoy.
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Layered Three-Olive Tapenade Appetizer Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BowlTimeSnacks #CollectiveBias

The best part of football season is having a reason to get together with friends and family over delicious food and drinks on a weekly basis. It’s my favorite time to whip up my go-to recipes, such as my three ingredient artichoke dip, but also try out new ones. In advance of this weekend, I tested a new idea, Layered Three-Olive Tapenade with hummus and feta, and it ended up being so delicious!

Layered Three-Olive Tapenade Appetizer Recipe

This recipe came about thanks to my love of olives and hummus. I had been thinking about creating an olive tapenade recipe, but then it dawned on me that I could make it into a bite-sized Mediterranean appetizer. And the best part is that it’s SO easy.

Layered Three-Olive Tapenade Appetizer Recipe

When I say easy, I’m talking lay out the ingredients, throw almost everything in the food processor, pulse a bunch of times, then spread hummus, olive tapenade and feta on a cracker and enjoy.

Layered Three-Olive Tapenade Appetizer Recipe

I don’t have one of those giant food processors, but it worked just fine splitting everything up and throwing in my smaller version. I’ll be the first to admit that the olive tapenade isn’t the most visually pleasing thing, but by using three different olives and roasted red peppers, you at least get a good assortment of colors in there. You can really make this recipe with any olives you happen to have at home – up to you!

Layered Three-Olive Tapenade Appetizer Recipe

Once all of the ingredients are combined, go ahead and start assembling. Honestly, this was easier than I thought it would be. Take your time and you’ll come out with some nice looking appetizers to serve to your guests (or eat yourself… which I did with several).

Layered Three-Olive Tapenade Appetizer Recipe

I love using classic RITZ® crackers as the base of this appetizer because their buttery taste and crunchy texture is the perfect complement to the hummus, olive tapenade and feta. And how cute are these glass bottles of Coca-Cola? Add a fun straw and they’re instantly entertaining-worthy. The 1/2 liter Coca-Cola bottles are also great for guests (we usually opt for Diet Coke, but go with whatever your guests will enjoy!). I picked up the RITZ® crackers and Coca-Cola bottles at my local Stop & Shop (scroll down to see exactly where you can find them).

 

Layered Three-Olive Tapenade Appetizer Recipe

I’m already starting to think of other ways to use this olive tapenade – putting it on top of chicken might be next. But for now, I’ll stick with this deliciousness…

Layered Three-Olive Tapenade Appetizer Recipe

Layered Three-Olive Tapenade Appetizer Recipe

The full recipe is below and can easily be printed out for future reference. You can find more RITZ® crackers recipe inspiration here and more game day inspiration here.

What are your favorite game day appetizers? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Layered Three-Olive Tapenade Appetizer

Ingredients

  • 6.5 oz jar pitted kalamata olives, drained
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 1 cup California olives
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 8 oz original hummus
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 package RITZ® crackers

Instructions

  1. Pour olives, roasted red peppers, capers and garlic into food processor.
  2. Pulse in one second intervals, stopping periodically to scrape sides. Pieces should be approximately 1/8"; avoid over-processing beyond this size.
  3. Add olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper. Pulse a few more times.
  4. Spread hummus onto RITZ® crackers. Top with olive tapenade mixture.
  5. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.
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Recipe: 3-Ingredient Artichoke Dip

Everyone loves a good dip at a gathering with family or friends. I have a few “go-to” dip recipes that I usually make, and the 3-Ingredient Artichoke Dip below is definitely the one that I make most. Every time I serve it to our guests or bring it to a party, people are amazed at how easy it is to make. I’ve had tons of requests from friends and family for the recipe, so I figured it was time to share it here.

3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip

You can quickly whip this up and either make it right away or keep it in the refrigerator until about 45 minutes before you’re ready to serve it. The best part about it is the small amount of ingredients needed – artichoke hearts, mayo and parmesan cheese, plus a bit of salt and pepper. Oftentimes when I tell people what’s in it, those who don’t like mayo (my husband included) are surprised that it’s included, but it really doesn’t taste like mayo once cooked – it just gives it a nice texture.

3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip Recipe

I can almost guarantee that this recipe will be a crowd pleaser and you’ll want to have the three ingredients on hand at all times. That’s what I do!

3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip Recipe

3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip Recipe

3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3x 14 oz cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Coarsely chop the artichoke hearts
  • Mix all ingredients together and pour into an oven-safe dish
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
  • Serve with bread or pita chips and enjoy!

Variations:

While this is how I like to make this dip, you can play around with the proportions and/or add a few things to make it just right for you. Here are a few other ideas:

  • Chop the artichoke hearts more or less based on your preference.
  • Add breadcrumbs to the top of the dip just before you bake it. Skinnytaste has an artichoke dip recipe that suggests doing this, spraying the breadcrumbs with olive oil spray before baking.
  • Substitute fat free Greek yogurt for some of the mayo and cheese.
  • Add in some part-skim mozzarella cheese.
  • Add in some shallots. You can easily chop and combine these and the artichoke hearts in a food processor.

What’s your favorite dip recipe? Leave it below in the comments!