Essential Food · Uncategorized

Weekly happenings 

Sunday we went to a Riverdogs game. These games are so family friendly. We didn’t realize but Sunday is kids night. We got free hotdogs and drinks with our tickets. After the game they let the kids run the bases. We didn’t make it to the end but we will have to try, Lil Luke would love that.


The boys had cotton candy for the first time. They liked it.


I am realizing that I have a slight muffin obsession. So I’ve been trying to figure out how I can eat them without feeling guilty about it. This recipe turned out very tasty but I forgot to spray the inside of the muffin cups with non-stick spray . . . DO NOT FORGET THIS STEP, so they were a little sticky. These don’t have butter, sugar or vegetable oil, just honey, applesauce and coconut oil. And they don’t taste healthy, they’re seriously delicious. Everyone liked them. I doubled the recipe because it only makes 12 muffins and lets be real here, that lasts us about 20 minutes. Doubled, the recipe made about 30 muffins.

Skinny Zuchinni Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins 

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used regular flour)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 small to medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (I doubled the recipe and so I used one zuch and one squash)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 1/2 cup mini or regular chocolate chips (I like regular dark chocolate)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and generously spray inside of liners with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Squeeze shredded zucchini of excess water with a paper towel! This is an important step.
  3. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon; set aside.
  4. In bowl of an electric mixer, add mashed banana, oil, honey, vanilla and eggs; mix until smooth. Add in zucchini, applesauce, and yogurt and beat again until well combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Remember not to over mix the batter — we want moist muffins! Gently fold in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
  5. Evenly divide batter into muffin cups. The batter will probably reach the top of each muffin liner, but that’s okay — we’re making big muffins! Alternatively you can reduce the size and bake 15 muffins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Enjoy!-

Jumbo Veggie Pasta Shells

These pasta shells turned out sooo yummy and everyone asked for seconds. They are just jumbo shells filled with a homemade alfredo-like sauce, broccoli, red pepper and onions, topped with mozzarella, parmesan and green onions. Here is the closest I can come to a recipe:


  • 1 package jumbo shells
  • 2 broccoli crowns cut into florets
  • half a medium red pepper, chopped
  • half an onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups of milk (You can just use alfredo sauce instead of making one. We have a couple people with lactose intolerance so I usually make my own. If you use an already made sauce, skip the next two ingredients.)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 3 green onions chopped


  1. Cook the shells according to the package directions. Add the broccoli florets for the last 3-5 minutes, until desired tenderness is reached. Drain shells and broccoli and set aside.
  2. Saute the onions and red pepper in olive oil until tender. Add two cups of milk and bring to temp.
  3. Slowly bring mixture to a boil, add the flour, whisking constantly. May need more milk or flour to reach desired thickness. Add broccoli.
  4. Add salt to taste.
  5. Lay the shells out on a baking sheet. Fill will alfredo/veggie mix. Top with cheese and green onions. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Here are some flowers that I picked up at Hyams before Elle’s party. Hyams has the best hanging baskets. These geraniums are unbelievable . . .

I also planted my planter baskets. I have a hard time keeping up with watering these but they are off to a good start. 

Here is the before and after of my front pots. They have really taken off.

These are the shoes I posted about yesterday . . .

Fleet is going to be so excited. Tomatoes are a comin’

Fleet is a good little lizard catcher and it took him awhile but he finally caught this little crab. He’s not so sure what to do with it now!

Luke flexing his muscles while showing off his sand castle.

This little girl started digging a hole right where she was sitting and she dug out a crab! It was a little stone crab about the size of her hand and it pinched her!

Summer is one week away. I am so looking forward to it but it also means that my two days a week with just Elle are coming to an end. It sure has been special time with her.




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