Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Eggs a Go-Go

Here is another fabulous recipe out of the Mayo Clinic Kids' Cookbook.
Easy and delicious - the best kind of recipe.
 I don't really like the name of it, because I don't get it...but that's the title in the book and the kids think it's cool...which I suppose is the point seeing as how it is a cookbook for kids. Ok, so I guess now I get it.

Because it has lots of eggs and green veggies in it, I feel like this can be served as breakfast or a breakfast-for-dinner meal...which is what I did. I figure it's still fun for the kids to eat breakfast food for dinner and I don't feel guilty feeding them sugary syrup before bed. I don't know about your kids, but mine do not need the extra energy at the end of the day....they have plenty of their own. 

This recipe is also a great way to sneak some veggies in their diet. It has spinach (which is almost tasteless in this), green peppers, and onion. I couldn't believe it when my 3-year-old stabbed a piece of onion with her fork and asked "what's this?". I told her it was onion, she ate it and said "I like onion!". I almost fell off my chair. Even I don't like plain onions. 

The point being, even if they say they don't like something, if you can sneak it in and get them to try it again and again, they may find one day that they do like it. Hey, I figure it's worth a try!

It's ridiculous how easy this is.
All you need is 6 ingredients - eggs, spinach, green pepper, onion, milk, mozzarella.

Throw defrosted and drained spinach in a bowl with chopped green pepper and onion.

Add your eggs, milk, and shredded mozzarella to the bowl and whisk all ingredients together.

Line a muffin pan with foil muffin cups and coat with cooking spray. 
Pour 1/4 cup egg mixture into each cup.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. 
Insert a knife in the middle of several cups - if it comes out clean then they are done. If not, cook for another 3 minutes and check again.

Oh yeah...that looks GOOD.

Serve with some fruit, toast, juice...whatever breakfast-y foods your family likes! 

I did make a couple changes to the original recipe. The original called for egg substitute....I'm sorry, but yuck. I like real eggs. 
It also called for 16 oz of frozen spinach. I don't know about you, but getting my kids to each veggies is not always the easiest thing. I felt like 16 oz was A LOT of spinach, so I just used one box of Green Giant frozen spinach, which was 9 oz, and that was plenty. 
Lastly, I added milk. I grew up with my mom putting milk in our eggs which makes them fluffier. So I decided to throw some milk in there.

This went over so well with my girls, they both had the leftovers for breakfast the next morning.
Cooking Win!

Eggs a Go-Go
  • 9 oz package of frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell sweet peppers or finely chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups eggs - I used 9 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with foil muffin cups and coat each cup with cooking spray.

Microwave spinach on high for about 2 minutes. Squeeze out excess water.

Put spinach, green pepper, and onion in a large bowl.

Add eggs, milk, and shredded cheese. Whisk ingredients until combined.

Pour 1/4 cup of egg mixture into each muffin cup. If there is leftover mixture, pour it evenly into each cup so they all have the same amount.

Bake for 20 minutes. Insert knife into the middle of several muffins - if nothing sticks and it comes out clean, they are done. If not, bake for another 3 minutes and try again.

Serve when fully cooked.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DIY Advent Calendar

This Christmas I'm striving for a little more than usual. 

We currently have our house up for sale and so due to that and the need to acquire a new house when we sell ours, we are keeping Christmas on a smaller budget this year. 

Aside from the smaller budget, I was feeling the desire to get back to basics - the basics of Christmas. Forget the stuff, the deals, the decorations, the food, the stress, the money, the traveling, the craziness....and remember what this holiday is really about - the birth of Jesus Christ. 

We always celebrated Advent when I was young. We had a spiral book that had bible verses and stories in it for each night of advent, and then we would light a candle each week like some churches do. I remember enjoying those nights very much. Sitting around the dining room table, reading about the birth of Jesus and drinking hot chocolate.

In all honesty, I have been a bit of a slacker at Christmas time. We don't get the kids super excited about Santa, we don't do the Elf on a Shelf thing, and I always would remind the kids that we were really celebrating Jesus, but that's kind of where it ended. I went through the motions; focusing on decorating the house, coming up with the perfect gift for each person, and coordinating our schedule so we would see all the family. Of course, Jesus was a part of our holiday every year, but I was failing at making Him the center of it. 

So this is the year for a change. 

Through some very hard trials, I come to the end of this year searching for more, needing more, of Him. And realizing that my children need Him as well. It's not enough to just go to church on Sunday and expect the pastor and Sunday School teachers to teach my kids about God. 
It starts and ends at home.

The buck stops here my friends. 

And so this year I decided to get the Advent tradition going again. I found a list of Bible verses on Pinterest to read leading up to Christmas and thought it would be perfect. The kids were excited about reading the verses, but I wanted them to have the fun of the anticipation of what's coming tomorrow. So I came up with this DIY Advent Calendar.

It took some time to make, but it was pretty simple!

I used foam poster board, Christmas scrapbook paper, red cardstock, double sided tape, stickers, a ruler, and a pencil.

Thanks to Hobby Lobby's 40% off coupon and their continuous sales, the whole thing cost about $15!

I measured the poster board and divided it into 5 rows and 5 columns. And then I measured out a square that would fit in each section. My paper squares measured 3"x4".

 I didn't want to draw any lines on the front of my board so I just eyeballed it when I taped them down. I'm not too much of a perfectionist and I just really wanted to get it done, so I did my best.

I cut slivers of the tape and taped three sides, leaving the top of the square un-taped so I could slip paper inside later. 

For the numbers, I got really lucky! I was planning on buying number stickers to number each day but I found a piece of scrapbook paper that had all the numbers written in really neat ways, so I cut out each number and taped those onto each square. They gave it a completely different look!

Once all the squares and numbers were taped down, I cut up red cardstock paper and wrote a verse on each one. Then I decorated the slips with some fun stickers just to give it a little more surprise for the kids. 

Some of the stickers are Nativity stickers and I put those sporadically throughout all the days....leading up to the 25th when Jesus is born.

To hang it....well...I poked a hole in the back of the foam and hung it on a nail. What can I say? I'm not fancy.

I'm so excited about the calendar. It turned out really cute and fun, and it will be reusable for the years to come. 

But most of all, I'm really excited about doing Advent with my girls. We have done three nights so far and I am already seeing the benefits of doing this. All three nights, 30 minutes before bed, we have sat down together and read the verses for that day. After reading the passage, we go back and look at each verse and I make sure they understand what it means. There has been no TV on before bed like usual, and they haven't missed it so far. (Yay!) Reading these verses together has opened the door to questions that my daughter has never asked before and history she hasn't learned about yet. 

It is only the 4th of December, so it's not too late! If you don't want to make a board, at least let me encourage you to read these verses with your family each night this month.You will be amazed at the things you will learn while trying to teach your children. I promise you won't regret it.

What are some other ways that you have come up with to keep Christ in Christmas?? Please share!