Posts Tagged "quick"

Basic Stovetop Oatmeal

Posted on Jul 4, 2014 in Breakfast, Cooking, Featured, For kids

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAOK, I know this recipe is on the canister of most oats, but I’ve had so many people ask me how I make stovetop oatmeal or tell me it’s too hard or takes too long.  I like making this more than using the prepared packet oatmeal because you skip out on all of the “extras” like added sugar and things I can’t pronounce!  Plus, you can customize it to what sounds good each morning!  I usually go for sliced strawberries and blueberries with a sprinkle of toasted coconut!  I add my fruit the same time as the oats so they get cooked a little bit, you can just add fresh fruit at the end if you prefer.  Some topping ideas include: bananas, dried fruit, flaxseed, chocolate chips (added at the end of course), coconut (toasted or not), any berries, apples (you can soften them up in the microwave a bit first if you like), nuts, brown sugar, cocoa powder, spoonful of peanut butter, protein powder, etc.  What would you add to yours?


Basic Stovetop Oatmeal

(makes 1 serving)

1 cup of water or milk (almond milk should work too?)

1/2 cup of old fashioned oats

dash of salt (optional)

Optional: dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla

Toppings: berries, bananas, nuts, dried fruits, coconut, flax seed, brown sugar, etc!


Heat water and salt to a boil (if you’re using milk heat until just about to boil).  Stir in oats and fruit if you’d like it slightly cooked.  (I think bananas are best reserved until the end so they don’t get all mushy!)  Cook for about 3-4 minutes.  Let sit for 1 minute before serving.  Add any toppings you’d like!

Read More

Light Lemon Chicken

Posted on Jul 24, 2013 in Chicken, Cooking, Dinner, Featured


This is a great summer meal that cooks quickly and goes with most anything!  I love the freshness of the lemon and basil and the fact that its a light dinner choice!  Use leftovers on a salad for lunch!

Light Lemon Chicken

(serves 4)

Canola or olive oil spray

About 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast strips

2 teaspoons of olive oil

2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice (I like a little extra zing!)

2 teaspoons of dried basil

sea salt and pepper to taste


In a small bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, and dried basil.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and spray with canola or olive oil.

Cook chicken breast strips until cooked through and lightly browned on both sides.  When cooked, spoon sauce over chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes over low heat and serve immediately.


Source: Adapted from

Read More

Our Favorite Arm Workout

Posted on Jul 19, 2013 in Featured, Fitness

About a month ago Sarah told me she found a great arm workout that she was doing a few times a week so I asked her to send it to me.  I’ve been doing it about 4 days a week for the past month and I love it!  I can already see more definition in my arms and shoulders and feel stronger.  There are 7 moves and you do 15 repetitions of each.  The whole workout takes 10-15 minutes, depending on how slow you are and if you take any breaks in between.  I use 5 pounds weights, but you should use what best suits your current ability.  If you haven’t worked your arms for awhile you may want to do 3 pounds weights for the first week, and if you’ve been working out try 8 pounds.  I’ve been doing about 30 minutes of cardio each day and then alternating days with this arm workout and a leg workout.  I would definitely suggest doing cardio in addition to this workout, even if all you have time for is a brisk 15 minute walk.  Don’t forget to take pictures and measurements before you start so you can track your progress!  Have fun and let us know what you think!

(Source: This workout was taken from  See the link to the original article at the bottom of this page)


Arm Toner #1: V Plie Raise Targets: arms, shoulders, upper back and legs

Repetitions: 15



This move not only sculpts your shoulders, it also targets your upper back (to help you look killer in that strapless dress) too. The addition of the plie squat engages your lower body muscles, and more muscles worked at once mean more calories burned, all leading to faster fat loss.
Holding onto your weights, start standing with your feet positioned about three feet apart, with your knees and toes pointing out about 45 degrees. Extend your arms down in front of your thighs, palms facing in [as shown in photo A]. Lower into a plie position by bending your knees, pointing them out straight over your toes, as you raise both arms overhead into a wide ‘V’ position [as shown in photo B]. Slowly lower arms as you stand back up out of your plie, returning to start.

Arm Toner #2: Triceps Kickbacks Targets: Triceps, back

Repetitions: 15


Get rid of arm flab with this triceps-targeted move, and you’ll also work the muscles that line your spine in your back to help improve posture, all of which can lead to a slimmer appearance.
Start standing with your feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent, with a weight in each hand. Bend your elbows by your sides, pulling your arms to the outsides of your ribcage. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your spine straight, and bring your body forward at a 45-degree angle [as shown in photo A]. Extend your arms behind you, turning your palms up to the ceiling as you extend your elbows s [as shown in photo B]. Bend arms back in by sides and then repeat.

Arm Toner #3: Biceps Curl and Front Press Targets: biceps, shoulders

Repetitions: 15



This two-in-one toner hits the front of your arms and shoulders and develops the functional upper body strength you need to lift and carry heavy objects (like your child or heavy purse) around during your busy day.
Start standing with your feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent, arms by your sides with a weight in each hand. Bend your elbows and curl the weights in towards your body, turning your palms up as you lift [as shown in photo A]. Next, extend your arms out in front of your chest, turning your palms down as you reach [as shown in photo B]. Bend your arms back into your curl position, and then lower arms back down to your start position.

Arm Toner #4: 90-Degree Raise Targets: shoulders Repetitions: 15

Toned arms start with strong shoulders. This move helps strengthen the shoulder muscles from the inside out, building a strong foundation for your upper body strength.
With your weights in hand, arms by your sides, stand with feet hip width apart [as shown in photo A]. Raise your left arm up directly in front of your shoulder, and your right arm up to the side of your shoulder (your arms should be fully extended at about a 90-degree angle), palms facing down [as shown in photo B]. Lower both arms down by your sides, and then repeat, switching sides (lift the right arm in front, left arm to the side). Repeat 15 times in total, changing sides each time..


Arm Toner #5: Standing Shoulder Fly Targets: shoulders, chest, biceps Repetitions: 15

Work multiple muscles – including the ‘cleavage’ muscles in your chest – with this move.
Start standing with your feet hip width, knees slightly bent and weight in each hand. Bend elbows about 90 degrees, and raise both arms out to the sides (your arms should resemble a goal post in this position), brace your abs in tight [as shown in photo A]. Maintaining the 90-degree angle with your elbows, bring your arms together in front of your chest, without letting your elbows drop below shoulder level [as shown in photo B]. Open arms back out to sides and then repeat.


Arm Toner #6: Reverse Curl & Side Press Targets: biceps, forearms, shoulders Repetitions: 15

You’ll hit the biceps and shoulder with this move, and the position of your hands during this exercise also helps to develop the often-neglected (but important) muscles in your wrist and forearms.
Start seated with legs crossed, with a weight in each hand, spine straight. With your palms facing down, bend both elbows and curl weights in closer to your sides [as shown in photo A]. Next, extend both arms out to the sides at shoulder height, palms still facing down [as shown in photo B]. Return your arms to the curl position and then lower weights to the floor and return to start.


Arm Toner #7: Kneeling Plank Ups Targets: triceps, abs

Repetitions: 15



This exercise is an effective alternative to the sometimes wrist-straining tricep dips exercise — and you won’t need any extra weight to challenge your arms with this move.
Begin kneeling on all fours on the ground. Position your hands directly under your shoulders, and bring your knees together under your hips [as shown in photo A]. Next, bend both elbows and lower them to the floor, keeping your abs braced in tight and your back straight [as shown in photo B]. Press your body back up to your start position. Be careful not to rock your weight forward and back during the movement – lower your body straight and down and up for maximum triceps toning.


Read More

Baked Chicken Parmesan

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 in Chicken, Cooking, Dinner, Featured, For kids, Pasta

This is definitely one of my new favorite recipes!  It is so easy and quick to make but tastes and looks like you spent a lot of time on it.  This is the same recipe I use to make plain breaded chicken, so if you have picky eaters in your family you could leave off the sauce and cheese and make them a plain breaded chicken breast.  I put mine over linguine noodles with some extra marinara sauce, but if you’re trying to be healthier you could just eat the chicken breast with a plate of steamed veggies.  Make sure you follow the baking instructions, that’s what gives it the crisp breading!  Try it out this weekend!


Baked Chicken Parmesan

(serves 4)

4-5 thin sliced chicken breast (or you can buy breast and slice your own but this is much easier!)

3/4 cup of Italian breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Dash of salt

4 tablespoons of butter, melted

Jar of your favorite marinara

About a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and  lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  (I used olive oil spray)  In a medium bowl stir together bread crumbs, parmesan and salt until combined.  Set up an assembly line with chicken, melted butter, bread crumb mixture, and your baking sheet.  Dip chicken breasts in butter so both sides get a light coat, then dip in bread crumbs.  Make sure chicken gets a good coating of bread crumbs on both sides, then place on the baking sheet.  Continue with remaining chicken breasts.  Spray tops lightly with cooking spray and put in the oven for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes flip them over and cook for another 5 minutes, or until they are cooked through.  (it may take a little longer if yours are thicker, mine took exactly 20 minutes total) Use a large spoon to smooth some marinara sauce on each breast, then top with about a tablespoon of cheese.  Put back in the oven just until the cheese is melted, don’t leave them because it will melt quickly!  Serve immediately.


Source: Slightly adapted from


Read More

Quick and Easy Fried Rice

Posted on Feb 24, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, Featured

Was I the only one who was thinking fried rice was hard to make??  My husband and I would go out to eat and he would say how much he loved Japanese fried rice, but for some reason it never clicked for me to try to make it.  I always thought it must be tricky or time consuming and I never gave it a second thought.  Recently a friend shared her recipe for fried rice and I was surprised how simple it looked.  Well, I tried it last night, and my family loved it!  I made mine even more simple by using Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice, which cooks in the microwave in about 3 minutes and is delicious.  We had leftover pork chops from the night before, so I chopped those up and added them in as well. I also think it’d be fun to play with different kinds of veggies, but my family likes things more simple.  Try it out soon and add your own touch to it!

Quick and Easy Fried Rice

(Serves about 6)

4 cups of cooked rice (brown or white works just fine)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of butter

2 eggs

1/2 onion, diced

1 cup of frozen peas

1 cup of shredded carrot

2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

few dashes of pepper.

chopped chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp if desired

Cook your rice and set aside.  Heat olive oil and butter in a large wok, skillet, or griddle.  I did mine over medium high heat.  You want it to be hot enough so its sizzling, but not so hot that the oil is smoking.  Once hot, add your diced onion and cook until translucent.  Set aside.  Crack the 2 eggs into your pan and stir quickly as they cook.  (they will cook fast, so don’t leave them without stirring.)  Once they are cooked, add the onion, rice, peas, carrots and meat if you’re using it.  Stir and let it get heated through.  Add your teriyaki and soy sauce and cook a few more minutes.  Add pepper and adjust sauces to taste.  Serve immediately.


Read More