School Clothes Shopping

Every little boys wants to hear, “Time for school-clothes shopping!” Right? Well not my 9 year-old. As you can tell, he was thrilled to be trying on clothes this year. (Do kids nowadays ever put down their gaming devices?)
The difference about school clothes shopping this year is that Angel is going back to private school. Which means school uniforms. Yep, my husband and I are blessed to be able to re-enroll him in private Christian school. And what better timing than the 4th grade! I’m all for kids dressing to express themselves, but if school is anything like it was when I was growing up, kids only like other kids in designer clothes, and bullying is nothing to look forward too.
Another perk of private school-very hard to get bullied in a Christian based learning environment. Especially with the very small class sizes.
Look at that swag in the Old Navy fitting room! Just a few quick grabs of his size clothes, trying on one of each, then going back for more color combinations and we were done!

How do you cheer up a mopey-don’t-feel-like-trying-on-clothes attitude? You make some silly faces of course!

And by the end of our fitting room fun, we’ve tried on two pairs of pants, one pair of shorts and one shirt.
But we left with store with 2 pairs of shorts, 4 pairs of pants, and 7 polo shirts-all for only $98 including sales tax. How many times have you been able to shop for an entire back to school wardrobe for under $100? One of the many perks of private schools. All his wardrobe will need is a few more fresher choices in the Spring.
Now all we have left is one of his favorite Shawn White hoodies from Target and some fashionable name brand sneakers from our favorite Ross. I found some really cute Perry the Platypus Etnies from Ross for my son Jesse just two weeks ago for only $20!
A few school supplies and we are done.
Because no one likes the headaches of Back-To-School shopping right?
Where are your favorite places to shop for Back-To-School?

An Italian Cupcake-Easy Lasagna Cupcakes

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Not long ago I came across this website called Slender Kitchen, which was introduced to me by Chris Freytag in her Clean Eating eBook (Oh, is that me in the featured testimonial? blushing). One of the recipes in her book were these delicious little Lasagna Cupcakes.

I have to say, my family and myself instantly fell in love with these little beauties. These are made with simple little layers of wonton wrappers in place of noodles and any vegetable, meat (or no meat) and sauce variation you can come up with. The first time I made these, I made them with ground turkey, a light creamy white sauce, spinach and broccoli, and some Colby jack cheese. This batch is made with ground beef, marinara, zucchini, and a classic Italian cheese mixture. Either way you go, these are sure to have your kids and family begging for more.

Easy Lasagna Cupcakes
8 oz lean ground beef
1 zucchini, cut into thin slices
1 cup marinara sauce
olive oil cooking spray
2/3 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/3 cup fat free ricotta cheese
2 Tb parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 tsp Italian seasoning
24 wonton wrappers
12 cup muffin pan
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375F.
Spray a twelve cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine cheeses, egg and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
Brown lean ground beef in skillet over medium heat. Flash-cook the zucchini as well, for just two minutes.
Fold the marinara sauce into the ground beef.
Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray and lightly press a wonton wrapper into each cup. Add a tablespoon of meat mixture, top with one or two zucchini slices and a half tablespoon of cheese mixture. Top with another wonton wrapper, press lightly and repeat layers, finishing with cheese layer.
Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly.
Serves 4-6. Prep 15 min. Cook 35 min.

 

These should really be called vanishing lasagna cupcakes.

 

I mean, really, when can I make more of these? I really like the white sauce, turkey, broccoli and spinach combo. Hmm, a vegetarian spinach alfredo combo sounds pretty darn awesome here too! With a hint of feta cheese. Yep, the options are endless.

Easy Lasagna Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Number of servings: 6

Per Serving 319 calories

Fat 15 g

Carbs 25 g

Protein 21 g

6


Easy Lasagna Cupcakes

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 8 (4 PP per cupcake)

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz lean ground beef
  • 1 zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2/3 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tb parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 24 wonton wrappers

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Spray a twelve cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl combine cheeses, egg and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
  4. Brown lean ground beef in skillet over medium heat. Flash-cook the zucchini as well, for just two minutes.
  5. Fold the marinara sauce into the ground beef.
  6. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray and lightly press a wonton wrapper into each cup. Add a tablespoon of meat mixture, top with one or two zucchini slices and a half tablespoon of cheese mixture.
  7. Top with another wonton wrapper, press lightly and repeat layers, finishing with cheese layer.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly.

Notes

Optionally substitute ground turkey for the beef and white sauce for the marinara. Any vegetable substitutions work well, such as spinach and broccoli. Will alter nutrition information.

What flavor combinations will you choose? Feel free to share it here!
You may also enjoy Greek Chicken Meatballs

Pigs in a Donut Hole-Maple Oat Donut Holes with Piggies

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Maple donut holes have been rolling through my head since last weekend’s donut coma. I literally ate a donut every day of the weekend. No bueno. But oh so good! What is it about gluten filled sugary bread fried in oil that makes us swoon?

So I’ve been wanting to make a slightly healthier donut, but with a little protein gem hidden inside. After a batch of 24, I was able to enjoy 2 whole donut holes and 2 half eaten donut holes. Sounds like this one was a family hit right?
Pigs in a Maple Oat Donut Hole
Donut ingredients:
1 cup, plus 3 Tb flour
1/3 cup oat flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 Tb canola oil
2 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice
2 Tb maple syrup
8 oz package maple sausage links (I used Farmer John)
cooking spray
Icing ingredients:
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp water
1 tsp maple syrup
Powdered sugar for dusting
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F.
Brown sausage links in skillet over medium heat, evenly on all sides until done, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine dry donut ingredients in large bowl and whisk to combine. Add egg, yogurt, oil, vinegar and maple syrup. Mix until just combined.
Allow batter to rest a few minutes for a fluffier donut.
Drain sausages and cut each link into 3 pieces, yielding 24 sausage bites.
Spray 24 cup mini muffin tin or donut hole pan with cooking spray. Fill each cup 2/3 full of batter. Insert a sausage piece into each batter filled muffin cup, pressing lightly. Finish with a bit more batter to seal in the sausage.
Place in oven and bake 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Remove to wire rack.
Combine icing ingredients well and drizzle over donut holes.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Serves 6, four donut holes each. Prep 10 min. Total cook/bake time 20 min.
Now don’t you want to bite into that maple goodness? As my two year-old is watching me write this, he keeps telling me he wants more “of those ones”, but unfortunately, the family polished them all off. Looks like I’ll need to make a trip to the store for more sausages! I hope you enjoy these as much as we all did. And I’d consider these…semi-healthy. I mean, they are full of sugar 😉
Can you think of another fun stuffing for this donut?
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A Little Bite of Zucchini-Zucchini Lasagna Stacks

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I love zucchini. It’s so healthy and full of vitamins and fiber, delicious in bread, stews, soups, grilled and stir fried. Whether it’s a quick snack or a petite lunch, I’m always looking for something healthy and tasty to use it in. These quick zucchini stacks are no guilty pleasure. They are perfect for your next cocktail party or ladies brunch, or even a quiet romantic meal with the spouse served with a bottle of red wine. Healthy layers of scrumptious zucchini meets savory layers of cheeses and Italian herbs.

Zucchini Lasagna Bites
1 large, narrow zucchini, cut into thin slices
olive oil cooking spray
2/3 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/3 cup fat free ricotta cheese
2 Tb parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 tsp iitalian seasoning
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a large bowl combine cheeses, egg and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
Spray a 24 cup mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Place a zucchini slice in each muffin cup.
*If zucchini slices are too large for muffin cups, quick steam by placing in a bowl with about an inch of water on the bottom and cover with a paper towel. Microwave for about 3 minutes, until slightly tender. This will allow the zucchini to collapse into the muffin cup.
Place scant teaspoons of cheese mixture over zucchini slices. Repeat layers, finishing with a final zucchini slice.
Spray lightly over zucchini cups with cooking spray. Place in oven and bake about 8-12 minutes, until zucchini is tender and cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.
Carefully remove with small spoon and cool on platter. Serve immediately. May also be frozen for later use and reheated in microwave.
Servings 12 appetizer, 4 main dish with salad. Prep 10 min. Cook 12 min.
It’s almost difficult not to eat too many of these cheesy zucchini bites. I brought these to work for lunch and enjoyed them with a big green salad.

Zucchini Lasanga Stacks

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes

Number of servings: 12

Per Serving 62 calories

Fat 4 g

Carbs 2 g

Protein 5 g

12


Zucchini Lasanga Stacks

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 2

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini
  • 2/3 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tb parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp iitalian seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large bowl combine cheeses, egg and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
  3. Spray a 24 cup mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Place a zucchini slice in each muffin cup.
  4. Place scant teaspoons of cheese mixture over zucchini slices.
  5. Repeat layers, finishing with a final zucchini slice.
  6. Spray lightly over zucchini cups with cooking spray.
  7. Place in oven and bake about 8-12 minutes, until zucchini is tender and cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.
  8. Carefully remove with small spoon and cool on platter. Serve immediately.

Notes

*If zucchini slices are too large for muffin cups, quick steam by placing in a bowl with about an inch of water on the bottom and cover with a paper towel. Microwave for about 3 minutes, until slightly tender. This will allow the zucchini to collapse into the muffin cup. May also be frozen for later use and reheated in microwave.

What is your favorite veggie appetizer?

You may also enjoy Eggplant Lasagna

All Veggies, No Noodles-Eggplant Lasagna

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Lately I’ve been obsessed with eggplant. I’ve made it as a dip, stir fried over rice noodles, smeared it on a wrap, and layered it in this no noodle lasagna. It’s some kind of delicious. I also love any excuse to use my cute little ramekins. So here is this super simple, and super healthy Eggplant Lasagna.
Eggplant Lasagna
1 eggplant, cut into 16 thin slices
olive oil cooking spray
2/3 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/3 cup fat free ricotta cheese
2 Tb parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 375F.
Spray four individual ramekins or one 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine cheeses, egg and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
Spread two tablespoons marinara sauce on the bottom of each ramekin cup. Top with an eggplant slice.
Top each eggplant slice with two tablespoons cheese mixture and two more tablespoons sauce. Repeat layers, finishing with marinara layer.
Place ramekins on cookie sheet and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until eggplant is tender and cheese is bubbly.
Cool slightly, invert onto plate and serve. If using a baking pan, cut into four servings and serve.
Serves 4. Prep 10 min. Bake 25 min.
Such a perfect little individual lasagna, don’t you think? And perfect for those with gluten sensitivities, as there is none in this recipe.  These go great with a big Caesar salad!

Individual Eggplant Lasagna

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Number of servings: 4

Per Serving 253 calories

Fat 14 g

Carbs 17 g

Protein 17 g

4


Individual Eggplant Lasagna

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 7

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant
  • 2/3 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tb parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Spray four individual ramekins or one 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl combine cheeses, egg and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
  4. Spread two tablespoons marinara sauce on the bottom of each ramekin cup. Top with an eggplant slice.
  5. Top each eggplant slice with two tablespoons cheese mixture and two more tablespoons sauce. Repeat layers, finishing with marinara layer.
  6. Place ramekins on cookie sheet and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until eggplant is tender and cheese is bubbly.
  7. Cool slightly, invert onto plate and serve. If using a baking pan, cut into four servings and serve.

What would you put in your lasagna cupcake?
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