Avocado & Egg Toast

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Okay Friends,

I’m here with another Step Momma Meals. This one is super easy, but it has changed my life.

We use fresh farm eggs in our house, so sometimes they are itty bitty. So I use two eggs when making my avocado and eggs.IMG_8715

And I use one half of a ripened avocado.IMG_8717IMG_8719

First things first. Cook your eggs. I like mine to be fried- though i should admit that my first fried egg was only about one month ago.IMG_8720

While your egg is frying, put your whole wheat slice of toast in the toaster for about 2 minutes. I like mine crispier because the eggs and avocado are so mushy. Then take one half of your avocado (the pit-less one). With a fork, mash it up inside of the avocado. IMG_8724

When your toast is done, skip the butter! Put your mashed avocado directly on your toast like so.IMG_8726IMG_8728

Top with your fried egg and hope it doesn’t look like a scrambled egg like mine 🙂IMG_8729IMG_8730

Eat with a fork. It’s delicious, nutritious and very simple to make!

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Tip:

Take your leftover half of avocado and drizzle OLIVE OIL on the bright green center. Cover it completely. Wrap tight with either plastic wrap or a plastic bag that is free of air. It should keep your avocado for up to 72 hours once placed back in the fridge.

This simple meal makes for an easy breakfast. I usually will be blending my morning protein shake while making this and by the time the toast pops, i have a shake in hand and am ready to take the day head on. It’s so incredibly filling and leaves you feeling GOOD instead of wanting more or greasy, like a granola bar or hash brown may do to you.

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Reblog:

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“While I don’t mind when you assume I am their mom, my stepkids do. They have a mother. I get to be their bonus mom. It’s hurtful to have to explain that I am their stepmom, or worse, to hear them quickly correct you, by saying, “She’s not our mother.”

This is my least favorite one. It happened last night at the little restaurant our family likes. “You all ordered a lot and I bet Mom here will help make sure you finish it here.” not noticing the fat joke she made, we nodded and carried on.
Then 9 steps in and says, “Step…….mom.”
Can we seriously not get through one public encounter without having to explain the dynamic of our family to perfect strangers?
I am the mother at the table. I may not be your biological mother, but I am the one who is doing the mothering at this given time. I am mothering these kids when they cry, when they spin in circles on their spinny chairs and have nothing else to do, when I pick up their dirty laundry, when we play video games on our phones, when I drive them to and from the bus stop. I am mothering, even though I am not their mother.

Does this perfect stranger need to know that our family is confusing and is a mess? No. Can’t we just sweep the extra “Step” words under the rug for just this meal? Why is it so much?
What will our meals look like when we take new kids to dinner with the older kids and the waitress says “Mom, what’re you having?” Will 9 say, “She’s not our mom. She’s their mom but not ours. She’s our step mom,” ?

This article is so good.

https://www.romper.com/p/10-ways-you-dont-realize-youre-shaming-stepmoms-48569

Courtesy of Steph Montgomery

10 Ways You Don’t Realize You’re Shaming Stepmoms

By 2 days ago

Once upon a time, an evil stepmother spent her days thinking of ways to make her stepkids miserable. Oh wait, that’s not right. She actually spent her days thinking of ways to bond with them, engage with them, and not step on anyone’s toes. Being a stepmom is seriously hard. Sometimes harder than being a mom, and society has some serious preconceived notions about what I’m like, only because I married a man with kids. There are so many ways you don’t realize you’re shaming stepmoms and, honestly, it hurts.

My husband and I have worked hard to build a family with each other and his, my, and our children. Being a stepmom is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, and it has taken a lot of patience, creativity, and occasionally locking myself in the bathroom to cry, to get through the hard days. To be perfectly honest, you don’t instantly fall in love with your stepkids and they don’t instantly fall in love with you. To make matters worse, stepmoms are rarely the heroes in fairy tales, often finding themselves the object of other characters’ hatred and fear.

In the end, I am often the scapegoat and whatever is going on, it’s all my fault. Seriously, the list of things that are my fault goes on forever. Psychologists theorize that we blame and stigmatize stepmothers in our culture as a way to  deflect bad feelings away from our mothers. However, it’s 2017, and so many parents divorce and remarry and have to find ways to blend their families. It’s time to give stepmoms a break and stop shaming them, because it’s already hard enough. Trust me.

When You Make Comments About Our Family Size

Our blended family has five kids, ages newborn to tween. I don’t go a day without someone commenting about our family size, from sarcastic comments about me not knowing “how those things are made,” to questioning how many times I’ve been pregnant given that my “body doesn’t look like I’ve had five kids.” I know it’s supposed to be a compliment, but it’s gross. Please don’t.

When You Forget We’re Stepmoms

While I don’t mind when you assume I am their mom, my stepkids do. They have a mother. I get to be their bonus mom. It’s hurtful to have to explain that I am their stepmom, or worse, to hear them quickly correct you, by saying, “She’s not our mother.”

When You Ask Which Ones Are Our “Real” Kids

None of them. I’m pretty sure they are all robots, specially designed to wake up early on Saturday mornings, make annoying sounds, and interrupt their parents having sex. Seriously, though, love doesn’t require biology.

When You Assume We Hate Our Stepkids’ Mother

Like it or not, I am always going to have their mother in my life. It’s seriously hard to have to plan your life around another person’s schedule and disagree with their parenting choices. However, for the most part, things work better when we get along, so I try really hard to do so for our kids’ sake.

When You Make Jokes About Evil Stepmothers

Disney has seriously given stepmoms a bad reputation. It’s not funny, and it’s so not true. I love my stepkids, and I try really hard to treat my stepkids and my bio kids the same. Of course, that makes them think I am “evil” when I do things like enforce bedtime and make them clean up after themselves.

When You Assume We All Have The Same Last Name

This one is subtle. My husband and I don’t have the same last name, and neither do our children. So, things get complicated at school, work, and the doctor’s office, and we regularly have to explain how our family works to strangers. Awkward.

When You Don’t Include Them When Asking About Our Kids

Our family is one team. When you ask me how my biological kids are doing, but forget to ask about, or worse, deliberately exclude my stepkids, you send a subtle message that you don’t approve of my family, or don’t consider them to be important enough to mention. That’s not OK.

When You Don’t Include Us When Talking About Our Stepkids’ Family

It’s totally awkward to be at a parent-teacher meeting, school concert, or family event, and get treated like the elephant in the room. You can include me. It’s OK. I wouldn’t show up if I wasn’t a part of their lives, and while I’m not their mother, I do matter.

When You Assume We Hate Being Stepmoms

It definitely has its difficult moments, but being a stepmom is one of the best (and the hardest) things I’ve ever done, and there have been so many wonderful moments I will never forget. I still remember the first time each of them hugged me. Moments like running a race with my stepdaughter, watching her hold her baby brother for the first time, hearing my stepson excitedly describe his newest Pokémon card, and watching him play in the yard with his sisters and brother, make it all worth it.

When You Assume Our Stepkids Hate Us

Over the past couple of years, we’ve had our share of ups and downs, and definitely some eye rolls and tantrums, but please don’t assume you know anything about how our relationship works. I love my stepkids, and I hope that someday they’ll love me. However, and always, I’m not trying to be their mom.

A little known secret about blended families: stepkids get to have more than two parents to help them navigate the world. While I am sometimes still the scapegoat, and occasionally still hear, “You’re not my mom,” I’m learning to be a major source of good in their lives, too, even if that means  being “evil” and making them do their homework. If that makes me an evil stepmother, I totally want a crown.

Honey Balsamic Chicken

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Ok y’all, I found a new favorite chicken and I can’t wait to share it with you.

You have to forgive me, as I am still nervous to use my camera in the kitchen and get laughed at. so i sneak phone pics 🙂

So today on TheStepMomma Meals we are going to bake honey balsamic chicken. It’s so good. So easy. The kids liked it and so did my Prince, so I’m considering it a crowd favorite and never letting it go.

Here’s your ingredients! (Serves 4):

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1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 pound brussels sprouts, cut in half, lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil (we use extra virgin)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
S&P to taste
1 cup balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

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I’m serious, you’re going to love this. It’s sweet and tangy and even better- HEALTHY.

Before we get too far, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 20170308_17401920170308_174135

Arrange your chicken and brussels sprouts on 1 sheet pan. Sometimes the seasonings stick better if you toss your food items in oil first (be careful not to mix raw chicken with other foods though! I do chicken last- always.) Season chicken & brussels with italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sprouts are tender.

While this is happening, you can prepare your glaze!

Add balsamic vinegar to a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 6-8 minutes, you should notice the sauce will reduce to about half the original volume.

Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl to allow to cool and stir in honey, garlic powder and salt.

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After the sprouts and chicken have baked for about 15-20 minutes, switch to broil for about 5 minutes, but pay attention to the sprouts so they don’t burn! (easier said than done). Remove pan from oven and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Or if you’re like me CAKE THAT GLAZE ON. I drench my chicken in whatever glazes or dressings I find.

Use your meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is at 160 degrees F and ready to eat, garnish your chicken with cracked pepper and thyme.

Eat!

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I must say, no one liked the “Baked” brussels at our dinner. If I made this again, my family has requested that the sprouts be steamed and then drizzled. I LOVED them, but 3 out of 4 voted otherwise. My perfect husband took one bite of this chicken and his eyes got huge. He lit up. He loved it. He saved the leftover glaze for us to use later.

Voila!

Honey Garlic Baked Chicken

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Ok guys. It happened again. and this time, it was really tasty. Like, I openly, blatantly took photos of this entire meal because it looked THAT good. I sent pictures to my dad and posted them on my Instagram before I told anyone our food was ready and I am darn proud of this meal. One- because I changed the recipe up and it didn’t ruin the meal. Two- because it was delicious on all accounts. Also it was super simple.

Going into this, you should know that I hate skin on chicken. I only eat boneless, skinless chicken. So this recipe was perfect.

What you will need:

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For the chicken/glaze:
2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken
1-2 tablespoons Garlic (I used minced, you could do 2-3 cloves).
2 tablespoons olive oil- we use extra virgin but you don’t have to.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
S&P as you wish
2 tablespoons parsley (for garnishing, optional.)

For the green beans/veggies/sides:
12 oz of your fav. green vegetable (I used green beans because I am quite possibly obsessed with them.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
S&P
Parsley

You can serve this meal on one pan!

So here it is. It’s so simple mamas:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

To give your chicken a nice color, do this little trick. Get oil hot in a pan, add chicken, let it sear one side for about 3 minutes. It should be an even golden color when it is ready.20170224_17174420170224_17203620170224_172042

Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. You could cover your sheet with foil and grease that for easy clean up, too!

In a small bowl, put all of your chicken/glaze ingredients together (excluding chicken). Add S&P to taste and put this aside.
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Put your chicken on the baking sheet and use a spoon to cover it with the glaze you have just made. Do not contaminate the remaining glaze with raw chicken- use a separate utensil to remove from bowl than you will to spread it on your chicken. Raw chicken is dangerous!
How much you cover it is really up to you. I practically caked mine on there, making sure it was in every nook and cranny. Results were delicious.

Put chicken in oven and roast for 20 minutes.

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I’m a neat freak, so I use bake time as a way to clean up the mess I’ve begun to make. Spices go back in the cabinet, counter gets wiped down for step 2, Dirty dishes get rinsed and put in the sink. Clear surface- clear mind in my world.

When your workspace is tidy and you are ready to proceed, grab your veggies! Chop off the tails/vines. Cover them with the chicken glaze (and a clean spoon). Be generous. I used every drop of glaze I could. It spread well, it was thick, it is so delicious, i can’t wait to eat it again.

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When your timer goes off for the chicken, add your green beans to the same baking tray. Bake for about 15 minutes.

You will have a sloppy mess of a glaze dripping all over your pan. Use this. Dip your chicken in it, pour it on your veggies. Do not let this go to waste. It is so good.

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We had ONE piece of chicken left over after everyone had seconds. I never have received as many compliments on a dish as i did this one. You will LOVE it.

Bon Apetit!

Recipe Adopted From

Forgive me for crappy photos, all i had was my terrible phone.

 

Finding the Middle Ground

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Okay steps. How do you do it? How do you balance the excitement and joy that comes when you realize that the kids are finally taking to you in new ways? How do you not let that exude out of every part of your body and scream it off rooftops?

The littles sit closer, sometimes on top of my head. They pull me down the hallway by my hand and don’t flinch when they realize they are touching me. They compliment things that I do.

Here’s the best one: 17 invited me to an event with her next week. Just me.
She goes with her boyfriend’s mom and some of their family. And she wants me to join. So OF COURSE I’M GOING.

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So on Monday night, I’m going to be a Cardio Drummer. I guess. Whatever. I’m going to be hanging out with my SD.

She’s recently committed Tuesday nights to us. We get to see her, her boyfriend and gbaby every Tuesday. Just us. Just them. And she will also come each Friday night that the other kids are here, to ensure that they can see their nephew. My heart is so full. I am so incredibly happy that they want to spend time with us. me.

Y’all, I thought it was going to be crazy being a 26 year old grandma, but its not. its so perfect and i love every second of it.

So now I’m trying to balance how to respond- over eagerly? non-chelantly? or do i just tell her, TAKE MY MONEY, I’M COMING!?!

 

let’s be honest, i asked her how much, when and where and what it would take for me to get there. I am so happy.

Italian Chicken, bread dip, hand pies, mmm.

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So last night was clearly a sappy holiday, so i felt like trying to be a #goodwife and attempting to cook a meal for my dear husband. I also knew i was alone in the house for 2 hours, so i could photograph every step of the way.

I am 100% not a cook. I need step-by-step-by-step instructions. Your “Dash of Basil” does me no good. I need precise measurements. I like baking for that reason. So here we go: This is the part where I teach you how to cook Italian Chicken with bread sauce and hand pies.

First, thaw chicken. We used about 1 pound of meat and probably could have used half of it and had plenty. Prince Charming left this out for me in the morning so I could come home and be ready to go.

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Italian Seasoning consists of:

Parsley- 3 tablespoons
Basil- 3 tablespoons
Garlic powder- 1 tsp
Rosemary-1 tsp
Onion Powder- 1 tsp
Oregano- 2.5 tsp
Thyme-1 tsp
Red pepper- .5 tsp
Black pepper- .25tsp

Or if you did like me and sifted through the entire cabinet only to find there is no thyme or rosemary, you can use pre-made italian seasoning, which i also didn’t know we had.img_0100 img_0102

For best results, lay chicken flat on surface and cover evenly with italian seasoning, salt & pepper, and garlic powder. Flip over and do the same to the other side. For even better results, do this in a bowl with the other items you will be eating, so they all get the same, even flavor.

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This is where I went wrong.
Learning Point #1. Do not put veggies in at the same time as the raw meat. Raw meat will take much longer to cook than veggies, but hyperactive brain does not compute that.
I sprinkled some onion & garlic powder on the asparagus we ate, after cutting off the woody side.. which is the stalk side, so I learned. You can take about 3 inches off. I picked up each piece and just bent it til it snapped- it naturally breaks where it needs to usually. img_0107img_0109img_0110img_0112img_0111

A regular cooking time for this would be 4 hours on low in your crockpot, but we didn’t have all night- so I cranked it up to high and cooked it for about 2.5 hours. Only after realizing that it was on warm for 45 minutes, i think it would naturally only take 2 hours on high to cook properly.

Hand pies:

Cheat. Use the pre-made, store-bought pie crusts. It’s so simple. I bought them on my lunch for $2.99 and let them sit in my car to thaw out until I got home. It’s okay if they don’t fall out of the pan perfectly, you’re going to use a rolling pin on them to flatten them anyway 🙂

Don’t forget to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

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because it was Valentines Day, of course my hand pies were heart shaped. I used a heart cookie cutter that was about 3.5 inches wide. My two pie crusts made 4 hand pies and 4 leftover crust pieces that i brought to my coworker who loves pie crust, but not pie. I hate it all, so this works for me.img_0119

Just like cookies, rip the excess crust away from the cutter and roll back into a ball, then re-roll it and flatten to use again.img_0115

You’re supposed to use JAM for this but we only had jelly. i dont see the difference and PC didn’t mind. Take 1 generous scoop of jelly and put in the center of your heart. spread evenly, but dont get toooo close to the edge or you’ll have a sloppy jelly mess. But i guess that isn’t really a bad thing.

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The fun part: take a second heart and place on top of the jelly covered heart. line them up and press to seal it shut around edges with fingers. (I usually skipped that step). Then grab a fork and add some detail to the edge. This really seals the jelly into place and also adds a fun and cute detail to the edges that makes it look like you spent a LOT of time on…… when really it takes about 1 minute per heart (if that).img_0121img_0123img_0125img_0126img_0127img_0128

To make your hand pies golden brown, do this simple trick.

Use 1 egg Learning point 2: 2 eggs is too many for this small amount of pies, even if they’re the tiny farm eggs. just. use. one.

Use 1 egg and add a tiny bit of water to it. Whisk until it is an even yellow and even consistency. Take this egg mix and cover your pies with it. I used a wadded up paper towel, you can use your hands, you can use a brush, whatever you need- just be sure to cover the entire surface so it is evenly brown.img_0129img_0131

The final touch: Icing.

This is so simple guys. Use about 3 tablespoons of milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 to 1 cup of powdered sugar (depending on how much icing you like). Stir them together. They start to thicken and form an easy icing. It tastes SO GOOD. I had to try it, but can’t have any milk-based items, so i only got a little bit.img_0132img_0133img_0134img_0135img_0136img_0137

Pop these bad boys into the oven for 20-30 minutes and voila.

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I attempted to make a bread oil, but we aren’t sure about it yet.
Take about 6 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 cup of extra virgin oil
3 tablespoons of basil
2-3 tablespoons of oregano
Parmesan cheese to top it.
Stir- yummy bread oil at your fingertips

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Add some candy hearts as a pretty centerpiece. Complete with your husband’s favorite chocolate. img_0139img_0140

Decorate with the giant bouquet of flowers he got you.img_0141img_0142

EAT.

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(PC was home, I had to sneak final pics with my phone so he didnt think I was weird)

 

and, ok y’all. these are original images and i had a lot of fun taking them. you can use them, but please just give credit where it is due. these are images of my real life home and my real life messy kitchen and the flowers are the ones my husband chose just for me. these things mean something to me, so just take a second and don’t just steal my things 😀

Recipe Roundup: January

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Alright Step Monsters, I need your help:

For this edition of “Recipe Roundup” I am requesting your favorite slow-cooker meals!

Prince Charming has just requested that I become the family chef during this upcoming semester, as he has too many credits and not enough time.
I laughed, because cooking is a disaster when I’m in charge. He told me he’d even bake the chicken we’ll eat tonight if I’ll steam the veggies. if I what? huh? i don’t know how to do anything cooking related. So we’ll see how this goes.

My hope of crockpot meals is that I’ll be able to have everything ready when we come home and take less time away from the other household chores and of course, time away from the kiddos.

Please remember that I am lactose intolerant, so no milk products in the meals (unless it can be substituted by dairy free milk..).

You guys, I already have crippling anxiety over what to make all weekend and hump day isn’t even over yet. I might die of fear of the kitchen, so if you don’t hear from me- send my dear husband a sympathy card.

 

Thank you all for your help!

thestepmomma