Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip

Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip 5
I have a thing for dips. Chips and dip are my nemesis, my inner fat kid’s favorite snack. Seriously, I would eat them everyday if I could. We were playing a game recently called Truth Be Told and each round you have to answer a question about the reader of the card. Then they are read aloud and everyone tries to guess what the reader said. So, you come up with an answer that is fitting to the reader since you get points if they guess your answer. Does that make sense? Anyway, one of the questions was “what’s one food you wish was healthy?” CHIPS. Chips are always the answer. Chips for life. Sweets I can take or leave most of the time but savory snacks get me every time.
Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip 1
So when I started thinking about something yummy to share with you all for the Super Bowl, my brain naturally went to a dip that I could dunk chips into. Sorry I was a little self-centered but I figured you guys wouldn’t argue. I’ve been really digging bleu cheese lately and was enjoying it in a Cobb salad with some bacon and roasted corn a few days ago and thought it would make an amazing sweet, smoky and tangy combination for a hot dip. With tortilla chips of course. I guess if you want to be healthy you could use celery, but it’s the Super Bowl, why would you want to do that?
Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip 3
This dip is mixed and cooked in a crock pot for easy prep and clean up. I love a set it and forget it kind of appetizer especially for football games since I usually have a lot of snack-y type things to prepare. This could even be mixed up the night before and refrigerated. Just add another half hour or so to the cooking time to ensure it warms through and the cheeses melt.
Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip 6
The super sweet corn and strong, stinky bleu cheese create a nice contrast. And bacon makes everything better. I may have eaten half the batch for lunch yesterday. Maybe. This would be perfect for snacking on while waiting hours for the pizza to be delivered on Super Bowl night. Not that we would know from experience.
Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip 2
Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip

3 1/3 cups frozen corn, thawed
8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, cubed
1/3 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled*
Salt and pepper to taste

Dump all ingredients into a crockpot and mix. Cook for 2 hours on low, stirring occasionally. Serve with tortillas chips or raw veggies for dipping.

*Before cooking, partially freeze bacon then slice very thinly. Cook in a skillet and it’s recipe ready.
Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip 7

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins {Gluten and Dairy Free and Clean}

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins {gluten and dairy free) 4
I am always leery of gluten free baked goods. Always. Anytime I try to convert something it just isn’t right. Other times I search for recipes that are already gluten free and there are about a zillion different flours needed for one recipe. Since we don’t eat primarily gluten free, I don’t want to invest in that many ingredients, especially considering how expensive they can be. I do keep a few gluten free flours on hand for when my in-laws are visiting and they include coconut flour, almond flour and buckwheat flour. So basically when I go on the search for a yummy gluten free treat, I try to find something that uses one of those options.
Peanut Butter Banana Muffins {gluten and dairy free) 5
As you all know, we have a deep love for muffins in our house. I think it’s probably evidenced by the 16, soon to be 17, recipes in my recipe index. They are easy, freeze well and there are so many options. The picky 4 year old will eat them too. That’s always a big bonus.
Peanut Butter Banana Muffins {gluten and dairy free) 2
And I have to tell you if I hadn’t made these I would have never guessed they were gluten free. I swear. They are by far the best gluten free baked good I’ve ever made. I kind of still can’t get over how good they were. Noah and I made these yesterday morning for breakfast with my in-laws and they all got eaten and we ended up making another batch last night to have throughout the week. I think that says it all. Oh, and I’m pretty positive they would be incredible with a handful of mini chocolate chips mixed in.
Peanut Butter Banana Muffins {gluten and dairy free) 3
Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
recipe adapted from Eat Good 4 Life

1 cup organic peanut butter
3 organic eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups or spray with non-stick spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, eggs, bananas and almond milk. Stir in the remaining ingredients until just combined.
2.  Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin (I use an ice cream scoop to ensure consistency). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins {gluten and dairy free) 1

Photo Friday – Let’s Get Real

I often feel like I have to be supermom all the time. Keep up with the dishes and laundry, keep the house clean, have dinner on the table by 5:30 all the while spending quality time with my kids. That last one gets me sometimes. Because sometimes that’s the one at the bottom of my list. I get caught up on clearing out that to-do list and then I’m stressed out because it’s never going to all get done then the day is done and I lay in bed with a pit in my stomach and guilt in my heart. Because I said I couldn’t play the game because dinner isn’t going to make itself. Because I yelled when he was making a mess instead of just joining in on the fun and worrying about the clean up later. And I’ve been cooped up in the house for 8 days with sick kids. Like literally can’t leave the house. I kind of felt like I was losing my mind. And it didn’t help that these photos are just a preview of what every square inch of my house looked like.
It’s been a rough week. Then yesterday I remembered I needed a photo to share today. So I was laying on the floor getting a picture of our mess when all of a sudden I have a monkey on my back. So I snap a selfie with him. Then a ton more because I’ve raised a cheeseball who loves to see pictures of himself.
And I feel like we’re finally having some fun. In that moment I also reminded myself that even a saint would go insane being quarantined in their house with two kids for 8 days and that I need to give myself a little grace. That is a constant struggle for me. I’m trying to let go of perfection and I’m realizing that sometimes I need to tell that to-do list to f off. I don’t need that stress in my life. Sometimes I’m the best mom in the world and other times I’m no fun at all but I’m Noah and Hannah’s mama for a reason and I’m doing the best I can.

Chicken Stock

It is so easy (and cheap) to make your own chicken stock at home. I don’t know why it took me so long to finally do it myself and share with you all.
Homemade Chicken Stock
This recipe is incredibly flexible and you can throw in whatever produce/herbs you have in your crispier. After Thanksgiving I used the leftover turkey carcass to make a big ‘ole batch of turkey stock. The general rule is to make sure your chicken bones and veggies are completely covered with water when you start. The amount yielded is approximate as you may add more or less water and depending on how long you cook it but I generally get about 6 cups. The longer you simmer, the more concentrated your stock will be. If you roast a chicken but won’t have time in the next day or so to make homemade stock, throw the bones in a freezer safe bag and freeze until you have a few hours to make stock.

I love to make big batches to freeze for future use. Once cooled, I portion it out in these freezer safe containers then label them with some washi tape. I include the date made and amount so I can thaw just what I need for a recipe. Try this and you will never again buy this pantry staple again.

Chicken Stock

1 chicken carcass (from a roasted chicken)
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. peppercorns
Fresh herbs
16 cups water (or more to cover chicken)

Put all ingredients into a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a heavy simmer and cook for about 2 hours. Strain all the veggies and herbs out of the stock then cool and store in refrigerator for use in recipes or freeze for future use. Yields 6 cups.

Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes

Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes 4
I have another recipe from The Skinnytaste Cookbook to share today. When I get a new cookbook, I flag the must try recipes with little sticky notes and this was one that jumped out at me. So we tried it right away naturally.
Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes 5
We really enjoy pancakes on a lazy Saturday morning but I’ve found that it’s really hard to make a yummy tasting pancake that’s healthy too. We’ve had some serious fails but I don’t have to look any further now.
Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes 3
I just love the flavor and texture that the cornmeal lends to the pancakes. The ingredients are approachable and you most likely have them all in your house already yet they combine to create a such a fancy and unique pancake. My whole philosophy behind this blog is just what these pancakes prove. You can take normal, affordable ingredients and turn them into something special. Love it!
Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes 2
And just think about the other mix ins that would be tasty in these. Swap out the blueberries for chocolate chips and a sprinkle of cinnamon or diced strawberries. These pancakes are definitely a new breakfast favorite. So much so that I’m doubling the recipe next time and freezing half for easy, healthy breakfasts on school days. Can’t beat that.
Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes 6
Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes
recipe from The Skinnytaste Cookbook

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup fine ground cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. low-fat buttermilk
3 large egg whites
2 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
Cooking spray
Maple syrup, for serving

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

2. In another bowl, mix the banana, buttermilk, egg whites, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the dry mixture to the banana mixture and stir until just moist. Be sure not to overmix as to keep them light and fluffy. Gently fold in the blueberries.

4. Heat a large griddle over medium-low heat. When hot, lightly spray with oil.

5. Scoop out 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake and cook until it starts to set and is golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook again until golden brown, another 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with maple syrup.

Photo Friday

This week’s photo is from Noah’s winter program on Sunday. He kind of stole the show (that’s what the preschool director said, it’s not just because I’m his mom). He sang with such boisterous joy, it was hilarious. And the hand motions…amazing. This is mid “The Itsy Bitsy Snowflake.” I so love this kid!

Sorry I didn’t share any recipes this week. Turns out we have whooping cough (did you know you can still get it even when vaccinated? I didn’t). So we have been quarantined to our house since Wednesday and can’t leave until Monday. Yep, that’s been fun and it’s only the start of day 3. My kids haven’t been napping either so by the time we get them to bed at night, I’m ready to crash too so I haven’t had time to blog. With Joel home this weekend, I’ll get a jump start on next week. I promise. It’s only the third week of January, so much for resolutions, eh?
Noah's Program

Photo Friday

Remember my cookbook problem I told you about Monday? Here’s a little peek at a small part of it. I started filling my new Ikea cart with them and absolutely love it in my dining room. I spied the cart years ago but passed it up. I pretty much immediately regretted that decision. Well, a new Ikea opened in Kansas City and my parents surprised me with it for Christmas. The perfect solution for my “collection.”