Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Scones

Perfect fall treat with your coffee this morning, your next brunch or tea party. Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Scones! So easy, and made with minimal ingredients.

blueberry lemon scones, breakfast, lemon, blueberry, tea, My son has been busy in the kitchen lately trying out his cooking and baking skills. And I love it. It’s such a great way to bond with your child. He helps measure the ingredients, read the instructions and is learning about safety and cooking utensils. In addition,  he gets to do the sampling of his creation!

We often frequent the library every week and he recently  got a child’s baking book. The first thing we made were homemade cupcakes. It was actually the first time I ever made them from scratch and it was ridiculously simple. The recipe did not take much more than what I already had in the house. I like feeding him organic and natural food when possible ,so this was a pleasant surprise.

This week it was scones! He wanted to make them extra special and add fruit and a glaze. You could substitute the fruit for chocolate chips, raisins, dried fruit or nuts. Whatever you prefer. He chose lemon glaze to drizzle over them which happens to be one of my favorite dessert flavors. Like the cupcakes, this also had just a few ingredients in the recipe. Simple and homemade.

Blueberry Lemon Scones

blueberry lemon scones, breakfast, tea, scones, muffins

*4 Tablespoons softened butter
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*1& 1/2 cup self rising flour
*1 cup powdered sugar
*1 tbsp water
*1 lemon squeezed
*pinch of salt
*1/4 cup blueberries ( frozen is fine) drained and dry

Cut up softened butter into cubes. With your hands, mix in flour and butter. Consistency should be a crumbly dough. Add sugar and pinch of salt. Stir in blueberries until incorporated. Lay dough out on a flat surface. Using a round cookie cutter, cut scones into rounds and place on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove and cool. Mix powered sugar, water and 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix until thick glaze forms. You may have to put in more sugar in it if it’s too watery. Drizzle scones with glaze. Allow to dry and then dig in!

 

 

 

 

Making Room for More

Have you ever seen that part in National Lampoons Vacation when after traveling for days in a car with multiple hysterical issues and problems they finally get to Wally World amusement park only to find out the park is closed for renovation?

That is how I have felt with my blog the past few weeks. I feel like I have done so much to gain traction and now have come to a slow halt. From no fault other than my own purposeful doing. And yes, I feel like I owe all of you more than this.

However, I feel you have to put somethings aside to make room for more in your life. Many people struggle with this. If this is you, you might be burning the candle at both ends. You might be super unproductive and extremely tired.

Sometimes people put their family or loved ones aside to pursue an exotic trip for 3 months. Maybe you have given up the gym for awhile  so you can spend more time with family after work. Do you know someone who had to move in order to pursue their dreams or career?

I recently started a new career path with the company I work for. I completely stepped away from the department I was overseeing, the staff I was supervising and my office. Yes, I am a road warrior now! I had just finished a college course and decided I had to put aside the attention I gave to my blog in order to make room for this new career and having the time to saturate myself in learning.

We can’t do it all. Scratch that! We can’t do it all, all at once. 🙂 The other thing I did was hired a sitter for my son. I utilize her once a week so I can get a trip to the gym in during the week, run errands or work later. It has been so worth it. It is important to pursue your pursuits. To listen to the calling in your head tapping you quietly. It is important to try new things in order to grow and make room for more. That is what life is about! More learning, more love, more experiences and more growth!

making room for more, motivation, time managementGrowth comes from stepping outside your comfort zone and sometimes putting other things aside. This blog was what had to be put aside these last few weeks. The amount of posts  and social media had to slow way down in order for me to focus on this new path. I still love blogging. I still crave helping others and putting my thoughts down. But consistently being on social media, working on blog posts and editing pictures can take up a lot of precious time. Time that needed to be put elsewhere in order for me to be successful.

I am still very much in a training phase with my job and have a lot more to learn. I am grateful for all the people who follow and will continue to bring you my stories, adventures, recipes and inspiration.  If you have not already signed up via email, you can do so at the top of my main page to receive post right to your inbox.

So stay tuned. I will have some more posts and experiences to share with you very soon!

Have you ever had to put something aside to make room for more?

Chopped Curry Chicken Salad

Summer is almost over but this heat won’t let up! Chopped Curry Chicken Salad is a great way to use any cooked up chicken in your fridge and offers a cold lunch idea on a hot day.

Looking back on summer I can say it went way to fast! I always regret not fitting in enough beach days, taking enough time off or visiting places. It was a busy one I will give you that. I finished up a college course, started a new role at my company leaving an entire department I was running behind.

In addition keeping my son busy in summer programs, camp, mini vacations and organized for the beginning of the school year. Lunch is something that needs to be easy for both of us

I work out of my car each day so I need a lunch that is easy and can stay chilled. With no options for heating up a lunch, this serves as a perfect solution for the on the go lunch. It is also healthy. You can add dried fruit, fresh herbs as I did using cilantro and nuts if you wish. Shredding carrots added some color as well as crunch.

Normally I would eat this right out of the container. But get creative! You can stuff into a pita pocket, have between bread or add on top of greens for some added protein to your salad.

 

Chopped Curry Chicken Salad

chopped curry chicken salad, curry, chicken curry, healthy, lunch

  • 2-3 small cooked chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 3 tbsp dried raisins or cranberries
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp nuts chopped
  • 1 carrot shredded

Chop up chicken into small cubes, trying to keep uniform.  Toss in a small bowl. Mix in chopped cilantro, nuts, raisins, carrot  and curry powder. Add mayonnaise and mix well. Chill and serve!

Launch Jumps Into Connecticut!

I had the fun pleasure of visiting Launch in Milford, CT over the weekend. What a blast! This is not just for the kids either.

IMG_20160828_112407487-01Launch Trampoline Park is a 30,000 sq. ft. indoor sports and family entertainment facility serving Milford, Connecticut! With over 12,000 sq. feet of connected trampolines forming one GIANT jumping surface and angled trampoline walls to bounce off of, Launch will get your whole family off the couch and in the air in no time!

When we arrived a birthday party was being set up in one of the birthday rooms. I immediately noticed the rooms to be bright, clean and quite large! The facility has several birthday packages and include pizza and hour of jump time, private dodge ball game, invitations, beverages and Launch “grippy” socks.

NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

Launch Trampoline Park is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. They offer guests a wide variety of physical activities including open jump time, group exercise classes, trampoline dodgeball, and Launch Pad fun! This makes us the perfect venue for your next date night, birthday party, family event, corporate event, church outing, or fundraiser! They have TEEN NIGHT every Saturday from 8-10pm for $16 per person and Sensory Saturday from 9-10am for jumpers with special needs and their families. They offer low lighting and low noise, a fun and friendly environment as well as trained and caring staff. Cost is $10 plus includes 1 parent or guardian. What a great idea!

launch, milford, trampoline park, CT

Main Court

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SECTIONS OF THE LAUNCH PAD

With a variety of activities available, there is plenty to do for first timers and enough variety to keep the thrill going for returning jumpers. Our primary target market is families with children ages 4 to 14. Secondary target audiences are high school and college students.

Open Jump is the perfect opportunity for anyone who is ready to let loose and go off the walls and is available for all ages and abilities.  Open Jump gives jumpers access to all areas of the park. Each session is designed to encourage all family members to join the excitement and exercise of “jumping to the music.”

Main Court
Comprised of adjoining trampolines that span the floor and walls to create one GIANT bouncing surface, our main jumping court is the perfect place for anyone to let loose and LAUNCH!

Kid’s Court
This is the perfect place for little ones to launch high with others of their own size. The Kid’s Jumper is one-fourth of the size of the Main Jumper and is reserved for children under 42 inches tall.

Dodgeball Courts
These are main attractions.  In a 240 square foot space, the Dodgeball Court is home to ongoing, public games of this popular activity. This is a perfect place, whether you come alone, as part of a birthday party, or with a group of friends, to socialize, meet new people and get active.

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Slam Dunk Basketball
Slam dunk like a pro! Enjoy the exhilaration of getting above the rim and slamming it home!

Foam Pit
Get yourself high in the air and experience the thrill of new tricks to amaze your friends before landing in our enormous pit of foam.

Launch Cafélaunch, Milford, trampoline park, pizza, CT, kids
Whether you are a jumper or a parent taking a break, the Café is the place to go. With a variety of drinks and food, patrons can get away and have a snack, enjoy free WiFi or take in telecasts on the flat screen TV’s, all while still keeping track of what is going on in the Launch Pad.

 

 

 

 

 

The Launch ArcadeIMG_20160828_111928701-01
Another dimension of the experience is the Launch Arcade where friends can challenge each other with some of the most popular games. This is also an ideal add-on for birthday parties, group events and fundraisers and creates additional revenue opportunities with no direct costs of operating because all machines are provided on a revenue-sharing basis.

 

One very unique feature is that the place goes dark for 15 minutes every hour and glows neon in the entire facility giving a fun twist to your trampoline experience.

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With locations in Milford and Hartford it makes it easy to visit a location that is close to where you live. The staff was very helpful and knowledgable. We will be visiting again soon!

Milford location is open:

Monday-Thursday: 11 am – 8 pm

Friday: 12 pm – 10 pm

Saturday: 10 am – 10 pm

Sunday: 10 am – 7 pm

Visit Launch athttp://www.launchmilford.com

Enter here to win Two 1 hour Jump Passes Two, 1 Hour Jump Passes at Launch Milford Giveaway
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**( Launch Milford provided passes for me to experience the trampoline park and two 1 hour passes to give away in exchange for this post. All opinions and views are my own. Some post information credited from www.Launchmilford.com)

 

Healthy Turkey Enchiladas

Craving Mexican? In the restaurant it can often be disguised with many unwanted calories. These turkey enchiladas are homemade so you control the ingredients and what you top them with. They are also very versatile and can easily be made with pork or chicken if turkey is not your thing and still be healthy.

enchiladas, healthy, mexicanI use corn tortillas  and Frontera sauce which is a household favorite. It is all natural and they have many varieties. We use a red enchilada sauce but they also have a green version which is just as good. With a few steps you have a festive and warm dinner the whole family will be sure to enjoy.

 

Typically it is the sour cream, ton of cheese and beans that bring Mexican food out of the healthy zone. I topped these with a moderate portion of cheese and sliced avocado.

 

Healthy Turkey Enchiladas

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 10-12 corn tortillas
  • Frontera Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Salt and pepper for taste
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder

healthy, mexican, enchiladas

Saute turkey in a pan and mix in chili powder and cumin. Cook until brown. Grease a baking pan with coconut oil lightly. Take out the tortillas and fill each with 3-4 tablespoons of turkey. Add a pinch of the grated cheese and roll up, put seam side down in pan. Continue until all the tortillas are used up. You may have some turkey left over. Top with remaining cheese and sliced avocado. Pour enchilada sauce packet over enchiladas.

IMG_20160821_171509057-01Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

Prepping Parents for Back to School Routines

Going back to school is always something we try to prepare our kids for. What about us parents?

back to school, parents, routine, schoolI do not know about you, but the luxury of having an easy morning dropping off to camp or the grandparents and not having to worry about homework is just as nice as a break for the parents as it is for the kids. Personally I love waking up and not feeling the school time rush. It is hard enough to get myself ready than to have to think about my child. And I only have one!

Back to school time is a great time to get yourself as a parent ready for the school season. With a little organization, a little preparation you can change the morning school routine to be much more pleasant minus all the rushing.

Prepping Your Parental Back to School Routine

  • Give your kids more responsibility. They are a grader older now. Perhaps what you did every morning, they can now participate in helping to take off extra preparation for you.
  • Prep the night before for lunches and laying out clothes. Again, your child likely can help at least with the clothes piece.
  • Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier. Give yourself a restful morning wake up. Take time to linger over your coffee and give your child a few extra minutes to adjust to getting up a bit earlier.
  •  Have the knapsack organized and packed the night before. This is an excellent opportunity to go over with your child what is needed each day and how to prepare the night before. Another job your child can help with fostering independence.back to school, parents, school, routine
  • Buy lunch essentials for your child making lunch preparation easy. Small snack bags of their favorite snacks, cut up or whole pieces of fruit, water bottles and juice boxes. Discuss in advance what they will want each week so you can prepare to have it in the house in advance.
  • Have a bedtime routine. No, for you! Not your child. Of course we hope you have one for your child already. But having one for yourself is important as well. Take the last 30-60 minutes of the evening to reconnect with your loved ones, read, prepare your own clothes and lunch for the next day or watch your favorite TV show. Essentially, start to unwind. No one sleeps well-being stressed out.
  • Make sure your know your child’s bus route and start and end time to school. This will take out the guess-work of where to pick up the bus and when school lets out.
  • Have after school care set up in advance. As parents, this can alleviate back to school stress knowing your child or children will be cared for. Plenty of schools offer after care programs such as the YMCA or Boys and Girls Club. If your child is able to come home and be left alone, be sure they have emergency numbers and work numbers accessible and go over home policies with your child in advance. Especially if it is their first time getting themselves off the bus. They should have a home key or know where to access it.
  • Access the school calendar in advance. I put down all the days off and early dismissals on my calendar in advance so I can plan for a babysitter or taking the day off in advance. I notice the school calendar changes year to year so I do this in August and plan ahead.

What are your tips for prepping yourself for back to school routines?

Veggie Quinoa

Sometimes salad just gets boring. Veggie Quinoa to the rescue! This recipe is full of delicious vegetables, nuts, fresh lemon and toasted nuts. There is no meat in this recipe which is also a nice change, especially in the summer when you are looking to eat a but lighter.

I first tried quinoa a few years ago but was disappointed.  It was quite bland. The trick I found out to savory quinoa is to replace the boiling water with vegetable stock! I roasted veggies, toasted nuts and added avocado and spinach to make this super healthy. It can also be served cold which is a plus if you are on the road all day like me. This also is gluten-free for those that have a sensitivity. I actually doubled the recipe to have all week long since this recipe does have some prep work involved. This is a nice change for any vegetarian or meat eater.

Veggie Quinoa

veggie, quinoa, healthy, foodie, gluten free

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 butternut squash cubed small
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds and walnuts
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 dates chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • half of an avocado chopped
  • 1/2 cup white beans

Cook quinoa as instructed on box. Replace water with vegetable stock. Once cooked fluff with a fork and put aside.

Peel squash and chop in small cubes and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes on 350 degrees. On the stove top, toast nuts for 3 minutes until toasted. Next, saute spinach in a pan until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once squash is done, add quinoa, nuts, avocado, spinach, beans, cinnamon and the rest of the olive oil.  Chop and add the dates. Squeeze lemon over the quinoa and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and serve.  veggie, gluten free, quinoa, healthy, foodie

Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

Life throws curveballs. It’s not comfortable. Mine have been slanted, crooked and somewhat sideways. Nothing compared to what some people have endured in their life. I have my health, my family, a good career and a few close friends. I have nothing to complain about. I am gracious.

comfort zone, uncomfortable, motivation, inspiration, goals, comfortableDuring challenging times, you have a few options. Lay down and get trampled on, let your challenge defeat you or rise up to step outside your comfort zone to improve your situation. Sounds easier than it is. My experience is that it takes practice of stepping outside your comfort zone again and again in order for it to feel more natural.

It takes creativity to solve your own problems. It takes courage to step outside your comfort zone when you feel a pit in your stomach. When you do not know what the outcome will be. When you consistently have doubts and have no guarantee your efforts will come to fruition.

But doing nothing at all to change your curve ball or the uncomfortable feeling you feel because you are doing something new, something unknown or foreign to your real self, will never get your any results. Aren’t we always encouraging our children to try new things? To work hard and not give up? We have to remember that we are our children’s best example. Do we expect them to coast through life on autopilot or crumble at the first feeling of defeat or challenge? Hell no!

Be the best example. The worst thing that came happen is that you fail. And failure is a learning process. Also imperative for children’s growth. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It is temporary. And so is life.

Wuji Comes to Greenwich!

My first experience with Wuji was when I attended the Westchester Magazine Wine and Food Expo. So I was thrilled to be invited to a tasting of their brand new location in Greenwich!

Wuji Greenwich, Greenwich, CT, Organic

Wuji, CT, Chinese food, organic, Greenwich

Upon entering the parking lot my first impression was “Whoa” very unassuming. I was wrong. The inside of this place is decked out in decor comparable to a Shanghai Supper Club. The decor was glamorous and decadent and full of texture and sheen. I felt like I was in an authentic Chinese restaurant in Hong Cong. I fell for the beautiful lighting and impeccable service by our server Walt and Manager Patrick.

 

Wuji is a term from Taoism, extension of Taiji in the universe:  Unlimited, unsurpassable, sublime. Sublime is right! Everything is certified organic, MSG free and local. They can also make many dishes gluten-free if patrons have allergy concerns.

Wuji’s award-winning Culinary Director is Peter How who has won countless competitions including the Culinary Olympics in Taiwan.

Wuji Greenwich, Chinese food, organic, CT

Sweet White Shrimp

Now let’s talk about the food. Wuji takes authentic Chinese ingredients and recipes and gives them a renewed approach by taking out all the unhealthy and adding in organic free range chicken, organic vegetables, wild caught fish and free range eggs while still keeping to the traditional Chinese cuisine cooking. A rare concept in America for Chinese food.

Wuji Greenwich, Chinese Food, organic, CT

Classic Peking Duck

Wuji Greenwich, organic, Chinese Food, CT

Chilled Peanut Sesame Noodles

I opted for the Sesame Peanut Noodles as an appetizer. I tasted these before at the food and wine expo and wanted to have the full experience now. They did not disappoint! Who can say they have had homemade noodles at a Chinese restaurant in America? I didn’t think so. Besides the noodles, we tried the Sweet White Shrimp which comes with lettuce wraps and they were divine! This was a good gluten-free option for those who have allergies.

Wuji Greenwich, CT, organic, Chinese food

Ginger Pear Ice Tea

I only have tried duck once and it was about 15 years ago. I decided to have this classic Chinese meat once again and see how it is prepared. It was crispy on the outside and very tender inside. It came with a Hoisin sauce for dipping and Chinese pancakes for scooping it up with. Everything in a wrap is better don’t you agree? Of course drinks to accompany our meal was a must have. I tried the Cucumber Martini and the Ginger Pear Iced Tea which was non-alcoholic and came with it’s own caraffe for pouring. Both fresh and light and very satisfying.

 

And then their was dessert. I loved that the dessert menu had no cake, no pie and no over the top cheesecake. It was all light, simple and fresh. I opted for the fruit platter which came with an amazing homemade chocolate sauce for dipping. Seriously good and not overly sweet. Then I tried the Banana Spring Roll which is exactly what it sounds like. Warm banana filling wrapped in a shell and chocolate ice cream made locally. Excellent!

Don’t look for the fortune cookies at the end of your meal at Wuji. If you are not getting dessert, you will still be treated to a heaping serving of cotton candy which tops off every meal when you come. This was making most of the kids screech in amazement when it came out to their table, and a few adults. 🙂 Wuji Greenwich, organic, chinese food, CT

Wuji Greenwich, organic, Chinese food, CT

Fresh Fruit Platter

Wuji Greenwich, CT, organic, Chinese food

Banana Spring Roll

Overall Wuji has got it right. It is no wonder they won the Best of Westchester’s Best New Chinese Restaurant this year!  The place was packed at 6pm on a Sunday evening not to mention a ton of families with kids. I look forward to coming back and bringing friends and maybe checking out their Rye or Scarsdale location.

Check out each location at Wuji Restaurant

Special thanks to Jody, Patrick and Walt for a delicious culinary experience.
(Sponsored: I was invited to Wuji for a tasting in exchange for social media posts and a blog contribution)

Homemade Wholesome Granola Bars

Kids are home for the summer and many are in camps. Hard to sometimes find healthy snacks to pack in the lunch that are easy and healthy. Many of the granola bars you find at the stores have a variety of ingredients to corn syrup, artificial flavoring and preservatives not to mention a bunch of ingredients I cannot even spell.

granola bars, homemade, wholesome, snacks

The ingredients

With a few simply ingredients you can make a bunch of granola bars that are no bake and can be frozen for future enjoyment. You can substitute the cherries for raisins or even cranberries if you prefer.  The coconut adds another layer of sweetness and almonds a healthy crunch. If you do not want to add the chocolate inside the bars you can also melt and once chilled, dip half of the bars into chocolate or stream melted chocolate across them for a different look then chill again. You can also take the chocolate out all together if it is not something you like. Really?? 🙁  Seriously, totally versatile.

granola bars, homemade, wholesome, snacks

Homemade Wholesome Granola Bars

1 1/2 cup Quick Oats

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/8  cup coconut flakes

1/4 honey

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup medjool dates

1/4 cup dried cherries

1 cup dried almonds chopped

In a food processor, chop dates. The consistency will be dough-like and likely roll into a ball while chopping. In a bowl, mix oats,  almonds, cherries, dates chocolate chips and coconut flakes and put aside. In a pan on low heat, warm honey and peanut butter. Once melted pour over the oat mixture stirring well to incorporate dates and the honey mixture.

homemade, granola bars, kids, snacks, wholesomeLine a rectangular pan with parchment paper and pour in mixture. Using another sheet of parchment on top press firmly with your hands so that the mixture spreads evenly and packed into the pan. Chill for 15-20 until firm. Cut into bars. Freeze additional bars for future consumption!

What kinds of things do you pack into your kids lunch for camp during the summer?