Sunday, January 29, 2012

Play Today DC

Do you live in the Metro DC area? Are you like me and you are always looking for fun things to do with your kids in and around DC?  Well look no further!

Play Today DC is a local, family friendly website, that is all about connecting local families with kids’ classes, events, and activities happening in our neighborhood. Along with a calendar of events, Play Today DC allows a parent to register for your choice of activity right on the website. No more playing phone tag with the kiddie gym! Play Today DC is free for families to sign up and enjoy. (Now in Beta version in Northern Virginia, currently serving Falls Church, Great Falls, McLean, Oakton, Reston and Vienna.  Expanding to serve other cities in the DC-area soon.)
On Saturday, February 4th, 2012 Play Today DC will host a free funfair event at the Westwood Country Club in Vienna, VA from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.  There will be tons of great activities for families including a moon bounce, face painting, snacks, music, plus raffles and giveaways. (Plus an iPad giveaway! See below for details)
Visit the Play Today DC facebook page, become a fan, and you are eligible to win an iPod Touch in their online sweepstakes (Value $199). Print out the Play Today DC Facebook fan page, include your name, email address and phone number and bring it to the Find the Fun Fair on Feb. 4th  and be entered to win an iPad at the fair. Cool right?  (Value $499).

Disclosure: I received compensation in return for writing this post. But I just love making my life easier, so save yourself some time and join Play Today DC!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lunch for One Please~

Lunch is a meal I usually eat by myself while the kids are all in school. I love to have leftovers from the day before, but if there aren't any I try to get creative and stay healthy.
I don't know about you, but I have always loved eggplant parmesan.  But many years ago I realized that I did not need to dip each piece of eggplant in egg and breadcrumbs and then fry it for it to taste good.
Today's lunch I will call deconstructed eggplant parm.
There are my 2 main ingredients.
Eggplant and hemp seeds.
This recipe could not be easier.
I do use 2 new tools that have made my life so much easier and might also make yours easier too.
First is an Oxo peeler.  My favorite oxo peeler broke a few months ago and I replaced it with this one  This peeler is so smooth, it is really amazing. It saves me time when I have a whole bunch to peel.
My second go to new appliance is my new toaster oven. It is the best toaster oven for a large family. First, it can toast 6 slices at a time, enough said.
Second, it can hold a whole pizza or the pizza pan that is included.
Third, it shuts off when it is done cooking. You know how you forget about the french fries you were making, well this oven is smarter than me. The cooking time is up, ding, it shuts itself off! I love it!
This is the oven that is being used the most in our house
Ok so you peel your eggplant with your new peeler and you preheat your new toaster oven to 425.
Slice your eggplant into thin rounds. Place each round into your pan (spray a little PAM in the bottom) that will fit into the toaster.
Put a generous amount of sauce on each round, sprinkle on your hemp seeds, and then a teeny bit of parmesan on top of each round.
That is it!
Could this be an easier lunch??
Bake at 425 for 13 minutes, covered tightly with foil.
After it bakes, take off the foil, be careful of the steam, and then broil it for 2-3 minutes to get it crispy and brown.  Watch it carefully so it does not burn.  Broiling goes really fast!
Serve your eggplant rounds on a pita, sprouted wheat bread, or even on top of a salad.
Yum, mine is getting cold, so try it today!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Need a more filling breakfast?

I know there are many people who do not eat breakfast. I am not one of them. I always have a bowl of healthy cereal between 5:30 and 7 am, depending on what time my little princess wakes me up.  This breakfast is healthy but not very filling. I am hungry again by 9 am or so.  I added about 1/4 cup of this granola to my regular bowl of cereal and I find that I am much fuller most of the morning!!
I love to make granola bars with chia seeds that are amazing, but this weekend I made chia granola that is really out of this world!
Chia seeds are teeny tiny black seeds, that look almost like smaller poppy seeds. They have this great crunchy taste in baked goods. But, if you put chia seeds in a liquid, they turn into a gelatinous, almost egg like consistency. You can use this as an egg replacer in vegan baked goods. You can also turn chia seeds into a pudding like mixture.
If anyone has any recipes that they want me to share, feel free to post a comment here or send me an email
I do not have a picture of this recipe either. My recipes have been so yummy lately that they are all eaten up before I get my camera out for a photo.

Chia Granola
can easily be doubled for a bigger batch of granola!
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 T vanilla
Preheat oven to 300
Line two baking pans with parchment paper or silpat.
In a big bowl mix the oats, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, chocolate chips, brown sugar, pistachios, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
In a separate bowl mix together honey, coconut oil and vanilla.
Pour liquid over the oat mixture.
Stir well.
Spread onto baking sheets evenly in a thin layer.
Bake for 30 minutes total, stirring and checking it every 10 minutes.
Let granola cool.
Store any leftovers, if you have any, in an air tight container.
Enjoy with almond milk, coconut milk, or regular milk!