Grain-Free Eggs Benedict

Shirred eggs and eggs Benedict are my two favorite egg-based breakfast foods. It is also probably one of my top 5 favorite recipes I’ve posted so far. I certainly don’t make it every day. It is a lot more time-consuming than regular bacon and eggs. But it is a delicious weekend treat! Eggs Benedict Wellness Mama …

Continue reading Grain-Free Eggs Benedict

from Health & Wellness

Week of Weeknight Meals: October 2021

We’re a few days into November but I’m backing it up to last week today to share what a week of weeknight dinners looked like in our house in October. Today’s post is part of my Week of Weeknight Meals series which I began on the blog as a way to give you a real-life glimpse into our weeknight dinners for one week of every month. All pictures are snapped in real time and no fancy schmancy food styling is allowed!

Last week’s meals included two vegetarian meals, my favorite salmon, a bowl of comforting butternut squash-based soup, an Instant Pot fail (oops!) and some super easy throw-together eats. Hopefully one of the below meals pops out at you if you’re looking for some dinner inspiration to add t o your weekly meal plan!

Week of Weeknight Meals: October 2021

Monday: Baked Rotini

(I forgot to snap a pic on my phone other than the one I shared directly on Instagram Stories so that’s where this one was from!) 

I wasn’t sure what to made for dinner on Monday night since we were low on groceries so I used some pantry staples to make a batch of baked rotini. First, I cooked up a box of rotini on the stovetop and then added jarred marinara, shredded cheese and Italian seasonings to the mix. I then poured the pasta into a baking dish, topped it with additional shredded cheese and baked it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until the cheese melted. After topping it with a bit of fresh parsley, we were good to go!

Tuesday: Butternut Squash Green Chili Chicken Soup (via Ambitious Kitchen)

This recipe was a delicious find. I love butternut squash-based soups, especially this time of year, and this recipe did not disappoint. I ended up making it in the Instant Pot and after sautéing onion, garlic and zucchini (the zucchini was my addition), I added all of the remaining ingredients and pressure cooked it on high for 15 minutes. The only other change I made was to use frozen cubed butternut squash in place of fresh to make things a little easier. I also mashed it up a bit with my spoon once it was done cooking because I prefer a thicker broth and loved the was the butternut squash almost dissolved into the broth giving it a velvety texture. The end result was a flavorful batch of soup that was perfect for a chilly fall night!

Wednesday: Maple Ginger Salmon with Ginger Sesame Broccoli and Brown Rice Mixed with a Daily Harvest Cremini + Miso Oat Bowl

This meal was one of my favorites of the week! It was so flavorful and every aspect of this meal just worked together in a wonderful way. I paired baked maple ginger salmon (I prepped it using my maple ginger salmon marinade) with ginger sesame broccoli (aka my favorite way to prepare broccoli of all time) and a rather random grain-based side dish. For our second side, I stirred a Daily Harvest Cremini + Miso Oat Bowl into some fluffy brown rice I prepared in chicken broth and fluffed up in a bit of butter. The miso flavor from the oat bowl was amazing and I added a bit of frozen peas to the grains before serving them with our salmon and broccoli. I was just bummed there were no leftovers after this meal for me to enjoy for lunch the next day!

Thursday: Instant Pot Ranch Chicken (via Berley’s Kitchen) with Brown Rice and Sautéed Zucchini

This meal was not my favorite of the week but I cannot fault the Instant Pot ranch chicken recipe because I veered from it quite a bit. I already had a bunch of cooked rice on hand that I made earlier in the week so I omitted the rice from the recipe and I think that’s where I went wrong. I tried to adjust the amount of liquid accordingly but ended up with some seriously soupy ranch chicken. It wasn’t the best and I definitely wouldn’t recommend modifying the recipe like I did if you try it. On the side we had brown rice and zucchini sautéed in butter and garlic salt. At least the sides were decent!

Friday: Simply Nature Lentil Soup with Grilled Cheese

The boys were craving grilled cheese last Friday night and that sounded good to me, too, so I made a bunch of grilled cheeses for the family and served them with a side of ALDI’s Simply Nature organic lentil soup. (I added peas to the soup but that was the only way I altered it.) I think this meal wins top prize for the easiest meal of the week!

Question of the Day

What was the best thing you ate for dinner last week? 

The post Week of Weeknight Meals: October 2021 appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

from Health & Wellness

492: Lee Holden on Qi Gong for Less Stress and More Energy

Today, I’m excited to have Lee Holden as a guest on the podcast. Lee has been a Qi Gong teacher for 28 years. If you aren’t familiar with Qi Gong, it’s a new tool I’ve been using for movement, stress relief, and breathing. He started practicing Qi Gong when he nearly lost his ability to …

Continue reading 492: Lee Holden on Qi Gong for Less Stress and More Energy

from Health & Wellness

Halloween 2021

Hey friends! How are you doing today? Anyone else out there dragging a little bit this morning? I suppose that is to be expected after Halloween!


Our Halloween fun kicked off on Saturday morning! Well, technically our anniversary was the first thing we celebrated over the weekend.

Ryan and I celebrated our 11-year wedding anniversary on Saturday and exchanged small gifts at breakfast. Ryan is a wonderful partner and eleven years have truly flown by. Every single day I feel immense gratitude to God for our relationship and the life we’ve created together. It’s a good one and Ryan is at the core of it.

As for our Halloween fun, we didn’t waste any time getting into the Halloween spirit on Saturday. Ryan, my father-in-law and I took the boys to Birkdale Village for some trick-or-treating outside of some of the local businesses. We told the big kids to choose their costumes for the day and since they wanted to “save” their new costumes for “real Halloween,” they went digging in our costume bin an emerged as a grasshopper and a monkey!

I can never resist an opportunity to dress up, too, so I grabbed the tiger onesie I originally bought for a Las Vegas-themed party Ryan and I went to a few years ago and joined in the fun.

As for Rhett, his costume was our favorite of the day!

Rhetty Spaghetti!

Our family calls Rhett “Rhetty Spaghetti” all the time so when I had the idea to dress him up as a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, we had to find a way to make it happen.

I owe a huge thank you to my mom for taking my idea and running with it in the best way. She swears she genuinely enjoys making Halloween costumes and I’m only all the more grateful for it! She did such an amazing job with Rhett’s costume and we absolutely loved our little Rhetty Spaghetti!

As an added bonus, Rhett didn’t pick at his yarn noodles or meatballs at all and his costume seemed comfortable enough for him to walk around in all over Birkdale while one of us followed after him.

baby spaghetti costume

We recently coined Rhett’s favorite activity as “Adventure Baby Walks” where we let Rhett lead the way and follow him wherever his baby heart desires. Chase and Ryder get a big kick out of Adventure Baby Walks because we’ve ended up behind bushes, traipsing through dirt, crawling under low branches, etc.

In the midst of Adventure Baby Walks at Birkdale, we let the boys play outside in the grass and eat some candy before piling back into the car and heading home for lunch.

Rhett is officially down to one nap a day and once we had him settled, Ryder went into his room for some quiet time. Greg also rested a bit (he is staying with us right now due to some health concerns) and Ryan did a little yard work while Chase and I curled up on the couch to watch the first Harry Potter movie.

Chase and I finished the first Harry Potter book last week and it was so, so fun to see him get so excited to see the story unfold through the movie! We ended up splitting the movie up into two days since it’s a long one and now I want to re-watch the whole series. The books and the movies are just so good!

We spent the rest of our Saturday close to home and took the boys on a walk/bike ride before ordering pizza and calling it a night.


Our Halloween began with pancakes and Owl-oween at the Carolina Raptor Center!

We’ve been to the Raptor Center a bunch of times in the past and it’s one of our favorite local spots because of the beautiful shady trails and the large assortment of birds of prey. The center admits more than 900 birds a year and releases approximately 70 percent back into the wild which I think is pretty amazing.

Hat: Wide Brim Fedora / Jeans: Old Navy / Booties: Dansko (gifted) / Sweater: American Eagle (old)

We actually lucked into attending Owl-oween and didn’t realize the event was happening that morning until the boys were handed little bags to fill up with stickers, candy and treats around the property. Creature Man Chase especially loved the presentation involving a large Eurasian eagle owl and was absolutely captivated the whole time.

We joked at the end of our time at the Raptor Center that Rhett had the best time of all of us since he just got to wander all over the place. It blows my mind how little kids progress from not walking to never stopping within a month or two. Baby on the move!

After the Raptor Center, we headed home for some downtime. Ryan made lunch on the grill and we watched the rest of Harry Potter while Rhett napped for nearly three hours.

Once Rhett was up, we all changed into our Halloween costumes and headed off to our friends’ house for a pre-trick-or-treating Halloween party!

Chase and Ryder chose our costumes this year and we went as a family of astronauts!

One unexpected bonus of our costumes: The fluorescent orange jumpsuits made it super easy to keep track of our gang as they sprinted from house to house collecting candy. Win!

It’s so fun to see how the different ages of our kids played into how they experienced Halloween this year. Chase was all about hanigng with his friends and running as fast as he could from house to house. Ryder oscillated between trying his best to keep up with the big kids and taking little stroller breaks with me and Rhett. Ryder and Rhett got the star treatment when I’d wheel them up to the tables of candy people had set up at the bottom of their driveways!

Since Halloween was on a school night this year, we didn’t stay out too late and managed to make it home around 8 p.m. The boys loved sorting through their candy and talking about the best finds of the night. Any kind of lollipop is a current favorite with both Chase and Ryder this year which bodes well for me and Ryan who will happily take all the chocolate!

We eventually managed to get everyone out of their costumes and into bed. Once everyone was settled, I broke out my computer to get a little work done before Ryan and I both read our books in bed for a little bit before finally falling asleep.

Now it’s time to get this day started! I have a feeling I might need to wake up at least two of the three boys shortly so we don’t miss school this morning after last night’s fun!

The post Halloween 2021 appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

from Health & Wellness