Thoughts on a Monday

Web Admin 0 0 Article rating: No rating

Hi friends! How are you? I hope you had an amazing weekend! I’m sorry I disappeared on ya for Friday Faves. We got our stair railing replaced (it looks amazing!) but they had to spray the clear coat as the final step. We left the house because I didn’t want everyone to breathe in the fumes. I had Maisey with me all day and we went to juice with a friend, picked up the girls at school, and spent the rest of the afternoon at madre’s house. Thankfully by dinnertime, the smell was gone, and the stair upgrade has made a huge difference in our entryway.

What were you up to this weekend? Any fun fall activities?

Thoughts on a Monday

I’m feeling a little all over the place today, so just thought I’d share some random thoughts on a Monday.

– Fall candle season is officially here!

This is one I picked up recently and it smells like a dream:

Fall candle season

– Halloween Decor

We also decorated for Halloween and have this 13-ft Jack Skellington to greet delivery drivers and eventually trick-or-treaters. 😉

13-ft Jack Skellington

– Hot Yoga Class

I took a hot yoga class the other day and was thinking about the Bikram yoga days of yore, which was my original intro to hot yoga. When we lived in Valdosta, I’d occasionally drive two hours with a friend to take Bikram classes in Jacksonville, and loved taking them when we would visit Orlando or Atlanta.

While Bikram the person has a pretty icky backstory – the Netflix documentary is wild, and unfortunately not super surprising – the Bikram yoga method also has me raising my eyebrows two decades later.

It makes me cringe to think that the rooms were CARPETED (hi mold and germ city), and during one of my first classes, I was publicly shamed for drinking water before Eagle pose. Also, an instructor once told me that if I breathed through my mouth during class, it would turn my teeth yellow. And I believed her lol.

Cade’s Chicken Gyros

Web Admin 0 0 Article rating: No rating

Cade’s Chicken Gyros

a photo of a chicken gryo in gyro on soft pita bread and topped with cucumber, tomatoes, red onions and creamy tzatziki sauce.

For Cade’s chicken gyros, the chicken is marinated in a tangy yogurt sauce loaded with garlic, lemon, fresh herbs and spices. Then it is baked and piled into soft pita bread and topped with veggies, feta and creamy tzatziki sauce!

Alright, so Cade has reentered the kitchen and I’m beyond thrilled because he knocked this one out of the park!! I cannot get enough of the juicy, succulent chicken and I’m just sure we can find more uses for it than just gyros. Scroll down to see some of my ideas.

How to Pronounce Gyros

Let’s start with how NOT to say “gyros”…basically don’t say it how it looks! It is not pronounced jai-rohs. Though I’m sure everyone would know what you were ordering if you did say it that way. The correct way to pronounce “gyros” is yee-rohs.

What is a Greek Gyro?

A gyro is sandwich typically made with either lamb, pork, beef or chicken (or some combination of the those) on pita bread topped with tomato, red onion, lettuce and tzatziki sauce. It’s eaten like a wrap. It makes a great lunch or dinner.

Ingredients for Chicken Gyros

Here is a brief overview of the ingredients you will need for this gyro recipe. The measurements of each can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Chicken Thighs: You want them to be boneless and skinless and chicken breasts also work fine. Chicken thighs just tend to have more flavor.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt: adds flavor to the marinade and helps tenderize the meat. It also makes the marinade thick so it sticks to the chicken when you bake it.
  • Garlic: the purpose for garlic is always to add flavor and you’ll want a lot of it in this recipe!
  • Olive Oil: adds richness to the marinade and also helps it not stick when baking
  • White Wine Vinegar: adds tanginess and flavor
  • Lemons: fresh is a must and you’ll want the juice and zest for maximum flavor
  • Oregano: fresh is definitely preferred here, if you have to use dried then use 1 teaspoon
  • Parsley: same story as the oregano
  • Herbs de Provence: Italian seasoning also works too, and this is a dried herb blend
  • Salt: adds flavor
  • Smoked Paprika: adds a delicious smokiness to the chicken
  • Black Pepper: adds flavor and a little heat
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: use as much or as little as you want for the heat on the chicken

For the Gyros:

  • Small Campari Tomatoes: You could use type of tomato you want but I love the size and flavor of the campari tomatoes!
  • Red Onion: slice them super thin, they add so much flavor and beautiful color to the gyros
  • Parsley: adds a delicious pop of freshness to the finished gyro
  • Pita Flatbreads: you can buy these at the groce

Puff Pastry Baklava

Web Admin 0 0 Article rating: No rating

Puff pastry baklava bites are delightful, bite-sized treats that offer a modern twist on the traditional Greek dessert, baklava. These miniature pastries are made by filling buttery, flaky puff pastry cups with a sweet honey and nut filling.

Puff pastry cups on parchment, filled with nuts and drizzled with honey

About 20 years ago, my brother-in-law introduced me to baklava by way of a Christmas gift. It was his favorite food at the time, so we picked up an enormous tray of baklava and carefully gift-wrapped it for him.

On Christmas Eve, he opened his gift and the joy was palpable. He shared it with us and I loved it from the first bite. Since then, I’ve happily enjoyed baklava at every opportunity.

puff pastry in muffin tin filled with nuts and honey

Baklava with Puff Pastry

My friend Lynne made this baklava while visiting me once upon a time (and I happily devoured the delicious results) but I’ve never so much as tried my hand at making it at home. As you already know, I rarely spend that kind of time on a single recipe. (Not that it never happens, but it’s a rarity for sure.)

The moment I saw Baklava Bites in the Brilliant Bites cookbook, I knew I’d be making them as soon as possible. It’s such a smart idea! Flaky, buttery, puff pastry forms the shell for an irresistible filling of roasted nuts, honey, and warm spices.

miniature baklava made with puff pastry on tray, drizzled with honeyRead more

Healthy Apple Fritter Baked Oatmeal

Web Admin 0 2 Article rating: No rating

Healthy Apple Fritter Baked Oatmeal

a photo of a serving of apple fritter baked oatmeal topped with a thick white glaze.

I’m am obsessed with apple fritters. I am obsessed with baked oatmeal. So I mashed the two together in a healthy apple fritter baked oatmeal and it is rockstar status!

Our first Saturday morning without an ounce of errands or unpacking and we needed a good, old fashioned family breakfast and surprisingly one of the kiddos had asked for oatmeal so obviously I had to go all out.

Oh dear, so begins another obsession. Get ready, folks because I’m about to start creating 50 different versions of baked oatmeal recipes.

What flavor combination would you like next?


When we had finally settled into a new city back in August I was dragging my feet to get cooking again. I’d barely cooked real meals all summer due to packing and now most of our kitchen stuff is in a storage unit and it’s been hard to find the motivation to get going again. But alas, I also detest not having sit down family dinners or eating out all the time, so I put on my big girl pants and totally eased into it. No jumping in when you’re exhausted from life, am I right?

What better way to ease in than to make breakfast for dinner recipes?

This healthy breakfast recipe is the perfect solution and came about from me winging it with random pantry ingredients. But my goodness, when you have both a 16 and 6 year old raving over OATMEAL you know you’ve found a winner! 


Ingredients for Apple Fritter Baked Oatmeal

In the next section, I’m going to go into how to make this simple breakfast recipe, but first thing’s first, here are the ingredients you will need:

  • Old Fashioned Oats – old fashioned really do work the best, instant oats get too soggy and steel cut outs don’t soften up enough
  • Eggs – bind the baked oatmeal together
  • Milk – you can use any kind of milk you want
  • Apple Butter (or Applesauce) – apple butter adds a little extra richness and buttery flavor, but applesauce works just great too
  • Maple Syrup – pure maple syrup is preferred
  • Vanilla – adds the best flavor
  • Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Allspice – all the warm fall spices that go so well with apples
  • Salt – enhances all the flavors
  • Baking Soda – gives the baked oatmeal some rise and fluffiness
  • Golden Raisins – regular raisins will work fine too, I just prefer the flavor of golden raisins
  • Sliced Almonds (optional) – sometimes I include them and sometimes I don’t, they add some nice crunch and protein
  • Minced Dried Apples – be sure to get dried apples

For the Glaze

  • Powdered Sugar – all the swe

The Little Things Newsletter #384 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

Web Admin 0 2 Article rating: No rating

Welcome to the weekend, my friends! I’m headed out to our local farmer’s market this morning for their Fall Harvest Festival. After that, maybe a bike ride and then some time on the couch with a book. It is thrills a minute over here and I’m happy about all of it. I’m looking forward to a cozy day and night at home before the whirlwind that is our October begins. I think a pot of the easiest and tastiest chili sounds just about perfect for dinner tonight.

ON THE BLOGS this week: This Broccoli Slaw is filled with crunchy ribbons of broccoli and carrots, paper-thin onions, sweet chewy cranberries, and pecans before being tossed in a light, tangy dressing. You’re going to love all of the different textures in this salad!

Rich and savory ground beef is seasoned with a dash of aromatic spices, beneath a fluffy layer of mashed sweet potatoes. This Ground Beef Sweet Potato Casserole is a hearty dinner you’re sure to love.

Roasted carrots and beets offer a terrific combination of earthy sweetness and caramelized richness. For a real treat, drizzle the roasted vegetables with a tangy, slightly sweet balsamic glaze to enhance every flavor-packed bite.

Tender chunks of chicken, creamy cannellini beans, and sweet corn all swim in a velvety, spiced broth that’s just begging to be devoured. This White Chicken Chili with Corn has just the right amount of heat.

As tasty as it is nutritious, this Mango Banana Spinach Smoothie highlights the tropical sweetness of mango and the creaminess of bananas.

The nostalgic magic of a banana split meets the morning comfort of pancakes hot off the griddle in these Banana Split Pancakes.

The satisfying crunch of Nutter Butter cookies in creamy homemade ice cream makes this Nutter Butter Ice Cream positively irresistible.

Fudgy chocolate mint brownie with a rich, smooth chocolate ganache, what’s not to love? These mint brownies are made from scratch and they are the best you’ll find!

My FAVORITE THINGS this week are these leggings. I still absolutely love them. I’ve been wearing them for a couple of years now. (I mentioned them in a newsletter about a year ago.) They