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Tuesday Cook Off ~ Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon -Basil Dressing

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon -Basil Dressing

Looking for that great side dish to bring to a BBQ this summer?   Well, you don’t have to look any further I have found it for you.   This quinoa salad is the perfect side dish.   It is not a heavy salad so it’s great on a hot summers day and the lemon-basil dressing is simple, light, and fresh.  Another great thing about this salad is that it is gluten free! The quinoa and garbanzo beans provide a double protein punch too.

I made this dish for the weekend and the left over’s were great for my husband’s lunch.   My husband and I enjoyed this quinoa salad cold but it can be served right when the quinoa is done.   I chilled it for about 3-4 hours so the lemon-basil dressing could sink in to everything.

Enjoy the summer!

Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa
15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 roma tomatoes
1 orange bell pepper
1 1/2 cups corn (I used frozen, thawed)
4 green onions

{For the dressing}
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. basil (I used fresh)

Directions:

Rinse quinoa, and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and basil. Set aside.
Slice green onions, dice roma tomatoes and bell pepper.
When quinoa is done cooking, let cool. Then place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
Pour dressing over top and mix well to combine.
Can eat immediately or chill before serving.

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, at My Baby Pajamas.

Kickee Pants Bamboo Boy Elephant Footie Pajamas

Kickee Pants Bamboo Boy Elephant Footie Pajamas

My Baby Pajamas has received a shipment of Kickee Pants Bamboo Footies.   These are one of our best sellers.   We have received two patterns for boys and two patterns for girls with the ruffles.    The Kickee Pants Bamboo footies will not last long in stock I so suggest buying what you need now 🙂

Haven’t tried Kickee Pants pajamas yet?  You are missing out!  Kickee Pants Pajamas are incredibly soft and luxurious feeling.  Bamboo is an eco-friendly, sustainable crop that grows wild without the aid of fertilizers or pesticides.  Bamboo fabric is naturally antibacterial, antifungal and antistatic.  Bamboo absorbs water 3-4 times better than cotton, keeping skin comfortable, rather than sticky.  And, bamboo stays 2-3 degrees cooler in the hot weather and 2-3 degrees warmer in the cold weather.

Kickee Pants Bamboo Girl Elephant Ruffle Footie Pajamas

Kickee Pants Bamboo Girl Elephant Ruffle Footie Pajamas

We also received the Kickee Pants Circus Stripe footie pajamas and the Kickee Pants Candy Stripe Ruffle footie Pajamas.  The girl ruffle footies are priced at $38.00 and the boy footie pajamas are priced at $34.00.

Do you crave junk food when you are sleep-deprived?

Which one do you crave after a night of 4 hours of sleep?

You have a big meeting in the morning and you didn’t sleep a wink or the kids kept you up all night sleep, what do you grab for breakfast?  Doughnuts! Studies show that most people eat and crave unhealthy food when they have had four hours or less of sleep.

In one study, researchers scanned people’s brains while the people looked at pictures of food. The “reward center” in sleep-deprived participants lit up more when they looked at unhealthy foods than at healthy foods, and also lit up more than the reward center of  well-rested people looking at unhealthy foods.

“Our data strongly suggests that if you’re trying to control your weight, being sleep-deprived is not good for you,” said study researcher Marie-Pierre St-Onge of the New York Obesity Researcher Center.  Also in the St. Onge New York study, 25 participants of normal weight spent five nights in a lab, alternating between getting nine hours of sleep, and four hours.   Researchers found that after the nights of only 4 hours of sleep the participants ate 300 calories more on average per day.

In another study, 16 participants were studied after getting a full night sleep and after staying awake for 24 hours straight.  All 16 participants were shown pictures of food and asked to rate their desire for that food.

Sleep-deprived people said they were more interested in the unhealthy foods, and brain scans also showed impaired activity in the frontal lobe and other brain regions associated with complex decision-making.

“When you’re sleep-deprived, you might not make appropriate food choices,” said study researcher Stephanie Greer, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. The brain can no longer convince itself that a healthy food is the right choice due to the health benefits, and instead it focuses on taste, the researchers said.

These studies did not record the data on the actual food the participants ate during the study.  However, the studies show that the idea that people would act on their desires for unhealthy food is a “realistic possibility.”

So next time you are reaching for the doughnut in the morning, stop and think…did I get enough sleep?

Do you suffer from not being able to sleep?  What do you do to ensure 7-8 hours of sleep a night?  Are your kids getting enough sleep?  Remember, kids need way more sleep than adults.  Plus, having comfortable pajamas from My Baby Pajamas helps too 🙂

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Bites

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Bites

Runners love peanut butter and who doesn’t love chocolate!  So I was excited when I came across this recipe when I was reading the June 2013 Runner’s World magazine.    It’s easy and is a no bake recipe.  Who doesn’t love that 🙂  These make the perfect treat to grab out of the fridge and go.  I promise if you would bring these to a party they will be the first thing gone.  They are that good!

My youngest son wanted me not to dip all the pretzels in the chocolate so we had some without the chocolate and they were just as good.  I personally preferred the pretzels with the chocolate but everyone has their own taste and style.  I stored these in an airtight Tupperware container in the fridge.  They would also be great in the freeze in the hot summer months.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Bites

Ingredients:

1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons butter, room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 bag of mini pretzels
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

How to Make: 

1. Combine the peanut butter and butter together until creamy.
2. Stir in the powdered sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until well mixed.
3. Roll teaspoons of the peanut butter mixture into balls; sandwich between two pretzels and place on a cookie sheet.
4. Freeze the pretzel sandwiches for 30 minutes.
5. Melt the chocolate chips. Dip half of each pretzel in chocolate. Return to the cookie sheet and freeze for another 30 minutes. Store in the fridge until serving time.

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, at My Baby Pajamas.

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Double Chocolate Muffins

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Double Chocolate Muffins

My oldest son Anthony just loves chocolate muffins.   Every time we are at the grocery store and they want something sweet like a donut or cookie, Anthony will ALWAYS pick a chocolate muffin.  He loves them!  If you would ask him what kind of dessert he would prefer, I know he would tell you a chocolate muffin.  Anthony is also the reason I started to bake so much.   We found out when Anthony was 7 that he was lactose intolerant.   Which means his body does not break down lactaid well and can cause stomach issues.  I will just leave it at stomach issues 🙂 But it’s not pretty.   So as he started to get older we started to notice that he could not have any store bought food that had the ingredient milk, lactaid or any form of these two items.  Well, that’s almost about every store bought sweet or dessert.  Hence, all the baking!  With any recipe that I bake, I will substitute milk with Lactaid Milk.  And since I started baking for Anthony his stomach issues have disappeared!  Yea!!

Anthony is the reason I discovered these awesome chocolate muffins.   He kept asking for me to make some but could not find a recipe that I liked and that I thought I could revise for him.  This one was a winner!  This recipe makes 12 to 14 muffins.  I made 13 from this recipe.   Plus, they were gone in about 3 days.  I did freeze 6 of the muffins thinking the kids could grab them, as they wanted them.   They freeze great and I would suggest taking out about 2 hours before you would want the muffin.

Double Chocolate Muffins:

Recipe yields about 12 to 14 muffins

Ingredients: 

1¾ C. all-purpose flour
1 C. sugar
½ C. unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 C. milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract (or a ¼ tsp. peppermint extract)
½ C. butter, melted
½ C. mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place liners in muffin pan or coat pan with nonstick spray.

2. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla and butter until combined. Combine wet and dry ingredients until just blended. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Spoon batter into liners and bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

4. Let cool briefly in pan, then transfer to cooling rack.

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, at My Baby Pajamas.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt

July is national ice cream month!  This is something to celebrate.  Who doesn’t like ice cream? Especially in the summer time in Phoenix, AZ where the temperature reaches 118 degrees some days.  As I was researching national ice cream month I came across some fun facts about ice cream that I thought you might find interesting.

Ice Cream Fun Facts:

  • An average dairy cow can produce enough milk in her lifetime to make a little over 9,000 gallons of ice cream.
  • The udder of a cow can hold between 25-50 lbs. of milk.
  • In the U.S., all ice cream needs to have a minimum of 10% milkfat if it is to be labeled “ice cream”. This includes custard based (French Style) ice creams.
  • Reduced fat, has at least 25% less total fat than regular ice cream.
  • Light, has at least 50% less fat and 33% fewer calories than regular.
  • Lowfat, can’t have more than 3 grams of fat per serving.
  • Nonfat, has less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving.
  • In Sherbet, milkfat is between 1 – 2%.
  • Sorbet, has no milk at all!
  • California produces the most ice cream in the U.S.
  • The U.S. produces the most ice cream in the world.
  • Ice cream became available to the general population in France in 1660.
  • Ice cream was introduced to America in the 1700’s, but mostly enjoyed by those of status and wealth.
  • Americans celebrated the victory of WWII with ice cream. In 1946, they ate more than 20 quarts of ice cream per person.
  • June is the month that the most ice cream is produced.
  • The ice cream cone was invented at the 1904 Wold Fair in St. Louis, MO.
  • Vanilla is the most popular favor.

Since it’s national ice cream month I wanted to share a great little recipe with you.   This recipe is easy to make and is fun to make with your kids.  Plus, it’s cookie dough!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt

Makes about 2 cups.  Recipe from Tasty Kitchen Blog.

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cups Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • ½ cups Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • ¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • ¾ cups Mini Chocolate Chips Or Chunks
  • 1 cup Vanilla Yogurt

Instructions:

In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, soda and salt. Add the chocolate chips or chunks and stir.

Add the flour and chocolate mixture to butter mixture and fold in gently. Add yogurt and stir again.

Place in a container and cover with lid. Freeze until set, preferably overnight.

The American Baking Competition Review

So I want to apologize I missed my update on the semi finals for The American Baking Competition.  I was on vacation with my family 🙂  We had a fabulous time…thank you for asking.  Now onto the Finals.

This week was the Finals for The American Baking Competition!  The final three bakers left in the competition are Brian, Francine and Darlene.  All the bakers will still be asked to complete three bakes.

The first bake is the signature bake and the bakers can make anything that they want, as long as they use Georgia’s state crop, the peanut.  Darlene makes a peanut cake roll, Brian makes a peanut vanilla chiffon roll and Francine makes a spiced peanut peanut butter torte.   Brain and Darlene’s cake roll go over nicely with the judges but Francine’s crazy peanut torte is not loved by the judges.

The technical bake for the finale is a dozen Boston cream donuts, which is judge’s Paul Hollywood’s recipe. Francine redeems herself by making good donuts, though Darlene gets the best donuts.  Brian’s are a flat dud!

The showstopper bake is to make 72 miniature desserts (24 of three different kinds, meringue, pastry and cake) inspired by the American flag. Yikes.

Darlene goes with coconut mini-cakes, peach & grit tartlets and firework meringues. Brian makes raspberry white chocolate mini-cakes, mascarpone & berry tartlets and white chocolate popcorn meringues. And Francine makes coconut mini-cakes, peaches & cream choux puffs and blueberry cream meringues.

While the judges are deciding the winner of The American Baking Competition, the three bakers are led outside for a patriotic barbecue and they are joined by family, friends and the bakers who had been eliminated.

I will tell you I was very disappointed with who won the competition.  I think the competition should have been judged over the course of the whole show but it seems the judges only judged on the final show.  Oh well!  So the winner of The American Baking Competition was Brian.   He is the winner of $250,000 and a cook book deal.  I really wanted Francine or Darlene to win:(

This series was definitely a very short series and the semi finals and finals really snuck up on us.  I feel we didn’t really get to know the bakers and their families and I really think the show would be better if there was a little conflict in the show.  I mean it is a reality show!

The one thing we did get out of the show was the list of recipes.  The recipes are list here: http://www.cbs.com/shows/american-baking-competition/recipe-blog/.

Happy Baking!

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Gluten Free Breakfast Muffin with Zucchini, Feta and Quinoa

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Gluten Free Breakfast Muffin with Zucchini, Feta and Quinoa

Today I want to feature a great, easy and gluten-free recipe.   I have been baking and sharing those recipes a lot so I decided I needed to mix it up a bit.  So today I want to share this easy breakfast muffin.   Every Sunday I make up my husbands breakfast for the week.  This way he just grabs it every morning as he is heading out the door.  Plus, I know he is eating the most important meal of the day 🙂  It needs to be easy so he can reheat the breakfast when he gets to his office.  He loves eggs so I try to stick with recipes with eggs.   His favorite recipe is the Ham and Mushroom Scrambled Egg Cups.    Almond flour and quinoa flakes are the two ingredients that replace traditional flour in this recipe, and also make these very nutritionally dense muffins.  You can find both ingredients at Whole Foods but I actually found the almond flour at Walmart.  The texture of the breakfast muffin reminds me of the texture of a corn muffin which I love!

So did this recipe pass the husband test…it sure did!  Plus, he has no idea that his breakfast is gluten-free!  He absolutely loved the recipe and wants me to make them again next week 🙂

Here is the Recipe:

Recipe yields about 12 breakfast muffins.  My batch made 11 muffins. Adapted by Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Ingredients:

1 medium zucchini, cut into strips and diced to make 1 1/2 cups diced zucchini

1-2 tsp. olive oil

1/3 cup lowfat cottage cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup quinoa flakes

2/3 cup almond meal

1 tsp. baking powder

4 eggs, well beaten

3 Tbs water

1/2 cup crumbled feta (not packed)

2 Tbs sliced green onions

1 teaspoon Spike Seasoning

Preheat oven at 400 degrees

Instructions:

Cut stem and blossom end off zucchini, then cut in fourths lengthwise. Then on each strip, cut off part of the white center part of zucchini, so you have zucchini strips with skin and about 1/4 inch of white. Cut into thinner strips if needed, then dice to make small cubes around 1/4 inch square.
Heat olive oil in non-stick frying pan and saute zucchini until it’s softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. In large plastic bowl, combine cooked zucchini, cottage cheese, Parmesan, quinoa flakes, almond meal, baking powder, beaten eggs, water, crumbled feta, green onions, and Spike seasoning if using. Gently mix together with large spoon.   Spray silicone muffin pan or individual silicone muffin cups with non-stick spray or olive oil. Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cups. Bake muffins about 25 minutes at 400 degrees until muffins feel firm and are lightly browned.   These will stay good in the refrigerator for quite a few days and can be reheated in the microwave. Be careful not to overcook when reheating or they will be too hard.

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, at My Baby Pajamas.

Running tips for beginners

I know I talk a lot about running but I feel everyone and anyone can benefit from a good run.   It is a great stress reliever plus you don’t need to drive to a gym.  All you need is a great pair of running shoes then put one foot out the door and off you go!  If you are serious about running and have never really ran before I suggest going to a running store and let them help you pick out a good pair of shoes.   They will help determine if you need a neutral running shoe or one with stability.   The right shoe could be the difference of running with pain or running without pain!

Here is some great tips for a new runner:

  • Be a minuteman “The biggest mistake that new runners make is that they tend to think in mile increments-1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles. Beginning runners need to think in minutes, not miles.” -Budd Coates, four-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier/coach
  • Wear good running shoes “Spend at least $60. A good pair of running shoes should last you 400 to 500 miles and is one of the most critical purchases you will make.” -John Hanc, author of The Essential Runner
  • Take the “talk test” “The ‘talk test’ means running at a pace comfortable enough to converse with a training partner-but not so easy that you could hit the high notes in an Italian opera.” -Runner’s World editors
  • Relax to the max “When running, let your jaw hang loose, don’t bunch up your shoulders close to your ears, and occasionally shake out your hands and arms to stay relaxed.” -Dave Martin, Ph.D., exercise physiologist
  • Don’t crush the egg “Don’t clench your fists in a white-knuckle grip. Instead, run with a cupped hand, thumbs resting on the fingers, as if you were protecting an egg in each palm.” -Runner’s World editors
  • Follow Road Rule Number One “Running against traffic allows the runner to be in command. Anyone who is alert and agile should be able to stay alive.” -Dr. George Sheehan
  •  Listen up! “You must listen to your body. Run through annoyance, but not through pain.-Dr. George Sheehan
  • Take what you can get “So-called ‘junk miles’-those slow miles done on easy days or during warmups-do count. They burn calories as effectively as fast miles; it just takes longer. Regardless of pace, each mile you run burns about 100 calories.” -Hal Higdon, runner/writer/coach
  •  Go steady “Day to day consistency is more important than big mileage. Then you’re never shot the next day.-John Campbell, former masters running star from New Zealand
  • Ease it back “After a run, don’t rush back into life. Take a few minutes to walk, stretch, relax, meditate.-Runner’s World editors
  • Take baby steps “You can’t climb up to the second floor without a ladder. When you set your goal too high and don’t fulfill it, your enthusiasm turns to bitterness. Try for a goal that’s reasonable, and then gradually raise it.” -Emil Zatopek, four-time Olympic gold medalist from Czechoslavakia
  •  Train with someone… “It may seem odd to hear a coach say this, but I think a really great training partner is more important than a coach.” -Joan Nesbit, coach and world-class runner 

Now it’s time to lace up those new running shoes and hit the pavement.  Good luck!!

Remember any form of exercise will help aid in a good nights sleep.  Plus, comfy pajamas help too 🙂

Brooks Ghost GTX Running Shoes

Brooks Ghost GTX Running Shoes

It is time for me to say good-bye to my first pair of Nike running shoes.   It has been a good run (no pun intended).   The last 6 months have been great and a big surprise for me.   See, normally I don’t run in Nike running shoes.  I am more of an Asics or Mizuno kind of girl but my Nike’s really stepped up to the plate for me.   We have run two half marathons and a couple of smaller races over the last 6 months.   My Nikes and I also had a PR in a half marathon at 1:46 with an 8:08 pace.   Not bad for a girl 44 years old.  But with all that said, I know when it’s time to say good-bye and it’s time.

So now that my Nike running shoes have become my new hiking shoes (all my old running shoes become my hiking shoes), do you what to know what new running shoes I bought?  Since I am an Asics or Mizuno kind of girl; yep, you guessed it…Brooks running shoes!  I know I was surprised too.  Sports Chalet was having a sale and my husband said I should go check it out for a new pair of running shoes and I fell in love with the Brooks Ghost GTX.    They are the Ghost 5 series with the Gore-TEX waterproof protection.   Now I know that Brooks already came out with the Ghost 6 but I bought these for 50% off!  Yes, I said 50% off.   I only paid $65.00 for Brooks Running shoes.   You have no idea how happy I am right now 🙂

I ran my first run in the Brooks Ghost shoes today.  I only ran 4.5 miles but I feel in love with my shoes.  Honestly, I really did love them.   Runner’s World has been rating the Brooks running shoes at the top for a while now.   I really should have listened to them earlier.  In the next couple months I will definitely be buying the Brooks Ghost 6 running shoes!

What is your favorite brand of running shoes?  Have you ever tried Brooks?

About Me:

Hello and welcome! I am a 40 something year old mom of two boys, living in Scottsdale, AZ with my husband Al. I started My Baby Pajamas in 2007 and have watched it grow and mature. I love to blog but am not much of a writer per say. I am a avid runner and love to compete in races. I like my yoga HOT and love to hike with my family and our pit bull mix dog, Chance. My favorite time is hanging with my family and cooking homemade dinners and hearing about everyone's day while my husband and I enjoy a glass of wine.

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