advent christmas activities- jpeg

i just learned how to convert a word document to a jpeg file. 
maybe you already know how ~ sometimes i take awhile to catch up ;)

anyway, here are the jpeg files for the advent calendar activities!
i've edited them to have 2 family parties, 
rather than making them personalized. 
now that they're saved as jpeg's, you don't have to worry 
about downloading any fonts! talk about time-saver!

please let me know if these work for you!

merry christmas!


advent activities

i rarely blog. obviously. but i did today. twice now. :) 
the holidays bring out my creative side.

see these? 

remember this?

they're m.f.e.o. (have you seen sleepless in seattle? love it. quote it all the time.)

this link is for your printing pleasure. but be warned, it's personalized for my family. if you'd like to make a few adjustments in your own microsoft word document, you'll need this list. and if you need to know what other fonts i used, please contact me.

merry christmas!


crispy green curry chicken wontons

i found this recipe on pinterest {pinterest is where it's at people!} and it has quickly become one of my favorites!

crispy green curry chicken wontons
yield: 24-36 wontons

wonton wrappers
1 lb cooked, chopped chicken breasts
2 green onions, chopped
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp green curry paste
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp coconut milk
olive oil
chives {optional, for garnish}

mix chicken, onions, cilantro, lime juice, curry paste, mayo & coconut milk in a bowl. 
chill 1 hour or overnight.
preheat oven to 350°. 
it's easier to place wontons out on parchment paper for the next step- brush each side of the wontons with olive oil. place in bottom of mini muffin pan {careful not to tear it. you'll have to fold the sides in a bit to make it form a bowl. think tiny taco bowl.} sprinkle with salt and bake 10 mins, 
or until brown and crispy on the edges. 
let cool on wire rack.
once cooled, fill with chicken mixture.
garnish with chives and serve.

these make great appetizers for parties, 
showers or casual dinners.


almond-orange tilapia with chipotle yogurt sauce

this has to be my favorite way to eat tilapia! if you like fish and you like spicy, this is for you! 
(even if you don't like fish, you should try 
this- it'll change your life!)

this recipe is from jillian michael's 
"Master Your Metabolism" cookbook, 
so you know it's good for you and will taste amazing! 
in fact, she says this recipe has the following health benefits:
anti-cancer, heart healthy, boosts immunity, 
boosts metabolism (yeehaw!), improves digestion, 
strong bones, healthy skin 

she uses rainbow trout in her recipe, 
but tilapia is a good substitute 
because both are considered white, lean and flaky
 i'll share the original recipe as well as the changes i made.

let's get cooking!

almond-orange tilapia with 

chipotle yogurt sauce

serves 4

ingredients for the rainbow trout or tilapia:

olive oil spray (or a silpat)
1/3 cup (1 oz) sliced almonds
1 slice whole-wheat bread, torn into pieces
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
grated test of 1 orange
1/8 tsp cayenne
4 (4 oz) rainbow trout or tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp nonfat plain yogurt

ingredients for chipotle yogurt sauce

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped, 
plus 1/2 tsp adobo sauce (see picture above)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1/2 cup low-fat plain greek yogurt

first, preheat your oven to 400°F. you'll need a baking sheet,
 sprayed with olive oil or lined with silpats.

grab your handy food processor- you're going to 
need it for the fish and the sauce.
throw in the almonds, bread, garlic, orange zest and cayenne pepper. pulse it several times until it's roughly chopped. set the mixture in a shallow plate and set aside.

now that your food processor is empty, add the chile and adobo sauce, garlic, lemon juice, and orange juice. 
blend it together to make a smooth paste. 
transfer that to a small bowl and stir in the greek yogurt. 
add more lemon juice to taste, if desired and set aside.

salt and pepper each fillet. using the 1 tbsp of plain yogurt, coat the top of each fillet. press the yogurt-coated side of each fillet into the almond mixture and lay them, 
coated-side up, on the baking sheet.

my fillets were somewhat small, and i doubled the recipe for the coating and sauce. i actually might have tripled the sauce- so there would be enough to serve on the side.

bake until the fish is firm but not 
translucent when you slide a thin-bladed knife in 
to peek at the thickest part of the fillet (about 10 minutes).

to serve, spoon sauce onto four plates and place fillet on top. 
it smells amazing and tastes even better!


obviously i used tilapia instead of trout. 
rainbow trout is hard to come by in these parts. maybe someday i'll find some and try it with this recipe for the real deal.

rather than brush the top of the fillet with plain yogurt, i (accidentally) coated both sides of the fillet in the chipotle sauce and then coated both sides in the almond mixture. it added a lot of heat since i used the silpats, the bottom cooked evenly. also, i used homemade whole-wheat bread 
in the almond mixture- super  healthy!

(i read that the recipe said to use yogurt to coat the fillets, but didn't realize it called for 1 tbsp of plain yogurt. after the kids and i had eaten, johnny got home and tasted it- that's when i realized i made a mistake- it was a little too hot for him. 
i thought it was a good mistake.)

if you want a more mild flavor, be careful not to let any chipotle seeds from the chiles or the adobo sauce get into the mixture, and go easy on the garlic (maybe 1 1/2 cloves instead of 3). next time i will use the plain yogurt on the fish, but still coat both sides of the fillet and serve the yogurt sauce on the side.

nutrition facts per serving 

(using rainbow trout and prepared as originally instructed):
calories: 232.1 kcal
fat: 9.8 g
protein: 25.3 g
carbohydrates: 10.9 g
sodium: 500.9 mg


quinoa stuffed peppers

i'm calling today Fancy Friday because
tonight i'm making quinoa stuffed peppers.

if you don't know much about quinoa, you should.
i'm not gonna lie, i don't know much either.
here's what i do know:
i know you need to rinse it before cooking
or it can taste bitter. the kind i bought is pre-rinsed. 
(so you might look for that on the box when you buy it.)
i know it's very filling and a great source of protein.
if you're vegetarian, you probably eat this often.
quinoa is gluten-free and wheat-free!
i can't think of anyone that wouldn't be able to eat this!

anyway, i bought a box of quinoa a few weeks ago at the store. the recipe for stuffed peppers on the back looked super fun to make. 
(this is not my own recipe. it's from Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa.)
quinoa stuffed peppers
(makes 4-6 servings)
preheat oven to 325°F.

1 cup traditional quinoa
2 cups water
bring to a boil and cover. simmer about 10 mins.

4 large or 6 medium green peppers, steamed
cut off tops, clean out insides (seeds and membrane)
in a large pot or steamer, add about 1-2" water. place peppers in colander in pot and cover.
steam about 3-5 mins. you want them to be soft but not limp.

in pot or skillet, melt 2 tbps butter and add 1 medium, diced onion and 1/2 lb sliced fresh mushrooms.
add 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes to the mushroom/onions (reserve the juice).
next, add 2 cloves, crushed garlic and 1 12-oz jar of mexican salsa.
cook over medium heat for 10 mins.
add 2 tbsp dry sherry and simmer 10 more mins.
(i substituted 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar.)
fold in the quinoa to this mixture. 

in baking dish, place steamed peppers and fill each with quinoa mixture.
add reserved tomato juice to remaining mixture and use it to fill in bottom of dish.
top each filled pepper with shredded mozzarella cheese (use about 10 oz).

bake for 30-35 mins.

since i've never made this before tonight,
i'm not sure how it's going to go over with the kiddos.
i have a feeling they're going to notice, tonight more than ever, that the halloween candy is gone.
so what if i just wasted time in the kitchen and a bunch quinoa. 
(i doubled the recipe.)

at least it's pretty.