Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

 

These days I can’t step into the kitchen without a certain toddler following me saying “pleeeeaaassseeee”. 

lyla-banana

She has discovered where all of those delicious “mum mums” that mom and dad bring to her come from and she wants in on as much of that action as she can get.

A girl after my own heart…errr stomach.

Hearing her little voice say “please” is basically the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard and it’s really hard to turn her down so I figured it was time for me to make something healthy for her to snack on. 

sweet-potato-banana-muffins

Enter these sweet potato and banana mini muffins. They are quick & easy to make, have only four main ingredients, and are toddler-approved. 

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lyla-with-muffins

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You trying saying “no” to that face. 

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Homemade Ranch Dressing + Pizza = Homegating Heaven

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameDayPizza #CollectiveBias

homemade-ranch-dressing-recipe

Pizza and ranch. In our house, it’s as classic of a combo as peanut butter & jelly. Chip and Dale. Salt and pepper. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. 

You get the picture. 

We’ve always planned for pizza night to happen in our house at least once per week but, now that football season is in full swing, I have a feeling that it’s going to happen a lot more often. 

red-baron-frozen-pizza

There isn’t a national football team representing our great state of Hawaii so we don’t have the opportunity to attend any games in person however this leaves plenty of Sundays open for us to cheer on our favorite teams with some good old-fashioned homegating.

What is homegating, you ask? You know…all the goodness of tailgating before a game…just done at home. No worries about weather conditions, lack of bathrooms, or nap space for your kids. PLUS you have access to your kitchen. Which means instead of grilling up the same game day food every week, you can serve yummy alternatives like Red Baron pizzas. With homemade ranch dressing of course (because there is no better pair, remember?)

Homemade ranch dressing is SO delicious and a lot easier to make than you probably think. You start off with a base mixture of dry ingredients (pepper, garlic salt, dried onion and dill weed), add them to a combo of fresh ingredients (buttermilk, sour cream, lemon juice, mayonnaise and fresh parsley), give it a stir and you’re done!

homemade-ranch-dressing-ingredients

homemade-ranch-dressing-dry-ingredients

homemade-ranch-dressing-lemon

homemade-ranch-dressing-parsley

homemade-ranch-dressing-recipe

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. (HA – see what I did there?!)

Anyways, back to homegating. Your homemade ranch dressing is sitting in the fridge, patiently waiting for it’s chance to wow your family and friends so it’s time to prepare the pizza. You could stick to the homemade route OR you could stay on the quick and easy train and pop a few Red Baron pizzas in the oven. Which one are you going to choose? I vote quick and easy, especially when the big game is about to start. 

I know you are thinking why on earth, if I’m trying to “wow” my guests, would I serve frozen pizzas? I would be too…if I hadn’t tried Red Baron pizzas. Seriously guys, these pizzas are delicious. The people over at Red Baron have perfected their crust game in a way that I simply haven’t been able to yet — it’s crispy, consistent and oh-so satisfying. One bite of any of their pizzas and I’m sure your family and friends will be asking for more. 

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You can pick up a few Red Baron pizzas the next time you find yourself at Walmart (which I highly suggest doing before the next big game). They are located in the frozen goods aisle of the grocery section. While you are there, make sure to pick up an Edwards Pie to share with the fans of the winning team. Because victory is sweet. So is pie. (Get it? Man, I’m on a roll today) The Edwards Pies are also located in the frozen section and will keep your homegating prep nice and easy – all you have to do is thaw and serve!

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When you are shopping, keep an eye out for the Red Baron products that have the on-package promo materials for the Tailgate at Your Place Sweepstakes. Our friends at Red Baron are giving away over $100,000 in prizes – including checks, shopping sprees and 6 months of free pizza PLUS there are a bunch of instant win prizes that are up for grabs. 

Which Red Baron pizza are you going to pick up for the next big game?

Homemade Ranch Dressing
Creamy, fresh, delicious homemade ranch dressing
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DRY INGREDIENTS
  1. 1/4 cup black pepper
  2. 1/2 cup garlic salt
  3. 3/4 cup dried onion
  4. 2 TB dill weed
  5. WET/FRESH INGREDIENTS
  6. 1 cup mayonnaise
  7. 1 cup buttermilk
  8. 3/4 cup sour cream
  9. 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  10. juice of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Combine dry ingredients in glass jar, replace lid and shake to combine.
  2. Add mayonnaise, buttermilk and sour cream to medium sized bowl. Stir until smooth.
  3. Add 1 TB of dry mixture to wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
  4. Add juice of 1 lemon to wet ingredients, followed by chopped parsley. Stir until combined.
  5. Place dressing into storage container and store in refrigerator.
Notes
  1. Together, these dry ingredients will make a lot of extra ranch dressing mix. Store it in an air-tight container for future batches of ranch dressing, sprinkle it on chicken before cooking or gift some to a friend!
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/


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Special K Bars

I hope you all had an awesome Labor Day weekend. Things around here were busy but super productive. As I mentioned last week, we are moving back to Ewa Beach soon and I have been frantically getting us organized for that.

When we moved last year, we downsized majorly and gave away/sold a lot of our furniture so now we are on a quest to rebuild our inventory. New furniture is expensive and I can’t stomach paying full price for everything so we have been hitting up garage sales on weekends and I have been watching Craigslist like a crazy person. 

special-k-bars

It’s totally paying off in a we haven’t had to pay for hardly anything kind of way 😉

We’ve scored so many great pieces of furniture already and I can’t wait to get them into our new home. For now, they are squished into our little front room so I won’t be sharing any pictures of them quite yet.

Probably the Craigslist find I am most excited about is our new (to us) piano. It’s a beautiful freestanding oak piano that a hospital was donating and we were lucky enough to be the recipients. 

Two of my cousins and a couple of their buddies (all freshman at the University of Hawaii) volunteered to help Alex pick up the piano on Friday night with the promise of being paid in a homemade dinner. When they got here, we ate dinner and then I whipped out my Grandma’s Special K bars for dessert. Our whole family loves these bars and whenever we are in Michigan visiting my grandparents, Grandma always seems to have a pan ready for us. She’s the greatest.

moving-crew

The recipe is super easy and perfect to make as a thank-you to a bunch of college boys that help you move heavy pianos, to pack in your kids’ lunch throughout the week, to bring to a potluck, to munch on while your baby naps, etc. Basically, they are perfect and delicious and you should make some now. 

special-k-bars

I am so thankful that these boys were able to help Alex pick up the piano this weekend and am extra thankful that they offered to help move it again when we head to Ewa next week. Alex says we will have to pay them a little better than just dinner. I’m thinking maybe two batches of Special K bars will do the trick 😉

Special K Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup light corn syrup
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup peanut butter
  4. 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  5. 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  6. 1 cup butterscotch chips
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, mix together corn syrup and sugar
  2. When sugar is boiling, turn off heat and mix in peanut butter
  3. Add cereal and stir until completely mixed
  4. Press cereal mixture into greased 9x13 pan; let cool
  5. Melt together chocolate and butterscotch chips, pour over cereal mixture; let cool
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. TIP: cut into serving sizes before bars are completely cool to make serving a little easier 🙂
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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Santa Fe Flatbread

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FreshOnTheGo #CollectiveBias

santa-fe-flatbread

Friday nights were made for pizza – amiright?

On the Friday before we left for vacation, I was super busy packing up our things and it was way too hot to even think about baking but, being a sucker for tradition, I didn’t want to skip on pizza night so I decided to keep it light, quick and easy and put together some Santa Fe flatbreads. Not exactly pizza but definitely delicious and got the job done. 

Building the flatbreads was super easy because I used a Ready Pac Bistro Bowl Salad from Costco. There are a bunch of different varieties available but on this trip the Santa Fe Style Salad caught my eye.

bistro-bowl-packaging

The Santa Fe Style Salad comes with romaine lettuce, white meat chicken, fire roasted corn, a four cheese blend, tortilla chips and a salsa-ranch dressing. 

Speaking of the dressing…SO good. This pregnant mama has been dreaming about it since we had this dinner and I can’t wait to get back to Costco so I can buy more. And that fire roasted corn – mmmmm so yummy. Corn is one of my favorite things to put on the grill and the fact that the hard part was already done for me was perfect. 

flatbread

All of the ingredients were already prepared and portioned for me so all I had to do was spread the dressing onto my flatbread, add the toppings and serve. Dinner was on the table in minutes and pizza night was saved.  

I found the Ready Pac Bistro Bowl Salads in the refrigerated section of Costco that is near the meats and cheese. 

costco-bistro-bowl

To keep our meal light, I paired the flatbreads with a refreshing homemade blackberry iced tea. Stay tuned for that recipe soon. Which Ready Pac Bistro Bowl will you pick up next time you are at Costco?

flatbread

 Follow along with Ready Pac for meal inspiration that is delicious, quick and healthy :  Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

 

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robin eggs milkshake

Guys, my life just got turned upside down.

Until right now [when I double checked the packaging to make sure I was spelling it correctly for this post] I had always referred to those perfectly pastel candy delights that I found in my Easter basket as ‘robbin’s eggs’.

Nope. There is no “s” at the end. They are simply ‘robin eggs’. And now I feel like that annoying person who unnecessarily pluralizes everything. Sorry, people!

Robin Eggs milkshake

ANYWAYS

After not blogging for what seems like a year, I am back. February was long (even though it was short – HA). It was full of big changes and hard decisions. But now we are back in our groove and ready to welcome spring.

And I can’t think of a better way to bring on a new season than with a delicious milkshake. Can you?

Robin Eggs Milkshake

This milkshake looks fancy but is super easy to make. Throw a few scoops of vanilla ice cream into your blender with a handful of robin eggs and some milk. That’s it! (although we did have half of a banana waiting to be used on the counter that I threw into the mix tonight)

My trick with milkshakes is to add the milk last, and pour until the milk line is about half an inch away from the top of the rest of your goodies. Perfect consistency every time. 

After blending, just throw a dollop of cool whip or whipped cream on top and sprinkle with crushed robin eggs. Voila! 

To get the robin eggs rim, I dipped the ends of our cups in Hershey’s chocolate syrup and then rolled around on a plate filled with crushed candy. Then, I placed the cups in the freezer so that the chocolate would harden and the robin eggs pieces wouldn’t fall off. 

What’s your favorite Easter candy?

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byrd food: turkey burger pizza

I love turkey burgers. And turkey burgers love me. At least, I’m guessing that’s what they would say if they could talk. Kind of a weird thing to think about, yea? Even weirder way to start off this blog post. I’m sorry. Blame my seriously sleep-deprived mom brain.

ANYWAYS.

I had a serious hankering for a turkey burger last week but it was Friday. And in the Byrd household, Fridays are for pizza. And beer. (can’t forget the beer) So I did a little bit of Googling and came across this recipe.

homemade pizza dough

sweetbabyjesus it was delicious.

Ground turkey in Worcestershire sauce (I swear that’s the secret to any good burger). Onions caramelized in butter. Cheese. Onions caramelized in butter. Homemade dough. Onions caramelized in butter. And did I mention onions caramelized in butter?!

turkey burger pizza

Do yourself a favor and make this pizza immediately. Or come over to my house so I have an excuse to make it again.

turkey burger pizza
Serves 4
Favorite turkey burger mix, but on a pizza. Hello, yum!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 pound ground turkey
  2. 1/2 red onion, chopped
  3. 1 TB crushed garlic
  4. 2 TB Worcestershire sauce
  5. 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  6. salt and pepper
  7. pizza dough
  8. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  9. tomato sauce
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. in a small pan, caramelize the onion in a mixture of olive oil and butter
  3. in a skillet, brown the ground turkey
  4. add garlic, onion, Worcestershire and parsley to turkey mixture, warm for 1 minute, then remove from heat
  5. on a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to desired thickness and shape
  6. spread the tomato sauce evenly onto the dough
  7. dress your pizza with turkey mixture and cheese
  8. slide your pizza into the oven and bake approximately 15 minutes
  9. remove pizza from oven and allow to cool slightly
  10. top with chopped parsley, slice and enjoy!
Notes
  1. keep an eye on your pie! baking times will vary depending on your oven and cooking method (pizza stone, baking sheet, etc)
Adapted from Bev Cooks
Adapted from Bev Cooks
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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byrd food: easy basil pesto

basil pesto

I love me a good pesto. I love it on sandwiches, in pasta or just smeared on top of a nice piece of bread.

A few weeks ago, I had a hankering for a pesto-pizza sauce but, being the cheapskate (what a weird word) that I am, I couldn’t bring myself to pay the high price at the grocery store and decided to make my own.

Before even looking it up, I felt intimidated. Surely something so rich, fresh and delicious had to be crazy complicated to make, right?

Wrong!

I was pleasantly surprised at how few ingredients were needed to make a nice pesto. The best part? I already had everything I needed! Well, almost.

Traditionally, pesto is made with garlic, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan cheese. I don’t normally keep pine nuts in our pantry (again, cheapskate) but I do usually have pecans and so I decided that pecans would have to do!

basil pesto ingredients

Ingredients

pecans

fresh basil leaves

minced garlic

pinch of salt

parmesan cheese

olive oil

Start off by toasting your pecans in a frying pan to bring out their flavor. Once toasted, add all ingredients to a food processor, pulse for 10- 15 seconds and you’re done!

Seriously, it’s that easy.

This pesto was super delicious and we didn’t even miss the pine nuts. I will definitely be making this again soon.

[I don’t have measurements for this recipe because the amounts you need of everything depends on what you are going to make! To give you an idea, the ingredients that you see in the picture made enough pesto for two full flatbread pizzas.]

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