Are Your Boos Ready with Halloween Costumes?

Busy Mom Alert: You can still be your kids’ Halloween hero without leaving the couch! Did you know that there are affordable options for Halloween Costumes online? Just so you know, the kind folks at Oriental Trading® did send me costumes for this post, but the opinions are entirely my own.

Busy Mom Alert: You can still be your kids' Halloween hero without leaving the couch! Did you know that there are affordable options for Halloween Costumes online?

Halloween! It’s everything, right? OK, it’s not Christmas, but it’s a really close second. I have a Halloween baby and it’s a big deal in my house. A really big deal. But what’s a busy mom to do when she wants to make sure her kids are clad in the best costumes in town, but she doesn’t have a bunch of time for shopping, traveling from shop to shop, or worrying about sizing? She turns to Oriental Trading®, of course, right from her couch! The fact that her kids look amazing on Halloween (OK, I’m talking about myself and my own kids here) is a true win. Want to be a Halloween hero this year, and every year, too? Follow my advice because these costumes are amazing, affordable, and SIMPLE for mom. I’m a Halloween hero and I didn’t even try!

Busy Mom Alert: You can still be your kids' Halloween hero without leaving the couch! Did you know that there are affordable options for Halloween Costumes online now?

See, just like with my Halloween decor, I logged into Oriental Trading®, and I let the kids do the work. They picked out their costumes, I pressed a button, and done. DONE. Ninja, Gothic Prom Queen, and skeletons…oh my. Oh, how I love my simple life!

Busy Mom Alert: You can still be your kids' Halloween hero without leaving the couch! Did you know that there are affordable options for Halloween Costumes online now?

Are Your Boos Ready with Halloween Costumes?

I ordered the costumes, headed to the dollar store to pick up some extra props, and I’m a Halloween hero without taking out a second mortgage. Seriously, this holiday stuff can get expensive if you don’t know where to shop! Plus, how cute is he? I know, I know…cute as a button, in a threatening sort of way, of course.

Busy Mom Alert: You can still be your kids' Halloween hero without leaving the couch! Did you know that there are affordable options for Halloween Costumes online now?

Plus, having all of the best (and affordable decor) for photo ops is amazing because we, as moms, need all of the pictures we can muster to savor every memory!

Busy Mom Alert: You can still be your kids' Halloween hero without leaving the couch! Did you know that there are affordable options for Halloween Costumes online now?

I can’t wait for the actual night of all Hallow’s Eve. With the outside decor, plus the amazing backdrops in the house, there are so many memories to be made and cherished for years to come. What are you waiting for? The clock is ticking. Halloween is JUST around the corner. Be a Halloween hero this year! Your kids will thank you for it, and so will your bank account!

The Best Low Sodium Cheese Steak Sandwiches

Just so you know, I received some amazing soapstone cookware from UncommonGoods that allowed me to make the best Low Sodium Cheese Steak Sandwiches in under 30 minutes and share the recipe here with you today!

Heart Healthy Cheese Steak Sandwiches

With the perfect mix of fresh and frozen foods, and the help of some magical soapstone cookware, these Low Sodium Cheese Steak Sandwiches are a satisfying and healthy weeknight meal that can be on your table in less than 30 minutes. Sautéed fresh onions, mushrooms, and peppers, along with glorious melted cheese, sit atop steak patties on  a toasted bun covered in spicy mustard. Stop drooling. I know. This might just be the perfect meal, right? Something you’d find at your favorite deli? One of those greasy tabu indulgences that you only get to enjoy once a year? Yea, those.

But today’s your lucky day. You know why? Because this amazing sandwich is NOT greasy, it’s incredibly economical, it houses all of the required food groups (you’re welcome, moms), it’s low in sodium (your heart can thank me now), AND it all comes together in less than 30 minutes…in one pan. Seriously, if you’re a ninja in the kitchen, this meal will be on the table in 20 minutes, but I have to give you that fluff factor so you don’t hold me to that 20-minute thing.

The Best Low Sodium Cheese Steak Sandwiches
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 6 Steak-umm® Sliced Steaks
  • ½ Red Onion, sliced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 4 slices Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 4 Cheese Steak (or sub) Buns
  • 1 tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard, optional
Instructions
  1. In a soapstone sauté pan, heat avocado oil on low heat.
  2. Slice vegetables and place in pan with spices, heat for 5 minutes until tender, and remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Place 2 steak slices in pan and cook on one side for 1 minute, flip, cook another 15 seconds, then cut into slices.
  4. Add ¼ of the vegetable mixture back into pan with the steak slices and top with one slice of cheese; heat until melted.
  5. Place cheese steak mixture on a toasted bun with mustard (optional) and enjoy the awesome.
  6. Repeat for each sandwich.
Notes
The average Cheese Steak Sandwich has approximately 1200 mg sodium, 600 calories, 60 grams carb, 90 mg cholesterol.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 sandwich Calories: 517 Fat: 30 g Carbohydrates: 37 g Sodium: 492 mg Cholesterol: 70 mg

Oh, so you say YOU can cook the perfect Cheese Steak Sandwich and you can make yours lower in sodium than traditional recipes too? Good for you and I’d love to try your recipe (please share your recipe with me), but I’m going to be pretty bold and pompous here when I tell you that I’m pretty certain that yours can’t cook as evenly and perfectly as mine. Don’t get mad. It’s not you, it’s me and my new magical cookware that cooks perfectly and evenly every time, even without my help.

Cheese Steak in Soapstone Cookware

Perfectly sautéed steak patties, red onions, bell peppers, and fresh mushrooms, all covered in melted cheese in one beautiful soapstone pan from UncommonGoods that’s easy to clean up and cooks effortlessly and evenly every single time. You see, these pans give family meals an Old World upgrade with their handcrafted beauty (as in, they’re so pretty, I leave them on my countertop as decorations when I’m not using them). Highlighted with hammered copper handles, this soapstone design serves as a timeless oven (or stove top) to table essential. Soapstone emits no odor and is able to withstand temperatures of up to 1832ºF (you never cook that high, no need to look that up), making it a versatile addition to your cooking arsenal. I’m in love and I don’t care who knows (Elf reference intended…it’s always Christmas here)!

Now, before I leave you with your drooling, I know you can Google soapstone cookware (YOU NEED THIS STUFF) and find it a little bit cheaper than my set (yes, I have a set…don’t hate), but there are reasons why I associate myself with certain brands and I do my homework so you don’t have to. Don’t buy from those other guys (PLEASE?!?!) because UncommonGoods is committed to offering you a creative and exciting merchandise assortment (they have SO much stuff) and are working with their suppliers – from artists to small manufacturers – to make their products in a more socially and environmentally responsible manner. AND they have a Better to Give Program that they started in 2001, which allows you to select a non-profit organization to receive a $1 donation from them at checkout. You’re welcome.

If you think you have the “perfect” Cheese Steak Sandwich recipe, please share it with me here. If you think your cookware for your perfect sandwich is better than mine, I challenge you to a cook-off. Now, what other low sodium recipes can we cook in our new cookware? I’d love to try your recipes, so be sure to share!

Homemade Fried BBQ Chicken Hot Pockets

Homemade Fried BBQ Chicken and Cheese Hot Pocket

Who doesn’t love a good Hot Pocket? They’re a great go-to lunch and B even likes them for breakfast (not the breakfast ones, the regular ones). When he was working in Houston, he found a store that makes a homemade fried version that he absolutely fell in love with and stopped every day on the way to work to get one. Oh no, he was NOT going to love someone else’s food more than mine so I had to figure out how to make this happen. That’s where this recipe for a (much lower in sodium than the ones he got at the store) Fried BBQ Chicken and Cheese Hot Pocket was born and it’s a real keeper.

Ingredients for Semi-Homemade Low Sodium Hot Pockets

There’s a whole lot of beauty to this recipe that I need to share. 1) You can use canned crescent rolls for the shell. 2) You can use up that leftover baked or grilled chicken to make these. 3) You only fry them for about 1 minute because they are pre-baked so that lowers the fat. 4) Assembly takes no time at all. 5) Your family will love these more than the “real” ones!

I always keep shredded BBQ Chicken in the freezer to use in recipes throughout the week, but you can pull this together pretty quickly without that if you have some leftover chicken. Just shred it and mix it with some low sodium BBQ Sauce, grab a can of crescent rolls, some waxed paper, your favorite cheese, and some avocado oil, and you’re ready to assemble.

Homemade Hot Pockets: A Low Sodium Recipe

Simply lay out your waxed paper, spread out a little avocado oil (any oil will do, this is just my preference), roll out 2 of the crescent roll pieces together, place a generous amount of your BBQ chicken in the middle, and top it with your favorite cheese.

Homemade Fried Hot Pockets

Close it up like a pie trying to make sure that you don’t have gaps in the dough (see above right, that’s not cool) and place it in your favorite baking dish while you preheat your oven to 375º.

Homemade Hot Pockets

Pre-bake your Hot Pockets for 10 minutes in the oven until they’re just barely starting to brown.

Homemade Fried BBQ Chicken and Cheese Hot Pockets

Then simply fry them in your deep fryer at 300º for about 1 minute, until golden brown. You can use any fillings you’d like including ham, turkey, pepperoni…what ever suits your fancy.

Homemade Fried BBQ Chicken Hot Pockets
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
These semi-homemade Fried BBQ Shredded Chicken and Cheese Hot Pockets are simple to make, lower in sodium than the store-bought variety, and they can easily be frozen and heated up for lunch.
Ingredients
  • 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 cups Shredded BBQ Chicken
  • 2 slices Colby Jack Cheese
Instructions
  1. Brush avocado oil on waxed paper, then roll the crescent rolls out and split into 2 equal pieces.
  2. Press crescent roll pieces until they form a rectangle with no holes in them, making sure to press the seams to each other tightly.
  3. Place 1 cup of shredded BBQ chicken on each of your crescent roll rectangles on just the lower side.
  4. Pull upper side of rectangle over the meat and close up tightly around all of the edges.
  5. In a 375º preheated oven, bake meat pockets for 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
  6. Fry the meat pockets in the deep fryer at 300º for about a minute, until golden brown.
  7. Pat with a paper towel prior to serving.

These are great to make in batches because they freeze well in zipper bags so that you can take them out and heat them up for a homemade and fulfilling lunch without cooking every day. I love semi-homemade recipes that make my days easier and that’s why I always keep a couple of cans of crescent rolls in the refrigerator. This recipe works great for breakfast too if you use eggs, bacon, and cheese. It’s like cheating or something, but it’s a recipe I turn to often to serve my family delicious, homemade breakfasts and lunches. It’s a win all the way around!