easy pancakes

cinnamon oat pancakes

been a little mia lately since we last minute decided to travel home to maryland for the last portion of ryans deployment. hence, we have been relying on easy meals, and also putting together some freezer meals for friends before we leave. these pancakes are easy to whip up with a baby on your hip, and added fiber from the oats might make you feel better about feeding your toddler syrup for breakfast >.< they’re also perfect for freezing. i usually will keep a bag of them in the freezer and pop one in the microwave for 30 seconds. toddler and baby approved!


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup quick or old fashioned oats
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp white sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups milk (i prefer 2% or whole)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3 tbsp melted butter


sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla. nuke the butter for about 30-40 seconds or until completely melted. add the wet ingredients to the dry, as well as the butter, and mix until fully combined. fry the pancakes over medium heat on a pan or griddle top using butter, or cooking spray to coat the surface. we served them with maple syrup and our favorite wild blueberries.

easy weeknight noodles

stir fried sesame noodles with veggies

these noodles definitely hit the spot when i was craving chinese takeout. the toddler wasn’t a huge fan because they are a little spicy, but you can always leave out the chili paste if littles will be eating too.


half a box of spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente
medium sized carrot
1 zucchini
1/3 thinly sliced onion
1/4 cup of soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil plus 1 tbsp to cook vegetables
1-2 tbsp sesame oil (i only like a light sesame flavor and it’s really strong so i only use one, but add more to your taste!)
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 1/2 tsp sambal… linking because this stuff is amazing if you haven’t used it
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp vinegar – sherry vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
splash of water – about a teaspoon
optional garnish – sesame seeds, green onion, sriracha, etc.


cook the noodles to al dente according to package directions, and set aside. whisk together the soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, hoisin, sambal, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and water. heat a large pan or wok to medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil, and saute onions, zucchini, and carrot for about 3 minutes until starting to brown (i sliced the onion thinly, and then used a regular peeler to shave ribbons of about half the carrot and half the zucchini directly into the pan). add in the noodles to the pan and toss together with the vegetables. pour sauce over noodles and toss all together until heated through. garnish with sesame seeds, sriracha, etc.

next level sweet potato

bbq chicken stuffed sweet potatoes

this. gives. me. life. a bbq chicken stuffed sweet potato with avocado, crispy fried shallots, and sriracha crema. the sweet, creamy sweet potato, cool avocado, crunchy shallots, and spicy crema are the perfect combo. if you don’t like sweet potatoes *cough* my husband *cough,* you could certainly use a regular baked russet potato.

bbq chicken

use any shredded chicken you want or have leftover. linking to my go to bbq sauce recipe but will list out the ingredients here because i do change a few things… mainly because i have little ones eating it and switch out hot sauce for apple cider vinegar. i just mixed up the sauce, poured it over 2 chicken breasts in the instant pot and cooked on manual for 15 minutes. then i used two forks to shred it. if you do it in the instant pot the sauce will become thinner because the chicken releases so much liquid. you could also mix up the sauce and just simmer it in a sauce pan to thicken and use on leftover or shredded rotisserie chicken.

1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp yellow mustard

crispy shallots

2 shallots, sliced thinly
1 cup canola oil
kosher salt

heat canola oil in a heavy bottomed pan to medium heat. fry shallots until just golden brown (about 5-6 mins) then transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel and lightly season with kosher salt. they will crisp up as they cool.

sriracha crema

1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 tsp sriracha hot sauce
pinch of kosher salt
a few grinds of fresh cracked black pepper


bake sweet potatoes at 385 degrees for 1 hour. top with all the delicious toppings 🙂

socal heat wave – instant pot butter chicken

instant pot butter chicken served with jasmine rice

Instant pot butter chicken with jasmine rice.

if you haven’t heard, socal is on the tail end of a massive heatwave, and we don’t have ac. no… we are not ok. hence i’ve been using the instant pot a ton, since i can’t stand over the stove or have the oven heating up the house any more. adapted this butter chicken recipe from cafe delites for the instant pot, changed a few things around and it turned out amazing. this sauce is what dreams are made of. disclaimer, i did still use the stove to brown off the chicken since i really don’t love the saute setting on the instant pot. also, i typically would never do this but i realized last minute that i didn’t have any onions so i substituted with dried minced onion. it turned out so well, i’d make it again that way.

marinade for chicken

4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of most fat (depending on how many people you’re feeding. I only had four thighs, but there is so much extra sauce you could definitely do 6).
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
*splash of white wine for deglazing the pan after browning


14 oz crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
*parsley or cilantro to garnish, if desired


make the marinade for the chicken by whisking together the greek yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin, paprika, chili powder, turmeric, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. add chicken thighs and coat them all. cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight if you have time. start the sauce right in the instant pot by adding the crushed tomatoes, minced onion, grated fresh ginger, cumin, garam masala, coriander, chili powder, salt, and sugar. basically everything except the cream and butter. save these for later. simmer the sauce on the low saute setting while browning the chicken. heat a heavy bottomed pan (dutch oven or cast iron skillet) to medium-high. melt butter and add olive oil. brown the chicken in batches for about 3-4 minutes on each side, just to get a nice brown color. it will finish cooking in the instant pot. as they finish, add them to the sauce in the instant pot. once finished browning all chicken, add a splash of white wine to the pan and deglaze it using a wooden spoon (scrape all the brown bits off the bottom) then add all this flavor goodness into the instant pot as well. Set on manual for 12 minutes. allow to naturally vent for at least ten minutes before releasing valve. remove the chicken and set aside on a plate. add sauce to a blender, and blend until uniform. add back into the instant pot and stir in the heavy cream and butter, and add the chicken back into the sauce. serve over steamed basmati or jasmine rice, and garnish with parsley or cilantro if you like it!