Spanakopita

I love to cook, and am always looking for ways to challenge myself. Yesterday for dinner I made spanakopita with some bison. Super yummy! Bison never has any genetically modified ingredients or hormones added to it. Bison are always free to roam and grass fed, so its just a safer bet, rather than cow. The taste is good and rich in flavor and is super tender.
For the spanakopita ( a greek spinach pie), my recipe is super simple. You will need: phyllo dough, spinach, ricotta, olive oil or melted butter, and I added mushroom to mine. Onions are great in there as well. Preheat your oven to 350 or if your using an air fryer to 360 degrees.
Roughly blend the ricotta, spinach, and mushroom together. I blended the spinach and mushroom first to break it down a little bit, then added the ricotta and did a rough blend.

 

 

 

 

Take your phyllo dough (which needs to either be thawed out in the fridge overnight or on the counter for two hours), and spread it out on a flat dry surface. I cover mine with a wet paper towel while I am working so it doesn’t dry out.
Take a few pieces (as they are very thin) I would say at least two or three pieces and fold them in half. Add a small spoonful of your spinach mixture.
While your doing this, if you are making a protein to go with it, make sure you have that going. I made bison.
After you have folded your dough and added your spoonful, take a corner of the dough and bring it up to cover a portion of the spinach mixture, use your butter or olive oil to lightly coat the folded piece of dough so that your next folded piece will stick to it. Then take the opposite corner and fold it over, then butter or oil, repeat this process with the other two corners. Now this whole side should be lightly coated. Gently turn over the pastry and coat with oil or butter on the other side.
After you have finished with all of your mixture, place on a lightly coated pan (or in an air fryer) for 350 degrees until golden brown. I used my air fryer at 360 degrees for 5 minutes.
BAM!
Advertisements

To My Pops

I posted this on my Facebook a couple weeks ago when I flew to Florida to see my Poppy. Because yesterday and today have been days of constant praying, and because he is back in the hospital, I felt that I would share it again, with the world this time. I am so lucky to have this man as my grandfather, and not just that but also as a the man who stood in to be my Dad. The bond we have is unlike anything, and I thank God everyday for him choosing my Pops to be mine. So here is to you once more Poppy! I love you too much!!!

To my amazing Poppy, my pops, my universe. I know you are growing tired, and it kills me to see you in pain, but I need you to know that to me you have always been, always will be, and even at this moment still are the strongest person. You are more than a Grampy to me, you were a man that fought for this countries freedom, you were a green Beret, the stories you have told make my jaw drop, to think you had to go through what you did, and to come out to be such a strong but yet caring and kind person. You have been such an amazing role model to me, no matter what you always kept the door open to people in need. I remember our house always being full of love no matter the color, race, gender, or religion of a person. That has carried on to everyone in our family, we would all give the shirt off our back to a stranger. Thank you for teaching me humility, kindness, strength, and empathy. Thank you for teaching me to see nothing but a person. Thank you for being not only my poppy but my dad too! You taught me to ride my bike, to hunt, to fish(ice fishing included), archery, to build and fix things, to drive a golf ball, to ice skate, to speak Arabic, to cook and everything in between! Thank you for the late nights when I had a school project due, for always taking care of me, and for laughing and hugs and kisses when you were mad, but couldn’t stay mad….like when I ran over the freshly planted flower garden with the golf cart. Thank you for letting me be your little snowflake and talk to people on the CB lol breaker breaker! Thank you for apologizing to the satellite guy because I was humiliated for accidentally getting in his car and eating all of his combos and drinking his Gatorade lol. Thank you for eating all of my experiments in the kitchen lol (or at least pretending to). Thank you for taking me to the firehouse all the time, and taking me bowling with you, I am an expert at the claw machine still to this day 👌🏽 thank you for letting me make the rounds with you every night even though I should have been in bed….to this day I have never seen a more beautiful night sky then the ones in catskill and all the deer running around was a major bonus. Thank you for always letting me be around, being your sidekick has taught me more than you will ever know, and because of that, I never need any help and can do almost anything! Thanks for singing to me every day, Joe Cockers “You Are So Beautiful” will always be my favorite. Because of you I had the best person to walk me down the aisle. Thank you for not letting me fall. Just thank you so much for being you! To me you could never do any wrong, you are the most amazing person ever! I love you more than you will ever know! I just wanted you to know that!!! You have shaped my life and made it more than I could ever dream of! We may not be rich with money, but we are rich with love in our family, and that to me, is better than all the money in the world! I have realized that a family as close as ours is very rare, and I thank God every day for that!!!! We may be loud and crazy (hey I always thought it was normal to talk as loud as our crazy Leb family does lol and it helped with my cheerleading that I did half my life!!!), but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love you Pops!!!!

Bribery

When your son loathes haircuts, but his hair is starting to look like a helmet 😂 The last time he let you cut his hair he only agreed if you used his tiny plastic toddler scissors….which let me tell you was not easy. So you bribe him with a handful of oreos and a Ninja Turtles movie.

 

 

 

And then you bribe your dog with a spoon full of peanut butter because she too, does not like haircuts. LOL

 

 

Falafel

Growing up with a Lebanese background, I love mediterranean food. I grew up eating it and now love to cook it! My husband is always begging me to make it for him. The best thing I love about it besides the taste, is that it is healthy too. We make our rolled grape leaves with bulgar or brown rice, lean beef or lamb, and fresh tomato sauce, so its like every food group, (I dunk mine in geek yogurt so there is my dairy lol) rolled into one little leaf. Another of my faves is falafel, so I was super stoked when I found these chips. I always have some on hand for snacking to avoid eating junk. They come in a variety of flavors and they taste yummy with hummus too. Definitely have to try them!

Family Fit Leg Day

I love doing any kind of activities with my kiddos. I wanted to show them from the beginning that staying active and healthy was important, and that it can be fun too. Sometimes we even go to parks and do workouts together and play tag in between sets. Other parks offer some workout equipment for you to do while your kids play, which is super awesome, especially when you are not having a creative day. Here is our leg day blast.

Wide Squat 20 reps 5 sets

 

 

Jump Squat 15 reps 5 sets

 

Jump Split Lunge 15 reps (per side) 5 sets

 

 

 

Curtsey Lunge 20 reps (per side) 5 sets (your leg goes behind and to the opposite side).

 

Calf Raises 30 reps 5 sets
The following exercises moves are done with speed for one minute. So you will perform them as fast as you can for a minute straight. Rest for 1-2 minutes and repeat 4 more times.
Sprints

 

 

Front Leg Kicks (alternate legs, high as you can).

 

Fast Kicks (alternate legs keeping them low and quick, yes it feels silly but it is great)!

 

High Skips (alternate legs, bring knee up and kick out).

 

 

High Knees (alternate legs moving up and forward as you go).

 

 

 

Side Shuffle Squat (start in a plié squat then jump and shuffle your feet so you land in a narrow squat, continue movement for 30 seconds then go the opposite way for the other 30 seconds).

 

 

Be sure that your abdominal muscles are engaged through every movement, and you are not arching or bowing your back. Drink lots of water and kill it!

Crazy Neighbor Alert

Well today has been a fantabulous day! Started with my little getting up 4 and not wanting to go back to sleep, my eldest was moving and doing school work like a slug. After telling her the directions about 4 times she still did the assignment wrong….so we had to re-do it. Tried to go to the bathroom but my 4 year old decided he would use this time to use me as a jungle gym. Finally made it to the gym a little after 12 (the daycare closes at 1) so in my intent to hurry my workout I somehow without noticing slice my thumb open, luckily they had superglue so I glued it shut to continue, determined to finish! Ran to the grocery store which of course was packed. Got home, realized I forgot a few of my top items at the grocery store,  fed everyone, showered, fed myself and got Madison ready for gymnastics. I asked my son to go potty and wash his hands 30 minutes prior to leaving the house while I made snacks and filled water bottles. 10 minutes later I am still asking him to go potty and wash his hands. I asked a few more times and then finally I am now screaming and he looks at me like I am crazy and rushes to at last do what he was asked. Every single day it’s the same thing! Why do they not listen when I am nicely asking? Why do they wait until I am screaming until I’m hoarse!!??? So I go outside to my car to put my bag and lap top in the car and my neighbors look at me and hurry inside…..greeeaaat. Now I’m the crazy neighbor lol this is now the second time I have scared away my neighbors, the first was when I told my brother I was going to leave him because he was taking too long to get ready and I started slowly rolling out of the driveway as he was running to jump in my van and I continued driving with the door wide open (no I really wouldn’t have left him, and yes perhaps I am crazy)! And now my neighbors got to hear me screaming like a mad woman. Lol awesome sauce. Now he has gone potty and washed his hands and I look down and he has no socks or shoes on! Ugh! Rip hair out moment. We make it to gymnastics right on time, and I realize I forgot all of the snacks I packed us to hold us up for 3+ hours. Put it on my tab…. go to work on my lap top and the internet isn’t working lol so here’s to a few shots when I get home and to now creepy waves to my neighbors who think I’m bat shit crazy lol.

Beautifully Made

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share the amazing work of my Aunt. She makes beautiful jewelry. The first three photos are of some of the stuff she has made me, I have much more and hopefully much more to come (hint hint)! The rest of the pictures are just a few other items that she has made. All of the metals she makes from scratch by hand herself! It is so amazing and I am in awe of her! For any inquiries about her gorgeous work, please get in touch with me (deitiesofhealth@gmail.com) and I will put you through to her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garlic Butter Chicken Pasta

Very simple and easy to make, yummy meal. I always do other things while I making my protein. Last night I got the kids into showers and put away some laundry while my chicken was in my air fryer. If you don’t have an air fryer simply just bake your chicken breast. I always like my chicken slightly browned so it has a crisp to it, so if you are like me, I would put it on a pan and sear it first, cut it for less bake time, and then bake. I made my edamame pasta as usual, but feel free to make this your own and add whatever pasta you would like. For my sauce, all I do is place some butter in a dish, melt it, and then add garlic and oregano. That’s it! Pour over pasta and chicken and you got yourself a tasty meal in less then 30 minutes!