easiest pot pies

Who loves comfort food?  <<raises hand>>  Maybe the real question should be who doesn’t love comfort food?  One complaint of comfort food that I hear often is that it’s not healthy.  Another popular complaint is that it takes too long to make.  Womp, womp.  Well, friends, I’ve got a solution for you today.  These are, by far and away, the easiest pot pies ever to make.  Yes, I said ever.  And they’re delicious.  And they come in the most perfect portions, so you don’t have to worry about overindulging.  One option is a beef pot pie made with garden vegetables and flaky pastry crust.

blakes beef pot pie

Want the recipe?  While I can’t quite give you that, I can give you the secret.  The secret is Blake’s.  Blake’s does all the hard work for you.  All you have to do is pop the pot pie in the oven (or microwave!), sit down, relax, and enjoy.  Their pies are made from scratch in small batches by wonderful happy people (not machine) and feature garden vegetables, potatoes, a savory signature gravy, and a flaky pie crust.  Home cooking has literally never been easier!

I’ve made these pot pies both in the oven and the microwave.  The microwave is easier, and I think they turn out great both ways.  I do like to pop it under the broiler for a few minutes to make the crust (best part) a bit crispier.  Blake’s pot pies come in beef or turkey, both the beef and turkey are raised without antibiotics.

blakes pot pie

Other noteworthy facts about Blake’s pot pies:

  • no antibiotics used
  • 0 grams trans fat
  • no artificial flavors
  • fed no animal by-products
  • no artificial colors
  • no preservatives

Yes, y’all, these are frozen meals.  No, I don’t rely on them for daily lunches or dinners.  However, sometimes I am in a pinch or sometimes I am craving something that I don’t feel like making.  That’s when Blake’s comes into the picture.  I feel good about eating these since there are only real ingredients used.  I also love how they are the perfect portions, so I don’t go crazy overboard with these delicious comfort food meals.  I try to compliment them with a fresh side, such as this kale salad I ate alongside the turkey pot pie.

blakes turkey pot pie

Blake’s pot pies are brand new and came to Meijer and Publix stores this month, with more to come over the summer and early in the fall including Sprouts and Acme.  There are many other organic, all natural, and family size meals that come in a variety of options.  Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, and local groceries are just some of the other stores that carry Blake’s.  (Check their store locator to see what’s by you.)  I always keep a few Blake’s meals in my freezer for those emergency, gotta have moments!

What’s your all time favorite comfort meal?  Mine is probably shepherds pie or macaroni and cheese, both of which Blake’s makes!

This post is sponsored by Blake’s.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

thinking out loud

Tomorrow is Friday! Tomorrow is Friday!  Yippee!  Let’s get through Thursday first, eh?  I’m doing a thinking out loud post today because I have lots of random things to share with you in the categories of Food, Beauty, Fitness, and Baby.  A little something for everyone.  Take a look:

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FOOD:

  • St. Louis just got its first Fresh Market.  William and I checked it out last weekend. It is a beautiful store with a lovely bakery, but honestly I was a bit disappointed. While they did have some good deals on sale items, overall it was more expensive (think: Whole Foods Market) than I anticipated.  I’ll be sticking to Trader Joe’s, but will definitely visit the Fresh Market on occasion (especially when I need a special treat from their bakery!).
  • Blake’s All Natural Foods just came out with several new meals.  For those of you unfamiliar, Blake’s makes frozen meals with REAL ingredients that taste great!  They’re not low-calorie or anything, but you don’t have to worry about funny chemicals being in there.  And while they’re not low-cal or low-fat, they are individually portioned and packaged, so it’s really not bad to eat once in a while.  Sometimes it sure beats cooking!  Their new meals include:
  • I tried to make my own banana soft serve last night.  It didn’t turn out.  I either didn’t do a good job or I left it in the freezer too long.  How do people get it so creamy? Mine was super icy.  Any recipes to share?
  • After reading Brittany’s Buckwheat, Millet, and Apple Breakfast Bake, I needed to make my own.  Mine included oats, apple, cinnamon, and raisins with a dollop of peanut butter on top.

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BEAUTY:

  • Did you know that Skoop makes a product called B-Lovely?  B-Lovely aids in muscle building, detoxify cells, repair collagen, and boost immunity, and provides relief on a cellular level through its many antioxidants and resveratrol.
  • A sweet reader named Danielle sent me some samples of Rodan + Fields.  She sent me a mini-facial which included:
    • ENHANCEMENTS Micro-Dermabrasion Paste: Woah, this stuff was intense! It left my face a little red after, but that was short-lived.  My face was super soft from using it!
    • REDEFINE Night Renewing Serum: Used directly after the paste, this was a very soothing thick cream.
    • REDEFINE Lip Renewing Serum: I’m picky about what I put on my lips, but this really moisturized them.
  • Danielle also sent me a week’s worth of the REDEFINE line.  The REDEFINE regimen consists of four products: Daily Cleansing Mask, Pore Minimizing Toner, Triple Defense Treatment, and Overnight Restorative Cream.  Danielle said I probably wouldn’t see results in just a week, but I think I did. My face was a lot smoother and softer, and it seemed like my makeup went on better, too.  I like that the Triple Defense Treatment contains SPF 30; I would definitely use that on a daily basis.
  • If you’d like to learn more about which Rodan + Fields regimen is right for you, e-mail Danielle at: dviolard [at] gmail [dot] com.

redefine

FITNESS:

  • I’m really sad that my ClassPass month expired. I had so much fun trying out new-to-me studios and gyms.  Since right now the weekends are the only time I can actually attend classes, I’ll probably take a break for the time being.  In the summer, I may sign up again.  But good news for St. Louis folks!  You can sign-up for $10 for one-week of unlimited classes –> HERE!
  • RUNNERS: There is a new shoe out there worth looking into: Night Runner 270° Shoe Light. The light connects to your shoes, has bounce protection, shines for 30 meters, and includes a rear-facing red tail light so you are visible to vehicles.
    • They need to raise $38,000 for the first round of manufacturing. The Kickstarter Campaign just launched. The actual price for a unit will be $69.95, but you can pre-order via Kickstarter at the $50 donation level.

BABY:

  • I’m pretty sure baby William is teething (again), so I ordered him a Banana Brush to chew on.  He’s been loving it, and I think it’s been satisfying some of his chewing needs.
  • A couple of times, I’ve caught William putting his teeth on his crib rails, so I quickly ordered crib rail protectors.  Can’t wait for those to arrive!
  • Thanks to teething, William has been sleeping worse than normal.  On Tuesday night, he was up from 3 – 4 a.m. Ouch.
  • And since I threw William under the bus about his poor sleep habits, I’ll pull a redemption card and show you a super cute picture of him from last week’s Dr. Seuss day at school:

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His outfit isn’t technically Dr. Seuss, but I thought it looked pretty good for what we had!

Share something about one of the categories from today: FOOD, BEAUTY, FITNESS, or BABY!

Warm Vegetable Salad Recipe | #BlakesPairing

Do you ever have those evenings when you wish you could have a warm home cooked comfort meal without doing all the work that goes into making it?  Well, now you can.  Blake’s All Natural frozen meals are where itz at.  Blake’s recently reached out to me, so I had the opportunity to try several of their dishes and they are good.  Blake’s meals are now available at Target which makes it super easy when out and about running errands.  (They’re also sold at Whole Foods.)  Here are just some of the dishes:

Blake's All Natural

Every Blake’s meal is made completely from scratch in small batches using the finest organic and natural ingredients.  0 grams trans fat, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no preservatives.

As I’ve tried several of Blake’s meals now, the first thing I always notice is how hearty they are unlike other frozen meals.  I’ll be honest, this is no “diet” meal.  They use REAL ingredients, so there are real calories and real fat in these bad boys.  But as I always say, everything in moderation.  I’m a big believer in eating real foods, but I’m also a realist.  Especially now having a baby, my time is the kitchen is limited.  While I wouldn’t necessary advocate for anyone to have frozen meals on a nightly basis, I think occasionally is just fine by all means.

blakes all natural mac and cheese

I’m participating in #BlakesPairing recipe contest, so I created a warm vegetable salad to pair along with one of the meals.  I chose the Old Fashioned Mac& Cheese because, let’s be real, you can’t go wrong with mac and cheese.  Blake’s certainly did not disappoint!  It was super cheesy; you know, the real cheesy, nothing fake about this stuff.  And the warm vegetable salad paired pretty darn perfectly right alongside.

warm vegetable salad recipe

Warm Vegetable Salad Recipe

~serves two

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil for garnish

Directions:

  1. Blanch carrots, broccoli, and sugar snap peas.  (boil for 3 minutes then shock in ice bath)
  2. Saute red pepper in olive oil. Add the carrots and sugar snap peas. Add the broccoli last (as to not overcook).
  3. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, chives, balsamic, and dijon mustard, stirring to evenly distribute.
  4. Garnish with chiffonade of basil.

blakes

The pairing of Blake’s all natural old-fashioned mac & cheese with my warm vegetable salad is just perfect.  Itz warm and delicious.  Itz comfort food at itz finest.

warm vegetable salad

What’s comfort food to you?