The Wifey’s Mother’s Day (or any day) French Toast Casserole

Mother’s Day can be stressful, right?!?

We all want to show our Mom’s some major love, but scoring that “perfect” reservation or cooking a delicious breakfast can seem nearly impossible.

Growing up, my Mom made the best French Toast EVER…and I’ve tried to recreate that delicious dish…and add a Wifey Twist.

I got it* from my mamma *my height at the very least

Me and my Mom on the day I became a Wifey

This French Toast feast is pretty much guaranteed to be flawless and it’s fun to make with kids. (it involves ripping things with your bare hands!)

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PLUS- it’s inexpensive and can be customized for the Mamma in your life.

Ready? Let’s get Wife’d Up: Mother’s Day Style.

The Wifey’s Mother’s Day (or any day) French Toast Casserole

What You Need/Grocery List:

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  • a loaf of bread. I used Challah bread from my local Plum Market, you can use any variety including; whole wheat, raisin, white bread or even a loaf of stale stuff. tip: if it’s moldy, it ain’t gonna work
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1 cup of milk, I used low fat vanilla (can be; skim, full fat, vanilla, almond, soy- I’ve even seen people use Rumchata)
  • 3 tsp cinnamon * in the video I only use about 1tsp- but in the batch before I used 3 tbsp and it tasted MUCH better*
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • a 9 x 13 pan and either butter or Pam spray to grease the pan
  • any *extras* you’d like to throw in. Examples: walnuts, bananas, blueberries, raisins…get CRAZY with it.

What To Do: 

  • set your oven to 425
  • grease your pan & pour 1/2 syrup to coat the bottom

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  • slice your loaf

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  • then rip apart the slices into about 1 inch pieces- don’t stress over the size- in this case it really doesn’t matter

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  • crack your eggs in a bowl, add half and half, milk , cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and sugar and mix it with a whisk or fork until combined

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  • dump your bread pieces into the pan
  • dump your egg mix over the bread , slowly and evenly

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  • take your hands and mush down the bread to make sure every piece has taken an egg bath
  • pour 1/2 cup syrup on top
  • pop into the oven for 30 mins, check on it-it should be fluffed up.  if it’s getting burned, take it out. If it looks ok, let it bake 10 more mins.

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  • serve with anything you like! Cool Whip, Strawberries, etc.
  • Kiss your Mom!

SEE HOW SIMPLE IT IS TO MAKE VIA VIDEO…COMING SOON.

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My family- LOVE YOU MOM!

Wifey Bars

My name is Kelli Zink Levy…and I’m addicted…to Lara Bars.

It’s true, I’m obsessed with nearly every flavor (minus the minty one) and how well these little healthy bars travel along in my purse or pocket.

Just last week I whipped one out at Soho House while having drinks with friends including Marshall Faulk & Cam from Modern Family- but that’s a story for another time.

In true Wifey form, I read the simple list of Lara Bar ingredients and decided I could make my own version. My first few attempts landed me with the Zexy Mamma Bars, but now with a few tweaks, I’ve come up with my most genius version yet.

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Oh, and BTW- these are NO BAKE! That’s right, all you do is blend ’em and they are good to go.

Ready to try ’em? Let’s get Wife’d Up!

Wifey Bars

What You Need/Grocery List: 

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  • dried pitted dates- if you can only find them with the pits in – that’s fine- you’ll just have to remove them. You’ll need about  cup
  • 1/2 cup dried oats
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup honey- I use Manuka honey for the added health benefits
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter (you can also use peanut, cashew, etc)
  • a blender (or not and they will be chunkier)
  • mini foil baking pans or non stick plastic muffin sheets
  • plastic wrap or zip lock baggies

What To Do: 

  • dump the dates, oats, almonds and walnuts into your blender
  • put your honey and almond butter into a small bowl and microwave until both are soft. start with about 20 seconds, stir and continue- but make sure the ingredients don’t burn
  • transfer the hot mix to the blender
  • mix and stir, stir and blend until it all looks the same. if you like yours chunkier, that’s cool too- I prefer to blend mine a bit
  • lay a sheet of plastic wrap down and lay a layer of the mix, spreading evenly and covering with plastic again. Watch the video for the demo of the ziplock baggies too. Or simply dump even spoonfuls into the muffin tins – no plastic needed
  • pop into the freezer for 20 mins and “set”
  • if using the pan, cut into bars…eat and enjoy!

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I love giving these away as little gifts. I’ve given them to; book club girls, friends who are always on the go, and for thank you gifts.

Feel free to add your twist on them and throw in whatever ingredients YOU and your people love!

WATCH AND LEARN HOW TO MAKE EM :

Bikini Poppers- Wifey Style

Remember years ago when the South Beach Diet was all the rage and those egg bakes were super popular??

Well, the Wifey is bringing ’em back- thanks to a reminder from my Brother in law Andy (yes Andy AGAIN- what can I say- he’s an eggcellent cook) (hee hee)

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The beauty of these little poppers is that you can realize personalize them. For example:

Andy uses eggs , mine call for egg substitute. Andy adds peppers and other veggies, mine simply call for cheese.

You can add meat, various veggies- whatever you want. I’m keeping it basic and I’ll let you build if you like.

And while we’re using this baking method, I’m also going to show you how to make my version of the “egg” in the egg mcmuffin- Mc’D’s style.

The best part about both of these is that they are low carb and you can freeze and reheat for breakfast all week long. AND these are the perfect pool/beach party snacks to throw into the cooler…they energize without weighing down your bikini style.

Ready? Let’s get Wife’ed Up!

What You Need/Grocery List :

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  • a carton of egg substitute and or eggs
  • a container of crumbled goat cheese
  • a bag of Mexican blend cheese
  • PAM spray or butter
  • salt and pepper
  • a muffin baking tin- I use the disposable kind
  • something to pop the eggs out with- I think above is a frosting spreader… real technical , I know.

What To Do: 

  • pre heat your oven to 350
  • spray the muffin pan with PAM or grease with butter
  • pour equal amounts of egg mix into each muffin area- NOT all the way to the top – it will expand when it bakes
  • sprinkle goat cheese equally into each area, it will sink and mix
  • sprinkle Mexican blend on top
  • IF USING EGG- crack open and pour entire egg, unmixed into area
see how fluffy!?

see how fluffy!?

  • salt and pepper
  • bake around 20 mins
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Ronald called- he wants the Wifey’s recipe!

  • serve with toast, english muffins, salsa/guac/sour cream or simply eat on it’s own and ENJOY!

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STEP BY STEP VIDEO COMING SOON

Slam Dunk Spinach Artichoke Dip

Considering the fact that 40 million Americans fill out NCAA brackets- I’m assuming at least a few of you will watch the games and attend a viewing party or host friends…am I right?

That got me thinking about a recipe that travels well, and is at least SEMI healthy….and this dip is the answer.

I made it for my family over the Christmas holiday as an appetizer and even my brother was a fan, so I tweaked it some more and if I may say- it’s delicious.

Plus, it’s green…just like my team THE MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS!

Slam Dunk Kale Artichoke Dip

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What You Need/Grocery List:

  • either a can of quartered artichoke heats or a healthy serving of artichokes from the salad bar.
  • a bag of spinach and/or a container full of spinach from the salad bar.
  • a bunch of kale- I get mine pre chopped from Whole Foods salad bar. You can also buy your own and chop it
  • a small container of Greek Yogurt- PLAIN. I like to use the 2% fat version
  • 1/2 cup of light mayo
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • a head of garlic
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • either a fresh round load of bread or crackers/bread for dipping
  • a blender or food processor
  • a round or square baking dish- oven safe

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What To Do:

  • pre heat your oven to 350 degrees, cut off top of garlic and place cut side up , wrapped in tin foil and drizzled with olive oil in the oven for about 30 mins. When the garlic is soft enough to squeeze- it’s done.

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and after

  • sautee 2 tsp olive oil , kale and spinach for about 5 mins or until everything is “wilted”.

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  • dump the mixture into a blender, add the artichoke and garlic and pulse until blended

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  • return this mix to a bowl and add your cheeses, yogurt and mayo- and a dash of salt and pepper as needed- stir until it’s all one happy family

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  • layer into your baking dish, sprinkle some extra cheese on top
  • bake – un covered- for around 25 mins or until the top begins to get golden brown

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  • (IF USING ROUND LOAF) cut off top, scoop out middle and break or cut into pieces. Pour dip into bowl and serve with pieces for dipping.
  • Otherwise- serve with tortilla chips, or crackers and track that bracket without starving!

* STEP BY STEP VIDEO COMING SOON*

Wifey Stir Crazy Stir Fry

After a brief hiatus…The Wifey is BACK for Wifey Wednesday.

ANYHOO- let’s talk about how STIR CRAZY we’ve all been about this Winter that seems to never end!

And yet,  everywhere we look it’s all about : SPRING! Spring fashion =’s less clothing and > pasty legs and arms.

So I’ve come up with a one pot/wok dinner that’s both satisfying and healthy. Modify as you wish with protein. * add chicken, beef, subtract shrimp- whatever you like.

stir it up... (in Bob Marley voice)

stir it up… (in Bob Marley voice)

This list may look like a lot, but I promise it’s mostly canned stuff and almost any grocery store in the USA will stock the list.

I really love Trader Joe’s for an excursion of this type, but no matter where you go, it’s cheap and easy.

What You Need/Grocery List: 

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  • a bag/ handful of snap peas (I get mine from Trader Joe’s)
  • a can of water chestnuts – sliced
  • a can of “stir fry” mushrooms or fresh mushrooms
  • a can of bamboo shoots- sliced
  • a can of baby corn – *side note..you either love or hate baby corn so omit if you wish
  • a handful of mixed peppers, sliced (green, red, yellow… I got mine from the Whole Foods salad bar)
  • a small handful of sliced zucchini (I got mine from…the “cheater bar”. If your grocery doesn’t have a salad bar, simply slice up strips of a small zucchini)
  • a pinch of shredded carrots from…. (I won’t even insult you at this point)
  • a bag of frozen, shelled edamame (you will use about 1/4 a cup)
  • a bag of pre cooked and cleaned, frozen shrimp

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  • a package of instant and microwave friendly rice (I like either brown or sticky white)

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  • a package of seaweed snacks (you can eat 10 FOR 30 CALORIES!?!?!) *pick them up at Trader Joe’s or in the ethnic isle near Asian foods, I like the Wasabi Flavor
  • a small bottle of sesame oil
  • a bottle of soy sauce (I like low sodium, regular makes me look like I’ve been crying all night)
  • a bottle of teriyaki , or any other kind of Asian stir-fry sauce that floats your boat. *I got mine from Trader Joe’s

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What To Do:

  • heat about 2 tsp of the sesame oil in a pan or wok on medium high heat
  • add all the veggies, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts & baby corn to the wok/pan and with a large spoon/stirring thing- make sure all your veggies are coated

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  • dump your frozen cooked  shrimps into a strainer or bowl and run cold water over them for about 5 mins until they thaw. dump water out, and pat shrimps down with paper towel. * you can also use frozen uncooked shrimp, just cook in a separate pan until they are pink and then add to the mix

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  • either stir constantly or hold the handle, tilt the pan down and flip the veggies until they begin to brown
  • pop the rice in the microwave and cook according to directions. (peel the top off and cook for 1 min)
  • when veggies begin to brown a tad, add shrimps to the mix.

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  • add about 1 tsp of your sauce or just soy sauce to the pan/wok and continue to flip or stir until the entire mix begins to brown. Be sure to give it all your attention here- burning is NO GOOD.
  • dump rice into a bowl, pour stir fry over rice.
  • serve with seaweed for wrapping into mini burritos or just pretty color.

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  • bow gracefully and accept praise!

The Wifey’s Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Mini Sandos

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Last Sunday was my niece Izzy’s 3rd birthday party and my brother in law Andy made pulled pork in his slow cooker. People were acting like they were starving contestants on Survivor and had just been given a food prize. Just wolfing them down.

He gave me a pretty simple recipe, which I modified and made into The Wifey’s version.

Ready? Let’s Get Wife’d Up!

What You Need/Grocery List:

  •  a package of pork shoulder & butt
  • a can or box of chicken broth
  • a medium yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • cinnamon
  • cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • chili pepper
  • apple cider vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • a bottle of bbq sauce- I used Sweet Baby Ray’s
  • mini King’s Hawaiian rolls

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What To Do:

  • cut your medium yellow onion into slices
  • slice 4 cloves of garlic
  • pour the can of chicken broth into the slow cooker
  • pour 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar into the slow cooker
  • dump the sliced onions and garlic into the pot and spread out
  • dump 1/2 cup of bbq sauce on top
  • mix : 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of salt & 1 teaspoon of cumin into a large bowl.
  • dry off your pork pieces and then dump them into the bowl, and coat with the spice mixture
  • layer the pork in the slow cooker , add 1 cup water and cook on low for 8 hours

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  • pull out the pieces from the slow cooker and put them on a large cutting board, pull apart with two forks. it should fall apart easily. at this point I separated the men from the boys (pork and onions) and set the onions aside for people to use if they want. place pork into a large bowl.

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  • pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a pot and boil it for 15 mins or so- until about half of the liquid is gone.
  • dump 1 cup of the liquid over the pork.
  • slowly mix in remaining bottle of bbq sauce until it’s one big bowl of magic

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  • serve on mini rolls, accept praise.

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Wifey Does Valentine’s Day Brunch!

Lovers- this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday!

Why is this awesome?? Oh well let’s see- A. no flower sending to work contest, B. no being stuck at the office scrolling thru everyone’s sappy social media posts and C. you can cook your hunny or yourself brunch instead of dinner!

Brunch is so much less pressure and usually less expensive. Today we’re tackling a dish that looks super fancy, but it’s not. It’s an omelette dressed up in Spanish gear- aka- a Tortilla de Espanola.

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Let’s Get Wife’d Up!

Jojo flirting with Jordan our videographer per usual!

Jojo flirting with Jordan, our videographer per usual!

What You Need/Grocery List:

  • 10 eggs
  • a large baking potato or a few small potatoes
  • a small yellow onion
  • vegetable oil
  • a medium non stick pan
  • a large plate or cookie sheet
  • a potato peeler
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper
  • *optional- shredded parm cheese

What To Do:

  • coat the pan with 1 tsp of oil or so and heat on low
  • peel your potato, then slice very thin pieces- try to make them all the same size

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  • add them to the pan and drizzle another tsp or so of oil over the top evenly. add a dash of salt and pepper. cover and let cook on low while you slice your onion.
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I also added a dash of paprika- optional if you wish

  • slice your onion in half, then into pieces – NOT chopped cubes. Add them to the potato pan, cover and let cook on low for about 20 mins- turning half way thru.

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  • combine all your eggs into a bowl, whisk and add about 2 tbs milk, salt and pepper, set aside.
  • when your onions and potatoes are soft, (able to break them with a fork- not burned or crunch) take a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl. dump eggs on top and mix it all together, add another dash of salt n’pepper and let it sit and get cozy for at least 10 mins.

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  • since you used a slotted spoon you should still have some oil on the bottom of the pan- thats good. add a little more and turn the heat up super high.
  • dump your mixture into the super hot pan and turn to medium /low right away.

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  • let this sit and cook for about 8 mins, the edges will look cooked with a slightly raw middle.
here is where you can add your cheese. see- not ready to flip yet...almost!

here is where you can add your cheese. see- not ready to flip yet…almost!

  • when it’s time to flip, DONT freak out. Well, kinda freak out- cause this is the only hard part. Take your cookie sheet or large plate in one hand and grab the handle of the pan with the other. lift the pan and begin to flip as you cover the pan, then turn upside down so the browned side is right side up. Then wiggle the tortilla back into the pan – raw side down.

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  • as you can see, I made a mess – when you watch the video you will see how much I really messed it up- but the beauty is- it doesn’t have to be perfect, because the egg mixture will re form in the pan once it’s flipped.
  • cook or another 4 mins or so. then slide it out onto your cutting board and let it “rest” or sit for 10 mins or so, option to sprinkle more cheese on top.
  • slice into triangles and serve with hot sauce or garlic mayo and accept praise , You MASTER Chef!

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Also- this keeps very well and is delicious served cold or on a baguette the following day!

Will you be my Valentine???

Will you be my Valentine???

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VIDEO COMING SOON!