Monday, November 10, 2014

I Bought a House!

Life lately has been crazy. I can't tell you how many tears I've shed out of stress. Anyone out there who has bought a house and especially with small kids will understand. It's been an emotionally draining week, but things are looking up. My husband and I bought close to where we currently live, and we are very close to family still! The house is a lovely California ranch style home. Three bedrooms, two baths. It's quite large, for us, 1750 square feet and it has a great yard. I'm most thrilled with the kitchen and laundry room. The project we tackled this weekend was painting. It was an extremely lengthy process but I'm very happy with the color. We went with Behr ultra premium plus paint in the color Doeskin Gray, in an eggshell finish. The previous colors were a dark tan with brown accent walls. The paint was in good shape but it just wasn't our style.



Monday, October 27, 2014

Mommy Mondays: Isla's 9 Month Update

Oh my has the time flown by! I thought I would do a quick update about my little sugar plum Isla Grace. She will be 9 months old on the 30th; I cannot believe it. Isla can crawl, pull herself up, and cruise the couch. She says "dada" and "baba," and loves to scream and blow raspberries. Bath time is so much fun, she loves to scoot down in her bath seat and slam her legs into the water. It's messy, and super cute! Isla loves food. Oh boy, my kid can eat. She is still breastfed but also eats three meals a day. Breakfast is usually yogurt and a pouch, I buy a lot of Earth's Best organic baby food. Lunch is usually two pouches, then dinner is a veggie in a big bowl of organic oatmeal along with mixed veggies for finger food. For snacks she likes yogurt melts and the Gerber or Happy Baby puffs. She also loves to drink water, she drinks about five ounces of water from her sippy every day. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Easy Mini Breakfast Pies

In my experience, a great cup of coffee is made even better by a delicious sweet treat. It's probably from breastfeeding, but I crave sweets like crazy these days. I wanted to make something quick and easy that was basically a glorified Pop Tart. My grocery store was out of puff pastry, so I picked up a box of refrigerated pie crusts. This is a super simple sweet treat you can make in about 20 minutes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sweet Potato and Meatball Pasta

It's all about the crock pot lately, but if it's chilly where you live this can easily be made on the stove top. I wanted a way to cut down on net carbohydrates in a meal that is traditionally very heavy on the pasta. This dish would also work well with butternut squash or spaghetti squash. I used a jar of Arrabbiata sauce which added a nice touch of heat to balance the sweetness from the sweet potatoes.

If you are trying to cut down on sodium the easiest way is to use homemade meatballs instead of store bought. I happened to have a bag of frozen meatballs so I used what I had, but if you have time I recommend this recipe for spicy meatballs or this recipe for traditional meatballs. Both are delicious tried and true recipes.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Crock Pot Orange Rolls from Canned Dough

After the success of my recipe for cinnamon rolls using canned dough, I really wanted to give orange rolls a try. And what better way to make sweet sticky rolls when it's 90 degrees than in the crock pot? I have yet to try these on another heat setting, I've only cooked them on high. I plan to experiment making them on both low and warm. I will update when I have time frames on the other heat settings.

These rolls turned out wonderfully. Sweet and sticky with a bright orange flavor and a hint of spice. I hope you give them a try!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Crock Pot Enchilada Casserole

Apparently it's fall, but in Southern California it's hot. In the 90's hot, which is exactly when I get out the crock pot. During the winter when it's cold (again, Southern California, so like 60 degrees cold) I look forward to big pots of hot soup and doing the dishes because it warms me up. But when it's hot like this the kitchen is the last place I want to be. The great part about this meal is it can be made 100% with food from the pantry. The chicken and cheese are both optional, but if you have them on hand it really adds a nice change in texture to this dish.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Easy and Delicious Pollo Asado Tacos

This was another quick and easy meal that we really enjoyed. You can speed the process up more by using pre-made ingredients, but why buy salsa if you already have the ingredients in your fridge. The best time saver here is starting the pre-marinated chicken, and while it cooks throw together the toppings and your side.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sliders

This recipe came together quickly and was so delicious. Juicy chicken, spicy BBQ sauce, and sweet Hawaiian rolls. It's a winner, great for appetizers or a main dish. My husband and I ate these for dinner with potato salad on the side. They would also be phenomenal with macaroni salad. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Chili Salmon Tacos with Mango Salsa

This was the most mouthwatering lunch I've had in a long time. The hint of spice from the salmon topped with the sweet mango salsa all wrapped up in a warm tortilla was such a treat. What I enjoy most about meals like this is the easy cleanup. I cooked the fish in a non-stick skillet on the stove, wiped out the skillet and then heated the tortillas. Super simple, and comes together very quickly.

Friday, September 26, 2014

5 Ingredient Mango Salsa

This is the hands down my favorite salsa. It's sweet, spicy, and tangy and goes great with fish. This compliments the recipe I'll be posting on Monday, so come back for that if you want an idea of what to make with this salsa! Please excuse the presentation, the only clear container I could find was Tupperware. Everything else is packed away since we will hopefully be moving soon!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Easy Weeknight Meal: Baked Hot Dogs

This is not a glamorous elaborate meal that photographs beautifully, this is real life. Mommy life.

This is the my baby is getting her bottom teeth and woke up four times last night and my husband has been gone for three days meal. It's easy, quick, tasty, and filling. And generally kid approved, this was a favorite as mine as a child. I'll be honest though, I ate just about anything. I still do. 

Something else that's great about this meal is that you can store the hot dogs and the buns in the freezer. If you know you're going to have a busy day and are low on fresh food, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight! If you don't like onion, skip them. Use a different cheese if you'd like, caramelize the onions or use shallots, add relish or tomatoes. The possibilities are nearly endless! I like to keep it simple for the sake of my sanity. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sweet Lemon Gluten-Free Pancakes

Easy pancakes that taste just like the title says, sweet and lemony. This is a simple recipe that doesn't require too much prep, and the batter doesn't need to sit or thicken up like other gluten free recipes. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

On a side note . . . We are in the process of buying a house! It's all very exciting, things have been crazy. Very crazy. Isla is almost 8 months old and crawls everywhere and gets into everything. Every. Thing. She's sassy and very determined. My husband has been working like crazy, and I've hardly been cooking. I am so looking forward to having a house with a nice kitchen to inspire me to cook again! I plan to have a garden so I can grow fresh veggies and herbs. Hopefully you'll be seeing a lot more of me around here, I sure do miss blogging.  If anyone out there is still reading, thanks for sticking around :)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Blueberry Cream Cheese Low Carb Scones

I had purchased a small bag of the Bob's Red Mill GF flour, but I wasn't too impressed. It's high in carbs, not very high in fiber, and doesn't taste great. The majority of this recipe calls for almond four, but I bulked it up with coconut flour and the GF flour.  I wish I had used fresh blueberries because the frozen always turn the batter an ugly blue/green. If you are using frozen, try tossing the berries in a little sugar/sweetener and GF flour to coat the berries and keep them from staining the batter. I really enjoyed these scones!

Blueberry Cream Cheese Low Carb Scones
  • 1/2 cup blanched Almond Flour
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour
  • 3 tbsp. sweetener, I like Truvia or the Truvia Baking Blend
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 packet Truvia, for sprinkling
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Almond Milk or other milk
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese, partially frozen and diced
  • 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, diced
Per scone: 138 calories, 5.5 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, about 10 grams fat.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Dice the cream cheese and the butter, and place on a plate in the freezer. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients (almond flour through the cinnamon) and whisk together to get rid of any lumps. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, I just used my fingers and then a whisk. Whisk in the eggs and the almond milk until combined. Carefully stir in the cream cheese and the blueberries. There is a proper way for forming scones, and then there's my way:

On a baking sheet lined with parchment, plop the dough out and smooth it into a rectangle using a damp spatula. Use one packet of Truvia to sprinkle over the top of the dough. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and use a sharp knife to cut into fourths, and then into eighths making triangular cuts (like a pizza). Return to oven and bake an additional 5-7 minutes until golden brown on top and set. Let cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack until the scones are completely cool. 

When you cut the dough it will be very wet in the middle still, but a little firm on top. It's too difficult to cut and form the dough before you've baked it, so I like my method because you get it into the oven before the butter and cream cheese completely soften and you're still able to form the dough into the triangular scones. Be sure not to overcook these scones, as recipes with coconut flour tend to dry out quickly. Enjoy!

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Labor and Delivery Story

Hi and welcome back! It has been a long time since I've blogged. Besides having my life taken over by a tiny human, I honestly couldn't think of anything to write about. The days of delicious meals that were made from scratch have been replaced by microwavable pulled pork on Hawaiian rolls. That and homemade street tacos. Homemade meaning we heat up the meat and assemble completely non-authentic tacos. It works though, food has much less importance now. I thought I should write about how my sweet Isla Grace came into the world. She was born at 9:04 pm on January 30, 2014. Weighing in at just 6 lbs even, and was a compact 18.5 inches long. Thank goodness she was small, because it made the whole experience more enjoyable. To find out why, keep on reading ;)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mommy Mondays Week 40

I've missed a week and haven't been posting recipes, but I've had a good reason. Hubby and I have our hands full with this cutie:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Low Calorie Curried Chicken Salad

I love all of the cold salads: potato salad, macaroni salad, and especially chicken salad. This recipe is really simple and all I had to go buy was the celery and butter lettuce, chances are you also have the ingredients you need already in your pantry and fridge.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mommy Mondays Week 38

Another exhausting week! Hubby and I have been staying busy. Walking about 2 miles a day, eating whatever the heck we feel like, and seeing all of our friends. I'm really excited to say that next week will be the last Mommy Mondays post during my pregnancy! My doctor is going to go ahead and induce me at 39 weeks. I am miserable, my cervix is paper thin and I'm almost 4 cm dilated but my body isn't going into active labor. If you've been there, you know how uncomfortable it is! I'm happy to at least have a date at this point, but the doctor still thinks it might happen before then. Apparently my labor could progress pretty quickly so the OB said if my contractions are strong and 7 minutes apart, just go into labor and delivery. So exciting! I can't wait to meet my little girl.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Breakfast for Dinner: Polenta and Asparagus

Lately I haven't been cooking. Between waiting on the baby to come "any day now" and going out to see friends, cooking has been pushed to the back burner. Last night I made a quick and easy dinner that was vegetarian and filling. If you're unfamiliar with polenta, it's essentially corn porridge. You can make it yourself with corn meal, water, cheese, and butter plus whatever else you'd like to add. I like to buy the rolls of polenta. It's already cooked and packaged, all you have to do is slice it and cook it up!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mommy Mondays Week 37

Wow what a week! It surely started off with a bang. Last Sunday I was having Braxton Hicks contractions about 10 minutes apart for a few hours before bed. I didn't think much of it since I was dehydrated from throwing up earlier in the day. Monday morning was my last day of work, and in the car the contractions were about six minutes apart and my back was starting to ache. I called the doctor and they said to go to labor and delivery just to be sure. My husband came and picked me up, since the contractions were a little uncomfortable at that point and pretty close together. We got to triage and I instantly felt like a crazy first time mom. I just kept telling my husband I'm probably not even having contractions and I'm just being paranoid. The nurse hooked me up to the fetal monitor, and the baby was doing just fine. Turns out I was actually having contractions about three minutes apart at that point, although they weren't too uncomfortable. She checked my cervix and to my surprise I was already 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced. 

I was shocked, I really thought I was being crazy. They told me I'll probably just have the baby early but since I wasn't in pain I could go home. I had an appointment with my OB on Tuesday morning, and he said I was 80% effaced and 3 cm dilated. At this point the contractions were uncomfortable. I could feel menstrual-like cramps and back pain with each contraction, but I still felt fine. We went to L&D again at the request of my OB just to make sure I wasn't progressing too quickly. After an hour on the monitor contractions were about seven minutes apart but I was still at 3 cm, so they said I could go ahead and labor at home. Then Tuesday night it basically stopped. The contractions slowed to maybe one an hour and I felt fine. Since then I've been having contractions here and there, but nothing worth timing. It's tough because Monday we thought we'd have the baby within a few days. We packed our hospital bags, put the car seat in the car, and were ready to go! Now a week later we're still waiting on baby girl to make her grand entrance. I know she'll come "when she's ready" as everyone keeps telling me, because what else do you say? It's frustrating, I'm ready to hold my baby. I hope she comes soon! For now, hubby and I are going about business as usual! Trying to stay busy.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mommy Mondays Week 36

Oddly enough week 36 wasn't too crazy or eventful in terms of my pregnancy. Overall it was a rough week. After a long battle with cancer my uncle passed away on Friday January 10th, he was 49 years old. He was my favorite uncle and seeing him struggle has been difficult over the past year and a half. Today was the service to honor his life, and it was absolutely beautiful. I didn't know if I would be able to make it today, due to a little labor scare. 

I can write more about it in next weeks pregnancy update, since it just started on Monday. Basically I made it an hour and half at work on my last day before I had to go to L&D. My contractions were 4 minutes apart, they weren't particularly painful but I wasn't feeling too great. Turns out I was 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced. Since then we've been back to L&D once more per my doctors request, but things have slowed way down. For now baby is still cooking away but now we're anxiously awaiting her arrival.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mommy Mondays Week 35

This past week marked the start of my modified work hours! I still worked two regular days, but as of the 2nd I am down to just 5 hours at a time. It's a huge relief, because after working my 5 hours I went to the doctor, then CVS to get a prescription, and I was completely exhausted by the time I got home. This baby girl is getting big, and man can I feel it. Every day it's new aches and pains. Frequent Braxton Hicks, and the sensation that she is just going to fall right out. Getting up is actually painful at this point. 

I was looking forward to NYE with my family, and I ended up laying on the couch all night (after a 2 hour nap) because I was just so unbelievably uncomfortable. I can't believe she will be here in just about a month, we really need to finish up the nursery! I know once she's here I'm just going to want to relax and sleep whenever I can and not fuss over the apartment.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thick and Savory Beef Stew

This recipe was completely inspired by my mom. I went over to my parents for dinner and my mom used left over pot roast and gravy she had made to make a beef stew. It was the best stew I'd ever had, I was pretty sure it was because of the gravy. And I was right, the gravy makes a world of difference. I don't know why I never thought to try it that way, but it works so well. It's thick and very beefy, but overall about the same nutrition as using plain beef or chicken broth. You can fancy this up with additional spices and fresh herbs, but this is a great basic stew recipe.

Small disclaimer, hideous picture quality! This was probably day 3 of the stew, I had been getting home from work after day. So instead of having time to take a good photo when it was hot and fresh, I just snapped a quick picture at work with my phone so I could post this recipe!