Unicorns

So obviously this was the most important thing that happened today:

Unicorn Frappuccinos! We went through Starbucks after school, and judging from the drive-thru line, so did everyone else in Dallas. I had them split a tall for the kids. Verdict? Isla loved it, Jack not so much. I tried a sip and it just tasted really sweet to me, though there’s a blue drizzle of something super sour in there as well.

Our workout this AM kicked my butt (12 minutes of crab walks!) and then I spent from about 10:30-1 cleaning the house. We also hit up Central Market for groceries after school, so by the time we got home I was way too tired for a complicated dinner. I actually picked up one of the “Kids Dinner for 2″ bags at CM- who knew they had these?? Genius. It came with really good chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, baby carrots and rolls. Of course Isla refused to touch anything but the roll so she had bread and watermelon for dinner. Sigh.

Brian had a meeting tonight, so it was just me for dinner. I ended up throwing together a quick chicken salad using some chicken breasts I cooked in the Instant Pot earlier this week. I don’t have a super exact recipe for you, but it was basically 1 lb of shredded chicken, about 1.5 cups of nonfat Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup of mayo (it definitely could have used more but we ran out), diced water chestnuts, diced apple, sliced almonds, a handful of dried cherries, a few spoonfuls of McClure’s pickle relish (and some of the juice- it’s SO GOOD), garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. It made a huge bowl so I’ll have that for lunch for the rest of the week.

Pre-mixing:

Served over baby spinach:

Notice the fancy paper plate- that’s how I roll.

Posted in April 2017 | Leave a comment

Snap Peas and Spaghetti Squash

Well the kids go back to school tomorrow and it’s back to our normal schedule. It’s been great having them home but I think we’re all going a little stir-crazy. The kids did have a fun few hours with my parents today- my dad took Jack to Dave & Busters, and my mom took Isla to a local tea room for lunch and then for ice cream after. I took advantage of the solo time and actually showered AND blow dried my hair, then met Brian for ramen lunch at Wabi House.

Have y’all ever roasted sugar snap peas? They are GOOD. I don’t love them raw, but tonight I tossed them with a little olive oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper and roasted at 400 for about 10 minutes (shaking the pan a few times during baking):

They get really tender and sweet when you roast them. I asked Jack to try one and he popped open the shell, apparently thinking it was edamame. Those kids are edamame fiends.

I need spaghetti squash lessons. I’ve been roasting mine in the oven: halved, seeds scraped out, brushed with a little olive oil and baked cut-side down at 375 for about 35-40 minutes. They keep coming out mushy. Not like firm spaghetti strands but just a big pile of mush. What am I doing wrong??

Tonight I made a quick meat sauce with ground turkey, mushrooms, those awesome frozen garlic and basil cubes from Trader Joe’s, a jar of Rao’s Marinara and half a jar of Victoria White Linen Marinara (from Costco). Served over my spaghetti squash disaster:

Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in April 2017 | 2 Comments

Easter 2017

Well we’re still riding out the Easter holiday over here. The kids don’t go back to school until Wednesday! I love having them home, but I’ve gotten so used to having time during the day to get stuff done that right now my house is a complete disaster and we had zero food until I ran to Super Target at 9:00 tonight. It poured rain from about noon to 7, so other than a quick trip to the trampoline park (we got SOAKED running to the car after), we hunkered down at home in our PJ’s and watched movies. It was pretty great.

The rest of the break has been fun. I went up to the school on Thursday morning to hide eggs for the pre-k egg hunt. Isla’s class was adorable and SO excited:

Thursday afternoon I piled the kids & Chloe in the car and headed to the lake. It was gorgeous the entire time we were there- they rode their bikes, played baseball, cooked s’mores over a bonfire (actually that was kind of a disaster- both Brian and Isla were stung by hornets), rode around on the golf cart. My parents came down Thursday evening as well and then Brian met us down there Friday night. We arrived about an hour before my mom & dad, so the kids and I grabbed dinner at the country club behind their house. It was so nice out- the kids ran around on the golf course while I kicked up my feet and waited on the food. Pretty perfect.

(They kept getting stuck in that tree…)

We stayed until Saturday afternoon and then headed home to get ready for Easter. On Sunday we did the Easter bunny thing and then headed to church:

They look sweet, right? That was right before Brian and I spent an hour wrestling Isla during church. She was slamming the kneeler down, standing on the pew, talking, harassing Jack, and of course demanded to go potty literally as the priest was walking in to start the service. Oy. Next year her class will go to church once a month with the rest of the school, and all I can say is GOOD LUCK to her kindergarten teacher.

We grabbed brunch after church (bottomless mimosas were necessary after that disaster) and then headed to my parents’ at 4 to celebrate Easter with them. Brian made a bunch of deviled eggs to take over there and I made my favorite spicy BBQ beans with kale. I think Brian, my mom and I were the only ones to touch the beans, which is fine by me because I’ll eat them for lunch all week! They are so good.

There’s our Easter weekend for you! Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Posted in April 2017 | Leave a comment

Overnight Oats In A Jar

Quick post tonight- Brian worked late tonight and then went to a committee meeting straight from work, so I’ve been solo parenting all afternoon/evening and mama is TIRED. I just want a glass of wine and trashy TV.

But I thought I’d share my latest breakfast obsession! I tend to eat the same thing for breakfast for months and months and then get tired of it. For a long time it was yogurt with frozen cherries & granola, then sprouted grain raisin toast with PB, and now it’s overnight oats. I made 4 jars of it (pint jars- I got 4 for under $5 at Target) on Monday, stuck them in the fridge, and have had breakfast ready to go all week! It’s high protein and still has enough carbs to help me power through my morning workout… which almost killed me this morning, btw.

There are a lot of versions of this floating around, but here’s what I use:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used regular old skim milk, but you could use almond milk or whatever you like)
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (sub any frozen or fresh fruit you like)
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds

Stir together (or shake) in a jar, then refrigerate overnight. As I said, I made a bunch on Monday and they still taste great- so you feel free to make a few days in advance. When it’s time to eat, top with sliced almonds, honey, whatever you like.

The kids have a half day tomorrow, then are off Friday, Monday AND Tuesday. I may take them to the lake tomorrow, so if I don’t post- have a great weekend and happy Easter!

Posted in April 2017 | Leave a comment

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I tried a new recipe tonight. It was posted on a Facebook page for members of my gym and looked easy enough: Chicken Caesar Spaghetti Squash Bake. Four ingredients! Just spaghetti squash, kale, chicken and Caesar dressing, and all of the ingredients are Whole 30 compliant.

Unfortunately it required searching FOUR stores to track down the Tessamae’s Caesar dressing! Two Whole Foods, Super Target and Tom Thumb. I finally found it at WF #2 (Lakewood if you’re local… Park Lane was out). I probably could have substituted another Caesar dressing but I like that the ingredients are squeaky clean.

Also, the spaghetti squash at Whole Foods were tiny- around 1-1.5 lbs each- so I used 2 for this recipe.

Ingredients! Minus the squash, which were roasting in the oven at this point.

I prepped the casserole before lunch and then stuck it in the fridge until dinner. I ended up baking it for a lot longer than the recipe indicated (probably close to 30 minutes) in order to get it completely heated through. Also, make sure you taste the squash mixture before baking and season as needed. The dressing has a lot of flavor but I still added a few shakes of seasoned salt.

Dinner!

It was pretty good, especially for such a simple recipe. I love that it’s low carb, and would be super quick to assemble if you prepped the squash and kale ahead of time. I ended up only using half a bunch of kale for this recipe and made kale chips for the kids with the rest (THAT was a massive fail, ha). OH! And for the chicken I chopped up some of the pre-cooked Just Chicken strips from Trader Joe’s. This was my first time to try them and they were surprisingly good! I have an issue with most pre-cooked chicken (a texture thing?) and these passed the test.

In podcast news- anyone else hooked on S-Town?? I just started episode 5 and it’s SO GOOD.

Posted in April 2017 | Leave a comment

Burrito Bowls

I feel like a zombie today. Isla made her way into our bed at some point during the night and spent the next few hours alternating between kicking the crap out of me and using me as a pillow. I was honestly up from 4-6:30 dodging kicks, shielding Chloe, and at one particularly fun point around 5am, attempting to hunt down and kill a FRUIT FLY in the bathroom so that Isla could go potty. And of course I (stupidly) stayed up until midnight catching up on Scandal last night. So apologies to anyone who saw me today because it was not pretty.

Dinner tonight was paleo(ish) burrito bowls made from whatever I could find in the fridge/freezer/pantry. I unearthed a bag of frozen cauliflower rice and sauteed that in some olive oil with a bunch of spices. Next was sauteed bell pepper strips (another freezer find!) seasoned with a little soy sauce and seasoned salt. Last was a lb of ground turkey, browned with an onion and tossed with a can of diced green chiles and this Frontera taco sauce:

Layered the cauli rice, peppers, turkey, shredded cheese, guacamole, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce and some jalapenos:

Not bad for the most thrown-together meal ever! I really need to shop my freezer and pantry more often.

Here’s hoping for a less eventful night…

Posted in April 2017 | Leave a comment

Weekend Recap

Sunday night again, but at least the kids have a short week- half day Thursday, then off Friday, Monday AND Tuesday. I can’t believe we’re getting this close to the end of the school year!!!

Busy weekend. I mean, the KIDS were busy. Brian and I just spend all of our time shuttling them to their various activities and social engagements. Isla had soccer practice on Friday afternoon, then we grabbed dinner with friends after at Atomic Pie. This was my first time dining in (we used to order their pizza constantly until they stopped delivering, wah). I was so impressed! The dining room is great and the menu was surprisingly large- pasta, fish, salads, lots of appetizers, and of course pizza. And a full bar! After dinner we walked next door to the Lake Highlands Creamery and saw no fewer than 10 friends. I love our little neighborhood, and I REALLY love that we’re getting so many new shops and restaurants. Finally!

Saturday was all about soccer. Jack had a game at noon, Isla had team pics at noon and then a game at 1. Her coach is out of town so Brian helped coach this weekend. Bless him for having the patience to coach a bunch of 4 and 5 year old girls, because I definitely could not do it. It’s basically herding cats.

Isla did score her first goal!! She was so excited. She kicked the ball into the goal and then immediately looked at the ref and asked, “Was that me??” Ha.

On Saturday night Brian and Isla went to the Rangers game with one of her friends, so Jack and I had a little mommy-son date. Well that was the idea at least. I told him to pick where he wanted to go, and he asked if we could just order in and watch a movie instead. When I asked, “Are you sure you don’t want to go somewhere??” his answer was that he didn’t feel like putting shoes on. Hello mini-Brian. So we had Royal Thai delivered by Favor and watched Sing. Not the most exciting night but he seemed pretty happy.

Today Jack had a birthday party, we did a little plant shopping at Home Depot, and that was basically it. Brian and the kids are attempting a vegetable garden, and I’m just going to stay out of it since I tend to kill anything green.

Hope everyone had a fun weekend!

Posted in April 2017 | Leave a comment

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Hey! Sorry for not posting last night. The first problem was that I was having blog issues (something about script executions…?) and the host suspended service on my blog for a few hours. Then we got home from dinner and I was on the floor playing with Chloe when I started feeling SUPER dizzy. Like really bad vertigo to the point where Brian had to help me stand up. And then when I stood up I immediately felt nauseous and spent the next half hour throwing up. It was exactly like a couple of months ago when I thought I had food poisoning, but this time I still felt dizzy when I woke up this morning. So now I’m wondering if it could be something else- like maybe an inner ear issue or even some type of migraine?? Obviously I consulted Dr. Google. And no I’m not pregnant. Poor Brian had to get the kids up and ready for school on his own… I slept for a couple more hours and woke up feeling fine. Sorry for the super long story, but there you go.

Tonight is book club and I was wracking my brain trying to think of something to bring. Then I opened the fridge and saw a big bag of Meyer lemons that I bought yesterday at TJ’s = Giada’s lemon ricotta cookies! I’ve made these many times before and they are definitely a fave. The cookies are almost cake-like and the glaze is soooooo good.

Jadeite, ranunculus and Meyer lemons… a few of my favorite things…

(Not a favorite thing? That fug countertop.)

I used part-skim ricotta instead of whole and I really don’t think it makes a difference. I do wish I’d doubled the glaze, but otherwise they turned out great! You just have to give them a few minutes to cool before icing, and then after that the glaze needs a couple of hours to set up. So just keep that in mind if you make them.

OK there’s a great spring dessert for you! Catch y’all tomorrow.

Posted in April 2017 | Leave a comment

Weekend Recap

Hey hey! I always breathe a little sigh of relief once Monday is over. We have soccer practice until 7, meaning we eat at 7:30 and Jack is still doing his homework right now- at 8:30. It’s rush week at the gym too, so my workout was 90 minutes instead of the usual 50 this morning, and then I ran to Target to do our grocery shopping for the week. Basically I want to crawl into bed right. now.

Fun weekend! I met Brian for lunch at a new restaurant near our house, Cinco Taco Bar. It was so good! They have a TON of tacos to choose from- I ended up with one ribeye taco and one pork (can’t remember which pork taco but it had pineapple):

I also tried their skinny margarita- it was good but not sweet at all. Like straight tequila and lime juice. But it did taste really fresh (and I saw the bartender juicing a huge pile of limes). The drink menu was pretty impressive. I have my eye on the strawberry-jalapeno margarita for next time.

My dad worked his last day on Friday! After 40+ years at the same firm, he’s officially retired! We celebrated dad at Times Ten on Saturday… loved this photo of baby lawyer Ken (I’ve definitely seen Jack make this same face):

My cute parents…

We’re so proud of him!!

Ugh- so on a side note, our babysitter no-showed us on Saturday. Thank god for my awesome friend Lauren who totally saved the day and let the kids come hang out. We’re so spoiled having my parents live nearby- good sitters are HARD to find.

Ok I’m going to drag myself upstairs (so sore!!) and attempt to finish our book club book. Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in April 2017 | Leave a comment

Laziest Dinner

By Thursday night I am so over the whole dinner thing. I was so so so tempted to just hit the Chick Fil A drive thru after ballet, but it was only 4:15… and even I can’t justify a 4pm dinner. I mean, I probably could but then I’d just have to feed them again in three hours, so what’s the point?

ANYWAY. The kids got mini corn dogs for dinner. Brian got home late and then the kids needed baths, so he and I didn’t eat until almost 9. I made another batch of that slow cooker Brunswick stew earlier this week, though this time I used chicken thighs instead of pork (I like the pork version better, for the record). We heated that up for our dinner, and alongside I had my newest weird creation:

Ok bear with me. I found this olive cream cheese at Target and got really excited:

So for snacks/easy meals, I spread the cream cheese on a low-carb tortilla, top with turkey and a spear of pickled asparagus (from Costco- I’m obsessed). Then roll up and slice. It’s SO GOOD. I also bought jalapeno cream cheese so I’m excited to try that too.

Also, for any other lovers-of-all-things-briny, these are great. They’re near the olives and pickles at Trader Joe’s:

Well that’s all I’ve got. Tortilla roll-ups and pickled things… on a paper plate. Because it’s been a long week.

Happy almost Friday!!

Posted in March 2017 | 1 Comment