Easy Shrimp Alfredo

I made a Trader Joe’s trip today for like 5 dinner ingredients… and walked out with ALL THE FALL THINGS: ghost and bat chips, autumn harvest soup, apple cider cookies, pumpkin candle, pumpkin pasta sauce, apple scent diffuser. And then this lady next to me in line filled me in on a bunch of other stuff I need to try (pumpkin pecan oatmeal and pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal cookies), so I may need to go back tomorrow…

Seriously. Most wonderful time of the year! We’ll just ignore the fact that it’s still 97 degrees here.

I’m actually heading to Park City, UT on Friday for a girls’ trip. The highs are in the 70′s and the lows are in the 40′s and I am SO EXCITED. Though I have no clue how to pack for that?

For dinner tonight I made a recipe I saw on Instagram (@traderjoes_smartypoints). It’s kind of an improvised shrimp alfredo:

You saute a bag of shrimp (Trader Joe’s Argentinian red shrimp is the best, always) in olive oil with 3 cloves of minced garlic. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. The recipe didn’t call for this, but after removing the shrimp, I deglazed the pan with white wine then let it reduce by about half. Pour in 1 1/3 cups half and half. Heat through, then add 1/3 cup shaved parmesan. Once the parmesan has melted, taste the sauce and liberally season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup frozen peas and heat through. Then add shrimp back to pan, along with 1 lb cooked pappardelle pasta. Serves 4.

It was really good! I’m usually more of a red sauce gal but this was a nice change. Brian loved it, too.

I have a ballet meeting tomorrow night so probably won’t be able to post again until next week… undoubtedly with lots of Utah pics! Have a great weekend!

Posted in September 2019, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Monday Catch Up

We had a pretty busy weekend- meaning the house was a DISASTER this morning. So I spent the day catching up on stuff around here: laundry, dishes, etc. Exciting! I did spend a lot of time in the kitchen this morning. We had brown bananas, so I baked yet another pan of the after school banana bread from the Magnolia Table cookbook. Isla goes crazy over it, and honestly anything I can get her to eat is a win.

I also had some ground turkey and a bunch of veggies that needed to be used, so I dragged out the Instant Pot and made a big batch of turkey vegetable soup. I love having this on hand for lunches during the week. I need something SUPER low maintenance to heat up, or I’m likely to grab takeout…

Browned the ground turkey in the IP, then added a diced onion, 3 celery stalks, 2 carrots and 3 cloves of garlic. Sauteed those for a few minutes, then added: 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 large can tomato sauce, 1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed), a bag of frozen mixed veggies, a can of mushrooms, 2 Tbs Italian seasoning, and 32 oz chicken broth. Set to “soup” for 30 minutes, then allowed the pressure to naturally release. Seasoned with Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and pepper.

It’s super filling, and a good way to get in a bunch of vegetables and protein.

These are my latest Trader Joe’s addiction and they were perfect with the soup:

They are SO GOOD… if you like blue cheese.

Got my Book of the Month delivery today! This month I chose This Tender Land and then snagged Well Met as a “bonus” book.  Well Met sounds super cheesy (rom-com set at a Renaissance festival, ha), but after Three Women and The Whisper Network, I’m ready for something light and easy. Plus I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Forever 35, and they recommended as a fun read.

Off to put sheets on our bed. Worst chore ever… and I always, always forget until like 10:30pm. However, I did get this a-ma-zing linen wash for my birthday (ignore the ridiculous name- DIVA!) and it has made the job a lot more tolerable. It’s pricey so I only use it on our sheets, but it makes the entire room smell great. Random but thought I would share!

Posted in September 2019 | Leave a comment

Easy App

Happy Almost Friday! We’re looking at a busy Saturday (2 soccer games, Nutcracker prep class, birthday party…) but I’m hoping to get the kids caught up on sleep this weekend. The morning tantrums are killllllling me. Isla earned a spirit wear day, and this morning’s battle was why she could not tie up her shirt or tuck it into her leggings.

Last night was September book club at my friend Kate’s. This month we read The Whisper Network, which was kind of interesting because it was set in Dallas… but otherwise I thought it was just okay. Kate put together the most gorgeous cheese and dessert board for dinner, and I’m kicking myself for not snapping a pic.

I made a quick appetizer that I found on one of my favorite Instagram accounts, @cattlebaronincashmere. She posts the best gifts, recipes and memes. Love me a good meme.

This app was really easy. You spread apricot preserves on the bottom of a tray/plate, then place a log of goat cheese on top. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios, drizzle with honey, then top the whole thing with chopped basil. EASY! I got all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s.

It was really pretty and delicious. She recommends serving it with a sliced baguette or water crackers.

I didn’t go to bed until 1am, and then Isla woke me up at 3:30 to fix her sound machine. All that to say- my bed is sounding pretty good right now! Have a great weekend!

Posted in September 2019 | Leave a comment

Labor Day Weekend 2019

Happy Tuesday That Felt Like A Monday! Oof. We had a really fun weekend and it was tough getting back into the routine this AM. On Saturday morning we loaded up and headed down to Austin for the weekend. We stayed at the Omni Barton Creek, which is in the middle of the Hill Country and gorgeous!

Those elephants were part of an Indian wedding that went on all weekend- it was pretty fun to watch!

We didn’t get down there until around 4 on Saturday, so we explored the resort a little bit, grabbed dinner at County Line BBQ, then headed downtown to check out the bats. Every night at dusk (from April to October) 1.5 MILLION bats exit from under the bridge on Congress. I’d never seen them before, and I have to admit it was pretty amazing.

Waiting for the bats to emerge:

I tried to take a video but it was pretty dim… you can see some of them flying away here.

On Sunday we made a day trip to San Antonio. We checked out the Riverwalk, ate lunch at Mi Tierra (the wait almost killed us… we had two very hangry kids on our hands), then stopped by The Pearl District. Such a fun area! We didn’t have a ton of time (we promised the kids that they could swim when we got back to the hotel) but the kids loved The Twig bookstore and the food hall. And I loved that I could walk around with wine!

Once we made it back to Austin, the kids swam for a while and then we just grabbed dinner at the hotel.

We also snagged a s’mores kit for the kids:

On Monday we headed back to Dallas, with a quick stop on the way out of town to have lunch with the Mays! So much fun catching up, and the kids had a blast- as you can see from Isla’s cheeseball grin.

We left Austin around 2pm and didn’t get home until 6:45!!! On a good day it takes 3 hours, so that was a beating. Though obviously we did make a Buc-ee’s pit stop.

So there’s our LBD weekend recap!

Posted in September 2019 | 2 Comments


Tonight was a COTF (clean out the fridge) dinner. I planned on making turkey vegetable soup earlier this week and never got around to it, so we had ground turkey and a bunch of random veggies that needed to be used ASAP. Love that rare occasion when I can make an entire meal without running to the store!

I diced half an onion, 3 celery stalks and 2 carrots, then sauteed them for a few minutes in olive oil in my Dutch oven. Once the onions were translucent, I added 3 minced garlic cloves, a can of mushrooms (drained), a can of tomato sauce and a large jar of Rao’s marinara. I also seasoned with maybe 1-2 Tbs Italian seasoning. Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes.

The kids had theirs over pasta and we had ours over cauliflower gnocchi:

The salad = more leftover veggies. Arugula, avocado, grape tomatoes, feta and blush vinaigrette.

SUPER excited about the 3 day weekend! We’re heading to Austin Saturday-Monday, with a quick day trip to San Antonio on Sunday. The kids have never been to Austin and Brian’s never visited SA, so should be fun! I’m just excited to relax and not cook, clean or get anyone up for school :)

Have a great weekend!

Posted in August 2019 | Leave a comment

Binge Watching

We’re fully back into the school/activity routine. Ballet resumed last week, and this week it’s soccer time! Jack had practice this evening and Brian is the assistant coach, so they aren’t usually home until 7:30ish on Mondays. Jack was starving before practice so I ended up feeding the kids around 5. Isla FINALLY agreed to try Trader Joe’s orange chicken (Jack’s fave) and actually gave it a thumbs up… could we possibly be moving past the insanely picky phase??? Dear God I hope so.

We bought a package of frozen barramundi at Costco, and I ended up using it to make a version of Skinnytaste’s basil-parmesan salmon. I know I’ve posted about it before, but this is just a really perfect weeknight recipe. Earlier this afternoon I thawed the fish filets, then patted dry and seasoned with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Then you stir together mayo, parmesan and fresh basil to make a thick sauce. I went ahead and spread that on the fish and then stashed the filets in the fridge until Brian got home. Seven minutes in the air fryer (at 390) and voila!!

This fish is SO GOOD. I actually think I like the recipe better with the barramundi than the salmon. The sauce is a little rich and it just seems to work better with the lighter fish. Love the cheesy crust on top.

On the side is just some Bird’s Eye vegetable pasta marinara (the cheesy penne is better), and the salad I cannot get enough of: Jo’s Quick Table Salad from the Magnolia Table cookbook. Field greens, mandarin oranges, dried cherries, pecans, feta and Brianna’s blush vinaigrette. We brought home a ton of dried cherries from Michigan!

In entertainment news, I finished Orange Is the New Black last night and I’m pretty conflicted on the ending. Anyone else? I’ve been staying up way too late watching the final season. Also currently reading The Whisper Network for book club and had NO IDEA it was set in Dallas. That was a fun little surprise! So far I really like it.

Posted in August 2019 | Leave a comment

Friday Eve

Happy Friday Eve! The kids’ second week of school went well! They both seem really happy with their teachers and classes.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but Isla was diagnosed with dyslexia in February of this year. We’re really fortunate because our school follows the Take Flight curriculum for dyslexia intervention, which was actually created by Scottish Rite Hospital here in Dallas (where Isla was diagnosed). She worked with the academic language therapist at school a couple of times a week last year for “pre-flight” (and actually some in kindergarten too- her amazing teachers identified a possible issue early on), but this year is when Take Flight really begins. They meet 4 times per week and so far Isla loves it. She really struggled in kinder and 1st grade, so we’re hoping this boosts her confidence and helps her get excited about reading.

So… that’s what’s going on around here!

Tonight’s dinner idea came from an Instagram account I follow, @traderjoes_smartypoints (are you at all surprised that I follow probably a dozen TJ’s accounts??). It’s not even a recipe. I just bought a bag of the frozen mushroom risotto and cooked it per the package instructions. When it was almost done, I tossed in a couple big handfuls of baby spinach and stirred until it wilted. Then I added some fresh parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil (use truffle oil if you have it).

For the entree, I thawed some frozen scallops. Patted them dry, seasoned with salt and pepper, then seared them for about 2 min/side in a HOT skillet (with a little butter and olive oil).

Also threw together a quick arugula salad with tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil and parm.

NOT BAD. I love scallops so much. Unfortunately they cost a million dollars so this will not be a super frequent meal… though I do need to price them at good ol’ Costco.

Have a great weekend!

Posted in August 2019 | Leave a comment

Sunday Supper

Well we’re settling into the school routine, which I’m not sad about. It’s so nice to feel (slightly) productive again! I picked up a fall candle at Target today (Harvest Chai by Opalhouse- really good, btw) and am already burning it, despite the fact that it’s over 100 degrees outside and fall is nowhere to be seen. It’s so hot here our school is not even letting the kids go outside for recess- which, judging by how wild a$$ my kids are once they get home, is probably REALLY fun for the teachers. Let’s just go back to the good ol’ days and start school after Labor Day??

We had a pretty busy Saturday followed by a really lazy Sunday. I actually spent most of the day in the kitchen. I made a batch of banana bread from the Magnolia Table cookbook. My family goes crazy for that stuff. The bread hadn’t even cooled and Isla had already eaten a third of the pan!

I also made the Sunday Supper Beef Tips from the same cookbook, which is really simple crockpot recipe. Just stew meat, baby bella mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, french onion soup mix, and cooking sherry. She suggests serving it over rice, but we had ours over egg noodles:

ALSO from the Magnolia cookbook? Jo’s Quick Table Salad. It’s not revolutionary: spring mix, mandarin oranges, dried cherries, pecans and feta, topped with Brianna’s blush vinaigrette. But it’s an easy to throw together salad with a really good balance of flavors.

Finally I made this Tennessee Peach Pudding that my friend Beth recommended. I was nervous because it seemed really liquid-y when I put it in the oven… but it turned out great! Basically a really easy peach cobbler (and obviously we topped it with Blue Bell vanilla).

I haven’t updated y’all on Tucker in a while! He’s doing great. He likes plants.

And tolerates Isla treating him like a baby doll.

So yeah, he’s fitting in well!

Posted in August 2019 | Leave a comment

Back to School 2019

Back to school, back to school…

First day of 2nd and 4th! Isla was SUPER excited- she woke me up around 5am saying, “It’s light outside! Can I get dressed now??” Um, no. Jack was happy to see his buddies but less enthusiastic about going back to school. Oh, and he told us not to walk him to his classroom. Ugh- is that starting already??

Also, I looked back at last year’s first day pic and Jack was like 4 inches shorter than that wreath. Hold me.

They got out at noon today and both seemed really happy! It was nice to have the afternoon to just chill- it was an early morning for all of us (we really enjoyed our no-schedule summer). Tomorrow’s their first full day and we’re easing back into the early bedtimes.

Oh my word it is SO FREAKING HOT here. Over 100 and so humid. I’m trying to use the stove as little as possible and mainly rely on the air fryer and Instant Pot. Tonight I made my favorite summer salad (butter lettuce, sliced strawberries, shaved red onion, avocado, blue cheese, candied pecans and poppyseed dressing) and air fried brussels sprouts drizzled with balsamic glaze. I also baked some panko-crusted cod filets from Costco:

Ok apparently mama needs an early bedtime too!! I spent the summer staying up WAY too late reading. It’s 9pm and I’m seriously debating heading to bed.

Happy first day of school, last week of summer, etc!

Posted in August 2019 | Leave a comment

Ice Skating and Enchiladas

The kids signed up for the Dallas Public Library’s summer reading program this summer, and for every 10 days that they read 20+ minutes, they got a free book and tickets to different activities around town. They both chose zoo tickets (not a chance until October, kids) and ice skating passes. We finally made it to the ice rink today- which was a no-brainer, seeing as it was over 100 outside.

I tried yet another Skinnytaste recipe for dinner tonight: cheesy rotisserie chicken enchilada skillet. It’s a good, fast weeknight option, especially if you shred the rotisserie chicken ahead of time.  I used verde enchilada sauce, but it would be good with red sauce too. I broiled the top for a few minutes to get the cheesy a little crispy.

Topped with cilantro, sour cream and jalapenos. Also these surprisingly great From The Ground Up tortilla chips that are made from cauliflower. They were sampling them at Costco last week and Isla actually liked them (shocking).

Good recipe- though I may wait until it cools off a little before I make it again. Between the stove and the oven (500 degrees!) it got a liiiiittle warm in here.

We have 2 episodes left of season two of Big Little Lies and planning to binge watch tonight. It’s so good!

Posted in August 2019 | Leave a comment