‘Tis the Season!

So tomorrow is Colonial Day for Isla’s class, which means all the moms get to dress up like pilgrims and help the first graders make things like corn husk dolls and candles. Isla is SUPER excited.

I’m super excited that we’re one day from a week of no school, no early wakeups, no homework!

We’ve had a fun week. My mom and I shopped the big Chi Omega Christmas Market tonight. We go every year and this year did not disappoint! So many cute clothes, jewelry, kids’ outfits, etc.

I had book club last night. This month we read The Hate U Give. It was a great though-provoking book, and now I’m dying to see the movie.

On Tuesday night we were invited to attend the tree lighting- Dallas’ first of the season!- and 12 Days of Christmas display at the Dallas Arboretum. It was so fun! We love the Arboretum, and they do it up big for both fall and Christmas. It was really cold, but we bundled up and let the kids loose on the hot chocolate bar (Mama had mulled wine, SO GOOD). The kids loved running around and figuring out where to find each “day.”

Partridge in a pear tree…

Four calling birds…

Nine ladies dancing (my fave!):

And one cutie decked out in ALL the winter accessories…

If you get a chance to check it out, I highly recommend doing so! I love pretty much all holiday activities, but this one is particularly great because it’s fun for any age and so interactive (and wore the kids out, lol).

Busy weekend ahead- Friendsgiving, 2 Nutcracker rehearsals, soccer, basketball and *hopefully* decorating for Christmas!

Posted in November 2018 | Leave a comment

Easy Monday Curry

Y’all, it’s COLD in TX! I spent most of the day getting stuff done around here (aka, putting the house back together after the weekend), and by the time I left to go get the kids at school, the temps were in the 30′s and dropping. I kind of love it.

Still enjoying our brief break from activities! Our weekends are super busy with makeup soccer games, Nutcracker rehearsals, and- starting this weekend- basketball practice. But at the moment, no evening activities during the week. Tonight I made yet another recipe from Lisa Allen’s Instastories (@lisa_allen), though I feel like I’ve made something really similar in the past. It’s a simple chicken veggie curry, using Trader Joe’s bottled red curry sauce, stir fry mix, chicken thighs, mushrooms and coconut milk.

I cut up the chicken thighs, seasoned with salt and pepper, and browned them in a little olive oil. Removed the chicken from the pan, then added the stir fry mix, mushrooms, and a couple minced garlic cloves. Once those were cooked, I added the chicken back to the pan, then poured in the bottle of red curry sauce, a can of light coconut milk, and the juice of one lime. Then I simmered for about 20ish minutes, until the sauce thickened a little.

Served with jasmine rice, and topped with cilantro and more lime juice.

This is really good!! The lime juice definitely makes it. It would be great with TJ’s frozen naan or even rice noodles. And you can swap out the chicken for whatever protein you like (or just do veggies). The curry isn’t spicy at all, so it’s a pretty kid-friendly recipe.

It’s not even 10 and I’m already in bed. That never happens, but I have a sinus headache and a tiny bit of a sore throat so I’m checking out early. Night!

Posted in November 2018 | Leave a comment

Taco(ish) Tuesday

I am LOVING these activity-free evenings. I cooked again tonight. What?? I know it will be short-lived (basketball season is coming and both kids are giving it a try this year), but really enjoying the low key nights while they last.

Even though the weather isn’t cooperating- I think it got up to almost 80 today- I’m ready for stews and casseroles! I ended up making that cornbread taco bake again tonight. Like last time, I used turkey instead of beef, mild Ro-tel, and light sour cream and cheese.

SO GOOD.  Look at those layers! Cornbread, turkey/corn/rotel, then sour cream/cheese/green onions. I went all in with the toppings this time- chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and sour cream.

This recipe is really simple to make and we always have a ton left over (and it’s even better the 2nd day).

Alright, I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine, hang out on the couch with Chloe, and watch the election results roll in. Wild night in the Baker house!

Posted in November 2018 | Leave a comment

Girls Weekend

This weekend Brian took Jack on a Boy Scout campout, so it was just us girls on Saturday and Sunday. Isla had a soccer game Saturday, followed by her first Nutcracker rehearsal. She was SO nervous but did great! She gets to rehearse with both Clara and the Nutcracker, and they were really sweet and patient with her.  I loved getting some one on one time with her, too. She and Jack have so much fun together (sometimes too much… wrestling in the aisles at Target??) but they act TOTALLY different when they’re apart.

On Saturday night we saw The Nutcracker and the Four Realms at Alamo Drafthouse. After reading some lukewarm reviews, I didn’t have high hopes- but Isla LOVED it. There are definitely some suspenseful/creepy parts, but nothing too scary. It’s light on ballet (though there is a Misty Copeland performance in the movie and again before the credits!) and don’t expect the traditional Nutcracker story. It’s pretty to watch, though. Also, Isla said that her favorite parts were, “When Clara had confidence”- so I’ll call that a win!

We’re still playing soccer games since 90% of our season was rained out, but both coaches have cancelled the remaining practices (given that it’s dark so early now). This means that we only have ONE afternoon activity right now. WOOHOO! Since I didn’t have to shuttle Jack to soccer tonight, I had time to make dinner! I made a batch of our favorite easy bacon meatballs. The kids had them over spaghetti, and Brian and I had ours with Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. Roasted broccoli on the side.

I was out of our favorite Victoria marinara and didn’t feel like making a Costco run, so after reading a bunch of reviews of TJ’s pasta sauces (what, you don’t do this in your spare time??), I grabbed this one:

Ehhhhhh. It just tastes kind of sweet and flat. This is probably a good one for doctoring up with a bunch of garlic/spices and simmering for a while… but not great on its own. Back to Rao’s and Victoria.

We have a weird week- the kids have a half day on Wednesday, no school on Thursday, then back to a regular schedule on Friday. Who makes these schedules??

Posted in November 2018 | 2 Comments

ALL THE COSTUMES

Happy (late) Halloween! It was pretty iffy around here until about 7 last night- as in POURING rain. I honestly wasn’t sure if we would be able to make it out to trick or treat. But then the storms finally moved on and we had such a fun Halloween! My parents came over to hand out candy, and we took the kids to trick or treat around the neighborhood. Then we switched places after a few blocks and let them take the kids out while we handed out candy.

Wonder Woman and hot dog… and our skeleton friend that I really don’t want to pack away!

Soooo our school does a big All Saints Day parade for 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders on November 1st. It’s cute but (let’s be honest) also kind of a beating the day after Halloween. This is the one and only year I’ll have both kids in saint costumes! Isla was Saint Joan of Arc and Jack was Saint Francis of Assisi (again).

I was a little concerned that Isla would stab someone with that flag, but no casualties from St. Joan! She was really annoyed that I wouldn’t let her bring a sword.

Brian’s just getting over some kind of cold virus and now I feel like I might be getting it. Heading to bed early tonight… have a great weekend!

Posted in November 2018 | Leave a comment

A Little of This, A Little of That

Halloween is almost heeeere! Today I grabbed a couple of things at Trader Joe’s (actually 6 huge packages of organic celery like a psychopath because I’m still on the juice train), and the credit card machine played creepy Halloween organ music when it was time to take out your card! I almost lost it. Well played, TJ’s.

I cleaned out the fridge today and found this shoved in the back: brussels sprout and caramelized onion ravioli. It needed to be used ASAP (as in 3 days ago, whoops), so for lunch I cooked that and topped it with a little Rao’s Arrabiata sauce- aka, the best pasta sauce ever.

Not bad! The raviolis are a little delicate, so be careful when draining them. A few of mine exploded in the colander. You can definitely taste the brussels sprouts! This would have been great with browned butter or alfredo sauce as well.

ALSO. My newest snack obsession.

Have you tried this hummus?? It was on sale at Sprouts last week so I grabbed a pack. I love that it’s only 100 calories, and the individual servings are nice (because I tend to go crazy on a tub of hummus). It’s sweet, spicy, and goes great with red pepper strips! I’ve seen it at Super Target, too.

Speaking of SWEET, check out this guy…

Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in October 2018 | 2 Comments

Taco Tuesday

So it’s raining again today, BUT the rest of the week has been gorgeous and Isla actually had soccer practice yesterday! It’s unclear as to whether or not she’ll have any more games (after playing not-a-one all season), but I’m still glad she was able to get out and kick the ball around a little.

I threw together an easy crock pot meal so that dinner would be ready when we got home from practice. It’s actually an Instant Pot recipe that I found on the Glutensnob Instagram account, but I adapted it for the slow cooker and it worked great. Also, it’s entirely possible that I’ve posted this before, but my brain is pretty fried right now!!

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts (I used 3 large breasts and it was the perfect amount)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can fire roasted corn, drained
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 3 Tbs taco seasoning
  • 1 block cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
  • juice of 2 limes

Place the chicken breasts at the bottom of the crock pot, then add tomatoes, beans, corn, green chiles and taco seasoning. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and place on top. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken from the crock pot and shred with 2 forks. Stir the cream cheese into the liquid until smooth, then return chicken to crock pot and stir to combine. Squeeze lime juice over the top, stir and serve.

We had ours on tostadas with cheese and avocado, but you could make tacos with this too.

I mean, not the most gourmet meal but it does the trick on busy soccer nights!

Posted in October 2018, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Weekend Recap

Hey hey! Well the rain has officially stopped (until Wednesday lol) and we finally had a soccer practice tonight! The sky was showing off, too:

Fall weekends are so fun. On Friday night we took the kids to a birthday party where everyone wore their Halloween costumes. This year we’re Wonder Woman… and a hot dog.

Jack lasted all of 5 minutes in that thing before he declared it too hot/uncomfortable and ditched it for the rest of the evening. Hopefully it’ll be cooler on Halloween!

Both kids had birthday parties on Saturday, and Isla passed out on the way home and slept for THREE hours. The rest of the weekend was pretty low-key. We met my parents for brunch on Sunday, then my mom and I shopped at a local fall market/craft fair Sunday afternoon. Jack had been begging to see the 2nd Harry Potter movie, so we ordered pizza Sunday evening, popped popcorn and had a movie night. It’s so fun that they’re getting to the ages where they actually enjoy some of our favorite movies.

That’s all I’ve got! We had a school spirit night at our local burger joint, so no cooking tonight!

Posted in October 2018 | Leave a comment

Friday Eve

Y’ALL. I am ready for the weekend! This week was super heavy in the homework & tests department and Mama is tired. On an even sadder note, it’s FIRST grade that’s killing me. Between Wednesday and Friday, Isla had a timed math test, a test on writing out her address and phone number (which she previously didn’t even know, oops), a spelling test and a reading test. It was a lot.

Anyway. New Trader Joe’s find! These brussels sprouts saute kits:

The had a few kits at TJ’s (green bean and maybe one other…?) but the lemon vinaigrette and toasted hazelnuts sold me on this one. You should toast the hazelnuts in a skillet, set them aside, sauté the shredded brussels in olive oil, then stir in the vinaigrette and top with shaved parm and the toasted hazelnuts

We had it with rotisserie chicken (Costco, obviously) and roasted rainbow potatoes.

Not the most vibrant meal, but it was good! I liked the brussels sprouts. Not LOVED, but they were a nice little change from our usual roasted sprouts. Trying to get in those veggies. The potatoes were awesome. I just bought a bag of rainbow baby potatoes from Sprouts, quartered them, tossed in olive oil and seasoned liberally (sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder), then roasted for 30 minutes or so.

Have a great weekend! We have three birthday parties, but no soccer thanks to allllllll the rain. Did I mention our new toy? We randomly bought an air popper last weekend and the kids are obsessed.

So much tastier/healthier than microwave popcorn! Especially when we toss it in a crap ton of melted butter and salt! Ha, we choose our battles.

Posted in October 2018 | Leave a comment

Celery Juice and Chili

Well it’s officially COLD here in Dallas! I love it. You know I have all the fall candles burning, fire going in the fireplace, Ugg slippers on… and chili on the stove, obviously. Judging from Facebook I think everyone in Dallas made chili last night. Unfortunately along with the

I fell back on my favorite pumpkin turkey chili recipe from Love and Olive Oil. Sometimes I add a bottle of beer instead of chicken broth, but this time I pretty much stuck to the recipe. I did end up using 2 cups of the broth instead of one (it was super thick with just one cup). I also seasoned with a little Worcestershire and Liquid Smoke at the end.

So many veggies!! Onion, red pepper, sweet potato, cherry tomatoes, diced tomatoes and pumpkin puree:

Served with Siete lime tortilla chips:

Anyone else on the celery juice train? I’m reading Thyroid Healing and celery juice is one of the main foods he recommends adding to your diet (16oz first thing in the AM). This morning was my first go at it…

Actually better than I thought it would be! I’m not sure if this will actually “do” anything, but it never hurts to add more veggies, right? I’ll keep you posted (and let me know if you’ve tried it!).

Posted in October 2018 | Leave a comment