Quiche, Round 2

We’re back! The kids and I actually got back to Dallas late Thursday night. I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of a drag and I’m ready to go right back to Michigan. I have about 45 loads of laundry to do, Brian’s working non-stop, it’s a billion degrees here… and the cherry on top? Poor old Chloe has a bladder infection, so I’m mopping up accidents 24/7 until the antibiotics kick in (48 hours, fingers crossed!).

Vacation was SO GREAT! I took a million pics and will get a post up ASAP! Unfortunately it’s already 10pm so that’s not happening tonight.

I did manage to make dinner tonight, so that’s something. A few weeks ago I made the three cheese quiche from the Magnolia Table cookbook, and we had a bunch of random cheese left over (and an extra pie crust in the freezer). So! I made it again.

Is quiche for dinner weird? Sometimes meat just doesn’t sound awesome in the summer (did I mention the forecast says 104-105 all week? ) and this just comes together so easily. This plus a salad = perfect summer dinner. I really need to try more recipes out of that cookbook!

I’ll get on that vacation post. Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in July 2018 | Leave a comment

Lots of Firsts

It’s been a busy couple of days! Last night Jack had his first sleepover and he was SO EXCITED. Jack is normally so chill and laid-back, so it’s really cute to see him get worked up and excited. They had a blast- played video games, jumped on the trampoline, traded Pokemon cards, had a Nerf battle, typical boy stuff. This is such a fun age!

I’ve been wanting to check out Daiso for a while- it’s a Japanese dollar store located about 20 minutes from us. Most items in the store cost $1.50, though I saw a few things around $5. I was hunting for some travel items (toiletry bottles, toys for the plane, etc.) so the kids and I headed out there this morning.

The kids LOVED it. Isla brought some birthday money and walked out with a bunch of random treasures: a toy bow and arrow, an hourglass, sunglasses, candy and a cat greeting card for her “boyfriend” JP. Jack ended up with a fidget spinner (ugh) and candy. I grabbed a couple of toothbrushes for the kids and this haul:

I totally get sucked in by all the tiny cuteness. Like those kids’ chopsticks?? That panda is a travel pill container, then there’s a bottle of makeup brush cleaner (I usually use baby shampoo, but it was only $1.50 so what the heck), blotting papers, cute little terry headband with a bow, unicorn pencil case/makeup bag (WHY???), and cooling headache patches that I’m actually pretty excited to try.

Anyway, fun little field trip. They have the cutest stationery and office supplies, and lots of neat kitchen gadgets, too.

Also very exciting: we grabbed lunch at Five Guys after and Isla tried her first cheeseburger!!

This was completely her idea. I fully expected to order her a hot dog (which she also likely wouldn’t eat) but she asked for a cheeseburger with pickles. If you’ve read this for a while you know what an extremely picky eater she is. She only ate maybe 1/4 of the burger but said she liked it- so I call it a win!

I spent most of the afternoon packing for our Michigan trip, then at 6:00 realized that I probably needed to feed everybody. Luckily we had pasta in the pantry and leftover bacon meatballs in the freezer! I’m at that pre-vacation stage where I’m trying to clean everything out. The kids had their spaghetti with Trader Joe’s garlic naan, brussels sprouts (for Jack) and watermelon (for Isla). I just had mine topped with fresh basil- it’s really struggling in our garden right now- and parmesan:

Thank goodness for leftovers. It’s too hot to cook!

Posted in June 2018 | Leave a comment

Bye Kids!

Brian and I took a little kid-free trip this weekend, which was much needed and SO FUN. The kids stayed with my parents from Friday night through Sunday evening. Brian worked late on Friday so I did a little shopping and packed, then we hit the road Saturday morning.

We stayed in New Braunfels but made a few pit stops along the way: Buc-ee’s (obviously), then Vitek’s Market in Waco for lunch. We briefly considered attempting to eat at Magnolia Table, then saw the line wrapped around the building. Vitek’s was great! I think they were featured on a Fixer Upper episode at some point. Their specialty in the gut pack: fritos topped with bbq beans, cheese, onions, chopped brisket, pickles and jalapenos. Brian and I split the half size:

Not so pretty, but tasted great!

We also stopped at the San Marcos outlet mall and wandered around for a while. The Pottery Barn/Williams-Sonoma outlet was impressive but other than that we were kind of underwhelmed. After that we checked into our hotel, changed and headed to Gruene for dinner.

We ended up having dinner at the Gruene Door, which is FABULOUS- but not walking distance from Gruene Hall. Don’t make the same mistake we did and walk a mile down the side of the highway when it’s 95 degrees out. Anyway the restaurant was amazing and so reasonable. I had the salmon with brown sugar glaze, polenta and flash-fried spinach.

THE SPINACH. Omg. It was kind of like a kale chip but a million times better. The salmon was fantastic, too. Brian ordered the smoked duck breast and said it was one of the best he’s ever had. Such a good meal.

After dinner we Ubered (thank god) back to Gruene Hall for the Old 97′s concert. I don’t even know how many of their shows we’ve seen- not to mention getting engaged at one at the 9:30 Club in DC- but they never disappoint. Gruene Hall is such a cool venue (Texas’ oldest dance hall!) and I was so excited when Brian surprised me with the tickets on Mother’s Day.

Also exciting- we got to see Joy and Chip! They drove up for the concert from San Antonio.

At a bar afterwards, pretending that we’re cool and not pushing 40.

Such a fun weekend! Saturday was a late night and I think I’m still recovering… 36 and I can’t hang anymore. We stopped at Guero’s Taco Bar for lunch on the way home. I had to order these La Guera tacos when I saw that they were topped with pickled cabbage. The chicken is marinated in orange juice and achiote- so good.

Sad that our trip is over BUT we leave for Michigan on Friday! Lots to do to get ready but we are all so excited to escape this heat and get to our favorite place.

Posted in June 2018 | Leave a comment

Mango Shrimp Salad

I have to say, I’m highly enjoying the 9-12 VBS schedule this week. This is basically our last planned activity for the summer (except for vacation) and it’s been nice having that little break in the mornings. The kids are having a blast, too- they’ve missed their friends (since school has been out for TWO WHOLE WEEKS).

We went swimming with friends yesterday afternoon and didn’t get home until late, so I needed something quick to throw together for dinner. Someone posted this combo on a “What’s For Dinner” Facebook page that I’m on, and thankfully I actually remembered to grab everything at Trader Joe’s the other day:

Tropical mango salad kit and frozen coconut shrimp. I’d tried the salad before and wasn’t a huge fan- I think the dressing has too much cilantro or something off-putting. But I decided to give it another shot with the shrimp.

The shrimp is great! It only takes 10 minutes in the oven and comes out super crispy. Love the coconut flavor, obviously. The salad wasn’t bad, but I think next time I’m going to try some kind of peanut dressing instead.

Any other quick summer meal ideas?? I’m all about simple these days- it’s already too hot to cook!

Posted in June 2018 | Leave a comment

Breakfast for Dinner

I bought the Magnolia Table cookbook right after it came out, but due to all the end-of-the-school-year craziness, I never really sat down and looked through it. Last night I got to bed pretty early and decided to flip through a few pages… and then an hour later finally put it down (with just a FEW recipes marked):

This cookbook is legit. There are a massive number of recipes, they use fairly simple ingredients and techniques, and everything in it sounds amazing. For dinner tonight I ended up making the three-cheese quiche. Not really a dinner recipe but it sounded good with a big salad and fruit (plus, leftovers!). Again- simple ingredients: eggs, cream, spices, cheeses (sharp cheddar, parmesan and gruyere), and chives.

LOTS OF CHEESE.

I opted for ease and picked up a frozen pie crust, so the assembly only took maybe 10 minutes… and that was mainly just grating the cheese. If you did that part ahead of time, it would take about 2 minutes to throw together. It smelled soooo good while in the oven and turned out great! I think I baked it for 48 minutes and then let it set for 10 before cutting.

Delicious!!

We had it with that ever-present kale and broccoli slaw salad, strawberries and bacon. It’s definitely rich and not something I would make every day, but really, really good.

So it’s our anniversary!! Lucky 13! Not the most exciting day (VBS, gym, grocery shopping, dinner at home with the kids) but we’re heading to Gruene this weekend for a concert and night away.

Look at those babies…

Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in June 2018 | Leave a comment

Summer Snack

Hey y’all! Quick post tonight. We just got back from the pool, the kids are in bed, and I’m hoping to get some reading done tonight (without falling asleep 3 pages in- which, honestly, is what usually happens).

New Costco find! I feel like a giant dork posting about cottage cheese, but seriously this stuff is SO GOOD.

I bought a case of it at Costco the other day for around $10. To be honest, I bought it because there were only a few left so I figured that it must be pretty good. And it is! Each cup is 150 cals and 18 grams of protein- so they are super filling.

I’ve been eating it with diced grape tomatoes, chopped green onions and sliced seedless persian cucumbers, then top the whole thing with TJ’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning.

Not a bad no-cook light lunch/snack… always looking for those in the summer!

We have a busy couple of days coming up- namely Miss Isla’s big 6th birthday party! Have a great weekend!

Posted in June 2018 | Leave a comment

Post-Pool Dinner

I was all set to make this skillet gnocchi recipe I found online, but when we went to TJ’s today they were STILL out of the cauliflower gnocchi. Also Costco was sold out of cotton candy grapes and the amazing cherries that I picked up there last week. WHYYYYYYY? My faves are letting me down!

I ended up taking the kids to the pool around 4:30 today, because it was hot and we were all getting a little stir crazy. We swam for a couple of hours and the kids ate dinner there- because it’s easy and swimming makes them hangry. We got home around 7, and Brian and I heated up a new Trader Joe’s find for dinner (since gnocchi was out… boo):

You just bake the frozen skewers in the oven for about 12 minutes, then brush on the accompanying mango chutney. They’re not bad! The chicken is seasoned really well and the chutney isn’t too sweet. They stay tender since they’re thighs and not breasts, so take note if you’re not a dark meat fan.

I was going to make coconut-lime cauliflower rice but ended up just microwaving some jasmine rice instead. Kale & broccoli slaw salad alongside = EASY summer dinner.

I’ve been feeling some major anxiety since the kids have been out of school because our house is a huge freaking disaster all. the. time. Today I spent 20 minutes cleaning out the pantry and felt like I finally had my ish together (for like 5 minutes but still). Ugh tell me I’m not the only one?? Also my money is on the pantry being wrecked by the end of the week…

Posted in June 2018 | Leave a comment

Isla is 6!

Well Isla Grace turned 6 today! How is that possible??

Her birthday party isn’t until Saturday, but she’s had a pretty fun couple of days. Yesterday my mom took her to the American Girl store and let her pick out a doll. We also had lunch after at the cute American Girl Cafe (the doll gets a seat, plate and cup). She was in heaven!

Last night we took Isla and her bestie, Molly, out for dinner at Campisi’s. Isla was SO EXCITED. These pretty much sum up the night. They were hilarious:

(Shout out to Jack for putting up with those two all evening…)

This morning we had swim lessons, then Isla took a painting class at Pinot’s Palette with her friends Luna and Belle. It was a 2 hour class, and the theme for this one was Ballerina Princess. She loved it- I may sign her up for more later on in the summer!

Tonight my parents threw her a birthday dinner, along with Zach, Laura, Owen, Stevie and Aunt Kathy. Isla requested pizza and “rainbow sherbet ice cream cake.” She knows what she likes!

Happy 6th Birthday Isla Grace!

Posted in June 2018 | 1 Comment

Afternoon Pick-Me-Up

I have to share my latest afternoon pick-me-up:

That coconut cold brew is a major fave, but it’s only available in the summer. For some reason TJ’s sells it in tiny 16 oz bottles- half the size of their other cold brews. Anyway, I love mixing cold brew concentrate with those shakes for a little protein boost. Sometimes after the gym I’ll run through Starbucks and get an iced doppio (double espresso) in a venti cup, then pour the shake over and mix. I used to love the chocolate Premier Protein, but I think I got a bad box and they started making my stomach hurt. I avoided them for a while, but have been drinking the caramel recently and so far so good. ANYWAY- the coconut-caramel flavor is awesome together and it feels like a little treat (whatever keeps me out of the Oreo’s at 3pm). I add a bunch of ice to a shaker cup, then pour in 1/2 cup of the coffee concentrate and 1 protein shake. It’s pretty sweet so you may want to play with the coffee:shake ratio. If you don’t have a TJ’s nearby, I love Chameleon cold brew too- especially the pecan flavor.

I threw dinner in the crock pot earlier today- those zesty lime chicken tacos I got from the @glutensnob Instagram post. This time I used the salsa verde from Trader Joe’s and that made a huge difference. They were good last time, but wayyyyy better this go-round.

Ingredients:

It’s so easy. Just place 4 big frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot. Add 1 can diced green chiles, 1 jar salsa verde, 1/2 bottle of Kraft Zesty Lime dressing and the juice of 2 limes. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low 8-10 hours. Remove the chicken, shred, then add back to the crock pot. Served on low carb tortillas with avocado, shredded cheese and Greek yogurt.

YUM. This would make the BEST enchilada filling. I’m definitely trying that next, along with some type of verde-sour cream sauce.

Hope everyone has a fun weekend! Isla turns SIX on Monday and I can hardly believe it.

Posted in June 2018 | Leave a comment

Stall Tactics and Phoning It In

Want to see what phoning it in looks like? This is what I brought to book club tonight.

It’s been a WEEK. With swim lessons in the AM, driving Jack wayyyy out to boy scout camp every afternoon, and just adjusting to everyone being home 24/7 (my house is a dumpster fire right now), we’re all pretty whipped. To be fair, Trader Joe’s informed me today that they are officially out of the pickle popcorn and won’t be getting any more until next year… SO that bag I squirreled away was really a hot commodity. I love you, book club.

I did cook today! I made a turkey vegetable soup in the Instant Pot this morning, and then late this afternoon I made The Bakermama’s 4-ingredient flourless chocolate chip banana bread. Mainly it was a stall tactic because I had all of the ingredients and didn’t feel like cleaning the kitchen (AGAIN… all these kids do is eat). It’s super simple- bananas, peanut butter and oats in the blender:

Then stir chocolate chips into the batter, pour into a loaf pan and bake.

I ended up baking it a lot longer than the recipe indicated- maybe 40 minutes? And even then I wasn’t positive that it was cooked through. I think it’s just a very *moist* (ugh, sorry) banana bread. But it tastes good! How could it not, with all of that PB and chocolate?

Posted in June 2018 | Leave a comment