Cauli Fried Rice, Take 2

Hey guys! Sorry I didn’t post last night. I fought a migraine/sinus headache all day so I headed to bed as soon as Brian got home… and then watched 3 episodes of Orange is the New Black on my iPad. WHOOPS. Anyway, I’m feeling better! Yesterday I made a big batch of Nom Nom Paleo’s slow cooker kalua pig. I’ve made this a few times before- it cooks in the crock pot for 16 hours, so I actually started it on Sunday night in order to have it ready for dinner on Monday. Isla woke up yesterday morning and immediately started gagging at the cooked pork smell. I’ll admit, it is a little intense first thing in the morning… BUT worth it to have a buttload of pulled pork waiting in the fridge.

Then you can use it in meals like this!

Tonight I tried this cauliflower fried rice recipe again, though this time I actually had to rice my own cauliflower. Damn you, Trader Joe’s- you spoiled me with that frozen cauli rice!! And now it’s gone. Uncool. I threw in some of the kalua pig and used these frozen veggies:

And then obviously I topped it with lots of sriracha. As one should.

The kids and I may head to the lake tomorrow to kick off the holiday weekend a little early. Hope everyone is having a good week!

Posted in June 2015 | 3 Comments

Pouty Pug

I just looked through my phone for pics from the weekend and came across about 10 photos of Chloe’s pouty face:

Obviously we had a VERY exciting couple of days.

Brian worked most of the day on Saturday, so the kids and I met my parents, brother and aunt for breakfast at Crossroads. After that we ran a few errands, and then Brian got home just in time to take Jack to a birthday party at the pool, while I took Isla to a gymnastics birthday party for one of her buddies:

I think I need to sign her up for classes. That girl is fearless and LOVES to run, jump and climb. Maybe that would harness some of the crazy?

On Saturday night we grabbed dinner at Noodle Wave. It was only my 2nd visit there, but that place is amazing. The kids got cute little bento-ish boxes (chicken fried rice for Isla and pad see ew for Jack), and they actually ATE, which is a small miracle. I highly recommend the chicken roti curry:

Then today we did some shopping. Man, the H&M kids department gets me every time… I think we bought Isla 5 dresses?? Good thing they’re like $5 each. And then I made the mistake of just “running into anthro” to check out their sale (and an additional 20% off!). Ugh I just need to stay away from Northpark!

We met my parents for dinner tonight at Gabriela and Sofia’s. I had the pescado al ajo and it was goooood. Check out that garlic… no one wants to be my friend right now.

So there’s our weekend. I’m excited about the short week and holiday!

Posted in June 2015 | Leave a comment

Smoothie In A Bowl

I know y’all have been waiting with bated breath for a potty training update… and I have to tell you, Isla FINALLY pooped on the potty today! I actually didn’t even know she was going. I was in the kitchen and heard her yell from the bathroom, “I POOPED.” Sure enough. So yay- I feel like we’ve turned a corner. I’m being stubborn about no Pull-Ups and she’s waking up wet pretty much every morning, but other than that she seems to really have the hang of it now. I may start waking her up to go potty before I go to bed at night.

Moving on… I’ve been running in the mornings lately. It’s definitely the coolest part of the day, but I’m still sweating like crazy when I get home. Woohoo Texas summers. Anyway, post-run smoothies have sounded better than any other breakfast options, so that’s what I’ve done the past few days. Here’s my fave (of the moment):

Chocolate-Cherry Smoothie

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use Whole Foods house brand whey protein)
  • 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened cherries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds
  • big handful of baby spinach
  • ice cubes

Then I just blend it all in my Ninja… and pour it into a bowl.

This is my first foray into the smoothie-in-a-bowl trend, but I gotta say- I like it. It takes longer to eat AND you can add toppings. This morning I added a couple Tbs of chopped pecans… aaaand a few mini Enjoy Life chocolate chips. Other good options: unsweetened coconut flakes, berries, granola, hemp seeds, dried fruit.

Also, has anyone tried those new Olly vitamins at Target? I was totally sucked in by the cute packaging, but I snagged a few the other day and am a HUGE fan of this one:

I swear these help me fall asleep faster and I’ve been waking up less during the night. They taste awesome, too (blackberry mint). Not sponsored or anything, I just really like them!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Posted in June 2015 | Leave a comment

Cauli Fried Rice

So potty training day 2 went ok. She had two accidents but woke up dry from her nap, so I’ll call that progress. We also ventured out of the house (to lunch with Brian and to Trader Joe’s) and she managed to stay dry the entire time. I think she’s catching on, though I’m waiting for her to tell me that she needs to go potty… as opposed to me just hounding her about it every 5 minutes.

My sweet little nuggets. It’s so dang hot outside and I had them wait on the sidewalk while I loaded/cooled down the car after grocery shopping. They just looked so cute:

(Let’s ignore the fact that I have to resort to poop jokes to get them to smile now.)

I took dinner to a friend tonight, and by the time I got home it was already 6:15. Luckily I had thought to marinate a couple salmon filets in TJ’s Island Soyaki, so all I had to do was throw those in the oven at 400 for about 6 minutes per side.

I’m hoarding bags of frozen cauliflower rice since they seem to be sold out every time I go, but tonight I pulled out one of those little treasures and tried this recipe for cauliflower fried rice. I couldn’t find our sesame oil (casualty of the move, ugh) so I used coconut oil instead.

Next time I might try to be a little more purposeful with the veggies, rather than just pulling a sad little bag of mixed vegetables out of the freezer. Mushrooms would be GREAT. Also I think the sesame oil would have made a huge difference, too. BUT I do think this is a pretty awesome recipe and literally took me less than 10 minutes from freezer to table. Can’t beat that! And you could add whatever leftover veggies/protein you had in the fridge.

Hope everyone is having a good week. We may take a little potty break (see what I did there?) tomorrow and head to the pool. It’s too hot to do anything else.

Posted in June 2015 | 2 Comments

In the Trenches

Well day 1 of potty training went pretty well. Isla had two accidents- one first thing this morning while she was playing, then another one in her crib during rest time. Thank goodness I had thought to put a sheet saver over the top. Other than that she has done amazingly well! I found this printable on Pinterest and she puts a star sticker in the circle every time she uses the potty. Then once she finishes each row, she gets to pick something out of the prize bag (thank goodness for the Target dollar spot).

She also gets 2 jelly beans each time, too… and so does Jack, which I think has helped encourage her. He’s constantly asking, “Do you need to go potty now? Are you sure??” Haha. Helpful because I keep forgetting to remind her.

Not bad for the first day, though I have to admit that we were ALL struggling with sticking to the house all day. Jack kept asking me to take him to the mall to see the ducks & turtles, then asked if Brian could come home from work and take him instead. There was also this fun little mishap this morning.

Yogurt & coconut chips all over the couch & rug. Good times.

Brian had to work late tonight, and with all of the fun potty training/cleaning/listening to “I’m boooooored” for the millionth time, I could barely handle putting together a meal. SO the kids *may* have had Sonic for dinner, and I made what might have been the easiest meal ever.

First- they were sampling these scallion pancakes at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and I’ve had them sitting in the freezer since. I’m such a sucker. I will literally buy anything that they’re sampling. But these are good!

I heated about a tsp of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat, then cooked the pancake for four minutes on each side (from frozen- I didn’t bother thawing it first). I also pressed down on it with a spatula periodically to get a little crust going. I mixed some mayo + sriracha for a dipping sauce, too.

I also heated up a package of these chicken and veggie dumplings from Costco. They’re AWESOME. Each box has 5 steam bags of 6 dumplings, plus little pouches of sauce. You just zap them for 2 minutes in the microwave.

What would I do without Trader Joe’s and Costco?? Along with some of Smitten Kitchen’s pickled veggie salad:

OH and look what I found on my porch this evening! A little special delivery from Lauren, which I fully intended to crack open tonight. Yes!

Wish us luck tomorrow…

Posted in June 2015 | 1 Comment

Cheers to 10 Years

Another fun weekend comes to an end… we did this one big, too. On Friday my mom took the kids to the lake so we could have a little anniversary staycation. As soon as they left I threw some clothes in a bag and headed to ESPA at the Joule downtown. Brian reserved a room there for Friday night and booked a mani/pedi for me at the spa (awww). It was FAB. After the nail service I had a little time to kill, so I took advantage of the “amenities”- sauna, steam room, champagne, pool, champagne, cookies, relaxation room, champagne. Seriously did not want to leave.

View from our room. Jack is obsessed with that giant eyeball so I had to send him a pic:

Brian met me at the Joule after work and we headed to Lark on the Park for dinner. I didn’t take any pics, but the food was amazing. We started with the curry pillows, and the crust was to die for. I had the moo krob for dinner. It’s Thai pork belly with sticky rice and green papaya slaw on the side. Holy geez- I would seriously go back to this place JUST for that dish. It wasn’t overly fatty at all, just had a great crust and tender middle. Love. Also loved all of the rotating chalkboard art around the restaurant:

We decided to forgo dessert at Lark and walked to Stampede 66 for coffee and dessert instead. Huge mistake. I got the lime chess pie and Brian ordered a peach cobbler, and they were both so blah. We barely took 2 bites, drank our coffee and left… kicking ourselves because the Lark dessert menu sounded so much better.

After dessert we walked back to the hotel, then made a spur of the moment decision to grab a drink at the bar under the Joule, Midnight Rambler. It was super hipster and we felt really old… but great people watching AND they had good drinks. I had some kind of citrusy gin concoction with cucumbers.

On Saturday we dropped off a car at home and drove to Waco. As you probably know, I’m completely obsessed with Fixer Upper on HGTV. LOVE IT. I love their style and I love their relationship dynamic. Everything. Brian actually suggested the trip, which just shows what an amazing hubby he is. Three hours roundtrip to feed my obsession.

So we made it to Magnolia Market:

A few notes: the store is small. And CROWDED. Actually it’s 2 stores- one is more home stuff and the other is mostly jewelry/garden. I ended up with one of Joanna’s signature candles (smells clean and insanely good), a little turquoise vase, a waco t-shirt, and a feather necklace. I liked everything in the store but a lot of it seemed like stuff you could get elsewhere… lots of chalkboard signs, wire baskets and galvanized metal.

In true stalker fashion, after Magnolia Market I googled where to find some of the Fixer Upper houses and off we went. We saw this one and this one. The second one is owned by the show’s carpenter, Clint Harp, and his design studio/store, Harp Design Co.,  is right next door. The store is AWESOME. We walked out with 2 cute prints for the house, though there were wayyy more things that I wanted to buy. Had to reign it in a little.

The one on the left is actually stitched fabric. So sweet. The college student working at Harp was really nice and gave us some great recommendations on other places to check out while we were in Waco.

After that we headed back to Dallas, grabbed sushi for dinner and a quick drink, then it was home to our (sleeping) babies. Such a fun weekend and I SO appreciate my parents for watching the kids! We really needed that break and it was a great way to celebrate 10 years.

Oh man, it’s almost midnight. I’m trying to keep up my early AM run routine this week but 6am is going to come awfully early. OH and the plan tomorrow is to finally buckle down and potty train Isla. I just spent $$$ at Target on little prizes, printed off a chore chart, bought yet another package of princess undies. Wish us luck!!

Posted in June 2015 | 1 Comment

Paleo Stuffed Mushrooms

Sorry that I didn’t post last night! I went out for drinks with some friends, then came home and crashed. We checked out the new(ish) Bodega Bar at Mockingbird and Abrams. I’d visited the old Travis location yeaaaars ago- as in, way before kids- but this was my first time at the new digs. I really liked it! It’s very laid back and cozy, and I love the wine flights. I also met a blog reader!! Hi Jamie!

That totally made my night, btw. Hopefully I wasn’t too painfully awkward.

Tonight for dinner I made a recipe passed along by my friend Laura. It’s a paleo version of stuffed mushrooms, and it was FAB. The stuffing is made from sausage, cashews and spinach. The ground cashews hold it all together and almost make it taste like there’s cheese involved. I used these medium-sized mushrooms from Trader Joe’s, but you could always sub the big portabella caps instead:

Pre-baking:

Finished product:

Definitely trying this one again!!! The only changes I made to the recipe were using garlic-herb chicken sausage (she recommended andouille) because that’s all we had on hand, and I threw some chopped mushrooms stems into the stuffing mixture after I removed them from the caps.

Laura’s Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 2 sausage links, diced (suggested: Aidell’s Cajun Andouille)
  • 8 oz frozen, chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 portabella stuffing mushrooms (I bought a package of 6 from TJ’s)

1. Preheat oven to 325.

2. In a food processor (or mini-prep), grind up the sausage links into small pieces. Set aside and wash out the food processor.

3. Add cashews to the food processor and grind until it resembles meal/flour. Add olive oil to the cashews and process until a paste forms.

4. Cook the frozen spinach according to package directions, then squeeze out ALL the water.

5. In a bowl, mix together the sausage, cashew mixture and spinach. Add seasonings and salt/pepper to taste (be generous with the salt). Since your sausage should be pre-cooked, feel free to taste and make sure the mixture is seasoned enough. I added lots of seasoned salt and some cayenne pepper.

6. Prep mushrooms by washing and removing stems, if needed. I chopped up the stems and added them to the spinach-sausage mixture, but that’s up to you.

7. Rub each mushroom with olive oil, then stuff evenly with the spinach-sausage mixture.

8. Place in a baking dish and bake for 40 minutes.

Oh man, y’all- tomorrow is our 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY! Can you believe it? I probably should have dedicated an entire post to that, but we’re waiting to celebrate this weekend so I’ll post more after. Dallas peeps: any restaurant recommendations?? We’re doing a staycation downtown but would be open to eating really anywhere in the Dallas area. I mean, anywhere we can get in with like 2 days notice… help a sista out!

Posted in June 2015 | 3 Comments

Quick Chicken Curry

By some miracle this morning I got up at 6 and went for a run. It’s SO nice to get that out of the way early, and here in TX 6am is pretty much the only time you can run outside in the summer. Anyway, I’m trying to make it a habit… but I was exhausted by dinnertime. And that was with lots and lots of coffee, too. What’s the trick here?? I’m going to have to start heading to bed at 10, aren’t I? Sigh. I used to get up at 5, go for a 6 mile run, get ready for work, work a full day, come home, make dinner and stay up late EVERY NIGHT. Why can’t I do that anymore? Oh yes, kids. Kids and I’m old.

For dinner tonight I made a version of the chicken curry recipe in this article, using Trader Joe’s red curry sauce and light coconut milk.

Instead of simmering it on the stove for an hour, I just threw some chicken in the crock pot, along with sliced red pepper, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and cauliflower. Then I poured the curry and coconut milk on top and cooked for 4 hours on high. Once the timer went off, I removed the chicken breasts, shredded them and returned to the crock pot.

Served with garlic naan:

It was good but next time I’ll try the stove top method. It was a little watery and bland, which I attribute to the veggies. When you cook them in the crock pot, they release their juices but then the sauce never really gets a chance to thicken up like it would if you simmered it on the stove. I seasoned it with a bunch of soy sauce and that helped with the blandness. I’m a big fan of that TJ’s curry sauce, btw.

Off to bed. Chloe was scratching all night last night, and then Isla woke up crying at 4. Good times!

Posted in June 2015 | Leave a comment

Isla’s 3rd Birthday, aka The Unicorn Invasion

It should come as a shock to absolutely no one that Isla requested a Unicorn-themed birthday party this year. So we booked our local rec center (gym with toys, bounce house and bounce slide) and I immediately got on Pinterest trolling for unicorn party ideas.

We had her party on Saturday and she had a blast! All of her cute little friends came, including some of her school buddies whom she hadn’t seen in a few weeks. Here are pics from the bash… and I’ll include the links to some of the party supplies/ideas at the bottom, in case you, too, have a unicorn-obsessed child.

Unicorn cupcake toppers- Etsy

“Unicorn horns” (or as I like to call it, “Unicorn Crack”- can NOT stop eating this): recipe here

Unicorn party tags (used on top of cotton candy tubs for favors)- Etsy

Inflatable unicorns- Amazon (be warned, these deflated IMMEDIATELY)

Plastic unicorns (I spray painted them with gold and glitter)- Amazon

Unicorn pops- Amazon

Posted in June 2015 | Leave a comment

Isla is THREE!

So our sweet little Isla girl is officially three today:

I can hardly believe it. These past three years have FLOWN by. It felt like she was a baby for about half a second and now she’s running around, dressing in princess dresses and wrestling with her brother.

Isla Grace, I always knew that I wanted a fiesty, independent girl and that is YOU to a tee, sister. You keep us all on our toes- always running, climbing, jumping, laughing, yelling, playing and being utterly fearless. I watch you perform in dance class or hear about you telling your preschool teachers that you’re going to be the teacher that day, and I am so proud of your confidence. I hope you are always the assertive and outgoing girl you are today.

As far as likes and dislikes… you like unicorns, Sophia the First, nail polish, swimming, yogurt, french fries, bread, fruit snacks, Shake It Off and Uptown Funk. You dislike MOST foods (no milk, cheese, turkey, meat in general, veggies or fish) and mealtimes are definitely our biggest struggles at the moment. You are a really good sleeper at night but afternoon naps are few and far between these days. You adore your brother and listen to everything he says. He’s your best friend (and vice versa) and my favorite thing to do is to watch you two interact. You’re the sweetest siblings I’ve ever seen and I hope you always stay that way.

You’re still a busy girl but more often these days you’re up for crawling up in my lap and cuddling. You’re also HILARIOUS- today I asked you where your birthday party was going to be and you said, “Chuck E. Cheese dot com!” (Nope, the rec center.) I would NEVER tell you this, but it’s really hard to get mad at you when you’re misbehaving because you’re so dang funny.

I love you so much, Isla Grace, and can’t wait to see what three holds for you!!

XOXO,

Mom

Posted in June 2015, Uncategorized | Leave a comment