Flaming Cheese

Jack was home today because of parent-teacher conferences (his went great- all good things!). He had fun hanging out with Nana, then we took him to lunch to celebrate his good report. I LOVE having special time with just Jack- I know I’m completely biased, but he’s just the sweetest, easiest kid. Love, love, love. I also got to take him to his playgroup’s Halloween party while Isla napped.

Can you spy my little Captain America? These are the best kids- he’s about to age out of our early childhood PTA, and it made me tear up a little that this will be his last playgroup Halloween party. Why can’t they stay little forever? Is that too much to ask??

Tonight we tried a new local restaurant: Flaming Cheese Saganaki at Greenville & Forest. I LOVE Greek food and have been wanting to try this place since I heard about it a week or so ago.

Started with the avgolemono soup:

Perfect balance of creamy chicken + lemon. I should have gotten this and a salad… buuuuuuuuut, couldn’t resist the mezza combo:

Holy geez. Hummus, tzatziki, feta (GIANT wedge of feta), pita, kalamata olives, veggie dolmas and sausage. I ate maybe 1/4 of it and the rest is in my fridge for lunch tomorrow. Brian had the lamb shank special and really liked it, and his mom had the Olympic platter (lots of gyro meat, chicken souvlaki and sausage) and said she enjoyed it too. We shared the baklava for dessert:

Give this a try if you’re in the area!! So good- we need more restaurants like this. The employees were very sweet, too. OH and they do have a good kids menu, in case that’s one of your determining factors (like ours).

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Posted in October 2014 | Leave a comment

My Helper

Today started out a little rough- I took Isla to run a few errands and she was WILD, then proceeded to climb into the middle of a rack at Carter’s and take a massive dump. After that we were driving through the parking lot and I clipped a curb, taking a chunk out of my hubcap. Not awesome. Oh and Isla didn’t nap today, so you can take a guess at what’s happening right now. How ’bout I just tell you? She’s currently running around like a crazy person, wearing a tutu over her clothes and disassembling all of the Halloween decorations that I put up TODAY. Oh wait, now she wants to help me.

Playing with my dad in the yard tonight… have I mentioned that Baba has an injured back? I’m sure this helped.

For dinner tonight I made paleo crockpot meatballs. Instead of beef, I used ground turkey. I also substituted jarred pasta sauce for the diced tomatoes/basil/garlic. Instead of 1.5 lbs of meat, I used 2- 20 oz packages, and it made a TON of meatballs. Hopefully these freeze well…?

We have parent teacher conferences tomorrow for Jack. Is it weird that I’m actually pretty excited? It’s like REAL school now.

Posted in October 2014 | Leave a comment

That Kid

We’re going to have a house guest this week (Brian’s mom), so pretty much the entire time the kids were at school I was cleaning the house. Ugh, nothing like a morning spent cleaning to make you realize that your house is disgusting and needs a professional organizer STAT. How do we accumulate so much stuff?? I blame the kids.

Anyway, after all that I was not about to mess up the kitchen tonight… so we grabbed dinner at Cedar’s:

Isla was cracking me up today. We got to ballet early and had a few minutes to kill in the car, but the sun was bothering her eyes. I handed her an old pair of my sunglasses and she turned on the sass:

Seriously, that child makes me crazy but she is FUNNY. I picked her up at school today and her teachers informed me that she had been repeatedly pulling her pants down and dying laughing all day. So yeah, I have THAT kid. Thank god she doesn’t know how to get her diaper off or we would have been in real trouble.

Off to fold 150 loads of laundry…

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So I set my alarm for 5:45 this AM to squeeze in my first Insanity Max workout (full disclosure: I snoozed until 6:15). Sweet baby Jesus, I thought I was going to DIE. For pretty much the last 10 minutes all I couldn’t get up off the floor. Hoping it gets easier…?

Tonight our brother in law, Mike, was in from South Carolina on business. We were looking for seafood and ended up at Dive in Snyder Plaza. I haven’t been there in forever, but their ahi tuna wrap is one my favorite meals. LOVE the coconut rice and the dipping sauces (soy and sweet chili):

We also tried the kale Rockefeller oysters. I wish I had snapped a pic because they were outstanding- it sounds weird, but the kale, parm and bacon on top almost tasted like spinach dip. I’m normally not an oyster fan, but served like this? Yes, please.

The kids (all three of them) with Uncle Mike after dinner. So fun to get to see him!

Off to collapse in bed… hope everyone had a good Monday!

Posted in October 2014 | Leave a comment

Weekend Recap

Hey guys! Sorry that I missed posting on Thursday. I’m part of our early childhood PTA’s “Wine & Design” group, and we had one of our meet-ups on Thursday. I expected to be home around 10… annnnnd walked in the door after midnight. We did more wine-ing than designing. Whoops.

We had a really great weekend! On Friday we were all exhausted, so we ended up just ordering Thai delivery and watching Scandal. Saturday was spent doing the usual errands/birthday party runaround, then that night I headed to 20 Feet for a birthday dinner for 2 friends. Love that place! I had the salmon special, which consisted of udon noodles and julienned veggies over baby spinach, topped with peanut sauce and a grilled salmon filet. Delish.

Today I finally got around to redeeming a gift certificate that Brian gave me for Mother’s Day. I headed to Hiatus Spa for a massage and facial. Heaven!! I upgraded to the deep tissue massage, and man, it hurt SO GOOD. I had no idea that I had so many little knots in my neck and shoulders (or maybe I did… one for each of Isla’s epic tantrums. J/k, j/k). Anyway, I need to figure out a way to make millions so that I can get weekly massages. I would be such a nicer person.

I took essentially zero photos this weekend. BUT on Thursday I had a fun lunch date with my dad at Stampede 66, Stephan Pyles’ modern Texas cuisine restaurant. It was my first time to eat there and I had heard great things.

I started with the quinoa salad and loved the avocado and “puffed” cherries (freeze dried?). And it was so pretty!

For my entree I had the vegetarian chile relleno, stuffed with heirloom beans, red peppers, onions and pumpkin sauce, served over rice and topped with cheese:

It was good but didn’t blow me away. My dad ordered the fish special, which was grouper served over either pumpkin or sweet potato puree, with an apple-onion chutney. SO GOOD. I think he felt sorry for my sad plate and gave me half of his entree. Sweet dad.

For dessert we ordered the warm gooey brownie, which apparently comes with a tiny Dr. Pepper-Snickers ice cream float. Somehow we ended up with the berry cobbler instead, but at that point we were in a hurry and didn’t have time to wait for them to make another dessert. So, so sad. The cobbler was fine but a little too bread-y. I’m still a little heartbroken about that mix-up.

So all in all I thought it was good, but I guess you just need to know what to order (and that’s what Yelp is for, right??).

Tomorrow starts the 2nd, harder/crazier month of Insanity. I’ve been majorly slacking this week so hoping that these new workouts will give me some motivation! And hopefully not kill me. Here’s Jack (and Chloe) doing my workout with me on Friday, haha. We need a bigger living room:

Posted in October 2014 | Leave a comment

Costco Find

Just a quick little post tonight. Brian’s been working insane hours lately so tonight we grabbed dinner at Chuy’s before he had to head back to the office. It’s been a tough week- between the Ebola craziness, kid tantrums (and from JACK today- what the heck??) and pretty much never seeing each other, we needed some chips and salsa for fortification. Seriously, Chuy’s chips and salsa may be my favorite ever. And their tortillas, too.

Tex-Mex aside… I wanted to show you my latest Costco find. It’s these little cranberry almond chicken salad cups. I think they come 8 to a package, and they’re only 150 cals each. Plus they’re made with Greek yogurt, so you get a little protein boost.

I’m kind of obsessed. Lately I’ve been having them with Trader Joe’s plantain chips, and it’s pretty much the perfect lunch (meaning delicious AND only takes 2 seconds to prepare). Win!

Hope everyone is having a good week! I’ve been going to bed too late and then snoozing through my alarm, meaning that I end up having to work out during nap time- which is no bueno. The last thing I want to do with my solitary hour of quiet is pop in an Insanity DVD. I’m not going to lie, I’m getting a little burned out. This is “recovery week”- meaning the same Core Cardio & Balance DVD for SEVEN DAYS in a row. And then next week is when the crazy hard, hour-long workouts begin. I’m excited for the new workouts but also pretty apprehensive (and dreading the extra 20 minutes).

Ok, enough rambling. The point of all that is that I’m going to bed. Night!

Posted in October 2014 | Leave a comment

Perfect Fall Dinner

Tonight I made the fall-est fall meal that ever was. Butternut squash? Check. Apples? Check. Pumpkin? Check check CHECK. YES.

A few days ago Delighted Momma posted this recipe for roasted apple and butternut squash soup. It was pretty serendipitous because I had just purchased a giant container of butternut squash cubes at Costco. Meant to be, I tell you.

The soup is chock full of fruit and veggies: onions, carrots, green apples and squash. You cube those, coat with olive oil and spices (garlic salt, chili powder, cinnamon and nutmeg) and roast until tender:

Then throw them in a pot with ghee (or unsalted butter) and chicken broth. Simmer for a few minutes and then puree. The recipe says to use a regular blender or food processor, but I dusted off the immersion blender for this one. Fewer dishes = win.

Served with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a few Trader Joe’s pumpkin cornbread croutons. This soup is so, so, so good. I ate way too much of it.


We also had a bag of Trader Joe’s Harvest Salad. I can’t remember every ingredient that’s in it, but basically greens, pepitas, dried cranberries, more of those pumpkin croutons, and pumpkin vinaigrette. I added feta and some chopped chicken.

And that’s how you do fall dinner.

Posted in October 2014 | 1 Comment

Spaghetti Squash Pie

I’ve kind of slacked off in the meal planning department lately. Getting adjusted to the whole school/activity schedule has been tough, and honestly it’s just so much easier to grab dinner at Taco Joint or order Thai takeout. Plus they’re DELICIOUS. I’m just saying.

Anyway, I’m trying to get back into cooking dinner. Tonight I made PaleOMG’s 5 ingredient pizza spaghetti pie. It’s kind of a project, but I made enough that we should have leftovers for a while. If you baked the spaghetti squash ahead of time, you could throw this together pretty quickly… but of course I didn’t think that far ahead, haha. It’s a good recipe in that you can add and subtract to your liking. I used chicken Italian sausage, and added sauteed mushrooms, celery and carrots to the mix. Also, my spaghetti squash was HUGE so I added a little more marinara sauce and baked casserole in a 9×13 dish:

Pretty good! Next time I’ll add more seasoning before baking, but other than that it was great.

Anyone read Big Little Lies yet? I need a little mommy break tonight, so I headed to Barnes & Noble and came home with that. Hoping it’s as good as The Husband’s Secret.

Posted in October 2014 | 1 Comment

Fall Fun

Brian had a hunting retreat for work all weekend (when’s the mommy retreat again??) so it was just me and the crazies Friday-Sunday. Sitting at home sounded like pretty much the worst idea ever, so we packed up the car and headed to the lake on Friday afternoon. Bonus? Gia and Baba were there for backup. YES.

On Saturday we headed to Yesterland Farms in Canton. It’s about 30 minutes from our lake house and maybe an hour from Dallas. Y’all, it was the cutest place EVER. There’s a pumpkin patch, giant corn maze, petting zoo, kiddie rides, slide, apple cannons (Jack loved watching the apples explode), pony rides, hay ride and tons of food. I think I ate my weight in kettle corn. We were there all afternoon and could have stayed longer. My dad bought the kids the “unlimited rides” pass, which was awesome. I’d say that 75% of the rides are designed for preschoolers- basically miniature versions of the rides at the State Fair. Any of you Dallas people remember Penny Whistle Park? They were like that. Mini ferris wheel, swings, merry-go-round, train, helicopters, etc.

The corn maze was intense. We were wandering around in there for quite a while before finding our way out. Poor Gia trying to navigate the double stroller through the cornfield (Isla ate her weight in kettle corn, too):

Isla went nuts when she saw these souvenir corn cups, so my dad bought her one. I asked her what she was drinking: “Corn juice.” Well okay then.

So much fun! If anyone is looking for a good fall activity, I highly recommend. And it’s a Christmas tree farm, too. I’m hoping that I can drag Brian there to cut down a tree this year.

So Isla is walking now, but still limping on the right foot. She won’t put any weight on her big toe, so we headed back to urgent care tonight to get X-rays. Total overkill but at least it would put our mind at ease to know that she wasn’t hobbling around on a fractured foot. Thank goodness the X-rays showed that the foot, toe and ankle are fine. Ugh, being a parent isn’t for sissies. But they got their flu vaccines while we were there… so two birds with one stone!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I’m going to need a few days to recover from this one…

Posted in October 2014 | Leave a comment

Life With Kids

So in case you were wondering, life with children is never dull. You’ll be blissfully browsing through the (giant) Christmas decor at Costco and then get a call that your 2 year old tripped at school and is limping. Oy. Anyway, Isla fell while running down the hall, so I picked her up early and checked her out. She didn’t seem to have any swelling or bruising, but she wouldn’t even try to walk on her right leg. I called the pediatrician and they recommended X-rays, so tonight Brian and I took her to Medical City Children’s Urgent Care (HIGHLY recommend, BTW. No wait and they were so nice!) while my parents sat with Jack. The doctor there seemed to think it was just a sprain, so that’s good. Isla was sweet and charming for the doc:

I picked up a rotisserie chicken at Costco today, so for dinner tonight I threw together those naan flatbread pizzas that I used to make all the time. They are SO quick and easy. You just bake Trader Joe’s garlic naan in the oven for a few minutes (by few, I literally mean like 3 minutes… though I left mine in for a few extra so they would crisp up), then spread with a thick layer of hummus. Top with diced cucumber, diced chicken breast, kalamata olives, feta, oregano, salt and pepper. Chopped artichokes are good, too, but we were out.

So, so good. Despite being so ridiculously easy, I think it’s one of my favorite meals.

Off to decompress with some Olivia Pope and wine! Have a great weekend!

(PS- LOVED Gone Girl!)

Posted in October 2014 | Leave a comment