Roasted Radishes

Today was pret-ty boring around here. We did our usual gym trip this morning, then randomly stopped by Aldi for a few groceries (I forgot how much I love Aldi- SO CHEAP!!), then home for the rest of the day. I think we’re in a summer rut, but I’m sure I’ll be longing for these lazy days in a few weeks when we’re back in the school routine.

I picked up another package of marinated pork medallions at Costco- bourbon glazed again- and baked those for dinner. I seared them in a skillet for about 1 min/side, then stuck them in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes. I also made my favorite summer salad: butter lettuce, sliced red onion, avocado, strawberries, goat cheese and poppy seed dressing. It’s so good and I never get tired of it!

While digging through the fridge, I found 2 bags of radishes that needed to be used ASAP. I remember reading a while back about roasting radishes to give them a milder, almost potato-like taste, so I gave that a go tonight. Sliced them in half, tossed in a little olive oil and salt, then roasted at 450 for about 15 minutes (they were big radishes). They didn’t have that spicy flavor like fresh radishes, but I thought they were a little bitter. Brian said that he really liked them.

OK sorry for the most boring post ever!! Chloe and I are lounging on the couch and I’m literally fighting to keep my eyes open.

Posted in July 2017 | Leave a comment

Clearing Out The Freezer

Is it a full moon or something? Because the kids were freaking crazy today. So. Much. Fighting. And over the DUMBEST STUFF.

Three more weeks of summer, three more weeks of summer…

I’m trying to use up food that’s hanging out in our freezer and pantry because they’re both bursting at the seams. For dinner tonight I thawed out the second half of a package of chile-lime chicken breasts from Costco (we had the first half here) and threw those in the oven. They’re so easy and not too spicy for kids. I also cooked a bag of these frozen brussels sprouts (again, Costco FTW).

They’re pre-seasoned, so you just pour the bag in a skillet with some olive oil and saute for about 10 minutes. I let them get a little browned:

Jack loves loves loves brussels sprouts. Speaking of, guess who lost another tooth today?? He’s gotten really good at pulling them himself:

Ok so the BEST part of the meal was this coconut-cilantro-lime cauliflower rice than I kind of just winged with stuff we had on hand. I heated up about a Tbs of coconut oil in a skillet, then dumped in half a big bag of cauliflower crumbles. Sauteed those for a few minutes, until the crumbles were just starting to brown. Then I stirred in some minced garlic, and a minute later added 1/4 cup of full fat coconut milk, the juice of half a lime, a handful of chopped cilantro and some seasoned salt. Cooked for a few more minutes and that’s it. IT’S SO GOOD. I know I’ve made cilantro lime cauli rice before but I *think* this is the first time I’ve added the coconut milk- it seriously makes it so much better.

Dinner!

Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in July 2017, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Summer Soup

Another busy weekend! On Friday we dropped the kids at the Y for a Parents’ Night Out, then headed to Gloria’s for a little date night dinner. As usual our date concluded with a Target trip- this is what happens when you’ve been married for twelve years. Oh we also stopped for ice cream and ate it in the parking lot of the Y so the kids wouldn’t know. Good times.

Yesterday we had our sweet niece Stevie’s first birthday party. She was adorable and all about her watermelon cake:

Today we had another birthday party for one of Isla’s friends at my favorite place (NO), Chuck E Cheese, then met my parents for dinner tonight at Celebration.

I’ve been on a gazpacho kick lately. It’s so easy to throw together and keep in the fridge for quick lunches, plus it tastes better the longer it sits. I use Ina’s recipe but add a little more vinegar.

Ingredients (use good tomatoes!):

So good with lots of fresh pepper!

Posted in July 2017 | Leave a comment

Cousin Time

We had a busy day today. Isla had a dentist appointment today to get a filling replaced, then we headed to Target to buy a couple of birthday gifts. Our Super Target (aka, MY HAPPY PLACE) is undergoing a major remodel and I don’t know where anything is anymore. It’s such a beating. Also they’ve squished all of the aisles together while they renovate so it’s just a big cluster… I know, first world problems. But seriously, get it together Target.

After that I took the kids to Jason’s Deli for lunch (cheapest and best kids meals!) and then headed over to my parents’ to swim with the cousins. I think Jack and Isla were having Stevie/Owen withdrawals after our Michigan trip:

They like each other a little bit.

Last night I tried this recipe for Szechuan green beans and ground turkey. We actually had all of the ingredients on hand except for the fresh stuff- green beans and turkey, ha- and it came together really quickly! The recipe says to saute the beans for 3-4 minutes, but mine were still tough after that, so I put the lid on the skillet, turned the heat to low and let it “steam” for a few more minutes. It turned out great! I had mine with a little jasmine rice but you could do cauli rice too.

Great flavor and not too spicy for the kids. If you want more heat, this would be great with sriracha! Will definitely make this one again soon.

I need a new book. Any recommendations??

Posted in July 2017 | Leave a comment

Salmon Cakes

This morning Jack asked if we could have one day this week where we “stay home all day and do nothing.” It’s funny because I really haven’t planned much for them this summer- we did a couple weeks of swim lessons and he did three days of drop-in tennis lessons last week, but that’s basically it (other than vacation). Anyway, I gave him his wish today and once we were home from the gym we did NOTHING. It actually worked out pretty well. They played Wii, watched The Neverending Story, built with Legos for a surprisingly long time and read books. I managed to clean up the house a little and even shower! Small miracles.

Tonight for dinner I modified a Nom Nom Paleo recipe for spicy tuna cakes. Instead of tuna, I used canned salmon (12 oz), and I also left out the red pepper flakes. OH and swapped 1 Tbs olive oil for the 2 Tbs ghee.

Simple ingredient list: salmon, green onions, jalapeno, mashed sweet potato, eggs, lemon zest, cilantro.

The flavor was great, but they definitely stuck to the muffin tin (I should have heeded the warnings in the comments section). Next time I’m just going to form them into patties and bake instead. Once I popped my salmon cakes out of the tin, I put them on a baking sheet and broiled for a couple of minutes to crisp up the edges.

I also used the fresh okra I bought from the farmstand this weekend. Sliced it and sauteed with onions, garlic and a few cans of tomatoes. SO GOOD.

Dinner!

Despite the sticking, I’m pretty happy with how the salmon cakes turned out! Per the recipe I plan on skillet-frying the leftovers to get them nice and crispy.

Later kids!

Posted in July 2017 | Leave a comment

Peach Season

Brian took a trip to Florida this weekend to meet up with his college buddies, so I loaded up the kids (and Chloe) and headed to the lake! It’s reached the point in the summer where it’s really too hot to do anything but swim… so that’s what we did. Lots and lots of pool time!

My mom and I stopped off at a fruit stand on Saturday and I loaded up on tomatoes, okra, radishes and peaches. I bookmarked this Southern Living recipe for easy peach cobbler and gave it a try this afternoon. It really is easy- you just melt butter in a baking dish, pour in a mixture of flour, milk, sugar and vanilla, then top with sliced peaches and bake.

Most of the cobbler recipes I’ve seen involve peeling and cooking the fruit first. Too many steps!! This one was perfect.

My dad made a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream for the 4th and gave us the leftovers. SO GOOD with the cobbler:

Love summer produce! Now I just need to figure out what to do with 2 big bags of radishes…

Posted in July 2017 | Leave a comment

Paleo Cookies

We have book club tonight so I thought it would be a good opportunity to try out a paleo cookie recipe that I bookmarked a while ago: The Best Paleo Chunk Cookies. By some miracle I actually had all of the ingredients on hand, too- almond flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, coconut oil, chocolate chips, eggs, vanilla and sea salt. Actually I didn’t have baking soda, which meant that I had to drag Jack to the store after dinner last night and resulted in me basically hoisting all 60 lbs of him up onto a top shelf to reach the very last box of baking soda… GOOD TIMES.

Anyway, the recipe is pretty straightforward. Mix the sugar, coconut oil and eggs (I doubled the recipe), stir in flours, mix in chocolate chips. Scoop, bake, then sprinkle with sea salt:

They’re really good! Kind of a cake-like consistency. Isla was not a fan, but Jack had a friend over today and he happily ate one (though maybe he was being polite?). I like them, though I don’t think they beat my FAVORITE paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe. That one is more traditional gooey-cookie and hard to beat.

We’re officially at the miserable point of Texas summer. I took the kids to run a few errands today, and the biggest beating is getting back in the car after it’s been sitting in the 100 degree heat. I finally gave up after errand #3 and we headed to our new Bahama Bucks instead (for like our 4th trip since it opened a week ago).

Off to get ready for book club…

Posted in July 2017 | Leave a comment

Instant Pot Paleo

I was browsing the books at Costco this weekend and was shocked/excited when I spotted this one:

An Instant Pot paleo cookbook?! Of course it came home with me (PS- you can find it slightly cheaper on Amazon). The recipes are all pretty straightforward- no huge, crazy ingredient lists. Tonight I tried the honey-balsamic pork chops, which you can actually find on the author’s blog here.

I made a few alterations:

- used olive oil instead of ghee

- after browning the pork chops, I removed them from the pot and deglazed it with some white wine… then added the chops back to the pot and poured in the honey and balsamic

- once the chops were done, I removed them from the pot and simmered the sauce for a while to thicken it up

Other than that I followed the directions exactly.

Ingredients:

Dinner!

(I know the meat looks charred, but it’s just dark from cooking in the balsamic sauce!!)

So I loved the flavor but the pork chops were a little dry. I think this was because: 1. I used boneless chops, 2. per the recipe, I quick released the pressure instead of letting it naturally release- which can make meat tough, and 3. I actually made them around 6 so that the kids (well, Jack) could eat them for dinner, but then Brian didn’t get home until almost 8- so they’d been sitting in the pot on “keep warm” for 2 hours before Brian and I ate them. Next time I’ll use bone-in chops and let the pressure release naturally. I will say I loved the honey-balsamic sauce.

ALSO- another easy side dish find!

These mashed cauliflower was really good! Wayyyy better that the Trader Joe’s cauliflower puree. It had a thicker consistency and was well seasoned. I didn’t have to add anything to it. Also the nutrition stats aren’t terrible:

Ok that’s all I’ve got! Catch y’all tomorrow.

Posted in July 2017 | Leave a comment

Summer Reading

Well this weekend flew! We literally spent ALL DAY at the pool today. Got there around 12:30, the kids had a blast playing with school/neighborhood friends who they haven’t seen all summer, and the next thing we knew it was 5:00. So fun! After a full day of sun we were all pretty beat, so we just did an easy pizza & movie night (which the kids had been begging for all weekend) with blankets on the floor. Did you know that The Wizard of Oz is on Amazon Prime Video?? I wasn’t sure it would hold their attention, but both kids were mesmerized.

I go through stages where I tear through books, and then I won’t read anything for a couple of months. In the past three weeks I’ve plowed through four books and started a 5th. Three of those were REALLY good, so if you’re looking for any summer reading suggestions, here you go:

1. Ginny Moon- I just finished this one and LOVED it. It’s about an autistic teenager within the foster system. She’s recently been adopted by her “forever mom and dad” but she won’t stop obsessing about a baby doll that she left at her biological mother’s house. It’s written from the teen’s perspective and so, so well done.

2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo- This is actually our book club book for July. It follows a journalist who is tasked with writing the authorized biography of an Old Hollywood starlet, and each section details her relationship with one of her seven husbands. It’s a fun, quick read with some shocking twists.

3. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine- My friend Jill recommended that I follow Reese Witherspoon’s book club on Instagram (@rwbookclub), which is where I found this book. Word is that Reese is turning this into a movie, too. The main character, Eleanor, is a quirky and socially awkward single woman who keeps to a compulsively rigid schedule. As the book goes on she begrudgingly befriends a coworker and you start to discover more about her backstory. It’s so funny but also very sad- I couldn’t put it down.

Now I’m reading All the Ugly and Wonderful Things and so far it’s fantastic. I’ve also started The Wellness Project and The Secret Life of Violet Grant so I’ll keep you posted on those. Any other recommendations??

A quick recipe for you. It never fails that I buy that big jar of pesto at Costco and then have to toss it when it’s still almost full… so I’m always on the lookout for recipes that involve pesto. Last week I made the easiest dinner ever based on a few different recipes I found on Pinterest- pesto salmon foil packs.

I just tore 4 big sheets of foil, and on each one I made a bed of about 6 pieces of fresh asparagus. I drizzled the asparagus with olive oil, sprinkled with seasoned salt, then topped with a salmon filet. Then I arranged a few quartered artichoke hearts around the salmon and topped the filets with a dollop of pesto (spread around to coat the top of the fish). Sealed the foil packs and then placed them in the oven at 400 for about 15 minutes.

So good! This would have been excellent on top of pasta or couscous too.

ALSO- I just found this in my photos- these cauliflower tots are really good!! I tried to trick the kids into eating them and they weren’t fans, but I think they’re amazing. I did broil them for a few minutes at the end to get the tots extra crispy.

I really want to go read but unfortunately the never-ending laundry pile calls… hope everyone had a fun weekend!

Posted in July 2017 | 3 Comments

Catching Up

I still plan on writing a “Michigan Trip: Part 2″ (and maybe 3, 4…?), but I figured I would throw in a food post because it’s been basically forever. I’ve actually been cooking a lot since we got home. The combination of having 2 weeks off from cooking and eating ALL THE THINGS- fudge, ice cream, crepes, wine, my weight in saltwater taffy- made me pretty ready to get back on the healthy food wagon when we got home. Also Brian fixed our grill while we were gone so we’re excited to have that option again.

We did a big Costco trip on Saturday and I was super excited to finally find the pork tenderloin medallions again. I bought some Tuscan-seasoned pork medallions a couple of months ago, and they were amazing- but then the past few visits I’ve had zero luck tracking them down. But this weekend they had them in a bourbon glaze so we snatched up a package. Brian threw them on the grill and they turned out great!!

I think it was around $10 for all of that and we have a ton leftover. I put a little of this apple-bourbon jam on top. I bought the jar at a local market back in the fall and then forgot about it, but it’s perfect on grilled meat!

Made a batch of my favorite BBQ beans with kale to go with them:

Yesterday we went over to my parents’ house to swim and grill for the 4th. They sent us home with a bunch of burgers, so tonight I made Skinnytaste’s Cheeseburger Salad with the leftover burger patties. SO GOOD. The dressing is key so don’t skip it!! I had forgotten how much I love this salad. It’s not the prettiest but I promise you’ll like it!

Obviously I added extra pickles.

Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in July 2017 | 2 Comments