FoodieBaby Turns ONE!


I can’t believe my little FoodieBaby is already ONE! Her BEACH-THEMED birthday party last weekend was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! We felt so blessed by all of our family and friends who came to and helped with the party and I was pretty proud of my little girl for being somewhat undecided about sugar initially (even if it didn’t last) :).

I could go on and on about how much fun we had but, I’ll stick with letting y’all know the two major highlights…
The Ball Pit! Obviously, if you are 9 months- 3 years old, this is pretty much the best thing ever.

And, even better than a ball pit full of babies were these incredible cakes, made by my sweet, very talented friend, Molly. I have no idea how she pulled these off. She works full-time, has a toddler and apparently secretly works on decorating beautiful cakes! And, they tasted delicious! As shown below, FoodieBaby was kind enough to share some of her cake with Mommy and Daddy before tasting it and then getting it all over herself ;).

Making sure Mommy likes it before I taste it : /.

On to Daddy…

Clearly, she approved in the end. 🙂

Here are a few more pictures of decorations and guests (although, per usual, I wish we got more!).

Some of our favorite pictures from year one!

Feel so blessed that this many people have supported and loved on us over the past year!

Watching the birthday girl dig into her beach ball cake!

Finally, the beginning of an hour and a half gift-opening sesh for FoodieBaby the next morning! Spoiled much!?!???

Changing Things Up


My life has drastically changed now that I have a VERY mobile baby.  Her speed and curiosity don’t allow me much time in the kitchen these days. I found myself having to run in the other room to check on her 5+ times before I could finish chopping a vegetable. So, unless I want to spend ALL day running back and forth to the kitchen to work on a meal, I really can’t move forward with my food blog : /. Of course I will still be cooking really easy, healthy meals for my family and I’ll write about them occasionally–when I remember to take pictures–but, until I have older kids, my blog won’t be dedicated to just cooking, food, recipes, etc.

But, I am going to try to keep blogging about everything else going on in my life such as all the adorable things my sweet baby is doing, things God has been teaching me, I’ll probably post nutrition articles I find interesting, maybe some running posts and whatever else I can come up with :).

Thanks for reading and sorry I’ve been MIA! Looking forward to a new phase of blogging!

Below are some pictures from Father’s Day weekend. We got to spend it with mine and Trey’s families out at Lake Travis. Such a great getaway!

Before we left…she didn’t want me to forget my shoes!

Making pesto pizza the first night.

Playing with Grandma Sassy.

Both Grandmas.

Out sailing with Uncle Mark.

That’s the life

The hike from the house down to the water. We were determined to sail! 🙂

Annual Wimberley Trip and Grapefruit Scones


Last weekend, we enjoyed some wonderful time with family and friends, staying on the Blanco River in Wimberley.

Not pictured: the many different kinds of pie we enjoyed several times a day. I’m not kidding…we literally ate pie for breakfast, a little after lunch and some after dinner most days we were there.

We didn’t eat Texas-sized servings and often just had a few bites or a little sliver but, it was pie all day, everyday nonetheless. Oh, and the cabins…

This picture doesn’t do it justice but let’s just say, it’s cleaner to be outside than inside when you stay in these cabins.

The prime hangout spot:

And, Ellie Grace met her first horse/donkey/pony thingy…

Seriously, what is this thing??

And, per usual, some precious pictures of my favorite little girl who now waives and says hhhaaaa (‘hi’) and loves performing for everyone. She also gained 3 new teeth over the past week! Fun times ;)…

Hhhaaaa!!! Hiiii!!!

With Grandpa.

With Cousin Molly. Sleepy baby!

Ok, sooo, after returning home without any pie in sight, rather than not eating sweets since I had had my fair share for a while, I decided to find a better solution to my problem–grapefruit scones. I’m using these to wean myself off of sweets and back onto grapefruits for breakfast. Okay, not really but it sounds good, right!? 😉

These provide a great, refreshing summer treat in the mornings!

Ingredients

–1 large grapefruit

–1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar

–2 cups flour

–2 tsp baking powder

–1/2 tsp salt

–4 Tbsp butter

–1/4 cup heavy cream

–1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp plain Greek Yogurt

–1/3 cup powdered sugar (for icing)

–1 1/2 tsp milk (for icing)

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Zest half the grapefruit to get  Tbsp zest. Cut grapefruit into segments, discarding pith and peel. Squeeze remaining juice over a bowl and save 2 Tbsp of juice. Discard (or drink) remaining juice. Cut each grapefruit segment into 2-3 pieces. In a food processor, pulse sugar, zest, flour, baking powder and salt a few times. Add butter and pulse until butter is about the size of peas. Move mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl. In another small bowl, combine and stir grapefruit juice, heavy cream and yogurt. Then, add yogurt mixture and grapefruit segments to the dry ingredients and stir until dry ingredients are incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a circle, about 1 inch thick. Cut diagonally (like a pizza) and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Then bake until tops of scones are golden, about 15 minutes. While baking, combine powdered sugar and milk to make icing. When scones come out of the oven, drizzle with icing and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

Source: Adapted from Cooks Illustrated’s Cream Scones and Confections of a Foodie Bride

Caribbean Turkey Burgers with Mango


I was initially attracted to this recipe because I LOVE (and I mean LOVE!) Mangoes! I even dedicated an entire post to mango-cutting. But, this was honestly one of the best burgers I’ve EVER had. It definitely exceeded my expectations and I’d make these even when Mangoes are not in season. The hubby and the babe agreed that these should be a staple in our household :). Ok, I know she’s only 10 months old but, trust me, clearing her plate=agreeing.

But, before I get to the recipe, I have to share some pictures from our wonderful Memorial Day weekend spent visiting my parents. My little girl is growing up so fast, it’s crazy! Not pictured: lots of relaxing, swimming and delicious Margaritas made by my brother–recipe and margs to come! Also not pictured: REALLY humid and hot 10 mile run with one of my awesome Momma-friends who happened to be on vacation in the same city as us. So thankful for my big group of traveling running-buddies! I’ve had friends from my running group travel as far as San Francisco the same weekend I was there (not purposefully but let’s just say massive running groups have their advantages that go above and beyond great community and accountability!).

Now, here’s the cutie pie!

Ellie Grace with her Great Grandma, Mimi! So happy (and in her P.J.’s…maybe that’s why she’s happy!? They are comfy!!!).

With one set of Grandparents!

And, when she got home, she was dying to get to work :).

Alright, how bout those burgers…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C bread crumbs (I homemade mine using a food processor)
  • 3 Tbsp green onions, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Caribbean jerk seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 hamburger buns or sandwich ‘thins’
  • 1 C spinach
  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced

Directions: In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, green onions, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, jerk seasoning and salt. Crumble turkey into the bowl and mix just until combined. Shape into four patties. In a large skillet, cook patties in oil over medium heat until cooked all the way through–about 5 minutes on each side. Serve on buns with spinach, mango slices and bell pepper slices.

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree


I’m a little hesitant to admit how I decided on this salmon recipe for dinner last week. Here goes nothing…

So, if you know me or my family (which, you most likely do if you’re reading my blog), you probably know how I feel about wasting food and/or not saving and eating leftovers. We are the people who take 1 piece of sushi to go. Of course we throw in the 3 pieces of edamame as well to make for a perfect little snack the next day.

Anyway, I thought my take on leftovers was becoming more normal but then there was so much of this leftover pea puree in my freezer. See, I made Ellie Grace some baby food but she hated peas! HATED. So, I had just the right amount of pea puree for the lovely Giada de Laurentiis’ salmon recipe. It was that or the trash for those peas.

So, I opted for this recipe and it was quite possibly the best decision I made last week. I know I recently posted about Honey Mustard Salmon but this was a COMPLETELY different kind of party for your taste buds. It. Was. Amazing!

By the way, ‘brodetto’ is a fancy word for fish soup. This is more like salmon on top of broth but we used spoons and definitely had every last bite/sip left in our bowls. 🙂

I followed Giada’s recipe exactly so I can’t take any credit for this one but I will tell you that you won’t be disappointed if you make it!

Ingredients

Lemon Brodetto:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • zest from one lemon
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp mint leaves, chopped

Pea Puree:

  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan

Salmon:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 (4 to 6-ounce) pieces salmon
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

For lemon brodetto, warm olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until tender. Then, add  lemon juice, zest, and broth. Bring to a simmer and cover.

For pea puree, combine the peas, mint, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor and puree. Drizzle in olive oil with machine running. Transfer

For salmon, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Wash, dry and season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Sear the salmon until flakes easily– about 5 minutes on the first side and a few more minutes after flipping it.

To assemble the dish, divide the lemon brodetto between 4 shallow dishes and add some mint to each bowl. Place a large spoonful of pea puree in the center of each dish. Then, top with salmon and a mint leaf and serve.

Source: Food Network–Giada de Laurentiis

Cilantro Lime Quinoa


After making those Plant-chiladas last week, I had tons of cilantro left over. So, since Trey raves about cilantro lime rice EVERY time he eats it, I figured I wouldn’t compete with Whole Foods (or Chipotle is the other place I think he gets it?) and go for the quinoa version instead. I got the recipe from one of my favorite food blogs and made this during finals week for a fresh, healthy but very easy side dish. I had it with black beans for lunch one day and with chicken and veggies for dinner.

Ingredients:

–2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth

–1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
–2 cloves garlic, minced
— fresh lime juice from 1.5 large limes
–1/3 cup chopped cilantro
–1/4 tsp granulated sugar
–salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: In a large pot, bring the 2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Stir in quinoa and cook until quinoa is tender and broth has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork, stir in remaining ingredients and enjoy.

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

My First Mother’s Day


Yea, okay, it’s Wednesday and Mother’s Day is old news now but I know I’ll want to look back on this post later and, in my defense, I had finals this week so I just couldn’t find time for you, my lovely little blog.

When I was little, I remember asking my mom why there wasn’t a ‘Kid’s Day’. She said ‘because all the other days of the year are kid’s days’. I honestly thought I got cheated out of this having-a-day-to-yourself thing. Wow, I was either a jerk or just really clueless. Ha! I was thankful for my mother before but, now, after having a child of my own, words could NEVER come close to expressing how thankful I am for my amazing mom! Can’t believe she still puts up with us ;).

Pictures are more fun than words {or maybe I’ve been reading too many children’s books} so here’s (mostly) a picture story of how my first Mother’s Day went:

Naturally, we got things started the night before. My Mom came over to watch the babe so hubby and I could grab a drink. Oh, and fried pickles, of course!

Mmmm…Happy Mother’s Day to me :)!

And, HMD to Trey too! Ha!

Then, my sweet little girl threw me a surprise party from 3am-6am. She just couldn’t wait to celebrate! So thoughtful of her. I was too delirious to take pictures but I’m sure she was being cute even if it didn’t seem cute at the time : /.

Atleast we got to nap until 8:40am after that! These two gave me a sweet card:

Then, our little family enjoyed the beautiful morning relaxing in our backyard, drinking way too much coffee to make up for our sleepless night.

SO happy!

And, finally, my day was topped off with an evening spent with my wonderful family an incredible meal made by my sweet sweet cousins! Yum!

Slaving away in their precious aprons!

No meal is complete in this house without the incredibly fast personal veggie chopper.

1st (Grand)mother’s Day for Gemma (above)!

The end. Mom, that was fun! I am SO blessed to have such an amazing family!

And, last but not least, a few of my kind family members and friends gave me Mother’s Day gifts…notice how they are all edible. Obviously these people know me well! Annnndddd…Trey sharpened ALL of our kitchen knives! Now that’s the way to a woman’s heart :).

Plant-chiladas


I guess I should have gotten in the Cinco de Mayo spirit last week, but in Texas, you really can’t get enough Mexican food so we made some delicious, healthy enchiladas last night. I call these plant-chiladas because unlike most enchiladas, these have no meat and no cheese. Yea, you read me right, these are vegan enchiladas. Don’t let that scare you away though. These guys are tasty and filling. Oh, and…we ended up sprinkling (or lathering) some cheese on top.

But, they really are good either way so follow where your taste buds lead you. I really just said that..I’m such a dork. That automatically happens when you become a parent. Please keep reading. Please :).

Sooo, after eating high protein breakfasts and lunches and hardly any veggies all day, Trey and I wanted a filling but veggie-full dinner. Plus, we had sushi for dinner on Cinco de Mayo so we needed our fill of some Mexican food :).

This recipe is mostly an Engine 2 recipe but, we went against Engine 2 guidelines and used ingredients that contained at least some fat such as enchilada sauce, hashbrowns and butter (duh) as well as an ingredient with dairy–cheese. Mmmm!

And, I have to show off my little cutie, of course! Here she is swimming for the first time!

And, just being precious (I know, I might be biased)…

Ingredients:

–16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
–32 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
–30 ounces frozen hash-brown (or tater-tot) potatoes
–2 tsp cumin
–2 Tbsp chili powder
–8 ounces diced green chilies, canned
–18 corn tortillas
–about 48 ounces mild enchilada sauce

–fresh cilantro

–shredded cheese (optional)

–salt and pepper to taste

–butter or oil to grease baking dish

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Saute mushrooms and spinach on high until mushrooms are tender (about 7 minutes). Saute potatoes on high for about 10 minutes. Add cumin and chili powder to potatoes. Combine all veggies and add green chilies. Line a greased 9×13 casserole dish with 6 tortillas. Add veggies mixture and top with sauce. Add six more tortillas, more veggies and more sauce. Finally, add the remaining six tortillas and a layer of sauce. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes then let cool for about 15 minutes. Top with cilantro and cheese, if desired and serve.

We added salt and pepper after serving but you could add it to the veggie mixture instead.

Source: Adapted from Engine 2

Yoga and Mexican Wedding Cookies


I finally got in a great yoga session taught by one of my besties who recently became a yoga instructor. It’s so nice to have talented, sweet friends. I learned several new yoga poses and learned the best pose/stretch for the IT band (runner’s speak…the IT band runs down the outside of your leg, from your hip to your knee and wraps under your knee). I knew yoga was good for runners but man, having a runner teach you yoga is the best idea EVER! Basically, I’m just saying you need to get my friend, Tessa to teach you some yoga!

Then, come over and help me eat these incredible cookies! I know this is a ‘healthy eating’ blog but, come on, it’s mentally healthy to indulge every once in a while. Remember to keep portion size in mind most of the time but, let that go on occasion too :)! After all, it IS CINCO de Mayo!

Today is also my parent’s 34th wedding anniversary. They are in town this weekend,  so, cinco de mayo + anniverssary= Mexican Wedding Cookies! And, double celebration on a Saturday=eat  whatever you want. Duh!

Ingredients:

–1 cup butter (use stick butter, NOT tub butter OR margarine)

–1/2 cup white sugar

–2 tsp vanilla extract

–2 tsp water

–2 cups all-purpose flour

–1 cup sliced almonds

–1/2 cup powdered sugar

You may also want to find a helper for entertainment…

(Yea, that’s a pizza box…sometimes we make frozen pizza for dinner. gasp! Of course it’s not nearly as tasty as this pesto pizza) 🙂

Directions: In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar (see note below on how to cream). Add water and vanilla and stir. Add flour and almonds and stir until blended. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Then, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Shape dough into balls (about 1″ in diameter) and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bottoms are starting to brown and tops are starting to look golden. Once cookies have cooled, roll in powdered sugar and enjoy!

Source: allrecipes.com

How to cream butter and sugar: Make sure butter is room temp–leave butter out on counter for about an hour or until it feels like it’s room temperature. Cut butter into cubes. Stir with a wooden spoon until butter is soft. Add in sugar, stirring with a fork. It should look fluffy and a lighter yellow color when done creaming.

Running Update and Pesto Pizza


Yesterday, thanks to this little lady, my day started at 4am.

She was ready to get cooking! Or at least measuring ;).

By the time she went back to bed, around 6am, I was fully caffeinated and ready for a run with one of my mommy-friends before a day of hanging out with little miss fussy pants (i.e. a cute, sweet but very high maintenance teething baby).

After hardly running for 3 months, I’m SO happy to be back on the trail and to get my social life back, somewhat. What? You talk when you run!? Yep, it’s true, we runners are socialites–we just socialize at a different time of day than most people ;). I don’t think I let the news out on the blog but 3 months ago, after lots of running and racing, I found out that I had a pelvic stress fracture. Needless to say, it has taken a long time to recover so, I’m overly excited to be running again.

Enough about running though! Onto that pizza…

This pesto pizza was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Trey kept asking if we could make pizza (typical) and I kept putting it off because I REALLY wanted to make the dough but haven’t had the time to invest in dough-making as of late. Soon enough we will make the entire pizza from scratch but, in the meantime, this was pretty awesome and SO easy to make!

Ingredients:

–pre-baked 12 oz pizza crust (I used Artisan, whole wheat)

–1-2 Tbsp olive oil

–3-4 Tbsp homemade, fresh pesto (see recipe below)

–1 cup sliced mozzarella cheese

–2 large tomatoes, sliced

–handful of spinach leaves

–1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

–1/2 tsp basil

Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Drizzle olive oil on pizza crust (you can use cooking spray instead but I prefer straight up olive oil). Place pizza crust on baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Spread pesto evenly over crust leaving 1/2 inch border. Top with mozzarella cheese, tomato slices and spinach. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes and dried or fresh basil (if using fresh, use about 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil).

Source: Adapted from myrecipes.com

Pesto Recipe- Ingredients:

–2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

–1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

–1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

–1/3 cup walnuts

–3 cloves garlic, minced

–salt and pepper to taste

Directions: In a food processor, pulse walnuts and basil a few times. Add garlic and pulse. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while food processor is on. Then add the Parmesan cheese, pulse. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste, stir and serve.

Source: simplyrecipes.com

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