Category Archives: Originals

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!?!???

Advertisements

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

Tagged

Honey Mustard Glaze Salmon


I’ll slowly be coming back to blogging over the next few weeks. I’m SO excited! Thanks in advance for reading!

This post is about our dinner last night. Notice the difference in starches–brown rice-me, potatoes and mac n’ cheese-Trey.

Okay, let me start by saying I have the best hubby in the world. Hands down.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll explain how this meal came about. Trey has been itching to cook new recipes lately. And, by this I mean, he has been itching for ME to cook some new, delicious meals. (Although, he did make some wonderful chili recently. I’ll definitely be blogging about it in the near future!)

After throwing out about 159.8 ideas for what ‘we’ could make including tuna steaks, lobster, dishes that required crazy, unique ingredients, and much more, I limited him to ingredients we already have at home since I had just gone to the store.  When Trey made that amazing chili I just mentioned, he took the recipe to the store and bought every. single. ingredient listed. I’m talking salt and pepper, people. Guess who got to take all the spices we already had back to the grocery store the next day? Sometimes I have to remind him that we cook at home so much to SAVE money, not spend it ;).

So, we settled on this Honey Mustard Glaze Salmon and were very pleased with the outcome. While I was prepping and cooking everything, Trey was doing ‘manly’ things like mowing the lawn and trimming trees in our front yard. When we finally sat down to eat, per usual, I asked him how the meal was and if it was ‘blog-worthy’. He said, ‘yes, and it wasn’t too difficult either’. While he was right about it being an easy recipe, I was a little confused about how he worded that sentence—I’m pretty sure, no, I’m positive that Trey thinks when I cook, he actually cooked too.

Like I said, I feel so blessed to be married to such an amazing man who is supportive and encouraging in my cooking efforts (and everything else, really). But, he’s so funny sometimes. I’ll let him have it…I really couldn’t accomplish any cooking most days without his help with the baby. Two become one, right!? 😉 I mean, he is most of the reason why I get to explore cooking anyway.

Now, onto the recipe…

Here are the Ingredients {3 servings}:

–1 lb salmon fillet

–2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt

–2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard

–3 tsp honey

–1/2 tsp dill weed

–homemade bread crumbs (from 1.5 slices of bread)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wash salmon and place on foiled baking sheet. Combine yogurt, mustard, honey and dill weed in a small bowl and spread over salmon fillet. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake for about 15 minutes or until salmon is barely cooked through (make sure it flakes easily with a fork). Serve and enjoy!

Homemade Breadcrumbs: Toast one or two slices of bread until they don’t contain any more moisture. Process in a food-processor and waalaa!

Spaghetti {Squash}


This is one of my favorite ways to sneak a veggie into our meal! And, it’s SO easy! I took the super duper easy route and didn’t make homemade sauce this week. In a perfect world, I’d have it with my Mimi’s spaghetti sauce but I didn’t have Mimi, any of her sauce in our freezer or her delicious ‘secret’ recipe. So, we went with a good ‘ol jar of sauce and added ground turkey meat to it. Not too shabby. And, quick prep work which is always a plus ;). Trey even likes this meal. A LOT!

The only ingredient for today is a spaghetti squash. You’re on your own for the sauce…until I get brave enough to make and write about a sauce.

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, place face down on a baking sheet (rind facing up) and cook for 30-40 minutes or until tender. I cook until I can pierce it with a knife. Then scoop out the ‘noodles’ with two forks. Add sauce and enjoy!

Black Bean and Couscous Salad


I’ve had some Israeli couscous in the pantry for a while now so I finally decided to use it. If you’ve never made Israeli couscous, you should definitely try it. The couscous pieces are much larger than regular couscous. And, by the way, did you know that couscous is considered a pasta, not a grain. Sorry if you didn’t want to hear that but it’s true ;). That seems to be a common question people have. If you can prove me wrong, please do. I’m generally not a huge fan of pasta because I don’t like the slimy texture. I do, however, love the texture of couscous. We went the healthy route and used whole wheat.
I initially thought of making a hot bean and couscous salad but we liked this better cold! And, of course, we had plenty leftover.
Ingredients:
–1 cup uncooked whole wheat Israeli couscous
–1 1/4 cups chicken broth
–2 Tbsp olive oil
–juice from 1 lime
–1 tsp red wine vinegar
–1/2 tsp ground cumin
–2 cloves garlic, minced
–1 yellow onion, chopped
–1 red bell pepper, chopped
–1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
–1 can (15 ounce) of corn (or use fresh if you have time!)
–1 can (15 ounce) of black beans, drained
–salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Bring chicken broth to a boil and stir in couscous. Stir gently and let simmer for about 8 minutes or until couscous is almost ready. Then, remove from heat. Heat olive oil and garlic in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add red bell pepper and onion. Cook until onions are translucent. Fluff couscous and add veggies and the rest of the ingredients to the couscous mixture and stir and enjoy. Or, refrigerate for later!
Let me know what you think!
I also embarked on my first journey of making baby food! I was SO intimidated by the thought of making it but it was SO easy. I might blog about it for you mamas who are afraid to make it ;). Sweet potatoes were on the menu for my little cutie last night. She LOVED them. I’m so proud of my good little eater.
Feed ME!

Fruit Skewers and Yogurt Dip


On Sunday, we went to a Super Bowl party with a bunch of our dear friends. Everyone was instructed to bring a little something to eat. Per usual, I went with a healthy party treat and, per usual, we came home with almost-empty tupperware. We loved this yogurt dip. If you take it to a party, I recommend putting on a plate WITH the fruit. I think some people thought this was ranch or some kind of strange chip dip. So, the little that was leftover, I’m attributing to the idea that people didn’t know what it was. And, I didn’t advertise it too much because guess who got to eat the leftover dip–with a spoon. straight. up. Mmmm!

This dip is great with pretty much any fruit so go crazy with your own fruit ideas!

Yogurt Dip Ingredients:

–2 cups plain Greek Yogurt

–1 Tbsp sugar

–1 Tbsp Honey

–1 tsp cinnamon

–1 Tbsp fresh orange juice

Directions: Whisk all ingredients together and serve! Easiest directions ever! 🙂

Source: Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

There was one baby at this gathering so, someone got A LOT of attention! 🙂

Blueberry Balsamic Pork Loin


I made some delicious pork loin with kale salad and this butternut squash for dinner last night. I’ll post about the kale salad in the near future!

Baby girl took a LONG 4 hour nap yesterday. This has never happened. I didn’t know what to do with myself! So, in between checking on her every 5 minutes (yes, I’m serious!), I threw together this fab meal ;). By the way, this means I checked on my kid 48 times while she napped. Wow, am I ridiculous or what!? Good thing our house is small! Maybe a video monitor would be worth it after all. And, I know I sound crazy but the sweet little thing just started sleeping on her tummy and it’s making me a little uneasy to say the least.

Soooo, onto that pork!

Although the pork wasn’t the most beautiful looking dish in the world, it was tasty! And SWEET. And SO quick and easy as far as prep work goes!

Trey threw this meal on his ongoing ‘favorites’ list. So, it’s that good :). I told him that I labored over it for hours–my typical response when he says I cooked something incredible. Teehee ;).

Here are the Ingredients:

–1 pork loin

–4 Tbsp blueberry juice (I used blueberry pomegranate)

–1 Tbsp olive oil (plus additional for cooking the pork)

–2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

–1 Tbsp honey

–1 Tbsp brown sugar

–2 cloves garlic, minced

–pinch of salt and pepper (for both sauce and directly on pork loin)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a baking dish, drizzle pork loin with olive oil and put a pinch of salt and pepper on the loin. I also put a little olive oil directly on the baking dish so the pork wouldn’t stick. Bake pork for about 40-45 minutes or until cooked all the way through (if using a thermometer, make sure pork cooks to 150 degrees F). Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir thoroughly until mixture is smooth. When pork is done cooking, slice into thin pieces, top with sauce and serve. See, it’s that easy!

Sauteed Collard Greens with Corn and Onion


We had this with dinner several nights ago and I am just now finding time to write about it! School is already taking up pretty much all of my free time and classes just started!

Anyway, I had lots of collard greens that needed to be eaten so this recipe just evolved in an effort to not have to throw away any food ;).We ate it as a side with chicken and sweet potatoes and it turned into a delicious, colorful meal!

{Most of the} Ingredients:

1 Tbsp butter

–1 Tbsp olive oil

–1/2 red onion, chopped

–3 cloves garlic, chopped

–1/2 bunch of collard greens

–juice from 1/2 lemon

–salt and pepper to taste

–1/3 can of corn (was a last minute decision!)

Directions: Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic. Then add collard greens and onions (note: collard greens take slightly longer to cook than many other green lettuce-types). Stir until onions begin to look translucent and collard start looking greener and tender. Add corn and stir for another couple minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

(And then there was corn!)

Bruschetta with Cherry Tomatoes


According to my mom’s chef-friend, bruschetta is pronounced brew-sKeh-tah NOT brew-sHeh-tah. Who knew!?

This was an easy appetizer to whip up for company on short notice. And, it’s pretty dang healthy unlike so many other snacks and apps. As much as I love chips and queso, I hate the feeling after indulging on grease, salt and cheese and ruining my dinner. Okay, that doesn’t always happen but point is, you feel much better after eating fresh tomatoes and olives!

I’ve been wanting to make bruschetta for a while and since we happen to have all of the ingredients at home last night, I went for it. I also had a sweet little helper in the kitchen ;).

Ingredients:

–3 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, sliced into fourths

–1 handful green olives, sliced into fourths

–1 handful kalamata olives, sliced into fourths

–1/2 shallot, chopped

–2 cloves garlic, minced

–2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

–1 Tbsp basil (I used dried but fresh would be better!)

–1 tsp oregano

–2 Tbsp olive oil (plus more to drizzle on bread)

–1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

–juice from 1 lemon

–salt and pepper

–1 baguette, sliced

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix all ingredients, except baguette, in a bowl and stir evenly. Place baguette slices on a pan and drizzle with olive oil (we also rubbed the pieces with garlic which is optional–you could also sprinkle garlic powder for a short cut!). Toast in oven for about 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Serve bruschetta on toasted bread and enjoy!

 

Lentil Vegetable Soup


After a cold, long run Saturday morning, I was craving a warm, healthy soup so we ended up with this delicious Lentil Vegetable Soup. (Of course, I was also craving Mexican food and a Margarita after burning so many calories. That got taken care of later in the day!)

After a couple bites of this soup, Trey looked at me and asked ‘this is really healthy, isn’t it?’ My initial thought was that he didn’t like it if it ‘tasted’ healthy so, naturally, I responded with ‘you don’t like it, do you?’ To my surprise, Trey actually really liked the soup. He said it just tasted really fresh and he was wondering how many more bowls he could eat. Portion size matters less and less as the ‘healthy’ meter increases. I mean, who worries about eating too many bowls of vegetables!?

Obv. not this guy…

.

(He was so sweet to help with chopping. The babe took an extra long nap for us so we got to cook TOGETHER for the first time in 5 months!)

After cooking and consuming several bowls of soup and way too much cornbread, our tummies were very happy. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

(Minus red wine vinegar–added after my almost-final taste test.)

(We topped off our soup with a little lemon juice and a splash of tabasco.)

–3 cups uncooked lentils, rinsed

–3 quarts water

–2 vegetable bouillon cubes

–6-8 strips collard greens, stems removed and cut into bite-sized pieces

–2 Tbsp canola oil

–1 large yellow onion, chopped

–1 red bell pepper, chopped

–4 large carrots, peeled and chopped

–4 cloves garlic, minced

–2-3 tsp red wine vinegar

–salt and pepper to taste

Directions: In a large pot, combine lentils, water and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, skim any foam off the top, add collard greens, reduce heat and simmer to let the lentils cook–about 1 hour. Heat oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and bell pepper. Cook until onions are translucent–about 8 minutes. Add carrots and cook for another 5-8 minutes or until carrots are slightly tender. Remove from heat and set aside. When the pot with lentils has 20 minutes longer to cook, add the onion/carrot mixture to the pot. Then add vinegar, salt and pepper and serve! For an extra kick, add a little lemon juice and a couple drops of tabasco. Mmmm!