Thursday, May 16, 2013

Quinoa Salad

When I first had the baby, my neighbor brought this salad over for us to have for dinner.  I stalked her for the recipe.  I was a sleep deprived mama who needed the recipe for this salad I loved it so much.  So I called her, texted her & emailed her.  I may have even yelled at her on the street.  Poor thing.  So imagine my delight when I found that she had taped the recipe to my front door. (She was probably too scared to knock for fear of: 1. waking a sleeping baby & 2. that she would come face to face with a crazy person if I opened the door.)
What can I say- lack of sleep does weird things to people.

|Red Quinoa Salad|

1 cup red quinoa
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup dried cranberries; coarsely chopped
2 english cucumbers; peeled, seeded & cut into 1/4 inch pieces
4 ounces feta; cut into 1/4" cubes
2/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Put quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer & rinse for 1 minute. (Do not skip this step or you will have gritty quinoa.)
Cook according to directions.  Fluff with a fork.  Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl & let cool.

When the quinoa is cool, add the pine nuts, cranberries, cucumbers, feta & parsley & mix well.

Put the lemon juice & olive oil in a jar.  Close the lid & shake until the oil & lemon have emulsified.  Season with salt & pepper.  Pour the dressing over the salad & mix well until coated.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.

And let me leave you with my 6am.  Super hero & his ardvark super hero side-kick:

love this babe.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

We're back...for sure this time!

Whoa! being a parent is very time consuming.
I hardly thought about my little blog for awhile.
But lately- I've decided that I have some things I'd like to share.
So here we are.

My hubby has been travelling a lot lately.  Which means I haven't been cooking anything.  Nothing new. Nothing old.  At 4 pm, I starting thinking of bed time. Which means I get my Little Mister down (at 7pm sharp) and go to bed.  Maybe drink some tea wine, eat some cereal & literally climb into bed.

Since I have no new recipes to share, I thought I'd leave you with our typical morning in pictures.

We try to go to the gym around 4pm-ish.  But that doesn't always happen.
So I alternate Pure Barre & Fusion Yoga.  

We play.  Very early.  Mommy drinks coffee.  
Copious amounts of coffee.

Breakfast time.  
I can't say enough about this book.  Now that Brooks is eating 
regular foods- this books is awesome!

Little Mister naps. 
 Mama eats. 
Mama Showers

We play.

Thats it so far.  Enjoy your day!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Green Smoothie

Who really likes raw spinach?  I mean I can pretend to like it, but if it' s not covered in salad dressing, accompanied by feta or goat cheese... puh-lease.  I'd rather eat a hot dog- and I absolutely cannot stand hot dogs.  So there. 

Even though I don't really like raw spinach- this smoothie is amazing.  I got this recipe off of Pinterest- and the weird thing is, it's not really green.  I've tried and tried to make it green by adding more & more spinach- but it still turns out kind of a pink-ish green-ish purple-ish color.  Oh well, who really cares about the color.  This smoothie is awesome...and so full of nutrients. 

Let me review:
1. Spinach: contains lots of fiber- great for digestive health.  Contains flavonoids -- a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties has been shown to slow down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. Furthermore, spinach has shown significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.  Lots of other vitamins- vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium present in spinach all serve as powerful antioxidants that combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Eating one cup of spinach contributes to this process that fights atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke.   And so much more.  Just google "benefits of spinach."

2.  Mango:  Also contains flavonoids which protect against  various cancers.  Mangoes have high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C which help to lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (the bad stuff.)  Mangos have been shown to hlep clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples.  One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.

3.  Blueberries:  The highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit.  Neutralizes free radicals which can affect disease and aging in the body.  Blueberries have also been known to reduce belly fat, reduce cardiovascular risks & have also been know to increase urinary tract health. 

4. Raspberries:  loaded with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins & minerals. 

5. Greek Yogurt:  lower in added sugars & higher in protein than other types of yogurt.  Also good for your gut.

6. Banana: good source of Potassium and vitamin B6, has been shown to decrease risks of kidney cancer & is good for stomach health. 

See?  I'm not crazy...this smoothie is good for you.  And VERY filling.  I make a huge batch of the green weird pink-purple color stuff and freeze it in an ice cube tray.  I don't measure, I just throw all the ingredients in- and I'd be lying if I said I always stick to just this list.  Sometimes I add peaches if the mangos don't look good at the store.  Sometimes I add lemon juice.  It's kind of a free-for-all.  Then I just throw the cubes in my blender with some water, ice cubes & the greek yogurt...makes for easy mornings! 

{clearly I was using blackberries instead of blueberries this time}

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The first month...what we're loving

It's amazing how life changes once you bring your little bundle home.  We love how much our baby has changed us- everything from our sleeping habits to the mountains of baby "stuff" we now have in our home.  Most of our gifts have gone un-used as of yet; but I thought I'd share some of our "1st month essentials" seeing that our little guy will be 1 month on Thursday!!

I am not exactly sure what these things are called.  A sleeper maybe?  Regardless, these make diaper changes, hands DOWN... 1,000 times easier (especially in the middle of the night.)

Summer Infant sponge bath mat.  Our baby HATES 2 things: being naked & getting a bath.  This absolutely, hands down makes everything easier. 

On the topic of bath time, we started using California Baby.  Although nothing is as sweet as a Johnson & Johnson smelling baby- after using the products twice; my baby's skin was flaking off.  And he really only smelled great for like a day.  So I did a lot of research & read a lot of reviews.  So far, so good.  His skin isn't as dry.  And the lotion (which claims to be "calming") smells really good.  My baby still screams during bath/lotion time though, so I'm not sure how calming it really is...oh well!

This little gem...oh, what I would do without it I am not completely sure.  This is how I have a cup of coffee, shower, fold laundry or sit and stare at the wall in complete exhaustion (just kidding...well, maybe not.)  The Snug-a-bunny bouncer is the best...he loves to sit in the bouncer & vibrate.  Yes, the seat vibrates.  He starts to cry when the vibration turns off.... I'm not sure what to make of that, but we're going with it for now. 

Gotta love Dr. Browns bottles & Mylicon gas drops.  A friend of mine is a pharmacist & made us a little "baby pharmacy kit" as a shower gift.  One night, on a whim I opened the box before making a Walgreen's trip (at like 11pm...we were desperate.)  These drops are great!  They are part of our nighttime routine. 

And lastly...

When we first brought our baby home, he loved to be swaddled at tight as he possibly could be. 

Within 1 week, this is how he started sleeping...

He only likes to be swaddled from the waist down...and he sleeps with his arms above his head.  So cute!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chicken Salad Sandwich

I hate Mayonaise.  SO MUCH.  I've never liked it all that much, but the older I've become- the thought of putting mayo in anything churns my stomach.  The 2 exceptions I have are my grandmother's creamy cucumbers & my this recipe my mom makes that has pasta & chicken with raw veggies in it.  That's it.  Anything else...totally disgusting to me.  When I found this chicken salad sandwhich recipe (on Pinterest...go figure) I was so excited because 1. it has cranberries in it (LOVE) 2. it uses mostly greek yogurt to replace most of the mayo, removing most of the mayo taste. 

I made this for lunch quite a bit when I was preggo- it was quick, easy & light.  I buy the larger cans of chicken at Costco in bulk to keep around just in case I want this little gem for lunch!

{Chicken Salad Sandwiches}
recipe adapted from

1 large can chunk chicken (premium, packed in water; drained)
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
1/3 cup granny apple, diced into small chunks (1/4-1/2 inch)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1.5 tablespoons onion, minced
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayo (I use Duke’s but use your favorite)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or champagne vinegar)
1 tablespoon rosemary, minced

Toasted bread, sliced thick

Mix together greek yogurt, mayo, apple cider vinegar, and rosemary.
In a large bowl, combine, chicken (about 2 cups), pecans, onion, green apple, and cranberries.
Toss with dressing until well combined.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chill for at least an hour until ready to serve.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The past 9 months....

Where have I been? What have I been working on?

This little guy!!

Meet our sweet baby boy, Brooks!

I haven't felt like cooking, Pinterest-ing, cleaning, shopping.  Nothing. I'll admit it...I was lazy.
We ate all of our tried & true recipes.  I didn't have cravings, I didn't try any new recipes.  In the end...we ended up with a pretty great little addition to our family.  And something new to blog about!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012