Riley is now 9 months and exploring the wonderful world of food! We started her on solids when she was about 6 months old because she had more than doubled her birth weight and was simply ready to start. Starting solids with your baby truly depends on when you but most importantly your child is ready to start, they’ll definitely let you know in some sort of way. We started out slow with oatmeal cereal and worked our way into the “easy to digest” veggies like squash, sweet potato, peas and apples. Now at nine months we are exploring all types of healthy recipes and she is loving every meal.
Recently, I’ve been setting aside a small amount of whatever veggies and protein we are eating for dinner and making Riley a small serving of her own variation of our meal. I think this is a great way to introduce your baby to new foods and yummy combinations. We had lamb pasta the other night for dinner and this was the “pasta free” version I made for Riley to enjoy. Hope your kiddies love it as much as she does!
Lamb and Veggies! (makes 2 servings)
3 tablespoons ground lamb
organic cherry tomatoes (Halved)
a teaspoon of freshly chopped organic basil
handful of spinach
Grated Gruyère cheese (optional)
First and foremost WASH YOUR VEGGIES! Regardless of if they are organic or not, it is so important to wash your fruits and vegetables to ensure the best for you and your family. I opt for Honest Fruit & Veggie wash when I’m making a meal for my family. I’ll include a link below if you want to check it out .
Cook the ground lamb in a small skillet on medium heat for about 3 mins. Lamb has a lot of natural fat so you do not need to add any sort of oil to the pan. Add in the tomatoes and cook until mashable. Lastly add in your spinach and basil. Depending on your preference you can serve as is or chop it up a bit more in your blender. Riley is at an age where cheese is an option so I love adding a little Gruyère to this dish for her! I let it cool and place it on her high chair tray so she can feed herself, she loves it! Enjoy!
(Try the Fruit & Veggie wash and let me know what you think! I love it.)
The next couple of days/weeks are going to be a whirlwind for my little family. “Dada” is headed to the playoffs after a long season of hard work, injuries, and almost sleepless nights. It’s so wonderful to be able to witness this amazing journey first hand. Seeing the effort my husband and his team put in on a daily basis and now watching it all pay off is simply unbelievable, but totally believable. If you know what I mean. All I can say is to God be all of the glory and the honor.
With that being said I will most likely be absent from the blog for the next 3 days, but will come back with hopefully great news and amazing photos and tidbits from our little adventure in Denver, Colorado. Before this hectic but exciting time we were able to spend a nice day together by the pool last week. We enjoyed salmon burgers and fries from Nations and soaked up some sun(lathered in The Honest Company sunscreen of course! See link below or on sidebar and try it!). Here are a couple of pictures from that day. I got Riley’s pool toys from Target! Enjoy!
Eco-friendly Beauty by The Honest Company
Our weekend was fantastic! It started out with a nice mother-daughter lunch in the square. Riley became a big girl right before my eyes and decided she was more than happy to sit in her high chair with me for an hour and enjoy her food as well. It’s amazing that she’s growing up but so bittersweet and I tend to feel a great deal of sadness about it. Any other mommies out there feel the same?
Our neighborhood had an awesome sailboat event going on so we were able to check that out for a little while after our lunch. We had a great family breakfast the next day, complete with an impromptu early morning at the park and some smoothies! Your day is always better when it starts out at an empty park, as a family. Riley loved it and I think my husband loved it even more (see photos below). Stephen had practice on Sunday so we weren’t able to make it to service, but we did manage to blast our favorite gospel songs through the house and bask in the presence of the Lord as we got ready for our day. I met up with my good friend Sabina (my gorgeous Polish bombshell) for brunch and we had the most delicious citrus beignets and french press. I also had the best scrambled eggs to date. I’m definitely going to play around and see if I can make them myself, but I can’t quite put my finger on what made them so yummy.
Our Sunday continued after “dada” got out of practice. We took a trip to Babies R Us to pick up a baby gate. It’s our ritual to let Riley pick out a toy when we go there and naturally she picked out the scariest most life like toy in the building. She loves the big monkey whom we’ve respectively named Roscoe, but he scares me every time I walk into the room!
The night ended with a little home cleaning session, homemade bread, lasagna and red velvet cupcakes! I’ve included a link to a vine video I made of Riley at the park.
Happy Monday! Enjoy!
Sometimes I just don’t feel like going to the grocery store, especially now with an 8 month old. Yesterday was one of those days. Luckily my husband didn’t want a lot of protein in his pre game meal so I didn’t have to trek to the grocery to get my usual pound of ground. I decided that I would use what was on hand. We ate chicken and waffles the night before so I wanted to make something fresh, light, quick and EASY! I came up with this simple recipe using things that I already had in my refrigerator. Turns out he loved it. It’s a great vegetarian option too! Try it and let me know what you think in the comments below!
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes(halved)
1 small shallot chopped
3 cloves of chopped garlic
handful of FRESH basil chopped
a sprig of fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of salt
1 package of Capellini pasta
Parmigiano Reggiano (to taste )
Bring a pot of COLD water to a boil on the stove. While the water is heating up, place your skillet on med high heat and sauté the butter, olive oil, garlic and shallots in a pan until the shallots become translucent (not brown). Add in the rosemary , cherry tomatoes and pinch of salt for flavor. Sauté for about 2 to 3 mins and add in your chopped basil. By now your water should have come to a raging boil. Add in your capellini pasta and cook as directed on the package (usually about 3 mins). Drain the water from the pasta and add in your tomato mixture. Mix together well and then plate the pasta. Top with fresh Parmigiano and enjoy!
This is an easy recipe I put together. It’s not really a chip dip type of salsa, more of a meal topper! You can put it over any type of grilled meat or vegetable, oven roasted chicken and in my case the salmon recipe from my previous post. It would even work great mixed in with a salad as a dressing alternative. The recipe is extremely quick and can even be made ahead of time. The longer the “salsa” sits in the refrigerator the better. Enjoy!
1 Cup of diced fresh mango
1 diced roma tomato
1 small shallot minced
handful of fresh mint
a pinch of salt and pepper
2 tablespoon of honey
juice of 2 lemons (be sure to remove any seeds!)
So… I’m not going to go through a long explanation of how to prepare the salsa. You basically throw all of the ingredients into a bowl, mix together and it’s done! So quick and easy you can do it with your eyes closed (but please don’t if you’re holding a knife ). Give it at least 30 mins in the refrigerator for all of the flavors to mend. Let me know what you think !
I hope I don’t jinx myself with the title, but this salmon recipe is truly delicious and my husband did win a big game the night after I made this meal… so I’m sticking with the title.
This is another great quick and easy salmon recipe that takes about 30 mins total. I am all about a sweet and savory dinner. This recipe is just that! I cut out majority of the bad fat by using coconut oil. The fish came out moist and buttery without using any actual butter. Perfect! I paired it with a delicious homemade mango salsa which I will post the recipe for following this post. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do!
*** I also paired the fish with oven roasted asparagus. place the asparagus in a baking sheet drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt (any salt will work but I love using the coarse sea salt) bake in the oven at 425 for about 15 mins. ***
6 salmon fillets (6oz each) – i used king salmon
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp of both freshly grated ginger and garlic
3/4 cup of brown sugar
handful of coarsely chopped pecans
2 tbsp of coconut oil
Preheat your oven to 425. Place your salmon fillets in a baking dish and add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to coat the fillets. Add your ginger and garlic to the fillets. In a bowl combine your pecans, brown sugar and coconut oil to form a paste. Place the mixture over top of the fillets and pat it down to ensure good coverage. Pop the baking dish in the oven for about 20 mins. The brown sugar mixture will bake and bubble up to form the most delicious crust on top of the salmon. Its that easy! Yummy! (serves 6!)
Try it and comment below and let me know what you think Be sure to top it with the mango salsa. It is such a good pairing! Enjoy!
This past sunday I threw my husband a surprise 25th birthday party (today is his actual birthday)! It was amazing. We spent the early evening on a boat with family, friends, good food, music and of course some dancing. We had a wonderful time and Stephen even got to steer the boat!
I can’t believe that my husband is 25 already! Time sure does fly! Luckily we’ve spent our years we’ve been together laughing, loving and enjoying everything that has come our way both good and bad. I love him with all of my heart and can’t wait to see what the next 25 years have in store for both him and our little family.He’s already grown into such an amazing husband, father, son, brother, friend and overall human being. I can’t imagine him being any better than he is today, but somehow each day he surprises me with his humble and bright spirit making me even happier and more in love with him than I was the day before.
Happy Birthday Stephen! I love you more than “fried chicken, tater cakes and apple sauce”!!!
Here are a couple of photos from the party.
This is a recipe I would ALWAYS ask my mom to make for me as a child. It’s hearty, delicious and is easy to make. I make double when I make this chicken dish as it tastes even more flavorful the 2nd day (and the third). Try it and let me know what you think! Enjoy!
*** I paired this dish with sautéed broccolini and thai jasmine rice that I made with organic light coconut milk instead of water. I try and use fresh organic ingredients as often as I can.***
4 Chicken Quarters
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped shallots
3 cloves chopped garlic
3/4 cup chicken stock/broth
1 cup low sodium soy
2 cups brown sugar
1 heaping tbsp freshly chopped ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a dutch pot on med high to high heat with your butter and olive oil. Generously salt and pepper your chicken quarters. Brown the skin of your chicken in the pot for about 2 mins on each side until it’s crisp and golden brown. Remove the chicken quarters and reduce the heat to medium. Add in the shallots and garlic. Deglaze the pot with the chicken stock. Scrape down all of the sides to make sure you get all of the delicious seasonings and flavors into the broth (I’m hungry already!). Add in the soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger. Simmer the sauce for about 5-10 mins. Add the chicken quarters back into the pot, place the lid on and bake for 45min to an hour. The chicken will be flavorful and falling off the bone. Mmm mmm mmmm!
This is my version of Paula Deen’s Cabbage Soup. After making the original recipe, I found that it need some changes (in my opinion). This recipe takes a little bit of preparation, but it is well worth it. Give it a try and tell me what you think. I literally just finished licking the bottom of my soup bowl (no, seriously). Enjoy!
2lbs ground turkey
1 cup of uncooked rice
1 tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 onion minced
2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic minced
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 a yellow onion diced
1 6oz can of tomato paste
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of ketchup
28 oz can of whole tomatoes with juice
1 medium cabbage sliced
1 cup of beef broth(stock)
1/2 cup of water
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of monterey jack (cheddar will work as well)
1/2 cup of raisins
Combine all of the meatball ingredients into a bowl and mix together (USE YOUR HANDS PEOPLE!). Form into walnut sized balls and set aside! Time to make the soup!… In a large stock pot heat your oil over medium high heat, add your garlic and onions and sweat the onions until they are translucent (about a min or two). Then add your tomato paste, whole tomatoes w/ the juice, ketchup, brown sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a fast simmer. This should take about 8 to mins. Transfer your soup mix into the blender and blend on low for about 30 seconds (or until the whole tomatoes are crushed). Transfer back into the pot and add in your cabbage simmering on medium low heat for another 10 mins (Until cabbage has reduced in size). Now add in the beef stock and water to thin the soup (you can play around with the consistency ). Add in the meatballs and continue to simmer for 20 to 25 mins. This gives the rice enough time to cook as well as the meat. Add in the raisins and cheese when the soup is done cooking but still hot! I garnished mine with avocado, but a nice crusty french or sourdough bread would go great too!
I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I did today!