Our little baby girl arrived on October 22, 2015 at 8:15am. She weighed 6 lbs, 8.8 oz. and was 19.75 inches long. She is the tiniest little thing and looks just like her big brother. We are so very thankful for this sweet addition to our family.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Hummus is a go-to snack in our house and a mealtime staple for Will. It was one of the first foods that we gave him as a baby and he's loved it ever since. Some of his favorite dippers include peppers, honey wheat pretzel sticks and cucumber. It also makes a great condiment for meat. His other favorite way to eat it? On a spoon.
This hummus recipe has been my new favorite. It's so easy to whip up a small batch at lunchtime, or double to last for a few days. Lemon and garlic are never a bad idea! I have been on a white bean hummus kick for a few years, but lately, I'm all about the garbanzo beans. Use this recipe on it's own, or use it as a base and add more flavors if you like! Roasted red peppers or fresh basil would both be excellent. Eat the hummus right away, or let it sit in the fridge overnight to really let the flavors marry.
Lemon Garlic Hummus
1 can organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more if needed
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste
Using a food processor, pulse all ingredients until smooth and to desired consistency. Slowly drizzle in more olive oil if necessary.
Our friends at La Brea Bakery sent us some delicious Naan bread a couple of weeks ago and Will has been LOVING it. The breads arrived frozen and after baked in the oven, they crisp up and taste so fresh! The garlic naan is our favorite with it's unexpected flavor and extra kick- the perfect partner for Will's lemon garlic hummus! These naan breads are also perfect for flat bread pizzas! This is another favorite toddler meal. I keep individual portions of homemade marinara in the freezer just for this purpose. La Brea baguettes are also my go to when I need to bake up crostinis for appetizers. Always fresh and made with real ingredients.
For some background on La Brea Bakery...More than 25 years ago, La Brea Bakery revolutionized artisan bread in the U.S., creating hearth baked, hand crafted bread using simple ingredients and uncompromising standards. Today, La Brea Bakery offers more than 200 varieties of authentic artisan bread, from baguettes, ciabattas and foccacias, to loaves, sandwich breads, flatbreads and more.
Right now, La Brea Bakery is making its way across the country with their Breaking Bread Tour, reminding foodies that nothing brings family and friends together like a quality meal. Through the tour, La Brea Bakery will spread their top-of-the-line artisan breads and love for quality ingredients and inspired recipes across the country, creating opportunities for Americans to connect over bread.
*This post is sponsored by La Brea Bakery and the Breaking Bread Tour. I received La Brea bread in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are my own.
Friday, September 4, 2015
We made this Fig, Prosciutto and Arugula pizza a few weeks ago and it was DELICIOUS! My favorite Charlotte restaurant has a similar one on their menu and I've been dying to recreate it myself. Figs are in season and ripe for the picking right now. I love to eat them plain, but there are so many ways to eat them.
Give this pizza a try- it's a surprising and rare bite! Caramelized red onions and gorgonzola cheese would be tasty additions if you're feeling extra adventurous!
Fig, Prosciutto + Arugula Pizza
Neapolitan pizza dough (halve the recipe for one pizza)
Fresh figs, sliced
3 thin slices prosciutto, torn
Handful of fresh arugula
Salt and pepper, to season
Mix pizza dough and let rise for about two hours prior to topping the pizza and putting it in the oven.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees, with your pizza stone in the oven.
Roll out dough to desired size. Once the stone and oven are preheated to 500 degrees, remove the stone from the oven and place rolled out dough immediately on top. Brush with olive oil. Top with a thin layer of mozzarella, then arugula. Evenly top with torn prosciutto. Sprinkle another heavier layer of mozzarella. Finish by evenly placing sliced figs on top of the cheese and season with a tiny bit of salt and fresh ground pepper.
Cook for 8 minutes on 500 degrees, or until crust is crisp and cheese is melted and bubbled.
Friday, July 24, 2015
After spending the morning at Imaginon, we ventured to the 7th Street Public Market for lunch where I enjoyed a delicious lunch from the Daily Loaf, followed by the best iced latte I've ever had in my life. The Vanilla Sugar Latte from Not Just Coffee blew me away and I'm already thinking about how I can recreate this heavenly concoction at home. The espresso to milk ratio is perfect and the latte is only slightly sweet, without being super sugary or syrupy like you often get from other coffee shops. I typically stick with coffee and cream or plain iced coffee but this latte was totally worth the splurge.
Not Just Coffee has locations in both The 7th Street Public Market and Atherton Mill.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
This news is far from secret by now...
we are so excited to add another little lovie to our family this Fall! Baby sister will be here in October and we couldn't be more excited! Finding out the gender this time around was so much fun and was a special moment for Mark and I when we found out together during my 20 week ultrasound. I will never forget it. We wanted to experience both the hospital room surprise and finding out before and each way has been wonderful.
We can't wait for our little Princess to arrive!
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
This Gazpacho is everything and more. My friend Elizabeth said that this is one of the best gazpacho recipes and it did not disappoint. Alton Brown recipes are always so solidf! Many gazpacho recipes include bread and I really liked that this one doesn't. Prepping the vegetables takes a bit of time, but the end result is well worth it. The flavor is bold and just so fresh. I served ours in margarita glasses topped with a few shrimp and drizzle of olive oil. This soup is definitely better the next day.
recipe from Alton Brown
1.5 lbs vine ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp toasted, ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Fill a stockpot halfway with water, set on high heat and bring to a boil.
Make an x with a pairing knife on the bottom of each tomato. drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds. Quickly remove them and transfer to an ice bath immediately, allowing them to soak for at least a full minute. Remove them and pat dry. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. Seed the tomatoes over a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl to catch the tomato juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible. If you have less than a cup, add some bottled tomato juice if needed to total one cup.
Roughly chop the tomatoes and transfer them to a large bowl with the juice. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer 1.5 cups of the mixture (I ended up adding about half of the entire mixture) to a blender or food processor and puree for 15-20 seconds on high until pureed. Return the mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.
Cover and chill for two hours or overnight. Serve with basil, a drizzle of olive oil and a few shrimp if desired.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
We started each morning at the World Cafe with the most delicious breakfast spread. The custom omelette station was our favorite! After breakfast, we would park ourselves at the pool or the beach from about 9 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon when the storms would roll in- perfect napping conditions. Our resort had eight delicious restaurants to choose from when it came time for dinner. The food was great and each restaurant offered a different cuisine.
My favorite bite on the resort though came from the Jamaican jerk chicken cart! Upon arrival at the airport, when asked where we were staying, several island natives told us that we had to eat the jerk chicken. By the time we got to our resort we had heard about this chicken no less than a dozen times and we proceeded to enjoy it every day for lunch. It was beyond delicious!
Our time away was the perfect vacation for the two of us and we had the very best time! Peace and Love, Jamaica. You were good to us.
P.S. I put together a quick little keepsake album of all of our pictures as soon as we got home from our trip. A few of my more recent photo albums have come from Artifact Uprising and I absolutely love them! The quality is top notch and the printed photos are vivid and sharp. Their designs are simple and classic with minimal "fluff", which I love. And since all of our pictures were taken with our iPhones, I used their mobile app to make my book. It couldn't have been easier. Next time you make a photo book, check out this great company! (not sponsored, I just love them and had to share).
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
The world of two year old eating is extremely unpredictable and a little hard to navigate some days. I have found that a huge variety is key to getting Will to eat well rounded, healthy meals. One thing I can almost always count on, though, is that he almost always eats a great breakfast! I love that he starts his days with a nutritious breakfast and a nice full belly!
These whole wheat oatmeal pancakes have been on regular rotation in our house for the past couple of months. Greek yogurt is the secret ingredient in these cakes, keeping them nice and fluffy and not dry at all. Our favorite mix ins are blueberries, peaches and bananas. Chocolate chips are a nice treat on the weekends or special occasions. Will gobbles these up! The batter also cooks nicely in my Belgian waffle iron on level three. A batch of these pancakes usually lasts Will most of, it not the entire week. The waffles freeze beautifully, too- just defrost and reheat in the toaster!
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes
recipe adapted via Sally's Baking Addiction
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup organic old fashioned oats
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or regular milk
2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
1/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup add-ins (blueberries, peaches, chocolate chips, etc.)
Toss the flour, oats, salt, baking powder and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Whisk the coconut sugar and yogurt in and mix until smooth. Add in vanilla and whisk until well incorporated.
Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix gently until just combined. Toss in your add-ins.
Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat generously with coconut oil, cooking spray, butter- whatever you normally use. Once the surface is hot, scoop the batter out in 1/4 cup and drop onto the griddle. Cook until the edges begin to look dry and bubbles form in the center of the pancake, about 2-3 minutes. Flip to the other side and cook for an additional minute. Coat the surface as necessary while the you cook the remaining pancakes.
Serve with syrup or honey and fresh fruit.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Will loves animals and is OBSESSED with anything farm related. It started with the blue horse from "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and spiraled out of control from there. I'm pretty confident that he is singing Old McDonald on repeat in his head at all times. And when he's not singing "ei-ei-o", he's singing "Jingy Bells". He's also loving trains, especially Thomas, anything with wheels and swinging his golf clubs "like a pro". And at the end of the day, George is still his true stuffed love. He is talking nonstop and picking up new words and phrases every day. His vocabulary blows me away most days.
The birthday dinner menu included Crockpot Beer Carnitas Tacos, Pineapple Salsa, Jalapeno Lime Slaw, Mexican Rice and Guacamole. My mom made Will's birthday cake- the same cake my sister's and I had every year on our birthdays- Angel Food with White Mountain Frosting.
We had the best morning celebrating and playing with our friends- it was the perfect cherry on top to Will's week of birthday partying!
Happy Second Birthday, Little Will!!!
Sunday, May 24, 2015
I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend! I'm in the midst of my typical Sunday food prep for the week and popping in with a quick and easy recipe that we are loving right now.
Chicken salad has been my go-to lunch lately. I buy a rotisserie chicken from my grocery store on Sunday and make a big batch of chicken salad to enjoy for lunches all week. I usually wrap mine in butter lettuce for a crunchy bite. I love adding whatever fresh vegetables and herbs I have on hand, as well as a little mayo and olive oil. Sometimes I skip the mayo all together and just do olive oil and a little vinegar.
This curried chicken salad is my favorite. My mom has made a similar recipe for years and I always loved when she made it. It's even better leftover! This is the perfect chicken salad to munch on all week long.
Curried Chicken Salad
1 Rotisserie chicken, shredded
handful of mini sweet peppers, diced (or one whole bell pepper)
1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
3 hearts of palm, sliced
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellman's made with olive oil)
1 Tbsp. Curry powder, or more if desired
salt and pepper, to taste
Start with the shredded chicken in a large bowl, and mix all other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on top of a bed of mixed greens or in butter lettuce as wraps.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
When the weather is warm and we are looking for lighter meals, big salads are my go to for healthy weeknight dinners. During a typical week, my grocery list consists of about 75% produce, all of which is probably enough to make a different salad every night of the week!
Mark and I spent all day last Thursday at the Wells Fargo Championship here in Charlotte and this salad came together in no time at all. It was perfect after a day outside- it was light, fresh and still filling enough for dinner! I had some leftover grilled chicken breasts from the night before so all that I had to cook was a few strips of bacon and asparagus with some red onions. I plated each salad separately with a dijon balsamic vinaigrette on the side. Roasted mushrooms, blue cheese and even some fresh sliced strawberries would be delicious additions to this.
We LOVED this salad.
Chicken, Bacon Avocado + Roasted Asparagus Salad
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced
4 cups chopped romaine
6 asparagus spears, chopped into 1" pieces
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
4 pieces bacon
1/2 avocado, sliced
olive oil, for drizzling
salt and pepper, to season
Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to season
In a medium skillet, cook bacon until done. Drain on a plate with paper towel and roughly chop.
While the bacon is cooking, add asparagus and red onion to another medium skillet. Drizzle with olive oil and saute on medium until onions are translucent and asparagus is tender. Season with a little salt and pepper if desired.
To assemble the salads, divide romaine into two bowls. Top with asparagus and onion mixture, bacon crumbles and sliced chicken breast. Finish with sliced avocado an drizzle of dressing.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
The Daily Press is located 3227 N. Davidson Street.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
I enjoy baking but I LOVE cooking. Baking always seems to get a bit tricky and if you aren't paying close attention and making precise measurements, you could end up with a complete disaster. When I cook, I do my thing, I let my mind wander and most of the time I don't even closely follow the recipe. Cooking is my therapy and I love spending time in the kitchen.
This Lemon Almond Ricotta cake though...I loved making it! It came together seamlessly, the recipe was easy to follow and the end result was incredible. A friend made this cake for my birthday last year and I knew it would be the perfect end to our Easter meal. It might even be my new favorite Springtime dessert! Lemon and almond go together like a dream and the ricotta creates such a nice balance. Using almond meal instead of flour gives this cake a unique texture that I love. Our Easter meal was complete when we finished with a delicious slice of this gem of a cake.
Lemon Ricotta Almond Cake
recipe from Honey and Figs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste equivalent amount
zest from 2 lemons
4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
2.5 cups almond meal
10.5 oz. ricotta cheese.
Freeze whisk attachment and mixing bowl.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 20 cm. round springform pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Beat softened butter, 1 cup of the powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy and pale, about 5-6 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add almond meal and beat on medium to combine. Gently fold in the ricotta cheese.
Remove bowl and whisk from the freezer and beat egg whites and the remaining powdered sugar (1 cup) until soft peaks form. This took me 8-10 minutes. Fold stiff egg whites into the cake batter and gently combine.
Pour mixture into cake pan and sprinkle with almond flakes. Bake for 20-25 minutes and then cover with tin foil. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until cake is done, the top is slightly browned and the edges are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Let the cake cool for 20 minutes before removing from the springform pan. Dust with additional powdered sugar before serving.