As with most things in life, a little spring cleaning — or website refresh — can do a person good. And so here we are. Six years after starting this site, following countless extended breaks to accommodate my ever changing life and ever growing family (well… no longer growing), and I’ve finally taken the time to spruce things up a bit. I kind of love it! There are still plenty of kinks to work out and format decisions to play around with, but for now I’m just excited to sit down and get back to work.
So why the long on-again, off-again hiatus? Mostly I’ve been bumming around. The last four years here have been a piece of cake. Ethan will be four in September. Nora is almost two and a half. And my littlest, Colin, is nine months old. That’s right! There are only 35 months between my first and third kiddos. So naturally, life has been super chill, with lots of down time for me to binge watch television, catch up on reading, and workout. I even get to squeeze in an hour of meditation every day!!
But actually, in between all the story reading, stepping on and then picking up of blocks and train tracks, potty training, and generally running around trying to pull off this motherhood thing, we’ve all still gotta eat. Luckily, everyone in my family enjoys spending time in the kitchen. The older my kids get, the more I appreciate their enthusiasm for food. I’m not sure if it’s genetics at work or whether they’re following our example, but my god, our kids can eat. Of course they like the usual stuff that all kids crave — pizza, chocolate milk, frozen blueberry waffles — but they also genuinely enjoy trying new things.
I’ve yet to find a food Nora won’t at least try. She will eat literally anything except bananas. I find this amusing because both her brothers tend to eat a banana every single day.
Ethan goes back-and-forth between being adventurous and sticking to what he knows and loves (his ‘last meal’ would be a toss up between a turkey sandwich or a burger from Shake Shack — how is this even a contest?!). He’s most adventurous when we’re out at restaurants (Pad Thai, I’m lookin’ at you), which I find interesting. I cook a variety of ethnic cuisines year round, but he’s more willing to venture out of his comfort zone when there are no other options in front of him. Lesson learned.
And just like the little engine that could, my sweet baby Colin thinks he can eat whatever his siblings eat, and in similar quantities (!), so he does. Always willing to try new things, and I love that. Here’s my little peanut shoving some blueberry muffin in his mouth while sitting on the communal table at Starbucks. Don’t judge.
As for the grown ups in this house, John and I have finally, finally gotten into a date night routine. Only took three kids to make a little time for ourselves! We live in an area with far too many good dining options and I want to experience them ALL. Besides, Ethan is totally capable of watching the other two at this point. I mean, he can even kind of pick up Colin on his own now, so getting him onto his changing table and into his crib should be no problem.
Mostly, I just want one night every other week or so where my kids see me in something other than athletic wear (which is comical because I rarely workout). Last week was Mother’s Day at my kids’ school. As we were heading out to the car, my oldest actually stopped, looked me up and down, and asked why I wasn’t wearing leggings. #blessed
While I’m anxious to get back to posting more regularly, I know I’m going to have to ease myself into a schedule. In the meantime, here are some of the recipes that I would or already have made again and again.
How Sweet It Is posted about this insanely easy honey dijon skillet chicken and it totally delivered. Serve it with your favorite spring veggie (asparagus, string beans), but don’t forget something to sop up the sauce left behind. Mashed potatoes would be amazing. We’re eating these leftovers for lunch this week.
Two words: mongolian beef. This particular recipe is a bit of a ‘clean eats’ spin on a familiar takeout dish. Or it was supposed to be… I don’t know about you, but I don’t generally keep arrowroot in stock (not judging those who do!). Substitute with cornstarch, then add in your favorite stir fry ingredients. For us, that meant red pepper, onion, shredded carrots, mushrooms, and spinach. Naturally I served this over coconut rice (cook rice as you normally would, just substitute coconut milk for water), because why not? Make it your own, but please just make it!
Greek rice bowls with lamb, olives, cucumbers, feta, and pickled red onions (!!) from Running to the Kitchen. Throw in some sautéed garlic spinach. It’s a must. Next time I’ll serve this over couscous to see how it compares. Check out the pickled red onion recipe I linked to from The Kitchn. They are seriously addictive and I’ve found myself putting them on everything recently.
This soup. Oh my god, this soup. I must have made this at least three or four times last summer, and I’ve already made it once this spring. If you like corn chowder — or hell, even if you don’t! — make this. John goes back and forth on corn. He’s a purist and wants it fresh on the cob or not at all. Until he tried this, that is. Thank you, Cooking Classy, for sharing! I hope to blog about this one soon, but until then, here are my minor adaptations: cook the bacon first (otherwise it won’t get as crispy), add an extra two cups of liquid (usually one water, one milk) to make this soup go farther. Originally set to serve six, but I can usually get 8-10 portions with the extra liquid. And trust me, you’ll want extra. SO GOOD.
Can’t forget dessert. I tend to stick to recipes that are tried and true (I’m not usually into over the top recipes or pies baked inside of cakes baked inside of muffins), but there will always be room in this heart (or stomach) for a new cookie recipe. If ridiculously soft and chewy cookies are your thing — like really, really soft — look no further. Seriously, even days later they were perfect! It’s not that I think these beat out the NY Times’ famous 24+ hour chocolate chip cookie recipe, but if you’re looking for something a little more in the ‘here and now’ — Pinch of Yum has got you covered!
Thanks for sticking with me all these years! Excited to bring some new eats your way soon. And can I get an ‘AMEN’ for rosé season? Cheers!