Green Chili, Turkey & White Bean EnchiladasPrint Recipe Print Recipe

 

I can’t believe my maternity leave is coming to an end. My four months is FLYING by! Not okay.

I mean, I have until the first of January, but that’s basically tomorrow.

Not that I wouldn’t go back. I need to go back. I know myself, I’m just a better mama (AND wife!) when I have a job to go to.

But when I think about our new routine, how am I PHYSICALLY suppose to get a baby, a toddler and myself ready and out the door before 8am?

Then be awake enough to have adult conversations ALL DAY LONG…

THEN somehow get everyone back home and have dinner on the table before bedtime?! Then bedtime… Then do it all over again??

I just don’t see how this isn’t going to be complete chaos. Or how many times I’m going to show up to work without mascara, my shirt on backwards or my hair dripping wet and on top of my head. It is going to be complete chaos, isn’t it? Awesome. Someone please hook me up to a coffee drip, STAT.

 

 

Because I’m a crazy person, I’ve already started making freezer meals.

And of course these are the first on my list!

We’ve being eating these enchiladas ever since I got my hands on this cookbook. WE CANNOT STOP.

Just last week I doubled the batch so I could put a hefty tray of these right into the freezer. I’m now thinking I should have done two…

This would also be a great dish to give to someone who might need a little extra support – new baby, care-taking, etc.

 

 

I love mexican food, period. I can eat it all day long and I SWEAR I’m not pregnant. Oh my god, could you even imagine?? Forget it, don’t imagine. Moving on.

These are a nice change from the traditional enchiladas. White beans and ground turkey, plus some vegetables, oh yeah sign me up!

 

 

This cookbook is awesome.

I’ve probably made at least a dozen recipes from it already. Some of my favorites so far – Roasted Cherry, Coconut & Quinoa Breakfast bowls. Breakfast cookies. Chewy Granola Bars. Sour Cream and Onion Popcorn. And an awesome Wedge Salad! There’s still so many bookmarks left on the recipes I’m waiting to try.

I’m so freaking proud of you, Jess! Such a kick ass cookbook. <insert high-five emoji>

 

Green Chili Turkey & White Bean Enchiladas

Recipe adapted (to be gluten-free) from Seriously Delish Cookbook

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
  • 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated
  • 8-10 corn tortillas (she used whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoon chopped chives (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add the onions and peppers with a pinch of salt and toss to coat. Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and green chilies. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.

Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet and add the ground turkey. Break it apart with a wooden spoon and cook it until the turkey is browned, 6-8 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, remaining  1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and chicken stock to the skillet. Stir well to mix the turkey and vegetables together and reduce the heat to low. Add in the white beans. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to the skillet along with 2 ounces of the cheese and stir it together. Turn off the heat.

Pour 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish and use a spoon to spread it evenly over the surface.

*If using corn tortillas – place in a small pan over medium heat. They need to be warmed slightly so they’ll “fold” without tearing. 

Spoon about one-quarter of the turkey filling into each tortilla and roll them up tightly. Place them in the baking dish, seam side down. Once all of the tortillas have been filled and rolled, pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top and brush it to cover every portion of the tortillas. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake the enchiladas until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling, 30-35 minutes.

Optional – top with freshly chopped chives.

Serve and enjoy!

 

*gluten-free

 

 

My family & a peek into our livesPrint Recipe Print Recipe

 

My family, the people that make my world go around.

I’m so grateful for Catherine Abegg who documented our family so beautifully.

I love how she captured our family in our environment. Aside from my hair not being tossed on top of my head and my husband wearing a sweater, this is a peek into our daily life. Our counters have dishes on them. Mason’s toys aren’t organized. I’m still in the early stages of designing/decorating our home. But, it’s cozy. There’s an incredible amount of love under that roof. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

Now excuse me while I kindly tell my perfectionist self to be quiet… Here you go. Here’s a peek into our lives.

 

 

Mason is our love bug. Watching him grow into this kind and gentle little being, makes me so proud. He’s sensitive. He listens and watches what we do. He’s an observer. And he’s such an incredible and helpful big brother.

Every morning between 7 and 8am, he’ll stand up in his crib and yell “mama! dada!” The longer we wait, the more impatient his cries for us become. One of us, usually Ben will get him changed and dressed. Pre-maternity leave, I would pull out one of his toy boxes and he’d play while I’d put on my makeup. Sadly, we’ll get back into that routine in just a few short weeks.

I can’t help it. I constantly smother him with kisses and give him the longest hugs until he starts to pull away. I’m not ready for him to grow up and not let me love on him. He’ll always be my sweet baby.

 

 

Gray is the happiest when he’s being held. He’s much more wiggly and requires a little more attention than Mason did at this age, so I’m constantly doing the “mom bounce”. At least he loves to be worn. Sometimes it’s the only way I can get anything done. He’s also an excellent sleeper, thank goodness!

He just turned 3 months and has the biggest smiles and is also very vocal, which has been a lot of fun. Of course that’s not going to make going back to work any easier.

I have loved spending the past several months with him. I’m not totally ready to let him go, but I know he’ll be in great hands. Postpartum was much rougher than the first. So many ups and downs around my mom. On hard days, I’d just hold onto him and cry. Although I don’t see my mom in him, I feel her when I hold him or when I look into his eyes.

I knew he’d be a gift to our family.

 

I can’t imagine loving anyone as much as I do these two boys.

In the mornings when we come downstairs, Mason helps me get out the changing pad and a diaper for Gray. He’ll cuddle up next to his brother while I change him (as seen as above). When I’m done, Mason grabs the diaper and takes it to the garbage to throw away.

Mason is someone who likes to have a “job” and is very proud of himself when he completes a task. Ben and I are constantly amazed by him!

 

 

My sister is a huge part of this family.

After we all lived together for 7+ months while we cared for mom, we’re pretty much become inseparable. She’s a huge help with the boys or even nights when I just need a few more hands, she’ll come help with dinner while I wrangle the boys (or vice versa).

I’ve also loved watching the relationship between her and my husband. They’re more like brother and sister, but really good at calling each other out on their shit. Watching the two of them and their love for scary movies and sour candy makes me so so happy.

I know mom would be proud to see us all so close – and that includes our dad!

 

 

Oh that smile.

He’s truly a happy kid.

We have a great window bench that Mason loves to run over to or climb up on and wave to everyone who walks by or any garbage truck – (pronounced “cock”) that drives by.

He also thinks he’s very funny.

 

 

A full belly, a soother and a tight swaddle holding down his arms, Gray’s a happy camper.

He also isn’t phased by anything Mace does. Clearly.

We tried to get Mace to lay next to Gray and he fought us and continued to run away. At one point Mason thought it was a game to try and “jump” over his brother.

 

 

I love this photo so much.

Having two kids, especially at this age, everything is a juggling act. So many times I’m breastfeeding Gray while entertaining Mason, even if that means making silly faces at each other – as you can see here. This is a very common scene at our home.

 

 

Weekend mornings start out slow around here.

My husband makes coffee in our french press. Mason gets excited for his greek yogurt and granola. We’ll watch an episode of Full House (he loves it, no joke!) or something on the Disney Channel. If it’s Sunday, we watch Football.

I wouldn’t change any of it for a second.

 

Oh and those curls… I know.

 

 

The love and laughter captured right here is beyond.

I love watching these two.

I don’t often acknowledge my husband as much as he deserves. He loves this family and is always putting us first. He’s a hands on dad and doesn’t hesitate to step in when things get crazy. And they can get crazy, especially with two! He’s the one who brings it back to him and I. He isn’t afraid to have the hard conversations in order to keep us grounded and connected. We make a good team.

These boys don’t even know how lucky they are. And truthfully, I probably don’t either.

 

 

These images aren’t even half of them! Thank you, Catherine for capturing these sweet moments with my family. I hold them so close to my heart.

And thank you for getting me addicted to family photos, I now want to do this every 6 months!

 

 

Oatmeal Cranberry Pecan Comfort MuffinsPrint Recipe Print Recipe

 

Sometimes the best therapy is curling up with a cup of coffee, a warm homemade muffin and a little piece in quiet.

Or a bottle of wine… massage… vacation.

Annnnd I’ll take one of each please!!

Damn, it’s been a tough few weeks. So many things have come up recently that have made the grieving process that much harder. Plus, the hormones and lack of sleep from being a new mom don’t help.

Last week, my sister and I stood in front of a packed ballroom. Bright lights and microphone, eyes and ears all on us. We already had tears in our eyes before we made our way to the stage. There was an incredibly long pause as I tried to get out the first words. “Most of you in this room knew our mom…”

We were asked to speak at a fundraiser luncheon for the non-profit, Art with Heart. Mom served on the board before becoming President of this organization. During the course of seven years, she helped merely 800 children who had experienced some sort of trauma.

To honor her and to continue her legacy, we didn’t hesitate when asked.

Now, we prepare for the next one.

 

Tomorrow we stand in front of nearly 500 people to tell our story. This time, a fundraiser for Hospice.

This is very close to our hearts as they were such a special part in our journey.

Writing these speeches have been incredibly emotional, as you could imagine. Then practicing again, and again saying the words, “mom died of a brain tumor in 2014″ just never gets easier.

I know with both the writing and the public speaking, we’re getting just a little more complete in our loss journey. I’d also like to think that those listening will find comfort and peace in their journey as well.

This sounds funny, I know, but I feel that losing mom has made me a better person.

Whether someone is putting their grief and anger on me or I’m faced with a hard conversation or even just my reaction to my toddler’s full blown tantrum, I just think of my mom and what her advice would be. It’s always clear what she’d be telling me.

I hope that never goes away.

 

 

While mom was sick, a family friend brought over these muffins and before the night was over, we’d eaten them all. Clearly, we needed a little ‘comfort food’. After that, we had requested the same muffins every time she offered to bring something.

Ever since, I make these muffins every time we or someone else needs a little comfort.

 

 

Okay, enough with the tears and more about these muffins!

The muffins are light and won’t leave you feeling guilty. They aren’t overly sweet, but just the right amount of sweetness that if feels like a treat. If I don’t pack them in a care package, I’ll eat them for breakfast with my coffee or enjoy as an afternoon snack. My son also loves these muffins and I don’t feel bad sharing them with him.

Of course, they’re best eaten warm and my favorite, a little smear of coconut oil!

So, whatever your therapy is, here’s a little piece of comfort from me.

 

 

Gluten-free Oatmeal Cranberry Pecan Muffins

Recipe adapted from Dr. Oz

makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk + 1/3 cup
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • turbinado sugar for topping – optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease muffin pan with a little butter or non-stick spray.

Add the oats and 1 cup buttermilk in a large bowl (you’ll eventually add ingredients so make sure there’s room).  Stir well until the oats are nicely coated.  Cover and let sit for 20-30 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in the cranberries and pecans.

Uncover the oat mixture and add in the oil, egg and brown sugar. Add in the reserved 1/3 cup buttermilk & mix together.

Add the oatmeal combination into the dry ingredients.

Stir to combine, but careful not over-stir. It’s okay if its lumpy.

Pour or scoop with ice cream scooper the batter into the greased muffin pan. Optional – top with a little raw or turbinado sugar. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove the muffins and let sit for about 5 minutes before removing them from the pan.  Place on a cooling rack.

Also good with a little slab of coconut oil!

Best eaten within the first few days of making.

 

*I had the best results with Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. Next best were Arrowheads gluten-free flour and King Arthur gluten-free flour. 

*gluten-free

 

Kale Salad with Apple, Hazelnuts & BACONPrint Recipe Print Recipe

I love when my friends have babies.

And I love that I can still celebrate from afar because of this crazy thing called a VIRTUAL BABY SHOWER!!

I’m so excited to celebrate & surprise my good friend, Jess !!!!!

When we first met (in real life), I was pregnant with my first. We were roommates at a conference, along with Bev and Jenna so you can imagine the laughs we had. It’s crazy to think that the last time we were roommates,  we were both knocked up shortly after. Gotta love a warm cozy winter!

 

 

So yeah, the theme is trashy and this is my trashy salad.

It’s green.

It’s a big pile ol’ ingredients.

There’s bacon.

And you eat it with your hands.

I’m kidding. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend it in public, but I did finish this plate with my fingers – to keep with the theme, of course.

Trashy or not, we love you Jess and cannot wait for sweet little baby face to fill our instagram feeds!

 

 

I made one of my favorite salads for this special occasion.

When my sister and I went on our “sistermoon” in Santa Barbara we had one of the most amazing dining experiences. One of the dishes was a kale salad that I immediately came home and remade it. The version we had came with dates instead of bacon. I’ve made both versions and the two are equally delicious. So, if you don’t eat bacon, you can easily swap out for dates (chopped).

The salad is all nutty, yet refreshing, but crunchy and of course salty. It’s all sorts of awesomeness piled on top of each other.

I do wish I could make this for you in real life. And then we’ll have a sleepover and stay up way too late talking about everything we possibly can until we pass out. Oh yeah, good times.

 

 

Now that we’ve talked about food, let’s move on to babies.

Here are some of my favorite things / tips that have worked for me, also a new (again) mom:

  • If you have any trouble with breast feeding, take full advantage of lactation consultants – a brilliant service, usually connected to the hospital.
  • Load up on easy to grab snacks - oatmeal bites, fruit snacks, crackers, dried fruit, rice cakes & pb, etc. Breast feeding makes you HUNGRY. And thirsty. Even at 2am.
  • If the nursery is upstairs, have a changing “station” downstairs. You’re going to want that energy for something else.
  • I don’t know if this works for other people, but I cluster feed at night and then right before bed, I top him off with a bottle of pumped breast milk. And he SLEEPS for a really long time. It’s almost like I’m druging him, but I’m not. I promise, it’s just breast milk.
  • We love our Podster so much that I already sent one to Jess. We keep it on the couch, dining table, our bed or wherever and can set him down when we need to get up (or sleep).
  • Swaddle. Especially if there’s velcro involved. It’s magic – for most babies, at least.
  • Buy a shit ton of burp rags. It’s amazing how much and how often these little ones puke. The Aden and Anais are our favorites because they stay on your shoulder. But for abundance, we stock up on good ol’ cloth diapers.
  • What else am I missing??

 

Okay, it’s time to go try everyone else’s trashed up food!

And a HUGE thank you to Bev & Ashley for coordinating! Love you, ladies <insert wink/kiss face emoji>.

 

trashed up salads

  1. Gimme Some Oven – Asian Broccoli Salad with Peanut Sauce

  2. The Lemon Bowl – Brussels Slaw with Tahini Dressing and Za’atar Crostini

  3. With Style & Grace – Kale Salad with Apple, Hazelnuts & Bacon

trashed up cocktails

  1. Dine & Dish – Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail

  2. Food For My Family – Cranberry Orange Dark and Stormy Cocktail

  3. Minimalist Baker – Bourbon Pumpkin Milkshakes

  4. Stylish, Stealthy & (sometimes) Healthy – Apple Cider Shandy

  5. A Spicy Perspective – Preggy Punch Mocktail

  6. Girl vs. Dough – Boozy Maple Peanut Butter Cup Milkshake

  7. Honestly Yum – Maple Bacon Pisco Sour

  8. Cookin Canuck – Pink Grapefruit Margaritas

  9. A Thought For Food – Mezcal Citrico Cocktail

  10. A House in the Hills – Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer

  11. The Novice Chef – Ginger Bourbon Apple Cider

  12. Bran Appetit – Citrus Cider Punch Floats

trashed up burgers

  1. Edible Perspective – Meatloaf Veggie Burgers with Mashed Potatoes + Gravy

  2. The Little Kitchen – Salmon BLT Sliders with an Avocado Aioli & Brie

  3. Daisy At Home – Balsamic Beef Burger with Mac and Cheese

  4. Cookies & Cups – Candied Bacon Maple Cheddar Burger

  5. Climbing Grier Mountain – Trashed-Up Steak Burger with Chicken Fried Bacon & Dijon Gravy

  6. Dessert For Two – Bleu Cheese Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries

  7. Country Clever – Fig Rosemary Roast Chicken Brie Brussels Sprout Panini

  8. Foodie Crush – The Best Cheeseburger Soup

  9. Lady and Pups – Spicy Sambal Chicken Meatball Sub with Eggs

  10. Two Peas & Their Pod – Sweet Potato and Kale Grilled Cheese

  11. Bake Your Day – Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich

trashed up tacos

  1. Spoon Fork Bacon – Crunchy Ground Beef and Cheesy Tacos

  2. The Fauxmartha – Boozy Beef and Butternut Tacos

  3. With Food + Love – Harvest Hash Breakfast Tacos

  4. Mountain Mama Cooks – Crispy Kale and Brussels Sprout Tacos with Bacon

  5. Heather Christo – Bahn Mi Tacos with Spicy Sriracha Honey Sauce

  6. A Couple Cooks – Loaded Huevos Rancheros Tacos

  7. Fitnessista – San Diego Lobster Street Tacos

trashed up desserts

  1. Table for Two – Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate, and Brown Butter Shortbread Bars with Sprinkles

  2. My Name is Yeh – Mini Vanilla Loaf Cakes, All Trashed Up

  3. Picky Palate – Pumpkin Spice Butterscotch Sprinkle Cupcakes

  4. Sprinkle Bakes – Cake Batter Confetti Cupcakes

  5. Averie Cooks – Easy Homemade Funfetti Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

  6. Sweet Phi – Trashed Up Shortbread Cookie Bars

  7. Love & Olive Oil – Loaded Junk Food Brownies

  8. Lauren’s Latest – Bakery Sugar Cookies

  9. Cookie + Kate – Peanut Butter, Banana, Honey and Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

  10. Flourishing Foodie – Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

  11. The Sugar Hit – Salted Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream Cake

  12. Hummingbird High – Breakfast Cereal Cake Donuts

  13. Top With Cinnamon – Triple Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Crumb Cake

  14. Bake at 350 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sundaes

  15. Simple Bites – Lemon Layer Cake

  16. Bakerella – Baby Block Cake Pops

  17. She Wears Many Hats –  Chocolate Covered Grapefruit

trashed up pizza

  1. Bev Cooks – Beer Battered Fried Calamari Pizza

  2. Rachel Cooks – Apple and Chicken Sausage Pizza with Macaroni and Cheese Stuffed Crust

  3. Foodie With Family – Trashed Up Barbecue Turkey Pizza

  4. Shutterbean – Pesto Potato Bacon Pizza

  5. i am a food blog – Grilled Cheese Pizza

  6. My Life as a Mrs – Chili Cheese Dog Pizza

  7. Simply Scratch – Steak + Blue Cheese Pizza with Crispy Fried Shallots and Honey Balsamic Drizzle

  8. The Beeroness – Beer Cheese Tater Tot Pizza

  9. Yes I Want Cake – Roasted Pumpkin Pizza

  10. Two Red Bowls – Bacon Mashed Potato Pizza

  11. Dula Notes – Pork Bahn Mi Pizza

  12. Weelicious – Trashed Up Mexican Pizza Pockets

  13. Take a Megabite – Roasted Beet Pizza

  14. Hungry Girl Por Vida – Hard Cider Braised Pork with Sour Cherries and Cheesy Polenta

  15. Bakers Royale – Trash’d Street Tacos

 

Kale Salad with Apple, Hazelnuts & Bacon

Serves about 4

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale, stem removed & chopped
  • 1/2 green apple, julienned
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly chopped
  • 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2-3  (or heaping 1/3 cup) stripes of cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2-4 ounces of Pecorino Romano (sheep cheese), grated or crumbled

Dressing

Adapted from New York Times Cooking

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Directions

Prepare dressing – In a medium sized bowl, whisk together together shallot, vinegar, mustard, and salt + pepper. Continue to whisk while you add olive oil. Set aside.

In a large salad bowl, massage the kale with 2-3 tablespoons of dressing.

Add apple, carrots, hazelnuts, bacon and top with grated pecorino cheese. Toss with a little salad dressing at a time – you won’t need the entire amount. Taste & add more if needed.

Top with a little more cheese and freshly ground pepper.

Serve and enjoy!

*gluten-free