Monday, July 29, 2013

Making Mama Moment: Tugging at my Apron Strings

More like tugging at my heart strings!  Ahhh, how did my baby get so big?  In the midst of our bathroom remodel and all around "sprucing up" of the house (very much needed after 3 years!), I've had very little time to commit to blogging.  Don't worry, I have lots of good recipes photographed and waiting on my camera to share with you guys, but in the meantime, here's a sweet post I found in the depths of my draft folder that somehow escaped posting for this long.  I'm pretty sure she was about 10 months old here.  I remember it quite vividly - I was rushing around, cooking up a storm, then I turned around and there was little Peanut, paci in her mouth, sweet as ever.  She took a couple steps (because that's about all she would take on her own then) and grabbed ahold of my apron.  Heart melting. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Marital Advice

Here's a piece of marital advice from my friend, Jess (happily married for almost 3 years):

"I don't think people should have to do pre-marital counseling. Instead, they should just have to do house projects together." 

And here's one of many projects that inspired that conversation (and one of the reasons my posts have been sparse lately)

Finally finished the tiling part of our bathroom remodel! Woohoo!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Muffins

Is there anything better than warm muffins for breakfast?  Not in my book!  Here's a quick 'n easy muffin recipe that's as hearty as it is delicious.   Applesauce adds flavor and keeps muffins moist longer.  The buckwheat flour and oats add whole grains and the perfect amount of texture.  As for the chocolate chips and cherries - PURE YUM!  As with most of my recipes, there's plenty of room for substitutions - try blueberries or dried cranberries in place of cherries, or white chocolate chips in the next batch.  Here's how Mama makes it:

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Muffins

- 1/2 c. butter, softened
- 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 t. vanilla or almond extract
- 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c. buckwheat flour
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1/4 t. baking soda
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1 c. applesauce
- 1 c. rolled oats
- 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips (I used minis)
- 1 c. dried cherries

Friday, July 12, 2013

Antipasto Pasta Salad

This little gem was a toss together creation of mine with foods we had on hand.  Before you go to Wikipedia to look it up, I'll tell you about one of my favorite vegetables that my Kroger carries now - kohlrabi.  Kohlrabi, (German turnip) is a type of cabbage that can be eaten raw or cooked.  Both the stems and greens can be eaten, but for this dish, I will only be using the stems.  To prepare, start by peeling away the outer fibrous layers, then cut into chunks.  Growing up, my mom said they used to cut them into chunks and store covered in water in the fridge.  It tastes sort of like a milder, sweeter cabbage/radish, which I know isn't the best description, but it's what I liken them to.  If you're feeling adventurous, head to your local grocery or farmers market and pick up a few.  If not, substitute another vegetable and call it a day.  Either way, here's how Mama makes it:

Antipasto Pasta Salad


- 1 box spiral pasta, cooked and rinsed
- 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 can black olives, drained
- 1/2 c. green olives
- 1/2 c. kohlrabi, peeled and chopped
- 4 oz. turkey pepperoni
- 1 c. feta cheese
- 3/4 - 1 c. Italian dressing
- grated parmesan, for garnish

**The great thing about pasta salads is that you can always substitute ingredients if you don't have something.  Can't find kohlrabi?  Toss in some quartered artichokes.  No feta?  Use parmesan and chunks of provolone.  Go ahead, add some salami, too.  Mama won't judge.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mexican Street Corn

Here's a seemingly strange, but surprisingly delicious recipe Michael has been asking to try for some time now.  After some of his Hispanic students told him how they make grilled corn then cover it in mayonnaise and chili powder, he was intrigued and excited to try it.  Now that corn is finally in season, we decided to be adventurous and give it a shot.  Here's how Mama makes it:

Mexican Street Corn

- 4 ears corn, husked
- 3 T. light mayonnaise
- 3 T. nonfat yogurt
- 2 t. chili powder
- 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
- 3/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
- 1 lime, quartered

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Peanut Post: They Published Our Story!

A couple weeks ago, I got a call from Kathy Ryan, one of the nurses in charge of the Monogram Maternity program at the hospital where Annalyn was born, telling me that they were publishing our birth story in the July issue of Indy's Child Magazine.  As I've probably mentioned before, I was asked before we left the hospital to write a blog post for the Monogram Maternity Blog, telling the story of how our little Peanut was born.  So, about a week or so after we got home, I was contacted and (thankfully!) given some questions to help my mush of a brain relay the amazing experience we'd had.

Yep, pretty cool to see us in print!

St. Vincent has this program called Monogram Maternity, that in their own words is "a personalized approach to childbirth."  Throughout my pregnancy, Michael and I were able to meet with Kathy to tour the hospital, set up classes, discuss our plans/preferences, and fill out paperwork ahead of time.   I still credit the fact that I was so calm to this incredibly streamlined process.

Indy's Child Magazine is a local free publication that can be found at all the St. Vincent locations as well as several Marsh supermarkets around the city.  You can also read it online here

Monday, July 8, 2013

Banoffee Pie

Here's an interesting pie I came across on Pinterest recently and just had to try.  It's called Banoffee, as in banana and toffee.  Do I have your attention yet?  Apparently, there is this culinary magic trick in which you boil a can of sweetened condensed milk and it turns into caramel.  AND IT ACTUALLY WORKS!

I decided the perfect time to try it out was last weekend when we went down to Bloomington to help/celebrate Dan & Shawna's big move into their dream home.  I was able to make the toffee and cream ahead of time and assemble the pie when we got there.  Perfection!  Here's how Mama makes it:

Banoffee Pie

- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (or dulce de leche)
- 1 graham cracker crust (store-bought or homemade)
- 3 ripe bananas, sliced
- 2 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 t. cinnamon (not in the original recipe I saw, but it definitely adds to it)
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1/4 c. powdered sugar
- mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings, for garnish

Sunday, July 7, 2013

He Totally Gets Me

Anniversary milk.

So much better than flowers.
Such a lucky lady!

(No, he didn't just buy it... I just got around to posting it.  Don't worry, no spoiled milk for Peanut!)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Leftover Lasagna Apple Dumplings

Here's a dish that combines two of my favorite things - creative leftover solutions and well, dessert!  I don't know about you, but I always find myself with leftover lasagna noodles.   Whether they are cooked and not used or just the odd ones left in the box, I never seem to have just the right amount.  So what to do with the rest?  Recently, I saw this idea, and decided I had to try it.  In the name of quick 'n easy, I decided to use canned pie filling, which is tasty, easy, and leaves you with lots of options as far as flavors (I bet peach would be delicious, too!).  Serve on it's own, with ice cream, whipped cream, or granola for a little crunch.  Any way you cut it, it's definitely better than throwing away those leftover noodles!  Here's how Mama makes it:

Leftover Lasagna Apple Dumplings
- 6 cooked lasagna noodles (adjust the recipe to what you have)
- 1 can apple pie filling
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1/2 - 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 c. water
- serving suggestion:  ice cream, whipped cream, granola, powdered sugar, etc.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fresh Tomato Summer Lasagna

This lasagna dish will have you yearning for end-of-summer garden fresh toatoes and basil!  It's simple ingredients and fresh flavors are perfect for a summer evening.  Think lasagna meets caprese salad meets margarita pizza.  Wow, right?!  Your taste buds will agree.  Here's how Mama makes it:

Fresh Tomato Summer Lasagna


- 1 box lasagna noodles (I used 9 noodles, but always make more just in case)
- 4 oz. prosciutto
- 2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved (half red/yellow makes it very colorful!)
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1/2 c. pesto
- 2 c. ricotta cheese
- 1 c. grated parmesan cheese
- fresh mozzarella (about 6 slices)
- fresh basil, for garnish
- balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- salt and pepper, to taste

Monday, July 1, 2013

Crockpot Red Curry Lentils

Here's an amazing recipe from Pinch of Yum - Red Curry Lentils.  The flavors and texture are excellent and the smell is divine!  Not to mention, it can all be thrown in a slow cooker and feeds an army.  Like most curry recipes, it's great as leftovers and Annalyn LOVES it!  This will definitely become a regular at our house.

Crockpot Red Curry Lentils
- 4 c. regular brown lentils
- 2 onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T. minced ginger
- 4 T. butter (optional)
- 5 T. red curry paste
- 1 T. garam masala
- 1 1/2 t. turmeric
- 2 t. sugar
- a few good shakes of cayenne pepper
- 2 cans tomato puree (29 oz. each)
- 1 t. salt plus more to taste
- 1/2 c. coconut milk or cream
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (keep some for garnish)
- rice for serving