Friday Favorites

The weekend is here!  This week seemed to fly by.  Do y’all have fun plans this weekend? Tonight I am going out to dinner with some friends (helllllo, bubbles!) and the rest of the weekend will be filled with soaking up time with my little family.  I’m hoping to squeeze in a workout and a long walk somewhere along the way.  Oh, and Saturday we’re cooking up some fun St. Patty’s Day recipes in the kitchen.  I hope you have the best weekend!


Favorite Flavors:  Lamb Za’atar Panzanella Salad.  Lamb and peas scream spring to me and I can’t get over all the flavors and deliciousness in this one bowl of goodness.


Favorite Side Dish:  Roasted Mixed Potatoes with Spring Herbs and Burrata.  I’m obsessed with anything that involved burrata.  I’m thinking this and a steak would be a fantastic weekend dinner.


Favorite Gotta Have:  Pretty Dish.  It’s no surprise that I want this cookbook.  I have Jessica’s first cookbook and I feature recipes from her blog here constantly.  Basically she does no wrong.


Favorite Pasta Night:  Date Night Mushroom Fettuccine.  And while this might have to happen with a little babe on the side, I have the perfect pinot noir to pair with it.


Favorite Midnight Snack:  Healthy Thin Mint Almond Butter.    I like to keep a little something sweet (and healthy) stashed in the freezer for my midnight pumping sessions. Sign me up for this thin mint-inspired sweet treat.

Favorite Read:  The “Mental Load” Falls Squarely on Mother’s Shoulders and it’s Making Us Very Tired.  Don’t get me wrong, Big Guy helps SO MUCH with BG and things around the house but I can’t help but find so much truth in this article.


Favorite Dinner:  Crispy Pan Fried Lemongrass Chicken.  I love a good chicken thigh and I’m craving this simple yet flavorful dinner.  If only I could find lemongrass in this town.


Favorite Inspiration:  How to Set a Formal Dining Table.  I don’t have a formal dining room currently but that’s a “must have” for our “forever home.”


Favorite Sip:  Vodka Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail.  One word:  YUM.



Friday Favorites

Better late than never!  We’ve had a really good week over here.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, we’ve had some rough moments but all-in-all it was a great week.  Apparently we’re entering a “leap” in her development today and I’m praying it doesn’t make us both manic.  Any fun plans for the weekend?  We’ll be having another low-key weekend but I’m excited to get in the kitchen and cook a few meals. As much as I’ve LOVED having dinner brought to us by friends I’ve missed being in the kitchen and cooking.  Here are a few of my favorites from the week:


Favorite St. Patty’s Day Appetizer:  Irish Cheddar Fondue with Spiced Guinness Pretzels.    You won’t catch me drinking green beer next weekend but I am totally into this cheesiness.


Favorite Sweet Treat:  Homemade Healthy Peanut Butter Cups.  I ate my last piece of dark chocolate last night which is an excuse to make these for my after-dinner treat.


Favorite Sunday:  Carnitas and Guacamole Pizza.  I don’t think we’re making pizza this Sunday (gasp!) but this yummy combination is happening verrrrry soon.


Favorite Festive:  Guinness and Black Bean Chili Loaded Spiralized Fries.  Not into the fondue?  Here’s another St. Patricks Day option.  Now I’m torn though…


Favorite Work It Out:  Power and Plyo Workout.  I’ve been slowly getting back into working out and I love this workout that combines cardio with strength training.


Favorite Mash-Up:  Healthier Carrot Cake Banana Bread.  Big Guy would flip over this bread.  I think I may try to turn the loaf into muffins which would be perfect for breakfast.


Favorite “Appy” Hour:  Yogurt Queso with Cilantro Cream.  I can’t wait for warmer weather so that we can enjoy a glass of wine and an appetizer on our new screened in porch.  (In reality, this won’t be quite as relaxing with a little one…)


Favorite Book Club:  Little Fires Everywhere.  Adding this to my “must read” list!  Everyone is reading this book.  And then raving about it.


Favorite Refreshing:  Green Goddess Margarita.  Like I said, no green beer for me.  How about a cucumber margarita?  Yes, please.



(And don’t forget to “spring” forward on Sunday!)


Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  Another week has flown by.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some realllllly long days and nights but I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Blakely Gray will be one month on Wednesday.  I feel like she’s about to go off to college.  Stop growing (though I’ll fully support you sleeping through the night)!  I hope you all have a fun weekend on tap – unfortunately, these days our schedule is kind of determined by when Miss Thing needs to eat and when Mama needs to pump.  Not that glamorous.  But I am excited to have some visitors this weekend and my Momma is coming to stay with us for a few nights.  She hasn’t seen Blakely Gray since we left the hospital – I think Gigi needs some newborn snuggles.  Here are a few of my favorites this week:


Favorite Craving:  Crispy Lemon Brussels Sprouts Mac & Cheese.  Y’all know I adore lemon anything – throw it into my favorite comfort food and I’m drooling.


Favorite Sweet Treat: The next time I buy ricotta for a recipe and don’t use it all, I’m going to make these.  They look insanely fudge (versus cake-like)  which is my favorite kind of brownie.

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Favorite Read:  10 Reasons I Still Feel Like Myself While Being a Mom.  #goals  Though honestly I feel great (more on that when I post about BG being one month), my only gripe right now is the lack of sleep (I knew that was coming) and how demanding exclusively pumping is on your body and time.


Favorite Meatless Monday:  Kung Pao Chickpea & Brussels Stir-Fry.  I am all about the one pan, quick and easy dinners these days – and if they’re healthy, even better.


Favorite Look:  Stripes for Spring.   I love how effortless this outfit looks.  And while I probably won’t be rocking rippy-stripies (jeans with holes) anytime soon, I do love the top and flats.


Favorite Inspired:  Firecracker Vegan Lettuce Wraps.  I’ve never cooked with tofu but this recipe has me considering picking up some at the grocery store.  I mean, these wraps look insane – in the best way possible.


Favorite Cocktail:  Gin Coconut Cooler.   These days I’m sticking to a glass of wine or two if I indulge but this cocktail is screaming my name come spring.  I love drinks with a little heat.


(p.s. I can’t believe I actually got this finished in one sitting!)

Chipotle Corn Chowder

We’re at that point in the year where we are craving warm weather (and we’re actually having super warm weather here) but the reality is that it’s still February and there is always the possibility of a cold snap in March (and even April).  This chowder, in my opinion, is the perfect meal for this time of the year.  It celebrates the produce that’s to come (corn!  zucchini!) yet it’s warm and comforting and totally appropriate for February (I can’t quite get behind eating hot soup in July).

I decided to make this recipe after noticing the abundance of frozen corn from our garden in the freezer.  I don’t want to let one kernel go to waste.  My aunt (Hey, Daphne!) was also in town and she’s a huge fan of soups so I thought this would be the perfect dinner to make while she was visiting.  On Monday evening, she was on baby duty (aka getting ALL the baby snuggles) and I set out to make dinner.  This dinner comes together super quickly once you’ve chopped all your veggies.

The potatoes, corn (if you don’t have any fresh-frozen corn I would go for frozen corn from the grocery store this time of year), onion, garlic and zucchini (I found some really pretty organic zucchini at Trader Joe’s) are sautéed in a little olive oil until tender.  Then add in the broth (I used chicken – but you can totally use veggie to make this vegetarian) and allow the pot to simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender.  Transfer about three cups of the mixture to a blender and puree and then add in the almond milk and chipotles (as much or as little) and blend until smooth.  Add the blended soup back into the pot with the remaining “chunky” soup and allow everything to warm.


To serve, top with some pesto and/or basil and slurp your way through this bowl of chowder.  It’s silky – as if you’ve added cream – with just the right amount of body.  The pesto and basil on top made this bowl of chowder for me and I loved the bit of heat that the chipotle peppers added to the whole bowl of deliciousness.

I hope you’re all having a great week – we’re still adjusting to being a family of three and I’m finding ways to make the time I spend pumping (almost 3 hours a day) a little more productive (aka – blogging while pumping).  I have high hopes for a Friday Favorites post tomorrow…but don’t hate me if it doesn’t happen.


Guacamole Buffalo Chicken Pizza

We’ve survived two weeks of being parents!  But let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy.  Don’t get me wrong, Blakely Gray is the sweetest, most adorable baby (I know, I’m biased) but she has her moments.  And as I expected, it’s been a whirlwind.  Every time I think I’m a step ahead, I realize I’m two steps behind.  Ya’ll know I’m a schedule gal and while I am 100% on board with Baby Wise, you can’t really go full speed ahead with the schedule the first few weeks.  Some days she stays right on schedule and then other days, she’s in control.  It’s amazing how a six pound baby can be the boss of two grown adults.  My prayer is that we can merge two of the night time feedings so that I’m getting up one less time in the middle of the night.

Anyways, I’ll do a full check-in once we hit one month (which will be here before we know it and makes me want to cry).  What I really came here to do was share a pizza recipe.  Yesterday we wanted to have our first pizza Sunday as a family of three and while little miss wasn’t really interested in our plans, we absolutely devoured this pizza and somehow the crust turned out better than usual despite using the same recipe as we always do.

The pizza starts with the best ever crust and then topped with a layer of ranch dressing followed by fontina cheese and buffalo chicken.  I used shredded rotisserie chicken and then tossed it with the buffalo sauce and melted butter.  On top of the buffalo chicken, a sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese, sliced green onions and the rest of the fontina.  Bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted to perfection.

While the pizza is baking, whip up your guacamole by mashing together an avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper and cilantro.  When the pizza comes out of the oven, slice and then top with dollops of guacamole.


Such a fun twist on a pizza!

And for there record, I started typing this post over two hours ago but a feeding plus projectile vomit caused a little delay.  #truelife


Yummy Salmon Burgers with Slaw

Big Guy was traveling for work earlier this week so I planned to sneak some salmon onto the menu.  Knowing that he’s not a fan of salmon, I thought it was the nice thing to do.  These salmon burgers require a handful of ingredients and they are insanely delicious.  But don’t forget the slaw – I think my favorite bites included both the salmon burger and the slaw.  Oh, and dill is mandatory in my opinion.  I adore dill and it really makes this dish shine.

I used canned salmon in this recipe but I do not recommend using Trader Joe’s canned salmon.  Unfortunately, the Trader has disappointed me.  The salmon was filled with lots of bone and cartilage.  Once I worked my way through the salmon, making sure all the foreign objects were removed, the salmon was great.

Anyways, don’t let that above paragraph turn you off from these delicious “burgers.”  Simply mix together the salmon, breadcrumbs (I used gluten-free), eggs, salt, garlic powder and herbs (DILL!) in a bowl.  Shape into patties (I ended up making six small burgers) and cook in a little EVOO on the stovetop until browned on both sides.

While the salmon burgers are cooking, prep your slaw.  Since I was only cooking for myself and no one likes soggy slaw, I only made one serving of the slaw.  Into a bowl:  shredded cabbage, Greek yogurt (I used about two tablespoons), splash of vinegar, salt, garlic powder and a drizzle of lemon EVOO (totally optional). Oh, and more herbs (DILL!).

Serve the hot, crispy salmon burgers on top of the cool, crunchy slaw with a sprinkle of salt.


So satisfying and so healthy.  And packed with omega-3s which means I’m going to have a super smart baby.  hah.


Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato and Kale

The snow is finally starting to melt!  It’s been brutally cold and despite the fact that we’re having a major warm-up towards the end of the week, I know that we still have some frigid days in our future.  Big Guy and I don’t eat a lot of soup because we really only enjoy it when it’s cold outside.  However, we both love peanut soup – a soup that is inspired by a West African recipe.

Last night was the perfect evening for soup.  After a day of driving back from Charlotte, we wanted something comforting and cozy yet healthy.  Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato and Kale comes together in a flash on the stovetop but the recipe has adaptations for both the slow cooker and the instant pot.  There’s no excuse not to make this soup (which is actually more like a stew because of the thickness).

To start the soup, onion, garlic and jalapeño is sautéed in olive oil until softened.  Then you add in the sweet potato.  I cut my sweet potatoes pretty small but you could totally do bigger chunks – especially if you’re cooking this in the slow cooker.  Allow the sweet potatoes to brown just a little bit and then add in the fire roasted tomatoes (juice and all), coconut milk, water, salt, curry powder and peanuts.  Trust me on the peanuts.

This simmers until the sweet potatoes are tender.  Add in the peanut butter and the chopped kale and allow to simmer until thickened and the peanut butter has melted into the entire pot of soup.

Serve with an extra sprinkle of peanuts on top.


So delicious!  I know peanuts seem a little weird in soup but I can’t stress to you how incredible this dish tastes.