Almond-Coconut Chicken Satay

Over the past six weeks I haven’t been cooking as much, especially during the week.  But on the weekends I’ve been trying to cook when possible because I truly love being in the kitchen.  The key these days is meals that I can prep in advance during a nap and then are easily thrown together once the little one is down for the night.

Last Friday we thoroughly enjoyed almond-coconut chicken satay with a glass of wine before tucking ourselves into bed before 9pm.  Throughout the day I prepped here and there – cutting the chicken into chunks, slicing the veggies, and mixing together the marinade.  I marinated the chicken a little longer than the recipe instructed – probably a few hours – and I highly recommend doing that, if possible.  The marinade is where all the flavor is:  almond butter, coconut milk, lime juice and red curry paste (a current obsession of mine).  Some of the marinade is reserved for serving with the grilled chicken.

The one thing I didn’t do until the last minute was dress the cucumber salad because I didn’t want it to become soggy.  I like crisp cucumbers.  The cucumbers and bell peppers are dressed with lime juice, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

Once the chicken is grilled, serve along side the cucumbers and bell peppers and a sprinkle of chopped almonds.


And while I miss being in the kitchen during the week, I wouldn’t trade baby snuggles for anything in the world because I know one day she won’t want to snuggle with me.



Family-Style Meatball “Fondue”

Is anyone else dragging this AM?  I’m not sure if the time change is to blame or having a 6-week baby…  Either way, I’m ready for bed and it’s not even lunch time.  Despite the sleepy eyes over here, I’m determined to have a great week.

But rewind – how was your weekend?  Ours didn’t go quite as we anticipated but we had a wonderful weekend as a family of three.  We had a low-key evening in on Friday night and then on Saturday we had a family day-date!  Tacos and an adult beverage for the win.  I think BG is starting to change her schedule on me but I’m okay with it if that means more sleep at night.  I’m trying not to stress myself out over a “schedule” but it’s hard because I thrive on schedules.  And on Sunday we had the laziest of days and instead of pizza we switched it up with family-style meatball “fondue.”  I keep wanting to type “fundue” – which is appropriate because it was a FUN way to eat.

The meatballs are made with lean ground beef (the recipe called for turkey but we switched it up), grated zucchini, chopped onion, oregano, salt, pepper and an egg.  There’s no breadcrumbs so it will seem a little “loose” but I promise they firm up in the oven.  The meatballs are baked until cooked through.

While the meatballs are cooking, it’s time to make the sauce.  Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in a little olive oil and then add in marinara (Newman’s Own is my favorite) and a little water.  Simmer about 5 minutes and then add in the meatballs once they are done cooking.  Gently mix to coat the meatballs and then top with mozzarella.

Finally, broil the whole skillet to melt the cheese and serve with toasted baguette on the side.


Such a delicious dinner.  And while I missed our tradition of pizza (we’re already planning this Sunday’s pizza) I can’t say I didn’t love these saucy meatballs.  And the mushrooms were fantastic on a piece of baguette.

I hope you all have a great week!


Spicy Thai Red Curry Beef

Yesterday was a doozy – so I apologize for being MIA…

But today I bring to you one of my top five recipes from Cooking Light.  I’m tempted to give it the #1 spot but I’ve cooked so many things from Cooking Light that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to aware any recipe the coveted top prize.

I know, it’s a bold statement but I hope that it encourages you to make this recipe.  It’s easy enough for a week night but impressive enough for a date night.  I actually paired a glass of wine with this dish – on a Thursday.  We’re living the wild life around here lately.

And did I mention it’s one-skillet?  Therefore, clean-up is a breeze.  So get all your ingredients assembled and get cooking.

The top layer of coconut cream (from a can of light coconut milk – don’t shake!) is brought to a boil along with the red curry paste in a skillet.  The rest of the coconut milk is added along with a little brown sugar, fish sauce (SO much flavor – don’t skip!), and red pepper flakes.  Bring that to a boil and cook for two minutes.  Add in your veggies – bell pepper and onion and simmer.  Next, add in your thinly sliced beef tenderloin.  Yes, it’s a delicious cut of meat and I rarely would want to cook such high quality beef this way but the end result is incredible and totally worth it.  (We were “gifted”this beef tenderloin and it’s by far the best beef tenderloin I’ve ever had – the marveling was perfection.)  Back to cooking…cook the beef about three minutes and then remove from the heat.

At this point, we’re going to brighten up the dish with some fresh elements – basil, lime juice and some salt.

Served over rice with a squeeze of fresh lime.


To my surprise, my wine and food pairing book suggested to serve a riesling with this dish.  I don’t keep a lot of riesling on hand but it also suggested a California chardonnay which I have plenty of.  I found a bottle that was described as a “cousin to riesling” and I felt compelled to open the bottle.  (Thankfully the weekend was so warm and a glass of crisp white wine here and there was just what I need to get through “mommy-ing.”)

Y’all, I can’t rave about this recipe enough.  It was savory with a little sweetness yet a hint of heat from the red pepper flakes.  And the curry married with the coconut milk made me oh, so happy.  And Big Guy was a huge fan because beef tenderloin + rice makes him extremely happy.

Unfortunately for y’all I’m not doing a lot of cooking this week.  A huge thank you to all the folks that have signed up to bring us dinner – it’s been such a treat to not have to worry about dinner (though cooking dinner remains one of my favorite things to do).

I’ll (hopefully) be back tomorrow with a 1-month update on Blakely Gray.  That is if I can type it without tearing up and mourning the fact that she’s growing so fast.  I swear, she’ll be wanting to date next week at this pace…


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.


Steak, Feta and Olive Quesadillas

Another quick and easy dinner headed your way with this Mediterranean twist on the classic Mexican quesadilla.  All the quesadilla ingredients are mixed together to save time – there’s no layering or trying to make sure you save room for each element.

To make the quesadilla stuffing, cook the thinly sliced steak on the stovetop until browned.  Add in the spinach, cream cheese, feta and chopped olives.  Allow the mixture to cook for two minutes and then remove from the heat.

And just like that, you’re ready to make your quesadillas.  I used corn tortillas but you can use your favorite – whether thats flour or corn.  Spoon the filling on one tortilla and then top with another tortilla.  Cook until browned in a little oil and carefully flip.  Make sure not to overstuff your quesadillas!

The quesadillas are served with a side of greek yogurt for dipping.


And on the side, a simple cucumber and tomato salad with parsley, olive oil, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.

I loved this spin on a dinner that is so common in many households.  The steak paired with the olives was so yummy and the cream cheese made it extra creamy and delicious.


Sheet Pan Hawaiian Shrimp

These days dinner needs to be on the table in less than 30 minutes.  I know that this is a small season of life, but we’re still trying to figure out Blakely Gray’s schedule and therefore, our schedule is a little up in the air.  Despite having less time to devote to dinner, I strive to still serve healthy, delicious dinners.  (p.s. we have lots of friends bringing us dinner over the next several weeks and we are insanely grateful for those “easy” meals that don’t require any thinking or effort from us.)

Sheet Pan Hawaiian Shrimp is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever cooked and it’s sure to be a favorite of many.  Cooking Light actually has a whole section on “sheet pan dinners” in their most current issue and I’m looking forward to cooking more because of the ease of cooking and the easy clean up.

One important step in this recipe is to allow the pan to preheat in the oven while the oven is warming up.  This will help with the texture of the rice.  While the oven is heating, mix the precooked rice with canola oil until the rice is broken up and coated with oil.  Once the oven is hot and the sheet pan has been warmed, spread the rice on the pan and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and top with your chopped red bell pepper and pineapple.  Cook for 5 more minutes.  Finally top with the shrimp and cook for about 6 minutes (we ended up cooking for 2 more minutes).

Remove from the oven and pour on the glaze – a mixture of soy sauce, sugar and rice vinegar.  Toss with the Hawaiian Shrimp and then sprinkle with cilantro before serving.


Easy, healthy and delicious.  You honestly can’t go wrong with this sheet pan dinner. I think my favorite bites included a little bit of crunchy rice and the sweet pineapple.

Do you have a favorite sheet pan dinner?

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