27.2.17

He's Here!



Our perfect little Caleb arrived on February 20th. Today he's a week old, and looking at these photos makes me a little teary because he's already grown so much already. (<--I used to think it was weird when other moms said things like this, but now I totally understand.)

There were many moments throughout my pregnancy when I wished that the timing had been different--when I was suffering through morning sickness and exhaustion while studying for the bar, terrified that I wouldn't pass; when I had to tell my employer a month into my new job that I was four months pregnant; when we lost out on our second offer on a house and our temporary housing situation was less than ideal--but now I can see how little any of that mattered. It was never about my timing anyway.  Now everyday I look at him, unbelievably happy despite my sleep deprived state, and think, 
it was you, all along,
all along, it was you. 

1.1.17

Happy 2017!


Happy 2017, friends!

I did not intend to entirely neglect this space for two and half months, but such is life.  Between long work hours, moving into a new house, and trying to prepare for baby, I have been doing well to just feed myself decent meals, let alone make new dishes to share with you.

However, I have been cooking a bit more in recent weeks.  Soup weather is fully upon us, so I've made a variation on this kale and potato soup, my mom's best ever turkey chili, moroccan chickpea stew, and an easy ham and white bean soup with leftover Christmas ham.  Christmas morning, I made Smitten Kitchen's cranberry-orange breakfast buns (shown above), and they were amazing. I highly, highly recommend that you try them.


Adam and I escaped to Asheville this weekend for a last hoorah before baby R comes in February.  It was a much needed get away.  We ate tapas, listened to music at our favorite wine bar, and drank hot chocolate (salted maple and pistachio rose cardamon shown above).

I am still in disbelief that Baby R will be arriving in 6ish weeks.  I've been experiencing such a mixture of emotions---extremely grateful that we have made it thus far and that baby seems healthy, discouraged about how large I feel and how uncomfortable I am when sitting or standing for any period of time, fearful about giving birth, anxious about getting everything ready in time, and worried about recovery, taking care of a baby, and going back to work after maternity leave.   Most of all though, I can't wait to see our baby's face for the first time and kiss his or her little cheeks. I cry every time I think about it.  Actually, I cry a lot these days about a variety of things.  Poor Adam. 

(Don't mind the hair)

I'm not sure how this space will evolve over the next year, but as I always, I am so grateful to you for reading and sharing and cooking. 

I didn't post as many recipes in 2016 as I have in years past, but here are some of my favorites: 


























Wishing you a new year filled with tacos and friends and maybe some of those cranberry orange breakfast buns.....

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16.10.16

Chocolate Berry Granola and some news...



The other reason for the lack of recipe posts on this once legitimate food blog is that, in addition to studying for the bar, traveling, moving, starting a new job, and house hunting,  I have been very preoccupied with the fact that we are expecting!

If all goes well, baby R will be arriving in February.  


The past few months have been a roller coaster of emotions for me, the primary one of which has been total overwhelm.  It's been challenging to have all these big life experiences happening at one time, but I have arrived at a place where I feel incredibly thankful for all of them.  I can't wait to meet our future little kitchen helper.  :)


In the food realm, I haven't had any particularly crazy food cravings.  I think I was fortunate compared to many women in that I didn't get sick too often during my first trimester, but I did experience nausea if I didn't eat every few hours.  Many of the foods that were once staples in my diet become foods that I could.not.stand, including avocados, eggs, and oatmeal.  So sad.  Not many vegetables were appealing to me either, so I ate a lot of cereal, bagels and fruit.  One great thing about being pregnant in the summer time is watermelon.  I ate an entire one myself in three days....

Thankfully, once I entered the second trimester, most of my food aversions disappeared, so I'm trying to eat a more balanced diet now with lots of protein and calcium.

One of my main calcium sources has been yogurt, and on a whim a few weeks ago I bought a bag of chocolate berry granola to top my yogurt.  I was soon hooked, but store bought granola is expensive.  I've come up with my own version, and I'm quite pleased with it.

The freeze dried strawberries are key, in my opinion. You can find them at Trader Joes or on Amazon.

We love eating this granola with plain yogurt, milk, or just snacking on it by the handful--for breakfast or dessert!


Chocolate Berry Granola 


Ingredients: 
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped freeze dried strawberries 

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

Add oats to a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine melted coconut oil and butter, cocoa powder, brown sugar, maple syrup and salt. Whisk with a fork until smooth, then pour over oats.  Stir until oats are evenly coated in chocolate mixture. 

Pour chocolatey oats onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer.  Bake at 350 for 21-28 minutes.  Set time for 7 minute intervals, stirring and moving the oats around every 7 minutes. Granola is done when toasted and fragrant. 

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. You can use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate chips around, which will create delicious chocolate chunks! Sprinkle with chopped freeze dried strawberries. 

Let granola cool completely. (You can put it in the fridge or freezer if you are impatient to speed things up!)


Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction



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18.9.16

Our Colorado Trip


Hi friends--sorry for the long absence. Between packing, moving, un-packing, starting a new job, and house-hunting, life has been pretty crazy around here. 

I wasn't cooking much for a while, which made me sad, but in the last couple weeks I've been venturing into the kitchen more. I made this spinach and cheese strata and this banana bread, and then these Mexican sweet potato skins and my mom's spaghetti sauce recipe. (I need to share that one with you!) I'm finally feeling more like myself now that I'm cooking at least a couple times a week, and soon I hope to have a new recipe to share with you.  

In the meantime, here is a recap of our August trip to Colorado!

As I know I've mentioned on the blog before, I've been wanting to go to Colorado for a long time.  I don't know why exactly--it just always seemed grand and beautiful and different. 

And, after a summer spent inside studying for the bar, I knew I would want to be outside in the fresh air as much as possible. 

Vail/Avon/Glenwood Springs


To Do: 

We spent our first three days at a resort in Avon, Colorado, which is about 10 minutes west of Vail.  We spent one day exploring Avon and the nearby Beaver Creek, and the next day we made the 50 minute drive to Hanging Lake--one of the highlights of the trip. 


This is a very popular tourist destination, and there is only one small parking lot that fills up fast.  If you go on a Saturday, like we did, you might end up having to walk an extra two miles to get there if the parking lot is full, but it's worth it. 


It is a 1.5 mile hike up to Hanging Lake, and there are lots of smaller water falls along the way to the top. 


We only spent part of one day in Vail, but I wish we could have spent at least two. I LOVED it. 


We happened to go there on a Sunday, which is Farmer's Market day, and there were so many stalls set up with delicious food and local artwork.


Vail definitely has some German influences in the architecture.


And the cuisine.  These German pastries were absolutely stunning.


We took the Gondola up to the top of Vail Mountain. The price is sort of ridiculous, but it's just something you have to experience.


The views from the top were breathtaking.


I didn't want to leave!


To Eat: 

Crespelle in Vail--The casual crepe place was the perfect stop after coming back down the mountain.  We got the dirty hippy (kale, spinach, bacon, tomato & avocado) and the crespelle (nutella, banana, strawberry & chocolate pearls). I still dream about that nutella crepe....



Colorado Springs

To Do: 

We did some more hiking and hit all the big touristy spots in Colorado Springs. 

Seven Falls--It's 250 steps up to the top of the falls, but the views are great. 



Once you get to the top, there are also several hiking trails with more panoramic views.


Garden of the Gods--We opted to hike a loop around the park, which allowed us to see the rocks from all different angles.


Air Force Academy--This stop was definitely more for Adam than for me, but the chapel was absolutely beautiful.


Pike's Peak--the drive to the top was terrifying and exhilarating. (We were literally driving on the edge of a cliff!) 


I was so happy when we made it to the top. Their famous doughnuts were pretty good too.


As were the views. . .


To Eat: 

Ola Juice Bar--Although we were only in Colorado Springs 3 days we ate here twice. I was obsessed! Their acai bowls were delicious and so refreshing after hiking. 


This salad was yummy and filling with quinoa, spinach, carrots, peppers, red onions, pine nuts, and a peanut ginger dressing.


Other highlights: 

Josh & John's Ice Cream--delicious homemade ice cream in downtown Colorado Springs. 

Red Leg Brewing--great craft brewery with food trucks. We loved the Cambodian cuisine we tried at the Awaken Food Truck that was there one night. 


Denver 

To Do: 

After doing so much hiking on the other parts of our trip, we decided to do mostly museums in Denver.

Denver Art Museum--This one was our very favorite. It's huge, with lots of great exhibits.



Museum of Contemporary Art--This museum was smaller, but still cool. We enjoyed the rooftop bar at the top.

Museum of Nature & Science--This was a typical science museum for me, and the amount of kids and people there was a bit overwhelming.  If you go, definitely visit the City Park right nearby. It's a lovely place to walk around with great views of downtown.


To Eat: 

Root Down--This was by far the best meal of our trip. The sweet corn risotto was amazing.

Denver Biscuit Co--crazy big and good biscuits. The cinnamon roll biscuit with cream cheese frosting was decadent, but so worth it.

via 

Los Chingones--unique tacos, margaritas, and a rooftop view. What else do you need? I hope to recreate one of the tacos we had here in a later blog post.


Union Lodge--period era cocktails in a fun speakeasy setting. A must-try!



Colorado, you did not disappoint, and we are already ready to go back. 
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