July was different. I’m so so so pregnant and waiting and hoping for this baby to come! I haven’t cooked much and am really focused on fast & easy meals that don’t require too much work. I grabbed a few things at Trader Joe’s being mindful of complete meals, not just items and that has been so helpful. We loved potstickers and fried rice and mini chicken tacos with fire roasted corn and orange chicken to go with rice & peppers. I think I need another haul before the baby comes! I haven’t prepped a bunch of food like last time, so maybe that’ll happen, or not. We’ll see!
This might be it for awhile- with any luck, the baby will be here soon and I don’t know that I have grand plans to blog anything! (hear that baby girl, come on out!)
Favs this month:
Flavored cream cheese was a fun and gave me lots of ideas. I made Honey Rosemary Cream Cheese and put it on BLTs before it being bfast. Then I made a different one that I’ll make again and blog for you.
Life isn’t complete without a rice bowl like this Kielbasa Grain Bowl. I can’t stop. This one wasn’t the most creative, but it was so addictive and hit the spot.
I made a Light Lemon Dip that is ideal for this season of produce!
Last one! Ohh I can’t wait for the baby- especially with my due date in the first few days of August. I’m done being pregnant. Can you tell? Have I mentioned that? I posted something on FB and wanted to slap the 2 people who apparently thought I needed perspective. pshhh. I think sage advice is to just encourage a pregnant person. I doubt any want your unfounded realism- no uterus, no opinion. Sleep is hit or miss and I’m so uncomfortable by the end of the day. I’m in a surviving-not-thriving state. We’re ready with everything so I’m in countdown mode.
The Little Guy:
He’s such a swimmer! We got him to try a different swim float. He wasn’t interested initially and I didn’t want to push it since all I cared about right now was comfort at the pool. Plus, there’s a lot changing in our lives so I didn’t see him wanting something different once he was committed to the boating-style life jacket. He tried it and success! He’s so proud of himself and it is much better so he can move around better and do more himself. Foodwise, he’s been quite into pesto and has surprised himself liking things he wasn’t thinking he’d try….we knew he’d like ‘em, but hey- to be 3. He got some hand-me-down toys and is obsessed: a very loud fire truck that moves w/ lights & sirens; k’nex which are so fun and we make lots of monsters; duplos or what he calls “big legos”; and a track & vehicle set that might be less annoying when I’m not pregnant.
This Year’s Goals:
Year of the candle: nope, just enjoying the few that seem seasonal-ish.
Cook more appetizers/snacks: I made Lemon Dip for Fruit
Taking time to blog thoughtfully: ehh, this wasn’t really something I focused on.
Journal the cute moments of my little one: I like when he says “maybe this should go here, maybe I want to use this train, maybe we should play ___”
What I’m reading: I’m not sleeping super regularly so I’ve read a lot! I read Before We Were Yours and The People We Hate at the Wedding and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
What I’m watching: we watched Chappaquiddick which was fascinating and well done.
I think I’m done blogging until the baby comes and we’ve surfaced for air. Whenever that is. Find me on Instagram in the meantime!
This one is a keeper! I whipped it up for breakfast but it could definitely be your dessert, or add a splash of a fruity liquor and you’ve got yourself a very frosty beverage! The fruity flavors really stand out and feel summery, without being exactly tropical. I wanted to add some pineapple but pregnancy heartburn is no joke so I kept it simple. I loved it so much that now I want to add this to my popsicle molds! It is mid/late July and I haven’t made popsicles yet! Where’s the time going???
The little guy liked this one a lot and asked for seconds. It was a great way to better introduce fruits we don’t have all the time. Just after this smoothie, he ate some cherries with grandma remembering he had them before!
Cherry Mango Smoothie
1 cup mango (I used frozen)
1 cup cherries (I used frozen)
1/2 large banana or 1/2 pear
3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (optional)
1/2 cup milk/water/juice (I used some milk & some water)
Add the fruits, yogurt, and flaxseeds to the blender and blend.
Stream in liquid until your desired consistency.
I go thick but drinkable with my fav aluminum straws or if I’m bopping around in the morning it might melt a bit before I finish. In this summer’s heat, that doesn’t take long around here! I loved how fruity and bright this smoothie is! I was inspired by a Polar seltzer flavor- despite never drinking seltzer. I’m not so into bubbles…except for champagne! The fruit combo was great since they are both easy to have on hand from the freezer – which also means, no slicing & dicing!
Ohh you know I love a good grain/rice bowl! I wasn’t planning on blogging this one but it is too good not to add to the repertoire…and it is always helpful for me to remember my own ideas! I used turkey kielbasa with fresh pineapple, raw green bell peppers, and brown rice which were so great together with the easiest sauce drizzled over the top.
The rice went into the pressure cooker, because it does magical things to brown rice. The turkey kielbasa is already cooked, but just got a little caramelization in a cast-iron skillet when it was too hot to even turn on the grill. The sauce is just a few quick ingredients. The little one loved everything about this combo. He’d be glad to live on rice.
Kielbasa Grain Bowls (for 4)
1 1/2 cups brown rice
13 oz turkey kielbasa (or Polish sausage or chicken sausage)
1/2 green bell pepper
1 cup fresh pineapple
3 tablespoons bbq sauce
1 teaspoon teriyaki sauce
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
Prepare the rice and set aside.
Slice the kielbasa into 1/2 inch disks and sear in a medium skillet with a drizzle of oil, over medium heat, until warmed through and it begins to caramelize around the edges a bit.
While the kielbasa cooks, chop the pepper and pineapple.
Whisk (or shake in a jar) the bbq sauce, teriyaki sauce, and maple syrup.
Assemble the bowls with rice, kielbasa, pepper, and pineapple. Then drizzle the sauce over the top.
Kielbasa isn’t an ingredient we have all the time but it was fun for something different and I loved the flavor. It already being fully cooked was also a perk! The little guy is not always into meat lately but he ate a bit of this. I want him to keep being exposed to everything and we’ll see what happens.
I thought of mixing a little dijon into the rice just after finishing eating. You do it and tell me how it is!
Somebody at work brought salt bagels and honey rosemary cream cheese from Bagelsaurus for a breakfast party and I couldn’t get over this signature combo. I loved the woodsy but sweet cream cheese with a salty bagel. I knew I had to have it again before I’d get to Bagelsaurus, so I made some for a sandwich! I wanted pretzel rolls but ended up with some quality sourdough. I used the rest of the honey rosemary cream cheese for breakfasts and will totally make some again.
I like BLTs to be in that order. This one got an exception, but I normally feel quite strongly about this. Lettuce in the middle is tricky to photograph so I ventured to this BTL. Do as you wish. Does it matter to you? Don’t worry- I still like you even if you don’t care the order.
Also, about half my greens are basil for a little summery kick to this.
Honey Rosemary Cream Cheese & BLTs (for 2)
1/4 cup cream cheese (I used whipped, or regular works too)
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons honey
~2-3 strips of bacon per sandwich, cut in halves
Finely chop the rosemary. Mix up the cream cheese, rosemary, and honey.
Refrigerate until serving – keeps in the refrigerator for ~1 week.
Pan fry the bacon until crisp, then drain on paper towels.
Slice the tomato & chop the greens, if needed.
Generously spread the cream cheese on to the insides of the bread and build the sandwiches.
Slice & enjoy!
I really loved this combo. I almost added avocado but it wasn’t quite ready. Add a fried egg and serve on a bagel for a really magical experience! I liked the cream cheese here instead of any cheese on the BLT. How amazing would it be on a pretzel roll or salt bagel? That’ll be next for me!
The cream cheese was really easy and could easily be mixed up in advance. It would be a really fun to serve with local bagels for house guests or to bring as a hostess gift! I only made a bit but you could make a little or a ton!
On my quest for more appetizers up my sleeve, I went lemon-y for a dessert/fruit/brunch-ish dip and it couldn’t be easier. I love that it can be prepped ahead of time, or mix it up and eat it immediately! I wanted to go all-out and make a huge board overflowing with dippers for it, but then again, I’m 36 weeks pregnant, hot, always tired, and I wasn’t feeding a huge crowd. This hit the spot with just strawberries and some graham crackers to dip.
Lemon Fruit Dip (serves ~8-10)
6 oz cream cheese (softened is helpful, not required)
4 oz vanilla Greek yogurt
4 oz Cool Whip
1 pkg lemon pudding mix
1 tablespoon lemon juice
lemon zest from half a lemon
2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
dippers: fruit slices; vanilla wafers; graham crackers/animal crackers; fruit as kebabs; cookies; etc
Add all the dip ingredients into a bowl.
Whip with a mixer (or food processor or blender).
Taste and add more fresh lemon juice if desired, or thin it a bit more with additional yogurt/cool whip if desired.
Enjoy! Or refrigerate until serving.
This totally hit the spot for being fresh and bright but creamy and very dip-able. I didn’t think of it fast enough, but any leftovers would be great between graham crackers like an ice cream sandwich then wrapped individually in plastic. Leftovers of everything would make fun individual trifles!
I added the yellow since the lemon powder isn’t all that yellow and I wanted it to pop. This is an easy one to prep the night before and bring to a summer gathering or to serve when guests arrive! My little one was napping when I served this but he tasted when I made it and liked it. I think it’d be an easy excuse for a dessert!
Go all out and make a huge & beautiful board of fruit, cookies, and treats and share with me!