Wooo-eeee! September was a whirl-wind!
September’s hype was the burger competition! I can’t believe it. I won! I literally entered because I thought ‘hmm. they won’t pick my burger but maybe they’ll send me some wine!’ I wanted more and more details so it was a bit clouded in mystery but it went really well. I practiced a few times. The timing (60 minutes to make burgers for 4 judges and 1 display) – exactly as entered was boarder-line too long. It was fun but nerve-wracking. I was proud and glad it all went well.
In addition to practicing my burger, I made this honey mustard chicken salad and loved it best in lettuce wraps – but of course it was delicious in a croissant! It was a fun back-to-school timing of lunch.
This Easiest Peach Cobbler was such a fun dessert. I made a small portion and am due to throw the other half together – maybe blueberry next!
I made a flatbread with naan, arugula, cherries and parmesan. It was such a fun lunch. It has this impression of being super special but couldn’t be easier.
The Baby Girl:
She seems so big! She’s so strong and adjusted ok to the switch to milk. She’s a fantastic eater. She loves it all. I can’t get over the volume she’s eating! The other night she ate a BBQ chicken thigh, most of a corn cob, and about 1/3 cup of rice. She loves the swings, following big brother around, and taking things out of whatever they’re in.
The Little Boy:
He’s loving his new school! I can’t get over how much he’s learning. We did it because the biggest learning curve is meeting new people and adapting to new routines. He’s doing so great! He just taught me about fiction books and how he does big kid math! We’re so proud of him making friends and being himself – what more could we ask for?! Pasta is his #1, of course. He loves that his new school isn’t nut-free so PB&J it is! He’s super into Italian dressing which seems funny and talking a lot about fish so we’ve had salmon, coconut shrimp, and crispy fish tacos.
Year of ___ decluttering/minimizing/organizing: I should get back on it. We’re done with bottles so I’m hoping to find somebody who wants them!
Feeding Littles: I reflected on introducing little ones to new foods – like blue cheese dressing!
Work on advanced food prepping: We went for easy while super busy at work and a cold that passed along amongst us.
What I’m reading: I read Pachinko for bookclub.
What I’m watching: We watched the movie Vice which was so good.
I love the simplicity most about this flatbread. It has some special touches but is wayyy easier than it seems! The cherries were frozen- with the pits already removed! They can pretty much thaw on the counter while everything else is prepping! What a great way to get another color of the food rainbow in!
Cherry, Arugula & Parmesan Flatbread
4 naan (I used wheat)
1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
3 cups baby arugula
1/4 cup shaved parmesan
1/2 cup dark cherries, frozen
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, or a toaster oven to toast the naan for 5-8 minutes, until crisping on the edges but still soft.
Toss the arugula in olive oil with salt & pepper.
Spread cream cheese on each piece of naan and sprinkle arugula, parmesan, and cherries on top.
Slice & enjoy!
This takes 10 minutes and I can picture munching it on a patio at a restaurant who’d ask $18 for it. I love the cherries contrasting the arugula and parm. The cherries are a great smoothie addition for leftovers or are fantastic on yogurt.
I use naan for the fastest weeknight pizzas ever. This week is nutty at work with an event this weekend so I planned some quick pizzas on naan for a weeknight meal and my Thursday night self thanks that Sunday planning self! Naan pizzas freeze well too if prepping in advance – not an arugula flatbread, but go for it with traditional toppings! I also found tiny naans that are a great kid size for lunches too!
Winner winner, chicken
dinner lunch! This was SO good and perfect if you’re packing lunches! Our pre-schooler loves honey mustard so he was my inspiration! I made a batch for a few servings – one decadently in a croissant, and some another time as a lettuce wrap.
If you’re thinking you don’t do chicken salad, I urge you to try this one. The honey mustard and lettuce make it seem like a salad and it is such a great use of leftover chicken or to liven up lunch! It is a great use for dark meat if that’s not your fav- at our house, we seek leftover options for white meat since that’s often dried out & has less flavor.
Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
Ingredients: (for 3-4 servings)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup yellow mustard
3 tablespoons mayo
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1/2 roasted chicken, torn or forked apart (~2 cups of chicken)
Whisk together the honey, mustard, mayo, and garlic- or shake together in a jar.
(If using as a salad dressing – add a splash of olive oil whisked in. It’ll be too thick otherwise!)
Add the chicken into the bowl and gently mix.
Sprinkle in salt & pepper and mix.
Refrigerate until serving, or enjoy immediately on a sandwich, salad, open-faced on toast, or in a lettuce wrap!
This is so easy, can be made in advance, and eat it all different ways. I packed some separately and spooned it onto romaine lettuce as a lettuce wrap at work. That worked out really well.
And by peach, I always mean nectarine, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it. I don’t do peach fuzz but eat lots ‘o nectarines. This is a foolproof dessert…that comes from a non-baker. It was fantastic to make a tiny one or make a full size one for a crowd! I loved it and will whip it up again soon- I’m thinking blueberries before it is apple season! The little dude thinks chocolate, but it won’t work the same.
There are lots of “dump cakes” around the internet. I just had to share because who doesn’t need a foolproof dessert option in your back pocket?! Also, it’d be easy to make 2 varsities at the same time if you don’t want half a box of cake mix hanging around until your next one!
Easiest Fruit Cobbler
Ingredients: (serves ~4)
2 teaspoons of white sugar
1/2 box cake mix
1/2 stick of butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Slice the peaches and lay into a small baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray (a pie plate or 9×9 would work).
Sprinkle the peaches with sugar then sprinkle half the cake mix onto the peaches.
Slice the butter and lay slices across the top.
Bake for ~20 minutes. Check that the whole top is getting nicely brown. Bake another 5 if needed for a light brown crust.
Enjoy! Serve warm or room temperature.
The little guy had this twice and I had it about 3 times. We added whipped cream on top and loved it. He liiiiives for dessert and it was fun to have something special/different and fitting for the season without making a ton. Mr. J would head towards ice cream or an Oreo before this- unless served at a dinner party or holiday etc.
Frozen fruit (peaches, mixed berries, cherries, blueberries) would be great too and make it super convenient to whip up quickly. I tucked the other half of the cake mix away for another day but need to keep this these ratios in mind!