Another month has flown by. By the time she is 1 you will probably get sick of hearing this, but this is our favorite month so far!
She is one of the happiest babies I have ever met, almost always has a smile for everyone. She has started to shyly smile at people, she will have a big grin and then bury her face in my shirt.
Sleep patterns are getting better. She sleeps well at night, most of the time. Some nights she only wakes up to nurse once, sometimes she wakes up 3-4 times. But she is quick to go back to sleep afterwards, especially if she is snuggling with me. In the last few weeks she has started to get on a daytime nap schedule. She usually takes 2-3 naps a day for 1-3 hours each.
She is taking after her daddy, she has consistently been in the 90th percentile for height and weight in the 75th.
Her hair is starting to thin out and she is getting some bald spots, so we will see what color it comes back in as. Since we both have blonde hair, my bets are on blonde.
In the past month she has really started to play with toys, shaking them to make them rattle, reaching for them and putting them in her mouth. As opposed to just staring at them. She is much more interactive. Laughing when she likes something, like playing airplane on my knees.
Hadley celebrated her first Thanksgiving up in Georgia with a few of her cousins, aunts and uncles, Grandma and Grandad. She is already looking forward to the turkey next year.
Baked Potato Soup is one of my absolute favorites! But, you know, with the holidays I try to save a few calories where ever I can.
Subbing out the potatoes in soup for cauliflower. That was my genius friend Noelle’s idea. She casually mentioned it one day while we were chatting. Um, why did I never think of that. I have made mashed cauliflower, cauliflower au gratin and I love just roasted cauliflower.
Well I finally tried making cauliflower soup and it was just like baked potato. I don’t think I would have even known the difference had I not made it myself.
So you should probably go now and whip up a pot of this soup. Especially if you live in Florida, go now, while it’s still cold outside.
Saute bacon in a large stock pot over medium heat until crispy. Using a slotted spoon remove bacon and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat, add onion, celery and garlic. Saute 3-4 minutes.
Add cauliflower to the pot and water. Cover with lid and steam 5-7 minutes. Add 1¾ cup chicken stock and milk, turn up heat and bring to a boil.
Whisk flour with remaining ¼ cup chicken stock. Add to pot while stirring. Then simmer for 5 minutes to thicken.
Remove from heat and stir in 1½ cups cheddar cheese, half of the bacon, and 2-3 dashes of hot sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
This time of year is busy, I don’t think there is anyway around that. All of our weekends from now until Christmas are pretty much booked solid with both lunch and dinner events daily.
On the Monday through Thursday nights that we might not already have something on the schedule I need easy dinners. My brain can’t handle much more that stirring a few things together and setting a timer.
This mac and cheese is perfect for that.
One of my biggest pet peeves is pre-cooking food that is going into the crockpot. It’s such an annoyance. There goes my easy crockpot meal if I actually have to get out the skillet and brown something before hand. Pre-cook my pasta… yeah right. So I set out on a mission to create a tasty crockpot mac and cheese without any pre-cooking.
This recipe creates a custardy mac and cheese, which happens to be my favorite kind.
Hosting an event? Boom, here is one of your side dishes, easier than pie
2 cups uncooked small pasta, such as elbows or small shells
3½ cups shredded cheese - I used medium cheddar
Spray your crockpot with cooking spray. In the bowl of the crock pot mix together eggs, evaporated milk, milk, salt, mustard, and peppers. Stir in uncooked pasta and 3 cups of cheese, mix well. Top with remaining cheese, cover, and cook on low for 4 hours.
We are a coffee loving family. I actually gave it up during pregnancy and after the initial caffeine withdrawal headaches, didn’t feel that I missed it. But towards the end I started to add it back in. I love the tradition of sitting on the porch with my cup of coffee, slowly getting my morning started.
You can imagine how much we cried when my husband dropped our 12 cup french press and it shattered.
Besides our single serve Tassimo (which blows the Kuerig out of the water as far as strong, good coffee is concerned) we were coffee pot less. It was sad. We were going through T-disks like crazy. I had to come up with a way to use up the coffee beans we still had.
Enter cold brew coffee.
I had seen it at Trader Joe’s, but couldn’t bring myself to spend the $6.99 on it. After a quick search I realized it is incredibly easy to make yourself. So I ground up some beans to a medium grind, about what I would use in a french press and let them steep for 12 hours in the biggest Mason Jar I could find. After that you just strain it into a clean jar, and tada you have cold brew coffee!
I love giving homemade, edible gifts. All of my friends and neighbors usually get homemade candies and cookies. And this year my coffee loving friends and family can count on receiving cold brew coffee concentrate.
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I am amazed at how fast babies grow. I no longer have a newborn. She is changing before my eyes.
This month marked a bunch of firsts for Hadley: first trip, first Halloween, first time rolling over, first time staying in the nursery. She is chatting up a storm, babbling on to anyone who will listen to her. She is usually such a happy little girl. The only time she is fussy is when she is starving or extremely tired.
Hadley likes to watch from her Bumbo when I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner.
This past month was a sad one for my husband. He said goodbye to his Porsche. It wasn’t getting the love it deserved any longer, so we traded it in for a Yukon. Now we have plenty of room for car seats.
Nichole from Casa de Crews and myself headed down from north county to meet up with Nikki of SandBookWich to check out the dressings.
Obviously I love Greek inspired dishes. The Roasted Beet dressing was my absolute favorite, so I took a bottle home.
I couldn’t wait to experiment with it, but what was I going to make. I didn’t want to just make any old Greek salad. I looked around the pantry and found a bag of farro I had picked up at Trader Joes. I’ve never cooked farro before, but being a big fan of grain salads I figured I couldn’t go wrong on this one. So I used my cucumber from the co-op basket and picked up tomatoes, onions, feta and olives to complete this dish.
The recipe made a large portion, perfect for keeping in the fridge for lunch all week.
Two recipes in one week? I’m not really sure what has happened to me. I must have found some of the time that I have been losing, or actually if you look around my house you will see that I haven’t cleaned in a bazillion years so that’s probably where this extra time is coming from.
I recently signed up for my first co-op. I have been looking around at them for years, but never pulled the trigger on one. I did a trial run last week and loved my $18 basket of goodies. I’m thinking a small basket every other week will be perfect for us.
I came up with a plan to use the veggies that would go bad quickest this week and the ones that could last a little while next week. I already chopped up the carrots, celery, onion, and potato to make soup later and divided the cabbage up for this dinner and another.
If you are feeling a little under the weather like our house is right now, this will clear out your sinuses in seconds. It is SPICY! I cut down on the spice in the recipe below, but it will still have plenty of kick to it. If you are into setting your mouth on fire then use a full tablespoon of cayenne (that’s what we did, we are kicking this cold to the curb).
Before heading to the grocery store I was considering making this with turkey, but the conventional ground turkey breast was the same price as the grass fed ground beef, so I went with the beef.
In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute red onion, ginger, and garlic for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add red bell pepper and continue cooking 2-3 minutes. Add turmeric and cayenne pepper, mix well and saute for 1 minute.
Add ground beef to skillet and cook until browned. Add cabbage and tomatoes, cook for 10-15 minutes stirring often.
There is a hint of fall in the air down here in Florida. I don’t think it’s reached 90 degrees in at least 5 days. Therefor I am celebrating and making the most of this weather.
Halloween has come and gone and it’s officially winter squash season. There are a large variety of squashes at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, Publix isn’t fully on board with carrying them yet, but they are working on it.
I picked up a spaghetti squash at Trader Joe’s and a butternut squash at Whole Foods.
My husband still claims to dislike spaghetti squash. Every year I buy one or two a season and attempt a new dish to prove to him they aren’t so bad.
Well folks, we finally found a winner. He deemed this his favorite spaghetti squash recipe. He even went back for seconds.
Place squash in a shallow baking dish cut side down and bake about 1½ hours until tender. Let cool, shred with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until cooked through, but not crispy. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat then add onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add white wine and cook until it has evaporated.
In a bowl whisk together eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Combine the egg mixture with the bacon, warming but not cooking the eggs through. Add spaghetti squash and toss to combine.
Another month has zipped by. Hadley’s personality is really starting to shine. During the past month she started cooing in response to us and smiling at everyone’s smiles (when she’s in a good mood).
She is a champ sleeper, we got really lucky on that front. 2-4 nights a week she sleeps through the night completely and the other nights she wakes up anywhere from 3:00-5:00am for a mid morning snack and falls back asleep in less than 15 minutes.
She is really aware of her surroundings. She stares at every fan she sees, she loves to kick her feet around on the ground or her playmat, and started looking at herself in the mirror. Other babies intrigue her and she has staring matches with them.
We have been taking her all over town. We go out to eat and she usually sleeps peacefully in her infant car seat. This past weekend she went to her first festival, the stone crab and craft beer festival. We got a new baby carrier, the Beco Gemini, which this mom loves. It’s easier to use than our wrap for quick outings and a little cooler for the Florida fall. It makes babywearing so easy.
Everyone says she looks more like her daddy everyday. She is in the 90th percentile for height. She obviously gets that from him. She has grown out of most of her 0-3 month clothes length wise so she is almost fully in 3-6 month.
The dogs are doing great with her, although I think they miss being the center of attention. Sometimes she smiles at them. I know they will provide a lot of entertainment for her in the coming months.
Lately depending on when Hadley is napping I have anywhere from 2-30 minutes to prep dinner. I’m always looking for fast and easy these days. Any time I can make dinner in advance I take it. Which means you will probably be seeing a lot more crockpot meals and casseroles.
I was just joking with my friends the other day that I didn’t need meals when she was just born. She slept so much I had plenty of time to make dinner, but now that she is awake and alert at 2 months old, now is the time I need people to bring me meals.
This chicken has become one of my go to crockpot recipes. It is super easy and very versatile. Plus it makes a ton.
We made tostadas with refried black beans, chicken, shredded cheese, lettuce, and corn salsa. We also just used up frozen leftovers this week and made burritos with pinto beans, chicken, cheese, and salsa. I have given this to friends with taco fixings so they can make tacos or taco salads. But you don’t even have to limit yourself to Mexican dishes, wraps, pizza, sandwiches, use your imagination.
2.5lbs boneless skinless chicken (I used a mix of breast and thighs)
¾ cup water
½ cup Zesty Italian dressing
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Place chicken in crockpot. Mix remaining ingredients together in large measuring cup or mixing bowl and pour over chicken. Cook 6-8 hours on low. Shredded chicken with two forks right in the pot and let it simmer in the broth for an additional 30 minutes. Drain broth and serve.