Friday Favs: bye bye April


Last week I was craving spring and this week with the temperature being a little on the chillier side I feel like we lived in sweatshirts and under mountains of blankets. The most exciting thing though about this week… WE COOKED! 3 nights this week and we tackeled 3 new recipes. I’m amazed that it actually happened and hoping for maybe 4 nights next week. 


Recipes: On Sunday I had brunch with some friends and became inspired to make my own chicken broth (thanks Ali πŸ™‚). I used the Barefoot Contessa’s Chicken Soup recipe and I ended up just making the  matzah balls from the mix. I’ll try whipping up my own matzah balls on another day I was mainly laser eye focused on conquering my fear of making my own chicken broth/soup. I learned a lot from this experience. First I need a stock pot. My dutch oven did not produce much broth and we had to bring in reinforcement (boxed chicken broth) when we ate it on Monday. Also I learned that it is best served a day after you make it. I was able to shuffle our menu and make what we planned on having Monday night for Sunday night. Last thing make sure to cover the pot when you return the chicken to the pot after you have taken the chicken breast off and reserved it. Ali informed me that by not doing this I was losing even more liquid when it was simmering on the stove for those 3 hours. 

(I sent this picture to Ali to ask for help on how I was only able to make that little of an amount of broth.) 


This week I was able to crack open my copy of The Homesick Texan Cookbook. I’ve  been wanting to make stuff from this cookbook for the last month since I got it and I finally was successful. I made her Tex Mex Meatloaf with Chipotle Tomato Glaze on Sunday night and served it with broccoli and I made her Green Chile Chowder on Thursday night. We really liked both of these recipes and they will be made again soon. 


Restaurants: I think I might have a new restaurant πŸ’š and its name is UniDeli. I really don’t know where to begin. Justin, little dude, and I went there for lunch last Friday and had ramen. I’ve tried a lot of ramen places in the twin cities and I must say I think they have the BEST. When we were leaving I was already trying to figure out when I could come back. It’s a great place to take kids because it’s in the middle of  an Asian supermarket and so it’s okay if your kiddos are loud like our little dude. 😊


Little πŸ’šs: This week my mom came with us to music class which was so much fun. My mom, little dude, and I love music. It comes as no surprise that when my mom brought him this tiny accordion on Wednesday when we met for lunch that it would become one of his new favs. You know who else loves the accordion… Leo πŸ˜„ 

Little dude is learning how to share with his pal. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Erica

Friday favs from the little dude

I’ve been wanting to do a  post about what I’ve learned the last 10 months from the little guy. A couple of items I have bought that have been lifesavers versus the things that I would not recommend even if they were the cutest. This is my personal opinion and I have not been given any form of compensation or free products. 

  
1. Ugg boots-FAIL- I thought these were adorable and we could match. They did not stay on his feet and even though it was so stinking cute on him.. I would instead recommend the Robeez boots. (Picture below) 

  
2. Auto Rock N PlaySUCCESS– I think Justin would agree that this is one of the best things we bought. I’m so quick to suggest it whenever I meet someone who is about to have a baby. It gave us hours and hours of sleep. This one is a bit different because it can be plugged in to rock on its own (AMAZING) and it has a spot for batteries for it to vibrate while not plugged in.   
3. Magnificent Baby FootieSUCCESS– I bought this for him before he was born when we were in Florida on vacation.  I had no idea how much I would love this outfit. The bicycle pattern is so cute and the snaps are magnetic. Genius idea! 

4. Tommee Tippee Roll and Go BibSUCCESS-  A friend of mine suggested I try these and they are great. I had tons and tons of bibs that were given to us with the little guys monogram and etc but these can be scrubbed with a sponge and some soap and left to air dry. I love not having to do more laundry. 

5. Nuk Learner CupSUCCESS- Little guy has tried a couple different sippy cups with no success. Someone suggested I check out the nuk cup and he loves it. It cracks me up that he will only hold it with one hand. Justin and I have tried to help him hold it with his left hand too but he gets mad at us when we try to help him. 😊

  
Hope your weekend is filled with some sun, fun, and a bit of relaxation. (That’s definitely what I am wishing for πŸ™‚) 

Erica

Friday Favs- hello spring πŸŒ·

  It’s gorgeous outside! The window is open as I blog and it’s AMAZING. This week we stayed healthy and managed to cook on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Also we continued to eat meals full of protein and veggies. I refuse to tell y’all I am on a diet because that is not what it is. I am not depriving myself of anything. I still occasionally have soda and I enjoy dark chocolate often in moderation. I told Justin twice this week that by amping up the lean protein and fresh veggies in my meals, cutting down on the carbs, and drinking more water that I feel better. I have more energy to play with the little guy. πŸ™‚ 

  

 Recipes- I had the most delicious chicken in Atlanta while we were visiting family. I begged Ned for the recipe and he sent it to me. He told me you can add any combination of hearts of palm, canned artichokes, capers, olives. Also it’s best served reheated the next day. Justin and I made it on Tuesday afternoon and reheated Wednesday night. We served it with a bit of rice. We ended up doing 5 chicken thighs and 3 chicken breasts. Next time I make this I am going to double the lemon rub. 

  

Little Guy πŸ’™s-  He turned 10 months today and omg he is such a little stinker. It seems that taking pictures of him gets harder and harder as he gets older. This week he seems to be all about things he cannot have: iPhone cords, tv remotes, phones. He is not crawling but whenever he is near any of this stuff his extra long arms manage to reach it. I snapped a cute picture of him on Wednesday playing with his toy bucket. I think maybe I should just stop buying him toys and introduce him to    the storage bin aisle at Target. It’s one of my favorite things so maybe he will have the same  πŸ’š of organizing like his mama… Ah, a gal can dream 😊

  
Hope your weekend is full of lots of fun outside! β˜€οΈπŸŒ·

Erica😎

Friday Favs: is it spring yet?

  It’s Friday! Another week has flown by and as I type this I am noticing out my window that the sun is out. β˜€οΈ  Yippee for some sunshine… Now my favs: this week might be more geared towards the little guy… I am kind of in a cooking rut and ready for farmers markets and fresh veggies but… I am hoping to find some inspiration in the kitchen next week to share with y’all. 

Recipes: Justin and I cooked 2 times this week. We made Giada’s Chicken Marsala Meatballs with steamed broccoli and last night we had my favorite pancakes from the mix: Pamela’s . I jazzed up a couple of the pancakes with slices of bananas and chocolate chips. I am not gluten free but try to eat less carbs.  

  
Little Guy πŸ’šs: This week I am trying so hard to let the little guy feed himself. It’s hard because he makes such a mess and it kind of drives me nuts but I know I just gotta do it. So… He attempted yogurt one day and made a bit of progress thanks to the num num spoon. Another day he had small pieces of string cheese which he gnawed on and yesterday he held pieces of banana and chewed on them. He’s a big fan of solids which is kind of bittersweet because it’s sad to think he’s not a teeny tiny baby anymore but at the same time it’s amazing to see him grow. 

  
  
Hope your weekend is full of sunshine. 

Erica

Friday Favs from AtlantaΒ 

  When looking back on this past week I knew right away what would be featured in my favs for this Friday. We got back on Wednesday from our trip to Birmingham and Atlanta to see family and friends. I talked about my Birmingham favs last week so I knew that this week would feature Atlanta. 

Restaurants- While in Atlanta I tried 3 new restaurants. I’m always amazed when I visit Atlanta because the food scene there is always changing. 

My cousins, Marcy and Jodi, David (Marcy’s husband), Justin and I went to Wisteria for dinner one night. My dad and Marcy’s parents watched all the babies which was so nice. The food could be described as upscale southern. We dined on black eyed peas hummus with homemade sweet potato chips, fried oysters, vegetable plates, and Mac and cheese with a collard topping. When looking at the menu I had planned on ordering the fried chicken but when I heard the vegetable plate was made up of 10 different veggies that were either grilled, stewed, sautΓ©ed, or roasted I jumped on the band wagon with both my cousins and ordered the veggies. I’m not sure if the pictures really can show how yummy all this food was… But trust me it was sooo good! 

   
    
 
Brunch is probably one of my favorite meals. I love how it combines the best of breakfast and lunch. Justin, little guy, and I met my best friend, Allison at a great spot called Joy Cafe. When we sat down at the table and the waitress brought us fresh blueberry scones and mini chocolate chocolate chip muffins I knew this was going to be good. Allison informed me that we had to get biscuits because it’s what they are known for and that they are literally the size of a softball and she was so right! Also while perusing the menu I noticed that Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives had been there. They had marked a couple items on the menu with the logo. When I saw that they had shrimp and grits and it was marked with the triple d logo I decided that was definitely worth trying and plus I have yet to be able to get this dish in Minnesota. The combination of the creamy grits, dash of hot sauce, and the fresh flavor from the shrimp was really delicious. Also I must add how nice it was that the owner was walking around and checking on tables. I loved getting to hear from her all about the stories behind the dishes on the menu. Little guy got to try grits for the first time and he was a big fan of them. πŸ™‚

   
   
On Tuesday we went to a fairly new place called Ponce City Market. When you walk inside you are faced with the dilemma of deciding what type of cuisine you are in the mood for. The variety of food choices cannot be described but must simply be experienced. I found a great seafood place called W.H. Stiles Fish Camp and had one of the best shrimp poboys. 

  
Little Guy πŸ’šs-  When looking back on this past week and what the little guy was really enjoying it’s a mix of popsicles and his new book from my aunt and uncle.

   

He is sharing his book with his cousins.
 
Hope your weekend is full of fun and some of your favs! 

Erica