Eat This Now…Your Kids Will Love It

I’m always looking for ways to make one meal at night.  It is a struggle sometimes because Ryan and I like spicy foods and with Chase’s Geographic tongue (you’ll have to google it) I can’t always spice things the way I want to.  Plus, Chase and Andrew eat first and there are times when the dish I’m making has the dreaded: “serve immediately.”

I turned on the tv when I got home from running errands yesterday to find “The Chew” on and Daphne Oz and Mario Batalli were cooking together.  I’m a huge Mario fan so I thought I would delay my viewing of RHOBH.  Good call for me because they were making the recipe below.

These bad boys are delicious!  I froze some of them too.  I’ll bet they’ll be good with pasta for the boys.  Make them as patties and they could even be little sliders!

1 head Cauliflower (Cut into Florets)
3 Scallions (Sliced)
3 tablespoons Parsley (Roughly Chopped)
3 cloves Garlic
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 pound Ground Chicken
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil (For Frying)
Marinara Sauce (For Dipping)

1. In a food processor, combine cauliflower, scallions, parsley, garlic and soy sauce and puree until a chunky paste forms. Add in the ground chicken, salt and pepper and pulse until the mixture has evenly combined.
2. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium sauté pan over medium high heat. Using a small cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon, scoop the meatballs into the pan being sure not to crowd the pan. Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes.
Serve with marinara sauce or your favorite dip.


Captain and Poopsie Run a Race

Last fall, Captain (Ryan) started feeling his mortality and decided that before he turned 40 he wanted to run a marathon.  Poopsie

Initially I was planning on wearing this but decided otherwise

Initially I was planning on wearing this but decided otherwise

does not suffer from such delusions of grandeur.  Captain signed himself up for the AZ Rock and Roll Marathon in Phoenix.  At the same time, he signed Poopsie up for the half marathon.  Totally doable although daunting because of some recent injuries.

It was also a chance for the two of us to get away for a couple of nights.  Date nights are great, but to be able to wake up on my own without a child as my alarm clock is always appealing.


Captain, have a shirt change and a smoothie donning his marathon finisher medal

Captain went at it full force.  He trained diligently and even bought a “runner’s” hat.  Poopsie secretly wanted Captain to buy those short running shorts that some male runners wear.  Long runs were reserved for weekends and luckily with a better schedule now that we live in Tucson, Captain was able to do tempo runs and sprints during the week.

Poopsie on the other hand, had some issues.  A torn meniscus coming back from Idaho needed rest.  Then as the short training runs started foot pain did too.  Not only in the left foot that has a bunion (Gross! Fat ladies in moo moos get bunions!), but tendonitis in the right foot kept runs shorter than they should have been and by the end of December things weren’t looking good.  The only saving grace was that Poopsie was stronger than ever from Barre3 classes and had even lost a couple of LBs in the last several months.

Post race hydrating

Post race hydrating

Going into the weekend, Captain was cautiously optimistic and Poopsie just wanted to finish, no matter how long it took.  Long story short, Captain finished strong (4:19:52) while listening to his body and walking when he needed to and Poopsie shaved a minute off her personal best (2:09:56).  Pretty remarkable if you ask me.

We saw a movie, had delicious pasta and walked around downtown Phoenix on Saturday night.  Sunday night met up with some friends (Amon and Priscilla) from Scottsdale for dinner.  We woke up Sunday morning, got massages and had a great lunch.  Just the two of us.


Feast Your Eyes

I know there are lots of diversions online these days.  Obviously.  You’re reading ATWTTL.  There is Facebook.  There is Twitter.

The Gorgeous Danielle Schaffer

The Gorgeous Danielle Schaffer

There is Instagram.  What is a gal to do with all of the great info out there?  To help you filter through some of that, I’m here! There are a few blogs that I can’t get enough of!  I want to share them with you!

City Girl Gone Mom – Danielle Schaffer is the author of this wonderful lifestyle blog.  She is a

dear friend who is a wife, mom, photographer, lighting designer, and complete fashionista.  She is my go to stylist.  I literally send her pictures and ask her to help me with my clothes.  Our husbands were both medical officers in the Navy and I met them 2 weeks after they had their first son.  We took dinner to them and they welcomed me into their home and I saw firsthand what a cool, gorgeous and fun couple they are.


The Glossy Lemon – Holly Gery is the author of this life-style blog.  My husband Ryan, Holly, and her older sister Jennifer all grew up in Ketchum, ID.  Jennifer is a dear friend of mine and also has a great sense of style.  The Glossy Lemon showcases Holly’s lovely sartorial smarts.  She’s a

The Lovely Holly

The Lovely Holly

working mama and has a keen eye for the put together but not trying to hard style.  She has a great page titled: Daily Reads, which has other great style blogs that cover the range fashion situations from office to dreamy glamour.

B Spot Girls – Wondering what new beauty products to try?  This website and its four testers are all friends from boarding school…just like Sarah and me.  Actually, it is the same boarding school.  I read about their blog in our alumni magazine and have been reading their creative, honest and clever reviews of some of the best products out there!  By the way, their review of Trish McEvoy’s mascara sold me on it.B Spot Girls Logo FINAL

I would be remiss to not mention something about my favorite subject: FOOD!  I have two.


Tori Avey of Shiksa in the Kitchen

The Shiksa in the Kitchen – Tori Avey’s delicious blog is inspired by her status as a shiksa in the kitchen.  As a shiksa myself, I logo_op6appreciate her effort to honor Jewish traditions, through food.  This site is my go-to along with for getting all of the details right during Jewish holidays.

Dishing Up the Dirt – Andrea Bemis is a blogger and farmer.  I first came across her recipes through the recipe section on the Barre 3 app.  The recipes are balanced, not complicated and best of all: DELICIOUS!  I have not been disappointed with a single recipe I have made.  I have shared several on this blog.  Check her out, you won’t be disappointed.

The last and most recent find is Rebecca Egbert.  I follow her on Instagram.  I overheard someone talking about her at my Barre3 class and a couple of hours later, my dear friend sent a text telling our thread of friends that we should check her out.  My friend Molly’s exact words were: “She’s a badass.”  I knew I had to see what she’s all about.  She has a wonderful site.  Last week (her January 5th posting), she had a post that really spoke to me.  As I approach my 39th birthday it was appropriate. Take a look at it.   But the line that really stuck out is the following:

“Developing your own style of mothering is equally important as having support to help you with all the adjustments of early

"Badass" Rebecca Egbert

“Badass” Rebecca Egbert


Speak it Rebecca!  Thank you.  I am still developing my style and I’m almost 5 years into this thing.  So, to all of you mothers out there: be confident, be vulnerable, be present, be realistic, just be.

Happy Reading!


Meatless Monday: Carrot, Cumin, and Cauliflower Soup


Simmering the soup!

With the new year in full force I have been pretty darn motivated to make healthy choices and be mindful of how food makes me feel.  I have been abstaining from alcohol completely, which I know, is a surprise.  There are many days when a St. Germain cocktail or a glass of Pinot Noir would go well with the day.  But I made a promise to myself to abstain during the majority of the month of January.  Ryan is running a full marathon and I am running a half marathon next weekend, so I felt it was a good choice to refrain from drinking.

Ryan requested that I make more soups in the new year.  So, soup it up I have.  Chilis, stews, broths, and pureed soups are great because they warm you on a cold night and are easily digested. After eating just one bowl of this soup, though I wanted more because it tasted so good, physically, I was sated.  This recipe is from the book: Clean Eats.  I have posted several recipes from this book and from the Clean blog.  I highly recommend subscribing to the newsletter and buying the books: Clean and Clean Eats.  Though doing the cleanse associated with the books is not in the cards for me right now, I love the recipes and will continue to keep them in the rotation.


Carrot, Cumin, and Cauliflower Soup

Soup for two.  Garnish the soup with parsley and pumpkin seeds.  Ryan also added crushed red pepper flakes for heat.

Soup for two. Garnish the soup with parsley and pumpkin seeds. Ryan also added crushed red pepper flakes for heat.


2 Tbsp coconut oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp fresh ground cumin seeds

1 tsp fresh ground coriander seeds

1 tsp fresh ground fennel seeds

1 lb carrots, chopped (about 4 cups)

2 cups chopped cauliflower (about half of a large head)

5 to 6 cups water

1 bay leaf

2 to 3 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup raw or roasted pumpkin seeds

2 to 3 tsp chopped parsley


1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pot set over medium-high heat.  Saute the onion until it is translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and ginger followed by the ground cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds.  Cook until the mixture is very fragrant, then add the carrots and cauliflower.

2. Pour in the water and add the bay leaf.  Partially cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes before seasoning it with salt.

3. Before serving, pour half of the soup into a blender or food processor and puree it with the coconut butter until the mixture is creamy.  Then it stir it back into the pot.

4. Garnish each serving of coup with pumpkin seeds and fresh parsley.




I usually skip the whole resolution thing.  Most of the time it feels like an exercise in futility.  I used to resolve that I would no longer experience virtual reality.  (I would also give up virtual reality for Lent each year too).

As 2015 kicks off, I feel like I’m ready to take on what I feel is a positive exercise.  Plus, typing it in a blog makes me accountable.  I have made a list of 10,000 foot view sort of items.

I plan to be:




Fear is paralyzing.  Fear has caused me to be a procrastinator in the past.  I have avoided doing things or saying things under the guise of “I don’t have time” or “I don’t feel like do X,Y,or Z,” but delaying the inevitable is really a cover for fearing what the result of a decision will be.  Fear of commitment, fear of accountability were my modus operandi for a long time.  I have grown since the days of avoiding hard decisions.  In 2015, I plan to stop avoiding what needs to be done and make the decisions that need to be made and know that my instincts are right.

I don’t often struggle with voicing my honest opinions, but I do lie to myself on a regular basis.  Most of the time it is about my diet.  Karl Lagerfeld said that nothing tastes as good as thin feels.  He was crass but right about the fact that feeling good about your physical appearance feels pretty damn good.  I know that I will never be a size 0, but I do, in fact, want to be my best self and feel confident in everything I do.  That includes feeling like I look good, physically.  I often lie to myself about how I will feel after I eat certain things.  I often tell myself: you can eat a burger and fries.  You worked out today!  Now, I will ask myself: is this truly a special occasion? Does this decision further advance me toward my goal of being my best self?  Sometimes that answer will be yes, but more often than not, it will be no.  I do feel that every day is special and each day I spend on this earth is a gift, but I don’t need to drink a bottle of wine and eat a wheel of brie to celebrate it.

Arrogance can really ruin a moment.  Every time I start to get a little cocky or feel judgmental, the world always brings me back to reality.  Motherhood has given me a good dose of humility.  However, as Chase matures and Andrew is leaving “babyhood”, I sometimes find myself feeling super confident when things go well…and then, I’m brought back to reality.  I don’t think I’ll stop feeling good about my accomplishments (and theirs) but I resolve to be humble in everything I do.  Dealing with a 2 year old is like dealing with a drunk college girl.  They turn on a dime when things don’t go their way.  A person can only put up with so much: “Do it self Mommy!” especially in the process of getting ready to leave the house.

Though I would love to post more…sometimes I don’t have enough to say and sometimes though I do have things to say, as a mom, there are things that come before drafting a post.   You understand right?  I have several posts in draft form…they will be finished.

Cheers to another great year!


Meatless Monday: Couscous Salad with Artichokes and Harissa Dressing

Need a break from the holiday food?  Yeah, me too.

You’re going to love and use this recipe over and over and change up according to what you have in your refrigerator or freezer.  It comes from a cookbook that I no longer have but my MIL has a copy of it so when we were in Ketchum, ID during the summer, I copied my very favorite recipes.

Couscous Salad with Artichokes and Harissa Dressing

Serves 4



1/2 cup couscous

1 cup vegetable stock

12 sundried tomatoes or 12 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

4 marinated artichoke hearts, quartered then cut in half

4 scallions, sliced

2 14oz cans of chickpeas

a handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

a few sprigs of watercress


1/3 cup EVOO

2 Tbsp sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp Harissa Paste (a hot red chile paste from North Africa)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat stock to boiling.  Place couscous in a heatproof bowl and pour stock over couscous.  Leave for 15 minutes until the stock has been absorbed.  Fluff up with a fork and set aside to cool.

2. To make the dressing, put the EVOO, vinegar, and harissa paste in a bowl and beat with a fork or small whisk.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Assemble the salad by stirring in tomatoes, artichoke hearts, scallions, chickpeas, and parsley.  Stir in half the dressing and toss.  Add the watercress and parsley sprigs and serve.  Reserve the remaining dressing to pass.

Note:  You can add additional veggies like sautéed kale with garlic, steamed broccoli or green beans.


Meatless Monday: Smoothie Bliss

Starting to feel the bloat?  Me too.  Between dinners out and celebratory dinners of Chanukah and Christmas on the way…I’m doing my best to make the best choices I can.  Now that the kiddos are off from school for two weeks, I have to take advantage of every moment I can to go to Barre 3 and do my 3 weekly runs (for another half marathon in January).  In order to keep bloating and weight gain at a minimum, I have rekindled my love of smoothies.  I can’t say enough good things about Andrea Bemis’ website.  She has great recipes on Dishing up the Dirt.  The smoothie options are ridiculous!  Here is the one I have been returning to for the last couple of weeks.


1/2 frozen banana

1 1/4 cups mixed blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries

1/2 avocado

1/2 cup spinach

2 Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

pinch of fine sea salt


1. Add all ingredients to a blender and whirl away until smooth.

2. Enjoy!  I split the smoothie into two portions.  I drink one and save the other for either a lunch or breakfast the next day.


Daily Affirmations: A Test

So, there are days when I’m not Sally Sunshine.  There are days when I just don’t want to be bothered by any of this.  We all experience that right?

I am always amazed at how Ryan, my wonderful husband, never lets the small stuff faze him.  I get really frazzled sometimes when I feel like I haven’t accomplished enough in a day and the kids happen to be super needy.  That results in my being overly tired and CRANKY the next day.  I don’t being like that and after hearing a piece on CBS Sunday Morning, I thought I would give the advice of one of the guests (Dr. Wayne W. Dyer) gave about creating a positive space for yourself

His basic message is: “Think good thoughts, and good things will surely follow”

“Take the last five minutes of your day,” he said, “and put your attention on everything that you would like to attract into your life: ‘I am well. I am healed. I am in perfect health. I am abundant. I am happy.’ Say those things to yourself. Then you’ll marinate for eight hours, and you’ll awaken and you’ll begin to attract the things that are in your subconscious mind.”

Now, I have never delved into the self help arena.  I still giggle when I see now Senator Al Franken because he will

Stuart Smalley: My first experience with the self help genre.

Stuart Smalley: My first experience with the self help genre.

always be Stuart Smalley to me.  But, you know what?  I tried Dr. Dyer’s advice the other night.  I’m amazed that I was not a pissed off ball of negativity after the night I had too.  Andrew decided to wake up at 3:30 a.m. and never went back to sleep.  Finally at 5 am I put him back in his crib and went back to bed.  When I have a night like that, I am usually exhausted beyond words, a bit of a B#%$H and completely worthless.

I woke up at 7am to find that Ryan woke up at 5:15 am and heard Andrew in his room saying: “I pooped.”  Yikes!

As I was getting dressed, taking my pill (god forbid I bring another maniac into the world) and making the bed, I said to myself: “I’m going to be ok today, even though last night was rough.”  Huh?  Who said that?

While I was in Andrew’s room trying to lull him back to sleep, Chase had gotten up and started playing with his LEGOS and wanted to open his Advent Calendar. Double Yikes.  It didn’t faze Ryan though.  And funny enough, I felt really good, all day!  I didn’t have the foggy curtain of anger that I usually get when I don’t get enough sleep.

From now on, I am going to do this for myself and make the conscious effort to start the day with a positive outlook.  Next task: Meditation.



Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato, Apple and Quinoa Salad

Want to stay on track during the holiday season?  Me too.  Now that I have sweated out all of the gravy I ate during and after Thanksgiving, I feel a lot better about myself.  It is not without some effort.  Smoothies are my friend right now.  Plus, salads like the one below.  It is from Food and Wine

Photo by Christina Homes

Photo by Christina Homes

, which is my go-to for most recipes.

Sweet Potato, Apple and Quinoa Salad


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 large Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
8 packed cups baby greens, such as arugula or kale (about 6 ounces)


1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the quinoa and toast over moderate heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer the quinoa for 16 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa, spread it out on a baking sheet and refrigerate until it is chilled, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, on a baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until golden and softened. Let cool.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil with the vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Add the quinoa, sweet potatoes, apples, parsley, onion and greens and toss well. Serve right away.


Meatless Monday: Roasted Butternut Squash and Parsnips

I know it says butternut squash, but you could definitely make this with pumpkin too.  This recipe is ridiculously good.  It is simple.  And, believe it or not,

Photo by Romulo Yanes on

Photo by Romulo Yanes on

kid friendly.  My MIL is here for the next week and so I started off her stay with a good vegan meal.  I don’t know if Chase was trying to impress her but he ate the majority of it AND, I don’t mean to brag, but he ate two helpings of Andrea Bemis’ Roasted Beet and Fennel Wheat Berry Salad.  Note: If you don’t like or don’t have wheat berries, I used wild rice this time because I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago and didn’t have any wheat berries on hand.  I will admit though that Ryan was the genius who told Chase that he would have red poop if he ate beets.  That may have been his motivation to eat it.  I don’t care though, he ATE TWO HELPINGS!  Try it out on your kids and let me know how it works!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Parsnips


1 1/4 pound parsnips (4 medium), peeled
1 1/4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, halved
12 Kalamata olives, pitted and cut lengthwise into slivers
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1. Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 475°F.

2. Cut parsnips lengthwise into quarters, then cut out and discard any tough core. Cut parsnips diagonally into 2-inch pieces. Cut squash crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then cut slices into wedges. Toss vegetables with salt, pepper, and 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, then spread in 1 layer in a large shallow baking pan. Roast, turning occasionally, until vegetables are tender and browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. While vegetables are roasting, heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil with garlic in a 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic just begins to sizzle. Remove from heat.

4. When vegetables are done roasting, remove garlic from oil (discard garlic) and toss vegetables with garlic oil, olives, and parsley.


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