A First Trip to the Park

Image

I have been waiting and waiting for a day warm enough to take Ezra to the park for the first time. Considering we live in Nebraska and it’s JANUARY… I didn’t think it would be any time soon. However, it was above freezing today and I figured if we bundled up, the three of us could really enjoy some fresh air! That was not the case. Ezra was shivering and less-than-impressed by the swings. I did manage to get a couple of cute shots though!
Image

This kid is all too serious, let me tell ya!

_MG_8683

_MG_8680

Image

Week 1

Let’s be honest: I am terrible at blogging. Here I am, it’s been over a year since I last posted and to be quite honest, it looks like I hadn’t posted much in the first place.
My husband, Aslan, and I were talking the other day about the way that we see people through the lens of the internet. For example- we celebrated Christmas with some friends since our family is all out of town. Instead of having your traditional Christmas dinner, we all decided it would be fun to each bring a food that comes from your ethnic heritage. I, being an Italian who is honestly sick of pasta (this is a temporary thing, I assure you), decided to bring cannoli. Now, since I assumed that would be the only time I would ever make cannoli and I didn’t feel like running out and buying a cannoli shell “form”, I used ice cream cones (thank you Pinterest!!).
Well, I am all excited about my fancy dessert and decide to make it the night before to make things easier on Christmas morning. When finished I think to myself- this looks AMAZING. I should post a photo on Facebook and show everyone the Masterchef that I am.
Image
The next morning, I proudly went to the fridge, reached for the cannoli…. and yeeeeeah. Absolute soggy MUSH! So, internet world… next time I brag about something fancy that I’ve cooked, recognize that it may have looked pretty, but probably wasn’t edible.

Anyway, I realized that last year, I decided I wanted to blog for the sole purpose of convincing people that I lived an exciting life, that my life was worthy of celebrating. The truth is- I really do. And I don’t need to spend my time trying to make other people believe it. Sometimes it’s really messy. Like, poop all down the front of me, laughing hysterically messy (another story for another day). Sometimes it’s completely uneventful. And sometimes- I am living a life I could have never even DREAMED of with a very flawed but very loving, patient, handsome man and CUTEST, and I MEAN cutest kiddo ever. So, here’s to starting to blog… aaaaggggain. Not for you, but for me…. so that I can look back on something and be reminded of how blessed I am, both for the good and the messy. 🙂

So, on another note- I have always wanted to do the photo for every week of the year. Since I have an adorable 5 month old who is growing like I cannot believe, I thought it would be fun to take a photo of HIM every week…. well, er… POST a photo of him a week. If I am honest, I spend half the day taking photos of him. I can’t help it that he is so cute!!
Image
I took this on an early morning a couple of days ago. Ezra is going through this phase where he WILL NOT let me put him down for atleast 10 or 15 minutes after he wakes up from bedtime or naps. I don’t mind one bit! Me and my sleepy boy sit and practice our consonant sounds. His favorite, at the moment, is the ‘G’ sound. The kid thinks it’s completely hysterical when I say “guh-guh-guh-guh”. I am telling you, this sweetie is a dream come true.

Dessert for Breakfast

For the past year or two, I have been a HUGE fan of greek yogurt… specifically Chobani. I really like the consistancy of greek yogurt and I like that it is healthier than the regular (Yoplait) stuff. Working at Whole Foods is honestly changing my life. They have SEVERAL different kinds of yogurt and I have been having quite a few conversations with customers about their favorites. One of the most popular brands is the
Kalona Super Natural Organic Cream Top Yogurt.

I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about the “cream top” and to be honest my thoughts were leaning toward being grossed out. So, naturally, my first few bites I made faces and talked myself into thinking that this stuff was not as good as my usual Chobani. I’m not sure what I was thinking… but this stuff is delicious! I finally gave in the third morning that I had it for breakfast and decided I would never buy any other yogurt…. Until the next day when a customer told me that Brown Cow had a MUCH better cream top yogurt. And so, after work I went over to get some and found that Brown Cow has a GREEK cream top yogurt.

Oh my goodness. If you like greek yogurt, you will LOVE this. It is like a DESSERT! The downside- Whole Foods doesnt sell the large 24 oz size like Kalona Super Natural and Chobani. So it is a little more on the expensive side. The individual size is, however, too much for me. So, I’ve been thinking I may purchase a few of them and empty them all into one container… but then that delicious cream top will be all mixed in. Hmm.

Do you have a favorite yogurt?

Spaghetti Squash and Sunshine

I am curious to know how other bloggers photograph food. Unfortunatly, I don’t have windows or natural light in my kitchen so I am stuck bringing all of my food and supplies out onto the living room floor by our patio window just to get some semi-decent shots. I wish people could see how silly this is. I should have my husband take a picture of me the next time I do this. My cooking takes twice as long because I am back and forth throughout our home trying to not only cook in the living room… but make the living room look like a kitchen. Today I decided to drag our kitchen table over by the window so that we could eat in the sunshine. I must say, it was quite lovely. My dream home will have lots of windows in the kitchen and dining room.
Just in case you didn’t read my previous blog post… my husband and I are trying one new and unique fruit and vegetable each week. This week our new fruit was the honey rock melon and our vegetable was the Spaghetti Squash. Both of us were really, really excited to try this… but I have to admit I was a little nervous because I wasn’t quite sure how to cook it. I had recieved a few suggestions and read several recipes and threw together more of a traditional tasting (meat and red sauce) spaghetti. We loved the way it turned out!

It was actually really, really difficult to cut into this thing!

Just like a pumpkin on the inside! I had no idea.

Scoop out all of the goopy stuff…

Rub inside with olive oil and seasonings. I used garlic powder and pepper.
Then put your squash face down on a pan and bake in the oven at 375 for 35 minutes.

After you remove your squash from the oven, take a fork and start fluffing up the squash from the ouside edges toward the center.
This was the most exciting part. It really DOES look like spaghetti!
Then I topped the squash with cooked ground beef, pasta sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan and put the squash back in the oven for another 20 minutes.

Yum, Yum! Also, I can’t tell you enough how great it was to have dinner in natural light. It makes SUCH a big difference.
Look at our cute little table! 🙂

Oh, and I love my husband’s expression in the photo below.
This is the typical “Are you still taking pictures? Can I eat now?”

Anyway, I love our little life.
I am so very blessed.

The Honey Rock Melon

I work with a girl who has more food allergies than I ever thought possible. I am completely fancinated because rather than substituting fake and processed blah-blah, she chooses to eat various unique fruits and vegetables. Quick side note– I still don’t understand why someone would buy something like vegan “cheese”. If you are vegan- why the heck do you want cheese anyway? Now, back to my coworker. We are constantly talking about what we each cooked for dinner the night before and I am always blown away with the things that she cooks. She uses vegetables I have never heard of. She mixes ingredients I would have never thought to mix. Seriously, this girl needs to write a cook book.
I use the same vegetables almost every week and eat the same fruit as snacks on almost every occasion, so I have decided to challenge myself to buy atleast one fruit and one vegetable every week that I have never had or have never cooked before. This week I purchased a Honey Rock Melon.

I had really high expectations and was hoping that it would taste significantly different than your average cantelope, but it really didn’t. It was much bigger though, so I did get more for my money.

I am looking forward to trying spaghetti squash for the first time on Monday night. I will post of my reaction later this next week! I hope everyone is having a great weekend so far!

Date Night and homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza

Aslan and I set aside a date night at least once a week.This week we decided to make a homemade pizza together and watch movies. It’s nice to have evenings where we don’t have to THINK about anything and get to just enjoy each other… and fabulous food. Neither of us had made homemade pizza before but a friend of ours gave us a pizza stone and we knew it was time to break it in.

I am happy any chance I get to use my vintagey-pink Kitchen Aid mixer.. so it took no time at all for me to get started making the pizza dough. I recently learned a trick while browsing the internet: setting your oven on its lowest setting, letting it sit for 5 minutes, and then turn it off and put your dough inside. It rises in about 15 minutes! There’s no way I would have the patience to let it sit out on my counter for an hour, let alone letting it sit in the refrigerator over night.

When the dough was ready to be rolled out, both of us attempted to spin the pizza in the air… we had very little success.
Image
It quickly turned into us playing with it like it was play-doh… trust me, it was SO necessary.
Image

Followed by our ridiculous fascination with our pizza dough, we cut up some onions…
Image

Cooked up some chicken…
Image

And put together our pizza!
Image

I should have taken pictures after it was cooked, but you can imagine how quickly this little guy disappeared. Image

You MUST try this pizza if you have not already. I would post a recipe, but I can’t, at all, take credit for this! Google “BBQ Chicken Pizza” and several will show 🙂 I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!