I love Jesus, my husband, being a stay at home mom to my little boy, New Orleans, crafting, cooking, fitness, nutrition, homemaking, hospitality, being outside, black coffee, chai tea, reading, journaling, thrifting, and deep conversation. Food is my love language; through food I savor memories, create traditions, and serve others.
Pasta with Turkey Sausage, Spinach, and Smoked Gouda This is my take on a recipe that a friend made from her church cookbook. This dish combines many of my favorite foods/ flavors and is fairly simple to throw together. When making/ serving casseroles like this, I almost always make them first thing in the morning while the kiddos are happily playing and then refrigerate and bring to room temperature for an hour before baking prior to dinner. I find that my afternoons and evenings can get off course based on the ups and downs of kid behavior during the day, and it's always nice to know that dinner is already prepared and that all I need to do is pop it straight into the oven.
-1 box whole wheat pasta, cooked al dente (I used penne)
-1 lb Italian turkey sausage, cooked and crumbled
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, diced
-2-3 assorted bell peppers, diced (I used 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange)
-6 cloves garlic, minced
-1 (29 oz) can diced tomatoes
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-8 oz baby spinach leaves
-2 1/2 c smoked gouda, shredded, divided use
Heat oil in medium pot over medium heat. Add onion and peppers. Saute until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, saute 1 additional minute. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, stirring well. Add spinach, cooking and stirring until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Toss pasta and sausage with tomato mixture and 2 c of the cheese. Spread into a greased 13x9 pan. Top with remaining 1/2 c cheese. Bake at 375 20-30 minutes, until warm and cheese is melted.
Potato, Squash, Zucchini and Goat Cheese Gratin I was inspired by this recipe, but made a few changes to suit my taste. This gratin is really easy to throw together, it only took me about 10 minutes to assemble because I used my food processor for all of the slicing. This filled a 13x9 pan, if serving a smaller family of 4 and you don't want a lot of leftovers then I'd cut the recipe by half.
-about 5-6 red potatoes, washed and scrubbed
-2 yellow squash
-2 zucchini squash
-4 Tbsp olive oil
-4 oz goat cheese
-1/4 c milk or cream
-1.5 tsp salt
-3/4 tsp pepper
-1 tsp dried thyme
-1/2 c parmesan cheese, grated
Use a mandolin or food processor to thinly slice the potatoes, squash, and zucchini. Toss the vegetable with the olive oil. In a separate bowl, combine goat cheese, milk, salt, pepper and thyme. Stir until well mixed. Spread the veggies in a greased 13x9 pan. Pour goat cheese and milk mixture over the veggies. Top with parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Pasta with Goat Cheese, Asparagus, and Lemon I was inspired by this recipe from Bon Appetit. Their recipe looks great as is, but I only had half of the amount of goat cheese on hand, and no tarragon, so I changed the recipe around a bit to incorporate items that I had and to reduce the fat/ oil content. This was one of the quickest, easiest, yet still most delicious meals that I've made, and it only used 1 pot. I think that goat cheese has a super power that turns everything it touches to gold without adding a whole lot of other flavors/ ingredients. This was even great as leftovers, cold, straight from the fridge, it was so good that I couldn't stop eating it long enough to get the bowl to the microwave to heat it up.
-1 box desired shape of whole wheat pasta
-1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-2" pieces
-3-4 oz goat cheese (or more)
-1/2 c vegetable or chicken broth
-1/2 c heavy cream, half and half, or milk
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-zest of 1 lemon
-(optional) desired chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, tarragon, rosemary...) (I didn't have any on hand so I didn't add any, but it would be a great touch)
In a medium to large pot, cook pasta in salted water, according to package directions. 3 minutes before the pasta will be done, add the asparagus. Drain the pasta and asparagus. Add goat cheese, broth, cream, salt, pepper and zest to the pan over low heat. Stir until all of the goat cheese is melted and the sauce is well mixed. Remove from heat. Stir pasta and asparagus into the sauce and add fresh herbs if using.
The torrent of words your baby has been hearing since birth is beginning to work its magic, although his understanding of words far outpaces his ability to use them. His babbling has turned to jabber and is probably starting to sound more like real words, phrases, and sentences. Your baby thinks he's saying something, so respond as if he really is!
Your baby still comprehends more from your tone than from your actual words, though. He can understand when he's pleased you, so offer specific praise, such as "You did a great job picking up the rattle." The more you talk to your baby — while preparing dinner, driving, or getting dressed — the more he learns about communication.
Your baby's starting to understand the word "no," though he may not obey it just yet. For example, you can expect him to try to touch something even after you've said not to. It's best to use the word "no" sparingly, and when you do use it, follow it by removing him from the scene of the crime and introducing him to a new activity.
Elisha is doing great!
He has become increasingly mobile over the last few weeks. Now he easily and quickly crawls around the house. He pulls up to standing and walks around the room holding onto walls, couches, shelves, tables, and chairs. He can let go of what he's holding onto and stand without any support. He has taken a couple of steps here and there not holding onto to anything, but no more than 2 at a time yet, and not all too often. That said, we really think he is going to be walking soon, he is very close.
He now has his 2 center bottom teeth and I'm sure will have some upper ones appearing shortly.
He seems to finally be sleeping through the night all night every night in his crib in the room with Noah. He still takes 2 other naps a day, about an hour each.
He has started saying mama and dada and knows that those words identify me and Jeremy.
He LOVES to play with his brother. When Noah is with Jeremy or his mom for a few hours Elisha gets THE biggest grin upon seeing his brother's face or hearing his voice. Our 2 boys love each other so much. Noah always wants Elisha in whatever room that he's in and Elisha wouldn't have it any other way.
I made this Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake by Paula Deen. I mean, could anything called "gooey butter cake" not taste good? I usually shy away from Paula's recipes because they are so unhealthy, this one included, but I've had the plain Gooey Butter Cake when I friend made it and I knew this would be good as well. The only change that I made was to use reduced fat cream cheese. In my opinion, the crust on this was just okay, but the filling was great.... the flavor and texture of pumpkin pie, but WAY better (and I'd hope so with a stick of butter and cream cheese in it!). This would be a great dessert for any fall or Thanksgiving gathering!
Turkey Meatloaf I started off inspired by Ina Garten's Turkey Meatloaf recipe, but then changed all of the amounts of the ingredients and decided to re-write the recipe. Sometimes I substitute whole/ rolled oats for the bread crumbs in my meatloaf, it sure is a lot more nutritious, or I make my own whole wheat bread crumbs if I have some bread heels lying around. Sometimes I add garlic and/ or drained canned diced tomatoes, but it is good without it. Whatever you do, make sure you serve it with mashed potatoes, I don't think you can eat meatloaf without mashed potatoes.
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, diced
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-2 tsp tomato paste
-1/2 c chicken broth
-1/4 c worcestershire sauce
-3/4 c bread crumbs
-2.5 lbs lean ground turkey
-3/4 c ketchup
In a skillet, over medium heat, saute onion, salt, pepper, and thyme in olive oil until the onion has softened (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and add tomato paste, chicken broth, and worcestershire sauce, stirring until well mixed. Allow mixture to cool. In a large bowl beat the 2 eggs with a fork. Stir in the cooled onion/ tomato pasta mixture. Stir in the bread crumbs and ground turkey. Mix until well incorporated. Shape meat mixture into a loaf and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 325 for an hour to an hour and a half, or 160 degrees when tested with a meat thermometer.