Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Preoccupied

Preoccupied. 

Yes, I've neglected this here beloved blog over the past couple months because something-or should I say someone has taken priority and kept me only slightly preoccupied.

I'd like to introduce you to my sweet baby girl-Nora. She joined us on June 6th and we are absolutely smitten in the truest form of the word.

 A few days old

 Hanging out with her momma 

 2 months old and those big blue eyes kill me! 

And her smile. It's the best.

Life has been hectic! I've transitioned from being a full time Events Coordinator to now full time Stay at Home Mom and Blogger. Today, she's almost 10 weeks old and life is settling down as I gradually get the hang of this whole parenthood thing.

What does this mean for you, my readers? Well hopefully, lots more new recipes, more parties, and beautiful photos as I have more time at home. I'll also probably start throwing in some tips/tricks/activities from my new Mommy life but things should look about the same overall.

Thanks for your patience as I have been figuring things out and definitely check back soon for new recipes and fun features!

Love,

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Oven Fajitas

I'm sorry for my recent absence! I've been in full "get ready for baby" mode! I'm due in just 3 days and I think I'm finally feeling ready. I've been organizing, cleaning and stocking my freezer with meals and my pantry with yummy snacks! Not to mention buying final things, washing baby clothes and trying to get some rest before a newborn keeps me up all night!

One of the first meals I made when meal planning were these oven fajitas. They are simple, flavorful and can be easily whipped up. You could also cut up the raw ingredients and then freeze them to make one night. Simply thaw and then follow instructions accordingly. 

I will be making these again soon for sure since they allowed for leftovers and were quick to throw together-perfect for a new mom! 



Oven Fajitas
recipe courtesy Budget Bytes

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 Tbsp chili powder
½ Tbsp paprika 
½ tsp onion powder 
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cumin
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sugar 
½ tsp salt
½ Tbsp corn starch
or your favorite premixed fajita/taco seasoning 
  
1 large onion
2 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 pound chicken breast or chicken tenders
2 tbsp vegetable oil


8 tortillas 


Optional toppings: lime, sour cream, cilantro


Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix spices together unless using pre-made mix. Cut onion, bell peppers and chicken into long strips for fajitas and place in a medium bowl. Toss chicken and vegetables with vegetable oil and spices until coated. 

Place chicken and vegetables in oven safe dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, tossing once half way through. 

Layer chicken and vegetables on tortillas and top with sour cream, squeeze of lime and chopped cilantro.

Enjoy! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cabbage Slaw

Are my husband and I the only ones obsessed with street tacos? We love fish tacos, carnitas tacos and unique versions like from our favorite restaurant, Torchy's Tacos. I wouldn't call us taco "connoisseurs" but pretty close. 

So many of my best memories in recent years involve delicious tacos-at the beach on the Oregon coast, Taco Tuesday date night with my husband when all I needed was some alone time with him, our favorite taco place in my hometown where our family goes, and trip to California with my girls munching on tacos. 

So many memories all wrapped up in little tacos. 

To me, the best part of any good taco (especially fish tacos) is not only the delicious meat (I don't often choose veggie only tacos) but that delicious crispy and flavorful slaw on top. And I finally feel like I finally mastered my own version of those slaws for when we make tacos. I used a shredded coleslaw mix so that I could whip up my own batch whenever and in smaller batches. 

I HIGHLY recommend eating this slaw over the carnitas taco recipe I posted last week in corn tacos. Everyone will love you. People will cheer. And the memories. So many good memories to be had with delicious tacos.




Cabbage Slaw for Tacos
The Apron Gal

Serves 12-16 (can easily be halved for a smaller batch) 

Ingredients
14-16 ounce package coleslaw mix like this (shredded cabbage, carrots, etc.) or you can be an overachiever and cut around 6 cups of your own mixture of fresh cabbage, radicchio and carrots :)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped red onion 
Juice of 1 Lime
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup, scant mayonnaise  
Dash of Salt

1/2 jalapeno, optional 

Directions

Finely chop the red onion and cilantro (chop and add desired amount of jalapeno here also). Add red onion and cilantro to shredded coleslaw mix. Stir in juice of the lime, apple cider vinegar, a dash of salt and then gradually add in mayonnaise until desired sauciness is achieved.

Let chill for 1 hour to let flavors meld properly (recommended but not required). 

Cook's Note: I don't recommend making this too far in advance as you don't want the coleslaw to get soggy. You could certainly wait on adding the mayonnaise until slightly before serving and have everything else mixed together. 

Enjoy!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dark Chocolate Pairings and a Girl's Night In

Guys, this whole pregnancy thing is getting real! I'm due in only 5.5 weeks and I'm totally in this "soak up my last days of freedom" stage. Yes, yes, I know having a child will be the most amazing experience and I can't wait, but I'm also not naive enough to think my life won't be changing drastically. So I'm doing my best to soak up sleeping late, staying up late, date nights out and hanging with girlfriends for hours on end. When Ghirardelli asked me to indulge in their 72% Twilight Delight Intense Dark Chocolate Bar I didn't hesitate. And what came to mind instantly? A Girl's Night In with my favorite ladies to let them in on the dark chocolate feast as well.

Of course, being such good friends, they agreed to come eat chocolate with me and we had a blast. We paired our Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate with raspberries, strawberries, pineapple and some marshmallows. It was the perfect balance of the rich dark chocolate with the sweet fruits. And they all agreed that this wasn't just any ordinary chocolate- Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate was smooth and indulgent and we savored every bite!

Although the chocolate was great, the best part was catching up with the girls. It's so important to have good friends in life and I feel so blessed to have some of the best just down the street. We laugh and commiserate over baby worries, husband stories and our own insecurities and it's so great to have good friends to go through life with. I hope you have some good girl friends to gather for some chocolate, girl chat and laughter. 



 Since none of us drink alcohol we drank just water so we could truly embrace the dark chocolate and fruit flavors without any distractions!

 
http://r.linqia.cc/816efa6
 



This Intense Dark Chocolate is Girl's Night Approved! 


And.....did I mention there are other awesome flavors of the Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate?  My other favories inlude: 72% Twilight Delight (seen above) Sea Salt Soiree, Hazelnut Heaven and Toffee Interlude. Definitely grab a few flavors for your next Girl's Night or  I guess, if your boyfriend or husband is lucky enough- a romantic chocolate and fruit night for 2 (my husband was jealous this spread wasn't for him!).

And if you are in Austin this week, make sure to stop by Ghirardelli's booth at the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival. Ghirardelli will be featured at the Grand Tasting, the VIP Lounge and the Sips & Sweets Desserts Party. You won't want to miss them!

Visit Ghirardelli Dark for other pairing ideas like dried fruits, nuts, and beverage options. They also have great ideas to help you plan your Girl's Night In or that romantic date night if you are a better wife than me! And be sure to come back and comment and let me know your perfect pairing and upload your own photo of your perfect pairing on the Ghirardelli website!


Thank you to Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate for sponsoring this post and allowing me to share my perfect pairing.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Crock Pot Carnitas

You guys. I rarely make a recipe, eat the leftovers day after day after day and then want to make it AGAIN the next chance I get!

THIS is one of those rare recipes. These carnitas are moist, crispy and flavorful and could be used so many different ways. I made a delicious homemade cole slaw (recipe to come soon!) to accompany these in corn tortillas and we couldn't  stop eating them.

It's an added bonus that these are made in the crock pot so you can leave it while you are at work, then come home to the moist and flavorful meat. Then while you get the rest of dinner ready you can crisp up the meat in the oven and voila! And for heaven's sake...DO NOT SKIP the oven part! You will be sad if you don't get those crispy pieces that add great texture and help bring out more flavor also. 

Definitely work this into your meal plan soon-kids, husbands, and guests alike are sure to love this! 

 

Look at all that delicious crispy carnitas! (I could have let it get even crispier but I grew impatient!)

Crock Pot Carnitas
recipe courtesy The Weary Chef

Serves 6-8 

Ingredients
3-4 lb. pork roast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1 teaspoon. cumin
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper, optional
16-oz. jar of green salsa
1 can beef broth
½ c. milk
 
Corn tortillas 
Desired toppings:  cole slaw, guacamole, salsa
 
Directions

Mix spices together. Place pork roast in slow cooker. Sprinkle roast with spices. Pour salsa and beef broth over roast. Cover and cook on high 6-8 hours or low 8-10 hours, until meat can be shred easily.

Once the pork is done, preheat oven to 275 degrees. Remove pork from the slow cooker (keep cooking liquid!!) and shred on a cutting board using two forks, removing the pieces of fat. Place shredded pork on a foil lined (or Silpat lined) baking sheet.


Pour ½ cup of cooking liquid and ½ cup of milk over shredded pork. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes-1 hour (depending on your oven) until brown and crispy.

Serve with tortillas, cole slaw, gaucamole, salsa or anything else your heart desires! 


Enjoy!

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