Wanna Be Like Dad

Apparently my kids want to be like their dad.  I can’t say I blame them.  I mean, I think he’s pretty awesome.

SweetPea trying on Dad's shoes

SweetPea trying on Dad’s shoes

I have to say, I particularly love this next photo.  Dan captured a similar photo of SweetPea and me sleeping in identical positions when she was only a few months old too.  It’s kind of precious.  So I was really excited when I saw the boys sleeping like this.  I had to, just had to take a picture.

Bub imitates Dad even while sleeping

Bub imitates Dad even while sleeping

 

Spicy Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup

Spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup

Spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup

Oh man.  Not that this soup is souper spicy (see what I did there?) or anything but it does have a little more heat than my 2-year-old typically eats.  However, I put a small serving (I wasn’t planning on wasting a single drop of this deliciousness) in front of her; she took one bite and started saying how good the soup was and then continued to plow through her bowl like a champ.

Toddler approved spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup

Toddler approved spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup

I need to remember that whenever I give her something that has a little spice in it, as long as I don’t say, “Oh, this might be too spicy for SweetPea,” there’s a good chance she’ll give it a shot and maybe like it.

Unfortunately for me, she liked this soup…which means I had fewer leftovers…which means I got to eat less of the soup…which kind of sucked because this soup is really good.  However, it’s also really easy to make, so I might just have to make it again in the near future.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound spicy chorizo sausage
2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil, but butter is delicious)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I used closer to 1/4 tsp to keep the heat down)
1 large bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped (about 2 very large handfuls)
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size bits
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk or cream (I used 2%)

Directions:

Heat large pot over medium high heat.  Add chorizo and brown it.  Once chorizo is browned, remove it from pot and set aside.
Lower heat to medium, add butter and let it melt.  Then add the onions and let them cook 5-10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Cook another 5-10 minutes.
Add chopped kale in smallish batches (I did mine in 4 batches).  Let each batch wilt before adding the next.  Add the nutmeg and stir.  Cook another 2-3 minutes to allow the kale to fully wilt.
Add potatoes, cooked sausage, and chicken broth.  Bring to boil.
Lower heat and let simmer an hour or more (the longer it simmers the better the flavors).
Stir in the milk (or cream).

Serve and enjoy!

Spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup

Spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup

Roasted Roots – with a zippy twist

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Roots

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Roots

I love vegetables.  And I feel pretty lucky to say that…mostly because I know so many people who don’t like vegetables and one, they’re missing out on tasty food and two, they have a hard time eating healthy.  I just think it’s sad when people don’t like veggies.  And the saddest thing about it, is the reason they don’t like veggies.  They’ve probably never had them prepared in a delicious way.

Roasting veggies happens to be a delicious way to prepare them.  And roasted veggies might be one reason I love fall and winter so much.  They’re just so good!

This recipe is one of the first ways I’ve cooked parsnips.  And guess what?  They’re pretty dang good!  So get ready to rock your taste buds and make a delicious (and healthy) side dish.

Ingredients:

1 pound carrots, cut to about the size of fat french fries (fat french fries is a technical cooking term…promise…)
1/2 pound parsnips, cut to about the size of fat french fries
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp molasses
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

In a medium bowl toss carrots and parsnips with olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt until well coated.
Spread in single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, at 400 degrees.
Toss with molasses, and roast another 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Serve and sprinkle each serving with a tablespoon of feta.  Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Roots

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Roots

Roasted Garlicky Squash

butternut squash recipe

Roasted Garlicky Squash

I admit.  I was never a big fan of squash until recently.  I think the problem with so many squash recipes is that people make them sweet.  And yuck.  That is just gross.

However, add a little oil, garlic, and cheese…wahlah! you’ve got yourself a dang tasty treat.  And (depending on how much oil and cheese you add) a pretty healthy one too.

Another thing I like about this dish is the color.  Call me crazy, but I love it when my plate is bursting with different colors, that might be one of the reasons I like having a green salad with most dinners.

A third thing I like about this dish is how easy it is to make.  Cut the squash and garlic, toss with oil, sprinkle cheese…that’s about it.  Easy peasy, right?

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium butternut squash, cubed into bite size pieces
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a medium bowl mix olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Add squash and toss until coated.

Put squash in a baking dish and roast, uncovered, for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, roast another 10-15 minutes until squash is tender.

Serve and enjoy!

Roasted Garlicky Squash

Roasted Garlicky Squash

Roasted Garlicky Squash

Roasted Garlicky Squash

New Haircut

Somebody got her locks chopped.

Toddler Haircut for Girls

New Haircut

I can’t decide if I love it or if I hate it.  She’s officially a big girl.  And I love it!  Except a small part of me (ok, maybe not too small of a part) hates it.

I will definitely miss her baby mullet blowing behind her as she runs.

Toddler Haircut for Girls

New Haircut

Strawberries ‘n Cream Oatmeal Smoothie

toddler friendly smoothie

Strawberries ‘n Cream Oatmeal Smoothie (and yes, that’s a green smoothie in the background…gotta have it!)

What!?!

Ok.  If I’m being completely honest, this recipe was mostly just a series of mistakes.  Mistakes that turned into a gloriously tasty smoothie (if you don’t believe me, ask SweetPea).

It started with homemade yogurt.  That didn’t turn out.  Way to soupy.  But I wasn’t going to throw it away…that would have been a waste of perfectly good milk.  Besides, when I make refrigerator oatmeal I add both yogurt and milk…so soupy yogurt is the perfect combination, right?

Well, it was the first few times I made it.  Then I finished that jar of homemade yogurt and started on another jar…which was even soupier.  How does that happen?  It was from the same batch.

Whatever.  I still made my refrigerator oatmeal like I have been.  However, when I pulled it out the next morning it was still soup.  Not a nice creamy oatmeal consistency at all.  More like liquid…with oatmeal flakes floating in it.

That’s when I had to get creative.  I threw it in the blender.  Then added a handful of strawberries.  And came up with this.  Which tastes just like strawberries ‘n cream instant oatmeal packs that I ate when I was younger.

It’s super delicious.  And healthy for you.  And my toddler loved it (and the pink smoothie mustache she got from drinking it :) )

Now, I can make this again with my soupy yogurt…but when I run out of that, this will be the recipe I follow (and it uses no soupy yogurt).

Ingredients:

1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp honey (add more or less to taste)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
handful of strawberries (I used fresh, but I think frozen will work just as well)

Directions:

The night before:
Put the first four ingredients in a mason jar.  Stir, shake, roll…anything to get everything mixed together.  Put in fridge.  Leave overnight.

The morning of:
Dump all of the mason jar contents into a blender.  Add your strawberries (sans stems).  Blend until smoothie consistency (feel free to more milk if it’s too thick).

Drink and enjoy!  And if you’re feeling particularly giving, share it with a toddler or a husband…but know this makes a small smoothie…so you might need to up the ingredients if everyone wants some!