Healthy Caramel Popcorn

Due to the fact that Monday night’s around our house are basically a national holiday, being Bachelor night and all…How about the perfect trash TV treat to go with it, eh? Eh?

Healthy Caramel Popcorn via The Diva Dish

I know it’s ridiculous to how much I look forward to a scripted once in a lifetime romantic television, and I probably should end my night reading a book that will makes my brains all smarts n’ stuff…But, like have you ever seen the Bachelor?! How could you not love it?! Everyone is emotional, drunk, bat shiz crazy, and after a day of messy kitchen’s and back talking toddlers, it’s just what I need.

Is that sad?

No, no It’s not. Because today my 5 year old told me I was ruining her life because her pony tail was crooked.

BRING ON THE CRAZY!

Healthy Caramel Corn via The Diva Dish

The best way to watch the Bachelor in my opinion is with a group of girls. Everyone’s dressed in yoga pants bringing forth delicious goodies, and we all pile together on a couch to judge other crazy women. I’ve tried watching it at home with my husband, but he just mocks me. Especially during the scenes where the girls are in bathing suits…OH he just can’t leave the room because he HAS to tell me how ridiculous this show is!

He doesn’t get it.

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and people are working on themselves and really finding out who they are! Pure gold.

And trust me, I’m pretty sure we would all find out who we really are as we traveled the world with our Boyfriend and his 16 other girlfriends. LIKE…Oh crap. I’m awesome.

Healthy Caramel Corn via The Diva Dish

Healthy Caramel Popcorn
 
Ingredients
  • ½ c. popcorn kernals
  • 2 TB. coconut oil
  • ⅓ c. coconut sugar
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Get a large baking sheet out and set aside. This will be used to pour the popcorn on once done.
  2. Add coconut oil, coconut sugar, and popcorn kernels to a stove top popper. Turn the heat on medium/low and stir the popcorn mixture together continuously. (This allows the coconut sugar not to burn.)
  3. As the popcorn begins to pop, continue to stir the mixture slowly until the popcorn begins to decrease to a slow pop.(If you open the lid, the popcorn will have made it's way to the top.)
  4. Pour the popcorn on the baking sheet, and spread it out. Let it cool, then enjoy!
  5. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

This popcorn was amazing! The second It was ready to eat, I couldn’t stop. I love the fact that it’s made with a natural sugar, and there is a little bit of crunch and caramelization on there. I had this on the counter in a jar while family was in town and people could not get enough of it!

Now…Before we get to this weeks dinner menu and workout schedule, I thought I would leave with this…

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Basically how we are when it’s time to eat, right?

weekly dinner

Monday: French Bread Pizza, using whole wheat french bread, veggies + fruit

Tuesday: Cilantro Lime Chicken Burgers w/ Roasted Corn, and fruit

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry w/ Brown Rice or Quinoa, Naan Bread (Recipe to come!)

(Use THIS recipe as a substitute!)

Thursday: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes, and scrambled eggs +spinach

Friday: Turkey Meatballs (sans tomato sauce), Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Carrots

Saturday: Night off!

workout

Monday: Run (I started a couch to 10k app!), 10 minute stretch

Tuesday: Walking kids to school, HIITilates Booty Workout, via Blogilates. Quick Leg & Butt Sculptor, via Blogilates, stretch

Wednesday: Run (Couch to 10k app.) 10 minute stretch

Thursday: Walking kids to school. Instense Ab Burn, Via Blogilates. Bikini Arms, via Tone It Up!

Friday: Bikini Yoga Flow, via Tone It Up

Saturday: Run, (Couch to 10k app), 10 minute stretch

Sunday: Rest

 

Enjoy your week! May it be the most romantic and exciting week of your life!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Over + Weekly Menu and Workout Schedule

Ok my friends!

I’ve been planning this post FOR A LONG TIME.

But I have been procrastinating because of FEAR. It’s so scary to put yourself out there, expose your faults, share your passions, and express your feelings. But I’ve had this little voice in my head that has told me not to be afraid, and that’s why this post exist today.

I’ve explained a lot in this crazy video that follows, but here is a quick summary. I have not been the best healthy living/lifestyle gal for a while… I just haven’t. I think when we experience hard times/good times, we grow and we learn from these experiences. Having babies, going through personal struggles, being a mama, and everything in between hasn’t always been easy, but I have loved every.single.part. My life, my kids, and my husband are my greatest blessings. But a long the way, especially having 3 kids under 5, I have had to do some ‘re-learning’ so to speak. Figuring out how to live healthy when things are different or challenging.

So watch the video to get more of the details! I feel so happy to share this with you, and I hope this brings us closer and lets you know that we all struggle, and we all aren’t perfect! And we can come back!

So, what do you think!

Do over

In order to be held accountable, and to show you what I’ll be doing to get back on track, I’ve decided that on Monday’s I’ll include my weekly workout schedule and our family’s weekly dinner plan. Planning is key, and when it’s all written out for you, I know it can be a lot easier to succeed. It may not be a perfect workout week, or the best menu, but it’s the reality of what I’m doing. I’m not going to sugar coat it and tell you I’m doing 1 thing, when I’m really not. :) Not cool guys. Not cool.

So let’s do this together!

weekly workout.

Monday: Cardio

-5/10 minute warm up

-30 minutes elliptical

-5 minute cool down

Tuesday: Tone It Up Legs for Days Workout (Choose 2 workouts)

Busy Babe Abs

Wednesday: Cardio

-5/10 minute warm up

-20 minute jog

-5/10 minute cool down

Thursday: Blogilates 6 minute arms

Blogilates 6 minute abs

Friday: Rest Day (But do moms really rest?)

Saturday: Family Walk

weekly menu

Monday: Pizza Night with Salad & Fruit

Tuesday: Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Chili with Cornbread

Thursday: Cheese Enchiladas w/ Homemade Sauce, Rice, Roasted Corn

Friday: Breakfast for Dinner! (Mama lifesaver!)

Saturday: Night off cooking!

 

Can’t wait to start this week! Thanks for all of your support!!

 

White Bean and Chicken Soup

I know that I only have a few sentences to grab your attention, because let’s be honest. Reading blogs is all about visual. Pictures. Pictures. And Pictures.

So here goes nothing:

I had a dream that Christian Bale and I were eating soup on the set of Little Women, wearing old fashioned gowns. Not him. Me. I also carried a cute white umbrella over my should while he was wearing his batman suit.

Talk about fantasies right?

Long story short, we were eating this soup.

White Bean and Chicken Soup

Actually no. None of that happened. But I did watch Little Women this weekend and was reminded why I love find interest in Christian. (First name basis relationship, ya feel me.) I’m also married and love my husband. (Side note.) I beg him every day to grow his hair out longer and talk with a deep batman like voice and rent THE suit. He won’t do it.

Why? I don’t know. It’s football season, so he doesn’t really know what’s happening around him. Unless I show him a little ‘side nursing boob’, then pretty much I can get him to do anything I want.

Ahhh, marriage.

White Bean and Chicken Soup

So about this soup. It’s a chilly 70 degrees here in the desert, so of course our winter parkas have made their way back into our lives. I would say this is probably my favorite soup to date, mostly because it has a lot of my favorite, as well as my families favorite ingredients in it.

I guess you could say each ingredient holds a special place in each members heart, therefore creating the perfect family.

Now you really need to try it huh?

You see the white beans are for me, the chicken and the corn are my girls, and the green chilies and spices are my husband.

White Bean and Chicken Soup

I made Ambitious Kitchens Pumpkin Honey Cornbread Muffins to go along side, with a little honey butter, and BAM.

Perfect Sunday dinner.

All that’s missing was Christian…

White Bean and Chicken Soup

5.0 from 1 reviews
White Bean and Chicken Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. EVOO
  • ½ onion
  • 2 TB. chopped garlic
  • 3 TB. butter
  • 3 TB. flour
  • 1 c. milk mixed with 4 c. chicken broth
  • 2 cans cannelini beans, drain and rinse
  • 1 can navy beans, drain and rinse
  • 2 c. shredded chicken
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1 c. frozen corn
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions are cook on medium heat, while staring frequently. After a few minutes add the garlic.
  2. Cook until the onions are translucent, and then add the butter and melt it while continually mixing with a whisk.
  3. Next whisk in the flour. Whisk for about 1 minute, then mix in the milk and chicken broth.
  4. Then add in the chicken, chilies, corn, and seasonings.
  5. Let the soup cook for about 10-15 minutes on medium low heat.
  6. Eat immediately and enjoy!
  7. (Optional: You can whisk in a little greek yogurt to each serving to add creaminess. Make sure the soup isn't super hot, or else the yogurt will separate.You might have to adjust the seasonings.)

 

White Bean and Chicken Soup

Now, aren’t you glad you read that story? :)

Chopped Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

Salads have become my mommy life saver recently.

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This is not a fabricated sentence at all, so believe me when I say this…

My baby slept 45 minutes total during the day yesterday. That’s right. 45 minutes. Not a solid 45 either, I just added all the minutes she slept and it was 45.

I had a little heart to heart with myself and realized that maybe it’s not a coincidence that all three of my children are horrible sleepers. I think I sleep trained them that way.

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That being said, when it comes to meals for myself, I need them to be quick. Obviously a s’mores pop tart would do the trick, but seeing that I’m trying to kick my butt back into shape I’ve been stuffing my face with salad beasts!

I love salads! Even the simple ones like lettuce and tomato :). But since I’m nursing and I’m hungry 90% of my life, I need it to be filling.

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I’ll usually prepare a large salad/salad ingredients once or twice a week and have it last me a few days for ‘quick mama lunches.’ Then I’ll sometimes use leftover proteins from dinner to add on top, and if I’m lucky and have a ripe avocado I will throw that on too!

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But my favorite part of a salad is always the dressing. Always. A good salad dressing can make or break that salad beast, and I wish I was the kind of girl that was good with a little lemon juice and EVOO…

Nope.

Just like I wish I was good with just eating a strawberry and calling it dessert. I.Just.Can’t.

Unless it’s covered in chocolate. That’s a different story.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Chopped Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing
 
Ingredients
  • (For the Salad)
  • ⅓ green cabbage, thinly sliced, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ purple cabbage, thinly sliced, roughly chopped
  • (opt.) ⅓ ice berg lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin slices
  • 1 large carrot, sliced into thin pieces and roughly chopped
  • ½ cucumber, skin removed, diced
  • ½ c. baby tomatoes, I used yellow, cut in halves
  • ⅓ c. diced peanuts
  • 2-3 small avocados, diced
  • (opt.) chicken, grilled or shredded
  • (opt.) crispy wontons or Chinese noodles
  • (For the Peanut Dressing)
  • ½ c. peanut butter
  • 3 TB. soy sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 TB. coconut or brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • ½ c. water**
  • **If you refrigerate the dressing for a few hours it will become thicker as it sits. You may need to thin in out with a little water before adding to the salad.
Instructions
  1. Assemble the salad on a platter with all of the ingredients. Leave out the chicken and avocado for those that don't want it. (If you are planning to use this salad over the coarse of a few days, don't use the avocado until you are ready to eat it, that way it doesn't brown.)
  2. In a small blender or food processor, add the salad dressing ingredients and blend until creamy.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss,before serving. OR, if saving the salad for the next few days, use salad dressing on your individual salad and keep dressing covered in the fridge.
  4. Enjoy!

 

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Now…

Someone tell me how to properly sleep train, otherwise, this mama just might start eating s’mores pop tarts for dinner.

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera

I ordered a bathing suit online last week, so…

Lightened up Primavera Pasta it is!

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera, The Diva Dish

If you’ve never had pasta primavera, it’s basically a pasta dish with cooked, yet crisp, veggies and a nice creamy sauce. Cream as in heavy cream.

I love heavy cream.

My grandmother always had heavy cream in her fridge for her tea, and one time I poured myself a glass thinking it was milk. I remember drinking it thinking it was the best tasting milk I had ever had in my ENTIRE life.

I then proceeded to pour myself another.

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera, The Diva Dish

Eventually someone told me what I was really doing, but unfortunately it didn’t stop me. I snuck a glass every time I was at her house. And after that I licked my finger and dipped it in her sugar jar.

Oh my gosh, no wonder…nevermind.

 

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera, The Diva Dish

This recipe makes a huge amount of pasta, and would be perfect for your weeknight family dinner. (It only takes about 30 minutes total to make!) You could add a nice herbed lemony protein to it and it’s a complete meal! OR, you could do what I did and make it on a sunday so you have a ‘mommy’ lunch ready for you everyday! Because busy mamas don’t always have time for lunch, am I right?

And when that happens, that’s when we start drinking heavy cream and dipping our fingers in the sugar jar. Take my word. Make this pasta, and save your digestive system.

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera, The Diva Dish

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
This dish takes only 30 minutes to make!
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. coconut oil or EVOO
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 head of broccoli, stems removed
  • 1 red bell pepper,cut into strips
  • 1 TB. coconut oil or EVOO
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, bottoms chopped off
  • 1 box bowtie pasta
  • ¾ c. chicken broth or veggie broth
  • 2 TB. EVOO or butter
  • 1½ c. non dairy, unsweetened, regular milk (Like cashew, coconut, soy)
  • ½ c. chopped fresh basil
  • ½ c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 bag frozen peas, 12 oz
  • Salt, Pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced and zested
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove and cook your pasta until al dente. Do not over cook.
  2. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan add your oil and cook your onion and garlic for a few minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add your carrot and broccoli and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove ingredients from the sauce pan and add to a plate and set aside.
  4. Next add the peppers and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove and add to the plate and set aside.
  5. Next add the additional oil and add the zucchini and squash. Cook for 1 minute, then remove and set on the plate.
  6. Next add your asparagus, toss, and cover. Steam for a few minutes until it has softened a little. Remove and add it to the plate.
  7. Drain your al dente pasta.
  8. Next add your broth and butter. Using a whisk, scrape the bottom of the pan and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Then add in your milk and fresh basil and cheese. Let it cook for about a minute, then add the frozen peas, pasta and cooked veggies. Toss and season generously with salt and pepper. Then add the lemon juice and zest. Toss and adjust seasonings and extra cheese if desired.

 

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera, The Diva Dish

Thank goodness my grandma doesn’t read my blog, otherwise I don’t think she would be too happy…

Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Meat Balls

*Need a quick weeknight dinner? Meatballs are one of our family favorites and it’s super fast to whip together! Add the meatballs to your favorite pasta and you are done! Plus, these meatballs have a hint of veggies in them!*

I find myself making meatballs almost weekly for my little family because it’s fast and one of the dinners that my kids eat without hesitation.

I think it’s their Italian blood that doesn’t have a problem eating meatballs and pasta. It’s also that same Italian blood that makes our family look like a performing broadway show with all the singing, yelling, animated gesturing and dramatic exits…

Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Meatballs via The Diva Dish

Dramatic as in when you are picking up your 2 year old from preschool and she doesn’t want to leave. So then you have to drag her to the car as she screams, flailing every body part only for the unlock button to stop working. Don’t worry, the kids and their parents stopped in their tracks and watched every single moment.

Why do moments like that feel like slow motion?

Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Meatballs via The Diva Dish

Back to meatballs. Italian hot headed or not, your family will thank you for these meatballs. And, this recipe is pretty versatile! This recipe originally came from THIS meatball recipe, and I’ve adapted it so many times and tried new flavors! Add your favorite pasta, or simply use the rest of your pest0 and sun dried tomatoes to your pasta (kind of a version of THIS recipe), and you have a complete meal!

Side Note: I can’t guarantee that the side effects from these meatballs won’t be a little dramatic…

Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Meatballs via The Diva Dish

Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Meatballs
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ pound ground turkey
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ⅓ c. parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • ⅓ c. bread crumbs
  • 1 large carrot, finely grated, plus extra for topping
  • 4 TB. pesto
  • ⅓ c. chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 grated garlic clove
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, add all ingredients together and gently fold and incorporate until combined. Do not over mix.
  3. Using a large casserole dish, 9 X13, coat the bottom of the dish with 2 TB. olive oil.
  4. Using a cookie scoop, shape meat into 1 inch size meatballs and arrange in the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with more parmesan cheese, lightly coated.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through. Cover with foil and allow them to sit for a few minutes before serving.

 

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Preschool again today…Wish me luck!

Spring Citrus Kale Salad

The other day as I was making a kale salad, my cousin looked at me and said, “Isn’t it funny how now you are eating that, but back then it was a decoration on your steak plate!”

Citrus Spring Kale Salad

Years ago, the thought of eating kale would have been a laughing matter to me. If kale was in fact that veggie on the plate, I gladly scooted it over and face planted right into some creamy mashed potatoes.

(I think I might still do that?)

Luckily for me, my family have taken that spot and forcefully push their veggies to the side along with an exaggerated, “OMG THAT LOOKS LIKE POOP!” Husband, please don’t say poop at the dinner table…

That’s right, you heard me. My family doesn’t love veggies. I know you probably assumed the first thing my kids ask for in the morning is a carrot, but no my friends. Wrong.

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

They ask for Lucky Charms…Every day. And every day I say No. Then they cry, tell me I’m a mean mom and how we aren’t best friends. My husband is so dramatic.

ALL before 7 a.m.

So imagine my reaction when I placed this kale salad on their dinner plate the other night and everyone started gobbling it up. Excited? Shocked? Happy?

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

Is there a feeling that describes Booya? I could picture it so clearly…

Kale salads being requested every night. Kids screaming for veggies and hummus as a snack. Fighting for the last scoop of vegetables at dinner…

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

None of that happened and they still asked for marshmallows for breakfast this morning…

But they ate a kale salad for dinner last night, so I guess you could call that a win in my eyes.

Boo-ya.

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

Spring Citrus Salad
 
Family Friendly
Ingredients
  • 1 head curly kale
  • 1 c. strawberries
  • 1 c. clementines cut in half
  • 2-3 ounces of goat cheese
  • 3 TB. slivered almonds
  • Dressing:
  • Zest of 1 large orange (1/4 c.)
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 1 TB. honey
  • 1 garlic clove smashed or grated
  • 1 TB. greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. using a cutting board, remove the leaves from the stems of the kale.
  2. Roll the leaves up and slice them. Place them in a bowl.
  3. Make the dressing by whisking everything together in a small bowl. Pour it over the kale salad and toss to coat.
  4. Next add strawberries, oranges, and almonds. Toss to coat.
  5. Top with Goat cheese.
  6. Allow to sit for a few minutes for the dressing to marinade.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Salad adapted from HERE

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish 

I think the reason why this Kale salad was so family friendly were for the following reasons:

I used fruit in the salad, which is one of their favorite foods. The bright strawberries and clementines automatically drew them in.

The salad was frilly like a tutu. This really drew my husband in ;). Before I served it, I told my girls that the salad was frilly like a tutu and it got them excited. I know it sounds crazy, but when you have a 2 and 4 year old daughter, you will understand.

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

I’m hoping I can pull another fast one on them again for dinner this week, but we shall see. I think my husband is on to something.

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup (Served in Pumpkins!)

Ever since the start of “Fall”, I’ve been craving a nice warm pumpkin soup served in a cute lil’ pumpkin!

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

But I wanted to spice it up a little different since my husband dreads anything pumpkin. ( I know…)

So I added some curry season, creamy coconut milk, and a little sweetness from a sweet potato. He actually really like it! Until he added one too many dashes of Franks Hot sauce and RUINED it.

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

He seems to think that Franks Hot sauce goes on EVERYTHING. I mean, it’s not like they market the product saying  it goes on EV.RY.THANG.

 

Or do they?

Don’t answer.

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

He also doesn’t like dessert, Real Housewives, or the color turquoise. (Which, I want to paint my whole house and every piece of furniture.) WHAT’S WRONG WITH HIM?! Not that much really…He’s adorable. But really? Who hates turquoise?

Now…About that Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup…

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ c. pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
  • 1 c. sweet potato puree
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • 4 TB. madras curry powder, or another curry powder seasoning
  • grated nutmeg, or a sprinkle of ground nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Topping:
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Drizzle of coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Add the puree, milk, broth, and curry powder in a pot over the stop. Turn the heat on to medium.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together until creamy. Let the soup come to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Add in your nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve hot in bowls, or hollowed pumpkins, and top with roasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of coconut milk.

 

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

My dream is to one day hold a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner at my house where I serve this soup in mini pumpkins and everyone says “Ooooh” and “Aaahhh”…

Then drizzle it with a yummy coconut milk and some crunchy roasted pumpkin seeds! It’s the perfect crouton for this soup!

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

I promise my next recipe won’t be pumpkin based…I think? Otherwise my husband might, well…Put Franks Hot Sauce on Pumpkin Pie.

Not ok…

Simple Top Ramen

Today I held a (rather large) clump of thin dirty blond hair in my hand.

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One child screaming with her hands on her head, and the other child grinning from ear to ear, doing some sort of twirl victory dance.

As I bent down to scold said dancing child, her little two year old mouth looked at me and said, “Yeave me ayone!”

What?!

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Then my 4 year old removed her hands from her poor scalp that was probably burning, and screamed, “MY SECOND NAME IS ELSA, QUEEN OF THE QUEEN!”…Followed by a twirl of her gown and loud stomps down the hallway.

“YEAVE ME AYONE.”

“NO! MY NAME IS ELSA”

“GO AYAY!”

“YOU CAN’T TELL ELSA WHAT TO DO!”

“AYAYALDLF LSKDJFY!!!!”

Push, Shove, Twirl, Stomp, and Victory Dance…In that order.

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I couldn’t figure out whether to talk to Elsa or Gia, and quite frankly I was worried the two year old will pull my hair. So I did what any desperate mom would do…

I drank.

Ice water. It calms me guys. Then I said a prayer.

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For sanity, for comfort, and for strength.

And then in that moment, both my girls came and sat on my lap and as clear as day I heard, “They love you so much.”

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Did they stop fighting after that? No. I swear my oldest was running around saying “Son of a Fish!”

Did I feel like a complete failure? No. Despite the chaos and drama, I felt loved,  I knew they felt loved and loved each other as well.

I also knew that someone had taught my daughter to say, “Son of a fish!”…

Next step:

Comfort Food.

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Top Ramen
 
I will be completely honest and say as a child I LOVED opening a package of top ramen, sprinkling the 'seasoning' packet on top of the dried pasta, and eating as is. I can still taste it! This is a spin off of that ever so popular childhood favorite. This is a vegetarian version, but you can definitely add in your favorite ingredients. Switch up the broths, sautee some diced veggies with the onions, etc.
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. sesame oil, or olive oil
  • ¼ c. minced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • (Opt: Minced carrots)
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 oz. Chinese Noodles
  • 4 tsp. ground celery seed
  • 4-5 TB. fresh chopped chives
  • salt/pepper
  • optional: red pepper flakes, soy sauce, hot sauce, etc.)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, add oil and heat up. Then add minced onion, garlic, and ginger. (If you add other raw veggies add in here as well.)
  2. Continually toss and cook for 3-5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Next add in broth and water.
  4. Stir and add in chinese noodles.
  5. Sprinkle in spices and let cook for a few minutes until the noodles are soft.
  6. Add in your additional seasonings and toppings. Serve hot!

 

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I enjoyed this comfort food all by myself…Imagine that. One child asleep, and the other staring/glaring at me from time out.

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You can thank that son of a fish.

Blackened Halibut

I have this intense love hate relationship with fish.

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The thought of eating it makes me sick, the smell of it makes me want to (ya know), and the look of it…BAHLSDFKJALDFHKLJDF!!!

But then I went to this sea food restaurant in Newport Beach and had the best tasting halibut of my life, and I’ve dreamt about it once a week since then.

IT’S SO CONFUSING!

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A problem I’ve been faced with a lot since living in Las Vegas is getting ‘fresher’ food, especially meats and fish. We aren’t that far away from the ocean, but it’s just not the same since living in San Diego. I notice the fish smell a lot worse and the fish are colored to look a certain way…(Which makes it sound even less appealing.)

I used to buy salmon because it was the one I was most familiar with, but I don’t think I will ever go back. Many of you have suggested I try halibut, and boy I wish I would have listened sooner! It basically taste like chicken…I mean seriously, it’s the REAL chicken of the sea.

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I’ve also noticed that I prefer my fish blackened, which means it has a little crisp and char on the outside. Also, fish taste amazing with a lot of butter. Buuuutttaaaa. But I recently found out it also taste good with coconut oil too! Which ever you prefer to use, both work great!

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This version can be made on a grill, or if you are like me and don’t own one, then a cast iron skillet works great too! (Even a regular pan is fine!)

And if the idea of eating fish sounds disgusting to your kids, tell them it’s chicken. #greatparenting

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Blackened halibut
 
Ingredients
  • fresh halibut
  • butter or coconut oil
  • fresh garlic
  • old bay seasoning
  • lemon
Instructions
  1. Heat your cast iron skillet on the stove on medium heat. (This allows the pan to get hot!)
  2. For each halibut, melt 2 TB. of oil (or butter) and ½ tsp. chopped garlic clove.
  3. Dip halibut into the melted butter, and coat completely.
  4. Remove the halibut and place on a plate. Sprinkle each side generously with Old Bay seasoning.
  5. Melt 1 tsp. of butter or oil in the pan. Add the halibut, which should make the pan smoke.
  6. Cook halibut for a few minutes on each side until it's cooked all the way though.
  7. Finish off with fresh lemon juice.
  8. Enjoy!

 

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I’d love to know your favorite ways to eat or prepare fish, and which fish is your favorite! I wouldn’t say I’m 100% sold on the idea of loving fish…But, a little convincing never hurt anyone right?!