I Can’t Believe….

I can’t believe that a year ago:

Baby Boo was…well, a baby.

And over the coarse of 12 months she started walking, talking, eating on her own, giving kisses, saying “I love you,”, dancing to Justin Beiber, falling in love with Mickey, and on top of it all being my best friend.(Even though she has been my BFF since the day she was born.)

Every day with her is truly the greatest blessing.

(Even if she still doesn’t sleep through the night…)

It’s hard to comprehend that a year ago:

My husband was STILL in graduate school.

Now, a year later, he is graduated, working, and doing his residency! I am so proud of him!

One can humanly not study as many hours as my husband would study…It was just craaaazy!

It’s unbelievable to think that a year ago:

I drank my first green drink.

Now I am addicted and need to go to a veggie rehab for rabbits.

It’s crazy to think that a year ago:

One of my new years resolutions was to become a personal trainer….

Ummm I really don’t want to do that any more.

I also had hoped to run a half marathon….

I didn’t do that either.

I want to still do that…but I have a feeling it might have to wait. ūüėČ

I’m so proud to say that over the past year:

This blog has grown beyond my dreams, but more importantly I have met so many great people! Each comment, e-mail, etc. makes my day and I truly mean that! Thank you for all your love and support!

Lastly, I hope 2012 brings:

Love, joy, health, happiness, and lots of chocolate!

Happy New Year Friends!! Be back tomorrow with some gosh darn food! (Can someone say FINALLY?!!)

Chili Cornbread Casserole

Don’t be fooled by the hubby’s big pearly white smiling teeth.

You would guess the words out of his mouth would be something like, “Oh sweety I would love to have last night’s meal reheated so I can enjoy it tonight TOO!”

Nope.

That look on my face is pretty common around dinner time.

I know what your thinking…That’s my sexy blue steal right?

Of coarse. But that’s all I have to do. One look of blue steal and I can get him to eat anything I want.

Ha! Ya flippen right!

He has a fear of leftovers…It doesn’t matter how unhealthy it is, he won’t touch it the next day.

Now, some people are the same way, like my dad for example hates leftovers.

I however could eat the same thing for dinner every day. I love to be spontaneous!

So the greatest way to enjoy leftovers, without actually eating the same exact thing the next night, is to make something different with it.

On halloween when I made Crockpot Tempeh Veggie Chili,

I had more than enough leftovers. Chili is great to freeze, and I thought about doing that, but I wanted to do something different. I then thought about $. (what’s new…)

Of coarse leftovers help you save $ right? See hubby…I will learn EvEnTuAlLy!

I really wanted to make a casserole type dish, something that I could mix and throw in the oven…not a lot of prep.

And who doesn’t LOVE a casserole?!

If you do, then I have about 587 recipes from my grandma, ranging from chicken and rice to green jello casserole…

But I promise, this casserole is far more tastier than a green jello casserole.

Even Baby Boo thinks so too!

Chili Cornbread Casserole

Ingredients:

Leftover Tempeh Veggie Chili, or any chili you want.(I used about 2 C. because that’s what I had left.)

Cornbread(recipe to follow)

1/3 C. non dairy cheddar cheese or regular cheddar cheese (I like daiya)

Cornbread: Adapted from Baby Cakes

2/3 C. non dairy milk mixed with 1 TB. apple cider vinegar, then set aside

3/4 C. whole wheat pastry flour(of if GF, use 3/4 C. Gluten free baking flour)

1/2 C. cornmeal

1/2 C. corn flour(ground cornmeal in blender)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

(if making GF, add 1 tsp. xantham gum)

1/2 C. coconut oil.

1/3 c. honey(or agave for vegan version)

1/3 c. applesauce

2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Make your cornbread first. Combine dry ingredients together, then add wet(minus the milk+vinegar mixture.) Stir until combined, then gently fold in milk mixture.(it will be chunky like buttermilk.)

2. In a greased casserole dish of preference, add your chili. For this recipe you could use more chili than cornbread, or more cornbread than chili. It really is all preference. We like ours with more cornbread, so I used about 2 C. chili and half of the cornbread mixture. I’m saving the rest of the cornbread mix for breakfast in the morning. :-)

3. Top chili with dollops of desired amount of cornbread, and then sprinkle with cheese.

4. Next fold your ingredients together slightly, just so you incorporate some of the cornbread through out the chili.

This is actually my way of doing it, but I know some people like the cornbread on top and chili on bottom. If that’s the case then go ahead and do it that way. It will work out just the same.

It will look like this when mixed:

5. Bake in a preheated oven of 325 for about 35-40 minutes, or until center is cooked.

I loved being able to slice this like a pie!

Baby Boo and I  ate ours on top of a baked sweet potato with a drizzle of honey:

And well, the hubby put his with a side of ‘NO NO!’…

I’m not even going to tell you what those are, even though your probably already know.

Some people may never learn.

Speaking of which hubby…I accidently¬†bought a dress online.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

My brother only eats 4 things.

He’s the one on the far left.

Macaroni n’ Cheese

S’mores Pop Tarts

Burgers and

Mashed Potatoes n’ Gravy.

This is no joke. Last year I made him a mashed potato panini with our thanksgiving leftovers…He still talks about it to this day.

Despite being probably one of the pickiest on the planet, I love him for his weirdness. ¬†I remember at one point he would refuse to eat anything besides mashed potatoes…And I dunno about you, but mashed potatoes at every family meal got old real fast. Not to him though. Every bite was like Christmas morning.

That’s what I am assuming anyway…It had to be! Why else would you eat it for every meal?!

I also have another brother who won’t eat his food if you touched it, or if other food was touching it. And then there is me who won’t eat meat or cheese, and prefers an abundance of spinach and hummus. Don’t forget about my hubby who prefers to eat food that is still mooing, if you catch my drift.

Oh, and our daughter who refuses to eat real foods, would much rather live off of ba-ba’s…

I bet you can guess how much my mom LoVeS to cook dinner for the whole family!

But sometimes there are ways around picky eaters. Ways that us mom’s, family chefs, etc. will never reveal…

Until now that is..

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

*I saw a similar recipe for this in my skinny bitch cookbook, but I didn’t have the cookbook with me when I made them. So I winged it! :-) And the result turned out better than I expected.*

Ingredients:(for the potatoes)

2 rutabagas

2 med/large parsnips

1 medium potato

Almond milk (or other milk of choice)

2 TB. Earth Balance vegan butter

1 head garlic

olive oil

salt, pepper

Directions:

1. First roast your garlic. Don’t know how to do that, well let me share with you how! :-)

How to Roast Garlic

First take a whole head of garlic.

Cut off the top of the garlic.

Peel off some of the extra skin around the head of the garlic. You don’t have to peel it all off, because your want some of it on to leave the cloves together.

Take a sheet of foil and place the garlic head on it. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Fold the garlic in the foil and cook in a preheated oven of 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

When it’s done it will look ¬†golden brown and smell like heaven!

I can’t say the same about your breath if you eat it…buuuutt…

2. While the garlic is roasting wash, peel, cut, and dice the rutabegas, parsnips, and potato.

These are rutabagas:

They kind of look like white beets. (Before these mashed potatoes, I didn’t know what a rutabaga was…I had to google it. Sad.)

These are parsnips.

Luckily I knew what these were. Only because I’ve made these fries. To.Die.For.

3. Add diced veggies in a pot of water and boil for about 45 minutes. Maybe longer (maybe shorter). I used a BIG (too big) pot of water, so it took longer to boil. So adjust the time to when the veggies are soft and cooked.

4. When they are cooked, drain them and put them back in the pot. Add the butter, a little bit of milk, and the whole head of garlic. The garlic will just fall out of the head simply by squeezing the bottoms and using a fork to aid them out.

5. Using a potato masher or beaters, mash the veggies together until smooth and creamy. Adding more milk will make them smoother. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (I also like to add a little paprika and nutritional yeast.) You can mash them as creamy as you would like, or as chunky as you would like.

I prefer a chunky monkey!

But what about that gravy?

Vegetable Gravy

Ingredients:

Vegetable broth

3 TB + 1 tsp. whole wheat flour

2 1/2 TB. Vegan butter

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, melt butter on medium/low heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until thick. Pour in veggie broth little by little, whisking until desired thickness is reached. I used a box of veggie stock and just kept adding more and more until I was satisfied. I used about 1/3 of a 32. oz box.

2. Pour over mashed potatoes or drink straight from pot….once cooled that is.

My brother ate it.

Baby Boo ate it.

My other brother ate it, just as long as it wasn’t touching his green beans.

My hubby ate it.

Oh, and I inhaled it…

Know one even knew that there were parsnips…rutabagas….really anything nutritious in them.

:-)

Story of my life with most food that I make for others…

Oh well! What they don’t know, really isn’t hurting them. :-)

Drab to Diva Chandelier

I hate to admit it, but I’m growing up.

Even though I’m not as old¬†as my husband, I would consider myself a mature adult. My choice of TV shows might scream others wise..And even my wardrobe. Trust me, if I could pull off a huge pink tutu like Baby Boo, I would totally¬†sport it. I just don’t think it would do wonders for my booty.

Mature people also use the word booty…often.

But I think the biggest mature part about me is the fact that my interest have changed. Before, I would have died¬†if my parents made me walk into home decor stores, like pottery barn. Because I swear to cheese, if Billy from my 6th grade class saw me shopping at a LAMO store such as the “barn,” instead of somewhere cool like Forever 21…

Now, I go specifically to the mall knowing that I am going to walk into home decor stores, and I get beyond happy when I see cute furniture and stylish pillows..

And holy watermelon, If there are cute plates…Clear the way! Of coarse I usually have to go by myself, because Hubby starts throwing tantrums.. “Babe, if my friends see me in this store, I will never¬†hear the end of it…” But heck, if I need a new bra from Victoria Secret…

And sometimes I like to pretend that I can decorate.

I like to think that someday I’ll make friends in this city I’ve lived in for the past couple months, and when I do they can come hang out at my pad.

And we can watch mature shows like Bachelor Pad and ABC Family…

Drab to Diva Chandelier 

This seriously was probably the easiest project I have ever done. It’s super simple, and you can design it any way you would like.

To start off, I bought a cheap-o chandelier from a thrift store for $10.

It was kind of bent, and missing a lightbulb, but It worked perfectly!

First I sprayed it lightly with a primer, and then finished it off with white spray paint.

I didn’t fully spray the chandelier, because like the rest of Baby Boo’s room, (dresser and table), I liked the unfinished/vintage look.

If that’s what you call it..maybe you call it crap, I dunno… :)

Then I hung little crystals that my mother-in-law had bought from Tai Pan..

You can still see some of the gold, but I promise..that was the look I was going for.. haha

This chandelier is for Baby Boo’s room.

I promise someday I’ll reveal all of Baby Boo’s room, not just in little pieces.

I just have to finish the room first…and do laundry..and make dinner…

And shop at Pottery Barn.

See you tomorrow friends!! :)

True Happiness

It’s thursday afternoon, and I’m sitting here wondering where in the H-E- double hocky stick this darn week went.

I had high hopes of accomplishing many things on my to do list.

I had plans to do something fun everyday with Baby Boo, that way I wouldn’t feel so bad keeping her cooped up in the house all day.

And I’m pretty sure I planned on shaving my legs.

None of those things happened, and now my legs itch.

¬†I’ve been rackin’ my brain all day trying to think of something for dinner, making sure the house is somewhat clean for the hubs, and reminding Baby Boo how sorry I am that we haven’t done AnYtHiNg close to exciting today.

But then this thought came across my mind…

I don’t always have to make the most extravagant dinners.

My floors don’t always have to be sparkly.

And my legs…(ok, I ain’t gonna say it, but you get where I’m going.)

What matters, is that I take the time to spend time with my beautiful daughter and studly hubby :)

Which is why at this very moment we are headed to the beach to stay overnight.

Spontaneous…Crazy…Fun…

Take time to spend with the ones you love. Don’t worry about the little things.

As long as you and your family are healthy and happy…

That’s all that matters :)

Have a great weekend everybody!

Tips, Tricks, Life, and A Kids Table Re-Do

It’s not unusual that I don’t know what day it is.

And it’s not abnormal that I often type in “today’s date” in the google search bar on a daily basis.

Today is thursday by the way.

It just seems like everyday is passing me by, and more and more projects, responsibilities, and darn dirty kitchen floors just keep getting pushed farther and farther back.

But these past couple weeks have been full of sillyness, blessings, tons of food, projects, and laughter..

And I decided to share with you some of the random¬†things going on in ThE DiVa DiSh household…

1. Baby Boo turned ONE!

Pink, fluffy, frilly, sugary,presenty, family, friendsies, foodsies, smilies, and now Mama’s Poor-y!

2. Hubby Graduated from Grad School with his Dr. in Physical Therapy

You wouldn’t believe the amount of work he put into the past 3 years of school. I am so proud of him!

He now sleeps with his diploma, makes everyone call him Dr., and I’m pretty sure it’s been two weeks since he has taken off his graduation cap and his hair is starting to smell.

Also, Baby Boo thought the whole ceremony was for her. With each applause she glanced around the room smiling and clapping at everyone…

I may have done the same..

3. We have horny fruit flies multiplying in our house.

Whether I have bananas on the counter, or a bag of avocados, all the sudden those darn little flies get all hot n’ bothered and start hookin’ up.

They are like rabbits.

But there is a trick! All you do is take a glass full of balsamic vinegar/apple cider vinegar etc.. and add about a TB of water, and a tsp. of dish soap and let it sit on the counter.

In a matter of minutes, literally, they come swarming over to the glass.

They crawl in.

Sniff the water..

And drown.

And apparently we have got a whole country living in our house, because we have caught HUNDREDS of them!

A little side note, if you ever want to keep you hubs busy for hours..

4. We put fake grass on our patio.

I’m not really sure if it’s white trash, or just plain genius, but since we don’t have a backyard and our patio looked like someone had done dirty things all over it…

It’s been nice to let Baby Boo be outside and play with her toys, without me worrying about her stepping on bugs, hard nasty floor, or dirt.

5.We have been teaching Baby Boo New things

Since Baby Boo is like a sponge with everything that is going on around her, hubs and I are trying our best to teach her little things here and there.

And if we aren’t teaching her, she is watching everything we do.

Which is why she prefers to feed herself, brush her hair and teeth, oh and try and change her diaper as well. That one has been fun!

Her main thing is being independent at meal time.

If we even touch her food to bring it to her mouth…Well, arms will be flailing, food will be flinging, and screams will be heard across Europe.

Do.Not.Mess.With.Boo.

Among other things, I have been working hard at trying to teach Baby Boo how to smile and say Cheese!

She’s a natural, wouldn’t you agree?

6.We Painted Baby Boo’s Room Pink..

That was a nightmare…That’s all you need to know.

7. I’ve been obsessed lately with thrift stores and garage sales.

You can thank 1st birthday for that one :)

I have found some pretty cool stuff.. I think?

Those vanilla bottles are actually from my grandpa’s house.

Neato huh?!?

I actually bought the above all separately, but together that little plant cost about 1.50…all thanks to Goodwill!

And it works great as a photography prop in backgrounds!

I dunno if you remember THESE cookies:

The flower pot worked GREAT for the background!

8. Someone’s trash in another’s treasure

My mother in law bought a kids desk at a garage sale for 10 dollars. It took me a while to get around to it, but I finally fixed it up for Baby Boo’s room!

If you remember the dresser I did for Baby Boo, I followed the exact directions for the table and chairs, only I painted the top of the table the same pink I used for Baby Boo’s walls.

Here is what the top of the table looked like before:

Pretty Bad huh?

And I’m not just talking about my feet..

Here is the chair before all the paint:

And here are the after pictures:

Top of the table.

There are those flowers again :)

I also bought this window at an antique store when I was in Utah! I have always wanted one! :)

The whole Table and Chair’s project ended up costing me about 15 dollars! Not bad :)

I just can’t wait to sit and have Tea Parties with her!

But for now, that will have to wait.

We are going to keep working on the whole Smiling thing :)

Have a great weekend everybody!

Keep on Smiling! :)

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to get a chance to win Mama Peas – Peas and Thank You Cookbook! Deadline ends Monday August 22nd! :)

Movin’ On Up!

So, I have been kind of M.I.A. recently, and I feel bad.

There are lots of blogs I love to visit, that I just haven’t had the time to do so.

I also have been slacking on the recipe department.

There are NO excuses..

Except maybe one… :)

Were moving!

That’s just kitchen stuff…

but not even half of the kitchen stuff.

I haven’t mentioned this before, but the hubby and I have been living with my in-laws due to internships and the need to save a few $$ to support my spending habits on said kitchen supplies.

Of coarse it has been nice to have the support and love from family, but we have decided it was time to find our own place to call home. A place to establish our new little family. And, give my in-laws their kitchen back, because I seriously took over.

Can one have too many bags of seeds and nuts??

NO! DUH! I definitely had to do some cleaning out. I decided that since I had 57 somewhat empty jars of peanut butter, I should do something with them. And if your wondering why I keep that many jars of peanut butter?..

In case of an emergency.

And then there is silly willy Baby Boo.

I wish I could say she was sleeping most of the time, allowing me to get stuff done…

But as I have been packing up boxes, Baby Boo has been so kindly helping me unpack.

“Here Mama, let me help you.”

Luckily, I found the perfect toy to keep her preoccupied!

What? You don’t let your kids play with toilet bowl cleaners…??

I promise it’s not used…You know what…

As long as she’s quiet! :)

And as for the recipes, I wish I could post what I have been eating, but it’s been a lot of random snacks I found in the back of the cupboard, and tons of green drinks. Fast & Easy..

I can survive on green drinks.

So, even though it may take us 48 days to pack everything up, and 129 trips to get everything to our new house, we are excited to start our life as a family…

*Side Note* Ever wonder where Baby Boo get’s her big eyes from??

Dada…?

Here is to new starts & GOOFY moments!

 

-Due to my busy schedule this past couple of days, I have a few post that I have planned to be put up, one of them being a blog roll. I wanted to compile a blog roll of all the blogs I love to read and follow. If you have a blog you would like me to check out, let me know and I can add it to the roll. [Of coarse it would be nice if you do the same ;)]

-Also, I am looking for some blogs that would want to do a guest post, and visa versa. If your interested, please send me an email and we can figure it out. email me at [email protected]