Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tortellini with Roasted Asparagus and Onion

More Real Food: simple and fast but really good. It's crazy how such a simple thing like roasting the veggies make them so sweet and tasty.

The Recipe (not the most precise but that's how I do it):

  • 1 Package Tortellini (I used cheese)
  • 1 bundle asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large white onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • a few tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • a few tablespoons butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

The Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Toss veggies in oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes or until veggies starting to brown on top.
  3. Meanwhile, cook tortellini according to directions
  4. Mix butter, salt and pepper with drained tortellini. Toss in veggies.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

BLT Pasta

 More real food. And I know it looks simple but this recipe is real good.

The Recipe:
  • 1/2 lb pasta (I used bow tie)
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 10-20 grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup creamy salad dressing (like Caesar or ranch)
  • salt and pepper

The Method
  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. Cook bacon. My favorite method is baking bacon (place bacon on foil lined baking sheet, place in oven, turn oven on to 425, check after 20 minutes, bake until crispy)
  3. Mix vinegar, mayo and dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Layer pasta, about 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups arugula and halved tomatoes. Drizzle dressing on top.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Real Food: Quinoa Crusted Pork

Since becoming a mom, the time I have each day seems much more precious. I work part-time, watch my sister's daughter while she works part-time and oh yeah, one more thing...taking care of a baby is a time-suck!

Our usual evening routine on my working days is: get home around 6:45, feed Lucia, get Lucia ready for bed, put her to bed, make dinner for us. As you can see, dinner comes last (and late). I grew up eating dinner later so I really don't mind that (and Matt has taken a liking to it) but I am always looking for recipes that don't take much time or effort.  I love making dinner and I think it's an important part of our family life but because it comes at the end of my busy day, I have had to sacrifice some of my more time consuming recipes to the all powerful parenting gods. Real food please!

In general, I am a person that needs a plan. Matt likes to tease me for my inability to answer open questions. What's your favorite movie? My mind goes blank. Not only can I not think of my favorite movie, but I cannot think of a single movie or only the dumbest ones. The same thing happens when I go to the grocery store without a plan or list. I just go blank. No ideas, or just bad ones. I need ideas! And what better ideas than my own? The other day I hunkered down and wrote down like one million 'real food' ideas and I want to keep those ideas alive. I am going to attempt to jot down the ones that work (electronically, in the form of this blog) so that I can check back for ideas when I draw a blank.

I am not professing that these recipes are the fanciest but ones that work for our family in this phase we find ourselves in. The criteria for my 'real food': real good, real ingredients, real quick and real-istic.

So I'll start with the quinoa-crusted pork I made the other night...

The Recipe:
  • 3-4 boneless pork loins
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • a few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • a few dashes soy sauce
  • a few dashes siracha chile sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil 

The Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season both sides of pork with salt and pepper. Make marinade: mix together barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, soy sauce and chile sauce. Cover pork in mixture and marinade in the fridge for 30 minutes (flipping pork half-way through).
  3. In the meantime, mix quinoa and breadcrumbs together. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Let pork come to room temp. for about 10 minutes.
  5. Heat some olive oil in a shallow, oven-proof saute pan.
  6. Shake the excess marinade off each piece of pork, cover all sides in quinoa mixture. Sear on med-high until browned, about 4 minutes. Sear other side for a few minutes.
  7. Finish cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until meat registers at 150 degrees.

(The marinade could be varied in many ways. I just made this one up from the stuff we had around. You could also add shredded Parmesan to the quinoa mixture. I served this with simple roasted potatoes and salad.)

It's not long now til we are in the next phase when Lucia will be eating dinner with us too and trying all the foods that we love!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lucia Lately (8 months)

Lucia is 8 months old now and she just gets more and more fun as she grows. In an effort to record all of her stages of development, I'm going to try to summarize her current stage. She's got the crawling thing down now and she currently loves crawling around, crawling under things, trying to go over things (including a step or two) and standing herself up onto just about anything. She's been flirting with the idea of letting go while standing a time or two but she's not quite up for that yet. She is a busy little girl, always on the move. I can barely get her to sit with me for longer than a few minutes because she always sees something interesting and then once I set her down, she's off! This stage brings some new challenges but I enjoy it. She follows us around our apartment like a little puppy now that she can get herself where she wants to go. And it's fun to see where she chooses to take herself; usually she just wants to be in the action, where the people are. She loves to play with her cousins and it is so fun to watch her get excited to see them and play with them. She seems to love people in general, making eye contact with everyone, smiling and squealing at strangers that walk by her, and even waving a little bit now. But she is also starting to show signs of clingy-ness to mama around strangers.

Lucia is a great sleeper and sleeps almost 12 hours at night and takes two solid naps during the day. Man oh man, do we love getting good sleep again! Thank you, Lucia! We are also enjoying this new stage where she wakes up and talks to herself rather than screaming and crying until we ("we" meaning "I") get her. All of her little "talking" noises are just so cute and she is especially loving it these days when we repeat the "bas" and "das" back to her...she just can't contain her laughter, so cute. She still eats pureed foods and lets us know she's hungry now by making "mmm" "mmm" noises or crawling over to her high chair. On a related note, her first little tooth is starting to pop through...better late than never, right?

Here are a few pics from the last month or so...

She's practicing her standing up on everything these days

Enjoying one of our last 80 degree days of the season with a walk to the lake. I believe the next day was about 40 degrees cooler.

One of her favorite spots to grab some toys. Her favorite non-toy toys are this electronic catch phrase game and the remote control. She also likes being read to, playing with books and playing singing games like "this little piggy".

You can see in the background that her exersaucer has been converted to the final stage now that she can stand up on it.

With great-grandpa Ray

Showing off her skills: standing while holding onto something else with her hands.

We celebrated 8 months with some cheerios

She wasn't quite sure what to think about them

When I watch her sleeping like this, I just think to myself that I can't believe that I am so lucky to have this little girl as my daughter. We are so blessed.

And just for is a picture of my grandma with all her granddaughters at my cousin Beth's bridal shower.

We've been enjoying our fall and hope you have too.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from our little bunny!

 My mom made this costume for my oldest sister when she was little and (almost) every baby in the fam has worn it since. Who knew that this little costume would get so much use! Here is my sister's post of her oldest wearing the same costume when she was little plus Linnea when she was little...(click here)

 Complete with little tail

 Linnea and I took our girls to go visit our grandparents at Covenant Village. Here was the crew.

 Plenty of room to crawl around!

 Grandpa wore this sweatshirt to celebrate Halloween (his name is Raymond)

 An angel and a queen

 A very cute little zebra

 Lucia and Naomi are really starting to play together now that Lucia can get herself around


 Lucia changed into a warmer kitty costume for trick-or-treating

 Complete with tail

The trick-or-treating crew

 The cousins minus Addison who was sick :( 

Well, we tried to get a pic of her by the pumpkin but she just kept trying to grab it. Oh well! It's fun that we have Lucia's cousins to tag along with since she couldn't care less about Halloween yet. She sure looked cute though.
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