Meal three / 5.25.16
(I’m a bit behind – sorry!)
Super easy and super packed with flavor. This was a family favorite.
I used to shy away from, well… cooking in general, but especially cooking ethnic-inspired dishes. I wrongly assumed that exotic flavors and ingredients meant that the recipe itself would be harder to imitate. Not the case. This dish couldn’t have been easier. Plus, I’m 100% certain that we didn’t consume as much sodium as we might if ordering something like this in an actual Thai restaurant. Raise your hand if you balloon up like a freak after knocking back a couple plates of Mongolian Beef or Gang Ped. (Imagine me raising my hand.)
So there’s that. There’s also this cauliflower as rice business. I’m into it. I feel like I’m really pulling one over on the family when I can get them to like something that’s posing as something else. It’s kinda similar to when I dream of posing as a statue reading a book in the corner of the room. No, I’m not your mother – I’m a statue. Go away. But that’s for another post. Let’s get back to food. Cauliflower rice is great if you’re looking to cut carbs. Yes, trick the family into eating healthier and trim those thighs in the process. Is it a significant amount of carb-cutting? Not sure. Google it.
I’m about to wrap this up, but I thought I’d mention that you should invest in a food processor if you plan to make cauliflower rice. We have one, but when I plugged it in and secured the lid… nothing happened. I tried every outlet in the kitchen to no avail. So I resorted to grating two heads of cauliflower… with the small holes of a cheese grater. Scraping a few knuckles in the process, cauliflower was everywhere – in my hair, on the floor. I was just finishing up when Mark came home. I complained a little bit, he swore it was working just fine, plugged it in, secured the lid CORRECTLY and the damn thing worked like a charm. We had a moment of silence for my sanity as he quickly opened a bottle of wine and poured me a large glass. He’s a smart man.
The moral of this story is that if I can learn to be a convincing statue, I won’t have to make dinner at all.
Find this delicious recipe, here.
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Having a moment with this high waist, button front denim skirt.
That is all.
If you follow me on Instagram you know that Mark and I escaped to Palm Springs last weekend – no kids, no schedules, just the promise of letting the fuck go and reconnecting. The act of going on vacation in itself, does not guarantee that you’ll leave the day to day stress and bullshit behind. It’s a legit state of mind. It’s remembering that your significant other is funny and interesting and handsome and not always filling the dishwasher wrong. It’s putting your phone away and having a conversation even though you had to snap a few food pics, first. It’s going on a scorching hot bike ride at 4 o’clock in 113 degree heat and stopping for sushi and sharing a beer. It’s taking a dip in the pool at night because it’s fun and kinda sexy and it reminds your husband that you’re still spontaneous and not always nagging about the kitchen floor being dirty. It’s about holding hands when you’re not normally a hand-holder.
Our weekend away was an absolute success. I’m still mentally holding on to that weekend and I’m still staring at Mark with heart eyes. I know that sounds weird, but it’s easy to forget that we’re still the same people we fell in love with when the day to day gets so damn ridiculous. Know what I mean?
So, yeah… the Alcazar Palm Springs. A little bit hipster (great photo ops. the greenest ivy falling just so on a while wall? yes, please!), modern, romantic, a literal 34-room oasis in the hot, hot desert. Our room was entirely white minus a few colorful throw pillows on the bed, a painting or two, and the deep blue shower wall. This place does an impressive job of helping with that let it go vibe. Highly recommend. It was perfection.
Friday | Dinner
We sat in traffic for probably 3.5 hours, so once we checked in, we were eager to freshen up and take a walk down to Las Casuelas Terraza. It’s the spot. Live music, lots of people, delicious margaritas, and traditional Mexican food. I just feel like you have to go if you ever find yourself in PS. I had a couple of skinny margs that tasted mostly like pure tequila and a ceviche tostada. Yum.
Saturday | Breakfast
We slept in a bit and then walked a few steps to Cheeky’s. Yes, this adorable place is basically attached to the hotel. The menu changes weekly, so I can’t remember what my drink was called, but it was a wonderful tequila, jalapeno, grapefruit concoction. I also ordered THE BACON FLIGHT (nodines applewood, sweet chili, jalapeno, beeler apple cinnamon, and balsamic) – insane in the membrane. A bacon flight. I mean, stop it. My main entrée was the Chilaquiles – chorizo, tomatillo, queso fresco, cilantro, and onion. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Saturday | Lunch
Rosé all day then a quick stop while on our bike ride for a shared spicy tuna roll and beer
Saturday | Dinner
Mr Lyons. So swanky. I enjoyed a Moscow Mule, the 12 oz Filet Mignon and wild mushrooms. Mark had the Prime Rib and creamed spinach, but we basically shared. We washed it all down with crème brulee for dessert.
It. was. delicious. All of it.
We spent some time by the pool on Sunday and grabbed brunch on our way out. Nothing special to photograph because I was cranky about leaving.
When do we go back? I’m ready.
Until we meet again, Palm Springs… you’re super effing hot, but I adore you.
Meal two / 5.24.16
One pan meals are where it’s at. Chop it up, throw it all together on a cookie sheet, then pour yourself a martini/beer/glass of wine, because lady – your job is pretty much done here.
The beauty of this dish is that you can make it your own. To accommodate the whole family, I added spicy sausages for the adults and milder versions for the kiddos. Don’t like green beans? Use broccoli or cauliflower instead.
Easy, delicious, and healthy.
Full recipe here – One Pan Sweet Potato, Chicken Sausage, and Green Beans
sometimes the stars and the planets align in such a way that everything feels right and beyond freaking wonderful and it’s kinda odd so you squeeze your eyes shut and praaaaaaay pleasepleaseplease that the happiness vibe sticks around til the end of time plus infinity. but you also wonder if it’s not just the universe… i mean you have to stop and consider that maybe it’s you. maybe you have a better a t t i t u d e or maybe you’re just focusing on the right things.. things that make you happy.. things that matter.
or maybe it’s just that you wore a really cute romper and you had a good hair day or ran a 5k and did better than expected.
it’s all relative.
we had a good weekend. how was yours?
is it still a blog if i only post on fridays? lol. is this even still a blog?
okay, so C U R R E N T L Y …
wearing the jcrew billie. cropped and high waisted with a hint of mom butt. i’m cool with it.
feeling like a big change is on the horizon.
reading nice is just a place in france. i’m kind of embarrassed to admit that i’m reading this because it’s terrible. i mean, there are some lol moments, but it’s mostly ridiculous and a waste of reading time. i’d quit, but i don’t quit books.
wanting all the chokers and bodysuits and 90s floral everything. i’m definitely not mad that the 90s are making an effort this summer.
listening to a lot of dmb lately. i may have to see them live this summer. it’s been too long.
watching gilmore girls on Netflix. i didn’t get a chance to watch it way back when, so i’m diving in and LOVING IT. i just started season two.
obsessing over planning my next tattoo. plural. stay tuned…
working on my cooking skills. i’m making healthy meals for my family and i haven’t yet sent anyone to the hospital. imagine that!
eating less shit. see above.
eagerly awaiting a weekend in palm springs with my dude. NO KIDS. READING BOOKS ALL DAY BY THE POOL. SLEEPING IN. NO KIDS. did i mention no kids? eeeeeee. i love palm springs.
random thought: why am i still sitting at my desk on a friday at 4:26? everyone else has left. PEACE. i’m out.
so thankful for a long weekend with my peeps – home cooked meals by moi (still cookin’, will share soon), starting a project or two, sleeping in, a trip to the flea market (and most likely a perfect chance to wear this dress), a day at the beach.. I mean, I’m ready. people are draining and disappointing me left and right, so I need this long weekend to press restart. I may even turn off my phone.
sike. I can’t turn it off completely, as I’ve been totally glued to a podcast series called The Black Tapes. It’s not new, but it’s new to me and so much fun. if you dig paranormal/spooky stories – it might be for you, too.
before I head into my weekend and you into yours, I wanted to let you know that Beautycounter is offering a pretty dope Memorial Day Special – Nourishing Cleansing Balm + Anytime Eye Cream + Lip Conditioner in Peppermint for only $100! and if you’re a Band of Beauty Member, you get FREE shipping! (click the link above to shop.)
make it a good one!
oh heeeyyy, large picture of food.
Fun fact – i don’t cook. I’m incredibly insecure when it comes to cooking. I’m terrible at time management and I almost always eff something up. Plus I have zero food imagination.
But when your husband sort of looks at you with those puppy dog eyes and says that he’d love a home-cooked meal every night, you yell at him about it being 2016, not 1950, then remind him that you work full-time just like he does. Lucky for him (you’re not fitting into your skinny jeans like you were a few weeks ago and you have a feeling it’s because you’re always grabbing takeout) you like to see him happy, so you make an effort.
So anyway, I meal planned! Sort of. This week (for sure) our home will be takeout/fast food-free. Every meal, while not my own, will be home-cooked and “beginner” and I will document the experience right here. You know, in case you’re a non-cook like me and need a good laugh or some easy recipes.
Right off the bat I had to Google ‘how to mince garlic’. Turns out you can use the prongs of a fork to do this! It’s so much easier than chopping it up with a knife or even using a garlic press. Boom! Learned something new.
So at this point, I’m feeling pretty cocky about my skills – I haven’t spilled anything and I just minced like a pro. In celebration, I pour myself a glass of white wine because all of a sudden I’m into pairing and white seems to go with Asian dishes.
After the wine, it was smooth sailing until Zoey pointed out that I overcooked the broccoli. She didn’t get dessert. Remember that.
The most difficult part for me was prepping the chicken. I’m terrified of undercooking and raw meat makes me a bit squeamish. (Side story: when I was pregnant with Taylor, I attempted a similar dish, but the raw chicken made me so sick to my stomach!) All this time, I’ve tried my best to avoid it. So if you’re reading this and thinking – big deal, she cooked chicken – it really was a challenge for me! I wasn’t just throwing breasts in the pan, I had to cut it into little cubes! That’s a lot of raw meat touching.
Overall it was super easy, delicious, and healthy! Everyone loved it and I’m sure I’ll make it again. For details, click the recipe link above.
My goal is to continue cooking something new at least a few times a week. Getting out of my comfort zone and setting my insecurities aside always proves to make me a better, happier person. Oh and ps. my husband just couldn’t get enough of me last night! I guess that whole – food is the key to his heart thing – is legit!
So follow along, if you want! We can be insecure cooks together. But BYOW.
Kids, man. They step on your freshly painted toes (reaching for the bottle as i relive that horrific moment) aaaand I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure I can find a way to blame them for the wrinkles I recently found on MY NECK. Wrinkles on my neck, you guys. WTF.
But seriously they’re great. They’re us, really. So if your kids are dicks, you better take a long look in the mirror. My only saving grace is that while my kids have a lot of sass and attitude (I’m owning this), they are goooood. They have genuine hearts and when they love, they love. Also they’re smart and creative and funny and now I’m just talking about myself. LOL. Anyway…
We ate breakfast, we visited the bookstore, we ate cheeseburgers, and I escaped to enjoy a relaxing mani/pedi.. thatwasdestroyedwithinfiveminutesofarrivinghome might i add.
But the best thing EVAR was that Mark sat down with Taylor and Zoey and asked them both 20 questions that had to do with me. Here are their answers.
1. What is something Mommy always says to you?
Zoey – I love you and I never want to let you go.
Taylor – clean your room.
2. What makes Mommy happy?
Zoey – when I give her a big squeezy hug.
Taylor – when everyone else is happy.
3. What makes her sad?
Zoey – when her wine spills on her clothes. (i literally cannot with this girl.)
Taylor – when we don’t cooperate.
4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
Zoey – tickles!
Taylor – funny faces.
5. What was your Mom like as a child?
Zoey – she knew how to walk and talk and had her own big girl bed and then she kissed daddy. (that’s pretty much my life story in a nutshell if I’m being honest.)
Taylor – adventurous.
6. How old is your Mommy?
Zoey – 53
Taylor – 36
*after sharing this, Zoey got a little pouty because Taylor knew the correct answer, so Mark goes – “close.” and now Taylor is my favorite.
7. How tall is your Mom?
Zoey – a little smaller than daddy.
Taylor – 5’4″
8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Zoey – get her nails done, love on me, put jewelry on.
Taylor – be with us.
9. What does your Mommy do when you’re not around?
Zoey – she puts jewelry on.
Taylor – clean the house.
10. If your Mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Zoey – a hotel.
Taylor – photography.
*apparently while Taylor was considering his answer, zoey was nodding her head and mouthing to him – hotel, say hotel. LOL.)
11. What is your mom really good at?
Zoey – gymnastics. (WHAT.)
Taylor – making me laugh.
12. What is she not very good at?
Zoey – closing the [camper]van door.
Taylor – taking orders.
13. What does your Mom do for her job?
Zoey – works on the computer.
Taylor – something she doesn’t like. (this made me sad, but i feel like i can use this later if he decides he doesn’t want to go to college or something stupid like that.)
14. What is Mommy’s favorite food?
Zoey – bacon and eggs.
Taylor – artichoke.
15. What makes you proud of your Mom?
Zoey – when she volunteers.
Taylor – she sticks to it. (YAS. i love that he sees this in me! it made me tear up.)
16. What is Mommy’s favorite thing about Daddy?
Zoey – when she kisses Daddy in a ball. (mark suspects she meant at a ball.)
Taylor – his dumb jokes.
17. What do you and your Mom do together?
Zoey – we always play together.
Taylor – we joke around.
18. How are you and your Mom the same?
Zoey – blue eyes and same color hair.
Taylor – same personality.
19. How are you different?
Zoey – sometimes we don’t do what is right or wrong. (still figuring this one out.)
Taylor – different views on things.
20. How do you know that Mommy loves you?
Zoey – she always hugs me.
Taylor – she tells me.
I guess after every answer Zoey would say – “and that’s all I know.” I die.
My kiddos are amazing. I love love love them and now I know that they’re paying attention to me, so I have to be more careful. Also, the messed up toe nail is still a source of contention, but I’ll probably get over it once I spill wine on my clothes and can focus on that.
Ps. Bottom right corner – JCrew “Billie” jean. Cropped with a high waist in the best wash ever and I’m obsessed. The new mom jean for sure.