- 1 hour spin class
- 1 hour prenatal yoga class
- 2 hour long serious house cleaning session which I count as a workout :)
- and another 1 hour spin class
It snowed today…again. And in the last 2 weeks school has only been open for 2 days. In other news, Travis built what he calls a “snow dog”. Which of our dogs does it resemble the most?
Our house from the road. Usually a pretty tropical scene but…ahhh…not today. But the boys had fun playin’ while I watched from the warmth of the passenger seat. We went for a drive to the oceanfront, had lunch at the only place open (which wasn’t a bad choice, my grilled chicken and bacon salad was delish) and worked from home. Travis made the snow dog around 5pm and I spent just enough time out there to take a couple pictures. Then I came in to start up dinner:
One Pan Jambalaya with Shrimp and Sausage
- 1 package (4 links) Niman Ranch Kentucky Bourbon Uncured Sausage (the best, they can be found at Whole Foods)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
- 7-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup organic jasmine rice
- 1 – 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 2-3 cups chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons organic Worcestershire sauce (because no HFCS)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups frozen okra, defrosted
- 1 pound bag uncooked frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Start by slicing the sausage links. I like them pretty thin. Heat a large, high sided, non-stick skillet on medium high heat and the sausage (without any oil). Let it cook for a few minutes without turning so they get color and brown bits start forming (see above). Stir to brown on both sides. Using a large spoon, remove the sausage from the pan and place in bowl. Reserve.
- Turn the heat down a bit and add the EVOO, onion and pepper to the same skillet. Add salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent and then add the garlic. Cook garlic for 30 seconds and add rice stirring to coat the rice with any pan juices and toast it a bit. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, spices and bay leaves and cook on low for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove lid, stir, and add a bit more chicken stock if needed. I don’t like it dry but I also don’t want jambalaya soup! Add shrimp, sausage and okra and cook until shrimp is just done. Do not overcook shrimp or they will be rubbery (yuck). Check for seasoning, add more salt and pepper if needed, and remove bay leaves.
- Serve up. If you like it spicy you can add a dusting of cayenne pepper or a dash a hot sauce on top!
**Easy defrost tip for the shrimp and okra: Place the shrimp in a large colander and rinse with water. Put the okra in a separate smaller colander and also rinse with water. Let them both sit out at room temperature while the rice is cooking and they should be ready to go once you need them!
Taking pics in the hall got my doodles excited. “Something is happening! Attack!”
Officially can’t button my coat. Spring needs to come soon!
On Saturday evening I discovered our water wasn’t working. How does water not work you ask? The hot water wasn’t coming out of the faucet at all and the cold water was trickling. There wasn’t enough pressure to flush the toilets. Panic! I called a local small plumbing company solely based on the fact that they were located close to our house. As I dialed I thought “I didn’t ask neighbors for a referral. I didn’t even read Yelp. What’s wrong with me?”. But Mike picked right up, confirmed based on my description that we probably had a pipe burst and told me that he had gone to 20 jobs that day! He agreed to help us come turn off the water BUT he couldn’t do the repair until today. We freaked because WATER. And then we freaked because COST. But we really got lucky. Our water was only out of commission for around 20 hours and the total repair cost under $400 (we had heard “thousands”). I still couldn’t help but think that I could have bought the crib I want for that money. BOO!
In other, less dramatic news, I had granola on my grocery list and completely forgot it. It was either run to the store or sift through the cabinets because I MUST HAVE GRANOLA! I chose to make some while waiting for the plumber.
I made a similar granola a couple of years ago called Spiced Pumpkin Seed Granola. This version is better! The roughly chopped almonds have so much more crunch and flavor than the sliced almonds. Also, the balance of the other ingredients just worked better. I frequently have a issue with homemade granola being either to crunchy/over-baked or too soft. This was the prefect texture and balance of flavors.
The water is back, the dishes are clean and the plumber is paid. Still would have rather have had a crib!
Oat and Almond Spice Granola
- 1 1/4 cups unsalted raw almonds
- 2 heaping cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- raisins or dried cranberries, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Chop the almonds coarsely and pour them into a large bowl.
- Add the oats, salt, brown sugar, sunflower seeds and pumpkin pie spice into the bowl with the almonds and stir to combine.
- In a small microwaveable bowl, combine honey and coconut oil, and heat for 40 seconds. Stir to dissolve the coconut oil and add the vanilla extract.
- Pour the honey mixture over the oats and stir so that they are evenly coated.
- Pour the oats evenly onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake the oats for 5 minutes and then stir them around. Return to the oven for 5-7 more minutes (I cooked for 7). Watch closely so it won’t burn. (It didn’t look ready to me but I took it out, trusting the recipe, and I’m glad I did. The stated cooking time produces a perfectly crunchy granola)
- Pour the granola and onto a piece of wax paper to cool. Spread it out into a thin layer, about 1/4 inch thick.
- After it cools completely, break the granola into clusters and store in an airtight container.
I adapted this recipe slightly because I only had 2 cups of oats vs. 3. Also didn’t feel like getting the food processor out so I chopped the almonds by hand. Recipe from Lovely Little Kitchen
Lets start off with some food talk. How about “better than pizza” avocado toast!
First I toasted organic 9 grain bread, mashed an avocado with lime juice, salt and pepper and then sliced some tomato. Because no one else will eat this I decided to smear half of the avocado on each slice of bread. I thought about saving some for later but didn’t want to risk it going bad! Add the sliced tomato and some shredded cheese and pop it in the broiler until melted. Watch closely! I burnt some leftover corn muffins last week this way…I mean completely black-burnt!
Yesterday I had a baby check up appointment. The baby’s heartbeat is sounding great at 155-160 beats per minute. This appointment was also the first time they measured my belly! Question: do you ever consider the clothes/shoes you are wearing or wear less jewelry when you know that you’ll be getting on a scale? Pure vanity but I do it every time.
Afterwards we went to Bay Local for lunch. On Monday they do half off appetizers and the hummus plate sounded good to me. House made hummus, garlic toasted pita points, carrots, cucumber, tomato, apples and grapes. Lunch for only $5? Yes, please!
Don’t be fooled by all the healthy food. I also made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and had them for a snack for 3 nights in the last week. On Valentines night I crushed 2 cookies over vanilla frozen yogurt. Pure joy!
I was extremely disappointed a couple of weeks when I got a call from my OBGYN that I had a bladder infection. One, I was scared. I had kidney infection when I was pregnant with my son that had me in the hospital for around 5 days. Please don’t let that happen again! Two, I didn’t want to take any pills! They prescribed a weeks worth of antibiotics. This to the person that struggled with a bad headache all day in my first trimester and wouldn’t take a Tylenol! So frustrating! Not to worry, I took the prescribed pills but I also added a few things to my diet to try to replace the lost good bacteria. Kefir in my smoothies, yogurt on mornings that I don’t make smoothies, a kombucha or probiotic drink (like Kevita) once a day and double the water. Ok, not always water, hot tea counts. I already drink a lot! Hello trips to the bathroom! The prenatal vitamin I’ve been taking for almost a year also has probiotics. Crossing my fingers for no more infection.
On a happy note, I have this pregnancy habit of taking my coffee and breakfast back to my bed every morning. It’s cold out and the warm spot keeps calling! Bonus: you can see what I keep on my nightstand! Jewelry tree, books, candle, coaster and my baby’s first rattle from Aunty Zan! Not shown: lamp, belly oil, belly lotion and chapstick.
Double Blueberry Probiotic Smoothie
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup blueberry flavored kefir (I used Siggi’s)
- 1 cup frozen bluberries
- 1 frozen banana, broken into chunks
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Place all ingredients in a high speed blender in the order listed. Run on “smoothie” setting. Serves 2.
Per serving: 1/2 billion probiotics :)
Before I started making sweet potatoes like this about six months ago I may have eaten them 2-3 times a year. I baked them whole and I would eat it but I would get grunts and groans from the guys in the house. Then the only other time was at Thanksgiving or Christmas when they were covered with yummy walnut topping in the form of a casserole.
Once you prepare them this way I promise you’ll want them more often!
I use a veggie peeler to remove the skin but I’m not super careful about it. You could probably even skip that step. Then I slice the sweet potatoes in 3-4 sections lengthwise (depending on the size). Then cut them into a dice and try to keep them about the same size. Otherwise you’ll have mushy pieces and burnt pieces :)
Before baking melt a tablespoon of coconut oil (per 2 sweet potatoes) in the microwave and drizzle it over the diced potatoes. Season with salt and a bit of pepper and toss around with your fingers to coat. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. A shorter amount of time will work if you have diced them very small and bake longer for a more crunchy result (but be careful not to burn!).
I like to have these as a side for lunch or dinner. Here I had them for lunch with some leftover thai rice noodles and peas. They are also great with scrambled eggs, black beans and salsa for brunch. Make extra because leftovers are amazing!