Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Table of Contents

Welcome to My So-Called (Mommy) Life. For many years I had dreamed of writing a food blog; a place where I could share my favorite recipes and and my thoughts on local restaurants.  Three years ago I became the mama to a feisty, voracious baby girl, and my life has been a beautiful chaos every since.  This year I welcomed a sweet, smiling baby boy to my brood, and life has gotten even more colorful!  Like my life, the blog's concept has evolved into something bigger, messier, and better.  It's a mix of recipes, toddler food, restaurant reviews, and more.  Hopefully this Table of Contents will help you navigate the chaos that is My (So-Called) Mommy Life.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie

I've been working on creating a healthy (and delicious) chicken pot pie for a while now.  I've looked over a ton of different recipes, and played around with various ideas, and I can say with absolute certainty that I have definitely come up with a winner.  The weather was chilly last night, and my husband built a roaring fire in the fireplace, so I figured it was the perfect night for a hearty chicken pot pie.  To make my pie as healthy as possible, I made it bursting with my favorite winter vegetables.  Feel free to adapt the vegetables to your own taste; just try to keep the amount of vegetables roughly the same to make sure that there is enough filling for the gravy (for example, if you'd rather not use parsnips, increase the carrots from 2 to 3, or substitute a potato instead).  When developing the recipe, I toyed with the idea of finding a substitute for the pie crust (like phyllo), but ultimately decided that real pie crust is the best part of pot pie, so it would be almost sacrilegious to remove it.  So I only used one pie crust as opposed to the traditional two, to keep the calorie and carbs low without sacrificing the integrity of the dish.  The result?  A healthy yet hearty chicken pot pie that is under 500 calories for a nice large serving.  Most's comfort food at its best: warm, filling, and full of rich flavor.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

15 Minute Spaghetti Squash Curry

A few months ago, my brother and sister-in-law came over for dinner and we each made our favorite Asian-style recipes to share with each other.  I made my Asian Lettuce Wraps and they made a Spaghetti Squash Curry.  I was astonished that such a tasty meal (and boy was it tasty!) was so quick and easy to prepare!  You can jazz it up with your favorite sautéed vegetables and/or proteins (I like tofu, red bell pepper, and mushrooms), or you can keep it simple and just serve it as is.   The simplicity of this delicious recipe, has made it into one of our regular family dinners.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Smothered Burritos

Every family has their own way of making burritos, and well, this is how it's made in my house!  By smothering the burritos in delicious red sauce and cheese and baking them, it makes the burritos so gooey and delicious.  It's definitely a fork-and-knife meal, but so worth it.  Make sure to top your burrito with your favorite toppings!  I never serve this meal without plenty of sour cream (or even better, crema), shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and lots of ripe avocado.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cabbage Casserole

In Athens, Georgia, there use to be a great little barbecue restaurant called Jot Em Downs.  Its most famous offering was the Cabbage Casserole; and it was so in demand that it was sold out 90% of the time.  It was seriously that good!  I've been trying to replicate the dish for years, and have yet to nail it down (I'm convinced their trick was using the pork drippings to make a rich gravy/broth to add to the roux), but I think I've finally gotten as close as I can get to the recipe using regular kitchen staples.  However, if you happen to have pork shoulder drippings around, I totally recommend adding it to the recipe to replace the chicken broth!  Regardless, Cabbage Casserole is a fantastic dish to bring to holiday gatherings; I guarantee that no one else will bring the same dish.  I'll be taking it to my family's Thanksgiving this year!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blue Cheese Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

When I reached the end of my pregnancy, I made a ton of freezer meals, so that I would have easy dinner fixings after the baby arrived.  One of my favorites was a dish I created by thinking of a few of my favorite things:  Blue Cheese Chicken & Broccoli Casserole.  This is a rich and decadent casserole; it's definitely not low calorie, but it is for sure high comfort food!  I wanted something that would be soothing and delicious, and more importantly, something my picky toddler would eat without a fight. It did all those things!  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

I am obsessed with this Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal right now!  It's so warm and comforting on these cool Fall mornings, and it fills me up all the way until lunch.  This is saying a lot, considering I'm currently nursing a 6 week old baby, and generally constantly starving.  Speaking of which, they say oats are great for your breastmilk supply, so this is the perfect meal for my fellow breastfeeding mamas.  To make it easier on my exhausted self, I've been doubling the recipe and making a huge batch on Sunday evenings, and then just doling out individual portions in the morning all week to microwave.  It tastes just as good reheated as it does when freshly made!