Tuesday, March 31, 2015

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.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Chicken & Quinoa Casserole

Seriously, who doesn't love a casserole?  You have your protein, veggies, and grains all whipped up in one dish!  Easy to make, easy to eat, easy to clean up.  It's the lazy cook's trifecta. My newest one dish favorite is this Chicken & Quinoa Casserole.  For this particular go-around, I decided that mushrooms, asparagus, and sun-dried tomatoes would be my vegetables, but this recipe is so adaptable!  Feel free to swap out those veggies for whatever vegetables you're craving, or (keeping with the lazy theme) whatever is in your fridge.   I replace all 3 veggies for just lots of broccoli when I'm making it with my picky toddler in mind.  Report back if you try a different combination that you'd recommend!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Turkey & Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Yesterday we had our first bout of winter weather for 2015.  Here in Georgia, that means ice and sleet; not exactly fun outdoor weather.  So I decided to fight cabin fever by working on a new recipe:  Shepherd's Pie.  I've been wanting to give Shepherd's Pie a healthy makeover for a long time now, and let me say, I truly like the healthier version so much better!  I swapped out the ground lamb (or ground beef) for lean ground turkey, and switched up the white potatoes for the much more nutritious sweet potatoes.  Not only is this dish more healthful, it is also diet-friendly:  under 450 calories for a very satisfying portion.  However, the best part of this casserole is that my picky eating toddler loves it!  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mama's Spaghetti Sauce

Growing up, every year on my birthday I would request the same thing:  my Mama's spaghetti for dinner and my Mama Lou's pound cake for dessert.  It is a meal straight from comfort food heaven and just the thought of it makes me feel happy and content....and hungry, very hungry.  When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy a few months ago, my mom asked if there was anything she could do to help me prepare for the baby.  I had only one request:  I wanted her spaghetti sauce recipe so I could make it in bulk and feast on it during those first tough newborn weeks.  It took a lot of effort to get the recipe, because she had never written it down before.  She just kind of threw things in a pot and produced deliciousness.  So she jotted down a general idea of what she did, which involved a lot of "add some water" and "an onion or two" and other vague instructions.  So when I got around to making it, my poor mother was flooded with texts, emails, and phone calls from me asking for more specifics.  But it was worth it: the end result was pretty darn close to my Mama's Spaghetti Sauce.    This sauce takes a lot of time (and probably love), but oh man, is it worth it.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Homemade Hot Cocoa

My little hometown has been hit by unseasonably cold and rainy weather lately.  On one particular dreary day, my family was feeling especially bogged down with cabin fever.  To remedy the situation, I suggested a day full of movies, a roaring fire, popcorn, and hot chocolate.  Needless to say, my 3 year old was especially on board with the idea of hot chocolate.  One problem?  I had ran out of hot chocolate instant packets, and I had no motivation to brave the rain for a grocery run.  So I decided to make some hot cocoa from scratch.  Most recipes call for cow's milk, but I'm currently breastfeeding a baby who may have a dairy sensitivity.  Therefore, I decided to use a carton of unsweetened coconut milk and keep the recipe vegan.  I was so surprised by how easy - and how incredibly rich and delicious -  homemade hot cocoa was!  It was so simple and so tasty that I don't think I'll ever use the packets again.  One batch make about 4 to 6 servings, and if you don't drink it all, it keeps quite well in fridge and is easily reheated.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mattie's Pumpkin Pie

This recipe is, in my completely biased opinion, the BEST pumpkin pie recipe on earth.  It's an old recipe, created by a family friend named Mattie.  It's her recipe from the 1950s, except it actually involved using real pumpkin, not canned.  I cheated and used canned, but added an extra step to make the canned pumpkin taste more like fresh pumpkin.  Sadly, Mattie passed away many years ago, but her amazing recipes live on in our house.  I wish I could have gotten a better picture to really illustrate how wonderful this pie is, but I had a pie crust mishap (as I often do...crusts aren't my thing).  Regardless of how it looks in photos, I promise you this is the creamiest pumpkin pie you will ever, ever eat.  

Friday, January 2, 2015

Zuppa Toscana

My favorite new recipe find this season is Gimme Some Oven's 7-Ingredient Easy Zuppa Toscana.  It's a creamy Italian soup made with sausage and gnocchi, and it warms up your entire body when you eat it.  It's super simple to make, and takes only about half an hour to whip up.  While this hearty soup definitely tastes like it's an indulgent high calorie meal, it's actually under 450 calories for a huge bowl of it.  So slurp away!