Friday, July 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.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Gnocchi alla Caprese

So you may have noticed that my blog has been quiet for the past few months.  This spring we decided to put our first family home on the market and buy a new home in a neighboring county.  It was a difficult decision as we loved, loved, loved our home.  Fortunately we found a great home to buy, and we ended up closing on both our old house and new house on the same day in the middle of June.  Let me tell you... packing up our entire house with a crawling baby and a moody toddler, a double closing, and moving on a 103 degree was a nightmare!  Needless to say, these past few months have been difficult ones.  We had to make many sacrifices:  we missed out on a fun friends trip, family dinners were replaced by take-out, and we lost our summer garden!  My husband planted it all before we realized we were going to put our house up for sale.  Of course right as everything in the garden started growing, we moved.  So for the first time in many summers, we don't have our summer garden vegetables to enjoy.  Boo!

However, we can still buy in-season veggies at the local grocery store (Earth Fare!).  Nothing beats an in-season tomato paired with fresh basil, right?  Let me introduce you to the perfect recipe for the season: Gnocchi alla Caprese. This recipe is definitely a summer-only recipe, because it requires in-season produce in order to reach its full delicious potential.   It takes only about 20 minutes to make, and its simplicity really allows the fresh ingredients to shine.  I could seriously eat this meal every day, and so could my kids.  Which is good, because I might be serving it at least once a week for the rest of the summer!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Creamy Sausage & Spinach Pasta

My sweet newborn baby is apparently not a newborn any more...he's a whopping 8 month old.  If you think the first baby grows up fast...well, the second is just a blur!  He's crawling, pulling up, cruising, eating grown-up food; and most importantly, he is sleeping through the night.  However, back 8 months ago, none of us were getting much sleep, and my husband and I were zombies.  When you have just one child, you can theoretically sleep when the baby sleeps.  But when you have two kids?  Well, that clearly just doesn't work. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Hot Corn Dip

Memorial Day is coming up in a few weeks.  Like many Americans, my family tree is full of brave people who served our country.  My dad was both Air Force and Army, and both my grandfathers were Navy.  My paternal grandfather, George K. Larsen II, gave his life for our country in World War II.  He volunteered for a last minute mission, and was shot down in the South Pacific.  His body was never found, so he's listed as both MIA and KIA.  As a child, I would fantasize that he had parachuted out of the burning plane, and had swam safely to an island, where he now lived out his days in paradise on the beach.  Now that I'm all grown up, I sadly know that isn't possible, but I take heart in knowing that his sacrifice (along with many, many others) helped protect our country. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mama's Sloppy Joes

In every family, there is a mom-signature dish...the dish that is famous among all your friends.  For example, my best friend Lauren's mom made the BEST hamburgers and the BEST sweet tea.  My mom?  Well, it was her Sloppy Joes.  No one could come close to her sloppy joes. My dear friend Clint once challenged her to a Sloppy Joe cook-off, but he became daunted during the task, and somehow ended up serving up chili to us "judges" without even realizing it. 

Now that I have a family to feed of my own, I obviously begged my mother for the recipe.  I am happy to report that this Sloppy Joe recipe became the first meal that I served to my entire family of four--6 month old baby included--that we all ate and loved.  This is just one of those meals that you eat with a smile!  Thanks, Mama!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Mix-Free Homemade Spinach Dip

Recently, I found myself in as situation where I needed to whip up an appetizer for a party, but didn't have the time (or motivation) to run to the grocery store.  I looked at all the ingredients I had on hand, and I realized that I had everything to make a homemade spinach dip.  Everyone loves spinach dip, but have you ever had it made without the store-bought mix?  It is even better!  Honestly, there is no reason for me to ever use a mix again...making it from scratch was just as easy, and it is so much healthier and tastier!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Broccoli & Egg Casserole

Now that we have two children, our mornings are quite chaotic.  My husband usually gets the toddler ready, and I'm in charge of the baby, which doesn't leave much time for ourselves.  To make things easier, I make a big batch of breakfast for the whole week on Sunday night.  During the Winter, we ate Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal, but now that it is officially Spring, I wanted to find a more season-appropriate meal to start our day.  I've also started to work on losing the baby weight, so I wanted a meal that was nutritious and full of protein.  I came up with a Broccoli & Egg Bake, and it is so delicious!  I use just broccoli in my egg casserole, but you could easily add in ham, or swap out broccoli for asparagus or whatever vegetable you prefer.  It is easily adaptable to your tastes!  After I finish baking it, I wait for it to cool, cut it into 10 servings, and stick it in the fridge.  On weekday mornings, I take out individual servings and microwave it.  It reheats beautifully!  I love that I have such a healthy and easy breakfast at my disposal on hectic mornings.