Monday, August 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.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Gazpacho with Goat Cheese Salsa


Summer is finally coming to an end, so it's time to hurry up and make your final summer dishes.  Gazpacho is definitely one of those recipes that require in-season produce.  If you tried to make this during the winter, you would end up with a watery flavorless soup.  In the summer this soup is vibrant and fresh and delightful!  It's one of my absolute favorite summer side dishes.  I like to pair it with a BLAT, and it makes for the perfect meal on a hot summer day.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Lactation Cookies


My little sister gave birth to adorable (and hungry) twins a few weeks ago.  She has been exclusively breastfeeding both of them, and her lactation consultant suggested that she try eating lactation cookies to help increase her milk supply.  She asked if I knew how to make the cookies, and if I had tried them.  I had certainly heard of them, and their benefits.  I breastfed both my babies, one for 9 months, the other for 6 months, and I had supply issues that I battled both times the entire duration.  I remember looking at recipes, and then losing motivation to actually bake them.  Babies are exhausting, and when you are breastfeeding, you get short little breaks between feedings that you'd rather use to shower or shove carbs down your throat; not standing in the kitchen baking.  That memory made me insist that my sister not worry about making the cookies; I would make them for her.  So for those of you new breastfeeding mamas; send this recipe to your mom, your sister, or good friend and have them bake them for you.  You go take a nap.

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 day...it 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!