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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Bake with Quinoa & Broccoli

During my pregnancy, I had a constant craving for Buffalo Chicken Dip.  I was determined to figure out a way to turn this awesome dip into an awesome entree.   However, since the baby was born, I barely have had time to feed myself, much less create new recipes.  But as the weather gets warmer and the days get a little longer, I'm determined to get back into my regular routine of cooking new, healthy recipes for my family.  And, yes, we could argue over the label of "healthy" when it comes to this recipe...after all, Buffalo Wing Sauce is high in sodium, and there is a copious amount of cheese.  But...BUT!  There is quinoa and tons of broccoli!  And lean chicken!  And a generous serving size is under 500 calories!  Most importantly, it is frigging delicious, and sometimes you just want to eat something frigging delicious.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sweet Potato Beef Stew

How about one last hearty soup before Winter officially ends?  The weather here in Georgia keeps flip flopping between 80 degree sunny days and 40 degree drizzly evenings.  On one of those recent chilly nights, I felt motivated to put a healthy spin on the traditional Beef Stew.  I made sure to fill the soup with as much veggies as possible, and I swapped out the white potatoes for sweet potatoes.  I think the sweet potatoes added a needed touch of natural sugar to balance out the saltiness of all the other ingredients in the stew.  I don't think I'll ever go back to regular old white potatoes in a beef stew again!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Frosted Sugar Cookies

As I have confessed before, I am a Cookie Monster.  I frigging love cookies.  Peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies; I love them all with my whole heart.  During Christmas break, my daughter and I did our annual tradition of baking a ton of cookies and eating about half the cookie dough before they even get in the oven.  This year we did an extra step and frosted the cookies and topped them with sprinkles.  My toddler thought this was literally the greatest thing ever.  I'm not sure what was the best part, decorating the cookies or eating them.  Who am I kidding....the best part will always be eating them. 

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.