Thursday, July 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.  Two years ago I became the mama to a feisty, voracious baby girl, and my life has been a beautiful chaos every since.  Like my life, the blog's concept 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 17, 2014

Squash Casserole

As many of you know, I'm pregnant with my second child.  Like with my first pregnancy, I developed gestational diabetes around my 25th week.  As I have mentioned in the past, there are a lot of misconceptions about gestational diabetes; mainly that is caused by something that the mother has done (or not done).  This can lead to a lot of guilty thoughts when a woman is first diagnosed.  The truth is, many cases of gestational diabetes are due to genetics.  I live a very healthy lifestyle: my diet is made up of nutritious and unprocessed foods, I exercise five times a week, and I maintain a healthy weight (and healthy weight gain during pregnancy).  Yet the hormones in my body go crazy when I get pregnant, and my placenta starts having trouble regulating insulin, and unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to prevent it.  What I can do, however, is stay on a very strict diet during my pregnancy, that allows my body to handle the diabetes without medicine.  I'm not going to lie: it's really hard to be on a rigid diet when you are in your third trimester; a time when you are starving and just want to eat what you want to eat, when you want to eat.  Instead, I have to eat a certain amount of carbs (not too much, not too little) on a very strict schedule (every 2-3 hours, no earlier, no later).  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Summer Tomato Pie

I've finally found my favorite recipe of the summer:  Tomato Pie.  I could seriously eat a slice of this delicious, fresh-tasting pie every day for the entire season.  It is the perfect way to highlight the deliciousness of in-season tomatoes.  If you aren't familiar with this Southern dish, you are in for a real treat!  The most important part of this recipe is obviously the tomatoes; you want them fresh and ripe.  The best choice would obviously be to pick them from your garden (which is what I did this year), but not everybody has a green thumb (don't feel bad; I don't either. My husband is our family gardener.  I kill plants just by glancing at them).  In that case, you should get your tomatoes from a grocery store that has organic, locally sourced produce, like Earth Fare.  That's right; it's time for this month's Earth Fare recipe! You can get all the ingredients for Tomato Pie from Earth Fare, with help from your garden if you are lucky enough to have one.  As for the tomatoes, make sure to choose tomatoes of the heirloom variety:  Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Beefsteak, Black Krim, Ugly Ripe, etc.  You want the big, meaty types of tomatoes that aren't too seedy and liquidy.  This is vital to making a perfect tomato pie!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Southwestern Sloppy Joes

Southwestern Sloppy Joes is one of those recipes that I've been making for almost a decade now, and yet still it love as much as I did the first time I made it.  It's zesty and messy and downright delicious.  It's the type of meal where you should probably use paper towels instead of napkins, but opt for neither, so that you have an excuse to lick your fingers.  I wish I could take credit for coming up with this recipe,  but I actually found it in a Cuisine Tonight magazine, the "Sandwiches & Salads" edition.  Whatever you do, do NOT skip the coleslaw.  It's the best part!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Slow Cooker Carnitas

For Father's Day this year, I decided to make my husband one of his absolute favorite dishes:  carnitas!  However, I also wanted to spend the day celebrating how awesome of a dad my husband is, and not just be stuck in the kitchen all day, so I decided to use a slow cooker recipe.  The beauty of a slow cooker is that it can turn the toughest and cheapest of meats into the juiciest, tenderest of meats. The blog Gimme Some Oven has a fantastic recipe that I used as a base, only altering some of the seasonings to fit my own needs.  The result?  Perfect carnitas that only tasted like I spent the day in the kitchen making them!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Garden Gnocchi

Our family just returned from a fabulous beach trip; the last family trip with just the three of us.  Next time, our number will be four! As wonderful as the vacation was, I'm feeling exhausted this week from all the excitement.  I've been too tired to make it to the grocery store, which means our kitchen is depressingly empty.  Fortunately, I sometimes view an empty fridge as a fun challenge, and become motivated to try to create a new recipe using only what I have on hand.  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

As followers of my blog know, I love desserts.  I simply cannot have dinner without dessert; it would be like going to bed without a pillow, or taking a bath without bubbles.  You could do it, but why would you ever want to?  My need for dessert is a tricky one, because I also strive to eat as healthy as possible.  Desserts are generally not known for being the most nutritious of meals (and sorry, fruit just doesn't cut it as dessert for me).  So I'm always on the lookout for healthier versions of traditional desserts.  The health food scene has been abuzz lately with talk about Black Bean Brownies, but some of the feedback on them hasn't been great, so I had put off making them.  After all, I don't want my desserts to actually taste healthy.  However, after going five months with an aversion to chocolate (thanks, pregnancy!), I decided to celebrate my return to the wonderful world of chocolate by trying my hand at making a "doesn't-taste-healthy-black-bean-brownie".