Saturday, January 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, 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!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Tasty Traditional Collard Greens




Today's post is a special one!  For the first time ever on my blog, I have a guest poster!  My handsome and clever husband has agreed to write up and share his famous recipe for collard greens.  First off, let me say that I am generally not a big fan of greens.  In fact, I was not a big fan of even my husband's greens for a long time (despite most people loving them).  However, being the amazing husband he is, he worked on the recipe over several years, and eventually created a collard green recipe that even I could love!  This recipe involves a lot of time and effort, but is well worth it.  It makes a fantastic side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and is the perfect dish to make to bring you luck on New Years Day.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie


I've been working on creating a healthy (and delicious) chicken pot pie for a while now.  I've looked over a ton of different recipes, and played around with various ideas, and I can say with absolute certainty that I have definitely come up with a winner.  The weather was chilly last night, and my husband built a roaring fire in the fireplace, so I figured it was the perfect night for a hearty chicken pot pie.  To make my pie as healthy as possible, I made it bursting with my favorite winter vegetables.  Feel free to adapt the vegetables to your own taste; just try to keep the amount of vegetables roughly the same to make sure that there is enough filling for the gravy (for example, if you'd rather not use parsnips, increase the carrots from 2 to 3, or substitute a potato instead).  When developing the recipe, I toyed with the idea of finding a substitute for the pie crust (like phyllo), but ultimately decided that real pie crust is the best part of pot pie, so it would be almost sacrilegious to remove it.  So I only used one pie crust as opposed to the traditional two, to keep the calorie and carbs low without sacrificing the integrity of the dish.  The result?  A healthy yet hearty chicken pot pie that is under 500 calories for a nice large serving.  Most importantly...it's comfort food at its best: warm, filling, and full of rich flavor.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

15 Minute Spaghetti Squash Curry


A few months ago, my brother and sister-in-law came over for dinner and we each made our favorite Asian-style recipes to share with each other.  I made my Asian Lettuce Wraps and they made a Spaghetti Squash Curry.  I was astonished that such a tasty meal (and boy was it tasty!) was so quick and easy to prepare!  You can jazz it up with your favorite sautéed vegetables and/or proteins (I like tofu, red bell pepper, and mushrooms), or you can keep it simple and just serve it as is.   The simplicity of this delicious recipe, has made it into one of our regular family dinners.