Powernap: Quick Recipes For When Time is Limited!
As part of my year as a food correspondent for Sargento I am exploring the wild world of mushrooms. It has been awesome so far, playing with new ways to enjoy mushrooms. I love any excuse I can get to find new ways to eat them at home. This week I picked up a few portobello mushrooms and kept them around for a few days until I could decide what to make. I always enjoy a good portobello mushroom burger, but this time I wanted to change it up and come up with something easy and fresh.
Cinco de Mayo is over and it is time to gear up for Mother’s Day! Obviously I am a big proponent of baking something for mom on Mother’s Day. The only requirement is that it has to be something simple and quick. I am pretty sure it would be hard to pull off a surprise cake that required hours laboring away over fondant and multicolored layers. The kitchen mess would surely give you away! So, instead, I suggest you focus on something tasty and easy like these sweet corn muffins. The batter comes together in one-bowl and it is the perfect thing for kids to make if they want to help out. (It is very forgiving so the muffins won’t deflate or anything if a little flour spills over the edge of the bowl – promise!) Once they are in the oven you have about twenty minutes to arrange the breakfast tray, or warm up the soup or sandwich, and your special treat for mom is ready!
I can’t help myself, Cinco de Mayo is just days away and I’ve got sangria on the brain. Of all of the drinks I missed last summer, sangria was the one I missed most. To me, enjoying a big glass alongside a bowl of chips and guacamole on the back porch is the epitome of summer. I love the way a good sangria is just a tiny bit sweet and filled with the flavors of fresh fruit. In fact, in the summer I will take it over a glass of wine any day of the week. In celebration of the upcoming holiday I thought I would share one of my favorite sangria recipes. There will be more great Mexican dishes coming up this week. We’ll likely have a whole fiesta planned by Friday!
I am having so much fun exploring the mushroom food trend for 2013 on behalf of Sargento this year. I love mushrooms and am finding the that more I learn about them the more curious I become. This week I decided it was time to explore the idea of using mushrooms to make a quick meal. I find that it is easy to fall into the trap of making large, involved meals featuring mushrooms. But, what about something easy and fast? My quickest meals usually come about during the day which is why I came up with this lunch pizza.
Sloppy Joe’s are a favorite meal from my childhood. I remember my mother making them every once in a long while and my brother and I jumping with excitement when they hit the table. I still make them from time to time and recently I decided to give them a new twist. Instead of serving a good ole’ Manwich sloppy joe on a roll, I used a biscuit. Then I added cubes of spicy cheddar cheese and a slice of bacon! The whole sandwich was inspired by some of my favorite southern cuisine and a desperate need to turn our everyday Monday meal into something special.
There is nothing like the first hint of spring to inspire a light chicken dish full of fresh tomatoes and herbs for dinner. This true powernap recipe (under 10 minutes to assemble!) came together in a jiffy over the weekend. I had some fresh chicken thighs on hand and decided to roast them in one large pan with cherry tomatoes, shallots, thyme, and basil. The naptime preparation was a cinch, I simply assembled the one dish meal and stuck it in the fridge for the afternoon!
Two weeks ago I shared my trip to our neighborhood crepe truck as part of my year of exploring street food as a flavor correspondent for Sargento. (If there is a truck you think I should see please let me know!) This program features myself and a few other food bloggers as we spend the year exploring the top 10 food trends of 2013 as identified by Rick Bayless. I was bummed I couldn’t go to the program kick-off at the headquarters in Wisconsin in early February, but I had just had a baby so that was impossible! Instead, I joined the conference via Google + hangout and enjoyed Rick’s talk about food trends remotely.
This week marks my first week back in the gym since my son was born in late January. Hooray for exercise! Hooray for touching my toes! Hooray for skinny jeans this summer! And, most importantly, hooray for Advil! It is time for me to tackle the baby weight once and for all and it starts here. First, I’ll be working out regularly. Second, I’ll be doing my best to eat exceptionally well. I am the first to admit I am not a dietitian. But I know it is time to cut out the sweets and stick to the lean and healthy. It won’t be easy but it will be worth. I have so many clothes I can’t wait to wear again! Plus, since we are done having babies, this is the last time I’ll have to embark on any kind of weight loss endeavor.
Grocery shopping takes twice as long with two children. Before baby brother arrived my daughter and I had our grocery visits down to a science. Grab a cart, circle the store with our list, and would be in and out of the store in a heartbeat. Now we are much more scattered. Not only do I have to take my daughter by the hand but I also strap a baby to my chest as we peruse the aisles. This added weight slows me down considerably. Then there is the laborious process of getting everyone in and out of car seats as well as unloading the actual groceries and getting them into the house. So, when Blue Apron Meal Delivery contacted me about trying out their grocery service I jumped at the chance to skip the store and have the food delivered straight to our kitchen!
I will admit, I was a tad skeptical when I received an Actifry machine in the mail in December. I am not a fan of deep frying, especially since I am now concentrating on losing the baby weight. However, the claim of the Actifry was intriguing. Could this machine really make ALL the dishes in the book and keep them on the healthy side? Why was Oprah telling the world that that machine changed her life when she is not a paid spokesperson? I always thought machines like this were strictly for making donuts and french fries – delicious, but most unhealthy. Curious, I put the machine to the test last weekend.
There are three things I missed when I was pregnant: wine, raw milk cheeses, and oysters with mignonette sauce. I didn’t really care about missing out on raw fish since I am not a big sushi eater, and I couldn’t have cared less about the minimal caffeine guidelines since I can barely stomach more than a milky latte three times a week. I just really missed sipping a glass of wine while nibbling on a yummy cheese plate (my favorite no-cook dinner!), and ordering the occasional oyster platter with my husband on date night. Today, to celebrate Valentine’s Day AND my return to non-pregnant status I am celebrating with a Valentine’s Day champagne cocktail, a trio of delicious cheeses from our amazing local cheese shop, and the promise of oysters the next time we go out.
I don’t have many words of wisdom to share today. The lesson here is that it is always good to keep the preschooler occupied while waiting for a baby to arrive. And, if said preschooler wants to be occupied with a baking project, make it easy on yourself and choose the simplest thing in your repertoire. Like popovers, for example.