Huevos Rancheros

huevos_rancheros

So this is a breakfast I make if I’m not feeling lazy.  I also use some shortcuts to speed up the process since everyone seems to be hangry in the morning.  But it is pretty delicious to have first thing on a rainy Saturday morning, like today.

Ingredients
4-5 tortillas
Canola spray
Refried black beans (like this)
Bacon
1 tbs. canola oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
6 oz. can diced green chiles (optional)
1 tsp. chili powder (optional)
4-5 eggs
4-5 tbs. butter
Mexican blend cheese

Directions
In a medium skillet, heat up canola oil.  Saute onions until they become translucent. Then add the tomatoes (with the juice) and the chiles.  Stir in the chili powder and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

In a pan over medium high heat, I spray with canola spray and warm each tortilla individually.  About 2-3 minutes on each side.

I then take another pan on medium high heat and fry my eggs. I use a tablespoon of butter for each fried egg.

I then microwave my bacon and the refried black beans (separately of course).

I then plate my tortilla. Lather on a healthy portion of the black beans. Place my eggs on top. Then add a heaping spoonful or two of the tomato. And then I top it with some cheese and the bacon. So so so yummy!

Cook’s Notes:
I know you are probably rolling your eyes about microwavable bacon and refried black beans.  It makes expediting breakfast in a timely matter so much faster when you have a hangry husband and toddler.  If you have the time, go for it and make things from scratch.  I would probably bake the bacon in the oven before I started the tomatoes. But this meal can seriously be made in 30 minutes the way I do it.

While my son has been eating this meal since he was 18ish months old, I wouldn’t call this a baby led weaning recipe per se.  You can definitely give each component to your baby. The only reason why we didn’t do this as a baby led weaning recipe is because we put chiles and chili powder in the tomatoes, which sometimes can be a bit spicy for my now 3 year old.  You can obviously eliminate them if you do want to make this a recipe fit for you 6+ month old child. However, it just doesn’t taste as good for the adults to add these crucial flavor components afterwards like you can with salt.  I also give my son scrambled eggs instead of fried eggs.

Date Night–NYC

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My husband recently had a business trip in NYC, and so I joined him for one night to have a date night (I know it’s a bit extravagant, but we really needed one and we are so grateful to my parents for watching the kids).  Date night consisted of a leisurely (and hot!) dinner at Piora in the West Village and then going back to the hotel to sleep in–perfection!  Anyhoo, this is what I wore for our fancy dinner.

The dress was sent to me from Stitch Fix and is by Collective Concepts.  They originally sent me this dress because I requested something to wear at the beach.  My stylist seemed to think this was appropriate to wear to cover up from the sand to the boardwalk?!  I wrote back that while I love the dress I don’t think something that is dry clean only works for what she was suggesting!  While I ordinarily love Stitch Fix, this was definitely their first (semi) miss.  I did buy it because I knew I would wear it for date nights (I’ve worn it twice now).  I think it also is a great wear to work and then happy hour outfit–just slip on a blazer for work and take it off for happy hour.  I actually brought a dark denim jacket with me that night just in case I got cold, which would dress down the outfit.  So while the Stitch Fix suggestion was inappropriate (I honestly think they were just trying to get rid of some inventory), I still find a lot of versatility in the dress.  If only the dress was machine washable, and then I would totally wear it while lugging around a kid.

earrings

Another great detail I added to this outfit were my earrings from Bauble Bar (similar to these).  My husband actually called them the Statue of Liberty earrings.  They definitely added a little character to my outfit.  I also love how unique they are without them being dangling earrings, which is perfect for little children who try to grab things that dangle like earrings and necklaces.  My daughter looks at them and that’s about it.  So if you are looking for earrings beyond your studs, you should really think about these!!!

And then I completed the outfit with my Dolce Vita sandals.  I would have worn heels, but I knew we would walk a lot in the city.  We ended up walking back to the hotel in Chelsea from the West Village.  Which probably also wasn’t the best choice in these sandals since they offer no support for you foot whatsoever.  But at least I wasn’t dying in heels, which I know would have happened.

P.S.  Sorry for the poor picture quality.  They were taken in the hotel room with my iPhone and poor lighting since I left the DSLR at home.

Growing Up

Today is Oliver’s first day of school, now in the 3 year old classroom.  It amazes me, saddens me, and excites me that he is 3 years old and embarking on a new journey today.  Everyone tells you that it goes by so fast, and these milestones help to remind you how the days, weeks, months, years get shorter and shorter.  It feels like it was just yesterday he was helpless during tummy time, and in a blink of an eye he’s forming sentences and has a mind and will of his own.

So to all the parents out there with kids who are off to school for the year, I wish your child good luck and hope that they are forever curious.

Baked Zucchini Fries

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With summer coming to a close, so does our version of French fries.  These baked zucchini fries make a great side dish or snack (or in the case of my kids, their main course).  Pair it with this homemade avocado ranch dipping sauce, and you’ll have a great snack for watching that football game with your adult pals.

Ingredients
1 large zucchini, cut into fry shape
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
cooking spray

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Take a cookie sheet, line it with foil, then spray with cooking spray.

Combine the bread crumbs and cheese in a shallow bowl.  Whisk eggs in a separate shallow bowl.

Take the zucchini, dip in the eggs, coat in the bread crumb mixture, and then place on your baking sheet.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes, turning the fries over after 10 minutes.

Cook’s Notes
chef_OllieThis is actually a great recipe to have a toddler help you with.  My son loves to help out in the kitchen, and this is our go to recipe to make his “French fries” (this is what he calls them).  I have him beat the eggs a little.  I place the zucchini in the eggs and then mix it in the bread crumbs.  I then have him fish for the zucchini to place on the baking sheet.  Obviously, you know your child best, so whatever task you feel comfortable with them doing you should have them do.  Just make sure you aren’t too pressed for time since little kids are super super slow, and that you are ok with a mess because little kids just don’t know what clean really means.

eatingThis is also a great baby led weaning recipe.  The fries provide different, great textures–the crunchy coat and the soft middle of the zucchini.  It’s also a great shape for your baby to easily pick up on their own to feed themselves.  They might not be so keen on the dipping sauce, but they will love the fries themselves.

Play Date To Date Night

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So here’s another Stitch Fix top (I know, I know!  Everything seems to be from Stitch Fix!!!).  I like the top, but it’s not that practical if you are breastfeeding.  The buttons are decorative, so it won’t open enough for me to easily feed Sammy.  But I don’t mind it so much at this stage because I only feed Sammy 3-4 times a day.  I actually love wearing this top if I am going out to run errands with kids in tow, and then I can easily dress them up with some heeled sandals for a casual date night (preferably with margaritas).

The top is from Stitch Fix by Fun2Fun.  The jeans are distressed boyfriend jeans from J.Crew Factory, similar to these.  The shoes on the left are Toms and the sandals are Steve Madden.

P.S.  I hate taking selfies, so excuse that picture.

Spinach and Bacon Quiche

quiche

This is a great go to recipe in our home.  When my son was first learning how to eat, this was a major hit with him.  My daughter tried it tonight, and she too loved it (although I was picking out the bacon pieces).  It’s a great dish to sneak in some good spinach.  Most of all, I love how I can make it for dinner and then reheat it for breakfast and lunch.  How can you not enjoy pie dough for all three meals?!?!

Ingredients
Pie dough for a 9″ pie or tart pan
6 oz. bag of baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 minced garlic
1 tbs. olive oil
~5 cooked bacon strips
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. pepper
A dash of nutmeg
1 cup cheese (cheddar or gruyere)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.

You will need to blind bake your pie crust.  This means slightly baking your pie crust, that way your crust and filling will finish at the same time.  To do this, line your crust with parchment paper (or foil) and fill with pie weights (or dry beans you have lying around).  Pop it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove the weights and poke the dough all over with a fork.  Then pop it back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

While your dough is baking, cook your bacon strips.  You can do a quick short cut and buy microwavable bacon too.  Just make sure your bacon is pretty crispy to give your quiche more texture.  I feel like soggy bacon gives you a more ham-type texture.  When your bacon is done, finely chop and set aside.

In a saute pan over medium heat, add the olive oil.  Saute your shallots until they become translucent.  Add half of the baby spinach and cover it for 2-3 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt down.  Then add the rest of the spinach and cover again for 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and mix for another minute or two, then place mixture in a bowl and set aside.

In a bowl, thoroughly mix the milk, heavy cream, eggs, pepper, and nutmeg.  Set custard aside.

When your pie crust is done blind baking, add the spinach mixture and evenly spread.  Then add the bacon and cheese.  Slowly add your custard mixture making sure things don’t overflow.  Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes (your quiche should be firm, but jiggle a bit).  Allow your quiche to cool for 10 minutes and serve.

quiche2You can omit the bacon if your baby isn’t ready to eat it (which I would do with Sammy).  I also didn’t add any salt because I feel like you get enough saltiness from the bacon.  So if you omit the bacon, you may want to add salt (unless you are baby led weaning, in which case you are probably becoming very familiar with your salt shaker by now).  Like I said earlier, such a great go to dish!

Maxi Skirt Heaven

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So I usually don’t like maxi dresses/skirts (unless I’m heavily pregnant) just because the length of it is always an issue when you are 5’2″.  But Stitch Fix sent me this great maxi skirt by Loveappella.  The light material is great for summer, the pattern is fun, and the length is absolutely perfect.  I matched it with an old Gap nursing shirt similar to this, but more form fitting.  Sammy is also chewing on her favorite Chewbeads.  If you’ve never heard of Chewbeads and your baby is teething, these things are awesome!!!  They look like any other fashion necklace out there, but these are made out of silicone.  If I wear Sammy, I don’t have to bring a teething toy when I wear her because she loves the Chewbeads.  I confess that I have worn my Chewbeads out sans baby as well just cause they look really nice.  And my shoes are the Rainbow flip flops I live in when it’s summer time.  It’s a great outfit to run errands in or for play dates on a warm summer day.

And in case you are wondering, that’s a Beach Front Baby Water Sling.  It’s made out of a jersey mesh material that’s perfect for a hot summer day and for when you want to take your baby with you into water like a swimming pool, sprayground, or calm ocean water.  It dries super quick and keeps Sammy cool, although I minimize the wearing just because we both get really sweaty and hot in the summer.