Tagged: cheese

WIAW #28 – Noms and Motherhood

Hello, friends!!

After a brief blogging hiatus thanks to this little beauty:
Emma at her Baptism

I have returned with my favorite post of the week… What I Ate Wednesday!! I figured this was my best bet for getting a post up these days, as I haven’t been cooking too much of anything new to share a recipe with you, nor have I been working out regularly yet, as I still have two more weeks until I see my doctor again (though, I won’t lie, I’ve been trying to squeeze in a few minutes of yoga every day and I’ve been taking the little miss for walks in her stroller around the neighborhood!)

As always, shout out to our lovely host, Jenn, at Peas and Crayons!! First, we shall discuss my eats from yesterday…then…motherhood!

Breakfast: Every morning is a little different lately, as Emma’s sleep schedule is still not exactly a schedule quite yet. Yesterday I was up from 4:30 to 6:30 nursing her and changing her and lulling her back to sleep but I went back to sleep and she woke me up at 9:00 with her “MOM I’M SO HUNGRY!” cry. So first thing as soon as I’m up I feed her for a half an hour while my belly rumbles. I’m starving by the time I get to make my own breakfast…which winds up being 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites with Frank’s Red Hot, a whole wheat English muffin with smart balance, a handful of sliced strawberries, a banana, and a giant mug of English Breakfast Tea. While I was making my eggs…which were meant to be over easy…I heard Emma poop from two rooms away (she is a powerful pooper) so I ran to change her and my yolks cooked all the way through. If that’s not unconditional love I don’t know what is. 😉

eggs and fruits

Snack: My first snack of the day was a Kashi Chocolate Almond and Sea Salt with Chia bar…which is mighty tasty and fairly healthy for a prepackaged granola bar…while nursing the little lady. My second snack of the day, also enjoyed during a mid day nursing sesh, was a perfect plum! It was less than two bucks for two pounds of these babies at Wegmans this weekend and I was all over it!
kashi bar
plum

Lunch: Lunch was kind of an ordeal yesterday. Just in that, in a perfect world, both snack times would have been lunch were I not feeding a hungry, hungry baby. I finally got the munchkin to fall asleep so I made this delicious taco salad. My father in law walks into the kitchen and says “it’s quiet in here”…sigh…and right on cue she started screaming. I put my salad down, change her diaper to discover she had a huuuge blow out and I needed to change her onsie, too, and of course I actually put away the laundry so they were all upstairs. I finally had her dressed again and she starts sucking her hands like a maniac ( that’s baby talk for “feed me immediately, woman” for those who don’t know) so of course, I fed her…for forty minutes…while staring at my salad waiting to be eaten.
taco salad

Snack: An oldie but a goodie…plain Greek yogurt with peanut butter, honey, and some chocolate chips. Although after 4-weeks it does feel like my appetite has finally evened out, I pretty much feel starving alllllllll the time. This snack helps. 🙂
pbchip yogurt

Dinner: Sometimes I think everyone needs some cheese and bacon. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I had my cheese and bacon on top of some homemade potato wedges with some scallions, broccoli, and a quick chipotle dipping sauce (1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 of a minced chipotle in adobo, and a pinch of salt.) It was banginnnnn!
cheesy bacon potatoes

After dinner it was about 8:00pm and I made myself a glass of chocolate milk before I sat down to feed the baby again. By 10:00 she was satisfied, changed twice, and snoozing…so I hit the hay, too. We slept from about 10:30 to almost but not quite 1:00am before she woke me up for more noms.

Late Night Snack: These Luna Protein Bars have been a godsend during my late night feedings. They are pretty small but pack a whopping 12 grams of protein – which means I can eat them quickly and actually feel satisfied for a while! I enjoyed this bad boy in bed by the soft glow of a nightlight, while feeding my baby girl at 2:00am. Obviously I would choose the chocolate peanut butter flavor…but the cookie dough is quite delightful, too.
luna protein


So there we have a full day of eats for nursing mom, me!!

NOW ONTO MOTHERHOOD!!
I’m not gonna lie to you…these last four weeks have been a whirlwind for sure! I am completely flabbergasted that my baby girl is four weeks old today and will be a full month old this weekend!! Even when my days have no real distinct beginning or end it’s astounding how quickly time is going by. I’m doing everything I can to soak up the moments I have with my daughter while she’s this teeny tiny person…but I notice changes in her every day and I can’t help but be excited by what the future will bring!!

ABOUT BREASTFEEDING
My decision to breastfeed is one thing I receive the most questions about and I can say without hesitation that I know it was the right choice. “Are you sure she’s eating enough?” is a common question. Here’s a fun fact: yesterday I fed Emma for a grand total of 6 hours and 24 minutes. I’ve been using a fancy app the last two weeks recommended to me by my dear friend and fellow new mommy, Desirae, called “Feed Baby” which helps me to time and keep track of feedings, diapers, sleep, and it has been SO helpful! Then we get to “Are you sure she’s not eating too much?” *sigh* Sometimes I think it’s a bigger pain in the fanny to EXPLAIN breastfeeding to people then breastfeeding is itself! Even when I’m running on two hour of sleep at a time I am very patient with my baby. I am much less patient with grown-ups. Lucky for me, I feel very blessed that the important people in my life support my decision to breastfeed! I really wish more people would educate themselves about breastfeeding…and in general…before making assumptions about the well-being of my child.

ON MY POSTPARTUM BODY
Something I find particularly fascinating about some other women, and society in general I suppose, is how often you hear that a body is “ruined” after having a baby. It’s so common to hear other women complain about how their body was never the same after giving birth. There was even a part of me that was concerned I may feel the same way after having Emma. I can tell you now, though, that I cannot for a moment understand how anyone can feel that way about their body after their baby is born. I LOVE my postpartum body. Sure, there are parts of me that are still squishy…I had a baby four weeks ago! But my squishy body was the home of my beautiful, baby girl for 40 weeks. My hips may be wider, my butt may be smaller, and my clothes may fit me differently, but I could NEVER hate my body after it gave me the greatest gift I have ever received. Once I’m in the clear to work out again, I will be doing so of course. But I certainly won’t be obsessed with “getting my body back.” What I will be focusing on is making the most of this new, beautiful body I have now, and seeing what other amazing things it’s capable of doing.

Real Food Recipe Roundup #3 – Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!!

Lolz.

I know it’s not St. Patty’s yet – but I figured it’s close enough that I could greet you all like an enthusiastic leprechaun without too much judgement.

Anywho – I’m going to keep this short and sweet today because I’ve got not one but TWO recipes (ya know…that are particularly delicious when served together) and they’re kind of lengthy. I made these for the fam last weekend and everyone loveeeeedddddd it!!! Even the men were happy with the spaghetti squash, which really made me happy!!

If you’ve got a real food recipe that you’d like to share, don’t forget to grab a badge and link up at the bottom of the post!!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

<a href=”http://twentysomethingandstarving.com” target=”_self”><img src=”http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h130/Jennifer_Yoder/46133fa4-d3da-44aa-bd3a-92bd35349c37_zps9dc148ce.jpg” alt=”Twenty-Something & Starving” width=”250″ height=”150″ /></a>


 

 

 

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

For the Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs (makes about 30 meatballs)

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
    (or about 1.5 lbs lean ground chicken)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto + More to taste
    (you can make your own or use store bought! I use Wegmans brand when I’m in a pinch. It’s delicious AND check out the ingredients)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb of part skim mozzarella cheese, cut into little cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the bell pepper, garlic, and basil to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it forms a paste. Add about half of the chicken breasts and pulse until ground. Remove the chicken mixture and place in a large bowl. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Once all of the chicken is ground and in the bowl, add the pesto, Parmesan, panko, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

To prepare the meatballs, grab a small handful (about the size of a golf ball) of the chicken mixture and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Add a mozzeralla cube to the center and form the meatball around it, being careful not to expose the cheese.  Repeat until all of the meatballs are formed.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs to the pan (fill it up, but make sure they aren’t touching) and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until brown. Remove meatballs from the skillet as they are done and place them on a large baking sheet, adding more meatballs to the skillet as you go, until all of the meatballs are brown.

Place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove, and brush the meatballs with some more prepared pesto. Return the pan to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes more or until the meatballs are cooked through to a safe 165 degrees.

Serve on top of Baked Spaghetti Squash!

For the Baked Spaghetti Squash

  • 2 spaghetti squash, roasted, cooled, and spaghettified
    (Yup, that’s the technical term. Directions for spaghettifying here!)
  • 1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except mozzarella cheese.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray and add the spaghetti squash mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown and the squash is warm through.

Serve topped with Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs!

chicken pesto meatballs with baked spaghetti squash

What I Ate Wednesday #11

I’m so happy it’s Wednesday!!!! Why??

BECAUSE TOMORROW IS THURSDAY AND I GET MY ULTRASOUND AND I GET TO FIND OUT IF BABY YODER IS A BOY OR A GIRLL!!!!!!!! SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

(Okay, I get it in an envelope tomorrow, will give it to my fabulous baker who is making us red velvet cupcakes with a pink or blue center and I get to find out with some of my most closest friends on Saturday if baby is a boy or a girl. But either way…I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!)

I’m also excited because I prepared my eleventh (really, eleven already, wowzers!) What I Ate Wednesday post yesterday. Technically it’s What I Ate Tuesday, but ya know, tomato, tomatoe.  A big thank you to Jenn at Peas and Crayons as usual for hosting this fabulous link up!

On to the foods!

Breakfast: Yum and a half! I had two pieces of my leftover quiche! I didn’t take a picture, because my office was dark and ugly yesterday morning because it was early and snowing out. But here is a pretty one I took when I made the quiche! I also had some decaf earl gray because that’s what I do. slice o'quiche

Snack:  Snack time hit me right at 10 yesterday. I had a S’More Luna Bar and some more decaf earl gray in my Maurader’s Map Mug. Then I snapped a selfie because I felt like it…and obviously you guys can’t get enough of me on here, right? 😀

lunabarmoiLunch: First thing is first – naan bread is delicious. It is not, however, a suitable replacement for pita bread. Wegmans was toooooootally sold out of any whole wheat pita bread when Johnny and I got out groceries on Monday. *womp womp* “It’s okay, Jen,” I thought, “I’ll just get this whole wheat naan instead!” Welp, my lunch yesterday was tasty – buuuuuuuuut  I had to eat it with a fork and knife. It was some whole wheat naan that I toasted and spread with a little of this fancy new avocado hummus I bought on sale. (Avocado hummus tastes like regular hummus, in case you were wondering). I had a Morning Star Farms Mediterranean Chickpea Burger with some feta, spinach, roasted peppers, and red onion. Delish. Not as good as the Spicy Black Bean Burger that I love so much in my opinion, but I’m much more of a “spicy” gal than I am “Mediterranean”.

hummus veggieburgerSnacks: Soon after lunch I had myself and adorable lil’ clementine and two Hershey kisses that have been sitting in my desk drawer for waaay too long and tasted like I may have kept a really ripe banana in there with them at some point in time. Oh well. Chocolate fix achieved. (P.S. Like my new pink planner?! I picked it up over the weekend. I really find that I remember things better when I write them all down. I’ve been using it to log my food and workout summaries, too! Let’s hope I keep it up!)

darlingclementinekissesMore Snacks: Boy am I a hungry monster lately. I picked up some of the new simply balanced sunflower and flax crisps at Target over the weekend. They’re pretty tasty. I love the crunch!! I think they’re a bit too sweet for crackers, though. I had 5 of them to munch with 5 baby slices of cheddar cheese and about 1/2 of a suuuuper ripe pear. (It was so ripe I could only eat half of it…because the other half was mush. Oh well!) I also had another mug’o decaf earl gray. I can’t help it. I love it so much. It was also super cold in my office!snacktime

Dinner: Well my dinner plans went in a few different directions yesterday. I had planned on stir fry because it’s healthy and quick and we go to the gym on Tuesday and aren’t usually home until about 7ish. I was sooooo sad to find out that the gym decided to close at 1:30 because of the snow. It was supposed to be leg day. *sigh* I love leg day! So instead…I made mac & cheese…because that’s definitely not a post-workout meal! And stir fry is out of the question for the rest of the week now, too, because I accidentally knocked the bottle of sesame sauce off the shelf and it shattered all over the floor whilst making dinner. Oh life. Cleaning it up was a family affair. I felt less bad eating mac & cheese after mopping the entire kitchen floor after my hubby and MIL picked up all of the glass pieces and sopped up the sauce. I also made myself a quick salad with butter lettuce, spinach, cherry tomatoes, carrots, peppers, red onion, and a few croutons to eat before I sat down with my mac. I filled myself up with salad first so I didn’t eat half a pound of mac & cheese. I think that makes sense, right? It was probably closer to 1/3 of a pound instead. But ya know – progress!  Also, I’m growing a human sooooooooo imma get my mac & cheese on if I wanna.  Quincy reaaaaaallly wanted to share. I’m afraid not this time, Q!

saladmacncheeseqncheese


Ridiculous, Cheesy, Perfection

I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!!

I had a fabulous Pre-Christmas weekend with my family (I’ll recap it after today’s recipes!!) But  good heavens, I can’t wait to get home tomorrow, hunker down with some Wonton Soup and Sesame Chicken from our favorite Chinese take-out place, snuggle up on the couch, and watch Santa Claus is Coming to Town!! We will also be exchanging gifts with my husband’s family – which they do on Christmas Eve. I will also shamelessly prepare a big pan of break-and-bake chocolate chip cookies to enjoy.  This is the way I’ve spent every Christmas Even for quite some time now and it’s traditions like these that I love and I think make the holidays so special?? What do you and your family do on Christmas Eve? What is your FAVORITE holiday tradition?  

Now last week I promised I would share a recipe with you that, I’m telling you, is the epitome of ridiculous, cheesy, perfection.  To cut through the richness of this AMAZING mac & cheese, I served it with a light kale and pomegranate salad. This salad is pretty fabulous, too, I can’t lie to you. It’d be great as a meal all on it’s on with a nice piece of bread to go with it. It’d also be great with a little crumbled feta or goat cheese in the mix. However, I didn’t think 6 cheeses were necessary on the evening I prepared this! I will share that recipe below, too!!

macandsalad

 

5 Cheese Pancetta Mac & Cheese

  • 2 lbs cavatappi pasta, or pasta of your choice
  • 1 lb white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 8 oz diced pancetta
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat free milk
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg

Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high  heat in a large pot or sauce pan. Add the pancetta and onion and saute until the pancetta is crisp and the onions begin to soften and caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining butter and flour and stir well to combine. Let the flour mixture cook for about 3 minutes, until the flour begins to brown. Slowly whisk in the 2 cups of milk and reduce the heat to medium low. Add the cream cheese cubes and continue to whisk until the cream cheese melts into the mixture.

Combine the remaining cheeses in a large bowl, and reserve 1/2 cup for topping.

Add the remaining cheeses to the cream cheese mixture and whisk very well until all of the cheese is melted. This sauce will be on the thicker side.  Keep whisking.  Add the black pepper and nutmeg. Whisk a bit more.

Drain the pasta just shy of al dente and add it directly to the cheese sauce. Fold the pasta into the cheese sauce and transfer it to a large baking dish sprayed with a little nonstick spray. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and place in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and brown.

Let sit for about 5 minutes before digging in!!

macandcheese

 

Kale and Pomegranate Salad

For the Pomegranate Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or minced fine
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar or a container with a tight fitting lid. Make sure the lid is secure and shake, shake, shake until everything is combined! Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking.

For the Salad

  • 2 cups kale leaves, cleaned and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 large pear, sliced thin
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine all of the ingredients in  a large salad bowl. Toss well to combine and add as much dressing as you like! This salad is safe to make an hour or two ahead of time, as kale is sturdy enough to hold up to the dressing!!

kalesalad

 

If you make either of these recipes, please let me know how the come out for you!!!

Now onto my weekend recap!!! We spent Friday night in NYC with Bill and Susan and had a fabulous Italian Dinner at Daniela on 8th Avenue. The muscles were amazing and I ate my fill of them and sopped up the ridiculous creamy tomato broth with the hot, fresh bread they provided. Susan and I went splitsies on Penne al la Vodka, which was perfect – and a linguine dish in a garlic white wine sauce with calamari, muscles, and clams. You couldn’t pick a favorite!!

Of course we stopped by the tree in Rockefeller Center!! The weather was a bit warmer than we anticipated, so there was no snow on the ground. It was lovely to walk around and not freeze, though!!

Here is my obligatory photo with the hubs by the tree!! It’s so pretty. I love it so much.

1502473_10100858637969682_495313551_n

Saturday, we met up with some of my extended family for dinner at the Palisades Mall and had a fabulous time!! Here are some photos of the action!

Me & My Papa Bear
I always have the worst eyes in pictures!!! But here I am with my Dad!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's Susan and I being pretty and wearing adorable scarves!!
Here’s Susan and I being pretty and wearing adorable scarves!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I photo bomed their picture with Uncle Santa!
I photo bombed Bill and Susan’s picture with Uncle Santa…muhuhaha!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me, Chris, Johnny, Uncle Bob, & Sarah
Here I am with my little brother Chris, Johnny, my little sister Sarah, and my Uncle Bob (Santa!!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A wonderful time was had by all!!! We exchanges cookies and wine (among other gifts) and enjoyed our holiday time together!!

Sunday morning Susan and I met up with our great friend Desirae for breakfast at my most favorite diner. I finally met Desirae’s boyfriend and we discussed our little buns in the oven! I’m afraid I have no photos of that to share, but it’s all good.

Johnny and I ended our weekend meeting up with Melinda and Kyle and our friend Sue, her husband Matt, and their little man Juddah, who is probably the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen!!

Finally, woo this has been a marathon post, I’d like to wish my mother and her best friend Debbie BOTH a very happy birthday!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMA & DEBBIE!! 

That’s all for now, folks!!

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

XX/OO

 

 

 

Three Bean Tamale Bake

Greetings, ya’ll! As promised, I have returned with a delightful new recipe to share with you.

Now, I mentioned in my post Monday that with this baby on board, I’ve started to be a bit less fond of chicken. It’s so weird!! I can still eat a little bit once in a while, but I’ve started seeking alternatives for my quick post-workout meals.

This particular recipe is one I’ve had in my arsenal for a while and just kind of forgot about. Do you have any recipes like that in your repertoire?  I used to make this all the time with ground turkey or shredded chicken, but I decided tonight that would make it meatless! If your husband is anything like mine…the idea of a meatless dinner (unless it’s Mac & Cheese) may not be his favorite thing. Lucky for me, top anything with Jiffy Corn Bread and he’ll manage through with a smile on his face.

Starring a hearty combination of black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans…all you really need to make this recipe is a can opener and a skillet! This recipe is fantastic for any mom-to-be who is experiencing any meat aversions or anyone looking for a meatless, high protein recipe! Future mommies should make it a point to try and incorporate beans and whole grains into their diet daily… your baby (and digestive system) will thank you later!

 Three Bean Tamale Bake

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup prepared salsa verde
  • 1 tablespoon Chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 box prepared corn bread mix (like Jiffy or Bob’s Red Mill), prepared to box directions
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Optional Garnishes: avocado, lime, cilantro, scallions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in an oven safe skillet. Add the onion, peppers, and tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the remaining ingredients (except the cornbread) to the skillet and stir well until combined.

Pour prepared corn bread mix on top of the bean mixture. Top with cheese and place it in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Let sit 5 minutes before serving (You don’t realllllllllllly have to wait if you’re impatient like me… it just will stay a bit more together this way and you are less likely to burn your tongue!!)

Here it is fresh from the oven….gosh I can’t wait to have a camera again (instead of my camera phone!)

20131203_193642

Annnnd heeeeeeeeere it is all delicious and served up with some shredded cheese, fresh slices of avocado, scallions, cilantro, and a little squeeze of lime. It’s not the prettiest meal I’ve ever made, but boy is it delicious!

IMG_20131203_195013