May 21, 2015

Greek "Meat" Balls

These are, so far, my favorite meatless meatballs that I've made. Ever. They key is definitely to make a meatball that is not intended for spaghetti and sauce. Because, to me, there are a very specific flavor/texture combo for spaghetti and sauce. And never have I ever had a lentil/blackbean/seitan ball that recreated that for me.

These meatballs are meant to taste more eggplanty and greek. They are mostly made up of eggplant and chickpeas, both greeky flavors. I added lots of spices, and finished them off with a yogurt sauce over rice. Yum.

Greek "meat" balls
1 eggplant, sliced
1c cooked chickpeas
1 egg
1/2c breadcrumbs
2 Tbs mayo
greek spices to taste (I have one of those "greek flavor" spice combo shakers. But I know that fresh herbs would be oh-so-much better!)
oil for pan frying

1. grill/pan eggplant pieces until soft
2. combine cooked eggplant and chickpeas in food processor until it's a chunky slightly pasty consistency.
3. put into bowl, and mix in breakcrumbs, mayo, spices, and egg by hand
4. shape balls and pan fry in oil about 5-10 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Turning to brown evenly
5. Serve over white rice, cover in tzatziki sauce, and enjoy!

Happy Friday Eve!


May 18, 2015

4 Month Update

Happy Four Monthaversary Clark-Man!

bath time
getting tickled (but still working on his laugh!)
being held
seeing all the action. In the kitchen! At the table! In the living room!
exploring his "screamy" voice

loud noises

about 15 lbs

Little Squeak
Fuzzy Head
Stinky Head
Cheesy Boy

I want to remember
His stinking adorable outfits that were still stinkin adorable even when he was clearly too large for them

How he makes grumpy old man faces

This moment. Hanging out in his room on Mother's Day

I can't believe another month has gone by! I'm so excited for the summer as we have planned visits with family, and he is starting to being more interactive every day! It feels less like we are planning our schedule around him, and more like we are planning how to schedule things so he can be a part too!

Happy Monday!


May 13, 2015

An argument for the goodness of morning routine

I need to get up early. I know this sounds crazy. And my friends will tell you, that I love to sleep in. (Hello college me? ENJOY IT) But I seriously function better if I get up early to start the day. I love breakfast. I love coffee. I love feeling like I have myself put together before walking out the door. I love breakfast. I love getting to touch base with my husband. Also, did I mention I love breakfast?

But for real, Here's the breakdown of why having a routine works for me

1. Food + Coffee
Hangry and groggy is not the best start to the day. But seriously, not only does it kickstart the day for me. But also, think of the 4+ dollars a day you save by not stopping at starbucks and/or bojangles. 

2. Remember all the things!
There's nothing worse than hurriedly running out the door in the morning only to realize you forgot your lap top power cord halfway to work. Or worse, your pump's power cord. yikes! Having a routine in the morning helps your brain to remember all the things you need for the day. After awhile it becomes habit, and forgetfulness happens way less!

3. Knowing what to expect
Everyone talks about the bedtime routine for kids, I say the same is true for the mornings! Our little man is still super small, but he seems to be comforted in knowing what to expect when he wakes up. Plus, routine helps keep control of chaos. And if you've ever been on a school bus with a bunch of middle schoolers who see a spider... you really know how important it is to control chaos. (trust me)

So, have I convinced you yet?!

Are you curious what my morning routine is?

Here's what it looks like;
5:15-5:20:: Hubs' alarm goes off, he gets up
5:20-5:30 :: Hubs heads downstairs (starts coffee), I start to wake up. Most days I get up, wash my face, moisturize and put on concealer
5:30-5:35 :: Head downstairs, get frozen stash out of freezer and put in water to thaw
5:35-6:00 :: Make breakfast (this is usually frozen waffles, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, eggs, etc), sit down to eat breakfast and drink coffee
6:00am :: Wake up the baby!
6-6:20 :: change, feed, clothe Clark, hubs takes the diapers for daycare downstairs
6:20-6:45 :: put C in bouncy chair while getting dressed, finishing hair and makeup
6:45am :: head downstairs, fix bottles, load car 
6:55am :: head out for the day!

That's about it! [On weekends the routine shifts by about an hour or two, and sometimes includes baby if he wakes up early.] Are there mornings when I cringe when the alarm goes off at 5:15? Of course. But leaving the house with everything I need for the day + full stomach + coffee is so worth it.

Plus, little man **knock on wood** has been doing great for us in the mornings! Usually he's in a better mood even after having to be woken up than he is in the afternoons!

What do you think? Do you have a morning routine? What works best in your family? I'd love to hear!

Happy Hump Day!


May 11, 2015

Simple Pickled Relish for fish tacos

If you follow me on instagram, you've probably seen that I "harvested" some radishes this year. I think I'd eaten radishes a total of 2 times in my life before deciding to add them to my container garden, so you'll understand when I tell you that I wasn't immediately struck with what to use them for after I'd filled up on one sliced and dipped in ranch.

Then I saw this recipe for quick pickled radish, and was so excited! I decided to quick-chop the radishes instead of slice them, and I added about 1/4 an onion.

Then I grilled up some tilapia and corn and called it a day!

Quick Pickle Radishes and Onions
~ 5-6 radishes
1/4 sweet onion
3/4c apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar
3/4c water
2Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 clove garlic

chop up your radishes and onions about relish-sized
but in glass jar with mustard seeds and garlic clove

boil vinegar, water, and sugar
pour boiling mixture over vegetables and spices

put lid on and refrigerate at least a day before eating

lasts about 1-2 weeks in the fridge

Happy Monday!


April 20, 2015

3 Month Update

Three Months!!!!!! 
A little late posting, but so freaking proud of myself for getting a picture on the actual three month mark. hashtag: mom win.

Not sure. But surely over 12 lbs

The fan
colorful toys
being held
church nursery

Being hungry
Being sleepy
Windy windy days (while outside)

Little Man
Little Squeak

I want to remember
What it sounds like when he's so so happy but still isn't able to laugh out loud. He just squeaks and gets a tad shreiky. But no laugh yet.

This Face:

How he lets me dress him up in whatever I want! I'm sure that'll only last so long

April 14, 2015

On revelations. And Making things.

So I've had a revelation. 

I think it's no secret that I like to make things. In fact, if I could be a professional "maker" and just hang out creating all day every day, it would be a dream.  I thought that having a shop filled with fun and colorful goodies was something I wanted. Gifts for yourself or your friends. Like maybe tons of these burp cloths in fun colors, or beautiful quilts hand-stitched and ready for your purchasing pleasure. I mean, dang, I've even imagined selling awesome dining room tables because I love ours so much!

So I opened and etsy shop.
I made a small amount of things.
I posted them.
And then I ended up giving these things away as gifts to friends and family.
Over and over.
And over.

See, you guys. I couldn't really get it off the ground. Sometimes I post some things, but most of the time the shop just sits there, bare and empty.

So, I thought long and hard about this. And after many moons I have finally realized; it's hard for me to make things that don't have a home yet! It's hard to me to feel inspired when I have no idea where my creation will end up. I like making things, and imaging the look on the face of the receiver. Imagine that person using the thing or gifting the thing. Make sense? On top of that, I realized I don't really have tons of room to just store stuff!

I'm so glad I came to this revelation!  I just can't seem to make boatloads things out of sheer will to sell. I like the story behind the things. I like the human interaction. Figuring out what would be just right for someone. So I've decided to mostly work through this site and through friends. And friends of friends. And referrals. Eventually I'll have a commissions page (hopefully alongside a small redesign) up there at the top. And my etsy shop will  re-direct you to that page. Hooray!

Have you come to any revelations lately? I feel like I spend enough time thinking about what I really want for myself, and how I should grow, that I'm always thrilled when pieces click!

Happy Tuesday!


April 8, 2015

English Muffins!

Ok, so we've gone over bagels and how attainable they are. Let's go ahead and dive into english muffins. I have loved english muffins for as long as I can remember. We always bought the ones in the orange package, 6-count, where you can also by sliced bread. Yum yum delicious. I've never had any qualms with store bought english muffins. (Unlike my total dismay and disgust for frozen pretzels that led me on this journey many moons ago)

But the one day I made them from scratch.

It was around the same time that I made bagels from scratch. And I was pretty pleased with how easy they were, and also pleased knowing that I was aware of all the ingredients that I would later be ingesting. I'm not a super stickler for knowing all ingredients or anything, but when the process is not super laborious, and heck even fun, why fight it?

The method is pretty simple: mix dough. let rise. roll out. stamp (with large circle cutter, or in this case I tried some square-ish shapes). cook on stovetop.
Yep. You don't even turn on the oven for these puppies. Perfect as the temps start to rise outside.

I banged out a double batch of these right before heading back to work. I don't recommend double batching on your first attempt. My nooks and crannies were not quite as nooky and cranny-y as I prefer. But they were still delish. Also, having a baby give you side eye while you're cooking is always fun.

English Muffins (adapted from Sprinkle Bakes)
1/4c warm water
1 Tbs yeast
1tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 egg
4c flour
11/4c warm milk
2Tbs butter, melted
2Tbs oil of choice (veg. oil or walnut oil is my personal preference)
cornmeal for dusting

1. Mix together the water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit about 3-4 minutes until foamy
2. slowly mix in the milk, melted butter, and egg
3. add the flour and mix with a dough hook 3-4 minutes, until combined and smooth
4. Let rise 1 hour, until doubled
5. roll out (about an inch thick) using cornmeal for dusting surfaces to keep from sticking
6. Cut out circles with large glass/cup/biscuit cutter
7. In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat
8. Cook circles on medium about 2 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through.
9. Enjoy straight out the pan with a nice slab of butter or let cool and store in large ziplock in fridge! (These also freeze well for us, and we put them in the fridge the night before we want to eat them)

Happy Breakfasting!


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