Quick Dish: Turkey & Quinoa

I made this because I wanted to make something like couscous with leftovers, but a little more hearty, so I used quinoa, but you could use rice or another grain if you prefer. Also I used turkey because I have a ton leftover in the freezer, but you could use cooked chicken, or even canned chicken, tuna or salmon probably. Sorry no picture. I was too hungry and ate it up quickly. It was also a big hit with my husband and toddler.

1/2 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup cooked turkey
1 tsp coconut oil (or butter if you prefer)
1/4-1/2 tsp each: dried rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage
1-2 Tbl coconut milk (optional)
1/4 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash quinoa well and place in rice cooker with all other ingredients. How much salt you add will depend on how much salt was in the original recipe for the cooked turkey (or other protein of choice), so keep that in mind.

2. Turn the rice cooker on and it should be done in about 15-20 min. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you could use a pot on the stove, but you’d just have to stir it occassionally and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

3. When the rice cooker is done, stir it and serve. This amount probably only serves 1 or 2 people, but we made it go farther by accompanying it with cheese and crackers and carrot-daikon salad.


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Homemade Candy Bar (sort of)

We had some friends coming over for dessert and I wanted to make something new and interesting, and also wanted to somehow transform a cheesy chocolate apple that my husband got from a student into something delicious, and use up a few other ingredients. The flavor came out really good, but the presentation….not so much. Since I didn’t plan this recipe ahead of time, it didn’t have enough time in the fridge to fully harden. But our guests were gracious and said they enjoyed it anyway. My husband also said it was pretty good.


9 wheat crackers

~ 1/2 cup whole milk

~1 1/2 cups marshmallows

~ 1/2 cup roasted peanuts

1 tsp vanilla

1 hollow milk chocolate apple

2 oz unsweetened chocolate

1. Melt the marshmallows and the milk and the vanilla together in a small pot on low heat, whisking constantly.

2. Meanwhile, place 6 whole crackers in the bottom of the container and crush the remaining 3 in your hand to fill in the gaps between the crackers.

3. As soon as the marshmallow mixture is fully melted, pour half of it over the crackers, then layer the peanuts on, and then pour the remaining marshmallow mixture on top.

4. This is what the hollow chocolate apple looked like. Doesn’t look very appealing. It looks waxy, too milky and too sweet. Some unsweetened chocolate should help curb it’s grossness. So chop it all up and place it in the top of a double boiler. Stir constantly so the chocolate doesn’t burn.

5. Unfortunately, I was in a hurry and forgot that I should probably have put the marshmallow mixture in the fridge for about an hour before melting the chocolate and then pouring over it, so that the chocolate would stay on top. But of course I forgot that. So the chocolate started to sink into the marshmallow mixture and looked really ugly, like this:

So then I tried to smooth it out and make it look more presentable, like this:

But it still came out pretty ugly. Oh well, at least it tasted good. So in it went to the fridge for 45 min. Turns out that wasn’t enough time, so I had to let it sit longer in the fridge to harden enough before cutting into squares. It probably would’ve benefited from at least 4 hours in the fridge before the chocolate layer and then maybe another 2 hours or so after that.

Anyway, that’s it. I think it would actually be a pretty decent dessert if I had made the marshmallow layer a little thinner, let it harden completely before topping with enough chocolate (and with better chocolate), and letting the whole thing harden well enough and then cut into squares. But even so, it was still pretty good. Maybe if somebody makes and improves upon this recipe you can let me know how it went.

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Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Empanadas: Sweet

These are more of a dessert empanada. To see the savory recipe, click here. For these I wanted to make the classic baked yams that people make for Thanksgiving with the melted marshmallows on top, but put it all inside an empanada. And just to mix things up I wanted to make a different kind of dough to try out. I had read that you could use pie crust for empanada dough, so I used my favorite pie crust recipe, from my sister in law, which is an all vegetable oil crust, but instead of pure canola oil, I used some coconut oil. I thought coconut oil would go well with sweet potatoes. The reason this is my favorite pie crust is that you can use it immediately after making, no need to rest in the fridge, and it’s really easy to roll out, and it still has a really good flaky texture like all pie crusts, but tastes much lighter and less fatty than other varieties. Anyway, here’s the dough recipe for these specific empanadas.


4 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp salt

2/3 cup coconut oil

2/3 cup canola oil


1. Put flour and salt in food processor and pulse a couple times. Add coconut oil and pulse until the coconut oil breaks up and is mixed more into the flour. Turn processor on and pour canola oil through the feed tube to more thoroughly mix into the flour, add a few tablespoons of water, with the machine still running, until the dough starts to clump together.

2. Pour contents into a bowl and knead by hand a little, adding a few tablespoons of water as needed until it holds together well. At this point you could put it in the fridge if you don’t wanna use it right away, but it will crumble when you take it out later, so you will need to add more water to get it to hold together again. Anyway, it’s better to just use this crust right away.

3. To make the filling just mix all these together.


3-4 smallish sweet potatoes, roasted, peeled and mashed

1-2 Tbl brown sugar

2 Tbl melted butter

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

pinch of nutmeg

~1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup mini marshmallows

4. For these I wanted to make them a little smaller so I formed the dough into 20 balls, instead of just 10. Place a damp towel on the counter and roll each ball between two layers of parchment paper over top of the towel. The damp towel will help keep the paper from slipping all over the place. I tried using wax paper and it just kept falling apart. Parchment paper is much better and easier.

5. Place about 2 tsp of filling, fold over and crimp the edges of the dough together. As you can see in the picture, I had trouble getting the dough closed cause I kept putting too much filling. Also I discovered that the other dough, from the savory recipe, is a little more pliable so it would stretch over the filling without breaking, but not this dough, so keep that in mind.

6. Brush with egg wash and bake in the oven 400F for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

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Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Empanadas: Savory

This year I wanted to make something that would have the traditional Thanksgiving flavors, but with a more interesting twist and I think I’ve accomplished that with two recipes: this savory one and a sweet one to come. This would be a good use of Thanksgiving leftovers that could then be frozen and then you have individual portions of Thanksgiving leftovers to eat when you don’t know what to cook. These things are very filling. One is definitely adequate for a meal. I guess kind of like homemade hot pockets or something. Anyway, they came out really good. I based them off of a few recipes I found. The dough is based off of this recipe, but it’s a little healthier cause I used half vegetable oil instead of lard or other shortening. I’ve made different kinds of pie crusts and the ones that are all butter are much harder to roll out later, but this one, I guess because of the vegetable oil, it was super easy to roll out, right out of the fridge. The filling was inspired by recipes found here, here and here.

Makes about 10 empanadas, or if you prefer them smaller, you could make about 20.

Empanada dough:

4 cups flour

1 tsp salt

2 Tbl sugar

8 Tbl butter, cut into cubes

scant 1/2 cup veg oil

3/4 water

2 egg yolks

Mix flour, salt, sugar and butter in the food processor until mixed. Turn food processor on and slowly pour vegetable oil through the feed tube to get more evenly mixed in the flour. Pour into a bowl and mix by hand with water and egg yolks until it holds together and can smoosh into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate a few hours, until you need it.


3-4 smallish sweet potatoes

1-2 Tbl olive oil

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

1 Tbl cumin seeds

1 Tbl brown sugar

2 tsp salt

juice of 1/2 lime

2 cups cooked turkey meat

~ 4 oz queso fresco, chopped

1 handful cilantro, chopped

1 handful parsley, chopped

egg wash

1. Roast sweet potatoes until soft, let cool and peel skin and mash.

2. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, cumin, brown sugar and salt. Heat until brown and soft.

3. Add lime juice, turkey, onion mixture, queso and chopped herbs and stir. Check seasoning to see if you need more salt or lime juice.

At this point you can put it in the fridge over night and make them the next day or take the dough out of the fridge and divide into 10 balls. Roll out each ball of dough, dusting with flour if you need to, until it’s about 5-6 inches in diameter. Place about 2-3 Tbls of filling on the dough, fold over and crimp the edges. Place on greased baking sheets and brush with egg wash.

Bake in a 400 oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy!

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Easier Eggplant Parmesan


I’m not the biggest fan of eggplant parmesan, or chicken parmesan either, because it’s so heavy and usually very salty, at least in restaurants. Plus it’s so much work to have to bread and fry everything. So this technically isn’t eggplant parmesan, but I like eggplant and I like pasta and I thought they tasted pretty good together. Hope you enjoy it!

10-12 small Indian eggplant
1 green bell pepper
2 smallish yellow onions
2-3 Tbl olive oil
~ 1 lb spaghetti or other pasta
~ 2 cups tomato sauce
grated parmesan cheese
2-3 sprigs basil

1. Cut the eggplants in half and then slice into thick half moon slices. Place in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let drain for 10 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Roughly chop green pepper and onions and place in a 9×13 glass baking dish. When 10 minutes is up, rinse the eggplant slices under cold water to remove the bitter juices and excess salt. Place in the baking dish with the peppers and onions. Sprinkle with black pepper, salt and the olive oil, mix with your hands to evenly coat and place in the oven for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, grate parmesan and wash basil.

4. When the 20 minutes is up, take the dish out of the oven, layer the pasta on top of the roasted vegetables and pour the sauce on top of the pasta. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and put back in the oven for 20 minutes.

5. When thoroughly heated through and cheese is melted, remove from the oven and sprinkle with basil while it cools for a few minutes.

Serve with extra grated parmesan and enjoy!

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Making Food Good for Your Baby

I’m so excited for Jenna and Adam, and for Alice who has now joined their family! I wish I could be there to give her a big congratulatory hug, or help her cook and clean after Alice is born, or be there to cry with her when life gets tough in those first few weeks, but I’m far away, so I will be praying and hope to meet Alice in person someday.

This virtual baby shower idea is awesome! I’m glad I get to participate from far away. I’m not the greatest chef, but I like good food and I like feeding my baby good food, and I know that Jenna wants her baby to learn to appreciate good food and not stick with just mac and cheese and chicken nuggets, so I decided to talk about something that I really enjoyed doing this year for my baby, for the same reason: making good baby food.

The phrase baby food conjures up all kinds of feelings of grossness in people’s minds, because store bought baby food really is just that…gross. But homemade baby food is entirely different and even fun to make. Homemade baby food is really just delicious adult food in easily edible form.

I started with purees exclusively when my baby was 6-7 months and then built up to small chunks around 9-10 months and finally able to feed him directly off my plate at almost every meal by 14 months. However, at 17 months my baby still does not have all of his teeth (currently just one set of molars), so I still give him certain foods in pureed form, because he’s not able to eat them otherwise.

Some Moms don’t give their babies any purees because they somehow feel like it’s not real food and that they won’t be able to self regulate their appetites, but this doesn’t bother me because I eat foods all the time that are at least partially pureed: green smoothies, yogurt smoothies, applesauce, squash casserole, mashed potatoes, curries, etc. And babies that are spoon-fed are still able to self regulate, you just have to listen to their cues, give them more if they indicate so, and resist the temptation to give them the last few bites, if they tell you they’re all done.

Ok now on to the recipes:


I started with making one food at a time and then would mix them later. In order to have a good stash of food ready, I would buy 5 ingredients and make them in shifts and puree and then freeze in ice cube trays that I have designated for food (we have separate ones for just water), so that I had small amounts that I could defrost quickly. After they froze I would transfer them to ziploc bags and mark them with the date I made them.

Above you see peas, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes and pears. Here’s how I made them:

Sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 400F. Scrub 2-3 sweet potatoes and pat dry. Pierce all over with a knife and roast in the oven for 45-60 minutes on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet, until easily pierced through. You can also peel and simmer them as with the other vegetables, but they taste better roasted, and they can be roasting while you make the rest.

Peas: Put a little water in a small pot and put in about a cup or so of frozen peas. Bring to a boil and simmer for just a couple minutes (just enough to heat them up because they’re already cooked) and transfer to a metal bowl to cool off while you make the next one.

Green Beans: You can use frozen or fresh for these, fresh will be better, but frozen is also adequate and still takes better than jarred baby food. If you use fresh you might need a little bit more water and they’ll need to cook a little longer. If you use frozen you want to follow the same steps as with peas and just heat them up for a couple minutes, because they’re already cooked. If you’re using fresh you want to heat them up until they’re soft enough to be stuck with a fork easily, but they don’t need to be too soft or you’ll overcook them. When the green beans are done, put the cooled peas in the blender with all the cooking water so you get all the nutrients and puree. Then transfer the pureed peas back into the metal bowl to cool off more, rinse out the blender and put the green beans in another bowl to cool off while you make the next one.

I think you get the idea now and just do the same with the carrots and pears, cooking just until done and only using as much water as the food needs to make a smooth puree.

That was kinda wordy, but, as you see, you can be making multiple kinds of baby food at the same time in stages and it really doesn’t take that long. It probably takes about a half hour total, including chopping time, to cook and puree the four on the stove top and then they can be cooling off while you wait for the sweet potatoes to finish roasting.

When the sweet potatoes are finished, set them aside.When they are cool enough to handle peel the skin off and transfer the flesh to the blender and add a generous amount of water. Sweet potatoes are very stringy so they can use more water than other things. Depending on how long the sweet potatoes roast, it shouldn’t take more than an hour to make everything and this much baby food at around 6-7 months lasts for about 3-4 weeks. You just defrost a few cubes at a time as you need them.

I made a lot of different vegetables and fruits this way. I usually steamed or simmered apples, broccoli, leafy greens, etc.

I would usually roast veggies like squash, eggplant, zucchini, etc.

After I introduced a few different foods, I started to mix them together. So I would sometimes defrost broccoli and sweet potatoes together, or broccoli and squash, apples and pears, or apples and sweet potatoes. He loved it.

Bananas, papaya and avocado are awesome foods because you don’t even need to cook them. You just peel and mash with a fork: Instant baby food.

At around 10 months I was still giving him some purees, but they were less watery and they were mostly no longer one ingredient. For example, pureed carrots, kale and brown rice; red lentils, cabbage and carrots, etc. I also gave him small bits of food that he could pick up with his hands, cooked pasta and bread.

At around 11 months I started introducing cheese and egg yolks. I would mix a hard boiled egg yolk with cottage cheese: a really big hit. Yogurt was also a big hit; sometimes I’d mix it with pureed fruit or even cooked oatmeal.

I did use that instant baby food cereal stuff with him sometimes, just because I was given a ton of it for free, but I didn’t like it too much and neither did he. He would really only tolerate it mixed with yogurt. So I wouldn’t use any of those cereals if you don’t have to. It’s a lot better to just cook some grains yourself and puree them with vegetables for your baby.

A good way to tell if you’re making good food for your baby is to try it. I always tried everything that I gave my baby, because if I thought it was disgusting, chances are he would too, so why would I want to give it to him? I also think that if your baby sees you eating the same foods you give him, he’s more likely to want to eat the foods you eat once he can eat table foods, rather than being picky and wanting special foods for himself, but that’s just a hypothesis.

Finally, a good category of foods that can be enjoyed at any age is green smoothies.

Doesn’t that look delicious? Actually, it was, and very simple to make too. It was just a couple large handfuls of spinach, a cup of water, and 2 red pears, unpeeled, cored and chopped. You can combine almost any leafy greens with certain fruits or vegetables and you’ll have a delicious green smoothie. My baby loves them and we drink them about 2-3 times a week, sometimes more. They’re a great way for babies (and adults) to consume healthy leafy greens in a super easy way. You don’t have to cook anything, you just chop and blend with water. Here are a few guidelines I’ve learned in making smoothies more delicious:

1. Each smoothie needs a smoothifying agent to make it qualify as a smoothie, otherwise it will just be a pureed mess and have a gross texture. Good smoothifiers: bananas, pears, avocados, strawberries, papayas, and plums. I’m sure there are more, but those are what I’ve used so far.

2. Use less of tougher greens per cup of water and a little more fruit to balance out the bitterness. If you have a regular blender they won’t be as tough as the fancy pants expensive ones with lawn mower engines in them. Ok, they don’t have lawn mower engines, but that’s what they sound like. Anyway, you’ll need to cut out the center rib of the tougher greens like kale, collards, chard, etc and chop them up slightly.

3. You can use a little more greens per cup of water with lighter greens like lettuces, celery leaves, fennel fronds and herbs. These aren’t as bitter usually so you can also use a little less fruit too.

4. I don’t put any sugar in these smoothies, the fruit makes them sweet enough, and they are really good. Whenever my baby sees me getting out green stuff and the blender, he starts squealing for joy and puts his hands out to grab them. He really really likes them.

5. Lastly, stay away from starchy or stringy vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and celery stalks. They will give the smoothie a gross texture.

Here are just a couple recipes that I’ve tried that I liked:

Fronds of one fennel bulb, 4-5 plums, 1 cup water.

1 1/2 cups water, 6-7 medium leaves kale, 1 small avocado, 1 tangerine, 1/2 cup raspberries, 1-2 small apples. (This one was not very sweet, but a little sour from the tangerine and raspberries, but I thought it complimented the kale very well and reminded me of the fresh sour tropical juices I used to get in South America.)

2 cups water, 3-4 handfuls spinach, 1 small avocado, 1 medium gala apple, 2 small fuji apples.

1 cup water, a few leaves lettuce, some fennel fronds, leaves of one celery bunch, 1 banana and 1-2 pear(s). (depending on the ripeness and sweetness of the fruits you might need the 2 pears)

There is actually so much more I could say about baby food, but I better stop here.

Enjoy cooking for your baby!

Here are the links to the others participating in the virtual baby shower:

4 Little Fergusons (Midwest USA): 11 Lessons To Determine If You Are Ready For Parenthood

A Little Lunch (Eufaula, OK): Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice Scones

City Songbird (Greensboro, NC): Merry Christmas, Alice!

Eats Well With Others (New York, NY): Peanut Butter and Honey Ice Cream

Hunting for Bliss (Bozeman, MT): Garam Masala Deviled Eggs

Sydney Shares (Eugene, OR): Baby BLTs 

That’s Some Good Cookin’ (Salt Lake City, UT): Cheesecake Cookie Bars

The Pajama Chef (Bloomington, IN): Iced Tea with Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup

Two Dogs In The Kitchen (Sterling, MI): Spicy Asian Meatballs

Veronica’s Cornucopia (Wichita, KS): Raspberry Almond Fudge Cookies

Very Culinary (Sacramento, CA): Toasted Orzo and Chickpea Salad

Words on Wendhurst: A Gift For Jenna and Alice

Posted in Quick Dishes | Tagged | 18 Comments

Doctoring up plain Pasta Sauce

My sister in law just gave me a huge jar of pasta sauce from Costco the other day, cause it’ll be going bad in a couple weeks and she had too many to finish up herself. Which is awesome, because I haven’t been feeling too great lately and I’m having trouble cooking. So today I found myself hungry and needing to get my family some lunch somehow, but not feeling up to an elaborate meal and needing to use up some of the fresh produce in my fridge before it goes bad. The greens and peppers were easy, I knew they would go well with pasta, but I needed some kind of protein to add. I had sausage and chicken in the freezer but didn’t feel like defrosting them first, so I decided to go with canned beans, even though the combination seemed strange. I decided to try it anyway, even though my husband expressed his concerns: “Beans?! Is that the best idea?” But the combination did turn out to be quite good, and he told me so after he tried it: “This is a surprisingly good combination!” It also got our toddler’s stamp of approval, who add gobs and gobs of it.

So there you have it. Give it a try for yourself and let me know what you think. Sorry no pictures this time. Just imagine the beautiful combination of bright green, red, blackish purple, tan and white and you’ll see for yourself, it looked quite good 🙂


1 Tbl olive oil

2 long peppers or banana peppers, seeded and chopped

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

~ 3 cups pasta sauce

1 bunch collard greens

8 oz medium whole grain shell pasta

a few slices mozzarella cheese


1) Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan and add chopped peppers. Give them a stir.

2) After a couple minutes add the drained beans and pasta sauce. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Let simmer while you prepare and cook the greens.

3) Set about a quart or two of water in a pot to boil. Meanwhile, remove the center ribs of the collard leaves and roughly chop. (I usually wash my greens after this step, cause it’s easier than trying to wash the whole mess of giant leaves)

4) When the water reaches a boil, add the washed leaves and stir. Reduce heat to medium. Check to see how long it will take your pasta to cook. Mine said 6 minutes, so I first let the greens cook for about 5 minutes and then I added the pasta to the boiling water for another 6 minutes. So the greens cooked in the water for a total of about 10-11 minutes.

5) When the pasta is cooked, drain the greens and pasta together in a colander. Then put them back in the pot and add the sauce and stir. Add the slices (or grated if you prefer) of mozzarella to the top and cover to melt it. Let sit 5 minutes.

6) Check to see if it needs extra seasoning (salt or sugar) and serve.

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Baby Carrier Part 2: Mei Tai

You can read Part 1 about my experience with the Moby wrap here.

I just love the Mei Tai! In fact I love it so much, I have 2 now. I always wanted 2 carriers when I had just the Moby because when it was dirty, I had a hard time not using a carrier while I waited for it to be washed. A few times I had to hand wash it while we were traveling and used it the next day, even though it was still damp! It is awesome to have 2 carriers now.

Here we are the first day we got our carrier. He thought that was super cool. I was nervous and had a hard time getting him on my back. It takes practice to not feel like you’re gonna drop your baby. But once I got him in and started walking around, he was really excited and kept squealing with joy! On my back he can see better and is up a little higher than on my front. I wish I had gotten this carrier back when he was younger. My baby wearing group recommended that you start using meitais when babies are 4-6 months old, and that’s also the same age you can put a baby on your back, but I’ve also seen videos and recommendations online that say you can use a meitai with a newborn, you just have to make sure you have it tied properly and can make sure the baby is breathing properly.

Here we are baking cookies. I was missing out using the Moby wrap for so long. You can work so much more efficiently and comfortably with a 13 month old on your back, then on your front. And especially since the moby wrap is stretchy, after about 6 months, the baby starts getting really good at wiggling arms out and arching his back to try and see what you’re doing. A few times when I was doing dishes, he would turn half way around in the moby and start splashing in the dish water. So he had to get out, but then would fuss that he couldn’t be held and “wash” the dishes with me.

One thing that I haven’t figured out very well with this new freedom of back carrying is what to do when my baby falls asleep. As you can see in this picture he fell asleep and his head was not supported very well. Don’t worry, his head had just fallen to the side when the picture was taken and I promptly removed him from the carrier and gently laid him on the floor to rest on a blanket.

Sometimes what I do when he falls asleep is move him around to the front, like the picture below, so that I can keep an eye on his head better. But that’s not always practical, and I know there is a safe way to have a baby sleep on my back, I just haven’t learned it yet, so I’m being extra careful. It’s something I’ll have to ask the experienced ladies at the baby wearing group, next time I’m there.

And even though it’s still somewhat uncomfortable to have a baby this size on my front, it’s still a million times more comfortable than the Moby. Since the Moby is stretchy, I constantly felt like the baby was pulling away from me and straining my back, but since the meitai is not stretchy, there’s virtually no give, so the baby isn’t going anywhere and feels more like a part of you. I guess that’s why they call it baby wearing, cause it almost feels like you’re wearing a jacket or something. If the baby is properly placed there’s almost no strain on you.

The nice thing about meitais is they look kind of like backpacks, so they’re more…..manly I guess. My husband never carried him in the Moby, but here he is vacuuming with him in the meitai. You can tell by his blurry head and flailing legs that he was totally excited to have Daddy carrying him on his back. This was so new and exciting! Daddy does carry him a lot, but usually in his arms or on his shoulders for a bit, but never before in a carrier until this day.

Carrying a large baby on my front was so exhausting. It felt like I was pregnant with triplets or something. But carrying the same size baby on my back, felt a million times lighter. I could even carry 4 extra bags and not feel very weighed down.

The last thing I want to say about this carrier is why I like it better than an actual backpack style carrier, like an ergo. It has no buckles or loops to adjust. You just tie it on just like a wrap. And I think it’s easier to use than a wrap because it is somewhat structured, but it’s a little prettier than the ergo and goes well with skirts or jeans.

These pictures were only in the first few weeks of having the carrier. I have more pictures and things to share, but I think I’ll share them in another post.

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Chorizo Kale Pepper Stir Fry

2 links of chorizo sausage (or other spicy sausage), casings removed
2 yellow bell peppers, roughly chopped
1 orange bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 Tbl canola oil
~ 1/2 cup of chicken broth, or other flavorful broth
5-6 leaves kale, ribs removed and torn into large pieces.

1. Heat oil in wok or saute pan.
2. Add peppers and onions and saute for about 5 min until brown.
3. Add sausage and stir until cooked.
4. Add kale and stir until starting to wilt (30 sec), then add chicken broth, stir scraping up all the oniony flavor on the bottom of the pan, cover and steam for about 10 minutes.


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Chicken Fried Rice

I was inspired to make this because about a week ago, we brought chicken kabobs (marinated in a jerk seasoning wet rub) to a cookout and it was SOOO good. Then a couple nights ago a friend called to come over for dinner, so I had to take what I had in the fridge and figure out something to serve for dinner. I loved the challenge. I ended up making this fried rice, a roasted beet/cabbage salad, a cucumber sesame dressing salad, and a very small dish of sautéed beet greens.

It turned out to be a great way to use leftover rice, which is usually so hard to use well. I don’t really like fried rice, but probably because I don’t like the egg in it. The egg usually gets overcooked and then the whole fried rice tastes…off. So there are no eggs in this fried rice recipe. Also I wanted an excuse to try cooking with coconut oil, which I had just bought at walmart of all places. It was really good.

Most of the measurements are approximate because I rarely measure anything in the kitchen anymore. The one thing that I’m uncertain of is the allspice and sugar. When I made it I used about 2 Tbl of allspice syrup (the last in the bottle of syrup we had made for pancakes a couple weeks ago). I added the allspice syrup to the rice after it had heated in the pan for 5 minutes and covered it for just a minute a two, then stirred and served. I added the syrup last so that it wouldn’t burn. So since most people won’t have allspice syrup on hand, I tried to guess how much sugar and ground allspice would be equivalent for the flavor.

Sorry I have no picture of this recipe, but it was really good.


1 large onion diced

2 dried red chiles torn in two

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt

ground black pepper

1/4 tsp ground allspice

3 Tbl coconut oil

~2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast

~2-3 cups leftover cooked rice

1 Tbl brown sugar

2-3 Tbl water

1. Chop the onion and place in a bowl. Add the dried chiles, thyme, oregano, allspice, salt, and pepper and set aside.

2. Cut the chicken into small cubes. Take the leftover rice out and put on the counter to come to room temperature while you start cooking.

3. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Once it’s hot add the onion and spice mixture and heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the chicken and stir, then cover and let cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes.

5. Once the chicken is cooked, layer the rice on top and add the water to steam and reheat the rice. Cover and let heat for about 5 minutes. DO NOT stir the rice or it might burn on the bottom of the pan, just let it steam and heat on top. Last add the sugar and cover for a couple of minutes to heat the sugar.

Once it’s heated through, give it a good stir and serve.


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