6 Snippets of Magazine Inspiration

So much of my mom life is spent in waiting rooms, lobbies, and my mobile waiting room (aka, the car). Yesterday, I found myself waiting my way through a doctor appointment followed by a haircut. Between books and sick of scrolling through Instagram, I picked up a couple of magazines. I LOVE magazines. Whoever says print is dead, is dead to me. I love the feel of the lightweight coated paper between my fingers. And my favorite magazines mean talented editors at the mast who curate inspiring, beautiful, and sometimes surprising content in a layout that’s at once striking and flowing. I. Love. Print. Magazines.

When I find myself playing the waiting game, and I actually have time to read a magazine or two from cover to cover (I read from back to front, does anyone else do that?), I devour them like a pint of Halo Top ice cream.

When I find articles or helpful tidbits, it’s not enough for my scattered brain to make a mental note. I might as well ask my three-year-old to write it down for me. I wouldn’t be so gauche as to steal an entire magazine from a waiting room or tear out a page, rather I take photos. Yesterday’s bounty was reaped mainly from the April 2018 Redbook with the exception of one recipe from a winter edition of Real Simple.  Not as simple as hitting a “share” button, but I want to spread the love. Here are my finds:

  1. What a friend we have in cheeses. I must admit, I borrowed that headline from an editor I worked for years ago in Charlotte. It’s still my favorite of all time. And it suits these beautiful appetizers that I think I could actually make myself. Look how pretty!
    Credit:Redbook

    2. Seedy. I can do so well with my diet, but lack of a good snack in the car or at night always gets me in the end. This spin on sunflower seeds sounds so munch worthy.

    Credit:Redbook

    3. Leaf conquers all. I’m forever in search of a salad that sounds better than pasta or a sandwich. This one fits the lunch bill, plus it makes enough for four days!

    Credit:Redbook

    4. Something in ramen. This recipe for ramen looks way better than the stuff I made in college (and let’s face it, still sometimes make late night), and it sounds like it could actually live up to its “easy” promises.

    Credit:Real Simple

    5. Shake what your mama made ya. They describe this meditation jar for adults, but I want to do this craft with my kids and make one for each of them as well!

    Credit:Redbook

    6. Here comes the sun (screen). And I say, it’s more than all right. All this time I’ve been looking for a daily SPF lotion to wear under my makeup. Why didn’t I think of something like this setting mist? Brilliant!

    Credit:Redbook

     

    I love websites, but print magazines will always hold a special place in my heart. Do you prefer print magazines or websites, or both?

Instant Pot Paralysis and Getting Out of My Side Dish Rut

I’m part of a large group of impulsive people who bought the Instant Pot a few weeks back when it was on super sale. I’d heard about all of its wonders, from yogurt making to 6-minute chicken, but I’d also seen the price tag. So when it was half-off, I didn’t hesitate. Now, it’s been sitting on my counter for three weeks, intimidating me with all of its buttons, bells, and whistles. It’s a pressure cooker, not a landmine, but I still can’t bring myself to use it for fear of blowing up my kitchen. So I continue to search for the perfect introductory Instant Pot recipe that speaks to me without saying my last rites.

A lot of the recipes I’ve found come from Skinnytaste. While I’m working up the courage to try her chicken taco chili in the pressure cooker, I did take a stab at the zucchini tots, which merely require a grater and good old-fashioned oven cooking. I can only steam veggies so many times, and all of my favorite frozen sides at Trader Joe’s come in servings of “about 3” which might as well read “not enough for your family, Lindsey.”

Gina describes this side as kid-friendly, which of course it is, but you don’t need kids to appreciate a good tot. When my super picky 2-year-old didn’t want hers, I was exasperated on the outside for show, “Fine, I guess I’ll have to eat them so they don’t go to waste,” and all Homer Simpson on the inside:

udbwnde

Abbie doesn’t like pizza — yet — so I’m confident she’ll come around on these zucchini tots with time. For now, they are a hit with the rest of my household. I will say I should’ve added more breadcrumbs to my batch, but they were still delish. I’m no Beatrice Peltre, but this is how my tots turned out. No filter, no photography skills, no nothing:

unnamed-8

Hopefully my next food post will be about my adventures with the Instant Pot…and I won’t be typing it from the burn unit at the hospital.

 

Pantry Purge: Time to Start Eating Clean

In the past two years, my migraines have gone from frequent to flat-out chronic. I’ve trial-and-errored my way through a slew of daily preventives, rescue meds and pain pills. I’ve even tried eliminating alcohol (gasp!). I had an 18-month pain vacation while I was pregnant and nursing, but a) that’s no vacation, and b) I can’t be pregnant all the time. I always thought changing my diet would be a drastic thing to do, but drastic times…

An enticing pic of porridge from KERF. (Hope you don't mind that I "borrowed" this pic, Kath!)
An enticing pic of porridge from KERF. (Hope you don’t mind that I “borrowed” this pic, Kath!)

Due to a recent rodent issue, I’m having to start my spring cleaning immediately in the kitchen. It disgusts me how much money I’m throwing away as I throw out all of the food on our shelves, but eating something that’s been nibbled on by a mouse would sicken me way more.

Tonight, after a day of Imitrex, hydrocodone and canceled plans, I decided that I’m sick of relying on meds that barely act as a Band-Aid and I’m sick of being sick. So after cleaning out our pantry tomorrow (and scrubbing from top to bottom) I’m going to fill it with clean food. What is clean eating? Well, it can mean different things to different people. Diane Welland, RD, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Clean defines clean eating as “consuming whole, natural foods that have not been processed.” For my purposes, I’m also going to try to avoid dye-free foods and sugar (I’ve read that both can be very bad for migraineurs).

This will not be easy and I will no doubt find myself at the McDonald’s drive thru getting a regular Coke within the month (I don’t know why, but their Cokes are the best), but I’m going to try.

So far, I’ve found these sites and bloggers as great resources and inspiration for my new diet.

KERF

100 Days of Real Food

Die, Food Dye!

More than a change in diet though, it’s a change in lifestyle. A recent bout with the stomach bug combined with relentless migraines have kept me from the gym, but regular exercise is just as important as root veggies.

I’m not ready to give up my morning cup of coffee (and perhaps never will be), but I’m going to start to try drinking it black… baby steps.

Have you had success cutting out processed foods? Do you have a favorite site, blog or book you swear by on the subject? Please share!

When the cat’s away, the mice eat veggie burgers.

The way Dave acts about meat and his manhood, you’d think meat alternatives like tofu and tempeh were actually injected with estrogen. Before Jed, I’d have no trouble cooking up some tofu when Dave wanted a steak, but with Jed, we’re all trying to eat the same dinner at the same time for his sake. He can develop irrational food biases in his own good time… but it can be quite the challenge.

Still, whenever Dave’s out of town, I take advantage and cook up something that would make his stomach turn. True, I tend to eat like a college student when left to my own devices, but I’ve elevated it a tad to include some fresh ingredients as well:

You are looking at a MorningStar Farms spicy black bean veggie burger cut up, topped with turkey bacon (for some reason I love the combo of veggie burgers and bacon!), havarti cheese, spinach (something fresh), and my latest obsession, Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch Yogurt Dressing — only 45 calories per serving, three grams of fat, and it’s just as creamy and dreamy as the real thing!

A healthier person would add more spinach, make this a salad and call it a day. I turn just about everything into a wrap or burrito, and this was no exception. And I had a side of Imagine Organic Creamy Broccoli Soup topped with some shredded cheese (I add cheese to just about everything). It was yum! Very Lindsey. Very anti-Dave.

For fear of what a spicy black bean burger would do to Jed (although he loves black beans) I made him a Gardenburger, which he gobbled up. Made his momma so proud.

Do you eat differently from your family? How does it affect your dinnertime?

No Whine with Dinner, 2 for 2!

I’m blessed that Jed is not a picky eater, but lately I’ve found myself in a recipe rut, offering him the same dishes (“quesadillas or chicken nuggets?”). I make sure to incorporate different sources of proteins, especially fish, but when it comes to my tilapia repertoire, I’m a one-trick pony. I don’t know if he was getting bored, but I was. So I scoured the Internet, and after much deliberation, decided on this healthy eating, family-friendly cookbook by the “Meal Makeover Moms” :

Don’t be deterred by their gimmicky name– as Registered Dieticians, the Moms know their stuff. There were some other cookbooks that got great reviews like the The Sneaky Chef, but like I said, Jed’s not a picky eater so I wasn’t looking to hide the nutritious stuff… just looking for new, fun ways to cook it! So far I’ve tried two of the recipes and with both man and child, I’m batting a hundred.

Friday night, I made their Spaghetti Zucchini Pie. There’s no pie crust per say as it’s cooked in a baking dish (more of a casserole) but it’s delish! This pic from Fitness Magazine is way prettier than my final product:

No Whine With Dinner's Spaghetti Zucchini Pie via Fitness Magazine

But I was able to cut a square or two out that weren’t too embarrassing to look at:

Looks aside, it tasted great! For those who do have picky eaters at their table, the zucchini is shredded so you can hardly taste it. It definitely adds a lightness to the dish, though. As someone who’s cooking for a family of  zucchini lovers, I might add more in next time. Or maybe a squash to mix things up! I also like how the ingredients call for dried basil. I know I can always upgrade to fresh basil, but dry is much more budget-friendly and always in my spice cabinet. Fitness Magazine also shares the recipe here.

COOKING WITH KIDS? I let Jed (two-years-old) whisk the eggs and then mix the milk in with the eggs. He loves to whisk!

THE “DISH” DISH: Easy to Moderate. Immediately, I only had a mixing bowl, sauce pan and skillet. After we finished the leftovers (bonus!) the baking dish was a tad icky, but after a soak it wasn’t a big deal. If your dishwasher works better than mine, I’d just toss it in there.

Dave was on his way back in from Charlotte, so it was up to me to keep the home fires burning. After I made dinner, I made fire! (I will forgo the gratuitous image of Tom Hanks in a loincloth shouting at the night sky. And I will definitely spare you a pic of me in a loincloth.)

I was pretty proud of myself. With all of the stories on the news of places accidentally catching fire, I was amazed what a difficult time I had starting my own. But after 20 minutes (and the sacrifice of most all my knuckle hairs) it was a-blazin’!

Last night, I made the Sweet Chili Glazed and Walnut Crusted Tilapia only without the walnuts. We didn’t have walnuts, I’m not too crazy about them anyhow, and I was trying to avoid another trip to the store. This recipe came from the book’s Bloggers’ Best chapter, where they feature recipes from their favorite mom bloggers. This one is from Jenny over at Picky Palate. I was halfway into the preparation when I realized that I also didn’t have chili powder, so I substituted cayenne pepper and a little garlic powder. Of course I was way more careful with the cayenne than I would’ve have been with the chili powder. I little of that stuff goes a long way! But the heat of the cayenne ended up matching perfectly with the sweet of the honey in the glaze.

SWEET PLUS A LITTLE HEAT. Why show you mine when Jenny's looks SO much better? 🙂

Next time though, I’ll try the recipe in its original form: chili powder, walnuts and all!

COOKING WITH KIDS? Let them mix the bread crumbs together with the chili powder, salt and pepper. And then help brush on the honey glaze. Just like using a paint brush in art class!

THE “DISH” DISH: Easy. Just a small bowl for the honey, a dishwasher-safe shallow bowl for the bread crumb mixture and the skillet. I probably could’ve used an extra dish during prep, but one less dish to wash just meant a little more honey to wipe off the counter (and cookbook!).

What’s your go-to, kid-friendly cookbook or blog? Any favorite recipes? Please share!

Co-cooking

I’m not going to post about what I eat everyday as you would tire of my college cuisine: quesadillas, pasta, cottage cheese, veggie burgers…

But every now and then with the proper motivation, I stir things up in the kitchen. Like when I’m cooking with my husband, Dave, who could’ve been a chef in another life. He’s made me meals that I would pay $25 for in a restaurant. I’m so seriously spoiled… and in the kitchen, I’m put to shame.

Last night, we made dinner together. He was in charge of the salmon and I made the chard.

Dave marinated the salmon in his own sesame marinade and cooked it on a Le Creuset grill pan, then topped it with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. You can guess which one turned out better.
I think my fatal flaw was adding red wine vinegar, which tastes good when sauteed with kale, but, take note: kale and chard–not the same thing. I know, right? I wasn’t using a recipe, which was my first mistake. And when not using a recipe, I need to stick to the basic salt, pepper, evoo and garlic. But as Dave said, “It didn’t totally make me want to vomit.” Thanks, Babe. And, we’re growing chard in our new winter garden, so I will have plenty of chances for redemption.

The beautiful thing about cooking a meal together though is that it gets done so fast! We put this together in less than 10 minutes. But when you cook together, who does the dishes? And thus, our game of “sink chicken” begins…