Monday, November 9, 2015

Fall Inspired

I don't know about you, but I am in serious need of holiday baking inspiration. It is in times like these that I like to go back through old recipes and re-read what was going on in my life when I made them. This, coupled with the "Pumpkin Spice State of Mind" playlist on Songza helps me get my mind right. Ready... set... bake!

I need to make these blondies again stat. 

Gigantic ginger cookies... make them and tie them up with a bow for the holidays.

Crinkle cookies with a minty twist are a good decision.


I don't particularly enjoy drinking eggnog but I do like eating it in the form of bread.

If pumpkin isn't your thing, try these sweet potato scones.

If pumpkin is your thing, try these cinnamon rolls.

Or this pie...

...or these muffincupcakes.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Life with Rose: 5 months in

Five... wait for it... months!

Food: I wish I had more time to bake! I am really looking forward to next month when I start holiday baking... Christmas cookies are pretty much my favorite dessert. Our schedule has been really kicking my butt lately so any/all free time has been spent with Rosemary or sneaking in a little exercise. Jeff and I went out for his birthday to a restaurant in Tacoma called Marrow and had a really wonderful meal. We had a melon salad that came with marinated figs and hazelnut hummus (aka what I would eat for every meal if I could.) He got a steak and I got their mac and cheese with apples and pretzel breadcrumbs. Basically all of my favorite things. Oh and there have been a few donuts here and there. On the Rose front: we have introduced her to rice cereal (she hates) and bananas (she loves.)

Drinks: Coffee with cream. Tons of water. At Jeff's birthday dinner I tried a life changing old fashioned featuring orange oil.

Activity: Rose is moving constantly, reaching for everything. She discovered our cats and is especially taken with Little Man (our chubby black and white kitten.) She tries to pet him but winds up mostly tearing out handfuls of his fur. He is terrified of her. Rose has also began flipping over at night. When she isn't eating or sleeping, Rose can be found doing push ups and trying desperately to crawl.

Rose's Halloween costume, inspired by Flashdance. She kicks her legs like a maniac. Maaaaaainiac. OK I am done.

Growth: My little chunk is filling out 9 month clothing. Her hair is growing a lot right now too... it will be interesting to see if she gets my curls! It looks like her hair is going to be lighter initially (Jeff had light hair as a baby.)

Sleep: We hit a little rough patch with sleep these past few weeks. Since Rose started rolling over at night, we have had to unswaddle her arms (she needs to be able to use her arms on her belly.) Having her arms free has meant she wakes herself up constantly. She seems to be favoring sleeping on her stomach and her pediatrician said that as long as she can flip over and keeps her head to the side she will be fine. Buuut because we are first time parents, Jeff and I check her constantly.

Workouts: Earlier this month I ran a half marathon and it went great! I finished in 1:42 and 3rd place in the women's race. However, the week after my race I couldn't seem to recover. I was so tired and just felt depleted no matter how much I ate/drank. I think running (especially long distances) will have to wait until I am done breastfeeding Rosemary. In lieu of running, I have started the T25 program recommended to me by my dad. It is 25 minutes a day which is perfect. I just plop Rosemary onto her activity mat and I exercise right next to her while she plays.

This next month I am looking forward to having Rose try more foods! We are also planning on getting some family pictures taken for the holidays. Spoiler alert: Rosemary will be in a turtleneck onesie.

Monday, September 28, 2015

A year ago today (Life with Rose: 4 months in)

A year ago today I was recovering from a friend's wedding. I was nursing a beer/cupcake hangover with cup after cup of coffee in our small studio apartment. Today? Today I am sitting in the bedroom of our house, drinking cup after cup of coffee with a baby in my lap. This past year has been... a ride. A challenging, exciting, scary, wonderful ride. We are four months into our life with this girl and couldn't be happier. It is a little ridiculous.

Food: There is finally more cooking happening over here! I have been meal planning a little more because time (especially in the evenings) goes fast! I have found it is easier to cook a few nights a week and just make enough for leftovers so we aren't trying to figure out meals everyday. Jeff has been making different soups that we eat all week (his chicken tortilla is the best.) Rosemary doesn't seem to be bothered by dairy anymore so Greek yogurt and cheese have been back in the rotation.

Drinks: So much coffee (sometimes with a little chai tea powder mixed in for spice.)

Activity: Rosemary is so active. She has started rolling onto her belly and back so that means we have to constantly watch her. She wants so badly to crawl, she gets on her stomach and kicks her little legs like mad. Once she gets the mechanics down she is going to be off! I am not ready for that. She loves going on walks and to the grocery store in her sling. She is just taking it all in, it is fun to watch her look at things. She has also gotten grabby so we have brought out some more of her toys for her to try. Also new this month: noises. She is trying to communicate, it is pretty much the sweetest thing ever.

We tried out the Bumbo seat. Rosemary is not sure how she feels about this whole sitting thing.

Growth: We have an appointment early next week for more measurements and shots so I am not sure how much she has grown since her last appointment. She is wearing 6-9 month outfits and feels like she is gaining weight... I carried her on a walk recently and was definitely feeling it by the end!

Sleep: Rose is such a good sleeper- she has started to get sleepy earlier lately so I will put her down around 8:30 and she will sleep until 6:30 or 7:00. This is wonderful, but means that daytime naps are brief or non existent. I'll take it.

Workouts: Exercise is definitely on the Rosemary schedule... if time allows for it I am all about it, but it is definitely not as big of a priority as it used to be in my life. I am gearing up for my race in a few weeks, trying to go for one longer run and a few shorter ones throughout the week. Also walks with baby and some yoga.

I am really enjoying this stage of Rosemary's life- time is flying but I am doing my best to soak in every minute I have with her. I am starting to make her a baby book so that we can look back at photos/memories of this time. 

I think Rose looks a lot like both me and Jeff as she gets older. However there are times when she will make a face and I will just laugh because it is like looking into a mirror. Exhibit A: The Glare.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Zucchini Bread

Edible gifts are my favorite type of gift. A few weeks ago I was gifted some zucchini. I immediately turned it into bread that Jeff and I ate in an embarrassingly short period of time.

It is kind of like that book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. If you give me a cup of coffee, I am going to want something sweet to go with it. Since I drink a lot of coffee throughout the day, things like this quick bread do not last long in our house.

This bread is slightly sweet, lightly spiced and made a little more substantial with the addition of whole wheat flour. It is the perfect coffee time treat!

Zucchini Bread
makes 1 loaf

3/4 c AP flour
3/4 c + 2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons water
1 c grated zucchini
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- - -
pre-heat oven to 350F; line a loaf pan with parchment, mist with baking spray and dust lightly with flour
1. In a medium bowl whisk together flours, soda, salt, sugar and spices
2. In a separate large bowl whisk the eggs, oil, lemon juice, water and zucchini
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until fully combined
4. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake at 350F for 1 hour, until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean
5. Allow bread to cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan; cool completely before slicing

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Kick Ass Brownies (GF)

Today is cool and rainy, the air perfumed with warm brownies that just came out of my oven. I wish my house smelled like this always. Or Rosemary's head after I give her a bath. Or buttered popcorn. Or... wait what were we talking about again?

These brownies are the definition of simple and uncomplicated dessert, easy to stir together with one hand while you hold a baby in the other. These brownies also happen to kick ass- the perfect balance of cakey and fudgy.

Did I mention these brownies are gluten free? Hipsters rejoice!

Gimme that crackle.

Gluten Free Brownies

1 c chocolate chips
1/2 c (8 Tablespoons) salted butter**
3 eggs
1 c sugar 
1 c almond meal
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
** If you only have unsalted butter add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- - -
1. Pre-heat oven to 350F; line an 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper and mist with baking spray
2. Over a double boiler, melt together chocolate and butter, stirring gently until smooth; set aside to cool for five minutes
3. In a medium bowl whisk together almond meal, salt, cocoa, and baking powder; set aside
4. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar and vanilla
5. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, whisking until combined
6. Fold in dry ingredients to the chocolate/egg mixture
7. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes
8. Cool brownies completely before slicing and enjoying!