BLW: Recipes 

Alright I’ve been getting a bunch of messages asking what I feed Waylen so I’ve decided to step you through some of our go to dishes. Now Waylen seriously eats everything I offer him — he’s a pig– but these are his absolute favorites! 

Protein Waffles: 

  • 1 ripe banana 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 t baking soda (optional) 
  • 2 heaping T nut butter 

While your waffle iron heats up, mash 1 banana then mix in 2 eggs, 1/8 t baking soda, and about two heaping spoonfuls of nut butter. We alternate between peanut and almond butter!

Coconut Nom Noms: 

  • 2 T full fat Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 c quick Oats 
  • Hand full of chopped Strawberries (or any berry) 
  • 1 T Flaxseed 
  • 2 T Unsweetened coconut flakes for coating

These are the best! You literally just throw whatever you want in a bowl! Ha we change up the berries regularly and sometimes sub chai seeds for flaxseed or just throw in both! Mix everything together, roll into balls, and then toss in the coconut flakes. Keep them in the refrigerator overnight to let them set. 

Chicken Meatballs: 

  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 1/2 T Basil
  • 1/2 T Black pepper 
  • 3/4 C Milked Soaked breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/3 C shredded Italian blend cheese 
  • 1lb ground chicken 

Sooo the first time I made these I just winged it, no recipe or anything so the amounts are just estimates of what I used, and Chappy loved them. Yes, I did say Chappy, and no I didn’t actually make them for him. Ha The best part about this was that I had used breast milk to soak the breadcrumbs and Chappy knew that before he ate them 🤣(Waylen loved them too btw.) Soak the breadcrumbs, mix everything in a bowl, roll into balls, (tip: wet your hands with water to prevent sticking) bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. 

Sweet Potatoes: 

  • Cinnamon 
  • Olive oil 
  • Sweet potato 

These are super easy!! All I do is peel, slice into strips (about the size of my pinky,) drizzle with olive oil, toss, then sprinkle with cinnamon. I cook them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. 

Pasta

  • Banza chickpea penne 
  • 1 can of no salt diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 c shallot 
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 1 t black pepper 
  • 1 t dried basil 

Banza is a great, healthier alternative to pasta for your little babes so try it out if you haven’t! For the sauce I sauté the shallot and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil until the shallot is translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomatoes and can juice, pepper, and basil. Simmer about 5 minutes until thickened and then toss in pasta!

Blueberry Muffins: 

I used THIS is the recipe for Waylen’s blueberry muffins and they came out great. 

Black Bean Burgers: 

We use THIS recipe for southwestern style black bean burgers! These are packed full of flavor and great for the entire family! It’s also a great way to expose your babe to fun and yummy spices! 

 

Besides those foods Waylen also will eat tons of roasted veggies. I just cut them into finger size strips, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with pepper, and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. And eggs, I cannot forget eggs! He will eat a veggie omelette almost every morning! I will prep a bunch of veggies on Sunday so they’re diced and ready to use throughout the week. Our favorites are mushrooms and onions, green peppers and onions, spinach and tomatoes, or broccoli and cheese, but we seriously add whatever we have laying around! 

Waylen has become a pro at eating these days. He will scarf down anything I’m willing to give him. Although when we started Baby Led Weaning we focused mainly on veggies, now Waylen will eat whatever meal we are having. It makes feeding him so fun and easy! Now I must admit sometimes, (okay- a lot of times,) I’ll make Waylen healthy protein waffles and then make myself floury, sugar filled waffles ha. I should probably eat healthier too but… oh well!

What are your favorite recipes to feed your little babes? I would love to try out some new ones out on Waylen! 

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Maple Bacon Brussels

I’m not sure when it happened but somehow Brussels sprouts have gone from those stinky little lettuce heads that everyone loves to hate to delicious little morsels of heaven that nearly every hip restaurant offers. I never even knew people really ate them until they started showing up on about every restaurant menu I saw. Of course I had to try them and ultimately fell in love! The best part of the whole thing was that Chappy also fell in love! So if you’re keeping track we now have three green things that he’ll eat, broccoli, green beans, and Brussels. (He’s growing up so fast.) Ha 

Just recently I decided to try my hand at making them at home for the first time. I wasn’t sure how hard it would be so I thought adding bacon and maple syrup wouldn’t hurt! I mean, you can never go wrong with bacon. Here is what I did:

Ingredients: 

  •  1 pound Brussels
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 
  • 4 slices of bacon 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit 
  2. Rinse the Brussels in cold water, cut the ends off, half, and place in a large bowl
  3. Slice bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and part cook in frying pan
  4. Mix the part cooked bacon, bacon grease, olive oil, syrup, salt and pepper in with the Brussels 
  5. Spread on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes
  6. Season with salt and serve! 


Now I’d like to emphasize the LINED baking sheet. Remember you are baking something covered in ooey gooey, sticky, maple syrup so clean up will be a serious bitch if don’t line the sheet. So I’m begging you, line it!! Ha. Anyways back to the Brussels. They were SO good, especially for how easy they were to make. Chappy and I quickly scarfed down the entire pound and will definitely be adding this to our weekly menu. 

Hope you enjoy! 🙂 

Dripping Thighs

For Valentine’s Day yesterday, I knew it was time to get sexual! As a new mom who just happened to hit the 6 weeks postpartum mark on Valentine’s Day I decided to pull out the big guns. You know what that meant … 50 Shades of …

CHICKEN! Ha 

Ever heard of it?? It’s a hilarious cookbook that combines parody and yummy chicken recipes. You a check it out HERE for yourself.

As new parents we weren’t quite ready to venture out on the town without our little bean and since we’d been ordering in so often getting takeout didn’t really feel special either. Instead we decided whipping up something from 50 Shades of Chicken was the perfect solution! We made Dripping Thighs and it was delicious! 

The dish was the perfect combo of sweet and savory. The roasted thighs were juicy and cooked to perfection (good job Chappy!) and the onions added the perfect punch of salty sweetness. It was such as easy recipe to make and all the ingredients were kitchen staples we already had so we even got to avoid a grocery store trip!  We will definitely be adding this to our rotation.

I’ve pasted the recipe below for anyone who wants to give it a try! 


Serves: 2-4

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry with paper towels 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon plus a pinch of coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper
  2.  In a small saucepan simmer together the onion, wine, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and a pinch of salt until most of the liquid has evaporated, 15-20 minutes. Mix in the honey and butter 
  3. Spoon the mixture over the chicken and toss well. Spread the thighs, onion mixture, and any juices onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink and the onions are melting tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes. 

Stocking the Bar

Guys, I can finally have alcohol!!!!! Wahoo!! It’s been so long I’m sure I’ll have one sip and be wasted but I am so ready for a tasty adult treat. 

If you know anything about Chappy and I, you know we are really into craft cocktails. Chappy is the main mixologist and I am his more than willing taste tester. For the last few months I have had to stick to mocktails but with Waylen finally here I am ready to jump right back in to my official taster position and get our bar back in tip top shape.

For my first alcoholic beverage I want to have something special. One of my favorite special occasion cocktails is the Ramos Gin Fizz. If you are looking to impress your guests with a fancy cocktail, this is it! With egg whites, milk, and orange flower water it is super unique and even better tasting. 

When it comes to actually stocking your bar things can be tricky though. You need to have ingredients for party favorites as well as some unique show stoppers. Here are a few classic cocktails recipes we always have up our sleeve when entertaining guests (and more importantly when we are just drinking by ourselves ha)

Hemingway Daiquiri


  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Sazerac

  • Splash of Ricard or Herbsaint
  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashs of Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Lemon peel, for garnish

Chill one rocks glass while preparing the drink in another. Splash the Ricard into the second glass and swirl it, then pour it out. Add the Rye, Simple Syrup, and bitters, Stir with ice cubes to chill. Strain into the chilled rocks glass and garnish with lemon peel.

Sidecar


  • 1 ounce brandy
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Flamed orange peel, for garnish

Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into an iced old- fashioned glass or if served “up” strain into a small cocktail glass with a sugared rim. Garnish with flamed orange peel.

Ramos Gin Fizz

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/4 ounces simple syrup
  • 2 ounces milk
  • 1 small egg white
  • 2 drops of orange-flower water
  • 3 ounces club soda

Shake all the ingredients except the soda with ice and strain into a highball glass without ice. Top with club soda.

Besides the ingredients list for our Show Stopper Cocktails, here is a list of some other staple items we always keep stocked in our bar:

  • Rum: We usually just go with Bacardi Silver
  • Gin: Tanqueray is our go-to thanks to my friend Ashley who is currently obsessed
  • Whiskey: Chappy has been really into Rye Whiskey these days so that’s what we’ve been buying lately. A great value option is Wild Turkey Rye but he is also known to pick up Jim Beam or Bulleit Bourbon
  • Vodka: We usually just get Smirnoff but we are not huge Vodka drinkers
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Oranges
  • Simple syrup: Please do not buy this, it is literally just sugar and water!
  • Selzer water or club soda

Besides the ingredients you also need to keep your bar stocked with the correct tools to actually make your cocktails! We buy most of our tools off barproducts.com because they are such a good price so I highly – HIGHLY-  recommend going there!

  • Jiggers: the most useful jigger size to get is the 1 oz with the 1/2 oz. so start with that one!
  • Boston Shakers
  • Bar Spoon
  • Strainer: You should at least have a Hawthorne Basic  Strainer but small ice and muddled herbs can slip through so ift that bothers you get a mesh strainer instead!

Now with all this you’re bar should be set! Of course you can continue to add stock over time to really round out your bar supply and customize it to your own needs. Some great things to add over time are different bitters, flavored honeys, infused simple syrups, and specialty liquors. Also if you are looking for a cocktail recipe book I highly recommend The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale Degroff. This book gives you an infinite amount of tasty treats while also telling you the history behind the cocktails and liquors. It is a must have for anyone looking to get into craft cocktails! Be sure to check it out and let me know what you guys think!


Cheers!

St. Paddy’s Day Cocktail 

Since St. Patrick’s Day is truly a drinking holiday I decided my pistachio cupcakes just might not be enough to celebrate with. I chose to pull my husband in on this one and asked him to help me mix up something yummy and most importantly green! His inspiration for this cocktail came from a drink he was served back in 2014 when we first visited our favorite cocktail bar in Raleigh, NC, The Fox. The bartender effortlessly whipped up something unique and tasty after Chappy requested a cocktail with Tequila. It was light, refreshing, involved some cucumbers, and was served in the perfect petite coupe glass. I think Chappy’s first sip was the moment he fell in love with craft cocktails. Now nearly two years later Chappy decided he would take a stab at his own version in honor of this boozy, green holiday. Here is what you’ll need:     

  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 tender sprigs of mint
  • 3 wheels of English cucumber 
  • 2-3 oz. of seltzer (or sprint)
  • Ice 

Now it’s time to get shaking…

  • Muddle 2 wheels of cucumber with simple syrup in the bottom of your shaker
  • Add mint and muddle just enough to bruise the leaves. 
  • Add lime juice, tequila, ice and shake
  • Strain into iced Collins glass and top with seltzer
  • Garnish with mint sprigs and cucumber 

  

Enjoy! 

Pistachio Cupcakes

Pistachios are healthy so these cupcakes must be healthy too, right? Yup… that’s exactly what you tell yourself when you’ve devoured 3 in less than 5 minutes. Whoops, oh well! I am a strong believer in the fact that holiday calories don’t count and I’m not exclusive either so St. Patrick’s Day definitely fits right into that category. When deciding what overly unhealthy item I would chose to make for this holiday I figured my mom’s Pistachio Cupcakes would be the perfect fit. Okay so she’s actually never make cupcakes out of this recipe but she has made about 3 cakes each year for my entire childhood. My sister, dad and I would always insist she bake this cake for all of our Birthdays. My mom even overnighted my sister a cake once when she was living in Boston. (Can you guess who the favorite child is???) Ha. Joking… But kind of serious since I am still waiting for my cake after changing coasts back in 2009. Mom if you’re reading this, I love you but WHERE IS MY CAKE?? 

Anyways when I finally got my hands on this recipe I was shocked by how simple it was. You basically use a box cake mix with some pudding. It could not get any easier. So this year for St. Patrick’s Day I decided to whip up some cupcakes.  

Alright let me step you through how ridiculously simple it really is. Go to the grocery store and buy any boxed white cake mix. Try to look for one that uses whole eggs in the recipe instead of egg whites. Next be sure to buy all the ingredients needed to bake the cake according to the box instructions. So usually oil and eggs. Lastly grab a boxed pistachio pudding mix and some cool whip! My mom always topped the cakes with cool whip even though we literally never used it for anything else. To me it is the only way to top them but if you’re not a cool whip fan you can just grab your favorite icing flavor! I’ve actually been eating them plain lately. They’re literally that good!

  

When it’s time to bake the cake, just start mixing the cake ingredients according to the box instructions, add the pistachio pudding mix, and then add an additional 1/3 cup of oil. This is where you need to use your best judgement. Every cake mix is difference so you made need a little more or less oil. Just make sure it is a good cake consistency. 

  
  

Now bake according to the box instructions! It is THAT easy! 

  

Enjoy!

   
 

That time I fed my husband Zoodles…

My husband isn’t really a fan of pasta or vegetables but for some reason last night I thought it would be a good idea to make him Zoodles for dinner. Clearly I wasn’t thinking straight.

I used this recipe from inspiralized.com. The dish basically included everything I love, (goat cheese, basil, veggies) and everything my husband does not… aka veggies… veggies, and oh veggies.

The recipe was simple. Essentially you make a simple sauce, spiralize some veggies, and mix it all together. (Obviously that’s a condensed description, for the full recipe visit here.) I actually don’t even own a spiralizer so I just used to Julianne blade on my Mandolin. You basically get the same result just not curly.

  

In my opinion, the meal was great! If I had to pick one food to eat the rest of my life, it would probably be noodles. So obviously I wasn’t shocked when I loved the zucchini noodles. The meal was light and refreshing and didn’t leave me with a food fetus like my typical spaghetti Wednesday. The real shocker though was that my husband actually liked the dish too! He literally went back for more. I was shocked! The best part though is that he actually okayed it being added to the rotation! 

Yay me!