Millions of Peaches

A few months ago, Turner and I went to Boone Hall to pick strawberries. We only went twice, but every time we drive by, he says “Pick Dawbies!”. Of course, it’s not strawberry season anymore, but he still wants to go pick dawbies. It’s now peach season, and while it would be fun, it’s bloody hot and I’m exhausted from life. So I’ve avoided the issue.

We finished our morning at the gym yesterday, had our “smoothie date” and started towards home. I realized it was only around 11am, and I was not about to sit at home for 2 hours until nap time. So, I made the spontaneous decision to go to Boone Hall to pick peaches!

We lasted about 10 minutes considering it was over 100 degrees, and I had a full bladder since we left the gym (very poor planning on my part). Turner absolutely loved it! What he loved more than picking peaches was digging in the dusty dirt with his excavator and smearing it all over his face. So what I had imagined in my mind as an exciting outing, turned into a hot, sweaty, dirty mess. But at least we got a few peaches out of the deal. Happy weekend eve!!

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My Little Helper

Turner has become quite the cook! He has always loved standing on his Kitchen Helper and being in the kitchen while I cook. But lately he’s become more independent. Actually he’s been pretty helpful (except for the day we were making granola and he dumped an entire bottle of coconut oil into the bowl). The second I walk into the kitchen, he grabs a chair and pulls it up to the counter and says “Helpin’ Mama!”.

The other day, I got a wild hair and wanted to make homemade ricotta. It was actually SO easy and came out really good. I put my recipe below. I asked if he wanted to make homemade ricotta (like he knows what that is) and, of course, the answer was yes. I measured everything out and guided him as he poured them into the pot.





He’s not a very patient when it comes to cooking. He likes to grab everything in site (I learned that from the coconut oil incident), and moves rather quickly. So I try to keep everything out of his reach until we’re ready for it. He seems to be getting better the more we practice. In fact, he helped me make supper last night and was really excited to eat it! So, hopefully cooking will keep him interested in trying new things!

Homemade Ricotta
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups whole milk
  2. 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
  3. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. 1. Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth.
  2. 2. Pour the milk and cream into a stainless steel or enameled pot. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).
  3. 3. Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth. Save the whey — you can make bread with it. Use the ricotta immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.
Adapted from Ina Garten
Adapted from Ina Garten
Little Baby Watson http://littlebabywatson.com/

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Fruity Green Smoothie

Since I’ve been pregnant this time around, vegetables have been the last thing on my mind! I’ve gotten better lately, but before this week I was surviving off this Green Smoothie. It’s the only way I could sneak greens into my diet. Not only did it work for me, but Turner was a huge fan too! So I make a big one and split it between the two of us!

Fruity Green Smoothie
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 frozen bananas
  2. 1 cup frozen peach slices
  3. 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  4. 1 cup packed spinach leaves
  5. 1 cup cashew milk (or almond milk)
  6. 1 tsp chia seeds
  7. 1 tsp ground flax seeds
  8. 1 Tbsp almond butter
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and mix until smooth.
Little Baby Watson http://littlebabywatson.com/

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Favorite Iced Mocha

Since I’ve been pregnant, coffee has been my least favorite thing on the planet. That is so unlink me, because I am a self-proclaimed coffee addict. I just have a hard time accepting that I can’t drink coffee though! So, I’ve created the perfect coffee concoction to make it tolerable. Plus, it gives me a little boost of energy. Although, to be honest, I could probably fall asleep immediately after chugging this.

Here’s what I do…I brew some coffee and shake it down in my cocktail shaker with some ice to cool it down immediately. Then I pour it in a glass (no ice or it will get watery) and set aside. If I’m not drinking it right away, I put it in the fridge to hang out. Once I’m ready to drink, I add ice, a splash of half and half, and, the star of the show, Chocolate Hazelnut Milk. I do equal parts coffee to chocolate hazelnut milk, but the ratio is really up to you. This is SO good! It’s not too sweet and not too strong. I will definitely continue to drink this, even post-pregnancy!



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Citrus Supper Club

Every month, our group of 8 friends get together for supper club. We rotate the host. Each host is in charge of picking the theme and entree. The other couples are in charge of a drink, side dish or appetizer, and dessert that go with the theme. This month we were the hosts. I chose a Citrus theme because it’s starting to get warm, and I love citrus!


My main course was lemon braised chicken. Here is the original recipe. My update recipe is below. This was for 8 people, so you could definitely cut it in half for a family sized meal.

Along with the chicken, I made lemon poppy seed biscuits (basic buttermilk biscuits but omitted cheese and added zest of 1 lemon and 1 tsp of poppy seeds) and an arugula salad with orange slices, slivered almonds, craisins, and a raspberry vinaigrette. Annie made Smokey Sausage cups with puffed pastry filled with orange marmalade and kielbasa topped with gouda cheese and more orange marmalade (they’re in the back corner of the plated meal).


Kirsten made the cocktail which was grapefruit vodka and seltzer. She garnished with fresh grapefruit slices and gummi rings. For us pregos, we had seltzer with grapefruit juice. It was equally delicious!

And last, but definitely not least, Missy made lemon bars topped with a lemon slice. They were so delicious and a perfect way to end our citrus supper!

Lemon Braised Chicken
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  2. olive oil
  3. salt and pepper
  4. zest of 2 lemons
  5. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 2 cups chicken stock
  7. juice of 2 lemons
  8. 2 Tbsp corn starch
  9. 2 Tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towel
  3. Heat dutch oven to medium-high heat
  4. Drizzle chicken thighs with olive oil
  5. Season skin side with salt, pepper, and lemon zest
  6. Add chicken to pan in batches, skin side down, and sear on both sides until golden brown (2-3 min per side) Drain excess fat in pan as needed.
  7. Place seared chicken on a plate to brown remaining chicken.
  8. Remove all chicken from pan. Lower heat if needed.
  9. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  10. Pour in chicken stock and lemon juice, using a wooden spoon to scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan as your pour.
  11. Bring stock to a boil and reduce to simmer.
  12. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Pour into chicken stock and whisk until smooth. Let simmer and thicken for about 5 minutes.
  13. Place chicken back into the pan and cover with lid.
  14. Cook in the oven for an hour.
  15. Remove pan from the oven. Serve warm with gravy and fresh chopped parsley.
Notes
  1. This can be prepared ahead. You can brown the chicken and set aside. While the pan is still hot, stir in garlic and deglaze with the chicken broth and lemon juice. Add in corn starch mixture and simmer to thicken. Set that aside until ready to braise. An hour before dinner, bring broth to a simmer, place the chicken in the pot and cover with lid. Place in oven for an hour and serve warm.
Adapted from Damn Delicious
Adapted from Damn Delicious
Little Baby Watson http://littlebabywatson.com/

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Ginger Granola

I adore granola. I love trying all different kinds. Recently, I bought a ginger granola from Whole Foods. It was so delicious that I thought I’d try to create my own version. It tastes just like it, maybe even better! This would even be a great basic granola recipe if you left the ginger out too! Hope you like it!

Ginger Granola
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  2. 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  3. 4 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  4. 2 cups quick cooking oats
  5. 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  6. 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  7. 1/4 cup pumpkin spice (or regular) pumpkin seeds
  8. 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  9. 2 tsp powdered ginger
  10. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  11. 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  12. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325*F. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, coconut oil, and condensed milk. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
  3. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix on low until all of the granola is coated evenly.
  4. Spread evenly on a sheet pan.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Little Baby Watson http://littlebabywatson.com/

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Baking Cookies

The other day, I invited Turner into the kitchen to help me bake his favorite cookies. Here’s the original recipe, although I’ve made a few changes over time. I’ll put an updated recipe below so you can be the judge of which is better!

Usually, Turner drags his kitchen helper into the kitchen to play in the sink or play with dried beans (he likes to fill different size containers with the beans). But this time, it was to bake! He was loving it.


I’ve been dreaming of the day I’d have my own little munchkin to cook and bake with me! I really love this age. Turner is so much fun! He’s my little buddy. We do everything together. He’s turning into such a big boy right before my eyes!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies
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Prep Time
8 min
Cook Time
17 min
Prep Time
8 min
Cook Time
17 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium ripe bananas
  2. 2 1/2 cups quick cooking or old fashion oats
  3. 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  4. 1 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/3 cup agave nectar
  6. 1 tsp vanilla
  7. 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  8. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  9. 1/4 cup peanut butter
  10. 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips or raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Mash bananas with a fork in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients, except chocolate chips, and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Use a large ice cream scoop to place mounds of dough onto your lined baking sheet. Gently press down to flatten a bit.
  5. Bake for 17 minutes or until firm on the outside and still soft on the inside.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying!
Notes
  1. Cool completely and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Little Baby Watson http://littlebabywatson.com/

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Pumpkin Carving Party

We’ve been throwing an annual pumpkin carving party for the past four years. Every year it’s a different crowd, but we always have SO much fun! I love to go all out with Halloween themed food and drinks. It’s one of my favorite festivities to plan for!

I used Pinterest a ton to help with food ideas. I’ll link to the recipes I used. Some of them I changed up a bit.

Here’s our menu with pictures!
Mummy Dogs

Ghost Pizzas” (basic pizza but with ghost shaped cheese and ketchup used for eyes)

Graveyard Dip” (I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream)

Witches Fingers” (I used candy corn instead of almonds)

Mini Caramel Apples Make sure you DRY off the cut apples before dipping, otherwise the caramel will slide off. Lesson learned!

Vampire Cocktail

So, I would post pictures of our pumpkin masterpieces, but we didn’t quite get to carving. When I asked if everyone was ready to carve, they just preferred sitting around eating and drinking. I’ll take that as a compliment!! Another successful (almost) pumpkin carving party. Happy Halloween!

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Pumpkin Spice “Donut Holes”

Usually, by the time August comes around, I’m completely over summer and already pulling out my fall decorations. This year has been a little different. I haven’t been in a rush for “what’s next” like I usually am. I’m definitely in love with the stage Turner is in right now. He’s hilarious and non-stop, so I’m not trying to wish anything away! I actually wish time could stand still.

Last night seemed to be the turning point for me. I spent the night at Starbucks while Stew hosted a poker game with his friends, and I was enjoying the cooler weather that seemed to just appear out of nowhere! I sipped on my Salted Caramel Mocha and played around on Pinterest. Everything I came across was hinting towards cooler weather: dark nail polish, chunky sweaters, and pumpkin everything! It definitely got me into the fall spirit!

This morning, we had a slow start to the day which allowed me time to bake a little fall treat. I love everything apple and pumpkin-spice! So I made a healthier version of pumpkin spice donut holes. I swapped out the flours and baked them instead of frying. They were absolutely delicious! I had to take a second to share them with you!


Pumpkin Spice "Donut Holes"
A healthy spin on pumpkin-spice donuts!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup coconut flour
  3. 3/4 cup almond meal
  4. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  6. 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  7. 1/8 tsp ground clove
  8. 2 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  11. 1/2 cup milk
  12. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  13. 1 egg
  14. 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  15. 1/3 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
  16. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  17. Cinnamon Sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Lightly coat a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a standing mixer, combine flours, spices, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, milk, brown sugar, egg, applesauce, oil and vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low, pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  5. Use a small ice cream scoop to place batter evenly in muffin tray.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Little Baby Watson http://littlebabywatson.com/

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Creamy Herb Dressing

I  made a salad for dinner tonight. I normally don’t like creamy dressings, but I wanted a dressing that was a bit more substantial than my usual vinaigrette!  I did some experimenting and came up with this healthy and delicious dressing that I thought I’d share!

The salad I made to go along with it had romaine lettuce, red peppers, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, and shredded carrots. It was the perfect pairing!


Creamy Herb Dressing
A healthy and satisfying dressing that will amp up any salad!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 scallions, roughly chopped
  2. 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley
  3. 1/4 cup loosely packed basil
  4. 1/2 lime, juiced
  5. 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1/2 tsp pepper
  8. 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, except olive oil, into a blender. Blend until combined. With the blender on low, stream in olive oil until the dressing reaches desired consistency. Store in an airtight container in fridge.
Little Baby Watson http://littlebabywatson.com/

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