Stuffed peppers with s(oy)sage

As promised, here is the “stuffed” peppers recipe that I modified from the original recipe my mom made when I was a kid (her original recipe was from Emeril, but I couldn’t find it anywhere online, so anyway…credit where credit is due). First you have to make Emeril’s special “seasonings” mixture (this is the most complicated part of the whole recipe, and SO worth it, I swear!):

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Eat your veggies…week 4 wrap up!

I can’t believe it’s already the end of September! This is the final week of our “whole foods” diet & I am starting to feel like we’ve made some permanent changes to our routine. I went grocery shopping today & realized that I only ventured once into the “middle aisles” of the store (where most of the processed foods reside) and that was to get some Kashi granola bars for Sam. This week’s menu:

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Eat your veggies…week 2

Had a pretty good week last week…only a few exceptions to our whole foods “rules” – I had another pumpkin spice latte (in celebration!) and we grilled bratwurst on Sunday that were leftover from our block party (it was Sabbath & we didn’t want to just throw away perfectly good food). My stomach was not happy about the brats so I think that’s a pretty good sign that my body is feeling the benefits.

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Eat your veggies…week 1

Week 1 of our whole-eating adventure was a success….with only a few “shortcuts” 😉

Monday: we stayed at my parents, so I enjoyed scrambled eggs with my mom
Thursday: 1 free drink at Starbucks = 1 venti iced pumpkin spice latte (not a whole food, I’m pretty sure)
Friday: night my family had a fish fry (annual event) while my great-aunt was visiting from California…we both enjoyed some fresh lake erie perch in her honor 🙂
Sunday: We’ve decided to allow ourselves more freedom on Sabbath and it just happened to be our first (annual!) Block Party on our street! We met about 10 new neighbors & had a great time getting to know one another, grilling, playing cornhole, and enjoying the most gorgeous afternoon.

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Things I love Thursday

Once again…a “thursday” post, posted on Friday. Such is life. 
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Sleeping babies simultaneous naps. woohoo!

Birthdays! I turned 26 this year. Wow! 10 years ago I was probably driving around, listening to Switchfoot, headed to someone’s house for a bonfire & birthday cake, worried about that darn Biology test tomorrow… oh, the good old days! 😉 Instead, I spent my day listening to my new record, enjoying some quiet (read: ALONE) time at Starbucks, and then ending my day with my 3 favorite people – eating pizza & watching The Lorax. Perfect.

Summertime recipes roasted beets, ratatouille, tomato pie, grilled zucchini – oh my!

Books, sweet books I love snuggling up with my nursing or sleeping newborn to just gaze at her in wonder. It is almost too good to be true – she is so peaceful, sweet, all mine. Then there are other moments when all I want to do is sleep or (really) ANYTHING other than nurse. It’s just true. No one tells you that breast-feeding can be a very lonely endeavor. So on those nights when I feel like I’m the only person awake on the planet…or in the afternoon when my toddler is eating a snack or (on rare occasion) playing happily by herself, I always keep a good novel nearby. I have read through quite a few already in the few short weeks I’ve been home from the hospital and here are some of my faves:

Almost Amish & 7: both of these were sort of “skim” reads. They are both about considering our faith in the midst of a culture that is obsessed with self & stuff.
Trapeze: an historical-fiction account of a young woman who becomes a spy in nazi-occupied France. Not one of my favorite book club choice, but still very interesting.
Peter Pan: I love love love YA fiction…and this one’s a classic!
Lion Among Men: loved Wicked, pushed my way through to the end of Son of a Witch, and not quite sure if I’m going to be able to finish this one…

Sesame Street I’m so glad my toddler is in love with Elmo because then I don’t have to force her to watch it with me! 😉 Just kidding. But I seriously do love everything about it and this week we even discovered the music! (Bonus: you can stream it on spotify!) Maybe it is the warm-fuzzy memories of my own childhood…or just the awesome, creative AND educational genius of Jim Henson. I’m not sure, but it melts my heart to hear my 2-year old singing, “…on my way to where the air, is, sweeeeeet!”

Happy Friday!

Whole Foods

I’ve written before about my journey to better eating and I hesitated even writing this post because it is such a “hot topic” these days. However, in keeping with the name of my blog – food is something I seriously LOVE. With that in mind, we’ve decided to try and eat a strictly whole foods & plant-based diet for the month of September. The reason I phrase it this way instead of vegetarian or vegan is because 1) they are both loaded terms & 2) we knew we wanted to have some flexibility throughout our “diet” (read: lifestyle change!)… I’m hoping to blog about some of our experiences, what I’m sure will be MY personal struggles (Sam is disciplined, I am emotional), and also include any especially good recipes that I find along the way! Our original inspiration came from the documentary Forks over Knives (you can find it on Netflix) & we will also reference the Engine 2 Diet. Yummm…

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Just a walk in the Garden…

Everything is finally in!! Now we just need some RAIN!

Sunflowers on the north side, carrots & beets, spinach & lettuce, and some peas that I hope survive this heat wave!

Nature is so colorful!

I’m drooling already. Nothing like fresh, sun-warmed cukes…

Dreams of caprese, chili, tomato pie & lots of fresh salsa…

This little beauty attracted a hummingbird to our backyard a few nights ago!

Happy planting & have a safe & restful Memorial Day!