Guys I have been digging the heck out of vegetables recently. Don’t get me wrong, I love veggies of all kinds, and even tried to make them the center of the plate at least a few times a week. But, I’ve really concentrated the past month on making them more of mainstay in our diet than red meat and even chicken or pork, and I’m loving it.
This bad boy from Food & Wine magazine was PERFECT. I love the ceviche style preparation and the colors and flavors were out of this world. Seriously, look at this…
This is great for end-of-summer/back-to-school parties as I think kids and adults will dig it, plus the vegetarians will love you! David, who is from the East Coast/Canada is our in-house fish expert, had been wanting to make me his “fish fry” for some time. It’s basically fish (we used Tilapia) coated in Saltine cracker crumbs, salt and pepper, dredged in egg and fried in olive oil. It was light, delicious and a nice balance to the intense flavors of the Vegetable “Ceviche.” I’m definitely making this again before the summer runs out. I can’t believe summer is almost over but you know what that means? COLLEGE FOOTBALL. Squee!
In the past months we have had friends who are expecting their first child and we frequently get asked what the top baby items are that we couldn’t do without. After rattling it off a few times, I thought I would share here in case you want to learn from our experience. Everyone is unique of course, so take take ’em or leave ’em. It’s funny, I wrote out my list and then asked David his. Besides number six, every single one was the same!
Electric Kettle: This may sound like an odd choice, but not only are Electric Kettles great for coffee (which you will need A LOT of those first few months) but, you can use the piping hot water to sanitize your bottles, nipples, spoons and cups, which you will be doing A LOT of too. We found this saves us from having to get one of those pricey, bulky steamers and once we are done with bottles we can go back to using it the way we always did.
La-Z-Boy: you will be spending copious amounts of time sitting and rocking and playing and feeding and more and more and more rocking so make sure this is where you splurge. We didn’t go bananas on a lot of items honestly but this was definitenly an investment that has a huge return. Oddly enough, we went with a brand that I was surprised I liked so much: La-Z-Boy. Seriously. They don’t make the one we have anymore, but this one is closest to ours. We have it in the color Brown Sugar and it’s very modern looking – not the old granny kind that you are thinking in your head. Like I said, the chair is a splurge, but you will be so happy you have one you won’t know what you ever did without it.
Skip-Hop Pronto! Changing Station: I remember the first time I changed Lila “in the field” and had to use this wonderful product. I was astonished that the public restroom didn’t have a Koala Bear changing station. You will come to find that a ton of places you use to frequent do not have these, which is why the Pronto! is so critical to bring with you everywhere you go. Also, be sure you have an extra onesie inside the pocket because blow-outs can happen anywhere, at anytime. I feel like I should add a Mwahahahaha at the end of that sentence.
Joovy Room 2 and Exersaucer: I put these two as one since they are for the same purpose. By the end of her fourth month Lila was no longer a motionless blob but a crawling, rolling fireball that if you put her down for one moment and turned around she was g.o.n.e. gone. While I like to supervise as much as I can, there are times when you need them in a secure place to take care of something in the house. Joovy, or as we playfully call it “baby prison,” and the Exersaucer are blessings for those “oh crap” moments. If I’m trying to get a workout in downstairs, I pop in my 20 minute Jillian Michaels (see #7) and place Lila in the Exersaucer so we can both get our workout on. I feel great after the workout and so does she! Let me mention though that I only let Lila stay in her Exersaucer for 20 minutes total and the Joovy is for a five minute errand break that I just can’t do holding her (plus, it’s great when we visit the grandparents). There has been a lot of studies saying leaving children under one in the Exersaucer for long periods of time can impede standing and walking and besides, I just like being with her so much that I don’t like to leave her alone that often!
They are so many food blogs I love on the intertubes but one of my favorites is from Clotilde Dusoulier (I also love her name) of Chocolate & Zucchini. From the recipes to the photography and her writing, I am so inspired by what she does and now she has a cookbook! I can’t wait for it to arrive at our house and I didn’t have to wait to try one of her recipes since Daily Candy had a sneak peek of a few of them, including her delectable Ratatouille Tian.
This dish, made famous by the Pixar movie Ratatouille, has been one of my favorites for a long time. I love the blend of zucchini, tomatoes, onions and eggplant. Yes, even eggplant, the one veggie that I really don’t dig, but in ratatouille, I can do it (so can David since he hates eggplant too). Also, I didn’t know that Tian translated into any kind of casserole-style baked dish, thank you Yumsugar.
I will say this dish took a long time. From cutting the vegetables on the mandolin to roasting for a good hour and a half. Speaking of, have you ever cut yourself on a mandolin? YOWZA. I did one time and from then have worn safety gloves after one small cut. I thought I was going to pass out from the pain and the cut was deep. Sorry, I went on a mandolin rampage but it seriously hurt so bad. This is my PSA for you to be careful with those things, OK?
So, after cutting all the veggies, and layering and roasting and more roasting, I thought my love for this dish might be slowly dwindling, but we took one bite and it really was like the scene from Ratatouille when Anton Ego takes one bite and is shot back to his childhood memory of him having a rough day and his mama making this dish for him. Happiness wells up inside him and tears begin to flow. Well, I’m from East Texas and definitely don’t have that memory, but I was shocked at how delicious it was and happiness did well up! It was perfectly balanced, cooked to perfection and so deliciously satisfying, just as this dish should be.
This can be a bit of work but it definitely is worth the prep and time. Lovely, lovely, lovely, Coltide. I can’t wait to try more of your delicious work.
Heed my advice on this one pandas, this salad is covered with cilantro, three types of beans, and grilled onions and jalapeños. Mmmhmmm. Not really the first date type of salad or heck, even the 15th but after almost two years of marriage and a kiddo – who cares! It’s damn good!
This Pinto, Black and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado was insanely yummy and super simple to put together. It doesn’t even have a dressing! The fresh lime juice was just perfect with the almost caramelized onions, spicy jalapeños, sweet corn and buttery avocados. I have to say our veggie only week is going splendidly so far!
Tonight I’m making a watermelon and cucumber salad and yes, a spice-rubbed pork tenderloin – it’s just a little bit of meat, I promise! Stay tuned…
I always know it’s a Kealey house favorite when David gets excited about the leftovers the next day. We’ve decided to go meat-light/almost vegetarian the next few weeks since the two of us love meat and I think it’s always good to push the reset button every once in a while. What a fantastic dish to start with! If this is how our vegetarian adventure is going to be for the next few weeks I’m pumped!
This Summer Succotash Gratin recipe by Chef Michael Romano is super simple and I liked that you can easily tweak it to include any kind of veggies you might have laying around. I know there are times that we just haven’t gone through all of our veggies in the crisper and this is a perfect way to use them up deliciously. I included some ripe tomatoes and mushrooms to our mix and then followed everything else just as it called for. This is definitely my go-to recipe when I’m in a time crunch and a perfect summer vegetable dish. Yum!