Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday's Favorites: Fox Edition

A long time ago, when Adam and I first started this blog, we used to post something on Fridays that we called "Friday's Favorites."  Each of us picked out favorite outfit from the proceeding week and photographed it, showcasing it here (with the tiniest pictures ever... guess I hadn't figured out how to resize photos).  It was a fun little series, and I have decided to resurrect it, but for Fox instead.  

I probably won't do it every week, but occasionally, I want to post my favorite photos of Fox from the week (I take loads everyday, like most new moms).  Some of them are little pixilated, because lighting isn't always great when he is doing cute things, and they are usually from my phone, but these are the fabulous faces of Fox, and my top picks from this week!

I hope you enjoy! Happy Friday!

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Warm Lentil and Bacon Salad

The first time I tried lentils was at age of 6 or so.  My mom was homeschooling us at the time (I was homeschooled until I went to high school at 14), and we had been learning about the Egyptian Pharaohs and history.  We had a little 'pharaoh' party complete with paper grocery bag tunics that we decorated, and she made lentil soup. I remember being extremely suspicious of it at first, and then trying it and being surprised at how delicious it was.  

Because I have known about lentils for years, it surprised me when I mentioned that I had made a lentil soup to a friend, and she didn't know what they were.  So, in case your mother didn't feed you lentil soup at age 6,  you can find them in the bulk section of your grocery store (hopefully).  If not, they should be with the dried beans. For this recipe, I used green lentils, but you could also use French lentils.  Don't use red lentils, because they will get too mushy.  

This salad sounds a little wintery for our 70°F+  weather, but if you are still stuck in snow drifts, it could be perfect for you.  If you are experiencing spring, you ought to try it anyway, because it is pretty darn delicious.  It hit 80°F yesterday, and I would still eat it!  

Warm Lentil and Bacon Salad: 
adapted from One Good Dish

4 - 6 slices of high quality bacon chopped into bite-size pieces
1/2 onion
1 tsp thyme
1 carrot sliced into wheels
1 cup green lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 large gold or red potato cubed
salt and pepper

2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp garlic
salt and pepper
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1/4 olive oil

In a saucepan, add the potato to boiling water and let cook for about 10 minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook bacon for 7 minutes on medium high until it is crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet, draining all but 1 Tbs bacon drippings.  Add the onion, thyme and carrot to the skillet and cook until the onions are translucent and the carrot is soft.  Season with salt and pepper.  Turn heat to low. Add the cooked potato in and stir a few times to coat in bacon fat and herbs.

In the now-empty saucepan,  add lentils, broth and bay leaf and cook for about 20 minutes, or until soft. Add lentils to the skillet, and stir to help coat in bacon grease, and to keep warm.

In a small jar, combine vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, mustard and olive oil and shake to combine.

Heap a good amount of lentil salad mixture into a bowl and pour the vinaigrette over the top.  Serve warm.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crunchy Millet Muffins

Millet is currently one of my favorite add-ins to just about everything. I add it to my morning oatmeal, to muesli, homemade granola bars and to these muffins.  It just feels so natural and has an incredibly satisfying crunch.  You really should try it out, and these muffins are the perfect way to do it!  

Millet Muffins
adapted from 101 Cookbooks

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup raw millet
1 tsp baking powder
1 tps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 cup barely melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 400°F.  Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Whisk flour, millet, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, butter, brown sugar and lemon juice.  Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined.  Spoon mixture into muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3 the way full.  Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops are beginning to brown.  Let cool for a few minutes, then remove from tin and let cool on a cooling rack.   Enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies with Fudge Bits

We have a hard-fast rule in our house to never put whole wheat flour in dessert.  Adam thinks that if you are going to make a dessert, you might as well do it right and use the most decadent ingredients you can find. This never includes wheat flour.  That being said, I saw this recipe from one of my lovely friend's blogs who is a terrific cook, and I had to try them.  I didn't tell Adam that they had whole wheat flour in them and had him try one.  And then I had to fight him for the rest of the pan, because they were so delicious.  

We have made them with chocolate chips, but the fudge bits (which were left over from these macarons), were such a fun and tasty little bonus to an already delicious cookie.  If you have the time, I say "Go for it!" Good luck trying not to eat them all in one day... 

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies with Fudge Chips
Cookies from here and fudge bits adapted from here
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Prep the fudge bits first (see recipe below) a few hours before you make the cookie dough.

1 stick softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup wheat flour
1 Tbs wheat germ
1 3/8 cup oatmeal
fudge bits or regular boring chocolate chips

Cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer or large mixing bowl.  Add the eggs and mix.  Add the vanilla and mix.  Then add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, wheat flour and wheat germ, and mix.  Add the oatmeal and mix until combined.  Add the fudge chunks or chocolate chips and quickly mix for a few seconds.  Roll into medium sized balls and bake at 350° for about 9 minutes or until thin and golden brown.  

Fudge Bits:
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs butter
Place the chocolate in a small glass or other heat-proof bowl  Combine the cream and butter in a small pot over medium heat.  Bring the cream mixture to a simmer, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate to melt it.  Let the mixture sit for a minute or so then whisk until it is thick.  Pour into a plastic ziploc bag, and lay on its side in the fridge for a few hours.  When it is hardened, cut the plastic bag off, and chop into small chunks.  Add to the cookie dough.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Family Photos

A few weeks ago, Adam suggested that we go take some family photos.  Over the course of our marriage, we have taken very few photos together.  I would say in the 3 1/2 years, we have only taken about 40 photos together.  That doesn't include our wedding photos.  For the thousands of photos that we have taken since we moved here, that is pretty pathetic.  

I think that having a baby has made us realize that we would like to have more photos as a family around the house.  It will also give us a large selection to choose from when my mom asks for a picture of us for her Christmas card next year. Overall, I was quite thrilled to have more photos of us as a family.  

And, I am kind of loving these of Fox in the stroller while we walked to the photo location... I just want to squeeze those chubby cheeks!  

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