Category Archives: food


I’ve been hearing about it forever and wondering if service would ever come to area, and finally we were able to try Blue Apron.  There really couldn’t be better timing as I’ve been in a major cooking rut lately.  The fact that we have two very picky eaters right now doesn’t necessarily help things either.  I’m sure it’s just a phase, but it’s been all too easy to just sigh and make them things I know they’ll eat over and over and over again.  Easy, but so boring and it’s not going to help them overcome their lack of adventurousness when it comes to food.

(Excuse the poorly lit photos… it was cloudy and late).



We’ve had several deliveries so far, but this one was the first meal we made.  Turkey Sloppy Joes.  The flavors were great as have been all the meals we’ve had so far.  The kids haven’t been huge fans of everything, but I’ve loved the new ideas – especially when it comes to making veggies, even by making very simple changes.  Instead of making the corn the way we always do, I now have some new techniques that I really love and Phoebe especially enjoyed it.  I can still count on Enzo to always eat green beans, so now we just have to see if they’ll be tempted by anything else.



One way I’m trying to get Enzo to be adventurous is to have him help me in the kitchen, but so far that only seems to work with sweets. Ha ha.  We had friends over this past weekend, so both kids helped me make a pasta salad.  Phoebe helped me stir and dump ingredients while Enzo helped me do some chopping with his own little knife.  He did great quartering olives and dicing bell pepper with me and I’m enjoying giving him some new tasks to help out with.  He’s been such a great helper lately in general and while he may fight putting away toys, he really likes helping with other chores like mopping or taking care of his sister.  I’ll take help where I can get it. 😉



Fruits of our Labor

Last year my gardening attempts mostly failed.  I had some flowers take off, but many of my endeavors did not pay off, and I blame some of that on too little time and too many plants to care for.  This year I decided to just skip planting an actual garden and we’re focusing more on updating our general landscaping a bit.  I let the kids pick some flowers for the front and to put in pots (I grabbed mint and marigolds as I always do), and thankfully, they are all thriving!  We came back from vacation to find major growth and our first strawberry!


It’s been really fun checking on the flowers with both kids, but especially Enzo because he seems to “get it.”  He loves to look for more strawberries and the squash he picked out is going nuts, and I think I’ll need a bigger pot.  Watching the kids eat their first strawberry off the vine has me excited to grow food next year.


With luck it’ll also make them more likely to try the different fruits and veggies that they’ve helped plant and grow.  This year we just got busy and I decided to make time for other things.  Perhaps next year we’ll actually fix up the raised beds and add some chicken wire to keep out pests.


Cookie Fun

A few weeks ago the kids and I were bored while Josh had to spend a weekend working, so we decided to make some cookies.  I may not know how to draw or do cute little art projects, but I can definitely bake, and the kids were more than happy to lend a hand.


I grabbed a couple of chairs and set the kids up while I grabbed ingredients and Enzo proceeded to test them all out.  He checked the consistency of the flour and sugar and decided what he would dump into the bowl and what Phoebe would.


I couldn’t easily take pictures during the ingredient adding steps, but they both took turns and surprisingly kept most items in the bowl.  I did have to wait to open the chocolate chips until the end, though, since that was all they cared about once they realized what kind of cookies were being made.


The highlight was the mixer, though.  Enzo didn’t used to like it, but Phoebe loves the mixer… and the blender and the coffee grinder and the vacuum, come to think of it. Loud noises don’t typically bother her and even when I vacuum she runs up and laughs.  It’s nice, though, because once Enzo realizes something doesn’t bother Phoebe he’s more likely to not mind as much either.


If only this worked with foods they don’t like.  It doesn’t matter how many green beans Enzo eats – Phoebe won’t touch them, and as for other delicious amazing veggies… well neither will touch sweet potatoes anymore.  Sweet potatoes of all things… the tastiest “veggie” out there.  At least they’ll eat peas and sometimes broccoli.  I’ll take it.  Oh, and let’s not forget chocolate chip cookies. They’ll both eat those.



So many of those. Especially when they’re Chocolate Chocolate Chip.

Kaiserhoff Ribs

When I was pregnant with Enzo, Josh and I booked a last minute room at a B&B in New Ulm, Minnesota for New Year’s Eve.  It’s a cute little town with a brewery and some nice little shops and very friendly locals.  For dinner we ate at Veigel’s Kaiserhoff – we had heard the ribs were good, and nothing sounded better to me.  They were awesome.  However, it’s a bit of a drive to go to often, so we rarely do.  When we heard we were going to be getting some nice weather a couple of weeks ago, we knew we had to grill and picked up some ribs and I went to Google where I was pleased to discover THE recipe! We now had a game plan.


I love grilled veggies, and one of my favorite easy sides is tossing whatever veggies we have on hand into a foil packet to throw on the grill.  That night I did lots of sweet potatoes and used plenty of olive oil and Parmesan cheese and seasoning.  We’ve never actually done ribs before, and while I know the restaurant baked their ribs, we knew we wanted to take advantage of the nice weather.


First, you should be sure to have a beverage, and time, because you need to boil your ribs for 1-2 hours.  I’ll post a link to the recipe, but I’m going to type what we personally did.

Kaiserhoff Ribs

Mix together 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1/4 c. soy sauce (low sodium), 1/4 c. Worcester sauce (or if you find yourself low on Worcester sauce, like we did, you can just top off what you’ve got with a nice serving of bourbon), 1 tsp garlic salt, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and minced onion.

Place your ribs 2-3 lbs in a large pot. Add above ingredients and then top off with enough water to cover the ribs.  Boil for an hour to an hour and a half until the ribs have sufficiently browned.

In a small bowl combine 3/4 c. Ketchup, 2/3 c. Miracle Whip, 1 1/2 tbsp Red Hot Frank Sauce, 2-3 drops of Tabasco.


If you’re like us you can grill your ribs once they’re done in the pot.   Josh grilled them over medium heat, flipping them about every 5 minutes for around 20 minutes total.  He spread a little sauce just about every flip.  If, however, you prefer to bake your ribs, give yourself another hour to bake them at 350 degrees.


I’m afraid you’ll have to find your own sexy beast of a man to do your grilling in his pajamas, though. Step back, Ladies. He’s all mine. 😉

Cupcakes and Balance

Let’s get straight to the point… I like cupcakes and most treats that aren’t particularly good for you. I know from a health standpoint I should limit my sugar intake, but that just seems like so much trouble and not much fun either.  We have tried to get healthier over the years – once Enzo turned 6 months old I knew I didn’t want to feed him junk and that I wanted to give him a good start.  So, for both kids we have tried to limit artificial flavorings and artificial dyes as well as preservatives. In the beginning I bought only organic treats/snacks and kept Enzo away from sugary baked goods until he was a year old and even then limited it a lot.


We’ve eased up on strict food rules with time.  While the kids still eat mostly healthy snacks it’s not organic all the time.  I don’t make a meal from scratch every night and the kids often eat Earth’s Best frozen waffles or french toast sticks.  We give them fruit and veggies aplenty and stick to whole grains, but yeah, we do give them some junk.  I used to feel guilty (thank you mommy forums and the internet), but I’m not as hard on myself anymore.


Maybe it’s the wrong reasoning, but I know I grew up on worse and I’m perfectly fine.  My family is generally pretty healthy all things considered, and we’re happy.  One of my favorite ways to treat myself just happens to be with a cupcake… sometimes it’s even one of those cheap grocery store cupcakes, and I let my kids join in on the fun.  I’ve decided it’s all about balance. I figure a cupcake or a cookie won’t undo all the fruits and veggies and actually good food the kids had, plus their eyes light up (much like mine) when I say the word “cupcake.”


Admittedly, I haven’t made as much time lately for exercise or other things thanks to a mental fog that is finally lifting, but now that I’m starting to feel better I’m hoping I can fit in some workout time amidst all of the many projects on various lists.  Also, we’re going to have to start some major sleep training with Phoebe who is pretty much sleeping in our bed ALL the time.  I was fine with her coming to bed in the early morning hours, but now she’s started waking up only a couple hours after putting her down (9:30ish) during Mommy Time, which means I have to stop what I’m doing and generally end up taking her to bed with me so she doesn’t wake her brother up.  Plus if Enzo is fighting bedtime, he may not go down until 8:30, leaving a short window of time to get personal and/or house stuff done in the evenings.  Working out has definitely not made my list of priorities lately… but cupcakes?  Oh yeah. Wine?  Most definitely.