Cheese & Lentil Wedges

Yet again, it has been a while.

As always.

Let’s just be real, ya’ll. This blog isn’t going to be a place that I write in every day or even every week. I’m ok with that. Hopefully you are too. This little one doesn’t mind it all too much. As you can tell, she’s not a fan of mommy or daddy being on the computer.

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Little one may cry when we are on the computer and don’t allow her to bang away at the keys, but today I am here to share with you something she never cries over.

Food.

Elli is a champ eating food and one of her new favorite things to munch on are Cheese & Lentil Wedges from the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook. We have made this 3x in the last month!  One great thing about these wedges is that they are easy to take with us to a restaurant, the climbing gym, or as a quick snack to pull out of the fridge at home. We’ve done all three and she loves them each time (as do I).

Cheese & Lentil Wedges

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{Ingredients}

1 cup red lentils
2 cups water
Oil 
1 large sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (I used thyme/oregano/rosemary with a dash of cayenne)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

{Directions}

1. Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease a 9 inch cake pan. Set aside.

2. Rinse lentils then put into a pan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover with lid and simmer for approximately 12 minutes or until lentils are soft and liquid is absorbed. Watch the pan as it can easily over boil due to the froth. If you notice a lot of froth appearing, skim it off with a spoon then continue simmering.

3. While lentils are simmering, fry a tad bit of oil and finely chopped onion until soft.

4. When lentils and onion are done drain off excess liquid through a fine mesh sieve. The lentils may be a bit “mushy” in texture. No need to worry! After draining put them into a mixing bowl with ALL other ingredients. Mix well.

5. Place mixed ingredients into the cake pan, pressing down to ensure the entire pan is filled. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

6. Cool slightly then cut into wedges to enjoy warm, room temp, or even cold!

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Feel free to try this out with different herbs and cheeses. I bet you can come up with many different versions!

What are some easy go to lunches/snacks that you like to make for your kiddo or yourself?

baby led weaning update

Almost 2 months ago I shared with you that E began her journey of eating solid foods. After much prayer and research we decided to give baby led weaning a shot! I had all intentions to share with ya’ll more updates…but life gets busy. So, here I am (2 months later) with an update.

Baby Led Weaning is going great! Elli amazes me with her chewing and gnawing skills and I haven’t had to spoon feed her once…and Summit loves cleaning up all the dropped food off the floor…and sometimes off the tray.

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One of the hardest things for me in the beginning of Baby Led Weaning was not giving Elli the same things to eat every couple days. I wanted to mix it up for my sake and hers. Lunch and dinner were always a bit easier than breakfast…you can only have so many things at breakfast time.

If you have the same problem as us and are at a loss as to what to feed your kiddo for breakfast, our favorite nutritional, mom, and baby friendly item is a Frittata! Elli  could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I let her.

So could Summit.

There are so many ways to make a frittata! In addition to the egg and milk base, you can use use boiled potatoes (mashed up), spinach, leeks, onions,tomatoes, mushrooms, shallots, or whatever other vegetable you have lying around. Adding potatoes is a big favorite of mine because it firms up the frittata and makes it set even more. I often keep a couple golden potatoes that have been peeled and boiled in the fridge so I can throw it in with the other vegetables. 

Without further adieu…here’s a tomato/onion/mushroom version for you to try out at home!

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{ingredients}

5 eggs

2 T whole milk (use water if baby has a dairy allergy)

handful of chopped parsley

1 small sweet onion, diced

1 roma tomato, diced

2 mushrooms, diced

cheese

olive oil

{instructions}

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Whisk eggs and milk in small bowl. Add parsley and black pepper. Set aside.

3. Coat a medium oven safe, non-stick sauté pan with olive oil over medium heat.

4. Saute onion until soft (5-8 minutes). Add garlic, tomatoes, and mushrooms and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.

5. Add egg mixture and stir to combine.

6. Sprinkle on cheese (I only put cheese on half of the pan because Elli doesn’t need it but I sure do!) and put in oven for 10-15 minutes or until set.

7. Let cool, slice, and enjoy!

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I give Elli some frittata with fresh fruit (mango above) and toasted bread. I typically have the same thing with a sprinkling of salt on the frittata! Because salt is tasty.

 

summer always calls for sno-cones.

A friend of mine is hosting a challenge this summer.

A challenge to stay in shape, eat “clean”, and basically do your body good.

{If only this was what she was asking us to do}

I was instantly drawn to the challenge because it didn’t seem IMPOSSIBLE for me to do.

Last year prior to being pregnant I decided to do Whole30 and had all intentions to switch over to Paleo. While Mark & I both stuck with Whole30 for the entire month, we decided that Paleo wasn’t the thing for our family. The main reasons were that gluten did not affect us, our grocery bill went THROUGH the roof because of having to buy more meat, & to be honest…good beer and good cheese were just too good to say goodbye to. Doing Whole30 did, however, encourage me to be more mindful of what I am putting in my body. It certainly got me excited about eating more produce and greatly lessened our grain/pasta/bread intake.

Anyhow, when Roxanne introduce the No-Cheat Challenge I thought to myself, why not!?

So far, it’s been going great! This week, in addition to staying away from processed junk and eating clean, they challenged us to

a. Not eat after 8 pm

&

b. Come up with a clean eating item of one of your fave snacks

Which brings us to…sno-cones.

Summer truly calls for sno-cones. I would have at least 3 a day if I could…and I would put a scoop of ice cream in each of them. Peach & Mango are the favorites and you can never go wrong with the classic Strawberry.

Only one problem – I am guessing the syrup they use at my favorite sno-cone joints aren’t exactly “clean”. If you’re like me and love yourself some flavored ice on a hot summer day here’s a  recipe for all-natural strawberry sno-cone syrup.

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-Ingredients-

2 cups sliced strawberries

1/2 cup water

2 Tablespoons Agave in the Raw

-What to Do-

1. Put all 3 ingredients in a small saucepan and set over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The strawberries should get soft and pretty mushy.

2. Turn off heat and let sit for another 10-15 minutes to let the flavor soak in more (side note – the only reason I did this is because E was hungry and I had to feed her).

3. Put the mixture through a fine mesh sieve/strainer and put in fridge to chill for at least a few hours.

4. Go to your favorite sno-cone joint to get the best ice ever and pour your syrup on top…or use a food processor or a blender to crush up your own ice!

5. Enjoy and reminisce about summer days eating sno-cones by the pool. At least that’s what I do 🙂

In the picture above I blended my own ice, but tomorrow I plan on going to get the ice made from the machines. They may give me funny looks when I ask for a sno-cone with no syrup, but it’ll certainly be worth it.

What yummy treats are you always a big fan of during the summer time? Do you have a “clean” way of eating it? 

Goat Cheese Pasta

Mark & I share a big love for food.

If we had cable we would spend our evenings watching Food Network (and HGTV), I go to the library to get cookbooks, and a huge part of our budget goes towards making good food.

Some of the Trader Joes folks already know Eliana by name even. Most gals love shopping for clothes. I love going up and down produce aisles.

Ok.

I love shopping for clothes too 🙂

All that to say, pre-Eliana I would spend hours on hours making a delicious meal for Mark and me. The first several months of being married not only did we not have kids, but I also didn’t have a job. We ate well those months.

Enter Eliana.

My slow-paced cooking has needed to get a bit more efficient. It’s been a process of trying to figure out how cooking will now look. I am sure I will still get to enjoy spending hours on hours in the kitchen one day, but for now I have a little who loves to be held. Being held next to a hot stove = not good.

So, last night we grilled up some chicken to go with a lovely goat cheese pasta out of one of my go-to cookbooks.

This pasta was good.

It was easy.

It was quick.

And it was good.

Really really good.

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Goat Cheese Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Black Olives, and Fresh Basil

{Ingredients}

1/2 pound penne pasta

4 ounces soft goat cheese

1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup black kalamata olives, chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil, torn or sliced

{What to Do}

1. Boil pasta in a pot of salted water until al dente.

2. While boiling pasta, place cherry tomatoes in a bowl with salt (to taste) to help bring out the flavor.

2. When pasta is at al dente, strain it and then put pasta and goat cheese in a big bowl. Stir to combine. Goat cheese will melt and become the “pasta sauce”.

3. Add tomatoes and it’s juices, olives, and basil and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Simple & Tasty!

Tonight our simple meal will be waffles per the husband’s request. My request – watching a chick flick. Yay for a “date night” at home!

Have a great weekend!

Muscles or Mussels?

Friends.

I climbed for the first time in ages this past Saturday.

When you’ve gone a long time without climbing and when you have had 9 months of baking a baby in your belly your muscles just aren’t the same.

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And that is ok 🙂

In honor of my sore muscles, here is one of mine and Mark’s favorite recipes.

(This was a post I wrote soon after we got married back in 2011)

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Mussels with Shallots & Cherry Tomatoes

{Ingredients}

2 shallots

2 cloves of garlic

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups dry, white wine

1/4 cup heavy cream

6 Tablespoons butter

A few sprigs of thyme

2 dried bay leaves

Handful of Parsley

{Notes} 

Before you chop up anything, you’ll want to clean up those mussels and get them ready for cooking! In Texas, most of the mussels you buy at HEB will be farm-raised and clean, and the mollusk will already be debearded. If there is still a mollusk on the mussel then you will have to debeard it and then scrub down each mussel with a vegetable brush.

After they are all cleaned and debearded, you’ll want to go through each mussel to see if it’s still alive and kickin. If the mussel is closed then it’s good to go. If the mussel is open, give it a little love tap on the side of the bowl. If it stays open then it is no longer alive and you can trash it. If it begins to close then you’re good!

Once you have all of the mussels cleaned and sorted out put them in a bowl and put a damp cloth over it. You can store them in your fridge for up to two days or you can use them right away.

  

{What to Do}

 Once you have the ingredients you will want to prep them all. I like to put everything in little bowls to make it easier for cooking.

Bowl # 1 — Dice the 2 shallots and mince the garlic.

Bowl # 2 — Make sure the cherry tomatoes are halved and put em in. Place chopped thyme sprigs and bay leaves in this bowl as well.

 Bowl # 3 — Measure out 2 cups of Chardonnay.

 Bowl # 4 — Measure out a 1/4 cup of Heavy Cream.

Bowl # 5 — Handful of chopped parsley.

Step 1.

 Put 4 tablespoons of butter in a dutch oven or BIG pot over medium heat. Add Bowl # 1 (shallots and garlic) and cook for about 3 minutes.

Step 2.

 Throw in Bowl # 2 and Bowl # 3 (tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, chardonnay).

Put the burner on high and heat it up until boiling.

 

Step 3.

Add the mussels and cover the pan! Cook for around 5 minutes until the mussels open up. Use a spoon to move the mussels over to a large bowl. Sprinkle on half of the parsley you have.

Step 4.

With the juices still in the pan, discard the bay leaves and the thyme. Place the pot on heat and pour in Bowl # 4 (cream) and the rest of the parsley. Cook that until it gets a bit thick and then throw in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir and then pour over the mussels!

Step 5.

We enjoy ladling it into bowls and serving it with lots of crusty bread to soak up the juices.

Scone Goodness

This last weekend my mom handed over to me all of my grandma’s many, many recipes from her bakery.

On the car ride home from Caldwell I looked through all of the scraps of paper that had her notes scribbled on them. Reminders to pick up our dog from the airport, missed phone calls she needed to return, and thoughts on various recipes. The paper was obviously a bit old and some had hardened dough caked on it in places, coffee stains, and buttery fingerprints all over.

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Reading through the many recipes made me wish so badly that my grandma could be here in person to show me how to bake kolaches or her infamous hot rolls to perfection. Alas, these old notes of hers will have to do. I am so thankful she left those behind for us to have.

Looking through them gave me the sudden urge to bake. Soon I will be tackling some of my grandma’s recipes, but recently I have made homemade Oatmeal Wheat Bread, Dinner Rolls, and Lemon-Cranberry Scones.

The Felders certainly do not eat Paleo.

If you don’t eat Paleo you will love these flaky, melt in your mouth buttery Lemon-Cranberry Scones. I am a big fan of the simplicity of baking them. It doesn’t require much time and is the perfect treat to make while baby girl is napping 🙂

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Lemon – Cranberry Scones

{adapted from familymeals cookbook}

-Ingredients-

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter (cut into cubes)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup heavy cream

-Directions-

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and oil a large baking sheet (or use parchment paper). Pam or butter work great.

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl.

Add the cold, cubed butter and “cut up” the mixture using a pastry cutter or 2 knives. I prefer a pastry cutter. You’ll want to do this until the butter is the size of “large peas.”

Add in the dried cranberries and cream. Stir just until the dough comes all together. It will still be quite flaky.

Gather up the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Knead just a bit and then pat the dough out into a circle that is roughly 1 1/2 inches thick.

Cut the dough into triangles, much like you would a pizza, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. I cut mine into 8.

Brush the tops of the scones with some cream and sprinkle with a bit of sugar to make it extra delicious and place it in the oven for about 14 minutes. Let cool a bit on a rack and enjoy warm with a nice cup of coffee or tea (if you’d like)!

And for all you Paleo-folk out there like my sister…you’d like these too 😉