Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

We were out all day! Eating ice cream, petting sheep, and playing non-stop at local parks kept us busy busy busy on this Saturday. The Fall is our season. Crisper air and neighborhood festivals draw us out for endless of hours of fun while we savor the dimming sunset. It is the best time of year, but then you get home and you think….hmmmm what’s for dinner? It would be easier get delivery but tonight we thought ahead even just a little. And maybe that is why we enjoyed the day so much because we knew that dinner and the “burden” of being an adult was going to be easy.


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons freshly diced ginger
  • 1 8oz can whole water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • Olive Oil


Heat olive oil in a sauce pan and add the ground chicken. Cook until browned about 3-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, onion, hoisin, soy, vinegar,  and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring throughout to blend ingredients. Once onions are translucent and the veggies are fragrant add the water chestnuts and green onions, salt, and pepper to taste and mix together. Serve in lettuce like a taco

Eggplant polenta bake

I cannot say no to a free sample, especially from Trader Joe’s. Sometimes I make excuses to go there just to really check out what they are sampling. No….you don’t do that? Okay well maybe that’s odd but let’s call it groceries with tapas!

This weekend they cooked up the easiest polenta eggplant bake that I had to recreate at home. It could not be more simple:

Spread out polenta in a baking dish

Top with two cans of their eggplant, tomatoes, onions

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes

Sprinkle with feta and bake for another 2-4 minutes

Enjoy a delicious, tasty, lightening quick dinner!


Spaghetti squash carbonara

OH MY GOODNESS!  I have never had spaghetti squash before but my mind is blown. Tonight I wanted “comfort food”. Sometimes you just need to give your tummy something warm and cozy to sit with. But at the same time, we made a commitment to eating clean and fresh. Can these two be reconciled? Yes, with spaghetti squash carbonara!

Seriously, it was soooo good. It hit the spot and I cannot wait to enjoy this recipe again.


1 spaghetti squash cut in half lengthwise

2 eggs

1 cup Parmesan cheese

4 garlic cloves

6-8 slices of bacon cut into pieces

Salt and pepper

Bake the squash fleshy side down at 400 for 40 minutes. While it bakes, cook up the bacon and set aside. In the bacon pan cook up and brown the garlic. When the squash is done, take it out to gather the “noodles” and add to the pan. Toss in eggs, cheese, and bacon. Mix together for 3-4 minutes and enjoy!!

Halibut with leeks and tomatoes

Ever notice how when you eat at home for a stretch of time you start to feel really good?! Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a deliciously decadent meal out, but I have found that too much dining out leaves me feeling sluggish and bloated. Enter a summer simple summer dinner. This meal is one of the easiest dishes and because it is light and flaky you just feel good after too. Mmmmm this was quite yummy! 

16 oz halibut cut into four filets 

3 Lbs of leeks, sliced and cleaned
1 carton cherry tomatoes cut in half

Olive oil, salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 450. Scatter the leeks along the bottom of casserole dish. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and turn on the broiler high. Lay the halibut on top of leeks, top with tomatoes, and drizzle with more olive oil and salt and pepper. Broil for 10-12 minutes and enjoy!!!

fish and truffle sweet potato chips

We were snowed in again and it was great! I absolutely love when an extra day home with my family is bestowed upon us thanks to Mother Nature’s wintery mix. We stayed in our pajamas, drank lots of hot beverages, and just soaked up every moment together with Henry. Once we were all played out, David headed out to shovel the drive and I cooked up something for dinner. On this particular snowy night, I went with a fish and chips recipe. It was comforting and simple and really delicious. David is not the biggest fish fan despite having grown up on the water in Florida. He will of course eat fish but rarely does he suggest it for a dinner recipe. He was not enthusiastic about this evening’s meal even though I assured him it would be scrumptious. Needless to say, he went for a second helping!


4 Halibut Filets

1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning

1/2 cup of dijon mustard mixed with 1/2 cup of water

1 cup panko bread crumbs

3/4 cup mayo

1 shallot diced

1 lb sweet potato

1 tablespoon Champagne Vinegar

Black Truffle Oil


Parmesan Cheese

For the “Tartar” Sauce: In a bowl mix together the mayo, shallot, and vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the mustard water mixture and set aside

For the “Chip”: Peel the sweet potato. Cut into cubes or thin strips and lay on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, black truffle oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and parmesan cheese. Toss together and bake at 425 for 20 minutes rotating the baking sheet halfway through.

For the “Fish”: Combine the Old Bay Seasoning and Flour in one bowl, place the mustard water mixture in a bowl, and the breadcrumbs in a bowl. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Dip and coat a filet of fish in the flour, then the mustard and water mixture, and finally roll in the breadcrumbs. Cook in the frying pan for about 3-4minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Lay on a plate covered with a paper towel to soak up any extra oil prior to plating.

And then enjoy!!

cooking & baby

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Finding time to cook new and exciting meals is hard with a new little one. When we get home from work, the last thing I want to do is don an apron and work up a meal (even though I  LOVE to cook!). I would much rather spend my night snuggling and playing with Henry and reconnecting with David. If I could survive on air this would be perfect, but alas, mealtime is essential and therefore something must be done! Many new moms have suggested I cook for the whole week on Sunday night. And, while this may be the step we eventually take, I am not ready to give up my Sunday for all day kitchen time either. So on a whim we purchased William Sonoma’s One Pot of the Day Cookbook. Some recipes take hours to simmer and these delicious items will have to wait until the weekend but most of the meals can be whipped up in a matter of minutes (like 30-40).  For a new family this seems much more reasonable and with everything contained in one pot this also means no real clean-up time: win-win! If I could forgo working, I would cook up one of these meals a day for a year which is how the book is organized. But, for now, since employment is key, I will have to suffice on one or two new recipes from here a week. I think that will do.

David took the first meal from the book (page 261). It was a braised chicken with tomatoes and bacon, and it was quite good. And, the left over wine from braising was an excellent finish to the long day. Nicely done, David.

chopped salad

This past long weekend was refreshing. Something about having that extra day turns a regular weekend into a vacation! David and I enjoyed a mostly quiet time at home. We both took off Friday to take Henry to his pediatrician in order to discuss strategies around sleep and sleep routines. Our little man is consistently inconsistent which makes sleep a question mark in our house. Our meeting on Friday was not earth shattering in the information she presented but it did confirm some “best practices” we were beginning to implement. So we will have to give you an update on Henry’s sleep in the days and weeks to come. Fingers crossed this little man breaks through his sleep wall.

We spent a lot of time just being together as a family though and we even rekindled some of our favorite crafts and hobbies. I am currently working on a mustard yellow scarf for the winter and David in elbow deep in books about chess. When we weren’t playing with Henry, we were either crafting or cooking. It was a perfect way to spend these Fall days.  One of the recipes we tried for the first time was this chopped salad. It was  quick and easy and the prep time was practically non-existent. The flavors are super subtle but it was a light meal option for us on a day when we whipped up a significant brunch and crock pot beef stew for dinner!



Roast chicken (we bought a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store)

5 strips of cooked bacon

1 head of romaine lettuce

1 tablespoon ground mustard

2 tablespoons creme fraiche

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup chopped artichoke hearts

1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese

Toss everything together and enjoy! (especially if your husband dons a sexy apron  while mixing this up =)