Tuesday, September 22, 2015

autumn at mendenhall glacier

garrison bribed me to get out of the house on this gorgeous fall day by meeting me on his lunch break at the glacier for a quick family photo. how could i say no?!? afterward, harper + i hiked to the waterfall, which was so good for both our souls. sometimes i can be such a home-body + need to remember how easy it is to get out more, and how great that fresh air feels. especially since the leaves are turning, the air is getting chillier, and termination dust has hit the mountains.

another favorite photo, here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

harper // 18 months

our baby girl is a year + a half! i almost can't believe it. she's a daddy's girl, loves attending nursery at church, can say her own name + tries pronounce most things we say, finally drink's cow's milk, and makes a kissey sound after we say i love you. i loved this month.

Monday, August 24, 2015

august 2015

^ our favorite neighborhood beach walk
^ auke recreation area, perfect for slow toddler walks + helping her climb the tallest rock 'peaks'
^ a last hiking group meet-up
^ detour through the marsh
^ the dog who's not allowed on the rug
 ^ at least one thing grew in our garden this year! which is impressive since i didn't put in much effort besides initial weeding + seed planting.
^ 6 year anniversary celebration! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

toddler eats // 12-18 months

shortly after weaning harper (when she was almost 13 months old), she began to really eat. and i mean, screaming for breakfast! about the same time, she wanted to eat what we were eating, not baby purees anymore. it was time to start thinking about toddler-friendly food options, and stop eating so many tortilla chips + sweets on front of her! here is a short list of great toddler meal + snack options she has loved these past few months (bonus: the whole family will enjoy most of these!).

+  steel cut oats with 1/4 banana, berries + a splash of milk
+  banana + egg pancakes

+  fresh fruit, diced (harper loves berries + watermelon!)
+  full-fat greek yogurt, plain or with diced fruit
+  whole peas or diced tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt
+  pre-cooked beets, diced (find lovebeets brand in the produce section)
+  meat, diced (harper likes meat but unfortunately not seafood, but every kid is different and i won't give up trying!)

lunch or dinner:
+  cheese + veggie/chicken quesadillas (perfect for picnics)
+  pesto + pea quinoa patties
+  mediterranean quinoa salad (can be made with quinoa instead of couscous, cut other ingredients a little smaller for toddlers)
+  tandoori quinoa (i made this for garrison's lunches, but harper gobbled this up, even with the jalapeƱo + spices!)

sweet treat:
+  banana ice cream, plain, or add cinnamon or peanut butter (perfect cold treat for teething toddlers!)

the last couple months i've also been working with her to feed herself. she still needs me to load food onto her spoon, but she usually can make it into her mouth without making too much of a mess! pictured here she is using nuby's fun feeding fork + spoon set. they will be perfect for her to use by herself here in a couple more months, and have great easy-to-hold handles. i've found they are best for foods with sticky textures, like quinoa + yogurt.

i hope some of these ideas are helpful if you have a toddler in your house!

*i was given a nuby fun feeding fork + spoon set in exchange for a blog review. all photos + opinions are my own. sponsored posts like this help me create new content for my readers. thanks for your support!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

recently on our table: jerusalem cookbook

for this week's menu, i turned to opening actual cookbooks (instead of pinterest), including this one i borrow from the library: jerusalem. i've seen it mentioned a few times around blogs or instagram, and i was intrigued to be reminded of my travels to israel a few years ago. i bookmarked a handful of recipes that i hope to try soon.

one recipe stuck out to me because it looked simple + i knew harper would love it with the greek yogurt sauce, so i showed the photo to garrison & asked "would you eat this?" he was skeptical, but said he'd give it a try. his reaction: he declared it his new favorite pasta recipe! it has an easy, blended sauce, is heavy on the garlic, a pop of freshness from the peas + feta, and crunchy toasted pine nuts on top. i think this dish is especially perfect for spring + summer.

pasta shells with a garlic yogurt pea sauce
slightly adapted from jerusalem a cookbook, page 111
serves 4. pair it with flat bread, roasted chicken, steak or salmon.

1 pound shell-shaped pasta, such as orecchiette
3 cups frozen peas, thawed + divided
2/3 cup olive oil, divided in half
scant 1/2 cup pine nuts (just less than)
2 teaspoons dried red chile flakes
2 1/2 cups greek yogurt (i used full-fat)
3 medium or 4 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 2/3 cups basil leaves, torn or sliced
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
salt + freshly ground pepper
1/2 fresh lemon zest + juice

heat a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high, add 1 tablespoon salt + 1 tablespoon oil and cook the pasta as directed on package (i always boil an extra minute or two past al dente) stirring often to prevent clumping. during the last 3 minutes, add 2 1/3 cup peas. Test pasta to your liking + drain well in a colander.

in a small frying pan, heat 1/3 cup olive oil over medium heat. add pine nuts + chile flakes and fry for 4 minutes until pine nuts are toasted, stirring often to prevent burning.

meanwhile, put the yogurt, 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic + 2/3 cup peas in a blender and process until smooth.

in a large serving bowl, combine pasta, peas, sauce (stirring in a little at a time to prevent curdling), basil, feta, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, lemon zest + juice. mix gently. transfer to individual bowls and spoon over the pine nuts + their oil.