We haven’t actually spoken in 4 months, but can I vent for a minute?

I’ve made it no secret that living far away from my family and friends I grew up with is not easy.

Being married and having children can be, shall we say “Trying”? at times, and for some reason, most of us are afraid to share these difficult moments, days, weeks, MONTHS with each other.

Living in the south, I have found this especially true. There’s a certain level of politeness and there’s a façade of happiness wherever you go and whomever you may speak to.

Sure, anyone who’s married and/or has children will chuckle and say something along the lines of “motherhood isn’t easy!” Or “being married has its challenges!”

But what I’m looking for is more along the lines of “I think I might murder my cocky-ass husband in his sleep tonight unless someone gives me a Xanax.” Or “Is it normal for a 6 month old to scream like her crib is on fire when there’s NOTHING wrong? Someone help me!”

Why are we afraid to say what’s really going on?

I was sitting down in the break room at my old job shortly after I got married and just said quite plainly “I hate him. I really just HATE him” and everyone just kind of looked at me with either judgement or pity, I couldn’t quite make out there expressions. All I knew was, I was alone.

“No?” I asked. “No one else? We all love our husbands?” Ok. Noted. No further outbursts from me.

All I wanted was someone else to look at me and say “Girl, me too”. That’s it.

Which is why I rely on about 3 or 4 friends I have back home who have known me and been through growing pains with me who I can call or text out of nowhere and just VENT. No judgement.

I can say things like “Remind me why we got married?” And I’ll get something back like “I’ve been wondering the same F-ing thing all week”. Or “You’re asking ME? I just told him to jump out of a moving car.” Simple. Honest. Real.

Some days, I have no patience and no more fucks left to give. Moments where if I didn’t have children, I’d walk out the front door and do whatever the hell I wanted for a week until I missed my life and drove back.

But I do have babies and responsibilities and I can’t just walk out and find a Blues Traveler concert tour to follow.

Thank God for the girls I can text with any amount of momentary meltdowns and thank God they all share the same thoughts and feelings I have.

If you feel like venting right this second, feel free to comment below and say whatever the hell you want! The more, the merrier.

If you’re too embarrassed to share, that’s fine too, just know you’re not alone. You’re doing a great job and the genuinely happy moments, days, months are there too. We all have them! The good, the bad, the trying.

Even the most polite people with good hair and well-blended makeup have thoughts of running away (and some actually WILL when they’re 47 and can’t stand the façade that they’re feet don’t hurt in those BCBG heels).

Don’t be that girl. Wear your Toms. Text your girls. Have a glass of Prosecco.

34 Weeks of bliss and list of things I miss

Can a girl get a glass of vino over here?? Hello? Table for 1, bottle of petite sirah, please! I have to admit, and it’s no secret, I adore my wine!! It’s my drink of choice and I look forward to it at the end of my day. A glass while I cook dinner and a glass while I enjoy the dish I’ve prepared is my own little routine and tradition. I also really enjoy having some wine with my girlfriends, bringing a bottle of wine down to the beach, having a date night with my husband, enjoying some wine with a great Sunday dinner, etc. etc.

Gym stuff! I actually miss the stair master and working up a good sweat. It just got way too hard, too much pressure on my belly, the baby sits (or jumps) on my bladder and exercising became extremely uncomfortable. I miss classes, equipment, the sauna, all of it. I think I miss feeling like I’ve pushed myself physically and like I’ve accomplished something to better myself and contribute to my health.

That being said, feeling the baby move all around in my belly makes me feel extremely healthy and accomplished. I love knowing he’s active and growing. I’m ok letting myself rest so this little prince can grow and do a little exercising of his own!

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CAFFEINE!! Truth be told, I do drink 50/50 coffee every morning (half decaf, half regular) but I could seriously use a double espresso frappuccino BUT I’m sure I’ll need one more than ever in about a month and 1/2 and that’s when I can and WILL get one!

BRUNCH!!!! I am dying for a bagel with lox and a mimosa! Brunch isn’t “brunch” without a mimosa (or bloody Mary) in my opinion. Preferably a mimosa bar with raspberries. Yes.

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Spicy tuna!! like brunch, sushi isn’t “sushi” without raw fish. You can pretend with shrimp tempura and California rolls, but it’s just make believe until you can have the real thing.

wp-1473985029252.jpgAll that being said, look at this bump! My son is in there and I can feel him moving around and growing/learning/developing all the time! I can’t wait to finally meet this little guy and see what he looks like, who he resembles, and watch him grow into his own little person.

He already loves certain things and dislikes others. he’s really strong and already stubborn. When nurses try to listen to his heartbeat with the Doppler, he moves away. This has happened several times and they all comment on it! The other day, I was putting grocery bags in the car and hit my belly with one by accident (not hard, but enough that the baby felt it). No sooner did the bag bump my belly, did he punch right back! It was so instantaneous and so purposeful that I burst out laughing and had to call my husband to tell him his son has some reflexes!

This baby loves the sound of his dad’s voice. My husband (for anyone who doesn’t know him) is extremely charismatic and boisterous. You know when he’s in the room! When he’s telling a story, the baby moves around a lot in excitement. He jumps around and wiggles. Then when my husband speaks softly to my belly, the baby calms right down and relaxes. It’s the sweetest thing. I don’t know anything for sure, only God does, but I have a feeling this little boy is going to be his father’s mini me…

Spicy Red Curry Chicken

Are you ever in the mood for Thai food but don’t feel like leaving the house? Maybe you don’t know all the ingredients that the restaurant is putting in your food and that bothers you! Well, here you go!

Here’s what I did:

  • 2 lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 3 Tbs. Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Tbs. Curry Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Fresh Chopped Ginger
  • 1 Diced Garlic Clove
  • 1/4 Cup Fish Sauce
  • S&P To Taste
  • Dash Cayenne Pepper (to your liking)
  • Fresh, Steamed Broccoli (about 1 cup with stems removed)
  • 1/2 Cup Steamed Edamame
  • Brown Rice or Riced Cauliflower
  • Grape Seed Oil (about 1/2 Tbs.)
  • Fresh Sliced Mango and Cilantro to garnish

I sliced my chicken into short strips and heated them over high heat in a skillet with the oil. I seasoned with salt and  pepper, added the ginger, mixed together and allowed to cook about 1/2 way through.

In a small mixing bowl, I combined the coconut milk, curry paste, curry powder and fish sauce (I actually used a little less than the full 1/4 cup, I filled it about 3/4 of the way to 1/4 cup, if that makes sense).

I poured the mixture over the chicken, covered and reduced heat to medium/low. In my steamer, I steamed the broccoli, then the edamame. After about 15 minutes, I added them to the chicken, covered again and allowed to cook for another 10 minutes or so.

I served this dish over brown rice (gluten-free) but you can also use riced cauliflower (paleo) and sliced mango, which really complimented the flavors. Enjoy with a glass or 3 of Medaloni Cellars Sauvignon Blanc! (If you prefer red with this dish, I’d suggest a Pinot Noir)

*Skin-care tip* Tumeric is found in curry. Tumeric is essential in anti-inflammatory issues and is great at healing acne and even psoriasis!

 

 

Paleo Chicken Marsala

This dish is so savory and satisfying, I absolutely recommend making this for yourself, family and friends! I served mine over pureed zucchini and avocado.

Here’s what I did:

  • 2 lbs Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Marsala Wine
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • S&P to taste
  • Almond Meal
  • Arrow Root
  • Eggs
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Dried Parlsley
  • Sliced button mushrooms

In a large skillet, heat about 1 Tbs. grape seed oil over medium/low heat. Dice about 1 large garlic clove and add to oil.

In a bowl, beat 2 eggs. In another bowl, combine 1 part arrow root and 2 parts almond meal (I had to add some to finish coating the chicken, I used about 1 cup almond meal and 1/2 cup arrow root). Slice the chicken breasts in half (so they’re thinner), dip in egg wash and roll in flour mixture. Place each breast in the skillet evenly.

Sprinkle parsley, salt and pepper and once the chicken begins to cook on the edges, flip over and repeat. Pour the marsala wine over everything, enough to come up to the chicken but not cover it.

Dice 1/2 yellow onion and add to the chicken. Add about 12 ounces of sliced mushrooms, cover and allow to simmer for about 25-30 minutes.

For Zucchini mash: 1 large zucchini, 1/2 avocado.

Slice one large zucchini down the center the long way, turn each half on it’s side and slice once more, each. Cut into small cubed pieces and add to a small skillet heated with a little grape seed oil. Cover and allow to cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, or until you can puncture with a fork. Add the zucchini and avocado to your food processor (leaving an opening on the top so heat can escape). Blend until completely smooth.

Serve your marsala over the zucchini mash! Enjoy!! I had Old Moon Zinfandel with this dish.

 

Paleo Chicken Piccata (DELISH!)

20160216_195446.jpg20160216_194216.jpgOk, so eating healthy can sometimes be a challenge, am I right? Sometimes you just want the yummy, buttery dish that your grandma used to make or that they served at your favorite Italian restaurant…WELL, you’re welcome in advance because not only is this dish Paleo, Gluten-Free, AND healthy, but it is DELICIOUS! My very picky husband inhaled it and didn’t even ask if it was paleo or gluten-free.

Here’s what I did:

  • Almond Meal
  • Arrow Root
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • Lemon Juice (and fresh slices)
  • Garlic
  • Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless. I used about 2 1/2 breasts)
  • Capers
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • S&P to taste

In a small mixing bowl, beat 2 eggs. In another, combine 2 parts almond meal and 1 part arrow root. Mix together with a fork.

In a large skillet, pour a small amount of oil over medium heat. Cut your chicken breasts down the center so they’re more thin, (you might even want to cut twice, depending on how thick they are). Mince some fresh garlic cloves (I used 1, large) and place in the skillet (careful not to burn).

Coat each piece of chicken in the egg and then roll in the almond meal mixture until completely coated and place in the skillet. Once all the chicken is in the skillet, allow to heat until the edges begin to cook through and squeeze some fresh lemon over everything (I like a lot of lemon, so I used 2 lemons). Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Flip the chicken over and repeat.

Once the chicken is about 1/2 way cooked, pour your marinated artichoke hearts, juice included, over everything and add some capers (I used 3/4 of a 12 oz. jar of artichoke hearts and about 2 Tbs. of capers). Slice some lemon and place them on top.

Take about 1 Tbs. butter and cut into small pieces, place in between chicken. Reduce heat to low/medium/low, cover and allow to simmer for about 25 minutes.

I served this over steamed/mashed cauliflower with Napa River Chardonnay!

Chunky Turkey Chili

Ok, so this was SO delicious and again, one of my “just throw some in there” kind of recipe, but I’ll tell you what I did:

  • l lb. Lean Ground Turkey Meat
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Jalapeno (with seeds)
  • 1/2 Cherry Chili Pepper (with seeds)
  • 1/2 Chili Pepper (with seeds)
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • S&P
  • Chili Powder
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Grape Seed Oil or Olive Oil)
  • 15 oz. Can Garbonzo Beans (un-drained)
  • 15 oz. Can Kidney Beans (un-drained)
  • 7.5 ounces Cannellini Beans (drained)
  • 2 (14 oz.) Cans Diced Tomatoes (un-drained)

I started with a large soup pot on medium heat and added a little oil. I chopped my onion and allowed it to cook for about 2-3 minutes and then added the chopped garlic cloves. After a few minutes, while stirring occasionally so the garlic didn’t burn, added the chopped peppers (green, jalapeno and both chili peppers) and allowed them all to cook for a few minutes. I then added the turkey meat and broke it all apart. I let that cook, mixing occasionally until the meat was almost all brown. I added my seasonings, mixed and let the turkey brown with all the flavors. I then added all the beans and tomatoes, mixed, covered and lowered the heat down to a simmer. I let this all cook together for about a half hour and topped with a little shredded cheddar cheese and sprig of cilantro!

I enjoyed this chili with a couple glasses of Jacob’s Creek Shiraz, which went perfectly!

Yes, the bottle is now empty.

Healthy, Gluten-Free Chicken Carbonara

So, as you probably know by now, I LOVE to eat! If food is involved, I’m there. If I ate the way I want to eat, I’d be extremely unhealthy and I’d be concerned with my blood pressure and cholesterol. That’s why I re-create these recipes so I can enjoy everything I WANT to eat without consuming an absurd amount of calories and fat.

I was so completely satisfied with this dish, even without the pasta! I poured the cabonara over mashed cauliflower and thin zucchini noodles, which turned out to be the perfect combo.

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No dish is complete without a glass (or bottle) of wine, in my professional wine-drinking opinion, which is why I decided on the chardonnay, pinot grigio blend. I wanted the buttery flavor of the chardonnay with the light/crisp taste of the pinot grigio.  Let me tell you, Villa Cerrina knows their stuff!

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Here’s What I Did:

  • 1 1/2-2 lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 Onion
  • 4 Slices uncured turkey bacon
  • 1 tsp. oil (I used grape seed oil, but you can use olive oil or other)
  • 1/4 Cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 Cup half and half
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. arrow root
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • S&P to taste
  • 3/4 Cup steamed, cut green beans

 

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, chopped. Allow it to cook alone for a couple minutes while stirring occasionally. Once the onion begins to soften, slice the turkey bacon into small, 1/4 inch pieces and add to the onion. Let this combo cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken, cut into cubes, and sprinkle all seasonings including S&P.

Once the chicken has cooked 1/2 way through, add the chicken broth and lemon juice and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the half and half, butter and arrow root, mixing well. Turn heat to medium/low, cover, and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and sauce has thickened.

I cut and steamed the green beans at the end and tossed them into the mixture so they were a little crisp.

For the cauliflower, I literally just steamed the crowns, drained and pulsed on high in my food processor. You really don’t need any seasonings or fillers in this because you want to enjoy the flavor and sauce from the carbonara.

For the zucchini noodles, I peeled the zucchini with a potato peeler on 4 sides until I hit the seeds. I put the noodles in a small skillet with a tiny bit of oil and tossed around frequently with a little salt and pepper. These noodles cooked very briefly because you don’t want them to get soggy, which they will very quickly.

Pour your mixture over the cauliflower and place the zucchini around the outside. Pour yourself a MUCH deserved glass of wine WHILE you cook AND while enjoying this delicious light version of a favorite dish!