Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thanksgiving Quinoa Salad

   Hey friends! Happy Wednesday. I threw this little quinoa salad together for dinner tonight and it was SO good! You get a good dose of lean protein with the ground turkey and a variety of veggies, all with a gluten free grain. Pretty good in my book! We eat mostly paleo in our house plus the occasional rice, quinoa, or loaf of homemade bread. It helps that I can't really eat any dairy unless I want a screaming baby with a hurting tummy for hours and hours. Poor baby girlfriend.
   Anyway, this recipe was super yummy with all the comforting flavors of Thanksgiving and a bright maple Dijon vinaigrette. It would be an easy thing to meal prep at the beginning of the week and pack in containers for lunches too. Here ya go!

Thanksgiving Quinoa Salad

1 1/2 cups quinoa (dry measurement)
3 cups water
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 leek
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 apple, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 small butternut squash, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. thyme

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
pinch of salt
1/4 cup olive oil

1. To a saucepan or small pot, add dry quinoa and water. Cover and boil over medium heat until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
2. Set a pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, ground turkey, salt, pepper, sage, and thyme. When turkey is browned, remove from heat and set aside. I just put it in the large bowl I was going to serve it in. 
3. In the same pan, melt 2 Tbsp. of butter and add the rest of your salad ingredients EXCEPT the butternut squash. This takes longer to cook so I did it separately. 
4. Let veggies cook over medium heat until softened and mushrooms are cooked through. When you're satisfied with those, add them to the bowl with the browned turkey. 
5. I cooked the butternut squash in the same pan. To speed up the cooking process, I added a little bit of water and let the squash steam. Add to the bowl as well.
6. Mix your salad ingredients together in the serving bowl. 
7. Combine all ingredients for the vinaigrette. I like to use a blender bottle or a squeeze bottle. 
8. To serve, layer some of your cooked quinoa, the meat and veggie mix, and top with the vinaigrette.
9. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Weekend Recap plus the Ultimate Fall Soup Recipe!

   Happy Tuesday friends! We had a glorious fall weekend here in Idaho and even got a few light flurries of snow yesterday morning. I love snow and the feeling it evokes and can't wait until there's several inches of it in the ground.
   This weekend we went down to Albertson stadium and tailgated the Boise state game with Nate's brother, his wife, and baby girl who is two months older than Lains. It was beautiful down by the Boise river and definitely one of the chillier days we've had so far but the kids were troopers!

   We had "walking tacos" down there, which I thought would be such a fun meal for Halloween or for an outdoor fall get together. All you do is open a bag of fritos or doritos, and throw taco meat and toppings straight into the bag!
   On Sunday, Nate had drill with the Air National Guard so I loaded the kids up for church and got a high five from the greeter at the door for making it on time by myself with both kids! It was a fantastic message and I got to sit with a sweet friend who's husband is also in the guard. After church we hit the grocery store and headed home so I could put together a big fall dinner.
   I've been wanting to make a soup that really tasted like fall. The flavors of fall are some of my favorite to work with. This soup is veggie packed, dairy free, and warms you from the inside out! I served it with scotch eggs (recipe coming soon!), and homemade French bread. A hearty kale salad would be fantastic too!
Happy Fall friends! Winter is on it's way.

Autumn Squash Soup

1/2 lb. bacon
1 large or 2 small butternut squashes
1/2 onion
1 leek
2 cloves garlic
1 pink lady or granny smith apple
1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling! If you use this, you'll be sad)
1 can full fat coconut milk
32 oz. chicken broth
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. cloves

1. Chop your bacon into small bits and fry over medium heat in your soup pot until crispy.
2. Set bacon aside to drain on a paper towel. Leave your grease in the bottom of your pot!
3. Add butternut squash, apple, onion, leek, and garlic to the pot and cook until they begin to soften.
4. Add salt, pepper, thyme, and cloves.
5. Once veggies are soft, add your chicken broth, coconut milk, and pumpkin puree.
6. Stir and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
7. Simmer for 30 mins or so. The timing here is flexible. You won't hurt anything if you let it simmer for longer.
8. Before you serve, you're going to want to blend it! I use an immersion blender which makes this a pretty quick and easy step, but you could use a regular blender too and just add it back into your pot.
9. Serve topped with your crispy bacon!  


Friday, November 3, 2017

It's Friday... I'm in Love

Happy Friday Friends! Here's a new segment for a new blogging season. I love when bloggers put out lists of things they're loving, especially before the weekend. These things will range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to podcasts. I'll, of course, include all the links. It'll just be a little happy send off into the weekend. Enjoy!

1. This sweater from Target's new line, A New Day. I have it in gray but saw it in robin's egg blue in the store today and love that one too! It's so comfortable and washes really well. I don't do clothes that take any special instructions so if I can throw it in the washer and dryer and pull it out looking like new, it's a win for me.

2. This matte lipstick from e.l.f. I have been looking for a good nude pink that I can throw on every day that doesn't deviate too much from my natural lip color. I got recommendations for a color by MAC and one by Charlotte Tilbury but wasn't willing to make the investment if I didn't know that I was going to love the color. This one is only $3.00 and the color "natural" is exactly what I was looking for.

3. The Gospel of Mark study by Lisa Harper. I have been doing this study for the last two weeks with my bible study and whoa... it'll knock you on your butt. Lisa Harper has a dry sense of humor that she mixes with a large bank of biblical knowledge and then all of a sudden, bam! a self reflection question that will make you dig deep. All the ladies in my study have been growing a lot from it.

4. This nail polish color from Sinful Colors. This is another beauty product that doesn't require a whole lot of investment at $1.99 (Target). I bought this color a while ago and never got gutsy enough to try it but I love it for fall! It's a mocha color with a slightly gray tint. If I pair it with the Gel Topcoat by Essie, it lasts me a week!

 *Sidenote: Before I had Lainey, nail polish never stuck to my nails for more than 2 days without chipping, even with a topcoat, so I rarely painted them. Now, since I've had Lainey, I can paint my nails on Tuesday and they will just be barely chipped by the next Tuesday. I usually am just ready to change my color by then! Bizarre!

5. The For the Love podcast with Jen Hatmaker, particularly the episode with Aarti Sequeira. This girl knows and loves food and is encouraging to boot. You will want to be friends with these ladies after listening! It will also make you want to be brave and jump into that thing that you've been considering jumping into but may have been too afraid.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Well this is embarassing...

So this whole blog thing... my intention was to use this platform to follow our trip from Mississippi to Idaho and keep up with life thereafter. That didn't happen! But here we are, over a year later (and hopefully wiser). We have settled in Idaho, outside of Boise, survived out first (apparently heavy) winter, added sweet Lainey Rae to our family on August 23, and are now adjusting to life as a family of four! Now that we've gotten through the initial newborn haze and are all figuring out new routines, this mama could use an outlet! The purpose of this little corner of the Internet is for me to share and for whoever will read to read. Some will be light, some heavy I'm sure. You can be guaranteed there will be lots of babies, food, books, and podcasts! Thanks so much for stopping by! There will be content on here soon (I hope) but for now, enjoy some pictures of my sweet babes!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Hi friends! Welcome to my little space on the internet. I am working hard to deliver you some great content so stay tuned. My family and I are about to embark and a huge new adventure in our life and that's mainly what I want to share on this blog, along with random ramblings, pictures of my son who is the cutest ever, and my thoughts and perspectives on motherhood. I can't wait to meet you.