playing bartender with mojitos

mint mojito mint mojito mint mojito mint mojito We came home from our anniversary road trip still in the mood to celebrate, so we wanted a sweet wine to sip outside in our yard together. We didn’t have any on hand, so I tried to figure out if we could make a drink using things we already had. Limes, check. Mint, check. I check our stash of liquor (most of it is from when we used to make drinks when we were dating, so it’s real old), and we had rum (and a lot of vodka). Based on what we had, mojitos is what I set out to make.

I used this recipe, then thought I wouldn’t be able to make it because we didn’t have club soda, but surprisingly, we did! I have no experience making mixed drinks, but I think it came out pretty good. It’s basically limeade with rum, so can’t mess that up too much, right?! Ben’s a bartending school drop out (he only went to one week of two and never went back), so he didn’t have much to say if I did it right or not, and he thought it was good too. We ended our celebrating by sitting in our backyard together, exchanging our homemade cards for each other, while munching on chips and pico de gallo, and sipping on mojitos. As fun it is to stay in nice hotels and go on little adventures, there’s still no place like home (and of course being together there too!)




family meals: week 104

pizza pizza Homemade Pizza. We’ve had some friends over for dinner these past couple weeks, and my go-to has been homemade pizza. I made a prosciutto and caramelized onions pizza, and a mushroom one. The mushroom one is a new recipe I tried out. I used shiitake and bella mushrooms, made a light chili garlic oil for sauce, used mozzarella and havarti cheese, and loaded it up with lots of herbs. Ben and I both really liked it, so I think this pizza will be added to our go-to pizza recipes. For dough, this is the recipe I always use.

rice pork noodles rice pork noodles Vietnamese Pork and Rice Noodles. We love this recipe! In fact, we ate it for 3 days straight. It has a nice balance, since we use a lean meat and throw in a lot of vegetables. We have ours with swiss chard from our garden.

Week of 6/29 – 7/3
Monday: Easy Pasta
Tuesday: Korean Tacos
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Fish Tacos
Friday: Tilapia Ceviche

It will be weird only cooking for 2 kids this week. I have a feeling this week’s menu might change.


dinner time

family meals family meals family meals family meals Dinner time is probably my favorite part of the day. I love when the whole family is sitting together just chatting about went on earlier in the day, the girls are making jokes, and a lot of good conversations happen at the table. Of course, there’s plenty of tattle-tailing going on too… the girls are usually telling Ben about who did this or that to them, or if I was a crazy or grace-filled mommy during the day (usually, it’s crazy). With that, the dinner table is also a place of forgiveness. There are a lot of “I’m sorry, do you forgive me?” asked, and a lot of, “Yes, I forgive you.” in response back. After dinner, not only are our tummies satisfied, usually our hearts leave the table in a better place too.



family meals: week 103

family meals family meals Vietnamese Chicken Pho. I’ll never tire of this recipe. It’s so easy, and it even tastes better the next day.

family meals family meals Baked Wontons with Sichuan Red OilAfter making wontons a few times, it’s no longer intimidating and so easy to whip together. A little bit of shallots, garlic, ginger, green onions, together with lean ground turkey make a simply delicious filling. Then, with that red oil sauce… it’s just divine! Beware though, that sauce is not low calorie. Ben was eating it like soup until he realized, and then he said, “Oh my.”

family meals family meals Filipino Chicken Adobo. It’s the one Filipino dish I make, and the girls love it, especially with egg. I usually make with it chicken breast, but this was mainly for the girls, so drumsticks was the meat I had on hand.

Week of 5/25 – 5/29
Monday: Dinner out with family
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Mexican Tacos
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Tilapia Ceviche

Ben’s been working so many late nights that we only get family dinner about once a week. It’s been like this since the beginning of the year, so I’m looking forward to June when his work schedule is a little more balanced. All of us sitting together at the dinner table is something I cherish, so I can’t wait to have more of that again.



family meals: week 102

vietnamese pork and carrot relish rice vietnamese pork and carrot relish rice Vietnamese Style Lemongrass Pork with Brown Rice and Carrot RelishThis was such a busy day and I was super rushed to get dinner together that I overcooked the pork (it was too chewy) and my coarse shredded carrots became carrot mush. Overall though, the flavors were good; Ben and I agreed that we should give this dish another shot. Next time, I will pay attention and bake the pork for 15 minutes (instead of 25) and not stick the carrots in the vita-mix.

Week of 4/20 – 4/24
Monday: Vietnamese Egg Rolls
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Homemade Pizza
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Tacos

What’s on your menu this week?



roasted carrots & fennel

roasted carrots and fennel Roasted Carrots & Fennel

Fennel seed
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 350° F. Chop all your vegetables. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, spread vegetables, lightly spray with oil, sprinkle fennel seed on top, and salt and pepper to taste. (For those that like more structure, this recipe is what initially inspired us a few years ago.)

roasted carrots and fennel roasted carrots and fennel roasted carrots and fennel roasted carrots and fennel All these vegetables were grown in our winter garden. We had some serious ginormous fennel growing! Ben is the one who puts in all the work into the garden, but I’m very happy to enjoy it all in my tummy!



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