Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SMB {Swim Club}

Last week, Calum and I invited some mama and baby friends over to join us at the swim club.  Since we know all too well just how difficult it can be getting out the door, we gave ourselves at least an hour or so for everyone to arrive.  We chatted about life and babies and snacked on Crust cookies and La Croix.  We've been getting together for a few months now and it is fun to see these babies grow together!

{I love this photo of me nursing Cal - thanks Kayla for taking it!}

After a few hours of gathering and getting ready ;) we made it to the pool!

Vivi and Cal were the first ones to test the water.

Arms up, Sagey!

Two words: baby thighs.  SO sweet :)

^ Mali is rocking his Brazilian themed trunks thanks to his Brazilian mama, Kayla :)

Paige and Isaac (who I always want to call Tony!) had a little photoshoot as a shout out to his swimmer daddy --

Sarah and sweet Vivi <3

Ilana and the deepest-sleeping-baby-you-ever-did-see, Sage.

As you can imagine, it didn't take long for the sun and water to wear these babes out...

Except Calum, of course.  He was tired too, but that didn't slow him down from drooling all over Malichi.  Sage was interested in watching Calum try to stir up trouble...

It was a fun afternoon, as always!

See you next time ladies and babies, xo

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Farmer's Market Fried Rice

I've said it before, I'll say it again:  Cook once, eat twice.  This is especially crucial these days when I no longer have 1+ hr to cook dinner anymore.

The first couple of months of motherhood I shamelessly got Zingerman's sandwiches delivered, picked up way too expensive caesar salads from Zingerman's roadhouse (and side of mac & cheese, let me be honest), Hediye's Breakfast from Cafe Zola, Dumplings and Yaki Lo Mein from Tomukun...this glorious list goes on and on.  Ann Arbor has awesome food options and I'm thankful for that even more than ever.  It is actually shocking to me that I lost baby weight instead of gaining food weight, ha!

But I love to cook.  I love to grocery shop.  And I was itching to get back into cooking meals at home.  Thankfully I didn't lose my strategic meal planning skills.  We headed to the farmer's market and let our dinner plan itself...

^^ I posted this photo to my Instagram (@charlielbl) almost two months ago and that was the start of our relationship with our Farmer's Market Fried Rice dinners.

We usually make this once a week because it is easy, filling, healthy enough and delicious.  This particular batch I used both baked chicken breast that I made and leftover pork chop from Knight's downtown for the protein.  (The Instagram photo was a different batch of fried rice with chicken sautéed in the wok that evening.)

This is kind of weird, but I was really excited about taking the peas out of the pod from one of my farmer's market purchases.  But I love frozen peas for this meal most of the time.  I always include carrots and red onions.  I've included zucchini, broccolini and I like to include basil whenever possible.

Start by preparing the rice (we usually do this midday or the day before) and chopping all the veggies (again, I chop and prep throughout the day or day(s) before) and cooked protein.

Next, heat up some olive oil in your wok, add onions and carrots.  Once those are soft, add the more delicate vegetables, like zucchini and broccoli.  Once those are nearly done, add your peas, rice and cooked protein.  Make sure the stove is up really high and you're stirring intermittently so everything gets nice and hot/crispy.

When you need more moisture, I add a swirl (couple of tablespoons) of soy sauce and a sprinkle of salt.  I do this once before the final step.

Which is, to add your eggs.  I crack them in a bowl before I start cooking since everything happens fast and I don't want to risk accidentally cracking some shell into the hot pan.  One to three eggs will do the trick, depending on your egg preference - I like a lot of egg!  I push everything to the sides and make a hole in the middle.  Add a teaspoon more of olive oil there, drop in the eggs and begin stirring with a spatula.  You want the eggs to cook and gradually get all of the good stuff coated in egg.  Once the eggs are mixed in, I'll let each "side" of the batch cook before "flipping" in order make sure the egg gets cooked all the way.

I guess this is technically the final step.  I add basil if I have it.  Roll up leaves in a cigar like fashion and chop (or use kitchen shears), then sprinkle into your fried rice.  Turn the heat off, stir it in and serve it up!

Pack up the leftovers in an air tight container for storage in the fridge.

When you're reheating the next day, put into a hot pot or wok and hit it with another swirl of soy sauce (or water if it is already salty enough for you) to add moisture while reheating.  Sometimes I'll even add more veggies or protein.  This is a great meal for leftovers alone or to build on top of as a base.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Hi, hi, hi, hi!

It's been a while.  As you can imagine, blogging gets knocked way down the priority list when cooking, cleaning, work and sleep need to be squeezed into my baby-free time!  But I haven't given up on my LBL.  I take so many pictures and I need this outlet to organize, preserve and share our goings on ;)

We are in a stage where Cal consistently fights his third nap of the day and we don't try too hard to convince him to sleep since bed time is right around the corner and night sleep > nap sleep !!!

To keep everyone sane, it works best to go do something during his so-called witching hour, and last Tuesday that was going out to dinner at Mikette - a new french bistro that opened recently on the north side of town.

Calum had the tasting menu.  Meaning, I looked down and he was eating the menu.  He also sneaked in a mouthful of the table.  Oops!

^ That is his tired & guilty face

And this is Andy's not tired and happy face :P

We shared the haricot verts - with onions, hazelnuts, basil and olive oil.  These were so good and I'm looking forward to trying them at least one more time before I try to recreate this at home.

I was craving mac & cheese and was happy they didn't question my ordering off the kids menu.  It hit the spot!

He was sooo tired but also happy to be sitting outside and quite interested in our food...


We also shared the poulette and frites, which I posted on Instagram the other day.  It was delicious, great to share and came on a pretty plate FTW ;)

So we're not up to anything crazy these days.  Just enjoying this precious time with our newest family member and working on settling into our new normal :)

(...all while chasing around our naughtiest family member, Mr. Jules)