Dinner tonight: Catching up

I’ve been short on food posts lately, so today I’m scrolling through my camera roll and posting the various meals I’ve remembered to photograph recently.

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Grilled cheese sandwich with turkey and jalapeño artichoke spread. One of the best sandwiches I’ve eaten ever. Just made it up.

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Goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon. Ohmyword. From Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. (I highly recommend this book, by the way. A part-memoir, part-cookbook, it covers hospitality, community, the church, infertility and dietary changes alongside recipes for risotto, enchiladas and anything involving goat cheese.)

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Homemade pizza. When the weather is nice, I use this grilled flatbread recipe for the crust, and Brett grills the pizzas. Quicker crust prep time and doesn’t heat up the house.

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Tortellini pasta salad. I put in some fresh basil from my herb garden, and it was fantastic. I think I’ll be making this a lot this summer.

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Quiche with a quinoa crust. Based on this recipe with fancier ingredients, I tweaked this and used spinach and bacon I had on hand instead of asparagus and artichokes. But still the goat cheese, because goat cheese.

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Buffalo chicken poppers. So fun and tasty! I simplified the recipe by mixing all the filling ingredients together. I also made some plain ones for the girls first, then added the buffalo sauce to the rest for Brett and me. Everyone liked them, though Violet pretty much only wanted to eat the roasted cauliflower.

Something that makes grocery shopping more fun but puts my meal plan out of whack…

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HEB has started discounting produce that is about to expire. So I can find some amazing 99 cent deals. These items originally totaled $14, mine for $3. It’s usually pre-cut produce, so convenient! This turned into easy veggie fajitas that night.

So those are some old favorites and new recipes that I’ve tried lately. Anything new you’ve tried lately and loved or hated?

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Sewing project: Princess dress

I have always enjoyed sewing, but since I don’t have a dedicated sewing area, it’s difficult to get projects done. I have to pull out my sewing machine after the girls go to bed, get a couple hours to work and then have to pack it up so little hands don’t find it the next day. Luckily, I was recently able to find a project that fit within my evening “work hours.”

Hannah was invited to a princess birthday party (again, pretty much the only 4- and 5-yr old theme, but who can blame them for wanting to dress up). We don’t have a very big dress-up collection, do I decided to make something resembling a princess dress so she’d have a fun new outfit.

After much Googling (I don’t do Pinterest), I found the Urban Princess Dress. It seemed easy enough to finish in an evening, and it was super cute without froo-froo and bows. Another plus – the top of the dress is a cut-off tshirt. It just so happened that the week before, Hannah had an unfortunate scissor accident and cut a hole in the front of one of her shirts. I cut the shirt off above the hole, and it was perfect for the princess dress.

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We picked out some fabric at the store to match as well as some matching thread and wide elastic. Those were the only supplies – easy!

I followed the tutorial as listed on the blog. I found the directions to be pretty clear, and the only time I had to redo a seam was my own carelessness. In less than two hours, I had a dress!

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I immediately noticed the skirt on my dress was nowhere near as full as the skirt in the photos on the blog. I don’t think she gave accurate dimensions of the pictured dress. But I was still happy with how it turned out.

And Princess Hannah loved it! She feels very fancy in the long skirt.

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I see some of the store-bought princess dresses, and they seem so flimsy that they’d fall apart if you actually tried to play in them. This dress lasted fine through the super-fun birthday party as Hannah was climbing on a swing set, having sword fights and chasing a dog. And there has been much playing since then.

This was a fun sewing night, and I’d recommend the Urban Princess Dress tutorial for anyone wanting a cute dress project.

Mom on the Run: 5K done!

Four and a half months of training led up to my race last Sunday, the Daisy 5K, the longest-running race in Austin. I’ve had an amazing season with the running group, and there is no way I would have made it without them.

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Before the race, not sweaty.

It was exciting to register for the race and get my number bib! Felt like a real runner. I’ve been to lots of races as the cross country manager in college, but this was my first when I was the one running. Eeeeek!
Luckily, I had a cheerleader who was almost as excited as I was.

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We lined up at the start. There were about 120 runners, so it wasn’t an overwhelming mass. Then we were off!

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If you’re not familiar with race distances, a 5K is 3.1 miles. For me, that’s a long ways. My goal was pretty much to just finish, preferably under 40 minutes. It felt really long because the runners seemed to separate a lot, and I was running most of the course with no one very near me.

When I came around the last bend, I was so tired. But my coaches came alongside me and pumped me up for the final stretch. I love this picture because you can see them next to me, encouraging me to the end!

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I wasn’t sure I’d want to do another race once I’d met my goal of completing this one, but since I was 20 seconds over my goal of 40 minutes, I’ve definitely had a sense of self-competition and wanting to beat my time. As it is, I really am pretty proud of myself – I ran for 40 minutes!

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I’m super thankful for my coaches Christy and Li who always believed in me (even though that sounds super sappy) and pushed the stroller in practice a lot of the time.

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And my family cheer team.

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Violet is wearing a special shirt featuring my “running motto” that Christy gave to me as a prize for completing the most weekly nutritional challenges. Violet definitely did “run happy”, or at least ride in the stroller happy.

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So cute!

After the race, there were the less glamorous parts of being a “mom on the run.” Yep, diaper changes in the back of the van.

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I could do a whole post on what I learned from running, but at the rate I get around to blogging any more, I should probably just summarize here, haha. Mostly, the experience reminded me that I can do hard things, and if I stick with them I get better. And hard things are easier when you have great people to work with.

We used the race in our announcement…

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Next baby coming in December! So my next 5K will wait for a while, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be out there again. All the hard training runs, everything was worth it for the feeling I got when I finished that race.