A cold front blew into Houston last night and all I want to do is crawl back in bed with the Sunday New York Times. Yesterday was a full day. A grilling demo at Bering’s, a Boy Scout concession stand, play dates and a b’nai mitzvah. I can not sit through a bar mitzvah ceremony without crying. Some of these kids we’ve known since they were babies or toddlers. This time of life, the precipice before the emotional intensity of teenage years and the thrill of going away to college, feels like the final snip of childhood. At thirteen, they still need us as mom’s and parents, but before we know it these kids will be touring colleges and packing up for dorm life. I digress. And I’m crying again. Honestly, though, I feel like my job as a mother is to prepare my kids for life and get them out of my house. For lack of a more sentimental tone. And I can not wait to set them free on their path outside of our home. They need to blaze their own trail and live their own life, and I can’t wait to see who they become. But I think, at the end of every stage, there’s just a little bit of mourning that goes on. Have a good week, friends.
Off to Round Top! Excited to take part in a social media marketing and content creation workshop with Camila Alves, Ashley Rose from Sugar & Cloth and Shay Spence, the food editor of People magazine. Since I’ll be gone most of the day, I need a slow cooker or Instant Pot dinner that won’t get over cooked and dried out if it sits on warm all day. Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches to the rescue, we’ll check off the meatless box another night this week. If the meat is grassfed, it’s easy to make this Whole30 compliant: omit the wine (no need to add extra liquid) and skip the bun. Carrot and celery sticks and a big green salad on the side. And stay tuned for my next cooking retreat at The Vintage Round Top this summer or fall.
Busy sports night around here, so I’m feeling a slow cooker dinner coming on. I’m craving fish tacos, but that doesn’t work for our schedule tonight. Chicken tinga tacos in the Instant Pot will be perfect. You can also make them on the stove top. If you’re on the Whole30 train, serve the chicken over cauliflower rice. I like to sauté the cauliflower rice with a little green or red salsa to give it flavor. Put out all the taco toppings: Guac, shredded lettuce or cabbage, radish slices, pico, jalapeños, pickled red onions. You know the drill.
Back pocket babysitter night dinners are a must (see also: lazy end-of-the-week Netflix nights). Consider Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi and Rao’s marinara (here’s a great tutorial for how to make it — DO NOT follow the package directions). Or Trader Joe’s turkey bolognese warmed up with a cup of frozen riced cauliflower and chopped fresh spinach. Or Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken with their cooked frozen jasmine rice (tons of sodium and not the healthiest, but it’s ok as an occasional treat). If you don’t live near a TJ’s, almost any grocery store will have the frozen veggies for this quick veggie stir fry. Pick up some frozen edamame to nosh on while you’re at it.