Week 20: The Big ONE!


Stella knew exactly what to do. That is how a cupcake should be eaten after all. 

Our sweet little girl turns one on Tuesday. I am sure every parent feels the same way and can hardly believe a whole year has gone by, but time doesn’t lie. A year ago we were frantically trying to get as many house projects finished as we could, give our little Tazzie plenty of undivided attention, and imagine what kind of little girl we were going to meet and when?!? For a while you get a cute little blob who sleeps and eats. A lot. And slowly but surely they come to life with smiles, giggles, and babbles. Finally, bits and pieces of their personality start to come through. From what I can tell so far Miss Stella Mabel is an independent, do it herself kind of gal who has a great sense of humor, loves to simile, is very determined, a bit of a perfectionist (sorry lady), and totally in love with her puppy Tazzie. We joked that if she could choose the theme to her first birthday party it would be Tazzie and steak themed. She LOVES meat and can make a pretty good dent in a steak, burger, salmon filet, or piece of chicken. Tazzie has become very healthy of late as she ends up eating 75% of Stella’s veggies in addition to certain fruit pieces deemed unsuitable by the little lady. Carbs are eaten sparingly and eggs are a no go. We have a yogurt rule taken from Travis’s childhood that gets applied during most meals. If Stella doesn’t like what is being served she can always have yogurt. I am not going to make her a separate meal, or try to guess what she wants to eat. So if she doesn’t like what is being served she eats yogurt. A lot of yogurt! This too will pass (we hope) and someday I am sure she will shock the heck out of us and refuse to eat meat. Or maybe not…you just never know. Meal Plan & Grocery List

Monday: “Use A Spoon” Chopped Salad

  • I usually try to pick recipes from previous editions of Eating Well that were published around the same time of year so they feel seasonal. This recipe is technically a winter recipe, but still seemed like it could be made to feel pretty summery too.
  • I added other veggies I had like beets as well as a can of white beans to complete the salad and ate it with some garlic bread.

Tuesday: Green Chili Burgers with Grilled Okra

  • I like my burgers to be covered in delicious toppings and a little more than ordinary. I like where this one starts but I of course added more toppings like avocado, the usual condiments, my homemade bread and butter pickles and beets! We learned that last one from the Auzzies.
  • And grilled okra is our favorite way to eat okra. Grilling takes away much of the slime which is a big deterrent for most people. Salt, pepper and oil in a foil packet for 5-7 minutes on each side checking for doneness.

Wednesday: Eggplant, Caramelized Onion and Tomato Pasta with Green Salad

  • This was delicious! So many eggplant recipes take a lot of time and often need to be baked for an hour in the oven afterwards. I am sure they are equally tasty, but for a weeknight dish this seemed more practical.
  • I rarely spend the time caramelizing onions, but it was totally worth it for this recipe. While the eggplant is roasting and the pasta water heating up, the onions had plenty of time to caramelize while I worked on the green salad to go with dinner.
  • I added an extra can of diced tomatoes to the sauce so there would be more.

Thursday: Thai Seared Tofu with Brown Rice and Green Beans

  • I am sure most people don’t get terribly excited about tofu, but this is a super flavorful way to do it. You could cook anything this way and it would be good but since tofu soaks up flavor well, it is an excellent vehicle.
  • We are lucky enough to have all of these herbs growing in our garden, but I would imagine substitutions for any herbs you have available would be just fine and equally tasty.
  • I serve this with brown rice to soak up the extra sauce, but rice noodles would work too.
  • I steamed the green beans, cut them up and served them mixed in with the tofu, rice and sauce.

Friday: Massaged Kale Salad with Grilled Meat

  • Yet again I found myself with two bunches of kale that were taking up way too much space in our fridge. Although cooking them down consolidates the greens much more effectively, massaging also does some pretty good magic.
  • I left out the raw garlic since I am not a fan as well as the anchovy filet and I totally spaced on the parmesan cheese but remembered it for lunch the next day. Whew. Big mistake. More cheese is always better.
  • For fun I added sunflower seeds and golden raisins too which were tasty.




2 thoughts on “Week 20: The Big ONE!

  1. Happy Birthday Stella!! The yogurt rule seems pretty practical, I like it! Good to see Stella diving headfirst into a cupcake, like it should be done! Loki, like Tazzie, is a huge veggie aficionado. Ha!


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