Our Family’s All-Time Favorite Biscuits

March 6, 2019

Hi friends! I can’t believe that I don’t have this recipe up on the blog. It’s our family’s absolute favorite biscuit recipe and the recipe that my mom made for me growing up, too. I realized I do have a version of this recipe up on the site from years ago, but for some reason I made them with whole wheat flour rather than all purpose flour, a decision I don’t really understand since these biscuits really should just be made with all purpose flour. They are flaky, buttery, perfectly delicious.

Every single time I ask Joe on the weekends, “What would you like for breakfast?” He gets a sly little smile on his face and says, “You don’t want to make biscuits, do you?” Thankfully, they are so easy to make that I am usually happy to oblige. And once you have the method and recipe down, it’s easy to remember and recreate from heart, no recipe needed!

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup milk (whole or 2%)
Additional milk for brushing on top of biscuits

Directions
Heat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper OR use a cast-iron skillet for baking biscuits. If you use a cast-iron skillet, you can skip the parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until well combined. Add butter to flour mixture and use pastry blender or fork to work butter into flour mixture until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with some slightly larger pieces remaining.

Add milk to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Turn mixture out onto countertop and bring mixture together with your hands. Knead 3 to 4 times until dough comes together. Flatten into a 1/2-inch-thick disc. Fold dough in half crosswise to make a double thickness of dough.

Use a biscuit cutter to cut biscuits from dough. Place on baking sheet or into cast iron skillet. Brush biscuits lightly with milk, if desired. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and fluffy.

Serve with butter, jam or honey!

Fashion, Pregnancy

First 20 Weeks Pregnancy Clothing Favorites

February 27, 2019

Lounge Wear
GapFit Seamless Low Support Plunge Sports Bra // These are THE best bras. They are comfortable enough to sleep in, wear around the house and for low impact exercise. I can totally see myself using these for nursing bras, too, down the road.

Gap Vintage Soft Maternity Pullover Sweatshirt // So comfortable/cute and doesn’t look like maternity. I’ve been wearing this for weeks now!

Gap Pure Body Modal Joggers // I’ve owned these for years and LOVE them pregnant and not pregnant. Just bought two more pairs because my older pairs were getting worn out.

The Be Brand Sweatshirts // Love these sweatshirts and long sleeved shirts for super comfy lounge wear that’s cute enough to wear out and about.

Work Wear
I’ve bought a bunch of dresses recently from H&M for Beautycounter functions and been really impressed with their cut and fit! I haven’t been getting maternity items, just gravitating toward looser styles. I have this dress in black and a dress in leopard that I can’t find on the site anymore and I love them both.

I also think I’ll be making more purchases from Carly Jean Los Angeles because their flowy styles are perfect for pregnancy and postpartum recovery. I just got the Stella Half Sleeve Dress in black and will probably buy another dress or two in a similar style for being majorly pregnant in the summer months. I also got the Addison Jumpsuit and a few of their awesome tunic tops.

Swimsuit
I have never owned a proper maternity swimsuit while pregnant because my babies were born in February and May. I never really needed to wear one while pregnant – barring a few trips to the indoor pool – so I just made do with what I had.

Knowing I’m not due until August 10th, I thought it was a good idea to get my hands on a maternity suit for the summer. I found THIS ONE from Gap and I can’t tell you how much I love it. I have the black version and it fits well and is super comfy!

Other Suggestions
I have been a Rent the Runway Unlimited member for a handful of months because I had a bunch of Q1 work travel on the calendar and wanted to make sure I had the right outfits. It’s an economical and eco friendly way to shop for items that you might only wear once. Rather than buying said items, you can pay a monthly subscription and simply “check out” four items at a time, returning them whenever you want for another four items. It’s been especially helpful during this transition time when I don’t really want to invest in nicer pieces in sizes that won’t fit down the road.

Jeans
For a full round-up of the jeans I have loved this pregnancy, reference THIS POST.

Easy Beef + Bean Enchiladas

February 26, 2019

We might as well just call these “pregnancy enchiladas” since this seems to be one of the few foods that regularly sounds good to me. Even 16+ weeks into this pregnancy I’m still feeling pretty sick to my stomach most days and enchiladas are one of the few foods that I can count on to sit well with me.

While I tend to prefer enchiladas from a taste perspective with regular-old white soft taco shells, for the sake of health seeing as that I’m eating SO MANY enchiladas these days, I’ve been reaching for the whole wheat shells instead. Either will work and both taste delicious!

Easy Beef + Bean Enchiladas
Makes 8 enchiladas
INGREDIENTS
1 can (19 oz) red enchilada sauce
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced (for ease and weeknight cooking, I buy jarred garlic)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained but not rinsed
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup water
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend or sharp cheddar, divided
8 whole wheat or white standard-sized soft taco shells (8-inch)

DIRECTIONS
Heat oven to 375°F. Pour 3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish and spread to evenly coat the bottom of the dish. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground beef; drain excess grease. Return beef to pan and add the garlic. Cook 2 minutes more or until garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat. Add in the black beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, onion powder, water and 1/4 cup of the cheese. Stir until combined.

Spoon mixture by 1/2 cupfuls into the center of eat taco shell. Roll up and arrange filled shells in the prepared pan. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce; top with the remaining 3/4 cup of cheese.

Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 20 to 25 minutes more or until bubbly and edges are just slightly crispy and browned. Cool 10 minutes before serving.


Family, Infertility and Miscarriage

The First Trimester for Miscarriage Mommas

February 21, 2019

I’m currently writing this just shy of six weeks pregnant with our sixth pregnancy. Writing that this is our sixth pregnancy just caused me to pause and make sure that’s correct. I’ve been pregnant six times now, and I have to babies playing in the next room, three in heaven, and one whose fate is to be determined. I don’t write that to sound morbid, in fact I’m actually, in this current moment, really hopeful for this pregnancy but not without a hefty dose of caution and fear. It’s something I’ve been working on, the fear piece. But while the thoughts and emotions are fresh – in the waiting and wondering and praying that comes with the first trimester for anyone, but especially us mommas who know loss intimately – I wanted to write what it’s like to be a miscarriage momma pregnant (again), hoping (again), praying (again and again) and pleading with God that I don’t have to lose another baby.

For us mommas who know loss, a positive pregnancy test is met with some degree of excitement but a lot of caution. It means that instead of surprising your husband with a fun announcement or telling him in a creative way, you text him in the middle of the day with a matter of fact, “We’re pregnant again.” Or, you pee on a stick and come out of the bathroom saying something like, “I guess we’re pregnant or something.” Shrugging off the temptation to get hopeful because you know what it feels like to experience loss.

Sure, us miscarriage mommas think a bit about what a baby in August would look like, what it would be like to be majorly pregnant in the summer, jot down mental notes on baby names, toss a few names back and forth with their husbands now and again in that first trimester, but it’s all with the disclaimer of “if we have a baby in August” rather than “when we have a baby in August.” It kills me, because I want to be hopeful. I want to be excited. I want to savor ever single minute of what could very well be my last pregnancy if things work out the way we hope they do. But I’m also so weary from hurting and experiencing loss that my heart is wrapped in concrete where pregnancy is concerned.

I’m willing to guess that a fair share of moms in this camp also own a home doppler, like I do, and are probably more skilled than their doctor at locating a heartbeat. I can’t tell you how many appointments I went to where I would watch my doctor try to find a heartbeat, holding back the urge to just offer to find it myself because, well, I knew exactly where baby was hiding. My fellow miscarriage mommas probably also subconsciously check the toilet paper for signs of blood or spotting every time they go to the bathroom. Who, as time progresses, fall into a minor panic every time it’s been a while since they last felt baby move. Mommas who pray for morning sickness and symptoms to ease their mind and get them to their next appointment. Who test progesterone levels every two weeks and take countless shots and drink herbal supplements that taste like a barnyard smells because maybe, just maybe, all of those things together will tip the scales in our favor this time around. Who go into ultrasound rooms expecting the worst while hoping for the best. Who remind themselves that if they get bad news, they will be OK because, you know, they’ve done this before.

If my thoughts and words seem a bit of a jumbled mess, it’s probably a good indication of where my heart is at in this current season. Sitting (rather impatiently) in the in-between time, a time of what-ifs, hope, fear. All jumbled together. It’s hard to sort out those feelings and thoughts, difficult to form concise words with a clear direction. So instead of trying to make sense of it all, I’ll wait, and pray, and count down the next 72 hours until I walk into that ultrasound room. And even then? Even if we heart a heartbeat? I wish I could tell my fellow miscarriage mommas that it would get easier after that, but the truth is that it won’t. It will continue to be scary and hard, but that’s the cross you bear when you’ve lost a baby at any stage in the game.

The other day my doctor told me that this could, if I allowed it to be, a time of refinement and an opportunity to deepen my faith. My husband has echoed those same sentiments during times when I’ve been particularly worried. I can’t say I think either my doctor or husband quite understand what it’s like to be on my side of this experience, but I have to say that I agree God can work in big ways during times when we feel so incredibly week and prone to big fears. Lord, may you be glorified in my worry. May your power be made complete in my complete weakness. May you protect this baby. And even if you don’t, may your will be done.

Madison

 

Healthy Chocolate-Peanut Butter Truffles

February 18, 2019

Friends! Do you ever find yourself craving something sweet at the end of the day but aren’t quite sure what you want/you want something sweet that won’t totally derail your healthy eating efforts? I hope it’s not just me who suffers from this issue. Actually, over time and years of healthy eating, most nights I don’t want something super sugary or indulgent because my body prefers lower-sugar sweet “treats” now that I consume less sugar day-to-day.

Usually I reach for regular old dark chocolate, but lately I’ve been craving something different. So what’s a girl to do? Create her own treat, of course! I mixed a batch of these up over the weekend, and then another batch because I felt they could be just a bit better if they were covered in chocolate, of course, rather than having the chocolate chopped up an mixed into the truffles. The result was delicious, healthy and satisfying!

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE-PEANUT BUTTER TRUFFLES
Makes 14 truffles
INGREDIENTS
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder (I used Beachbody’s Chocolate Recover)
3 tablespoons honey
3 oz. dark chocolate (I used a Lindt Dark Chocolate Coconut bar)

DIRECTIONS
Place oats in a high-powered blender and process until a fine flour forms with no clumps remaining. Transfer oat flour to a bowl. Add peanut butter, chocolate protein powder and honey to the bowl.

Use a spatula, or better yet your hands, to evenly combine the mixture into a dough. Shape dough into 14 balls.

Melt chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring until smooth. Drop truffles, one at a time, into the chocolate, turning to coat. transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

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