Dear Son…

January 9th seemed like another day in my pregnant life. I woke up and ate a bowl of cereal, my favorite food at the . The heartburn the night before had been especially terrible and I was really at the point of staging a sit in at the hospital until they decided to take this baby.

I ended up calling my doctor because I passed what I thought was my mucous plug but it didn’t really look like a mucous plug. She asked me to come on in since I had an appt scheduled that week any way. She checked my cervix and gave me the oh sh!t face. Of course I assume it was my mucous plug and that must mean that labor is close or I’m more dilated that I was the week before. I never imagined that she was about to say what she did…

“Sabrina, this baby has turned breeched and we are going to have to do a c-section”. A cesarean section was so far off my mind that it took a couple of times of her explaining what was going on for me to get it. Mason had been in perfect position for the past 12 weeks but here at the end he decided that he was over it. A rebel in the making. There were a few options but all of them would lead down a very painful road that could end in c-section anyway. She explained a procedure that could turn the baby back to the right position but it came with a lot of risks because I was past 39 weeks. As she was explaining this I remember Kim Kardashian saying her baby had to be turned and that it was more painful than childbirth… So I asked:

Me: “Is it really painful?”

Dr:……

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Yeah it was a no for me…

We scheduled the c-section for later that day because I had just eaten and I also needed to go home and wrap my head around what was about to happen. I had been ready but now all of a sudden I was nowhere near ready.

At 6:20pm Mason Lee Ransom was born 9lbs and 3oz. He was absolutely beautiful and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mama.

The minute he was born my heart overflowed with joy. I worried that I wouldn’t have room for him because Kristian had been my whole world for 12 years. But your heart does this amazing multiplying thing that I could never explain.

I cried because God trusted me to raise a little black boy. A boy that the world will never love as much as I will. During my ultrasounds they told me he would be tall and my first thought was about someone being afraid of him because of it. I know that as his parents its our responsibility to teach him the balance he’ll need to survive in this world.

Its been such a journey getting to this point but I know that its nowhere near over and I can’t wait to see where he takes us.

 

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xoxoxo

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Chicken Noodle Soup + Why Men Can’t Handle Sickness

Ok ladies, does it seem like the world moves just a little bit faster when you’re not feeling well? Time sure does seem to be in fast forward for me. We have had some crazy weather here in VA and I can only imagine thats one of the major reasons that we are sick. One day it’s 45 degrees in the morning and 70 by lunch time or days like today its 48 degrees and raining. Ugh! Nature should just pick a season and stick with it. What started as just a tickle in my throat has now developed into full blown preparations for my burial. All I ask is that y’all make sure Kristian’s hair stays moisturized, don’t let my baby walk around with split ends and dry hair.

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My husband is traveling for work so although I am dying I actually don’t have time to die. Kristian still has to be taken care of and the house still needs to be managed. I woke up yesterday feeling awful but Tuesdays are usually the days I go to the grocery store which means empty refrigerator. If we planned to eat at all that day then grocery shopping was going to have to happen.

I look out the window and of course it’s raining and dreary, the perfect conditions for me to stay in bed. I then realized as I’m putting on my clothes is that men could never deal with what women deal with when it comes to our bodies.

You know how people always joke about men being babies when they’re sickgiphy (3) 11

Well my dad has a theory about that and I agree with him. Women are conditioned all throughout our lives to be in pain and still be efficient and function at the highest levels. We have cycles when we are younger and still expected to go to school and do our homework and chores and things like that. Even with pregnancy, your body is making another human, and you’re still expected to go to work and take care of any other responsibilities that you may have already had. Men aren’t really babies but women have just had way more practice than they have at being sick and efficient.

So, not to toot my own horn, but I went grocery shopping AND I cooked. I made a homemade chicken noodle soup because fluids are really necessary right now and comfort food does actually comfort. Don’t forget not only am I sick, but the preteen is as well. So I’m getting extra mom points by bringing her Chicken noodle from scratch.

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This recipe is super easy and really flavorful. It took me maybe about 35-45 minutes and I was free to pass out and fully indulge in sickness. It’s flu season everywhere so if this recipe is something that you need then just follow the directions below.

Chicken Noodle Soup 

Ingredients:

1 Rotisserie Chicken (prepared)
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 Tbsp Butter/Olive oil                                                                                                                          6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp poultry seasoning                                                                                                                        1 Bay Leaf                                                                                                                                            Salt and Pepper to taste
96 oz chicken broth
12 oz (1 package) wide egg noodles
1/3 cup corn starch
1/4 cup water

Instructions:

  • Place the carrots, celery, onions, butter/oil, garlic and seasonings in a large stock pot on medium high heat and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Place the entire chicken on top of the vegetables and then pour the broth over the top. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • While the soup simmers, mix the cornstarch and water until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Then at the end of the 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the soup and pour the cornstarch mixture into the broth slowly while continuously stirring.
  • Once it is all combined, stir in the noodles and let them cook 6-8 minutes or until just tender.
  • While the noodles are cooking, remove the chicken meat from the bones and shred it. Then add it back to the pot. You can serve this with any kind of bread or toast if you like.

 

I hope you don’t get too sick this season and I hope that we get to feeling better in this house… sooner rather than later.

xoxoxo

 

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Street Art D.C.

To be perfectly clear I live in a suburb OUTSIDE of D.C. Residents of D.C. take offense to you saying you live in D.C. when you actually don’t. In defense of the suburbs nobody really know any of them by name so it’s just easier to say “Washington, D.C.” or “DMV”. Either way I hardly get to visit the city because traffic is terrible and it’s only a small window of time that it’s not extremely congested.

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\\\\\\\\\\;;;;;;;]’]]]]];  <—— This is Mason beating on my keyboard, adding in his 2 cents. I’d like to think he’s telling anybody that has a problem with my verbiage to come see him. He’s protective like that.
late show smiling GIF by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

In a quest to find my new self in this new city I decided to get out and see what it has to offer. I love all things creative and art in all forms is life. I was on airbnb looking for accommodations in a different city when I saw that they offer experiences. D.C. has ‘Instagrammable walking tours’ so I figured I would do my own.

I took my son around to some of D.C.’s most instagram worthy street murals and I must say that we really had a great time. I was blown away at some of the art and how great it was. I definitely want my children to be well rounded and see all that this great city has to offer.

We went to the watermelon house… Yes! An actual house thats painted like a watermelon.

IMG_1704I literally got the idea and my husband was down to play photographer for us. I mean he really pulled out all the stops. I mean got all of our angles just right! Bless that man of mine!

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Let me tell you what is hard…

DOING ANYTHING WITH A BABY THATS THE SIZE OF THE TODDLER AND HAS THE STRENGTH OF SAMSON! These instagram stars make it look easy. I swear I took 8,475 pictures just to get on good one.

Let me show you some of the outtakes because it was like trying to drag a horse to drink water… just not happening!!

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Mason: This looks dirty

Me: No, it’s fine just sit for a second.

Mason: …No

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Mason: I think I can walk on my own.

Me: Actually you can’t

Mason: No let me show you. I can totally do it.

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Mason: So it’s no real food here…

Me: Smile for the camera…

Mason:…..

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Mason: How long are we going to be here?

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We then headed over to Blind Whino which is a church that has been turned into an art museum. It is just gorgeous and so very creative. We lucked up on a new exhibit about the Negro baseball league. Huge shoutout to the Birmingham Black Barons that were featured in the exhibit. Birmingham, Alabama is my hometown and has a rich history in the Civil Rights Movement.

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Yes I am the mom whose child never has on socks or shoes. I mean we start out with great intentions but he usually snatches them off before we even make it to the freeway. Sometimes you just gotta pick your battle.

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Babies are attracted to bright colors and I thought that his would be a great activity to get my son out of the house and immerse him in the culture.

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Getting out and getting to know the city has been such a great experience. I’ve been trying to find a new normal for my life so I can get back to loving me. Stay tuned for our next adventure!

A Woman that has cut her hair…

Is about to change her life…

I think the only truer words are in red in the Bible. It’s something about cutting your hair that makes you feel like you have a new beginning. Like it’s ok to start over.

So here I am starting over.

My last post was about Maternal depression and how I was beginning to cope with it. Well I started by cutting all my damn hair off. Yes! All of it. I felt like Bernadine in Waiting to Exhale (without the cheating husband, cigarettes, and week old funky bathrobe).

Can we just pause and pay homage to Auntie Angie? I mean she has given us almost 60 years of slayage! Come through! Slay the way so we can follow in your footsteps!

Ok I’m done.

Where was I? Right, Baldhead. Buzzcut. Low Caesar with a temp fade. Yes honey all of it.. Let the wave caps rain down on me. This isn’t the first time that I cut my hair but it just might be my last. I’ve come to terms with the fact that the version of myself that I enjoy the most has no hair attached to it. And that’s no shade to the women with long natural and acquired hair but it’s just not for me. All that hair I had spent most of its time in a ponytail or bun. It really only came out to play on Sundays for church… cause you know Jesus is Bae.

I said all of that to really say that a change was necessary. My therapist spoke about me grieving my old self and the best way to change that was to find my new self.

So here I am… finding my new self, in a new city with a new husband and a new baby…

via GIPHY

No… not funny? You laughed a little bit.

After cutting my hair I took a break and went back home to good ol Birmingham, AL. Where the tea is actually sweet and the grits are plentiful. I saw all my friends and family, visited some of my favorite restaurants and just picked up all the pieces of Sabrina that I had left behind.

This time I made sure to not leave anything and I look forward to building a better version of myself. I hope you enjoy her too…

If you don’t…

Stop reading my page if you don’t like it weirdo.

 

 

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Prenatal & Postpartum Depression… and everything in between.

All I could think about when I was younger was how I couldn’t wait to be grown. Now look at me… wishing to be young again. Growing up ain’t all it cracked up to be. I would like to know where I can return this adult and get my younger self back?

Most days I look at my mom like the superhuman woman she is and wonder how she did it everyday… EVERY. DAY!

How did she:

Go to work, cook meals, keep a clean house, volunteer at church, take care of her parents, take care of other people’s kids, be a wife, be a friend, have time to gossip, drink a gallon of water, plan birthday parties, celebrate accomplishments, attend all extra-curricular activities, take me to the library, take a bath everyday, maintain any type of beauty, get her hair done, keep her baseboards clean, wash clothes, take all the really large comforters to the washer because they’re too big for the washing machine, comb my hair, get us ready for church every Sunday, have Sunday dinner already cooked before we even leave for church on Sunday, have two other kids besides me, pay bills on time, read her bible (like the real one and not the app!), Pray, sleep, stay sane….like how???

More importantly… how did she ever have any time for herself?

On the long list of things to accomplish… where was she?

2017 was a year full of some amazing highs, so high I was too busy anticipating the next high to even notice the lows. I got engaged, planned a wedding, started a new business, expected a baby, moved to a major city, actually got married and so on. The first nine months felt like being on a roller coaster ride. Life started settling in September and there was nothing left to really distract me from what I was really feeling…

Depression hit me like a brick and literally took my breath away. Me… tough as nails, can handle anything, get it done Sabrina. I never saw it coming because this isn’t something that happens to people like me. People that are mentally strong… depression is for those that are weak and not truly in relationship with God. At least that’s what I have always believed.

Sadness crept into my life like vapor. It clung to my clothes and my sheets, I found it in my shoes and hanging in my closets. It was in the mirror when I stared at my reflection and waited for me at the table when I had my coffee. Some days it hugged me so tight that I couldn’t breathe. It was everywhere I was.

At first I thought it was just pregnancy hormones because isn’t every woman overly emotional when she is pregnant? This was different, like a nagging headache that just won’t go away. I self-cared myself to death. All the things that made me happy or put me in a better mood stopped working. I was afraid to admit that a feeling had gotten beyond my control and that I needed help. When over the counter medicine stops working then what do you do?

I found myself in the office of a psychologist, an earthy woman in flowing skirts that smelled like vanilla and cinnamon. She had a very kind smile and immediately I felt like I was in a safe space. Her kindness flipped a switch and ALL my emotions came tumbling right out. Like an inhaler to someone with asthma, she gave me what felt like relief. I could take a deep breath and just let it out. She listened until I was out of words and until I was out of tears. Her diagnosis was like a light at the end of very, very dark tunnel…

Grief. She said I was grieving and dealing with antepartum depression. My grandfather had died 2 years ago and my father just the year before but I didn’t think this was about them. She held my hands and said “You aren’t grieving them, you’re grieving you…”

me…

Me?

Did I die and I didn’t know it? Is this what heaven is?

No. She went on to explain that I hadn’t died but everything about me was gone. Everything that made me… was gone.

My career, my family, my hometown, my friends… all the slices in my ‘me’ pie were gone. I was in an unfamiliar city, not doing the work I felt purposed to do, not surrounded by the people I love. I was about to bring this new life into the world and I was deathly afraid of this person my baby was about to meet. I had never raised a baby alone and that worried me. This is why it’s important to never gauge what you see on social media as true. This was a time when so many people told my I’d never looked better but honestly I had never felt worse.

I had picked up and moved but forgot to pack ‘me’ with all of my belongings. Until that session I never knew you could grieve things that weren’t dead. It made no sense and all the sense at the same time.

Grief is essentially how you process loss and I was experiencing a lot of loss all at one time. On top of a lot of life changes. Marriage. Pregnancy. Major Move. Career change. All these things warrant some feelings and all these things at one time warrant a major meltdown. She told me she would be more concerned if I didn’t feel anything at all. She suggested that to get over missing the old Sabrina it was time to invent the new Sabrina. Explore the area, join a group of people with similar interest and try to make this new place home. One major issue that I had left was what if things get worse when I have the baby?

“You found your way here, and you’ll find your way back if you need to.”

I left her office feeling renewed and went about my business building a new Sabrina. For awhile that worked and I felt better.

I had my son and I fell in love with him like everyone said I would. His chubby cheeks gave me a new purpose and my world seems ok most of the time. As my responsibilities grow being a mom, I cling tighter to myself hoping that she doesn’t get lost again.

I know you’re reading this waiting for the happy ending where I say that I conquered all my demons and my world is rainbows and sunshine but my story isn’t over so I can’t give you that… yet.

What I can tell you is that there are still some days that I wake up with a tightness in my throat. Some days I sit at the table with my coffee and sadness joins me like an old friend again. And some days I can’t find myself at all. I do ask for help when I need it instead of pretending like I can do everything alone. I’m honest about my feelings and intentional about taking quiet time for myself. I stopped chasing perfection. I don’t know if it’s something that you ever fix or cure but rather maintain. Like your weight on a scale you just have to work on keeping yourself balanced.

And the scales change everyday…

 

I felt the need to write this because May is Maternal Depression Awareness month. What is maternal depression? “The term maternal depression encompasses a range of conditions that can affect women during pregnancy and up to one year postpartum. This spectrum of conditions includes prenatal depression, the “baby blues,” postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.” (ny.gov) I’m learning how important it is to “Speak UP When You’re DOWN”. As moms we sometimes place the entire world on our shoulders and find too much validation in never complaining about the weight. This isn’t a contest of who can endure more and not complain. If more women were honest about their struggles then other women would know that what they feel is perfectly normal and seek help if they need it. If you can go see a doctor about your physical health then you can see a doctor about your mental health. There is no shame in seeking all the resources necessary to live your best life.

 

 

Why is being a mom so hard?… and coffee cake.

“You shouldn’t hold him so much” said the nail tech as she started my pedicure. The one I had hesitated getting because I had the baby with me and I knew I wouldn’t be able to really relax. If you saw my feet you would know this was a matter of life or death tho. “Excuse me?” I said. I clearly heard her but that ‘excuse me’ was a warning for her to correct her words and not for my benefit at all. Every black grandma that I know says ‘If you can ‘huh’ you can hear’ so this was my way of subtle saying ‘Hey I don’t think that’s what you meant to say… Here is your opportunity to rephrase that.

“You shouldn’t hold him so much”

So you just gon repeat the shit again huh? Ok. I politely smile and continue to hold my son, this is about to be the longest pedicure ever. I lean my head back and hope it goes by quickly.

“You must stay at home with him.” My eyes roll so hard that I know I look like I have fallen asleep. I debate whether or not I should answer because I know this is about to go down a judgemental path that I do not have the patience for.

I haven’t even acknowledge the previous statement before the next one comes. “I can tell because he’s so comfortable in your lap.”

Well shouldn’t he be? Shouldn’t the child that I grew in my uterus, fed from my breast and take care of 24 hours a day be comfortable sitting in my lap?

“You’ll never get anything done if you’re always holding him.”

Lord I’m saved but you know I’m not quite delivered from all my sins and I’m about to let her have it. How does she know what I have to do and whether or not I can actually get anything done? She looks up because I haven’t responded to anything and I guess she can tell that I am not amused.

The conversation ends without me having to end it. But its one I find myself being involved in on a regular basis, whether I want to or not. I’m sure you’ve had it yourself.

“Stop _______ or you’re going to spoil them.”

I have to be honest and say that I thought this way as well so I can’t be too defensive. The narrative of black mothers has never really been nurturing, unless they are in the role of caretaker…

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The world doesn’t see us this way with our own children. I recently read Gabrielle Union’s Book “We’re going to need more wine” and she touches on this point when it comes to raising little black boys. “Society does not provide great models of black women as nurtures of black children… never loving, kind or sensitive to black children. The positive vision of motherhood is white.” I can understand her words because people find it weird how much affection I give my son. Or maybe not weird but definitely something to talk about. I used to think that you shouldn’t coddle black boys because they won’t be prepared for the world they’ll eventually be thrust into.

I now understand how faulty this thinking is. Don’t show a child love so they get used to not being loved as adults… sounds crazy. Raising this child has humbled me in so many ways that I cannot count. I now think that you should love them.. and love them hard so when they go out into the world they are full and overflowing with it. Enough love to even give some to the people that hate them.

I joke about my son being a giant but its really a defense mechanism. A way to shrug off the fears that are growing inside me. He’s 4 months now but almost as big as a one year old. When he’s 10 will he look like a grown man? I worry… I worry that my sweet little boy will be intimidating because he is just.. tall. I hug him as much as I can because I won’t always be able to. I nap with him and hold him tight. It brings me so much joy to know that my embrace calms him. I don’t want to take that feeling for granted, the feeling of my arms being the safest place. I kiss him as much I can without breaking him out because he isn’t promised to me forever, nor am I to him. Life… is fleeting and unpredictable. It might be a somber way of thinking but it keeps me intentional and so very grateful.

Finding the balance can be difficult and the scales change every damn day. I know it’s not something that I will ever ‘master’ but I wake up everyday to give it my all.

These are just my thoughts over my morning coffee. I tried my hand at coffee cake because I have been spending a small fortune at Starbucks for theirs. I began looking at recipes and I basically already had everything that I needed so why not give it a try. Lets just say… no more Starbucks! I can save those coins! I just cut it in little squares and pull a piece, reheat and we are ready to go! It’s a super simple recipe and you probably have all the things that you need to make it too! I’ll probably take the recipe and make it my own but this was just a test to see how things came out. There are def a few things I would change but overall it came out pretty good. You can get that recipe here.

 

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I feel like we just had the deepest convo ever and now my coffee is cold…

Until next time.

xoxox

 

Will Travel For Food

One of the things that I miss the most about being away from home is the food. Of course family and friends are at the top of the list but food is definitely a close second. It’s something about the food in the place that you grew up in, its so comforting. Even if the people don’t know your name it still feels like home. I seriously took being able to go anywhere to get good grits for granted. Here in the DMV grits are pretty rare, you can’t even find them in the regular grocery stores. You have to look in the specialty stores and that’s usually just too much work. This particular trip home I had a specific list of places I absolutely had to go to and I want to share those with you.

I love the beach, any beach really but Gulf Shores has a special place in my heart. The sand is soooo soft it’s like walking on powder. Growing up in this area I thought that all beaches would be like that but I quickly learned that all beaches are not made equal.

Panama City is one of my favorite places to visit for relaxing. There is one place that I always have to visit when I go and it’s called Red Rae’s.IMG_0035

Rae’s is a small cajun restaurant in a shopping center that you could easily pass by if you’re not looking. We found it because it had a 4.9 rating on google and those are hard to come by. I have never had anything there that I didn’t love. This waffle is my favorite because of the fresh berries and crumbled pieces of candied bacon. The whipped cream is made in house and you can always tell the difference (well I can). It’s completely unpretentious and just amazingly, good food. There are plenty of other good restaurants in the area but this is one place I absolutely always have to go to.

 

Seafood is really high on my list of things that I can eat everyday. CAJUN SEAFOOD HOUSE is absolutely amazing. Its again another spot that you would easily pass by if you didn’t know it was there and we also found this spot through google ratings. It reminds me of a Pappadeaux’s with cheaper prices. The have the best fried green tomatoes covered with crab meat and the steampots are huge! They give you huge portions and its enough to share with the table. It’s another spot where you can go and get good food without the crowds and long wait times.

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Nashville hot chicken has been all the rave since Hattie B’s opened in my hometown. Seriously when I lived there I know I went once a week. Although I never venture past mild I hear that the heat levels are nothing to play with. Their pimento mac and cheese is a must have. Go hungry and please believe me you will leave full.

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Ok If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love waffles. This is the best chicken and waffles I have ever had and that’s saying a lot because I’ve had a lot of chicken and waffles. Yo’ Mama’s is a small restaurant that caters to the business area of downtown Birmingham. I was really pressed for time but I absolutely had to have some so I got it to go. My to go plate doesn’t do it justice so I had to add a picture of it really plated from the restaurants website. The chicken is sooooo good, I’m not sure what it is seasoned and breaded in but I could eat it everyday. The whipped cream is again made in house as is the syrup. Now the syrup is unlike any syrup you would normally get on a waffle. I’m not sure if it is honey, butter or pineapple syrup but it’s amazing. The hours can be a little inconvenient but if you get the chance PLEASE go! It’s worth it!

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Now for my absolute favorite restaurant in Birmingham…

                              SAW’S JUKE JOINT

Everything on the menu is good. This is not an exaggeration, not even a little bit. There are four things that I have to have when I come and that’s the smoked wings (pictured below), fried green tomatoes, fried okra and the catfish and greens. The burgers get an honorary mention as well as the loaded potatoes. Actually everything should get an honorary mention because its soooooo good! I can’t leave Birmingham without coming to this great spot!

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These are my go to’s and if you haven’t visited them then I hope that this post inspires you to go! What are some of your favorite restaurants when traveling?

Road Trips and a stiff drink.

Road trips and infants do not go together… No really! They don’t! I’m not sure at what point I thought it would be simple traveling with an infant (can I still call him that? he’s 6ft tall) but it is not.

We live in Northern Virginia and decided to travel to Panama City, Florida for my daughters spring break. This is exactly 969 miles away from our home…

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Mood…  Big Mood!

I realize that I don’t like anyone to spend 14 straight hours with them. Not my husband, not my kids, hell… not myself.

Mason took this opportunity to poop as much as his digestive system would allow without it being considered diarrhea.

Kristian slept like she was auditioning for Sleeping beauty. She was in the back seat and suppose to be on baby duty but after the 3rd time she was sleeping though him screaming it just made more sense for me to move back with him.

Then I understood! It’s the back seat! It must be a sleeping potion in the leather. I found myself curled in the most awkward position trying to sleep. There was more milk on the babies clothes than there was in his stomach. I was a zombie trying to feed him.

Where is his mouth?

WHERE is his mouth???

WHERE IS HIS MOUTH?!?!?!?!?!?

My husband hates stopping because he’s a man that can pee in a water bottle but there are two females traveling soooo….. unless he wanted a bigger problem than stopping for a few minutes.

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And then it’s 14hrs… What are we going to eat?!?!

This is why this trip might not have been the best idea. Our marriage is too new for this and I’m not sure we can handle the stress.

Soon as we touch down I am finding the closest ABC store and making several stiff drinks!

 

 

 

I cook with alcohol… a lot!

Cooking with alcohol is a major part of… well… cooking. Alcohol and it’s acidity brings out the flavor in most dishes the same way salt does. It can take a dish from good to great.

That’s not entirely why I cook with it tho.

I mean that’s the biggest reason just not the ONLY reason.

I cook with alcohol because I have a pre-teen and an infant and my nerves are bad. I add it to everything… whipped cream, lemon butter sauce, stock… name it and I can find a way to add some wine/brandy/cognac into it.

It’s a skill that I have and I’m proud of it. I wouldn’t advise you to let your kids eat at my house or anything tho… There’s probably rum in the cookies.

This Chicken pot pie is a prime example. Pot Pie is in fact peak comfort food,  right up there with macaroni and cheese. So why would I put alcohol in it. It’s a little trick I learned being in the kitchen during thanksgiving.

Sidenote*  Can I just say that Thanksgiving is the best holiday for gossip? When all your aunties get together with the gossip queen aka “Grandma”. I would sit on the floor snapping peas or cutting collards and find out EVERYBODY business!

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A little background on my grandma. She loves Jimmy Swaggert but also can appreciate a little ‘nip’ (wine/alcoholic beverage). She’s the type to pray with you and then go to happy hour, she’s my kinda gal.

Anyway back to the pot pie. She used to add rum to the giblet gravy and it gave it the most unique taste. It’s one of those things that only she can make. No matter how many times I try to recreate it I can only come close to it.

I took that same theory and added cognac to this recipe and it does the same thing.

 

Chicken Pot Pie

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 packages frozen puff pastry, biscuit mix, biscuit dough (per package directions)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • medium yellow onion, diced
  • cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • carrots, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the pastry
  • 2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup Cognac or brandy 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or a combination thyme, rosemary and sage), 
  • 3-4 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 4

  1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add the yellow onion, garlic, celery, mushroom, and carrots. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are just cooked, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, cognac, salt, and white pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring to make sure you incorporate all the flour.
  6. Simmer until thickened, a few minutes.
  7.  Stir in the heavy cream, thyme, chicken.
  8. Take off heat and give the filling about 5 minutes to thicken.
  9. Put your thawed puff pastry sheets, biscuit topping, or canned biscuits on top of the filling.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

Enjoy!

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Now that I think about it… Maybe the whole cooking with alcohol runs in the family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please don’t wake me up…

I can be lazy… ok ok,  I am lazy but that has also made me very efficient. If you want to find an easier way of doing something ask a lazy person. I also very, very productive but in the laziest way possible. I make these huge to do list and commit to checking off every single thing but in a way that requires the least work.

I know what you’re thinking…

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Let me explain.

I’m committed to helping Kristian make healthier food choices. This usually means making sure I don’t buy processed foods and cooking most of our meals at home. I am also committed to getting as much sleep as possible, especially with an infant.
Which means I don’t like to cook breakfast. I love breakfast food but usually around 10-11am. Cooking anything in the kitchen requires too much focus that I just don’t have at 7am. I don’t wear my glasses like I should so it takes at least 30 min for me to even SEE you. So yeah messing with me you’ll be eating cereal every morning.

Here is where we insert the oatmeal bake. Its suppose to be a breakfast dish that you can bake ahead of time, so kind of like a meal prep item. Either way I thought it would be perfect for my daughter’s breakfast.

Now if you’ve been reading for awhile then you know we tried this already and it wasn’t an epic fail but definitely not something we would make again. I thought I would go another route and see if I could turn a cookie recipe into an oatmeal bake.

Personally, I hate oatmeal raisin cookies. You are clearly unstable if there is a chocolate chip cookie available and you reach for oatmeal raisin. I’m not judging you… well yes I am. Unless it’s a doubletree cookie that’s kind of like an oatmeal and chocolate chip cookie all rolled into one.

Back to the oatmeal. We took THIS recipe from Live Well Bake Often and converted it to the consistency of a brownie. I made a few more tweaks that the kid loved and this was actually a hit. I cut it in squares like a brownie and put it in ziplock bags. I also attached some fresh berries and she was good to go. For an entire week there was not a person eerily standing over me while I slept.

Sidenote: Isn’t that the creepiest ever?? There’s a whole person standing over you like you’re in a remake of Scream. How did you even get in here without me hearing you? Are you a part time ninja? Geez. As you can see it really bothers me when she does that.

Either way this is my lazy way of making sure the preteen doesn’t eat cereal everyday.

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Oatmeal Raisin Bake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup  brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of rough chopped mixed nuts (pecans, almonds, etc)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of milk (almond works fine)
  • 1 and ½ cups  old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, craisins, blueberries, etc)

 

  1. In one bowl mix together flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda
  2. In a mixing bowl cream together your butter and brown sugar.
  3. Add vanilla extract and the egg until mixed.
  4. Add the flour mixture slowly until everything is combined
  5. Add the oatmeal and dried fruit and nuts
  6. Now take your milk and slowly add into the mix until it looks like batter.
  7. Bake in a greased pan at 350 for about 30 min or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Enjoy!

 

Cajun is more than salt…

I pulled up my pinterest today and a recipe came up that really worked my nerves… Cajun Chicken Pasta. It was suppose to be a copycat recipe from a menu item that Chili’s once served or something

Yall….

Y’All….

The only spices listed were salt and pepper….

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Not a cayenne pepper or a red pepper flake. NOTHING! At the very least they could shook some of that Tony ChaChaSlide on there. Just throw the whole recipe away. It really grinds my gears that anytime a recipe has a lot of different seasoning in it then it’s considered ‘Cajun’. Uhhhh no! Stop that! Stop it right now!

So I decided to make a real cajun pasta just to make myself feel better. I’m probably  a little bit irritated already because I am coming to terms with the fact that I birthed a giant… a Real Life Giant. My son is in 6month clothes and he is only 2mos old. Not even officially 2 months yet actually. I have had to pack up all of his Newborn, 0-3mos and now officially 3mos clothing. We are barely hanging on to the 3-6mos and dipping our toes in 6mos. This is ridiculous. I bought him 3-6mos clothing on Saturday that are already tight and in a flood. Like literally I’m just putting them on him to say I did it.

I’m frustrated. How fast is he going to grow when he starts eating real food? I can’t deal. I’m just going to wrap him in a blanket and carry him around in a manger. If it’s good enough for my Lord and Savior then it’s good enough for him.

I was told he was long in the womb so this is only a surprise to my wallet.  We are doing our best to catch up while not wasting money on clothes he will only wear for a few weeks. Don’t judge us is you see him in a what looks like a Romper… It used to be a onesie sleeper.

Back to Cajun Chicken Pasta…

This is a good weeknight recipe… Super fast and easy.

 

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Cajun Chicken Pasta

Ingredients:

  •   Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil,
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite cajun seasoning (or to taste)
  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of broccoli chopped
  • 1 c mushromm sliced
  • 2 cup heavy cream, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup of smoked gouda cheese, shredded
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced

 

Directions:

  1. Sear your chicken on both sides with about 1tb of oil to make sure you get some good color. About 2-3 min on both sides over medium high heat. Remove and set aside
  2. Then take your broccoli, mushroom, and garlic and saute until tender.
  3. Add your heavy cream and stir
  4. Add grated parmesan cheese and smoked gouda. Stir to make sure it melts into the cream
  5. Turn heat to low and let simmer for about 10 min and stir to make sure the cream doesn’t stick.
  6. Chop your chicken and add back to the pan so it can cook all the way through
  7. Cook pasta as the package directs.
  8. Add bacon, pasta and diced tomato. Extra cheese if you feel inclined.
  9. That’s it… you’re done.

Like I always say…. Taste your food. This recipe is just a guide and only you know how you like to eat your food. And if you want to make your own cajun seasoning blend HERE is a good one.

School is closed again?!?!

About 8:50pm I got the dreaded text message “Code Red Prince William County Schools closed for Inclement Weather… High Winds.

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Ok LOOK… Im about sick and tired of this school closing ONCE A WEEK! At least! I have no problem with my child being at home but they have been out of school a lot. This is suppose to be the north. Y’all used to cold weather! Chile these schools close if it gets below freezing because children refuse to dress appropriately. I have seen several emails from Kristian’s principal begging parents to stop letting their kids wear shorts. In January. While it’s snowing… Sometimes you just gotta let natural selection do it’s thing.

So its late and tomorrow (Friday)) is usually my grocery day. I know there is absolutely nothing in this house to eat. I mean Mason drinks formula and before 2pm all I eat is coffee so we would normally be ok. It seems like when your children are out of school they eat a 5 course meal every hour though. I usually make pancakes on Saturdays but I decide I’ll make them tomorrow. I’m too tired to go tonight so I figure I’ll just get up and go early in the morning.

Sure enough I get up complaining because “it’s just wind” and this is another day they’ll have to make up. I’m trying to plan a vacation! I go outside and its a little windy but nothing out of the ordinary. So of course I’m still fussing.

I get to the grocery store to do my shopping and pay for everything. I head out the door and…

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I can barely get the shopping cart to the car, my trunk will not stay open and my weave is barely hanging on. I’m so glad this sew-in is new and tight because if any air had gotten under it I would’ve been up, up and away.

I finally get in the car and I thank God Dorothy and toto didn’t show up and a house didn’t fall on me. I’ll never underestimate the weatherman again.

I finally make it home and I’m only getting the groceries out of the car that are perishable because again… my new weave.

Finally I’m safe and sound. So because I was an strong gust away from death I make pancakes from scratch and syrup. Why not… you only live once.

 

Buttermilk Bacon Pancakes w/ Vanilla Bean Butter Syrup

Say that 5x fast!

 

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Buttermilk Bacon Pancakes with Vanilla Bean Butter Syrup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

                  Pancakes

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups of sifted flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly whisked
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted and melted

Syrup

  • ½ c. butter (1 cube)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 TBSP vanilla or 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • ½ tsp. baking soda

 

Directions:

Preheat a griddle to medium heat.
In a bowl, whisk together the salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Drizzle in the butter as you continue to whisk.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Please remember, the more you stir pancakes the more flat and tough they will be so don’t be alarmed if it still looks like it’s lumps in the batter. Allow 15 for your batter to rest and rise.
Butter the griddle and scoop 1/4 cup of batter and cook until bubbles begin to form. I actually added some chopped up bacon inside mine this time but that’s completely up to you. Flip and cook until golden. I like to add small pieces of butter to the outside of the pancakes while they cook so you get those really crispy edges.

For the syrup add all ingredients except baking soda. Whisk together and let it come to a boil. Once it boils for about 1 minute take the pot off the heat and add the baking soda. You should see it rise and get frothy. This is normal.

 

 

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I hope you enjoy these pancakes and this syrup and the fact that Im not gone with the wind.