Crispy Roasted Taco Chickpeas

Crispy Roasted Taco Chickpeas

Raise your hand if you are one of those people that goes to the store and forgets if you already have an item at home, so you buy it just in case, go home and see that you actually already have at least 3 of that item? You guys can’t see me, but both of my hands are raised!

I always try to keep our pantry stocked with a variety of beans, broth, diced tomatoes, etc..Chickpeas are one of my favorite things to eat and so I have to have them on hand at all times! So of course, I always buy too many cans. My pantry was so full a few weeks ago, it could fit no more things. I made these amazing crispy roasted chick peas to make room and they are so addicting!

Strawberry Soda Floats

Strawberry Soda Floats

Like most families with toddlers, whenever my husband and I pour ourselves a drink of anything, we’ve got two little girls tugging on us for a sip. “What do you have in that cup, Daddy?”. Same with food. My husband can’t eat anything without Maddie chasing after him. He often has to use some stealth ninja moves to sneak things by her, probably because the two of them have the same taste in food. I don’t drink soda, but my husband sometimes buys some and I really don’t want the girls to have it. I made these soda floats the other day for Maddie. They use club soda which is pretty harmless! These strawberry soda floats are a fun and fruity twist to the classic root beer float! I actually first made these like 6 years ago on the blog, but I’ve been trying to go back and remake a number of recipes and redo the photos and I’ve had these soda floats on my list for some time! With it starting to feel more like spring, it was finally time!

Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff

Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff

Hi friends! First, I want to apologize for not posting my regular two weekly recipes these past few weeks. Life has been so crazy! Maddie is starting preschool and we’ve had to do some classroom visits for her orientation. We also celebrated Natalie’s first birthday last week and Maddie also started ballet! Between all of this and work, I’ve been exhausted. I’m back with a seriously delicious recipe today though!

I’ve made stroganoff recipes before, but only ever with the good ol’ cream of mushroom soup cans, onion soup mixes, etc. and I mean, yeah, it’s still yummy, but I don’t really like to use all of that processed stuff if I can avoid it so I’ve been working to create a more natural beef stroganoff recipe and this Instant Pot version is simply divine!

Greek Chicken Salad

Greek Chicken Salad

I love, love, love chicken salad! It’s one of my favorite things to eat for lunch on some good bread or over greens. I’ve posted a few chicken salad recipes (see here, here, and here). It’s one of those foods though that can be kind of tricky as everyone has different preferences. For me, I don’t want anything sweet in it. No grapes or other fruits for me please. Oh, and NO mustard, that’s also a hard pass for me! This version combines two of my favorite things: chicken salad and Greek flavors!

Natalie: Eleven Months

Natalie Eleven Months

I’m not sure how this is happening, but this little babe is going to one year old in less than a week and I’m just not ready!

She is sooo close to walking. She’s been taking a number of steps unassisted and then gives up, but she’s almost there and I suspect within the next week or two, she will be off on her feet. I can’t wait because the weather is warming up and we like to bring the girls to the park and Natalie gets frustrated that she can’t climb and play. Speaking of climbing though, her favorite activity currently is to play on the couch. We have a sectional and she has a blast just climbing all over it and over pillows. We’ve also signed her up for Gymboree classes so I think she will really like that too.

This little love chunk loves to eat. She takes her sweet time with eating and it often takes us a good 30 minutes to finish up meals, but she just keeps going and going. For breakfast, she loves blueberries, scrambled eggs, and blueberry waffles from TJ’s. Dinner is interesting because we typically feed the kids before we eat so I’m often making them other things and with Maddie being so picky, I worry that I am not giving her enough variety, so I’ve been prepping our meals earlier to give her some and just make veggies and other things I think she will eat, regardless of whether Maddie will also eat it or not. With the exception of pouches, we are off baby food. I’m also looking forward to dropping formula soon since it’s so expensive! With teeth, I think she has about 7-8 teeth with most of them on top and only two on the bottom! She really won’t ever let us get a good luck at her mouth so it’s not easy to tell, but she chews food pretty good.

She’s still doing pretty well with sleep, however, we’ve been experimenting with just giving her one nap a day because her second nap has been either non-existent or by the time she falls asleep, it’s well after 5pm, which is way too late! We are trying to push her morning nap back a bit so that she might sleep a while longer in the afternoons. I can tell she is really tired by 5:30-6, but her mood is still pretty good so I’ve moved up her bedtime to closer to 7:30-7:45 and that seems to be working okay. She’s still sleeping 11-12 hours a night.

Natalie Eleven Months

We had the girls’ pictures taken a couple of weeks ago and my goodness, what a mess that was! First, Maddie just seems incapable of looking at the camera. You ask her to say “cheese” and whatnot and her eyes are all over the place! And even though I scheduled the photos early in the morning thinking Natalie wouldn’t be tired yet for her nap, she spent the entire time crying and trying to crawl away. Oh well!

Ricotta Pie

Ricotta Pie, Italian, chocolate chips, cheesecake

Growing up in an Italian family meant every holiday was always filled with delicious classic foods and desserts. My great-grandma and grandma used to make an array of desserts for each holiday and this Ricotta Pie was one of them. I hadn’t had in so many years, but I’ve always remembered it and wanted to make it myself this year. I called up my Grandma for the recipe and tips and got right to work making this classic Easter dessert!

Ricotta Pie, cheesecake, Italian, chocolate chip

It’s called Ricotta Pie, but honestly, it’s not really a pie, it’s definitely more like a cheesecake, which is fine by me! The special thing about this recipe too is the crust. You will notice it is not a traditional pie crust recipe, it’s sweeter, has baking powder, and no butter. It’s the same type of dough that is used in Shadone, which is a meat pie and another traditional Italian Easter recipe.

If you are worried about making the crust, you could use traditional pie crust if desired and given the cheesecake-like texture of this dessert, I bet even graham cracker crumb crust would be okay too! When I made this recipe, I actually made a bit too much of the crust and it ended up being a bit thicker than desired, so I’ve tweaked the recipe a tad so you won’t end up with too much.

Oh, and one really important tip here is that you must drain the ricotta cheese before mixing up the pie. This step is crucial! You can use a cheese cloth to wring out the liquid or let it sit in a strainer for a couple of hours, pushing down with a fork every so often to push out the liquid. I also added a couple of tablespoons of flour to my version to help it be a bit more stable!

My family never did the chocolate ganache on top either, but I wanted to make this pie a bit prettier and who doesn’t love chocolate ganache?! If you want to skip that part though, it’s not required!

Ricotta Pie, cheesecake, dessert, chocolate chip, Italian