I can’t believe that my last Fearless Baby update was in February, when she was 8 months old. How time flies! While 13-month-old Baby has the same silly, happy-go-lucky personality now as she did when I did that last update, she has changed + progressed in so many significant ways.
First, we’ve had some big milestones! At my last update, Baby was just on the verge of crawling. Now, we have a very confident walker on our hands! She gets *such* a thrill about being able to walk around the Farmer’s Market / library / grocery store with us, instead of having to be carried. Our next big change is: teeth! Baby had NONE at my last update, but these days, she’s up to 10 teeth! And with that, came a big change in her eating habits. No longer does she eat purees or ‘baby food’ – she eats 100% ‘regular’ food now, usually having the same things for meals that we do. She’s turned into quite a food lover, + is a big fan of pasta, slow-cooked meats, anything dairy (especially cheese + yogurt), lots of grains (like couscous, farro, + rice), beans, fruits, veggies, smoothies, + more. It’s so fun to introduce her to new foods, + I am so tickled that she likes my home-cooking so much. =) The last big change has been communication. She has become so good at communicating in a combination of words/sounds, sign language, and pointing. It’s amazing how much we can understand each other!
These last few months have been SO incredibly fun, and she has done a ton of growing up, becoming less baby and more toddler with each passing day. I’ll do another update here with pictures when she’s 18 months old! If you’d like Fearless Baby updates before then, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, where I post lots about the little lady!
I have very fond memories of breakfast pastries. Growing up, every once in a while as a treat, my dad would drive to the local bakery and come home with AMAZING freshly-made pastries and danishes for our breakfast. My personal favorite was a round-shaped one with raspberry, cherry or cream cheese filling in the center, drizzled with a super sweet, super delicious glaze. Mmmmm. I found myself thinking about those wonderful childhood pastries recently, so, one quiet weekend, I decided to try my hand at making homemade breakfast pastries for my family.
I made the dough on a Saturday morning, shaped + baked the pastries on Saturday evening, then made + drizzled the glaze over ‘em on Sunday morning, right before we ate them. And y’all, I’m pretty darn pleased with how my first foray into pastry-making went! The dough is delightfully soft, buttery, and just perfectly sweet. Paired with the delicious cherry and/or cream cheese fillings, and the fantastic glaze, these were such a fun treat. The only thing I didn’t like? The insanely large size. I expected them to shrink up a lot while baking, so I made them HUGE. Well, they didn’t shrink up at all, so I was left with gorgeous, but humongous pastries. Next time, I’m going to make them a more reasonable size, which should make the ratio of pastry to filling perfect. They really were super delicious, so I’m looking forward to perfecting them the next time around! =)
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I am an extreme vegetable lover. Truly, I don’t think there’s a single vegetable that I won’t eat. My friends know this, so when they wind up with a vegetable that they don’t like or don’t know what to do with, it frequently winds up on my doorstep. Recently, one of my friends got a big ol’ fennel bulb in her CSA delivery, + not being a fennel lover, asked if I wanted it. Uh, YES! I went to twitter for ideas on what to do with it (raw in a salad? shaved on a sandwich? baked into a casserole?) + my friend Amanda said that she loves fennel paired with tomatoes + pasta. Pasta is one of my favorite foods, + we grow tons of tomatoes in our garden, so I was sold on her idea. I found a fabulous-looking recipe for Spaghetti with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Fennel, + got cookin’.
And y’all, this turned out wonderfully delicious, with an amazing combination of flavors + textures. The onions, garlic, and fennel – which can all be quite potent if served raw – mellow and sweeten up beautifully in the cooking process. Added to some pasta, the delightfully flavorful oven-roasted tomatoes, some spicy chiles, + topped with tasty parmesan + toasted breadcrumbs for texture, this dish is one of the most delicious vegetarian pasta dishes that I’ve had. Even my husband, who’s not a huge fan of meatless dishes or fennel, said that he loved it. I will absolutely be adding this to the regular dinner rotation, especially this time of year when tomatoes + fennel are in season locally!
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I’ll be the first to admit that turkey burgers didn’t used to be my favorite meal. I’d had one too many overcooked, underwhelming turkey burgers, and had nearly given up hope of finding a delicious version. But, a couple months ago, I decided to go on a search for the perfect turkey burger, as I sometimes want something lighter and leaner than a traditional beef burger. And after trying many different recipes, I’m happy to report that this one is truly amazing!
The combination of the cheese, mustard, scallions and garlic worked into the burger is wonderful, making for a moist, tender, cheesy, and slightly tangy patty. I make these burgers year ’round, cooking them indoors in a skillet during the colder months, and outside on the grill in the warmer weather. (I’ve included instructions for both cooking methods below). While these are flavorful enough to entice an adult palate, they’re mild enough to appeal to kiddos, too. My 1-year-old daughter adores this meal – I crumble her burger into toddler-sized, easy-to-grab pieces, and she gobbles ‘em down. One meal that the whole family can enjoy? Always a win!
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Today, I’m participating in a fun blogger event — the Secret Recipe Club. How does it work? Every blogger is secretly assigned another blog + chooses a recipe from that blog to make. On reveal day (today!), all of our posts go up at the same time, + everyone gets to see who was assigned to their blog, which recipe they chose, + how it turned out. Fun, huh?
I was thrilled to be assigned Our Table For Seven this month. Erin’s blog is full of fab homestyle, family-friendly meals and desserts – we have very similar taste in food/recipes, so there was lots of comfort food, crock-pot dishes, and simple sweets for me to choose from. I knew I wanted to make a dessert this month + when I saw her Cheesecake Brownies, I had to try ‘em! And y’all, they turned out SO good – they were all gobbled up by our family + friends in record time. Rich, fudgy brownies topped and swirled with a creamy, sweet, smooth cheesecake layer. If you have the time, making the brownie layer from scratch (as described below) is ideal. However, there’s no shame in using a boxed brownie mix to shave off some time/ingredients, and I bet they’d still be amazing!
Thank you to Erin for introducing me to these incredibly tasty brownies + to the Secret Recipe Club for connecting me, yet again, with fantastic bloggers + amazing recipes! For all my previous Secret Recipe Club recipes, click here – there are TONS of awesome ones!
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