At The Nest

There’s nothing like the joy of a toy-filled Christmas… to make me reassess our home organization- specifically the kids bedrooms. Oh, the inspirational clutter of packaging, Lego pieces and Barbie clothes. Although to be fair, I’ve been contemplating a plan to take down the nursery for a while. We are fortunate to live in a home that provides 5 bedrooms upstairs, which gives each of our kids their own room. Except, one of the rooms is significantly smaller than the others. When my grandparents built this home, they had six children in mind. Their oldest son was given the smallest room, but the trade off was that he didn’t have to share. The only daughter in the family was given her own room, and the other two bedrooms were shared by two boys each. When we first bought this home, my desire was to turn that smaller room into an upstairs laundry area (dreamy sigh). However, when baby number four arrived, it was the perfect solution for the nursery. Now that he had outgrown the crib, it was time for another transformation. Originally I thought of one of those cute raised beds, which offers more floor space or a little area for a desk. Then in a stroke of brilliance (possibly overstated) it came to me… the youngest two boys could share a room and I could turn the smaller room into their own personal play area!

It worked out well considering my youngest son received a wooden train table for Christmas, that wouldn’t have conveniently fit in his room with a twin sized bed. (And I really didn’t want it in my living room). I must admit, that my motives might have also been a little selfish- in that I was hopeful the two boys might be more apt to sleep through the night in their own room if they weren’t alone. I think that’s actually why my second-youngest son was so keen on the suggestion. Well that, and the promise of a play room.

I wanted their playroom to reflect their bedroom somewhat, so I kept the blue and white theme with the curtains and toy box. The boys’ bedroom was easy to complete, we just had to steal their sister’s bed frame; which originally was part of a bunk bed set that she split with her brother. As luck would have it, Pottery Barn Kids still carried the striped quilt to match the other. (Well actually to make it a perfect match I need to wash it a couple more times.)

Thankfully, I still had my old bed frame in the basement. And I finally made my first Wayfair purchase! I ordered a made in the USA pillow top mattress, shipped to my front door for free! (Which sure beats trying to slide one over the top of my kids heads in the minivan. Hurray!)

I think the best part of this whole undertaking was the car load of items we were able to drop off at Goodwill, and the broken toys, odds, and ends we kicked to the curb. Sayonara!

(And if you’re wondering, the “Sadie’s Nest” pillows were a thoughtful Christmas gift to me from my parents.)

Loving Lately

It’s the middle of January in Southeast Michigan and we’ve traded in our usual snowfall for a grey, cold and blustery thunderstorm. That can only mean one thing: staying cozy. Who doesn’t love staying cozy? (And thank you anonymous for capturing the essence of my indoor warmth while the world is wet outside.) I won’t pretend being a stay-at-home mom is an easy job, but it does allot me this: the opportunity to stay in my pajamas and ridiculously oversized socks. I’ll take it. Am I turning my back on the mounting laundry and stack of dishes to blog? Yes. I am also daydreaming about my perfect kitchen. It might look something like this from French Garden House:

Or this from loombrand.com:

I love the simple French charm of the first, but I’m kind of Bohemian at heart.

And speaking of hearts, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. So naturally I have to gather ideas for the holiday. How cute are this donuts from Frau Zuckerstein? Ich spreche kein Deutsch, aber ich danke Ihnen Frau Zuckerstein!

 

But really, before I can get to Valentine’s Day, I have to get to my daughter’s birthday. She’s feeling the “Shopkins” theme this year. Nothing screams “Shopkins” like Chuck E. Cheese. Er, wait. Don’t worry about it, I’ll figure it out. It would just be easier if the person who made these cookies lived next-door. I would love to know you, My Girls Lolly Bouquets.

In other news, I made Pork Schnitzel with a Beer-Mustard Sauce last night. So, I can scratch that off the bucket list. I really think I got the whole schnitzel thing right out of my system. That’s a lot of pounding. I might be a wimp, but my arm is sore. And if I may… just pan fry those pork chops.

But I have to try things, it’s just my nature; like this “Life-Changing 30 Masala Sauce” from Pinch of Yum. I love Indian food. And in 30 minutes? Yes! And why is it “life-changing”? I HAVE to know!

If that’s not your thing, here’s one for you: Sticky Apple Cider BBQ Chicken from How Sweet Eats. Yeah baby, put it on the list.

And how fun would it be to eat that food in this kitchen from ink361.com?

Let’s just think about that on a day like today. Because outside it’s like this:

(Thanks for the pic Zeutch.com) And we need to stay cozy… even if it’s a state of mind.

Migas

Let’s get to it. Have you bought the cookbook, It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow yet? I don’t know what more I could do to promote this book. I have loved everything about it- including my most recent re-creation, Migas. It looks like there are a few variations of the dish, translated as “crumbs” depending on where you go, Spain, Portugal or Mexico. These are more Mexican style, using tortillas and eggs to make an awesome “breakfast nacho” dish. (Although the first time I made them, they were eaten for dinner and did not disappoint. They were “migas with amigos” -thank you Chad.) I’ve added a little twist with my chunky guacamole salsa. And I should note, that from here on out all corn tortillas should be fried with diced onion. It should be a law. Drop the mic.

As organic as possible:

Inspired by Migas, in It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow… which serves 1- so I quadrupled the following recipe in “1 serving” batches:

1-2 Tbsp of Olive oil

3 mini corn tortillas, quartered (making 12 wedges)

2 Tbsp diced white Onion

2 Eggs

Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

1/4 cup grated Mild Cheddar

2 Tbsp Guacamole Salsa

2 Tbsp Salsa

3 slices Jalapeño (optional)

1 Tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro

 

In a non-stick frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the tortilla wedges and onion. Cook until onions start to soften and tortilla starts to crisp.

Crack the eggs right over the tortillas and onions.

Season with salt and pepper, and give the whole thing a messy stir. When eggs are almost cooked through add the cheese and give a stir.

Transfer to a plate and top with the guacamole, salsa, jalapeño and cilantro.

Migas

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Tbsp of Olive oil
  • 3 mini corn tortillas, quartered (making 12 wedges)
  • 2 Tbsp diced white Onion
  • 2 Eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Mild Cheddar
  • 2 Tbsp Guacamole Salsa (see Sadie's Nest for recipe or substitute with sliced avocado)
  • 2 Tbsp Salsa
  • 3 slices Jalapeño (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a non-stick frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the tortilla wedges and onion. Cook until onions start to soften and tortilla starts to crisp.
  2. Crack the eggs right over the tortillas and onions.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, and give the whole thing a messy stir. When eggs are almost cooked through add the cheese and give a stir.
  4. Transfer to a plate and top with the guacamole salsa, salsa, jalapeño and cilantro.
http://sadiesnest.com/migas/

Fried Egg Sandwich

I’m a sold out breakfast-in-the-morning kind of person. You know those diet tips that say “don’t skip breakfast” and encourage you to start off your day eating a meal; they don’t apply to me. And although my family would probably rather have a bowl of cereal, I am determined to make them breakfast people (or possibly continue in denial while I prepare hearty meals at the crack of dawn). If you’re the type of person that likes a good breakfast, then I’m sure you are going to like this fried egg sandwich! (Which I should explain is more of an European style “sandwich” and we would more likely consider it to be an “open-face sandwich”, whatever your pleasure…) Pretty much anything that has eggs and bacon and cheese is a winner, but this dish- inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow’s Fried Egg Sandwich- takes it up a level without getting too fancy. Also, I’d like to add that it goes nicely with a fruit infused sparkling water (that here in Michigan we like to refer to as La Croix).

As organic as possible:

Serves 4

8 slices Bacon

1 cup finely grated Gruyère cheese

4 large Eggs

Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

4 thick slices Country Bread

1/4 to 1/2 cup Miracle Whip (or GP’s Cheat’s Aioli: recipe follows)

4 small or 2 large Kale leaves (hard stems removed)

2 tsp Olive oil

1/2 Tbsp (1 small pat) Butter

 

Arrange the bacon in a single layer in a large sauté pan, in two batches if necessary. Fry over medium-high heat until it reaches desired crispiness, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Wipe out almost all the bacon fat from the pan and make four 1/4 cup piles of cheese in the pan (they will sizzle and crisp immediately). Crack an egg over each flattened pile of cheese crisp. Generously salt and pepper the eggs. Cook until whites are set (not clear and runny).

In the meantime in a small sauté pan over medium heat olive oil and butter until butter becomes frothy. Coat the pan by swirling the oil and butter, add kale and sauté until kale is soften and slightly wilted (flipping once). Lightly salt and pepper the kale. Set aside.

While the eggs are frying and kale is sautéing, toast the bread in a toaster.

When all the preparation is finished it is time to assemble! Spread each piece of toast with 1 to 2 tablespoons of Miracle Whip, top with 1/4 of the sautéed kale, 2 slices of bacon, and one of the crispy Gruyère/fried egg combos. Repeat three more times.

Now if you’re feeling healthy, or you prefer the taste of Vegenaise, I have included the recipe for Gwyneth Paltrow’s Cheat’s Aioli… But I prefer the tangy zip of Miracle Whip! (And not just because it’s an easier time-saver, which it is.)

1/2 cup Vegenaise

1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 small garlic clove, minced

a pinch of salt

 

Fried Egg Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 8 slices Bacon
  • 1 cup finely grated Gruyère cheese
  • 4 large Eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 4 thick slices Country Bread
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Miracle Whip (or GP's Cheat's Aioli)
  • 4 small or 2 large Kale leaves (hard stems removed)
  • 2 tsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp (1 small pat) Butter

Instructions

  1. Arrange the bacon in a single layer in a large sauté pan, in two batches if necessary. Fry over medium-high heat until it reaches desired crispiness, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Wipe out almost all the bacon fat from the pan and make four 1/4 cup piles of cheese in the pan (they will sizzle and crisp immediately).
  3. Crack an egg over each flattened pile of cheese crisp. Generously salt and pepper the eggs. Cook until whites are set (not clear and runny).
  4. In the meantime in a small sauté pan over medium heat olive oil and butter until butter becomes frothy. Coat the pan by swirling the oil and butter, add kale and sauté until kale is soften and slightly wilted (flipping once). Lightly salt and pepper the kale. Set aside.
  5. While the eggs are frying and kale is sautéing, toast the bread in a toaster.
  6. When all the preparation is finished it is time to assemble! Spread each piece of toast with 1 to 2 tablespoons of Miracle Whip, top with 1/4 of the sautéed kale, 2 slices of bacon, and one of the crispy Gruyère/fried egg combos.
  7. Repeat three more times.
http://sadiesnest.com/fried-egg-sandwich/

Loving Lately 🍏🍒🥒🥝🥕

It’s time to start the new year off right! So for my first edition of the Sadie’s Nest “Loving Lately” 2017, I’m keeping it real with my current favorite… Door to Door Organics! My sister and brother-in-law surprised me this holiday season with a gift subscription to the on-line grocery store with home delivery. In case you missed that, it’s an on-line grocery store with HOME DELIVERY! (Some of you might have been doing this for years…) I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve already had two deliveries!

I can literally choose any recipe from one of my favorite blogs or cookbooks and just click on the desired ingredients from the comfort of my pajamas, and then up to two times a week a delivery person will bring my order to my front door. The one catch, if you want to call it that, is I have to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with every order. I chose the “Bitty Mixed Box” (which is plenty). It means that with every delivery I will receive $19.99 worth of organic and local fresh fruits and vegetables. I can let them choose seasonal offerings or I can substitute for selections I think would suit us better. Door to Door Organics has a huge variety of products, most of them local (which I love). I can specify a list of offerings that are all non-GMO (which I also love) and their certified organic selection (hence their name) is terrific! Organic Worcestershire sauce and Kalamata olives? Got it.

If your order adds up to over $75 (not hard to do with a family of 6), delivery is free. Oh, and as if it couldn’t get any better… it does. On your next delivery date just leave out all of the previous boxes and packaging and they will recycle/take-care-of-it for you! I might never have to leave the house again.

For more information go to www.doortodoororganics.com. Featured Image courtesy of greatlakes.doortodoororganics.com

Happy New Year!

I’m usually not a New Year Resolution type person. My thought is: why wait one more day to start a good habit? Or stop a bad one? (If you know me at all, you know I am totally backwards and like to start diets right before the holidays.)

But this year is different.

I ended last year taking a break from the blog, enjoying my family and the holidays. And this year I am making a resolution of sorts… a conscious effort to slow down and appreciate the simple things in life. I’m ready to listen to my kids laugh and watch a nice fire. Let’s take time to break bread with loved ones old and new… And let’s be kind to each other; it costs us nothing and could mean everything.

I hope 2017 is a fresh start that treats you well! God Bless You!

Merry Christmas!

Remembering the reason for the season and Wishing your day is merry and bright!
…And best of luck lining up those perfect family pictures; when everyone is smiling and looking at your camera, because I give up.

Easy Crock Pot Roast

I know, I know… I’m too busy to blog recipes. I’m too busy for sleep. But the family still has to eat. So, when your sister says “Hey, I’ve got your dinner covered tonight,” it makes you appreciate the holiday season even more. I’ve got to pass it along! Maybe you’re busy too, but if you can get the ingredients in the crock pot… you can have a healthy dinner ready when you are. Better yet, maybe you know someone that could use a break? Maybe you can spread a little holiday cheer! No matter the occasion, if it’s cold outside this dinner is for you.

As organic as possible:

1 pound bag of organic baby carrots

1 1/2 pounds organic golden potatoes halved

1 large onion quartered (in large pieces)

3 pound beef roast

1/4 tsp Seasoned salt

1 tbsp Kosher salt

1 tsp cracked pepper

1/2 tsp Onion powder

3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup low sodium Soy sauce

1 sprig Thyme

1 sprig Rosemary

2 cups Beef broth

 

Sprinkle roast only with seasoned salt lightly. Set aside. Put carrots, onions, potatoes, salt, pepper, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce in the crockpot. Give a little stir. Place roast on top. Pour in broth and lay thyme and rosemary on the roast.

Set crock pot on low for eight hours. If able, after two hours of cooking time rotate vegetables to top of roast to prevent too much softening.

Please enjoy the smell of your home; comfort food at it’s finest.

Easy Crock Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bag of organic baby carrots
  • 1 1/2 pounds organic golden potatoes halved
  • 1 large onion quartered (in large pieces)
  • 3 pound beef roast
  • 1/4 tsp Seasoned salt
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium Soy sauce
  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • 2 cups Beef broth

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle roast only with seasoned salt lightly. Set aside.
  2. Put carrots, onions, potatoes, salt, pepper, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce in the crockpot.
  3. Give a little stir.
  4. Place roast on top. Pour in broth and lay thyme and rosemary on the roast.
  5. Set crock pot on low for eight hours. If able, after two hours of cooking time rotate vegetables to top of roast to prevent too much softening.
  6. Please enjoy the smell of your home; comfort food at it's finest.
http://sadiesnest.com/easy-crock-pot-roast/

5 Reasons Not to Blog During the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us. We are right in the thick of it. And as much as I love this time of year, I find myself quoting this line from Christmas Vacation: “I don’t know what to say, except it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.”

 

Ok it’s really not that bad… but I get it, and do laugh every time I say it.

 

Here are my top 5 reasons for slacking on my blog:

#5 – I am too busy actually baking for events to record them. Veritas.

#4 – We are studying and readying for Christmas concerts… Christmas Pageants… Christmas parties… and attending them. It’s chaos. It’s a lot of “What? You are supposed to have Christmas pajamas for your concert TOMORROW?”; “I don’t know, the shepherds probably wore sandals, but you are going to where your brown boots.”; “By the way we need to find a long sleeve brown shirt for Noah’s costume THIS AFTERNOON”; “Where are your socks?”; “I haven’t seen your coat. Where did you take it off?”; AAAAAAAHHH!

All four of my children made it into this closing scene; two shepherds, Mary and an inn keeper.

#3 – I am shopping for presents! Not even close to being done. And I waste time trying to think of… “who I can get this pineapple measuring set from Anthropologie for?”

 

#2 – All I want to do is be lazy. It’s the truth. I just want to crawl under a blanket and do nothing. Just leave me be.

#1 – My babies have been sick. Who has time for trips to Urgent Care and the ER? Not me. But somehow we manage to fit them in.

Virus induced asthma attacks are awful!

It’s all worthwhile.

My niece singing and playing Silent Night. Love.

Loving Lately 🎅🏻

There aren’t enough hours in the day to make all of the Christmas cookies on my list. Also, I don’t think I could possibly fit in the exercise to balance the caloric intake. But I really want to try (the first part). Thank you Aisha Yusaf for perfectly capturing the essence of my cookie desire in the featured image with your Jam Tarts.

How much more holiday does it get than Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies from Mom on Timeout? I think everyone in Michigan has a relative who lives in Florida who sends or brings them a bag of oranges this time of year. (Maybe I’m naive.) And why does a mom timeout sound like a vacation? I could use a vacation, with a box of shortbread cookies.

I’m kind of crazy about biscotti. I could do a whole post on biscotti alone (and probably will). This Gingerbread Biscotti from If You Give A Blonde a Kitchen, sounds like the perfect dose of Christmas medicine… along with a coffee creamed with egg nog. (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, I just like to play one on my blog.)

Of course, there are the traditional sugar cookies (I’ll be posting a recipe soon). I have neither the patience nor the talent to make them as intricate as these. But wouldn’t they be awesome to serve? I’d be like “Oh, these little things… I just whipped them together…” I would really like to give someone the credit that is due… unfortunately, they got lost in the world of Pinterest.

Have you guys and gals checked out the blog, Once Upon A Chef? It’s really worth mentioning. My friends and I haven’t been disappointed by anything we’ve made from it. And I’m really looking forward to trying these Gingerbread Men, because I bet they are as delicious as they are adorable. Although, I know of one little boy who’s going to be very upset this year if one doesn’t run out of the oven when we sneak a peek.

My blogging friend, Marisa of Marisa’s Italian Kitchen, is wildly talented. Everything she does looks like it came out of a magazine… including these Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cheese Cookies. Aren’t they gorgeous? She makes biscotti too, just sayin’.

It just wouldn’t be the holiday season without Pecan Balls, such as these beauties from A Healthy Life For Me. You know, they have to be passed in a tissue lined tin… or displayed like a pyramid. And if by chance you happen to take a breath before you bite into one, you will probably choke on powdered sugar. Good times… The best of times!

Merry Christmas Cookies!