Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sweet Baby Girl Aspen

I had so much fun meeting and then ogling over Aspen today! Link and Angelina welcomed their newest little a few weeks ago. She is adorable! At one point during the photo shoot, Angelina and I just watched her sleep. It was magical

Here a few pictures from today!

Baby rolls are the best thing ever!

Cue swoon!

Seriously, can she be any cuter?!

Tutus and bows
Phil the Panda and Aspen the Baby

Sweet moment between baby and mama

Nile and his baby sister

Family of four

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Brazilian Rice & Beans (Arroz com Feijão)

This recipe has been a long time coming. This is what I ate at least four days of the week growing up. This is my comfort food. This is home. And now my kids are obsessed with this as well!

Now I know many people have different recipes for black beans, but this is how my mom cooks it. The following is the recipe for black beans cooked in a pressure cooker. So if you don't have a pressure cooker - buy one. They are amazing! And you could also use this recipe for pinto beans, which is also delicious!

Ingredients for the beans:

  • 16 oz. black beans (or pinto beans)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ham hock
  • 2 links of smoked sausage
  • Water
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Optional: fresh or dried cilantro

The day before you plan to make these beans, soak the beans in a bowl of water, covering them with about 2 inches of water. They will soak up most, if not all, of the water. 

Before you make the beans, drain them and set them aside.

In the pressure cooker, add the olive oil and sear the ham hock on all sides. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the smoked sausage.

Add water, about 1/2 - 2/3 up the side of the pressure cooker (Each pressure cooker has different safety measures. Read the instruction manual before you cook anything). Add beans, paprika, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves to the pot and stir. Taste to see if it is well seasoned. You can also add cilantro at this point if you like. My husband doesn't care for the taste of cilantro, so I didn't add it.

Put the lid on and make sure the lid is secure. Once the pressure cooker starts steaming (you'll know what I mean), cook the beans for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker release the pressure a bit and cool down. 

All done!

Serve the beans over rice and if you want to be truly authentic, you can add farinha de mandioca on top. You'll be instantly transported to Brazil!

I love the way the sausage turns black from the beans. I also like to be heavy on the bean liquid when I eat rice and beans, but you don't have to add a lot of liquid. 

Ingredients for the rice:
  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • Salt
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
Direction for the rice:
  • Heal oil in large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and saute until onions are translucent. Add the rice and stir, coating it with the oil. Add the chicken broth and salt to taste. Cook covered until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Zucchini Bread

When a recent visit from Will's grandparent's house, I left with a hoard of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and one very large zucchini. And memories of my mom making zucchini bread came to mind; grating zucchini, the smell of cinnamon filling the air... now I'm getting excited!

Note: This recipe makes 2 loaves of bread or one large bundt cake.

  • 3 C flour (I used 2 C AP flour, and 1 C whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C apple sauce
  • 1 C granulated white sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 C grated zucchini, not drained (the liquid makes the zucchini moist)
  • Optional: 1 C chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

I put Will to work grating the zucchini!

Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.

In my mixer, I beat the eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla extract.

I added the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Beat well.

Fold/stir in the zucchini (and if you are adding walnuts, raisins, etc.).

The batter is ready!

Bake for 60 min.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ravioli with Zucchini and Tomatoes

Looking for an incredible quick lunch or dinner that every family member will like? This is the one! I used fresh zucchini from the garden and ravioli from Sam's Club. But feel free to use any type of squash and ravioli you have on hand! And if you have a bunch of tomatoes, dice them up and use those instead of canned diced tomatoes.


  • 2 pounds of Ravioli (I used Chicken & Asiago Cheese)
  • 2 cups diced zucchini
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

In a medium saucepan, boil water and cook ravioli according to package directions. 

In a large skillet, add olive oil and zucchini. Cook until semi-soft, about 4 minutes. Add can of diced tomatoes, garlic salt, oregano, basil, and sugar. Stir and cook until zucchini is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.

When ravioli is done cooking, add it to the skillet.

Stir to combine.

Plate and garnish with a sprinkle (or two... or three) of Parmesan.

The twins ate some for lunch! They really like squash and tomatoes -- so this was the perfect meal for them!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Circus Theme First Birthday Party

Lucy and Levi turned one!! And it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Around eighty of our friends and family came over to celebrate with us. Lucy and Levi had a wonderful time being passed around. And when it came to eat some cake, Levi had two fistfuls and smeared it in his hair while Lucy couldn't keep her eyes open (it was nap time). We sang "Happy Birthday" to both kids individually because although they share a birthday, I want them to feel like it's a special day for both of them.

We also passed around "If I Ran The Circus" book by Dr. Seuss for our guests to sign and write a note for the twins. 

Activities for the kids:
We had a plethora of things for the kiddos to play with; a ball pit, face painting, temporary tattoos, punch balloons, clown noses, crazy straws, and a water table.

The Menu:
For appetizers we had a fruit tray, veggie tray, chips of every variety, pickle roll up dip, and queso dip. We put popcorn and chex mix on the tables.

Our lunch was fried and grilled chicken from Jewel, Jimmy Johns sandwiches, pasta salad, potato salad, and 7 layer salad.

For dessert we served snow cones, cheesecake, cotton candy, clown cupcakes, and a three tiered circus cake from Sams Club. 

For drinks, we used a kiddy pool filled with ice. And the drink dispensers and wine were kept on a table on the patio.

Welcome to the Davis Family Circus!