Parts of Kyle’s birthday weekend

I took pics of the days surrounding Kyle’s 30th, but never shared them!  Never too late to celebrate?


Here’s the young man and his tower of 30 beers.


Kyle requested an al fresco themed birthday dinner, and since it was gorgeous weather it seemed like a brilliant idea.  We hit up the farmer’s market that day and hung out in the park with friends, soaking up the social scene.  It was a taste of what it to come (once the weather finally commits to warmth in entirety). 

The above platter had some old & some new items, including Redwood Hill Farm’s camellia goat cheese (strong and pungent!) with crackers and rice cakes, (home-made) candied walnuts, TJ’s baked green beans, strawberries, and TJ’s prosciutto.  With champagne on the side.  Cheers to three oh.

The next day we headed to my parents’ for the weekend.  I had a lunch with my sister, my mom and some of her friends (who I’ve known my whole life) and P got to meet his new buddy, Jack! 

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Don’t they look like besties already?

I was INCREDIBLY late on account of the most embarrassing jet lag fiasco ever (I was up at 5 am but somehow fell back asleep and didn’t wake back up until 10:30!!).  Yikes.  After running around like a cuckoo bird, I finally made it out the door.  The drive to my hometown is just under an hour so I made it as everyone else’s plates were cleared.  Ha! 


I still ordered a salad anyway.  My sister fed P and I caught up on everyone’s lives.  Luckily everyone was able to hang out for a while so I didn’t really miss too much. 

Later on my sis and I took P for a walk around the res.  Then she headed into work and my mom and I got started on dinner.  Kyle didn’t get home til after I did the bedtime routine (and dinner) so he didn’t get to see the little guy all day.  🙁


But he had a present waiting for him when he arrived so that counts for something!?  Wrapping was done by my dad, FYI.

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We made a simple dinner for the three of us (my parents and myself) since Kyle was in the city for a work dinner.

“Foil chicken” is the most passed around recipe in my family and so I figured I should share it on the blog.  I’ve made it with tofu in the past and it didn’t work as well but I never tried tempeh so perhaps that could work for a vegan option.

Foil Chicken [gluten free, dairy free]


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • dijon mustard
  • oat flour
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 4-8 mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 tbsp tamari
  • 4 tbsp Earth Balance


Lay out four pieces of foil and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Rinse and pat dry each chicken breast.  Spread mustard over surface of chicken and dip both sides in flour.  Place on foil (repeat for each breast).  Top each breast with onions, mushrooms, tamari, and Earth Balance.  Wrap foil tightly around each breast.  Place on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Serve over rice and/or veggies.


We had ours with brown rice and stir-fried broccoli, zucchini, and snow peas.

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The next morning I worked out while my mom played with P.  Then I made us both breakfast.  Flax4Life has several GF muffins and I’m slowly working my way through all of the flavors.  Last time I was home I had the carrot ones.  I think I like blueberry best so far, but I know they make a chocolate one so let’s be real.

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For lunch I had a few pieces of GF toast with avocado and goat cheese mozzarella.  Canyon Bakehouse bread is maybe the best at replicating wheat bread.  

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For Kyle’s birthday dinner my dad BBQ-ed and my mom made cake.

I made a salsa for the fish with mango, avo, yellow tomato, cilantro, and lime juice.  Guess what wine that is?  Should be no surprise to regular readers.

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The spread!


Happy birthday Kyle!


This is the same cake my mom made me for my birthday, but she made this frosting instead

I love chocolate so much. It was hard to not go back for a second (or third) slice.

We slept in the next day and I went on a run by myself, which ended up being one of my longest runs since having a baby.  It wasn’t anything crazy but I’m starting to feel like I’m getting my endurance back.  Slowly but surely.  There are no races in my future, but I do see distance increases (if I’m being ever so hopeful). 


I made eggs with sautéed spinach that I topped with avocado and a GF blueberry muffin (half of which was eaten while I cooked the eggs). 

We enjoyed NCAA basketball and the sunshine as a family.  Weekends are the best.

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We ate lunch outside (leftovers made into a salad) while P practiced walking all over the yard.  He is getting so good at walking!  Sorry for the surprise photo mom!


We went back home after lunch (timing our drive with P’s afternoon nap) and watched more basketball until dinner.  I made us taco salads.  And definitely had quadruple the amount of chips shown.  So much, in fact, that I didn’t have room for leftover cake.  Now there’s something you won’t hear from me often ever again.  Don’t worry, I made up for it the next night.  🙂

And for those interested in baby travel crap, P has not been adjusting to the jet lag/daylight savings time changes AT ALL.  Rather than post about it (which would come across as a confusing mumbo jumbo with no helpful tips whatsoever), I am just going to address it quickly now.  I’m trying my best to sort it out, but in the meantime we are all in agony, so yeah.  Sleep fail, rock on.

Australia: Coogee and Bondi

Laura took a half day on Friday so after our morning routine she came home and we hit the road.  Off to Coogee!

She used to live in Coogee (first in 2007 and then again in 2012 when she returned to Oz before she moved to her current place).  So she knows the area quite well.  She cheated on her former employer (Coogee Cafe) and took us to Globe Fine Food & Coffee.


She warned us that the service wasn’t amazing, but the food was.  Plus it was on a cute street that had plenty of cafes and shops and people passing by to keep P entertained.


I followed Laura’s rec and got the “Love eggs” which is apparently one of their signature items.


Gluten free bread, stacked with sautéed spinach, bacon and (perfectly) poached eggs with avo and tomato salsa on the side.  It was very very good. 


Laura got a chicken panini type sando (above) and Kyle got a sizeable breakfast spread including bacon, sausage, poaches eggs, toast and roasted tomatoes (below). 



We all cleaned our plates and decided we needed to get some greens in our diets right quick after this vacation.  Sheesh with the bacon!

Next we strolled down to the beach, passing Coogee Cafe and Melonhead on the way (too stuffed to pop in for a juice as refreshing as they sounded).


The colors of the water and sky looked fake they were so intensely blue and beautiful.  Breathtaking.

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We walked along the path to a grassy spot overlooking the beach and just relaxed for a while.  When he wasn’t obsessing over the dogs, sticks, grass and flowers around him, P kept rolling down the hill, which we all found hilarious. 


After we had digested lunch all the way, we continued our walk along the coast, making our way to Clovelly.  Like clockwork, P took his afternoon nap in the ergo while we hoofed it around the area.


We got home in time for Laura and me to shower and clean up and head off on our sister date.

She chose a tapas restaurant in Bondi called Vue, which overlooked Bondi beach from the second story on the main front street.

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We got a bunch of things to share, including a meat sampler with olives and bread (no GF available, oh well), a spinach, pear, goat cheese, and walnut salad, spicy scallops (that nearly killed me), and a tortilla Espanola.

They were all delish, but it was especially nice soaking up the one on one time with my sister.

We got home and found the boys in the same places on the couch with take out pizza and beers.  And a quiet baby in the other room.  Win.

My highlights: week 7


Mama’s little helper.


The addition of shoes to the wardrobe has transformed him into a little boy.  He’s non-stop exploring.  Still not walking, but he’s perfected his cruising skills, so it’s only a matter if time (days).

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Green toys.  And now the word tractor is a part of his vocab.  Davis appropriate.


Inspired by Vintage Mixer’s kale coconut & chicken salad I made this guy for lunch.  I have been struuuuuggling with lunches lately.  I don’t know what to eat without soy or nuts or hummus.  I’ve been trying to limit meat to dinners only, but I have to get better about prepping things for myself.  I don’t know why I don’t!?  I plan and make everyone else’s food in advance.  From now on, I’ll include my lunches in the weekly meal planning.  We only have dinner leftovers 13% of the time so I should really give myself more nourishing and thought out eats. 


A non-smoothie afternoon snack.  I actually had 4 cookies.  The photo lies.


Coffee date with P’s girlfriend. 


While he ate lasagna, I ate this.  Kale, carrots, brown rice, and salmon topped in tamari.  Kale is all I want lately! 


Even though he’s teething, he’s still a happy boy.


Here’s that aforementioned lasagna.  He requests it every week.  You’d think it would get old. 


But I guess you could say the same about smoothies for me.  I had, like, five hundred this week (ok, maybe six).  Frozen spinach is the best ingredient.


Our delayed Valentine’s dinner.  Tamari mustard salmon.  Kale salad with pomegranate arils and candied walnuts and pepitas.


I tossed the pepitas and walnuts in olive oil and maple syrup, then roasted them at 350 degrees F for ~20 minutes.

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Meanwhile I massaged the crap outta the lacinato kale (olive oil, maple syrup, lemon juice & zest, salt & pepper).


We popped bubbles too.

We agreed that our presents to each other would be chocolate, so I picked out his (below right) and vice versa.

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theo and Vosges.  He knows me so well. :)  Guess how much is left?  None! Duh.


Me and my monkeys went to the zoo.  We got a membership for patty-cakes’ birthday.


Dairy free gluten free waffles.  I made them for me and my (ex) coworker.  We usually do our breakfast dates at restaurants, but I had her over instead.  She had just come off a string of four nights in a row.  Brutal. 

Gluten and dairy free waffles [nut free, soy free, dairy free, gluten/wheat free]


  • 1 1/2 cups GF all purpose flour (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tbsp NuNaturals tagatose
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sweetener, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon) together.

In a separate bowl whip the eggs, then add in the milk and vanilla and stir all the wet ingredients together with the dry ones.

Scoop/pour onto greased waffle iron in batches. 

Makes ~10 waffle squares.

If your appliance can control how dark your waffles end up, these are better on the shorter end of the spectrum.  At least in my opinion.  I like soft fluffy waffles.  My first batch was dark and slightly crispy on the outside (more cooked than I’d like).  I adjusted the setting to shorten the cooking time, so second batch was perrrfect.  Doughy and delicious. 

Feel free to cook as long or as short as you want.  They’ll taste good either way.


P liked the waffles too.  At least the ones that were fresh off the iron.  The leftovers weren’t soft enough for him, so I ate his scraps instead (topped in sunbutter).  With his leftover berries and eggs.


Little pom lover.  Whodda thunk? 

Week ‘o eats

The whole shebang of last week in one post.  Here goes.

Breakfast on Monday was the last of this savory bread and fried eggs.


Breakfast on Tuesday was out – I had a savory crepe with hash browns at Crepeville.

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Because Crepeville’s portions are awesomely massive I had leftovers for breakfast on Wednesday.  Which I paired with two fried eggs.


Thursday I made steel cut oats in the rice cooker (the crock pot was already occupied) for our whole family.  I topped mine with a bunch of non-nut things (aka seeds galore) – including chia, hemp, and pumpkin, plus sunflower seed butter.


I had the same thing Friday too.  With even more sunbutter.


Saturday was a leisurely morning with Kyle home.  So, Waffles!


On Sunday eggs were back on the menu!  We finally got groceries – we were down to the last of the fridge bits and pieces – but now I have to wait a while for all 8 avocados to ripen.  Fortunately we still had 1/2 of an avo left, which I split with P for breakfast.  Mine was on GF toast, his was plain.  

On to lunches!

Monday I made an egg & avo mash, which I heaped over spinach and carrots.

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And partnered with glutino pretzels.  Costco had these!  I did a happy dance when I saw them and then tried not to get too excited since they’ll likely be discontinued by the next time I go (as is the case with all the good GF things I fall in love with).

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On Tuesday I made an old school hippie bowl – seitan, quinoa, butternut squash, spinach, carrots, and avocado topped in Bragg’s aminos.  Classic Elise meal. 

I bought lots of this brand of seitan when I was in LA because it’s my fave.  I miss all of the Healthy Times products.  I wonder if they ship?  Hmmm…


Wednesday’s lunch was on the smaller side because I ruined my appetite on (failed but delicious) biscuits.  I paired them with avo/egg mash and baby carrots.

I had the exact same thing on both Thursday and Saturday so I didn’t bother to take a pic.


Friday was another seitan salad.  Same ingreds as the previous bowl.  And then again on Sunday.

My lunches are so snooze.  I love em, but they aren’t interesting because I like what I like and so I just eat it again and again. 

And now for the main meals.

Monday night featured spaghetti squash! 

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How did I wait ‘til half way through January before getting my faux noodle face on!?!  I love you I love you I love you.  Kyle had regular noodles because he doesn’t share in the fiber love affair.


On Tuesday I made use of the crock-pot.  I was aiming for a stew but I guess I didn’t add enough liquid with the rice because it ended up more like a risotto.  No problem in my book, it still tasted awesome.


Wednesday was all about the quiche magic.


On Thursday I made baked potatoes with the works.  I’ve posted about it before here.  This time I ditched the faux cheese and used plain goat’s milk kefir.


And Friday’s dinner was leftover quiche.  The rest of it.  Yep, I ate it all by myself in two servings. 

Saturday night we had leftover stew.  And Sunday we got our weekly sushi fix.  🙂


Drinks, snacks and desserts go largely undocumented.  I don’t know why since they’re the best part of the day.  😉

I switched to coconut milk (from the can) to see if it helped with patty-cakes’ allergies.  I made the above with one can of coconut milk (this brand has nothing but coconut and water and it’s organic and BPA free…and $$).  I then added another can’s worth of water to dilute it a bit (read: make it last longer).  It’s tasty!  So far so good. 

I drink at least a dozen cups of decaf or tea over the course of the day, so, ya know.  Better for the little man. 

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Here are a list of my fave snacks: kettle corn, chocolate, chocolate, popcorn, corn nuts, banana chips, chocolate…ummm, did I mention chocolate??  It’s hard to think of non-nut snacks.  I need to get more creative.  I do have nuts in my desserts though because I know it will be several hours before I nurse P, which is enough time for the allergens to clear out of my breast milk.

Meal planning win.  Onto the next week!

Our first weekend back in LA

It’s so weird that we haven’t been back to LA since we left back in April.  We’ve seen several of our so cal friends since but not all of them so we decided to pop in for a quick visit.

Honestly, we’ve been trying to squeeze a weekend in since this past fall, but then all this (good) stuff was happening with Kyle’s business…and then the holidays came along…and you know how it goes…


But we finally got this in the calendar and what a fun time it was!

Now.  As much as I adore my friends, I’d be lying if I didn’t also admit to being really really excited about the restaurant scene.  Davis is great for farm fresh produce and exceptional quality in whole food ingredients, but there aren’t too many options for dining out.  Not that it matters now, because we don’t dine out with a baby, but it limits our take-out options and means I cook our food 99% of the time.  That’s great for our bank account, but can be exhausting. 

Some times I miss the days of treating ourselves to the Whole Foods hot bar or the Veggie Grill.  Back then I thought we did it way too often, but now I’m glad I indulged.

Santa Monica (and the surrounding Westside) is packed with vegan and vegetarian options that spoiled me so rotten when we lived there!  Native Foods, Real Food Daily, Blue Plate, Seed – I could go on and on…and that’s not even including the new places like Sage or the ones I never tried , like Cafe Gratitude.

But I digress.  I love living in Davis, and the sushi I get here is actually the best I’ve ever had, so that’s the positive.


We left after Thursday’s swim classes and P fell asleep right away.  In a super awkward position.  But he didn’t want to budge when I tried to ease his neck back to a more neutral position.  Oh well.

Unfortunately, he didn’t sleep too long, but it was at least enough time for me to eat breakfast and finish my starbucks.  I’m really torn when I drink coffee now because I don’t know what to use as a milk.  The only options at Starbucks are soy and dairy and P’s skin is looking SO much better since I’ve been eliminating his allergies from my own diet.  At home I’ve been trying to limit my nut intake to just the almond milk in my coffee but I know I should get rid of that too.  Which means I either get to drink black coffee or figure out a non-soy, non-nut, non-dairy, non-seed alternative.  Rice and oat milk have zip to offer nutritionally, so I’m thinking I may try coconut milk and see how he reacts?  Coconut is supposed to be a palm fruit so it should be safe, but I’m still nervous. 

Anyway, I ended up feeding him banana and corn puffs and some other snacks while Kyle drove.  After that he finally fell asleep for a more real nap.

We only stopped once to get gas, pee, nurse, and all that jazz…during which we laid out a blanket on a grassy patch so patty-cakes could burn off some energy.  I feel so bad that he’s strapped into the car seat because he wants to romp so badly nowadays.


We finally made it to Newport Beach, where we were staying the night with my g-ma.


We called in an order for take-out from Native Foods in Costa Mesa.

Dinner is served!


I told Kyle to tell them no onions, which apparently meant no onions or salsa.  Bummer.  The Caribbean Jerk Kale salad could have used a little more something something, but it was good anyway. 

Their menu has lots of new things on it, and I wish I could have tried a few of them, but I was in the mood for kale, so the kale salad with tempeh seasoning won out. 

[Side note: it is really hard to find a soy, nut, seed, and wheat free option on a vegan menu.  I knew this going into the weekend, but decided to just do my best, enjoy the food from my fave restaurants as well as I was able while still minding P’s allergies, and once we got home I’d reassess my plan for the future.]


Kyle got the Oklahoma burger, which is one of his standards, with sweet potato fries.

We tried to play with the little guy and stimulate him a lot in that last hour before his bedtime, to try to make up for a boring day for him.  He wasn’t too fussy in the car ride, but we still felt bad.


My g-ma very nicely shared her holiday chocolates with us for dessert. 

The next day we hit the road after breakfast. 


I made us all some eggs, and I was so impressed with the fact that I didn’t crack any yolks I had to take a photo!

Once we arrived in Westwood, we swung by the hospital to say hi to my old coworkers and visit the units that delivered P and took care of me post-partum.

Then it was off to lunch!


Huckleberry always sounds delicious and they had a ton of new menu offerings!


I got the salad trio plate, which was really hard because I wanted at least 6 of the items in the window.  I narrowed it down to the shaved brussels sprout salad, roasted carrots, and fried tofu. 


I also got a quinoa cake.


The brussels salad was AMAZING.  I don’t even like capers (or so I thought) but it was salty perfection.  Combined with creamy avocado.  Mmmmm…

The tofu had sesame seeds, which I didn’t realize at the time, so I only had a few and saved the rest for later. 


Kyle enjoyed my bread in addition to his own order of the wedge salad and vegetarian quiche.


So cheesy.


P had fallen asleep in the car on the way from UCLA so we brought him in the stroller (covered with an aden & anais blanket) to try and prolong his nap but the street noise woke him up pretty much right after we were seated.  He was still tired so he was in and out of it, until he saw our food. 


I gave him a napkin to occupy him, which worked like a charm.  He ripped it into a million pieces and we ate in peace.  Win win.

After we were both stuffed we walked over to Montana Ave to meet up with Kyle’s friend.  From there on out we spent the day meeting up with various groups of friends.  I felt like a pinball on the Westside, just bouncing from one place to the next.


Eventually we got settled at Seamus & Cindy’s (we stayed with them for Fri and Sat night).  It was so cute watching the boys kinda not really play together.


James has a LOT of toys but he was so good at sharing. 


For dinner I went to the Veggie Grill in Westwood with my girls, Alene and Ethel


I was so excited to try some of their new items! 

PS Did you know they have an iPhone app?  Cutting edge much?  It’s awesome!


I got the kale caesar.  Yummm.

Kyle hung back with our sleeping babe and got pizza from CPK so it was especially nice having a girls night with my besties.  After I got home, we watched the last of the (DVR-ed) Orange Bowl game and passed out.

The next day we had a brunch on the calendar, so we were out of the house early and off to Rose Cafe.


I got a scramble with extra avocado, while Kyle got the spinach benedict. 


We both licked our plates clean.

P was especially popular since both the couples we went to breakfast with are pregnant! 

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Good practice.

We both felt like crap afterwards and I’m 99% sure the decaf we had wasn’t decaf at all.  My head was buzzing and I felt really blah. 

Since P fell asleep in the car we decided to take our time getting back to Seamus & Cindy’s place, so we ran some errands, including a trip to Bristol Farms for lunch/dinner BBQ stuff.


I sipped on Kombucha while the boys prepped and cooked and drank beer.

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More people came over around noon and the kiddos alternated eating and napping cycles.

We had chips and salsa, bread and cheese, and a massive spread of salads, asparagus, fish, meat, brownies, etc.


I had a couple of plates like this.

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And a gluten free beer that Ethel gave me the day before.  Whoa strong!  I had to pace myself with this one.

We spent the day watching football and kiddos, which is pretty much my heaven.


I had the same stuff for dinner because I stayed in with P while Kyle went out with the boys.

Cindy and I ended up staying up chatting and watching D list movies, but I loved it and wished we lived closer to each other so we could do it all the time.


Sunday morning was mellow.  We hit up Coral Tree for brunch, which was where Kyle and I went on our first date way back when. 


I got a big ass stack of GF blueberry pancakes (it’s hard to tell but that plate is massive) with a fried egg on the side.


Kyle got the almond crusted french toast with a strawberry smoothie.  I’m pretty sure the "almond crusted" portion was cereal because it looked an awful lot like honey bunches of oats to me. 

P watched on with envy as James enjoyed bits and pieces of Cindy and Seamus’ eats. 

We both had leftovers because the portions were massive which ended up being my second breakfast and lunch later on the road.


We basically packed up and headed back to Davis after that.  The kids played a little more together and we stopped for one last order from Veggie Grill though.


Also I went to WF to get a few packages of my fave seitan.  😉

The drive home was long.  Aside from a 30 minute nap, we had a really unhappy kid on our hands.  It was a real workout trying to keep him occupied while we listened to the Niners v. Packers game. 

We stopped twice – the first was a nursing break, and the second was to switch drivers. 

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Kyle’s BBQ tempeh smelled so good I decided to try and eat my dinner while driving.  [His is the crappy photo on the left (sorry!) and mine is the yummy monstrosity on the right.] 

I ate 3 bites of mine before realizing it was way unsafe.  So I waited to finish it once we got home.

For the record, the harvest bowl is most definitely one of the Veggie Grill’s best dishes.  It has Field Roast sausage, which is awesome, as well as quinoa, roasted veggies, and kale topped with a fantastic gravy / hemp seed sauce.  I loved the cauliflower and squash in the bowl as well as the dressing so so much. 


Now I’m going to be pestering Kevin Boylan to open a VG in Davis until it happens.

Back to meal planning and food prep!