Thursday, March 12, 2015

Do these training wheels make me look fat?

I've debated for weeks about writing this post. It is a subject that is very close to my heart that has both consumed me and enraged me for quite some time. Therapy in writing? We shall see.

My son is overweight.

"Trending towards obese," as my pediatrician not so delicately put it at Cooper's 4 year check up. I laughed. Guffawed, maybe. I tried to brush it off. "I'm not really not that concerned about it," I said. "This kid's dinner of choice is baked salmon and lima beans." (Don't ask me about Sister, she'd prefer half of a hot dog and a single strawberry but I'll save that for another post!)

"Well," my pediatrician continued, "even if he is eating the right foods he may be eating too much of them." As we were leaving his office, he handed me a print out on portion control for 4 year olds. PORTION CONTROL. I threw it directly in the trash after I read that he should be eating only 3/4 of an egg for breakfast. Give me a break. Please.

I know BMI can be a good indicator of overall health but I also believe that it should be a starting point. I'm really trying not to be an oversensitive Mom, but look at him!

Showing off his "big muscles" and new cowboy boots, if you couldn't tell.

This is the kid that goes outside every afternoon to "practice running". On the very night he was given this, "diagnosis", he asked for sugar snap peas with a side of green beans for dinner. No joke. (Again, don't ask me about his sister...)

He's never had a Coke in his life, drinks juice on special occasions only and doesn't drink milk. Fast food is limited to about once a week if we are on the go and the majority of his meals are eaten at home and things I've made from scratch. I read food labels. No preservatives! No food coloring! No artificial flavor enhancers! When possible, we go organic, grass fed, non-GMO....blah blah blah.

So get on to me about too much iPad and too little arts and crafts. Talk to me about having patience with my kids and trying not to lose my temper. I get that. I DESERVE that. But not this. He is not fat. Why don't you take your charts and portion control those!

Mic drop. Mommy out!

P.S. Here's an article on this flawed system (invented in 1835) and why it finds the likes of Brad Pitt and Will Smith overweight.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Mom's Pork Tenderloin

No, this is not my Mom's recipe but this is a Mom's sweet neighbor across the street! I had this at her house once and it was hands down so much better than the pre-marinated stuff you get at the store. I will never go back!

I've been meaning to post this for some time now but its one of those I always forget to take a picture of before inhaling. I actually took the below plate back from my Dad so I could take a picture before he ate! Ahhhh, finally posted. Now I can stop going into my email every couple of weeks to type "Jessica Pork".

Thanks Jess and Marilyn!

Mom's Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin (1/2 pound per person)
1/3 c. apricot preserves,
1/2 c. light soy sauce,
3 limes (juice),
1/4 c. Honey,
1/2 c. water,
1/2 c olive oil,
2 chopped garlic cloves,
1/2 t. Ginger,
1/2 t. Crushed red pepper.

1. Whisk together all ingredients (except pork and preserves).  Refrigerate about 1/2-3/4 c of marinade for later.
2. Place meat and remaining marinade in ziploc bag for several hours or overnight.

3. Remove from marinade and discard marinade.
4. Cook on lightly greased rack at 400 for about 45 minutes till internal temp of thickest part is 160-165. (I usually do about 35 minutes and give the more well done ends to the kids!)

5. Remove and cover with foil till ready to cut.

6. Combine marinade that you set aside with apricot preserves in saucepan and heat till bubbly. Pour over sliced meat.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork Tacos

Don't you just love the Pioneer Woman? Whenever I'm in a pinch and need a quick recipe that I KNOW is going to taste good, I'm all over her website. It's not my first "healthy eating" stop but an important one nonetheless!

One of our favorites is her Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork. She uses a dutch oven on the stove but I prefer the crock pot. Same amount of time...less attention needed! The chipotle peppers in adobo sauce give this dish its heat. When I make it for the kids, I will put it in a quesadilla instead of just hitting them with it plain. Also, after shredding the pork, I don't put their portion of meat back into the sauce...its SPICY but oh so good!

Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork Tacos


  • 1 whole Large Onion
  • 1 whole Pork Shoulder ("pork Butt") - 5 To 7 Pounds
  •  Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
  • 2 cans Dr. Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • Tortillas

(Toppings: Cheese, lettuce, diced tomato, sliced avocado, sour cream...)

Preparation Instructions

Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a crock pot.
Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.
Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in. 
Cook for at least six hours on low, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it's not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour. 
Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it's cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up. 
Serve on warm flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you'd like.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Whole Roasted Chicken

This recipe has made the blog before but it is so good, I had to repeat and share for "What's For Dinner Wednesday"! I stole the recipe from Kyle, he borrowed it from Thomas Keller. Semantics.  This chicken is so good you will claim it as your own, too!

The secret to a good roast chicken is to let it sit, unwrapped, in the refrigerator overnight before you roast.  That way, the skin dries out a bit and you end up with this really crunchy chicken skin wrapper that holds in all of the juices.  Mmmm boy. Thank you Chef Keller!

Whole Roasted Chicken

1 4-5 pound chicken
10 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
5 sprigs of thyme
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
2 celery stalks, chopped into large pieces
8-10 fingerling potatoes (red potatoes work, too)
1 onion, chopped into large pieces
4 tablespoons butter at room temperature (cut into 4 pieces)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper


  1. Place the chicken, uncovered, in a baking dish in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Remove and let it come to room temperature before cooking. (About an hour.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
  3. Remove the neck and insides of the chicken and season the cavity generously with salt, pepper, 5 sprigs of thyme and 4 smashed garlic cloves.  Truss the chicken.
  4. Massage the outside of the bird with a 1/4 cup oil, salt, pepper, dried thyme and garlic powder.  
  5. Toss carrots, celery, onion and potatoes into a large bowl with 1/4 cup oil, salt, pepper and the remaining smashed garlic cloves.  Place vegetables in a cast iron skillet and make a little hole in the middle to put your chicken.  
  6. Put the chicken in the center of the bed of vegetables and place 2 pats of butter on top of each chicken breast.
  7. Roast at 475 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower the oven to 400 degrees and roast for another 45 minutes (or 160 degree internal temperature).  

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Cooper has never loved me coming up to his school. Every time I get there, he insists it's time to leave. We made it through all of 5 minutes of the Halloween party I volunteered to host last fall. When I brought donut holes up to his friends on his birthday, he ran and hid in the corner and then led me by the hand out the door. I alway assumed it was because it wasn't part of his beloved routine. Now, I know better...

Last week I volunteered for Cooper's school Valentine's party. I was tasked with reading the book at story time, among other things. Cooper carefully instructed me on my technique the night before.

C: "Mom, when you're reading the book you have to smile at the friends or they won't like you."

Mmmmkay, got it.

The next day everything seemed ok when I got to his school. I started to read the book to "the friends", remembering to look up every so often to smile. By the time I got to the second page, I realized I was doing something terribly wrong. Cooper was sitting in the circle, literally smacking himself in the head and saying "UGHHHHHHHHHHHH", really loudly. As I read, he continued to do this until his sweet friend leaned over and asked him what was wrong. He replied: "UGHHH, my Mom!" followed by the most dramatic forehead slap you've ever seen.

Yeah, didn't see that one coming. I asked him after the party how I did reading the book.

C: Bad.

Me: Why was it bad?

C: You didn't smile at the friends and you were EM-BARR-ASS-ING me.

Me: What does it mean when you say Mommy is embarrassing you?

C: It means that everything is kind of ruined.

Noted. Although I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Pesto and Tomato Baked Chicken

Here's another one for your quick but delicious weeknight file!

I've seen this receipt floating around Pinterest in several different places so I'm not quite sure of my source. Could have been here or here! The first time I tried this, I used chicken breasts instead of chicken breast tenders and I prefer the tenders. Better topping to chicken ratio! Also, for the kids, I used tomato sauce instead of pesto (I happened to have some in the fridge) and nixed the tomatoes.  Coop called it "pizza chicken". Score one, Mom.

Pesto and Tomato Chicken


1 package boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
4-6 tablespoons pesto
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Salt & Pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place chicken in a baking dish. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread pesto over the chicken. Top with sliced tomatoes.
  4. Sprinkle cheese over the chicken.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Just Can't Let it Go

Have you heard about the new Disney movie, Frozen? I hear its sweeping the nation.

We are on round two of Frozen obsession around here. The first round brought Inappropriate Superman into our lives, along with a lot of 'splaining to do. The second round is in full force for the little girl and as of now there is no end in sight.


I'll admit, I'm a show tunes-y kind of girl. I can't wait for Frozen to go to Broadway. (I'll be the one in the front row quoting the entire thing from "aah aah ya, hey ya ya" to "We're never closing them again.") But I'm starting to wonder...what kind of kid-crack subliminal messages this movie has in it because it has now taken over the life of not one but both of my kids.

Yeah, yeah. I know, it's my fault. They did not make the Amazon purchase nor do they know how to work iTunes. I actually thought we were cured until the other day I heard Sister from the backseat of the car:

"Go! Go! Gooooooooooooooooooooooooo baby!"

I thought to myself: "She's singing 'Let it Go', how cute!" The next time I needed a couple minute break (because, I'll admit, I actually like to go to the bathroom alone), I pulled up "Let it Go" on youtube for her on my phone and another Frozen-ite was born. Thank you (and you're welcome?), Disney.

Now the requests are endless. We get "Show? Let it Go? Uh huh!" and "Selsa? Selsa?" all day. And yes, my 19 month old can sing "Let it Go".

I'm not sure whether to be proud of this or not. I mean, Elsa has provided me with many opportunities to do important things for myself such as brush my teeth, put on deodorant and use dry shampoo on clearly "needs to be washed" hair. Ahh, Mom life. Wouldn't let it go for anything!

Sister in her "Selsa" cape.

And one of her brother's socks. Always just the one.