All about family, food, and fun, from an Arlington foodie's perspective

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703 Mommy and Me

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

This family classic is totally one of those meals that makes me melt. This crock pot version is simple and packed with veggies for extra flavor and taste. Its the perfect meal for week nights because you can actually chop/prep the food the night before (or over the weekend and freeze) and then just pop into the pot before you leave the house in the morning. When you are ready for dinner you only have 20 minutes to wait for a super hearty and delicious dinner… how much better than that does it get??

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(sorry for the lame picture- it totally does not do the dish justice)

1 potato chopped
3 carrots chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 C sliced mushrooms (I used crimini)
1 red pepper chopped
3 cups chicken stock
½ C milk
2 tbs butter
¼ C flour
½ tsp salt
⅛ tsp pepper
1 tsp herbs de provence
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts or thighs cut into chunks
1 package of frozen peas
1 package of prepared biscuits
1 tbs fresh chives


In your crock pot mix potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and mushrooms. In a separate bowl, mix stock, milk, butter, flour and seasonings until they are smooth. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and add chicken on top.
Cover crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours checking to make sure the chicken pieces are cooked through. Add peas and red pepper, cut biscuits into 4ths and drop into the crock pot. Cook on high for 20 min. Spoon into bowls, sprinkle chives and serve.  

Salmon with Mustard and Brown Sugar Glaze

Another guest post by our super talented Katie!  How delish does this sound. I cant wait to give it a try and I can imagine that it would be rocking on the grill this summer as well.

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I’ve been a huge fan of the column Fast Easy Fresh in the Bon Appetit magazine for years. I would literally rip the recipes out and store them in a binder. Lucky for me Bon Appetit put out a cookbook of 10 years of these recipes. This is a favorite. My Husband is an anti-salmon man and this recipe made him a convert. One note, you might want to pop a window open for the broiler section for potential smoke.

¾ cup dry white wine

¼ cup butter (if you want to make this non-dairy use earth balance)

1 ½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning

1 2lb center-cut salmon filet

1/3 cup spicy brown mustard

¼ cup brown sugar

Heat oven to 350. Boil wine, butter and Old Bay in saucepan for 3 minutes. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Pour wine mixture over salmon. Bake until just opaque in center. Approx 14 minutes. Remove from oven. Heat broiler. Combine mustard and sugar and spread onto of salmon. Broil for approx. 3 minutes until top is brown and bubbling.

Best Breakfast Casserole EVER

My dear friend Gaylen celebrated her birthday this past weekend with a lovely afternoon of pot-luck brunch and conversation at her home. We had so much fun chatting and chewing away that the afternoon passed right before my eyes. A big thanks to my mama for taking care of little B while Daddy and I hit the town for birthday festivities!
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Since we were spending the morning with our Realtor preparing to put our home on the market I needed to make sure my contribution to this event could be made  the night before. This breakfast casserole is my go-to brunch recipe for a crowd and can be assembled or even cooked the night before so of course this is what I went with.

1 loaf of cinnamon raisin bread (I use the Vermont Co wholewheat version available at Whole Foods)
1 dozen eggs
1 C whole milk
1 package of bacon
1 package of breakfast sausage
1 16 oz package of shredded cheddar
pepper

Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Cook the bacon in your normal fashion and crumble into bits. Cook sausage in a skillet and crumble. Cut or break loaf of bread into small bite sized pieces. In a large bowl scramble eggs, milk and pepper. Add ½ of the cheese, cooked meats and bread pieces making sure the mixture is even. Pour into a baking dish and top with the remainder of the cheese. You can either bake immediately or refrigerate overnight and cook in the morning. Bake for an hour at 400 degrees.

Sweet Potato Broccoli Bites

When little B first started eating finger foods these little gems were cooked up on a regular basis. Since we have recently had a bout of an eating strike (I think thanks to sickies, teeth and lets face it, temperament) I thought I would go back to basics for a few weeks to see what I could get him to try again. While the first night was a success, with 4 bites successfully consumed, all future attempts were like watching Custer’s last stand. I guess you win some, you loose some.
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The recipe makes about 2 dozen bites so feel free to cut it in half the first time you make it (something I should have done this time.)

2 small baked or boiled sweet potatoes, skin removed
½ bag of frozen broccoli, defrosted
1 egg
½ C shredded cheese, cheddar, parm, whatever you like
¼ C + 1 C binder, this could be bread crumbs but I use infant cereal to boost the iron


Place all ingredients except for the additional 1 C of binder in a food processor and pulse until the broccoli is chopped and the ingredients are mixed. Pour 1 C of binder onto a dry work surface. Make small balls of the mixture with your hands and then roll them in the binder to form a crust. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes flipping once during the cooking process.

GIVEAWAY: Ladies Night @ Aveda Pentagon Row

I am super excited to announce our first giveaway. The ladies over at Real Housewives of Northern Virginia have put together an awesome Ladies Night with AVEDA Jouvence Salon and were nice enough to offered 703MommyandMe TWO tickets (worth $40) to raffle off to our readers. I don’t know about you but this mommy could totally use a night of R&R with her girl friends. Even better, it falls during my birthday week so go ahead and register for the contest, if you don’t win, purchase tickets and be sure to meet me there for some extra special celebrating! 

To register for the giveaway please leave a comment on this post AND be sure to hit LIKE on our facebook page. A winner will be announced on March 5th and will have 24 hours to respond for prize collection before a new winner is chosen. Best of luck and happy commenting! 

Contest Prize Deets

Ladies Night: AVEDA Jouvence Salon @ Pentagon Row  

Thursday, March 15, 2012
6:00-8:00 pm
1101 South Joyce Street, Suite B10, Arlington, VA 22202

Jouvence welcomes you to come mix and mingle while enjoying complimentary make up and hair consultations! Complimentary refreshments and light fare will be served. 
* Guests will be entered to win AVEDA prizes and salon services
*Exclusive housewives discounts will be given to guests during event!
*Guests will also receive a swag bag with take home products as well as $10 gift certificate to be used towards salon services. 
*Fee of $20 to reserve your spot at event that will be redeemable in products. Reserve your spot now via google checkout!
Event reservations are limited. We look forward to meeting you!


Kids in the Kitchen


Have a favorite little chef  or foodie-in-the making?
Want to teach your kids (and yourself!) about healthy eating, nutrition, and living healthy lifestyles?
Looking for a fun, free activity for a Saturday in DC?

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Come to Kids in the Kitchen on Saturday, March 3rd (10:00 AM - 2:00 pm)
at the YMCA National Capital (1711 Rhode Island Ave, NW)
This FREE event includes activities for children of all ages including a toddler play “gym”, giant game of Twister, cooking activities like making trail mix or yogurt dipped pretzels, “eat this not that” games, and other crafts and games. Guest chefs from the Next Food Network Star, DC restaurants and hotels, and other culinary and nutritional experts will be on hand to cook up some healthy fun! Fitness games and activities including kids yoga, zumba, and “crossfit” will be hosted all day as well.

Books for the next generation of foodies

Ok, I just couldn’t resist. My Aunt and Uncle got lil B this adorable sushi book for Christmas this year. B got his first taste of sushi while in Hawaii this summer with egg tamago which is probably the most baby friendly sushi there is out there. It is basically a scrambled and fried sweetened egg that is over sushi rice with a strip of seaweed. B loved it and now when we read his book he lovingly points at the tamago and says yummmmmm.
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I love the idea of introducing little ones to different types of food so I was super excited to find out that Arlington Library carries the entire collection of these adorable baby foodie books. We now learn about all sorts of new delicious foods as we read together and it is my hope that one day we can try them all too! For those of you who are raising the future foodies of America definitely check out the super cute world snacks series by Amy Wilson Sanger. image

Darn it, now I want to make some sushi.

Fix it and Forget it Pork Tacos

First Guest Blogger Post!! Please give a warm 703 Mommy and Me welcome to Katie, a damn good cook, rocking mom and hilarious friend. I am sure you are going to love her post as much as mine… I know I sure enjoyed eating it!

This meal is so easy and great for a fix it and forget it weekend meal. We typically make this on football Sundays, but it is tasty all year round and DELICIOUS! My 18 mos Son devoured it. The prep is very easy and takes literally minutes. Don’t be afraid of the jalapenos in the recipe, they give a nice warmth to the tacos. The last time I made it I took it down to one large jalapeno since my son was going to be eating the meal.

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2 to 2 ½ lbs boneless pork shoulder (I’ve use boneless anything of pork before)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp ground cumin

½ c apricot jam

2 jalapenos, sliced and seeded

1 red onion, chopped

Packet of small tortillas

Fresh cilantro chopped

Lime cut into wedges

Heat oven to 300. Place 2 large sheets of aluminum foil on a rimmed baking sheet, one atop of the other. Place pork in center. Cover with salt, pepper and cumin. Spread jam onto all sides of pork. Spread the onion and jalapenos around the edges of the pork. Fold foil around the pork and crimp edges to slightly seal. Roast for 4 hours. Unwrap pork and put in serving dish. Shred with a fork and then cover with juices from the foil. Serve on tortillas with cilantro and lime.

Rice with Peas and Cilantro

My dear friend Carrie turned me on to this awesome rice dish a couple of years ago and now it has become one of my go to sides. I love the flavor that the aromatics and spices bring to the rice and I must say that I am a sucker for cilantro so this dish has my name all over it. It is a perfect dish to feed a crowd because its cheap and relatively easy. I often take it to tailgates, and picnics because it doesn’t have any mayo or dairy so it holds up well in the heat. Additionally, you can see (below) that it pairs nicely with tomorrows post- TACOS! Carrie, thanks so much for your delicious contribution to my kitchen!

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Rice with Peas and Cilantro

1 cup fresh cilantro
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 t. chili powder
coarse salt and pepper
1 cup long-grain rice (I use brown)
1 1/2 cup water (or chicken stock if you want extra flavor)
1 ½ C frozen peas
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Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add chili powder, 1 tsp of salt and pepper; cook for 1 minute. Add rice, and stir to coat. Add water or stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and gently simmer, covered, until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and add peas (do not mix.) Cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper. Stir in cilantro leaves.

A few tips:
- This dish actually needs a decent amount of salt. If you use stock you wont need as much as if you need water but definitely salt to taste as you mix it at the end.
- The original recipe called for 1 garlic clove and half the amount of chili powder but I love the strong flavors so I doubled both.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

The other night I saw this awesome blueberry buttermilk coffee cake recipe on Pinterest and decided I must have it right away. Unfortunately I couldn’t muster up the energy to take off my PJs to go to the store to pick up buttermilk so I decided to do a little creative cooking. What resulted was a delicious blueberry coffee cake that subbed vanilla whole milk yogurt in for the buttermilk. I was really impressed with how it turned out. It was perfect with coffee as a breakfast treat or topped with vanilla ice cream for a delicious warm desert.
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2 tbs + 1 C cake flour
¼ C brown sugar
2 tbs butter, cut into small pieces
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ C quick oats
½ C all purpose flour
¼ C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 C yogurt (I used vanilla)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 quart blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and set aside. Put the 2 tbs of cake flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and quick oats into a bowl and mix with your hands or a fork until a crumbled topping is formed.
Put the remaining cup of cake flour plus the all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, vanilla and eggs. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into the greased pan and sprinkle topping across it. Bake for 30-40 min or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.

Burger Tap and Shake Restaurant Review

I have been severely lacking my my restaurant reviews as of late. I have a bunch in my head that I have been meaning to get to writing but some how I have just not found the time to sit down and write them. When I decided to make an effort to pull a few together Burger, Tap and Shake was at the top of my list.
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The hubs and I took B into the city the other weekend to grab some documents from his office and thought we would pick up up a quick lunch on our way. It was post swimming and B was super tired so I figured we were likely to have a melt down if we tried to go for the relaxing lunch. We ended up deciding on Burger Tap and Shake, which is conveniently located on Washington Circle, right on our way to the office. What we found were some rocking burgers and great customer service so I am definitely glad we checked them out.  

While the hubs decided to go for the traditional burger I went all out, ordering the Southern Comfort. A delicious burger topped with pimento cheese, vadilla onions and sweet pickle slices. We split a side of sweet potato fries dipped in their signature sauce which tasted like a thousand island with a kick. Little B enjoyed pieces of our burgers and fries and ended up acting like a perfect gentleman the entire time! 

While there were no changing tables available they do have several high chairs. You do have to ask for a chair to be brought out from the back but the service was superb and the food was just what this mama needed.

Sweet Potato Chicken Chili

After making my chicken, bean and sweet potato burritos, I had a boat load of extra filler laying around. I knew I wanted to re-purpose the items to make a new and exciting meal so I headed over to the internets to do some research. I finally decided on a sweet and savory chicken chili, and man was it a good call. image

This recipe is a mix of a couple of other chicken or pumpkin chili recipes I found. Since I had the sweet potatoes already made I figured I would just go with what I had replacing the pumpkin with my mashed sweet potato and bean mixture. I have to say I LOVE how it turned out. The hubs said he didnt think it was “chili” but still agreed that it was damn good.
 
1 bone in chicken breast, meat shredded off
3 cups of mashed sweet potato/kidney bean mixture (from chicken, bean and sweet potato burrito recipe)
1 can black beans
1 sweet potato, chopped into bite size chunks
1 onion, chopped
1 tbs EVOO
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 c frozen corn (I used trader joes fire roasted corn)
2 c chicken broth
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
1 tsp oregano

I just threw it all in the crock pot and cooked it on low for an hour but since everything except the onion and sweet potato are cooked you could definitely just cook it on the stove until the potatoes are soft. 

Bouillabaisse for my Valentine

Bouillabaisse for my Valentine

One of my hubbies favorite meals is this family style fish stew so I thought I would give it a try for this Valentines day. Fortunately for me little B gave me the great gift of a 3 hour nap giving me plenty of time to create my masterpiece, unfortunately for daddy, I had planned to pick up the mussels and clams from the seafood market around the corner after he woke but since he didnt wake up until 5:15 we were out of luck. Because of this the stew was a bit lacking in depth but it was still tasty and I would totally try it again. The “recipe” I used was based on a version of Julia Child’s shared on the blog Family Style Food.

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  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup each chopped onion and leek
  • 4 cloves mashed garlic
  • 4-5 cups, ripe tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 4 cups lobster water
  • Fresh herb sprigs: thyme, parsley, basil (in any combination)
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds each lobster (use the shell for the stock); white fish such as cod, halibut or rockfish cut into chunks, and debearded, scrubbed mussels or clams
  • Toasted rustic bread
  • Rouille sauce (recipe below)
  • Parmesan
  • I served mine over a bed of pasta with sundried tomato pesto that was left over from our play date this afternoon but next time I would probably leave out the pasta all together.



Heat oil in a stock pot and add onion and leek cooking until soft. Add garlic and stir for another minute. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, stock, water, herbs, saffron, salt and lobster shell. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat so broth bubbles without boiling. Cook for 30 minutes and pull lobster shells out. Bring the base back to a boil and add the fish and the rest of the shellfish, cover and simmer until the mussels or clams open or in my case until the fish is done (which took about 8 minutes.) Taste the broth and add more salt and pepper if needed.Serve  the soup with a scoop of rouille and cheese on the top and extra rouille on the side to dip the bread in.

Rouille
1 cup roasted red peppers
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs lemon juice
1 garlic clove
¼ c bread crumbs
¼ c parsley
¼ c basil
⅓ c EVOO
½ tsp salt
Puree everything except EVOO in a food processor until smooth. Slowly add the EVOO while processing to form a paste.

Hey Cupid, Take Your Pick!

Happy Valentines Day! I know its cheesy but I cant help myself, I just love valentines day. I think its so important to show the people in your life how much you love them and while this is just another day to do that it makes me melt when I see how everyone else does it.

Little B has gotten quite popular in his 1.5 years with multiple engagements to attend this week. With all these parties to attend we had to get on this valentine thing so here are our top three contenders for parties we will be attending

Our I Choo Choo Choose You Valentines (Gotta love Ralph)

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A photo card 40 for $10 through CVS attached to a cellophane bag (leftover from his 1st birthday) with a Choo Choo Train from Target. These cute little gifts ranged between $2-5 since I was able to snag many of the trains from the dollar section in the store!

We go together like Apples and Bananas

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For this super cute valentine I printed out circle labels using the 2.5 inch round template from Paper Source and then a larger 4 inch circle on card stock using my awesome Martha Stewart circle cutter. I glued each of the paper labels onto the card stock and then attached them to the fruit with kitchen twine. The organic fruit came from Whole Foods and cost me less than $10 for seven bananas and a bag of apples.

Of course this post wouldn’t be complete without a super cute pic of my little Valentine. I have to say he is quite stylish in his polo sweater (purchased for Christmas) from Marshall’s, his super cute black and white plaid button up from Heartstrings, jeans and of course those little black Chuck Taylors!

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This post will also be linked up at Mummys Busy World for Trendy Tot Tues. Check them out if you haven’t already. Maria (Mummy) is a fellow Duke and blogger extraordinaire.



Links I Love

A Parent in Silver Spring

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