Thursday, April 26, 2018

Bacon-Wrapped Crappie (Sac-a-Lait) & Honey Grilled Peaches

So...they tell me it's spring?  Right now, I believe it---but that snow/sleet combo last weekend makes me question our weatherman.  But you know what spring means...the crappie are biting!  I grew up crappie fishing with my parents (if I'd grown up in Louisiana, we'd call it "sac-a-lait" fishing, but I didn't).  Spent nearly every warm weekend on the water...and I have ALL the embarrassing photos to prove it.

Proof that I too was once a sassy teen with no sense of style.

I am a 37 year old woman...whose mom still brings me food.  Does anyone else have a mom like mine? I mean, I'm not complaining.  I love it.  My parents love to fish and keep their (and our) freezer stocked.  A couple months ago, my mom called and said "I found some 'Cajun Style Bacon' on sale for $1.99 a pack. Do you want some?"

Of course, I said yes.  And she brought me like 4 packages of it.

The Hubs doesn't like it as much because it's a little sweet and too smoky for his tastes, but I like it because it's thick cut, not too fatty and very flavorful.  

So in a perfect homage to my awesome parents, I decided to use both the bacon and some crappie they caught to make bacon-wrapped sac-a-lait.  To accompany, since we were firing up the grill anyway (and we had some gorgeous Georgia peaches in the house), we made grilled peaches too. 

INGREDIENTS: (makes 4 servings)
8 crappie filets, lightly dusted with Cajun Seasoning
4 strips of bacon, cut in half to make 8 pieces
8 toothpicks

2 ripe peaches, halved & pitted
coconut oil spray
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon

To prep the fish, dry off the filets before seasoning, and then roll up the filet & bacon long-ways so they look like little fishy roses. Secure with toothpicks.
Place on the grill over medium heat (low flame, or away from the flame) and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the flesh of the fish is cooked through and bacon is crisped at edges.
On the top rack of the grill, place the halved peaches flesh-side down (after spraying lightly with coconut oil so they don't stick to the grill).  These don't need to cook so much as just heat through (and try to get those pretty char marks).

Combine the honey, butter, and cinnamon in a small prep bowl.  When the peaches are done, lightly brush them with the honey-butter mixture.

Serve while warm. Enjoy!

NutriFacts: (per serving-2 filets & one peach half)

  • Calories209.8
  • Total Fat8.2 g
  • Saturated Fat2.6 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat0.6 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat2.6 g
  • Cholesterol15.2 mg
  • Sodium202.4 mg
  • Potassium100.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate7.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber1.3 g
  • Sugars5.5 g
  • Protein24.7 g

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thirsty Thursday: Infused Strawberry Vodka & a Cocktail!

Hey there folks!  I decided to share this tasty concoction in honor of the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, going on this weekend in Ponchatoula, Louisiana.  If you're anywhere nearby, I highly recommend attending.  It's family friendly, lots of fun, and you get to eat a LOT of strawberry foods.  And pick up a few flats of fresh Louisiana strawberries, of course.

NOTE: I did not come up with this stroke of brilliance. I got it from a "moms who drink" group I follow on Facebook. Because that is TOTALLY OKAY. No judgement here.  

So one of the moms noted that her kids go through a ton of strawberries over the summer, so she started keeping a jar of vodka in her fridge, and would just throw the strawberry tops into the jar and let them infuse over time.  A light went off in my head--"we eat strawberries--like almost a pint a week! I can totally do that!"  
So I did.  I used 360 Vodka (made in Missouri), and just threw in my strawberry tops as I cut them off each day.  When the jar got too full, I would use tongs to fish the strawberry tops out, squeeze them out as much as possible, and then continue to put more strawberry tops in.  Probably did that for about a month before we tried it.
Y'all...this doesn't even need a mixer.  But because I'm a lightweight, I added some Fresca.  And it was DELIGHTFUL.
(Editor's note: These pics are not great.  I was in a rush, so I apologize.  But still.  DO IT.  You will thank me.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Adventures in Parenting: When Your Child Isn't Perfect.

So, I mean, we all, as the humble parents we are, KNOW that our kids aren't perfect.  The lack of sleep we're accustomed to, their tantrums when you tell them they can't watch Bubble Guppies because dinner is ready and they just finished watching an hour of Elmo, the nose picking, the sass-mouth.  Come on.  We ALL already fully comprehend that our kids aren't perfect.  They are (for the most part) normal, but definitely not perfect.

BUT...when someone else points out an imperfection...reality comes swooping in with big bold letters.
Last month, our son's daycare hosted development screenings by Parents As Teachers.  We filled out a questionnaire, and they came in to do...whatever it is they do to determine how language and fine motor skills are coming along.  And for the most part, our kiddo did great.  

For the most part.

After the screening, The Hubs got a call.  Letting us know that Lil' Man's communication skills are behind all his peers.  And they think it's because he has a lot of wax buildup in his ears, and/or because he seems to have constant ear infections (most of which we've likely never even known about because he's completely asymptomatic when they show up--during at least 3 well-baby visits, we were informed that our kiddo had an ear infection).  Just recently, he got sent home with a fever and after he stayed fussy for another day, we decided to take him to the doctor, thinking it was an ear infection.  It was Strep...AND an ear infection.  If it hadn't been for the Strep, we wouldn't have even known he had an ear infection.

So, because of said wax and ear infections, the PAT folks surmised that this whole time while he's been learning language, he hasn't been hearing it properly, and thus many of his words are mushy and sound more like babble--even though he's actually trying to use real words.  Most of the time, The Hubs and I can eke out the essence of whatever he's trying to say---and some words/sentences are very clear, like "*insert name of his BFF* bonk his head chasin' da vacuum". (Something he was very excited to tell us when I picked him up from school earlier this week.)
To be honest--we had already noticed this.  We asked his pediatrician at his 2 year appointment if we should be concerned about his speech, since it seemed like some of his classmates already spoke pretty clearly.  She said that because of his age, there wasn't much they could definitively tell, but since he knew over 100 words that it probably wasn't a problem. And that if we still had concerns when he was closer to 3, she'd schedule something for us.

And then, 6 months down the road, it gets pointed out to us again, this time by another professional.  

And that stings.  

It stings partially because you feel like you've finally gotten past most of the stupid mom-guilt floating around out there, and can feed your kid non-organic food without any twinge of regret...and then something REAL comes along, and it's hard not to internalize it.

"Is this somehow MY FAULT?"  

Is it because we still let him sleep with a paci?  No, surely not--he's not talking in his sleep, that's not the problem...could we have taken him to the doctor more, any time he even touched his ear?  Should we have been more diligent about cleaning the wax out of his ears?  Are we talking too fast and he can't learn how to pronounce things properly because WE'RE mushing up words? And why can't he pedal a trike yet? (Entirely separate issue, but still...)

And no matter how many times people say, "hey, you're catching it early--the majority of kids who have speech issues as a toddler are completely fixed by the time they go to school..."

Fixed.  Which means he's broken right now? (Or "BOH-enn", as Lil' Man would say.)
Does this kid look broken?

And then there's envy.  Envy of the parents of the kids who talk clearly.  What did they do differently?  Or the friends who have tots who were speaking clearly and using compound sentences before they were 18 months old.  I know every kid is different, and that boys develop slower--I've heard it all.  It doesn't make it sting LESS.  

So...we talked with the pediatrician again, who's making us an appointment with an audiologist, and then an ENT doc if the first appointment seems to indicate a problem.  And we're trying to enunciate when we speak.  We're repeating words back when he mushes them to try and enforce the proper speech.  We're doing all the things.  And maybe someday, our kid will be slightly less imperfect.
Maybe he can't hear, but his fine motor skills are on point.