Q
Hi Rebecca, wow I have just found your blog, it's great. I am 955 Paleo and have a 7.5 month old son who I am trying to wean Paleo as well. Im really struggling to think of things to give him and I have no idea where to start. I have been feeding him but would love to try self led weaning, what is a good type of food to start with? Thanks
A

Sorry to be late answering your question, but I’m so happy you like my blog! I’ve been a little lazy with it recently but am going to try posting more as soon as Ada Brock starts sleeping through the night again (that does happen right?!?). Anyway, what is 955 Paleo? 95/5? I think it’s awesome that you want your son to eat paleo and that you are going to let him feed himself. At 7.5 months, Ada Brock was not eating much solids at all and still mostly breastfeeding. However, we continued to offer her whatever we were eating for dinner. I remember giving her lots of meat, which seemed to be her favorite. We also gave her bell pepper strips, sections of clementines, kale chips, cooked cauliflower florets, etc. We tried to make a point not to make separate “baby” food for her, but just let her experiment with regular food. The key is to give pieces big enough that your son can hold and chew on. So bigger strips of meat are actually better and safer. Ada Brock loved to suck all the juice out of pieces of steak, and we also let her suck on rib bones, or chicken bones. I remember she loved roasted marrow bones. 

Obviously, you should always monitor him closely no matter what he’s eating. Ada Brock has never choked on anything but has gagged, and there’s a difference. Gagging is totally normal and a part of babies learning how to swallow real food. Gagging is loud, while choking is silent.

We did not follow any of the rules on food allergies, but we don’t have a history of any. Let me know if you have any other questions! I love talking about baby led weaning. 


Happy Birthday, Ada Brock!!!

Ada Brock turns 1 tomorrow. WHAT?!? I am still in denial about this. It freaks me out. I cannot stand when people (usually strangers) say “It goes so fast! Enjoy it!” but it is 100% true. This past year has flown by, and I’m sad and happy at the same time. I want to keep her my baby forever, but I can’t help but be proud of the little person she’s becoming. 

We had a little party for her today, just family and close friends. She definitely knew it was all about her and basked in all the attention. Aunt Sarah bought her an adorable crown headband this weekend at Treehouse, and she LOVED it. I have never seen her tolerate a hat/headband without constantly trying to pull it off. She did not even touch the crown. She obviously knew what it symbolized. Because she’s a genius, of course.

Queen Ada Brock


Practicing her walking with Aunt Sarah.

We opened presents first. She got lots of awesome stuff and had lots of fun “unwrapping” everything (watching me unwrap it and then playing with the tissue paper). She’s going to have a blast playing with all her new toys over the next few weeks. Thank you everyone for all the great gifts!!!

Unwrapping presents was a team effort.


Birthday Booty

For the cake, I decided to make carrot cake. I mean, it’s still cake, but at least it’s got carrots in it, right?? I also used xylitol in place of the sugar and chia flour blend instead of wheat flour. I was very worried about how it would turn out, but it actually was really good! Practically identical to regular cake. Without all the sugar and carbs (or at least less)! Here are the recipes I used.
Carrot Cake (used chia flour blend for the gluten free flour, xylitol in place of sugar)
Cream Cheese Icing

I made a regular 2-layer cake for the adults and a tiny “smash cake” version for Ada Brock. As with any food that’s not meat, she was very hesitant at first, but after some encouragement, she seemed to really like it. She never “smashed” it and was quite dainty with her eating. She is a lady, after all. 

This was much less dangerous in reality than it looks in the photo. I promise.

 
Nom nom nom.


This was the dirtiest she got. Not quite what I envisioned for her “smash cake,” but much easier to clean up!


After a while, she just wanted to feed me. Fine by me!

Overall, it was a memorable day, filled with yummy food and good company. I know Ada Brock won’t remember it, but I hope she enjoys looking at the photos one day. She has so many people who love and adore her, and I know there will be many more amazing birthdays to come! Here’s to your first year, Ada Brock, and the best year of my life. I love you!!!

 


Keeping It In the Family

Eating Paleo has really opened my eyes to the benefits of buying and eating locally sourced foods. There is no arguing that eating organic, locally grown produce and meat is not only better for you but is also better for the world. However, I know firsthand that eating this way can be difficult to do on a tight budget. Growing and eating your own food is a rewarding and cheap solution to this problem. Having your amazingly talented dad grow delicious food and then eating it is even better, albeit a little lazy. In my defense, I do have a pretty impressive garden this year, as far as 6’x12’ gardens go. If you ever need enough basil to make 20 gallons of pesto, I’m your girl. I also have a couple tomato plants, a couple pepper plants, and some mint and parsley this year!

But seriously, my dad’s garden is ridiculous. The squash influx has just begun, so right now we’re literally giving away squash to Jay the A/C repairman, out of self-defense. Otherwise we might all just drown in a gargantuan mountain of squash. Tomatoes are coming (cherry tomatoes, too!), along with okra, butterbeans, jalapenos, bell peppers, banana peppers, and a lot of other veggies I’m not remembering. I’m also really excited for muscadine season.

The garden. Fig tree on the left, looking down rows of tomato and pepper plants.


Looking down a row of blackberries, muscadine vines on the right. Oh, and some solar panels. 


Blueberry plants. Probably won’t have many until next year.

Blackberries are in full swing, and the raspberries are just starting to come in so I have been feasting. Berries are so expensive at the store, so it is all kinds of awesome to stuff your face for FREE. Awesome until the inevitable tummy ache. Small price to pay, in my opinion.

Ada Brock and I went berry-pickin’ yesterday, and wow, does this girl love blackberries. You’ll see what I mean…

I am a very experienced berry picker. Very discriminating. 


"I’m flying!"


Look at all those blackberries and future blackberries!


When she started getting squirmy, I pacified her with a berry (or five). So happy!


BERRY MONSTER


The final bounty. Minus all the berries that didn’t quite make it from my hand to the bucket…

I’m not quite sure what the point of this post was except to make you jealous of my sweet family garden-type situation…sorry… But, hey, if you’re in the Athens area any time soon, I can make sure you will never want for squash again (or at least until you can’t think of anymore things to do with it and it rots on your counter, but in that case, you might be so sick of it that you never want squash ever again anyway). Ada Brock might even let you have a few berries, if you catch her on a good day!
 


Beach Trip!

I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted, but it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. We went to Palm Beach, FL with Adam’s parents last week and stayed in the same resort where Adam and I spent our honeymoon, right on the beach on Singer Island. Fortunately, the weather was much better this time around, and we got a lot of good beach and pool time. Because of inclement weather, most of our honeymoon was spent drinking Malibu and eating pizza (gasp) in our hotel room, which was also awesome, don’t get me wrong. We felt it was only right to buy a handle of Malibu when we got there. Have you ever had Malibu and orange juice? Delicious. 


Beautiful Singer Island in Palm Beach, FL


AB getting ready for the pool!

Ada Brock was not as pumped about the pool this time around. We got her a really nice float to sit in, with a canopy and everything, but she was not digging it. Which I do not understand, because it’s a seriously pimp float, and I wish I had an adult version. With cupholders. Basically she liked the pool if she could be a barnacle on my side the whole time. Not surprisingly, she also was not enthused about the ocean. Every time a wave crashed in and water washed up around my feet while I was holding her, she started crying. She did enjoy staring wistfully at the ocean while on Adam’s back and at a safe distance, of course. She also liked the sand and very sneakily consumed a couple handfuls. 
 
My beautiful baby reflecting on the magnitude of the universe. Or thinking about cheese. Your pick.


Good try, Ada Brock. Sand beard is a dead giveaway.  


Playing in the sand together!

We actually ate more or less Paleo the whole trip. We obviously splurged here and there, because if you can’t splurge on vacation, when can you? Marla generously brought and prepared most of our food, including delicious eggs and bacon for breakfast. I had been worrying recently about how infrequently we feed Ada Brock, especially as she nears her first birthday. Breastfeeding is just so much easier (no extra dishes, no dirty clothes, no food flung across the room…), and I have been dragging my feet about the whole thing. Anyway, consistently eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner with Ada Brock during the trip helped us all get used to the idea. Ada Brock ate at least one egg yolk almost every morning! We give her the runny egg yolk from our fried eggs. Yes, there is a risk of salmonella, but it is drastically reduced in free range, organic eggs. Such a good baby food—so much nutrition packed in just a few spoonfuls! 


Adam and AB at Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney. We stopped there to stretch our legs on the way home. Ada Brock has never been more entertained. She was fascinated by the animatronic spider monkeys and the “thunderstorm” that happens ever half hour. 


She was also intensely curious about this creepy Lego lady.


Thank you so much for the vacation, Grandma and Grandpa!

Overall, we had a great time, and I think Ada Brock thoroughly enjoyed her first beach trip. The cherry on top of the whole vacation was Adam finding out on our last day that he got the job he had been interviewing for over the past month and a half. We’re all so grateful and excited for this new opportunity and feel like we are starting a new chapter of our life. So here’s to it being as good as the last!


Chia Seed Flour: Questionably Paleo but Totally Delicious

Last week at the Dekalb Farmers’ Market, while on a wild goose chase for some coconut flour, Adam and I made quite a discovery. We were scouring aisle 7, the flour aisle, for the billionth freaking time because the stocking employee and the customer service lady insisted that coconut flour did indeed reside there. Which, by the way, is the first place that we looked, because we’re not MORONS. It wasn’t there the first time, and it certainly wasn’t there the second time we looked. As a side note, I am a little pissed about this, because as I mentioned in a previous post, I was very jazzed about coconut flour being $1.49/lb. at Dekalb. They had it in a special display towards the front. I felt it was a little too good to be true, and if I had known it was a temporary item, I would have bought 10 containers, not 1. So now apparently coconut flour resides in aisle 7, but that’s bullshit, and it doesn’t.

Anyway, all that being said, I may not ever need it again, because we stumbled across this stuff called Australian Chia Seed Flour. There was a big sign next to it about all of its touted health benefits (very high in Omega-3s, for one) and that it can be used as a 1:1 replacement for flour. These claims piqued my interest, though I must say I was highly doubtful about the 1:1 thing. I mean, it’s literally just ground up seeds. Chia seeds to be exact. The exact same stuff in Chia Pets. How can that act as flour? I have used flaxseed in a recipe before as a low-carb stand-in for flour, and it was super weird and tasted very seedy. But, because coconut flour was now out, we decided to buy it and do some research later. Later that night I read up on it, and I really couldn’t find that much information about it, which leads me to believe that it may be a relatively new product on the market. I read some things about it not being paleo because of the phytate content, and I can definitely see why, as with most foods, it should be consumed in moderation. However, Adam and I predominantly focus on the low carb aspect of paleo these days, and as far as carbs go, chia seed flour is pretty faultless. See the nutrition info (and some other interesting factoids) here.

There are about 6 oz. of chia seeds in one cup, so there are 72g of carbs in one cup of chia seed flour, which doesn’t sound that low, but wait! If you notice, there are also 66g of fiber, so there are only 6g of net carbs per cup. Compare that to coconut flour, the usual low-carb flour go-to, which has 48g of net carbs per cup. Boo-ya! 

As far as the 1:1 replacement claim goes, it sounds downright ridiculous, but turns out to be 100% true. No joke. I have now made chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, honey breakfast bread, and biscuits with chia flour completely replacing regular flour. They have all been delicious. I’m most impressed with the biscuits (although Adam likes the banana bread the best, so I’ll post that later), so I’ll share those with you. I found a well-rated recipe for biscuits here. I chose this recipe because I thought the texture of chia flour seemed more similar to whole wheat flour and might translate better in a whole wheat recipe.

Chia Flour Biscuits

-2 cups chia seed flour
-1 tbsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-2 tsp. sugar
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1 stick unsalted butter, cold
-1 cup heavy cream, cold + 1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar*

*This is a substitute for buttermilk. You can also use whole buttermilk, but I used cream because it really upped the richness of the biscuits…I guess you would call it buttercream?

Preheat oven to 450F. Mix your cream and vinegar and let sit for a few minutes to thoroughly sour. Put dry ingredients in food processor. Cut butter up into small to medium size pieces, and slowly add to dry ingredients, pulsing after every addition. Then add your freshly made buttercream and pulse until mixed thoroughly. Place dough in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. This will help with the stickiness (I hate sticky dough!). Turn out onto a surface dusted with chia flour. Flatten (it will probably be too sticky to roll) with your hands to desired thickness, probably 1” or so. Cut with a cookie or biscuit cutter and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or to desired crispiness. I always prefer to undercook a little, and next time I might try closer to 10 minutes. 


From what I can tell after looking around the internet, YDFM’s chia flour is the cheapest that exists. 


These biscuits are unbelievably flaky and melt-in-your-mouth-y, especially right out of the oven. They taste almost like the biscuits my great aunts made when I was little. 


Too good with butter and honey.  

To conclude, if you are like me and have been jonesing for bread or at least something with a truly bread-like texture (almond flour bread is kind of a joke, let’s be real…) ever since you went paleo, look no further than chia seed flour! Find your favorite pre-Paleo baked good recipe, substitute chia flour, and give it a whirl! You just might be surprised! And in glorious, bread heaven…

AB’s First Pool Trip

Saturday we went to Adam’s parents’ house to celebrate his 25th birthday. It was super fun, and we were able to take Ada Brock to the pool for the first time. When Adam first put her feet in the water, her reaction was not good at all. So I sat on the step with her and slowly lowered her into the water while still on my lap. Once she got adjusted, she absolutely loved it. She splashed and splashed and kept saying “woooow,” her new favorite expression. I’m thrilled that she likes the water so much, because my parents are getting us a membership to Green Acres pool (a nearby neighborhood pool) this summer, and I plan on taking Ada Brock most free afternoons. I’m thinking Adam can come meet us when he gets off work. I’m so excited for summer!
 

How cute is she in her little suit?!?


Ada Brock splashing Daddy


"Woooooow!"
 


My Rediscovered Love: the Smoker

Two Christmases ago, I bought Adam a smoker, and if you don’t know what that is, this is what it looks like, and buy one right now. It was kind of like passing on a family tradition from my side of the family, as my dad (and his dad, etc., etc.) is an avid meat cooker/eater, and his specialty is the smoker. He also makes a mean brunswick stew. It is legendary, in fact. He and his brother Tim, also known as Hale Bros. BBQ, cook for and cater events on occasion. Anyway, I digress. As you can see, it was important that Adam carry on this meat tradition, even if I was not that into meat (did I mention I was a vegetarian for a couple years? Dad wasn’t pleased). Adam was pumped about the smoker and the prospect of bonding with my dad over meat. We made a couple things over the next six months or so, and the flavor was amazing. Smoked meat really just does not compare to meat prepared any other way, in my opinion at least. But because I was still under the impression that eating meat is unhealthy, and because I do most of the cooking, the smoker fell by the wayside and began gathering dust in the garage. Now that I know better, we have resurrected the smoker and are now using it at least a once a week. We usually do a Boston butt for dinner and then smoke a pack of bratwursts to have for lunch during the week. I just do not get tired of smoked brats. 

Since it’s getting towards the end of the month and we have exhausted most of our meat from YDFM, the only meat we had in the freezer was a lot of frozen chicken thighs and legs (what’s up with the breast anyway? does anybody actually like that dry crap??). I was thinking about making some paleo fried chicken, but we abandoned that plan in favor of smoking it, because it is SO ridiculously easy. Here’s how you do it.

Get an 8 lb. bag of charcoal, some lighter fluid, and matches. This amount of charcoal  will last you two times. You can get fancy and get hickory or mesquite if you want, but we just get regular charcoal briquets, and they work fine. Pour about half the bag in the bottom pan of the smoker, so the charcoal is about flush with the top of the pan. Then douse the briquets with lighter fluid, trying to get most of them. Light the charcoal with a match (or 5 if you suck at it like I do). Let the charcoal burn for 30 minutes or so. It is ready when all the briquets are smoldering. They should all be covered in white ash and there shouldn’t be any flames. Put the smoker cylinder on top of the pan. You should see that the coals are glowing red. Put your meat of choice on the cooking grid, replace the top, and you’re done. Seriously. That’s it. Go about your business for the next 3 hours or so, and don’t worry too much about overcooking. That’s the beauty of smoking meat. It’s downright difficult to overcook it. Instead, it just gets better and better. 

For our chicken today, Adam poured garlic hot sauce on the thighs and legs after putting them on the grid and then sprinkled some seasoning salt on them. We took them off after about 3.5 hours. They had a wonderfully crispy skin, a delicious salty and smoky flavor, and the meat was so juicy and tender. I can’t fathom why someone would ever want to eat chicken any other way. 

If that doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what will…

I also made some cheesy pepper poppers as a side. I’m not going to post the recipe yet, because I think it needs a little tweaking. When it’s perfect, I will. They were still yummy, though, even if they turned out a little messy.

The general idea was sweet peppers stuffed with pepper jack and cream cheese with some spices baked in the oven. The caps fell off and all the cheese kind of melted out. Should’ve realized that would happen, but didn’t. Adam, always the problem solver, suggested we use toothpicks next time. Brilliant!
 


What happened to my baby and who’s this little kid??

In the midst of the shitstorm that was the past couple weeks, somehow, despite all of the snotting, puking, and pooping, all sorts of crazy things happened to baby A.B. It’s like I can’t even call her baby A.B. anymore. Little kid A.B. is more accurate. But it doesn’t rhyme, so I’ll stick to baby A.B. Anyway, she’s so grown up now!

As far as physical milestones go, she’s slowly making some crawling progress. She can actually go forward now! It’s very slow going and it’s not pretty, but it’s better than backward! She also can go from sitting to tummy and from tummy to sitting now, which I’ve never seen her do before. She is consistently rolling now, which she never showed interest in doing before. She’s pulling up on me and Adam and chair armrests (not in the crib yet). Oh, and she’s just starting to cut her first tooth on the bottom!

But even with all the physical progression, her mental and social growth is what really stands out to me. She is waving all the time now, even unprovoked when she sees us in another room. She waved bye-bye to the doctor at her 9-month appointment as he turned to leave the room, without any prompting at all. She is much more vocal and starting to say “mama” when looking at me. I’m not 100% sure she knows what it means, but I’m going to tell myself that she does because it just melts my heart. Her brand new thing is pointing at things that are interesting and going “oh!” while making a surprised face. She shows interest in the dogs now and has pet Felix a few times. She’s rapidly becoming a daddy’s girl and absolutely lights up when he gets home from work, practically throwing herself out of my arms in his general direction. And I’m not sure if it’s because her tooth cut through and she’s no longer in pain, but in the past couple days she has finally become the little social butterfly that she used to be around other babies. No more crying and screaming if another baby so much as looks at her or, God forbid, get in her personal space. She actually interacted with other babies at AMC on Tuesday and today at Full Bloom. 

I am overjoyed to see Ada Brock’s old self reemerging. I had forgotten what a happy, easy-going baby she used to be. I think the throes of teething had caused her to become fussy and overly sensitive for the past few months. She was still a relatively happy baby, don’t get me wrong, but she just seemed constantly agitated. But man, is she happy now. I sometimes think her cheeks must hurt from grinning so big. Until the next teething episode, which I’m sure is right around the corner, I’m going to take lots of pictures and savor this time. She just lights up my life!



 


The Week(s) from Hell and a Confession

I am alive. We are all alive. I wasn’t sure if we would survive last week, but somehow we did. We’re all still recovering and trying to take it slowly, but we’re alive, and that’s something to be thankful for.

It all started about a week and a half ago. My mom came down with a cold. It seemed innocent enough, and we thought it even could be allergies. So Ada Brock and I went over to my parents’ house as we usually do, and my mom babysat A.B. for a little while. Apparently as the week progressed, my mom grew more and more sick, had a very sore throat, and even ran a fever for a couple days. Sure enough, on Friday, A.B. started sniffling, but it seemed to be just congestion. She was pretty fussy, but I thought maybe it was more teething (in retrospect, I think she just felt like crap, understandably). Anyway, she’s had a cold before so it was a little stressful dealing with her fussiness but no big deal.

Like clockwork, on Sunday Adam complained of a tickle in his throat. He could barely sleep that night because his throat hurt so badly, and he, too, had come down with this cold that just would not die. He felt horrible for a day or so, but started feeling better quickly, aside from the copious snot and coughing. 

Now I have not been sick, aside from the occasional bad day, since before I was pregnant. I have been known to be a bit, um, braggy (I’ll admit it) about my immune system. Adam gets sick frequently but never very seriously so I think he was pretty amused to see me eat my words. About a day after Adam got sick, I woke from a nap with a sore throat. I knew what that meant. My cold was far worse than Adam’s, and I ran a fever all Wednesday. I forgot how awful it is to run a fever. Especially with a baby crawling all over you wondering why you’re being so lame as you lay in the fetal position wrapped in your comforter wanting to die. Thankfully, A.B. was all better at this point so at least only one of us was sick. It didn’t last long…

WARNING: GROSS CONTENT AHEAD
By Friday, I was feeling much much better. Back to my old self, even! And Ada Brock slept in until 9:15, so I was riding high, thinking life is good again. Plus, Adam had Monday off so three day weekend, yay! Well I nursed A.B. and put her on the ground to play with her toys while I ate breakfast. I was checking my e-mail and messing around on Facebook when all of a sudden I heard a small cough and then what can only be described as a faucet being turned on full blast. I looked over and A.B. was sitting in a literal puddle of vomit. She didn’t seem phased though, so I cleaned her and the carpet up and then nursed her again, since I figured she was probably hungry/thirsty after emptying her stomach. Stupid, stupid me. Definitely should have put down a towel. Faucet routine happened again, all over me and all over the couch. As the day progressed, she continued to projectile vomit and by evening was pathetic. I eventually called the doctor and was told to nurse as often as possible and that it was probably just a 24-hour bug, which made me feel better. After dinner, Adam complained he didn’t feel well. He subsequently threw up for a good 20 minutes, but felt better from then on (lucky).  

Saturday, we all felt great and had a good day. I thought it was all over, but for me, it had just begun. After Adam went to sleep, at about 1am, I started feeling nauseous and having incredibly painful abdominal cramps. I spent the rest of the night morning hugging the toilet. Adam went out around 5 and got me some prescription anti-nausea medication. After taking it, I proceeded to get a couple hours of sleep before we had to leave to go to the Braves game. Oh right, I forgot to tell you we were going to Atlanta to the Braves game. I still felt horrible, but I knew it was important to Adam so I insisted that we still go. I slept through most of the game and just generally felt horrible, but Adam and A.B. had a great time! 

 
We got A.B. a Braves hat and an awesome foam tomahawk!

Anyway, Monday was better in that no one threw up, but Adam and I felt like we’d been hit by a truck and stayed in bed most of the day. Oh, as for the confession. On Sunday night the thought of eating anything paleo (I racked my brain) was absolutely revolting. The only thing that sounded appetizing was sourdough bread. So I broke down and bought some sourdough bread and ate half the loaf over the course of the night and the next morning. I had intensely painful stomach cramps Monday morning, and I think this may have been a result of the bread more than the stomach bug. Needless to say, I threw the rest out and no more grains for me. As the week has gone on, we’ve slowly started to feel more and more like our normal selves. But boy has it been a hell of a couple weeks. Here’s to hoping the next few weeks are much more pleasant!


Papa’s 62nd Birthday!

So mad. I wrote a ridiculously long post yesterday about my dad’s birthday, making his cake, etc. and I saved it as a draft. I swear. And now it’s gone. I mean I think it’s gone. I don’t see it anywhere. UGH! Anyway, this will be much more brief because it’s late and because I don’t feel like writing it all again. Boo. 

The gist of the post was that my parents went paleo about a month ago but have not experimented much with paleo baked goods. I, on the other hand, cannot live without my baked goods and have dabbled a lot in this area. But I have been searching for the perfect paleo cake. One that tastes like actual cake, not fake cake. I found it. The original recipe is a chocolate cake with dark chocolate icing from Elana’s Pantry but I found it through Southern Eclectic and made most of the modifications that she made, with a few tweaks. I used butter in the cake instead of grapeseed oil, half brown rice syrup and half honey instead of all honey (brown rice syrup is from a grain, yes, but also has far less fructose), and lighter flavored olive oil instead of grapeseed oil in the frosting. It was amazingly delicious. I let Ada Brock have her own little piece, and she greatly enjoyed her first taste of chocolate as you can see.


I apologize for the crappy pictures :(. I forgot to bring my camera to my parents’ house, so all I had was Adam’s iPhone. But you get the idea!




She smeared it all OVER. Chocolate!


I like this photo because you can see my dad smiling in the window behind A.B.


"What is this deliciousness??"


I think I know what I’ll be making her for her birthday!

All in all, it was a success. Next time, I am interested in leaving out the cocoa powder and making it a yellow cake instead (very yellow with 10 eggs!!). I think it would be good with cream cheese icing. I’ll experiment and report back.  

Before cake, we ate at Chops & Hops in Watkinsville. We’d never been there before but had heard good things. It did not disappoint. We all got burgers (minus the buns, of course), but different kinds. I got the pesto burger, with pesto, a tomato, mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinegar served on a bed of basil. I got sweet potato tater tots instead of french fries. The burger was cooked to perfection. Mmmm… My dad, Adam, and I all got a couple beers also (my mom had to drive us home—we all are lightweights now!). Unfortunately, I think my stomach is super sensitive to beer now. I don’t know if it’s the gluten or what, but I have felt pretty awful tummy-wise since I got home. Anyone else experience this??? Obviously I will avoid beer in the future if that’s truly what’s wrong, but I’m a little sad about it. Beer was my very favorite alcoholic beverage—not a big liquor or wine fan. Maybe I’ll try again in a few days to try to pinpoint if that really is what’s making me feel icky. Fingers crossed it’s not and I can continue to enjoy my hoppy IPA’s!