my talented family: part 2

Meet my Mom, Jocelyn Herig,  a.k.a. ‘JoJo’ of

“JoJo’s Gluten Free Granola was created for my family. Our on-the-go, active lifestyle motivated me to make a healthy and  delicious snack for everyone.  It’s high quality ingredients provide sustained energy as well as many additional healthful benefits.  Eat it at breakfast or anytime for the perfect snack. There are 2 flavors of JoJo’s: “Choconola” and “Nutter Butter Berry”. The ingredients include gluten free oats, almond butter or peanut butter, sliced almonds or cashews, organic agave nectar, 70% dark chocolate, a bit of cinnamon, vanilla and a touch of sea salt. It is conveniently packaged in a 4 oz. size for your purse, workout bag or lunchbox and a 12 oz. bag for the whole family or all your workout buddies! The ziploc packaging will keep it fresh and ready to go.” -JoJo

JoJo’s Gluten Free Granola↓

Her recent venture… selling her delicious granola to the public!  If you know JoJo, you know that she has been perfecting her granola recipe for years.  She has always kept her latest creation on her kitchen counter in a big jar and we all snacked and weighed in on taste, texture, ingredients, names.  We likely critiqued it to death (poor Jo), but it is safe to say that these days we don’t have ANYTHING left but praise.  It became a staple in her home, a source of comfort in the kitchen and fame for Jo as we all brought friends over for a taste and gifted relatives with it for holidays.  She has been asked begged to send huge batches to many military men overseas in the last few years and has generously sent people home with large bags full after they can’t seem to get enough while visiting her home.  When it got the point where there were no kinks to work out and we were all sneaking over to steal bags and bags of the granola to eat, share with friends, hoard and gift others with, she decided it might just be worth it to offer it to a larger audience.  JoJo’s Granola was born this summer and it’s first sales venue is the Downtown Growers Market in Albuquerque!

You can find her at the Downtown Growers Market (located @Robinson Park at 8th & Central) every Saturday from 7-Noon

2 Awesome flavors, Choconola (dark chocolate granola) and Nutter Butter Berry (nut and berry granola)

Both recipes made with organic ingredients and GLUTEN-FREE

Sold in 2 convenient sizes

Have a free sample to decide which to buy when you visit her at the Market

 Order it online at JoJo’ (Coming Soon)


june in full swing

Not only does June hold the date of Elle’s birth, Father’s Day and me and Kurt’s anniversary, but my Mom and his Dad have birthdays just one day apart.  June is PARTY TIME around here!  We’ve had eating out, BBQ-ing, desserts and gifts coming out our ears and it’s been fun fun FUN!
We got to celebrate JoJo and Grandpa this week!
We are so blessed with parents who are so active in our lives.  They are always around to grab a quick cup of coffee or a beer.  To go shopping or to Fudd’s.  To talk or email.  We do not question for a single second that these 2 parents of ours would be, in a seconds notice, wherever we invite them to be.  We love you Jo and Dad!  Happy Happy Birthday!
Love, Dani and Kurt

On the food front:
I LOVE summer BBQ food!  Inspired by my favorite current appetizer at Savoy, we grilled up some bread with olive oil and sea salt.
Kurt (yes Kurt!) made Hummus. Garbanzo beans, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and paprika on top.
I diced grape tomatoes, pecorino romano cheese, salami, baby bell peppers, red onion and kalamata olives then dressed it in this Giada De Laurentiis red wine vinaigrette.
It was good.  So, if you invite us to a BBQ this summer you’ll likely get to try this one 😉
Looking for a yummy, hold on – YUMMY – dessert? Head over to Farina for some Butterscotch Budino.  A delicious, not too sweet butterscotch pudding with caramel sauce and a little sea salt crunch.  SOOOOO not my usual dessert craving but after my courtesy bite, I could not stop my spoon from diving in again and again.  While you’re there better try the Chicken Cesar Salad (a special that was so good I think I’ll call in to the owner this week and beg him to put it on the menu) . . . it had the most AMAZING croutons, herb rubbed chicken and avocadoIf you have room after that, maybe throw in a Carni Curate Pizza (well, if you really really like meat).
Can anyone tell I’m hungry this morning?
She got it!  We’ve got a toddling walker.  One month from her first step and she pretty much prefers walking over crawling.  She falls a lot.  She cries a lot. But when she has a good run she is oh-so-proud of herself! 🙂

things I like today pt. 2

Things I like today:

…that 4 years in, this is what our life is.  Honestly though, I looked at this picture and felt O-L-D.  Like, double take- ‘wait, is that a picture of my parents and us when we were little?’  But, a little perspective later- I feel so far beyond blessed that I get to call this my life, that my front yard, those my children, him my husband…
…Father’s Day morning.  It sounded like this, “Ava, want to wrap your gift for Dad? Sure.  Think Dad will like his new shirt?  Of course, he told me his favorite color is purple. Ava, keep your voice quiet. Mom, can I crack the egg.  Just finish decorating your card.  OK. How do you spell Dad again.  Ava, keep your voice quiet. Oops, I added an extra A. It’s fine.  I drew you Mom, look how funny you look.  Can I try the bacon?  What kind of tea did we make dad?  It’s coffee. Ava, keep your voice quiet. Elle, NO! CRASH. Oh crap, nobody move.  Ava don’t walk on the floor.  Elle crawl into the bedroom. Ava call your sister.  Ava open the door.  He’s asleep.  No he’s not, just say Happy Father’s Day.  Happy Father’s Day.  Were you seriously sleeping. No…so, what’d you break?”
This dessert.  My new summer staple.  It’s like a frozen S’more.  Do it!
The little girls endorsed it with ‘yummy sounds’…so did everyone at the table.  Seriously, that good!
…my dad.
…the baby that we constantly have to strip down to her diaper because she is always such a mess.
…Kurt’s new “favorite color” shirt.
…this cute belly and the baby boy we are praying makes a prompt arrival the moment he is done cooking.

i love chips.

Anyone tried Kale Chips?

Well, for starters, if you are a true chip lover (like myself) these little suckers really shouldn’t have the word ‘chip’ in their name… For the purposes of this blog we’ll call them Kale Crisps.  Anyway, buy a bunch of Kale (it’s by the lettuce).  Chop it up (the leafy part – remove all of the thick spiny parts).

Toss it in a bowl with about 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil.

Spread it out in one layer on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and some grated parm.

Throw it into a preheated oven (350 degrees) until it’s crispy and dried out.  If you’re going by looks- still green but shriveled.  Not brown (see above).  This is a picture of Kale Crisps cooked 5 minutes too long.  20 minutes was too long, if that helps anyone.

Scoop it up (feels like gathering some fall leaves off the lawn).  Put it in a bowl.  Snack on the pumpkin-seed-tasting Crisps.  Remind yourself that this is a healthier snack than the real chips you want to be nibbling on as you prepare dinner.  Enjoy a 2nd scoop of Blue Bell for dessert tonight. After all, you ate Kale instead of chips!

“would you say your pesto is the best-o?”

(Shout out to my ·FRIENDS· friends ↑)

I don’t know about that. but my first attempt at fresh pesto was pretty darn good-o.  one of those meals that we all fight over.  one that Ava and I thought about the next day. one that I think Kurt might have felt badly for taking all of the leftovers in his lunch.

We know that we love PESTO, but without a food processor, it was never on my radar. Every time a recipe circulated, I wrote it off.  But…this time when a food network recipe cropped up I remembered my new food processor and headed immediately to Trader Joe’s for the ingredients.

Basil, Olive Oil, Pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, Garlic, Salt, Pepper… that’s it.

Pan fried some chicken, made some Ancient Harvest shells (great pasta texture-the perfect al dente noodle), tossed, EASY and DELICIOUS (and Gluten Free).

Ava:(took a bite, put her fork down, closed her eyes) yum.

And since I had to steal this spoonful out of Kurt’s already packed lunch container it’s not nearly as bright green and fresh looking as it was, but you get the idea. Hmmm… wonder if anyone would mind if I made it again tonight.

our version of a beach bod

With a beach vacation on the horizon and swimsuit wearing looming, we are focusing on healthy snacking over here.  I am not one of those gals who does very well going without things that I love, thrives on having a deadline, or who can really even function with any type of diet.  So, my beach bod goals:


To feel healthy.

Embrace my strength.

Get energized.

For me, step 1 is buying a swimsuit that fits well.  This means some much needed boost (another thing nobody thought to tell me about breastfeeding 2 babies) and the right size to cover everything and allow me to play with the beauties. Two, to add as many healthy snacks as I can.  I don’t plan on cutting out sugar or booze or fat… I just hope that in adding healthy options to our fridge maybe I won’t have as much room for the junk that I tend to go for when I haven’t eaten all day. I want to focus on rest and sleep.  I will try to relax and just get done the things that are necessary and try to take advantage of the sleep time that Elle offers!  Kurt and I have also committed to a minimal number of workouts before we go.  Things that we consider fun (as fun as a work out can be) and can do together. I made a little scratch chart… we’ll see how it goes.  Wish us luck!

(notice, we have actually done a few workouts! oh, and we got the idea for our memo board here.  ours still needs some work but I love the idea!)

Here are some healthy snacks that have found their way into the snack rotation:

Lentals (hot or cold)

Baby Cucumbers

Apples with natural Peanut Butter

Light String Cheese



Brown Rice Cakes

Marcona Almonds

Sliced Turkey

Sliced Avocado with Sliced Cheese

Rice Crackers with Hummus

Baby Bell Peppers

Turkey Pepperoni’s

As a side note: I will be finishing this flourless chocolate cake before the weeks end, just in time to finish the pan of brownies I will be making for Kurt’s Birthday ’round 2′ on Friday!

Trader Joe’s flourless chocolate cake. Add some ice cream and in our case some peanut butter chocolate sauce- ummmm… yum! And, it’s Gluten Free if that’s important to ya!

Lets be honest, I think the main goal I will focus on for the bod a’la beach vacay will be acceptance .

Happy St. Patty’s day friends!  Cheers to some green beer tonight!  {Geez, I’m hopeless 😉 }

gluten free mint brownies

I nabbed this recipe a few weeks ago and I’m sure glad I tried it!  You should know that I’m not a huge brownie fan. I’m more of a big Chocolate Chunk Cookie kind of gal. Anyone one have a GF recipe for those? So when I stumbled upon this recipe one Saturday afternoon I wouldn’t have made it if I didn’t have all of the ingredients already in my pantry . First attempt… Brownie explosion in my oven.  Dang.  But I still finished up the recipe and though it was UGLY they tasted so good!  We even shaped them up enough to bring them to a Super Bowl party and they disappeared!  So I decided to try again.  This time, brownies stayed in the baking dish, the mint frosting hardened on top and I guess they looked slightly more appetizing.  I’ll admit, I don’t know much about brownies. They were hard to scoop out of the dish if not refrigerated first. They are more fudgie than fluffy, so I don’t know if this qualifies as good brownie texture?! Bottom line.  They were easy to make.  Gluten Free.  Yummy on their own.  And even better under a scoop of Blue Bell.

Gluten Free Fudge Mint Brownies

adapted from William-Sonoma Kitchen Library Chocolate Cookbook

1/4 c. almond flour
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. Earth balance butter, room temperature
2 oz. chocolate, about 1/3 cup (I used Trader Joe’s chocolate chips)
1 tbsp light corn syrup
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 package Andes mints (4.67 oz)

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease and use gluten free flour to coat an 8 inch square baking pan.

Sift almond flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and baking powder into a bowl. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine sugars, butter, chocolate, and corn syrup. Continually stir until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Allow to cool until barely warm.

Add eggs and vanilla to cooled chocolate mixture. Then add dry mixture, stirring until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 35 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately place Andes mints on surface, slightly pressing them into brownies. After about 30 seconds or when you can see mints beginning to melt, begin smoothing with a spatula or an icing knife, covering the entire surface of the brownies. Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Initially, icing will appear wet. But as the brownies cool, the icing will harden.