Summer Grilling with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

Nothing says the start of summer like grilling! Although summer still has not officially started yet, hubby and I have already entered grilling season. We recently moved into a new house and have not purchased an outdoor grill yet, but we do have a grilling pan that we have been using in the interim.

Summer Grilling with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil
Summer Grilling with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

About a year ago, I was introduced to Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil and have been using it ever since! To read about some of my previous experiences with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil check out this post, which details what makes palm oil special, what makes Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil special as well as two of the recipes I made with palm oil:

Cooking with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil 

Grilling at home with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

For dinner, I got out my grill pan and used Malaysian Red Palm Oil to marinate veggies and meat, as well as grease my grilling pan. On the menu were tuna steaks, oyster mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash.

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I sliced the vegetables into long segments and then let them marinate in palm oil, salt and fresh herbs from my garden. I used basil, sage and parsley that I grew from seeds starting this spring. I love having fresh herbs on hand!

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After letting the veggies and tuna marinate and getting the grilling pan hot and nice and coated, I put the veggies on the grill for a few minutes on each side.

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Once all of the veggies were done, I lightly seared our tuna steaks, which were marinated with palm oil and soy sauce. I love those grill marks! Dinner was served and it was delicious!

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I am so happy that I tried grilling with palm oil! To learn more about Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil, visit http://palmoilhealth.org.

A Week in the Life of a SAHM with Twins

Rather than doing the usual “Day in the Life of” post, I thought I would share with you a typical week in my life, as a stay-at-home mom of twin boys. Every single week is different, so a typical week is just like this in that every day and every week changes. Hope you enjoy a glimpse of our week!

Monday

Get the kids up, dressed, fed and settled in for playtime. I eat breakfast and get dressed. I have an appointment with my primary doctor this morning and will have to take the kids with me since we don’t have childcare this day.

Get out the door and make it on time for my appointment! Win!

I decided to play things by ear today, since you never know how long an appointment will last or how long you’ll have to wait. The appointment was surprisingly fast and we had some time before the boys’ second nap. Luckily, I packed their lunch so I decide to head over to the library for storytime. I get us parked and load up the kids, and they have their lunch outside of the library. Lucky for us, we live in a place where we can eat outside all year round!

This was our first time attending this storytime, and the twins loved it! I also loved it because it combined stories with singing and baby sign language.

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We head home and the boys have their snack. Then it is time for their nap! I finally get to eat my lunch and take care of a few things while they are sleeping. After their nap, they get a snack and play until their nanny comes.

While the nanny is here, I take the doggie for a walk and prepare dinner. She oversees their playtime, dinner, gets them ready for bed and down for the night. After dinner, I have a few hours to prepare for tomorrow and the rest of the week, as well as work on tweets and planning posts.

Tuesday

In the morning, we headed to the park for a playgroup and started Easter footprint crafts with the twins. The playgroup organizer took them home to finish for us to pick up later in the week.

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We headed home for naptime and lunch. Both of our nannies came over today, so I was able to head to the gym, make a Target run and do grocery shopping for the week.

Wednesday

We had a bit of a whirlwind morning. First, we met up with daddy to tour a preschool. San Diego preschools are pretty competitive as far as enrollment goes, so we are trying to nail down a preschool in the next couple of months. This is the third preschool I have looked at so far.

After the tour, we said bye to daddy and went to pick up our completed Easter crafts. They turned out so cute!

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Next, we headed to Del Mar Plaza to see a Hullabaloo concert. The boys had a lot of fun! They stayed in their stroller the whole time but were listening to the music, playing with the scarves and shakers.

 

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Our evening nanny is on vacation for the next two weeks, so hubby came home early to help get the little guys into bed. I still managed to cook dinner and do a few things around the house before the day was done.

Thursday

I was planning to attend a coffee meet up this morning, but the twins were napping so well that I did not want to wake them. Instead, we stayed home for the day. The weather has been slightly icky for the last few days and I had to bring out the rain cover for the stroller so that we could go on a walk with Gus.

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The other nanny came over for the afternoon and the twins met with their new physical therapist for the first time. While the nanny was here, I packed for our trip to Los Angeles to visit my parents! Traveling with twins is like moving! So much stuff!

I did not feel like cooking so we ordered burgers from Monster Crafts Food Truck.

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After the kiddos went to bed, I spent some time loving on Gus because he wasn’t going to be joining us on our excursion.

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Friday

The nanny came over for a few hours. She took care of the littlest one, while I took big brother to the doctor. When I got home, I rushed around to pack up the car and get everything ready to leave for LA.

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Despite my best efforts, I managed to forget to bring the Pack N Play! Ugh! So little brother did not have a place to sleep, but we managed to make it work.

It took half an hour longer to get to my parents’ house, but we made it. Darn you, Friday afternoon traffic! Then it was time to unpack! We stayed in that evening and enjoyed some of my mom’s homecooking.

Saturday

My parents volunteered to watch the twins most of the day, so I had some time for myself. In the morning, I headed to Shine Studio in Redondo Beach for a POUND Fitness class.

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The class was so fun! It is a high energy cardio class, but you do all of the moves using drumstick-like instruments called RIPSTIX. So fun, and stress-releasing because you get to literally pound on the floor!

After class, I went home to shower and then headed out again. I drove to La Brea to meet two friends for brunch and Odys + Penelope.

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We ordered a selection of items to share, and everything was delicious!

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We got the prawns and cauliflower grits, doughnut holes, ricotta corn pancakes, chicken adobo fried rice and sweet potato galette. My favs were the fried rice and pancakes! YUM!

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We were having such fun talking that before we knew it, it had been two hours. I had to bounce because I had to drive all the way to Santa Monica. I’m not kidding. I spent about 2.5 hours driving that day.

I had my first experience with cryotherapy at CryoZone in Santa Monica, which I booked through classpass. I also booked the POUND class this morning through classpass.

I wound up being 10 minutes late to my appointment, but they still let me keep it. Whoops and thank goodness!

I have been having a lot of soreness and pain in my back, so I thought I would give cryotherapy a try. I first heard about cryotherapy from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. LOL!

The whole experience was interesting. Basically, I got undressed and put on two layers of mittens, socks and warm boots and climbed into the machine. Once I was inside, I rang a doorbell and the therapist came back in the room and started my treatment. The whole thing lasts for 3 minutes and she talked to me the whole time, which helped it go by faster. It was actually hard to focus on what she was saying because I was busy focusing on how I felt – COLD and uncomfortable!

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Cryotherapy claims to reduce inflammation, boost metabolism and ease pain. I don’t know about the first two, but my back did feel better afterwards, but that only lasted until I had to care for my boys again!

After my treatment, it was back on the rode. It took me an hour to get home! Ugh!

I spent the rest of the day hanging out with my boys and nephew. My mom was watching him while my brother and sister-in-law attending a wedding.

Sunday

We headed to Del Amo Fashion Center for lunch at Din Tai Fung before the crowds arrived. I love DTF but never feels 100% satisfied after eating there.

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After lunch, we did some shopping and stalked the Easter bunny before heading home for the boys’ naptime.

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Well, that’s a quick glimpse at a week in our lives! Every day is different and hectic and fun, and I would not have it any other way. I’ll post a “Day in the Life” breakdown at some point in the future.

 

 

 

Gobble Meal Delivery Review – Part 2

We recently received our second meal delivery kit from Gobble.com. I actually did not remember that we had a kit scheduled to be delivered, and so did not get a chance to pick out which meals we were to be receiving. Boo hoo. That was especially unfortunate because husband wound up not being able to eat parts of the meals, and they were also meals that I probably would not have selected on my own, had I remembered. I wish Gobble could send out an email that reminds you to confirm your selections for the week before the deadline, but I can see why they don’t. This kind of email might spur people to skip their delivery for the week rather than confirming their meals.

Anywho, the meals were overall pretty good and we will definitely be ordering from Gobble again in the future.

Sicilian-style Albacore Tuna with Cauliflower Rice and Balsamic Glaze

This was surprisingly my favorite of the week. I was expecting the cauliflower rice to be bland, but it was delicious and had great texture. I was very impressed. For hubby’s portion, I excluded the garlic confit and he even commented that the meal was really good!

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Mandarin Orange Pork Chow Mein Stir Fry

This meal I had to eat on my own because of the amount of citrus that was involved. I enjoyed this meal as well, but I probably would not have selected it, if I had the option. The only probably I had while cooking this meal was that the noodle were all stuck together when I added them to the pan, so I had to break them apart by hand in order to keep the cooking going.

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Pan Roasted Chicken with Green Bean Casserole and Mashed Potatoes

This meal was my least favorite of the week. I though the green bean casserole was incredibly bland and soupy. This would not have been that bad but that was the most time-consuming part of the meal, so I had high expectations for it. The mashed potatoes were very good though, but all I had to do to prepare them was put them in a bowl and microwave them since they were already prepared. Lol!

Hubby’s portion did not have the green bean casserole since he tries to avoid dairy and cannot eat mushrooms.

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Gobble is still a great solution for mid-week meals, in my opinion, and I think they will continue to be a monthly part of my meal planning.

Happy First Birthday!

How are these two sweet boys already one year old? It feels so strange that I have been a mom for one year now. Time flies and it really makes me appreciate all of the time I get to spend with my babies as a stay-at-home mom. It truly goes by so quickly!

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We celebrated the boys’ birthday a week early, since it was President’s Day and family members were able to fly out and spend more time over the long weekend than during their actual birthday weekend.

Folks flew in from Pennsylvania, Oregon, Texas and San Francisco to be with us. The theme I chose for the party was “Where the Wild Things Are” and I included a photo display of the boys’ monthly pictures from their first 11 months! It is so crazy to see how much they have changed!

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For food, I ordered Hawaiian food, just because. We had kalbi (Korean-style beef short ribs), baked fish, rice, macaroni salad, another salad and spam musubi. Yum!

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Of course, we had to have cake too, so I got a strawberries and cream custom cake and a two flavors of cupcakes!

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I love how the cake turned out. It is Max’s king of the wild things crown from the book! So adorable.

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We gave the boys their first taste of sugar for their birthday, and that was not a good idea. The boys had allergic reactions to something in the cakes and got sick. Hubby had to take little brother to the ER to get checked out after calling the pediatrician’s nurse line! The party quickly dispersed after that. Big brother’s reaction was a bit slower and he wound up getting sick too.

It’s all fun and games until someone winds up in the hospital. They just needed a bit of Benadryl and were okay. Thank goodness!

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After the kids had some time to recover, we were finally able to open presents later that night. They got so much cute stuff!

Things did not exactly go as planned, but it will be a birthday party to remember.

Decorations: Declan & Smith and Stripes to Sparkle

T-shirts: The Shindiggity Shoppe

Catering: Dakines Hawaiian Catering

Cake: Sweet Cheeks Bakery

Balloons: Dollar Tree

Gobble Meal Delivery Review

After our move to San Diego last month, I have found myself back in the role of primary meal planner, shopper, cooker and cleaner upper. From time to time, I love ordering a meal delivery kit so that at least part of our week of meals is taken care of.

Last week, I tried out Gobble.com‘s meal delivery kit for the first time. In the past, I have tried HelloFresh, Blue Apron and HomeChef. I found Blue Apron and HomeChef to be too complicated with too many steps. I even wound up at the ER after cooking a HomeChef meal because it was too complicated and my head had mom brain fog. Oops. Is that my hand that is burned??

Gobble.com meal delivery review

Well, Gobble.com claims to provide meal recipes that only take 15 minutes to prepare. I was intrigued by that alone. If that wasn’t enough to sell me, the recipes looked tasty and they were running a promotion for 50% off your first meal kit. Sold!

My box arrived in the late morning, so I had plenty of time to use one of the meals that evening. Like most meal delivery services, the food arrives in a large box with all of the meals and ingredients separated out. The box also contains reusable ice to keep the food cold during transport. Now, this is one of the things that kills me about meal delivery kits. They are so convenient but have so much waste! While you aren’t creating food waste, the boxes, ice and plastic bags produce a ton of waste and is the main reason why I don’t do meal delivery kits more often. This is true of all meal delivery kits and not specific to Gobble.com.

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Trash after I unpacked the box
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Recipes cards and ingredients for our meals

Here is a run down of the meals we picked and how they went:

Meal #1: Thai Pork Stir-Fry with Haricot Verts and Petite Sweet Peppers

The hubster has a very restrictive diet, so I always have to pick meals that either he can eat or that are easily modified. For this meal, I cooked the sweet peppers and serrano chili separately and left them out of his portion.

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One of the things that stood out to me about Gobble’s recipes is that they are basically one pan recipes. It probably took me around 20 minutes to prepare and plate the meal, but the added 5 minutes could have been due to the fact that I had to cook certain items separately due to hubster’s diet.

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The meal was easy to make. Clean up was not too painful and most importantly, it was delicious. I also didn’t go to the ER.

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I did find the portion to be smaller than other meal kits we have tried. On occasion, we have even had leftovers, not with Gobble though.

Meal #2: Miso Soy Buddha Bowl with Quinoa and Avocado

This dish sounded so delicious that I didn’t even notice that it was vegetarian until I started to get it ready. For this meal, I excluded the red onions and avocado from hubby’s meal and the cilantro from mine.

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Gobble was two for two! I still cannot decide whether this meal or the first was my favorite. Again, I felt like the preparation took about 5 minutes longer than advertised, but it was still super easy and a one pan situation.

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Meal #3: Pan-Roasted Culotte Steak with Colorful Veggie Hash and Lemon Tahini Dressing

This was my least favorite meal, both preparation wise and taste wise. On a positive note, though, the only modification I had to make was excluding the dressing from hubby’s plate.

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When I cooked the steak according to the directions, it was definitely not done when I cut into it and this was after it had been resting for a significant amount of time. I wound up having to put the steak back in the oven for longer, which extended the cooking time way past 15 minutes. In addition, I thought the veggie hash was pretty bland, and the meal overall was not amazing.

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Bonus: Chocolate chip cookies

Since it was my first order with Gobble, they added in two chocolate chip cookies into our box! Yum! I just had to pop them in the oven for 15 minutes, and since hubby can’t eat chocolate, they were both mine. Nomnomnomnomnom!

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All in all, I was very happy with our first experience with Gobble and I will definitely be using them again. I foresee it being a delivery once per month and switching between Gobble and HelloFresh.

If you are interested in trying Gobble, they usually are running some kind of promotion for first timers. Otherwise, the meals cost $11.95 per meal if you order 6 or more meals and $13.95 per meal if you only order 4 meals, inclusive of shipping.

You can also use the following link to try out a FREE dinner kit for two: https://www.gobble.com/invites/G0BCvhves