Food Processors

I’m on the hunt for a good quality food processor…

Here’s the top three that I’m looking at for a family of 4 (pre-research): Braun, Breville, and Cuisinart.  It needs to be durable and low maintenance.  I don’t really care about how loud or quiet it is because my kids are typically loud and they sleep with a sound machine.  A quiet motor is a nice “want” but not a necessity.  Maybe that will matter to me more in 5 years.

My research


Full comparisons

Final Thoughts

After the stellar reviews above as well as the in depth review from Tech Gear Lab and Healthy But Smart, I am leaning toward the Breville Sous Chef.  I need a large food processor for 4 people — although my kids are only 1 and 2 years old, they already eat a ton and I know this will only mean bigger appetites as they grow older.  Important things for me are chopping, shredding, slicing, and cleaning.  After the research, I think the Breville Sous Chef fits the bill.


Nutrition 2019

I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions.  Why?  Because I used to make a list of 10 things and NEVER got any of them completed.  My goal these days is to constantly re-asses my goals daily.  Every day is a new day to accomplish something or try something new or go outside your comfort zone.  So, this year, my husband and I both want to work on our nutrition.  It’s more evident now (we’re in our 40s) than ever before that we really take responsibility not only for our own health, but the health of our littles.  Therefore, this is a top priority for both of us.  The more we learn about nutrition and what to put into our bodies, the more we can teach our kids the importance of health and nutrition.  I hope this knowledge continues to transfer down into our kids, grandkids, etc.  The gift of good health is more valuable to me now than before.   The older I get, the more I see my parents/family aging.  Luckily, my family has good genes are have lived into their 90s.  However, I want to take what I can into my own hands and make sure it stays that way.  I come across so many patients who either have bad genes, poor diet, poor access to nutrition, lack of knowledge of nutrition and exercise, or simple complacency with an “I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do” attitude.

Three Books that I’m tackling this year:


From CBHS Fund


Things I’d like to tackle:

Easy BBQ Instant Pot Ribs

From time to time, I get a craving for meat. More specifically, Texas BBQ. As much as I’d love to learn the secrets of a pitmaster or master griller/smoker, life and job get in the way of tackling it all.

However, I did find a delicious recipe to curtail that craving that’s tender, juicy, flavorful and brings me back to my Texas roots!

Original Recipe: please visit their website to send the love!

Make this no fuss 4 ingredients Easy BBQ Instant Pot Ribs in 40 mins! Tender baby back ribs are finger lickin’ good. Perfect weeknight dinners! Perfect weeknight meal, last minute dinners, or cook them for your next BBQ. 😀

Recipe type: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meat, Quick Meals, Super Easy
Cuisine: American
SERVING: 2 – 3
  • 1 rack baby back ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
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  1. Prepare the Baby Back Ribs: Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs with a paper towel.

    Season the Baby Back Ribs: Season the Baby Back Ribs with generous amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper.

  • Pressure Cook the Baby Back Ribs: Place 1 cup of cold running tap water and a trivet into the pressure cooker. Place the baby back ribs on top of the trivet. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 16 – 25 minutes. Adjust the timing according to your preference: 16 minutes (Tender with a bit of chew) to 25 minutes (Fall off the bone). Turn off the heat and full Natural Release. Open the lid carefully.
  • Preheat Oven: While the baby back ribs is cooking in the pressure cooker, preheat the oven to 450F.
  • Apply Sauce and Finish in the Oven: Brush your favorite BBQ sauce all over the baby back ribs on all sides including the bones. Place the baby back ribs with the baking tray in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Serve: Remove the ribs from the oven and serve!

In all honesty, instead of doing steps 4 and 5, my husband fired up the grill and got some great grill flavoring on the ribs while also rebasting them with BBQ sauce. That’s how we served up the ribs! And it was a crowd pleaser!!! This would be perfect for your next summer picnic or Super Bowl party!


Whole30 Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla-Less Soup

Continuing on my cold weather craze of some comforting hot soup, I came across this recipe.  I was looking for something quick and easy to store if I didn’t get a chance to make it during the week.  This is what I stumbled upon and after making it… it doesn’t disappoint!!  The hubs and 10 month old baby loved it!

Here’s the original recipe: 40 Aprons –  Whole30 Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla-Less Soup (Paleo)


Whole30 Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla-Less Soup

This Whole30 Instant Pot chicken tortilla less soup is full of flavor and so easy to make! Super quick and filling, this Mexican soup is creamy, spicy, healthy, and low carb.
 Course: Soup
 Cuisine: American, Mexican
 Keyword: instant pot, soup, whole30
 Prep Time: 5 minutes
 Cook Time: 20 minutes
 Time to Pressure: 20 minutes
 Total Time: 45 minutes
 Servings: 4  servings
 Calories: 324 kcal



  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 10-ounce cans cans tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-3 teaspoons chipotle pepper powder if on Whole30. 1 teaspoon for mild, 3 teaspoons for hot. I used 1 tsp.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 zucchinis chopped or cut into 1/2″ half moons
  • 1 red bell pepper cubed (my addition)
  • 1 14-ounce can can full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream whisked until smooth
  • 1 small can diced green chiles (my addition)


  • fresh avocado slices
  • red onions , sliced thin
  • fresh cilantro , chopped
  • coconut cream or greek yogurt or sour cream
  • lime juice
  • shredded cheese , if not paleo or on Whole30
  • tortilla strips or chips, if not paleo or on Whole30

Equipment Needed


  1. Sprinkle boneless skinless chicken breasts with salt. Add the chicken breasts to the Instant Pot. Sear both sides.  Add the remaining ingredients in order, through zucchini.
  2. Secure the lid on the pot. Cook at high pressure for 18 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for ten minutes, then use the manual release. Pull out the chicken breasts and add coconut milk and diced green chiles. Switch Instant Pot to Sauté mode and stir to combine. Dice chicken, then return to soup. Serve hot, topped with garnishes of choice.

Recipe Notes

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make this Whole30 chicken tortilla-less soup in the slow cooker. Add all ingredients, except coconut milk, in order listed. Cook on low heat for 7 hours or on high heat for 4 hours. Remove chicken breasts and dice. Stir in coconut milk, then return chicken to slow cooker. Serve with garnishes.
If you’re not on a Whole30, use 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and 2 teaspoons adobo sauce in place of the chipotle pepper powder. It’s better than the powder – trust me!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Earlier this week, I was craving some beef stew.  It complements the cold evenings so well!  Plus, I need more iron in my diet.  So, the stars aligned.

I gathered my basic recipe foundation from Food Network: Slow Cooker Beef Stew.

But, I had to make some tweaks to the recipe based on what my tastes are and what I had on hand in the kitchen.

From Food Network: Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Level: Easy
Total: 8 hr 40 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 8 hr 20 min
Yield: 8 to 10 servings


  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces — cut as much fat off as possible
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (that’s all I had in the kitchen) plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup corn starch (what I had available)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound small white potatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 1 -inch chunks (addition to recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (I used several dashes of dried thyme as that’s what I had)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional (didn’t use this bc didn’t have)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped
  • Sour cream, for serving (we used greek yogurt)


  1. Toss the beef with the paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Coat in 1/3 cup corn starch and shake off any excess.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook undisturbed until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, turning the beef as needed, until mostly browned, about 3 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the beef to the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker
  3. Add the potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, celery, and onions and stir to combine.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir until the oil begins to turn brick-red, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the 1/3 cup corn starch and wine and whisk until thick (it’s OK if there are some lumps).
  6. Add the beef broth, thyme, caraway if using, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer, whisking
  7. Continue simmering and whisking until the gravy is smooth and thick, about 4 minutes.
  8. Pour the gravy into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. The meat and vegetables should be tender.
  9. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.
  10. Serve the stew in bowls with dollops of sour cream/greek yogurt and a sprinkle of paprika.

I browned the meat the night before and set the crockpot on low overnight.  When it was done, I took out the crockpot insert and left in on the stove top to cool.  Got home around 5:30pm and was ready to serve for the family.  This modified recipe was able to feed 4 servings the first night, and 3 servings for leftovers.  Keep in mind, we used large bowls.

This recipe definitely tackled my craving (yep, 24 weeks preggo!) and satisfied my husband and my mother-in-law as well!  Bonus, our 9.5 month old really enjoyed eating the tender beef and vegetables as well!  Family friendly meal!


6 months post-partum

Arden is 6 months old!  The time flew by… although it didn’t seem like it her first two months of life.  She is such a sweet, happy baby who loves to drink her milk (she takes around 30 oz/day).  She doesn’t care too much for daytime naps, however, she is a great sleeper through the night once she goes down.  She’s still getting up around 4a or so for a feed but then falls right back to sleep.  Sometimes, she cries out but it’s mainly bc she was on her tummy and doesn’t quite roll back to her back.  She loves jumping around in her jumperoo and playing in her gym with her various toys.  She’s getting so strong with her legs and her arms.  Her grip strength is really good and she’s getting better with her grasping.  She is now purposefully placing her feet to walk in her scooter.  We’ve started her on purees.  The first one she tried was peas and brown rice and she did not like it.  Now, we’re on to winter squash and she seems to like that a bit more.  Maybe it’s because the texture and consistency is a bit smoother than the peas.  We have our 6 month pediatrician appointment soon and I’m curious to see how much she weighs and how tall she is.  I feel like she’s grown a ton in just the last month!  She still has just her two bottom teeth.  It’s incredible to see the changes taking place in our lil girl.

She got a fever at daycare on August 14, 2018 and Bear picked her up and brought her home.  Arden seemed lethargic and fussy and didn’t want to feed.  She started developing blisters on her hands and feet and in her mouth.  The pediatrician said it was hand, foot, and mouth disease.  This has been going on at daycare, so I knew it was just a matter of time before she got it.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week were pretty brutal as you could tell she was hungry but it was too painful to feed.  She slept more throughout the day and woke up several times at night bc of hunger or discomfort.  We give her infant tylenol and infant motrin for the first time.  She ended up throwing up the Tylenol the first two times we gave it to her.  It was a larger volume of medicine than the motrin.  After that, we opted to stick with the motrin and give it to her in smaller aliquots — she tolerated this and felt better shortly after and was able to feed.  Luckily, she never got too dehydrated or lethargic.  We tried to give her pedialyte when she wasn’t taking formula and she didn’t really like that either.  But, it’s now Sunday and she really started to turn the corner on Friday/Saturday.  It’s so good to have our smiling, happy, active girl back!!

She’s really into textures now.  Arden loves to feel materials with her hands and fingers.  Everything still goes in her mouth, but that’s ok… that’s part of learning and the sensory feedback.  Her upper two teeth are starting to come in (6.5 months old).  She loves sleeping on her tummy, esp with her booty up in the air.  She still dislikes purees… we’ve tried avocados, peas, bananas, blueberries, winter squash (this has been her favorite so far), carrots, sweet potatoes, peanuts.  I tried my hand at making purees at home and it’s been lovely.  These two websites: Wholesome Baby Food Recipes and The Vintage Mixer have shared wonderful recipes as well as personal experiences of feeding their babies with whole unprocessed foods made at home.  This is my jam (right now).

Instant Pot Miso Ramen

My husband absolutely loves ramen. I love ramen. When we went to Japan back in November 2015, we indulged in all different types of ramen. The variety, purity, and umami flavor of the ramen was incredible. I wanted to try and make it at home…. why? Sure it may take me hours, but there’s a gratification and “get it anytime I want” mentality when I am either too lazy or too busy to leave the house.

After an appropriate internet search on a legit ramen recipe, I stumbled across the website IceOrRice and was blown away by their love for cultural food and flavors and their willingness to share it with people.

So… see below for their fabulous recipe to make instant pot miso ramen!

Instant Pot Miso Ramen

Keep in mind…. I am not a chef. I’ve used my instant pot maybe 3 times in my life. But this recipe delivers without fail!! Give it a try, you’ll be so glad you did!

Side note:  I didn’t have a whole chicken on hand, so I used 64 oz organic chicken stock and 32 oz water for my broth/liquid.

I also didn’t have red miso on hand… note to self: get it from the Asian market as it does matter for the umami flavor!

I used these gluten-free and organic millet and brown rice ramen noodles that I got at Costco and they were a nice consistency and were a great and almost unnoticeable gluten-free replacement.


I didn’t plan ahead so I wasn’t able to do the IceOrRice Shoyu Ramen Egg, but I did follow the directions for cooking time of the egg.  I used the shiitake mushrooms from the broth in the dish itself.  And I love kimchi — that’s a staple for me in almost any asian side dish.  Scallions sprinkled on top are always lovely!  We had some left over mirin-marinated ground beef, so we threw that on top for a little texture.

I also had some leftover tofu that we threw in our ramen.

My husband took this photo prior to devouring the ramen.  He was sooooo stoked!  Looks like this recipe is a keeper — it makes enough to use throughout the week (4-6 adult servings).  Perfect comfort food for cold nights!

Yeah, we really enjoyed this ramen recipe!!! Terrific job iceorrice!!

Make Nutrition a Priority

This past weekend, we went to my mom’s for Mother’s Day.  It’s always a treat to be able to catch up with the fam.  Both my aunt and my mom are extremely health conscious.  My aunt has been practicing a very healthy lifestyle since 1999 when she had a health wakeup call.  My mom has more recently adopted a health-conscious lifestyle probably in the last 8 years when she moved out to California.  Nutrition is my aunt’s passion — any chance she gets, she’s always interested in educating me about eating whole foods.  I feel like I’m pretty healthy, but I certainly make my food mistakes: preferring quick and easy to wholesome nutritious, craving sweet and/or fatty foods over better choices to satisfy my craving, and stress-eating without hunger.  Sure we all do it.  But, I got to thinking that now is a great time to really educate myself on nutrition and taking care of my family.  I don’t know why it was such an epiphany, but now that I’m responsible for a tiny human… I’d really like to educate her on good food choices.  So, it starts with me… leading and setting a good example for my daughter.  It’ll be a bonus when the whole family jumps on board.

From JSHealth

There’s a ton of nutrition info out there as well as recipes.  Recently, I came across a gal’s website on nutrition: JSHealth.  She has a very relatable story regarding her relationship with food.  I think what she’s trying to accomplish is fantastic, and it should be a goal of not only girls and women, but anyone we love in our lives.  Food is something that will be with us for life.  There are so many fad diets out there.  Some claim quick results — hey, who wouldn’t want to drop 10lbs in a month?  But is it sustainable through life?  If not, then you’ll just yo-yo back and forth and continue to look for “diets” instead of a “lifestyle”.  Plus, look at the health gains or losses from a diet vs. whole food lifestyle.  Will this be easy?  Probably not.  I will be changing the way I’ve eaten for the last 39 (eek) years of my life.  But, it’s important, and I wish I knew and started sooner.

Here is her program.

Have you been on yo-yo dieting?

How do you feel on your current diet/eating routine?


Grilled al pastor marinated yellowtail tacos

It’s the weekend…. or you’re craving tacos for Taco Tuesday.  This recipe will deliver!  We live down in southern California and tacos are the thing.  The nice thing is we have access to delicious fresh fish to make these tacos pop!  The ingredients are fresh and nutritious.  This also appears to be a safe gluten-free meal given the corn tortillas.  Now, I can’t take credit for this recipe as it’s from the talented Chef Christine Rivera of Galaxy Taco.

Here’s the link to the full recipe.



Here are the tweaks I made because I’m a bit “lazy”:

  • Got mango salsa instead of pineapple salsa (the store didn’t have pineapple salsa at the time)
  • We couldn’t find achiote paste… so we googled a recipe for it and used that.  I’ll post it below.
  • I totally forgot to pickup garlic at the store… so I googled an equal garlic powder amount and google said 1/8 tsp garlic powder = 1 garlic clove


Achiote paste: Makes 1 tablespoon

  • 1.5 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumim
  • Mix all together and you get a very aromatic paste.




Healthy Banana Bread (Paleo/gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free)

I came across this gal’s blog via instagram (@bananabreadtoburpees).  She’s full of positivity, workouts, recipes, and overall healthy eating habits…all while pursuing a graduate degree in chemical engineering!  In this world of judgement, she has resisted the norm and worn her vulnerability on her sleeve by sharing her progression of health and fitness.  I’m thankful for her honest depiction of change and her willingness to share it with everyone.

This is her banana bread recipe here.

I had to make improvisations to her recipe because I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand.  Basically, I substituted coconut flour for whole wheat flour (my mom is paleo), added one whole egg, added more water and almond milk to make the mixture more of a batter than a dry paste (I think the coconut flour sucked up a lot of the water).

Banana Bread

It turned out moist and my husband thinks it’s tasty!!  I’ll definitely try it next time as advertised because the banana flavor is just delicious.  Perhaps it’s a bit grainy/falls apart from the coconut flour.  I’d make this recipe again as it was pretty easy and super tasty!