About Me

Hi! My name is Lexy Briest. I am a teacher, artist, wife, and best of all mom to Delilah Poppy. This blog is meant to document what I love and discover along the way of becoming a mommy, which to me is a never ending journey. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Being Thankful

Today I am thankful for a wonderful husband whom I married three years ago today. We have a gorgeous daughter and beautiful home. We have happiness (most the time!) and generally great health. We are surrounded by amazing family and friends near and far. We are so grateful for all those relationships, some very old and some rather new.

I am also thankful for the delicious food that grows on our earth and roams on its bounty.  It can be rather depressing to think about how all our natural resources are swiftly declining, which includes all the yummy things I love to eat. This time of year is a good time to be mindful about what we eat. Make sure you enjoy it, that you aren't wasteful. I like to educated myself about where my food comes from and if it processed, how so. I want to be able to inform Delilah with this information so she can learn to make her own decisions about what she eats.

I took her to the grocery store last week and she went gaga over the beautiful colors and shapes (we spent a long time in the produce aisle). One fellow customer even asked what she was smiling about  (well she is almost always smiling)! It makes me proud that I have a happy, healthy baby girl who is excited about life and especially food. She had me worried Monday and Tuesday when she wasn't eating that much food, but if you had boogies clogging your nose, I guess you wouldn't want to eat much either. Luckily she is feeling better (mostly just crusties for those wanting to know) and is eating almost like her old self.

In honor of getting over colds, I took the bag of organic pink lady apples we got together from our grocery excursion and a few leftover red delicious and turned them into an apple pie and an apple galette. I just used the leftover dough and saved some apple filling to make the galette so that Bryan and I could taste it today and save the pie for Thanksgiving dessert tomorrow!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Apple-Rosemary Pie
2 cups flour (I used Gluten Free)
a dash of salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
8 oz cream cheese (I used greek yogurt style cream cheese for more protein and less fat!)

In a food processor combine dry ingredients. Add the butter and cream cheese. Pulse till a crumbly dough forms. Turn dough out onto a dusted surface. Divide into two. Flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic if not using right away and put in fridge. (With a baby, sometimes you have to take breaks.)

4 lbs or so of organic apples (more is better for tastings...), peeled and sliced (I used pink lady and red delicious)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
dash of salt
a few swipes of a fresh nutmeg grated or 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg spice
4 tbsp cornstarch (more if you are using more apples)
squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about half a juicy lemon)
1 spring rosemary, leaves removed and chopped, stem discarded

1 tbsp cold butter, cubed
1 egg white beaten with 1 tsp water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine apples, sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cornstarch in a large pot set on medium-high. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent burning. Uncover and simmer on low 5 minutes till liquid thickens. Take off heat, add lemon juice and rosemary. Let sit till cool, 20-30 minutes.  Roll out one disk of dough and place in pie pan, letting ends hang. Fill with most apple filling if also making galette or you just want some yummy apples to nosh on while you wait for the pie to bake. Cut the remaining disk of dough in half. Roll out one of the halves and cut strips to make the lattice on top of the pie. Fold hanging edges of crust over the top to form a strong edge. Brush the top of the pie with the egg white mixture for a glossy sheen. Dot top of pie with butter. Bake 1 hour. After half hour, I covered edges of pie with foil so they wouldn't burn. Let cool another hour. Wrap up and hide from view to avoid not having a dessert to bring to your Thanksgiving dinner.

For the Galette:

Roll out the remaining dough and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the remaining apples in the middle of the dough leaving a 2 inch border. Fold the edges over themselves to form a "crust." Dot with a few cubes of butter. Bake 35 minutes at 400 degrees. Let cool 20 minutes before devouring.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Jewish Penicillin for the sick baby.......and mom

As many parents know, when your child is sick you will try anything to make them feel better. It is helpful to realize that their sickness will have to run its course and encouraging to think that their sicknesses now will help them fight future infections later by strengthening their immune system (thanks Aunt Rachie for your medical insight!). Let 's be honest: no one thinks these things during those stressful crying and fussing sessions that seem to never end.

Even after I have put Delilah to bed I find myself worrying about her breathing and is she okay? It is just as stressful as when she was awake, and there is no more wine in this house! Or cookies. Or Once Upon A Time to watch.  So instead let me reminisce about my day of cooking.

I set out at 7:50 am to pick up supplies to make Jewish Penicillin aka Chicken Soup. The kind with the bones and skin. The real stuff. There is something about the fat from the chicken and probably the marrow in the bones that makes you feel better. Not to mention all the health benefits from the vitamins and minerals released by the fresh vegetables and herbs that make the broth taste so good. I finish mine off with a squeeze of fresh lemon and chopped dill. The lemon and herbs are a go-to homeopathic ingredient, having many health benefits. Again, it also just taste darn good.

Chicken Soup with Lemon
(all ingredients are organic as this was for my infant daughter. If that is unattainable splurge on the chicken as it is the main component)
1 whole free range chicken or chicken parts that include the bone and skin
2 stalks celery
2-3 carrots (I used red and yellow locally grown)
1 medium turnip
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
a few springs dill and/or parsley, plus more for garnish
5-6 whole peppercorns
salt to taste
1 lemon

Combine all ingredients except the lemon in a large stock pot. Cover with water till it is 1 inch above the chicken. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for at least 2 hours, more if possible, skimming the surface for impurities. Resist skimming the fat. There shouldn't be that much as there is no added oils and a free range, organic chicken has better quality fat. Take the chicken out on a cutting board and take off the meat. Scoop vegetables out and decide what to keep. Chop the larger pieces into bite size chunks. Strain the stock. Add the lemon juice.

For baby, I kept some of the broth separate. I also pureed a small amount of the chicken and vegetables with some broth.

I think the best part of making this soup is the whole family benefits from the immune boost. As I finish writing this I recall how my own throat has been hurting for the past hour and how I will most likely experience cold symptoms when I wake up. Then Bryan will get them. Hopefully ingesting this soup will make the cold less intense and take less time to get over. Time to get a bowl..........and I only checked the monitor twice!

Saturday, November 23, 2013


It's been how long?! I often think about what I want to write on this blog, usually on my drive to work (when my brain is functioning the best). Then it mysteriously gets forgotten by the time the traffic lights become part of my drive and the teacher in me takes over.

Rather than try and make up posts about things I wanted to say weeks ago I am just going to start from this point on and accept the fact that as a mom my time management is not always rainbows and butterflies.

You know who is sunshine and daffodils?  Delilah! She is so amazing and full of life. And thankfully sleeping through the night 12 hours on average. It has been a tough journey, especially today when her first big cold and possible first tooth cutting collided in a cacophony of cries, snot bubbles and drool. However, when it was time to eat, she was a champ!

She dined on baby spinach and roasted pear puree with Parmesan, apple-cranberry sauce and some chevre cheese for lunch. For dinner she had sweet potato chunks, broccoli mash with lemon and a yam-coconut milk puree with a dash of cinnamon. I am so proud of my adventurous eater!

In other worthy Delilah news, she has added the word "Hello" to her growing vocabulary which currently includes "Mama," "Dada," "Baba " (for bottle), and a breathy sounding "Delilah" (hey, that's a lot of syllables!)