Author Archives: Stronglikemycoffee
We’ve been home from our St. Lucia vacation for two weeks now, and I plan to share a full travel recap post this weekend! I have quite a lot of information that I want to include in a recap of our vacation at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian resort, plus tips and a resort review so I’ve been type-type-typing away at that. It should be posted later this week, and in the meantime, here is a YouTube video of our trip! The day after arriving home in Boise, my husband and I were both back to work which meant finding another recipe to pack my pilot!
This is quickly becoming a little series of recipes I’m finding to pack my pilot husband on his 3-4 day work trips. For a brief recap, I try to make recipes that can keep for 3-4 days in a cooler bag and taste good (enough) hot and cold. For a full rundown of the requirements of packing meals on the go for a pilot to take on their 4 day trips, check out this post!
This week, I continued finding a lower-carb option for Zeb but this was my first meatless meal in this series. Though it could easily adapt to include chicken or shrimp. I made a Thai Peanut Pasta Salad that was the easiest recipe so far!
You might notice one missing ingredient from the photos of this dish. I bought shelled edamame to include as another protein source in this pasta salad, but completely forgot to add it. It would have tasted so yummy, but I’ll be making this again soon!
Thai Peanut Pasta Salad
- 8 oz Chickpea Rotini Pasta (I used Banza) or regular pasta is fine too
- 1 large cucumber , quartered
- 3/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 4 large green onions, diced
- 3/4 cup shelled edamame
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbs minced garlic
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add your chickpea pasta. Boil until soft, drain the water, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, we will whisk together the sauce. Add creamy peanut butter, maple syrup, vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce and garlic.
- In a separate large bowl, add your cucumber, shredded carrot, shredded cabbage, green onion (white and green), edamame, and noodles.
- Combine in the Thai peanut sauce.
- Top with peanuts.
- Refrigerate and Enjoy!
This was a great lunch for Zeb on the plane during his long days, full of veggies and color! The chickpea pasta also has 50% more protein than regular pasta, and the edamame would have also packed a little protein punch if I would have remembered it, haha.
We also celebrated Father’s Day since the last time I chatted on here, and my mom and I made the most delicious homemade Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting. I’d never made cinnamon rolls from scratch before, and definitely never had such a decadent cinnamon roll flavor! We celebrated Zeb and my dad at our house with these rich rolls plus a side of crispy bacon and coffee.
Our local splash pads have opened up and Brynnley is a total water baby! She gets “happy feet” when she sees the water streams, she can’t contain her excitement! It’s so cute to watch her stomp her feet back and forth in pure joy. She’s so animated, screaming and squealing and smiling ear to ear.
Another meatless lunch dish I tried out was a lemony quinoa salad, though Zeb made it very clear that this was too healthy for me to pack on a trip for him. I saved it for myself and a friend who came over to hang out with Brynnley and I while he was gone. I got the recipe here, and I didn’t tweak a thing! It was a good spring/summer dish!
I also attended my first country concert of the summer! We try to go to as many country concerts as we can get to during the summer, and there are typically a LOT of inexpensive ones in the area! There’s always 3-4 concerts at our county fairs. We have two different county fairs in the Treasure Valley of Idaho – both always bring really good music! There’s also lots of live music at a venue in the Boise area that I met my girlfriends at last Friday. The weather wasn’t too hot, we got close enough to the stage and I enjoyed my first ever High Noon with some tacos! We saw Kylie Morgan, Sawyer Brown Band, and Jake Owen. The atmosphere at a country concert is just one of the best dang things ever.
Alright I’m going to put the rest of my blogging time into working on my Sandals Grande St. Lucian Recap and Review post, I just poured a cup of decaf coffee (it’s currently 4:58pm, but I still crave something yummy while I’m working on my laptop).
See you back here soon!
Have you seen this trend going around the blog world of a Photo Per Hour? When I first saw it, it instantly reminded me of the new-ish app called BeReal. BeReal is the least “filtered” of the social media platforms because it’s all about no filters, no editing photos, no curating a feed that’s glamorous! The app notifies you at a random time during the day to post a photo of what you’re doing along with everyone else you’re friends with. I personally love it :)
To document my day through a photo per hour, I set an alarm to go off on my phone every 60 minutes from wake up to bedtime and capture what was going on in the moment. On this particular day, my husband was flying a “local” trip, which means he didn’t spend the night in a different city; he started and ended his trip in Boise on the same day….although he was still gone from 8:40am to 9:15pm.
Here we go!
We needed to be out of the house before 8:30 today, because we had some errands to accomplish before Brynnley’s first nap and my work. So even though I typically just let Brynnley wake me up, today I set my alarm for 7:30am and threw on a sundress and some 5-minute makeup. I recycled yesterday’s hair style and sipped on my (first) cup of coffee.
Brynnley and I are in Walmart for some necessities! This is the new pose she does when she wants me to hand her something and I love it. In this moment, she wanted me to hand her some scrunchies off the shelf….which I did and let her carry around until it was time to checkout haha.
I need to pause and make a mention – Walmarts in Utah & Idaho are very different than Walmarts in other areas. Growing up in Southern California, our local Walmart was very dirty and disheveled and not somewhere we would shop because it was just chaos. For whatever reason, Utah & Idaho treat their Walmarts like Targets. They are clean, organized, stocked well, and I personally don’t think they have the same “people of Walmart” stereotype of customers. If you’re from here, I think you’ll agree. And if you aren’t, you’ll have to check it out for yourself when you visit! 😅
It’s my mom’s birthday! Yes, that is my mother 🤪 She defies all laws of aging.
Brynnley and I surprised her and brought a little birthday goodie bag to her. Brynnley loved playing with the balloon at her Gigi’s desk!
We are home with about 30 minutes to kill before Brynnley’s first nap time! She plays with some toys and books while I start some laundry and fold the load in the dryer.
She’s asleep so now I get as much work done as I can! I am a part-time employee for an online company, and my title is Blog Manager and Copywriter. (It’s totally separate from Strong Like My Coffee which is just a hobby.) During my naptime hustle, I had a video call with the director of operations, and a couple of copywriting deadlines to meet. I also manage the company’s app and business Pinterest account so I worked on these as well!
I really wanted to squeeze in a run while Brynnley was snoozing so at 12:30 I hopped on the treadmill and turned on some music. I got in 2.5 miles and broke a good sweat! Then I logged back onto my laptop until Brynn woke up around 1pm.
I made Brynnley and I some smoothies for lunch – vanilla yogurt, banana, blueberries, strawberries, chocolate protein collagen powder and a splash of milk. So yummy! Brynnley sips hers in her high chair while I clean everything up and wrap up the copywriting task I was working on my laptop.
Time for some sunshine! We head outside for a 35 minute neighborhood walk. She loves to see any birds, dogs or cats along our route :)
We wind down before her second nap of the day. I usually put her down again around 4pm. Some days she crashes right away and other days she happily plays in her crib for half an hour before she falls asleep. I usually bust out another work session during this time!
The kitchen sink is nearly full from the days’ dishes and it’s not even dinner time yet! I decide to clear them out quickly for a clean slate at dinner time.
I throw together a salad with a bagged kit plus some extras we had in the fridge. This one came with a blueberry lemon vinaigrette! I made a batch of Mac n Cheese for Brynnley’s dinner which I’ll serve with some applesauce and black beans.
The BeReal. App notification went off just as we were starting a pre-dinner walk with our neighbor and friend Kat! She’s the one who introduced BeReal. to me. We walked and chatted until our bellies were growling and headed back to our homes for dinner time.
Dinner usually gets a little messy so we just go straight to the tub afterwards. Brynnley LOVES playing in the water and is always in the best mood!
The kitchen is clean again and I’ve prepped three bottles – one for her upcoming bedtime, one in case she wakes in the middle of the night and one for first thing in the morning to grab along with my cup of coffee. I usually put her to bed by 9pm, but I knew Zeb would be home from his flights at 9:15 so she stayed up with me a little later.
Baby’s in bed and I’m ready to relax for a moment! I had just a little bit left of this book left, which I really enjoyed! It was a gift from one of my book club friends & she picked well :) I sipped on a Peach Lemonade ICE water, which I have to buy in bulk at Costco because I love them so much.
And that’s a wrap! Not every day is the same so this was a fun little random glimpse into life currently :)
Last week I shared some of the unique and challenging aspects of a commercial airline pilot’s work trip schedule, and how we often meal prep and pack homemade balanced meals to keep my husband from eating out for four days straight. If you’re interested in a little more of the standard (or not-so-standard) lifestyle of this career, definitely check out this post first!
For Zeb’s most recent four-day trip, he requested something low-carb for this week’s meal prep…..maybe our upcoming tropical summer vacation has something to do with that, haha. He would be doing multiple flights a day with nightly hotel stays in Tri-Cities, Washington, Meford, Oregon, and Eugene, Oregon. Not the most glamorous trip route this time.
I took to Pinterest for some low-carb inspiration, found a recipe, and tweaked it a little to make it my own. This trip, I made and packed Zeb a Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Bake & I kept a container for myself because it was so yummy! I LOVE the flavor of buffalo sauce.
You start by baking a spaghetti squash (which Brynnley kept calling a banana and a ball) and chicken breast. I like to microwave my squash for about 7-8 minutes first to help it cook a little faster, since it does take close to an hour!
In the meantime, you can prep the rest of your ingredients. Thinly sliced celery, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, crumbled blue cheese, ranch dressing, buffalo wing sauce, and parsley for topping.
Once the chicken is cooked and cooled, dice it up and add it to your mixture. Then use two forks to pull apart the spaghetti squash strands and add them to your large bowl.
Place the buffalo chicken spaghetti squash mixture into a greased casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for another 20 minutes. You can add more cheese on top if you wish!
Zeb did say that I broke my own rule with this one because it wasn’t as good cold. Luckily he ended each day of this trip pretty early and was able to eat his meal in his hotel room with a microwave.
Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Bake
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- 2 lb. Chicken Breast
- 1 cup Celery , thinly sliced
- 1 cup Tomato , diced
- 1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese
- 2/3 cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
- 1 cup Ranch Dressing
- 1 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce (or more, dependent on your taste)
- Parsley for garnish
- Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, greased. Also grease a 9×9 baking dish and set aside for later.
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half and place both halves face-down on the foil. Place chicken breast next to them.
- Bake until chicken is heated to 165 degrees internal temperature and remove from sheet. Place squash back into oven until it is very soft and tender.
- While squash and chicken are baking, combine the rest of your ingredients in a LARGE mixing bowl: thinly sliced celery, diced tomato, shredded cheese, crumbled blue cheese, ranch dressing, buffalo sauce, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Once the cooked chicken has cooled, cut it into bite-sized cubes and add it to the buffalo mixture.
- Once cooked spaghetti squash has cooled, remove the squash strands with two forks and add to the buffalo mixture. Blend well.
- Add the mixture to the greased baking dish and bake for another 20 minutes. Feel free to add cheese on top and continue baking until it browns. I liked to top mine with extra buffalo sauce.
- Garnish with parsley and add a little ranch dressing drizzle, if you so desire!
And there you have this week’s installment of what I meal prepped for my pilot husband! We are going to enjoy our Memorial Day weekend with our first trip to the pool of the year, and I can’t wait! Last summer, we went to the pool quite often and Brynnley seemed to enjoy it but she was only 5-7 months old. Now she’s nearly a year and a half and can run around the splash pad on her own. She LOVES water and insists on sticking herself in front of the hose whenever I’m out watering my garden.
She and I have been taking 2-3 walks A DAY because the weather is sooo perfect and I know hotter days are coming so we are taking advantage while we can.
I have a fun blog post idea planned for later next week so check back soon! Happy Memorial Day Weekend!