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Texas Girl Guacamole

If you’re from Texas, you’ve got to have your own signature guacamole recipe. It’s just in our southern blood. I grew up disliking guacamole because I was used to thinking of it as whipped green mush. It was a side item to a fajita platter that I often passed right over. That is, until one day I was in the kitchen with my dad and he made some and had me try it…

“But I don’t like guacamole,” I said definitively.

He said “Just try it.”

I loved it so much I made him make more and pass it around to friends. I would carry it into home and triumphantly say, “This MY dad’s guacamole!”

I learned how to make it from my dad, but I add my own little flair with a kick of orange, pumpkin seeds, and goat cheese. Now I know this sounds strange, but trust me on this one. One of our favorite restaurants in Austin, Z Tejas, did this with their guacamole and it has become a staple topping set for us ever since.

The trick to keeping guacamole fresh (as possible) is to save those pits and place them in with the leftovers…that is, if there are any! I also find the citrus helps to stave off some of the browning that can occur as well.

My family loves to have this with some nice and salty chips and I like to top a crunchy rice cake with it and add sriracha!

Texas Girl Guacamole Recipe

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Almonds & Cream Matcha Latte

I like this warming twist on your standard matcha.  The hint of almonds, the creamy blends, and the cinnamon-sprinkled froth make this feel extra special.

almonds & cream matcha latte

To recreate it at home, see the recipe below!

Almonds & Cream Matcha Latte Recipe

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Mayo-Free Crunchy Tuna Salad

I LOOOOVE tuna! Don’t care if I get complaints from the whole family on how it smells and they won’t sit by me. I won’t ever stop cause it is just my favorite kind of sandwich!

Homemade healthy tuna salad sandwich with peppers

Right now while we are all quarantined at home for COVID, I think it’s the perfect time to have a great tuna salad recipe to whip up. Tuna is shelf stable and readily available, in a time where most of the meats are cleared off the shelves. It’s also loaded with all the healthy omegas and fats!

Mayo-free tuna salad in bowl with a side of toasted bread

I like to make this and store it in the fridge for a nutritious lunch or for a mid-day snack. I love them on my Citrus Cilantro Crackers too!

mayo-free tuna salad sandwich on lettuce

Mayo-Free Crunchy Tuna Salad Recipe

healthy homemade tuna salad recipe

 

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Chocolate Chunk Sourdough Bread

This is one of those recipe that not a single person in the family can “wait for it to cool”. True story, my son once just plucked half the top of it off when I left the room so he could partake. Made for quite an ugly loaf, but who can blame the guy?

The key to this recipe is to wait until the very end of the fermentation process before you add in the chocolate. Sourdough, and the process of fermentation, can build quite a bit of natural heat. My method for baking it adds even more, so you don’t want the chocolate to melt all over and make too big of a mess in the bread.

homemade chocolate chunk sourdough bread

My favorite chocolate to use for this is a Honey Mama’s chocolate bar. I take it and chop it up into chocolate chunks…this is not a precise science, just chop it about the size you’d like it to be in the bread!

sliced chocolate chunk sourdough bread

Adding a drizzle of honey will make this bread all the more decadent. Or sometimes I’ll even add hazelnut butter! If I’m having guests over, I’ll sometimes cut it into strips to serve alongside some coffee or a hot beverage of choice.

chocolate chunk sourdough bread topped with honey

Chocolate Chunk Sourdough Bread

sliced homemade chocolate chunk sourdough bread with honey

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The Settling In Phase : A Postpartum Update (months 4-6)

I walk into the 6-8 week checkup and get the standard checklist of questions…most centered around the newborn I’m holding but then I got a zoned in….”How are YOU doing?”  Kudos to all 3 of my OBGYNs for actually asking this. I hear some sadly do not.  I’ve answered as authentically as I could which is “Good, tired, happy, adjusting.”

You take 9 months to grow this being and then one day they go from inside to outside.  I’m always reeling in that miracle for a good 3-4 months.  How is he really here now?  Look at his face. I dreamed what it would look like and now I see it before me.  How did we have our family before him? He’s forever a part of our unit now and I cant imagine life another way.

There’s the new baby bliss, the getting lost (literately) in piles of laundry, the night time wake ups, and then the demands of the other children that you’re trying your darnest to meet.  But I feel like my head is still above water because the support is there.  People expect me to still be adjusting and are usually quite gracious when my preschooler shows up late, with mismatched socks and no coat in the dead of winter.

I work off adrenaline those first few months.

Then around month 4 it starts to wear off and I’m left with the accumulation of several months of life-change hitting me (what feels like) all at once

For this reason, I’m here to share something I don’t hear folks often speak to : stages of postpartum.  I’m talking beyond the “4th Trimester” and into the following months, maybe years, afterwards.

 

For me personally, this falls under 3 levels of postpartum :

The initial postpartum : which is month 1-3

The settling in postpartum : month 4-6

The post-nursing stage : 1-2 years (depending on the kiddo!)

 

The stage I’m currently in, month 4-6, is when I get hit with a certain kind of heaviness : feelings of irritability, helplessness, and the sinking sense that I’m one step behind on just about everything.  And the falling behind part clips me most because I’ve learned that in this phase there is really is no AHEAD.  The most I can hope for is to keep up with the current flow,  but there is no getting ahead for me.

I often feel hard on myself.  Why can’t I be more calm and present?  Why is my son smacking applesauce in my ear while I’m trying to read making me feel like I want to go She-Hulk?!  Why can’t I look at my body and see all it’s done, instead of critiquing the changes I’m left with postpartum?  And then after these thoughts, let’s add on an extra layer by being hard on myself FOR being hard on myself.

This is the grappling reality of where this stage leaves me.  I’ve seen it happen after each of my 3.  But this time I’m doing things differently.

This time I’m removing mystery.

I don’t crinkle inward and hope someone will identify and unravel the knots in my soul.

Rather, I muster up the gumption to tell someone, to bare my feelings.

I say, “I’m trying to meet the needs of everyone else. I have needs too.  Can we start here with ____?  This is something that I would really love space for/care in.”  I have the guts to ask.

Deep down I want to be the one others ask for, not the one asking, but this “settling in” stage of postpartum is a season to lay down that pride.  To allow myself to provide margin that has been missing for going on a year now.  To claim back my body in the spaces I can safely do so.

It is a gift to give to others, but if we never allow ourselves to receive, then we are potentially denying that gift from someone else.  And what is more refreshing that someone showing their own humanness?  Truly.  May we have the humility to allow our own needs to be known and receive the ways others rise up to meet them.

So maybe some of you mamas find yourself somewhere in these lines.  If so, my hope and prayer is you feel a little less alone today knowing that for me postpartum is a carried-out journey : taking necessary pit stops, blisters on the soles of my feet, and learning to adapt to changes in terrain along the way.  It’s one I’m navigating now and likely will be for years to come.

Mamas, I see you.

I have grace for you.

 

Read my other postpartum updates:

When the Doer Doesn’t Do : A Postpartum Update (months 1-3)

Reflection and Release : A Postpartum Update (months 6-12)

 

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welcome to my table

Hello friend! I'm Rachel Stricklin and I'm so happy you have landed here!

 

My recipes are focused on whole food ingredients and are meant to bring you warmth, nourishment, and a

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