Mom’s Cookin’ & Dirt Puddin’!

Good morning!! I am sitting here with a big ol’ bowl of oats a big ol’ cup of coffee on a bright sunny morning. Our December has been pretty beautiful. The more mild weather of the fall and “winter” actually reminds me of the Bay Area weather many times with the warmer temps and less humidity.

…Hold on, someone is knocking…

Okay odd. There was no one at the door. Creepy! *Cue twilight zone soundtrack*. Also, it’s 7:30 am. Too early for maintenance or anyone from our management team. Hmmm. I bet they just had the wrong apartment.

Anyway! I arrived back from my campus visit on September 15th. I was beyond exhausted from the 3 am wake-up call. I think I slept practically the entire afternoon.


In the evening I made whatever we had in the fridge. For a snack that day we enjoyed some stuffed jalapeños with cheese.


Not much is documented the rest of the week. There are going to be many “holes” in these recaps where is was days entirely spent in the books. I grew kinda apathetic even toward recording the little, fun life details at some points which is sad, but the truth. I presently have my excitement back for the day-to-day, but the stress at that time just made me listless toward pretty much everything for a while.

Anyway, September 19th, we tried out this vegan tikka masala from TJ’s. I was stoked to see they had a vegan version! It was pretty dang good- will be getting it again.


That evening I took my much needed time outside.


This wrap below is one of my favorite wraps I’ve made! This September 22nd snack had roasted veggies, vegan “chicken” lightlife tenders, spinach and hummus on a flatout flatbread. Mmmm!


On September 24th I woke up with some Dave’s Good Seed bread, Fage, peanut butter and honey (and a little dash of stevia).


That day I had a group project that I worked practically through the night on. Thank goodness I had some candy corn to keep me company!!


Since DJ and Pete were both going to be out of town that week, my mom suggested I come to Fort Worth so I could get out of the apartment, enjoy her Michelin star cooking (not her words, but those are facts), clear my head and just get a change of scenery to study.

When I arrived in the afternoon of September 25th, my mom was still at work and only Jadey was home (this a couple weeks prior to her passing). I didn’t know that would be her last hyper-jump-all-over-me welcome, but I think it’s pretty special that I have that moment clear in my memory since it was just her and I. I think she could sense my general state of dejection and she was as doting and loving as ever.

I worked on some assignments while my mom also did some work with me at the kitchen table. Then for dinner we enjoyed this perfection of a meal of grilled salmon, mixed veggie avocado salad and seasoned brown rice.


The morning of September 26th I woke up extra early to finish up a paper and get it submitted. I enjoyed a cup of coffee out of a mug of the coffee shop I worked at as a barista in college. It was one of those moments where nostalgia crept right up on me!

6656b797-77d9-42c4-b3b0-ac9b12e99a453d6abb03-02f9-4663-a0a5-59600e68f90dFor a mid-morning snack I had some lemonade with a slice of toast, vegan Daiya cheddar cheese, edamame, mixed marinated veggies, avocado and some bolthouse ranch dressing (my new favorite dressing!).


My mom returned earlier than normal from work, so shared some hummus and veggies in the afternoon while continuing to work on our individual tasks at the kitchen table.


For dinner we had vegan beef stroganoff with mashed potatoes and broccolini. This meal was insane. One of my absolute favorite “meat recreations”.


On September 27th while I worked on Notecards I watched the show Diagnosis. It’s a fascinating show, and I try to figure out what’s going on with them as the show goes on. It’s a bit like a real life House!

Unfortunately, on September 27th I took a nasty tumble while running outside.  I won’t share pics, don’t worry- but I reopened a scar on my knee from a previous fall. Whoopsies. Clumsy Runner Woes.

That evening we enjoyed another awesome meal of teriyaki tofu, fried rice, and spinach beet salad with mandarin oranges. It was tremendous, and I definitely went back for seconds!


I took this last picture I ever would with sweet Jaders <3


I was planning on leaving Saturday evening the 28th, but was not quite ready. I made a lot of progress on Saturday during the day with school and DJ wouldn’t be back until late, so we decided we would have a girls’ night out, and I’d just leave in the AM!

Before heading out we enjoyed apps of roasted eggplant, crab dip and crackers and olives.


We went to a restaurant called Simply Thai in Keller. Keller practically shuts down after dinner time, even on the weekends. We arrived pretty late- around 8 pm, so we had the cute little place to ourselves.


Usually we split two dishes, but with our spice preference difference that makes it a bit more of a challenge. My mom ordered their mixed vegetable pad pak. She got the mild spice and I ordered extra spicy. When we tried them we realized they probably mixed up the spice orders because hers was hot hot hot and mine was not not not.


Thankfully they brought out some extra chili and I spiced it on up! My mom still enjoyed the veggies despite the heat, and I shared my pumpkin curry with her because it was the star of the show. Just writing about it is making me crave it again.


After, we went to the Station Patio Icehouse to watch a live band, enjoy a glass of wine and chat about just everything. A beautiful evening to remember for sure <3


Before heading home in the morning of September 29th, we enjoyed our favorite wood-fire roasted coffee from Summer Moon. If you are a coffee lover and visit Texas Summer Moon is my #1 recommendation. Their “moon milk” will change your life! Ok, that might be a bit of a hyperbole, but I’ll let you decide. I will warn, it is very sweet, so tread carefully.


This meme could not be more accurate!


October 5th I made DJ the traditional dirt pudding for his birthday. Even though it’s technically for him, I always enjoy my fair share too 😉


For his actual birthday on October 6th I made DJ pancakes with sample Runamok Maple Syrup’s we received as a gift. They were so yummy! Each different flavor was robust, but not overwhelming.


We had to celebrate DJ’s birthday a week late since he had midterms that week. But I’m pretty excited to show y’all how we celebrated.

In October in general we traded in our Impractical Jokers to watch half an episode of Castle Rock here and there on Hulu. It was great to get in that spoOooOoOky spirit- we watched the first season, although I know a second season is now out. Has anyone seen it?

Thanks for reading!

Question for you:

  • Do you have a special coffee cup that has extra meaning to you?

xo <3


44 thoughts on “Mom’s Cookin’ & Dirt Puddin’!

    1. Hi!!!! So good to hear from you 🙂 I hope all is well in your corner of the world. It was a nice time and I’m grateful it was possible with us living in TX now. Have a very happy New Year.

  1. Mmmm. Yummy. Dirt pudding! Love it. I haven’t had any dirt pudding in a long time, but I do enjoy it when I have it. I don’t drink coffee, so, I don’t have a favorite coffee cup, but I do have a favorite tea cup. It’s a Christmas cup I use year around. It has a funny Santa on it. 🙂

    1. It is one of those desserts that I can eat a whole bunch in one sitting since it’s so light and tasty. Mmmm mmmm! Might need to make it again soon “just because”.

      Aww I love that you have a favorite tea cup! I love that it’s a Christmas one too!! Thanks for reading, Kathy 🙂

  2. First of all, I am just soooooo excited that you’re back right now! Ha, ha. 🙂 We’re being hit by an icestorm right now, and I’m all cozy inside, catching up on blogs. And it was a special treat to see a post from you. 🙂
    The time with your mom sounded so perfect and cozy. I definitely have the same relationship with my mom, so I can relate to needing mom time. I love that you both enjoyed yummy eats together and just being close, even during the moments that you were working together at a kitchen table. The Station Patio Icehouse looks like it has a really cool vibe… and I could go for a coffee from Summer Moon right now. Ha, ha! I definitely have a few favorite coffee mugs that I reach for, for sure. The more sentimental the mug, the better tasting the coffee. 🙂
    So fun fact about Castle Rock… I actually haven’t watched it, because I literally have an overactive imagination and cannot handle anything of that genre. LOL! BUT the majority of the series was filmed just two towns over from where I live (which is the town where my church is located). I promise that the town itself is not at all freaky. HA! It is a bit aged and rundown, but also has a lot of nice character. It’s cool to see the production team work on the buildings to change signs of businesses and such, and we’ve driven by during filming. 🙂

    1. Awwww!!! It makes me so happy that you enjoy these posts <3 And that sounds like a perfectly cozy day- hope you still were able to celebrate the holidays and NYE with no weather problems though!

      Yess, you get it! It really was just much needed mom-daughter time. <3

      Oh my gosh I love that (the more sentimental the mug, the better tasting the coffee). So true!

      And, WOAH! this is so stinking interesting about Castle Rock & how cool you saw them filming!! Thank you for sharing with me- the city itself does look charming if you take out the scary music and shadowing they use in the series to make it look creepy, lol!

      Have such a great New Years Day, Nicole!

  3. All your food and cooking always look absolutely delicious — especially Simply Thai and I can imagine the spice level, definitely a must! So sweet that you got to spend some time with your mom; it’s such a time to cherish now that we’re older and appreciate it even more! Moon Milk sounds super interesting and delicious. Thanks for sharing and catching us up on what’s been going on in your world!

  4. Nothing like the love from Your Momma!

    And dirt pudding! Yum!

    And I gave 2 favorite cups… one is a Christmas Cup I use all the time and one is from Luckenbach Texas! I switch back and forth!

    1. So agree!!!

      Awww I love that!! Someone else mentioned they have a Christmas mug that is their favorite year round too! Have a great first day of 2020 🙂

  5. I’m so happy you have that clear memory of Jadey welcoming you went you got to your moms!! Dogs are honestly the best at picking up just when you need some extra love from them.

    Girls night out with moms are the best! It’s nice the restaurant brought out some extra spice for you with the mix up.

    I haven’t had dirt pudding in years and now I really want some… Also different flavors of syrup sound delicious! I saw on Insta that TJ’s had some in the fall but by the time I went my store didn’t have it so I’ll have to be on the look out for it next fall.

    Coffee is gross to me so I don’t have a special order.

    1. Dogs really do have a sense for telling when you’re down- it’s pretty amazing! And yesss, I usually have to ask for the spice rack regardless because I don’t think they usually believe me when I ask for something the hottest it can be haha.

      And that’s good to know about TJ’s!! I will have to keep an eye out next fall too.

      Hahah. Totally understand! I guess I should have said tea too!! Happy New Year, Maureen 🙂

  6. It’s really hard to tell just how huge that coffee mug is haha.

    That’s such a good last picture with Jadey to have forever.

    I didn’t expect to see candy corn on December 31st. Nothing prepared me for that. Gross haha.

    I have special coffee mugs that I’ve gotten as AG awards at races. They are a great source for humblebrags. 🙂

    1. haha it’s pretty large. My stepdad uses it as an ice cream bowl!

      Aw I am thankful for it. That time was so impromptu, but so special.

      hahahah. Not gonna lie- I have had Candy Corn in its “off season”and it’s still just as GOOD.

      Oh that’s awesome!! I love when trophies are practical like that! Thanks for reading, Ralph!

  7. Mackenzie – I really like that evening sky – it’s enough to pump some life into you if you go for a walk or run after a stressful day of cracking the books. I love the two pictures with Jade – the big one and also the one where you are showing off your mug and she is watching you and looking up. Such sweet and precious memories of Jade – see, it was meant to be that your mom would have you visit her and see Jade one last time for kisses and hugs – providence!

    1. Hi, Linda! I’m so glad you enjoyed this 🙂 The sunsets around here have been gorgeous the last couple months. So glad you liked the pics of Jade too- it’s soo special that we had that time, it really was meant to be!! <3

  8. I miss warm weather. It has been fluctuating a whole lot over here. We actually had a storm come in during Christmas, it brought a lot of wind to the valley and a lot of snow to the mountains lol. And for New Years we got a lot of wind and rain. It got like 10 degrees warmer but it’s still very cold. 😞
    That wrap looks amazing and delish! I haven’t had one nor have I made in since summer I believe.
    Omg Jade! 😭 we dont deserve dogs. They’re too precious.
    Omg Alex and i used to get that bolthouse dressing all the time! I think we also got an avocado yogurt one which was insanely good! Which reminds me, when I used to make wraps, I used to add that dressing to them all the time.
    Oh man, falling while running sounds like it would seriously hurt! Hope your knee is all healed up by now.
    Idk why I never thought of making teriyaki tofu. I made mine plain on new years eve to go with our yakisoba while Alex made a delicious kung pao chicken that I just had to mix into my plate lol
    Love that you stayed a bit longer with your mom and you enjoyed a much needed girls night out
    Happy super belated birthday to DJ! My bday is also Oct but not till practically the very end of the month. I had the pleasure of having my mom here for it which made it extra special. Lol.

    1. Ahhh stay safe- that weather sounds nuts. Sometimes wind and rain can be the scariest because it seems so unpredictable and driving you feel like the car is just swaying.

      I thought of you with that picture of Jade and the coffee mug because I think that was the morning you messaged me about her !! <3

      Yessss Bolthouse dressings are sooo great on many different things. Mmmm mmm! I just restocked yesterday actually.

      Thank you <3 I think it's going to be a nasty scar, but oh well! Time to try out the Maderma!

      Awww that is so special <3 When is the actual date? I am going to write it down in my planner for this year 🙂

      1. Oh gosh yeah, lots of people crash when it rains. It gets really bad sometimes. Not to mention the floods lol.
        Omg I remember that!! 😭😭😭 she was a cutie!!
        The 26th 🤗🤗 have you told me when yours is?? I dont have it anywhere 😟

      2. I agree! We almost had a bad crash on the high way the other day. DJ’s truck went out of control over three lanes from hydroplaning. SO scary. We were really lucky we were able to get it back into control without hitting anyone. And mine is Jan. 13th! Probably not doing anything to celebrate this year since I’ll be warding off anxiety attacks with the new semester, lol!!!

      3. Omg I’m glad that nothing bad happened!!. Car crashes are definitely super scary, even more so in the rain. And gosh it’s so soon!! I will do my best to at least send you a card! Just send me your address through insta 🤗

      4. They really are!!! Awwww you are so sweet do not even worry about it! I won’t even have time to acknowledge it this year with school 😂

      5. Lol,.no matter! You’ll get it when you get it! I will try to send it out tomorrow. Wont be flashy or special but hey, it’s the thought that counts lol

      6. I hope you’ve received it by now. And I’m so so sorry I didnt get to say happy birthday yesterday! I’ve been under a very dark cloud lately trying to get over it lol. I hope you had an amazing, stress free day. And if you didnt in case you were busy with studies, I hope you get the chance to celebrate your bday with DJ. 🤗

      7. Awww girl do not worry one single second- that’s so sweet of you! I haven’t yet but there are a couple peoples’ that haven’t came either that asked me too, so I bet the mail room is behind. And I’m so sorry about that dark cloud- oh man, I know all too well how that feels 😢 if you need to talk feel free to shoot me a DM!!! sending you ALL my love and hugs ❤️

  9. Okayyyy those jalapenos are making me drool & your mom’s salmon really does look perfection!

    I am so happy you have that last special moment with just you & Jade before she passed. ♡ I love how she knew you were feeling a bit dejected & the photo of you kissing her is so precious!

    I LOVE House but not sure if I would be comfortable watching real life stuff. I’ll have to check out Diagnosis sometime!

    Happy super belated birthday to DJ! Cannot wait to read how you guys celebrated. 😁

    1. Hi, Hunida!! I can neverrr make my salmon as good as she does, so it’s always a treat when I go over there.

      Aww thank you. It really was just such special time that we wouldn’t have had if we weren’t in Texas, so I’m grateful that the timing could not have been more perfect!

      I think you’d like it! It can be a teeny bit graphic at times, but it’s very well produced and it’s awesome once they actually figure it out!

      Thanks so much for reading! <3 <3

      1. Her salmon def looked Michelin star approved. 🙂 Did you know that “Michelin stars” are actually awarded by the same brand as the fluffy Michelin Man that owns the tire company? I always imagine him going around eating at restaurants now since I learned that late *last* year LOL.

        <3 you're right, the timing with you in TX was meant to be & I'll for sure check out the show before I write it off!

        My pleasure!!!

      2. I am going to let her know-she will so appreciate that! And I did just learn this last year I think! I don’t think I believed my friend who explained it to me the first time; I was dumbfounded, lol! It really is quite a hilarious juxtaposition, but one of those things our world just rolls with. So fascinating!!! And I’m cracking up at your image of the actual Michelin man going to the restaurants- haha! I love it.

        <3 <3

  10. I love catching up on your blog! How sweet that you were able to spend all that time with your mom 🙂 That meme is SO true!

    I absolutely LOVE coffee mugs and I’m wracking my brain trying to choose the one that means the most to me haha. I’d have to say probably both of the mugs my best friend has given me. One has a penguin on it and another has a fancy “E” on it. We don’t live super close to each other anymore so I think of her every time I use them!

    1. Hi, Em!! Aw thank you tons for reading. And yesss-I love that!! my favorite mugs have been the ones gifted to me too. It really does give them such sentiment. Thanks for sharing with me!! <3

  11. As always the food in your posts looks so delicious! I want everything, haha. That’s great that you got to spend some time with your mom. I definitely need to check out Diagnosis. Sounds so good, especially if it’s like a real life House, because I loved that show so much.

    1. Thank you, Ashley!! <3 I really think you'd enjoy Diagnosis if you like House! It's well produced too!

  12. Hello Mackenzie I am finally getting back into your posts! I’m sure the person at the door realized they had the wrong number! How nice you your mom and Jade got to hang out with one last time together. I know what it’s like to lose a dog who has been around for that long . You and your mom had some really delicious looking dishes on your trip. I’m sure the light band was fun. Please send my belated wait March belated birthday wishes to DJ

    1. Awww hi Terri!! Always love hearing from you 🥰 this was a lovely trip to hang with my mom- so crazy how that’s not exactly easy to do anymore these days. Can’t wait to go over there again. I will send belated bday wishes to dj- thank you 😊

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