Life is A Journey...Come Follow Our's

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Still Cooking

I've decided that when I can, I'm going to try to double up recipes so that come May, when I don't feel like, or don't have much time to cook, I will still be on track with my 52 new recipes for 2010. This week proved to be another GREAT cooking week with 3 new recipes. I made Oven-Fried Chicken Chimichangas, Curried Coconut Chicken (never even tasted curry before this week), and Louisiana Red Beans and Rice, again, something I had never tried. Let's start at the beginning.

Oven-Fried Chicken Chimichangas...the verdict is in, a great start on a recipe, but one that needs some work to make it spicier. ( The best part about them was how crispy they became. I melted 1 Tablespoon of butter and brushed it over each one and WOW did that make them good! 2 things we're going to try to do to adapt this recipes are 1) add some more spice...maybe stew the chicken in spices and 2) use the concept of baking tortillas to make easy baked pizza rolls!

Curried Coconut Chicken...I had never eaten curry before and I'd have to say that this sweeter tasting curry was a really good place to start. ( The sauce was perfectly sweet, the curry taste not overbearing, and the chicken was very tender. Now for my complaints, they are 2-fold. 1) My house smelled like curry for 5 days despite cooking with the exhaust fan on, opening windows and freezing us out, lighting candles, and disinfecting everything with the best smelling cleansers I had and 2) I swear I smelled like the League of Nations' Asian Apartment Complex as I sweated curry out of my pores the next morning while teaching embarassing! All that said, I will make curry again (on an outdoor stove) and I will take my runs outside for 2-3 days after eating it.

The 3rd and final recipe I made just came off the stove and it is Red Beans and Rice. ( All our friends down here in Arkansas were shocked to hear I had never eaten red beans and rice, but after I reminded them how far New Orleans was from Chicago, it all made sense to them. Anyway...while this is probably not a very authentic recipe, it is close and super simple. I added a 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme and cayenne pepper to spice it up and it is very good. I will definitely be making this again and if we have vegetarians over, it is hearty enough without the kielbasa.

Next in the lineup -- Giada's Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli (yes, homemade ravioli, not bagged ravioli with spinach and mushrooms tossed in with it).

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

For My Mom...

...who can't stand to wait 2 weeks to see the belly picture updates, here I am (in all my glory) at 29 weeks.

Quinn has been kicking like crazy, to the point that I wouldn't be surprised if I have internal bruising. He only likes to move when I'm staying still so we're thinking he's going to be highly active just like his Mommy and Daddy. Can't wait to meet this little 11 weeks anyway.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Recipes

I am totally on a roll with these new recipes and am so happy I made this my New Year's Goal. So far, every new recipe I've tried has been delicious but this weekend might have taken the cake!

I had 2 weeks of recipes to make this weekend so Saturday night I made Artichoke and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts from Cooking Light's website and Sunday I made savory Bacon, Spinach, and Mushroom Stuffed Crepes. We ate like kings this weekend for sure.

Okay, the Stuffed Chicken was very very good. The recipe calls for the chicken to be boiled in plastic wrap which seemed pretty sketchy to me so I adjusted and baked the recipe for 40 minutes at 350degrees. I added a little garlic powder to the recipe because when I tasted the cheese mixture, it seemed like it was missing something and I added about a half cup of fresh chopped spinach because I needed to use it up. I didn't have any roasted red peppers so those were omitted, but I must say, despite the changes, it turned out really really well. Here's the link in case you're interested: and although I can't take credit for this picture, here's what the finished product looked like. Can you say DELISH?!?!

So when we thought we had hit a homeroom for the weekend, Sunday called for my first ever attempt at making crepes. It was, hands down, the easiest delicacy I've ever made. I don't know why people are so impressed by crepes because honestly, they're easier to make than pancakes. You don't have to flip them, you know when they're cooked all the way through, and they are simply amazing. Even better, they freeze really well! What a GREAT dessert to have on hand in case guests stop by!

Sunday morning I followed the recipe on for simple crepes: The recipe ended up making 10 crepes of which we were hard pressed to save some for our dinner. They were sweet and so tasty. In fact, I'm sure you could very easily cut the sugar in half and still have an amazing base. By dinner, I was so excited to finish my recipe, making the filling of bacon, spinach, mushroom, and parmesan cheese that I forgot about chopping the parsley, but the recipe was still amazing.

I highly recommend trying this recipe. Just look at this picture...who wouldn't find this simply wonderful to eat?!?!


Third Trimester - 28 Weeks

He's the size of an eggplant this week. Doesn't that just make you want to go out and order eggplant parmesan?!!? YIKES! I love the little e-mails you get every week telling you what size your baby is. Pretty soon I'm thinking cantaloupe and before we know it, he'll be a watermelon! I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy has gone, though at times it seems much longer since we started our hardcore journey through infertility and IVF almost exactly a year ago. A year ago, I was in tears because nothing was working and here we are today with 12 weeks or less until our life will be flipped upside down and we will have a third member of our family. It's surreal, it's exciting, it's scary, it's amazing...all at the same time.

A lot of people have been asking me if I'm having any cravings or anything weird going on and I must say I'm pretty boring. Other than being hungry ALL THE TIME, I've had no real cravings (oh yes, there was whipped cream that one morning but that's about it), I've been able to keep up my exercise regimen (though I've learned you just cannot look defined during pregnancy...must be the increased body fat), and for the most part, am feeling really great.

We took these pictures of 28 weeks this morning after a very restless night so pardon my less than stellar appearance, but here I am in all of my pregnancy glory...28 weeks along, an eggplant inside of me, and a belly to boot! ENJOY!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I'm Not Getting Fat...He's Just Growing

I've decided it must be part of the right of passage into motherhood, but seriously, why do so many people insist on telling you just "how big you're getting?!?!" I mean really, must people make comments like, "Wow, you look like you're about to pop. You must be due soon, right?" (I haven't gotten this one yet, but oh am I waiting for it in a few weeks) or "You're getting kind of big. Don't you think you should just sit down?" or "Everytime I see you, you just get bigger and bigger...I didn't think you'd ever get this big?" I just don't get it. As if a pregnant woman's hormones don't make her unstable enough (ask any dear husband of a pregnant mama-to-be), they have to add fuel to the fire with stupid comments?

Would it be okay for me to respond to the "you're getting so big" comments with, "No, I'm just trying to make the rest of overweight America feel better about themselves" or respond to the "everytime I see you comments" with "that's funny, I was thinking the same thing about you?" You don't need to answer that. Instead, I've decided that my new mantra is "I'm not getting fat, he's just growing" (and he better be at least 6.5-7 pounds to back up this claim!!). To all the idiots out like to test a pregnant woman's present state of cool and collectedness, be aware because someday, you're going to catch one of us in a moment of weakness. In the meantime, to all my sweet friends and family, thank you for being so supportive. I know I'm not big (yet) and I have been feeling REALLY REALLY blessed and good throughout this entire pregnancy. I have a beautiful son growing inside of me who LOVES to kick and turn flip flops (especially when I'm trying to go to sleep at night). I have plenty of energy to maintain my workouts (and you better believe I am) and plenty of appetite to fuel them =). I have a wonderful husband who is equally as excited as I am for this baby to arrive. And...we have right around 14 weeks before our lives will change for the better forever!

Here's the most recent belly picture of 26 weeks! Enjoy!