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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Eating Well In The Pope House

Just a few more recipes to share from the past week and a half. 3 in fact!

As I said in my last post, my niece Corynn was here for the week. She, like me, really enjoys cooking so I decided to include her in my New Year's Goal of making a new recipe a week. This week, she and I made Cilantro Shrimp courtesy of Cooking Light, Chocolate Mousse Cake courtesy of my Williams Sonoma Cookbook, and after she left, I made Spice Crusted Salmon with Citrus Sauce also courtesy of Cooking Light.

First off, the Cilantro Shrimp ( Oh my goodness was this dish ever delicious and really, it couldn't have been any easier to make. With an 8 minute cooking time and a 4 minute prep time, lunch was on the table before Corynn could change her first diaper.  This dish was so fresh, so delicious.  The cilantro really made the flavor pop.  You have to try it!

Next was our dessert, Williams Sonoma Chocolate Mousse Cake.  I must say, we were not thrilled with this recipe, so I'm not even going to share it; however, the chocolate mousse part was to die for!  Go to to find the recipe and try it for yourself.  Now, for those of you lacking self control (like myself on this day), you must convince yourself that the mousse will taste even better after it's sat for a day.  The first two bowls I ate (within an hour of it being complete) were good, but the spoonfuls I had on day 2 and 3 were INCREDIBLE.  Do yourself a favor, make this mousse, put it in the back of your refrigerator, and DO NOT SHARE IT under any circumstance =)

Last night, I made Cooking Light's Spice Crusted Salmon with Citrus Sauce (  It was a very solid recipe.  Flavorful and enjoyable.  I feel bad not giving it a good review because it was mighty tasty, it just wasn't as stand-outish as some of the others I've made so far this year.  The spice crust was made of freshly ground fennel seeds, corriander, and cumin.  The citrus sauce (made with drained plain yogurt, sour cream, the zest of an orange, lime, and lemon, and fresh squeezed orange juice) really tied in well with the corriander.  We will be making this recipe again, but not as quickly as some of my new favorites.

That's all I have for now...35 and counting.  I think Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia is next on the menu.  Stay tuned for more!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Last Weeks of Summer =(

What a fun week we've had here in the Pope house. Quinn got to meet his cousins for the first time last weekend and boy was he spoiled rotten with love. His 13 year old cousin Corynn decided to stay and spend 4 days babysitting and hanging out with him and he was in his absolute glory.

Corynn was so incredibly good with Quinn. She would get him up in the morning, change his diaper, burp him, walk him when he was fussy, and just loved on him every chance she got. I loved having her here too. Brad was out of town for work and she was my right-hand man. We had so much fun together successfully cooking new recipes like Cilantro Shrimp ( and Chocolate Mousse (, going shopping, getting pedicures, and watching ABCFamily and Nickelodeon (wow...some of those shows were a bit too teeny-bopper for me!). She's pretty awesome. I don't know who misses her more now, Quinn or me?!

Here are a few pictures from our week:

Quinn's favorite position...sleeping on Corynn's chest

or maybe it's sleeping on Mommy's chest?

Taking a Break from the Boy and Getting Pedicures!

Bath Time!

Look...I can almost fit all my fingers in my mouth!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Guess Who's 2 Months Old?!!?

QUINN IS! He is getting so big and is really starting to come into his own this past month. Quinn had his 2 month doctor's appointment today and is weighing in a hefty 9 pounds 4 ounces (10th percentile) and is 22 1/4 inches long (45th percentile). He's almost as big as some of our friends' newborns...we are so proud =)

Unlike a newborn though, Quinn is much more interactive. He:
- loves to coo
- gets excited when he hears his own voice
- blows a lot of bubbles
- loves when he finds his hands and can suck on them
- is recognizing Daddy and thinks he's one cool guy
- laughs with his whole body (see picture below)

- can track a moving object
- can support his own weight on his legs if someone's holding him up
- hates tummy time unless it's laying on Mommy
- loves his swing
- is finally sleeping about 6 hours at a time at night (thank you Jesus!)
- and is everyone's favorite easy baby.

Here are a couple pictures from the past few days. ENJOY!

More Fabulous Recipes

When I got done posting my last post about my new recipes, I was so upset I forgot to write about the fabulous Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas ( that I made when Anthony was in town. These babies were scrumptious. The filling alone was good enough to make again either as a taco filling or as a really flavorful salsa like dip. They call for red onion, fresh corn, and zucchini all of which have been really inexpensive this summer. All of our votes say this is a recipe to keep in the book and to use a lot!

Since that omission, I have been busy in the kitchen with 3 more new dishes and a new strawberry mango salsa. Again, all 4 recipes have been a hit! I started out with Salmon Burgers, followed by Shrimp Arrabbiatta, Strawberry Mango Salsa, and Spicy Barbecue Shrimp Skewers. Here come the reviews.

Brad and I eat a lot of salmon and I'm always looking for a new way to prepare it. I figured that since I had never eaten a salmon burger, it might be worth trying to make one. I didn't want to use my expensive salmon in case they were a flop, but after using this recipe, I'm confident enough to use even better salmon than Wal Mart's $5 a bag frozen wild kind. These salmon burgers ( were so moist and a great change from regular summer cheeseburgers. I added about a half cup of bread crumbs to the mixture to try to make them bind better and it worked. While these "burgers" would probably never hold up to the grill, they did amazingly in the frying pan. I served them on fresh rolls with avocado, spinach, and fresh tomatoes. DELISH!

Shrimp Arrabbiatta ( came next. This super spicy dish did not fall short on flavor at all. If you don't like a little heat, I would definitely cut back on some of the spices, but with so few ingredients that one almost always has on hand, this is a perfect recipe to keep for when you're feeling the need for a little heat.

Summer Saturdays are almost always spent out on the lake. Wanting to make something a little different for a scorcher of a day, I decided to try this recipe for Mango-Strawberry Salsa ( Although the recipe has almost no components of regular salsa (other than lime juice) this citrusy combination of flavors was a hit served with tortilla chips. We all agreed that it would be wonderful on a salad with chicken or white fish. Mmmm...I'm getting hungry just thinking of it.

The most recent recipe was probably our favorite of all of these four, Emeril's Spicy Barbecued Shrimp Skewers ( This recipe could not have been quicker or easier. The combination of paprika, jalapeno, cayenne, and crushed red pepper really added a lot of kick to this dish, but the cool black bean and corn salsa (which I added red onion to) really balanced it out well. With such hot weather here, it was really nice to have a fancier recipe to make that really kept my kitchen cool and the number of dirty dishes to do at a minimum. Oh yes, and I did take this picture myself!

Up next, Spice Crusted Salmon with Citrus Sauce. I can't wait!

Friday, July 16, 2010

What a Little Pig

What does a not so typical, yet not so far from typical day look like for Quinn? Well since you asked, here was our Wednesday:

5:30 Breakfast
6:30-8 Playtime
8:30-9 Eat
9:30-10:00 Eat AGAIN (because obviously he wanted more) at the Gym
10-12 Sleep at the Gym while Mom worked out
12-12:45 Eat AGAIN at the Gym
1:15 Eat AGAIN in the Target Parking Lot
1:45-2:45 Shop at Target and Sam's Club
3:00 Eat AGAIN
4-5:00 Songs with Mom
5-6 Nap time
6:00 Eat AGAIN
8:30-9:15 Eat AGAIN
9:30 Bedtime

Oh my goodness can this boy eat! And for those of you now wondering, yes, I do produce enough milk...some days are just like that! Good thing it's the summer and I have nothing else I have to do other than hang out with Quinn and tend to his every need =)

Happy Friday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Still Cooking

That's right...despite being crazy busy with a newborn, I'm still on track with my New Year's Goal of making one new recipe a week. My 27th-29th recipes were all hits. I made Baja Black Beans, Corn and Rice, Sweet Orange Salmon, and last night, Salmon Burgers.

One of our good friends in vegan so I'm always looking for ways to feed him. It's kind of a fun challenge, but I think that unless you were completely devout, it would be very challenging to adapt to this lifestyle (this coming from a girl who's not overly fond of tofu). For him, I made Baja Black Beans, Corn and Rice ( to go with his vegan burger. The recipe was fine. Nothing over the top exciting, but I think it would make a great side dish mixed with Quinoa instead of with rice.

Whenever Kristie (my MIL) is in town, I love to cook for her. She is an extremely talented chef who even attended cooking school in France. I love to show off what I can do and am thrilled when she asks me for the recipe. We have a great time in the kitchen together, but when she was here, I kept her out and tried out a new recipe, Sweet Orange Salmon ( This recipe was super quick and easy needing only 8 minutes under the broiler (about all I have time for right now), but was very tasty nonetheless. I served it with rice and steamed sugar snap peas; however, it would be really good over a nice bed of lettuce with mandarin oranges and almond slivers. I will be making this one again.

Lastly, I decided that since I had never eaten a salmon burger, I'd try to find an easy recipe for one. I found, in Cooking Light magazine this salmon burger recipe that was quite a hit ( The recipe did not call for breadcrumbs, but after reading everyone's reviews I decided to add about a half cup in hopes of holding the burgers together better. I also made sure to really pat dry the salmon before I chopped it. These two steps helped a lot, but they are definitely not sturdy enough to hold up to the grill. Brad and I enjoyed them (Quinn will undoubtedly enjoy them today - a day later) on a good bun with spinach leaves, tomato, and avocado. I'd have to say that I'm quite pleased with salmon burgers...what a healthy alternative to the overdone hamburgers we tend to see and eat all summer long.

New this week...Shrimp Arribiatta and a return visit to the Ginger Lime Stirfry that I reviewed back in December.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Visiting with Uncle Anthony

It looks that Quinn has met almost everyone in our immediate family! Uncle Anthony came to visit for the 4th of July and we had an awesome time with him. We hung out, went out on the lake, went for a long run while Quinn was at home with his favorite babysitter, and went to a great 4th of July party at my friend Karie's family's house.

Just a few pictures to share with all of you. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Whirlwind

Hi everyone! Life has been a bit of a whirlwind around here. While getting ready for Pope's Dock 2010, we recieved a phone call saying that Brad's grandfather had had a stroke and his days were extremely limited. We decided that immediately following our party, we'd head up to Wisconsin in hopes of getting there in time for Grandpa to meet Quinn and for us to say our goodbyes. So a week in Wisconsin later and a week for me to catch up on life (and feed a seemingly ever-hungry young boy) later, here I am, ready to update our blog.

Let's start with Pope's Dock. Not to fall short of last year, Brad decided to really up the ante this year and include not only one bike jump into the lake, but 2 bike jumps and a homemade slip 'n slide to the activities. With over 60 people in our backyard on a 90+ degree day with 100% humidity, we had a BLAST! The afternoon included events with titles to be given out to "Most Creative Bike Jump," "Synchronized Bike Jumps," "Longest Jump," and "Best Costume."

Quinn enjoyed the afternoon so much that he slept in Aunt Karie's arms (with Auntie Lisa close by)through all of it!

The next morning, Brad, Quinn, and I packed up the car and headed out for our 10 hour drive to Wisconsin. Quinn was a better traveler than I am most of the time! We made it up to Wisconsin with just a few short stops and were able to see Great Grandpa that night and throughout the entire week. In fact, what was supposed to be a sad trip was actually quite a wonderful one. We all got to spend a lot of time with Great Grandpa who is now in hospice at home, Quinn got to see ALL of his grandparents (my mom and dad both came up to visit towards the end of our stay), and life was extremely relaxed with so many people getting to meet Quinn and love on him (that also allowed me to sleep through the night because Brad's mom was willing to get up with him and do the midnight feedings! HURRAY KRISTIE!).

Quinn's Bath in a Mixing Bowl

Quinn and Grandpa Pope (Brad's dad)

Quinn and Grandpa Cotton

With Gigi at Madison's Farmers' Market

As for Mr. Quinn, he's almost 7 weeks old and is still an amazing baby. He is starting to sleep 5-6 hours through the night (HURRAY QUINN!), is talking/cooing a lot, rolled over from his stomach to his back (although probably accidentally since he freaked out), and is incredibly strong. He has found his fist but doesn't really understand that it is connected to him and LOVES to suck on it. He is fascinated by shadows and the great outdoors. Anytime he's upset, we go outside and almost instantly, he becomes his usual happy self. Brad and I are really enjoying him and are starting (after 6 weeks) to figure him out a little bit more.

Until next's Quinn at 5 weeks, signing off!