Wednesday, February 27, 2013

4 weeks.... what?!

Four weeks ago we attempted to "have" a baby. We tried, for 12 whole hours. He wasn't coming on his own, so my doctor went the induction route.  If there is truth in laughter being the best medicine, I wouldn't have succumb to the glorious epidural, because we laughed all day.  Hubs and I will often take people of guard with our inappropriate humor and "did they just say that out loud" comments. Everything was progressing awesome, and fast.  Doctor check ins were on a 3 hour  rotation. We rocked the whole "dilation" thing in a few hours, and then hit 9 1/2 cm. With a light at the end of our "you just feel pressure right?!" tunnel, we hit the brakes. Big Head wasn't going to make through the door.  Medically speaking it was a classic case of round peg, square hole.  My doctor said we could push for a few hours, but in the end we were headed the c section route.  At this point in the day I was good with it. I mean he had to come out and why put off the inevitable. Truth be told, I was STARVING and I thought a c section would put me closer to food. (by the way, I was wrong... I survived for the next 12 hours on smuggled Graham Crackers).

"Oh we are having a baby in the next hour, when can I eat?" I'm sensitive. Sign me up for mother of the year ;).

I skipped EVERY section of the baby studies regarding the C section, because I knew I wasn't having one. Ha- not that it would have mattered because when you are strapped down to a table, pumped full of so many drugs you couldn't wiggle your big toe you really don't have any say in what's happening.

Once things got rolling, it was quick. Our son was born- I didn' t have him,  my day ended when  tactical team of doctors and nurses safely removed the barricaded little boy in my stomach. 

Newsworthy?! No, but it's made a mark on our life journey.
We've learned quite a bit in 4 short weeks, from our little Yoda baby.

sleep you won't.
boobs are mine.
puke you  have in your hair, yeeeeessss!
angry I am, change me you must.

Stay tuned for more of life's lessons and journeys! For now we will stop and celebrate 4 weeks of success!  Four weeks of survival, thriving, growing, loving and learning.  Hubs and I continue to fill each day with laughter, lots and lots of laughter (and sometimes wine!). 

Cheers to you little boy!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Summery Eats

In normal summer fashion, we would backpack, camp, hike, cook, photograph, write and eat for 12 weeks.  Veggies would be flowing from the fridge, wine would be topped off, and this blog wouldn't be nearly so neglected.  This summer wasn't normal. With the passing of my stepfather, transferring to a new school location, switch up on hubby's job, oh and getting pregnant- this summer was anything but normal.  So instead of the traditional summer fare, I feasted on bagel thins, saltines, ice water, and very few things that grow from the ground.  There were food adversions to things I normal love- and previously raved about on here! I'm looking at you portabellas, stay far far away from me and we'll be okay!

So for the 10 or so weeks of summer allotted this year, most of them were spent on the couch sleeping off what felt like a never ending hangover- minus the big night out!  Trips were put on hold, working out is a day dream I have, and the refrigerator never looked so sad in all it's plugged in life.  Steve's beloved chicken and I made enemies and it was a bland, bland summer.  Sometime in early August things started to change.  Energy levels crept back up, different foods full of life and color were purchased, small amounts of our feathered friend were being consumed... oh yeah welcome 2nd trimester, WELCOME!!!

The dogs were getting walked again, even if walking is the only thing I can deem as "exercise" it was something that didn't involve our couch. Good enough for me...

So to wrap up summer, and bring on the month that will eventually lead to Fall we toasted with a summer inspired dish. Yes it is long overdue, as summer ushered in months ago, but well worth the wait.

Grilled Shrimp with Gazpacho Salsa
1 lb Large shrimp (Costco had tiger shrimp that were perfect for this!)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup olive oil + 2 Tbsp
1 tomato, diced (seeds, skin, juices and all)
1/4 red pepper, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper
lime juice

Peel shrimp and marinate in olive oil and wine. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

In large bowl, mix all of the veggies up.  Toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Give it a stir.  Dust with garlic powder, stir and taste. Dust with Cayenne pepper, stir and taste.  I start with small amounts of seasoning and adjust as needed.  I like the punch of cayenne, and did 3 separate additions until I finally reached the desired heat.  Add just a hint of lime, not even enough to actually measure out, for brightness! 

Get a grill super hot, and grill the shrimp- ours took about 1 1/2 minutes per side! They were pretty big. Once you flip to second side, top lightly with some of the salsa.

Remove from grill and serve with the Gazpacho salsa.

Whether you are welcoming in summer, or sending it on it's hot and humid merry way- these are the perfect way to kick start your meal.  And now that I'm back to the land of the veggie-loving living, let's hope for a more updated well spiced life.

oh hey there vegetables.... let's make up for lost time!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

For a good time make these....

... and then call me for dinner!
Do yourself a favor and put this into your dinner ideas for this week or next! Share them with someone you love- not like- L.O.V.E. !! When I came home from work I wanted to go with something different- as in I've eaten so much chicken I may have feathers soon!  I recently picked up some portabellas, both large and small. My original plan was ground beef and baby bellas, but everything I googled for inspiration ended up resembling beef stroganoff. Not exactly what I was going for!

This was born out of the desperate need to eat beef, not doused in creamy sauce, over egg noodles.  We all draw our inspirations from somewhere, just so happens mine was from a list crossed off, and face full of frustration. Wheels spinning, ingredients flying out of the fridge, and oven preheating dinner was put together in about 40ish minutes!

If you need sweet revenge, make these and eat them in front of whoever is deserving of it. It's the adult thing to do!

Beef Stuffed Portabella Caps
1 lb lean ground beef
2 large portabella mushroom caps- could have used 4 oops
1/2 cup diced onion
3 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp Panko
4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
salt and pepper
garlic powder
red pepper flakes
Goat cheese garnish

Pre heat oven to 400.
Use a spoon to clean the inside of the mushroom up. Chop it up to mix in with beef.  Over medium heat cook onions and garlic until fragrant and translucent.  Mix in with beef, panko, and vinegar.  Stuff the mushrooms resembling a GIANT meatball!  Top with garlic powder, sprinkle with pepper flakes, rosemary, and basil!  The key is in the rosemary!!!  I baked these for 30 minutes.

I served this over whole wheat pasta with kale- tossed with olive oil and black pepper.  To wrap it up generously place goat cheese on top. The creaminess of the goat cheese mixed with the rosemary ties the whole thing together. 

Steve's already put in a request for them again!

Go ahead and pin this, spread the spice!!! Pin It

Monday, April 30, 2012

Kiwi Mango Vinaigrette

I posed the question on Facebook the other day about kiwi eating. I go for the full kiwi effect- fuzz and all! A friend equated it to a toothbrush for your belly, and I like that!  Many went the way of a fuzz free kiwi.  For tonights dinner, I went without the fuzz!
I needed some fresh and light dinner to balance the festive food filled weekend.  So atop a piece of grilled mahi, resting on mixed greens, went this dressing! Garnished with avocado slices and red onion, it's the kind of dinner that energizes you! Lucky for me there is leftover dressing for lunches this week. Mixed with quinoa, this would be a healthy lunch powerhouse!

Kiwi Mango Vinaigrette
1 peeled kiwi
1 peeled mango
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp honey
1 handful fresh cilantro
salt and pepper- to taste

Allow the food processor time to whirl the mixture into a light, sweet, slightly tangy dressing!

The Main Event

After months of planning, The Bride and her Main Man made it official in front of friends and family.  She was absolutely stunning! She knows how to throw a party, and even convinced hubs to dance with me (a request usually saved for the kitchen or the deck!)
With an early afternoon arrival we nibbled on chicken salad while waiting on the Glam Squad to come do their magic.
Though I haven't done it yet I think it would be equally amazing to go all veg with it and substitute Chickpeas for chicken...

This made enough for  6 people, plus leftovers for post reception noshing!

Leave 5 skinless/boneless chicken breasts marinating in Italian dressing for 4+ hours.
Cut into strips and grill.
Place chicken breasts in food processor  and pulse for a quick chop of the chicken.
For the dressing mix the following together before pouring over chicken;
1/2 cup Mayo (I love the reduced fat with Olive Oil!)
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (tweak to your liking of zingy-ness)
1 packet Good Seasonings Zesty Italian mix
2 tsp Agave Nectar
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp Onion powder
2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp dill
2 Tbsp basil
Mix well, and pour over chicken!  Enjoy on whole wheat wrap, or fluffy soft bun!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Have cheese, will travel!

Blogger says this is my 102nd post.  Missed the big 100 post party... oops! Guess I'll have to make up for it by blitzing the blog to get to 200 posts... and really get down!

Today is the wedding day of a very awesome childhood friend.  We met 20 years ago when my family moved into our suburban utopia, and her family was right down the street!  Cue bike riding, park days, pool playing, and sleepovers that laid the foundation of youth into adolescence!
A couple of weekends ago we celebrated The Bride in Charlottesville style- a rented car took us to wineries and we finished up the evening with dinner and drinks! Needless to say more silly memories were made and random fits of laughter spontaneously erupts when the bride, her sister, and I are able to get together!

To balance out the wine we were tasting I packed some cheese and crackers. I love the versatility of goat cheese. It pairs equally as well with sweet fruits as it does savory herbs.  The spread for crackers originally was a blend of chopped roasted almonds, and dried cranberries, mixed in with goat cheese, and drizzled with honey!

With an early primping start to today's wedding festivities I'm loading up a cooler with chicken salad (recipe soon....mmm) and some easy snacks! Today's goat cheese medley has roasted pecans, dried cherries, and an agave drizzle!  Its tasty AND pretty- with a slight pink hue after spending a brief couple of seconds in the food processor.  Easy and tasty always make a wonderful match.

In an oven set at 400 degrees roast chopped pecans for 5- minutes.
In a food processor, pulse dried fruit (cherries today), pecans, and goat cheese.
Form into ball, or log, or whatever fanciful shape you desire...a goat cheese dove perhaps?!

Time to get ready for some celebrating!  Congratulations to two wonderful people! I feel so incredibly lucky to be there to celebrate the day with you!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A rainy Saturday night

While running Saturday errands, we decided to do smaller nibbles for dinner. Without the desire to settle for 1 particular style, we opted for an assortment of foods that would typically be meal starters.  To kick off a rainy evening of grilling, guitar, wine, and beer, we ate smoked salmon sushi rolls.  The smoked salmon with red peppers, cucumber, and avocado were perfect with  wasabi soy sauce. Ever the novice sushi roller, several attempts were made to create the rolls cylindrical appearance.  They were a great way to start the night with my favorite person!