Monday, January 31, 2011

Emergency Stash

Here is last nights conclusion to my mega-lazy Sunday:

It's not delivery... its Bertolli!

This is actually Bertolli in-a-bag, something I just always like to have in my freezer.   My first three months of being pregnant I didn't want to feed my family at all, so I purchased a few of these to use on an emergency basis.  Last night was obviously an emergency: I was being lazy and didn't want to mess up the kitchen I just cleaned! This is some chicken version in vodka sauce.  Once I dumped the frozen dinner into the pan, I also added raw shrimp, mushrooms, and diced tomatoes to just give it a lil more oomph.  On the side I made a chopped salad... something I quickly became a fan of, and roasted broccoli.  

As I'm becoming more and more pregnant, I'm trying to eat healthier and healthier, which just allows me to eat more often, something I want to do anyway! So I brought a ton of food for breakfast/lunch/snacks today, which included (but not only included) a healthified breakfast sandwich (eggwhites, tomato on a flat bread), mini-bagel with chive cream cheese, veggies with spicy hummus, grapes, and this amazing salad:

Sloppy Goodness

I finally caved and purchased chicken sausage... I bought the all natural kind made with apples in it.  Its okay, I don't think it should be called sausage though, my brain cant handle that... because its NOTHING like sausage!! It was okay in the salad, I fried up a whole one last night and put half in my salad - the other half went in the fridge for tomorrow.  I also used Chunky bleu cheese dressing, mixed greens, apple, cuke, tomatoes and broccoli.  It was pretty delish. 

I'm pretty starving right now and wish I had some greasy, sloppy chicken sandwich with cheese on a bun... but I will not cave and eat it :) Maybe I will make some type of pasta again for dinner though, since all I do is crave carbs, shrimp, olives and tomatoes! These past few days EVERYTHING has tasted so darn wonderful to me!! Everything I taste is just the best thing in the world... Pete thinks I'm nuts! It goes something like this:
    "Pete... how much did you loooooove the bowl of (insert anything here) you just had? I could eat that every single day for the rest of my life! It was sooo good!"
    Pete- "Um, yeah, that bowl of (blank) was okay. Are you okay?"

Every single thing I put in my mouth is pretty much the best thing ever. i like this part of pregnancy!

Mikayla and I always cook/bake on Monday nights, it helps us prep for the week.   If we cook/bake big Mondays, we are set at least thru Wed.  I think I have big plans to bake tonight... but we shall see!

My first real day at my new job went well; the students I had today were really cooperative! That makes my life easier, to know at least every other day I will have a good day! the only down side to my day?  I don't have the same lunch period as my husband!!
I leave you with a photo I received through email today, this was taken on Mikaylas birthday, complete with her two furry, squirmy birthday presents:

Lil Rocket and Lil Pocket!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

No Calorie Sundays

Because calories shouldn't count on the weekends:
French Toast Galore!

I made Pete and I a "variety French Toast Plate" for breakfast.  First up:

Beauuutiful Lines
  Regular French Toast... which is always welcome in my book.  We like 'em eggy, so there is more egg than milk in my mix. Next up:

Yummy Gooey Goodness

Peanut Butter and Jelly with Banana French toast! Mmmmm.  What I did: I had a loaf of bread in the freezer (because I freeze everything) so I actually took a piece of good bread and sliced it in half to make it tiny! Then I loaded up one side with this puppy:

You had me at Cinnamon
The other slice with this:

 Filled the middle with sliced bananas, dipped the sandwich in my egg mixture and placed it on the griddle.  It was awesome.  I'm such a syrup lover and it didn't even need syrup!!

The last piece of FT was actually made for me by my darling husband:

Dippy Eggs = <3
Its one of those neat pieces of FT with egg! I made the FT, he cuts a hole in the middle and fries an egg in there.  Sooo good, and once again it didn't need any syrup! How great was that Sunday breakfast?  Yeah... Lil Pocket Girl thought the same thing...

Where's mine mom??

See you next weekend!

While this one was skiing yesterday...

 Mama enjoyed one of these in the lodge:

Bought from my first trip to the candy store in the mall next to me! Sooo good.  It was dark chocolate filled with Raspberry filling... amazinggg!

I come for moral support

My belly keeps getting bigger and bigger, I can hardly zip up my ski jacket anymore!!

A view from the top
 No, its not a ball, its my growing tummy, and I love it!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The 5-yr-old baker

Mikayla acquired a ton of lil kid baking/cooking sets for Xmas and her birthday, and this mini-cupcake set was one of them.  It came with mini-cupcake wrappers, which make the perfect bite size cupcake! It also came with recipe cards and a frosting gun (or whatever they are called). 

We chose to make a regular, cakey cupcake, and Mikayla decided we should mix in chocolate chips and chopped up Snickers! We decided to make a chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Mikayla frosted and decorated these herself, and we quickly ran out of frosting, however, it was late so mommy decided to not make any more... and eat some without the frosting. 

Detective Mom thinks theres some missing from the pan....  

Oh no! One more is missing...!

Anyway, Im sure more baking will be in the near future, but not tonight! I have a movie date with the coolest 5 year old I know! Bring on the popcorn, movie theatre nachos, and 3-D glasses... Yogi Bear, here we come!


Pete and I stayed up real late watching... Desperate Housewives last night, so today I'm sluggish and super exhausted.  TGIF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday before I left for work in the morning I threw together part of dinner: BBQ Pulled Chicken.  (I make Pulled Pork the same way, but read Courtney's recipe for Chicken and thought it would be a fantastic idea, although I still made it my own way.)  I threw the following in my mini-crock pot:

          3 Boneless, Skinless chicken thighs
          2 cups of water
          2 Beef Bullion Cubes
          1 Onion, chopped

I cooked it on low and when I walked in my place after work, it smelled fantassssstic! I immediately pulled out the chicken and threw it in a bowl, pulling it apart (sooo easy!) with two forks.  I dumped out the liquid from the crock pot into another bowl.  Then, I placed the chicken back into the empty crock pot, along with salt, pepper, and this lil gem.  As it is re-cooking (or whatever) I periodically scoop some of the reserved liquid back into the crock pot, but not too much because I hate when the meat comes out watery.  I just kept the pulled chicken in the crock pot until we were ready to eat... and WOW did 3 chicken thighs make a lot of pulled chicken! I was surprised, it doesn't look like much but we have more than enough leftovers for lunch today.

On the side I also made mac and cheese, (1/2 with Panko crumbs) and a side of roasted sprouts.  yumm! I sorta just winged the recipe for M & cheese... a lil butter and flour, milk and cheese... and out of my 10,000 boxes of pasta in my cupboards (no lie) I didn't have ONE box of elbows!

Since dinner was pretty much done, I had a nice, relaxing night spent with the fam, furry friends and all:

Prettiest kindergartener everrrr!

Pajamas went on early last night!
 Yes, yes, I do still have to get my cam fixed! My plan for today is.... eat my way through it.  Is that weird?  I've been SO HUNGRY this past week, and after doing a lil research I found out between week 18 and week 20 you are at your hungriest.  Seriously, all I want to do is eat, so I try to make good choices.  This is what I have hangin' around my *new* classroom:

Yeah, I have to kinda force myself to eat yogurt, its something I never really enjoyed, and i mix in the Special K to make it not remind me of baby food... Granola is much tastier than Special K, but since I bought it I will eat it!  I also cut up tons of veggies in the a.m. to snack on all day, because I am a devoted chip lover, and the veggies allow me to eat a never-ending portion while satisfying my crunch desire :)

I kinda figure the healthier I eat, the more food I can does work that way, doesn't it?! (Plus, I'm sure veggies cancelled out my ginormous Rice Crispy treat and 2 snickers bars I scarfed down yesterday....)

This pregnancy I'm trying to not gain 60 lbs!! So far I'm at 13 lbs....and counting...

C'mon 6 lb baby and 2 hour delivery!!!!!!!!! (Please keep your fingers crossed!!!!!) (I'm sure this can happen!!)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Steak Sammies and Rice Pudding

Yesterday was a cooking/baking night for sure.  Mikayla and I took a looong trip to the grocery store, which resulted in lots and lots of yummy food to be put away, cooked, and eaten :) Since we were absolutely starving by the time we got home, I decided to make a quick dinner.  I first started by roasting cauliflower and broccoli in olive oil, pepper and garlic salt.  While that was going on I popped 3 pots/pans on the stove - In pan 1 I threw in some shredded steak, Pan 2 was sliced onions, peppers and mushrooms, and Pan 3 was the sauce.  I then threw one sandwich thin into the oven with one side loaded with crumbled bleu cheese.  Popped everything together and presto! A yummy Raspberry Bleu cheese Steak Sandwich!! (A lil bit healthier than that Philly cheese steak I've been dreaming of). 

A lil 3-pan action, complete with mini-pink icecream spoon

Raspberry Sauce
Boil all of these ingredients together on top of the stove - although it may taste weird by the spoonful, it was awesome on the Steak Sammie!!

3 tbsp each:
   Raspberry Jam
   Apple Cider Vinegar
   Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp:
   Tomato Paste
   Brown Sugar (obv depending on how sweet you like it)
Salt & Pepper

Since Mikayla has been begging me to make mini-cupcakes with her, I decided last night was the night.  I will post what she did later, because I think it would be fun for her to have her own post :) She is such a proud lil baker, and she loooooves doing it!! If there's one thing I cannot stand its frosting anything, but she likes frosting and decorating and sprinkles and colors and so on. Lets just say she made pretty delicious cakey cupcakes with choc chips and snickers. Mikayla's definitely going to be the baker of the family!

I have had many cravings this pregnancy, although I don't see any of them being odd or weird.  I have been craving rice pudding, and thought it would be amazing to make it using the Silk Almond Milk.  My first thought was to use the Chocolate flavor, but I decided to purchase the Vanilla instead.  I used the recipe on their website, which was soo tasty and full of flavor!! It was delicious... but the consistency was a lil off (says the hubby).   I will have to say next time I make it (which I will totally make again), I will make 10 times as much as the recipe calls for, and make it with more milk, because it was a little thick.  It pretty much made a lil over 2 servings, which Pete and I devoured last night. 

Silk Almond Rice Pudding

2 1/2 cups Silk Almond Milk (I used Vanilla)
1/3 cup White Rice
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup

Bring Milk, Rice and Salt to a boil (carefully! Don't burn the bottom!!).  Immediately turn heat on low and let simmer for about 25-30 mins.  Take off heat.  In a bowl, whisk egg and one spoonful of Rice pudding together, and pour back into the pot (do this so the egg doesn't scramble when you add it to the hot pudding).  Mix in Syrup, Vanilla and Spices, to taste.  I added about 1/4 cup raisins once I scooped it into my desired container.  Refrigerate.

I will spend my next few hours reading this uplifting story:

About one family's journey through the Salem Witch Trials, and how this 10 yr old girl and her family were falsely accused of being witches back in the day.  True family story, passed on from generation to generation.  I didn't get there yet, but Sarah's mother was one of the first people in Salem to be accused, convicted and hanged (hung?) for being a witch.  Ahh, gotta love these true stories, sometimes you cant believe what others have to live through!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Apricot Rugalach


These are not difficult to make, but might be a bit time consuming. I'm just gonna tell you right now that it is worth the time and effort!


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in pieces and chilled
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut in chunks and chilled
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (or Greek yogurt)

  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts (or almonds)
  • 1 cup apricot preserves (I use sugar free)
  • 2/3 cups golden raisins
  • 1/4 tspn salt

Egg Wash:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar


Preheat oven to 375.

Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Add the butter, cream cheese and sour cream, and pulse until it forms a rough dough - it wont mix together well, it will have "pieces".  Put the dough on a floured work surface and divide into 4 parts - wrap each section in plastic wrap and freeze for about 15 mins.

Chops the nuts, raisins, and salt in the food processor until it becomes a paste.

Unfreeze the dough and roll out one of the portions into a thin rectangle.  It doesn't matter if it looks pretty, just make sure its a rectangle! Spread some of the filling in the middle, not close to the edges. 

Carefully roll the dough into one long log

Using a serrated knife cut into small pieces.  (I like to make mine on an angle).  Put seam side down on a greased pan and pop into the freezer for a few more minutes. 

Repeat with the other 3 sections of dough. 

Make the egg wash and "paint" on the Rugalach before baking.  Sprinkle it with sugar and pop those puppies into the oven.  Bake until they are Golden Brown, the times will vary depending on which type of pan you use.  I'd say it takes me more than 30 mins.  Maybe about 35 to 40... I really like 'em golden brown on the top.  (Just be careful the bottoms don't burn)

Presto! They are so amazing.  The last time I made them I mixed 1/4 cup Raspberry Preserves and 3/4 Apricot Preserves... and I wouldn't recommend it.  It takes away from the Apricot/Golden Raisin combo that's going on, and it just wasn't as good.  Maybe all Raspberry, or all Strawberry.... who knows... the possibilities are endless!!

(I should really get my camera fixed, these photos are awful!)

This recipe is linked to:
Culinary Smackdown Battle
Sweet Tooth Friday
Full Plate Thursday

It's a...... boy!!

We're having a boy!!!!! We found out Monday that the little baby in my belly is actually a boy! Pete, Mikayla and I are extremely happy and excited. Now, its on to the Name Game... its so difficult to chose!! My mother and I celebrated by going to Panera for lunchy:

That is a Frontega chicken sandwich (Smoked & pulled white meat chicken, mozzarella, tomatoes, red onions, chopped basil & chipotle mayonnaise, grilled hot on our Focaccia) with a cup of French Onion soup. Id have to say the soup was quite salty, but it wasn't smothered in cheese and soaked with bread, so it was perfect in my book!

Today is officially my second day at my job, and I am almost finished reading this book:

It is a pretty good book, definitely an easy read.  I'm going to be teaching it for the next month so I decided to dive right in! this book is geared towards inner-city high school kids; it is about a boy who decides to "run" hash on a sailboat, gets caught by the Feds in NYC, and spends time in jail.  The problem is... this boy is really a good kid... he just came from a poor family and was offered $10,000 to run the drugs, so he did it never thinking he would get caught, nonetheless get in trouble and put in jail. It is a true story, and for anyone who knows me knows I looooove true stories!!

Today is Mikayla's second day attending the Y program before school, and she likes it.  She is such a good little girl - she is so adaptable and just enjoys being around people.  As soon as she and I walked in to the cafeteria today, she ran, got a basket, threw her things in it, sat at the table with the most children, and said "can I play too?" I mean, this took her 2 seconds, at 7 in the morning!! I love her <3

Going to work every day now involves a lot of prep time at night.  I spent last night making egg salad sandwiches for Pete and I (we are both working in the same building), chopping veggies, making a salad, packing snacks, and then making Mikaylas lunch as well.... it probably took about one hour to get everything together.  Of course I am very glad I spent the time doing it last night, otherwise I would be starving.  Plus, I like to snack and have a lot of free time during the day!

veggies <3
I will most likely be going "work" grocery shopping tonight, purchasing things I can keep on hand in my classroom, such as bread/bagels/flat breads, along with these puppies:

Soooo good together!! I need some more ideas of food to keep stashed away in my classroom, I'm going to utilize the faculty room fridge next door for waters and Gatorade's.  Pete laughs, but I don't go hungry during my work day!

I'm off to finish reading my book....

Monday, January 24, 2011

Boys can cook, too

After a nice relaxing day skiing at Gore, I was exhausted!! Skiing on Sunday was pretty amazing, the snow was perfect and the sun was shining.... forget the temperature outside (I don't even wanna tawk about it!).  We got home pretty early, but we both crashed on the couch.  I really didn't feel like cooking, so my lovely, amazing, wonderful husband took over the task.

The salad starter was a chopped spinach salad with walnuts, green peppers and cherry tomatoes.  I added chunky bleu cheese dressing, because I love bleu cheese!! Salad always tastes so much better when someone else makes it!

For the "main course" Pete made a pizza.  We love pizza, so this was a-o-k with me! On it he put leftover baked ziti (ziti pizza is one of my fav's), green peppers, chopped spinach, caramelized onions and fresh mozzarella.  It was delicious... and more impt... it was made with love ;)

I'm 18 weeks preggers today, and I am going to my doctors for my ultrasound.  I might find out the sex of the baby, I'm still not sure... although I will probably cave and find out since my hubby really wants to know! I am so excited, I love seeing my widdle baby on the computer screen! Now I'm going to go get bundled up and start the Jeep, since its absolutely freezing outside!