Monday, October 27, 2014

{Recipe Recap} Butterfinger Pie

I’ve said before that I’m keeping a post short and sweet and then it ends up not so short (but plenty sweet).  I mean it this time: I’m keeping it short because it has been a crazy-busy weekend and I’m worn out.

Our neighborhood had its annual Fall Festival with a chili cookoff and a pie bakeoff.  Well, we were supposed to have those two contests but only two people besides me, the returning champion, made chili and I was the only one who made a pie.  I don’t know if my chili was the crowd’s favorite, but I know the pie was.

I made a pudding pie, which required me to make pudding from scratch.  It wasn’t difficult, but it was time consuming.  I’m not ready to give up my boxes of Jell-O pudding mix just yet, but for the right recipe, I’d do the from-scratch thing again.

A quick pic of my pie as I headed out the door:

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And all that was left after it was devoured by everyone and left in the sun for an hour:

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What you need to know is this pie deserved a full photographic spread.  It was delicious!  If you like peanut butter, chocolate, and especially Butterfingers, then this pie is for you.

Have a great Monday!

{Recipe adapted from here}

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Eight Months

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Make that 8 months, 1 week, and 1 day but who’s counting?  Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be.  Jenny, you can relate, right?

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So what’s new this month?  Connor is sorta holding his bottle himself and we and the sitter are working on him using a sippy cup to drink some water.  He’s also still eating everything we put in front of him.  I made him a salmon puree that I didn’t think he’d like because, well, it was gross.  But he didn’t make even the slightest bit of a funny face, he just kept opening his mouth for another spoonful.  I hope this lack of pickiness lasts forever.

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Connor is a fan of the mesh feeder when it’s packed with apple, pear, and frozen mango.  He doesn’t love frozen peaches.  Right, Connor?

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Connor was at the doctor last week for a skin check.  He was supposed to get a flu shot, but the doctor didn’t have any, which seems to be a pretty common problem.  He weighed in at 21.5 pounds, which is what we expected.  Such a petite guy.  Connor has some eczema on his back so we’ve made some changes (new detergent, different bath soap, no lotion and Vaseline instead on his back).  Fingers crossed that the eczema isn’t due to anything he eats because that just sounds like a lot of trouble to figure out.  Plus, Connor likes his food so much that I hate to limit what he’s eating.

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As you have probably seen in the Instagram video, Connor is scootching around on his belly and getting really good at it.  The sitter said, “He’s getting really fast!”  Right now, he can’t get from sitting to scootching by himself, but once he does, we are gonna be in trouble!

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Still no teeth.  I hope we aren’t going to get four at once and REALLY suffer.  You know, because what’s important here is that the McHusband and I don’t have to deal with a cranky baby.

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I’ve noticed that Connor doesn’t always stay happy when he’s left alone.  He might be perfectly content in his activity chair or sitting on the floor while I talk to him and, say, wash bottles, but he knows when I run to the bathroom and leave him on his own.

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Connor still loves his jumper, bathtime, and going for walks (So glad I can say that!).  His favorite games are peekaboo and “throw the baby up and catch him.”

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He’s not always a big fan of going into his carseat, and he really hates having full sun in his eyes.  Oh, and the worst part of eating?  Really the only downside?  Getting cleaned up afterward.  Who knew a damp paper towel could cause so much stress?

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All in all, he’s a very happy boy.  Look, he’s even doing a little jig for you.

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But he can be serious, too.

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As always, we are looking forward to the next month!

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Connor, we love you bunches!  When you giggle, my heart bursts.  When I pick you up from the sitter and you give me that big grin, my heart bursts.  When you fall asleep on my shoulder after your evening bottle and I get a cuddly minute with you, my heart bursts.

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My poor heart, I don’t know if it can take another month.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nine Years

Happy Anniversary, McHusband!  Today we celebrate nine years of wedded bliss.

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I’m not gonna get all mushy and write about how much I appreciate you, how good a job you do at taking care of our little family, or how I still look forward to you getting home after being away overnight.

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Thank you for planning our night out to celebrate this past Saturday.  For those of you who aren’t me or the babysitter and know about our date night, I’ll give you a quick recap.  All I knew was that I needed to be ready by 5:00 when the babysitter showed up.  The McHusband took me to dinner at Tasu where we had some very good sushi.

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From there, we ran a quick errand, grabbed some candy, then headed to the theater to see Gone Girl, which the McHusband remembered me saying I wanted to see.  I’d read the book and really enjoyed it.  I thought the movie was very good for someone who hasn’t read the book, but the latter is so intricate in its telling, that no movie could ever capture all the details.

Nine years, two cats, three dogs, two houses, and one kid.  What do you say we see what the next nine years brings?

Exit with petals

I love you, McHusband!

Monday, October 20, 2014

{Recipe Recap} Enchilada Quinoa and Black Beans with Shrimp

I did make something sweet this weekend, but those bars haven’t been reviewed yet so I’m going to wait to see how they turned out before I write about them.  For now, though, let’s just say I have very high hopes.

I was pretty excited about this quinoa, um, skillet for lack of a better word.  Enchilada flavor?  Taco seasoning?  Shrimp?  What’d not to love?

I was a little disappointed in the flavor of the quinoa after I added the can of enchilada sauce.  Luckily, the shrimp only used about two tablespoons of a packet of taco seasoning so I just added the rest of that packet to the quinoa and stirred it in.  Bingo!  That was exactly what the dish needed.

If you like things spicy like we do, I’d think about adding some chopped jalapenos with the onion or maybe even a can of diced chopped jalapenos.  I didn’t do that this time, but if – when – I make this again, I’d try one of those things.  Also, I’d think about using the enchilada sauce (and maybe two cans of it) in the place of the same amount of the chicken broth so that the sauce’s flavor would be stronger.

I just took the one picture because, let’s face it, something like this is going to be hard to photograph under the best conditions and since I was taking my picture after dark under artificial light… 

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If you want to see a much more appetizing look at this, check out Deborah’s pictures.

I didn’t do the math on the nutrition, but I think this is a fairly healthy meal.  Quinoa can be a little calorie dense so you do need to watch how much you pile into your bowl, but if you leave out the cheese like I did, and use shrimp instead of beef or chicken, there’s a little more room for quinoa.

Don’t let my bad picture dissuade you from making this.  It was delicious!  Also, it was very easy to make.  I don’t spend nearly as much time on my Sunday dinners as I used to and often rely on my crockpot so there isn’t much to do between putting Connor to bed and us eating.  This skillet meal is simple enough for a weeknight dinner, or for a tired busy mom on the weekend, especially when you see what kind of leftovers you’ll have for at least a couple days.

{Recipe adapted from here}

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Links

I’m going to let the internet help me do my blogging tonight.

The McHusband sent this to me yesterday.  In a perfect world, I would work part-time but be paid for full-time and still have Connor in daycare four days a week so that he and I would have one extra day together and I would have one day to myself.

But I don’t live in a perfect world and this article made me feel better about being a working mom.

I saw this article about allergies and antibiotics over the weekend.  I’m not all that surprised, to be honest.  I truly believe that overdoing the antibiotics is going to be very bad for us in the long run.  I mean “us” as a general population because too many people pop antibiotics like the vitamins they should be taking and the germs are getting stronger, slowly but surely.  “Us” also refers to a single person taking antibiotics every time their nose runs so that the bacteria in their body are learning a little bit each time they get a taste of the antibiotic.

I’m not anti-medicine.  I think vaccines are great things and drugs can do amazing things.  But maybe they shouldn’t always be the first and immediate line of defense.

Just some food for thought for your Hump Day.

Monday, October 13, 2014

{Recipe Recap} Double Chocolate and Toffee Cookies

Good thing this is a dessert post because I’m going to keep things short and sweet.  I’m finally sitting down to write this at 9:45 Sunday night, which is supposed to be when I’m just sitting on the couch vegging until 10 before we head up to bed. 

I made the dough for these cookies last Monday when I was home with Connor.  The cookies were meant for the Women’s Night I hosted this past Friday, but I had to bake up a couple test batches to share with our coworkers.

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I used some mini semisweet chips, some of those new caramel-filled milk chocolate morsels, and toffee chips as my mix-ins.  I really liked the little bit of crunch that the latter provided.

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For the cocoa, I used both regular unsweetened cocoa and some Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa.  I think my proportions were a third to two-thirds, respectively.

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The mix of cocoas was a good choice.  The dark chocolate gave these cookies a deeper, stronger chocolate flavor but since I didn’t use ALL dark chocolate, the cookies were still sweet and not too bold.

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The texture of these cookies was SPOT ON.  I loved loved loved how they turned out.  Not cakey, not chewy, just soft with a touch of crispness on the outside.  Perfect!

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I guess this post isn’t turning out as short as I anticipated so I might as well keep going.  I tried taking pictures of my cookies on the floor below the dining room window since the light was low thanks to the cloudy day, but my “assistant” went from conveniently asleep on the job to not-so-conveniently interested in what I was doing.

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If you like chocolate, make these cookies.  They were superb!

{Recipe slightly adapted from here}

PS  Happy day-after-his-birthday to Owen!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lo siento

That’d be, “I’m sorry.”

I just haven’t had the energy to blog nor the fodder to blog about this week.  I have been busy every night with boot camp (my only exercise unfortunately) and prepping food and the house for Women’s Night tonight all while making at least a little downtime and an early bedtime priorities.  Since I can’t catch up on my sleep or TV on the weekends any more, I need to make sure I don’t get so far behind during the week that I’m a “mombie.”

I hope to get back to normal starting this Saturday.  I’ll still be tired – I think I just need to accept that as a norm now – but I want to get in at least 4 days of exercise (from Saturday to Friday), do some blogging (a certain someone turns 8 months old next week), and continue to make downtime and an early bedtime a priority.

I’m definitely having a hard time with the whole balance thing, and I’m pretty sure most moms (and dads) can relate. This isn’t meant to be a “woe is me” post because I don’t really have any good reason to complain.  I have a job, a nice home, my health, a wonderful family, a fantastic husband, a great group of friends, and a beautiful baby boy.

If I could just have a few more hours in the night to sleep, my life’d be perfect.

I hate to do posts without pictures, and I couldn’t stand to do two in one week.  So here’s a quick glimpse at the start of my Women’s Night table.  All it needs now is some food!

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TGIF and have a great weekend!