Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hot and Cold: Chocolate Hazlenut Milkshake

You guys - it is HOT here.  Did you notice the word all in capital letters?  That's because I'm not fooling around.  It's been in the 90s.  It's still April!  Wasn't I just complaining about the cold wet weather last week?  And now Thatboy and I are sitting and watching television with all the fans going and all the windows open and all the doors open.  Because it's April - it's too early for air conditioning.

And probably only exacerbating the warmth and beauty of the outside, Thatkid and I are both sick.  I hate being sick when it isn't awful outside.  No problem staying at home on the couch when it's cold and gloomy.  But who wants to be stuck inside on a sunny day?

Neither of us has much of an appetite, but I have found myself to be ridiculously thirsty, so I'm trying to get as much nutrition as I can in the liquid form.  Most of the time this means something nice and healthy, like smoothies teaming with greek yogurt, fruit, and not much else. 

Sometimes however this means ice cream - the liquid form of ice cream that is - milkshakes!  Maybe not high on nutrition, but hey, dairy is a protein, right?  And the added calories only help my body fight off whatever's going on! 

The idea of hazelnut and chocolate isn't a new one.  Most of you have heard of Nutella, right?  When I saw hazelnut and salted caramel ice cream in the store, I scooped it up.  I knew it could only be improved with the addition of chocolate syrup.  And I was right! 

Hazelnut Chocolate Milkshake
3/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp chocolate syrup
2 scoops of hazelnut ice cream
  1. Combine ingredients quickly in a blender.
  2. Pour into cup, or just add a straw to the blender.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Crave Wednesday: Pizza Supreme

Thatboy and I have long had a disagreement when it comes to pizza.  He likes them piled high with meat - pepperoni and sausage to be exact.  Personally, I'm a veggie girl when it comes to pizza.  The more the better.  It's not that I won't eat pepperoni and sausage, but I don't prefer them.

When you've been with someone for 15 years, you get pretty good at compromising.  We either trade back and forth between something he likes and something I like,  or we go halvsies.  More often than not we go halvsies because Thatkid has developed a similar preference in his pizzas.

This pizza supreme pleases just about everyone.  It makes Thatboy happy with the inclusion of sausage, and I love the peppers and mushrooms.  The only one who was unhappy with this pizza was Thatkid, who has a serious mushroom aversion.  But you know what they say - you can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.

Pizza Supreme (From Cooking Light)
1 lb pizza dough
cooking spray
2 tsp olive oil
1 link sweet turkey Italian sausage
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced orange bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3/4 cup marinara sauce
4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 500. Let dough stand uncovered for 30 minutes to allow to come to room temperature. Roll dough into a 14-inch circle and place on a pizza pan.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Remove casing from sausage.  Add sausage to pan and cook 2 minutes, stirring to crumble.
  3. Add mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, crushed red pepper and garlic.  Cook 4 minutes.
  4. Spread sauce over dough, leaving a 1-inch border.  
  5. Arrange cheese evenly over sauce. 
  6. Arrange sausage mixture evenly over cheese.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Cut into 6 wedges.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mommy Mondays: 34 Weeks

As we start getting closer to the big day, I've started taking this whole "where's the baby going to sleep" thing seriously.  Meaning I've started "registering" and planning out the nursery.

Registering is in quotes because since this is my second, I'm not having a shower.  The only reason I've registered at all is to get the registration discount on things we'd purchase anyway.  Like new sheets and towels.   And pretty soon I'll actually buy the things we've registered for!

For now, I've picked up some things as I've seen them on sale, like the bedding, as well as things that take longer to come in - like the wall prints and the rug.

Most of the furniture we're reusing from Thatkid - like the crib, dresser, and glider.  Oppo-baby also has the added benefit of getting to share the space.  Since we're in a 3 bedroom, we didn't want to lose the guest room space.  So the nursery is going to double as a guest room (and actually for the first weekish of Oppo-baby's life will also be Thatboy and my room...since my mother in law is afraid to stay in a hotel by herself....)

I found a print on Etsy that inspired everything - a small version is pictured below, rainbows and rockets.  Which I felt was a great way to keep things neutral, bright colors and rocket ships!

Gelfling Room

Total weight gain/loss: +22
Next Appointment: May 4
Maternity clothes? Mostly maternity.  Mostly dresses.
Stretch marks: Yup
Sleep: Off and on. Nothing consistent.
Best moment this week: Finishing the mobile for the baby's room.
Movement: Yes.  I was actually a little nervous on Thursday because the baby was quieter all day - and then the evening came and we were back to normal.
Food cravings: Nothing
Food aversions: Nothing
Gender: Not finding out
Belly Button in or out: In.  But it never popped last time, so I'm not expecting it to this time.
What I miss: Not having sciatica.
What I am looking forward to: The rocket ship print should be arriving this week!
Contractions: None this week
-started packing my hospital bag.
-eye movements are settling into a cycle of rest and REM.
- baby is more responsive to strong lights.
- baby is practicing suckling reflexes.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Runday: Something's A-foot

I was out on a run on Friday when I started getting some tightness in my shins.  It was strange because I haven't had any problems with that the entire pregnancy.  And then I realized - maybe it's my shoes?  Because I haven't done a weekday run in my Vibrams in at least a month.  And they certainly felt tighter.

In general, any running complaints I have I usually blame on my shoes.  It's a fairly good guess.  The majority of running injuries come from wearing the wrong shoes.  Shoes are a runner's primary investment, the most expensive part of the hobby. 

When I started running more than just a couple miles here or there, I got fitted for shoes at one of the big name running shops.  "Fitted" means they had me run on a treadmill and evaluated my gait.  I tend to under-pronate, but only slightly, so a "neutral" shoe works best for me.  They put me in a pair of New Balances and sent me on my way.

It was the first time I'd ever been in pain running.  My knee started hurting before I hit the first mile.  Those shoes went right back to the shop and I requested a neutral Nike, since I'd been running in those since the dawn of time.  My one bad experience has made it difficult for me to switch brands!  I know most runners love Mizunos, Brookes, and Hokas, but I stick with what I know.

So lately I've been wearing my Nikes on all my weekend runs and I think I'm going to have to start packing them in my workday run bag.  I'm hopeful that once my feet return to their pre-pregnacy state I'll be able to switch back to the Vibrams during the week - they're so much easier to pack!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Saying Goodbye

As you may or may not recall, in February we traveled to New Jersey to visit my grandmother.

The full story goes something like this.  Last year my grandmother fell and broke her hip.  While doing the pre-surgical screenings, they found spots on her lungs.  It wasn't a terrible surprise to any of us, given that she had been a smoker since her early teens.  However, she refused to acknowledge the meaning of those spots. No further tests were done, no treatment was ordered.  She was in her late 80s, and it was her decision.  The doctors weren't sure what her prognosis was, but the "6 month" phrase was bandied about.  Thatmom didn't think she would make it to see Baby B's birth.  No one expected her to make it to Christmas.

And yet, she did.  We spoke behind her back, since she refused to acknowledge the gravity of the situation.  The "C word" was never uttered.  Which is not to say everything was sunshine and roses over there.  There were multiple times when we expected a phone call, and times we even got one - like moments before Thatmom's birthday dinner. 

3 weeks ago, we got the call.  A few days later my mom headed to New Jersey to identify the body and attend the memorial there.  Because none of the West Coast family attended, over the weekend Thatmom hosted her own memorial service. 

We all gathered together at Thatmom's house to sit around and share our memories.  The rabbi came and said some prayers.  While we all harbor our own thoughts about my grandmother, it was a good reminder that family always comes together.  That we are all connected.  Even under unpleasant situations.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Summer Storm: Hot Chocolate

In the past 18 years I've learned something about Southern California weather.  And that's the fact that you can't predict Southern California weather.

It's been practically summer here for weeks, despite being April.  Until yesterday.  Yesterday the sky filled with clouds, and it was cold enough that I felt bad for not sending a sweatshirt in with Thatkid to school.  Thatboy said it even rained at his office. 

And while such weather wouldn't be terribly uncommon in other parts of the country (April showers anyone?) it always takes us by surprise since it seems to come from out of the blue.  Luckily, those of us who went to work/school without appropriate spring attire found a good way to warm up once we were home.

Hot chocolate is another one of those things that I didn't realize "came from a box" until I was older.  Thatmom always made it stovetop - a pot of Hershey's cocoa and milk simmering and filling the kitchen with it's warmth. 

 Hot Cocoa
4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 Tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
4 cups milk
few drops of vanilla extract
  1. Mix the cocoa, sugar, and salt with 1/2 cup warm water in a medium sized saucepan and boil gently for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the milk and heat slowly, just to the boiling point.
  3. Beat with a whisk and add a few drops of vanilla extract.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Crave Wednesday: Peach and Gorgonzola Chicken Pizza

We're going through a major fruit phase in my house right now. Our fruit bowl is overflowing with oranges from our tree and apples and bananas from the store.  Our fridge teams over with berries, grapes, and cut melon. 

We eat them with abandon.  Thatkid can put away a pint of blueberries in a single sitting. At dinner last night there was a bit of a scuffle over a bowl of pineapple.  We're using them in everything.  Including our dinners.

Fruit on a pizza is a little controversial.  Personally, there's nothing I like better than pineapple on my pizza (and lately pineapple and jalapeno is my favorite combo).  Thatboy isn't as enamored with the combination of sweet and salty on a pizza.  Which is actually why this peach and gorgonzola pizza works so well.  It could be due to the time of year, but the peaches aren't nearly as sweet as pineapple.  Especially when paired with a balsamic glaze.  It doesn't hurt that Thatboy does love fruit combined with balsamic. 

This has all the elements of a masterpiece - the peaches and balsamic, along with tangy gorgonzola cheese.  The chicken is just a bonus!

Peach and Gorgonzola Chicken Pizza (From Cooking Light)
1 prebaked thin pizza crust
cooking spray
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 unpeeled medium peach, thinly sliced
1/3 balsamic vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Place pizza crust on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Brush oil evenly over crust.
  2.  Top evenly with 1/4 cup mozzarella, chicken, Gorgonzola, and peach slices.
  3. Top with 1/4 cup mozzarella.  Bake for 11 minutes, or until crust is golden.
  4. Place vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-heat heat.  Cook until reduced to 2 Tbsp (about 5 minutes).
  5. Drizzle balsamic reduction over pizza.  Cut pizza into 8 wedges.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mommy Mondays: 33 weeks

Maternity Jean Review!

During my first pregnancy I splurged on a pair of designer maternity jeans and wore them religiously throughout the pregnancy.  They were my go-to pants - I only owned one other, a pair of black work pants.

When I went to pull them out for this pregnancy they were no where to be found.  I had every piece of maternity clothing from my last pregnancy, except those jeans.  I made up for it over the past few months by picking up not one replacement, but three!  Three different styles, in three different price points.  Since I know that maternity jeans are a staple of the pregnancy wardrobe, I thought a little review might be helpful.

The Cheap Pair - Mom & Co. — Dark Wash Under-Belly Maternity Skinny Jeans from Zulily. ($19.99)

I was adamantly opposed to demi-panel pants during my first pregnancy.  They just weren't as comfortable as full panel.  And when I first started wearing these around 20 weeks, they weren't so great.  But now I love the demi-panel.  It hits in just the right place and I don't have the pants falling down problem I do with a lot of my maternity bottoms.  They also fit true to size.  They're a great buy for the price. 

The Moderate Pair - Gap1969 Full Panel Sexy Boot Jeans. ($69.95 - currently on sale for $22.99)

These are my least favorite.  And they completely remind me why I stopped wearing Gap jeans in general.  They're baggy, they stretch out, and I really can't keep them up.  I am constantly tugging on them when I wear them, so I rarely wear them.  And between you and I, they're not terribly flattering.  I'd give them a pass.

The Splurge Pair - Paige Denim - Verduga Full Panel Maternity Jeans. ($189.00)

This is another one of those "you get with you pay for" type situations.  These are my favorite maternity jeans I have.  Worth every penny.  I love the fit, they stay up, they're comfortable, and they're full panel!  They worked for second AND third trimester.  And they fit true to size.  These are the same size as my non-maternity Piage jeans.  Paige also makes their maternity jeans with side panels, and if I didn't only have 7 weeks to go I would definitely check those out too.

Total weight gain/loss: +22
Next Appointment: Today
Maternity clothes? Mostly maternity.  I'm excited to be done with trial so I can wear more non-maternity jersey type dresses to the office.
Stretch marks: Yup
Sleep: I had a couple of really good nights this week, but also a really bad one where I just couldn't get back to sleep at 4am when I woke up.
Best moment this week: My mom got to feel the baby this weekend- both hiccups and real movement.
Movement: Yes.  And now that I got to talk to the jury they confessed they could see it from the jury box.
Food cravings: Nothing
Food aversions: Nothing
Gender: Not finding out
Belly Button in or out: In.  But it never popped last time, so I'm not expecting it to this time.
What I miss: Being able to lie on my stomach.
What I am looking forward to: Always the weekend.
Contractions: None this week
- Baby us acquiring a memory for familiar noises like my voice!
- Amniotic fluid is reducing slightly each week.
- Baby is now capable of producing all the enzymes that will process food within the digestive tract. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Runday: Athleta Blogging Event

I don't really consider myself a fitness blogger.  I mean really, I post once a week about running and then the rest of the week it's all the little trivialities about my life.  I mean I'm more of a "me me me" blogger than any specific category.

But my friend SD Mom included me in a facebook group for local fitness bloggers, so I guess that makes me legitimate?  The group offers lots of opportunities in the local scene, but not being as well known as many of the other members, I always get hesitant about checking them out.  When Melissa posted about wanting to do an event at our local Athleta store, I thought it would be great fun, but got a little intimidated when they started asking about blog stats and social media presence  (twitter?  instagram?  I'm like your grandmother when it comes to social media.  Be thankful I don't start every blog post with a "Dear_____" and end with my signature.)

So SD Mom offered to just register me as her guest.  Fine by me!  She also suggested we go for a run before the event.  Because that's what everyone wants to do, right?  Go for a nice long run before an hour long yoga class at a place where you will be trying on clothes. 

Truthfully though, with car troubles last weekend, and 3 grueling weeks of trial I haven't been able to get out much for a run, and I haven't seen SD Mom in ages, so I happily agreed, warning her it would be slow going.  And it was!  Our 2 hour run covered just over 7 miles.  7 very hilly miles.

After we finished.  We headed over to Athleta.  Athleta is GAP's latest branch - featuring a line of women's athletic and athletic-inspired clothing.  It's pretty new to the San Diego scene, with this store being the first and open for just under a year.  The line is reputed to be a bit higher end than the fitness wear available through GAP or Old Navy, and I was anxious to check it out.

The store had set up to give us room for a yoga class and of course there was a table of breakfast treats set out to the side.

We gathered for a quick photo opp before heading to our mats and getting into the thick of it.

Honestly, this was my first time doing yoga since last November, and it's much different third trimester than it was first!  I had to do a lot of modifications - especially with so many moves done on the stomach!
From AthletaUTC

After we finished the class, they turned us loose in the store with a special discount of 50% off up to three items.  And as an added bonus, we didn't have to buy all three items at the time.  Which I both love and hate. On the one hand, it's so difficult for me to shop right now, on the other, we only have 30 days to use it, and I don't plan on being un-pregnant 30 days from now!  So I decided to pick up some things for after, because eventually I'm going to be wearing non maternity clothes.

Wailea Chai Tank and Straight Up Capris

As a side note - although not maternity wear, at least for the next week or so the length of the Chai Tank still covers my entire belly!  And Thatkid loves it, he thinks it is "so pretty" and he as upset when I took it off to put on my actual shirt for the day.

They also loaded us up with other goodies, like a swag bag, and a yoga mat.  Since I've already got 2 yoga mats, which Thatkid is obsessed with, I decided to donate this one to him.  He has been carrying it around ever since, even insisting we bring it up to Thatmom's house with us!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Pirate Party Time: Sakau

April always begins our whirlwind, nonstop, birthday party season.  Last weekend was Little Pirate's birthday.

Can I tell you how much I love my friends?  They are so creative and the parties always are picture perfect.  Little Pirate's birthday was truck themed.  And Mrs. Pirate did not disappoint. 

 Little truck sippy cups dotted each table which was decorated with checkerboard flags.  And there were toy trucks everywhere.  Along with activities involving them, like paint in trays for creating car tracks.  Or a race track set up on a hill.

The kids gathered around the tables for a little bit of singing, and a lot of cupcake eating.

Thatkid is pretty happy Passover is over.  He sure loves his cupcakes!

After the kids were sugared up, the Pirates pulled out the pinata.  Last year, Thatkid was too shy/self conscious to take a swing in front of everyone.  This year he was more than happy to join in the fun.

And he jumped right in to fill up his bag with candy.  He has enough jolly ranchers to lastfor weeks.

The only problem with birthday parties is that it's hard to get some one on one time with the hosts.  Luckily, a couple weeks ago we had the Pirates over for dinner.  It was something we had been planning since January. 

We planned it to be a movie night, but the boys were more interested in running around outside and playing.  The grownups sat around catching up and chatting.  For dinner I ended up making Sakau - an eggplant dish which is a twist on the similar moussaka.  The boys ate the filling with pasta, while I rolled it in eggplant for those of us who aren't 3.   Mrs. Pirate brought rice pilaf with her and it went perfectly with this dish.

Sakau (From Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook)
 2 eggplants
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp uncooked rice
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 Tbsp margarine

  1. Heat oil over medium high heat.  Peel and cut the eggplants lengthwise into slices about 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Beat 2 eggs slightly.  
  3. Dip the eggplant slices in the beaten egg and fry on both sides until brown.  Set aside.
  4. Brown the onion in the same pan.  
  5. Add the parsley and remove from heat
  6. Combine the remaining egg with the ground beef, salt, pepper, and rice. Add to the onion and brown.
  7. Preheat oven to 350.  Place a tsp of the meat mixture at each slice of the fried eggplant.  Roll the slices up and arrange them in a baking dish.
  8. Sprinkle sugar over all.
  9. Add the water, tomato sauce, and margarine.  Bake for 35 minutes.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Beers and Babies: Tomato Juice

With trial winding down, I ended up only spending half the weekend working instead of the whole weekend. Which meant I got to spend some time with my favorite boys!  I also tried to cater to Thatboy a little this weekend since he's been running single parent duty for the past month or so.

A couple of weeks ago, one of his coworkers, Brewgirl, texted me to see if we could plan a group outing in the near future.  The last group outing I missed out on when the ceiling came down in the guest room, and I ended up sending the boys without me.   We made plans for this weekend - and like usual, most of our "group outings" involve drinking.  Since there are kids in the group, we venture to different locations with fun things to for the kids - like hiking near a local brewery.

This time we headed to a new restaurant equipped with a great bar.  The kids ate chicken fingers and fish and chips.  The non-pregnant people drank lots of beer.  Those of us who were pregnant (Brewgirl and I) drank soda and homemade sasparilla.

And then we took the kids to the park.

And then we went back to the Brewer's house to partake in Brewguy's latest brew and lots of other beers while the kids did crafts.

I'll admit.  It's hard being pregnant and unable to drink.  Especially when everyone else is drinking.  I've taken to making a bunch of non-alcoholic beverages to drink while everyone else is sipping on brewskis.

Bloody Marys are not on my "to drink" list currently.  But tomato juice is!  And homemade tomato juice seems so fancy.  Like the kind of drink that gets an umbrella.  I didn't put an umbrella in this drink, but I definitely appreciated something other than water!

Tomato Juice (From the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
3lbs tomatoes
  1. Wash tomatoes and cut away the stem ends.  Cut into small pieces and simmer over low heat until very soft.
  2. Strain through a sieve.  Reheat the juice to the boiling point.
  3. Add salt and sugar to taste.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Crave Wednesday: Cobb Salad Pizza

Back when Thatboy and I were in college one of our regular "going out" places was California Pizza Kitchen.  We didn't have a huge selection of restaurants, and this one was easy.  We both had our favorites - Thatboy got a spicy pasta dish and I always got the Tricolore Pizza Salad - a thing crust pizza piled high with a green salad.

It was the beginning of a trend for me.  I adore salads on pizza.  I even love to take a pita, toast it, and top it with salad at home.  The combination is perfect, and a nice warm crust is a much nicer vehicle for food transmission than a fork.

This cobb salad pizza is right up my alley.  On top of being a salad atop a pizza, it is my all time favorite salad!  I love the cobb, with it's creamy avocado, tangy blue cheese, and smokey bacon.  Plus all the greens.  I just wish it made for leftovers!

Cobb Salad Pizza (From Cooking Light)
1 can refrigerated thin-crust pizza dough
cooking spray
3 Tbsp crumbled blue cheese, divided
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
2 applewood-smoked bacon slices
8 oz skinless, boneless, chicken breast
1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp chopped red onion
2 cups lightly packed mixed baby greens
1/2 cup diced, peeled avocado

  1.  Preheat oven to 425. Unroll dough on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Pat dough into a 14x12 inch rectangle. Lightly coat dough with cooking spray.  Bake for 8 minutes.  
  2. Remove from oven and sprinkle with 1 1/2 Tbsp cheese.
  3. Whisk 1 Tbsp oil, vinegar, mustard, and 1/8 tsp pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan.  Crumble into oil mixture.
  5. Sprinkle chicken with pepper and add to the pan.  Cook 4 minutes on each side until done.  Remove chicken from pan and chop into 1/2 inch pieces. 
  6. Add chicken, tomatoes, and onion to oil mixture.  Toss gently to combine.  
  7. Add greens; toss gently.
  8. Top crust evenly with chicken mixture, avocado, and 1 1/2 Tbsp cheese.  Cut into 8 pieces.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mommy Mondays: 32 weeks!

I woke up on Saturday morning and realized there isn't much time left.  Of course, this past week hasn't been very helpful in making me feel like there's all the time in the world left. 

Monday: The judge asked me if there was a chance I was going to give birth in his courtroom.

Wednesday: Opposing counsel in another case mentioned I looked like I'm going to have this baby before June.

Friday: I am officially a pound over my total weight gain from the last pregnancy.  In the same breath that my doctor assured me that April was too early for this baby to come, she expressed relief that I wasn't alone in court in case "something happened."

I've developed nausea again this week - which I thought was over and done with during the second trimester.  AND sciatica on top of that.  Which means I'm often in a killer mood.   We kicked it into gear this weekend in terms of getting things done around the house and ordering things we need for the nursery.

And the baby?  Currently the size of a napa cabbage!  (Although I swear this kid feels bigger than that, or at least is more interested in making his/her presence known.)

Total weight gain/loss: +21

Next Appointment: April 20
Maternity clothes? Mostly maternity.  I still sometimes wear non-maternity bottoms with the bella band.
Stretch marks: Yup
Sleep: Nope
Best moment this week: Friday at 4pm.  The end of the week, a doctor's appointment and a chance to check on the babe, and then going out to dinner with my boys.
Movement: Yes, yes, and more yes.
Food cravings: Nothing
Food aversions: Nothing
Gender: Not finding out
Belly Button in or out: In.  But it never popped last time, so I'm not expecting it to this time.
What I miss: Sleep.
What I am looking forward to:  I think my trial should end this week!  And I've got a fun event planned for next Saturday.
Contractions: None this week
-Fingernails are fully developed.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Horsing Around: Friday Night Brisket

Passover is a hard time for kids.  Seeing all your friends eating things you can't have.  It wasn't such a big deal for Thatkid last year, he went to a school where everyone brought their own lunches, and he spent his non-school time with us.

This year was a different story.  This year Thatkid's preschool serves lunch.  And this week every meal was a no-go: hot dogs, spaghetti, bean burritos.  Which means I had to pack him a lunch to eat that wouldn't have him reaching for his neighbor's food. 

He also had to attend his first birthday party over Passover.  Do you know how hard it is to tell a kid they can't have cake?  It's hard. Luckily, the rest of the part was full of really fun things for him to partake in.

Like face painting:
I love the fact that the other boys painted their faces to resemble fearsome big cats, and my son chose a zebra. 

And since this was Little HW's birthday party, it should come as no surprise that there were horses to ride!

Thatkid loves riding horses.  As soon as he got off, he wanted to get on another one.

After the party we took Thatkid out for ice cream - to make up for the lack of cake.  He's such a good sport.  Passover has also taught us that brisket is on Thatkid's LOVE list.  He gobbles this stuff up.  I'm sure the ketchup doesn't hurt!  It's a cut of meat I don't make very often, but it seems so Passover appropriate.  And this preparation is easy and flavorful.  Creating a tender meat that falls apart at the touch of a fork.  I made this using a "Kosher for Passover" onion soup mix, but regular onion soup mix should work just as well.

Friday Night Brisket (From Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook)
6lb brisket
2 pkgs onion soup mix
6 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 1/2 lbs carrots
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Place the meat fatty side up in a baking dish.
  2. Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the meat. 
  3. Cover with ketchup and 2 cups water. 
  4. Crush the garlic cloves and add to the liquid. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 3 1/2 hours.
  5. While the meat is cooking, peel the carrots, and cut them lengthwise into thin sticks.  Cut the carrots in half.  Place them on top of brisket, cover, and bake for another hour.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Happy Easter and Passover!: Chicken Soup (with matzoh balls)

Due to my trial, this is the first Easter we've spent at home in years.  We usually head up to Thatboy's family to spend with them.  But I had to stay home and work all weekend, and Thatboy decided he didn't want to travel without me.

The bonus for me was actually having a very easy Passover celebration.  Despite the fact that Easter always falls during Passover (since the very first Easter...the last supper was a seder) my inlaws just never quite seem to grasp the fact.  Which is very difficult when spending time up there as there is nothing to eat. 

This year we had a perfect combination of the two holidays!  Thatkid woke up to an Easter basket filled with books (both Passover and Easter books) a sleeping bag, some candy and new sunglasses.

I made us the perfect Passover Easter breakfast.  Normally we either skip Easter breakfast because there is no food, or if we get there early enough, we do a supermarket run to pick up yogurt and hope my inlaws don't eat it before breakfast time.  Being at home meant I got to make breakfast for all of us - Passover blueberry muffins with cream cheese glaze, Passover pancakes, and fruit cups.

After breakfast, Thatkid went outside to find eggs the Easter Bunny had left.

And then the boys took off to the lake to scooter and skateboard so that I could get some work done.  I worked allllllll day, but still managed to throw together Easter dinner.  This is completely Thatboy's request.  For him, Easter is all about lamb and green beans (and polenta, which isn't Passover friendly.)  So I roasted a rack of lamb, made some green beans in bacon vinaigrette, and mashed potatoes.

 We went less fancy on Monday night.  And more traditional - matzoh ball soup!  I'm still working on my matzoh ball recipe.  Thatboy liked the density and consistency of these, but thought they needed some more flavor.  So I'll post a recipe once I have one worthy to share.  The soup on the other hand went over like hotcakes.  Thatboy thinks it's the best chicken soup he's had and Thatkid proclaimed it "yummy."  As a side note, Thatkid LOVES Passover food.  He's gobbled down his dinner every night and has been so into the lunches I've been packing him.
Herkimer Chicken Soup (From Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook)
4 quarts water
1 onion, peeled
4 parsnips, peeled
1 chicken, cut into pieces
1/2 cup celery leaves
2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp fresh dill
1 Tbsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 peeled carrots,5 cut into 1 inch chunks and 1 left whole
  1. Bring all the ingredients except the carrots to a boil.  Cover and simmer gently for 3 hours.
  2. Skim off the skin that forms at the top.
  3. Add the caarrots and simmer 1 hour or more.
  4. Strain and serve with matzoh balls. 
  5. Cut the whole carrot into slices and serve in the soup.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Crave Wednesday: Beefy Caprese Burger

Happy Passover!  I know, it's a little late.  But we've been "celebrating" since Friday night at our annual family seder.

Passover always means a little change in routine.  This year it's meant I have to pack lunch for Thatkid since his school usually provides.  And the menu this week includes hot dogs, spaghetti, and bean burritos.  All of which contain things he can't have during Passover.

Passover also means a bit of a change in Crave Wednesdays, which, as of late, has been featuring pizza recipes.  Pizza isn't terribly Passover friendly, and although I could adapt a pizza recipe to involve matzah, it's just not the same.

So instead I'm skipping over to the burger chapter.  Because burgers are just as delicious without the bun.  This burger is a take on the classic caprese - mozzarella and tomatoes topped with basil and a drizzle of olive oil.  It's a family favorite.  Thatbrother still uses it as his go-to appetizer and the thing he brings to every party.  Even Thatboy, who is not a fan of tomatoes, loves some fresh heirloom tomatoes and cheese.  So putting it atop a burger makes everyone happy.  Thatkid even peeled off his tomatoes to eat them first - and asked for more!

Beefy Caprese Burger (From Cooking Light)
1 lb ground beef
4 oz fresh buffalo mozzarella
2 tsp olive oil
1 heirloom tomato
fresh basil
  1.  Heat a grill pan over medium high heat.  Season ground beef with salt and pepper and form into 4 patties.  Grill for 4 minutes per side.
  2. Slice mozzarella and place a slice on top of each burger, cook for another minute.
  3. Remove burgers from heat.  Slice tomato and place 2 slices of tomato on each burger.
  4. Top each burger with basil and a drizzle of olive oil.