Quick Update

No, I have not yet had our little baby. I have, however, been occupied with two main things: 1) going for walks of 1-1.5 hours 2) baking. These have definitely caused me to be more offline than I otherwise would be.

The walks have been paying off in two healthy ways – my blood sugar is lower than previously and I believe that the baby has finally dropped. I am definitely using the bathroom more and when I compare photos, I look lower. Oh, and certain clothing choices are more breathable than they previously were, as well, which means to me that the baby is off my lungs.

The baking has just sporadically become a priority. Saturday was apple pie, today was oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (Spencer was a big boy helper!) in the morning and mini-caramelized apple cheesecakes in the afternoon (I wouldn’t use the recipe again, but they were relatively tasty. Andy may have eaten 3). I intended to make ‘Black Magic Brownies’ tonight, but I chose a bath instead :). They’re brownies made primarily with black beans…the recipe has intrigued me for over a year now, and I’m finally getting around to making them. Tomorrow will likely be the test day. I’ll keep you posted if I don’t have a baby.

Ultimately, that’s all the news I have. I’m starting to give up on the hope of an early labour, now setting my sights on being late to the point of being induced. Not my ideal or desire, but if I expect it to some degree, I won’t be as disappointed (I hope).

Recipe Thursday

Ratatouille

(Baby Love)
oil for cooking
1 cup zucchini, small dice
1/4 cup yellow onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup tomato, small dice
2oz water
3-4 leaves basil, fresh, or 1/2 tsp dry

– saute zucchini, onion & pepper for about 2 min
– add garlic & cook about 1 min
– add tomato & cook about 1 min
– add water, bring to simmer, simmer about 10 min, adding basil last 2 min
– serve!

Note: This recipe is awesome and we’ve used a variety of veggies in it and still it’s great

Hot Fudge Spooncake

(from my sis-in-law, who quotes it from “Ready & Waiting”)

1 & 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, separated
1 cup flour
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp oil or unsalted, melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup hot water

– sift flour, 3 tbsp cocoa, baking powder & salt
– stir in 1 cup sugar
– stir in milk, oil & vanilla
– spread in 3 1/2 qt slow cooker (or roughly a 9×9 pan)
– mix together remaining 3/4 cup sugar & 1/4 cup cocoa and sprinkle evenly over top of batter
– pour in the hot water DO NOT STIR
– cover and slow cook until a toothpick inserted 1″ deep in centre comes out clean (approx. 2 hours on high) or 30 minutes @ 350F degrees in oven
– do not cook on low for a longer period of time

Note: ice cream should be mandatory, and this thing is so super easy it should be cemented in some food walk of fame.

Feel free to join along – leave a comment linking to your recipe you’d like to share (with a link back to my blog). I’d love to learn more favourite recipes from others!

Other news: Not much, really. It’s been busy, and this week has been specially hot. Yucky hot. OH! And JK Rowling is making an announcement in less that 7 days *squeal!* very excited. Whatever it is, it’s called Pottermore.

Yup, that’s it. Here’s a photo to commemorate where I’m at.

[singlepic id=1171 w=320 h=240 float=center]
Spencer making another kid cry (it was a playdate).

Recipe Thursday (a little late)

OK OK, so this day has been more neglected than I intended, but I really have been intending!

So here are two that are not on our two week schedule but are on our ‘favourites’ list.

Fish Cakes
(Baby Love)

2 large potatoes
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp butter
7oz fish (any kind)
milk for poaching
6 green onions, sliced
to taste – ground pepper
flour
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 cup breadcrumbs
3 tbsp oil

Directions:
– cook potatoes in water until soft; drain, mash, and mix with 1/2 of lemon juice and 1/2 the butter
– poach fish in milk; drain and chop into small pieces
– in pan, fry green onions in butter, add to potato mix, also add fish and pepper; mix well
– divide into 8 patties, pat into burger shapes with floured hands
– beat egg and milk together in bowl, coat each patty in egg, then in breadcrumbs
– heat oil in pan and fry on medium, approximately 5 minutes each side

Notes:
– if you don’t like fish, this is an awesome recipe; we also used this recipe to introduce fish to Spencer, which he gobbled up
– there’s nothing else to note except they are surprisingly good (and simple)

Hamburger Lentil Soup for the slow cooker
(no idea where I got this recipe)

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
4 carrots, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 qt tomato juice
1 tbsp salt
2 cups dry lentils, washed and stones pulled out
1 qt water
1/2 tsp marjoram, dried
1 tbsp brown sugar

Directions:
– brown beef and onion, drain
– combine all in slow cooker
– cover, cook on low 8 hours or high 6 hours

Notes:
– sometimes, and I cannot figure out why, the lentils are still a little hard by the end (though I don’t change anything)
– omitting the salt doesn’t make too much of a difference as most tomato juices are pretty salty on their own
– substituting chicken stock for the water is A-OK
– this is a very hearty soup; crusty bread is a pretty awesome partner

Feel free to join along – leave a comment linking to your recipe you’d like to share (with a link back to my blog). I’d love to learn more favourite recipes from others!

News.
Our move date is set for July 11th, we will physically be leaving July 12th. Holy carps! I haven’t been packing this week as all of my excess time has been devoted to getting my homework done for this weekend’s Youth Ministry Certificate course. Blargh! I still have one retreat to design and an educational-something to make. But it will get done. Oh, it will.

I did find time this week (read: yesterday when I *should* have been working on homework) to make my first purchase towards basic oils and essential oils and other stuff so that I can start making my own body care products. Note: if you do this, it is quite an expensive investment so make sure you’ve saved for it. OI! I didn’t expect to be spending so much (read: all my personal savings), but I am thoroughly looking forward to bringing down the chemicals in our household by making these products. The ones I intend to make with the items I purchased:Herbal Hair Wash for All Hair Types, Hair Conditioner and Scalp Stimulator, “Fend Off” Herbal Oil Insect Repellent (these have been taken from Organic Body Care Recipes), and I’m taking a stab at mimicking a natural baby bum cream the I bought for Spencer that worked like awesome. Zinc free, but totally took away diaper rash, and is cloth diaper friendly. So those will be my endeavors. Wish me luck and fun 🙂

Recipe Thursday!

Thursday I never want to blog, so I’m creating Recipe Thursday. Feel free to join along – leave a comment linking to your recipe you’d like to share (with a link back to my blog). I’d love to learn more favourite recipes from others!

Spaghetti with Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce & Basil

(I believe it was a Canadian Living magazine I got this from years ago)

sauce:
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of hot pepper flakes

12oz spaghetti
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup black olives, sliced

– in pan with at least 1″ sides, toss together all ingredients in the sauce
– roast in 400F oven until shriveled, about 20-25 minutes

– in large pot, cook pasta and drain, transfer to serving bowl
– add tomato sauce and basil, tossing to combine
– sprinkle with goat cheese, olives, and more basil if desired

Notes:
– we usually cannot find fresh basil cheaply most of the year, so we just use dried basil and take a guess at how much we think we might want that night (it ranges from 1 tbsp to 3 dried)
– we hardly ever dirty an extra dish on purpose, so serving spaghetti on the plate, then adding everything else on top works well too; besides, our family is too small to need to have serving dishes used

Chicken Parisienne

(Crock Pot recipe card)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1/5 lbs), cubed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
2 (4oz) cans of mushrooms, sliced and drained
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup sour cream
6 cups egg noodles, cooked

– place chicken in crock pot, add all ingredients up to and including wine
– cover, cook on high 2-3 hours
– add sour cream during last 30 minutes, serve over noodles

Notes:
– our first time making this we forgot to put in sour cream and it still tasted great
– we hardly ever use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, let alone cut them into cubes. Our norm is chicken thighs (much cheaper), and I will usually de-skin them, but I do not de-bone them, nor do I cut them into cubes. This works just as well
– I hate canned mushrooms, so I use 8oz sliced fresh mushrooms
– be sure to finish your wine with supper 🙂