Friday, January 30, 2009
Matt was out of town last night at a Quail hunt in south Georgia so Cooper and I held down the fort all by ourselves. I generally Hate being home alone at night so I didn't sleep well and am very much looking forward to Matt's return later this evening. It did help that there was a "Friends" maraton on TBS that lulled me to sleep :)
We have lots of plans for the weekend- as it seems like we always do- but several of fun things to do. Matt won't be home until late tonight so I plan to pick up some magazines on my way home from work and enjoy some downtime while I await his return. I'll probably have my usual solo dinner of scrambled eggs and toast, do my yoga video, and then put on my beloved drawstring-waist pants and curl up under a blanket on the couch :)
Saturday we have little Emma's first birthday party! I can't believe it was a full year ago that she was born. If you had told me then that a year later Matt and I would be having our own I would have told you you were crazy, but here we are and we feel sooo lucky to be expecting Madelyn in just 12 short weeks! Aaahhh!! I'm not sure about Saturday night yet- maybe a movie date night, or dinner with friends, we'll see.
Sunday, of course, will be engulfed with Superbowl fesitivies. We will be at our friend Josh's house to watch the game and I'm making these delicious-looking BLT roll ups with wheat tortillas and light veggie cream chese to lighten them up a bit. Thank goodness the game starts at 6:15 p.m. EST and not 8:30 p.m. EST like the BCS Championship- I go into a baby coma around 10 p.m. so the earlier we get home the better :)
Hope you all have a great weekend! It is supposed to be 60 degrees here on Sunday with a chance of snow on Tuesday...only in Atlanta...
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
12 ounces Swiss chard or mustard greens, stemmed
12 ounces baby spinach leaves
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups small cherry or grape tomatoes
8 ounces ricotta salata cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the garlic and discard. Add the Swiss chard and cook until wilted. In batches, add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the beans and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the pasta, 1/2 of the cheese, and lemon zest. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed.
Transfer to a large serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve.
On the lemon theme, I also saw this recipe for Nonna's Lemon Ricotta Biscuits that made my mouth water. I haven't made homemade biscuits before, but these might be worth the effort... They would be delicious served with Katie's Homemade Strawberry Preserves.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar or more as needed for sprinkling
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup thinly sliced almonds
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar, butter, and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended (the batter will be thick and fluffy).
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the almonds and then the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar over the muffins. Bake until the muffins just become pale golden on top, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
1 egg white or 1/4 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Teriyaki sauce
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
20 ounces 93% lean ground turkey
*If I wasn't pregnant I'd probably also add in a little bit of feta, but since I couldn't I threw in a handful of shredded mozzarella which added a nice touch- you can never have too much cheese in my opinion:)
Mix first 6 ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Mix ground meat into egg mixture, just until mixed being careful not to overmix (or else you'll wind up with tough burgers). Shape into 6 patties. Grill or freeze promptly.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
First, as you know, we re-did our kitchen. We wanted to pay cash for everything so this was certainly a worthy use of our savings.
In the midst of re-doing the kitchen our refridgerator broke. For about 4 days we had all of our frozen goods in a cooler in the garage (being refreshed with new ice daily since it was of course warm at the time). In addition to the fridge, my car had to go into the shop. All in all, major crisis was averted, Thank Goodness, but had we not had the savings we would have been in serious trouble. We managed to keep the damage under $500 which was nothing short of a miracle, but it sure was nice to pay for that on our own and not with a credit card.
We now have a re-opened leak in the dining room ceiling from our master shower that Matt will be working to fix this week...like I said, never a dull moment. Aaah the joys of home ownership:)
On a good note, sweet, patient Matt was kind enough to get the nursery all set up with Maddy's furniture and it is so cute!!! (I swear he has been working non-stop on the house)
I've attached a few pictures so that you can see. We still have a bit of actual decorating to do, but it's nice to have the main pieces up in there and WOAH is it a reality check everytime we walk by that room!! It's so hard to imagine that in appx. 100 days there will be a little baby in that crib:) (*Note, that ottoman to the left of the hutch is being recovered)
This week is actually fairly quiet for us which should be nice. I'm planning to re-do our budget which I realize doesn't sound exciting to most people but to a type-A excel-driven person like myself it's actually a way I de-stress. I'm also booking our baby-moon which I'll post more details on later, and then Sunday celebrating my 27th birthday up at Matt's parent's house!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
This first one is from InStyleMoms.com:
These next few are from DearJohnnies.com:
1. Bliss Foaming Face Wash- I absolutely love this face wash. I have always been very lucky to have been blessed with my mother's great skin, so I never had to worry much about my complexion...until I got pregnant. I noticed my skin becoming somewhat blotchy and definitely subject to the occasional (more like weekly) breakout. I've been using this face wash for a few weeks and my skin looks 100% better. It has a gentle exfoliant and a great smell. Matty was sweet enough to stick some of this in my stocking for me, along with Bliss' amazing lemon sage body butter- I highly recommend both.
2. Votivo Candles- my mom found these several years ago and we have been devoted fans ever since. They are the kind of candles that can smell up an entire floor of your house and the scents are fresh and clean. My personal favorites are red currant and black berry basil. They aren't cheap at around $20/candle, but they do last a while.
3. Beech Cotton Sateen Sheets- I am a bit of a linens snob. I really appreciate having good, soft sheets and linens, as well as towels, washcloths, etc...My dad discovered these at Bed Bath & Beyond about a year ago and I could not believe how soft they are. They are 100% beech cotton which is similar to bamboo cotton in that it is a renewable resource and environmentally friendly, and they really feel like silk when you slip into bed.
5. And for any other pregos out there, Gap Maternity! My mom was sweet enough to raid the Gap Maternity in Orlando before she came up for Christmas before she came up to visit, and along with the pieces I picked up at the after Christmas sale, my maternity wardrobe is pretty much set! Here are a few of my favorite pieces.
I also picked up this little number from Ann Taylor Loft Maternity on eBay for $14 (new with tags)!:
6. And lastly, my Florida Gators!! Be sure to watch tonight as we take on Oklahoma for the National Championship! This is really one of the ONLY things that could keep me up past 10 p.m. these days :)
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I cooked this for dinner tonight in our new kitchen while listening to the "Somethings Gotta Give" soundtrack (mostly French music) and felt very gourmet :) Below is the recipe. This probably took me 20 minutes to prepare and is a great, healthy way to kick off the new year :) Apologies in advance for the lack of a picture...
3 T. olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 t. salt, plus more to taste
pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz. baby spinach
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 C. low sodium chicken broth
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, with their juices
2 cups hot cooked cous cous (preferably whole wheat) *I added pine nuts to mine- it was delish
1. Heat 1T. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until browned and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
2. Add 2T. oil to the pan and add the garlic. Cook for one minute. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
3. Add the vinegar, broth, and tomatoes to the pan and stir, scraping any browned bits off the bottom. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened.
4. Divide the cous cous between 4 serving plates. Top with some of the spinach, then a piece of chicken and the balsamic-tomato sauce and serve.
First we painted the cabinets white from an aged brown color, painted the walls, and this weekend Matt replaced our countertops, and installed a new sink faucet and backsplash, and I am SO happy with the results! I wish I had a better true "before" pictures to share with you, but this will have to do for now. The walls used to be a purple-ish color (with a border), cabinets used to be brown, the countertops were an off-white formica and the backsplash was an off-white plastic backing that matched the countertops.
Countertops before this weekend:
Old cabinet color:
Old wall color:
Behold the after!
We had a hard time deciding what to do for the backsplash as I originally wanted marble, but my mom discovered this paneling at Lowe's that was really cool and super easy to install- well, seemingly at least. Matt has been working nonstop for two days to do all of this and I know he's glad it's over. All we have left is touch up painting and the kitchen will officially be done.
Now onto Madelyn's room!! :)