Friday, October 23, 2015

Interviews with Allie

(I'm reading my bible at the table while the girls eat breakfast)
Allie: "Mom, I want you to talk to your bible."
Me: "Umm... What? Wait, you mean read out loud?"
Allie: "Yeah."

(Allie wakes up at 5 am and sees Brian walking around without a shirt before he leaves for work, he puts her back in bed to sleep and goes to work -- after getting dressed obviously) 
Allie: "Where did dad go?"
Me: "He went to work."
Allie: "Ugh!! He forgot to put his clothes on!!!"

(I'm walking on the treadmill and start doing my 1.5 minute sprint) 
Allie: "Mom!!! Be CAREful!! Don't trip and die!!"

(Allie just woke up from a nap but still looks really tired)
Me: "You still look tired..."
Allie: "My face is tired."

(I sneezed)
Allie: "Nice. Cover your mouth, mom."

(Singing 'You've got a friend in me' from Toy Story)
Allie: "You're gonna see it's our guest are neat!" (That's supposed to be 'destiny')

Interviews with Maddie coming soon! She learned a new word yesterday. "boop" which means poop. The good news is now she can warn me what's in her diaper. 

When did these girls grow up so fast?!?!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

So Cal Packing List

We have less than 2 weeks until our trip to So Cal so I've been making a packing list and planning outfits. I settled on a few outfits and thought I'd share with you guys (actually, it's more to help me decide what to pack). The weather will be typical fall in Southern California which means warm and slightly cooler at night (like 50-60° which is not really that cold but bear with me). I'm bringing a green lightweight parka that can pretty easily go with each outfit.

*Please note: Obviously I'm in mourning for my pre-childbearing body which is why you see so much black. Actually, it's really because black is slimming and versatile so I can mix and match. Also stuff is wrinkled because ain't nobody got time for that. Just kidding I'll have time (and hopefully an iron) there.

Sunday outfit: skirt (Old Navy), shirt (Gap), sandals (Target)

Tank (Target), sweater (H&M similar), shorts (Old Navy), Converse

Shirt (Anthropologie), leggings (Gap), Converse 

Dress (Old Navy), Converse 

Shirt (Target), jeans (H&M), Converse 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fatty Fall Foods

I wouldn't call myself a whiz in the kitchen - I pretty much stick to the same 5 meals every week. Being surrounded by picky people is one of the big reasons. I've branched out before and tried other recipes only to have them blow up in my face. I mean, not literally, but maybe that would've been better for everyone involved.

With that being said, there are a few things I know how to do well. Creamy mashed potatoes, for one. (I add cream cheese as my not-so-secret ingredient.) Cheesecake with Oreo crust is another. And I've been told that I make a good lasagna (but you never really know if people are just being nice.)

But the real way you know a recipe was a hit is when you get asked for the recipe. Cases in point:

Case #1: I was asked to participate in a pie-baking contest for a wedding. I've never baked a pie in my life (probably because I'm not a huge fan of pie crust. Or pie.) but I said yes. Mind you, I was feeling nauseous and sick and dizzy with growing baby #3 so I think I was having a psychotic moment where I deliriously/hastily agreed to something that I probably shouldn't have. I figured an October wedding, I should make pumpkin pie. Except I don't like pumpkin pie. But I LOVE cheesecake, so I decided to experiment with a pumpkin cheesecake pie with graham cracker crust and caramel pecan topping.

Yes, like I said, I was probably delirious from all the nausea and dizzy spells because I decided to EXPERIMENT for a WEDDING. As in, hey this could totally bomb and I would be screwed. But it actually turned out really well, in fact, I won second in the contest! Color me surprised. I got asked for the recipe twice so I knew that the bride and groom didn't just feel bad for a crazy pregnant lady who made a weird pie.

Case #2: For the first time in weeks, I felt really good on Friday. I was supposed to bring an appetizer for bible study and after raiding my pantry, I discovered that I actually had all the ingredients on hand to make spinach artichoke dip so I didn't have to go buy chips and salsa which is my go-to. Except the only other time I made spinach artichoke dip, I used a different recipe that was actually kind of greasy and not very flavorful so I decided to try a new recipe. I made the whole thing and set aside a small bowlful so Brian could try it. It got the husband thumbs up so I took it to bible study and was asked for the recipe, twice!

So here are the recipes for both. And because this is OBVIOUSLY not a cooking blog, I took a picture of the dish I used to cook both in. Nice and clean. With my phone. In horrible lighting. You're welcome.

Also, you could try to convince yourself that these wouldn't be so unhealthy to eat, but let's face it: fall is for leggings and extra fat to keep you warm anyway so don't even bother feeling guilty about it. Go ahead and make these for Thanksgiving and let the compliments roll in. You're welcome. Again.

Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Pecan Topping
  • 1 1/2 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (from about 12 whole cinnamon graham crackers)
  • 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) melted, unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, plus 2 egg yolks slightly beaten
  • 1 cup half and half (I forgot to add this but I think it just made it more dense, so if you add it, it should be fluffier)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1.5 cups pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the crust ingredients together and press into a pie pan (and up the sides). Bake in the oven for 8 minutes and let cool. (I baked the crust but I think you can skip this step because it bakes while the filling is baking too.)

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer (make sure you beat it first otherwise you'll have lumps of cream cheese in the pie). Add the pumpkin VERY slowly and beat until combined (otherwise you'll end up with cream cheese lumps). Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, beat until incorporated.

Pour the pie filling into the room temp crust and bake 50 minutes or until center is set (in my oven it took 1 hour and 15 minutes). Once the pie is done, remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes.

For the topping, combine brown sugar, butter, cream, vanilla, and salt in a small pan. Cook while whisking on medium high heat until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in pecans. Pour topping over pie and top with a few extra chopped pecans.

Spinach Artichoke Dip 
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons Garlic, Minced
  • 1 bag Spinach
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cans Artichoke Hearts, Rinsed And Drained
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter (additional)
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1-1/2 cup Whole Milk (more If Needed)
  • 1 package (8 Ounce) Softened Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn up the heat a bit and throw in the spinach. Stir around and cook for a couple of minutes until the spinach wilts. Remove the spinach and garlic from the skillet and put it in a small strainer. Squeeze the excess juice back into the skillet. Chop spinach and set aside. Add the artichokes to the pan and cook over medium high heat for several minutes, until liquid is cooked off and artichokes start to get a little color. Remove the artichokes and chop.

In the same skillet, melt 3 additional tablespoons of butter and whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour until it makes a paste. Cook over medium-low heat for a minute or two, then pour in milk. Stir and cook until slightly thickened; splash in more milk if needed. Add cream cheese, feta, Parmesan, pepper jack*, and stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth. Add artichokes and spinach. Stir to combine. Pour into baking dish. Top with extra grated pepper jack* and bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

*The original recipe called for pepper jack cheese but since I didn't have any, I didn't add it. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Life and mdjzkizzzzzzzzzzzz...

I know I like to drop these pregnancy bombs on you guys, like I did with Maddie. But you should feel special. You guys know before Facebook and Instagram, which in this day and age puts you right up there with family!

I've been so off on my social media though. I keep forgetting to post pictures and that could be because the last few weeks have been kind of rough. This pregnancy is turning out way harder than the previous 2 and the nausea has been full force. If only it wasn't nausea, you know? Why not just like muscle spasms or something? Sure it would drive you crazy but at least it wouldn't completely cripple you for hours at a time. Or uncontrollable burping! Might be embarrassing but again, much better than spending the day with your head over a toilet positive that you'll see what little food you were able to force down in reverse. Plus Brian has been working for 3 weeks straight (some nights in addition to days) so I'm basically running this joint alone.

Before the craziness, we celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary and I didn't even post how thankful I am for him on social media. *Gasp!!! Right??? Isn't that funny? That's the world we live in. I mean it basically means I don't love him or appreciate him. Obviously I'm still doing Instagram wrong. We celebrated with a relaxing day, a dinner date (accompanied by the girls) and that was pretty much it. In fact I'm pretty certain we were both asleep by 9 pm. Ohh the life we lead. Whatever. Brian works like 50-60 hours a week and I'm growing a human while trying to keep up with two other tiny humans so I'll take all the sleep we can get.

I have had this post in the works for a few weeks. I changed it a bit to fit a timeline of posting today but that should tell you a little of what life is like over here. Tomorrow is supposed to be a day off for Brian and I'm kind of excited to just have a helping hand again. You know, someone to give puppy eyes to when Allie is screaming from the bathroom that she's done peeing and someone needs to help her wipe. I'm getting reeeeeeeaallly good at those puppy eyes. Then we can have family nap time where everyone will sleep in the middle of the day because we have nothing else to do.

This is my life now, people. Naps are glorious and bedtime should always be at 8 and basically my life revolves around sleep or wanting to sleep.