Sunday, May 12, 2013

My First Mother’s Day!

Where was I??  Oh yeah…

I had a Baby!!


Figure Mother’s Day is a fitting day for finally updating my blog to tell you all about the arrival of Miss Charlotte Rose :)


My due date was April 22, but she decided she wanted to join us on April 5, 2013 at 7:59pm.  She was a little peanut at 5lbs 4oz. 

But first a quick recap of Mother’s Day because we had a delicious brunch at my aunt Joan’s house!

Thanks to Pinterest (and Food and Wine magazine), she found this awesome egg recipe that was so delicious I can’t wait to re-create it at home!!

Here’s the recipe:

My aunt used Portuguese bread instead of brioche, but it was incredible.  Such good flavors. 


There was also a French toast/bread pudding dish, a baked frittata (with lots of veggies, sausage, and feta cheese), salad, fruit, bacon, sausage, and yummy cakes for dessert.

And of course lots of baby-holding…



Charlotte with her mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother!

IMG_3968 IMG_3966  











Since I knew we had a family gathering today, Charlotte, Brian and I spent the day together yesterday.

The highlight was definitely this guy:


That is a MASSIVE lobster roll from Belle Isle Seafood in East Boston.  We saw it once on that Anthony Bordain show, “No Reservations”, and I’ve been wanting to make a visit ever since!  

The lobster rolls are huge, and simple…just lobster meat and a little mayo on a grilled hot dog bun.  There is WAY more meat than the bun can handle but that’s fine with me :)  I ended up eating half of it with a fork.


We also got clam chowder to try it out and it’s one of the best I’ve had.  Creamy and very flavorful.  It’s slightly  out of the way but we will definitely be back. 

I can’t wait to share all about her birth, but right now I’m just excited to get this one post done!  Hopefully this will kick me back into gear because clearly I have a lot to share.  We are just loving every minute with her right now.

But for now some more pics of the little one :)




Happy Mothers Day to my mom and all the moms out there!! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Meals and Treats lately…

I actually feel like I’ve been doing some productive cooking and baking lately!  Last week I had three nights in a row of home cooked dinners which is now considered a record!   Bonus points for having leftovers for lunches.

Then I made some awesome cupcakes for Superbowl Sunday…which we ended up just staying at home.  Needless to say we enjoyed cupcakes for days and have leftovers in the freezer for when I get my next cake craving :)

These aren’t my recipes but just wanted to share because they were delicious and pretty easy.

First came out of the January/February Cooking Light!  This is the one that boasts “Chicken 25 Ways!” on the cover.  Well, we had chicken in the freezer so I checked out the options.


I thought the Chicken BLT Salad sounded great, and made sure to get all the ingredients that day at the store.

Everything’s better with bacon…


Crispy chicken


But my favorite part was the dressing!!


Seriously, that buttermilk dressing was awesome and I’d make that to have on hand any day!!  Tasted like a delicious restaurant dressing, but not as heavy as most creamy dressings.

My changes to the recipe:

  • I used chopped romaine instead of iceberg
  • I let the chicken sit in buttermilk for about 30 min before dredging in panko…I didn’t use the egg white.
  • If I did it again I’d use Giada’s method for the chicken as it always comes out crispy.  This version was good, but not great…I found the breading didn’t crisp up as well.


I’m not even a huge blue cheese fan, but a little bit worked great with this salad.


The next day we set up the crock pot to do the work.

My friend had told me she made this spinach lasagna in a crock pot and it was SO good.  Sounded like a great weeknight meal so I added it to my list.

This was soooo simple.  We already had some Italian sausage in the freezer, and all I needed was a good jar of sauce, no-boil lasagna noodles, frozen spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella. 

The only “prep” needed was to make the spinach and cheese mixture and slice up the sausage.

Brian comes home for lunch some days to walk the dog, so we planned it for one of those days as it only takes 5-6 hours to cook.  We assembled it the night before and he just turned it on that day at lunch time.  I came home to this:


My thoughts:

  • The lasagna sits kind of in the middle of the crock pot, don’t worry if everything doesn’t go all the way to the edges.
  • I cut my sausages into coin slices so I used a lot more than 4 per layer…maybe she sliced hers the long way.
  • Don’t worry too much about the order of the layering…it will come out good no matter what.


Delicious and super easy.


Now the sweet!


Oh yes.  Funfetti.  I’ve been craving a good vanilla-y birthday cake type cake for a while now!!  Specifically with a good butter cream…the butter cream I grew up with.

You don’t need the sprinkles but it just makes it so much more fun.  I googled “homemade funfetti cupcakes” and thought this recipe looked pretty simple.

My notes:

  • I didn’t want to waste my vanilla beans here, so I just used 2 tsp of vanilla extract in the batter, and 2 tsp of vanilla bean paste in the frosting.
  • I made MINI cupcakes and they bake 9-11 min, and I got about 30 from this recipe.
  • Whenever I make this simple butter cream (butter, confectioners sugar, milk, vanilla), I always start with the recipe and then add more sugar and milk as needed until I get to my desired consistency…plus it makes more and tastes just as delicious.  Oh and I always use salted butter.


Such a great vanilla cake!!  


So happy we have some of these babies in the freezer!

On a healthier note we broke out the juicer!!


I love getting a small green juice sometimes at Whole Foods but then think how stupid it is when we have a nice juicer at home and used to make these all the time. 

It’s a great way to get lots of nutrients to the baby :)


In other news:

  • working on the nursery!  We’ve purchased the crib, dresser, and glider! 
  • Brian’s working on a new closet upstairs so I can turn the 2nd bedroom (i.e. my closet) into the nursery.
  • The baby registries are all done and my shower is in a few weeks :)
  • I’m 30 weeks!!!  Holy crap!!  Sorry no new pictures, but I’ll have to take a new bump shot this week!

So there’s my update!

Made anything good lately??

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pregnancy Update! 2nd Trimester

Hey there!

Just when I thought I could bounce back into the blog, mother nature had other ideas. I caught some sort of flu virus last week. I knew it wasn't just a cold because it started as more of a dry cough and then I had a slight fever. Luckily it never got higher than 99.5, and Tylenol got rid of it pretty fast. I really do try to avoid any medication during the pregnancy but sometimes the risks of not taking it could be worse. Plus Tylenol is on my "approved medications" list from my doctor's office.

So that kept me pretty much on the couch for a couple days...I didn't even leave the house from Thursday evening to Sunday! This week I felt better, but of course now I'm just dealing with a lingering cough and stuffy I normally have a pretty strong immune system but bring pregnant diminishes that somewhat... you know, so your body doesn't fight off the human being growing in your belly! ;)

Anyways, this has made for a very lazy couple of weeks!

Brian's been a great care taker though :) Last Friday when I was home from work, nothing we had in the house was appealing to me (but I did have an appetite!) so he made a Whole Foods run on the way home from work... I got a green juice from the juice bar, chicken soup, a slice of pizza, and gelato :) Which reminds me...we need to break out the juicer again!! Such a great way to get in lots of nutrients from veggies, especially when you might not feel like eating them.

He even went to our Bradley birthing class last Sunday by himself! I was starting to feel better but didn't want to risk getting the other pregnant ladies sick. So picture this: Me sitting on the couch able to watch the end of the Patriots game, and he was off to birthing class :) He's the best.

I got a full recap when he got home. The best news he passed along was that someone in class asked about the icky glucose drink we're supposed to take for the gestational diabetes test. Basically asking why this chemically drink was the only option especially for those of us who liked to eat REAL clean food. I haven't even drank soda since high school...needless to say I wasn't thrilled with the idea and knew my test was coming up soon!


Our instructor knew of one place that had a food alternative, so when I went for my midwife appointment this past Monday (26 weeks!), I asked! And guess what??? I don't have to drink that crap!

I don't think they just offer it up to everyone, but since I asked, my midwife happily said "yes!" They have a sheet with 2 options on it:

2 slices of bread + 8 oz. orange juice OR 1 slice bread + 8 oz. milk + 1 banana


I think I'm going to go with option 1...OJ and bread. She obviously reminded me not to go put jelly on the bread...but I can have a little butter. Toast, butter, and OJ sounds WAY better to me than a bottle of super sweet orange drink!

So for you other preggos out there... just ask! The worst they can say is no. I go for this test a week from Monday...I'm on the 2-week schedule now for my midwife appointments.

Can't believe I'm almost in my 3rd trimester!! Crazy!

So here's one of those pregnancy list updates!

How far along: 26 weeks + 6 days (27 weeks if you’re reading this on Monday!)

Weight gain: Last Monday I was up a total of 11.5lbs! Right on track to gain about 1lb/week until the end. So far I feel like I've been just gaining in the stomach area which is nice. Who knows if it will stay this way, but my midwife says that me staying active is great and that I've been gaining weight at a good yay!

Workouts: Still crossfitting 3x/week...well I haven't been in almost 2 weeks now due to my illness but hopefully I'll be back at it this week. And yes I STILL plan to write a full post all about working out during pregnancy.

Clothes: I have some maternity clothes, but I still prefer regular clothes. Well except for my maternity leggings...those are my favorite and I think I need to get a 4th pair. I really need to find some good maternity jeans though...that DON'T FALL DOWN! I have 2 pairs from the gap...1 full panel and 1 low panel and while both fit great and are comfy, once I start walking around I constantly feel like I need to pull them up. So I mostly wear my normal jeans, with an elastic through the button hole and a belly band over it.

Anyone have a good recommendation for maternity jeans??...I prefer the full panel.

Sleep: Still good! Well again, this cough isn't helping, but that's not pregnancy related. I broke down and bought a snoogle a couple weeks ago because while I felt fine sleeping I'd sometimes wake up with lower back pain. I prefer sleeping on my back so having the snoogle to lean against helps. I also haven't had to deal with the middle of the night bathroom breaks either...maybe I have a strong bladder? I do try not to drink too much water right before bed.

Leachco Snoogle® Maternity Total Body Pillow Replacement Cover - Navy
The Snoogle!

Stretch Marks: Nope! not yet anyways! I know for most if it happens it will happen at the very end. I am using Clarins Tonic Oil and Clarins Stretch Mark Control cream over that to help prevent! Last time I bought my oil the lady informed me this is what Angelina Jolie used... ;)

Food/Cravings: No cravings really. In fact I haven't had really any cravings this whole pregnancy! In the first trimester when I wasn't feeling as great, sometimes there would be only 1 food that sounded appealing so we'd go seek out whatever that was... but I wouldn't really call that a craving. I'm eating pretty normally, but also letting myself eat what I want and whatever sounds good. Not going crazy, but might as well enjoy this while I can.

Movement: Yes! I have an anterior placenta (meaning its right in front between my belly and baby, so I didn't really feel anything until around 21 weeks as my placenta was acting like a cushion to the baby's movement. But now I feel them all the time! Brian has even felt it a couple times. It's so crazy when they are strong enough that I can see my belly pulse!

Belly Button: Still in! I think I have a really deep belly button so I'll be curious to see if it ever turns into an outie!

Am I forgetting anything?

Here are some bump-updates!

IMG_5520 01-02-13


p.s. I still feel like I look so much bigger in these photos than I do in real life haha….not sure if that’s a good thing?

I hope I don't jinx myself but this has been a really easy pregnancy for me so far! I mean the 1st trimester wasn't great, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I've heard from others. Then this 2nd trimester I feel completely fine! If it wasn't for this bump sometimes I wouldn't even know I was pregnant. I'm so grateful that I'm feeling this good and can really enjoy this time in my life :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Eating More Eggs: Leek+Mushroom+Bacon Quiche!

Hey there!  Sorry I left you guys hanging for a while!  I’ve got the usual excuses: holidays, work being crazy busy, and of course the tiny human growing inside me ;) 

I’m lucky this pregnancy has been pretty easy so far, but I definitely can’t stay up as late as I used to and sometimes I used to write my blog posts before bed.  But now bed > blog. 

I still have lots to write about this pregnancy, but I thought some food would be a better “welcome back” post!


Brian and I have our first Bradley Method birthing class tonight.  If you want to learn more about the Bradley Method check out the link, but basically it is a a birthing course aimed at those who want to give birth naturally.  It’s a 12-week course (2 hours a week), covering everything from nutrition/exercise during pregnancy, birth plans, the stages of labor, and the husband as a coach! 

Anyways, what I am getting to is the nutrition portion.  Part of the course has me tracking my food intake for a week, and then Brian is supposed to tally up my protein.  Protein is extremely important during pregnancy, and this program says to aim for 100grams per day. 


During the first trimester, I most definitely was not getting that much, but I think that’s pretty common…most women can only stomach certain things (and mostly carbs) in those fun first months.  By my 2nd trimester I was pretty much getting back to my normal eating, and even more so now (I’m 25 weeks btw!). 

I’d like to think I’m pretty knowledgeable about nutrition and how to get enough protein so I’m not too worried about that, although this program does suggest 2 eggs a day!  I don’t think I’m going to be eating 2 eggs each day but I’m making an effort!

Problem is mostly that I usually eat breakfast at work.  Sometimes I’ll get a breakfast sandwich, but other than that I’m not a big fan of cooking them in the microwave or eating hard boiled (don’t like). 

Here’s where my Quiche comes in!  I do love a good quiche and find they are pretty delicious re-heated for breakfast. 

So one day last month I just broke down a bought a packed of pre-made pie crusts.  I know, I know…yeah I could have made my own but that’s just another step that probably would have made me not want to make quiche.  If I was making this for a party I probably would make my own but for a weeknight dinner it’s pretty convenient to take one from the freezer.


I picked these ones up at Whole Foods from the frozen section.

The great thing about quiche is that the filling options are endless!!  Use whatever you like!  Any meats, veggies, herbs, cheeses!

I’m kind of partial to this bacon/leek/mushroom flavor combo though, so that’s what I did both times actually!

Leek + Mushroom + Bacon Quiche  
(serves about 6)

  • 1 unbaked pie crust (I used 9”, whole wheat)
  • 3-4 slices bacon
  • 1 leek, white part, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup chopped mushrooms (more if you like) I used shitake
  • 2 big handfuls baby spinach (or use thawed frozen spinach, or kale)
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • (I’ll also add 1/4 cup half and half if I have it)
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt/pepper
  • cheddar cheese, grated, (as much or little as you want, I used about 2 oz grated cheddar…gruyere would be great too!)

Pre-heat oven to 375

The pie crust I bought said I could bake it right from the freezer but I poked a few fork holes in the bottom and baked for 10 minutes prior to adding filling.

Cook bacon as directed, and as crispy as you like.  Set aside to drain, and discard all but 1-2T of the rendered bacon fat.  Add leeks to pan and cook over med/low heat til soft (5-7 min).  Add mushrooms and continue cooking 2-3 minutes, until mushrooms are soft and cooked.  Add spinach and cook until wilted down. 


In a mixing bowl whisk together the 5 eggs, milk, sour cream, and half & half (if using) until combined.  Add nutmeg, and some salt and pepper if desired. 

Add filling to pie shell, top with the bacon (chopped), add egg mixture, and then grate cheese directly on top.


Place quiche on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 min at 375 then reduce heat to 325 for 30-40 more minutes until the middle is set, and the top is getting a little golden. 

IMG_5593  with cheese… IMG_5594

IMG_5599  Delicious!!

We had this for dinner and will have it for breakfast the next few days.

What’s your favorite quiche combo??  Any other good ways to get eggs during the work week?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Big Gender Reveal

I can’t remember the last time I anticipated an event like I did with our 2nd trimester anatomy ultrasound!


I was going to find out if my baby was a girl or boy!  It seemed so crazy to me that I was going to know this information, and it was one step closer to making this whole baby “thing” seem more real!

18 weeks (and a few days)…this was the day of the ultrasound! 

The weeks leading up to Wednesday were the longest I can remember.  This was like right up there with my wedding day.  I didn’t even think I’d be able to sleep the night before…it felt like the biggest Christmas Eve of my life!!

My appointment was at 10:30am, but there was no way I was going into work beforehand…it would have been pointless.  Not like I’d be able to concentrate. 

The drive there, checking in at the hospital, waiting to register, then waiting in the ultrasound waiting room, then even waiting through the beginning of the ultrasound!!


Our ultrasound tech was a really nice woman and she asked if we wanted to know the gender, then got started.  First she started by looking at some of my anatomy, then the baby starting with the head and working her way down to make sure everything was there and measuring ok! 

Then we got to the goods.  I knew from seeing pictures of ultrasounds on BabyCenter that we were looking at that area, and I was trying to figure out if I could see anything before she said it.

Then she says: “see those 3 little lines, that usually means its a girl, but let me look around a little more to be sure”

2 seconds later

“yup, that’s definitely a girl!”

A girl??? A GIRL!!!!!  I didn’t freak out or anything, but as she continued with the ultrasound I was just kind of sitting there with a huge smile on my face trying to absorb that she just said I’m having a GIRL!!!!

So many people asked me ahead of time whether I had a “feeling” for what it was, and honestly I had no idea.  I never got that “feeling” you all speak of.  Never had any dreams of one gender.  Nothing. 

I did notice that Brian and I both would sometimes refer to the baby as “he” or “him”.  So I guess a little part of me, if I had to pick, would have thought it was a boy. 

Being a girly girl myself, I think I always pictured myself with a daughter, although once I was actually pregnant I was getting excited at the thought of either a boy or girl. 


It all just feels so much more real now!!  All my family is pretty excited for a new little girl too!! 

Now I can start shopping, and thinking of nursery ideas, and NAMES!  Oh man, I have a feeling a name is going to be the hardest thing for me.

And no I’m not sharing until she’s born ;) 

Mom and I had a blast on Black Friday looking at all the cute baby girl clothes :)  But I was good and only bought one thing.


It was on sale!


says “love to shop” very fitting if you ask me.   

And there SHE is


She’s kind of smiling in that picture!  It’s still so weird to officially refer to her as a HER! 

Oh and everything else looked great!  10 fingers and toes.  We saw all 4 chambers of the heart…so cool!  Even saw her stomach which was full!  So she’s already a good eater :) 

Other than that the long weekend consisted of family time at Thanksgiving, shopping time with mom on Friday, family time with Brian’s family on Saturday and some delicious food today.

Almond-Coconut pancakes for breakfast



Mmmm cappuccino.  So happy my love of coffee returned!  Still I don’t have one everyday. 

Stuffed pork chops for dinner


One of my favorite Giada recipes…  Pork Chops stuffed with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Spinach.  Mmmm and goat cheese ;)

I also made a batch of quinoa salad to have for lunches with some grilled chicken.  This was basically:

  • quinoa cooked in chicken broth
  • chopped: red pepper, cucumber, red onion, celery
  • chick peas
  • spinach (baby spinach rough chopped)
  • Feta!
  • dressing of:  olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, dried oregano, garlic

Mix all together.  Add chopped grilled chicken.


In summary:

Hope you had a great weekend.

It’s a girl!!!

Let the fun begin!!