Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats

Since it is Halloween I thought I'd post a festive, semi-easy recipe for you to make. David and I made it for my work Halloween contest for festive food.
Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats from  Home Stories A to Z.
1 box Rice Krispie Cereal
1- 10 oz bag marshmellows
Red, Yellow and Green Food Coloring
Tootsie Rolls
Chocolate Cookies for Dirt
Follow the instructions on the box for regular rice krispy treats.
When your marshmallows are nice and melty add red and yellow purchased or homemade food coloring until you reach a pumpkin orange color.
 We were afraid of ours turning red so we left it this orange. When you make them go for a way brighter orange. Ours turned out a bit too pastel and didn't differ much from the regular rice crispy color.
 After you stir the cereal into the marshmallow mixture, rub some butter on the palms of your hands (we used spray Pam as well) and roll the mixture quickly into balls. I placed more butter on my hands between rolling each ball. Place a tootsie roll in the center of each pumpkin and garnish with frosting leaves. We mixed regular frosting with the green food coloring and used our leaves tip to make them.
 We placed our pumpkins on a bed of crushed chocolate cookies just for fun and presentation.
Happy Halloween!
Update from the costume front at work:
We went as the 3 Marketeers (get it, like 3 musketeers) since we all work in marketing.
  Unfortunately, we did not win the most creative contest (we got robbed if you ask me!). I also did not win 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the food competition (not happy about that!).
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pregnancy Survey- 24 Weeks

How Far Along: Here we are, another Thursday has come upon us. We are now 24 weeks pregnant! Time is flying.

Size of baby: Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.
Total Weight Gain: I'm going to go with 9 (it fluctuates a lot during the day)

What I miss: Nada
Sleep: I have a pillow pile going in that bed that Molly loves. She finds pillow lumps all throughout the bed and just curls right on up. I am still loving my bed duvet, by the way. So pretty.

Symptoms: Feeling completely normal minus the growing belly that some days seems like its growing a lot and some days I feel like I am not getting big at all.

Cravings: Man, did I have some Moes yesterday. I decided to stop in after work because I was craving a taco, but I really did also want a salad. I made up my mind that I was going to get both and look like a big pig so I ordered my salad and then my taco and the guy making them said, why don't I Just give you the kid taco and since it's kids eat free night you can get a free cookie and drink. Ummmm heck yea I'll take that. So for $7 I got a close talker salad in the shell loaded with the most awesome vinaigrette dressing, a taco, chocolate chip cookie, lemonade and chips and salsa. And I ate just about everything (minus the chips) with no problem! That made my day, I really don't think he could tell I was pregnant, but I'll pretend to have kids any day for that deal (I have one in my belly so I think that should def. count).

Aversions: Nothing.

Gender- BABY BOY!

Movement: He is moving around a good bit. I like feel his weirdest whole body type movements in bed at night while I just am sitting there. It's more than just a poke, it's like a body roll. I had to move my hand once because I wasn't expecting to feel something for that long of a time, very cool though.

Maternity Clothes: Just sporting my 2 maternity jeans a lot. All my tops are still fitting just fine.
Fabric on left is the crib bumper and curtains. Fabric on right is the striped crib skirt.
Best Moments this week: Getting our crib and I ordered fabric so I could see what the bedding will look like. 2 out of 3 has come in and I love them! I think we're going to make curtains out of the paisley design when Mom and family come for Christmas.
Fabric against the baby's room wall color
What I'm looking forward to: This weekend is David's exam so we are heading down to Macon for the weekend so he can take the test all day saturday (think good thoughts!) I am looking forward to reading and watching the Georgia Southern Football game. The hotel also has an indoor pool! I am really just looking forward to having my David back for the weekends. We have a lot of lost time to make up for (wait until you see what I have planned for next weekend lol).

Milestones: The crib is in our house and we will be ordering the dresser Sunday. We are in discussions for the NY Thanksgiving shower and we'll be registering next weekend! Lots of fun stuff coming up. Unfortunately we're boycotting Halloween this year (we have no decorations up... I know) since we have had no time to get ready for it, no big Halloween party like last year, but that's ok.
24 weeks! Yep, totally have a night light, don't judge.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Roasted Potatoes, Chicken Sausage and Peppers

I haven't tried many new recipes lately so I thought I'd post another one. This recipe comes from Skinny Taste.
Roasted Potatoes, Chicken Sausage and Peppers
  • 1.5 lb (about 3 large) potatoes, russet or new
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered, layers separated
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeds removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary (fresh or dry)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 lb Italian chicken sausage cut into 8 or so pieces each

Cut the potatoes into small 1" x 1/2 inch pieces. These take the longest to cook so cutting them small ensures everything cooks evenly.

Preheat oven to 375°. Spray one large non-stick baking sheet, or two small ones with olive oil spray to prevent the potatoes from sticking.
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, onions, peppers, olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic powder. Mix well to be sure everything is coated with oil and seasoned evenly.
Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the center of the oven; bake for 15 minutes.
I used 2 baking sheets just to make sure everyone had enough space. Use a spoon to toss so nothing sticks or burns.
Add the sausage to the baking sheet with the potatoes and vegetables and bake, tossing once or twice for 25-35 minutes, or until your potatoes are cooked through.
Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your potatoes and sausage, keep an eye so they don't burn.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Crib Update and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

This weekend I did a lot of cooking while David was studying so nothing too exciting, but I did get the baby crib!
We went with crib #1. I had my 20% off coupon and we headed to babies r us on Saturday night. We thought we were going to have to order it, but she came back out and said they had a few in stock! Their customer service is horrible though, I'd go right when they open or closer to close time because it was hard to find anyone who would help us order the crib and bring it up from the back. I think it was about an hour from when we decided on the crib to actually getting it to our truck.
We didn't have time to set it up this weekend so I just had David take it out so I could look at it and inspect it. There are a few imperfections (I am super picky about quality) that I am going to try to email the manufacture about (they put a form in there so you can send it with pictures) so we'll see. Okay on to a recipe.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins from Good (cheap) Eats.
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 bag Mix and Match Muffin Mix (the dry team)
    • Dry team:
      3 cups unbleached flour
      1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I just used regular flour since I didn't have any)
      4 teaspoons baking powder
      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 cup sugar, brown sugar, or sucanat (I used regular sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • extra chocolate chips for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs, and pumpkin. Whisk until well blended.
3. Line 2 12-cup muffin cups with muffin papers.
4. Add the muffin mix and the spices. Stir gently to combine.
5.Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Divide the batter amongst all 24 cups.
7. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips over the tops of the muffins.
8. Bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
9. Cool the baked muffins on a wire rack.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

23 Week Pregnancy Survey

How Far Along: 23 weeks

Size of baby: Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With his sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that he's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see him squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in his lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing his for entry into the outside world. 
Total Weight Gain: I'm going to go with 9 (it fluctuates a lot during the day)

What I miss: Nada

Sleep: I'm getting good at getting up a few times for the bathroom and going right back to sleep.

Symptoms: Everything is A Okay, feel completely normal minus the growing belly that some days seems like its growing a lot and some days I feel like I am not getting big at all.

Cravings: Garbage Plate. I watched Man Vs. Food last night on travel channel and they were in Rochester, NY and they visited Nick Tahous. If you don't know what a garbage plate is by now, you need to go to your DVR and find this episode #21. It's with a nascar driver and they talk about Watkins Glen in the description. Man, after looking it up, I really want one.

Aversions: Nothing.

Gender- BABY BOY!

Movement: He is still moving a pretty good bit, not as much as last week, but it's starting to pick up again. I think I might start writing it down one day to see how much he is squirming around.

Maternity Clothes: Loving the forever 21 jeans. I am not ready to buy other pants yet, but as it's getting colder, maybe in a few more weeks.

Best Moments this week: Learning all about baby cribs and gear for baby as I read my books.

What I'm looking forward to: Picking out BW's crib and other furniture for the nursery.

Milestones: Nothing new this week, still in research phase for baby items. David's test is coming up in 8 days so we are focusing on that and will be hitting the ground running in November, making up for lost time.
We were testing out the timer on the camera and doing some silly photos. I have a few photos from the weekend/week that I'll share.
Gooooo Georgia Southern. I got to watch the game at home saturday and wore my gear to cheer them on. We are 6-0 baby! Next big southern conference game is the 29th at App State. Leah and Kyle, you're going down!
23 weeks!
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Italian Wedding Soup

We had a bit of a cold front come through yesterday afternoon/night and I took full advantage of the weather and made some soup! This recipe for Italian Wedding Soup comes from Recipe Girl.

3/4 pound ground turkey
1/2 pound turkey sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrots (about 3 medium)
1 cup diced celery (about 2 large stalks)I forgot these at the store so they'll be missing from my photos.
10 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine (I didn't have any since I am not drinking so I just added a bit more chicken broth, I think total I had about 12 cups)
1-2 cup small pasta (I used mini tubes I can't remember the name. I really wanted small ball pasta but couldn't find any.)
1/4 cup minced fresh dill (I used dried spice)
8 ounces fresh baby spinach- trimmed, washed & patted dry
extra Parmesan cheese, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Prepare meatballs: Place ground meats, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork.
With a teaspoon, drop 1-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (The recipe says I should have 40 meatballs, but I easily had 100).
I just baked the extra meatballs and froze them so I can make this faster next time!
Bake for 20ish minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
3. Prepare soup: Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large stock pot. Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chicken broth and wine and bring to a boil. Add pasta to the simmering broth and cook an additional 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in spinach and cook for 1 minute, until spinach is just wilted.
Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan cheese. Some notes: I am used to having Italian wedding soup with escarole, but my store just didn't have any. You can also substitute any ground meat, but I really loved the turkey sausage flavor.
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