Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Addition

Well, it's official.....we are expecting Baby #2 in March! In His time, God certainly does answer prayers. We are very blessed and excited to have this news to share!

I am out of the first trimester and everything is looking good. I've had a general feeling of malaise and nausea that is slowly receding (not fast enough!). I haven't felt like eating too much. When has it been documented that Bonnie has wrinkled her nose at Joseph's pizza or chicken or even a salad?! I just don't remember feeling this TIRED when I was pregnant with Shelby. I can take a two-hour nap at any given time or place.

We broke the news to Shelby and she is SO excited! She calls the baby her baby. She can't wait to be a big helper with the baby. And, once she realized she and the baby would be at the same school, she was over the moon! She could check up on her baby with the Infant Teachers all day long! Shelby has it all figured out: her baby doll can sleep with me and her baby brother/sister can sleep with her.

We get to find out if this little peanut is a boy or a girl on October 27th! Can't wait!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week 87 Menu

Sunday: Eggplant Parmesan
Monday:  Burgers with homemade buns and sauteed asian greens
Tuesday: Stuffed Shells from the freezer
Wednesday: Dinner at church.
Thursday:  Schezuan Chicken and Asian Slaw
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Out.

CSA treat of the week: Zucchini bread
Snack of the week: White Bean Hummus with CSA crudite (cucumbers, broccoli and tomatoes)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Twitter This, Inter-web.

Some of my girlfriends have turned me on to Pinterest (that's a whole blog post of its own!). I love the idea of "pinning" your findings on the internet to your account and surfing through others' "pinnings."

The only catch is that you need a Facebook or Twitter account to sign up. What? Seriously? There are prerequisites for searching through peoples' DIY cereal box magazine holders? Ok. Whatever. So, I signed up for The Twitter (the lesser of the two evils).

I was checking out the features of The Twitter. To my surprise, my account had been suspended. SUSPENDED! Within 24 hours! And, I hadn't even tweeted one tweet yet! So, I asked, "Why, Twitter, why?!"

Four days later they informed me they have "automated systems that find and remove multiple automated spam accounts in bulk. Unfortunately, it looks like your account got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake."

I am now restored into right standing with The Twitter. The jerks.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week 86 Menu

Sunday: General Tso's Chicken with rice
Monday: Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Preservres (PW)..using up some homemade fig/raspberry preserves!
Tuesday: Fajitas with leftover pork
Wednesday: Dinner at church.
Thursday: Corn Cheddar Frittata (Three Many Cooks) with assorted CSA veggies
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Out.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 85 Menu

Sunday: General Tso's Chicken (Bitten Word) with rice
Monday: Beef Noodle Salad Bowl (PW) with Asian-style Green Beans (TWFD...couldn't wait to try it!) from CSA
Tuesday: Vegetable Tian with CSA beets, rainbow chard and potatoes
Wednesday: Eat at church.
Thursday: Pizza at Art Walk
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Date night! Going to plan an "adult dinner"

Monday, September 5, 2011

Freezer Cooking - August, 2011

I haven't had a "freezer cooking" event in a long time, per se. But, I did have a couple days off work  a while back. So, I decided to stock up the freezer a little bit. It felt good to have some safety stock in the freezer if things start to get a little crazy around here later!

Pizza Dough (x4)
Hamburger Buns
Lasagna Roll-ups
Stuffed Shells
Veggie meatballs
Carmelized onions
Roasted red peppers
Roasted, pureed and froze in-season veggies to "hide" in future dinners!

Fig Newtons

Sometimes I see something on sale at the store, I buy it, and I pray for inspiration to come later. This week it was a deal on fresh figs. I've made fig preserves before, but I was looking for something new. AHA! That's where nostalgia came in.

When I was growing up, we always had a cookie jar full of fig bars. And, it was always a treat to have the strawberry or blueberry fig bars! My Grandma also made them: an Italian version with a white glaze over the top. Since they were homemade, they were very "rustic" looking and the fig was a little more pulpy. Still fig bars - but so much different in texture and taste than the store-bought kind.

These fig bars were a combination of the two fig bars from my past. These fig bars were VERY rustic looking. By rustic, I really mean....messy. I followed the recipe proportions to the letter, but I definitely put too much filling into each roll. And, I definitely neglected the all-important detail of placing the fig bars "seam side down" on the cookie sheet. If I had bothered to read that last direction, I think the fig bars would have turned out more atheistically pleasing. They tasted great, though! I'm looking forward to making them again!

Fig Newtons
from Beantown Bakers

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 lbs fresh figs
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon

Make the dough
Cream together the butter, sugar and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, for 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl and paddle. 

Add the egg white and vanilla and beat in. Scrape down the bowl and paddle again. 

Add the flour and beat on low speed until the dough comes together. 

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Make the filling
Cut the figs in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. In a medium sauce pan, combine figs, sugar, and lemon juice. Mash mixture a few times with a potato masher or fork. 

Cook mixture over medium-high heat until bubbling and sugar has dissolved; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until it has reduced by about one-third and is beginning to gel. Set aside until completely cool.

Assemble the Fig Newtons
Place racks in middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12 x 16 rectangle. Cut into 4 equal strips, each 12 x 4 inches. Spoon a line of filling down the center of each strip. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges together. Using a serrated knife, slice each log on the diagonal into 10 cookies. Place each cookie on the parchment-lined baking sheets, seam side down. 

Bake, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week 84 Menu

Last week's menu fell apart in a quick hurry. Between (forgotten about) Open House at school and invitations to dinner with friends, we didn't get to very much on the menu last week. But, that just means I already had some ideas for this week's dinner!

Sunday: Steak on the grill with Pan-Roasted Artichokes
Monday: Leftover steak on CSA arugula
Tuesday: Skillet Eggs with Squash (Bitten Word)
Wednesday: Dinner at church.
Friday: Cheese steak sandwiches with leftover beef
Saturday: Out