Sunday, January 29, 2012

Banana, Blueberry, and Strawberry Pancakes

I will not even try to take credit for this recipe.  I found it at my new favorite cooking blog, For The Love Of Cooking.  (Bonus - the writer lives in the Pacific Northwest!)  This is the second recipe of hers I've made, and I will just keep exploring her recipes, going back for more delicious meals.

Today we had our friends over for brunch.  Breakfast and brunch always stress me out a little because Hubby and I aren't big breakfast people.  When people do come over for that morning meal, I dive into researching recipes, mostly online.  What makes it harder is that Hubby isn't a huge pancake or waffle fan.  Normally I just turn to my Mom's recipe for Dutch Babies (aka Lazy Man Pancakes), but this time I wanted to try something new. 

Our friend Laurel said this after taking her first bite:  "Oh my god, it's like summer came along and punched you in the mouth."  I think that sums up how delicious and scrumptious these pancakes were (not to mention that Hubby absolutely LOVED them)!

Banana, Blueberry, and Strawberry Pancakes  (Side note - I used all white flour since I didn't have any wheat flour, and honey greek yogurt in place of vanilla yogurt.)

And here's the link to the other meal I made last week, for dinner.  So good!

30 Weeks!

I suppose the biggest thing I've noticed is that I need to start slowing down.  Up until now, I could schedule 2 or 3 things a day, and be fine, as long as I could get at least a 30 minute cat nap in.  Now, I've cut my work schedule down to working from home 4 days a week, and going into Redmond once a week.  Two gatherings is more than enough, and I have to separate them out between morning and late afternoon so I can get a nap in.  If they're one after the other, then it's hard for me to go anywhere at night because I'm so tired.  This is really hard for me because I am such a social person.  I get lonely rather easily, and poor hubby is the source of so much conversation and entertainment these days.  And as I get bigger, I rely on him more and more for even the simplest of things, like tying my shoes, or giving me foot rubs to help combat the ache in my feet from the swollen ankles.

Our house is slowly getting there.  We've cleaned out numerous closets, made some serious progress on the nursery.  Hubby has now asked me to schedule us time on the calendar to work on house projects so we feel like we're getting things done.  Tonight we'll get the rest of the nursery cleaned out, and then Hubby will put up the paint tape.  We've picked out a color already, which is exciting.  It's going to be so cute, I can't wait to see what it's going to look like when it's all done.  We have a boatload of clothes from friends, which has been wonderful.  I, of course, have already sorted them by size and put away the 0-6 months in the dresser, while the rest is in bins that will go into his closet.  Other places that still need work are our now combined office, which looks like the closet threw up, and our garage, though Hubby has made serious progress there (and kitty who pees on floor is still in there.  Every time I think about letting him back into the house, he pees next to the fridge, so clearly, he's a garage cat now.  I'm hopeful he'll be a backyard kitty over the summer). 

I'm not sure that I necessarily feel overwhelmed, and I think that's because Hubby and I have this schedule now.  I want the nursery cleared/cleaned out and painted by the 18th, which is when we have the Friends baby shower at our house.  I also want a clean room where we can put/set-up all the baby stuff.  But I know poor hubby is totally overwhelmed.  He has so many film projects going on, in addition to his pregnant wife constantly needing him for this or that (mostly emotional reassurance, or as he calls them "heightened emotional states").  He will be gone for a few days next month in Pasco for a conference, and my dear friend Paige is flying up to help me out while he's gone.  But now he might be gone for a few more days after he gets back from Pasco, and I told him he needs to figure out/find someone to take care of the cat boxes.  Anyone want to come stay with me for a few days and clean out some litter boxes?  Sounds glamarous, I know.  Try to resist.  :)

Baby is kicking more and more, which is so much fun.  As the date gets closer, I find myself thinking of my family in different ways, specifically my parents, and what life must have been like before my sister and I came along.  I also think about how they each had their own childhood, and how when I was a kid, I never thought about that because they were always just mom and dad, y'know?  I am just thinking of and viewing everything differently these days.  It's quite an experience. 

Monday, January 23, 2012


We had our childbirth class over the weekend. I am drained, emotionally and physically. What an amazing experience. Words cannot describe just how powerful this was. It was the perfect class for the two of us.

I went in feeling unsure, scared, unprepared, not knowing if I was strong enough.

I left feeling empowered, strong, slightly overwhelmed, and with a new-found love and deep respect for my partner.

We can do this.

We will do this.


I can't wait to meet our boy.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

29 weeks!

From BabyCenter dot com:

Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.

He's alive and kicking, that's for sure! I suppose the kicks have died down slightly, but I can only presume that's because he's running out of room in there. He kicks the most when I'm sitting down, and also when I'm reading in bed. It's fun to watch my book go up and down, but distracts from the story (in a good way)! I can't believe that I'm in the third trimester already.

Regarding the vitmains, I am concerned about getting enough Iron, and it's not in my vitamins because it, um, well, I don't want to get too personal, but let's just say it creates some issues. And spinach lately makes me want to vomit. So, any suggestions on how to get s'more iron into my diet?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Soup au Pistou

Thanks to my hubby for getting me my new fancy slow cooker for Christmas. And thanks to Tina for getting me this inspiring cookbook!

Soupe au Pistou
From The Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Bible


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
2 onions, chopped (I used only one onion)
2 cloves garlic, mashed
2 leeks, chopped
1/2 pound small zucchini, diced (I used a pound, since I left out the lima beans and an onion)
1 can (15 ounces) lima beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14 ounces) diced plum tomatoes, drained or 3 to 4 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
6 to 8 cups chicken stock (I used chicken broth)
1/2 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 pound small pasta, such as ditalini, cooked al dente
1/2 cup parmasean cheese, grated
6 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches fresh basil leaves, chopped


1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta, onions, garlic, and leeks and cook, stirring until softened. Transfer mixture to slow cooker.

2. Add zucchini, lima beans, tomatoes, and enough stock to cover vegetables. Cover and cook on LOW six to seven hours, or on HIGH for 3 1/2 hours.

3. Add green beans, cannellini beans, and pasta. Cover and cook an additional 15 minutes on HIGH or until green beans are crisp-tender and bright green. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. For garnish, combine Parmasean, butter, garlic, and basil in food processor. Use on/off pulses to make coarse paste. Ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with Parmasean mixutre.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Serving suggestion: Serve with crusty french bread.

Barley Pilaf Stuffed Squash

I love love love this cookbook. It's called Almost Meatless. While I'm not a vegetarian, I do try to limit the amount of meat I eat, and also do my best to be mindful of where it comes from. This is a great recipe for winter. And as a side bonus, my husband, who hates squash, loves this recipe, too!

Barley Pilaf Stuffed Squash
Serves 4


2 small butternut squash, or 1 large squash halved, seeds scooped out
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (about 1/2 ounce) dried porcini mushrooms*
3 cups hot water
1 cup barley
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 ounces sweet Italian sausage (or your favorite flavor)
2 cloves garlic minced (about one teaspoon)
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (I use about 1/2 tablespoon dried)
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
2 tablespoons basalmic vinegar
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375.

To Prepare The Squash: Rub the insides with the 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper and transfer to a large roasting pan that will fit all the pieces without crowding. Roast in the oven, cut side down, for 45 minutes to an hour, until the squash is fork tender.

Meanwhile, to prepare the filling, let the mushrooms steep in the hot water in a medium saucepan for about 15 minutes. Remove the rehydrated mushrooms, chop, and set aside. Bring the soaking water to a boil, add the barley, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the barley is cooked through.

While the barley cooks, add the 2 teaspoons oil to a saute pan over medium-high heat. Cut and remove the sausage casings and crumble the meat into the pan. Cook the sausage until it begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, shallot, sage, cranberries, and reserved mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.

Drain the barley through a mesh strainer and add to the sausage pan. Add the vinegar and stir to combine thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients. Season to tasted with salt and pepper. Keep warm until the squash is ready.

When the squash is done, remove from the oven and stuff the craters with the hot barley mixture. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and serve.

* To save time, I use fresh mushrooms, about 8 ounces, and slice them rather thin.

Prayers, Loving Thoughts Needed

I'm fine. Baby is fine. Matt is great. All is well in our house.

But someone I know isn't, and I don't even have any details, just a couple of mysterious Facebook updates from some mutual friends. Most of you know that I don't really talk about my religious/spiritual beliefs. I don't really pray. At all. Tonight I am making an exception and praying as much as I can. Please, send loving thoughts/prayers/healing wishes, whatever you can to my friend and her family. I can't give names because it's not my news to share, but I am worried sick and freaking out. And all I can do is...pray.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Preface: If you are going to comment, I ask for constructive criticism or support, nothing sarcastic or otherwise. Thank you. :)

I'm annoyed when I hear the quote "You had better get all the sleep you can before the baby comes!" Or, "All that insomnia is going to prepare you for baby!" I can't believe I said this to my friends (and I'm so sorry I did) because I would love nothing better than to sleep through the night. But my bladder is working overtime for 2, and never mind the fact that at 28 weeks, it's difficult to get comfortable with my growing belly...and I still have a long way to go. (Hello, future best friend - body pillow.) Sometimes I wake up sniffly and sneezing. Sometimes I wake up freaked out and harried, wondering if baby boy is ok. Or it's that I'm 11 weeks from my due date and there's still so much to do. Or how we're going to make this work financially. How this will change family dynamics. Everything.

The melt-downs have arrived in full force. Hubby calls them "emotionally charged events", which is true. Things that normally don't bother me turn me into a tantrum throwing 2 year old, or a weepy 14 year old girl who's boyfriend dumped her and suddenly my life is over. I had two or three in the last week. Usually they happen at 1am, or at dinner, when Hubby and I haven't seen each other all day. And while I'm surrounded by an amazing community of girlfriends, family, mamas and non-mamas, (and let's not forget my incredible husband), there are moments/days where I feel utterly alone and overwhelmed.

People have been asking for pictures of my pregnant self on Facebook. Friends who are also pregnant have posted pictures on FB, and that's good for them. I'll tell you what. If you want one, email me or text me and I'll send it to you. I don't really want to share my pregnant self on Facebook. I can't explain why, it's just me (though I'm sure there will be some after the baby showers next month) and my strange self. I feel fat and unattractive, and that's not the best time to post photos!

"Oh my god, you've gotten HUGE!!" (again, I apologize to my friends who I've said this to) My uncle said this to me at a family gathering, and I said "NO. My SON has gotten bigger. Not me. Please, know the difference." This comes from my 14 year old ballet dancing self, and with that comes major body issues. And that is a subject for another blog post.