Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The rain finally let up. Its been clear for the past two days, and I'm thankful, but I have to say that I enjoy the rain. It's bittersweet for us, b/c Wesley usually gets to stay home (with me!) on days that it rains, but also, they are not paid days. Still, I enjoy taking advantage of the quality-time opportunities while they present themselves.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
This weekend I got some pretty good finds. I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with Dirt Cheap. I love going there and finding really good bargains. However, I am very picky about what I buy from there for several reasons. One is you can't return anything for any reason. Another is stuff is usually pretty grimy, and you don't know where its been. And finally, because I have some sort of mental block that won't let me buy something from there if I think I could have gotten the same sale or percentage off from where ever its from originally. It doesn't matter in my mind that I don't live in a town that has a Gap or a Target, but the fact that something came from somewhere like that, and may be sold there for the same price inhibits me from buying the item. But, with that being said, I was able to make some purchases that I think were worthwhile.
4 pair of heels for $1 each. Wow.
1 gray cotton polo for Knox from Old Navy for $2. (by the way, i plan on going back today to see if i can find anymore)
1 Shabby Chic lamp base from Target for $10 (i almost didn't get the lamp, but i have been really wanting a lamp for my side of the bed, and i liked this one a lot.)
1 brown Gap Maternity skirt for $4 (originally $50, so I think this is a double bargain)
1 pair of Gap Maternity khaki pants for $4 (originally $54, so I think this is a double bargain, too, plus I had just said the day before that all i want is a pair of good fitting maternity khakis! God's good.)
1 black Gap Maternity pencil skirt (dressy) for $4 (i don't know the original price, the tag was cut. sad.)
1 little girl's green necklace for my neice for Christmas for $0.50
1 (completely sealed in the original packaging) flavored lipgloss for my neice for Christmas for $o.50
So, everything together was about $30. I have to say, I was pleased. :o)
I haven't yet decided. Wesley & I may go visit my sister & mother (finally!) b/c we've been trying to do so pretty much all of August. Also, Tsunami is calling us. More specifically, the Michael Dumit roll & the cucumber roll (minus the sauce...).
Wesley has been having chest pains for the past several months, and lately it has gotten worse. With it getting worse, we have been more and more nervous about it, and finally decided yesterday to just go to the doctor and find out what it is. We were both quite anxious about it, though Wesley seemed particularly nervous (and understandably so), especially after we had a conversation about how I heard on Paul Harvey that there is new research that says that drinking Red Bull can increase your risk for heart problems. So, we (very thankfully!!!) found out that it was not heart related and was some sort of inflamation where the sternum meets the rib cage, and Aleve will solve his problems. (HOORAY!!!)
This week so far I have baked another batch of banana bread (b/c my 2 boys seem to like it as an easy breakfast, and b/c I had bananas starting to turn brown), blueberry muffins (an Alton Brown recipe that I personally was disappointed in, though they are not particularly bad), and started a sponge for the ciabatta rolls i'll be making for tonight's pork tenderloin sandwiches. Tuesday night Wesley grilled 2 pork tenderloins (we almost all of one of them that night!), so we will be using the second tenderloin for tonight's dinner. I had originally planned to have the sandwiches last night for dinner, and chicken & dumplins tonight for dinner, but the bread didn't work out in a timely manner, so we're having the sandwiches tonight on the ciabatta rolls, and we ate McDonald's last night for dinner.
Lately Wesley & I have been getting to sleep much earlier than what used to be the norm, and I have to say, I feel Much more refreshed in the morning. I cannot remember a single time in my life where I woke up at 6:30 and didn't particularly care to go back to sleep. Generally its a struggle and a battle to make myself get out of bed. However, the "down-side" (if you want to even call it that) to this waking up early thing is I get very hungry before lunch, sometimes twice, where used to, I would just munch on a handful of cereal or something to satisfy my til lunch. But I like breakfast, and if I'll be up anyway, I may as well eat breakfast. So, maybe I'll do biscuits in the morning...we'll see.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
the baby is kicking my right side. knox used to kick my right side more than the left, too. i'm not sure why that is, but maybe they'll resemble each other somehow in how they kick... or maybe he's starting to get cramped. that could be the case. i'm preeeetttttty sure knox got cramped in my tummy a couple of years ago.
me at halloween 2 years ago with my friend Ashley who was not pregnant, but instead had her pumpkin that she was carving inside her shirt.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Fiesta Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 fresh cloves garlic, minced
10 oz bag baby spinach leaves, chopped
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 10 oz can Mild Rotel diced tomatoes with Green Chilies
1 lb (Lg family size can) cream of chicken soup
1 Cup red enchilada sauce
8 oz sour cream
1/2 Cup milk
Pinch of salt
2 Cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oil into a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion and jalaepeno until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add chopped spinach and cook until wilted down. Stir in chicken, salt, pepper, garlic salt, cumin and diced tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and simmer.
2. Place soup, enchilada sauce, sour cream, milk and salt into a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until warmed though.
3. Ladle a small amount of sauce into the bottom of a large 9x13 inch baking dish (or bigger if you have one), just enough to cover the bottom. Place a spoonful of chicken mixture inside of corn tortillas, roll and place seam side down. Fill tortillas until chicken filling is used up. Top evenly with sauce and shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies slightly adapted from Picky Palate
1 stick softened butter
6 Tablespoons sugar
6 Tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ Cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
9 Oreo Cookies, broken into pieces
1 Cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter, and sugars until well combined. Add egg and vanilla until mixed well. Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl, stir to combine. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients then stir in oreos and chocolate chips until just combined. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cooked, but still soft. Let cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Filet Minon with a Port Reduction topped with Caramelized Onions:
1 4oz. and 1 6oz. filet, very lean
about 2 tablespoons (plus or minus according to your taste) of cracked black pepper
a pinch or two of salt
1 vidalia onion
a couple tablespoons of butter (though i like to use smart balance light)
about a teaspoon or so of sugar
port wine (a good one. Spend around $18 bucks or so, plus or minus)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Chop onions to very thin (and even sized) circles. Add the sugar and butter to a hot skillet, and stir occasionally. They will be caramalized in about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile:
Put a little (maybe a teaspoon or two) olive oil in a skillet, and crank it up to medium high to high. Take the filet (I have been getting a 6 oz. for wesley and a 4 oz. for me, and, especially with the sides, I cannot eat all of mine, and he is full off of his.) and rub them down good with the salt and pepper. Coat them pretty well, then place them in the skillet. Sear them on the hot skillet for about a minute on each side (depending on how well done you like your steak, you can leave it on longer. We like ours about medium, so adjust accordingly. By the way, the steak will be pink inside and incredibly tender, but not bloody the way I cook it, so let that be a reference.) Once steaks are seared, place the pan (with handle covered in tin foil) in the oven for 10 minutes. When you take the steaks out, let them sit for about 10 minutes before you cut them.
Take about 1 cup of port wine and boil in a shallow dish, stirring often, until syrupy. (This takes about 15 minutes) Once it has reduced (by about half is what you're looking for), stir in about a tablespoon of honey. Set aside.
It is super easy. And the reduction can be saved in the fridge for steak later or other things like chicken if you have any leftover.