Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fun and Games

I thought this looked kinda fun, and I'm tired enough to need to sit for a while still, but not so tired that I need to go back to bed.  Besides, the boys are playing together quietly.  And I need to stay off of Pintrest for a day or three; I'm getting depressed looking at all of the foods and crafts that I can't make. 

This is the Liebster Award (as near as I can figure out it an "I love you/love your blog" award of coolness).  It is given from one blogger to another and involves a number of random, cool things about them and you.  If it is awarded to you,  you have to post 11 (or 7) random things about yourself, answer the 11 (or 7) questions asked by the person who tagged you and tag 11 (or 7) bloggers that you like and come up with 11 (or 7) questions for them to answer.  And it can only be awarded to blogs with less than 200 followers.  It could also be just a fun game for the self promotion of small blogs--I'm okay with that! 

I was awarded this from Nick's cousin (and the baby's godfather), Ryan, who writes "The Man Who Would Be Knight"  I highly suggest you read it.  And I, too, will go with the 7 of everything.  Mostly because I don't think I'm in a condition to think of 11 of everything--besides, Ryan only asked 7 questions.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Beginning of Autumn Foods

I gave in and made myself a pumpkin pie spiced latte today.  It's the second one that I've had this season, and technically it's still summer.  But there have been so many pumpkin recipes on Pintrest, and I'm really, really starting to like Autumn.  Besides, I'm still pregnant, and to some extent can have what I want.  Sort of.   

Anyway, I actually followed a recipe this time for my pumpkin creamer (look here!!).  It's kind of the same thing that I did last year, I'm not sure if I told you about that adventure, except last year I simmered it.  Apparently cooking the creamer isn't necessary.  Makes it that much easier!  I also did not add the sugar to this creamer;  I'm still trying to limit my sugars, so it's better to have the creamer sugar-free and just add it to the coffee as needed.  Oh, I forgot the vanilla.  It tastes fine without it.  Last year my pumpkin creamer kept in the fridge for just under a week, and I had to shake it well every time I wanted to use it. 

Enjoy!
Zizi


Friday, August 24, 2012

The Final Days

Here are some random cute pictures to take up space!
I think I've been a week without a post, maybe two?  There are several reasons.  I was having some strong contractions last week, and we thought the baby was coming.  So all of last week was kind of tense and then somewhat of a let-down.  The frustrating part is that I don't actually expect the baby to come for another week and a half.  I just know myself well enough to know that we've got some time left.  Besides, I determined that the contractions last week were due in part to the coffee that I had been drinking.  Apparently even decaf coffee has enough caffeine in it to have some effect.  

Then I got a little sick.  Very bad timing.  And to help the infection go away I've had to cut out anything and everything that my body could remotely turn into sugar.  So no pasta, potatoes, bread, fruit or juice, and even some dairy products.  The up side is that I'm left on roughly the same diet that Nick is on, so I'm not cooking two menus at each meal.  The down side is that I'm about two shades of crazy with a sugar/carb withdraw (only two shades because I let myself have a piece of chocolate cake when we went out for lunch today). 

Monday, August 13, 2012

A New Perspective

Today was a day full of surprises.  Due to some stupidity on my part, and some other things, I was up a lot last night and ended up oversleeping the boys by two hours.  They had not only not destroyed the house, they didn't even make much of a mess.  They did, however, find a sharpie.  Thing One had "painted" his nails, and given his brother a tattoo.  Not bad considering they had a completely free reign for two hours. 

Surprise number two: when I did get up I found a lovely and thoughtful "encouragement" card telling me that this pregnancy will not last forever.  It was attached to a pack of bacon!

Surprise number four (I'll come back to three):  we found a box on the doorstep (we'll never know why the mailman didn't knock) and inside was a brand-new, jungle print diaper bag and a gift card.  Our old diaper bag was ripped, and I'd been using a beach tote bag that was getting a little ratty looking.  And jungle print happens to be one of my favorite themes for new babies!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Zucchini!!

This is another recipe that I found on Pintrest (by the way, I'm changing the name of my food board to "Food Pantry Feasts" so there is some continuity), and I forget why I made it, but it ended up being a simple, protein and veggie packed delicious snack, or side dish.  And yes, with anything that I find on Pintrest and post here you will have to follow the link for the recipe.  More credit to the original authors and cooks! 

I did not have the panko crumbs, the Adobo spices or the Parmesan cheese.  I used regular bread crumbs, and they worked just fine; and I added some shredded carrots for color (and filler) and that also worked beautifully. I forget which spices I added, probably some sage and garlic.  This recipe reminds me a lot of the fish cakes that I like to make, except without the mayo (I think the fish needs the mayo to help hold it together), and a lot of people have commented that they either substitute or alternate the fish and zucchini (or use both!). 

Enjoy!
--Zizi

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chelsea Buns

This recipe is straight out of my bread machine book. 

Chelsea Buns:

Put into the bread pan in this order (unless your machine says otherwise)
1C milk
1 egg
4 1/2 C white flour
1/2 tsp salt
6tbsp sugar
1/4C butter, softened
1tsp yeast

Set your machine to "Basic Dough" setting and press start.

Lightly grease a 9" square cake pan (I used a 10" pie plate).  When dough has finished, place it on a lightly floured surface, punch it down gently and roll it out to a 12" square. 


Filling:
2tbsp butter, melted
2/3C golden raisins
3tbsp chopped candied peel
2tbsp currants
2tbsp brown sugar
1tsp apple pie spice

Brush the rolled dough with the melted butter and sprinkle with the raisins, peel, currants sugar and spice (I used trail mix--minus large nuts and I should have left out the small ones too-- and cinnamon and nutmeg).   Roll up the dough, cut into 12 slices and place in the pan.  Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.  Pre-heat the oven to 400degrees.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they have risen well and are evenly golden.  Let them cool in the pan before turning them onto a wire rack to cool further. 


Glaze:
1/4C sugar
4tbsp water
1tsp orange flower water

Mix the sugar and water in a small saucepan.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, then boil rapidly for 1-2 minutes without stirring, until syrupy.  Stir the orange flower water into the glaze and brush onto the warm buns (I used a vanilla icing leftover from some birthday, but they didn't need it).

Serve warm. 
--Zizi

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Simple Dinners. . . .

Dinner tonight was a simple affair, it had to be.  Both boys have mild ear aches/infections.  I think the worst part is over, we're all just very tired and they want to do nothing but cuddle with me.  Nights have been the worst, Thing One has been waking up every twenty minutes to cry--in spite of everything we do.  But they both went all day today without medicine and have been eating, so we're getting there.  

The three of us napped today for about two hours, and then we made it outside.  I pulled the last of the carrots from the garden while the boys just absorbed the fresh air.  Then we came in and I made dinner.  I decided that I was going to have roast beef with vegetables.  I threw a potato in the microwave (I do not like potatoes in my roast beef) so I'd have a baked potato.  Then I sauteed some broccoli, half an onion and a handful of the carrots I'd just pulled.   When the vegetables were done I threw in a five ounce can of beef with gravy (I get those at the dollar store for when I need a fast and easy protein meal). 

The carrots had a tangy flavor that became sweet when cooked in butter, and they were so good with the beef.  Thing One really wants to eat all of the carrots, but I told him that we do need to save some for Daddy, and some for tomorrow.  Although, right now he's saying that he's tired and asking me to sit on the couch with him.

Happy Harvest!
Zizi