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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Date Nut Bread

I will admit I am not really a fan of dates or nuts in bread, so this bread was not my favorite.  It is, however, my dad's favorite.  So if you like date nut bread, this is a good recipe.  

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped dates
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (I used almonds)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine the dates, water and butter; let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, walnuts, baking soda and salt. Stir in the eggs, vanilla and date mixture just until moistened. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if top browns to quickly. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. 
* I added an extra tsp. of butter to make it more moist 

Got this recipe here

Butternut Squash & Spinach Rolls

These rolls are awesome.  I was hesitant to make them because of the squash spinach combo, but the flavor was so savory and the rolls themselves are extremely soft.  I will be making these again soon. 

  • 1-1/2 Cup Butternut Squash Soup (I got mine at Trader Joes)
  • 3 Ounces Spinach Leaves (1 cup somewhat packed)
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, or Shortening (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast or 2-1/4 Teaspoons (I used Rapid Rise yeast**)
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar (can sub evaporated cane juice / sucanat or coconut sugar for an unrefined option)
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Wheat Flour
  • 2-1/2 to 3 Cups Bread Flour or All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
Warm the soup a bit (you want it to be pretty warm to activate the yeast, but not too hot, which could kill the yeast). Place it in your blender and blend with the spinach until smooth.
Place the soup mixture, oil or shortening, yeast (see below if using Rapid Rise**), sugar, salt, and wheat flour in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Gradually add in the bread or all-purpose flour until the dough reaches a nice soft, pliable consistency that you can handle. As it gets thick, you will want to knead it with your hands. I used just over 2-3/4 cup flour.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to lightly coat it with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour. 
If making pull-apart rolls, lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Divide the dough into 12 or 18 equal pieces and form each piece into rounds. Place the rounds in your prepared baking dish. Cover the dish with a damp cloth and allow the dough to rise again, until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. If the air in your kitchen is too cool, preheat your oven to warm, turn it off, place the dish with your dough in the oven, and leave the oven door propped slightly open.
When the dough is almost done rising, preheat your oven to 400º F (205º C). Bake the rolls for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tops take on a golden hue.
No butternut soup? To make rolls just as deliciously soft and bakery-like as these, try the Tender Squash Dinner Roll recipe in Go Dairy Free. It uses mashed squash (or pumpkin) for perfect rolls every time.

**Rapid Rise yeast gets rid of the need to let the dough rise once before shaping.  I use to decrease the time it takes to make bread.  To use Rapid Rise yeast, add yeast to flour mixture instead of wet mixture.  No need to let the yeast activate first.  You will need to still have warm liquids to activate the yeast later.  

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Like I have mentioned before, I currently am off dairy because it makes Cedar (my nursing baby) spit up.  This coconut milk ice cream is everything I could have dreamed.  I have made it twice already and have yet to take a picture of it before I have eaten it all.

The best was that I used the ice cream to make a milkshake with almond milk (first milkshake in months) and it was like liquid gold.

I won't deny that I may have needed to unbutton my pants for the next few days and my sweet husband asked me if he needed to cancel my gym membership (HINT HINT!), but it's totally worth it.

Here is the link for the RECIPE so you can see a picture. 

  • 1 14-oz Can Whole or Light Coconut Milk (I used light)
  • 1/3 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter (or to taste, I used lightly salted)
  • 1/3 cup Agave Nectar, Maple Syrup, Brown Sugar, or Honey* (I used brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Batch Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Chunks (recipe below)
Combine the coconut milk, peanut butter, brown sugar (see note below for honey), and vanilla in your blender, and blend until smooth. Place the mixture in your refrigerator and allow it to thoroughly chill before proceeding. Use this time to make sure the canister of your ice cream maker has been thoroughly chilled in the freezer, and that the container you will pack the ice cream in for keeping is also chilled.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions (this recipe is rich enough, that you may have success simply freezing it and stirring occasionally until frozen if you don’t have an ice cream maker).
While that is whirring away, make the PB chunks. The recipe below makes a lotta chunks. If you want to start with less, half it.
When the ice cream is done, pack it into your chilled container, and drizzle the top with as much of the melted PB Chunks as you desire, creating a thin or thick layer. Freeze until mostly firm. The PB chunk layer will be solidified, break it up with a spoon and stir into the peanut butter ice cream. Freeze until completely firm. Spoon into bowls, enjoy.
* If using honey, you will need to heat the mixture slowly in a saucepan until the honey dissolves. Unlike agave, honey is a bit temperamental about dissolving in cold liquids.


Ice Cream-Friendly, Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Chunks
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Creamy Peanut Butter (I used lightly salted)
  • 2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar or Honey (don’t sub sugar here, you want soft chunks)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, and stir until everything is melted and combined.

 This makes a lot of PB chunkage, so you may only want to use 1/2 or 3/4 of the recipe for the ice cream quantities in the recipe above. (I used half and it was plenty)

Walk Two Moons

This is a children's book (middle school age) that I really liked.  I think it's a required book for most students, so I'm sure I read it before at some point.  It's easy to read and kept me interested the whole time.  I was surprised by the ending, so I enjoyed the unexpected.  It also is filled with good morals and life lessons that were inspiring.  Overall I would recommend this book for anyone just looking for an easy enjoyable read. 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ribs Ribs Ribs

Ribs might be one of my favorite foods.  Which is odd seeing as I'm not the biggest fan of meat in general.  I have had my fair share of amazing fall of the bone ribs...and ribs that you have to chew on for a while like the crazy carnivore you are.

These right here folks can be described as the following...
Heaven sent.  Fall off the bone.  Lick your lips.  Scrumpshulescent.

Feast your eyes on these bad boys...


Shout out to Sarah for the great recipe!

Ingredients:
Rub
Ribs
BBQ sauce 

Directions:
Put rub on both sides of ribs (pork ribs) and wrap them tightly in foil, you can even wrap them twice. Cook at 250 all day. Unwrap and slather on sauce and cook uncovered for about 1 hr. YUM
I cooked them on a cookie sheet even though they were wrapped in foil. I cooked them for about 7 hrs covered and then 1.5 hours with BBQ sauce and uncovered.

TIWIK BIBAM: Clothes

Best advice I have received.  Try the bigger sized clothes months earlier than you think you should.  Cedar is only 4 months and thanks to this great advice I received from a friend, we busted out the 6-9 month clothes early and to our surprise they fit her already.  We would have missed out on months of use on the bigger sizes and now she has more variety.  As a new mom, I never would have thought to do this. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sweet Potato Fries

I ate these with burgers and I ate them as dessert. Awesome either way.  Just make sure to soak them in water or else you get soggy fries.



Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil greased with cooking spray. Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into long spears. (Soak in cold water for 20-30 minutes before continuing for crispy texture outside.  Drain well and pat dry.) Place the potato spears on the sheet pan and toss with olive oil.  Spread them in a single layer.  Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper and sprinkle on the potatoes.  Bake for 15 minutes, then turn with a spatula or tongs.  Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and serve hot.

Mine took longer to bake because I wanted them a little crispier

Lord of the Flies


I know this book is a classic and one that most people have read.  It was highly recommended by more than one person and to those people I say, “Why??”

This book is depressing, violent, and kind of creepy.  No thanks =)  


Monday, April 9, 2012

The Forgotten Garden


This book is just what I needed.  It allowed me to get lost in not just one different world, but 3 different worlds.  It is a beautiful story and although it took me until about halfway through to actually get hooked, I'm so glad I stuck with it and I was sad when it ended.

The story is from the points of view of three woman (each telling their own part of the story during different time periods).  I thought the end was perfect and as the story unfolded I was surprised and intrigued by all it's twists and turns.

Thanks Bekka for the great book recommendation! Loved it!

TIWIK BIBAM: Stretch Marks

5. You can get stretch marks AFTER delivery.  I thought I was in the clear once I delivered stretch mark free.  Ohhh nooo.  Then your milk "comes in" which makes your boobs the size of large cantaloupes (or if they were already that size, then large watermelons).  Anyway, I even made it through that with only a couple and still felt pretty good.  So are you in the clear?? Ohhh nooo.  Then comes the many nights when your baby skips a feeding and you wake up with jumbo boobs.  Oh hello more stretch marks, come join the stretch mark party.  I guess I should count my blessings, but it would have be nice to not get my hopes up.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Waffles


I can't eat dairy because it makes Cedar (my nursing baby) spit up a ton, so I have been on the prowl for dairy-free recipes (or recipes I can make dairy-free) that are actually still good.  At first it was really depressing, but I have come to find a surprising amount of super deliciously tasty recipes that I can make dairy-free.

These peanut butter oatmeal waffles are now a staple breakfast food in my house and I have already made this recipe 3 times in the past 2 weeks and have a freezer currently stocked with frozen waffles ready to be toasted and smothered in maple syrup.




Ingredients:
2 cups milk (I used Trader Joes Almond Milk)
2-1/4 cup Oats
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, Sucanat, or Maple Syrup
1/4 teaspoon Salt (omit if using salted nut or seed butter)
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

Directions:
Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Preheat waffle iron and coat with cooking spray.  Allow your batter about 10 minutes to thicken. (I have made them without waiting) The thicker the batter, the more bready the waffles. If it gets too thick to pour at any point, blend in some more milk or water a tablespoon at a time.

**If you want to freeze these, make sure they are completely cool or else the steam will make them stick together in the freezer making them hard to pull apart.

Optional Ad-Ins:
  • 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 
  • 2 Tablespoons Protein Powder of Choice




Friday, April 6, 2012

Chicken Taco Jambalaya

This is a very quick and easy dinner and was better than I had hoped.


Ingredients:
1 chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 bell pepper
1 can of corn
chopped tomatoes (I used 7 cherry tomatoes)
1/4 onion chopped
1 taco seasoning packet (or if you are using Trader Joes packets, only use about half)
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:
Saute chicken in olive oil on medium heat until almost cooked.  Remove from pan.  Cook vegetables on low/medium heat until peppers and onions are soft.  Add chicken.  Add 1/4 water and taco seasoning to taste.  Add cayenne if you want it a little spicy.  Cover and let simmer 5-10 minutes.  Serve over rice.


TIWIK BIBAM: Hair

Even as I type this I am pulling a hair off the keyboard. This post pregnancy hair loss is ridiculous. I had heard a little about it, but what I wish someone would have said is, "Carlie, congrats on the two new additions to your house...your baby...and Hairy McHairiton." And probably not even then would I have gotten the idea that it would feel like there was a long-haired sasquatch secretly following me around leaving endless amounts of hair everywhere.  The worst part is...I am my own sasquatch and there is nothing I can do about it!

Places I have found my hair (even after I have pulled out a ton and thrown it away at least 10x)

-in between my fingers and toes
-in between Cedar's fingers and toes
-in the clean clothes fresh out of the drier
-in between book pages
-in Cedar's diapers
-in Cedar's mouth
-all over Kade's shirts
-down my shirt
-CONTINUOUSLY tickling my arms
-all over the back and front of my shirt
-in our dinner the other night (GROOSSS, but at least I found it right? No. It's still gross.)
-in THE OVEN
-in the diaper bag
-on my Moby Wrap
-on the keyboard
-all over the couch
-all over the papasan chair
-all over my bed
-all over the car floor
-clogging my shower drain

I hate you sasquatch hair nemesis.  Stop following me.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Curry Cauliflower

If you are like me and don't get very excited about cauliflower...ever...then this is the recipe for you.  The flavor was just enough that I could eat the cauliflower alone without drenching it in some type of sauce, but it wasn't overpowering.  If you like curry and are looking for a way to spice up the cauliflower that has been sitting in your fridge all week...curry cauliflower is the way to go.


Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into large florets
Nonstick olive-oil cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry powder, and salt. Add the cauliflower, tossing to coat thoroughly with spice mixture.
Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on prepared sheet. Roast until florets are browned on bottom and tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 35 minutes (mine were done in 20). Serve hot.

Thanks Martha Stewart for this delicious recipe

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chicken in Provencal Sauce

Yuuuuuuuum.  This recipe is SO FLAVORFUL.  
I was slopping up the sauce with my roll at the end.  


Ingredients:
4 (6oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced (I used pressed garlic)
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp dried herbes de Provence (you can make your own) *Mine didn't have oregano or lavender*
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp butter
Thyme sprigs (optional)

Directions:
1. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, pound to 1/2 inch thickness using a meat mallet or small, heavy skillet. (I didn't pound my chicken, and just tried to cook it as thick as it was and it took a lot longer to cook and was kind of chewy) Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add chicken; cook 6 minutes each side or until done.  Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
3. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 min, stirring constantly.  Add broth and herbs de Provence; bring to boil, scrapping pan to loosen browned bits.  Cook until broth mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes).  Remove from heat; add lemon juice and butter, stirring until butter melts. (I added about 1Tbsp of flour to thicken the sauce a little) Serve sauce over chicken.  Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.  Yield: 4 servings

*I put my changes in red*

TIWIK BIBAM: Swaddling Blankets

Don't buy any other swaddling blankets except the Aden & Anais ones.  I only found this out after my shelves were already stocked with about 15 other swaddling blankets (which I now only use for burp rags).  I bought the 4 pack at Target and haven't needed anymore because Cedar spits up on so much stuff,  I am doing laundry every other day.  If you want 8- you can get different prints at Buy Buy Baby and I'm sure other places.  I have only seen the one print in Target stores, but they have different prints online. 

PROS:
They are a little stretchy and so you can really swaddle your baby nice and snug.
They aren't too thick, so your baby isn't sweating when he/she wakes up (they are breathable).  I have learned that flannel blankets don't let any of Cedar's body heat out, so she gets too hot while sleeping.
They are big, so your baby doesn't grow out of them when he/she is 6 months (my friend has a 1yr old that she still "swaddles" with one).
They are soft (after a few washes). 
They are cute.

CON:
They are kind of expensive

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stir-Fry

This recipe is one I created out of a desire to use the sugar snap peas in my fridge and to not take a really long time to make because I was hungry.  The recipe for stir-fry I found wanted me to marinate stuff for a while before and included ingredients I didn't have...so I just took all of the vegetables out of my fridge and all of the Asiany ingredients out of my cupboard and it turned out REALLY good.

The only sad part is that I didn't measure anything, so this is a rough draft of what I THINK I did to make my super delicious stir-fry.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil 
1/4 onion
3 gloves pressed garlic
**You can use any vegetables you have, but I used...
2 celery stalks (chopped)
1/2 lb carrots (chopped)
1 12oz bag sugar snap peas
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat olive oil in skillet on low/medium heat. Sauté onions for 2 min. until soft. Add garlic. Stir 2 min. Add chopped vegetables, ginger, bouillon, soy sauce, salt, pepper, water, & brown sugar. Stir occasionally. In separate bowl melt butter then add flour, mix until pasty. Stir butter/flour mixture with vegetables to thicken sauce. Continue stirring until vegetables are your desired texture.

*If sauce is too thick, add more soy sauce or water (to taste)
*Next time I will make more sauce to pour over rice

Monday, March 19, 2012

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles.  A classic & tasty cookie that doesn't get enough credit and is often forgotten.

I haven't made many snickerdoodles in my life, but this recipe was good enough that I will never look for a different one.

I got this recipe HERE


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
  3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.  
**The only change I made was to use all butter (no shortening).   

TIWIK BIBAM: Old Milk

3. No matter how OCD your husband is about cleaning...your house will smell like old milk. Or more like your nose will be permanently saturated with the smell. Yesterday I made a smoothie and while I was drinking it thought..."This smells like Cedar's diapers". I proceeded to bring some to Kade who quickly asked, "Why does it smell like poop?" I pretended I did not know what he was talking about. Today I let a burp come out the other end and Kade sighed, "Cedar I just changed you." I fessed up that it was me and we both admitted our amazement that we, as a family, smell like digested breast milk.  It doesn't help that Cedar spits up like a maniac and so our bed, couches, pillows, carpet, blankets, and chairs have a nice shiny new coat of spit up applied regularly.  And no candles don't help. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pork Chops

I found this recipe in some book a while back...I guess they are called recipe books?
The whole idea sounds prehistoric to me =) 

Anyway, this recipe is one of my top 5 favorites.  It's really quick and easy to make and the outcome is restaurant quality pork chops.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 garlic clove, mined
1/2 t ground ginger
1 tsp black pepper
2 pork tenderloins (about 3/4 pound each)

Directions:
In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, olive oil, orange juice, garlic, ginger, and pepper.  Add the pork, cover, and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 8 hours (or overnight).  Preheat the broiler. Place the pork on a roasting pan* and broil 15 minutes, 2 to 4 inches from the flame, turning the meat at the halfway point.

*I don't have a roasting pan, so I just put a cookie cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and put the pork on the rack.  Does that make sense?  Hope so.




Babywise

Ohhhh the Babywise books.  We have all heard about them and to be honest I related it to Twilight;  people rave about it so much that you are sick of it before you get a chance to read it.  But just like Twilight, I wanted to see why everyone was making such a big deal about this book.  It helped that I had a crying baby that I wanted to sleep =)

The book is supposed to be a tool to help your baby sleep better and is based off of a schedule of feeding, playing, then sleeping.

I was surprised after reading this that Cedar was already on that schedule, so there wasn't much I could apply.  The one thing I found helpful as a new mom, was the idea that I shouldn't be rocking my baby to sleep every time she went down for a nap or down for the night.  Both Kade and I had been rocking her to sleep and then slowly, as if carrying a bomb, would lay her down in her crib.  Then we would wait breathlessly to see if we set the bomb off or not.  Sometimes we would be successful...and sometimes the bomb would explode and we would pick her up and start all over again.  This was controlling my life and taking so much of my time.

Babywise taught me that I need to let my baby learn to self-soothe and that in doing so, I was really helping them to sleep better.  I could see the logic behind it, but I wasn't going to be the heartless mom who let their baby "cry it out"...or so I thought.

After weeks of spending 45 minutes rocking Cedar to sleep, I decided to give the "cry out" method a try, telling myself I would only let her cry for a couple minutes the first day and then pick her up and maybe try a little longer the next time.  To my surprise though, she fell asleep that first time after only crying for like 5 minutes!  SHE WAS SLEEPING!  I was thrilled and had so much more time to do what I wanted.  Did it work continually after that?  No...there definitely have been times where I have needed to rock her or when she cries for a while longer, but now I can say she pretty frequently goes to sleep on her own...NO CRYING!

I don't just swaddle her up and put her in her crib...I rock with her for a couple minutes to let her body relax and to just enjoy some cuddle time.  Then before she is even close to falling asleep, I put her in her crib.

Hello more time!  Hello life back!  Hello sleeping baby! 

Was this book the answer to all my questions?  No.
Did I agree with everything in it? No.
Did it give me some helpful ideas? Yes.

So I recommend it to new moms and I suggest you take from it what will work for you and be FLEXIBLE.  Following it exactly I've heard can cause problems (not feeding your baby because it's not "time", trying to make your baby sleep when they aren't tired...etc.)

TIWIK BIBAM: Diapers

4. When people say you will need a lot of diapers, the first time pregnant woman is thinking like 4 or 5 a day...because I personally only need one pair of underwear a day...so comparatively 4 or 5 seems like "a lot".  Would have been nice to know that my life's savings were going to go towards diapers.  AT LEAST 10 diapers a day...and that's if I let her sit in it for a little sometimes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Black Bean & Couscous Salad

Months ago I convinced myself to branch out and buy some couscous...and then it sat in my cupboard until recently when I needed to make something quick and didn't have time to go to the store.  I searched my cupboards and found the couscous hiding in the back all neglected and unappreciated.  I decided to give it a try and turned to my trusty allrecipes.com for help.  Like always I was able to find a highly rated recipe that was simple and used ingredients I happened to already have.

It was actually good!  I would recommend doubling the sauce (but not the oil) because it was a little bland and I ended up having to add some seasonings to give it some flavor.

I will be making this recipe again for sure.  Kade, who doesn't like to branch out in the grain department, even liked it.  The best part is that it's healthy and adds a little variety to the weekly meal plan.  The only thing I wasn't sure about was whether or not to serve it hot or cold.  So we ate it at room temperature =)

*Clearly you can tell I didn't use any green onions or cilantro, but that's only because I didn't have any.  Would have definitely added to the flavor. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained & RINSED
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 2 quart or larger sauce pan and stir in the couscous. Cover the pot and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar and cumin. Add green onions, red pepper, cilantro, corn and beans and toss to coat.
  3. Fluff the couscous well, breaking up any chunks. Add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.

TIWIK BIBAM: Crying Spells

2. Babies can cry so hard they stop breathing and turn blue. No big deal right? It is called a crying spell. An easy solution is just blow hard in their face. Would have liked to know that before I about had a heart attack. Would it kill the hospital nurses to throw that little nugget of information in before discharging new moms?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

T.I.W.I.K. - B.I.B.A.M

I have decided to start a new series of posts along with my recipes and book recommendations. I have titled these additions T.I.W.I.K. - B.I.B.A.M's (tih-whik bib-ums) which stands for "Things I wish I knew before I became a mom". I find that since Cedar arrived, I am continually thinking to myself, "Well that would have been nice to know". So I feel it is my womanly duty to share my T.I.W.I.K. - B.I.B.A.M's with the pregnant population.

 1. Labor can actually last more than 24 hours. My doctor made it seem like 24 was rare and uncommonly long. Would have liked to have known a 60 hour labor was a possibility.


(I will post more as I learn them and please share any that you have learned!)

The Best of Me

The Best of Me was just what a Nicholas Sparks book should be...simple, romantic, cheesy, predictable, but addicting. 



Peace Like a River

I'm not usually one for small town drama books, but this one had something that kept me hooked.  One of the main characters, Jeremiah, is an amazing man and his continued faith in God throughout the book was mesmerizing to me.  The book is narrated from the perspective of his son, Reuben, and tells of the many trials that take place in his family.  All of the characters in the book are really interesting and the author did a great job capturing some of the best qualities I believe to be in existence in the human race.  The ending was not really what I expected, but I enjoyed the little twist. 


Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who doesn't mind being patient with books that may get slow for a little, but are worth it in the end.


Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

Shout out to Lauren Besich for sharing this bomb.com (I'm bringing that back) recipe.  Yes, maybe at first I was bitter that she did not share it sooner, but after mopping up every last drop of teriyaki sauce from my plate...she was forgiven. 



For the Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot oil (I omitted this because I don't like hot things and it was still so good)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients, except olive oil,  in a bowl. Mix well. Form into about 20 meatballs.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 6 minutes, they will finish cooking in the sauce. Depending on the size of your pan you made need to do this in batches.
For the sauce:
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup teriyaki marinade (I like Veri Veri Teriyaki because it has sesame seeds in it)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon siracha sauce (optional) - I didn't use this
  1. Combine in a bowl.
  2. Once the meatballs have browned, return all of them to the pan. Pour sauce over and gently stir to coat. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
I served these over basmati rice or spaghetti noodles (would be good with Asian style noodles). 

Thank you Life's Ambrosia for this recipe!

I'm Back!

It has happened folks...now that Cedar is 3 months...the moment I have been waiting for has finally arrived.  I am actually BORED!  Laundry (check). Dishes (check). Cedar sleeping (check). I'm not in my pajamas anymore (check). And it's only 9am =) 

I have reading and cooking, just not blogging...so let the literary deliciousness begin!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies



I have to thank Kristen my amazing sister-in-law for making these cookies for me and then sharing the recipe because I HAD to have it.  These cookies are so dang good!  And yes I made these myself 2 days later...I needed them again that badly.  My husband even said they are his new favorite cookies, so that's saying something. 

If you don't like Andes mints...well snooze you loose because that's what make these awesome.




Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (4.5 ounce) packages chocolate covered thin mints (*I just bought 2 and split each one in half)




In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, butter and water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips until melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.



Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets (only need to be greased before baking the first batch). Roll cookie dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.



Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, be careful not to overbake. When cookies come out of the oven, Press one mint wafer into the top of each cookie and let sit for 1 minute. When the mint is softened, swirl with the back of a spoon or toothpick to make a pattern with the green filling of the mint wafer.

I followed these instructions exactly, baking my cookies for 8.5 minutes and they turned out perfectly!  I let my cookies cool on a paper towel and stored them in a tupperware to keep them soft.  YUM!