Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
She came into our lives Tuesday morning, December 7th with a full set of lungs and personality to boot! It is so fun getting to know who this little person is. So far we have been lucky with a pretty good baby, but when she is ready to eat....she is READY to eat! Other than that she is pretty content, which makes mama and daddy pretty happy!
Here are a few pictures of our sweet little girl:
We are home!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
My dr. told us her head was fully engaged and I was about a fingertip dilated. She will probably be a small baby too....somewhere right around the 6 pound mark I am guessing. Good thing I have some super cute newborn clothes for her to wear!
I am so looking forward to my maternity leave and meeting sweet Lucy! As Pat and I were going to bed last night I looked at him and said, "Oh my goodness...next week at this time we will have a baby!" I am exciting and nervous all at once.
This weekend we plan on just taking it easy and enjoying time together. Her room is ready to go and the bags are (mostly) packed. We will try to spend a lot of time with Roxy too. Not sure how she will handle her new little "sister" but I think in time she will LOVE her!
And once again...no pictures! I am so sorry! But I promise I will get better at that, especially once Lil' Miss gets here!
So....the next time I post I will probably be introducing our sweet little girl! Can't wait!!!
Friday, November 12, 2010
And then came the pregnancy roller coaster for the next, oh, 8 months! First they thought I was having an ectopic pregnancy, then that got cleared up. Then there were a few more scares here and there throughout the pregnancy including a fun trip to Labor and Delivery at 25 weeks! But thankfully everything has always turned out perfectly!
And now, our little bean is about 5 pounds and just about fully cooked!
I have been pretty tired again most evenings and so I come home and nap or lie on the couch for awhile. I am waiting for our final shower this weekend before I really start organizing the baby room....and because it seems like such a daunting task. I am not a very organized person to begin with....then add it all these teeny, tiny baby clothes and I am lost.
I actually spent my lunch break googling how to fold and organize baby clothes.
The last few weeks have been a mix of utter excitement and bittersweet moments. I keep looking at my wonderful husband knowing that very soon it will no longer be just the two of us. At night while we watch TV I think to myself how different everything will be in a matter of a few mere weeks. It almost makes me want to tear up a bit. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that Little Miss will be here and I know we will love her more than anything....but it's just knowing that this stage of our lives is coming to an end very, very soon.
We have another Dr. appointment set for November 22nd where we will hopefully schedule my c-section. That was a very difficult decision to make, but due to my previous surgeries, Pat and I felt that was the safest route to go for delivery. I'm not thrilled about having another surgery, but as Pat puts it, that is just temporary and my health that we are preserving is long term. So...c-section it is. I can't wait for our next appointment as I am anxious to know if I am making any progress towards going into labor and also to know when we will meet our little girl!!
She did give Pat quite a show the other night wiggling and moving away in my tummy! Pat kept calling her a Wiggle Worm and his eyes kept bugging out of his head at how much she was moving. I know I will miss feeling her movements inside me all day long once she is here. She is my constant buddy, always hanging out with me and encouraging me to eat lots of chocolate and ice cream!
Anyways, as you may have guessed, my cooking habits have slowed down considerably. I don't even have a picture to include in this blog as I left my flash drive at home, but soon I will update with a beautiful picture my mom took this past week of my baby belly and me!
So, while there may not be many recipes in the next few weeks/months, there will be plenty of baby updates...if that is the sort of thing you are into! :)
Thursday, November 4, 2010
For the shower on my mom's side, we had a bakery in town make the cookies....seriously...how cute are these?!?!
Here is a picture of my wonderful mamma and me!!
The whole gang!
All of the wonderful gifts for our wonderful little girl!!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Last Bite: Super easy and super fast. Feel free to experiment with these as well...I am sure there are some great flavor combos out there! Enjoy!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I am sorry I don't have a recent belly pic to share either (they are on Pat's camera which I don't have with me at the moment) but rest assured...it's getting bigger! We did put the crib together this past week and here is a picture! It's crazy how our home is already getting ready for the baby. She is now kicking and punching up a storm too which I love! What an amazing feeling!
Things with our little puppy Roxy are going great too...although she is more like a toddler now than anything. She has endless energy and must sniff and put everything into her mouth! But she is such a joy and makes us laugh each and every day.
Here is one of her latest antics....she likes to climb into the shower! I snapped this picture real quick before she hopped in with Pat. Yes, she is a true water dog!
1 cup fresh tomatoes from the garden (or store), chopped
Thursday, July 29, 2010
So this past weekend I made Muffins That Taste Like Donuts! They. Were. Awesome! :) Plus I have been craving a donut for about two solid weeks so I thought this was the slightly (but not by much I'm sure) healthier version. At any rate, Baby Girl Knox and I both loved them so much we ate roughly 4500. Ok, slight exaggeration, but still...Pat really only got about 2. You snooze, you lose man!
At any rate, they were super easy to throw together and make for a great breakfast. Or snack. Or dinner. You get my point!
Muffins that Taste Like Donuts
from Tasty Kitchen
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cups white sugar
1 whole egg
3/4 cups milk
1/4 cups butter
1/3 cups white sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a medium bowl
3. Combine oil, sugar, egg and milk in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients and stir only to combine.
4. Spray muffin tin with vegetable spray and fill 1/2 way full with batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, melt butter in a bowl. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.
6. Once muffins are baked, shake onto counter while still hot. Dip muffins in butter, then into sugar/cinnamon mix. Let cool
Last Bite: Seriously, these were really good. You could taste the nutmeg in the muffin and then the sweet crunchy topping of sugar and butter...mmmm....so good! And hey, if you don't like them (because something is wrong with you, not the muffins) then bring them to me...the baby and I could use a few hundred more!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I was a bit worried that the spicy tenders would be too spicy so I cut back pretty drastically on the cayenne and hot sauce. Do NOT make the same mistake. While they were still really good...they had no spice at all. I will follow the recipe exactly the next time I make these.
Also...I am including a picture of the cute baby girl! We had our 18 week ultrasound yesterday and she looks great! She is measuring right on track and weighing in at a whopping 9 ounces. We got a 3D ultrasound and it is amazing how well you can see your baby! I just love looking at that little face and can't wait to meet her and love on her in December!
Spicy Chicken Tenders with Honey-Mustard Sauce
Giada De Laurentiis
Vegetable cooking spray
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup whole grain mustard
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbs salt, plus extra for seasoning
3 large eggs at room temp
3 Tbs hot sauce
1 cup cornmeal
2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
Olive oil for drizzling
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a heavy baking sheet liberally with cooking spray. Set aside
2. Honey-Mustard: In a small serving bowl, mix together honey and mustard until smooth. Set aside
3. Breading: IN a medium bowl, mix together flower and salt. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and hot sauce. In a third medium bowl, mix together cornmeal, chili powder and cayenne pepper.
4. Dredge the chicken in the flour and then into the egg mixture. Allow any excess egg mixture to drip off and coat the chicken in the cornmeal mixture.
5. Arrange the breaded chicken in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and cooked through, about 15 to 17 minutes.
Last Bite: I will ALWAYS make my own honey-mustard sauce from now on. It was so easy and tasted WONDERFUL!!! Also...I will kick up the spice next time...but still a great meal!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Anyways I thought I would post a few baby bump pictures, including a few taken at the Zac Brown Band concert last night. It was a great time, even though it was 95 degrees out...talk about HOT!!!
Ok...on to the recipe. This is a great little sandwich that is easy to put together and great for a quick summer dinner. I did have to adapt the recipe a bit since it called for Brie cheese. Turns out when you are preggo, there is a huge list of foods not to eat, and Brie cheese is one of them. I substituted with Provolone. But, if you are not currently pregnant...I would think the Brie would be delightful!
Parisian Steak and Cheese Croissant Sandwich
adapted by Giada De Laurentiis
4 (4-ounce) beef fillet steaks
Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
4 slices of Provolone cheese (or 6 ounces Brie, cut into 1/2 inch slices)
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup (about 4 ounces) farred roasted red bell peppers
Stone ground mustard
1. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. In a medium skillt, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Cook the steaks for about 5 minutes each side for medium-rare. Set aside for 5 minutes before slicing. Slices the steak, across the grain, into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Using a serrated knife, slice the croissants in half, lengthwise. In 2 batches, place the croissant halves, cut side down in the skillet and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until lightly toasted. Lay the cheese slices over the toasted croissant halves.
3. Remove the croissants from the skillet. Place about 1/4 cup of spinach on the bottom halves of the croissants. Add the sliced steak. Arrange the red bell pepper on top of the steak. Top with the remaining spinach. Slather on stone ground mustard to the other half of the croissant and then add it to the top of the sandwich. Serve immediatly.
Last Bite: This is a great sandwich that is full of flavor. Feel free to replace the mustard with a different condiment...I just happen to really like the punch of flavor it adds!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
1 box of your favorite cake mix (plus ingredients the mix calls for)
1 can of frosting
2 boxes of bakers chocolate squares
1. Bake cake according to package instructions and let cool completely. (Most times I am too impatient and only let it cool to the point where it doesn't burn my fingers)
2. Crumble cooled (or slightly warm) cake into a big bowl.
3. Add a can a frosting to the cake and work through with your hands (this is messy!!)
4. Once combined, roll the cake into tiny balls and place on a baking sheet. To prevent the cake from sticking to you, keep a small bowl of water handy and wet your hands slightly before rolling the cake.
5. Let the balls chill in the refridgerator for 4-5 hours or in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
6. Melt chocolate squares in a microwave proof bowl, watching to make sure you don't burn your cholcolate.
7. Dip the chilled balls in the melted chocolate using spoons and then remove once coated and place on wax paper to cool.
8. Let sit overnight or until hardened.
9. Die from happiness once you eat them!
Last Bite: These will be a hit no matter where you go. Make sure you save enough for yourself too! Also, I heard that you can freeze these and bring out just a few at a time...if you have that kind of willpower!!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Our sweet dog Hershey had to be put to sleep last weekend and Pat and I are still reeling. She was our best girl, our constant companion and our truest friend. And now, sadly she is gone. We know she is happy and healthy running in Heaven, but we on Earth still miss her very much.
While she was alive, we were in a constant battle of trying to eliminate the dog hair and dog smell from our home and now we find comfort in both. When we come home after work, we breathe in deeply the leftover smell of our Hershey. And there, on my bathroom floor, pieces of her hair that shed everywhere, that I simply can’t bear to clean up yet. Those small pieces we now cling to tightly as if it will somehow bring her back to us.
Hershey had one of the funniest personalities I have ever known in a dog. She was smart and witty. Clever and silly. And while she may not have been the best trained dog as she jumped on anyone who entered our home, she was just so joyous and eager to greet her new guests.
She had a fascination with socks and would literally try to steal them off your feet while you were putting them on. Most times while I would sit on the couch, folding my giant piles of laundry, she would stealthy try to sneak up and delicately snatch a set of folded socks. She would move so quietly and gracefully so as not to alert anyone that there was one less set of socks in my folded pile. Of course I usually did catch her doing such acts, but was often times too amused to do anything about it but laugh as she curled up around her new loot and wagged her tail at me with pride. What a stinker she was.
She also never wanted to be thought of as one of the “girls”. She wanted everyone to know she could hang with the boys, one hundred percent. She helped Pat work in the garage on many projects. She chased the four-wheeler all over Pat’s parent’s property. She loved to help Pat shovel the driveway and sidewalks in the winter and then would egg Pat on until he finally appeased her with a snowball fight. She would growl and bark and chomp at the snow in delight.
As most dogs do, Hershey loved to go for walks. It was asking her if she wanted to go for a walk that was our favorite. We would try to nonchalantly get ready for a walk without saying a word to her but she would be on to us, knowing something was getting ready to happen. Then as causal as possible, one of us would ask her, “Hershey, do you want to go for a walk?” And she would freeze whatever she was doing and whip her head around to look at you and just stare in complete silence as if to say, “You better not be joking about this”. So we would ask her again, “Hersh, wanna go for a walk?” and then she would let loose. She jumped and snorted and twisted her body around in these jumping circles in order to prove her real desire to truly go for a walk.
Death proves to you that life continues to go on. We still get up each morning and shower and go to work. We come home to our very empty house and eat dinner and work on various projects. We shake our heads in amazement that everything can be exactly the same, and yet so entirely and utterly different.
We miss our sweet Hershey and her playfulness, her curiosity, and her heart that was so full of love for us.
We opted to get Hershey cremated as we are not sure we will always be in our current home. What a bizarre thing to look for the perfect urn for your loved one. Even more bizarre since we had never even discussed anything like this before. We just thought we had another five to six years with her. We finally chose, for the time being, a simple wooden box that will contain her remains. We wanted her name engraved on the top. No birth date and certainly no death date. Because to us, Hershey is always alive. She is alive in spirit and she is alive in our hearts. She fills our memories so vibrantly that I can still hear the shake of her ears, her groan as she lay down and her snore as she slept.
Our sweet Hershey will never be forgotten, and will continue to live in our hearts forever. We will love her always.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Yummy finished product!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
This famous quote from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off keeps running through my head on a regular basis. Let me just give you a slight sneak peek into the last few weeks of my life. Two weeks ago we put our house on the market, just to see what would happen, and ended up selling it a week later. As in ONE WEEK LATER!!! Fortunately our buyers still have a house to sell of their own, and are nice, and are letting us stay there for up to six months so we don’t have to move twice.
At any rate, just for you, I dug around my photo archives and found a meal that I made fairly recently to share with you. And it’s super yummy! Vegetable Parmesan. But honestly, if it were up to me, I’d call it Vegetable Lasagna. No, there aren’t any noodles, but the layering affect of the veggies seems eerily similar to that of lasagna. And now I am rambling.
So, would you like the recipe? Here you go, courtesy of the lovely Giada De Laurentiis, who I would really like to be for a day because she just seems that wonderful to me!
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper
1 medium eggplant, cut into ¼ to ½ inch thick slices
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced into ¼ inch thick pieces
2 small yellow squash, sliced into ½ inch thick slices
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thirds
1 orange bell pepper, sliced into thirds
1 (26 ounce) jar marinara sauce
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
I cup plain bread crumbs
1. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray some non-stick spray in a 13 by 9 inch baking dish.
2. Drizzle the eggplant slices, fennel slices, squash slices and peppers with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill veggies for 3 to 4 minutes each side until softened.
3. Spoon ¾ cup of marinara sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange the eggplant slices on top. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange peppers in single layer on top. Spoon ¾ cup marinara sauce over peppers. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. On half of the pan arrange the fennel and the other half arrange the yellow squash. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Scatter bread crumbs over the cheese and drizzle liberally with oil. Bake until the top is golden and forms a crust, about 30 to 35 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Last Bite: Very good veggie dish. Hearty and filling with rich flavors. I will be making this again for sure. Hopefully in a new kitchen…and hopefully soon!
Friday, April 16, 2010
Anyways while I am very excited to be spending a weekend away with the girls I thought I would leave you with a quick recipe. Now, brace yourself, because while this meal does taste very good…it’s full of pretty potent aromas.
So, now that you have been appropriately warned…here we go! A few weeks back I made a delicious pan fried tilapia with mango salsa and to accompany the tasty fish, we had roasted broccoli. The meal was pretty easy to put together and the results were super yummy.
Pat really likes broccoli, and it’s not that I don’t like it, but it’s just not my favorite. This changed everything however. From now on…this is how we will be eating our broccoli at the Knox house.
Pan Fried Tilapia with Mango Salsa
¼ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 egg plus 1 Tbs water
3 tbs olive oil
4-5 tilapia filets
1. Combine flour, pepper and garlic powder in a shallow dish. Whisk egg and water in a separate dish.
2. Dip tilapia in egg mixture then in flour mixture. Shake off excess flour.
3. In a medium skillet heat the oil over medium high heat.
4. Cook tilapia filets for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until nicely browned.
5. Set aside
2 Ripe mangos diced¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped2 jalapenos diced with seeds (if you are brave enough!)1 small red onion diced1-2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes to let the flavors meld.
Adapted from Ina Garten
4 pounds of broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good Olive Oil
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 tbs pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tbs dried basil leaves
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart.
3. Place the broccoli florets on a sheets pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tbs olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some florets are browned.
5. Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 ½ tbs olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan and basil. Serve hot.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
But you know what….I’m really ok with it. I’m not sure why, because I kind of thought it would be a bigger deal for me. But I think everything comes back down to the simple fact, I love birthdays. And I am pretty sure I always will. You get a cake. You get a present. You get your very own special day. And I highly doubt the novelty will ever wear off.
I thought back to one of my favorite movies "13 Going on 30" quite a bit this past week and remembered Jennifer Garner's charachter as a child dreaming of being 30. I guess I think that is kind of funny, since I never dreamed of being 30. 21? Yes! Maybe even 27 or 29 (yes I have an odd love affair with odd-numbered ages). But never 30. And yet, here I am. And truth be told, I think I'm gonna love 30.
And to top it all off….I had a totally fabulous birthday this year! First up, my aunt KK from California sends me an awesome package in the mail. She has heard of my food adventures and so put together a special package. I haven’t yet used the salts yet, but I simply can’t wait to try them out!! She also included some pretty sweet cookbooks, one from the winery she works for, Peju, and another highlighting some of the best restaurants in the San Francisco area.
So after that fun gift, Pat planned a great surprise party for me the weekend before my birthday. I knew something was up but wasn’t sure what. We headed to Acapulco for dinner and there were all our friends to help celebrate my birthday! After dinner we headed back to our place for a few drinks and some cake. My friends Brittany and Brooke were nice enough to get me a cake from my favorite bakery….yes the Meijer Bakery. I LOVE Meijer cakes. In fact, Pat’s and my wedding cake came straight from Meijer. Get the whipped frosting. You won’t regret it!
My mom had a small celebration for me the next day and she cooked up some delicious steaks along with some of her yummy new vegan food. I made a birthday cake to take to her house. People don’t often understand why I make my own cake year after year, but I love to try new things and they often tend to be a little labor intensive, so I like to do it myself rather than ask someone else to do it. The cake was delightful!
1 cup heavy cream
8. Whip Cream:Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of cake being careful of the raspberries. Chill for several hours.
After all that birthday fun, Pat and I planned a trip to Gatlinburg TN for a long weekend. Wow! It was super amazing! We had the best time ever! Our cabin was beautiful. The hiking was great and the weather, well…it finally cooperated with us. But we made the best of it and had a great time.
Pat and I hiking the first day....it was a little rainy and chilly but still got to see a great waterfall!
The next day was a lot nicer...and we found this beautiful waterfall!
Pat down by a great stream!
There was a lake near our cabin which we were told we could fish in, no licence or anything.....anyone want to come over for a fish fry?!? Gross me out the door!