Thursday, March 19, 2009


This pretty much sums up the cravings of this pregnant lady =)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, I'm super excited! This is our traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner. I usually serve it with soda bread as well . . . this year I'm trying a new potato recipe called Colcannon, which is essentially mashed potatoes with cabbage and leeks. I just can't wait!

Like many Americans, Greg and I are European mutts; but I do claim my little sliver of Irish heritage (my grandfather's grandfather was born in Ireland) on March 17th =)

Servings: 6
Start to finish: 10 hours

1 Corned beef brisket, as large as your crockpot will allow
2 liters 7-Up®
1 pinch seasoned salt
1 pinch sugar

Put the beef in crock pot and pour 7-Up over it to almost cover the beef. Cook all day on low (about 10 hours).

Cut cabbage into wedges and place in crock pot approximately 2-3 hours before you plan to eat (when beef has been cooking 7-8 hours), sprinkle with seasoned salt and sugar. Continue to cook on low for remaining 2-3 hours

Slice beef and serve with cabbage on the side.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

21 Weeks

From What To Expect: At about seven inches in length and almost 11 ounces in weight, your baby is about the size of a large banana. There's still a great deal of room in your womb — though your tenant will soon begin to feel cramped, so be prepared!
At about seven inches in length and almost 11 ounces in weight, your baby is about the size of a large banana.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sausage, Pepper and Onion Sandwiches

This is another no-dairy required recipe that we've tried and fallen in love with! It is so super simple to make and so delicious. We had c0mpany over on Sunday and the sausage in particular was a hit. (The picture isn't mine, I had to find one online b/c we demolished the sandwiches before I remembered that I hadn't taken a picture yet!)

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced (I used green bell peppers, less lovely, but cheaper . . . )
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 4 to 6 fresh Italian sandwich rolls, optional

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain.

Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the Marsala wine, tomatoes, and chili flakes, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer.

Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each, about 1-inch cubes. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes. (If you realize mid recipe, like I did, that you're out of tomato paste, pull out a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid and dissolve a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch into and add it back, it worked wonderfully.)

Serve in bowls. Or, if serving as a sandwich, split the rolls in half lengthwise (I cut the rolls 1/2 way through only, like a hotdog bun would be, and it made for a less messy eating experience) . Hollow out the bread from the bottom side of each roll, being careful not to puncture the crust. Fill the bottom half of the roll with sausage mixture. Top and serve sandwiches immediately.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ultrasound, part 2

**Edit** we uploaded the video to youtube b/c we were exceeding our bandwidth for the simple blogger video upload. If you still have problems viewing it, please let me know!

We went out to eat with my parents, and Nate and Kristie then came back to our house for dessert and Michelle joined us there . . . we were also able to get Greg's parents and Allie on speaker phone for the "big reveal"

BTW . . . if you couldn't tell from the video . . . we're ecstatic!

(And Leah knew all along . . . )

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ultrasound, part 1

Here are some pictures from our appointment this morning!

We had the technician put the picture of the gender shot in an envelope which we will open tonight at dinner with our family (minus Allie, who is at school, and Steve and Carol, who are in Hawaii . . .). I am like a little kid on Christmas Eve!

It was such a blessing and relief to hear that little Pinto is right on track for development and weight gain as well as to see all the anatomy that they measure and check for certain defects come back clear. The most amazing part of our session was to see the 4 chambers of the heart beating right along. We have an awesome God!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Another Biltmore Post

I do apologize if you've seen just about enough of the Biltmore by now . . . =) It is our destination spot of choice this year. Biltmore is the new Charleston, if you will.

We had a wonderful time, again, with our friends Dustin and Mary Benton this past Saturday at Biltmore Estate. The weather couldn't have been more perfect and we spent most of our time there outside. They generously treated us to a tour of the rooftops (thanks, again!!) and we thoroughly enjoyed that. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable not only about the architecture of the rooftops, but all sorts of other Biltmore and Vanderbilt family history.

We passed around the camera quite a bit and ended up taking 185 pictures (a lot better than my usual 4), so it may seem like I've got a ton of pictures up here, but it's only a small sample =) (Most of the photo credits go to Mary and Greg)

We started off the day with lunch and tour of the winery . . .

While in line for ice cream (finally a warm enough day for Greg to get his chocolate cone!) we ran into these guys . . . it was quite a surprise and so much fun to keep crossing paths with them all afternoon =)

We walked through some of the side gardens before our rooftop tour . . . I really can't get over how perfect the weather was . . . 70 degrees and sunny all day!
Out on the roofs

If you enlarge this photo and look between the columns, you'll notice an entrapped gargoyle.

The boys had a lot of fun with the fish . . . taunting them with rocks as if it were food, trying to get them to bite their fingers, catching tadpoles, etc. We're pretty lucky they didn't fally in at any point =)

Friday, March 6, 2009

20 Weeks . . . 1/2 way!!

I don't think I look quite this big in real life, but we were in the middle of making dinner and snapped this picture really quickly . . . but I am getting bigger!

From What To Expect: You've got a heavyweight in your belly now (well, in baby terms, anyway). Your little champ weighs about ten ounces and has a height, crown to rump, of about six and a half inches. Think of your developing baby as the size of a small cantaloupe (and probably as sweet too). Boy or Girl? You'll also be able to see your baby's gender in the ultrasound by now!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Please, won't you be my neighbor?

Greg and I will be first to admit we're not the best neighbors you'll ever have in your life. I've sadly never brought baked goods to someone moving in (though I'm bound and determined to be that lady someday!) and it might take us several weeks to introduce ourselves.

But we are certainly not the worst neighbors you'll have either. We don't accumulate piles of yard sale treasures on our front porch. We don't have old cars sitting in our grass. We don't have a cement figure garden in our yard. And we do our best not to yell at each other in the midst of heated arguments while in our pajamas and bathrobes in the front yard before dawn. We might even let you borrow an egg or a cup of sugar if you ask.

Despite those qualities, we seem to have run off both of our next door neighbors within one month of each other. It makes us look quite pitiful to have realtor signs on either side of us. So, to any of you future neighbors, we'll try our best to step it up a notch.

And here's some free advertising for the leasing agent and Realtor:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I miss . . .

Today I was hungry while at work and my purse/personal convenience store was empty of snacks . . . so I walked across the parking lot to the grocery store. The sushi counter cried my name. Oh, sushi, oh I miss you.

I ended up getting a california roll (no raw fish to upset the baby) and it was ok, a little bland, but ok. I am now officially counting down the days until I can have the real stuff again.

And arranging for Michelle to bring me Rusan's in the delivery room.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Turkey Meatballs

**Edit**: I removed the picture of the meatballs because, as my mom kindly pointed out, they don't look as pretty as they taste. Especially not on my less than beautiful cookie sheets. I should have gotten a picture with them on the pasta and sauce. Please, if you initially shied away b/c they looked less than appetizing, give them a chance!

About 2 months into this pregnancy I realized that dairy products were making me really sick. I've never had an intolerance to dairy before and my diet consisted of as much cheese and milk I could let my health conscious self eat. I now eat no dairy if I can possibly help it. Milk baked into things doesn't seem to be a huge problem . . . but gone (temporarily, I hope) are the days of cheese covered pastas =(

This change in my eating has forced me to dig a little for new recipes that I can eat and I've found a few that we've really enjoyed, turkey meatballs being one of them. My friend, Eileen, made these for a dinner one night and I couldn't wait to try them out on my own!

Turkey Meatballs
Makes 4 doz 1 1/2 to 2 inch meatballs

2 lbs ground turkey
1/4 loaf of italian bread
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Tear the bread into small pieces, place in a bowl and let soak in milk for about 30-45 min.

Drain the remaining milk from the bowl and add the remaining ingredients, seasoning with thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Form into meatballs. Bake at 350 for about 20 min or until the turkey is cooked through.

Serve over pasta with sauce.

I actually made these meatballs a few weeks ahead of time and froze them. They turned out great, I just placed them on the baking sheet still frozen and baked for 30-4o min at 350.

Monday, March 2, 2009

And this time it actually covered the grass . . .

Yesterday afternoon I predicted that the predicted 3-6 inches of snow we were supposed to get overnight would be a disappointment and we'd actually get the 1/4 to 1/2" that we've got the last couple times.

I was wrong.

By the time we left our friend's, the Bentons, house at 8:30 last night, we already had about 2 inches and this is what we awoke to this morning. How beautiful.

Greg, being the Pennsylvania boy that he is, drove into work right on time. (But not before he shoveled the driveway and scraped down both of our cars . . . I'm a blessed woman!) I doubt we'll ever get much cold weather down here that's would make him stay home from work. Oh well. Spartacus and I took a quick walk and may make it out again this afternoon before all the snow turns into one gigantic sheet of ice =)

And just a little PSA reminder . . . don't eat the yellow snow . . .