Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kitchen Adventures

I am very blessed to be married to a chef. I am not a domestic goddess when it comes to anything kitchen related - I usually leave the cooking to Dave. However, the holidays had me in the kitchen attempting some new recipes.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
I got this recipe from our friend Rachael.

For this recipe you will need:
2 packages of softened cream cheese
2-3 poached chicken breasts
1 bottle buffalo sauce
blue cheese crumbles
shredded cheddar cheese

Spread the softened cream cheese in the bottom of the baking dish.
Tear the poached chicken into small pieces and spread evenly on top of the cream cheese.
Cover the whole thing in buffalo sauce.
Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles on top of the chicken.
Cover with the shredded cheese.
Bake in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted.
Top with green onions.
Serve with Tostitos scoops or another chip.

Super easy but this was a flop for us. I could not find gluten free buffalo sauce so I picked up a wing sauce. The sauce was WAY too peppery. It had good taste but no one wanted to eat more than a chip or two since it has such a strong black pepper kick. I also left off the blue cheese (again, not gluten free).However, poaching chicken is much easier than I anticipated. I will be trying this again once I can find a better wing sauce.
Chocolate Candy Cane Snowflakes
If you have left over candy canes try this recipe. They are sooo yummy!
I got this recipe from Gluten Free Girl. Her pictures are much better than mine!

For this recipe you will need:
2 1/2 cups rice krispies (I used a gluten free chocolate rice crisp cereal)
6 candy canes, crushed into small pieces
1 cup chopped nuts
22 ounces white chocolate chips

Crush the candy canes. I found it best to put them in a large ziplock and wrap with a towel before smashing with a mallet.
Melt the white chocolate until smooth. I do not have a double boiler so I just put the chips in a large bowl over a pot of boiling water and stirred with a rubber spatula until smooth.
Mix together the rice krispies, candy canes, and nuts until well combined. I just shook them around in a ziplock so I would not have to dirty another dish.
Working quickly pour the rice krispy mixture into the melted chocolate and stir until well coated.
Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie tray.
Place the tray in the fridge for about a half hour.
Once hardened the cookies can be stored in a sealed container. We keep ours in the fridge.

I left out the nuts since I did not have any in the house. Next time I make them I will choose a different cereal. The chocolate cripsy cereal I chose is very dense and that makes the cookies very hard to bite into. They taste amazing and I have been snacking on them constantly!

Andes Cookies
I hear these are amazing, but I have yet to try them in a cookie form. I am trying to adapt them to be gluten free and the first attempt did not work out.
I got this picture from Tablespoon and the recipe there is a little different from the one below. I just needed a picture :).
For this recipe you will need:
1 box devils food cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 package Andes mints
Combine the cake mix, eggs, and oil. The batter will be very thick. Place teaspoon-sized balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Take the cookies out and flatten them gently with the back of a spoon. Place an Andes Mint on top of each cookie and allow to melt. Spread the mint around with the spoon. Allow to cool.
I followed the recipe above and it was too much oil. The taste is amazing, but the cookies are too soft. I have been using the cookies as a delicious addition to vanilla ice cream. They have made for amazing sundaes. I will be trying this one again.
What recipe should I try out next?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I love IKEA! I also love that my husband has enough patience to assemble their furniture. I would not get very far.
We went to IKEA this week in hopes of finding a dresser for the nursery that could also double as a changing table. We did not end up finding a dresser while there (or at the five other stores we visited) but we did get a few fun items.
Our sliding glass doors needed some decoration and these curtains are perfect!
They just need to be hemmed so that they do not puddle on the floor so much.
New hangers for the coat closet.
Dave got these fun magazine files for his cooking magazines.
In addition to this fun striped pattern he got green, black, and white.
They are MUCH better to look at than stacks of magazines on the shelf.
We did end up finding a dresser that is very similar to the overpriced one that we originally fell in love with. I discovered the website Wayfair and they had a combo dresser that we love. We ordered it (and found a 10% off coupon on RetailMeNot). I can't wait for it to arrive and get assembled. We are on our way to having a nursery!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Baby H. Week 29

Eleven weeks left!

Size: Baby H. weighs 2.5 pounds - about the size of a butternut squash and is about 15 inches long from head to heel.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Wednesday's official weigh-in 24 pounds (a loss of two pounds). The doctor was not concerned due to my overall weight gain still being in the acceptable range. It does have me eating more.

Maternity Clothes: Yes! But this week when I was home I hung out in the few pair of pjs I have that still fit. Most of the pants I purchased are dress pants, which is not what I want to wear when I am relaxing at home or out running errands.

Cravings: I am eating more dairy and sweets than usual, but no real cravings.

Symptoms: I have been feeling a little uncomfortable from the extra weight in the belly, but it has been nice to be home and taking it easy. The most discomfort is in my "pelvic junction" - Dave's term to describe the region I am referring to. The veins are not great in that area and the pressure from the baby makes it feel a little sore. Again, the doctor said it is normal to have discomfort there and just to take it easy, especially when standing up.

Movement: Yes! The baby is poking all around in there. I think the baby is a little confused with me being away from school. Usually the little one is very active in the evening but this week was active all throughout the day.

Sleep: Overall good at night. I just wish I could sleep in. I don't seem to wake to use the bathroom until somewhere in the 4 o'clock hour and then I can't seem to get back to sleep.

Moments of the Week: Our doctor visit. It was great to hear the heartbeat. Initially the heart was beating at 164 beats per minute and then it dropped down to 137 beats per minute. The doctor said that I was measuring at 27 weeks.

What I Miss: With the holiday I am missing alcohol again. I am adding a strawberry basil mimosa and lemon drops to my post-baby drink list.

What I'm Looking Forward to: Time off this week. I do not have anything major planned, but it is nice to have time off from school to take it easy. Maybe I will actually make some progress on the closet in the nursery!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

Dave and I played with the self timer on our camera today. After about 25 pictures we got our first family portrait with the baby.

This morning we woke up and opened our presents. We do not exchange big gifts. Dave gets a bottle of tequila from me and I get a teapot from him. Other than that we just do fun stocking stuffers.

Besides matching pajamas another tradition we have is to go to the movies on Christmas night. This year we saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie. It was not as good as the first one, but the cinematography was pretty amazing.

I hope Santa treated you well. We have to wait until March to get our bext present this year, but I think it is worth the wait!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

The picture of Hunter was taken at Doggie Day Care. Just wish he looked happier about it!
Our house is filled with the aroma of a delicious meal in the works. At 2:30 this morning when our smoke alarm was going off I was wishing that Santa would bring a new hood for the stove. And as I type this our house is full of smoke again. :/ Dave forgets that our home vent does not compare to the hoods in the kitchens at the restaurant.

I am looking forward to this afternoon when our company arrives. Hope that you are able to spend some time with the ones you love!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baby H. Week 28

The Third Trimester

Size: Baby H. is the size of a chinese cabbage (have you ever seen one of these?!) and weighs about 2.25 pounds. The little one measures at 14.8 inches from head to heel.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Home scale - 26 pounds. Official weigh in at the doctors today.

Maternity Clothes: My gap maternity pants arrived and they fit - yay! Now I just need to get a few more shirts to give my limited wardrobe some variety.

Cravings: None - I am excited for holiday treats and Dave's cooking! I have decided to postpone my baking until after my doctor's appointment. I have my glucose test and there is no sense baking a bunch of treats that will add unnecessary sugar to my diet. After the glucose test (if all goes well) I will not feel guilty about the extra sweets.

Symptoms: I think it is possible that I pulled a muscle in my abdomen this week. Definitely uncomfortable. I have been doing really good about lifting things, but I picked up a bag that I guess was a bit heavier than I should have. I put a call in to the doctor and they told me some other things to look for. No other symptoms have appeared - just uncomfortable.

Movement: Definitely moving and grooving happening in there. It is my favorite evening distraction to watch my belly move all over the place.

Sleep: Not great this week, but not awful either. I was definitely feeling more tired this week.

Moments of the Week: I have gotten such a kick out of watching the belly move when I am relaxing. It is the neatest thing! I also like that I can tell which side the baby is on even if the little one is not moving around. Dave was able to feel the hiccups this week. He seems to miss out on the really good movement, but got to feel some significant thumps and bumps.

What I Miss: Lifting things! It is funny what you take for granted. I thought I was doing a really good job, but Monday proved me wrong (see above).

What I'm Looking Forward to: Winter break, our doctor's appointment, and CHRISTMAS of course. I can't wait to spend time with Dave (work has been very hectic for him) and our NC "family".

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My First Post...

Within the past year I discovered the wonderful world of blogging. When we found out we were pregnant my first thought was to start a blog to keep everyone in the loop about what was happening during the pregnancy. Now that I am in the third trimester I am finally starting my own blog. (I did send out email updates, but just found the time to get a blog up and running). I look forward to sharing what is happening with you!