Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spotlight on Morgan

Babies grow up so fast! So as Morgan is approaching 5 months I thought I should post what she has been up to.
♥ She rolled from her back to her tummy for the first time on Sunday(4/27)
♥ One of her favorite things to do are holding her feet. She doesn't put them in her mouth yet. I think that her chub might be hindering them getting to her mouth.
♥ She loves to imitate people that stick their tongue out at her
♥ She can blow raspberries with her tongue sticking out. Something I personally find very difficult.
♥ She has the cutest little giggle
♥ She doesn't take a pacifier but she loves to chew her blanket and recently has started sucking her thumb. (As seen in the photo below)
♥ She was 18 lbs 3 ounces and 27 inches long at her 4 month check up. Whoa!
♥ She is wearing mostly 6-9 month clothes with some 3-6 month clothes thrown in.
♥ She still has cradle cap and the poor girl's lip is split and re-splits just about every morning from getting dried out over night.
♥ Her hair is still mostly peach fuzz, but it looks like it is coming in brown.
♥ She still sleeps swaddled and we don't know how to get her to stop.
♥ She falls asleep on her own in her crib, so that's why we don't mind she is swaddled. :)
♥ She doesn't sleep through the night yet, but sometimes she'll go 6-8 hours. There is hope!
♥ She is crying right now and needs to get up from her nap!
♥ She is our happy baby girl and we LOVE her!

We've got the crud :(

Ugh, Joshua and I are sick. I spent most of yesterday curled up in the fetal position/sleeping. I have a serious aversion to vomiting, so I will do whatever it takes not to. Today I'm feeling a bit better than yesterday.
Poor Joshua threw up sometime in the night, but didn't start crying or otherwise let us know. This morning when he woke up I was in for quite a mess. When you aren't feeling well, cleaning up someone else's sick can be quite a task.
Motherhood is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.
I don't think I would have survived if my Mom didn't take care of us yesterday during the day and Ryan handled the kids in the evening so I could hibernate.
Hopefully we will keep getting better and Ryan and Morgan will stay healthy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Monkeying around

The cake is oven for my cake decorating class tonight!! Yippee!

As for the zoo yesterday, it was such a fun time. My friend, Suzie, is a saint. She has two boys, babysitting a 7 month old, and is 8 months pregnant. She handled it all very well including flat tires on her stroller, her 2 year old "watering" the asphalt, and having to buy water at the zoo{highway robbery}.
I took a few pictures, but we stayed pretty busy wrangling all the little ones.

Hopefully our zoo guests had a good time too!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Our week

This week is a busy busy one. Here is what is going on:
Monday - Laundry day, bought a Bumbo on Craigslist(more on that later)
Tuesday - Work at Instant Imprints doing a lot of engraving. I'm currently on a break before I go back to work some more.
Wednesday - Go to the zoo! Should be fun and hot!
Thursday - Visiting Teachers are coming. Cake Decorating class in the evening
Friday - Either engrave some more, gather items for the community yard sale, or collapse with exhaustion.

Things I need to do but haven't worked in yet...
- Clean up a bit for visiting teachers. They are bringing their kids, so it's really more like a playdate.
- Make a cake to decorate at the cake decorating class. Well clearly that has to happen before Thursday evening.

Well, it's time to go back to work, so I guess I'll call it good. Hopefully I'll get some more time later to finish.

Recipe Exchange

Last week our ward did a recipe exchange and it was so much fun. I volunteered to create a blog so that we could post all the recipes we collect and share them with the people that couldn't make it.
From now on the South Mountain Recipe Exchange will have a link on the right hand side of the page, but I will also include the link here: http://SoMtnRecipeExchange.blogspot.com

We didn't really have a theme for the first meeting, but next month's theme is meals that you can prepare, freeze, and then cook. I think this is meant to take it a step beyond freezing leftovers. I haven't had much experience cooking that way, so I'm already racking my brain for a good idea.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oreo Truffles - Oh no, you didn't!

My friend Jen posted a link to a website called Bakerella and I am so grateful that she did. Bakerella has some awesome recipes and ideas. She didn't come up with these Oreo truffles, but I had never had them before. They are so good! Doesn't hurt that Oreos are possibly one of my favorite treats ever. Anyways, don't let their humble appearance fool you, they are fabulous! The next time around I will double dip the balls in the chocolate. I think that will make them prettier. My SIL, Tiffany, helped me with these and we all brainstormed rolling them in the cookie crumbs, then drizzling white chocolate over the top. Talk about a double whammy!

Well here is a link to the specific recipe: http://bakerella.blogspot.com/2008/01/grocery-item-turns-gourmet.html

Maybe I'll have to ask my Dad for a lesson on photographing food. I'd love to do some awesome recipe photos.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Say No to Crack!

Every time I am holding Morgan and she gets to leaning forward, you can see her cute little butt crack. It may be a sign that these diapers just aren't going to hold for much longer. You can understand better why we take off running anytime we think she might have done her business. I thought I should also include a pic of her equally cute front side.

She had her 4 month check-up and she was 18 lbs 3 ounces and 27 inches long. That's above the 97 percentile for those of you keeping score at home. She's a BIG old bundle of cuteness!!

{I was pretty sure I hadn't fulfilled my motherly quota of embarrassing photos, so here we are}

Satisfied tasters

I don't take pictures of my food, but I do have some pictures of my satisfied eaters. I decided to make some yummy Spanish rice{recipe to follow} to go with the enchiladas. Joshua had enchiladas in one bowl and rice in the other. He had two bowls, so he demanded two spoons. Cute pictures ensued. He would scoop food into both spoons and hold them both up facing his mouth. Then he'd eat the food of of one and then the other. He got a little camera shy, so we don't have any quite like that. In reference to his bib, I don't think I'd kiss that face before it got WASHED!

Monday, April 14, 2008

What's for dinner

I seem to be on quite the recipe kick as of late. So I thought I'd post what I'm cooking for dinner tonight. This is my Mother-in-law's recipe for Cheese Enchiladas in red sauce.

6 Tbsp oil
7 Tbsp flour
4 cups water
4 cups tomato juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp taco seasoning

Sauce recipe from above
White Corn tortillas
Shredded cheese - (Mexican blend works well)

Mix oil and flour with a whisk in a saucepan. Add a small amount of water so the mixture is smooth. Heat on high until hot then turn down to medium. Whisk in remainder of water and tomato juice. Add salt, sugar, chili powder, and taco seasoning. After sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, turn down to a simmer for about 2 hours.

Layer sauce, tortillas, and cheese in a baking dish. Cook in 350° oven for 30-45 minutes or microwave for 10-15 minutes.

Here are a few bits about this recipe.
- My MIL grew up in Mexico, so this is authentic Mexican cuisine.
- She doesn't typically measure things out, so she estimated the amounts so I could make them. I've made this recipe several times and it turns out great everytime.
- I usually use a 9x13 baking dish or a 2.5 QT round baking dish. It doesn't seem to matter.
- You will have leftover sauce. You can make individual servings in the microwave for leftovers, or maybe freeze.
- I've always wanted to experiment with using chicken or some other meat, but have not yet. If you do, let me know how it turns out.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oven Roasted Broccoli: The Verdict

I realized that perhaps I shouldn't post recipes before I try them, but oh well. I did however finally make Alton Brown's Oven Roasted Broccoli and here is the review.

In short, it would have been a whole lot better if I had followed the directions better. Here is what I did wrong, so that you can avoid the same mis-steps.
1. I blackened{partially burned} the bread crumbs- instead of browning them. Should this happen to you, throw them out and start over. (I did not.)
2. Use Panko bread crumbs as the recipe calls for. I couldn't find them at a reasonable price so I used regular bread crumbs, but I'm thinking it might make a difference. Nanna told me where she gets her panko, so I think I'll be making a trip to Lee Lee's Oriental Market.
3. Don't add the cheese until after it comes out of the oven. I misread the recipe and by the time I caught it, it was too late.

Here is the good news though. I really liked the texture of the broccoli. I am confidant that if I were to try again and fix all my mistakes it will be much better.

Oven Roasted Broccoli Recipe: A+
My Execution of Oven Roasted Broccoli: C-

Monday, April 7, 2008

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Over at Parenthacks they are having a discussion about good crock pot recipes, and this is by far my favorite. I couldn't tell you where my Mother got it from, but both of my picky eaters love it.

Slow Cooker Lasagna

1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 15 oz cans Italian-style tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
1 container (15 oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
15 uncooked lasagna noodles

Cook sausage and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain.
Stir in tomato sauce, basil and salt.
Mix the Ricotta, Parmesan, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese together in a bowl. (Refrigerate remaining mozzarella cheese while lasagna cooks.)
Spoon one-fourth of the sausage mixture into 6-quart slow cooker; top with 5 noodles, broken into pieces to fit.
Spread with half of the cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture.
Top with 5 noodles, remaining cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture.
Top with remaining 5 noodles and remaining sausage mixture.
Cover and cook on Low heat setting 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender. Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into pieces and serve.

Here are a few of my own little notes.
- In my crock pot it is always ready at 4 hours. If you go a lot longer than that, the bottom and sides can get over cooked. I'm sure different crock pots will vary.
- I've cooked it with cottage cheese instead before and it is pretty good. However I've found that depending on brand and sales, I can find Ricotta cheese cheaper, and it does taste better.
- I've had trouble finding Italian style tomato sauce, so I just add Italian seasoning to regular tomato sauce.

I can not say enough how delicious this stuff is. YUMMY!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Morgan is in her crib!

Morgan has a nursery{mostly}! On April 1st she started taking naps and sleeping part of the night in her new bed. I'm usually too tired to but her back in her room after her middle of the night feedings, so she still spends some time in the co-sleeper. I can't wait to get some more decor going on the room, but we still have to figure out exactly were things will be going permanently. I realize a crib isn't exactly a "big-girl" bed, but compared to the co-sleeper it is. Therefore I spend a lot of time telling her about her big girl bed. She does look pretty tiny when she is laying all swaddled on a big crib mattress.

Big Sale at JCPenney

JCPenney is having a big sale right now, they have a lot of things for 40% off plus they have some Buy 1, get another for $1. I loaded up the kiddies this morning and we got our shopping on. Here is what we got. (Click on the picture to see a larger version of it.)

The light green dress was about 85% off making it $4.99 from $29.99.
The blue ribbon dress was 40% off plus an additional 10% off coupon making it, $10.79. I LOVE it to pieces though. I could just squish it to death and hang it from my rear view mirror.
I have discovered that while yellow is not a good color on me or my son, Morgan looks FIERCE in it. So I have just been buying it all up.

Joshua got a dino-shirt because he has recently started caring what shirt he wears and throws a fit when it is time to take off the dino pj's. He got to pick from several dinosaur shirts and that was his favorite.

I of course need to thank Grandma for her generosity in footing the bill for this little excursion. She offered to buy an outfit for each of them but did the awesome grandma thing and bought lots of things for them. THANKS MOM!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Semi-homeade spaghetti

Well I've already covered my love for Alton Brown, now let's move on to discussing Sandra Lee. When I first saw her show, Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee on the Food Network, I had such high hopes. I thought, Wow I might actually be willing to cook some recipes I see featured on a cooking show. (A lot of recipes have things I think sound gross or are way too time consuming.) I love the concept of utilizing certain store bought products and adding your own touches to have a homemade meal. However, Sandra Lee seems a bit too tied up in cocktails and tablescapes for my taste. Perhaps I need to spend more time online perusing her recipes or pick up her cookbook. For now however, I sort of ignore her.

On to the spaghetti. My Mom makes her own spaghetti sauce which I really love. However I don't really see myself ever making it, and my family at this point doesn't really enjoy all the vegetable chunks so I've taken a semi-homemade approach to spaghetti sauce.

- Brown 1/2 lb super lean ground beef(97% lean). I'm sure ground turkey would be nice too. (Drain fat if necessary)
- Add one can/jar of spaghetti sauce of whatever brand or flavor you enjoy most.
- Add Italian seasoning.(My jar is not quite as fresh as it could be, so I add a lot.) My bottle of "Italian seasoning" contains: Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Marjoram, and Garlic.
- Simmer on low-ish for awhile until the sauce is hot. I usually have it simmer while the noodles are finishing up.

Adding the Italian herbs is really what makes the most difference.

Not rocket science by any means and my Michelin star isn't in the mail, but it gets a good dinner on the table quick. That to me is what it is all about.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Freepeats Phoenix

A website I love, Babycheapskate, launched a forum called Freepeats. Essentially if you have baby/toddler/maternity items you can give them away to people locally. That also means that if people are giving away things that you want, you can take them. They just opened up a phoenix forum today. They already have some nice stuff up there. I have posted formula and some formula coupons, since we are boobie people at this household. If you sign up by the end of the month you get free lifetime membership. If you join after April, the cost of a full time membership is $4.95. Join now even if you aren't sure you have something to give or something you need. The more people involved, the more items there are to choose from!
The website is: http://freepeats.org

Now get Freepeating!

Dinner Calendar