December 18, 2008

11 weeks!

11 weeks have passed since Cooper came into the world. 11 weeks! I remember when 11 weeks of being pregnant felt like half a lifetime!!!

He’s the happiest baby! Right now he’s squealing and smiling…and I am totally smitten.

Having a child is worth all of the work. When you wake up grumpy and you look over and there’s the sweetest little face looking at you and smiling because they are sooo excited to see their momma- that’s love…. It’s the most precious thing I’ve ever experienced! And I am lucky that I get to spend my days with such a cute little man!

Even if he has some really foul diapers! 😉

December 17, 2008

Spicy Maple Glazed Walnuts

spicy maple glazed walnuts

Ummmmm if you want to save your diet, DO NOT MAKE THESE.

They are irresistible!

I’ve never had such a perfect blend of salty and sweet in my LIFE. I left them on the kitchen island last night and noticed that Casey had an affinity for them too! I told him to try some and he said “Believe me, I already have! I could eat the whole container.” Luckily he didn’t, cuz momma wants some too!

They are that good, folks!

I am trying to orchestrate all my baking/cooking so I am not doing it all at the last minute. I tried these yesterday so I could see how long they stay fresh. I figure they should be good for another few days. Although I have a feeling they won’t last that long to find out.

Oh yeah- the best part of them is that they require NO baking!

spices anyone?

2 cups of NUTS


stirring in progess. quiet please.

finishing up

a spicy/sweet mess

Spicy Maple Glazed Walnuts
(recipe from Rachael Ray Magazine)
Makes 2 cups


-1/4 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
-2 cups (about 7 ounces) walnuts

1. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, salt, black pepper, cayenne, ginger and cinnamon; set aside. Pour the maple syrup into a large bowl and set aside.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, toast the walnuts over medium-high heat, stirring or shaking the pan constantly, until they are hot, about 5 minutes. Immediately add the nuts to the maple syrup and toss to coat. Stir in the spice mixture until the nuts are evenly coated. Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Let cool completely before serving, about 20 minutes.

So good when it hits your lips!

December 16, 2008

Gonzo Garbanzos

Over the weekend I tried out a recipe from Rachael Ray’s magazine for “Gonzo Garbanzos”

I’ve been snacking on this crunchy mix for the past few days. Of course, I didn’t follow the recipe ACCURATELY. There is something about recipes that give me A.D.D. — I have a hard time reading the whole thing again after I’ve read it once. My mistake was putting the pistachios in at the very beginning…they turned out super “roasty” not burnt… still good though.

I’ll be making this again- but correctly. The spice is perfect and I find myself walking by the container of it in my kitchen…swiping copious handfuls between picking up laundry and baby burp cloths from the garage. Perhaps these will be my savory treat for my Christmas goodies packages 😉

out of the oven

did you ever know that I make a fricking mess in the kitchen?  here's proof spice mixture

rinse & dry the mix

stir it up, little darling, stir it up

“Gonzo Garbanzos”
-makes 2 1/4 cups

-2 15.5 oz cans chickpeas- drained, rinsed & patted dry
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 teaspoon coarse salt
-1 teaspoon black pepper
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-2 teaspoons dried thyme
-1 cup shelled pistachios

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place the chickpeas in a medium bowl and discard any loose skins. Toss with olive oil, salt, black pepper, cumin & cayenne until evenly coated.

3. Spread the chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp. This takes about 25 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven and add the pistachios and thyme. Bake until crunchy, about 10 minutes more. Let cool and serve at room temperature.

December 10, 2008

Sausage Chard Stuffing

a nice bowl full

Let me tell you that the Sausage Chard stuffing recipe in last month’s issue of Sunset Magazine made me SALIVATE hardcore. Oh yeah baby…look at the picture (if you have the issue) and you’ll see what I mean. I ripped it out immediately…and slept with it under my pillow so I could continuing dreaming of it late into the night.

I wanted something hearty for our Sunday late afternoon lunch (I didn’t make a special breakfast this past week because we stayed in bed as LONG as we possibly could). I didn’t have a turkey or a chicken to accompany this recipe, but I figured what the hell- It has meat, veggies & carbs. How can a girl go wrong?

And let me tell you…it was SCRUMPTIOUS! If only they could make a candle that smelled like that yummy stuffing- I would light it all day long…..

soaking the bread


after a few helpings...

Anyways- here’s the recipe!

Sausage Chard Stuffing

serves 6

(adapted from a Sunset Magazine recipe)

-1 1lb. Italian Sausage (remove from casings)
-1 large bunch Swiss Chard (chopped, stems removed)
-1 clove garlic minced
-1 heaping tablespoon olive oil
-1 medium onion chopped
-3 stalks of celery finely chopped
-1 1/2 cup nonfat milk
-3/4 loaf of french bread
-1 cup chopped parsley
-3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-1 teaspoon dried basil
-1 teaspoon dried rosemary
-dash of red pepper
-salt & pepper to taste

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

1. Cut pieces of bread into 1 inch slices. Put slices in a large bowl and pour the milk all over it. Let sit in bowl for 30 minutes; stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, place a 6-8 quart pot over high heat. Add sausage (without the casings) stirring often to crumble. Cook until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes; discard fat. Add parsley, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes and celery. Cook, stirring often, until veggies are lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add chard and 1/2 cup of water and cook, stirring often until wilted, about 5 minutes.

3. With your hands, squeeze bread slices to break them into tiny pieces. Add cooked meat mixture, Parmesan, basil & rosemary. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

4. Spoon stuffing into a shallow 3 quart casserole dish. For moist stuff, cover with foil. For crusty stuffing, do not cover. Bake until hot or lightly brown (at least 30 minutes).

I got a request from Casey last night to make it again. He was reading my mind!
Who needs Thanksgiving as an excuse to make stuffing. Just do it!


November 29, 2008

sooooo much to be thankful for!

my seat

oh hellllll yeah I ate it up

it’s true! this year I have sooooooo much to be thankful for!

-my healthy little boy & his awesome daddy
-my family
-my friends
-the past year of wonderful eats!!!

and of course- YOU!
Thank you for your comments & stopping by.
You keep me going 😉
Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!



November 25, 2008

Israeli Couscous with Zucchini & Lentils


While I was making dinner last night I looked at everything that I was going to put in this Israeli Couscous I bought from Trader Joe’s and realized that every single ingredient came from Trader Joe’s!

Some of you may remember me posting every day last November about Trader Joe’s products for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). How did I ever manage that?? I didn’t have Cooper back then- so there’s my answer! I kinda miss that project.

So what better way to remember that CRAZY month than to add another recipe to the queue!

it's what's for dinner

hello healthy

Israeli Couscous with Zucchini & Lentils
(something I made up)

-1 onion chopped
-2 cloves garlic minced
-3 tablespoons olive oil (reserve 1 tablespoon for the Couscous preparation)
-1/3 cup white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
-4 zucchini chopped into small pieces
-2 1/2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
-1 lemon, juiced
-1 package TJ’s Israeli Couscous
-1 package TJ’s pre-cooked Lentils
-1/3 cup feta (this is optional)

1. Saute chopped onion and garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until onions become soft. Add wine and reduce until there is a little bit of liquid left. Add zucchini & thyme. Mix well and cook until zucchini is soft. This takes about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare Israeli Couscous according to directions on back. When the couscous is done, put entire package of lentils in the microwave (cut a few holes to vent it) and nuke them for 3 minutes. Add lentils and couscous to the zucchini mixture. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice to the mixture-stir until well combined. Now fold the feta in so it doesn’t melt too much. Season with salt & pepper to taste. EAT UP!

This recipe serves about 4 people.


***Notes: This recipe can be vegan if you cut out the feta. It’s REALLY good with extra lemon and super yummy the next day! We made it an entree last night but I am sure it would be perfect with some grilled chicken or some yummy fish. Enjoy! ***

November 24, 2008

busy busy weekend

Saturday marked the first time Casey & I left Coop to be babysat!

My parents watched him while we saw Zack and Miri Make a Porno (super funny!)

date night!

The next morning we woke up to a wonderful breakfast made by my Mom!

breakfast @ mom's house

the paremesan crust!

ooooooh eggs with herbs!

We hung out in our pjs and watched the little froggy sleep:

I went to a baby shower on Sunday afternoon. We drove back home and relaxed for the rest of the night.

First date night out with the baby was a success! It sure does take a lot of planning/packing to spend the night away from home! But it was totally worth it. I felt like a human again!

Now this week is all about getting my dishes ready for Thanksgiving. And of course- Giving thanks!

I am making:

-Creamed Spinach
-Pumpkin Tiramisu

What are you making?