Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Big Reveal

For this pregnancy, we wanted to find out the gender before baby arrived and share the news with family and friends. Because our sonogram was scheduled for the Monday before Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fun to reveal our baby's gender in a fun way for both of our families.

Good thing Greg was a good sport, although he really didn't have a choice.

I placed a balloon in a specially wrapped box, and then we shared our news before our Thanksgiving meals on Thursday and Saturday.

It was so much fun keeping up the anticipation throughout the week and then seeing everyone's expression when they saw the news.

We are so excited to be having a BOY!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Turkey Day Times Two

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Spending time with family, cooking, eating, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and then some football -- it is such a great holiday full of some of my favorite activities.

We spent actual Thanksgiving in Tulsa with my Dad, sister and her family. It was a packed house, but so much fun, especially with three little monkeys running around.

On Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, we spent the day with Greg's family at his aunt and uncle's house. Grace loved being with her cousins, especially Brooke who is just a few years older.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or treat, smell my feet ...

We practiced that saying all week. Didn't quite say it tonight, but she shelled out many "thank you's" and lots of "open" for more candy. Grace was in awe of a lot of the costumes and we had so much fun. Uncle Jeff and Aunt Ali met us down in Prairie Village to trick-or-treat. Hard to believe this is already her third Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Silly Photos

Tomorrow is Halloween and I am so excited for Grace to go trick-or-treating. This is the first year that she really can ask for candy and I think she gets the concept.

I'll post photos of her costume after we go trick-or-treating, but until then here are some silly photos from the past few weeks.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pregnancy Cravings: Pumpkin Anything

For the past few weeks I have been craving anything with pumpkin in it. Maybe it is just because it is fall and the flavor is everywhere, but I can't get enough. And it doesn't help that Trader Joe's just released its "Fearless Flyer" full of all new pumpkin things that I have to get the next time I'm there.

Here are a few of the items I've already indulged in and will be loading up on again our next grocery trip.

This pumpkin butter is no joke. Great flavor and perfect on toast for a quick morning breakfast. Gracie is a big fan as well.

I brought a loaf of this pumpkin bread to work on Thursday and it was gone except for one slice within an hour. I will most likely be making a loaf a week for a while.

And now for the items that I will be searching for next time I'm at Trader Joe's, which will be today after Gracie's nap.

Pumpkin Macarons -- yum.

Pumpkin ice cream -- double yum.

Pumpkin Chocolate Mousse Cake -- Are you kidding me? They were passing out samples of this last time we were there and I'm still kicking myself for not buying it then. It was melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.

Pumpkin cereal bars -- sounds like an awesome snack.

Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte -- definitely will have to try this. Perfect for cold fall afternoons at work.

Pumpkin Soup -- sounds delicious. Will have this for lunch this week for sure.

If you know of anything else pumpkin I should try before I move on to my next craving, let me know!!

I also recently made a delicious pumpkin recipe from Katie Rose of the rose record. It totally hit the spot for my pumpkin pregnancy craving. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!

 Ravioli with Pumpkin Sage Sauce

  • 2 packages (9 oz. each) Buitoni Refrigerated Ravioli
  • 1/2 C. dry white wine
  • 1/4 C. chopped shallot
  • 10 oz. jarred alfredo sauce
  • 3/4 C. pure pumpkin (make sure to not buy the canned pumpkin PIE filling). 
  • 1 t. ground sage
  • 1 t. nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 1/4 C. cooking water.  
  2. Heat a medium skillet with high sides over medium heat.  Add shallot and wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1 T. (about 10 minutes).  
  3. Stir in alfredo, pumpkin, sage, and nutmeg.  Cook, stirring occasionally until heated through. 
  4. Stir reserved pasta water into sauce.  Toss in pasta.  Season with salt and pepper.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

House Divided

Today is the big game in our family -- the KU vs. K-State football game. I am usually an optimist, but I am pretty sure how this game is going to end up. I'll cheer on my Jayhawks, of course. Because it is a home game in Manhattan, Gracie is decked out in purple. Next year, it is back to crimson and blue. I love college football and I hope it is a good game! Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Go KU!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dinner Time: Pork Chops with Oranges and Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake

As I planned out this past week's dinners, I scoured two of my favorite places to find recipes -- Everyday Food from Martha Stewart and other blogs. Both were a success.

Here are the two recipes I tried out this week. They will definitely make their way back in our rotation.

Sunday night: Pork Chops with Oranges and Parsley (from Everyday Food, November 2010)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 bone-in pork chops (1 inch thick; about 2 1/2 pounds total) (NOTE: I used boneless, still great.)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 strips orange zest, plus 1/2 cup orange juice and 2 oranges, peel and pith removed and flesh cut into
segments (3 oranges total)
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season pork with salt and pepper and cook until cooked through, 9 minutes, flipping once. Transfer to a platter. 
  2. Add orange zest and juice to skillet. Cook until slightly thickened, 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange segments. To serve, spoon orange mixture over pork chops and top with parsley

Serves: 4
Calories:  486
Carbs: 12.6
Fat: 28.8
Protein: 38.2

This was so tasty and flavorful. The orange sauce was the perfect accompaniment to the pork. I used boneless pork medallions from Trader Joes, and they were excellent. 

This next recipe comes from an adorable blog I started following not too long ago called the rose record. It is written by Katie Rose, a fellow Kappa, and she is so clever and funny. Check out her blog and her recipe for my new favorite pasta dish. It combines one of my favorite ingredients of all time: artichokes. I wish I could put artichokes in more dishes. Enjoy!

Monday night: Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake (courtesy of the rose record

14 oz. whole wheat penne 
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to your preference) 
salt and pepper 
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, cooked to package directions and thoroughly drained 
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped 
8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese 
6 oz. non-fat plain Greek yogurt (or use sour cream) 
1/4 cup reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese 
1 1/2 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese 
non-stick spray

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray a 13" x 8" casserole dish lightly with non-stick spray.
  2. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Reserve 3/4 C. pasta water. Drain.
  3. While pasta cooks, heat large skillet to medium-high heat and add olive oil. When oil is hot, add garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook one minute, until fragrant. 
  4. To the skillet, add in cooked and drained spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low until pasta finishes cooking. 
  5. Once pasta is cooked (don't forget to save some of that pasta water!), add pasta, pasta water, Parmesan, and 1 C. of mozzarella. Stir until cheese melts and noodles are coated with the sauce.  (Start by adding in just 1/2 C. of the pasta water.  If mixture still seems too thick, add in remaining 1/4 C.)
  6. Pour pasta mixture into sprayed casserole dish. Top with remaining 1/2 C. mozzarella. 
  7. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until top is bubbling and brown. 

Serves:  6
Calories:  492
Carbs:  55
Fat:  19
Protein:  28