Sunday, September 16
Fall is by far my favorite season and I’m so glad it’s here. This is definitely the time of year I am most homesick for the East coast, however…the leaves, the apples, the weather. But at least I have my fall candles to make me happy. As always, please share your menus for the week…and thank you to all who posted last week!
- Butternut Squash Soup (this recipe is seriously amazing if you haven’t tried it yet)
- Yummy crusty bread
- Chicken Caesar Wraps
- Chicken casserole
- Pat’s Oriental Chicken Salad
- Eat out
- Grilled pork chops (Cate’s FAVORITE right now)
- Long grain & wild rice
Saturday, September 15
Last night Nate and I got to on on a date…out to dinner without Cate! We ate at Rock Bottom and everything we ordered was delicious! We ate so much food that I was actually unable to eat my dessert in its entirety, which is pretty amazing considering it was Chocolate Cheesecake (pictured). Doesn’t it look GOOD?!?!?
That got me thinking about a chocolate cheesecake recipe I have that is seriously the BEST, and funny enough my friend Karen and I ended up talking about that very same recipe today…thanks to my other book club friend Barbara for finding and sharing this recipe with us!
If you like Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake (and, really, who doesn’t?) be sure to click through for the recipe! It’s the best I’ve had…the first time Barbara made it, I thought for sure she must have bought it at some expensive bakery. Enjoy!
Thursday, September 13
Yesterday I got a hankering for Blondies, you know, butterscotch brownies, chocolate chip cookies bars, whatever you want to call them. (Sidenote: my previous complete and total desire for salty foods this pregnancy is fast slipping away and I’m back to my “I need a treat” self. Phew.)
So, I took myself in the kitchen, got out my Better Homes & Gardens New Baking Book(which I love) and looked up Blondies. The recipe tells you to melt the butter and brown sugar together til sugar dissolves (that stuff is HOT by the way), cool slightly, then add the eggs. During the “cool slightly” phase, I decided to peruse Craigs List for strollers and forgot the “slightly” part…well, when I returned it was hard as a rock, and remelting was a disaster. I started over – this time I cooled “VERY slightly” to avoide the previous mistake and scrambled my eggs in the sugar – what a rookie mistake! I’m ashamed! I gave up.
The last time I made Blondies they weren’t that great anyway – kind of got hard overnight. So, I need your help! Please post your best Blondie recipe (with no melting and slightly cooling involved, if at all possible)! This pregnant woman is desperate over here…I had to resort to an Otter Pop for my “treat” last night, which just isn’t the same as buttery, chocolatey goodness!
Tuesday, September 11
Occasionally I like to share websites and blogs with you that I consider Fab Faves! Today’s Fab Fave is TodaysMama.com, for all you mamas out there! Check it out! I was the feature blog on this months ago, but if you haven’t visited yet, make sure you do!
For those of you luckly enough to live in San Diego, TodaysMama has a site just for you…SanDiegoMama.com! Again, lots of fun. There is also a corresponding blog that gets updated regularly with cool San Diego information (sandiegomamas.blogspot.com). Definitely check it out if you live in the area!
There are TodaysMama sites for the following cities/states as well…with more added all the time! DC, Arizona, Houston, Nevada, South Florida, Seattle, Santa Cruz, Spokane and Utah – just click on the drop down menu on the top right of TodaysMama.com to select your city!
Sunday, September 9
Don’t cupcakes with sprinkles just make you happy?
This weekend our friends threw a party for their little girl, and Nikki (the mama) truly outdid herself food-wise. Assorted sandwiches on croissants, chips & dip, chinese chicken salad, spinach salad, thai noodle salad, cheese & crackers, fruit salad, apples with caramel dip, cookies and, of course, cupcakes…homemade no less. A GREAT party menu…have to document it here so I remember it for later! We were lucky enough to come home with leftovers!
I loved seeing all the menus last week and I DEFINITELY use them for inspiration. Please keep them coming!!!
- Roasted chicken from Costco
- Mashed potatoes
- Hamburgers on the grill
- Baked homemade french fries
- Breakfast for dinner…waffles?
- Roasted potatoes w/peppers & onions (TJs freezer section)
- Eat out
- Chicken Caesar pitas
- Fresh fruit
- Beef Stroganoff
- Egg noodles
Friday, September 7
I spotted these freeze-dried strawberries at Trader Joe’s this week and thought Cate would like them in her cereal…which she does! They don’t have any added sugar, which is GREAT, and Cate loves them. Makes healthy cereal much more appealing to a 2-year-old.
My Book Club post this week was kinda long, so in case you developed reading fatigue halfway through, make sure you go back and READ IT and check out the recipe links I put in there. Seriously, they are goooood recipes. Happy Friday!
Thursday, September 6
I am single-handedly keeping Kleenex in business. Between allergies the last few months and my cold this weekend, you honestly wouldn’t believe how many tissues I’ve used. Add Cate & Nate’s consumption to mine and I think Kleenex is going to have a pretty good fiscal year…
I’m going to wax philosophical on you for a moment…sorry, I’m in the mood. I was commiserating with myself today about how annoying the state of my nose is and how sick of looking at that ugly Kleenex box I am (Nate thinks I’m crazy, but honestly, does anyone in the WORLD like that weird silk floral pattern on the Kleenex box?!?!)…then I remembered my Grandma talking about how my uncle was allergic to Kleenex when he was a kid. Now, that would certainly be troublesome, especially if you have allergies!
Then THAT thought reminded me of another conversation I had with her years ago. She was telling me about the time they found out my uncle had juvenile diabetes, I believe when he was in 4th grade. She recounted how one day, from his hospital bed, my uncle asked her, “When am I going to get better, Mom?” and how it broke her heart that the answer was “never”, but how could she say that to a little boy? Oh, and here I am getting teared up…I think I would even if I wasn’t pregnant. Anyway, it’s funny where you’re thoughts will lead you at times, and it sure is nice when they lead you out of self-pity and into appreciation for the things you have. Granted, who knows what the future holds, but for now, I’m so grateful for the good health my little family has and that I’m not yet faced with such difficult questions from my sweet children.
Even though my Grandma doesn’t know how to use a mouse, let alone the Internet…I love you! You’re a great mother and I hope you are feeling well soon!
Wednesday, September 5
It’s been a while since I’ve done a book club post, so thought it would be fun – you know, back to school, time to hit the books!
The last two books we’ve read have been pretty good, but I must say that the food has been divine, which is I why I’m posting! Both books lent themselves to an Italian food-inspired dinner – we have definitely been eating well at our meetings this summer. Can’t wait to share the food with you!
For July we read Eat, Pray, Loveby Elizabeth Gilbert. This is a non-fiction account of Elizabeth Gilbert’s ventures through eating in Rome, meditating in India, and finding love in Bali. She’s a good writer and the book was fun…wasn’t my favorite and there was something about Ms. Gilbert that bugged me, but at the same time I found myself quoting the book all the time while I was reading it!
What was truly great about this Book Club meeting was the food…Karen (far right in picture) cooked up a feast for us that was to die for. Seriously, everything she made was awesome, but I’ll just highlight 3 of the things, with links to the recipes (click the name of the food)! My most favorite was the Tuscan Bread Salad with Olives. This was SO GOOD. The main dish was Artichoke & Spinach Manicotti, which was also very tasty. For dessert she served Fresh Berries with Ricotta Cream (she used other berries in addition to strawberries – get creative!). I loved it, and let me tell you, for me to love a non-chocolate dessert is really saying something! Thank you Karen for your hard work and introducing us to some awesome recipes!!!
While discussing Eat, Pray, Love in July, Loretta (2nd from left) mentioned that she felt Under the Tuscan Sunby Frances Mayes did a much better job capturing the feeling of Italy…so she picked it for August for us to compare! This book was nice & relaxing…poetic descriptions of Tuscany, the house they rennovate and the food. Not much personal story, but if you’re interested in travel or Tuscany, it’s an interesting book. Ms. Mayes is an excellent writer, so the language is lovely. There’s not really a story and Harry Potter was much more tempting for me to read that month, but I’m still glad I read the book. (Side note: I have NOT read the 7th HP book yet, so if you have, NOT A WORD or I may be forced to use an Unforgiveable Curse!) The book (Tuscan Sun, not HP) is really nothing like the movie, by the way, which may or may not be a selling point for you (it was for me!).
Loretta hosted dinner at a beautiful local restaurant in La Jolla Shores called Barbarella. Awesome Italian food, great atmosphere – little twinkle lights everywhere. They don’t have a website, but if you live in San Diego, definitely take a visit! She said Halloween is especially fun, for your kids too! Barbara the owner stopped by our table and had read both of these books, so shared her own opinion. It was fun. Pretty much everything we ate was AWESOME. Loretta’s favorite is the thin crust pizza, but I think mine was the Lemon Cream Ravioli. It really was perfect for me that night.
Why is Italian food so dang good? What a fun Italian-themed summer for a Book Club! I’m in charge next month…how will I ever top this!?!
Sunday, September 2
It is TOO HOT to cook. It’s actually been quite warm in San Diego this weekend, and I know I absolutely should NOT be complaining, but I’m so glad we don’t deal with this all summer! I’m so spoiled here…what will I do if we move away in a few months?!?! I no long have a spine when it comes to weather…
This morning I made some french toast on the stove real quick – but I added milk, cinnamon, a little sugar and vanilla to the egg and used Brioche bread. It was GOOD, better than just boring old egg and bread. Cate’s just discovering french toast and is thoroughly enjoying it, asking for it every morning! This is a pic of the pretty bread we used this morning.
POST YOUR MENUS! Especially if you have ideas of good summer things to “cook” – I need them!
This was supposed to be Sunday’s meal from last week, but we had tons of leftovers to eat on Sun night – LOVE those nights
- Pork Chops
- Easy Apricot Chicken
- Caprese Salad Pasta
- Crusty bread and cheese
- Eat out
- Breakfast for dinner…probably waffles
- Maybe some kind of egg?
- Fresh fruit
- Hamburgers on the grill
- Picnic-type side dishes