Thursday, April 30, 2015

Olivia: Week 7

We are seven weeks in and I can barely believe it. Is there a way to stop time?  Just for a few weeks I swear.  This week came with so many highs and lows. It honestly feel like more time past than just a mere seven days. 

We had our six week check up at the beginning of the week. Olivia has grown so much. She is now 22.5 inches long and 10lbs 12oz. Everyone is so impressed with her weight gain and development. It makes all of the frequent feedings well worth the effort. I totally think of this as my main responsibility right now and I am beyond overjoyed that everything is going as smooth as it is. I know for many this is not the case and I count my blessings every second that we are doing so well together.  

Of course it isn't always perfect. Saturday she woke up after her morning nap and wouldn't eat.  We played and changed her and tried again about an hour later. Still nothing. She ended up going almost 6 hours without eating. I was super stressed pretty much every minute until she finally ate again, as if nothing ever happened. 

We also got our first round of shots this week.  Goodness I am dreading the next. She is a very content baby and is really only fussy when she needs to be changed or eat. If she is fussy a few snuggles and she is better. However shots are a different story. The second she had the first one it was all screams. Blood curdling screams. And they didn't stop through the second shot or even when it was all over. Later in the evening she wasn't herself, was feverish, and wouldn't sleep. Motherhood is stressful!!

This week has seen many smiles and coos. Yesterday in fact every other second she seemed to be smiling. We had full on gibberish conversations.  I am already dreaming of her talking. (Not that I want her to grow up too soon. And I hope "no" is not in her vocabulary.)

Another huge feat which occurred is that she rolled over. Twice!  She rolled over a few weeks ago but only because she was super mad during tummy time.  This time though she was perfectly content. She has incredible strength for her age. She can hold her head up for minutes during tummy time and it is quite high.  I don't expect a ton of roll overs any time soon as it is still very early for her age but I am pretty sure once it starts she will be going, going, gone.

Until then we are waiting for the warmer temperatures so we can spend more time outside and wear some of our cute dresses.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Shots are no good and WIAW

I am counting down to the weekend.  Yesterday went on and on forever. Funny how that happens with a screaming infant. Really bedtime was only pushed back about an hour but man oh man did it seem like forever. 

Yesterday was our 6 month check up. All was good except for the shots. Our perfect little angel did not take well to them.  Screaming and screaming.  We finally got her to calm down and left. Fast forward about 5 hours, everything seemed fine until then but then just as she started getting unusually fussy I realized she seemed pretty hot too. 

Let's just say all of us hope today is a new day and any effects of her shots are over. 

Before things got chaotic I had my trifecta of liquids in the morning. Coffee, water and green smoothie. 

Lunch was a winner with a bit of tomato soup, toast with 1/2 avocado and a fried egg. I was starving and ate this so fast. I was sad to see it gone so soon.

An afternoon snack was me trying to be good. An orange and carrots. We learned about the color orange. 

Dinner was on the couch.  Thank goodness I had made up the casserole during the afternoon nap time.  This was right before all craziness broke out. She was snuggle between Mr. J and I watching us eat. 

What did you eat Wednesday?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ham and Asparagus Quiche #SecretRecipeClub

What is the best way to have leftover Easter ham?  Well in a quiche of course.  The two of us had a 9 1/2 pound ham for Easter. It was the smallest one I could find and trust me when I say I hunted high and low for a smaller one at the store. I like ham but only a little bit. My once a year Easter ham is good enough for me.  So we ate ham on Easter and then ate and ate all week long.  There was still ham left and into the freezer it went. Even Mr. J couldn't think of eating ham any time soon.

It was right around this time that I started looking into what I could make for the April posting for The Secret Recipe Club.  This month I had the blog A Day in the Life on the Farm.

It was so interesting learning about Wendy and her family. She kind of has my dream life. They live in the country on a large piece of land with animals and lots of vegetables and fruit. They work on being as self sustaining as possible. Some day. Some day. 

Anyways, breakfast is my main meal nowadays. I wake up and am ravenous. I immediately search Wendy's breakfast options and saw the Ham and Asparagus Quiche.  As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to use the remaining ham. I love quiche. And even though ham isn't my favorite this was a great way to use it in something I enjoy. 

Fast forward a few weeks and my parents were in town visiting. Out came the quiche recipe. Mr. J chopped up all of the asparagus and remaining ham and into the oven it went. I love how quick quiche can come together, especially when someone else does all of the chopping. 

The four of us devoured the quiche. I did plan on taking some additional photos of slices but after we each had our first serving we all decided on another round.  Before I knew it the whole quiche was gone. Needless to say I am keeping this recipe handy for future use.  

Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe Wendy!

Ham and Asparagus Quiche

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: bake breakfast egg
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
  • 1 store bought pie crust
  • 8-10 stalks of Aspargus, trimmed and cooked
  • 1 cup cooked ham, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 3 green onions, white and light green parts sliced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350* F. Line pie pan with crust.

Layer asparagus, ham, cheese and onions in the crust.

Combine the eggs, milk, cream and seasonings in a medium bowl and mix well using a whisk.

Pour over ingredients in crust and gently stir to incorporate.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day and #WIAW

Happy Earth Day!

Do you have any special plans? I would like to get outside and clean up our yard a bit but I am pretty sure that is not going to happen today. Maybe this weekend?  It is colder here but at least the sun is out.

Somehow my morning got away from me and breakfast did not get a photo. It was my typical green monster smoothie. No change there. 

My second breakfast or first lunch was avocado toast. Love.  Who knew something so simple would be so good. Seriously I get so happy whenever we have avocados in the house. 

Lunch was clam chowder and an orange.  My parents came this weekend and left a whole bunch of food in the fridge.  Here is to no cooking all week long. Although I love to cook and bake knowing I don't HAVE to all week is a pretty good feeling.  

Dinner is a second take on prime rib.  There is a salad under all that meat.  Finally I can eat red meat again the way I like it. I think the worst restriction for me while pregnant was not having rare meat.  Steak is just not good when cooked through. 

And here is our little girl.  Wide eyed and taking it all in. After the cold attack last week we are finally back on track. Thank goodness!

What did you eat Wednesday?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Coconut Cream Pie

Say hello to our Easter pie. It came a few weeks late but we were still happy to dig right in.  After the success of the banana cream pie I wanted to make a coconut version. I <3 coconut.="" font="" nbsp="">

We had a rough week the last few days as Miss Olivia came down with a cold.  Sick babies are the most awful thing ever.  You want to help them so much but you cannot make it go away. I know this feeling won't get easier as she grows but oh my. I am not sure if my heart can take it.  

We had stuffy nose galore and both mommy and daddy spent the night staring at her to see if she was still breathing.   I now only refer to myself in the third person as mommy. Mr. J is officially daddy.  Is this going to continue till she is in college? Not that I mind too much.

Any how this pie got us through. Lots of pie.  I might have single-handily eaten 3/4 of the pie. 

I think the cure for parents during times of sickness is pie.  The grab a big spoon and throw it in a bowl kind of serving.

For all others this pie is still good. Add it to the list for Easter next year but you will want to make it sooner. 

Coconut Cream Pie

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert coconut pie
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
    For the Graham Cracker Crust:
    • 1 1/2 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup butter, melted
    For the Coconut Filling:
    • 5.1 ounce box instant vanilla or coconut pudding
    • 15 ounce can cream of coconut
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 cup toasted coconut
    For the graham cracker crust:
    In a small bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar; add butter and blend well.
    Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. pie plate.
    Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack before filling.

    For the pie:
    Spread the coconut out onto a baking sheet. Toast for 3-5 minutes, until just golden. Then remove and cool. The coconut cooks extreme fast in a matter of seconds it will go from white to burnt black.
    Place the instant pudding mix in a medium bowl. Add the cream of coconut and milk. Whisk for 1-2 minutes until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    Using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream with 1 tsp vanilla and 3 Tbsp sugar. Be sure the cream is whipped till stiff peaks. Transfer to another bowl, cover and refrigerate.
    Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Slowly, beat in the pudding mixture. Add a little at a time and scrape the bowl regularly, to ensure there are no clumps.
    Finally fold in half the whipped cream. Carefully mix until smooth.
    Scoop the filling into the cooled pie crust. Top with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle generously with toasted coconut. Chill for at least 4 hour or overnight.
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    Thursday, April 16, 2015

    Olivia: Week Five

    My little one is five weeks old. They say that time flies and it does. Each day it is noon before I can even blink. And my life pre-baby is a blur. Was I really able to go to the gym every day for an hour?  I cannot even imagine. 

    Life is good. We are good. 

    Each day brings something different.  And just when I think we are on some type of schedule she goes and changes things up. This has been an adjustment for me, the planned out type A person that I am.  But really it just is what it is and we go with it. 

    We have been fortunate to get long stretches at night. During the day, well, that is a different story. 

    She is now my partner in crime. Once the day starts we clean ourselves up, sing some songs, read some stories and try to fit in naps.  

    The baby wakes up between 5-6:30 am every morning. We get in a quick feeding and most days she goes back down till around 9 am. This is my work time, sometimes nap time, depending on how fast she goes back down, how hungry I am, or if I want a bit more time with Mr. J. 

    Once she is up we eat, get cleaned up and dressed. A bit of organization is done depending on how the night went.  Laundry is started if need be which is most days right now. Then we chat and read. If I am lucky she will go back to sleep around 10:30 or 11, if I am really lucky she will sleep more than 45 minutes. 

    Once up she eats again and we have some more play time.  I try to eat lunch, normally prepped while she naps, and we countdown the minutes till Daddy comes home for lunch.

    After lunch we try to nap again. She would stay up if I didn't actively put her down. She is so alert and attentive when up. I think she doesn't want to miss out on anything exciting. Swaddles are a must. She is one active little girl and we have to lock down her arms for any chance of sleep.

    The afternoon nap tends to be longer and I try to catch some sleep time as well during this stretch. I get an hour or so. Olivia gets 2-3 hours.  Once up it is time to eat again. We snuggle until Daddy comes home.  I honestly blink and it is 5 pm.  

    We haven't nailed down the evenings as well as the days.  She can be fussy, she can sleep, or she can be perfectly contest during dinner.  Feedings are based on her mood and whether or not we need a bath. 

    Our sweet little one does not like bath time. She arches her back so fiercely the second her skin hits the water and then the wails start.  It has gotten a bit better and I am hoping soon it won't be so painful. This 15 minute or so process leaves Daddy and Mommy exhausted. 

    We dress her, feed her, and swaddle her for the night between 7:30-8:30 pm and off to bed she goes. This is my new bedtime too. Her longest stretch is always the first one and I take advantage of these hours as much as possible. 

    Before I know it she wakes up, it is after midnight and a new day has begun. 

    Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    Spring Time and #WIAW

    We are finally getting some sunshine and warmer temperatures.  The other day I went outside twice without a coat.  It was amazing.  I cannot wait to spend more time outside in the fresh air. 

    Yesterday was a day of good eats.  I did eventually eat all of this and then some.  Cookies, an apple and an orange somehow missed the photo shoot. However, Olivia has this crazy way of waking up or being fussy right when it is time to eat.  She is fine if I hold her but I haven't master the eat and hold method yet.  Let's just say granola doesn't transfer well from bowl to mouth with a baby in the middle. 

    Lunch was a sandwich with hummus and avocado.  Have you had this combination before? It is so good. The sandwich also had turkey and cheese.  Carrot sticks and potato chips. I picked up this bag of Kettle chips last weekend at the store. They are roasted garlic.  Good but not amazing.  I was really expecting a ton of garlic flavor but it kind of left me disappointed. 

    Dinner was leftover lasagna.  My mom left us last weekend with a fridge full of food. We have been enjoying it bite by bite all week. Not only has dinner been a snap to put on the table but the clean up is minimal too.  We have a few more nights of being spoiled. 

    And of course I couldn't not leave without a little photo of the baby. Pretty in Pink.  I am obsessed with her little hands and ears.  

    What did you eat Wednesday?

    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    Garlic Flatbread

    Crispy flatbread full of garlic, butter and cheese. Could there be anything better?

    I am back. But just barely. 

    I have some confessions.  Or really just one. 

    This was Easter dinner.  Yep, and I didn't even make it. This is courtesy of Mr. J.  

    We did the whole brunch thing earlier in the day and then were too exhausted for dinner. Did you know the exhaustion leads to intense cravings for bread. Cookies too but for now we are talking about bread. Flatbread to be exact. 

    A few weeks ago, right after Olivia was born we had pizza dough that was getting beyond the point of use. It had been hanging out in the fridge for a couple days.  With a newborn hopes of making homemade pizza sometimes fall away to the ease of ordering pizza. Thus a we needed something to make with the dough that was not pizza.  

    Mr. J decided to whip up some garlic bread to go with said takeout pizza.  This flatbread was born. That night I think we ate more of the garlic flatbread than the pizza.  I now request it regularly. And sometimes yes it is all we have for dinner. I generously said this would feed four. If you are truly having it as bread portion it could stretch to 6. Or if you are like us this feeds 2. 

    Garlic Flatbread

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
    Keywords: bake bread pizza garlic
    Ingredients (serves 4)
    • 1 batch of your favorite pizza dough
    • 1/4-1/2 cup butter
    • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
    • 4-7 cloves Garlic, depending on size and taste preference
    • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly shake cornmeal on cookie sheet.

    Finely mince garlic cloves.

    In a small saute pan heat butter and oil in pan. Saute until garlic is soft and fragrant, stirring regularly to prevent burning. Set aside.

    Roll or spread pizza dough with hands gently stretching to cover cookie sheet. Dough is best when room temperature.

    Spread garlic and butter mixture across dough evenly.

    Top with mozzarella cheese and sprinkle lightly with salt.

    Bake at 425 for about 10 minutes to desired doneness. Edges should be slightly browned and crisp.
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    Friday, April 10, 2015

    Bartenhagen Chicken or Creamy Chicken and Rice Bake

    Not to be too cliché but boy does time fly with a newborn. Was Easter only last week?  My mom came Sunday night and has been here all week. She has been a big help. We cleaned and organized some thing that have been sitting around for weeks (before Olivia arrived) and were really starting to bother me.  Even with the extra hands though the days have flown by and I feel like haven't gotten nearly as much done as I would have expected.  Extra snuggle time is OK with me though. 

    One of the things she has been in charge of this week is dinners and dishes.  One of the meals she made wasn't something I was going to post because it is pure comfort food and requires a lot of bake time.  Not a dish I would think one needs mid April however the weather has not been cooperating. At least we haven't had snow.

    Bartenhagen chicken is a family name and I am not really sure what else to call it...Creamy chicken and rice bake?  It comes from way back when in Iowa.  A good old church cookbook recipe.  Those recipes are tried and true, feed a crowd, and never seem to turn out badly. 

    This is not a health food but warms the belly and the soul. You can put it in the oven with under 10 minutes of prep time and after slow cook in the oven dinner can be on the table.  My mom loaded this serving up with tons of chicken but you can vary the amounts and cuts based on your own needs. 

    Bartenhagen Chicken

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 3 hours
    Keywords: bake entree chicken rice winter
    Ingredients (serves 6-8)
    • 1 cup rice (white or brown)
    • 1 can cream of chicken soup
    • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
    • 1 1/4 milk
    • 6-8 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken (I use a combination chicken thighs and breast.)
    • 1 packaged dried onion soup mix
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking oil.
    In large bowl mix together milk, cans of soup and rice until combined. Pour into prepared baking dish.
    Place chicken, spaced evenly into rice mixture. Tops of the chicken will still be showing.
    Sprinkle the dried onion soup mix evenly across the top of all the chicken and rice mixture.
    Cover with foil and bake for 2.5 to 3 hours. Rice will be soft and liquids will be bubbling. Cool slightly before serving.
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    Friday, April 3, 2015

    Coconut Carrot Cake Bread

    I spoke too soon about things going well on the home front. Baby and I had quite a day.  

    5 outfit changes before noon

    a walk that ended in a rain storm

    the precious bear chair got major spit up

    no morning nap

    we (or I) am counting down the hours till Daddy comes home.

    This bread is no substitution for the major chocolate fix I am craving right now but it is pretty darn fantastic.  It also is fitting for this weekend's holiday feasts.  It is cake with no frosting. Of course you can totally frost it.  I left it frosting free and called it breakfast. Whatever floats your boat. 

    This bread has carrots (a veggie serving), coconut and applesauce. It is basically a health food. It is also super moist.  No dry cake...rrr...bread here. One big slice leaves you totally satisfied.  Of course a big smear of butter is pretty good on top too. 

    Coconut Carrot Cake Bread

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Keywords: bake dessert bread coconut carrot Easter
    Ingredients (serves 6-8)
    • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1/2 cup applesauce
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • 2 cups packed freshly grated carrots
    • 1 cup packed shredded, sweetened coconut
    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick spray.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, put the butter and sugar and mix on medium until it is combined and somewhat smooth.

    Turn mixer to low and add in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Then add the applesauce and coconut milk and continue mixing until incorporated.

    Add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined, and then add in the carrots and coconut. Stir just until the batter comes together and the carrots are evenly dispersed.

    Spoon the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until the cake is no longer jiggly in the center. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Remove from the pan and let cool completely before serving.
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