Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekend update September

Happy Monday! 

For one of our last weekends as a family of 2 we kept it laid back. The baby girl is due in 2 weeks so finally preparations on the nursery are finally pretty much complete - I must take final photos of the complete adorable room soon (maybe once she's here?). Nothing makes a nursery cuter, in my opinion, than a nursery with a baby in it (preferable sleeping baby). We went on a coffee date, ran errands, eat homemade pancakes, and got to hang out with my best college friend on Sunday. Great relaxing weekend overall. 


Tony (before coffee) and I at Southern Seasons. 

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They have a great coffee bar! Look at that latte art! The espresso was so so. I highly recommend the whole store including the coffee bar to any locals (or check out their store in Chapel Hill). For anyone who doesn't know Southern Seasons it's basically like William Sonoma meets whole foods. Yep, not a cheap thrill but fun to walk around, maybe try some samples and see neat food.

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Kelly and I at world of mirth. Such a fun store.

We also made some more food in the vitamix. Yummy homemade hummus and salsa (with homegrown tomatoes, peppers & basil!). 



Also, yep still pregnant, and huge.

Monday, September 8, 2014

New Vitamix!

I got the greatest birthday gift a girl could ask for - a vitamix! I am very excited for this new kitchen appliance - like we need another! But seriously this blender is going to be so cool and I'm in super pin mode to check out all the blogger ideas we can make. It did come with a 2 inch thick cook book; so there's that but here are some of the pins I can't wait to make.

Keep warm this winter with these delicious blended soups (and a VIitamix Giveaway!! Ends 11/26) - from @Lauren Keating {Healthy. Delicious.}

You'll Love This Energizing Ginger Mango Chai Smoothie


Tony surprised me with this big gift, although I had a hunch I knew what was up his sleeve. What was great is that he got this as a refurbished vitamix so a great discount (since yes these things are so dang expensive) and still an official warranty on the machine. I was very impressed!

Here is our first adventure in vitamix cooking. Yes I can say cooking since this creates fully cooked heated soup ready to eat. We made tortilla soup. I gotta say we followed the recipe in the book at it looked pretty small. Just one small mushroom, 1/4 cup of onion, 1/2 a roma tomato, and 1 thin slice of red pepper? We may have added a little extra veggies than it called for but it ended up making 2 very generous portions of piping hot soup. Perfect for us!
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It doesn't look refurbished or used does it?!

Vitamix, vitamix recipes, vitamix tortilla soup, homemade tortilla soup, vitamix tortilla, refurbished, refurbished vitamix

Vitamix, vitamix recipes, vitamix tortilla soup, homemade tortilla soup, vitamix tortilla, refurbished, refurbished vitamix

Vitamix, vitamix recipes, vitamix tortilla soup, homemade tortilla soup, vitamix tortilla, refurbished, refurbished vitamix

Vitamix, vitamix recipes, vitamix tortilla soup, homemade tortilla soup, vitamix tortilla, refurbished, refurbished vitamix

Vitamix, vitamix recipes, vitamix tortilla soup, homemade tortilla soup, vitamix tortilla, refurbished, refurbished vitamix

Vitamix, vitamix recipes, vitamix tortilla soup, homemade tortilla soup, vitamix tortilla, refurbished, refurbished vitamix


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Baltimore National Aquarium



This weekend we took the long weekend to go out of town. Probably the last time before baby comes since she'll be arriving soon! We celebrated my big birthday a little early and went to the Baltimore aquarium. Tony took amazing footage as usual and made this great video of the day.

video credits - Tony

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Baby Prep - frozen meals

This weekend began baby prep! Yes we have the nursery coming quite along and many things have been purchased and are ready for baby... but what does one do when their mother in law is in town and wants to help prepare? Cook!

We made a few freezer meals in prep of the grueling newborn days and weeks after our little girl makes her arrival. 

What is on the menu? Lasagna, chili, lentil soup, pancakes, scones, and breakfast sandwiches. Yumm to the umm.

 

I made the great loved red lentil coconut curry soup and my mother in law made a huge pot of her own chili recipe. Both are going to be great hits since these type of soups always get better with time in the fridge/freezer. I froze them in multi-size containers, and freezer bags (after cooling so its not overloaded with BPA!). This way we don't have to defrost it all once when hungry and baby sleep deprived.

Lentil soup recipe: http://www.scalingbackblog.com/savory-bites/16117996741/. I HIGHLY recommend this recipe.

If you can't afford a le creuset cast iron pot (yet) I highly recommend this IKEA version: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50232842/. It has served us well for many years and looks as good now as it did the first day. Ours is blue, not sure if white is the color now. It doesn't have as many cool colors as the real thing (meh). You get what you get for $40-50!

 

Breakfast sandwiches. 
I found 2 packs of whole wheat english muffins expiring this weekend for $1 each at Fresh to Frozen. We had previously picked up these frozen egg patties (yes random I know) from F2F as well which came in handy although I didn't quite have enough for 12 sandwiches. We grabbed a bag of these at Kroger - meatless breakfast patties. They're pretty good - especially in a sandwich - which duh, is the design of them. If you don't have Kroger near you - I recommend Morning Star brand.

I buttered and layered with cheese, then wrapped the sandwiches in foil.



 

The next big adventure was lasagna. We decided to make 2 big trays worth since we had a lot of ingredients. It was mostly vegetarian lasagna as I love cooking lasagna when you just keep adding ingredients from the fridge and we didn't have much meat left.  Plus I just love veggie lasagna. 

We ended up using the homemade sauce from last week (here) and some extra jarred brand sauce. There was ricotta/Parmesan obviously, noodles and mozzarella cheese. The main other ingredients were a veggie combination of onion, garlic, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, meatless crumbles (again Kroger here - also Morning Star brand is great!) and a few bits of left over salami from Trader Joes which I diced very small. I use the no-boil lasagna noodles as it makes the whole process one step shorter - be sure to use lots of sauce! 

We froze the lasagnas unbaked so they may be cooked from frozen directly or defrosted. I'm not quite sure of the time but estimating 350 degrees for 1.5 hours (?).

 

Also prepared and frozen for October and beyond were orange chocolate chip scones (recipe similar to this) and homemade whole wheat nutty pancakes.

Next up: I have 2 more empty foil casserole dishes to fill. I'm thinking something with chicken, or I have a great sausage zucchini rice recipe. I also want to make some homemade bread (to go with all that soup), maybe some banana bread or muffins, waffles, raw cookie dough, a quiche maybe and maybe a calzone or 2.

Oh, and in case I haven't posted any good bump updates - here's me at 32 weeks! Oh baby!


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