Monday, December 31, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
She is growing so quickly (she's already 11 lbs. 13 oz.) that she's almost outgrown all of Hadleigh's "newborn" clothes. I'm going to have to go shopping for warm onesies and pajamas :) But I won't complain about that! She is already starting to smile...little moments that I just treasure!
Last night was just the two of us...Brent took Hadleigh and Nathanael camping with some friends. It was nice to get to sleep in while Madeleine did...and spend time just cuddling her and focusing on her...time alone with Madeleine is definitely harder to come by than it was when Hadleigh and Nathanael were infants...so I actually don't mind when she wakes up at night to eat. That said, I will definitely enjoy a full night's sleep when she decides she's ready for it!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
So, three days on my own. Thankfully, Brent has been able to be home early each day. The mornings are the toughest part...but on the whole, it has been easier than I anticipated. Except that it's a little tough venturing out of the house on my own with three in tow...but we're figuring it out. I'm sure there will be moments where it's all very overwhelming, but for now, we are taking things slowly, staying home as much as possible, enjoying some new and some forgotten toys to play with while Mommy feeds "Baby Madeleine", treasuring the fleeting moments of Madeleine's newborn stage, and trying to keep the house as clean as possible for the realtors who tend to only like to call 30 minutes before wanting to show our house. (Sorry for that last bit, just had to vent.)
The time does pass quickly...maybe that's due to needing to feed Madeleine every three hours...but I can hardly believe that she will be four weeks old on Friday. Speaking of feeding Madeleine, it's that time again!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
She surprised us by weighing 9 pounds and 15 ounces...but was down to 9 pounds when we left the hospital. She is 21 inches long, has blue eyes and a bit of dark hair!We came home on Sunday and are doing well. Hadleigh and Nathanael love their new little sister, though they are still having to keep their distance a little longer to try to make sure Madeleine doesn't catch any lingering RSV germs...so far so good!
More to come...but I think I need to take advantage of this little girl's naptime right now!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
But how exciting to see them so excited about their new little sister! Hadleigh is almost beside herself...showing me all of the little clothes and blankets that are ready. I am so anxious to see how the three of them will all interact...my three October blessings!
Next time, expect to see pictures of our newest blessing! Off to the hospital in the morning!
Monday, October 08, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
So I thought I'd share this savory (and easy) pie recipe today. My children are not picky eaters, but it is rare when both of them can finish their meal more quickly than Brent and I--especially Brent! So this is a hit with my little ones...hopefully yours too!
1 22-oz. package frozen mashed potatoes (I've used from-scratch mashed potatoes too)
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup frozen sliced carrot, thawed
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 cup beef broth
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1. Cook potatoes according to package and set aside.
2. Cook beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes, until beef is browned. Drain and return to skillet; add carrot. Stir in flour, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Add broth and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until thickened slightly. Spoon into greased 11x7 inch baking dish. (I have also used a deep dish pie plate.)
3. Stir together potatoes, egg, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper. Spoon over beef.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, bake 5 more minutes.
Yields 6 servings.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Needless to say, life is pretty hectic. Aside from getting things ready for her arrival (including the lovely weekly appointments), we have been getting our house ready to sell (we show it for the first time on Saturday), househunting 3.5 hours away twice in the last week, starting Bible Study Fellowship again, and getting ready for Hadleigh and Nathanael's birthday party next Saturday.
We also have moved Nathanael into his "big boy toddler bed" that Brent made him. For days, he walked around saying "Daddy make bed." He loves it and has done an amazing job at staying in bed, falling right asleep, etc. (all the things that his big sister didn't do!) But I suppose it makes sense...Hadleigh likes to talk to herself about her day before going to bed...and it always takes the night-owl in me awhile to fall asleep. Whereas, Brent falls asleep almost the second he turns out his bedside lamp (you know the scene in You've Got Mail with Parker Posey and Tom Hanks going to bed? That's Brent) and Nathanael just follows suit. Often, he hasn't moved in two hours when we go to check on him.
That's what I've been up to...how about you?
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Bible Study Fellowship started back up and it felt really good to be there. Good to get back into a Bible study that really helps me to be accountable to studying God's Word. Good to see Hadleigh so excited about her class (one of her teachers from last year moved up with her which we were thrilled to discover this morning!)
We love going...but it uses our entire morning, and I failed to realize how much we/I can actually get done in a morning. So naptime has not lasted as long as I would like...and I have stuff to do, so this is just a quick post with a really yummy recipe.
One thing that helps me with the 24 hours in my day is my crockpot. I've been using it a lot more recently and right now, there is a delicious smell of chicken curry in our house. I'd share that recipe, but it's new and I'm picky about my chicken curry so I have to try it first. But if it's good, I promise you'll see it soon!
This one is really a good summer dish...but yummy any time of year!
Grilled Chicken and Mozzarella Pasta Shells
coarse salt and pepper
3-5 chicken breasts
8 oz. medium pasta shells
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup fresh parsley OR basil, chopped*
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. butter
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil for pasta.
2. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot. Add remaining ingredients (except pasta water)and toss to combine.
3. Add reserved pasta water a little at a time to create a light sauce. Serve with more Parmesan cheese.
* I have used both parsley and basil, and both recipes are delicious. Parsley, obviously is a little less expensive if you don't have your own basil plant; the flavor with the parsley is stronger than with the basil.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Sure, they have their moments like all siblings do, but...
- Hadleigh likes to be the first one to open Nathanael's door in the morning and after naptime.
- She brings him a spoon at breakfast for his yogurt and prefers to carry his bowl of bananas to him personally.
- She loves to give him a goldfish pretzel "snack" while they wait on their lunch being made.
- She shares her toys so sweetly with him. (His favorite is the garage and car of her little dollhouse...or her kitchen full of food. I have two little sous-chefs!)
- She brings him his blanket whenever he cries because he has gotten hurt.
- Nathanael follows her around and wants to do whatever she is doing.
- He loves to bring her juice to her if she has abandoned it somewhere.
- He shares his toys so sweetly with her. (Except maybe his "supercar"...that takes persuasion and an exchange of many toys!)
- He loves to talk about what "Ha-leigh" (just missing the d in his pronounciation) is doing, where "Ha-leigh" is, what belongs to "Ha-leigh".
- When (on the rare occasion) she sleeps later during naptime, the glee in his voice saying "Ha-leigh" when he sees her just melts my heart.
- I have yet to see him refuse to give her a kiss when prompted by us. And when he gives her a hug too...so precious.
Yesterday following Nathanael's nap (because Hadleigh just played), Hadleigh told me, "It's so fun to play toys with Naniel." My heart overflows during moments like these. I'm so glad they are such friends...they remind me of Michael (my younger brother) and I when we were little.
I look forward to seeing how Madeleine fits into their lives...I'm sure she'll fit in seamlessly, as Hadleigh whispers to her in my tummy sometime each day "Come out soon." or "Come see us soon." Accompanied, of course, by a kiss. Another one of those moments.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Some other fun things about September that I just love:
--Pink Lady apples are again at the store! So delicious!
--I bought some of this today...Mom shared some with me last Christmas and it's just wonderful...but seasonal, so I'll be stocking up on it!!!
--My autumn wreath is hanging on the door and there is a lovely centerpiece on the table full of fall color!
--Today while driving, there were leaves blowing along the road. Of course, the leaves on the trees are still green and full...but these few leaves give me hope!
--Today, Hadleigh and I made a paper-chain with 38 links to count down the days until Madeleine arrives! (That's her name by the way! And we have a scheduled c-section, due to my previous two.) Hadleigh loved making it and it's hanging over her door, since the two girls will be sharing a room!
This past Sunday, in honor of September, I made a wonderful baked French Toast recipe that I'll share today! I really hope you enjoy it...it is simply delicious.
French Toast with Apple Syrup (It's from the Lone Star to Five Star Cookbook, by the Junior League of Plano, TX...a great cookbook!)
French Toast ingredients:
1/2 cup (i stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 loaf french bread, sliced 3/4-inch thick
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. nutmeg
Apple Syrup ingredients:
1 cup applesauce
1 (10-oz.) jar apple jelly
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
salt to taste
1. To prepare toast, combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Cook over low hear until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange apple slices in the dish and layer the bread over the apples.
2. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla and nutmeg in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over the bread. Chill, covered with plastic wrap, for 8-12 hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
3. To prepare the syrup, combine all syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is heated through, stirring constantly until smooth. Serve over French toast.
Serves 8. (reheats well in microwave for leftovers :)
Friday, August 31, 2007
I am picky about my sunglasses. They have to sit on my nose just right, the sides of the sunglasses can't go too far past my ears or they irritate me, etc. So I've had those sunglasses for an amazing 3.5 years...
And then, I did something really silly. While at the beach, Katy was taking pictures of me with Nathanael...and I thought the pictures might look better without my sunglasses covering my face. So I put them on my head (hindsight is 20-20), lifted Nathanael over my head and
Katy caught the loss of my glasses to the ocean on camera. Funny, huh? And how funny is my reaction? At this point, I'm reminding myself "Nathanael is more important than the glasses. Nathanael is more important than the glasses." Immediately, I started to look for them, but they were gone. Instantly.
Kind of made me start to think about everything the ocean has claimed...and I decided that a pair of sunglasses isn't that much of a loss. Far greater things could be (and have been) lost at sea.
(And I'm sure Hilary is just shocked that I would post this photo...not only pregnant but in a swimsuit! The only picture of her I've ever seen when she was pregnant, she covered her stomach with a pillow!)
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
1 9 oz. box chocolate wafer cookies
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
7 Tbsp. hot melted butter, unsalted
1. Finely grind cookies, chocolate, sugar, and nutmeg in processor or blender. Add butter and process until crumbs begin to stick together, about 1 minutes.
2. Transfer crumbs to 10-inch springform pan with 3-inch high sides. Wrap plastic wrap around fingers and press crumb mixture firmly up sides to within 1/2 inch of top edge, then over bottom of pan.
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
20 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Kahlua
1. Bring cream to a simmer in large saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and Kahlua. Whisk until chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth.
2. Pour 2 cups of the ganache over bottom of crust. Freeze until ganache is firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temp. to uses later.
**I made the crust and ganache a day before the rest of the cheesecake, so the ganache needed to be warmed in microwave for about 15 seconds and then stirred. I also moved the crust to the fridge after 30 minutes.
4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. dark rum (I used Kahlua instead)
2 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
2 Tbsp. ground espresso coffee beans
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. light molasses
4 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with the rack in the middle of oven.
2. Mix cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until blended. Beat in flour. Stir rum, instant espresso, coffee, vanilla, and molasses in a small bowl until the instant coffee dissolves; beat into cream cheese mixture. Beat in eggs one at a time.
3. Pour filling over cold ganache in crust. Place cheesecake on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake unti lthe top is brown, puffed, and cracked at edges, 1 hour and 5 minutes. (I added 10-15 minutes.) Transfer to rack. Cool 15 minutes, maintaining oven temperature.
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Reserved ganache to garnish
1. Whisk sour cream, sugar and vanilla to blend. Pour topping over hot cheesecake, spreading to cover filling completely.
2. Bake until topping is set, about 10 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack. Refrigerate hot cheesecake on rack until cool, about 3 hours.
3. Run sharp knife between crust and pan to loosen; release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to a platter.
4. Spoon reserved ganache into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. Pip 6 diagonal lines atop cheesecake, spacing 1-inch apart. Repeat in opposite direction, making lattice design. Garnish with coffee beans if desired. Chill until lattice is firm, at least 6 hours.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Mimi and the kiddos flying the kite...they loved it! Hadleigh and Uncle Matt swinging and jumping over the waves. It was so much fun to see both Hadleigh and Nathanael really warm up to Uncle Michael and Uncle Matt...Hadleigh always wanted to know exactly where they were at all times! We think Hadleigh is imitating Brent as he was lying on the lounge chair reading. At any rate, a cute first attempt at sunbathing! The nine (almost ten) of us near the dunes. Mimi and Nathanael playing in the waves...he had NO fear of them and didn't mind the salt water in his face at all! This is probably my favorite picture of Hadleigh...just enjoying being in the water...but a safe distance from the waves since she's by herself. Thankfully, she has a little more caution in the water than her brother! And a content Nathanael sitting in the kayak that Mimi and Hadleigh rode in the shallow water!
4 pounds small red potatoes
5 quarts water
1 (3-ounce) bag of crab boil seasoning
4 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning2 pounds kielbasa or hot smoked link sausage, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
6 ears of corn, halved
4 pounds large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined optional
1. Add potatoes to large pot, then add 5 quarts water and seasonings. Cover pot and heat to a rolling boil; cook 5 minutes. Add sausage and corn, and return to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
2. Add shrimp to stockpot; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Drain. Serve with cocktail sauce. Serves 12.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
1 cup rolled oats
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
2. Creme Brulee and Oatmeal Creme Brulee would be tough to make without a culinary torch...Brent bought me mine one Christmas...a special treat to have in your kitchen!
3. A few years ago, I received a Le Creuset Dutch Oven for Christmas and have thoroughly enjoyed using it to cook SO many things. I love the substantial weight of it (it's really heavy!) Can you tell that I like blue???
4. Apple Pie is ever so much more enjoyable to make when you have an Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer. Lots of people I know have the one by Pampered Chef, but I prefer one that has a suction mount for your counter.
5. Another favorite gift from Brent was my copper whistling tea kettle. I use this every single day, because you know I love my cup of tea! (I have the flat bottomed one pictured from Williams-Sonoma...though I just noticed they
6. I received a garlic press as a gift at a wedding shower and WOW. If you've never used fresh garlic in your cooking, don't wait any longer. It transforms the flavor of foods and smells SO good cooking! Minced garlic in a jar just doesn't cut it. And with a garlic press, it's so easy!
7. Somehow, I convinced Brent in our first few weeks of marriage that this trash can (the Allton Stainless Steel Trash Can with liner) was worth $49.95. I've never been a fan of trash cans under the sink (too small and too stinky for such a small place...no offense to those who feel otherwise) and I didn't want one in our pantry which we had at the time. This seemed like a perfect solution...and it was. And Brent admits it now! (Just don't tell him that now you can get them online at Target for $29.99, plus shipping of course.) I love being able to have my hands full of cooking messes and be able to open the trash can with my toe. And Hadleigh and Nathanael like to use the top as a drum...
And here are a few things I don't have, but think might be handy in the kitchen!
11. How do you store/transport cupcakes? My mom has this old orange rectangular tupperware container that has held millions of cupcakes, brownies, etc....but I have yet to find something for me. I saw this one by Wilton at Linen's and Things in the spring and am still thinking about it...you can also order it online.
And that's it for me...sorry there aren't more links to the products (this post has
Monday, August 06, 2007
The last time Brent and I were in Kiawah, I was pregnant with Hadleigh. I only go to the beach during summers when I'm pregnant...we were in Barbados with Nathanael in my tummy. Funny, huh?
But Kiawah was wonderful...a lot cooler than expected most of the time, thanks to a bit of rain...but we still managed to get lots of beach time and the boys had lots of golf time. Hadleigh and Nathanael soaked up the beach and the pool...they both just LOVED it! So glad...
This morning, Hadleigh walked around the house with her little suitcase and told me (when asked) that she was going to see Mimi and Grampa at the beach house. I think they are going to miss their grandparents, aunt and uncles a lot...Nathanael has been saying everyone's names constantly today...and trust me, it is the cutest thing to watch him think and then say the name he's thinking of. Especially Aunt Katy or Kay-lee, as he pronounces it!
Busy getting stuff unpacked, uncluttered, refilled (as in the refrigerator), etc. Will be back soon. I promise.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I used a delicious asiago cheese bread from the bakery of my wonderful grocery store...and it definitely offered a unique flavor to the dish. I also used regular sausage instead of turkey and normal eggs instead of egg substitute and regular cheese, so I suppose my version is no longer "light" but still really tasty. But I'll give you the light version and you can choose to substitute (or not). And, it tastes great reheated in the microwave...not all breakfast casseroles can claim that.
8 oz. ciabatta bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb. turkey breakfast sausage
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 cup (4 oz.) reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
2 large eggs
1 (8 oz.) carton egg substitute
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until toasted.
2. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage to pan; cook 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Combine sausage, bread, and onions in a large bowl. Combine milk, cheese, eggs, and egg substitute in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to bread mixture, tossing to coat bread. Spoon mixture into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Uncover casserole. Bake for 50 minutess or until set and lightly browned. Sprinkle with parsley; serve immediately.
Yields about 6 one-cup servings
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
- There is Banana Bread (with pecans) baking in the oven right now. Yummy. I love to eat it toasted with a tiny bit of butter. And tea.
- This little girl pictured above shares my "cheesy grin for pictures" that I had when I was her age. That makes me smile. And how cute is she with all her "jewels" on?
- Yesterday in the late afternoon, we had a very quick but heavy thunderstorm.
- I'm trying to figure out a recipe for Banana Nutella Crepes from one of our favorite restaurants in town (I'll share when I figure it out)...so yummy...we ate there Saturday night (date night!) in order to celebrate:
- Brent's new job! We are so excited and thankful and glad to be moving further north. Okay, it's only to Oklahoma, but every little degree of latitude helps, right?
- We've been looking at houseplans...and hoping that the one we really like will fit on the lot we really like! It's fun to get to daydream about a new home!
- Mmmmm...I can smell the banana bread now!
- In our backyard, there is a summer phlox blooming. This is a big deal because we planted them our first spring, thinking that they would do well...not so much. Too dry here. Lo and behold, a couple weeks ago, I noticed a plant had decided to say hello...thanks to our immense amount of rain this early summer! Such a fun surprise!
- The ironing is all done!
- A new Pottery Barn Kids catalog came today...filled with lots of fun ideas!
- I think both kiddos are asleep AT THE SAME TIME. Maybe I'll get some crafty stuff done today! Yesterday, Miss H. fell asleep right as Mr. N was waking up. Nice.