Thursday, July 30, 2009

Forgot to add: food relevance

Haha, but just barely.

I read somewhere that pineapple is considered by some to be a food to eat to "stimulate contractions". I think that's a load of bunk, but it does make me want pineapple... just because that is one delicious fruit!

Due Day

Well, here we are, July 30th. It's my due date, and no baby! I'm having plenty of the following:

- achy pelvis
- kicky baby down kinda low in pelvis
- crampy feeling, from kicking
- braxton hicks contractions of varying intensity
- neck/shoulder pain (possibly related, not sure)
- anxiety over not delivering before my scheduled c-section of evil.

The things I am *not* having are most of the signs they call actual preludes to labor. The increased intensity and frequency of the braxton hicks are the only textbook symptom I have. Otherwise all of it (I'll spare you guys the yucky details about what I am obsessively looking for) is just not happening!

What's very hard to remind myself is that anything and everything could just HAPPEN. What's even worse about knowing that is, every day when it DOESN'T happen, it's like I've wasted another day. You can tell I'm on an emotional roller coaster - I'm at once very anxious, very excited, and very disheartened, all at the same time. It's madness at my house I tell you!

And every so often I get a series of HUGE kicks in a row, making my stomach jump repeatedly, and it's the funniest thing you've ever seen. :) Well, I just thought anyone keeping up with this blog might want an update from me, since I am the world's worst at making phone calls!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cannellini Bean Mash

This picture doesn't do this dish justice, because it looks pretty bland but it actually is really delicious. It's cannellini beans mashed with garlic-infused olive oil with lemon zest added to the olive oil. And what a great alternative to rice, potatoes, or pasta this is. I actually got this recipe from Nigella Lawson on the Food Network. Go here for the recipe. And don't let the part about the flash fried steak deter you from reading or using this recipe, because I just used the part of the recipe that called for the bean mash. It's extremely easy to make, and I added a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice at the end. The result is a nice big dish of mashed comfort food - outstanding! You could probably add some fresh herbs or other seasonings if you have a mind to. But it's awesome without it. I didn't have to use any salt by the way - the lemon juice took care of that. Give it a try!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Power Outages Conspire Against Me

I totally had made this gigantic post yesterday and was nearly ready to post it when our power just went out. Like THAT! Imagine me snapping my fingers. (It's fun and interactive.)

Anyway it wasn't really about all that much, just a kickass lasagna I made for dinner on Sunday night. Proof of its kickassness was that Dorothy ate it both Sunday and Monday night without needing to be prodded! Usually she loses interest in a lot of the foods we serve her, but even though she was hesitant with this one (the ricotta had a lot of spinach mixed into it), once we persuaded her to take a bite she was like "Gimme that fork! Omnomnom".

It's a recipe from Everyday Food magazine (naturally) and the nice part is that I made a second one which is sitting in the freezer, waiting to be needed. ^_^

I guess I'll just talk about the rest of the week's food plans...

Last night was a good bulgur salad. Supposed to have pine nuts in it, but Whole Foods was out of them in the bulk section (WHAT?!?! Charlotte I'm looking at you) so even though Dorothy wasn't going to have any I figured I'd just skip it. It was good but lemony! and a little sparse for my appetite. Tonight I'm making chicken and macaroni salad... we'll see how that goes.

I don't know how much cooking I'm going to do after tonight. I can probably manage something on the weekends but generally I'd just like to collapse and have someone provide me with food from here on out. By rights I should be allowed takeout every night, if you ask me. Well, no one did! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This Pecan Crust is a Must!

I have a great recipe for Pecan Crusted Chicken that I got from If you are a vegetarian, please do not think that this post does not pertain to you! Please read on. For one thing, the eating well website is one of my favorites for getting ideas for dinner, etc. Their recipes are generally good and what I consider to be nutritious. They also give nutritional information for each recipe. This particular recipe is good because it's not too hard to make, and the end result is very tasty. And not only is the chicken delicious, the pecan mixture that is used for the crust topping is out of this world. I got the idea of mixing some of it in with my grilled asparagus last evening when I made it, and it was a great addition to the vegetable. It has a nice kick with the addition of ground chipotle pepper, plus a slight flavor of orange from the orange zest, and then of course the nutty flavor of the toasted pecans. Yum! I would like to try it with tofu as a replacement for the chicken - I think it would be quite good. I apologize for the lack of the picture but my computer is being difficult tonight and it won't let me upload a photo :( Oh well, try some pecan crust mixture on your tofu or vegetables, or even chicken if you want. Hope you like it!

Blueberry Pancakes on a Sunday Morn...

... with fresh strawberries, maple syrup AND powdered sugar. Man, I really spoiled myself this morning.

For the record, the pancake wasn't really quite that big, as it was made in a mold my mom (SueWho) gave me. Actually this particular mold was the largest of three different sized rings and they all have the same sized hole in the middle so you can fill your pancake stack with goodies. My goody-of-choice was strawberries, obviously. I couldn't decide on syrup or powdered sugar, so I (wisely) did both. It was still huge and really filled me up. I can't believe anyone would need all three rings, but I did make mine pretty thick. It was also practically erupting with juicy blueberries! YUM!

The pancake recipe is the basic pancake recipe from Vegan With A Vengeance, with a lot of frozen blueberries folded in. I found it already posted on the web by someone else, so I am copying and pasting it on to here. But, you should buy the cookbook-- or one of her other ones.

1-1/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/3 c water
1 to 1-1/4 c plain rice or soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Sift or stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined, like muffins (you know, a couple of lumps are fine-overmixing results in tough pancakes and tough muffins).

Add oil to a large skillet and heat the skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Add batter and cook until the pancake has some bubbles on top and is browned on the bottom. This takes about 4 minutes. Turn pancakes and finish (until bottoms are browned). Repeat until batter is used up. Oil skillet between pancakes or as needed.

She recommends folding in 1 c. of blueberries, but I just dumped in however much I wanted. I also had to use the whole 1 1/4 c. of rice milk (soy in my case) as well as a lot of water because it was so thick.

Top with syrup or whatever you want!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

To Food or Not To Food

I thought "I should post something on this here Team Blog."

Then it took me like five minutes to figure out how. This is so pathetic of me!

Ignoring that, tonight I am making a tomato ricotta tart. I will let everyone know just how it comes out. I've made it before and saved the recipe, so even though I have no memory of how it tastes I can only assume it must've been pretty good. I will say, I love ricotta cheese. Whole milk or skim milk, doesn't matter, there's just something in the texture that makes me want to sit down and eat it from the container. Preferably with honey or something on it. It's like eating a very-slightly-sweetened dessert. I almost never buy it, except for recipes, but perhaps I should start...

I would promise a picture or something of my tart, but funny thing about that. I stubbornly refuse to do anything that requires any off-site registrations, so I won't have a place to put any photos that I take... therefore it ain't gonna happen. Make up a picture in your head! (Mine is of a camel!)

Network News - the new National Enquirer?

What has happened to network news programs these days? It seems lately, like maybe in the past year or two, they have started devoting sizable portions of their programming to news events involving celebrities that get stretched out way beyond their natural life. Right now it is the death and aftermath of Michael Jackson. And it's so sensationalist too! I'm not talking about the Fox network (which I expect to be sensationalist); I'm talking about NBC, CBS, etc. Every morning as I prepare to go to work, I watch the news. Up to now, I have always watched the Today show. But the show is too full of talk about MJ's death, MJ's estate, MJ's kids, MJ's cause of death, etc. Yes, I agree, to an extent, some of this is newsworthy, but much of it is not! It's full of speculation and to a large degree, gossip and chit chat. I have tired of it, and I will now only watch CNN in the morning before I go to work. I will probably find out that they, too, do the same with their programming! But there just happens to be an historic confirmation hearing going on right now involving a woman of Puerto Rican descent who has been picked to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. It saddens me to think that the executives at NBC, CBS, etc., have decided that we are more interested in celebrity news than political news and thus have opted to show us only little snippets of information regarding the confirmation hearings. One definitely has to tune into cable news networks to get informative news it seems.
On a brighter note, I promise to have a food-related post next time!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pantry Staples

I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I'm not much of a cook. When I do cook, I think I do a good job, and I watch the Food Network all the time so I know a lot about cooking, but I am by no means whatsoever very creative in the kitchen. I really dislike grocery shopping, and meal planning tends to make me a bit anxious. I also only cook for myself, and I alternate between periods when I'm really busy, and times when I'm just really lazy. As a result, I often end up trying to come up with meals that can be made with just a few ingredients, a few minutes, and a minimal amount of effort. Of course, just to complicate matters, I like to keep my meals as healthy as possible.

Enter one of my favorite dishes recently. I think there are probably about 1,000 variations you could do on this one-dish meal, all of which would be delicious. Here's the combination I have been making lately (based largely on what I had on hand and what I had time and energy to deal with):
I know this isn't the greatest picture, but it does give you a pretty clear idea of the four ingredients that went into this bowl--white rice (normally I use brown, but I didn't feel like waiting for it to cook today), edamame, chick peas, and a bit of grated cheddar cheese. While the rice is cooking (I like to make a couple servings so I have some to put away for the next meal), I saute the edamame (which I buy frozen, shelled) and chick peas in a pan with a bit of cooking spray. Once the rice is done, I combine the ingredients and add the cheese. The result is super simple but also delicious and satisfying.

Like I said, you could really vary this dish according to your preferences and *especially* what you have on hand. I am trying to put more thought into what I consider my pantry staples so that I can always make a dish like this, no matter how recently I've been grocery shopping. By keeping a few key ingredients on hand, you can really simplify your life. Especially if the thought of going grocery shopping appeals to you as much as it does to me!!

What do you think of as your pantry staples?

It's a Team Thing!

I've been thinking lately about making my blog a team blog. I have decided to invite my daughters to be my team, and I thought it would be fun if we could all post together on this blogspot about food, mostly, since this is a foodie blog. But in addition to food, we could post about anything that we feel that maybe we all have a common interest in, such as politics, movies, books, whatever. We don't all live close together anymore, so this would sort of be like we are living back together again, just like in the good ol' days. So here goes, I am giving it a try.
I don't have any food things to write about today yet but hopefully I will be back very soon!