Lately, I am starving ALL.THE.DAMN.TIME. If I’m going to eat like 10 times a day, I want to make sure I am not going bonkers and also that I am eating a good balance of things for the kiddo. I’ve found a lot of good stuff on Skinnytaste for exactly that.
Unlike certain healthy cooking publications (looking at YOU, Cooking Light), Skinnytaste steers away from most “light” ingredients, focuses on fresh rather than convenience foods, and actually uses realistic portion sizes. Seriously, a recipe I made from Cooking Light recently claimed one pound of steak was enough to feed 8 as a main course. Um, ok. Who eats 2 oz. of meat?
Anyway, here are three things I’ve made recently that warrant mention:
Oatmeal-blueberry muffins. More like little coffee cakes, these definitely do not taste like they are made with next to no fat and just a little flour. These make a perfect first breakfast (yes, first breakfast) as I’m heading out the door.
Triple berry crisp. Delicious, and goes to show you don’t need a ton of butter to get a good crunchy topping. I actually think there is a little too much sugar/agave called for in the fruit and would cut back. The serving size is huge, the nutritional counts leave plenty of room for a scoop of ice cream.
Tomato-zucchini frittata. I made this last night after I bought two dozen eggs at Costco and realized I already had a full dozen. Added broccoli, spinach and a little feta because I had it. Quick, easy, and a leftover wedge between two slices of whole grain toast made a really good brown bag lunch today.
ASHEVILLE, NC — Derek Loy has been living the hipster lifestyle for the past two years, but after his bank account began to dwindle, he reverted back to mainstream customs. “I tried my best,” said…
“Do I miss hanging out at a brewery, drinking with a scarf on and talking about Radiohead tattoos? Actually, no. No I don’t. I’m finally free to go to a Buffalo Wild Wings and watch sports on Sunday, while drinking a giant Budweiser.”
Dying at this article because it SO fits my neighborhood hipster try-hards in their skinny pants and their beards drinking $12 craft cocktails and overpriced ironically shitty canned beer.
Skinnytaste slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches. I mean, obviously this is going to be better with pork shoulder instead of tenderloin but for a healthy and easy option it was a big hit. I added half a cup of water to the crockpot as there was no fat on the tenderloins and I was worried about coming home to a burned mess. It came out great. Topped with Lillie’s Q hot and smoky sauce and a slaw of cabbage, greek yogurt and apple cider vinegar. This made a ton - enough for dinner, lunch on Friday and two quart-sized bags of pulled meat for the freezer.
Homemade ‘za with some Nduja I picked up at the farmers’ market, red onion and fresh mozz. Delish. If you ever come across Nduja (apparently pronounced enn-doo-ya and not noo-ja like I thought), pick some up and make yourself a pizza!
The best laid plans, man. I tried last week, really, I did. And I made it to Wednesday! But after a particularly horrible no-good, very bad Thursday, the rest of the week ended in delivery and cheese boards.
Here’s what my intentions are this week:
Last night: Costco frozen spinach and cheese ravioli (the best, please never stop making them) with marinara.
Friday: Homemade ‘za with some Nduja I picked up at the farmers’ market, red onion and fresh mozz.
Last week’s reviews:
Pasta with jarred sauce (Roundy’s brand organic is VERY good and actually reasonably priced considering it is omgorganic) with extra sauteed veggies (this time, zucchini, spinach, onion and shrooms) is always something I love, even if not particularly exciting.
The house favorite black bean tacos and grilled corn. Best tacos ever. Forever and always. Amen.
Thank you to the kind sir at Art of Pizza who brings our weekly ‘za without a side of judgment.
You know it’s been a good one when your food groups consist of cheese boards, steak tacos and birthday cake.
This week at work was pretty stressful, but a pretty frank talk with my boss on Friday really helped to take some of the weight off. So did the arrival of our new patio furniture, on which I had two ounces of Cotes du Rhone in the sun and it was glorious. GLORIOUS.
We spent a lot of time with our people this weekend. Friday night was a cheese plate crawl with my friend E and her boyfriend (Prasino, Winchester, Rootstock and a stop by Tastee Freez for an Oreo sundae on the way home). Saturday was work catch up, home improvement, and a BBQ at our friends L and S’ house in celebration of a friend visiting from South Africa (steak tacos round 1). Sunday was more work catch up, a World Cup party disguised as a 1st birthday party and steak tacos round 2.
Speaking of World Cup, I haven’t really gotten much into it, but I have to say, it’s really fun to watch an odd game with people who REALLY care. Our friends are from Central and South America, and they have lots of family in Costa Rica - all ten of them at the party had on matching CR shirts. We spent the game cheering for Los Ticos, learning new swear words in Spanish from his diminutive mother, having Skype celebrations with their family in CR, and hurriedly opening presents and cutting cake during halftime.
It was a great weekend. As we start the final countdown to baby (16 weeks and some odd days, wut?), it was also a good reminder to get out more!
(I originally posted this last night, but took it down because I was really incensed and didn’t want my point to get lost. Still holds true this morning, with some edits.).
I’ve known women whose ass looked better in a bikini 7 months pregnant with zero physical activity than mine did at the peak of marathon training. Who ate perfectly and gained 60 pounds anyway. Who ate like a trucker and gained less than 20. Who had preeclampsia. Who was put on total bed rest several weeks before delivery. Who was forced to stop all exercise because of placenta issues. Who was eating foot-long grilled cheese sandwiches in pre-pregnancy jeans weeks postpartum. Who took months to get back into pre-pregnancy jeans. Who never did.
Someone else’s weight gain/loss (or lack thereof) and the reasons behind it aren’t always apparent, and they really aren’t anyone else’s business.
I’ll be completely honest: seeing the number on that scale creep up faster than I expected and into uncharted territory has been really, really hard for me.
But I’m eating really well, but not depriving myself of treats. Drinking lots of water. Making exercise a priority. Getting good sleep. I feel really good. Great, even.
Still, that number is higher than I’d like it to be. But given how I feel, is that really an issue? Or is it just my insecurity because we’ve been programmed to think that gaining more than 25-30 pounds is not OK?
My doctor had the best reassurance:
You’re growing a human. Your body is going to do what it needs to do to support that. You do your part by putting in the best fuel possible and taking care of yourself, but don’t obsess over a number or indulging a potato chip craving. Go by how you feel.
So I am. I’m doing my part and I’m letting my body do the rest. I’ve waited a really, really long time for this kid, and if I come out on the other side with a few extra stubborn pounds and a perfect, healthy baby, who cares?
I think it’s really sad that some women can’t cut themselves or other women some slack in the pregnancy and postpartum weight department. There is already so much daily pressure to be thin and pretty in our society, it shouldn’t be so while you are caring for a passenger. A pregnant and postpartum body is supporting an entire other life, which is a pretty beautiful and amazing (and for sure, unglamorous at times) thing.
I’m by no means advocating using the “eating for two” excuse to justify not taking proper care of yourself or to go on a 40 week junk food binge. But if you hold the opinion that someone who gains more than the “recommended” 25-30 pounds or fails to lose it like immediately is a fat, lazy asshole, well, that kind of makes YOU an asshole.
So last week I didn’t do anything I planned because work really stressed me out and it was far better for my sanity to just come home to pizza delivery or meet friends for delicious patio tacos. Back at it this week.
Monday: pasta and sauce with ground beef, mushrooms, onions and spinach (to use up half a jar of sauce and some odd veggies)
Tuesday: M at basketball, some good intention of making myself a full and actual healthy dinner, perhaps a salad of some sort, abandoned in favor of cheese and crackers and ice cream. (Honesty.)
Friday: Either crockpot pulled pork sandwiches if I get my shit together, or a homemade pizza (because the baby will not be denied).
Monday: pasta salad with grilled chicken, fresh mozz and veggies, tossed with the leftover carrot top pesto from this recipe: Roasted carrots with carrot top pesto. This was a good way to use up some stuff and make a superfast dinner, and it made plenty for lunches for the rest of the week.
Rest of the week: A joke. Pizza. Tacos. Repeat. Delicious.
So my cheapo $30 Revlon hairdryer that I’ve had for 10+ years finally croaked this morning.
I know the technology has improved since I last purchased a dryer, so talk to me about yours. Do the spensy ones really dry your hair faster/are they worth the price? I’m not opposed to spending more than $30 on a new one, but it better be magical and go the distance.
I know there are several other Tumblr moms-to-be out there, so I thought I would share these great Athleta linen shorts that are cute and growing belly friendly. They are short but not too short and cut slightly wider in the leg opening for a more flattering fit.
These would also be awesome for the non-pregnant set, as the soft waistband rolls down to a cute drawstring and would be perfectly non-constricting if you were to, oh, I don’t know, see how many burgers you could eat at Roscoe Village Burger Fest or sit on a patio drinking beers in 90 degree heat and high humidity without having your waistband digging into your stomach. Not that I have big plans for these shorts next summer or anything.
I ordered a size up from my normal size. The only caution is that the white is totally see through, so go with one of the darker colors.
While eaters on Southport are getting their own location of one of Chicago’s most renowned pizzerias, they’re also losing a 12-year restaurant staple. Owner Jimmy Madla is shuttering his…
This was one of my very favorite places in my old neighborhood, and they make my single hands-down favorite summer cocktail EVER, the Uva Caribe - a delicious concoction of light rum, pineapple, club soda, muddled grapes and lime. The ideal patio pounder on a hot day, we would frequently stop in for “brunch” aka 3 Uvas on the patio before 1 pm.
The Uva Caribe is so beloved by my group of friends that I have already had two email discussions regarding this loss as of 8:30 this morning.
I’m super bummed that I won’t get to enjoy one last real “brunch” before they close, so everyone in Chicago head there immediately and have two (or eight) and pour a little out for your homie.
(The dinner menu is also really delish, so it’s not only about the booze!)
I made this version of the good old banana pudding with Nilla wafers for Father’s Day dessert. It was super good, and making your own vanilla pudding is only slightly more difficult than making it from a box. The meringue topping in place of whipped cream really took it over the top.
[I may have let mine go a tad too long. But not bad for a first try, right?]
I really enjoyed getting back in the kitchen last week. Planning out dinner and prepping some things ahead of time keeps us on track and allows M to start putting dinner together if I get a late start home or hit the gym. Here’s what’s cooking this week:
Monday: pasta salad with grilled chicken, fresh mozz and veggies, tossed with the leftover carrot top pesto from last week (see below).
Wednesday: scallops with snap peas from this month’s Cooking Light (if it’s good I’ll find and link the recipe next week)
Thursday: grilled pork chops and the return of a favorite - the tomato stack with avocado and corn.
Grilled portobello mushroom caps. I used the portobello burger marinade from Skinnytaste to marinate the mushroom caps, which was awesome. Next time I will probably do slightly less vinegar and more rosemary.
Grilled fish with tzatziki. G’s tzatziki recipe is the move.
London Broil. One of my always favorites, the leftover steak is great for tacos, salads, quesadillas, etc.
Roasted carrots with carrot top pesto. The pesto was really good and only slightly earthy, which was a surprise to me. This is a pretty genius way to make a large volume of pesto without raiding an entire basil plant.
Congrats on the baby! I know you said you didn't find out but do you have any feeling if it's a boy or a girl?
I had no strong feelings one way or the other until about a day after the anatomy scan. Now I am certain it’s a boy. I base this off of my highly scientific analysis of old wives tales except the one that involves mixing your pee with Drano because that is just fucking nuts. I’m carrying lower, my skin isn’t broken out, I had zero morning sickness, I am clumsy as all hell, I sleep on my left side, M isn’t gaining weight, that goofy wedding ring on a string test swung boy, I have cold feet and dry hands, and I’ve been craving salty/sour. Also, the Chinese gender prediction chart says so.
The one thing that seemed to suggest girl was the heart rate, but after this morning’s emergency heartbeat check as a result of an electrical mishap (see above, clumsy) even that now points to boy.
I’m now so convinced that it’s a boy that I’ve been referring to it as “him” and will probably fall off my hospital bed if he turns out to be a she.
I used to think “nesting” was a myth, but it’s no joke. I am in full-on CLEAN AND ORGANIZE AND DECORATE AND REDO EVERYTHING mode. Throw it away. Throw it ALL AWAY.
My nesting has also come with a bit of ADD. As soon as I check off one box in one room, I immediately think of 15 other things I want to do in every room but the one we are working on. No sooner than M got someone lined up to install the hardwood in the baby’s room, I was on to the next thing. Nursery furniture who? Fireplace reno what? No, we MUST DECORATE THE BABY’S BATHROOM.
I had been drawing a blank on what to do with the bathroom - the shower tile (taupe) and granite (mottled dark brown) and cabinets (cherry) weren’t really working with most of the kids’ oriented stuff that was cute but not TOO cute.
Inspiration struck last night when I was in our neighbors’ powder room and I noticed their accent wall, which they had painted this really great shade of a not-too-dark forest green. It immediately reminded me of some adorable woodland creature prints my friend Michele pinned as to a nursery board for her little guy.
I ordered this shower curtain this morning for, as M is now calling it, the “what does the fox say” bathroom. A dark green accent wall, a fresh coat of a neutral on the remaining walls, a few new hand towels from Target (love the Threshold bath stuff!) and maybe a cute print or two for the wall, and I’ll be on to the next.
They are few. But it IS nice that people at the gym give a visibly pregnant lady thumbs ups and “hey good for yous” even if you’re totally phoning in 30 minutes on the elliptical and the only reason you even stopped at the gym was to change into pants with a stretchy waistband before you commute home to eat ice cream.
Most important, it confirmed that everything is going as it should. Baby S has all its fingers and toes, four heart chambers beating away, 2 kidneys, a properly formed spine and nasal bone and a cute little nose. All the stuff you hope to see. Of course, kiddo was comfortable and NOT MOVING NO MATTER WHAT GOD MOM GOD so it took the tech a good 30+ minutes to complete the spinal scan. She prodded it several times with the sonogram probe to try to get it to move, and it responded by punching me…hard. I think we’re going to have our hands full with this one.
The picture of its little feet is so freaking cute, and I’d love to share it except I’ve always said that if you’ve peed on it or if you don’t have pants on when an image is taken, it doesn’t belong on the internet, so I’m not about to be one of those hypocrites who suddenly thinks that doesn’t apply to her because her kid is omgtotesdifferentandamazing and a special snowflake.
Of course, the biggest part of the anatomy scan is that it is generally the first opportunity to reveal the sex. So, without further adieu, it’s…a…
Now that I am at the halfway point in this pregnancy and the ridiculous fatigue and general disinterest in food is in the rearview mirror, I feel like I have superhuman energy.
OK, it’s probably just what normal feels like and I’ve forgotten, but nesting is real, y’all. I spent the afternoon (after cleaning out the fridge and organizing the pantry) prepping some items for the week - slicing fruit, mixing up pesto, roasting beets and making a big vat of the best tzatziki ever…and some strawberry-rhubarb crisp bars with the market’s first berries too.
Here’s what we’re eating, now that my energy is back (and grilling season makes it easy):
Sunday: asparagus risotto and grilled portobello mushroom caps.
Monday: grilled foil packet fish with veggies and tzatziki, beet salad.
Tuesday: London Broil, roasted brussels sprouts and beet salad if there are beets left.
"They" say everything changes when you have a baby. Your schedule, your freedom, your ability to just drop everything on a whim in favor of something fun.
The thing is, I didn’t expect it to happen before the kid was actually here.
We’ve spent nearly every weekend since we found out about the peanut getting ready for its arrival. Cleaning out closets, painting, finishing house projects on the never-ending to-do list, registering, shopping, reading manuals on what the hell we are supposed to do with it. The weekends we weren’t prepping for baby I spent working. I felt like I was already losing my sense of self with 20 weeks to go.
So this weekend we shelved the projects.
A trip to the farmers market complete with a shared monkey bun and a big bunch of pink peonies. Wandering the Do Division festival, this year sans festival sangria. Lunch on a patio with friends. Dinner on another patio with other friends (and maybe just a few sips of an ice cold rose). Brunch in the burbs with my college roommates and their kiddos. Dinner at Next with my parents.
I know that the kid is going to be one of the best things to ever happen to us. I also am now beginning to understand how much and how quickly things are going to change. The “old normal” - the carefree summer weekends of too much sun and too many drinks- will likely never be again (except for maybe an occasional fleeting weekend when grandma and grandpa take over), and if I’m honest, I’m a little sad. But I think the “new normal” is going to be just fine too.
Buying a stroller is more complicated than buying a car. HELP.
We’ll walk…a LOT. It needs to be able to handle city streets, the beach, uneven pavement. Ideally, it’s not super wide. Needs to have ample storage for baby bag and shopping trips, and be able to adjust from newborn to older baby to toddler.
Will not be folding the thing up and taking it in and out of the car very often. Do not want a “travel system.” Does not even need to be carseat compatible because we will have the little metal caddy for the infant seat and later a cheapo lightweight, easy-fold stroller stored in the car for outings.
Aaaaaaaand finally, in my ideal world, it will have an option to convert to a double. Given that these things cost more than the rent for my first apartment, I would like to only do this once.
We’ve been looking at a few specific brands/models, but I’d like to know what you’ve got and whether you like it!
I just ordered this hat for Baby S’ first Thanksgiving. Crib? Nope. Diaper stash? Nope. Emergency first aid kid? Nope. Overpriced upholstered chair for the kid to puke on and a ridiculous turkey hat? CHECK.
Thanksgiving is my family’s favorite holiday, and one that is very dear to me. When I first found out that I was expecting, I realized this was the year to travel to Iowa to my cousin’s house. Not happening with a 3-4 week old.
So what did we decide to do instead? Why, I’m hosting Thanksgiving! For 30+-ish people! For the first time! With a newborn! Totally well-thought out and reasonable, right?
Fortunately, my mom will do most, if not all, of the work involved with feeding 30 grown humans while I serve my sole purpose of feeding a single tiny human and re-experiencing what it’s like to get completely shitfaced from a single glass of wine again.
The kid needs a bit of flair for this occasion, and this turkey hat will do quite nicely.
So because this baby really only likes carbs, cheese and carbs with cheese, it REALLY loves pizza. So M promised that we could order Pequod’s for dinner and I was all like
I mean, my Chicago people know what I’m talking about, right? The delicious pan pizza with the burned cheese crust AMIRITE?
So I spent the whole rest of the day thinking about the damn pizza with the burned crust and how I was going to eat the shit out of it.
And then I got stuck at work until 10 pm and thereby missed out on newly delivered burned cheese crust deliciousness.
So when I finally got to leave, I spent the whole commute home thinking about the BURNED CHEESE CRUST deliciousness that awaited my arrival.
So you can imagine how disappointed I was to find out M ordered thin crust (which does not have the burned cheese crust).
Disappointment gave way to a really obnoxious meltdown.
M tried to explain that it was basically the same thing as burned cheese crust pizza, but I was having NONE OF IT.
And then I felt super crazy and really terrible for acting like an ungrateful asshole, so I cried about it.
And M, bless his patient heart, gave me a hug because I am pretty sure he didn’t know what else to do with the insane person in front of him.
Epilogue: yes, I apologized to my poor husband for acting like a crazed wildebeest who hadn’t eaten in days. I feel like blaming pregnancy is kind of a cop-out, but, welp, pregnancy, yo. Hopefully that was a one-time break from reality.