Cold Weather

It was -27 degrees when I woke up today. Schools are closed for the third day in a row, and many businesses are closed as well. Joel cancelled his meetings. We are housebound. Again. These insane temps, in addition to an infant that wants to be held all minutes of the day, have left me feeling a little overwhelmed. It’s impossible to get anything done. Yet, as I sit here, frantically typing while the baby sleeps for a few minutes on her own, I know that winter won’t last forever. It may be cold outside now, but the light shining through the window is warm and nourishing. Spring will be here eventually.

The Menu


Sunday

Cheeseburger Soup (recipe from The Recipe Critic)

Ok, stay with me here. I had ground beef, potatoes, and a block of sharp cheddar cheese knocking around the kitchen. I wanted something warm and creamy. Joel was very skeptical of this recipe and so disdainful of it that I had to banish him from the kitchen while I worked. Once it was finished and bubbling away on the stove, I took a little taste. It was true. It wasn’t very flavorful. I added a little Worcestershire and some yellow mustard, but it still wasn’t great. So, we ladled it into bowls and topped it with Frank’s RedHot and you know what? It was delicious! We ate every bit of it over the next few days. Joel even asked me to make it again.

Sides: Fresh, delicious, homemade bread from your sister-in-law (!) and sliced veggies


Monday

Leftovers


Tuesday

Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss (recipe from Rachael Ray via Food Network)

This was recipe was ok. Not mind-blowing in any sense, as I assumed, but it was quick and easy.

Sides: Roasted cauliflower & a green salad


Wednesday

Kabocha Squash and Pork Stir-Fry (recipe from Chris Morocco via Bon Appetit)

This was a weird recipe, but I loved it. Creamy squash combined with spicy sausage, lime juice, and crunchy peanuts. This is my kind of meal, although I may be alone on my desert island. As you can see from the picture, I over steamed my squash and it completely fell apart. This didn’t bother me, because the flavors were still there. However, I might suggest keeping a closer eye on your squash while it steams, or even roasting cubed sweet potatoes, if you want something that stands up texturally. The peanuts are a must for texture and the lime juice is essential for it’s bright contrast to the otherwise salty dish.

Sides: Popovers & a green salad


Thursday

Leftovers


Friday

Italian Dunkers

This meal brought me right back to the middle school cafeteria. Simply brown some hamburger, add your favorite red sauce, and let it simmer away on the stove while you top sliced French bread with mozzarella cheese. Slide the cheese toasts into the oven at 450 degrees until the cheese melts and then run them under the broiler until the cheese starts to bubble and brown. Turn on a movie (in our case, A Bug’s Life) and dunk your cheese toasts into the meaty sauce.

Sides: Steamed broccoli

End your meal with a bowl of chocolate ice cream 😉


Saturday

Leftovers


(Jan 20th, 2019 – Jan 26th, 2019)

Awake All Day

This is going to be a brief post this week, as I seem to have babies that like to stay awake all day and sleep all night. Baby L., who is only one month old, can go a solid six hours at a time at night. The flip side is that she tends to only cat nap here and there during the day. It makes for a pleasant night’s sleep, but a slightly more challenging day. Thankfully, coffee, my dear friend, is back in my life.

The Menu


Sunday

Baked Macaroni and Cheese (With Yoghurt) (recipe by Twinks at Nigella.com)

I had planned to make this recipe tonight, but time was not on our side. Instead, Joel and I traded off holding the baby and throwing together our old stand by recipe for macaroni and cheese with yogurt. It’s tangy, cheesy, and always a treat. We achieve the best results with Stoneyfield Organic Whole Milk (Plain) Yogurt and Organic Valley Sharp Cheddar Cheese.

Sides: Roasted asparagus and frozen peas


Monday

Yogurt-Braised Chicken Legs with Garlic and Ginger (recipe by Claire Saffitz via Epicurious)

The picture of this recipe looked so delicious, but it had little flavor and it was way more trouble to make than it was worth.

Sides: Steamed green beans


Tuesday

Ground Orange Chicken (1 Pan) (recipe via Dinner Then Dessert)

This recipe for orange chicken had great flavor and it was super quick to prepare. Obviously, it doesn’t have the flavor of deep fried orange chicken, and it’s loaded with sugar, but it came through when I realized I forgot to thaw turkey for dinner. Ooh, I hate when that happens!!

Sides: Roasted Asparagus, broccoli, and red pepper with salt & pepper


Wednesday

Carrot Soup with Turkey Meatballs and Spinach (recipe by Deb Perelman via Community Table)

Another family favorite. Easy to prepare, especially if you peel your carrots earlier in the day, and nutritious. Top with a generous mound of parmesan cheese and dip crusty bread into the carrot purée. I might suggest buying a nice block of fresh parmesan to grate over the top yourself. Pre- grated parm is just sad.

Sides: Crusty bread and salad with vinaigrette


Thursday

Leftovers


Friday

Reubens, sweet potato fries, & salad!!!! Thanks, Mom 🙂


Saturday

Monthly family night at a friend’s house, complete with ham and cheese sliders and a bouncy house for the kids!


(Jan 12th, 2019 – Jan 19th, 2019)

Life’s a Jungle

Life’s a jungle these days. There’s a thicket of dirty laundry, dishes, or diapers around every corner. Little creatures squawk, howl, and cry out in the darkness of the night. Foraging for food is a real past time, and one must always remember to proceed with caution when picking up a little howler monkey that just might expel something questionable.

Speaking of navigating new terrain, Bear, at 3 1/2 years old, informed me yesterday that she no longer wants to be Rapunzel when she grows up. She wants to be Taylor Swift.

Mayday!

people…

Mayday!

The Menu


Sunday

Leftovers


Monday

Chicken with Scallion Dumplings (recipe from Canal House Cooking, Volumn 3, Winter and Spring  via Turntable Kitchen)

This recipe hails from one of my favorite cookbooks (check out Canal House). It is truly beautiful in it’s simplicity and a recipe to keep in your back pocket for any occasion. After all, who doesn’t love tucking in to a warm bowl of chicken and dumplings? I have made this recipe countless times over the years. It is always eaten with gusto around our table.

Sides: Steamed asparagus


Tuesday

Chrissy Teigen’s Sleepytime Stew & Cream Cheese Smashed Potatoes (recipe from Cravings: Hungry for More)

I received this cookbook for Christmas and, let me tell you, it makes me so happy. I’ve bookmarked just about every recipe to try and I’ve read through the entire cookbook more than once. The Sleepytime Stew with Cream Cheese Smashed Potatoes was the first recipe I tried, and it was delicious! It simmered away on the stove all afternoon making me feel like a domestic goddess again (as opposed to a milk machine). It’s a delicious combination of beef, Worcestershire sauce, aromatics, white beans, and jalapeno. Check out the book at the library (or buy it!) and dig in.

Sides: Sliced raw veggies


Wednesday

Pizza drop off. Thanks, Pastor Jeff 🙂

Sides: Salad


Thursday

Leftovers


Friday

Dinner at Big Bowl. Red wine, egg rolls, shrimp rangoon, and yellow chicken curry. I so deserved this.


Saturday

I have no idea. I’m sure we ate something.


(Jan 6th, 2019 – Jan 12th, 2019)

And Then There Were Four

A little over three weeks ago we welcomed a beautiful baby girl to our family. Baby L. is sweet and surprising calm. Bear is a protective big sister already and eager to dole out kisses and head rubs at every chance she gets.

At first I worried that having a baby so close to Christmas would be difficult, but it made the holidays more joyful than they have ever been. Christmas feels like eons ago now, but I will remember it as a blizzard of cookies, sleepless nights, new baby cuddles, and all things Paw Patrol.

Of course, adding a second child to the family is one of the hardest things we have ever done. The guilt over diminishing time with our first plagues me. As does weariness from lack of sleep and the emotional roller coaster of the past few weeks. We have taken not one but two trips to the ER since returning home from the hospital, including one in an ambulance at 5:30 in the morning. I will never forget the sight of seeing five paramedics crowded around our tiny bathroom. Fortunately, we are all well and everything was fine on both accounts.

We are adjusting to our new normal now, as life soldiers on, and looking forward to the year ahead. Family and friends continue to spoil us with delicious meals and treats and I am slowly inching back into the kitchen. The Asian Chicken Slaw from the blog What’s Gabby Cooking was the first thing I cooked post pregnancy and Bear and I spent some quality time together in the kitchen last Sunday making Cherry and Maple Granola. Joel declared it the best granola he’s ever had. We’ve eaten it by the fistful, over plain yogurt, with a splash of cream, and sprinkled over Haagen-Dasz vanilla ice cream.

Happy 2019 from our family to yours!

Photo Credit: Auntie Sarah


Saturday

Asian Chicken Slaw (recipe from What’s Gabby Cooking)


Sunday

Cherry and Maple Granola (recipe from “Pull Up a Chair” by Tiffani Thiessen)

We substituted chopped pecans for the cashews.


(December 2018 – January 2019)