T Minus One Week

Well. All I can say is that there is nothing quite like pregnancy to make a girl feel special. I have felt truly blessed by the support I’ve received over the past nine months. From friends and family who have offered to help with Bear, volunteered to run to the store to pick up food, asked if they can prepare food to stock our freezer, and checked in on me time and time again. To the older African American sales clerk at Von Maur who congratulated me profusely on my pregnancy and wanted to hear all about how I was feeling. To the Middle Eastern sales clerk, about my age, at Macy’s who got a huge smile on his face when he saw my bump and paused while handing me my purchases to say, “I pray you have a healthy baby.” To the woman who offered to get me a chair while I stood in a check out line on Saturday (am I seriously that big?!). To the two little old ladies who corned me at the mall last week to make sure I knew how radiant I looked. To my amazing coworkers who brought cookies and presented me with a signed card on my last day of work before maternity leave. And, of course, to the teenaged bagboy at the grocery store on Sunday who said, “Boy, you’re really stocking up on groceries… Good luck with your baby.” I wasn’t really stocking up. It was a normal trip to the grocery store but, of course, I blamed it on the baby. Honestly, it all brings tears to my eyes. Babies seem to bring communities together and a group of strangers who otherwise might not say more than a few words to one another. I am reminded that, no matter where we come from, the majority of us just want the same things. Peace, love, blessings for others, and a good family life.

I plan to sneak in one more blog post before the baby arrives but, if I don’t have a chance to get one out, thank you for reading. I plan to resume blogging again as soon as I am able to get back in the kitchen.

The Menu




Sheet-Pan Chicken with Sourdough and Bacon (recipe from Justin Chapple at Food & Wine)

The picture was not pretty and I wasn’t in the mood for dinner, but Joel and Bear tell me this was good.

Sides: Greens with vinaigrette


Slow Roasted Pork Carnitas (recipe from Rick Bayless)

This is a simple, deliciously porky, recipe for carnitas from Rick Bayless. One of the supreme authorities on traditional Mexican cuisine. Also, this recipe couldn’t be easier. Place the pork in a baking dish, sprinkle some salt over the meat, pour in 1/3 cup water, cover, and bake for one hour. Then, instead of standing over the hot stove frying the meat, just turn up the oven, remove the foil, and let the meat brown. This isn’t a fancy recipe by any means. It’s just good old home cooking. We ate our carnitas topped with guacamole and sliced radishes.

Sides: Steamed Green Beans


Old Fashioned Chicken Soup (recipe from Food Network Kitchen) with Easy Homemade Egg Noodles (recipe from Tastes Better from Scratch)

I had big plans for Wednesday. Bear was supposed to go to a play group in the afternoon so I could get out and check some items off my to-do list. Then, Bear and Joel were supposed to head to my in-laws for dinner while I treated myself to a haircut (the last for a long while, I’m sure). Instead, Bear woke up and puked all over her bed. Of course that meant no play group, no shopping, and loads of laundry. It also meant that I was compelled to make homemade chicken noodle soup. So, you know, there went the afternoon!

This recipe for chicken soup, as long as you salt it to your preference, is so so good. The meat practically falls off the bones after simmering for an hour and the broth is rich and soothing. I like to add egg noodles to the soup, and I particularly love the egg noodle recipe I stumbled upon at the blog Tastes Better from Scratch. I recommend making a half batch, as the noodles puff up quite a bit when you drop them into the simmering broth.

Of course Bear was fine by dinner and refused to eat more than a few spoonful’s of the soup, but I was happy she felt better and I thoroughly enjoyed the fruits of my labor.

Sides: Smoked Gouda cheese and crackers




Last day of work before maternity leave + dinner out


Adults night out with appetizerss and games.

(Dec 2nd, 2018 – Dec 8th, 2018)