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Brussel Sprouts and Pesto Pasta

7/29/14


I have been sitting at my computer for 15 minutes trying to write this first sentence.  My brain is fried.  I know you might be sick of hearing about my pregnancy, but with a little over 2 weeks to go it's CONSUMING MY LIFE.  If you've ever been pregnant, you know the end seems like an eternity. My energy level is, well, gone.  There is no energy level.  I want to cook and eat, but I don't want to physically do it.  You do it.  Do it for me.  All of you, come over and make me something different.  I'll have small bites of everything until I get super full and pass out, and then the baby will just wake me up when she's ready to be born.  This is a good, strange plan.

Ok but for real, enough nonsense talk.  This pasta dish I made last night is perfect for those times you want a balanced meal, but you don't have the time or ENERGY to pull it off.  Store-bought pesto sauce, shaved brussel sprouts (which you can do with a knife or even buy in a bag) and your favorite pasta.  Cheese, salt and pepper, delicious.  I lightly sautéed the brussel sprouts in olive oil, seasoned them, and then threw everything together in the pasta pot.  It was delicious!  

Tonight I am going to attempt something with more steps that will require more brain power...  
Pray for me. 

Chocolate Chunk Buttermilk Cake

7/28/14


We had a lot of people in and out of our house this past week, and I think when your home is all a hustle and bustlin' (I'm an elderly woman) you should have cake to offer.  Right?  I want to be that lady who greets a visitor with, "hello can I get you a piece of chocolate cake and a nice cold glass of milk, wait, did you say no thank you, well here one is anyway..." and then I shove it in their face.  That's probably what Ina would do.  So I made cake.        

I had leftover buttermilk, and after googling "chocolate buttermilk cake best ever" I found this recipe.  Jack, my tiny assistant baker, was helping me when suddenly he asked if we could put chocolate chunks in the cake.  My first response was no but then he said, "why not?"  And I stared at him and couldn't think of one good reason why not.  So we threw a bag of chocolate chunks into the cake, and it was the best idea my 5 year-old has ever had.  Carson even said this is the best chocolate cake he's EVER had.  It's ridiculously moist, and the chocolate chunks add a fudgy texture that takes the cake to a whole new level.  And then of course I used my favorite frosting ever, found here.  

Please come over so I can shove this in your face because otherwise I WILL slowly finish it all.    


All that's left anyway...

Moo Shu Shrimp

7/25/14


Carson was away for a few days, and it seems like whenever he's out of town I make the foods he's not particularly fond of: pasta and Asian dishes (you know, carb-heavy meals).  The same reader who tipped me off to the Lo Mein I made earlier in the week also sent me this recipe for Moo Shu Shrimp, and it's been sitting in my inbox staring at me ever since.  

I love shrimp, especially when it's a part of Asian cuisine, so I knew I would love this meal and I wasn't wrong.  Way to know yourself, Siri!  And now I'm talking to myself about knowing myself and this is all getting weird and stupid.

So this was yummy.  Perfectly cooked shrimp paired with lightly scrambled eggs, sautéed mushrooms and cabbage (which came from a prepackaged cole slaw mix), fresh ginger, garlic, cilantro and sweet hoisin sauce (which I balanced out with spicy Sriracha), all wrapped up in a warm, flour tortilla.  I made some brown rice as well, and for my second helping I ditched the tortilla and ate everything on top of the rice.  Just did that again for lunch.  Might do it again tomorrow.  
I know myself.         



Craving Cocktails...

7/24/14

Yup.  Need I say more?


Officially 9 months pregnant and day dreaming this morning.  Is it too early to day dream about this kind of stuff?  I don't care.  Listen, I don't completely deprive myself during pregnancy and enjoy the occasional glass of wine with dinner (or Guinness beer, mmm), but what I really want right now is to sit in this hot, humid heat and sip a crisp, cold cocktail (alliteration at its finest).  
These are the 5 I'm craving the most: 


What cocktail (or food) did you miss the most during pregnancy?

Buffalo Deviled Eggs


Buffalo sauce.  Will you marry me?  I promise to love you forever and I'll always be true, unless brown sugar bacon tempts me and in that case, LATER.  

My friends and I share a love of buffalo anything.  So when I came across a recipe for deviled eggs, I decided to make them for an afternoon pool party.  We were ALL pleased.  They took no time to assemble, and I even got all fancy and piped the yolk mixture into the egg whites using a plain old freezer bag with the end snipped.  You've got to get a little fancy when you're proposing to a sauce, after all.  Recipe here




Lo Mein with Mushrooms and Snow Peas

7/23/14


I have been craving Chinese food this entire pregnancy.  Not just the cuisine, but the act of eating it on the couch out of small, white cartons while watching sappy romantic comedies.  However, I am a mother of two (ohmygod almost three), and that's not exactly the "family dinner" setting I'm trying to create each night.  You know, one with chairs and tables and bowls and NO television.  Thankfully, I can turn to recipes like this one to satisfy at least part of my craving which is delicious Chinese food.      

I came home from my son's lacrosse camp at 6pm and dinner was ready by 6:30, that's how quickly this came together.  Certain ingredients help, like fresh linguine that cooks in minutes and pre-sliced shiitake mushrooms.  But the recipe in general is simple and delicious (although I was out of Sriracha which would have made it PERFECT).  I thought about adding chicken but left it vegetarian, and the mushrooms kept me feeling full.  Or was it the fact that I ate two full bowls of it?  Hmm...  



Diet Coke Chocolate Chunk Cookies

7/22/14


It's possible I've lost my mind.  Not only did I put Diet Coke in cookie dough (why yes, yes I did), but the sheer amount of time I spent googling "unique cookies" the other day should be criminal.  I was desperate to find something that sparked my interest, something different.  Why?  What's wrong with me?  Can I not rest until I've attempted seventy eleventy (made up number) thousand different chocolate chip cookie recipes?  The answer is yes, I cannot rest, so please send me any and all bizarre ideas.  Like this recipe - chocolate chip cookies with a tablespoon of soda in them.

My son giggled the entire time we made these together, happily taking a few sips from the soda and wondering if the end result would taste "bubbly."  Well they don't taste like cola, but there is something different about them.  There's almost a bread-like flavor to the cookie - scientists, help me out?  Is that the carbonation?  Like using club soda or beer to make soda bread?  Do scientists read my blog?  I'm dumb.  I have 9-month preggo brain.  I drove my son to the completely wrong place for his first day of lacrosse camp yesterday because I read an email wrong.  

The cookies aren't bad, but they aren't my favorite.  I think the recipe is missing salt.  My son, on the other hand, thought they were AWESOME.  And honestly, what can be so bad about a "bready" cookie with chunks of chocolate in it?  Not a whole lot.  I'm just picky, because I've eaten seventy eleventy thousand cookies in my life.       


Burrata and White Peach Crostini

7/21/14


Hamptons, I can't quit you and your quaint farm stands everywhere you turn.  We went back for a quick weekend trip, and this time I picked up some freshly baked bread, homemade Burrata cheese, juicy white peaches, locally made honey and some fresh basil.  And then I turned it all into a delicious appetizer!  Carson, who is not usually one for the sweet and savory combination, LOVED this.  Everything just came together perfectly.  White peaches aren't overly sweet, but drizzled with a little honey, on top of creamy, salty cheese, on top of crispy bread... it was perfect.  A little earthiness from the basil and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt topped it all off.  I want more.

(**Which isn't saying much, because I want EVERYTHING right now.  Only 4 more weeks left in this pregnancy and I want to eat and sleep the days away... healthy, huh?  Don't worry, though, that's not happening because I'm constantly running after my 22 month-old and there is no more room left in this belly for food.  Move over baby!  Mama wants a thousand cookies.)  


Burrata and White Peach Crostini 

Loaf of french bread, thinly sliced on a diagonal
Burrata cheese (ricotta or goat cheese would work well too, me thinks)
Extra virgin olive oil
White peaches, thinly sliced
Honey
Fresh basil, cut into thin strips
Coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Brush both sides of bread with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for roughly 15 minutes, flipping bread halfway through cooking process.  Remove from oven when top of bread is lightly golden.  Spread cheese on toast and top with peach slices and basil strips.  Drizzle a small amount of honey and extra virgin olive oil over each and sprinkle with a small amount of coarse sea salt.   



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