Since May

It has been 5 months since I’ve posted a blog. Part of me has missed it and part of me hasn’t. Lately though I have been reading the blogs of various friends and so I decided I wanted to give it another shot. I stopped blogging because I felt I had nothing fruitful to say or interesting for that matter. I was in my 7th, 8th, and 9th month of pregnancy which took place in June, July, and August. Due to the heat and my achey back I mostly sat around reading library books and who would want to read about that? August 21st marked a huge change in my life with the birth of my first born son (much more on this later).

Now that things have calmed down a little with the baby, I’m looking forward to updating everyone on life as new momma and other less mundane things. That’ll have to wait for Monday though. For now, goodnight!

E

Salmon with Herb-Almond Crust

I love salmon and this is a favorite recipe when preparing it. It even comes with a side, so this really is a complete meal!!

Salmon with Herb-Almond Crust

2  salmon fillets

3  tbs. chopped almonds

2 tbs. butter softened

2 tbs. dry bread crumbs (very fine)

1 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

2 tsp. fresh basil

1/2 tsp. shredded lemon peel

1 clove minced garlic

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 recipe Lentils and Spinach (see below)

Prepare Lentils and Spinach if desired. While lentils cook, prepare fish. Rinse fish; pat dry. In a small bowl combine almonds, butter, bread crumbs, Parmesan, basil, lemon peel, garlic, and black pepper. Place fish on greased boiler pan. Spoon mixture on top of fillets, spread slightly. Bake fish at 450 for 4-6 minutes per 1/2 -inch thickness, or until fish flakes with fork. Serve on a bed of the Lentils and Spinach.

Lentils and Spinach

In a medium saucepan combine one can of chicken broth, 3/4 cups of lentils, washed and drained; 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed; and a bay leaf. If desired add 1/4 cup chopped onion and carrot. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and cook, covered, 25 minutes or until tender. Add 2 cups coarsely chopped spinach and cover, cook 1 minute more until spinach wilts. Remove bay leaf, drain remaining liquid, and serve.

Enjoy!

-E

*recipe from Country Living magazine, no longer in publication.

Gingered Chicken Wraps

This is a recipe I have been meaning to share for quite some time. David and I both love it and so do many of our friends that I have past it along to. It is simple, quick, and healthy.

Gingered Chicken Wraps

6   8-10 inch whole wheat tortillas

12  oz. skinless boneless chicken breast strips for stir-frying

1/2  tsp. garlic salt

1  tbs. olive oil

1  orange (or any color you have on hand) bell pepper

4  cups shredded broccoli slaw (found near the cole slaw mix)

1 medium red onion, sliced thin

1 tsp. grated gingerroot (do not use the spice!)

fresh cilantro

1 recipe peanut sauce (see below)

Wrap tortillas in foil and heat in oven at 350 for 10 minutes. Coat chicken with garlic salt and ground black pepper. In a large skillet cook and stir chicken in oil over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes until no longer pink. Remove from skillet; keep warm. Add pepper, onion, slaw, and gingerroot to skillet. Cook and stir 2-3 minutes until crisp and tender. Spread on a tortilla with peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce (this really makes the meal)

In a saucepan combine 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter, 3 tbs. sugar, 3 tbs. soy sauce, 3 tbs. water, 2 tbs. olive oil, and 1 tsp. minced garlic. Heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently.

Enjoy!

-E

Pizza Adventure

Today seems like a good blogging day. I’m making bread today so I can’t do much except hang out at home and wait for it to rise and rise some more. The weather is also cloudy and chilly, again. Anyway, it’s the perfect day to blog! I’ve been wanting to put up a few of my favorite recipes and recipes make for easy blog posts.

Last night I decided to make homemade pizza. I figured making the dough would be a cinch since I make bread often and it’s pretty much the same process.  So I found a recipe and got started. I dissolved the yeast in some warm water and waited for it to become alive. Then I added my salt, oil, and sweet. This recipe also had me add apple cider vinegar to make the dough nice and pliable, which it did. I mixed these ingredients  around and began adding flour. As I started to knead the dough I noticed that it felt very heavy and dense, usually the dough feels more light and airy. I shrugged off my concerns and put my newly kneaded ball of dough in a bowl to rise. Only it didn’t.

After one hour I went to check on the dough and it looked exactly the same. Not good. I left it another hour and still no results. By this time David was home and it was time to put the pizza in the oven. We decided to give it a try anyway. I rolled the dough out and we slathered on some sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil from our garden. I put the pizza in the oven for 20 minutes and hoped that something good would happen, or just something.

After 20 minutes I pulled it out and it looked pretty much the same but the crust had turned a golden brown so that was good. We each took a slice and tried a bite. Holy cow it was good! I mean the pizza could have stood on it’s own and when you held up your slice it stood straight out and didn’t even waver, but it was crispy, dense, and yummy. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the same results again but I liked the unrisen pizza just fine. So if you make your own pizza dough sometime, have no fear if it doesn’t rise! Here’s a close up of our pizza from last night.

Cheesy Goodness

Backyard Fun

David and I have been enjoying this beautiful April weather by spending time in our backyard. Last weekend we fixed up the landscaping and bought a charcoal grill! We’ve already used it twice. I love grilling fresh veggies and a juicy steak!  We also planted 7 types of herbs in pots, but I’m not sure of how they’ll do. We planted: basil, chamomile, cilantro, chives, parsley, oregano, and rosemary. Here’s a picture of our backyard from last night. Isn’t the golden evening sunlight pretty?

Next on the list: planting flowers in the window box, hanging baskets, and pots on the front porch and planting our vegetable garden! We’re still trying to decide what to grow. In the meantime, does anyone know of some shade- loving annuals I could plant in my hanging baskets? They hardly get any sun at all and all I can seem to find are sun-loving annuals.

-E

Spring is Springing and I Feel Like Singing!

I don’t think I have even been so ready to get rid of winter as I was this year. After 19 weeks of pregnancy nausea and laying on the couch cooped up inside I could not wait to get outside and feel the sun! Boy, am I looking forward to the rest of April🙂 The weather here has been beautiful and I just looked at the 10 day forecast which is filled with upper 70s temps and plenty of sunshine. Woohoo! On top of the beautiful weather I just booked David and I a room in Gatlinburg, TN for the end of April. We’ll be staying in a hotel that I’ve never stayed in before but it received good reviews, plus we’ll have a balcony over a mountain stream. Ahhh bliss!

A view of our hotel

Also, the Louisville Zoo’s Zoo Poopy Doo is this weekend and the next two following weekends. The zoo will fill a small truck bed with their own homemade mulch for only $25. This will definitely be enough mulch for our small yard. I’m ready to get all of our landscaping looking better and weed free. The zoo will also fill a garbage can with compost for only $10. This is super exciting because compost is expensive and every good garden need some nutrient rich compost! David and I make our own compost in our back yard and we actually had enough to fill our entire garden this year, but we want to get some more to add to the clay soil we have in our landscaping. Clay soil =😦

Finally a baby update! Last week we found that we’re having a boy!! Momma’s intuition told me we were having a boy so I wasn’t very surprised. Right now I’m trying to not get to overwhelmed by all the baby paraphernalia that is out there and that the world thinks you need. This past weekend my mom and I went to look at nursery furniture and other accessories  and we were amazed at how big everything was! It seemed a bit excessive and we have such a small house that I only want to get what we need. Advice anyone?

As far as my health goes, momma and baby seem to be doing well. We saw our little guy moving all around during our 20 week ultrasound and he even gave us a high-five! As a result we got a great picture of his hand🙂 It was wonderful to see him so active because I have hardly felt him at all. The doc informed me that I have an anterior placenta, or my placenta is in the front. This is completely normal as the placenta can be located in the front, on top, or behind the baby. Since mine is in the front though the baby’s movements will be muffled and harder to feel. The doctor described it as though there is a pillow between me and the baby and baby is punching and kicking the pillow instead of me. Though I was a bit sad to hear this news I was a million times relieved since I was beginning to wonder why I wasn’t feeling the baby move very much.

Other then the location of my placenta😉 I am beginning to feel much better. I have not thrown up in 2 weeks and my nausea hardly even comes around these days! My belly is certainly growing though! It’s fun but I am beginning to get slightly uncomfortable. I sure hope you’ll are enjoying Spring and your pregnancies, if you are pregnant, which I know many of you are!

-E

Big Giant Huge News

It has been way too long since I have posted on here but I have a good excuse. I”M PREGNANT!!! David and I found out that we are expecting our first this coming August!! My excuse for not posting is that I have been and still am extremely nauseous and awful feeling. Therefore I have been laying around our house with no motivation to post and nothing interesting to post about. I haven’t been cooking much, crafting much, or traveling much. I cannot wait to start feeling human again. I told David that this is going to be our only biological child and we’ll adopt the rest if this is what pregnancy is like! I don’t feel like I’m glowing at all! I’m in my 13th week though so maybe the nausea will start to fade. Here’s hoping!!!

We will be able to find out the gender in late March or early April. I cannot wait to find out and we will be sharing! I think David and I are both hoping for a girl but I know we will love a little boy too. I just LOVE my girl name and girl clothes are so cute!! Besides baby stuff, I’m excited about Spring coming. We are planning a pre-baby trip to the Smoky Mountains in April and I can’t wait. Hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy the mountains and Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg July 2009

I know a lot of people think of Gatlinburg as touristy and a bit redneck, my family has been going there my whole life and it holds a special place in my heart. I can get pretty offended when people start knocking it! I’m planning to do a special post of how to enjoy a non-touristy non-redneck Gatlinburg experience. Anyway, this will be our last trip just the two of us before the baby comes so that will be nice. I’m looking forward to spending time away from Louisville with my husband!

Ringing in the New Year With Old Friends

One reason I love still living in Louisville post college is that I’m never far from some of the dearest people in my life–my college friends. In 2003, I left the shelter of Northern Kentucky and headed to the great big city of Louisville, Ky (just kiddding) to attend UofL. I remember being incredibly nervous to be leaving home and all I knew, but it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had no major reason for attending UofL. I was not a die hard UofL fan (I wasn’t/am still not a UK fan either, I must make that clear), I knew next to nothing about the city, and I had no specific major in mind.

My main reasons for choosing the school were its in-state tuition, I could use my KEES money, and best of all it offered one thing I had never experienced before: 22,000 people. Growing up I attended small Catholic schools; they gave me a wonderful education but from K-8th grade I was with the same 7 girls. Among these seven I usually ranked last in popularity. Not throwing myself a pity party here, it was what it was. High School unfortunately played out the same way except there were 43 more girls and about 35 more boys with which to make friends. Again I failed miserably to make any long-lasting, edifying relationships.

All I wanted in coming to UofL was to find friends who cared about ME and didn’t say hurtful things when I wasn’t around, judged me for my athletic abilities, weight, or other dumb, superficial things. I figured with a pool of 22,000 people surely I would be able to do that.

I definitely floundered in the beginning of my freshman year. I was shy and quiet, two recipes for disaster when wanting to make friends.  Finally I pulled myself up by my boot straps and went to a meeting with a group called IVCF (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship). Now, let me say I was Catholic and not looking to change. I had no clue about this group’s beliefs but the few members I had met seemed friendly and genuine so why not, right?

The first meeting went well. Yes, they raised their hands when they sang but none of them had hair they had never cut, and no one was thumping any bibles in my face. It was obvious that these people loved God and loved being around each other. I wasn’t sure about the God part but I wanted to be their friend. Their past-times were more up my alley too. They enjoyed hanging out at local coffee shops, playing board games, watching movies in each others’ dorm rooms, and — best of all — playing Ultimate Frisbee most nights of the week. They immediately welcomed me with no questions asked; and through them I met other wonderful friends, including my future husband David🙂

In my years at UofL, knowing these people which God had placed in my life helped my faith grow immensely. Of course they weren’t perfect, but they certainly didn’t tear me or each other down. Through my 4 years with them we went to dances together, went out to eat more then we should have, took ski trips, and played more game of ultimate then I could count. I made it my goal to not let these friends go when college was over, and I think they did too. Thankfully we have been successful so far; which brings me back to last night.

Around Christmas most everyone who’s not in town comes back and we make it a point to try to get together. Last night, the Yu’s hosted all of us at their house to ring in the New Year. We ate dinner and laughed remembering funny times, we played a game called Celebrity and laughed even harder, and then we opened the champagne and celebrated the ball drop together. You see, with my friends we do not need excessive amounts of alcohol to have fun, we don’t have to fake conversation, and no one leaves thinking I can’t stand him or her. These people are real. They have struggles like anyone else, but their trust is in the Lord and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. I love these people. Happy New Year.

-E

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