Friday, May 25, 2012


Here are some photos that made me smile this week...

(holding his baby while he plays)

(kissing the baby)

(a happy boy)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ten Months

David was ten months old on Tuesday. He weighs 19.4 lbs. now. He is getting big fast! He has four teeth on top now, along with two on the bottom. He still isn't crawling, but moves around much easier than before. He rolls over with ease, and will spin around in a full circle when he's sitting up, and also when he's on his stomach. He's balancing much better, and will stand just holding on with one hand frequently. He's figured out how to walk along his crib. He also learned how to drink from a sippy cup this week. I bought a couple different cups to try, and the one that works best for him is a lid that's not spill-proof. Oh well. I only let him drink by himself if it's water, that way he can't spill milk or juice all over himself! He also started eating more solid food. Last month he really didn't eat anything other than yogurt or baby food. He eats cheerios now, and little bites of our food, if it's relatively soft. He feeds himself crackers, which is super cute! He gets really excited and likes to take BIG bites.

I can't believe how big he is getting! He will be a year old before we know it. :) At the moment he is playing with a pile of giant checkers, although he seems to be more interested in my package of markers. It's the little things that make for the best toys!

It will be fun to see how he changes in the next month. Who knows, maybe he'll be walking!

(with one of his uncles)

(hi dad!)

(playing with the grass)

(one of his favorite things - a ball)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! This is my first official Mother's Day, and I'm thrilled to be a mother, and have such a wonderful, sweet son. I enjoy people's birthdays, and holidays like this, where we take time to think about someone and appreciate them. I have a wonderful mother, and now a wonderful mother-in-law. I am grateful to my mom for instilling goodness in me, and for my close relationship with her. (Along with many other things she taught me.)

(mother, daugher, grandson)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Today's Tip

I use a lot of lemons when I cook. They are very versatile, and work with a lot of different flavors. My tip today is to take your used lemons and grind them in your garbage disposal. It really freshens up the disposal and makes it smell great! I have three garbage disposals, so I'll take my leftover citrus peels and divide them between my three sinks. Also, to get rid of a strong garlic scent on your hands, rub with fresh lemon juice. Works like a charm!

And one of my favorite recipe starring lemons: PW's Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta.


Friday, May 4, 2012


Wow, it's been a hectic couple of weeks..

Last week we were in Chicago for The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, to get ideas for our house. We drove there Tuesday morning with two of Chad's brothers. We walked through the show during the day, and did a little shopping and sightseeing in the late afternoon and evening. Tuesday night we visited a relative that lives in the area, and went to Mon Ami Gabi for dinner. It was a little French bistro located in a hotel. It had a dark, cozy feel to it and the food was delicious. They brought out bags of hot, fresh French bread, which we quickly ate and asked for seconds. For the entrée, I selected the chef's choice for the night, which was Mahi-mahi served over asparagus, with a citrus butter in the bottom of the bowl. It was topped with a dollop of crème fraiche. I had some chocolate mousse for dessert, which was very rich and yummy.

Friday was just catching up on some things, along with a meeting with our architect, to go over some things with the house plans. Saturday was a relaxing day, making my French toast with banana syrup for an early afternoon brunch. We went to visit some friends in the late afternoon, then back home and to my in-laws for some pizza. I spent several hours making crème brûlée, and we didn't make it to bed until the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday evening we had Chad's family and some long time family friends over for dinner. I spent most of the day preparing the meal. First there was an appetizer, which was smoked salmon and goat cheese bruschetta, and I served my recipe for punch, which I'll post here soon. The main course was herb roasted chickens.  I used parsley and thyme, and no rosemary. The side dishes consisted of creamy herbed potatoes (SO yummy!) roasted asparagus, toss salad dressed with red wine vinaigrette, parmesan knots, and cranberry sauce... the kind that you slice from a can, of course! We finished up with dessert - crème brûlée and macerated berries. Sugar was added to an assortment of berries, along with vanilla extract, lemon and orange zest. I used strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. I had never prepared the berries like this before, and was happy with how they turned out.

Tuesday night we had my family and grandparents over for dinner. I made a simple chicken and pasta dish, and my mom and sisters brought some sides and dessert. Nothing too complicated there, but still very tasty!

And then just as I was recovering from all the business... I came down with some type of flu on Wednesday. Stomach ache, achy bones, headache, fever, etc. I stayed in bed most of the day and felt pretty miserable. Thankfully it only lasted for one day, and I felt completely normal when I woke up yesterday!

Now I'm looking forward to a relaxing day of rest tomorrow!

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. - Exodus 20:9-11

(A sneak peak at our dining room table on Sunday)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Breakfast Tacos

Okay, so I'm not exactly sure what to call these... They're definitely "breakfasty", but they're filling enough for lunch.. so would that make them Brunch Tacos? In any case, they are delicious, and very easy to make! The cumin in the eggs is my secret ingredient. It adds a subtle smokiness to the dish, and gives it that Mexican flare. I made them for my husband last week for lunch, and we ate them outside in the gorgeous weather!

I'm going through a phase of buying Greek pitas, and eating them all the time. They're not that great straight out of the package, but it's amazing what a little olive oil and a grill pan or griddle can do! They're warm, chewy, and very tasty. Rather reminiscent of a Gordita shell. We've been eating them just as a snack with Schuler's cheese spread, cut into wedges and served with lunch meat, cheddar cheese and mustard for lunch, or paired with thousand island dressing, corned beef and cheese for a Reuben pita.

Pick some up from the grocery store, and you will soon be addicted too!

(prepped ingredients)

(heating up the turkey ham)

(grilling the pitas)

(pouring the milk)

(breakfast tacos)

(a table for two)

Breakfast Tacos
Serves 2

  • 2 Greek pitas
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1-2 slices turkey ham, diced
  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • sour cream, to taste
  • salsa, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cumin, to taste
  • olive oil
  • butter


Heat skillet to med-high, add half a tablespoon of butter and diced turkey ham. Cook until golden brown. Set aside. Whisk eggs and milk together, then scramble with salt, pepper, and cumin to taste. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat grill pan over medium heat. Brush pitas with a little olive oil, and place on grill pan until golden brown, flipping once, about one minute per side. Assemble the tacos: spread some sour cream on the pita, followed by turkey ham, then the scrambled eggs, salsa, and lastly the cheddar cheese. Wrap the bottom half of the pita in foil to keep warm, and so it's easy to eat.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

As promised...

Here is a picture of my Mascarpone Parfait. I assembled one last night for a pre-dinner snack when we got home from the office. I ran out of blueberries, so this one just had the raspberries in it, but you can still see how pretty it looks! We then went over to my sister-in-law's house (just across the backyard) for a delicious dinner of rib roast, mashed redskins, toss salad, fruit salad, and rolls. (Which I contributed - frozen yeast rolls, brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with kosher salt, garlic powder and dried rosemary. Yum!) I also helped her out by bringing tapioca pudding with raspberries for dessert.

New recipe coming soon! Be sure to check back soon to see it. :)

(mascarpone berry parfait)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nine Months

My little baby was 9 months old on Sunday. Where has that time gone? It seems it flew by. It definitely went by faster than the previous 9 months! ;)  He is such a sweet little boy. He is a huge joy to us, and I love him more than I ever imagined I would.

My husband takes him over to my in-laws house once a month to weigh him on my mother-in-law's scale. She has a very accurate scale, so we always use hers instead of ours, which tends to fluctuate quite a bit! He weighs 18 pounds.

Some new things in the past month:
  • Playing peek a boo! It is SO cute watching him do it. I say, "Where's David?" and he either drops his head on my lap, or turns his eyes so he can't see you, or covers his face. Then he holds it there for a minute and then pops up with this huge smile on his face when I say, "There he is!" He makes the funniest little faces and it is so fun to watch.
  • Waving! A few weeks ago we taught him how to wave, but he only did it when you would tell him to, he didn't understand the concept of waving hello or goodbye. Now when someone says hello to him, he almost always waves his hand up and down. He thinks it's lots of fun, and I think it's really cute!
  • Sickness. :(  This was not nice for him. Poor little kid cut a tooth on top (first one on top, but it's on the side, not in the front!), then he had a fever, followed by an itchy rash for a few days. We think it was Roseola. After his rash went away, he had a diaper rash that bothered him pretty bad for two days. Just as that cleared up, he got a cold! He was pretty congested for the better part of a week, and had a hard time breathing at night, and while he ate. One thing that I was glad of was that he was still very sweet and happy even though he was uncomfortable. There were times he was clearly not feeling good, yet I could tell he was really trying to be good and happy. That is such a good thing to me!
As I write this, he is sitting on my lap playing with my iPad. I'm so glad that God blessed us with him, and try to raise him to be everything God had in mind when He created David!

(using one of the five senses - touch)

(all smiles)

(is that mom I see?)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mascarpone Berry Parfaits

I whipped up a delightful concoction this morning with some things that I had handy in my fridge. Parfaits! I mixed together a quick parfait cream of Greek yogurt, Mascarpone cream, lemon zest, almond extract and powdered sugar. I layered it in a parfait glass with some fresh raspberries and blueberries, and honey almond granola. It was delicious! The lemon and almond extract paired really well together, and picked up the sliced almonds in the granola. I didn't get a picture of it, but I have some leftover parfait cream, so I will be making another one (or two!) throughout the week, and will snap a few pictures. If you are looking for a slightly more healthy option (though these really aren't bad), you could substitute the powdered sugar for some honey, or agave nectar.

Did you know....

Parfait is a French word meaning "perfect"?

See the Wikipedia article on Parfait for some more interesting information on parfaits.