Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 243 - Italian Meatloaf

Time to use up the extra bread crumb & cheese mixture from the stuffed mushrooms earlier this week. I cook like this a lot . . . see what I have and make something yummy out of it. This is one of the easiest dinners!


I don't make meatloaf regularly so I started with a recipe from my Betty Crocker cook book and used it as a guideline for baking temperatures and proportions of ingredients.

I mixed all the bread crumb & cheese mixture with about .75 lbs of ground turkey, a little Parmesan cheese, more Italian seasoning, milk and one egg and it looked like I needed more dry ingredients, so I added a 1/2 cup of oats. (this took 2 minutes or less)

Next, since I had about a half of a regular recipe I decided to use 2 mini-loaf pans, plus these cook quicker

After I packed in the meatloaves, I topped each one with a couple of tablespoons of marinara sauce and they were ready to bake (total prep time at this point was probably 5 minutes)

I baked the meatloaves for about 45 minutes at 375 F (per the recipe I used) and then took them out of the oven and let them cool slightly.

The meatloaf was so moist and the marinara sauce worked great (Quinn was questions my Italian meatloaf and really thought I should use some ketchup on top - but once he tasted it, he was convinced).

Since it was Italian meatloaf I served it with some whole grain pasta tossed in olive oil & Parmesan cheese.

This was a great dinner and something I am certainly going to make again soon!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 242 - Yoga At Lindsey's

After work tonight I headed over to my friend Lindsey's house for some prenatal yoga.

She has a great living room with a large window backing up to lots of trees & plants - our view was just as good as the yogis in Lindsey's video

Thanks Lindsey! Let's do it again soon :)

After yoga we headed to the movie theater to meet with more girlfriends and to see Eat, Love, Pray - a busy night, but worth it for some much needed girl-time.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 241 - Stuffed Mushrooms (a new combination)

One of my favorite, quick appetizers or side dishes is stuffed mushrooms. I have a couple of recipes that I have used in the past, but tonight, I had some ingredients in our fridge that I wanted to use up, so I made up a new variety with Fontina Cheese, garlic and white truffle oil

Before you get started you will preheat the oven to 375 or 400F. First I shredded about a half cup of cheese and mixed it with an equal amount of Italian bread crumbs then I mixed in 1/2 of a finely diced onion and 4 cloves of minced garlic. I also added some extra Italian seasoning (about 1 tablespoon) and salt & cracked black pepper to taste.

Next I set the mixture aside and prepared the mushrooms. I used baby portabellas (great deal at Costco this week). I rinsed the bunch of them and then wiped the tops on a clean dry towel and removed the stems

Next I covered a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up and lightly tossed the mushroom tops in a little olive oil.

Next I filled each mushroom with the cheese & bread crumb mixture and always make sure to pack in the filling really good.

Bake for 40-50 minutes

After the first 30-35 minutes, check on the mushrooms every 5 minutes or so and when the mixture is all absorbed with the juice from the mushrooms and the cheese is melted and yummy looking they are ready

To make these ones extra special I drizzled a touch of olive oil over each one before serving.

This recipe is so simple and easy to do with any type of cheese & bread crumbs. (the proportions I used made lots of extra, so check back soon for a new recipe later in the week to use up the leftovers)


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 240 - A Closet for Quinn

To make room for the babies I spent some time today reorganizing my closet situation. With the new carpet install we moved most of the stuff out of the upstairs so as I re-situated myself in the space today I had big plans.

Until today, I used both closets upstairs in our bedroom (they are both small) and Quinn has been using the closet in the future babies room. I packed up clothes that don't fit anymore thanks to my ever-changing body, I reorganized my shoes & clothes and moved stuff around and completely emptied one of my upstairs closets to make way for Quinn's stuff.

He hasn't moved his things in yet, but whens he is ready - there is a nice empty closet waiting for him (he just better hurry before I run out of space again!)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 239 - New Carpet

Today we got new carpet installed in our master bedroom, upstairs.

It turned out really nice, but was a headache to get it finished.

The installers were late, rude and lazy (at one point they took a 45 minute smoke break), but it got done and it looks good.

I will try and add some pictures later.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 238 - Apple Pears

Last time we went grocery shopping we bought some apple-pears and tonight I tried one

They are pretty good - looks like an apple, but tastes like a pear. Thanks to some goggling this evening I have learned this fruit is actually a pear and that they are traditionally eaten with the skin peeled away

I am glad I tried this fruit and I will probably try it again soon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 237 - Black Flats

Tonight, after meetings in Arkansas and a 4 hour drive home, I didn't feel like doing much (and my feet hurt), so I decided it would be the perfect night to buy some much need new shoes. If you know me, you know I already have a lot of shoes, but not a lot of pregnancy-friendly ones.

I was in need for some nice black flats so I decided to hunt around online and see what I could find . . .

Zappos has a fabulous website!! I seriously loved it :) All you had to do was scroll over a pair of shoes and it would foom in and show all the different sides and angles of each pair (including the bottoms, do I could make sure they had some support) BUT nothing was on sale and I just couldn't justify the prices

So next I decided to check out some major department stores. Nordstroms also had a fabulous site for shoe shopping. My favorite feature was how you could so easily choose your preferences.

I also stopped at piperlime and found some cute shoes too

But, in the end I found 2 pairs at Amazon.com they were priced right and included free shipping.

This black pair is normally $90 and I got them for $36

and this silver pair is normally $81 and mine were $31

My feet are jumping for joy at these 2 new pair of flat, comfy shoes :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 236 - Bordinos (Fayetteville, AR)

This evening I am in Arkansas on business. A coworker and I headed into Fayetteville for dinner. We ate at Bordino's and it was great!

(sorry, I didn't take any pictures)

I started with the caprese salad and had to try the mushroom soup too.

For my main dish I had the Ricotta-Chevrè Gnocchi it was made with smoked duck confit, sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto. It was an interesting dish . . . I am not even sure if I ever had duck before tonight, but it was pretty good. It was smoked and had a pretty strong smoky flavor which is not my favorite, but other than that the meal was great.

Off to bed for a productive meeting tomorrow . . .

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 235 - Matching Outfits

Today, a friend from work gave me a sweet gift for the boys, their first matching outfits :)

Since, everyone at my work knows my dad too, she even got a pack of bibs that included on that reads 'Grandpa's little all star'

Thanks Colleen for this thoughtful gift!

I think I will try to coordinate their outfits, more often then making them completely match - but come on, they are twins - they have to match once in a while!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 234 - Avelluto's Italian Delight

We got back into town just in time to make it to 5:30 church and once we were done Quinn and I were both super hungry & tiered, so rather than making dinner we decided to try a little Italian, cafeteria style restaurant we have been driving by almost weekly for the last 3 years, Avelluto's Italian Delight

Since we were both so hungry the cafeteria-style dining was perfect. When you walk in you get in line and there is a large menu behind the counter and everything smelled so good.

I decided to start with the minestrone soup

It was very hearty and packed full with veggies, beans and pasta.

For my main dish I went with the classic lasagna

Delicious! Just what I (and the babies) wanted :)

Avelluto's was so quick, easy, tasty and near by so I am sure we will be back soon.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 233 - Dixie Quicks & Dante's (Dining in Omaha)

This morning I had breakfast with my good friend Nikki :)

We went to Dixie Quick's and had such a nice time catching up. Plus, last year, Dixie Quick's was featured on the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives which made a tad extra special to get the chance to check this place out.

We had a reservation and were seated right away. The dining area is also an art exhibit and the menu is a large bulletin board so the over all first impression and vibe here is very cool. Our server did an excellent job throughout the meal which added to our lovely morning at Dixie Quick's

I ordered the biscuits & gravy

And Nikki went with the French toast

We shared (which I love) and both our meals were delicious! You gotta love a good meal with great company.

Other Firsts: Since Quinn was at a golf outing for the day my day of fun in Omaha continued after breakfast when my mom picked me up and we went to meet my cousin Jackie's newest addition for the first time, baby Luke. He was so precious and sweet. Jackie & JV have 2 little boys, so I am looking forward to learning some good advice from them in the coming months :) Not only was this our first time meeting Luke, but I had also never been to their new house yet, so it was so nice to get to see where they call home.

From there I was off again, this time with my friends Katy & Stacy. We had pedicures, where I painted my toe nails blue (in honor of our news about the duo being both boys and thanks to Katy's inspiration) From there we headed to lunch at Dante's Pizzeria

This new little pizza joint in Omaha is a great spot. We decided to all start with a bowl of the tomato basil soup - yummy!

and then we shared a margherita pizza, which was also very tasty

Hooray for a wonderful day in Omaha!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 232 - Gender Reveal

Quinn and I headed up to Omaha again tonight after work for the weekend. Since we knew we would be heading to Omaha we decided not to tell anyone what the babies genders were until we got to tell our families in person.

I didn't want to just come out and say it, so after work I bought some balloons and a couple of pairs of baby socks

My original thought was to stuff a sock into a balloon and have everyone pop one, but after the first attempt of preparing a balloon (which is a 2-man job) we decided the balloons were way to see through, so I ended up putting each sock in an unblown balloon and then putting that into another balloon.

I labeled one for baby A and another for baby B (I also used 1 pink & 1 blue balloon for the outer, blown up balloon to through everyone off)

Since it's always difficult to get everyone in one place, we ended up telling my mom and dad together tonight. To make it more interesting for Q & I we had everyone pop their balloons by sitting on them. I didn't get a picture of my dad because he got his popped right away, my mom on the other hand took a little longer and provided some good laughs

Next up was my brother Nick & Sister Michelle

2 baby boys on the way!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 231 - Our Babies . . .

Are both little BOYS!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 230 - Herbie, the Psychic Dog (Babes gender guess)

My neighbors dog Herbie is 4 for 4 in predicting the genders of babies on the way, so when Katie asked if I wanted to find our what Herbie's prediction was for our little ones, I was totally in. Tonight after work I headed next door to find that Katie had purchased these pretty little dog treats for Herbie to work his magic.

To set up for the big prediction Katie arranged 3 bowls. One for both boys, one for one girl and one boy and another for both girls.

And now for the very scientific results:

After sniffing each bowl and a brief inspection Herbie went for . . .

The bowl with 2 pink treats - so twin girls!

But wait. after finishing his first pink treat he seemed unsure about taking the second treat from that bowl, so Katie then placed a bowl of only pink treats and a bowl of only blue treats so that Herbie could accurately guess the gender of the other baby

For his second selection Herbie went after a blue treat.

This was his first prediction of twins, but taking into account what he actually ate it looks like we are having a baby girl and a baby boy . . .

Tomorrow is our 16 week appointment with an ultrasound so hopefully we will be able to verify these results at that time.

Thanks Katie, Brad, Annie & Herbie for the fun tonight and for sending some extra treats home for Charlie!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 229 - Zucchini Fritters

Tonight I made zucchini fritters and they were a hit! A good family friend had mentioned making these last week and I immediately wanted the recipe. You can click here for the recipe.

I basically followed the recipe exactly, but I did half it since it was only Quinn and I for dinner and thanks to Ellens advice I rolled the fritters in Panko before pan frying them.


I used my cheese shredder to shred the zucchini and then set a colander over a bowl to let the liquid drain out

Once the mixture was ready I set up a the zucchini mixture and Panko crumbs right next to my hot pan

Be sure to get you pan nice and warmed up before adding the fritters - you will get nice browning and a crisp fritter much quicker with a well heated pan.

Quinn ate 3 and mentioned more than a few different times how good they were :)

Thanks Ellen for pointing me towards this great zucchini recipe!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 228 - Martha Stewart Cupcakes (and Cookies)

I recently checked out the Martha Stewart Cupcake book from the library

I had to return it today :(

I decided this book deserved a permanent place in my kitchen, so I went to Amazon to see if I could find a deal . . . 37% off works for me!

Of course, if you spend $25 or more you qualify for free shipping, so this book is coming too (it was 35% off list).

Now, if only they came with free samples . . .

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 227 - Chicken (flattened and rolled up) Fontina

I have been wanting to try cooking chicken in, more interesting ways lately (you can only grill chicken so many nights in a row . . .) and one thing I had never done before tonight was to pound out a chicken breast (or any meat for that matter) and use the thinner version to prepare something new.

While I grocery shopping tonight, I remembered my friend Anne mentioning a recipe a while ago that was some type of pounded out meat. I wasn't able to get in touch with her tonight, so I took what I remembered from her and made up my own creation.

Ingredients (for 2):
2 Chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
Marinara sauce (only about 4 table spoons)
6 large basil leaves
Shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1/4 cup)
Fontina cheese (I probably used 2 ounces)
Garlic powder
Salt & pepper
Tooth picks

Preheat oven to 350. First I placed a piece of wax paper on top of my cutting board, then a chicken breast and then another piece of wax paper to cover the top of the chicken.

I unfortunately don't own a meat tenderizer or mallet, so I got creative and used my new frying pan to flatten each breast.

Once I had the chicken pounded out, I salt & peppered one side and added a little garlic powder, then added a little marinara, sprinkled some mozzarella cheese, added the basil leafs and lastly pulled apart some fontina cheese and added that too.

Once all the fillings were in place, I carefully rolled each chicken breast and secured the roll with a couple of wooden tooth picks.

I baked the chicken at 350 for about 35 minutes.

The meal was delicious. I love finding new, interesting ways to cook things we eat so often, like chicken!