Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pie, take 2.... a better result!

This week another sugar/pie pumpkin was delivered in our CSA share. It was mocking me. "Make me into pie," it said. "Pie that doesn't taste like baked squash," it said.
Since I clearly let myself be bullied by pumpkins, I had to take on the challenge.

First I pureed the pumpkin according to this recipe. Then I used something similar to this recipe to make the pie (the actual recipe was from my Better Homes and Gardens basics book, which I can't find a link to online. The only main difference was that it called for 5 oz evaporated milk and 1/2 cup regular milk instead of the regular milk that the link indicates).

It took ALOT longer to cook than it should have... cooking time was 50 minutes, and it probably took closer to an hour and a half. But it was a "deep dish" pie and homemade pumpkin puree has more water content than the regular canned stuff (because of this, I left out half the regular milk to make it less watery).

But it turned out OK! Better than OK even. So good that Hubs stood over the counter, eating pie and letting Dog have some scraps too. She was going crazy over the pie. Milly loves pumpkin, as we put some canned pumpkin in her food as a natural remedy to aid digestion when she is having problems.... so now she thinks that anything that smells like pumpkin is beagle food.

Let's just say it was hard to not have pie for breakfast! Thank goodness there wasn't another pie failure. I would have just caved and bought a frozen pumpkin pie and called it a day!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tip from Dad

On Friday, we had plans to have dinner at Deleece once my parents got into town. My brother picked the place and I'd never been there. So I pulled up the menu quickly to see what they offered.

"Oh no..." I sighed, as I noticed about four dishes immediately with truffle oil in them.

Truffle oil is my pregnancy kryptonite. The smell of it turns my stomach and even thinking about it makes me want to puke. If someone at the next table has something with it on their dish, that's it, I'm done. I won't be able to eat anything the rest of the night.

A bit dramatic? Maybe... But it's not like I have alot of choice in the matter. My eating weaknesses are one thing I've had to come to terms with in carrying Dos. I've NEVER been a picky eater before, so it has been super hard to deal with. And no, it doesn't always go away after the first trimester!

As I explained this to my Mom and Dad, my Dad piped in with a tip: "Do you have any VapoRub? Bring it to the restaurant with you."

I was a bit puzzled, and he explained further.... "It's a trick I learned when I was a cop. When we had to carry or deal with dead bodies. You just put some VapoRub under your nose and that's all you smell. Nothing else!"

Genius. So now I have VapoRub in my purse. And am cracking up that my Dad gave me a tip to stop the nausea that he learned from being a cop!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Random updates

  • One of my favorite food bloggers posted about how to make homemade pumpkin puree the day AFTER I needed it. Oh well, now I know. And knowing is half the battle right?
  • I went to Tampa last weekend to visit a friend. We went to the outlet mall and I got all manner of cute maternity clothes and bought a couple sets of tiny onesies. I figure I'll pick up a few basics when I can for good prices, right? But OMG the newborn ones are SO SMALL. It's hard for me to realize that I'll have something that tiny in February. Well, husband was 10 lbs 12 ounces when he was born, so let's HOPE that Dos is little enough to fit into the newborn onesies! For my sake!
  • This weekend we had the fam up to visit for my brother's engagement party, and my Dad installed a new light fixture in the kitchen. The previous fixture, one of the tiny glass shades on the mini pendant fell down and broke. Do you know those tiny shades come with either a .75 inch hole or a 2 inch hole? Mine required a .9 inch hole. Finally I gave up and bought a new light fixture. It's soooo much nicer-looking than the last one. Love!
  • Dad loves to go to the diner up the street for breakfast when he is here. I love that he loves to go, because I get to have a Country Skillet. Hash browns, covered in cut-up country fried steak, eggs, and sausage gravy. Oh and with a side of biscuits and gravy. I split one with my mom and we still had 1/3 of it left to bring home. So tasty. Let me just formally recommend S&G if I haven't already. It's been around forever and it's a Chicago classic.
  • The brother's engagement party was a ton of fun. We had dinner at Pequod's, our favorite pizza place in the city and then headed to Zella's. Don't go to Pequod's if you don't want to split the bill evenly between all the people there, because the bill came and it was just a strip of adding tape with a bunch of numbers and no descriptions regarding what was what. I crack UP that we have ordered pizza there hundreds of times and they ask for our phone #, name, and address Every. Single. Time. Only pizza place on the planet to not have a computer system, but the pizza is so tasty I could care less!!
  • On Tuesday of the pumpkin pie disaster, I also made a pretty tasty butternut squash soup. I would probably make it with 4 cups stock next time, as it was a little soupy. But it was good! And very simple.
  • I've started feeling Dos move around the past few weeks and it's bananas. Shim likes to party right after I eat. I figure my stomach must be kind of loud in the digesting and wake Dos up. That's right, wake up during the day, baby! Day is for being up, night is for sleeping!
  • Milly has been such a good little puppy. Yesterday she curled up next to my mom on the couch and took a good little beagle nap. Such a cutie!
Hmmm, that's it for now! Hope you all had good weekends!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Dudes, I made the two worst pumpkin pies on the face of the planet last night.
DO NOT USE this recipe. It is partly my fault b.c I totally didn't read the reviews. But it was one of the only recipes I could find that started the pie from an actual pumpkin.

They look pretty though don't they?

Darnit, now I'm craving a pumpkin pie. A not-disgusting one.

Updated to add - they were awful b.c they tasted awful. The recipe didn't include any sugar or cinnamon, and it just tasted like baked squash. Gross!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Snickers cupcakes

Tomorrow is my coworker's birthday, and you know what that means... CUPCAKES!!

I found an amazing recipe for Snickers Cupcakes and sent it to to the coworker along with links to the cupcake sections of a bunch of other websites (my go-to's are Smitten Kitchen, Annie's Eats, and Martha Stewart). Luckily she picked the Snickers cupcakes! I was so excited to try them and I'm pretty sure they won't disappoint.

First I baked the cupcakes. As I took them out of the oven, I smacked one against one of the wire shelves in the oven. Of course since that one was messed up I HAD to eat it. Even without the frosting or filling, it was amazing. This might become my fallback chocolate cake recipe... even if it's a bit on the complicated side, I think it would be worth it.

After letting the cupcakes cool, I made a hole in each one with an apple corer. I chopped up Snickers bars, made a homemade caramel sauce, and mixed those to make the filling. Here are the cupcakes all filled.

There was a little filling left, so Mike and I had some out of the bowl with a spoon. OMG, good.
After filling, I whipped up the frosting and iced them, then topped with more chopped Snickers bars. The frosting looks a little janky, as my icing tip and I got in a fight. I think I need to buy more large tips - I lost my tried and true guy, and the other ones I have are for more detail. Here I come, Joann Fabrics, for more icing accessories. After seeing the cupcakes all gussied up, I am looking forward to trying a finished one tomorrow!
As an aside, I know alot of people diss on the KitchenAid mixer, but I know for a FACT that I would not cook 90% of the things I made if I had to mix manually or with a hand mixer. There is just something about being able to toss ingredients in the stand mixer as it works that is awesome. If any of you are on the fence about a stand mixer, I say go for it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Pregnancy dreams are super awesome. I keep having variations of the same dream - I go out, get drunk and then realize at the end I'm pregnant. Oh noes, what do I do?! Obviously this is not something that is going to happen but it’s still funny that is shows up in my dreams so often.

Last week I dreamed I was in Bloomington, IN, where my alma mater (Indiana University) is located. I dreamed that for some reason I was there with Bill Clinton. So Bill Clinton wants to go drink and I of course want to take him to Nick’s. I mean, nothing says quintessential Bloomington quite like a pizza and a game of “Sink the Bismarck.” But noooooo……. Bill doesn’t want to go to Nick’s – he’s been there before and Obama dropped by his last time in Bloomington so that is SO 2008. No, Bill wants to go to the Bluebird. Which, I can’t really argue with – it’s not like Bill is demanding that we go to the Vid or some other such hole in the wall place that I didn’t frequent in college. The Bluebird was definitely a favorite – live bands all the time and 15 cent drafts on Wednesdays add up to a ton of great memories. I remember thinking in the dream there was a good band on that night but can’t remember who. Maybe Dave and Rae?

Regardless, Bill and I walk over to the Bluebird from the Nick’s area/IMU (walk! Bill Clinton!) and proceed to get hammered at the Bluebird. There are shots and pitchers of beer and general college shenanigans. But at the end of the night I remember I am pregnant. In the dream, I was about the same amount of pregnant that I am now – showing just a little but I could have also just had a big meal or too many burritos lately. So it wasn’t like anyone noticed that I was pregnant.

I am still trying to figure out why Bill Clinton showed up in my dream and why we drank in Bloomington. I will probably never know. But I do know that Dream Bill was a darn good partier. Plus, how many times will I get to party with Bill Clinton? Since pregnancy dreams are so vivid, I feel like it’s more of a memory than a dream!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my Dad's birthday. I've posted these ten things about him before, but they stand reposting again. My Dad is the bomb dot com, and I hope he realizes how special he is to us all!
  1. His laugh. When my dad really cracks up, he rocks back and forth and scrunches up his face, just laughing really hard. It is funny, it's like his whole being is laughing
  2. He knows how to do everything. I swear to you, he does. I can call my Dad and ask him anything from investment questions to how to anchor some mason screws in a concrete wall. I am not saying this in the typical little girl "My Dad can do anything" way. He really can. Go ahead, ask him!
  3. He also knows everything. Closely related to #2. But seriously, it blows my mind how much this one person can cram into his brain. He knows everything from which little old ladies at the church need their walks shoveled during a snowstorm to how to whip anyone at bags (ahem, Calbert Cheny, ahem).
  4. He is super sporty. My Dad can pick up almost any sport and win at it. It makes me feel hopeful that my athletic non-prowess is a dominant gene, and somewhere there is a recessive gene for athletic ability that my kids may someday inherit.
  5. He more gets along with Mike. I have never had a problem with the typical "Girl marries someone like her Dad" stereotype because mine is so great, but it really delights me that they look forward to seeing each other.
  6. His committment to my mom and our family. We've been through rough times but I have never once doubted that we wouldn't get through those times as a family. He has set such a great example for my life and my marriage.
  7. He's not afraid of anything. He'll jump up and defend me in the middle of Kilroy's when some 6'5" chick threatens me. And he'll order a shipment of stone crocks from China to start a new business.
  8. He helps so many people. Whether he's going to Mississippi to rebuild or evacuate a town, heading the relief efforts after a tornado, or just visiting people in the hospital, he is constantly leaving a real imprint on this world in a positive way.
  9. He supports everything I do. He may play the devil's advocate with me sometimes, but he is proud of me and supports everything I do in life. It's amazing to really know, deep down in my soul, that kind of support.
  10. His big heart. He cares about everyone and everything, and loves me and the rest of our family so fiercely that I cannot even describe.

For all these reasons and more, I love my Dad so much! I am a total Daddy's girl, it is no lie. My hope is to spend many more happy and healthy birthdays with my Dad.

Oh and here is another point, #11. My Dad is the best Grandpa ever! He loves Gracie so much and I know he is going to be a great Grandpa to our little one. He was so excited about us having a baby he might have let it slip a couple times before I was really ready to tell everyone. Now he is so funny, going "I'm not telling ANYONE until it is born now! I don't want to get in trouble!!" Lol. You can tell people, Dad. I swear I won't get mad! Happy Birthday!!

Monday, September 06, 2010

It's about time....

To tell you guys why I've been a bit quiet for the past few months....

Some of you may know already.....

Not there yet..............

Keep going!

I've been spending all my time feeling like I was going to throw up and/or fall asleep!

Yes, that means that all the trips lately have been alcohol-free for me (Vegas was super annoying sober, mostly because everyone there is hammered all the time, but Napa was actually still awesome!) but you really don't miss drinking when you feel hungover all the time because you are nauseous and exhausted.

I'm about four months along, due Valentine's Day 2011, and we are unbelievably excited!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Retrieving Milly from daycare

This is how Milly leaves daycare every.single.time. She is such a spaz!