Tuesday, September 25, 2012

24 Weeks

24 weeks! I can't get over it. Time is whizzing by right before our eyes.

I still feel really good and have great energy now that a friend introduced me to the Boppy Total Body Pillow. Josh calls this weird-looking pillow my inch worm. Always a stomach sleeper, the transition to sleeping on my side has been challenging. Thanks to this pillow, I am sleeping pretty darn good.

Ella Baisden moves ALL THE TIME. I feel her probably 4-5 times a day. Her movements have grown from bubbly flutters to hard kicks in just a matter of weeks. The other day on my way home from work, she kicked me so hard that I burst out laughing. I can watch my stomach move and it is so weird. I'd love to see what she is doing in there!

EB is almost 12" long and weighs over a pound. The 24 week check up went well. I've gained 12 pounds, yikes! Her heartbeat sounded good and was, of course, interrupted by kicks. Her heartbeat is ALWAYS interrupted by kicks...we've got an energetic one.

We have a few things on our to do list right now, but one near the top is to take a birthing class. Eek, not sure I really want to know more about it but everyone tells me it will help me feel more prepared.

This is a wild week for us - we move on Friday...we are so ready to get settled into our new home. It's been weird packing up our house now. It's hard not to be emotionally attached since Josh and I have so many great memories here. We hope it will help someone else make awesome memories too, though. On the other hand, I'm ready to be in a space we know we'll be in for a while. We've been so focused on "house stuff" throughout the pregnancy, so it will be nice to change focus and think more about our little girl! Plus, moving at 6 months pregnant isn't such a bad thing...I plan on being a great finger pointer!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dress Up

Oliver is so excited about his baby sister's arrival...caught him trying on some of her accessories!

I dreamed last night that she popped out with a head full of thick, dark hair...maybe she will take after her aunt Rae!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Crab Cakes with Lemon Dill Mayo & Baked Parmesan Risotto

Here are three recipes for the price of one tonight! These pair so well together, along with a simple green salad. Fancy enough for a Sunday night, easy enough for a week night. It doesn't get a whole lot better than that.

For the crab cakes, you'll need:
  • 3 cups saltine cracker crumbs, divided
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten (thanks to Lin, I had farm fresh ones!)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 Tablespoons mayo
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Stir together 2 cups crackers and the next 9 ingredients. Fold in drained crab meat. Shape into patties and dredge in the remaining 1 cup saltine crumbs. Melt butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add crab cakes and cook 4 minutes each side, or until golden brown. Serve with lemon dill mayo (below). I usually make about 6 large crab cakes with this recipe.

Note: You could always mix the ingredients up in the morning before work, refrigerate...and then shape into patties/dredge right before cooking.

It's really easy to make the lemon dill mayo ahead of time and just refrigerate it. For the lemon dill mayo, you'll need:
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
Simply mix together and chill.

Finally, the risotto. My mom introduced me to this a couple weeks ago and I've already made it about 3 times. It is divine and so incredibly simple. 

For the baked Parmesan risotto, you'll need:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 5 cups simmering chicken stock, divided
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
First, pour 4 cups of simmering chicken stock over the rice in a dutch oven. Cover and cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and add the remaining ingredients. Stir for 2-3 minutes and serve. 

I've found the risotto reheats really well...which is good because this recipe could feed an army of 13 year old boys!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Yard Work

We are officially only 2 weeks away from the big move! Josh and I keep saying that we have no idea what we are going to do with all of our free time when the house is done. We spend most evenings over there looking at the progress made or not made. The actual process of moving seems very daunting, but we truly have loved every step of the home building experience. We are lucky to have a great team of people making everything happen!

One of the more noticeable changes on the exterior of the house is that we now have a yard. My mind is going wild with future projects. Here's what we started with...

Early construction...it kills me to see that beautiful tree laying on the ground there :( They did plant an oak and a maple in the front, however. They aren't as small as I thought they'd be, but they definitely need some time to mature.

Already starting to look better with all of the bamboo and brush cleared out. I have a feeling we are going to be killing bamboo shoots for a while...that stuff is crazy invasive.

And voila! Instant yard. I can't wait to plant some azaleas in the corners and have an herb garden. I'd also love a fig tree one day.

I have a feeling we will have a lot of fun out here in the future!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Georgia Grille's Lobster Enchiladas (Modified)

My friend Gaya uncovered the recipe a while back for one of my all time favorite dishes and I've been dying to try them out! If you haven't been to Georgia Grille, you must go and you must order the Lobster Enchilada. It will change your life. If you are looking for a healthy recipe, look elsewhere...this is not it!

I modified and used beef instead of lobster. Really out of a combination laziness and emotion. While grocery shopping, I ran into a dad and his little boy who were googly eyed over the live lobsters. They were straight up naming and petting them. I couldn't buy a couple of live lobsters while they were in sight and my grocery didn't have any lobster already cooked. So, ground beef it was. And it did not disappoint!

You'll need:
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 Tablespoons diced shallot
  • 1 Tablespoon pureed garlic, about 2 cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon picked jalapeno puree**
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pound cooked lobster meat, cut into large dice
  • 2 and 1/4 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, smoked, seeds and diced**
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram (located in the spice aisle)
  • 12 (8-inch) flour tortillas, softened
  • 1 cup fresh tomato salsa
**The flavor of the smoked red bell pepper in the sauce is a signature at Georgia Grille. Several are smoked at once in a large commercial smoker with hickory. You can do this at home with a stovetop smoker which will take about 15 minutes. An alternative is to omit the jalapeno puree AND the smoked pepper, substituting about 1/2 a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, pureed. (I did this...infinitely easier, great results.)

First, I browned the beef. If you use lobster, just make sure it is already cooked and diced. Chicken would be great too and I halfway considered using crab...which would be great but really extra rich, as the sauce itself is super creamy.

In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Add the shallots, garlic and jalapeno puree (if using). Cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Sorry for the awful picture.

Add the chicken stock and cook until reduced by half.

Then, add the cream and continue cooking until reduced by half, stirring occasionally. This takes a while.

Next, stir in the lobster (or beef or chicken), 1 and 1/2 cups of cheese, smoked bell pepper (or chipotle pepper), tomato, cilantro, lime juice and marjoram. At this point, don't boil the mixture or it will separate. Set aside and keep warm.

OK, this is looking delicious right about now!

Spoon about 1/4 cup filling into each tortilla. Roll into a cylinder and place the tortillas seam side down in an ovenproof casserole.

Mine weren't looking too neat at first.

And I could only fit 8 in my pan...

Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. 

The recipe now says to preheat the broiler and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese melts. I disagree because mine weren't piping hot all the way through. Next time, I will bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees and then turn the broiler up to crisp up the top.

Nevertheless, WOW. Amazing dish. Use the salsa on the individual servings so that you can easily reheat leftovers. Next time, I will use more of a pico de gallo type of salsa.

Thanks for finding this winning recipe, sweet Gaya!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Well-Heeled to Well-Balanced

If you know me, you know that I love my high heels. Wedges are especially great. And I've really been looking forward to fall and breaking back out my Sam Edelman leopard print booties. I loved these so much last year that I also bought the black suede ones. But, I think the season is a-changing, and I don't mean it's about to be fall. I think I'm going to need to embrace flats.

Last week I had a revelation during a site inspection, walking all over Atlanta and its amazing venues. I'm in big ol' wedges. At the Fox Theatre, I lost my footing and slipped down a small staircase! Thank God for my colleague who helped grab me so discreetly that no one even knew. I'm not usually a clumsy person but this scared me enough to make a change. This baby needs a balanced mama.

So, I'm on a mission for flats, and luckily I'm way behind on what's already am established trend because there are some super cute ones out there.

I love love love animal print. These are too cute.

The black and brown combo is great. Love the suede.

The bengal is just amazing. Love them!

I'm really liking the studded look. I tried some studded flats on last year though and couldn't even walk around the shoe department in them they were so stiff!

Any other cute finds out there?