When I think about how Christmas is next week it kinda freaks me out! It has really snuck up on me this year, maybe because I’ve been slightly distracted with the cuteness going on in our home. Look who turned 1 month on Sunday….
We had so much fun doing a little photo shoot with Everly. It is amazing how much she has changed in only 1 month. She is so aware of her surroundings and stays awake in the mornings and late afternoons for a few hours and we play and do tummy time…it is so much fun. Her Aunt Katie and Uncle Chris came by to see her too and she really enjoyed spending time with them and sleeping in their arms!
Now that I’m starting to get the hang of having a newborn in the house I have started cooking again every once in a while. I made these yummy pan-fried pork chops the other day. I usually do my Great Grandmothers recipe every time I cook pork chops but decided to spice things up a little bit and do something different. Rex really liked them and they were really easy to cook.
Pan Fried Pork Chops
Pan Fried Pork Chops
What you need:
– 4 Boneless Pork Chops
– 1 cup flour
– 1 T Season Salt
– 1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper
– olive oil
– salt and pepper
In a large pan heat a few Tablespoons of olive oil to medium high heat. On a plate mix flour, season salt, cayenne and 1/4 tsp. of black pepper and set aside. Pound pork chops to 1/4 inch thick. Season them with salt and pepper on both sides and dip pork chops in flour mixture. Make sure chops are completely covered and then shake off any extra flour. Gently place them in the pan. When they start to look golden on the edges flip and cook on the other side (about 4 minutes on each side). Once pork chops are cooked remove from pan and place on paper towels to soak up any extra oil. Serve and enjoy!
Being in my 35th week we are fast approaching the arrival of Everly Mae. Especially since my doctor’s appointment last Thursday showed this little booger is still breech and if she doesn’t turn in the next week and a half I will go ahead and schedule a C-section on week 39. I don’t know if it is nesting or what, but I have been a little crazy when it comes to getting things done around the house. I just want the place to be perfect for when she gets here. I spent 2 hours on Friday taking everything out of the kitchen pantry, cleaning the shelves, PAINTING the shelves and then putting everything back. Yes, you read that right….I painted the shelves in our pantry…who does that?! Then Saturday I spent the morning on my hands and knees wiping down all the base boards. There was something driving me crazy about seeing the previous home owner’s dust and dog hair along the bottom of the walls…GROSS! Even though Everly will probably never know that I went a little nuts and did these things, it made me feel a lot better. The other thing I have been working on as we prepare for our sweet little girl is I have been making frozen meals! I have about 10 different meals in the freezer that we will be able to cook and eat from for the first couple weeks she is here. This will allow Rex and I to spend our time bonding and taking care of Everly and not having to worry about what we are going to eat for dinner. Also, it saves us from having to result to pizza every night and we will have healthy, home cooked meals…now that makes me a happy girl!
I decided to freeze some favorite meals of ours and some new ones. I have listed them below with links to the recipes. If they are new recipes, I will add the link when I cook and post about that specific dinner. Almost everything listed is a Crock Pot Meal (luckily it will be winter time). For the soups I put all the ingredients except for the chicken broth in the bags. That way all you have to do is add the broth when you put it in the crock pot and you are good to go. It didn’t make sense to me to cook a meal and then freeze it, so everything, except for the Broccoli Cheddar Soup is cut up raw vegetables and meat and just needs to be thawed and cooked before you eat it.
– Dad’s Chicken Tortilla Soup
– Sausage Balls
– Corn Bread Muffins
– Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
– Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
– Spicy Chickpea Soup
– Polish Kraut and Apples
– Buttermilk Herb Chicken
– Honey Soy Pork Chops
It isn’t a secret that I’ve been missing in action the last couple of weeks, but I promise I have a good excuse (have I said that before?) Rex and I have been busy little bees moving into our very first home! You might think I’m a little crazy or maybe it was my nesting kicking into gear, but my schedule the last 2 weeks was insane and I can’t believe I survived! We moved from our apartment to our new home on a Saturday. The next day Rex and my Dad tore out all the countertops and old backsplash in our kitchen to get ready for our new ones to be installed. I got a little nervous when they started this project because as my mom and I unpacked boxes I would hear loud bangs, whispering and then laughter coming from the kitchen. That never is a good sign. I would peak around the corner and Rex and Dad were putting holes in the walls! Luckily they figured it out and did a great job of demoing our kitchen. We did learn that you should NEVER vacuum drywall dust with a regular vacuum in the process though. Monday and Tuesday I continued to unpack boxes and organize but without counters or a sink in the kitchen…that was interesting. Wednesday the granite people came and put in our new sink and granite countertops…YAY! I didn’t get to enjoy the new kitchen very long because on Thursday morning I woke up at 4:30 am to head to the airport for a work trip to New York for 5 days. While in New York I experienced my first round of pregnancy swelling. My feet were out of control and I resulted to wearing the same pair of shoes (the only ones that fit) the entire trip! Thinking I’m crazy yet? Well the one smart thing I did before I left for New York was give my mom a house key. While I was out of town and Rex was busy at work she would come over and finish unpacking boxes, decorate, organize, and make everything perfect for when I arrived back. Rex, Mom and Dad were absolute rock stars while I was away. They all worked so hard…hanging drapes, painting, setting out fall decorations, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. When I walked into our new home after a hectic 2 weeks of disorganization and traveling I was overwhelmed with joy…the house was absolutely perfect and clean! Thank you so much Rex, Mom and Dad for all your hard work and manual labor….Lord knows it would have taken this pregnant lady months to do it on my own! You all are serious life savers and I feel blessed that without any hesitation my parents put in so much hard work, time and effort to make our first home a beautiful and perfect place. Want to see the new home?
Once I got back and settled into the new place I was REALLY excited to cook our first meal in our brand new kitchen! I made these delicious stuffed peppers. The recipe makes about double of the filling than you need for 4 peppers. So you could do 8 peppers and use all the filling or do what I did and save the extra filling and eat that for lunches throughout the week. I had so much fun cooking and moving around out new kitchen, I know that there will be many wonderful family meals made here.
Italian Stuffed Peppers
Italian Stuffed Peppers
What you need:
– 4 Red Peppers, tops and insides removed
– 1 cup quinoa, cooked
– 1 lb. ground turkey
– 1 small onion, diced
– 1 can italian seasoned tomatoes
– 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
– 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
– 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
– 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
– 1 T balsamic vinegar
– 1 T olive oil
– shredded cheddar cheese
Remove the tops and seeds of the bell peppers and back in the oven (empty) for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, brown turkey meat in large skillet. Add onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Add cooked quinoa, spices, tomatoes and oil and vinegar. Mix well and let simmer for a few minutes. Spoon the precooked peppers with filling and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and return to oven to bake for another 25 minutes. I served ours over a bed of spinach. Enjoy!
Protein Energy Balls
If you live in Colorado you know it has been a crazy last few days. The rain here has been out of control and I started to think we were living in Seattle. Roads in and out of cities have been closed, homes have been destroyed and sadly lives have been lost. My heart and prayers go out to the families dealing with the floods. On Saturday Rex and I thought the worst was over when we woke up to clear skies. We decided to go to the Oktoberfest in Parker. We met up with some friends, listened to some polka music and enjoyed Brats and beer (okay, only Rex had beer). The clouds started to roll in but it didn’t look like it would be so bad….it was kinda nice and cooled us off. Then, out of nowhere it started to pour. We took cover under a little pavilion for over an hour! It rained and hailed and the lighting really started to scare us. We were next to a playground and watched as it quickly began to flood. After waiting patiently for it to slow down or stop, we realized there was no end in sight, So we made a run for the car. We were drenched and freezing and this pregnant lady was excited to get home and cuddle in. Sunday I spent the entire day in the kitchen cooking. I made so many fun things and stocked up on recipes to post for the week! I had to start with this recipe for energy balls that I found on Pinterest. These things are DELISH! I changed the recipe a little bit and made a batch of about 40 balls. I divided them into smaller bags of 3 so Rex (and I) can quickly grab them as a healthy snack for the day.
Protein Energy Balls
What you need:
– 2 cups oats
– 1 cup peanut butter
– 2/3 cup honey
– 1 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened but might try unsweetened next time)
– 1 cup wheat germ
– 1 cup ground flaxseed
– 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 2 tsp vanilla
Mix all the ingredients together and press into small balls. Please balls on a cookie sheet/cutting board and freeze for at least 1 hour. Remove balls from sheet and place in ziplock bag and store in freezer. To eat, let thaw at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.
It is time to celebrate….Friday is here! Not only that, we have a nice long weekend ahead. Do you have any fun plans for Labor Day weekend? We will probably be taking it easy and doing a little planning for the new house. But Labor day is a great reminder that Summer is coming to a close, so get out, BBQ, lay by the pool, and do all those fun Summer activities before the cool weather starts heading our way.
I made this Farmer’s Casserole last weekend for breakfast and Rex loved it! He was able to eat the leftovers until Tuesday and I even got a text message one morning saying “That farmer’s casserole is SO good”. It is really easy to assemble, and I cooked the sausage the day before to make it really quick. The only problem was I underestimated how long it would cook in the oven. It ended up taking double the time I thought and we were extremely hungry by the time it was fully cooked. It ended up being worth the wait…it was really good!
Farmer’s Breakfast Casserole
Farmer’s Breakfast Casserole
What you need:
– 1 bag of premade hash browns (you can find them in the section by the eggs and cheese)
– 5 eggs
– 1 1/2 cups of milk (I used 2%)
– 1/2 red pepper, chopped
– 1/8 cup of onion, chopped
– 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
– 1 lb. turkey breakfast sausage, cooked
– salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 13×7 casserole dish. In the bottom of the pan add hash browns. Top hash browns with pepper, onion, cooked sausage and cheese and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture in pan and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Check that eggs are fully cooked in the middle of the pan with a knife and serve!
25 Week Baby Bump
How far along are you? 25 weeks. Can’t believe I am in my 6th month!
What’s happening with baby? She weighs about 2 lbs! Her eyes, which until now were developing under fused eyelids, are starting to open. Her brain is more developed and sophisticated and she knows when we are talking to her (especially her daddy).
Total weight gain: 13.5 lbs. Baby girl has doublded in size (and weight) the past couple weeks, and so has my belly!
Maternity clothes? Oh yeah…comfort is key!
Stretch Marks? NOPE
Sleep: Some nights are good and some nights not so good. I get really uncomfortable at night.
Best moment this week: Read below under movement…
Miss Anything? Sleeping all the way through the night. I know it’s only going to get worse, especially when she is here.
Movement: Oh my goodness, we have a mover and shaker. I can’t get over how much my bump moves now. It shakes from side to side when she is moving around and I can see entire sections of my belly jump….it is crazy but I love it!
Food Cravings: Salads…but I think that is because it is SO hot outside.
Anything making you queasy or sick? No
Symptoms: My belly has been very itchy and I get SO uncomfortable in the evenings. I feel like my stomach is being stretched to the max.
Belly button in or out: In, but starting to look shallow and feel a little weird on the top.
Wedding rings on or off: ON
Looking forward to: Rex and I feel extremely blessed. I don’t know if it is the hormones or what, but everytime I think about her I start to get teary eyed. Just last night I started crying out of the blue listening to Rex talk to my belly. We are SO excited for her to be here!
Sausage and Egg Boat
Woo hoo, it is Friday! It has been a busy week. I started my baby registry on Wednesday and let me just say….it isn’t as fun as you would think. Maybe because I’m a first time mom and have NO clue what anything is, but it was the most overwhelming and exhausting experience of my life. I ended up crying twice that night (mainly because I was so tired). Luckily, I had my mom with me and a great sales person who helped explain what everything is used for to get me through the long day of picking out necessities for Baby J. It wasn’t until I asked a simple questions and the sales person said “Oh, you can’t do that with an infant” that I realized I have no idea what I’m doing. It freaked me out and I am on a mission to learn as much as I can before sweet baby girl gets here. I don’t want to hurt my baby! I’m hoping that motherly instincts will kick in when she makes her grand entrance into the world.
This weekend Rex and I are very excited to spend it in the mountains with some friends. A little hiking and relaxing in the cool mountain air is just what I need. That is one thing I love about Colorado, we are just a short drive to beautiful landscapes and fun outdoor activities. Bring on the fun weekend!
I made this delicious Sausage and Egg Boat last weekend and Rex really liked it. This would be a great, eye-popping dish to bring to a brunch or a great Holiday morning breakfast. Maybe you could make this for your family this weekend!
What you need:
– 1 french bread loaf
– 1/2 lb. breakfast sausage (I used maple)
– 5 eggs
– 1/3 cup milk
– 3/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Hollow out the center of the french bread loaf, leaving about an inch on all sides so nothing spills out. In a skillet brown sausage, drain and set aside. Place french bread loaf on a cookie sheet. In a large bowl whisk the 5 eggs and milk together. Add the cooked sausage and half of the cheese and gently pour into french bread loaf. Top with remaining cheese and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until eggs are cooked in the middle.