WIAW #95

breakfast

I’m all messed up on days right now, it feels like it should be Tuesday but in reality, the work week is halfway over already.  Not complaining here!  I’m actually surprised I remembered to take pictures of my eats yesterday for What I Ate Wednesday!  We had an awesome weekend in Nantucket with friends but I’ll share more about that later.  For now, here are my eats.  I had the (now usual) steel cut oats for breakfast with apples, dried cranberries, chia seeds, flax and milk.

snack1

I had a little snack around 10:30 to hold me over until lunch; some popchips with cottage cheese.

lunch

For lunch I made a caesar salad with spinach & baby kale and then had some indian paneer over quinoa & brown rice.

snack2

For an afternoon snack I had some carrots dipped in hummus and a huge crunchy apple!

dinnerI almost forgot to take a picture of my dinner but I had a lightbulb moment about halfway through so I snapped this picture for you.  I had another salad, some butternut squash risotto and a Dogfish Head Espresso Habanero sausage.  It was good but SPICY!  The boys were having a dance party in my belly after that one.

Happy Wednesday!!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

This weekend!

Nantucket1

This is probably our last trip we’ll take before the babies arrive so we soaked it all up and enjoyed sleeping in, going out to dinner and packing only 2 bags for the entire trip.  Tom & I (mostly me) have an issue with overpacking so I’m frightened about how much stuff we’re going to bring with us when we have two little ones in tow.

Nantucket2

Nantucket3

Friday was absolutely gorgeous, we spent some time getting settled in to the house, stocking the fridge with beer (and seltzer), and then we went out to a FANTASTIC dinner at The Sea Grille.  This may have been one of the best pasta dishes I have ever had.  The pasta was homemade and it was topped with grilled lobster, a fresh tomato garlic sauce and some drizzled pesto.  Holy guacamole, I’ll be dreaming about this one for years to come.

Nantucket4

Unfortunately the weather on Saturday was a bit of a bust, it was POURING rain with lots of wind; the type of day where you just want to stay inside.  So, that’s exactly what we did.  It was nice though, its been a long time since I’ve had a completely lazy day like that and it makes it much more fun when you have great friends to share it with.  We put together this puzzle which pretty much took all day.  I think we put the last piece in the sky at about midnight and literally cheered out loud, it was a doozy!

Nantucket5

We were blessed with a gorgeous day on Sunday so we all went out to brunch to celebrate Steph & Alicia’s completion of the half marathon and then spent the rest of the day walking around town shopping and eating.

It was a great weekend with great people!  Looking forward to making it back to Nantucket again some day, my heart is in Martha’s Vineyard where some of my best friend’s live but Nantucket certainly had its own special charm.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Ok, so here’s the deal folks.  Its Thursday night, I’m exhausted, this week has completely kicked my ass.  I’ve been completely bombarded with work to the point where I literally (without hurting myself of course), banged my head on the desk a few times out of frustration. Don’t these people know I’m pregnant and these hormones can’t deal with the stress right NOW?? Anywho, I’m ready to go relax and enjoy a fun long weekend with friends, BUT, I feel like I’ve been thoroughly neglecting you guys and need to share some new recipes with you.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

SO, I’m stopping in briefly to share this one with you.  The only wrinkle is that I didn’t copy my steps down carefully enough to write down an actual step-by-step recipe so I’m hoping you guys can take this as inspiration and go navigate your way through it and create a bowl of creamy squashy bacony goodness on your own.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

I decided to try making the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker which totally worked apart from the fact that it was a little more mushy and less stringy.  So, it tasted delicious but didn’t have that same spaghetti-like texture I’m used to.  If you’re ok with the mush, make it in the slow cooker, if not – make it in the oven like normal.

SquashCarbonara4

So in nutshell, this is how I made this:

I cooked about 5 slices of bacon in a pan, then removed it to drain on some paper towels.  Then I added diced onion to the bacon juices, cooked until soft and then added 1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) peas.  When those were heated through I added 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, some salt, pepper & nutmeg and simmered it briefly.  Then I stirred in the cooked spaghetti squash, chopped bacon and topped it off with some more parmesan cheese & bacon bits.  It was yum-o-yummy!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Hope you all enjoy a beautiful long weekend!! Love to you all!

 

WIAW #93

breakfast

Hey there, Happy Wednesday!  I’m realizing that my eats for What I Ate Wednesday are a little messy looking and not very colorful but they were pretty delicious so here we go!  I’m going to call this the yellow day.

For breakfast I had a big bowl of steel cut oats with apples, cinnamon, flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut and dried cranberries along with a pumpkin spice waffle with peanut butter on top.  It seems like every time I go into Whole Foods, their stock of these things are cleaned out pretty well so its obviously a popular flavor.  I hope they stick around for a while because they are SO GOOD!

silhouette

I’m starting to get quite the baby bump growing, I caught my silhouette the other day on the wall as the sun was setting and it took me a second to realize how big I was getting.  Its so weird to see you body changing like this, every time I pass by a mirror or my reflection I have to stop & pause, holy crap! That’s me!

I’ve officially stopped Cross Fit for the remainder of the pregnancy.  I could have probably gone a few more weeks but they say you should stop all rigorous exercise by the 2nd trimester or 24 weeks at the latest with twins.  I’m currently 23 weeks so I figured it would be best to just be safe and cut back now so I don’t increase my risk of preterm labor.  I’ve been taking afternoon walks with Oto and doing some stretching and light weights at the house for now.  I’m realizing how hard its going to be to go back after all of this and see how far behind I am but I’m also excited for the challenge to build my endurance and muscles back up.  I’m hoping we can find a way to fit it into the schedule once the twins are born.

lunch

 

Anywho, on to some more eats.  I froze some of the chili from last week so I reheated some of that for lunch and had it alongside some leftover mashed sweet potatoes.

snack

For an afternoon snack I had some multigrain chips, a wedge of garlic herb cheese and an apple.  People keep asking me if I’m having any weird cravings and although my diet has stayed mainly normal I’ve been wanting chips like something bad.  I could eat chips for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could.  Of course I’m trying to keep it under control and just snack on them occasionally but I guess that’s my one weird pregnancy thing.

dinner

For dinner I made a 1/2 chicken in the slow cooker and then made a little chicken salad out of it and ate it over some spinach, carrots and roasted delicata squash.

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

A fresh clean room!

guestroomWe’ve been working on rearranging the house to make way for the nursery.  So far we have cleared out Tom’s man cave (sorry love), moved my office in there and then moved the guest room into where my office was.  I love starting a room off fresh and clean and spending time setting everything up.  Now we just need to hire someone to paint the nursery and get started on the furniture buying process.  So much to do and so little time!  I’ll post some pics when the nursery is done, we’re going to do grey walls with yellow, white & acqua accents.  Can’t wait to get it all done!

 

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Ok guys, I hope you’re ready for this one, it’s a keeper!  This is somewhere in-between two previous recipes I’ve posted: my Shredded Chicken Mexican Pie & my Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie.  The thing I love about these is that you get all of those awesome Mexican flavors in a dish but you can skip the whole tortilla thing to hold it all together.  The tortilla is just a vessel for the goodness and this time we’re just throwing all of the goodness right into a pie dish.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

As we were eating it, Tom asked me what made me think of doing this.  I admitted that I was actually going to make the same Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie I’d made in the past but when I was at the grocery store shopping, I had made it all the way past the produce aisle without getting sweet potatoes and really didn’t feel like walking back to get them.  Then I looked in the freezer case and remembered my awesome friends at Alexia had these sweet potato puffs that I could use as a substitute.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

If you haven’t tried them before, you seriously need to get on it and throw some Alexia items next time you’re at the store.  They’ve been a design client of mine for over 5 years now and they are some of the best people to work with.  They put a lot of care into the products they create AND they’re working on getting a lot of their products Non-GMO Project Verified which is pretty awesome as well.

I was so excited when they came out with these sweet potato puffs, nothing is better than a good potato puff and to fill it with the healthier sweet potato? Sign me up!  I actually get a little nostalgic when I think of potato puffs, they bring me back to my college years. Saturday mornings at the dining hall, you would see all these zombie’s walking around with trays full of 10 glasses of water and a HEAPING pile of tater tots.  I’m surprised our bodies survived those days, talk about resiliency!

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Ok, this is how freaking easy this is.  First, cook the potato puffs according to the package directions.  Then sauté some peppers & onions until soft and season with a little taco seasoning.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Then you sauté some ground beef with the remaining taco seasoning and salsa and add in a layer on top of the peppers & onions.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Then you pile all those crispy sweet potato puffs on top of the ground beef.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Then you make a layer of shredded cheese on top, throw it in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bam! You’ve got dinner on the table!

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

I really wanted to top this with some chopped scallions but I didn’t have any on hand so I clipped some chives and threw those on top for a little greenness.  Just serve this with a simple salad and the family will be oh so happy!

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Leftovers of this were pretty delicious as well even though the potato puffs weren’t that crispy any more, the flavors were all still there.  Hope you guys love this as much as we did, this one will be going into the make-again category!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Eating on the water.

LunchLast weekend I popped over to Marblehead with some friends and we ate lunch at a restaurant with a deck right on the water.  It’s so nice to soak up the sun while watching the boats go by in the harbor.  I had a huge spinach salad with lobster on top and it was summer perfection.  I’ll be holding on to that simple summer memory as the snow drifts and wind move in this winter.

Mexican Sweet Potato Puff Pie

Serves 4-6
Allergy Milk
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 bag Alexia Sweet Potato Puffs
  • 1 Medium Onion (sliced)
  • 1 Medium red pepper (sliced into strips)
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • shredded mexican cheese

Directions

1. Bake the Alexia Sweet Potato puffs according to the package instructions. Keep oven on at 400 F after they are done cooking.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add peppers & onions and sauté for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft & lightly browned. Season with 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning. Transfer the mixture to the pie dish.
3. Add the ground beef to the pan with the remaining taco seasoning.
4. Cook until nicely browned and cooked through. Then stir in the salsa. Add the meat mixture to the pie dish on top of the peppers & onions.
5. Create a layer of sweet potato puffs on top of the ground beef and top off with a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
6. Transfer the pie dish to the oven and cook until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
7. Serve topped with diced chives or green onions (optional).

 

 

WIAW #92

breakfast

Happy Fall everyone!  I know it was officially fall like last week or something but with the hot weekend we had, I feel like it’s actually starting this week.  I’m bringing out the sweaters and starting to crave things like hot oatmeal and soups.  The vibrant leaves are changing and the days are getting shorter.  This is probably the first year that I haven’t been sad for the end of summer. Reason number one is that NONE of my summer clothes fit me any more and its pretty miserable being large and hot, I’m so glad I skipped out on that really pregnant in the dead of summer thing!  Reason number two is that there are so many exciting things coming up in the next few months.  We have a TON of stuff to prepare before the little monsters arrive but I seriously cannot wait! The next 3 months are going to fly by!

Anyways, since its fall now and I’ve made my mental shift, let’s look at some of my fall eats from yesterday.

For breakfast I had a big bowl of steel-cut oats that I made with a mixture of water & apple cider, then I added a little maple syrup, cinnamon, chia seeds, coconut, dried cranberries, diced apples & a splash of almond milk.  YUM.

morningsnack

I usually eat breakfast around 6:30 and don’t get around to eating lunch until around 12 so I usually have a little mid-morning snack to hold me over.  This time it was a few bites of cottage cheese.

lunch

For lunch I had a salad and some leftover Thai meatballs which I made in a red coconut curry sauce along with some brown rice & quinoa.

snack

snack2

For an afternoon snack I had some Sweet Potato yogurt with KIND peanut butter granola and cinnamon on top.  This was my first time trying this yogurt and it was really good.  I was mostly drawn in by the nice packaging design, that black really stood out among all of the white yogurt containers.  Plus they had some pretty cool unique flavors like carrot and beet, how cool is that?  Check them out if you can find them in your grocery store, I picked them up at Whole Foods.

dinner

For dinner I made a big batch of chili in the slow cooker.  No special recipe, just ground beef, fire roasted tomatoes, black & kidney beans, zucchini, onions and LOTS of yummy spices.  I’ll be eating this for a few more meals this week for sure!

I forgot to take a pic but I also had a little granola before bed.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

The farmer’s market in the fall.

farmersmarket

There are so many awesome things at the market this time of year, I love seeing the booths all decked out in pumpkins, apples and squash, I just wish I could bring a shopping cart or something, I never seem to have enough room in that little bag I bring!  Make sure you guys get out there and support your local farmers this fall!

 

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

Since you all now know that I’m in full-on pregnancy mode, it’s completely acceptable for me to write a post FULL of sugar and bad stuff, right?  In my defense, I brought these to Newport this weekend and did not eat all of them!  Bad stuff aside, these things might seriously be one of the best brownies you’ve ever tasted.

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

I stole this recipe from my mom, she used to make them and the smell that filled the house would bring everyone out of hiding and we would be waiting by the stove for them to be ready.  They are so rich and delicious, you really only need to eat one (or maybe five).

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

Unfortunately there is one really hard thing you have to do in order to make these.  You have to let them cool when they come out of the oven and its pretty much pure torture.  The center is so soft and fudgy, they won’t be easy to cut until you let them cool.  For this batch, I put the pan in the refrigerator until it was cooled and then I popped it out onto a cutting board and cut into small pieces using a chef’s knife.  Cutting brownies can be a little difficult and I’ve found this is the easiest solution.

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

If you haven’t seen them yet, one of my favorite brands – Immaculate Baking Company has ventured out of the refrigerated aisle and they are now making products you’ll find in the dry baking aisle.  I worked with them on designing all of the packaging for these items so its exciting to see them come to life!  They sent me a case of the items to try and they are SO good! They have new cake mixes, cookie mixes and dry ingredients like a pancake waffle mix and this unbleached, unbromated Organic All-Purpose Flour.  I’m sure I’ll be posting other recipes using the other items soon so stay tuned for those!

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

If you need more friends in your life, just whip up a batch of these and watch them come running, you may want to have some glasses of milk standing by.

Enjoy!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

The smell of fresh brownies baking in the oven. What are you waiting for? Go make them!!

Fudgy Espresso Blondie Brownies

Ingredients

  • 16oz brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Spray 9" x 9" or 11" x 8" baking pan with cooking spray.
3. In a small sauce pan heat brown sugar & butter until melted. Dissolve the espresso powder with the hot water in a small bowl. Add to the brown sugar mixture and stir to combine well. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder & salt.
5. Beat eggs & vanilla with a mixer. Add the cooled brown sugar mixture and combine well. Slowly add the flour mixture until combined well and then add chocolate chips.
6. Pour into the pan and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the edges and top are lightly browned (center will be soft).
7. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, minimum. For best results, refrigerate until cooled completely and then cut into small squares.

 

 

 

WIAW #91

Breakfast

Hey there!  Since its Wednesday and we’re looking at my eats for the day, I figured I’d talk quickly about how my eating has changed since this whole preggos thing started.  I’ve been extremely lucky to have avoided the whole morning sickness and food aversion thing but that isn’t to say that my eating habits haven’t changed slightly.  I’m still eating similar things, like this breakfast for example or my usual salad at lunch, but I’ve been trying to add more whole grains, proteins and dairy to the mix.  In the past, I’ve tried to limit my intake of bread and full fat dairy, but I know these little guys need some extra fuel to grow big and strong so I’m trying to give them what they need.  I’ve read a few books on having a healthy twin pregnancy and much to my dismay, a lot of them stress the importance of gaining weight.  There are so many preterm births with twins but they say you can drastically reduce your chances by putting on the prescribed amount of weight.  Of course, you’re supposed to do it eating healthy stuff like vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts & oils.  Easier said than done!

Belly

So, there it is! The pregnant belly!  People are no longer guessing that I might be pregnant, now it’s turned to “When are you due?”  I’m into my 21st week now and obviously showing about double what you would be showing in a singleton pregnancy.  The checkout lady at the supermarket yesterday asked if I needed help getting groceries into my car and wherever I go, benches clear out for a place for me to sit down, its kind of a funny thing to get used to.  I realize I should be taking advantage of those benches but at this point, I still feel like a normal active person, just with a much larger belly and the need to make a bathroom break every 2 minutes.  I’ve continued CrossFit up until this point at a very scaled pace but I think I may only be able to continue for another few weeks, I’m just getting a little too uncomfortable at this point and I don’t want to risk anything.

So, gaining weight and being ok with it? It’s a hard thing to get used to, it’s like I’m erasing everything I’ve learned in this lifetime.  I’ve gained 16 pounds so far which I guess is right on par with where I should be, they say you should gain 4-6 pounds in the first trimester and then 1.5 pounds a week during the 2nd and 3rd trimester.  It’s still hard not to cry when I see these numbers popping up on the scale, I’m just trying to think that it’s mostly babies and fluid, right? right??  Whatever, my main goal right now is to grow two healthy boys and carry them to term and if that means weighing in at more than I ever thought I would, I guess I’m going to have to deal with it!

Anyways, let’s get on with some eats for the rest of the day!

Lunch

For lunch I had a salad with broccoli, cauliflower & feta along with some leftovers.  I’m hoping I can post this recipe for you because it was really good, the texture didn’t come out as I was expecting but the flavors were great.  It is a spaghetti squash carbonara.  I decided to make the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker but it was a little overcooked and didn’t have that stringy spaghetti-like texture.  Either way, it was delicious, a blend of squash, peas, bacon & parmesan. Yum!

Snacks

I had quite the variety of snacks today.  I was out of the house for a little while yesterday afternoon and needed a quick fix so I had a dark chocolate sunflower butter cup to hold me over.  For a snack before Crossfit I had a (hand-picked :)) honey crisp apple and a few bits of Cocomama Crunched Out.  I also had a little spritzer that has been my afternoon treat lately.  This one was black cherry seltzer with a splash of apple cider.  My favorite from last week was mandarin seltzer with coconut water and a splash of orange juice, it tasted like a less sweet Orangina.

Dinner

Tom & I were pretty hungry and exhausted by the time we got back from our workout so we just made up a quick dinner of some buffalo chicken salad sandwiches and a green salad.

Head on over to Peas & Crayons for more yummy eats!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

This past weekend.

Fam

We went down to Newport this weekend for a little get together with my family from the west coast.  It is always so great to see them, they recently bought a house in Newport so we’re lucky to get to spend more time with them now.  I feel so lucky to have such a great family and not one single person that I don’t get along with.  We also got to spend some time with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and new niece who were visiting from Guam where they’re stationed with the Navy.  Overall, it was a fantastic weekend full of sunshine, laughs and great times.

Apple Cinnamon Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Apple Cinnamon Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Yes, I realize its Wednesday and that usually means What I Ate Wednesday but I forgot to take photos of my dinner yesterday and I figured rather than showing you a half assed day of eats, I’d focus on my breakfast and the yumminess that were these oats.  If you’re still interested in reading about my eats, I’ll share my lunch & snack pics down below.

Apple Cinnamon Rice Cooker Steel Cut OatsThe weather is getting a little chilly out there so I’m finding myself craving things like a hot bowl of oatmeal or soup.  Its been ages since I’ve done this and to be honest I almost forgot about it but I pulled out the trusty old rice cooker so I could have a hot bowl of oats waiting for me in the morning.  I think I posted a recipe ages ago, but in case you weren’t with me then, this is how it works.  Apple Cinnamon Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats

If you have a rice cooker sitting in your cabinets, its time to dust that thing off and put it to daily use.  Basically you throw 1 part steel cut oats and 2.5 parts water into a rice cooker, select the porridge setting, set the timer to the time you want it to be done in the morning, start it and then walk. away.  Or you can be extra stealthy and throw in things like diced apples and cinnamon and you’ll wake up to the smell of fall exploding in your nostrils.   Word is, you can do this the exact same way in a slow cooker, I’m just old now and I go to bed at 9:00 so I’m worried that over 9 hours of cooking would create a burnt mess since mine tends to run hot.

Apple Cinnamon Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats

I like to keep the ingredients I put in the rice cooker pretty simple, I haven’t tried putting a sweetener in yet because I’m afraid it would crust up and make it harder to clean. Its easy to dress it with those things after its done cooking so keep the first step simple, then you can get fancy.  For mine, I added a swirl of maple syrup, more pieces of cut up fresh apple, flax seed, chia seeds and a splash of almond milk.  I’m thinking I may try to get adventurous soon and make a bowl of savory oats, have any of you tried that? What’s your favorite combination.  Its such a great meal, its cozy, healthy and super filling, oh and did I mention easy peasy?

lunch

Speaking of savory… here is my lunch from yesterday.  I went out to dinner with a friend on Monday night and I ordered a buffalo chicken flatbread that I barely ate any of after I filled up on the appetizer so it made a delicious lunch along with a side salad.

snacks

For an afternoon snack I had some carrots and hummus along with some TJ’s nacho tortilla chips.

For dinner (not pictured), I cooked up some steak, sautéed zucchini and Alexia Roasted Smart Classics Fries.

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Cleaning out!

This weekend, Tom and I started the process of emptying out some of our unneeded stuff to make way for the boys on the way.  BTW – if you’re looking to get rid of stuff fast, post it for free on Craigslist! People go bat shit crazy over free stuff, doesn’t matter what it is.  Within 3 hours on Sunday we had people come to get an ikea coffee table, an old TV, a DVD player, a rug, a framed pic of a map, a snowboard, bindings, a little fountain and a broken office chair.  I realize we could have made some money if we had more patience but we just wanted to clean house and get things out of there as soon as possible.  It feels so good to have all this extra space right now.  I know it won’t last for long, the baby hand-me-downs are already filling up our spare bedroom but for the meantime, it feels good to get rid of some old stuff and make way for the new!

Apple Cinnamon Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Serves 3-4
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 Large apple (diced)
  • sprinkle cinnamon
  • sprinkle ground nutmeg

Directions

1. Place ingredients in the rice cooker
2. Set on the porridge setting and then hit the "Cooking" button to start immediately, or set the timer to the desired time you would like them to be done. It will take around an hour for it to cook.
3. Serve with the other half of the apple pieces, sweetener like maple syrup or brown sugar and any other desired toppings.

 

 

WIAW #90

breakfast

Happy hump day! I’m really sad that summer is essentially coming to a close but I am SO excited to jump into pumpkin and apple season and start making up huge batches of cozy soups.  Breakfast yesterday was my first pumpkin anything this year and oh boy was it good!  I picked up these Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice waffles at the store the other day and I’m already planning my next purchase, they are SO good!  Plus they’re full of some other good stuff like quinoa, amaranth & flax so I feel a little less guilty eating waffles for breakfast.  I also picked up a new yogurt to try called Quark, its a german style yogurt and has a lot of protein in it so I figured I’d give it a try.  My thoughts?  Well, if you like stevia, then you would totally love this yogurt.  I should have known when it only had 6g of sugar in it but I didn’t think to check the ingredients.  I can’t stand any fake sugar of any kind, natural or not, it tastes repulsive to me.  SO, I have another one that is plain which I’m assuming doesn’t contain any stevia so I’ll give that a try and hope that I like it better, if not – I’ll have to move back to my greek or sheeps milk yogurt.

lunch

For lunch I made a big spinach salad with avocado, feta & croutons along with a curried baby shrimp salad.

snack

I picked up my first few apples of the season at the Farmer’s Market this weekend and I was blown away by how good they were.  I didn’t think they would be that great this early in the season but they were crispy and juicy and sweet, I’m going to have to stock up on some more this weekend.  For an afternoon snack I had an apple with a few slices of cheddar cheese and some peanut butter.

dinner

There is a community garden near our house and they put out produce for people to take.  Tom was walking down there last weekend and saw tomatoes so he brought home two massive bags of tomatoes.  We’re finally making our way through them.   Last night I made a quiche with tomatoes, cheddar & basil.  The best part about quiche for dinner?  Leftovers for breakfast!

Happy Wednesday! Head on over to Peas & Crayons for more yummy fall eats.

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

The idea that fall is coming!

FallI’m soaking up these last few warm days and loving them but I can’t wait for fall everything!  Its even more exciting to think that next fall we’ll have two little boys to bring apple picking with us and jump in the leaves with. Ok, maybe they won’t be jumping by then, but I’m sure they’d love to crawl around in the leaves at least. Can’t wait to show them all the joys of our amazing seasons in New England.

 

My Big News, Times TWO

TwinAnnouncement1

Yup! Its true! If you didn’t know already, SURPRISE!  We’re expecting two beautiful twin boys in January! AHHH!  What am I feeling? Incredibly excited, incredibly scared, unprepared, probably everything that first time parents experience when the clock is ticking down to their arrival.  To answer your immediate question, no there are no twins in our family, it was a complete surprise, in fact it had never even crossed my radar as a possibility.  We went in for our first ultrasound and the tech got this surprised look on her face and said, “Well….here we are, there’s one baby right here, and another one right over here!.”  I yelled “Holy Shit” as Tom sat there in silence with tears running down his face :)  It was pretty incredible to simultaneously see you baby(s) for the first time and learn that there are in fact two of them on the way.  Your brain begins to spin with a thousand thoughts, how expensive is this going to be? What complications is this going to add? Oh crap, that small little room is not going to be the nursery anymore… After all those fears run through your head you begin to start thinking about all of the wonderful things that come along with it as well.  Two for the price of one, only one pregnancy, an instant family, not to mention that these two little dudes will have a best friend and soul mate for the rest of their lives.

BabyBump

I found out I was pregnant on Memorial Day weekend when I started crying watching a Kayem Hot Dog commercial, you know that one where they’re all in the  back yard running around and enjoying summer with the music playing in the background?  I was thinking “They’re just all SO HAPPY!”  I realized that weeping at a hot dog commercial was most definitely not normal so I decided it was time to take a pregnancy test.  We had been trying so it wasn’t a complete surprise but I even had a hard time believing it once the test came back positive.  There was a small part of me that thought we would go to the doctors and they would say “No, sorry, I think you were mistaken, you’re not pregnant.”  Its just hard to wrap your head around, to realize that there are life forms actually growing inside of you.  I guess seeing those two little babies on the ultrasound were enough to confirm it in my head.  I’ve been incredibly lucky so far, no morning sickness, no food aversions, no weird cravings (other than super greasy pizza, yummmmm).  I’m hoping the ease will continue into my third trimester and I’m able to keep these guys baking for as long as possible.

Its been hard to switch my lifestyle, being ok with the numbers on the scale going up and my clothes no longer fitting.  I know its for the good of the babies but its still hard to switch off that feeling of dread as I gain more weight.  You guys are going to have to bear with me as I probably post some not-so-healthy recipes for a little while. I’m still working on putting good things into my body but I’m not quite a conscious about the caloric content at this point, I’m just focusing on getting protein and nutrient rich foods to help these babies grow.

Reveal4

We are so lucky to have such great friends in our lives, helping us to get excited about the arrival of our little guys.  On Friday, they held a gender reveal party for us which is when we got to find out the sexes.

girls

We had the doctor put the results in an envelope for us after the ultrasound and our friends Alicia & Matt put together this whole surprise for us where they put confetti in black balloons with the results.  She had sent Tom & I questions a few weeks ago and as she read them, if we answered them the same, we got to pop a balloon.  It was such a fun way to do it, you can imagine the suspense!

Reveal2

Reveal3

Reveal1

I was completely blown away and surprised by the results, my first guess was a boy and a girl, second guess was two girls, LAST guess was two boys.  I was almost speechless when I saw that second balloon pop with the “It’s a Boy” confetti.  Its funny how you have these visions of your future and its hard to imagine when they don’t turn out exactly how you had imagined, life has a way of throwing some awesome curve balls your way.

Twin1

Twin2

I really can’t wait to meet these two, to see them develop their own unique personalities and passions in life.  They already seem to have different personalities from what we can see in the ultrasound.  Twin A is an active little buggar, he is always popping around every which way, kicking his brother in the head and showing off.  Twin B is a little more shy and likes to curl himself up in a ball and hide.  I’m curious to see if these characteristics will follow through at all in how they act when they’re growing up.

OtoPic2

OtoPic3

Here are a few more pics from Oto’s photo shoot with the shoes.  He has no idea what he’s in for! HA! I wish he didn’t look so sad in some of them, he’s going to have a blast with these two.  Two more faces to love!

I hope you guys bear with me as I spend time planning for the arrival of these two, I might not have as much time to cook elaborate meals but I’ll definitely share what I can and check in to say hi.

Woohoo for babies!!! :)