Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Homemade Candy Apples

Last Saturday, Mike and I had a Halloween party to go to so we decided to make these to take along:

They're Granny Smith apples covered in caramel, chocolate, sliced almonds, and dried cherries. They were a hit (not to mention absolutely delicious)! I'm starting to think that my favorite part of Halloween really is all of the junk food.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Can You Believe It?

We've started TTC #2 as of the start of my cycle yesterday! It feels very surreal and somewhat odd to be charting again.

In terms of charting, I'm not sure how reliable my data will be as Abigail doesn't always wake at the same time in the morning for a bottle. I guess we'll see. My cycles have been a bit screwy, although still fairly regular, since she was born so I'm curious to find out what's going on as well.

Wish us luck!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Baking - Part #1

Fall is a great time for baking. I recently decided to bake some pumpkin bread to keep around the house. I ended up making 3 loaves of the bread (not noticing that the recipe I was using actually made 3 loaves when I was shopping for the ingredients - d'oh!) and plan on giving one to my IL's and another to my parents.

It was delicious! I also loved the smell of pumpkin wafting through the house while the bread was in the oven. Yum!


3 cups canned pumpkin puree (or you can buy small pie pumpkins and puree them yourself)
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 cups white sugar
6 eggs
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 9x5 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; stir into the pumpkin mixture until well blended. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Day at the Pumpkin Farm

This past Saturday, we decided to take Abigail to the Harvest Festival at one of our local pumpkin farms.

This is probably the largest pumpkin farm I've ever been to. They have a large variety of activities for kids of all ages, some of which include:
  • Mind Bender Mazes
  • Cattle Chute Maze
  • Trike Trail
  • Petting Zoo (goats)
  • Corn Box
  • Straw Fort
  • Corn Walk
  • Lil' Corn Maze
  • Tunnel Slides
  • Racing Slides
  • Pumpkin Launch
  • Tiny Town
  • Rope Maze
  • Hay Wagon Ride
  • Pumpkin Decorating Stations
We also just happened to visit on a day where they were having a Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off. We all had a blast!

Playing in the sandbox full of corn kernels:

Pulling a husk off of one of the larger corn mazes:

Going down the slides with mommy:

And some other random shots:

We can't wait to go back next year!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nine Months Old!

First, I'd like to apologize for my lack of posting over the past month. Abigail has been working like crazy these past few weeks to cut her first two teeth. She's been extremely fussy, has developed a pretty bad diaper rash from teething, and has started to wake up frequently again during the night. Needless to say, I've been exhausted and she hasn't let me out of her sight during the day to accomplish much around the house. Blogging has, unfortunately, taken a back seat for now. I promise to get back into the swing of things as soon as I can.

Here's what Abbey's been up to over the past month:
  • I know I mentioned it before, but she's cruising! She's attempted to take some steps on her own without holding on to anything, but she fell down right away. I'm certain she'll be walking by Christmas.
  • She wears anywhere from a size 6 month, to 9 month, to 6-12 month clothing depending on the brand. She also wears a size 3 in shoes and a size 4 in diapers.
  • We've moved on from finger foods. While she still gets her bottles regularly and I still make her baby food, she now eats off of our plates as well. This is so much easier than making a seperate "meal" just for her. I'm very ready to do away with baby food altogether.
  • She now crawls faster than I can run. She's also learned how to open all of our kitchen cabinets - yikes!
  • She can point at things!
  • She's so over her Jumperoo and Exersaucer. She'd much rather play freely on the floor.
  • Her two front teeth (on the bottom) are just about to cut through her gums.
  • She now rides in her Britax convertible carseat.
  • She's contantly trying to talk. She's mastered saying "momma" and "dadda".
  • We've had to drop her crib mattress to just about the lowest setting as she was attempting to climb out of the crib and pull the monitor off of it's shelf.
  • She knows her name and will respond to it when called.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Getting Back Into the Kitchen

I've been seriously slacking in the home cooked meal department over the past year and a half. My baking has also been pretty scarce as well. It all started when I got pregnant last year and then we began the process purchasing our home three short weeks later. Although I felt fine for the first few months of my pregnancy, we were so focused on packing (not to mention that we then went without a fully functioning kitchen for several weeks during the move when we were between houses) there was very little time, let alone energy, left for cooking.

By the time we were settled in our new home, I was about halfway through the pregnancy. Mike had to take over all of the cooking at this point as the smell of food on the stove (especially meat of any kind) made me extremely nauseous. Afterwards, I admittedly got lazy and the last thing I wanted to do after coming home from work and feeling like a blimp was to cook dinner. Then Abigail was born. As anyone with a new baby will tell you, it's not easy to find the desire to cook with a newborn in the house. Baking was even farther off my radar.

Now that Abigail is older and I'm not working, I've actually started to miss my time in the kitchen. I'm also out of excuses. Over the past few weeks, I've been making a concerted effort to meal plan and start getting back into the swing of things. To my surprise, now that I'm not trying to whip together a meal after being at work all day, I've actually started to enjoy cooking more. It's a nice change to have all afternoon to pull something to together if needed. Our food budget is also thanking me for the change from poor planning to efficient grocery shopping. Additionally, I'm hoping my weight will continue to drop as a result.

With that said, here are some of my latest concoctions:

Eggplant Parmesean -

3 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 cups spaghetti sauce
1 (16 oz.) package of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in breadcrumbs. Place on a single layer on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.
3. In a 9 x 13" baking dish, spread some spaghetti sauce to cover bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle dried basil on top.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Goat Cheese Tortelloni with Roasted Butternut Squash (adapted from Wegmans Menu Magazine)-

20 oz. fresh butternut squash, cut in 1/2" cubes
2 tablespoons fresh sage
1 tablespoon basting oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped
3 cups butternut squash soup (can be purchased at Wegmans)
2 packages Italian Classics Goat Cheese Tortelloni, cooked 4 minutes and drained (also purchased from Wegmans)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Toss squash, 1 Tbsp sage, oil, salt, pepper, and butter in mixing bowl.
3. Spread mixture in even layer on baking sheet. Roast 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
4. Add squash, soup, and remaining Tbsp. sage to skillet on MEDIUM heat. Bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add pasta, cook 1 minute.

And just for fun, I made some Halloween cupcakes!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

She's Cruising!

Lord, help us all.

The other day while playing in the family room, I watched in amazement as Abigail pulled herself up to stand against the coffee table and proceeded to walk all the way around it while holding on. Holy crap! She's cruising already!

She just began attempting to stand without holding on to anything as well. She lasts a good 15 seconds or so before falling down. There is no doubt in my mind that she'll be walking in another month or so.

Time to go buy some more baby-proofing supplies! (And lots of baby gates...)