Thursday, July 29, 2010

The FINAL Trimester!

27 weeks

So, in case you can't tell... I'M HUGE! (In my defense, I had just eaten supper when this photo was taken.) Today marks 27 weeks and the beginning of the final trimester. We went for our monthly check-up yesterday. Everything is progressing well and I took a routine glucose test, which I passed! I will now start seeing the doctor every 2 weeks until the final month when I have weekly visits. We have chosen a pediatrician and will meet with him in a few weeks to establish care. The reality is really starting to set in--we're actually having a baby!

Lately, George has been kicking up a storm! It seems like he's kicking more than he's not. Also, I've finally found the right configuartion of pillows to keep me comfortable at night. There were a few weeks when I really struggled to fall/stay asleep.

I've also been reading up on natural childbirth, particularly the Bradley Method. My dear college friend, Bethany, is pregnant and is doing Bradley too. In this model, the husband plays a huge coaching role and medication-free approaches to pain relief are practiced. I'm going to do it, assuming there are no complications. The reason I'm interested in this is because I want to be able to move freely during labor and I want to feel everything my body is doing. I figure women have been doing it for ages and I can tolerate extreme pain for a little while. Let's hope it's only for a little while... :) We'll also have a doula helping coach me through the various stages of labor.

In the month of August, we will be attending a ton of classes on childbirth, breastfeeding, safety, CPR/first aid, and relaxation. We're cramming all of our classes into one month since David goes back to school on August 26.  He will be taking 5 courses and teaching 2 this fall!

We also bought a crib and mattress on Craigslist a few weeks ago! It was once a $900 Pottery Barn solid wood crib that we bought for $100! (Actually, my mom bought it for us--thanks, Mom!) The woman is going to sell us a matching dresser/changing table once she gets it out of storage. She only used the crib with one baby so it's still in great condition.
Here is the crib as it was originally advertised:

Here is OUR crib (forgive the iphone photo quality):

Our nursery is pretty bare. We still need to paint, wainscot, pick out art and window dressings. Any ideas on those areas would be appreciated! 

This past Sunday evening was the Mad Men season 4 premiere so we hosted a little party! We made Old Fashioneds and Manhattans a la Don Draper. I made some pretty awesome bacon-wrapped meatloaf, too. Here is the recipe: Mad Men Meatloaf

Until next time... have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Recipe: Salsa

I've come to rely on the Pioneer Woman and Tasty Kitchen for most of my recipes. I love her step-by-step photos and shortcuts. Since I want to start sharing more recipes on this blog, I thought I would share my very favorite salsa recipe. I make this salsa several times a month. You may be turned off by the canned tomatoes, but give them a try--you will not be disappointed. Pioneer Woman says that canned tomatoes are best for salsa and fresh tomatoes are best for pico de gallo. Here is the link to the recipe on her website with all of the fancy pictures: Restaurant Style Salsa

Restaurant Style Salsa
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
         1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
         2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)
         ¼ cups Chopped Onion
         1 clove Garlic, Minced
         1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin
         ¼ teaspoons Sugar
         ¼ teaspoons Salt
         ¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin
         ½ cups Cilantro (more To Taste!)
         ½ whole Lime Juice

Preparation Instructions
Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like—I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.
Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe: Homemade Manicotti

Since many of my recipes come from the internet and magazines, I've created a notebook with clear page protectors to keep my tried-and-true recipes safe and organized. One of these recipes is Homemade Manicotti from a Rachael Ray magazine. My favorite part of this recipe is that you don't stuff shells, instead you make a type of crepe and fill them. It is very easy and always a hit in the Clark house. Enjoy!
Homemade Manicotti
(from Everyday with Rachael Ray)
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 3/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated romano cheese
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp milk
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups store-bought meat sauce (I used jarred tomato sauce and add browned ground beef since all meals in our house MUST contain meat)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup romano, the parsley and milk.
2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with 1 cup water. Whisk in the flour.
3. Heat a greased 8 nonstick skillet over medium heat. Ladle 3 tbsp batter into the skillet, swirling to cover the surface of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, flip and cook for 1 minute more. Repeat with the remaining batter, greasing the skillet after each crepe. Stack the crepes on a plate.
4. Spread half of the meat sauce into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spoon the cheese mixture down the center of each crepe. Roll closed; arrange in the baking dish. Top with the remaining meat sauce and cheese, Bake for 25 minutes.