Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

It’s certainly not every day that a meal turns out absolutely stunning enough to snap a photo and rave about it. But there are a few occasions in the kitchen when a meal looks picture perfect and tastes as good as it looks. These delectable culinary creations will hopefully make your mouth water. The images make my stomach growl, but it doesn’t take much to get a pregnant woman’s taste buds piqued!

The first savory dish is vegetable lasagna. This dish was inspired by having bought too many vegetables at the grocery store. I looked up a recipe to use them up and this was it!

The lasagna pan was almost overflowing and it was extremely dense! There are endless veggies and 4 kinds of cheese! Yes, 4! Parmesan, ricotta, cottage cheese and mozzarella! We enjoyed this lasagna for a few dinners and packed the rest away for lunches. I would definitely make it again!

Next up is a fruit smoothie that I made a few times prior to going to volleyball practice on Saturday mornings. It’s not your average smoothie either! The ingredients included:

  • Banana
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Frozen organic raspberries
  • A generous spoonful of organic Naturally Nutty Vanilla Peanut Butter
  • Orange juice (enough to give it a smoothie-like consistency)
  • Dash of cinnamon

And the smoothie result is below. Mmmmm…. this smoothie recipe makes for some truly satisfying fruit intake! The peanut butter and cinnamon give it a little extra pizzaz!

On one of the days this spring when we’ve been spared of rain and snow, we grilled out. The menu was simple: grilled potatoes, grilled asparagus and BBQ chicken. It tasted just like a hot summer day. Ahhhh.

The only pregnancy craving I’ve had so far has been for homemade popcorn. …and a few weekends ago, I indulged myself. I wasn’t planning on making two monster-sized bowls of popcorn, but it just kept a-poppin’! David was able to partake in my craving as well. (It’s always nice to share anyway.) Once the popcorn was popped and transferred into HUGE popcorn bowls, I heated up some butter in the hot pan to spread on top. It was finger-licking good!

Last but not least, I made my first chicken pot pie. It was a recipe that I got from a friend after she served this wonderful down-home-style dish at a dinner party. My attempt at the recipe yielded the same delicious results as my memory served from that long-ago dinner party. This sumptuous meal will be on the fall/winter menu for years to come in our household!

I hope you aren’t too hungry now! I sure am.


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When we debuted our kitchen remodel just shy of a year ago, you may have noticed a void above the refrigerator in this post. The intent for that void has always been to give a flat screen TV a home in our kitchen. We didn’t know what size TV we would end up with during the design process and but we did know that the TV cavity would need to be altered for a snug custom fit. Of course, we had the space pre-wired with cable and electricity because it was part of our master plan, after all.

Once we purchased our telly, David got to work adding drywall on the sides for the TV to slide right in. The good news is that it was a relatively small area to drywall which kept the dust down (kind of). The TV was secured in its space with good ol’ heavy duty velcro. (Yep, velcro! It was David’s brilliant idea.)

And there you have it. The TV is shown here in its little nook in the kitchen. Now, we won’t miss a play during the big game, we can cook along with our favorite Food Network chefs or catch the evening news! It turned out great!

The first meal we cooked up in our TV-clad kitchen were chicken fajitas- a staple dinner menu item around our household. Yum!

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It’s a daily question… and one that I usually don’t think about until pangs of hunger are sending SOS signals to my brain. Since our new kitchen has made it’s debut, we’ve been eating pretty well. We try to cook with fresh ingredients which means that we head to the grocery store two, sometimes three times a week. With each meal, we usually begin with a salad- a mix of greens, tomatoes, shaved onion, croutons (sometimes nuts), feta cheese, dressing and occasionally top it off with dried cherries. Here’s a mouth-watering sampling of some of our recent concoctions from our new kitchen.

Enchiladas with salsa and a dallop of sour cream

Homemade garlic thin crust pizza with spinach, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella

Bread stickswith garlic and butter

Spinach, tomato, roasted red bell pepper and havarti cheese-grilled, served with chips and salsa

Now if only I could remember to take a picture each time a culinary masterpiece occurs…

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Canning class
I recently attended a class on preserving and canning. I was looking to create a ‘taste of summer’ by way of canning my homegrown tomato bounty.

Well, I was sure in for a lesson or two. It seems that canning is actually quite a process and requires either a pressure canner or water bath canner depending on the pH of the fruit or veggie you are bottling.

I’m glad I took the class, because if I do decide to take the canning plunge one of these days, I will have some understanding of what to do (or not to do) and I certainly know what I need to buy.

Bottom line, based on the class-size, it’s evident that many people are growing their own food and are looking for ways to extend their harvest. Just imagine… on a cold, snowy February day, you reach into the pantry and open a jar of tomatoes that were grown in your garden and use them to make chili. It warms you twice! How nice.

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