Tagged: bacon

WIAW #28 – Noms and Motherhood

Hello, friends!!

After a brief blogging hiatus thanks to this little beauty:
Emma at her Baptism

I have returned with my favorite post of the week… What I Ate Wednesday!! I figured this was my best bet for getting a post up these days, as I haven’t been cooking too much of anything new to share a recipe with you, nor have I been working out regularly yet, as I still have two more weeks until I see my doctor again (though, I won’t lie, I’ve been trying to squeeze in a few minutes of yoga every day and I’ve been taking the little miss for walks in her stroller around the neighborhood!)

As always, shout out to our lovely host, Jenn, at Peas and Crayons!! First, we shall discuss my eats from yesterday…then…motherhood!

Breakfast: Every morning is a little different lately, as Emma’s sleep schedule is still not exactly a schedule quite yet. Yesterday I was up from 4:30 to 6:30 nursing her and changing her and lulling her back to sleep but I went back to sleep and she woke me up at 9:00 with her “MOM I’M SO HUNGRY!” cry. So first thing as soon as I’m up I feed her for a half an hour while my belly rumbles. I’m starving by the time I get to make my own breakfast…which winds up being 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites with Frank’s Red Hot, a whole wheat English muffin with smart balance, a handful of sliced strawberries, a banana, and a giant mug of English Breakfast Tea. While I was making my eggs…which were meant to be over easy…I heard Emma poop from two rooms away (she is a powerful pooper) so I ran to change her and my yolks cooked all the way through. If that’s not unconditional love I don’t know what is. 😉

eggs and fruits

Snack: My first snack of the day was a Kashi Chocolate Almond and Sea Salt with Chia bar…which is mighty tasty and fairly healthy for a prepackaged granola bar…while nursing the little lady. My second snack of the day, also enjoyed during a mid day nursing sesh, was a perfect plum! It was less than two bucks for two pounds of these babies at Wegmans this weekend and I was all over it!
kashi bar
plum

Lunch: Lunch was kind of an ordeal yesterday. Just in that, in a perfect world, both snack times would have been lunch were I not feeding a hungry, hungry baby. I finally got the munchkin to fall asleep so I made this delicious taco salad. My father in law walks into the kitchen and says “it’s quiet in here”…sigh…and right on cue she started screaming. I put my salad down, change her diaper to discover she had a huuuge blow out and I needed to change her onsie, too, and of course I actually put away the laundry so they were all upstairs. I finally had her dressed again and she starts sucking her hands like a maniac ( that’s baby talk for “feed me immediately, woman” for those who don’t know) so of course, I fed her…for forty minutes…while staring at my salad waiting to be eaten.
taco salad

Snack: An oldie but a goodie…plain Greek yogurt with peanut butter, honey, and some chocolate chips. Although after 4-weeks it does feel like my appetite has finally evened out, I pretty much feel starving alllllllll the time. This snack helps. 🙂
pbchip yogurt

Dinner: Sometimes I think everyone needs some cheese and bacon. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I had my cheese and bacon on top of some homemade potato wedges with some scallions, broccoli, and a quick chipotle dipping sauce (1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 of a minced chipotle in adobo, and a pinch of salt.) It was banginnnnn!
cheesy bacon potatoes

After dinner it was about 8:00pm and I made myself a glass of chocolate milk before I sat down to feed the baby again. By 10:00 she was satisfied, changed twice, and snoozing…so I hit the hay, too. We slept from about 10:30 to almost but not quite 1:00am before she woke me up for more noms.

Late Night Snack: These Luna Protein Bars have been a godsend during my late night feedings. They are pretty small but pack a whopping 12 grams of protein – which means I can eat them quickly and actually feel satisfied for a while! I enjoyed this bad boy in bed by the soft glow of a nightlight, while feeding my baby girl at 2:00am. Obviously I would choose the chocolate peanut butter flavor…but the cookie dough is quite delightful, too.
luna protein


So there we have a full day of eats for nursing mom, me!!

NOW ONTO MOTHERHOOD!!
I’m not gonna lie to you…these last four weeks have been a whirlwind for sure! I am completely flabbergasted that my baby girl is four weeks old today and will be a full month old this weekend!! Even when my days have no real distinct beginning or end it’s astounding how quickly time is going by. I’m doing everything I can to soak up the moments I have with my daughter while she’s this teeny tiny person…but I notice changes in her every day and I can’t help but be excited by what the future will bring!!

ABOUT BREASTFEEDING
My decision to breastfeed is one thing I receive the most questions about and I can say without hesitation that I know it was the right choice. “Are you sure she’s eating enough?” is a common question. Here’s a fun fact: yesterday I fed Emma for a grand total of 6 hours and 24 minutes. I’ve been using a fancy app the last two weeks recommended to me by my dear friend and fellow new mommy, Desirae, called “Feed Baby” which helps me to time and keep track of feedings, diapers, sleep, and it has been SO helpful! Then we get to “Are you sure she’s not eating too much?” *sigh* Sometimes I think it’s a bigger pain in the fanny to EXPLAIN breastfeeding to people then breastfeeding is itself! Even when I’m running on two hour of sleep at a time I am very patient with my baby. I am much less patient with grown-ups. Lucky for me, I feel very blessed that the important people in my life support my decision to breastfeed! I really wish more people would educate themselves about breastfeeding…and in general…before making assumptions about the well-being of my child.

ON MY POSTPARTUM BODY
Something I find particularly fascinating about some other women, and society in general I suppose, is how often you hear that a body is “ruined” after having a baby. It’s so common to hear other women complain about how their body was never the same after giving birth. There was even a part of me that was concerned I may feel the same way after having Emma. I can tell you now, though, that I cannot for a moment understand how anyone can feel that way about their body after their baby is born. I LOVE my postpartum body. Sure, there are parts of me that are still squishy…I had a baby four weeks ago! But my squishy body was the home of my beautiful, baby girl for 40 weeks. My hips may be wider, my butt may be smaller, and my clothes may fit me differently, but I could NEVER hate my body after it gave me the greatest gift I have ever received. Once I’m in the clear to work out again, I will be doing so of course. But I certainly won’t be obsessed with “getting my body back.” What I will be focusing on is making the most of this new, beautiful body I have now, and seeing what other amazing things it’s capable of doing.

Friday Favorites!!

Hey dudes!! I hope you’ve all had a fantastic week and that you’re all looking forward to a fun and relaxing Memorial Day(my birthday) Weekend!! I, personally, cannot WAIT for the weekend. There will be pizza. There will be X-Men.  AND obviouslyyyyyy there will be my birthday celebration!!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe or anything fun. I imagine it may be that way for a while with baby 20 days away!!! (20 EFFING DAYS!!! THIS IS INSANITY!!!) So I decided today I would at least share something fun with ya’ll. How about some Friday Favorites?!?! I haven’t done a Friday Favorites post in ages, and as there are quite a few things I’m looking forward to trying, buying, and watching in the near future I decided to share them with you today!!!

Favorite Birthday Dinner: Shrimp Pad Thai!!!! Oh man, I effing love Shrimp Pad Thai. There are actually a few great Thai restaurants near me, and I pretty much only ever get to them for a girls day or on my birthday. Thai food is not the hubby’s favorite, as it’s a bit more expensive than your standard Chinese take out. I’ve still never tried to make my own Pad Thai because buying ingredients that I will be using for this singular dish always deters me. If I did, though, I would definitly try this recipe from Closet Cooking. It looks perfect!

Pad Thai
Favorite Cocktail I’m Counting Down the Days until I Can Enjoy Again: White Peach and Raspberry Sangria! This little number here is a recipe all my own and it’s seriously my favorite, favorite summertime beverage!! I use a combination of a crisp white like sauvignon blanc, peach vodka, and sparkling peach mango juice a la wegmans and I mix in a hefty portion of frozen peaches and frozen raspberries. That is my personal secret to making the besssssst sangria. Never water your sangria down with ice!! The frozen fruit keeps it icy cold and by the time you’re done drinking it the fruit is just thawed enough for you to enjoy!! NOMS!

sangria
Favorite Breakfast Recipe to Try As Soon As I Can Eat Runny Yolks Again: Jalapeno Bacon Corn Pancakes from We Are Not Martha. Now, I’ve pretty much been following We Are Not Martha since I started blogging back in college, and these ladies always have some AMAZING looking recipes!!! When I saw this, though, I basically died. There is absolutely nothing bad about this recipe. Fresh corn, bacon, jalapenos, and scallions mixed up into perfect little pancakes topped with a runny egg and pure maple syrup. How about pure perfection?? Yes. The only thing missing is cheese…which…I won’t lie…I’ll probably throw some cheddar in those pancakes. And devour them.

Jalapeno-Bacon-Corncakes

Favorite Tank I WILL Own Soon: This tank top, from Pretty Fit Athletics, literally made my LOL. MILF – Mom In Love with Fitness. Uh….yes please. I’ll take one in each color. This other tank from FitnFab Apparel  is definitely a front runner, too….because it’s true…I’d pretty much do anything for peanut butter.

milf
squatforpb

Favorite Show I Cannot WAIT to Come Back: Now, I know it’s still Game of Thrones season, and don’t get me wrong man, I LOVE Game of Thrones, But…I loved True Blood first. And I will always love True Blood first. There was an episode on last night that I hunkered down and watched from last season and I must admit that I am terribly sad that this is the last season, and I am very excited to see how they decide to wrap things up. The show has definitely had some ups and downs, so I just really hope they do it justice and end it well. What would that mean for me…hmmm….well CERTAINLY not how the books ended. (Just sayin; – you disappointed me Charlene Harris) but I’m pretty positive since they’ve been straying from the books for so long now (and one scene in particular last season made it pretty clear the show runners have absolutely no intention of taking the show in that direction). For me…the BEST ending is not Sookie ending up with Alcide, who, clearly (see below) is an effing hottie. But no. Eric. Eric and Sookie belong together. And maybe they could try and do something to make Sookie a little more likable this season. I was always a Sookie Fan, but the last two seasons she has probably been my least favorite character.

trueblood

Favorite Salad I Plan to Live On All Summer Long: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Mexican Salad. Dear Two Peas & Their Pod, Thank you for bringing this salad into existence. Words can’t quite express how much I adore the combination of every single thing in this salad…and I cannot wait to make giant batches of it and eat my weight in it. It’s salad…so that’s okay…right?
Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Mexican-Salad-2

Favorite Book I Plan to Read All Summer Long: Although I haven’t picked it up yet, I know that I will be doing so shortly and I also know that I will probably read it from cover to cover at least twice over given the opportunity. I, personally, really enjoyed going through What to Expect When You’re Expecting throughout my pregnancy, and I think that What to Expect: The First Year will definitely be something that I, at the very least, enjoy reading. Gah. I’m so excited to meet my little muffin!!

wtethy

Favorite Smoothie That Supports Healthy Lactation: I haven’t discussed it too much on here, but if all goes well with baby and such I have every intention to breastfeed. I’ve been reading up on a few things that help maintain an abundant milk supply and support healthy lactation in general. I’m pleased that oats and flax seeds are two ingredients encouraged for breastfeeding moms…because I eat them almost every day already!! This smoothie recipe I found at Whey Beyond the Naked Truth combines those two ingredients with coconut milk, coconut water, mango, and pineapple for a tropical smoothie that sounds delicioussssssssss and I can’t wait to try!!
Perky-Pineapple-Mango-Oatmeal-764x1024

 

And that’s all she wrote for today, folks!!! What are your big plans for the long weekend??!!

Quiche Me!

winter is coming?

It really is just that kind of day. Cold, snowy, and not even halfway through the week yet. Apparently it’s supposed to be, literally, 5 degrees for the next few days. I am so not prepared for that. People keep telling me that, with pregnancy, comes being hot all the time. Well, folks, I’m two days shy of the halfway point and I am waiting for it to hit me. NOTHIN!! I’m always freezing. *sigh*

Oh well, at least bacon always makes me feel better! OOOOOOO!!! And cheese, too, let’s not forget about cheese!!

bacon, broccoli, and cheddar quiche

One day soon, I may share a recipe with you guys that DOESN’T have bacon in it. Today is not that day. Today, I’m actually re-sharing a recipe with you.  Bacon, Broccoli, and Cheddar Quiche! Noms! I first made this quiche on a snowy day in college. Of all of my “standard” recipes that I make fairly regularly, this is one of Johnny’s favorites!!

It’s really simple to make, because I use store-bought pie crust. Go ahead and judge me if you want, but I’ll be eating my quiche waaaaaay faster than you’ll be eating yours. 😉

All things considered, this quiche isn’t all too unhealthy, either, and we all know by now that makes me jump for joy! Also, for all you other preggers out there you can take solace in knowing that broccoli is loaded with folate, calcium, and vitamin C!! So mangia!

I have a few tips for keeping your quiche delicious, using the real ingredients that make it so perfect, while still keeping it on the lighter side!

  1. Use a ratio of half whole eggs and half egg whites: You still get the perfect yellow of the egg yolks throughout your quiche without all of the extra cholesterol with even more protein from bulking it out with egg whites!
  2. Don’t use cream: Use low-fat milk instead. I pretty much only ever have skim milk on hand. It’s all Johnny and I drink. I promise this quiche is still fluffy and rich with no cream at all!
  3. Layer your ingredients: This is key! Start with a layer of bacon on the bottom, that way even though you only use 4 slices (per quiche) when it’s crumbled up and covers the bottom of your pan you are guaranteed to have bacon in every bite and it will hit your taste-buds immediately! Then add all of the broccoli, which is also delicious, just ya know…not bacon. Pour your egg mixture in next. The last layer is the cheese on top. Rather than mix in copious amount of delicious cheese (which I’m certainly not always opposed to), just sprinkle a handful on top. The cheese gets melty and beautifully browned on top. Eating with your eyes is a real thing, ya know. You see the cheese on top and you know that means there is cheese in it (even though it’s just on top! tricky!) I promise you will be satisfied!

quiche

Bacon, Broccoli, and Cheddar Quiche

  • 2 frozen, ready-made pie crust (thawed)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup non-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 8 slices of thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 bag steam-able frozen broccoli prepared to package directions
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 400 .

Prick the bottom of your pie crusts all over with a fork (to prevent bubbles from forming during cooking) and place in the oven for about five minutes, just until you begin to smell it. Remove and set aside.

Place the chopped bacon into a large frying pan. Cook over medium high heat until brown and crispy, about seven minutes. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, spices until it forms a smooth mixture.

Place your pie crusts onto a large cookie sheet (this makes transferring two quiches from the oven at the same time much easier).

Add the bacon to the bottom of your pie shells, followed by the broccoli. Pour half of the egg mixture into each the reserved pie crusts. Top each with 1/4 cup of cheese.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until the eggs are set and the cheese on top is melted and brown.

Let cool about 15 minutes before serving.

DSCN0129

Yum! Don’t you just love getting a serving of veggies in at breakfast time?!

Maybe that’s just me??

Let’s try that again, then.

Yum, don’t you just love quiche!

 

slice o'quicheWhat’s your favorite type of quiche??

Better yet…what’s your favorite BRUNCH  food?!

Do you have any tricks for making foods that are typically unhealthy healthier?

Saturday Sorta Spaghetti Carbonara

IT’S SATURDAY!!!!!!

Saturday is the best day of the week if you ask me! I know that during Football season many folks may disagree… buuuut I don’t care… because I love Saturday!! You can use it to do whatever you want. You can sleep as long (or as little) as you like. You can stay up however late you want (ya know…eleven…if you’re me) You can use the whole day to do whatever you please knowing that if you don’t get everything done you want to, there’s always Sunday!

Take today for example. Today was a particularly wonderful Saturday (and it’s not over yet!) After an evening of snuggling with the hubs and watching some season four of Archer I woke up fabulously rested right at 8:00am. I peeped out the window and I saw that it snowed last night. It was just a tiny dusting, but it was perfectly untouched and still flurrying a bit when I looked outside and it was a beautiful morning. I made myself one of my favorite  weekend breakfasts – a big bowl of banana oats with peanut butter and chocolate chips! While my oats cooked away on the stove top I woke up the hubs with a cup of coffee and made him his weekend scrambled eggs and toast. We enjoyed breakfast together before heading out to conquer the day! What is your favorite weekend breakfast?

We hit the gym at 10:30 and I enjoyed the launch of the newest BodyFlow class. We haven’t been members at this new gym for very long, but the I’m really loving this class! The two BodyFlow instructors are both fabulous!! I let them know I was pregnant and I just love that they both remembered and happily present me with the few modifications I need during class. (Mostly the stuff where you’re flat on your belly. I pretty much officially cannot do any of those poses any more. If I lift my arms and legs I feel like a weeble wobble!)

Johnny and I just ran a bunch of errands after the gym. We grabbed some lunch at Chipotle (RANDOM ASIDE: I really enjoy the food at Chipotle, and I love that’s it convenient and fairly healthy as well, but I really hate how it’s almost never hot!! Today I got a brown rice bowl with black beans, pinto beans, grilled veggies, and corn salsa and it was hardly warm at all! Does anyone else have this problem?), I finallllllllllly changed my name over on our bank account (1 year and 4 months after we got married), Johnny got a haircut and a new pair of glasses, we snagged a few things at Target (Like Divergent!! For only $8.00! I finished reading Orange is the New Black and decided it was about time I hopped onto the next big book train) and scoped out some baby gear before we start our registry, I bought some Turbie Twists at Bed Beth and Beyond because I love them and haven’t had them in forever, and finally we came home. (P.S. If you actually read all of that…HIGH FIVE! You rock!! I hadn’t intended for this to be such a marathon post. I hope the prospect of bacon kept you chugging along!) Time for dinner!!!

spaghetti carbonara

Now I’m not sure about you, but I’ve always been pretty iffy about Spaghetti Carbonara. Not iffy in the way most people are. I’ve never doubted that it would be delicious. Bacon, eggs, pasta, cheese. What is there NOT to like about it, right?? It’s not the technique that’s kept me away, though I know it’s  intimidating to some. I love a good kitchen challenge.

Restaurants are what make this dish iffy for me. I can honestly say that I have never ordered it off of a restaurant menu and I probably never will. So often it’s described as spaghetti in a “Parmesan cream sauce” with bacon or pancetta and either peas or tomatoes or…well…you get the idea.

Ex-squeeze me? Baking Powder? Parmesan cream sauce…isn’t that Alfredo sauce?? You are not serving me Spaghetti Carbonara. You are serving me Spaghetti Alfredo with bacon. If you like Alfredo sauce then, by all means, dig in and enjoy. Me? I’ll pass thank you. I decided it was time to make myself a delicious plate of Spaghetti Carbonara. One that I can trust and one that I can devour!

My version of Spaghetti Carbonara…is it “traditional” Spaghetti Carbonara.

Nope.

Purists believe that true, authentic Spaghetti Carbonara is just spaghetti with guanciale, eggs, and Parmesan or Pecorino cheese.

Most folks aren’t able to get their hands on cured pork jowls. Bacon – that’s realistic. Pancetta is delicious and perfectly acceptable, too. Authentic Carbonara wouldn’t have any veggies in it (mine does) because it was a peasant dish and they used what little they had to prepare it. I had bell peppers and spinach and I deem it necessary to never not have veggies with my dinner.

So no, this is NOT authentic Spaghetti Carbonara. But it’s certainly closer to traditional than any Carbonara with cream sauce you’ll ever come across!! And it’s effing delicious. So please, enjoy. 😀

Sorta Spaghetti Carbonara

  • 1/2 box spaghetti
  • 4 strips of bacon, diced
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese + more to taste
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Black pepper to taste

Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to package directions until just shy of al dente. (While the pasta is cooking, scoop out about 1 cup of the pasta water and reserve it for later.)

Meanwhile, cook the diced bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the bacon is crisp, remove it from the pan and allow it to drain on some paper towels.

Remove all but about 1/2 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan. Add the onions, garlic, and red bell pepper and let saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and the spinach to the pan and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan, adding some reserved pasta water if it seems dry, and remove the pan from the heat. (This is the most important part!! This is the difference between creamy delicious spaghetti and scrambled eggs!!)

In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 eggs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and black pepper until very well combined. Add the egg mixture to the pan, tossing the pasta together constantly with a pair of tongs, until a sauce begins to form, adding more pasta water as necessary if it seems too thick.

Add the reserved bacon to the pan. Serve immediately topped with more Parmesan cheese and black pepper if you so desire…which you should… because they’re delicious.

extremmmmeee close up

 

 

Get Loaded

Howdy ya’ll!

Happy Tuesday!

Is it frrrrrrreeeeeeezing by you?? I can’t tell you how many screenshots of thermometer apps I’ve seen on Facebook today. We all know it’s 2 degrees out. I found it hard to believe that so many schools and businesses shut down today. So…. it’s a cold day instead of a snow day? Meh, whatevs! It’s probably only 7 degrees in my office (but that’s every day). Gosh, do I sound kind like a grump or what?! I guess I’m just jelly because I would have enjoyed a cold day, too. *sigh* In honor of these sub-zero (well…almost) temperatures today, I decided the best solution is to get loaded (baked potato soup)!!

Whhhatttt?!

Gosh. I know, I’m hilarious.

But seriously.

This Loaded Baked Potato Soup is awesome and pretttttttty foolproof. It’s even more foolproof if you have an immersion blender (thanks, Mom) but is still quite simple with a potato masher or regular blender. This soup is so think and rich that you’d never guess it’s actually quite lite!! I leave the skins on my potatoes, because that’s where all of the good stuff (ya know, nutrients and the like) are! If you don’t care for them, feel free to peel your potatoes. The topppings are what make this soup extra fun (if you read my recent chili post you know how I feel about toppings!) – I use bacon, cheddar, and green onions. If you dig sour cream – throw some of that on here, too. I’ve added steamed broccoli on top before, but I was fresh out when I made this last night. I’ve also added some frozen sweet potato chunks to the mix in the past, too. It makes the soup look extra cheddar cheesy without adding the extra cheese!. I didn’t have any of those last night either. But this soup is delicious no matter how you make it! Stay warm!

 

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

  • 5 russet potatoes, scrubbed clean, chopped into bit sized pieces
  • 1 28oz containter of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 8oz block of nefchatel or reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Toppings: Cooked Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Green Onion, Sour Cream, Steamed Broccoli, or Whatever Else You Fancy!

Add the potatoes and the chicken broth to a large pot. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and mashable.

Remove the soup from the heat. Add the cream cheese, cheddar, garlic, salt, and pepper. With your weapon of choice (mine was my immersion blender) carefully puree your soup until all of the ingredients are combined to your desired consistency. I prefer this soup to be creamy, but if you want to leave in some chunks go ahead!

Return the soup to medium heat. Add the milk and stir well to incorporate.

Serve immediately with whatever toppings you like!
baked potato soup

Quincy was like “Daaaaad, is there any bacon left?!” He’s too cute sometimes! Quincy smells bacon