Jun 24, 2010

bb has been kicking and moving and flipping around for the past two weeks, feelings that are still new and novel to me and therefore still excite me each time i sense them. when i eat something sugary he is even more active, and it's funny to be able to feel that effect. we've been brainstorming more names, even though we have one that we adore, and now we have two full names that will be hard to choose between after he's born. but choices are good. i like to have options.

as my stomach has been pushing ever outward i've been forced to rework my wardrobe and rethink my summer fashion. a few pieces i thought i'd wear while pregnant are definitely not going to work, so i'm sticking with the few pairs of maternity jeans and shorts i've purchased paired with layering t-shirts, tank tops and cardigans, and a slew of stretchy jersey dresses. like this amazing dress i bought in navy on a whim from the gap last week. i think i'm going to wear it all summer. belts are definitely a pregnant woman's friend when it comes to looking flattering in a dress, it helps define the belly. i have a few tunic style dresses that i just haven't wanted to wear because they just make me look huge and round instead of just plain old me with a belly. i think tighter clothes that define my pregnant figure are definitely better for my small stature. i think i can handle the rest of the summer with my current wardrobe and minimal, if any more, maternity shopping, but if the weather chills too much before i deliver i'll be in trouble. i have zero jackets and long sleeve shirts that will fit me at 8-9 months pregnant.

angelic organics started last week with a bounty of greens and herbs, and after working the green city market yesterday for pasta puttana and coming home with even more bounty of fruits and tomatoes, we're definitely stocked with a healthy fridge. last night i made a swiss chard and shredded chicken gratin with garlic scapes and gruyere cheese. it was delightful.

swiss chard and shredded chicken gratin with garlic scapes and gruyere
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- melt butter in a small saucepan and add breadcrumbs. toss to coat and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes to lightly toast. set aside.

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
dash freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
- in another small pot, melt butter and add flour, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes to form the roux. carefully add the milk and whisk every few seconds until thick. add nutmeg and s&p to taste. set aside.

1 tbsp butter (or chicken fat, if you have it)
3-4 garlic scapes
2 slices bacon (or some ham or pancetta, whatever you have)
1 cup shredded chicken (leftover roast chicken works great)
large bunch of kale
- saute garlic scapes and bacon in butter/fat until bacon has given up most of its fat. add kale and toss until wilted. drain any excess liquid from the pan. add chicken and stir until heated through.

1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- add sauce to kale/chicken mixture, add half of the cheeses and stir. pour into a dish and top with remaining cheese and breadcrumb mixture. bake fro 20-30 minutes until top is lightly brown and sauce is bubbly. serve with a fresh tomato salad. enjoy!

Jun 17, 2010

i haven't been cooking much recently and it makes me sad. i've been working, socializing, ordering delivery (something we rarely if ever did before i became pregnant) and eating out way more than i probably should be. i've been preparing quick pasta and shrimp dishes, eating eggs for dinner and lots and lots of cereal. i've come back around to using cow milk instead of my old standby of rice or almond milk. whole cow milk. i would have never imagined i'd be drinking something that used to initiate my gag reflex so consistently. pregnancy does weird things to your taste buds.

we did visit our farmers market last week and i bought a bunch of green garlic for the first time, and a few stems of rhubarb that i've been contemplating what else to do with. the green garlic has been sauteed with heirloom tomatoes and tossed with pasta, scrambled with eggs, minced and folded into crabcakes and gently sauteed and mixed into a green garlic aioli. i still have 3 or 4 stems left, and i just might pickle them. i've had a hankering for pickled things, totally stereotypical for the pregnant lady. the rhubarb has been quick pickled and also simmered and mashed with apples, and i still have some left for a lovely balsamic braised dish i've been meaning to try. or maybe some rhubarb ice cream. or possibly a simple rhubarb syrup to mix with some club soda for a summer mocktail.

our angelic organic csa starts this saturday, and as we are taking the whole share for ourselves this year, i hope my inspiration to cook skyrockets as soon as i see the veggies. although we begin with lots and lots of salad fixins - which will probably be a good launch into summertime eating for us. i hope to can a good amount of our produce this summer to save for fall and winter months to allow us to spend more time with our baby boy than contemplating dinner ideas.

i'm feeling him kick a lot now, which is still more comforting and smile inducing than annoying because it is still so new. each time i feel him my hand flies to my stomach to try to catch movement from the outside. this morning i felt a nudge with my hand for the first time. my little guy is active in there. hopefully craig will be able to feel him soon.

we have a few names that we like, but we are waiting until he's born to decide on a permanent one. we have fewer boy names that we like than girl names, which makes it difficult. i feel all of this pressure to come up with a list of 4 or 5, just in case his little newborn face doesn't match the #1 name we have picked out for him. and we have two middle names - one to honor my mother and one for my father - we'll just wait and see which first name fits our little one to decide which middle name fills the name out best. it's a big decision naming a child. he will love it and resent it at different points in his life, i'm sure, no matter what we decide.

i've been working a bit more in the kitchen, and am quickly learning my pregnant body limits on standing and moving around. i'm so glad my schedule is fairly flexible to allow rest in between long cooking days, but i'm also happy to be keeping busy. i'm going to begin a prenatal yoga routine next week to help alleviate some of the backaches i've been having and hopefully reverse the sciatica that has returned after a 3 year hiatus.

other than minor aches and pains from standing in the kitchen i feel great. pregnancy is treating me quite well, and i am definitely feeling the glow. i'm 21 weeks today. over half way there!

Jun 10, 2010


we had our 20 week ultrasound today and confirmed, without a doubt, that we are having a son. i cried, which i think i would have done either way, but i think that deep down i really wanted a boy. so there you go!

everything measured perfectly, normal and expected. we couldn't ask for a more healthy pregnancy so far. blood test results come back with numbers as if i were in my 20's, no complications to speak of, i'm feeling great and thoroughly enjoying being pregnant. i am actually really sad that it's already half over.

it's funny knowing the gender of the little baby growing inside of me. now i can imagine how he will look, think about his personality, dream solidly about little boy things. it's also funny knowing that we won't have a daughter. for the last 20 weeks we have daydreamed about our little boy or girl, going through scenarios with each gender, loving both the son and the daughter we imagined at different time that we'd have. today one of those doors closed, and i'm mourning a bit for it. i think when i cried as the ultrasound tech finished up her measurements i was also crying for the death, so to speak, of the dream our future daughter. of the pink and ruffles and long curly hair and ballet and ponies and mermaids. i would have cried for the loss of a dream of a son as well. i guess i was destined to cry either way.

i think we will be a one child family, but only time will tell. maybe my dreams of teaching a little girl how to put on lip gloss and sewing party dresses will change my mind in a few years and we'll have another baby, hoping for a girl this time. but if we had another son, i don't think i can take the emotional baggage of knowing that i had a baby just to have a girl and it wasn't. i'm sure all parents go through this. life is complicated.

i am still sort of in shock, i keep forgetting that i know i am going to raise a little boy. then i daydream about tiny three piece suits with bow ties, and trains and tigers and playing in the dirt. of teaching my son to be a gentleman, to open doors for ladies and say thank you and please.

i have many hopes for him, and they grow every minute. i hope he is creative, like his parents. i hope he isn't a picky eater. i hope he has his daddy's smile. i hope he loves to learn. i hope he has hazel eyes like both craig and i do. i hope he loves to camp with his daddy and cook with his mommy. i hope we can teach him to be generous, kind, and thoughtful.

i could elaborate, but i won't write a book here. boy oh boy. a boy!!

Jun 5, 2010

and, i can eat wheat again! i had a second opinion with a new doctor and he doubts my original celiac diagnoses. since tuesday i have eaten pizza, bread, pasta, burger buns, crackers and cookies and i feel fine. no more eliminating fabulous gluten from my diet! yay!

i guess i'm going through a nesting phase, though it's probably been happening for months already. it's coming to a frantic height right now, i'm looking at painters, new furniture and reorganization in every room of the house. trying to fit everything into my measly home improvement budget is going to be a challenge, but it's fun to visualize and dream.

our microwave died a few weeks ago, so i'm replacing it with a microwave/convection oven. i think i'll use the convection more than the actual microwave, so it seemed like a worthwhile upgrade. now i can bake! and roast meat! at the same time! wish craig luck figuring out how to install the thing when it gets here next week.

i've started to feel the baby move a little bit. little flutters and bubbles. i can't pinpoint the exact moment i decided it was the baby and not my lunch, but it's comforting to finally feel movement in there. we listen to bb's heartbeat once a week, but little feelings on odd occasions are a nice reminder that there's actually a little person in there. i'm sure in a few more months i'll be saying otherwise as i'm kept awake at night, but for now it's all still new and exciting.

we find out in less than a week our baby's gender. we both have a feeling that it might be a boy, but that isn't based on anything very scientific. we keep referring to bb as "he", and i keep having images of a little boy in my head, but who knows. any bets on what we'll have?

i'm working on getting my canning mojo back now that summer is here. i processed a batch of chicken stock in the pressure canner this week, and am planning on a large batch of sundried tomato jam in the coming few weeks. our farmers market open this weekend and i'm going to see what's available to inspire me for some other canning projects. i want to have plenty of stockpiled food once this baby comes, pickled, preserved and pressure canned.