Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Two years ago, we did this.
I married the man of my dreams.
My husband.
The father to my sweet baby boy.

It's been a wonderful two years.
I can honestly tell you that I love him
more today than I did the day I married him.
Moving across the country and having a baby haven't been the easiest changes to deal with so early in our marriage, but we have refused to let everyday stresses come between us,
and we are working towards being stronger than we have ever been. 
It's been quite an adventure!

I'd like to say thank you to Tim for loving me when I didn't deserve it,
overlooking my flaws,
and always believing that we can tackle anything if we're together.

Happy anniversary to the one who holds my heart.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Starting solids!

We are so excited because Owen has started to eat like a big boy. We started him on rice cereal earlier this month to practice learning to eat solids. The first time Owen tried rice cereal, more ended up on his shirt, his bib, his seat, the table, etc. than actually stayed in his mouth. But now, he gets excited when we feed him and opens up his little bird mouth eagerly. We'll probably start him on fruit and vegetable purees when he gets a little closer to six months. You can see one of his more recent feedings here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tasty Thursday

     First off, I would like to say thank you to my friend Katie for suggesting the new title of my menu blog. My normal Menu Monday blog will now be on Thursdays  same format, new name. 

     So to start off, this Saturday is an exciting day for me. One of my favorite food bloggers, Ree Drummond, aka Pioneer Woman, is getting a show on Food Network. (Can you tell I don’t get out much anymore?) Anyway, her 30-minute episodes will air on Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. I already have my DVR set just in case I forget (Like I could). Really, it's so I don't have to miss it when college football craziness commences and my husband parks himself in front of the TV every Saturday until January. 
     Anyhow, Pioneer Woman is really clever and funny and she makes some really fantastic meals. Of course, with country-fried steak with mashed potatoes as one of her specialties, some people complain that her cooking isn’t the most healthy diet-friendly fare. But who would want to cook just healthy food all the time? Oh, skinny people, you say? Well, good for them. But I like to eat. So without further ado, here is our menu for the week. Complete with several recipes by the Pioneer Woman herself.

Thursday: Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp from Pioneer Woman Cooks. This recipe roasts the shrimp in the oven and contains all the good things in life—butter, lemon and garlic. The only thing missing is chocolate, but I'm pretty sure that would nasty. I love shrimp and I’m always on the look out for new recipes that use them. I buy a huge bag of frozen shrimp and we are generally set for at least three or four shrimp dinners. I’ll serve it with a vegetable side or two, maybe a salad. And then we’ll eat the shrimp with some French bread to soak up the aforementioned goodness.
Friday: Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork. This is another Pioneer Woman recipe and one I’ve been attracted to for some time. She cooks hers in a Dutch oven (I’m dying to have one), but I’ll have to try it in my slow cooker. It uses Dr. Pepper and chipolte peppers in adobo sauce to flavor the pork. I will then shred the pork and we will wrap it up in tortillas with shredded lettuce, salsa, cheese (for Tim), and avocado (for me.) The pork used in this recipe is pork shoulder, but a lot of times it is labeled as pork butt. My family has a long-running joke about our family friend Mark’s delicious pork butt recipe, i.e. “We just love Mark’s butt” and “Isn’t Mark’s butt great?” Maybe after I make this recipe, people will start making jokes about my butt. Wait, that doesn't really sound like a good thing.
Saturday: We’ll use the leftover shredded pork on sandwiches with a tasty slaw from Pioneer Woman on top. Tim won’t eat it, but sometimes I’m selfish and I make food just for myself. The idea of creamy, dreamy, crunchy coleslaw sounds wonderful for summer. The only problem is that once it’s gone, I know all calories involved with the slaw are in me (and my thighs, more accurately). The slaw uses both red and green cabbage, cilantro, and jalapeno and I am drooling now just thinking about it.
Sunday: After all that Pioneer Woman mania, I am going to take it slow and give myself my kitchen a break for a day and have Tim grill some bratwursts that we have in the freezer. They are my great-great-grandmother Matilda’s (who immigrated from Germany) recipe. Not really. They are on sale Albertson’s special, but hopefully they will be good. We will not put mayonnaise on them (because that is a sin punishable by death). We I will eat them with leftover coleslaw. We will also have fresh corn on the cob.

Monday: It’s our second anniversary. Which means that calories don’t count today! Yay! And because we went all out with a trip last weekend, tonight we will be making dinner at home as a team (Team Rumely to be exact). Yes, we call ourselves that sometimes, and no, it is not lame. We’re actually thinking of getting T-shirts. Anyway, we plan on making Pioneer Woman’s Pan-fried Rib-eye Steak.Though we may grill it because I’ve never really cooked steak in a pan before. We will have it with mashed potatoes of some variety and steamed asparagus. We will also be having a super yummy decadent dessert, which has yet to be determined. The whole plan of course hinges on our ability to get Owen to sleep before dinner is ready so we can actually eat together. Pray for us.
Tuesday: Easy Mulligatawny. What's that you say? I'm not exactly sure. But it was Tim's pick for this week from the Pioneer Woman's web site. I can tell you that it has chicken in it and is some sort of soup. The rest is a mystery. 
Wednesday: Pasta Alla Marlboro Man. Yes, this is another Pioneer Woman recipe. Did you forget about the part where I'm celebrating her new TV show this week? Besides, there are worse things to be addicted to. Anyway, this is another of Tim's picks for the week. Meat and pasta. Need I explain further? And in case you were wondering about the name of the dish, it's because Pioneer Woman calls her husband Marlboro Man on her blog and it's his favorite meal. The name is because he's a cowboy, not because he smokes. At least I think that's the reason. It does make me wonder if I should have a nickname for Tim on the blog, though. Hmmm... what to call him. Frisbee Man? Likes to Cook Meat Over Fire Man? Super Ticklish Man? None of those have quite the same ring to it. Oh, well. Back to dinner. We will eat this with a salad or some other green vegetable. 
P.S. All of the above photographs are from Pioneer Woman's blog. I do not take credit for any of them. I can't even pretend to take photos of food that look that delicious. The lighting in my house sucks. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Seattle anniversary trip!

     Even though our anniversary isn't until next Monday, we went on a special anniversary trip to Seattle last weekend. We went early because it was one of Tim's three day weekends. We considered asking family to keep Owen for us, but because he's not consistently sleeping through the night and because we just don't like being away from him for long anyway, he came with us. We did a little research before we went to the city, but we didn't really plan out the trip too much because we knew we would need to be flexible where Owen was concerned. We visited the Space Needle, the Seattle Aquarium, the waterfront, and Pike Place Market. We had a fabulous time as a family. 
 Owen slept with us in the king sized bed since we don't have a travel bed. Waking up to this smiley face every morning was so wonderful.
 What a precious morning person.
On our first day in Seattle, we walked to the Space Needle. Along the way we checked out the storefronts and some cool trees.

 A nice man took a family photo of us. Not perfect, but at least the three of us are in a photo together for once.
 The view from the top.
 Puget Sound.
 We didn't eat at the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle, but Owen decided he wanted to have a little snack.
 The sports stadiums are easy to see from the top. Mount Ranier is to the right of the tall buildings, but it is pretty hard to see in the photo.
 Downtown Seattle.

 Mommy and Owen at the waterfront. The view was spectacular, but the photo doesn't really capture it.
 Pike Place Market is so much fun. On the way there, we stopped at Top Pot Doughnuts for breakfast. Tim had the chocolate feather-boa doughnut (chocolate with coconut) and I had a lemon-filled one.
 At Pike Place, we checked out the flowers, fruit stands, and fish sellers. We also ate lunch at Uli's Famous Sausage. We both had the Cajun andouille sausage. The owner Uli sat nearby and kept telling us stories about his sons and commenting on how cute Owen is.
 Pike Place sells the most beautiful bouquets. They start at about $15 at the beginning of the day and go down in price throughout the day. The ones I was looking at were down to $5! We ended the day by heading back to the hotel for a nap for Owen and then dinner out at the Cheesecake Factory.
 On our second day in Seattle we got up and went back to Pike Place Market for breakfast at Le Panier, a French bakery.
 This is Tim and Owen with Rachel the pig(gy bank). Money collected here helps support the market.
 Le Panier was so good. And busy. Luckily, a woman spotted us with Owen and offered us her seats when she left.
 We sat by the window and people-watched. Tim ate pain au chocolat while I had a cherry tart. Then we shared two macaroons.
 We went to the Seattle Aquarium on our second day in the city.
 Owen slept for about half the time we were there.
 But then he woke up so that he could check out some fish. He really enjoyed looking at them.
  Why hello there, yellow fish.
     The rest of the trip was pretty low-key. We lounged around the hotel room, ate pizza, and snuggled together as a family. 

     And speaking of anniversaries, I also celebrated another anniversary recently. My one-year blog-iversary! I've been blogging for a year as of August 11.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Menu Monday (on Thursday)

     So, after shopping at Albertsons on Monday last week and finding out that they were sold out of all the on-sale products that I had planned my meals around, I have decided to start shopping on Thursdays instead. New sales begin on Wednesdays at Albertsons, so this way I'm more likely to snatch up the on-sale items before they are sold out (particularly meat which is so expensive here that I always double-check the tag to make sure it doesn't cost my first born child). 
     So I will now post our meal plan on either Wednesday or Thursday. Which means I'm now in the market for a new clever, alliterative title. Suggestions would be appreciated. Anyway, now to the point of this post. What we will be eating this week. Most of the recipes were chosen because I have chicken, Italian sausage and shrimp in the freezer already. 

Thursday: Upside down hamburger casserole with a side salad and fries. This is a recipe I found online while I was pregnant. It is really tasty and easy.
Friday: I'm not cooking this night because Tim's work is having a cookout for the younger employees so the management folks can get to know them and mentor them and stuff like that. I get to come mainly so I can wrangle the baby and Tim can show us off to his bosses. Most of the guys there that are Tim's age aren't married and don't have adorable kids so Owen is like catnip to all the old guys. 
Saturday: Ritz cracker chicken with zucchini-corn fritters and green beans. The new recipe for tonight is the fritters. It is a recipe from the newest issue of Food Network Magazine. It reminds me of a recipe that Tim's mom makes with squash, so I'm excited about trying it out. I am really not a big fan of zucchini (unless it's baked in bread or hidden in things like spaghetti sauce), but I'm pretty certain that frying it will help. 

Sunday: Grilled chicken with corn on the cob and black beans. Tim picked out the marinade we'll be using. It's Lawry's Havana Garlic and Lime. It is a Cuban-inspired sauce with garlic,  chives and lime, orange, and grapefruit juices. I will serve it with seasoned black beans and corn to round out the Cuban-themed dinner. 

Monday: Italian sausage with bowtie pasta and broccoli. This is a recipe I found on Pioneer Woman Cooks. It's actually a recipe she found on another website on a post called 3-2-1 pasta where you use three cups of vegetables, two cups of meat, and one package of pasta. That way, you can create supposedly endless combinations of ingredients to make easy pasta dinners. We'll see if this one is a winner and maybe I will use the formula in the future to make dinner when I have a few random things on hand that I don't know what to do with.

Tuesday: Italian sausage pizza with side salad. We have plenty of Italian sausage to use up, so I'm going to try making a homemade pizza. And really, is there such a thing as bad pizza? 

Wednesday: Creamy shrimp with corn and bacon. This is a recipe from Real Simple magazine. After buying some frozen shrimp on sale last week (generally it is outrageously priced so we never buy it), I wanted to make some of our favorite shrimp recipes. This one is so creamy and tasty, with the fatty saltiness of the bacon to balance the sweetness of the corn and cream. A glass of white wine makes this one delicious splurge-worthy meal. 

And in case you were wondering, here's what we ate earlier this week:
Monday: Chicken tikka masala. This is a recipe that I made recently using McCormick Recipe Inspirations premeasured spices and recipe cards. I have been really interested in trying some more ethnic meals, especially Indian dishes, and this was a safe way to kind-of dip my toe into the waters of Indian food. The cool thing about these recipe cards is that if I like it, I just keep the recipe card and the next time I can save money by just using the spices from my spice cabinet. 

Tuesday: Shrimp arrabbiata with sauteed spinach. This recipe is from Cooking Light magazine. It is so tasty and spicy. If you are not a spice-loving person and want to make this recipe, I would for sure cut down on the red pepper flakes. 

Wednesday: Chicken lo mein. This is a really simple recipe that I got from Real Simple magazine. It uses chicken ramen noodles for the noodles and some of the seasoning. I just stir fry chicken with some oil, the ramen seasoning, and some soy sauce. Once the chicken is no longer pink, I add in shredded carrots, sliced onion, and cabbage and sautee until the veggies are softer, though I still like the cabbage to have some crunch. Add the cooked ramen noodles and mix it up and it's done. It takes maybe 15 minutes to make, which is a plus.

And then... I am going to make a special treat this weekend. I found this recipe in Food Network magazine in a special about treats for men. And as a special "I love you" to my sweet husband and the best daddy my baby boy could have, I am making Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-BACON(!) Cookies. And I admit, this might not be an entirely altruistic plan. I've been known to enjoy some bacon as well. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beach Baby

     As some of you know, we recently returned from a week-long beach vacation to Sanibel Island with my parents. Oh, it was fun. Sun, sand, time by the pool, reading, fishing, dinners out, and more games of Angry Birds than I can count. My family has been vacationing on Sanibel Island since I was a kid, and it is one of my favorite places in the world. We have so many great memories there and every year we go back, we make more. It was so special to be able to take Owen there and such a blessing to be able to enjoy a week of fun and relaxation with my parents. As much as we love going back home to visit family and friends, after a big move this year and a new baby, these pooped parents really needed to be able to go somewhere to relax. We even got to go out on a little date together (sans baby) while on vacation. We also were able to briefly visit Tim's family on our way back to Washington too.
     Here are some pictures from our trip. 
With Grams at the beach. Check out my cute froggy bathing suit.

Sandy toes.

Can you spot the baby?

A quick visit with Nana and Papa before we flew home.