Guinness Pulled Pork Sliders

Night Before

Slice white onion and lay on the bottom of crock pot. Mix together paprika, salt, red pepper, garlic powder. Rub on the pork loin and place on top of the onion.

Mix together coleslaw and dressing and let sit.

Day of:

Add a beer to the crock pot and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours, or until pork is done and pulls apart. Serve on mini Hawaiian rolls with coleslaw.

Sweet and Sour Meatloaf

Prep:

Chop broccoli, place in container and drizzle with olive oil, red pepper flake, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Mix beef with ketchup,

Prep can only be 1 -2 days prior to cooking.

Day of:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread broccoli on a cookie sheet and roast for 10 – 15 minutes.

Place beef in microwave for 8 minutes. While beef is in microwave, clean and pierce potatoes and put broccoli in oven.

Heat half and half on stove in a pot.

Place pierced potatoes in microwave for 7 minutes. Mix glaze and pour over beef. When the potatoes are done put the beef back in the microwave for 3 – 5 minutes and scoop out the potatoes into the half and half.

http://www.food.com/recipe/oven-roasted-broccoli-206184

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/fast-mashed-potatoes-for-desperate-times.html

Spagetti Squash and Meat Sauce

Prep:

Cut spaghetti squash in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on tinfoil covered baking sheet, face down. Roast at x degrees for x minutes. Scoop out cooled squash and store.

Brown meat with 1/2 onion and garlic. Slice mushrooms and add. Add tomato sauce and Italian seasonings. Store.

Day of:

Reheat and serve with meat sauce on top of spaghetti squash.

20 Weeks

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Mommy Update: Holy smokes – 20 weeks!  This is clearly the halfway point because births are always on schedule and go according to plan.  I’m feeling more kicks and punches which is really cool (mainly because they are still pretty soft).  I had my first pre-natal yoga class last week and at the end bug was clearly doing some yoga as well!  My doctor measured my belly for the first time and everything is normal and good.  A few weeks ago a friend came over and brought seltzer and now I can’t get enough of the stuff!  I’m on my second 2 liter right now and it is reminding me of Italy, which is also reminding me of what it was like to be warm.  We got out and started cleaning up the yard this past weekend and I can’t wait to be able to sit out on the patio and enjoy some nice weather!

Daddy Update: N is still looking into cars.  There are just so many options!  Hopefully we can start test driving soon – but we know that as soon as we start test driving we will want to buy, and we really don’t need the car until closer to June.  As a slight aside, N hates seltzer water.  He is pretty sure it is the grossest thing ever.  More for me 🙂

Baby Update: Bug looks great.   We saw the heart pumping and all the valves working and the brain and the spine – everything just is looking really good.  Bug is the size of a banana (6 – 6.5 inches).  From this point forward bug will be measured from head to toe.  They can’t actually measure length anymore cuz bug is just too big (?!?!?!), but an approximation is number of weeks divided by 2, thus bug is about 10 inches head to toe right now.  Bug is also between 6 – 7 oz and has working taste buds.

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To: My skin is not exactly “glow-ey” anymore – I miss that.  I’m looking forward to starting to buy stuff for the nursery!

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19 Weeks

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Mommy Update: So far so good!  Bug alternates between moving around a lot and not at all.  My belly is starting to get more in the way and I’m having a harder time carrying bigger things – thank goodness everyone at work and N have been awesome at helping when I need it.  I’m still trying to do as much as possible by myself though because doing nothing for the next 5 months is not going to do anyone any favors.  My belly button is starting to pop a little – so I know it’s not all in my head either 🙂  N and I are starting to zero in on some color combinations for bug’s room.  We wanted something fairly gender neutral, bright but not requiring sun glasses, and a little eclectic – not a nursery-in-a-box.  When I say “we” wanted these things, for the most part I do mean “we”, but I definitely attacked Pinterest with the fervor of either a military general or a first year interior-design student.  SOOOO anywho… here are the color palettes we are thinking of:

This is one option, but the first blue would be more teal.

Loving the teals and oranges, hating the browns – it is a baby’s room after all.

Loving everything, but the pink would be more of a coral or a melon.

Daddy Update: N got to feel the baby kick!  It was “cool to finally be able to feel that”.  He also bottled a dark IPA that smells heavenly and will be ready for consumption next week.  He’s going to try to have a new batch ready for the baby shower – not that any dates have been picked, but we do know there will be beer!  N is also really looking forward to all of the yard work that is up ahead this spring.  I usually do a lot of the “in the dirt” stuff like weeding, so we are going to have to figure out how I can still do something without digging in the ground or compost.  (For those who are new to the whole preggo thing or were preggo in ‘simpler times’ gardening is on the strict no-no list, right up there with tequila shots, heroin, and hot tubs)

Baby Update: All websites that compare fetuses to fruit agree – bug is the size of a mango this week.  That is, in non-fruit terms, six inches from bum to noggin and 7 – 8.5 ounces.  Bug is also working on developing the nerve cells in the brain that give the senses of taste, hearing, sight, and smell.

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To:  I miss being able to carry a ton of stuff without thinking twice.  I’m looking forward to the next doctor’s appointment to see how everything is progressing.

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18 Weeks

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Mommy Update: Not much is new this week.  Bug is moving a lot more frequently, but N can’t feel it yet.  Work was pretty busy this week and I was sitting on the floor with some kids and it was a little difficult getting up.  Mostly I’m just getting used to having a bigger belly.  Food cravings haven’t been too crazy – still a lot of juice and fruit.

Daddy Update: N and I finally decided on a stroller and N also was looking at some tech-y bottle that cordless-ly self heats milk to the appropriate temperature in less than four minutes.  He said he doesn’t actually want it, but it was just cool.  Basically there is no hope for our bug – he or she is going to be a huge nerd 🙂

Baby Update: Bug is the size of a sweet potato or a bell pepper.  Bug is starting to be able to detect light and the wee one’s heart is now pumping 25 to 30 quarts of blood a day.

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To: Not really missing much of anything right now, but N has a batch of beer that he is bottling this week so that is going to be a bummer.  Looking forward to a good Ruben tomorrow night with some good friends.

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Crockpot Zuppa Toscana

Sometimes I’m in the mood for a meaty, creamy soup and this fits the bill.  It is a little time consuming for a crockpot meal, but worth the effort!  N and I cook up the bacon and sausage and get everything ready to go the night before.  I use scissors to cut the bacon, which I find a lot quicker than trying to cut it with a knife.

This is another been-making-it-since-college meal and it goes great with a panini or some crusty bread.

Crockpot Zuppa Toscana Recipe

1 lb. sausage

2 large baking potatoes

1 large onion, chopped

1/4 c bacon (or more…)

2 garlic cloves, minced

16 oz chicken broth

1 qt water

2 c kale (or spinach)

1 c heavy whipping cream

 

To Do:

Brown the sausage and cook the bacon.  Add everything except the kale and whipping cream to the crockpot.  Cook on high for 3 – 4 hours.  Add kale and whipping cream for last 5 minutes of cooking.

Twix Caramel Brownies

Another hit from Two Peas & Their Pod!  N’s work group announces an impending birth by bringing in caramel brownies.  I had tried a salted caramel recipe and it did not go well so I tried these and they were a huge hit!  I would have taken a picture, but even the second batch was gone too quickly!   Get the recipe here.

Bonus fun fact – I have the same blue tablecloth in the pics – it used to be in my classroom but now I’m saving it for summer entertaining.  I got it from Target 2 summers ago – they have some of the cutest outdoor stuff!

Week 17

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Mommy Update: I felt the baby move this week.  I told N it felt like a butterfly doing a barrel roll.  I’m feeling bug about one time a day now, but it’s not enough for anyone else to feel yet.  N and I were shopping and I got a few more maternity tops, but mostly I’m still in my regular tops, but pants have been a no-go for a while.  The great clean out continues.  This week the focus was clothes.  I got rid of everything that I should have gotten rid of a while ago and now the back of the car is full and a trip to Goodwill is in order.  The once-was-a-spare-bedroom-but-will-soon-be-a-nursery is getting a lot emptier and all this purging and organizing is making me one happy camper.

Daddy Update: N made caramel brownies this week for to take to a friends house for dinner (it was going to be a team effort, but I got stuck at a long meeting).  They were fabulous.  It is tradition at his work that one announces a pregnancy by bringing in caramel brownies.  I made some for him to take in to work in January, but we had bought enough stuff to make a second batch for ourselves and finally got around to it this week.  I will post the recipe because they are some of the best brownies we have ever had.  N also joined in the great clean out this week and added to the donation pile.  We also paid off the cars this week, which means it is time to (apparently) start looking at bigger alternatives.  We decided his car needs to go because it is too small and is a stick.  We want something that can tow a trailer and hold all of our stuff, the dog, the dog’s stuff, the baby, and the baby’s stuff for a weekend camping trip.  So, an 18 passenger van or a U-Haul – we’re doing the research on fuel efficiency and bad weather handling.  If anyone has an opinion for or against a “family” vehicle – please let us know!

Baby Update: Bug is as big as an onion – a 5 inch long onion.  Apparently when bugs are measured it is from the top of the head to the bum, so it doesn’t count leg length.  Bug is also starting to put some fat on.  Bones are also continuing to harden.

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To: Not really missing anything or looking forward to anything – just enjoying now!

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