cooking & recipes eats

Recipe: Vegetarian French Onion Soup

french onion soup @ mommablogsalot

This French Onion Soup recipe is so easy to make and absolutely delicious. It’s a little different from most French onion soup recipes because it uses soy sauce instead of beef broth – though we aren’t still doing a Vegetarian diet, I actually prefer this version to the traditional recipes. It’s also one of the most inexpensive meals in my repertoire as most of the ingredients are things we always have on hand.

My original source for this recipe, which I’ve adapted slightly doesn’t seem to be online anymore – so I’m sharing it again here for soup lovers everywhere!

French Onion Soup

Recipe Info

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 394


  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 8 oz. of sliced French bread
  • 4 oz. your favorite cheese


  1. Heat the oil or water in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and stir until the onions are well coated.
  4. Add the water and soy sauce and stir well.
  5. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer, covered, until the onions are tender, about 45 minutes. Add more water if the soup becomes too thick.
  6. Serve in individual bowls topped with the French bread and cheddar cheese. Microwave to melt the cheese if you’d like – or put them in the oven on broil if you have oven safe bowls.

Use leftover French bread later in the week to make French toast or serve on the side of a pasta dish.

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Over-Used Recipes Week: The Meals We Could Make Blind-folded

Over-used Recipes SwapTiffany at Simple Modern Mom had this stellar idea to share our most loved / over-used recipes we make so often we could practically prepare them blindfolded. The idea is pretty basic – link up your tried and trues at her blog and check out the recipes other participants have been making for their families. The goal is to broaden our dinnertime options with already tried and truly loved meals. Sound like fun? Link up your own recipes and then check out what’s cooking at Simply Modern Mom.

Here in our lovely little Wisconsin abode we’ve been enjoying a lot of seafood and vegetarian dishes since switching to a pescetarian diet a few months ago. I’ve got a nice assortment of recipes but I’m always looking for more – especially meals that are less expensive with more staple ingredients. Anyway, here are six of the recipes that have been rocking our world:

Parmesan Baked Salmon

Recipe Info

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 25 min
  • Makes: 2 servings.


  • 2 tbsp KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 2 salmon fillets (1/2 lb.), skin removed
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 5 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1/4 cup)


  1. HEAT oven to 400°F.
  2. MIX mayo, cheese and pepper until well blended; set aside.
  3. PLACE fish in shallow foil-lined pan; drizzle with lemon juice. Top with mayo mixture; spread to evenly cover fish. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs.
  4. BAKE 12 to 15 min. or until fish flakes easily with fork.
  5. We typically serve the fish with couscous or jasmine rice and if I’m lucky my husband cooks up some lightly glazed carrots, too.

Another fabulous seafood recipe that we love is The Pioneer Woman’s Penne a la Betsy

Recipe Info

  • Prep Time: 25 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Servings: 3


  • 6 oz pounds Penne Pasta
  • 1/2 pound Shrimp
  • 1.5 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 whole Onion (small)
  • 1 cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 cups White Wine (or To Taste)
  • 1/2 can Tomato Sauce (4 Oz)
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • Fresh Parsley, to taste
  • Fresh Basil – To Taste
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste


  1. Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.
  2. Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of extra large shrimp.
  3. Heat about 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes until just opaque. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  4. Now, put the cooked shrimp on the cutting board and pull off the tails. Chop the shrimp into bite –sized pieces and set aside.
  5. Finely dice one small onion. Mince two cloves of garlic.
  6. In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally.
  7. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your white wine. Let the wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If you would rather not use wine, you can use low-sodium chicken broth instead (about ½ cup).
  8. Now add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.
  9. Now chop your herbs, about a tablespoon of chopped parsley and about the same amount of chopped basil, or if you’re feeling very proper, chiffonaded.
  10. Now add your chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Throw in your herbs and stir until combined. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.

One of my new favorite foods is eggplant and it’s all thanks to this recipe. I appologize, I don’t remember where we found it…

Eggplant Parmesan

Recipe Info

  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 282


  • 1 eggplant
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2-1 cup marinara sauce
  • Basil (optional)


  1. IMPORTANT: Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch slices, then liberally coat with salt and set in a colander for 1 hour to drain. Rinse the excess salt from the eggplant and pat dry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the soy milk and egg replacer and mix well.
  4. In another medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the salt and pepper.
  5. Set up a breading station with one bowl for each: flour, egg replacer mixture, and bread crumb mixture. Dredge the eggplant in flour and shake off the excess. Submerge the eggplant in the egg replacer mixture, shake off the excess, and then coat evenly with bread crumbs.
  6. Place the eggplant in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is crisp on the outside and tender inside.
  7. Serve topped with marinara and chopped basil, if desired.

We just recently found this great Quesadilla recipe at the Tasty Kitchen and it’s quickly become a favorite of mine. We just had this for dinner last night…

Tomato and Black Bean Quesadillas

Recipe Info

  • Prep Time 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time 10 Minutes
  • Servings: 3


  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes, Drained
  • ½ can Black Beans, Rinsed
  • ½ cup Frozen Whole Kernel Corn, Thawed
  • ¼ cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 tablespoon Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • ⅛ teaspoons Garlic Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 1-½ teaspoon Lime Juice
  • ¾ cup Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • 3 whole Flour Tortillas


  1. Mix all ingredients except cheese and tortillas. This can be eaten immediately, or let it sit for a few hours or overnight to really bring out the flavors. Feel free to use dried cilantro if you don’t have fresh, and add more cayenne if you would like it with more heat.
  2. To make the quesadillas, heat up a lightly sprayed nonstick pan and place a tortilla in it. Sprinkle cheese over half the tortilla, then cover that half with the tomato black bean mixture. Add another layer of cheese and then fold the other half of the tortilla on top. Cook for a few minutes, and then flip and cook the other side. This should be long enough to get it crispy golden outside, while melting the cheese and warming up the salsa on the inside.
  3. Save any leftovers to eat as salsa, a topping for a Mexican salad, in a burrito, or to make more quesadillas!

This French Onion Soup recipe is so easy to make and absolutely delicious – it’s also a pretty inexpensive meal, most of the ingredients are things we always have on hand. Use leftover french bread later in the week to make french toast or serve on the side of a pasta dish.

Recipe Info

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 394


  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 8 oz. of sliced French bread
  • 4 oz. your favorite cheese


  1. Heat the oil or water in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and stir until the onions are well coated.
  4. Add the water and soy sauce or tamari and stir well.
  5. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer, covered, until the onions are tender, about 45 minutes. Add more water if the soup becomes too thick.
  6. Serve in individual bowls topped with the French bread and cheddar cheese.

Alright and lastly, this recipe from Real Simple for Samosas is easy, tasty and reheats well.

Recipe Info

  • Serves: 12
  • Hands-On Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 cups (about 16 ounces) mashed potatoes
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 15-ounce package refrigerated piecrusts
  • 1 jar mango chutney (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the potatoes and peas.
  3. Unroll the piecrusts and cut each into 6 triangles. Place a heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture in the center of each piece. Gather the corners of the dough and pinch to form a point. Pinch the seams to seal. Transfer to a baking sheet.
  4. Bake the samosas until golden, about 25 minutes. Serve with the mango chutney, if desired.
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Aloha Friday: What’s Cooking?

It’s time for another Aloha Friday, the day that you take it easy and look forward to the weekend, in Hawaii and blog land anyway. As you should know by now, over at An Island Life, Kailani decided that on Fridays she would take it easy on posting and ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life’s blog. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

My husband has gotten REALLY into cooking lately. At this point I’ve pretty much given into the obvious and accepted that he is a much better cook than me – and he LIKES it. These days he does all the cooking for dinner, yes even on week nights. Don’t hate me because I hit the marriage jack pot. 🙂 Anyway, he loves to cook and does a great job but he still asks me to plan the menu for the week / month – as in, give him an idea and let him run with it. It’s the laborious task of deciding WHAT to cook that he doesn’t like, at least not on a daily basis and he loves my monthly menu plans. So I’ve continued making the menus and he cooks the ideas I come up with, occasionally changing things up entirely when he gets inspired.

But… I’m running low on ideas and I’d really love to give him some new recipes to try. So my questions for you are…

  • What is your favorite dinner recipe? (Feel free to include a link if it’s online)
  • Do you like to cook? How about your spouse / significant other?
  • Who does what in your household (I’m guessing my grandmother and I aren’t the only ones with aspiring chefs for husbands)?
  • What’s for dinner tonight in your household?
daybook family fun

Daybook: July 13, 2009


Outside my window: Yet another gorgeous day – weather man says it’s 68 degrees out which sounds lovely. High of 80. Hopefully it’s not too muggy when we go out later today (we’re finally getting our Wisconsin drivers licenses today).

I am hearing: Martha Speaks on tv (a favorite in our household – MM is currently captivated), the hum of the A/C and the dishwasher running.

I am thinking: that the key lime pie in my refrigerator is way too delicious for my own good – and mentally going over the running “baby to do list” in my mind, i.e. “Try and check out this store sometime during the week, start gathering all the baby supplies and putting them where I want them to be, pick up a spray bottle for the cloth wipes we bought online (Dan finally agreed to try cloth diapering with me!) and also a plastic trash can / bin thing to put the wet bag in so I don’t have to find out the hard way whether or not it will leak.

I am hoping: That MM is nice to us when we go to the registry today. All I can think is bored preschooler plus long lines and paperwork does not sound fun – that is why Dan and I are going together on his lunch break – hopefully we can tag team the situation and not go berserk.

I am reading: The Funny Thing Is by Ellen Degeneres – I am loving it, of course, as I adore Ellen and her sense of humor but I swear I’ve read or heard some of the jokes before – perhaps some were written versions of her stand up? Still funny either way – last night I was laughing so hard I cried, unfortunately for Dan who was busy trying to read a book of his own…

I am creating: clean dishes and clothes? Maybe not the most artistic of endeavors but it’s about all the energy I’ve got for today – but you know, cut me some slack – we did make Oobleck the other day!

I am wearing: my most comfortable teal pajama capris and a random summer tank top that is totally not my planned outfit for the day in any way – I’m hoping that some laundry dries before we leave so that I can find something better to wear for my license picture – either way I will at least put on real pants before I leave.

In the kitchen:

  • Monday: Chicken Nuggets with sweet corn and mashed potatoes
  • Tuesday: Pasta w/ grilled chicken and creamy pesto sauce (jarred) & garlic bread, maybe
  • Wednesday: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs & Mac’n’Cheese
  • Thursday: Grilled Cheese & Chili
  • Friday: Salmon Burgers

Around the house: We finally got our old dinosaur of an iMac hooked up in the kitchen which means that we can look up recipes on the net and not have to print them out – which will save us paper and ink and coincidentally money. Unfortunately it might be too slow to try doing anything except looking up recipes but I probably shouldn’t be playing Facebook games and twittering while I cook anyway – not that I won’t try.

Plans for the week: We’re getting our licenses today, I need to pick up a book for Dan at the library, I have my LAST doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning, and if we have time we are going to check out this store sometime to hopefully pick up a diaper cover or two as the ones we ordered on Amazon seem like they might take a long time to ship. This Friday my grandma will be flying in to visit for two weeks (yay!!) so I’ll need to pick her up from the airport before dinner (which is blessedly simple thank goodness). This WEEKEND is the company picnic which should be a lot of fun and there will be lobster and steak – two things that both my grandmother and Dan adore.

One of my favorite things: Apparently there is no state inspection required for cars in Wisconsin. We went yesterday to get Dan’s car inspected as his sticker had expired this month and the guy at the auto shop literally did not know what we were talking about. It doesn’t exist here – which is weird, I’d always assumed it was just one of those facts of life things but not so. We can’t say we aren’t thrilled. Sometimes I feel like we moved to a foreign country – stores and restaurants we’ve never seen before, different government regulations (and lack of others), health insurance companies that actually seem to give a crap and help you out – doctors offices with blessedly short waiting times… Cheese curds. It’s just bizarre and I think I maybe love it…

A picture thought:

This is what Dan made for dinner last night – sure it’s just french toast and sausage (breakfast for dinner followed by pie – heaven?) but check out his little plating flair? Please ladies, get your husbands addicted to Iron Chef America – and if you are lucky like me and they apparently are way better cooks than you, don’t complain – just show up in time for dinner (with a camera).

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Daybook: July 6th


Outside my window: It’s another beautiful day – bright blue sky, puffy white clouds. I had to turn on the AC, which to me says everything. Weather man says a high of 81 – we’ll see how hot that 81 feels when I go to my doctor’s appointment this afternoon. This week looks to be much warmer than last week, unfortunately for pregnant me.

I am hearing: The hum of the AC and Shrek The Third playing on tv – MM has been enjoying himself a little Shrek marathon for the past two days – lucky thing we own all three of them.

I am thinking: I’ll have to divide the laundry between today and tomorrow this week – which isn’t really a big deal when the machines are right in the bedroom – not like it’s costing me extra money apart from energy usage, etc. I don’t miss those prepaid laundry cards AT ALL.

I am hoping: That the dinner tonight goes well – it’s a new recipe I found on My Wooden Spoon and it sounds delicious, but after the Rachel Ray fiasco (see: last time I cried) of last week I’m a bit apprehensive about new dishes right now…

I am reading: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen – I am loving it – I’ve wanted to read this book for awhile so I was incredibly excited when I won it in a giveaway at Serendipity‘s blog. I’m about 1/3 of the way through it right now…

I am creating: Nothing unless cleaning counts. We did so much cooking this weekend that I’m still getting caught up on the dishes, plus the laundry. I should probably also run the vacuum soon.

I am wearing: My new dress – so you know I’m in a good mood about that. It’s helping to stay cool in this hot summer weather and I don’t have to constantly pull my shirt down or my pants up over this gigantic pregnant belly, which according to the mirrors in the Walmart changing rooms is again bigger than I realized – it’s like it keeps growing or something. 😛

In the kitchen:

  • Monday: Tex Mex Chicken Pasta Skillet
  • Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with garlic bread
  • Wednesday: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs & Mac’n’Cheese
  • Thursday: Grilled Cheese & Chicken & Dumpling Soup
  • Friday: Chicken Parmesan

Around the house: My little plant is not quite as lustrous as the first week we had it home. It’s hanging in there but I’m worried my good luck is starting to run out. Dan thinks it looks fine though so we’ll see. Pretty soon we’ll be putting up baby furniture but I’m actually thinking of waiting until after I have the baby – I figure Dan can probably do what little needs to be done while I’m in the hospital so it isn’t taking up room in the meantime. The crib we don’t even need to assemble until BB outgrows the co-sleeper so it’s really just assembling the co-sleeper, the pack and play and the baby swing and making sure all the little odds and ends are out, but if nursing goes well we won’t need much – although we do need to get diapers soon, but again Dan can always pick some up at the store that week. I keep checking for sales on diapers but I haven’t seen anything yet.

Plans for the week: Maintaining status quo? I still need to get the car inspected and get the oil changed, we’ll probably do that this week. I might get a library card this week too – I’ve been putting that off because I really don’t enjoy taking MM to the library when I need to actually do something there, but it needs to be done…

One of my favorite things: Baby Blueberry’s adorable travel system – Dan put it together last night and it’s just so pretty, I love it. That’s tied right now with the watermelon lemonade in the fridge that I’m using all my willpower not to devour right now…

A picture thought: This was an “outtake” from the weekend but it cracks me up.

cooking & recipes

Monthly Menu Plan: July

I’m back with another month of menu planning!

This month’s menu is all sorts of, “Maybe”-filled. Especially those last two weeks where I’m having the baby and recovering in the hospital and then coming home to recover some more. A lot of that is guess work – but that’s okay – just having a sort of plan makes me feel a bit more in control.

For those who’ve never planned a month long menu or haven’t read my little posts on them before, here’s the deal: Rather than planning my family dinners night by night, or week by week, I’ve taken the habit of planning out one menu for an entire month. This makes my grocery shopping much easier since I’ve already decided what dinners I’ll be making, I only have to pick up the ingredients missing for that week and the very regular cast of breakfast and lunch foods.

And the looming nightly dinners are now much less intimidating. No longer having to stand in front of the refrigerator scratching my head, trying desperately to figure out something nutritious and delicious to make for dinner? Love that. And by doing this monthly rather than weekly, it leaves more time for life in the days in between. It isn’t rocket science, and thanks goes to Simple Mom who inspired me with this idea.

So here’s my menu for the month of July:

Week One (Beef 2 lb, Chicken 1 lb)

Saturday: 4th of July : Grilled Bratwurst, Beef Teriyaki, Pasta Salad & Deviled Eggs
Sunday: Homemade Pizza
Monday: Tex Mex Chicken Pasta Skillet CHICKEN (1/2)
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with garlic bread (make enough for leftovers) BEEF (2 lb)
Wednesday: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs & Mac’n’Cheese
Thursday: Grilled Cheese & Chicken & Dumpling Soup
Friday: Chicken Parmesan CHICKEN (1/2)

Week Two (Chicken 1 lb)

Saturday: Breakfast For Dinner: French Toast with Sausage and Fresh Fruit
Sunday: Pesto Pizza
Monday: Chicken Nuggets with sweet corn and mashed potatoes CHICKEN (1/2)
Tuesday: Pasta w/ grilled chicken and leftover pesto & garlic bread CHICKEN (1/2)
Wednesday: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs & Mac’n’Cheese
Thursday: Grilled Cheese & Chili
Friday: Picking up Grandma @ Airport Salmon Burgers w/ build your own sides

Week Three (pick up chicken and beef for grandma – 3 lb beef, 2 lb chicken)

Saturday: Company Picnic until 4:30 – BBQ Chicken w/ baked potatoes and mixed frozen vegetables CHICKEN (1 lb)
Sunday: Homemade Spinach Alfredo Pizza
Monday: Spaghetti w/ zesty bolognese (make enough for leftovers) BEEF (2 lb)
Tuesday: The Big Day – No Dinner Plans
Wednesday: Hospital Stay – No Dinner Plans
Thursday: Hospital Stay – No Dinner Plans
Friday: Hospital Stay – No Dinner Plans

Week Four

Saturday: Ordering Out
Sunday: Homemade Calzones
Monday: LEFTOVER Bruschetta Chicken Bake
Tuesday: LEFTOVER Spaghetti & Meatballs with garlic bread
Wednesday: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs & Mac’n’Cheese
Thursday: Grilled Cheese & Chicken Noodle Soup
Friday: Grandma Goes Home – Breakfast For Dinner

(You can see that I’ve started keeping track of how much meat I’ll need to buy for each week. I’ve also tried to include links to recipes where relevant.)

That’s it for July! Remember, the most important part of this process is flexibility – make a plan, but  don’t get eaten up about it if you decide to switch things up – maybe your dinners for Wednesday and Thursday need to be switched for a week or you make plans at the last minute – that’s fine – this isn’t homework, so it shouldn’t feel like it – the whole goal is to make YOUR life easier! So have fun with it!

If you’re making a menu plan for the month of July be sure to leave a comment with a link to your post in the comments section below.

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t13: Thirteen Sweet Recipes I’m Coveting

Between being hugely pregnant and prone to craving sweet treats and having access to Food Network again for the first time in like two years, my sweet tooth coveting tendencies have been kicked into overdrive lately. Here are thirteen desserts and assorted sweet treats that I have a hankering to make right now and the people responsible.

  1. Wanted: Chocolate Ricotta PiePerson To Blame: Giada De Laurentiis – The first thing that struck me about this recipe was, “holy cow I want a food processor.” Watching her make it had me drooling for her appliances just as much as the dessert, which I mean – what’s not to love about chocolate pie?
  2. Wanted: Key Lime PiePerson to Blame: The Pioneer Woman – I’m not sure if she knows this but right now lemons and limes are like my favorite thing in the world, which is weird because before pregnancy they were kind of a take it or leave it thing with me. I’m guessing this little baby of mine is a citrus fiend, and I’m anxious to make something along these lines soon.
  3. Wanted: Hazelnut & Chocolate Pie w/ Vanilla Whipped CreamPerson To Blame: Giada De Laurentiis – This just looks decadent – she compared it to flourless chocolate cake which is one of my other new favorite things and um yeah, me wants it.
  4. Wanted: Lemon BarsPerson To Blame: Bakerella – Again with the lemon and me obsessively craving it – these bars look absolutely delicious and her pictures weren’t helping matters (see left). She even cooked these with her kids which had me feeling all, “I should be a super mommy and cook with my son, too,” but the truth is I just really want to eat a lemon bar.
  5. Wanted: Earl Grey Shortbread CookiesPerson To Blame: Claire Robinson – Claire hosts a show on Food Network called 5 Ingredient Fix – I love the idea of the show and her food looks really good. Some of her recipes I think I’d add a couple more things to and spice them up but I like the idea of keeping it simple and letting a few stellar ingredients really stand out and shine in a recipe. And I like cookies.
  6. Wanted: Biscotti Gelato Sandwiches and EspressoPerson To Blame: Giada De Laurentiis – I’m not the biggest fan of biscotti but I love ice cream cookies and espresso and I’m supremely tempted to give this “recipe” a try – Giada certainly made it look delicious, but then she does that, doesn’t she?
  7. Wanted: Chocolate Peanut Butter PiePerson To Blame: The Pioneer Woman – I love chocolate peanut butter pie but I’ve only had it a couple times and I’ve been on the hunt for a good recipe for it – this looks like the recipe – it’s perfect and I plan to make this in the near future or at least by Thanksgiving.
  8. Wanted: French Toast with Strawberries and CreamPerson To Blame: Claire Robinson – Another thing I recently discovered that I like is French Toast. I know – these are things normal people learn at like infancy or something – but I swear I never liked it until a couple weekends ago when Dan made some and I suddenly wanted them, too. And they were delicious. Claire’s recipe is of course super easy and the strawberries on top are genius. I’ve actually made this one already and will definitely make it again.
  9. Wanted: Limoncello Cheesecake Squares – Person To Blame: Giada De Laurentiis – As soon as I pop this baby out and I’m either not nursing or can take a couple hours off from nursing, I want to try some Limoncello (a lemon liquor) or some equivalent thereof. And I want to make these cheesecake squares for sure – they look delicious and you might have noticed that I’m infatuated with all things lemon, so yeah. This one needs to be made for sure.
  10. Wanted: Cream Puffs With Lemon Mousse and Blueberry SaucePerson To Blame: Martha Stewart – I’m not sure how Martha Stewart ended up on my list – I don’t watch her show, at least not normally – but this looks fantastic and I definitely want to try it sometime.
  11. Wanted: Strawberry Peach DipPerson To Blame: My Wooden Spoon – Honestly it was the picture (see left) that made me start craving this recipe. It sounds (and looks) perfect for the summer – what could be better than a tray full of fresh fruits and a delicious dip to eat with them? I’m thinking nothing unless I can have that and the other twelve desserts on this list also. That might be better. Also – can I have her serving dishes because they are adorable (speaking of coveting).
  12. Wanted: Individual Orange and Chocolate CheesecakesPerson To Blame: Giada De Laurentiis – These look so cute and I love the idea of making individual servings – with such a small family somehow this feels like less of a waste of baking because they are so grab and go and I bet you could freeze half of them or something. Or just eat like five at a time.
  13. Wanted: White Chocolate MoussePerson To Blame: Claire Robinson – This sounds so easy to make and delicious. I’d love to make this when my mother-in-law comes to visit as she’s allergic to chocolate and the blackberries to go with it? Heavenly.

Check out the new home of Thursday 13 for more Thursday 13 participants!

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Daybook: June 15th


Outside my window: It’s apparently 78 degrees – according to my little digital clock / weather genie it’s also 78 degrees inside – time to turn on the AC! I am not sure if it’s as oppressively hot as it feels or if I’m just humongously pregnant but for me, it’s hot. It’s also gorgeous – perfect fluffy white clouds in a light blue sky, really really pretty. See:

I am hearing: The hum of the AC – aka my savior this afternoon. I already feel much more comfortable after only a few minutes of it running. I’m sure in another hour I’ll be like “Holy Christ it’s cold,” and I’ll turn it off again so we can restart the cycle all over again and I can be hot and sweaty and complain-y in time for Dan to come home. Lucky guy.

I am thinking: about having another snack but I’m not sure what I want to have – or should I say, I know what I’d like to have but I’m not certain it’s in my best interest and I’m trying to talk myself into something healthier.

I am hoping: that I can decide where to take the hubby for Father’s Day and in the off chance that he reads this post that’s all I can really say about that for now.

I am reading: The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan which I was super excited to read and then I got it and for a couple minutes I was worried I wasn’t going to like it at all but now I’m loving it and my only concern is that it might take me a year to read it – nonfiction is just not as easy for me to get through as my typical light hearted / light headed reads. Go figure.

I am creating: Top secret stuff – I’ll tell you about it next week.

I am wearing: SHORTS! If you know me, you know that’s mildly crazy and hasn’t happened in like, years. My legs look a lot better than I was expecting, which is not to say that I’ve become a goddess or anything – but I swear they look better than I remember. Makes me want to pop this baby out so I can go buck wild cardio style and really see some results.

In the kitchen:

  • Monday: Chicken Nuggets w/ homemade onion rings & corn on cob
  • Tuesday: Fettuccine Alfredo w/ spinach & grilled chicken & Italian Bread
  • Wednesday: Hot Dogs w/ macaroni and cheese
  • Thursday: Grilled Cheese & Italian Wedding Soup (courtesy of Campbells)
  • Friday: Salmon Burgers – maybe with a salad?

Around the house: I’m not entirely convinced the dryer was finished – I don’t really think it went any faster today than normal. This does not make me happy. I really don’t feel like bugging maintenance again especially if it’s not broken and it’s just a suck-tastic machine. Can I have a house?

Plans for the week: Figure out Father’s Day – don’t be a lazy slouch all week – stay cool. Window shop for infant car seats so that I can shop shop for one if I can’t convince Graco to give me one for a review. Please Graco?

One of my favorite things: Fun weekends with the family – we had an awesome weekend with balloon animals, ice cream, tricycles and more! And okay a lot of unnecessary walking but that just makes all the ice cream calorie-free, right?

A picture thought:

daybook memes & carnivals

Daybook: June 8th


Outside my window: It’s cool, high in the 60’s with several chances for rain. For the first time in my life, this thrills me – these 70’s-80’s+ days have kind of been killing me, being all hugely pregnant. I’ve been basking in the chilled breezes this weekend. I do feel a bit bad for hubby who was determined to ride his bike to work today, rain or shine – he definitely isn’t getting much shine today.

I am hearing: MM playing happily with a few toys while watching a DVD of Curious George episodes. I’m wondering if he’ll nap today – he’s been taking less for sure, but he still seems to need them a lot of the time. Or maybe it’s just me that needs them?

I am thinking: that it’s a good thing I mentioned the dryer to our office manager today! He immediately knew what the problem was likely to be and added us to the maintenance’s guys list – we should have normal drying times by tomorrow evening! Apparently this side of my building is a preferred nesting location for the local birds and they constantly have to take down the nests so that the dryers can work properly – no it isn’t normal for an average load to take 2-3 hours to dry! Phew!

I am hoping: My doctor’s appointment tomorrow goes well and that I like my new doctor… and that MM behaves or at least doesn’t drive me completely insane.

I am reading: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown – still – I have about 80 pages to go I think, and I’m hoping to finish it today if I can squeeze in enough reading time.

I am creating: a few top secret Father’s Day projects, more on that later, like after Father’s Day.

I am wearing: black capris, a red camisole tank top and a red and white striped tee shirt – I had to get dressed today to go to the office. 😛

In the kitchen:

Around the house: We started hanging up pictures this weekend, it’s starting to look more and more like home here – love it.

Plans for the week: finish the laundry (and throw a one woman party when the dryer is fixed!), doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon, research the local banks a bit more, furniture shopping this weekend hopefully, maybe check out the Farmers Market on Saturday.

One of my favorite things: We got new measuring cups at Target this weekend! I was getting a bit tired of the poor, mismatched set, whose labels were wearing off so that guessing which size cup you had was like a logic / guessing game and the handles were slowly falling off half of them. For some reason their website doesn’t show the set we got – but they are stainless steel and perfect and they were just $10!

A picture thought:

Doesn’t he look so sweet and comfy chatting on the phone with his grammy and papa?