Sunday, July 22, 2007

max's gastrological tour

back from cayuga lake, a finger lake in ny. it was heaven. the weather was good, we had a little rain in the middle of the week but we swam 5 out of our 7 days there. family time, a little too much. but i know they all enjoyed spending so much time with max and really having my parents there made our jobs as parents a little easier :) so it was a nice relaxing time for us too.

max though, he had a blast. our first day there, he seemed to be on his normal nap and sleeping schedule. after that, it all went downhill.... days two and three, NO NAPS. just a few 10 minute snoozes while in the car but that hardly helped. however day one was the first day of max's gastrological tour. before we left i packed a ton of baby food jars, puffs, dried fruit, all the stuff they make for easy travel. i came home with more than half of it.....

day one, upon our arrival we were greeted by some cousins from my mom's family who were preparing a shrimp boil. the recipe was taught to my mom's cousin who lives in FL, the recipe is for an authentic Cajun shrimp boil. ingredients include: shrimp (with the heads still on) that were at least 5 - 6 inches long, whole vidalia onions, whole cloves of regular garlic and elephant (giant sized) garlic left in the paper (peal), whole mushrooms, half ears of corn, a few lemons worth of lemon juice, zatterans Cajun seasoning, water, and pepper oil (very very potent hot pepper season). i can't remember the order that you prepare everything but oh my good god was it awesome. once cooked you pull everything from the broth with a huge strainer and you just place it all into large casserole dishes or a large bowl. then you just start to pick. we had a picnic table covered with craft paper, so we just pealed the shrimp, you pull the head off then peel the rest off like a regular piece of shrimp, you pull an onion apart and eat it piece by piece, you squeeze garlic our of the skin and eat it whole like roasted garlic, and you eat the rest of the food with your hands too. it was so hot and so good and so messy, it was great! max ate some of the potatoes and mushrooms. and he also had about a 1/2 of blueberries that day too, his first adventure with blueberries, which he now loves, and shrimp boil.

day two, my mom had prepared a really good red sauce with meatballs and brought it with her for monday's dinner. she prepared pasta, and we added her sauce and meatballs to it. max had had pasta before but with very simple sauce and he had also tried meatballs before but again with a so so sauce. that night he had real pasta and a meatball. he loved it and had the left overs a few times the rest of the week. tuesday, we again got together for dinner with our cousins, we pulled our leftovers from the shrimp boil and our pasta together plus we added a few lake bass to the mix. they were blackened and grilled and really yummy, we then tossed the left over shrimp to some extra pasta added a salad and we were set. this day, max again had some pasta and some lake bass, he loved it all.

day three, the 7 of us (my parents, my brother, his fiance, chris, me and max) all packed into the cars and drove 30 minutes to ithica to have some mexican lunch. i packed a few jars of food and some puffs for max. so we ordered, i started to feed max his lunch and the chips came. we all started to munch, and max got angry.... he kept yelling and pointing at the guacamole. so chris broke off a tiny piece of chip and put some guac on it. it disappeared in about two seconds and he was yelling for more. the jar of food was cast aside. i would try to feed him more from it and he would close his lips so tight... so... our food comes. it's quite spicy, max doesn't care though he points and yells for some burrito, i give him some rice from inside, chris does the same with his, i try to give him food that is not near the spicy chicken that is throughout my burrito but i know i slipped a few times... he starts to get crazy, he is pointing and yelling i give him water, it doesn't help, he points and yells some more, i put more food on the spoon and he takes it. we weren't sure if his crazy antics were because of the spicy food or the fact that he loves mexican... either way, it was a fun trip to the mexican restaurant, and it was really good food too.

day four, was pretty quiet. we did however all go out for dinner (all 14 of us) to a nice restaurant where the specialty was prime rib. i got crab cakes instead but chris got the prime rib and max willingly ate some of that as well, again he didn't want anything to do with the jar of food, so instead he ate a roll, some sauteed green beans and some pretty rare prime rib. he loved it all.

day five. hmmm, what did we do day five.... not much... chris and i made burgers and we even made a few that were baby sized just for max, so that night he had a little baby burger, some fruit and a piece of bread.

day six, chris and i took max to Rochester to the George Eastman House, it's a smaller sized museum that is all about photography. they were featuring an Ansel Adams show which was spectacular. we also met up with a long lost friend Peter who lives in the area. he was one of chris's college roommates and we haven't seen him for quite a few years. it was nice to catch up. we ate lunch at a cool place called Black & Blue, chris had a kobe beef meatball sandwich and i had a roasted chicken wrap. max had a few shoe string french fries, a roll and some baby food.

that night we met up with the family again and went to a small family restaurant where we had some friend fish, max tried some of mine. along with some veggies from the salad bar, he seemed to really like the mushrooms and he had a little pasta salad too.

day seven, we spent most of the day in the water, the weather was perfect the sun was shining bright plus max took his normally scheduled naps so we could relax a bit. for dinner we headed up to our cousins cottage for burgers and hot dogs. they had grilled up some zucchini and max had three large pieces of that, which he loved. then he had a few green beans, which he also loved. the kid likes veggies!

it was a really nice time away, and we hope to do it again next year. we're wondering how that will work though with max and a 5 month old.... i'm guessing it won't be as relaxing. overall, i think max is finished with his baby food and is now into whatever we're eating :) fun times are ahead!

i'll add photos soon, they aren't ready for viewing yet :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I've been up one day and down the next... feeling like total doo doo on those down days and pretty close to 100% (let's call it about 90%) on those up days. crazy max is everywhere, chasing the kitties, learning to navigate the steps, trying to walk through the new front door screen, or yanking on plugs that are stuck in the wall (this is my favorite thing he does... especially when i sternly say no and shake my head no while he laughs at me - yes he laughs at me!) ugh... fun times.

yesterday i had an ultrasound to help set a due date. the u/s tech said that the fetus is measuring at 10 weeks on the dot. so does that mean that i'm actually 12 weeks along? either Feb. 8th! i hope we have snow! anyways, the process was fun! i got to see our little bean! it was funny because the tech found it, took some measurements then just as she stopped typing away, she held the "thingie" there on my belly for a minute so i could watch it and the teeny baby did a little dance! it was the cutest thing ever! it wiggled and jumped around a little then settled back down and then we were done. it was great to see the baby, it made things seem more real. i guess i'm still in a bit of denile with a side of morning sickness.

well, we are headed out of town again this week, i will have NO internet service the entire time. so no updates until i return. so i leave you with this.... something that i love to drink on vacation but i will NOT be drinking while i'm lounging at the lake again this year... btw, this isn't my own photo... sorry... i borrowed it from here, thank you nice lady.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

in the kitchen

yes, i actually spent a LITTLE time in my kitchen this week! amazing feeling! i had the duty of making an appetizer to take to my parents house for their little 4th of july gathering. so earlier this week i pulled out my recipe stash and started to go through it. this was also in an effort to find some recipes that i wanted to make prior to hitting the grocery store. i'm trying to organize my meal planning a bit instead of not putting enough effort into it. as my husband would prefer that i stop waiting until 6 pm to think about what i should make for dinner.... anyways... so along my journey through my recipe collection i found a dip recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Dip. i had clipped this recipe from the Post-Gazette one sunday. the recipe is paired with two other recipes that look wonderful, 3-cheese baby burgers with paprika-lemon aioli and muffuleta subs. both are on my list of recipes to try. but the roasted red pepper dip sounded perfect.... easy to make, easy to find ingredients (this needs to be considered with you are grocery shopping with a baby the day prior to a major holiday) and most of all it sounded tasty.

So yesterday morning, i put max down for a nap at 10, pulled my food processor down from the shelf and made this AWESOME dip.

here's the recipe:
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
1 8 oz package cream cheese, cut up
6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
6 roasted red sweet peppers, drained (i used a 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers in strips and it was just perfect)
1 teaspoon salt (i omitted this, i rarely add salt to anything i make and i figured that with the feta it would be salty enough)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh mint, lightly chopped (i think i added about 3 tablespoons)
pita chips, crackers or toast points (i served it with plain pita chips)
In a food processor, combine cream cheese, feta cheese, roasted peppers, salt and black pepper. Cover and process until combined. Stir in mint. Serve with pita chips, crackers or toast points. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

it was really really good! it turns this pretty pink/orange color with flecks of bright green from the mint. and the MINT, ooh the mint... adds a great dimension that is really fun for your mouth!

if you're looking for an easy to make dip recipe that will be sure to please, this is a great option!

photo to come soon!