Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Menu

This weeks menu is pretty worldly. We have planned cuisine from all over. With much help from my husband, we have put together what we feel like is an exciting week on the food front. Most of these are recipes out of our cookbooks, so check back for recipes as I post them throughout the week.

-Smoked Brisket with coleslaw

-Fresh Corn Soup topped with Roasted Corn Guacamole with a side of Smoked Chicken.

-Crab Tostadas with Quinoa

-Spaghetti with homemade meat sauce with a fresh green salad

-Sloppy Bombay Joes and something on the side, no idea yet though... maybe some green beans
Because we have some smoked chicken left over, probably like quesadillas and black bean salsa or something. We smoked a brisket and some chicken breasts yesterday, can you tell?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Friends with Exes

Possibly it's because Adam and I have been together since we were 15, and didn't really have time for "serious" exes. But not being friends with our exes would mean trouble for us. Oh yeah, wonder why I'm writing this? Two words, Teen Mom. Yes I know, I know I shouldn't watch such quality television, but I do. Every week. Catelynn and Tyler for those who don't watch it, are the couple that gave their baby up for adoption, and remained together. Maybe it's because they remind me of Adam and I ( aside from the whole teen pregnancy thing) but they are my favorite couple. Long story short, Tyler isn't happy with her that she was talking to her ex boyfriend via the telephone, and requested her phone records to see how often she called him. In the end, she gave them to him, but he threw them away. ( good boy) So this leads me to our exes.

If Adam and I didn't talk to our Exes we wouldn't have very many friends. Before Adam, I had one serious boyfriend in Jr. High. 8 Months, that's a LONG time in Jr High. Adam had a few in elementary school, none really to count as serious girlfriends.

If I couldn't be friends with my ex, We wouldn't have a best friend. Adam wouldn't have had a Best Man. Dylan wouldn't have a Godfather. I wouldn't have gotten flowers when my mom died.


If Adam couldn't be friends with his ex, I wouldn't have had a Maid of Honor. I wouldn't have someone I could count on for girls night( when she is in town). I wouldn't have a Mommy friend to check with when I have questions about Dylan.


If I had to put money on it, I would say that Adam and I benefit from being friends with our exes. Our exes make our lives better. They are some of the best friends anyone could ask for. Thanks for being in our lives Andrew and Becca!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Official

As of last Monday, Adam is officially employed. Yup, that's right, 15 Months after graduating with an Ivy league Masters degree, he got a job, that really has nothing to do with what he went to school for 6 years for. BUT HEY, he is EMPLOYED! To celebrate him accepting his offer, we went with his parents, to Mercury ( where we had our rehearsal dinner) and it was yummy. Before I even knew about him accepting the job, I had a photo project in the works. I wanted to do it for Fathers Day, but Dylan wasn't quite to the point where he could sit by himself. I guess that's what happens when you have a tiny little hiney like his. But nevertheless, he is a pro now, so I got to do the pictures. That Monday I went on a search to locate a 5 opening collage photo frame. Do you have any idea how hard those are to come by? 4 opening, yup got those, " oh did you say 6 opening is what you were looking for?" " $150, for a custom one" NO THANKS! But thank you for Bed Bath and Beyond for carrying ONE, of what I needed!:)

So now, Daddy is armed with some desk candy, so now Dylan can get compliments when he isn't even there. Even the waitresses at Mercury who saw the photo's thought he was just so adorable. I really hope he isn't using up all his cuteness now!;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday Menu FAIL!

Wow, my second week and I have already failed. Sorry guys. This week as been crazy for food. We had a dinner party on Saturday night, so Sunday we ate leftovers from that. Then last night Adam and Andrew played in a soccer game that Dylan and I went to, so we just picked up food on the way home. Tonight, Adam and I are going to the Jack Johnson concert, so we are going out to eat before hand.

For the dinner party we( Adam ) made a mean Mushroom flat bread( homemade pizza crust) so maybe I'll share that with you guys. This afternoon I also plan on making some "clean" blueberry muffins. I'll let you know how that goes. Feel free to share recipes you think I should put on the menu for NEXT week, so I can start working on it tomorrow!! I hope I won't fail again!:)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fenner Family Tradition

Every year since I've been with Adam, his grandma Lou always gave canned turkey as a Christmas gift. At first, yes, it was a little strange. It looked like jellied turkey in a mason jar. Looked nothing like anything I would eat. But then I figured out why she did it. So that we could have creamed turkey and eggs, whenever we wanted it.

Adam's mom made up this recipe as a vessel of using up leftover turkey from all the Turkey dinners, Thanksgiving, Christmas and sometimes Easter. In all the years that I've been raving about this recipe to people, only ONE person said it sounded good. Erin, she would say that;) ( I think a lot of times she just doesn't want to hurt my feelings) Y'all I totally agree. The first time I had it, I was VERY concerned. It doesn't look very appetizing, but try me... It is! So here is the recipe out of a cookbook that Suzan submitted. We do it a little differently, with not as much butter. And we just make enough for us. But once you get the technique, it's easy. Basic white cream sauce, chopped turkey, and hard boiled eggs combined. Easy peezy.
Creamed Turkey and Eggs:
6 Hard boiled eggs peeled and chopped coarsely
About 2 cups left over turkey, chopped
1 stick of butter
3/4 to 1 cup of flour ( should still bubble but be thick)
3-4 cups of milk
2 Tablespoons corn starch dissolved in 1/2 cup water ( If needed for thickening) We never use this
salt and pepper

Peel and Chop eggs and turkey and set aside. Melt Butter in a sauce pan and add flour. Stirring often, add milk. Stir to eliminate lumps using a wire whisk if needed. Heat over medium heat until it thicken into a sauce. If it doesn't, then mix together corn starch and water and add i to the mixture and stir. you will need to stir this mixture pretty frequently to keep it smooth.


Add the egg and turkey and stir until heated. Add salt and pepper to taste.



Serve over toast.

This will probably sure about 6 people. The proportions are very flexible. The idea is to make a cream sauce, Add egg and turkey. You decide how much of each is right for you:)
( Sorry my food photography leaves a little to be desired. I don't care enough to make it look fancy just yet!:))

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Menu

Alright, here it goes, my first every Monday Menu. Thanks for those who shared some recipes with me. They will make it onto next weeks menu. We had a lot of carry over from last week since Adam's parent returned home from a month long European vacation, we joined them for dinner one night, as well as a girls night for me, where I was kind enough to bring Adam dinner!

On the menu this week:

Homemade Oven Fries

Possibly a soup of some kind

Grilled Lamb Chops


Probably some chicken dish that has yet to be determined
green salad

Now I hope to make the menu's more detailed than this, but I didn't really have to think that hard because these were mainly from last week. So hopefully in the future I will have more detailed dinners.

Please submit some recipes for me to try. You might see them on my menu next week!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Help me help you!

So one of my " duties" if you will as a stay at home mom is making/ thinking of what to make for dinner. So I'm coming to you all. I do my grocery shopping on Monday, seeing as the crowds are a minimum and I can get in and out quickly. I'm going to start a weekly menu post, to be posted on every Monday. I will link to all the recipes I am using, or type them out. In hopes that y'all could provide me some new recipes. I tend to get stuck in a rut( which in turn might help you as well). Lots of chicken, and not a whole lot of other things. We don't really eat a lot of fish, definitely no salmon. I hope to have 1 fish meal a week, as well as a vegetarian meal. So PLEASE... link me to some of your favorite recipes.

I'll try them out I promise! Get me out of my rut! First menu will be posted tomorrow!:)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Can't Deny it...

Alright, so I know I'm his mom, but I'm pretty sure that I have the most adorable, handsome, photogenic... I could go on forever... Baby in the whole universe.
Come on, don't deny it....:)

REALLY?

Ok, just a warning, this is going to be a Really? REALLY? post!

So one of my many guilty pleasures is watching really bad reality shows. Like, Real Housewives of OC, and New York, American Idol ( though probably not with ellen and simon gone) but the recent one is Bethenny Getting Married. For those who don't watch this little gem, it's a spin off of one of the ladies from RH of New York. She got Knocked up, Then engaged, then married, now has a baby.

Anyway, the muse of this post. She has a baby nurse. She talks about how HARD having a baby is. I just can't get over it. She doesn't do anything. If the baby is crying, she hands her to the nurse. If she has a dirty diaper, here ya go nurse-y. She is breastfeeding which I think is fantastic. But the nurse will come in to burp the baby. REALLY??? I mean burping is the easy thing. She goes on and on about how hard having a baby is, but I just want scream when I hear it. She isn't do anything. I realize that she is saying it's hard even though she isn't doing anything, not going around talking about how easy it is. Which is saving her alot. But REALLY?

Ok rant over.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate

My family knows, I'm a chocoholic. I will VERY, VERY rarely order a dessert if the word chocolate is not in the title. I have no idea why, I just can't. I guess it's same reason I can't just order pasta for dinner, MUST have a meat!

So a funny story to share with you all. While Adam and I were living in Philly, his parents came to visit so we went to a really fancy restaurant. Like really fancy. 7 courses, $150 + a person. Le Bec Fin. ( they have wised up and lowered their prices since then too!) They were known for their dessert CART. no not tray, CART. three levels. Since it was a fixed price menu you could get as many as you wanted. After eating 6 courses, here comes the cart. The lady says " What can I get you?" My response? " Everything CHOCOLATE" I was handed back a plate fulled with chocolate, i would say probably like 10 different things. I ate it. BIG MISTAKE. OH MY, to this day, Adam and I still regret our decision to eat all that food! But it was sooo worth it.

So I had two new dessert recipes that I wanted to try for thanksgiving in July. I took a vote, and double chocolate cheesecake won. I got this recipe from one of the recipe blogs I read. It was RICH. I can usually eat anything, but this was RICH. Just a warning.

Once again I will add the things I did differently in red.

Double Chocolate Cheesecake.
adapted from Joelen
Crust:
1 Pack of chocolate graham crackers, processed into crumbs(We couldn't find chocolate graham's ANYWHERE, so we used chocolate teddy grahams, a whole box.)
3 tablespoons of sugar
1/3 of a cup of butter, melted
Cheesecake:
4 packages (8 oz each) of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
4 eggs 3 (1oz) squares semisweet bakers chocolate (melted and cooled)
3 (1oz) squares unsweetened bakers chocolate (melted and cooled)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust: Mix the crust ingredients together and press into bottom of spring form pan; set aside.

For the cheesecake: Mix cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs and continue mixing. Add melted chocolate until fully incorporated. Pour mixture over the prepared crust and smooth out top with a spatula.

I cooked mine in a water bath. Because I always do. Wrap the bottom of your spring form with foil, kinda like a diaper to prevent any water from seeping into the crush. Place in a roasting pan, and fill with water. until the water is halfway up the pan.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 55 minutes or until center of cake is almost set. Loosen the cake from rim of spring form pan - Do not remove rim of pan until cool. Refrigerate the cheesecake for one day or overnight before serving. Top with whip cream if desired(We used Cool Whip to lighten the calories!;).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Breakfast for an army

Adam and I have a not so secret obsession with Food Network. It's our go-to channel. You know, the one when nothing else is on, you watch. We have been trying to get better about watching though, because it doesn't help me with trying to lose weight. You know, Paula Deen, and her pound of butter per dish, or Guy on Diner's, Drive ins, and Dives. Where they show you everything that could possibly be fried. Which in turn makes Adam and I want fried things.
So months ago we were watching Paula Deen and she made a baked french toast casserole. I mean seriously, sounds delish right? I knew I couldn't make it for just Adam and I though, it was just too much. So what better time than when Erin, Michelle and Rissa were over for Thanksgiving in July? It was a hit. I will definitely make it again. Though with some revision's maybe. Next time I will not use the 8 eggs. In my opinion it was too eggy. Adam likes custards and stuff, so it didn't bother him. But I don't like things that taste like eggs, that are not supposed to!:) So I urge you to give this a try if you have a crowd you need to feed!
Also, I'm going to start a recipe/menu exchange so check back later this week!:)
Baked French Toast Casserole:
Adapted from Paula Deen
1 loaf French bread
8 large eggs ( I will probably use 6 or 7 next time)
2 cups half-and-half ( I used Fat Free Half and Half)
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Maple syrup
Praline Topping:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter ( Next time I'll just use 1, it kinda pooled on top)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans( I used walnuts and almonds)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup( Omitted because I didn't have any)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.

Directions
Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eight is Great

Yesterday, Dylan turned eight months old. Seriously, only 4 months until he is ONE! He is turning into his own little person, and it's so fun to watch him learn and grow each and every single day. This month was a BIG one. First off, he got two new teeth. As of a few days before his 8 month birthday, I'm pretty sure he is working on his top two as well. At first I was sad that I wouldn't have that gummy smile to take pictures of, but the more I see those two little pearly whites, to more I love them:) The next big milestone is that he can worm crawl. I have some videos to share with you. It's amazing how much better he has gotten at it in only a week or two. Soon, he'll be on the move, and I will be even more exhausted. The first video is the first day he scooted. The second at the bottom is the third day. SUCH progress.

video

So this month:
According to my very scientific way of weighing him( weighing myself holding him, then alone, and subtracting, he weights 16 pounds. Yup, that's all. This kid is skinny. Still wearing 0-3 and 3-6 month clothes. Eating solid foods twice a day (most days), still sleeping like a champ, gets to sit in the high chair when we go out to eat, LOVES to watch his mommy and daddy dance ( though, if anyone reading has seen Adam and I dance, you know it's a short lived love. Soon, he'll just be embarrassed. ) Still loves his jumperoo, and now his "car". Can stand as long as someone is holding him up. If we separate his feet far enough, he can stand holding the table. LOVES to " clap" .Though can't do it without us clapping his hands together. Looks more like a little boy than an infant in many pictures. Can scoot, or inch worm if you will, only when there is something in front of him. And takes 2-3 naps a day( in his crib) Loves playing peek-a-boo.

video

Getting him up in the morning is one of my favorite times during the day. He is so happy, and smiley. But he started doing this thing with his bumper, because well, he can't pull up yet, so he pulls down his bumper and "peeks" at us between the bumper and the top rail of the crib. It's adorable, because once he sees us, you can hear him start kicking and giggling. He's just such a happy boy.


Some other milestones on the parent front as well. This month I packed up all his newborn clothes. It made me a little sad, I just couldn't believe that those clothes were once so big on him. They were so tiny. He also hasn't slept in his swing in over a week, so I think that it will be put away this weekend. He just got to where he was sleeping weird and it didn't look comfy. So we made him move to take naps in his crib. Luckily, he loves his crib.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Why wait?

I know that Christmas in July is something that people get excited about. Heck, I was glued to HSN last weekend because they had their Christmas in July weekend spectacular. ( can you believe there wasn't ONE thing that I needed?) So with following with that tradition, kind of, we did THANKSGIVING in July. Yes, that's right. Turkey,mashed potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce,deviled eggs, green bean casserole, and corn casserole, finished with a cheesecake. Eating off of fine bone china, and dreaking out of crystal wine glasses, does it get any better? It was magnificent.

See, Adam's family always eats three turkey dinners a year. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then Easter. I decided that instead of only eating it within a 6 month span, that I wanted to do it, and man am I glad that we did. Erin, Michelle, and Rissa came over Friday night to play with Dylan, and to spend the night so as to be here when the cooking commenced on Saturday morning. Michelle was still a little old school, thinking that the bird needed to cook for 8 hours. I think Adam and I set her straight that 3 hours max, is all it takes.
We all over indulged, then needed a nap. Unfortunately, my little peanut was being a cranky pants, so no naps were had, but I do believe a good time was had by all. This week I will be posting many recipes and photo's of things that we made. Sadly, my food photography is quite crappy, so you'll just have to live with it. I don't have a famous food blog, so therefore, no motivation to create the setup I would need for good photos of food!;)