Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Best New Recipe of the Month

White Bean Soup (adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen)
Serves 6

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup chopped pancetta (optional)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (each 15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained
5 cups chicken broth
3/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1.In a 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 5 minutes.
2.Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
3.Add the cannellini beans, broth and thyme and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
4.Remove the pan from the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and black pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately with crostini.

Note: Although we usually have pancetta in the house, I was out this day, so I made it without the meat and it was scrumptious (we were so sad to see the bottom of the pot!); I cannot imagine how much more delish it would be with pancetta. (If you don't have access to pancetta, try thick-cut bacon.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not Gaining!

Just had my 32 week appointment, and my weight is one pound less than it was 2 weeks ago. Of course I'm not trying to lose weight, but when you can pack away sweets like I can and all of a sudden you go cold turkey....I'm so stoked! And Katharine, I'm still getting "real food" - I'm on the 2 fruits/3 veggies per day-minimum plan.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sweets-Free Zone

So through V-Day, I've decided to cut the sweets. My sugar indulgence these days consists of Trader Joe's unsweetened Gravenstein applesauce. (Oh man, it's almost better than my homemade applesauce!) Or, frosted shredded wheat. C'mon it's not like cereal is a dessert food - and it's just a few grams of sugar. But it gives me the fix I need to avoid making cookies and other such luscious goodies. Why? Well, I really overindulged during the holidays AND at 30 weeks I weigh as much as I did when I delivered Laurel. Got to put the brakes on... Wish me luck!

Daddy Burrito

I've been sorting my container of little boy clothes I've scavenged from graduate housing give-away piles, and Laurel found the baby blankets - and has been obsessively covering things up with them. Mostly stuffed animals, but she recently found a live victim!

Best Recipe From Last Week's Dinners

Herbed Chicken (adapted from Rhode Island Blue Cross Blue Shield newsletter)
Serves 6-8

1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek, white part only sliced
1 8oz. Pkg baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 8oz. Pkg baby carrots
3 medium red potatoes, cut into chunks
¼ t salt
1 pound skinless chicken tenders/breasts/thighs
1 15oz. Can crushed tomatoes
¾ cup chicken broth
¼ t fresh thyme
1 sprig rosemary
salt and pepper to taste


1.Coat bottom and sides of crock pot with cooking spray.
2.Place vegetables in the crock pot. Sprinkle with salt.
3.Add chicken, followed by herbs, tomatoes, and chicken broth.
4.Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. Season with salt and pepper.

Note: Even if you put whole breasts or thighs in, the long cooking time renders them fabulously shredded by the time it's ready to be served.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

What Keeps Me Up at Night

White linen curtains!

Semi-Active but not on purpose

We've had crazy/awesome experiences in all the church congregations we've been in, and our western Rhode Island adventure is no different. Thus far, we've had church cancelled once a month for the last three months due to (lack of) heat or snow issues. Snow is a big issue out here because our ward boundaries are so huge - it's largely rural, and the church building is located in the middle of nowhere, reachable only by back roads and a slippery bridge over a reservoir. Thus we've enjoyed some very family-centered quiet Sabbaths. Additionally, each family rotates through snow removal duty - we're up next...But as a waddling pregnant lady and a 2 year old sound like more hassle than it's worth, Luke will be soloing it.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

For New Year's Eve we made homemade malfatti papardelle using the pasta guitar - such fun! Laurel was a pro at helping separate the pasta strands. Don't mind the poor circles under her eyes - she currently has a double ear infection!

Christmas!

Laurel and I spent the week before Christmas in Ohio with my sisters, their husbands, and all the grandkids. It was awesome! We are so blessed that we all get along. The highlight of the trip was watching the two 2 year-olds interact; Laurel and her cousin Isaac are about three weeks apart and it was fabulous chaos. The most hilarious one-liner was when Laurel was very forcefully taking a Fisher Price toy away from Isaac, yelling "I share! I share!" The sweetest moment was watching the three eldest grandkids take turns playing different characters in the Nativity.