Monday, January 31, 2011

Blog Award! Stylish Blog Award

It's been awhile since I've seen blog awards go around but it still thrills me when I am the recipient of one. Especially when it comes with such sincere heartfelt words that Dee bestowed upon me. Thank you Dee! You are an inspiration in and of yourself. You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for and you are truly a sweet soul.

I'm not sure how stylish my blog is, as I've been thinking it needs a makeover and have that on my to do list for maternity leave (as if I'm going to have a ton of time on my hands or something...pfftt) but I appreciate it all the same!
As with any Blog Award (in typical Highschool Chain Letter Fashion) there are rules!
There are a few rules to this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered bloggers.
4. Contact the bloggers and tell them about the award!

So without further ado, let's talk about ME! (;))
1. I used to be heavily involved with horses and equine Rescue. I lived and breathed everything in the horse world.

2. I also used to own my own business selling things like Wineracks, quilt racks, papertowel holders that I made out of scrap metal and used horseshoes in addition to home good items with equestrian themed fabrics (tree skirts, table runners, pot holders etc.) Had I only known about Etsy then.

3. I'm a little neurotic, a little OCD and a lot smartass.

4. I have trouble appreciating things about myself because I only ever see my flaws and I think sometimes its so transparent that other people only focus on them as well.

5. I feel incredibly lucky and blessed every day that I found an amazing man who truly loves me and appreciates me. Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve that kind of love.

6. My world is fixing to turn upside down in more ways than I can imagine and that scares me even though its something I want more than anything.

7. I wish I were a better writer. Sometimes I can make the words flow but at other's I read what I wrote and thing "W.T.F. Why do you bother?"

I do not have the time or the inclination to award 15 bloggers...Really? That is way too many!
I will however go with these must reads (just because I love these people and they are awesome)and they have all recently updated their blog designs or content etc so I think that definately qualifies!:
Mrs. S for being an IF warrior, great friend and dedicated person to the pursuit of her endeavors. I have no doubt that she will eventually conquer everything she sets her mind to including motherhood.

My sweet Isha (aka Mrs. Dreamer) for believing in my words of wisdom even when I don't make sense and giving as good as she gets. She's fiesty and loving all at the same time and I'm so excited to be sharing the pregnancy journey with her.

who has not only shared similar struggles, loss but also the triumphs. I have had the pleasure of sharing IRL time with this amazing lady and she is full of grace and light. I can't wait to meet Owen and see what an amazing Mom she is going to be.

Mrs.Knip is one of my newer blog reads but I have so enjoyed following her journey from our days of TTCAL to celebrating life's miracles. She has it together more than she gives herself credit for and maintains her sense of fun and adventure.

There are so many good blogs out there and so many friends that have them that I probably could go on forever or at least till the 15 but I still have to go notify all these people! LOL Thanks again Dee for your tribute and I hope some of you find joy, wisdom and entertainment or simply a kindred soul in the blogs I've mentioned. I know I do.

Week 5-One FLU Over the Cookoo's nest

That is what my life has been this past week. NUTS topped off with a healthy dose of manflu. Needless to say, blogging was not a priority in the many grocery store/medicine runs. Towards the end of the week I was doing good to have the energy to Lysol down the house and throw together a salad!

After a weekend of disinfecting and trying to get back to normal I think we have conquered the Flu and so far no signs of me getting sick. whoohhoooo So hopefully this week amidst all the appointments and preperations I have for my upcoming Babyshower and final Ultrasound etc. I can blog my backlog of recipes and add in a few more!

Let's begin with a quick look at a few standout National Foodie Holidays this week:
Sunday 30th: National Croissant Day (since its French shouldn't that be International?)
Wednesday 2nd: Heavenly Hash Day
Thursday 3rd: Carrot Cake Day (I'm totally going to try and take advantage of that one and a big bag of carrots in my fridge!)
Friday: Homemade Soup Day (Leaning towards my Cabbage Soup)
Saturday: Chocolate Fondue Day

For my Menu this week:
Sunday: Subway (it was a necessity, what can I say)

Monday: Green Onion Parmesan Mornay Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta served with Garlic Roasted Chicken and Salad

Tuesday: Lasagna

Wednesday: Ranch baked chicken and Black Bean and Avocado Salad

Thursday: Meatloaf, Greenbean Casserole and Macaroni and Cheese

Friday: Cabbage Soup (and Polish Sausage for Steve)

Saturday: Baked French Toast

Sunday (since its superbowl): Taco Dip, chicken Tender Sandwiches, Scones

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

4 months Later-BIG DIFFERENCE and I mean BIG

For your viewing pleasure and since I'm wearing the exact same outfit, I decided to do a comparison from when I first started now. HOLY CRAP. I knew I had gained weight but I didn't think I was really showing. I feel huge now.

31 Weeks

Total weight gain: Approx. 24 pounds. Holy Crap. for the past three weeks I've been doing great. Had not gained anything more. Then today, (1 week before my next Dr's appt) BAM. Weight gain. ::sighs in frustration::

Maternity clothes? Today? NOPE...Still Not a stitch though I do wear it about half the time. I tried on the one dress last night that I was planning to wear to the babyshower, it looks horrid. I may have to go shopping.

Sleep: I have not been sleeping well lately but I did sleep last night. Apparently the trend is, I get to sleep well on Tuesday nights only. Go figure.

Best moment this week: Seeing the nursery coming together.

Gender: Definately a BOY!

Craving: Not really anything. I'm dehydrated so I've been drinking a lot of water. Guzzling like a Camel in the desert to be exact. My humps on the front side though.

Definately and I love every second of it.

Labor Signs: No.

Belly Button in or out? Still In

What I miss: Sleep..and after seeing the comparison picture, yea I'm missing the smaller version of myself again.

What I am looking forward to: Completing the nursery.

Milestones: Nursery is painted, new light fixture, new blinds, new switchplates and the crib is put together! Squee!

Monday, January 24, 2011

an Ode to Future McFatty Mondays

I am not currently participating, as all I'm doing is trying to maintain through pregnancy and as we all know that hasn't been going so well. Hello, week 30 with a gain of 22lbs. So anywho, I am excited about one thing: I BOUGHT A JOGGING STROLLER THIS WEEKEND. I don't jog. I don't run. I will stroll from a burning building inhaling smoke versus getting out of breath in order to reach fresh air.

Over the past few months though, I have been inspired and DH and I agreed to "train" for a marathon. Our first goal is to do a 5k next fall: either a Susan G Komen or a Turkey Trot.

I did not register for a jogging stroller as its not a necessity at this point and its something WE want to do and would pick up later when he's a few months old. However, we came across one at Target on clearance for a ridiculously low price. Total: $53.00.

I'm totally stoked. So much that it is currently hanging out in my livingroom to keep me inspired. I want to put my cat in it and go for a job but the baby pressing on my sciatic nerve causing my legs and feet to randomly go numb prevents me from doing so. The cat can thank the baby later.

Have no fear ladies, I will be back in the McFatty Monday game soon...and with a vengeance. Keep up the good work gals!

2011 Week 4- Lesson in Budgeting

This past week was a very busy week as I knew it would be which is why I had the simple menu plan. I do have three recipes to post but I’m back logged due to limited computer time. I’ll get to them promise.

This week, I was inspired by helping a friend out with her budgeting and menu planning by doing an inventory of what’s on hand and planning around that to limit grocery expenditures. It was fun and something everyone should do periodically. This time of year, it’s typical to feel the need to clean out the stores of food as you prepare for Spring fever and want to get all the heavy holiday leftovers out.

It won’t be long before I’m preparing frozen meals to get us through the first few weeks of being new parents without requiring great effort from me in the kitchen as I just don’t know how well I will recover from the birth. So in order to make room, I need to clean out my freezer anyway. I was surprised at what all I had in there and will be eating out of it with limited purchasing for at least two weeks. This week I’m focusing on getting some of the main ingredients and bags of soups out. This helped reduce my budget since we went a little splurge happy on décor for the nursery anyway. Next week I will focus on supplementing main dishes with sides from the freezer as I have quite a bit of fruits and veggies frozen. I may do some baking too so you can look forward to that. Orange and blueberry scones anyone?

National Foodie Holidays This Week:
National Meat Week as well as National Irish Coffee Week

Sunday: Rhubarb Pie day
Monday: Peanut Butter Day
Tuesday: Irish Coffee Day
Wednesday: Pistachio Day
Thursday: Chocolate Cake Day
Friday: Blueberry Pancake Day
Saturday: Corn Chip Day

Beef Stroganoff with a side salad (Uses sour cream, leftover diced tomatoes and salad fixings from Fridge, Egg noodles from pantry, Green Peas from Freezer)

Chicken Mozzarella Skillet (Uses Boneless Skinless chicken from freezer, Rice from Pantry)

Spaghetti (Uses hamburger from freezer, cheese from fridge, noodles from pantry)

Chicken Soup (uses chicken Quarters from the freezer)

Leftovers (as these dishes all make a LOT)

Chili/Bean stuffed baked Potatoes (Uses leftover chili and Bean soup to top fresh baked potatoes)

Purchased ($40.00):
Can of Cream of chicken Soup
1 Bag of Mozzarella
1 Bag of Frozen Broccoli
1 lb beef stew meat
1 lb Macaroni Noodles
And odd and ends like apples, milk, soft drinks etc.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The big 3-0...and this time I'm ecstatic about that number.

WEEK 30. THREE OH! Totally Stoked to be in my 30's! (and I'm definately not talking about my age here folks)

Total weight gain: Approx. 20-22 pounds. I was pleasantly surprised on Monday when I finally jumped on the scale and it still hovered at 20lbs meaning I had not gained anything in three weeks. Today, I double checked and it says 22 but I'm wearing a heavy sweater and boots plus there is always water fluctuation so I'm giving a range to make myself feel better. Go with it mmmkay? Thx.

Maternity clothes? Today? NOPE...Not a stitch. I did wear maternity pants the past two days....I still hate them. I'm looking into investing into a belly band and nursing bras soon though.

Sleep: I have not been sleeping well lately but I did sleep last night. Very hard. So that's good.

Best moment this week: Nothing in particular just a general feeling of excitement at how far along I am and approaching the time to meet this amazing little man. Oh well and of course we are finally making progress on the nursery which adds to that excitement!

Gender: Definately a BOY!

Craving: Still Lemon. Steaks and Salads have been hitting the spot lately too. YUM. My husband actually said to me "Steak, potato and salad AGAIN this week? It's like a record" Me: Well I can stop if you are tired of it. Him: "Honey, I doubt you will ever hear me or any other man say they are sick of steak and potatoes. I like this craving of yours."

Movement: Definately and I love every second of it.

Labor Signs: No.

Belly Button in or out? Still In

What I miss: Just sleep. I'm not even missing the control over my skinnier frame anymore.

What I am looking forward to: Seeing the Nursery come together and my crib arriving.

Milestones: Crib is on order. Paint is purchased for nursery and the process has begun on that. So excited!

P.S. Is it me or do I look THINNER this week then the last few weeks? I think I've lost some bloat which may account for my reduced weight gain.

P.P.S. I'm totally sporting the pigtails today. I know a woman in her 30's shouldn't wear them, but I love them and they are easy so kiss my foot.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nursery News!

Okay, I know I'm MIA BUT its for good reason. We are fully fledged into nursery mode!

We scored a major deal at Lowe's this weekend with a clearance find. Someone mixed a paint color they didn't like so we got a gallon of Valspar Eggshell in the exact Teal Blue color we needed for the nursery for $5.00! OMG this is for the Wall letters, shelvings etc.

We got the Paint for the walls called Bullfrog. We ordered the crib. Furniture is removed. DH has puttyed holes and sanded and is about to put on the Kilz coat.

I also have been busy reorganizing stuff etc. so I haven't devoted much time to the computer lately. Well, that and I haven't been sleeping well so I'm exhausted.

I will be posting nursery progress pictures soon! SQUEEEE

Week 3 Menu Plans

This week, I'm feeling run down. Pregnancy will do that I hear, and this one is no exception. My son is wound up kicking me at night, keeping me up and then he sleeps during the day while I'm struggling to stay awake at my desk. Since we are also working on painting the nursery, re-organizing etc. I've decided to stick to some tried and true recipes that are easy to fix, provide plenty of leftovers for lunch and do not keep me in the kitchen for long periods of time.

Unfortunately, that means I will only have one or two new recipes to post this week but I do have links to the a few of the others if you haven't seen them before! (See, I'm nice like that.)

So enjoy this third week of the year as you are settling into routines, changing what hasn't worked and even slipping from those New Year's resolutions already. Yea, I know how that goes. ;)

National Foodie Holidays This week:
Sunday 16th: National Fig Newton Day and INTERNATIONAL Hot and Spicy Day
Monday 17th: Hot Buttered Rum Day
Tuesday 18th: Peking Duck Day
Wednesday 19th: National Popcorn Day
Thursday 20th: National Buttercrunch Day and National Cheese Lover's Day
Friday 21th: New England Clam Chowder Day
Saturday 22nd: Blonde Brownie Day

Sunday: Turkey Bacon, SW Omelettes and Grits Casserole

Monday: Grilled steaks, Salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing, Baked Potatoes

Tuesday: Momma's Chicken and Dumplins

Wednesday: Momma's Southern Goulash

Thursday: Baked Chicken Nacho's (recipe coming soon)

Friday: Baked French Toast with Homemade Apple Butter

Saturday: Quesidilla's

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 2 Round Up

Already another week has passed in this New Year. I did really good about sticking to the menu plan this week, which was aided by having a fairly simple menu that didn't take that long on any particular night.

Sunday: Healthy Shepherd's Pie

Monday: Homemade Pizza

Tuesday: Chicken Mozzerella Skillet (Kraft Family Recipes) with Spinach Salad

Wednesday: Steak, Baked Potatoes, Salad

Thursday: Spinach and Chicken Calzones

Friday: Subway

Saturday: Panera Bread

So we ate out a little more than we wanted to but sometimes its a necessary evil. Especially when it involved completely cleaning out my pantry and mouse hunting.

The good news is I did get a chance to do some catch up with Apple Butter (12 pints!)and Shortbread Cookies (which go great together by the way).

Friday, January 14, 2011

Possibility of being a Single Parent

Last night my child was about 2 seconds from being born without a father.

As my husband was getting ready for work this conversation took place:

DH: Will you please separate the whites from the darks when you are doing laundry? My undershirts are dingy.

ME: Would you please learn how to take off your sweaters without your undershirts attached to the inside where I can’t see them as I am sorting?

DH: That takes too much time.

ME: Then do the laundry your damn self if you don’t like how it’s done. I’m not your maid.

DH: Were you not listening to the marriage vows? It specifically said you had to do my laundry and be subservient as a maid to my domestic bidding.

I think time may have stood still. Even the dogs didn’t breathe as my glare became dangerously close to incinerating his body into a pile of little ashes on the bedroom floor. I refrained since I would have had to clean that up.

ME: I don’t know what wedding you went to, but the one I was at said nothing of the sort.

All I can say is my son better be glad his father wasn’t able to keep a straight face for very long. Dead I tell you.

Word to the wise: It is not safe to tease a pregnant woman about household chores. I am still contemplating not doing his laundry for the next two weeks…or washing his clothes along with the dog bedding. He might start to appreciate gray/blue undershirts a little more.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Week 29

I took my camera to work with me this week. It's amazing the difference in picture quality huh? I'm no longer blurry and dark! LOL

Total weight gain: No idea. I didn't want to know as i felt like a fat cow today. Late this afternoon, after I blew up a toilet, I felt 5 pounds lighter but decided I still didn't want to know!

Maternity clothes? Yes but I'm still squeezing into my old jeans. THIS has been going on for far too long! Seriously though, those jeans I'm wearing? I had to unbutton them to sit at my desk as little man kept kicking my belly button. I think he was telling me they were too tight!

Sleep: Hardly at all last night but not too bad the few days preceeding. Hopefully tonight will be better.

Best moment this week: Knowing my invitations are going out for my babyshower!

Gender: Definately a BOY!

Craving: Still Lemon I guess. I'm not really "craving" anything but lemon still tastes great to me whenever I have it. I did get a hankering for a banana split this weekend. I had two of them (not at the same sitting but a day apart) which probably explains my lack of desire to weigh!

Movement: Definately and I love every second of it.

Labor Signs: No.

Belly Button in or out? Still In

What I miss: The heartburn is getting ridiculous.

What I am looking forward to: Every morning when my husband wakes me up by rubbing my belly and saying good morning as the baby starts to move around under his hand. That is how he wakes me up every day and we spend ten minutes snuggling and feeling the baby. I am definately going to miss that when I'm not pregnant.

Milestones: I don't think I had any big deals this week. It's enough just being happily pregnant.

Mozzerella Chicken Skillet

Since I quit eating boxed and processed foods, this recipe has become my replacement for those deliciously handy but oh so bad for you Hamburger Helper meals. One pan, One pound goodness on a tired night? yea, I dug it. Now I have this recipe though and as many times as I've made it, I've never blogged about it. Which is unbelievable as I blog about everything!

Definately a go to meal to add to your weekday repertoire.

Mozzarella Chicken and Rice Skillet
slightly adapted from

1 tbs olive oil
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 soup can of milk
2 1/2 cups frozen broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups Minute Rice uncooked
1 cup shredded Mozzerella
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Place chicken breasts in pan, cover and cook about 8 minutes per side. Remove lid and cook an additional 1-2 minutes per side to get a nice crisp brown outside. (check to make sure chicken is cooked through especially if using large breasts).

Remove from skillet. Add soup to skillet and then fill the soup can with milk and add that to skillet. Whisk until blended. Stir in Rice and broccoli and add chicken back on top. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 5-7 minutes until rice is tender. Season with Salt and Pepper. Add mozzerella and cover. Turn heat off and let set for 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serve hot

Apple Butter

There is nothing more delightful than having a pantry stocked with homemade preserves and canned goods. The fall is the busiest time of the year for putting up the harvest but occasionally we get lucky and run across a chance to catch up. This past fall, I was fighting morning sickness so I did not get to do a batch of apple butter like I wanted. My Dad ran across a guy from West Virginia that still had bushel boxes of apples in his cold storage on his farm though, and for Christmas got me a box.

Since I did not have a chance to do the Apple Butter over my Holiday break, I decided to tackle that yesterday during the snow day as well. I am so glad I did. I now have 12 pints of beautiful light brown apple butter on my counter with their shining silver tops as well as a quart jar in the refridgerator that Stephen and I have already started working on! I am enjoying some with shortbread cookies and coffee at this very moment.

How perfect of a morning can you get? Sun is shining, ice is glittering, a tempting treat, hot coffee, hair in rollers...oh yea. That means i have to go to work in a few. Okay, so semi perfect morning!

Apple Butter
Lots of apples, peeled, cored and cooked in 1 part water to 2 parts apples (fill the pot with apples and fill with water halfway) until mushy. Strain through a small wire strainer reducing water as much as possible. Whirl apple puree in a blender or food processor (my new NINJA worked great for this) until a nice babyfood consistency. Return to stock pot and for every 8 cups add:

1/2 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar

Bring to a high simmer over medium heat (lightly bubbly) and cook for about 10 minutes stirring often to prevent cooking to much on the bottom. Pour into hot sterilized canning jars. Wipe rims, place on lids. Place jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Then flip them upside down on a clean towel to cool. when jars are still hot but you are able to pick them up, flip them over. As they cool further the lids will seal (you will hear the pop).

Perfectly canned Apple Butter. (Just add the white sugar and you can do applesauce the same way).

Shortbread Cookies

Even though I missed National Shortbread Day last week, I still had plans to make these cookies and wanted to try them. I am determined that even if I miss the actual day, I'm still going to go forward with the plans. It's called Follow Through and this is like any other project I've undertaken!

With it being cold and icy yesterday, I decided a snow day home from work was the perfect time to get get caught up on the blog and on recipes. (Now if only I could have one of those days every week! Hear that? 4 day work week people, get on board!)

These cookies are deceptively simple but need a little finessing. (at least the way I did it). They are also more like like biscuits than a cookie but that's probably due to the European origination. We Americans, have distorted the lines between biscuits, tea biscuits, cookies, etc. What we think of as traditional probably isn't so traditional in the grand scheme of things.

As I type this I'm enjoying these little cookies dipped in homemade Applebutter (that I also made yesterday) with a hot cup of Breakfast Blend Coffee. It is a lovely little morning treat to get my juices flowing, I must admit.

Shortbread Cookies
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs butter, softened but not melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tbs cold water

Cream butter and sugar in mixer. Add flour and slowly mix until crumbly. Add water and twirl a few times just to mix in. Pour crumbly mixture onto floured surface and work into a ball. It will just barely stick together. You can roll out to cut for shapes or pinch off 1 inch balls and press out with your hands for simple round cookies like I did.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Quick Homemade Pizza

To celebrate National Pizza Week, I decided to treat us to a quick dinner. A simple homemade pizza. My husband accuses me of being obsessed with cheese. (I seriously am). So I had to control my urge to really cover this thing in too much cheese as my homemade pizza's tend to be TOO cheesy. I finally made a homemade pizza meeting his approval.
Quick Homemade Pizza
Marinara Sauce Recipe1 small can of Tomato Paste

Meat topping of your choice:
Hamburger: browned and chopped

Toppings:1 cup Mozzerella
1 cup Colby Jack
1/4 cup Shredded Parm, Asiago, Blend

Black Olives
Sliced Red onion

1 Pillsbury Roll Out Pizza Crust

Directions:Lay out/prepare all of your topping choices. Make the marinara Sauce recipe while your brown your meat. Take Half of the Marinara Sauce and add it to a food processor (or blender) along with the can of tomato paste. Blend until smooth and thick.

Roll out your crust to desired thickness on a lightly greased cookie sheet or stone. Spread 1 1/2 cups of sauce over (more or less if desired) crust. Add meat topping followed by cheeses. Lastly, top with veggie toppings of your choice. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is browned and risen.

Serve hot!

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

My husband has been asking me to try a Shepherd's Pie. Neither of us have had this particular concoction to my knowledge though I have no idea why. Just not something either of our families made. I caught an episode of Ellie Krieger on the Cooking Channel and she happened to be making a Healthy version of the Shepherd's Pie. I thought to myself (imagine a quizzical look and a thought bubble here) "Self, that's an easy recipe, and healthy to boot. I could do that!" So here we go. I changed it up even more from Ellie as I wanted to use my thawed ground turkey. It's not bad with the turkey but the onion overpowers the turkey so I think they red meats may have been a better option unless you cut the onion down.
(Possibly the worst picture I've ever posted but i was trying to show the inside and got in a hurry)

Turkey Shepherd's Pie
Inspired by Ellie Kriegar

Ingredients:1.5 lbs ground turkey
3 tsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped (if you use turkey, I recommend changing this to 1)
3 medium carrots, diced
2 tbs flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 1/2 lbs red potatoes (peeled)
2/3 cup milk
2 tbs butter

Directions:Dice potatoes and steam them until soft. Brown meat in olive oil and set aside. Add onions and carrots to same pan (possibly need a little more olive oil) for about 8 minutes. Return meat to pan. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, salt, pepper and simmer. Stir in peas.

Place in large baking dish.

Mash potatoes and stir in milk and butter while hot. Salt and Pepper to taste. Spread potatoes over Meat mixture. bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Brioche Loaf

For a rich buttery bread to compliment Bean and Veggie Sliders, I decided to try a Brioche Loaf. The bread came out well, the sliders, not so much. Another great recipe for National Bread Machine Baking Month!

Brioche Bread
The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook

1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk

2 cups bread flour
2 tbs sugar
Optional: 2 tsps gluten for a lighter fluffier texture
3/4 tsp salt

1 3/4 tsp bread machine yeast

7 tbs unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Add in order according to your machines instructions: w/d/y except for butter. Set crust to medium, basic cycle, 1.5 loaf size. Start.

About 10 minutes into the 2nd Knead cycle, slowly add in pieces of butter until they are all incorporated. Close lid and let machine finish. Open lid after machine is done. 15 minutes after bread has rested, remove and cool on a wire rack.

Week 2-Menu

After last week's failure to complete the menu, I am pleased that this week has fewer National Foodie Days that I am compelled to attempt. I may even catch up on recipes to try from last week.

I did try to simplify the menu a tad this week as I overestimated my time to not only be able to cook the menu but then have time to blog about it daily. Hopefully this week will prove a little less stressful in that area, a little more organized and I won't have to wish for a snow day to catch up with!

National Foodie Week: PIZZA WEEK!

National Foodie Holidays:
Sunday: apricot day
Monday: Bittersweet Chocolate Day
Tuesday: Milk Day!
Saturday: Strawberry Icecream Day (WTF, it's the middle of winter people!)

Sunday: Healthy Shepherd's Pie

Monday: Homemade Pizza

Tuesday: Chicken Mozzerella Skillet (Kraft Family Recipes) with Spinach Salad

Wednesday: Steak, Baked Potatoes, Salad

Thursday: Spinach and Chicken Calzones

Friday: Leftovers or Eat Out

I have not planned all the way through as I need to clean out the freezer of leftovers etc. So I'm leaving one or two options open. The weekends tend to be the time when we blow the menu the most because we are out running errands or working on projects and are too tired to cook. So this week I'm going to play that portion by ear.

I also left plenty of room open to catch up on recipe posting, try some new things for the Foodie Holidays I missed. So I hope, you are getting into the New year with pizzazz, your routines are taking shape and you are sticking to those New year's Resolutions! Bon Apetit!

Week 1 Round-up

So my first excruciatingly detailed Menu post linked with Recipes fell a little short of my actual desire to keep up. I had curve balls galore which I handled well but my motivation for actually posting about the recipes wained halfway through the week with the wrenches thrown into the gears of efficiency.

In short, due to unforeseen circumstances, my plan was not executed very well. LOL

Wednesday, my Dr's appointment ran for over 2 hours due to an emergency the Dr. was called in for. Since we were slam out of dog food that required a pitstop and it was literally too late for me to cook what was on the plan. So a pitstop ensued. No biggie right? Saturday, my in-laws visited and took us out to Panera for dinner so another day down.

So let's review:
Monday: Mustard Parmesan Chicken with an Avocado and Black Bean Salad (both recipes courtesy of Paula Deen. I personally enjoyed this meal greatly. My husband was not a big fan of the chicken but enjoyed the salad.

Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Bread (Courtesy of the current issue of Martha Stewart Living)We both enjoyed this recipe but wasted a lot of leftovers as it made quite a bit and we got tired of it. Would not have frozen well in my opinion as the breading on the chicken gets denatured.

Wednesday: Parmigiana Sliders on fresh Brioche bread (Courtesy of the current issue of Martha Stewart Living and the Breadlover’s BreadMachine Cookbook). We ended up making this on Thursday and I enjoyed the sandwiches served on dinner rolls (I didn't have a chance to make the Brioche until the weekend). Stephen thought the meatballs were a tad bland.

Thursday: Bean Sliders (Courtesy of the current issue of Martha Stewart Living) and Shortbread Cookies dipped in Chocolate. This was a complete disaster. The bean patties completely melted apart when frying them and I ended up with a giant bean paste in the frying pan. Disgusting. I froze the rest of the beans and may try it again later but I'm not even posting the recipe, it was that much of a failure. Shortbread cookies did not get made.

Friday: Tomato Macaroni and Cheese (Courtesy of Paula Deen) with Turkey Meatloaf Neither of us liked this recipe, which is really surprising as we have never not liked a Paula Deen recipe before. Due to using all cheddar, it came out oily. The flavor wasn't too bad but the texture killed it. Stephen hated the tomatoes on top.

Saturday: Chicken Salad Panini with Cole Slaw and English Toffee. Neither of these items got made due to In-laws visiting.

So following the National Foodie days for main meals, not too bad. Following all the little desserts? Not my best idea as that is the first thing to get put off when my time gets crunched. Maybe I will improve as the weeks go by!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Effortlessly Cool

I've always wondered what it is about certain people that have the ability to be cool without trying. Oh they may try to keep up appearances, standards, dress codes etc. but they have this innate ability to instantly join the cool crowd without effort. Whether its the girl in highschool, the "it" blogger, the co-worker who is always front and center.

I'm not talking about the loud boistrous ones who are IN-YOUR-FACE-I'm-THE-COOL-SHIT. Those are usually the ones everyone tolerates for some unknown reason but no one really likes them. They try too hard and are too demanding in their attempt for the spotlight.

It's the unassuming ones who are there naturally and quietly. They can be the life of the party but also the good friend that everyone wants.

What puts them there? Is it genetics? The "it" factor? Don't get me wrong because I'm not talking about physical beauty. Sometimes the most popular aren't remotely close to being the same as the most beautiful although they tend to run in the same groups. You either have the beauty or the innate ability to be popular. If you have both its devastating to everyone around you. LOL

I've never been the popular one. Oh I've never been the complete outcast. I get along well with others when I want but I also don't care enough to try too hard. I make the occasional witty comeback that can endear me to some but I'm bitchy enough to keep most at bay. I'm a bit stand offish. Those that really know me, know how loyal and comforting I can be. They know my funny side, my vulnerable side but the masses don't. So it always leaves me with a group that adores me, most people know me (even if they don't all like me), and a few who despise me.

My husband, he was the quiet one of the popular kids. The one that no one was quite sure why he was in the popular crowd and not everyone quite remembers him being there. The overly tall, nerdy one with the good drugs that was most likey well known because of relative association (his brother and sister). He did the whacky stunts, but never got too close to many.

Between the two of us, what will we pass on to our son? Is the "it" factor hereditary or by shear chance? Will our son, find success among his pears and be a sociable little butterfly that plays sports or will he be the quiet unassuming one who is friends to many and unknown to other's?

All these thoughts are randomly going through my head as I reflect on my friendships and relationships both past and present. What will my son's life be like and what can I do to make it the best possible? What can I do to equip him with all the tools he needs to be not only a success in life, knowledge and love but with people?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Week 28- Can it be?

Total weight gain: 20 pounds. Which I guess isn't terrible since that means I only gained 1lb in the past two weeks over the Holidays. I feel like a whale though, especially with the memory of the Grocery Store Girl still haunting me.

Maternity clothes? Yes but I'm still squeezing into my old jeans. LOL

Sleep: Practically non existent as my back is acting up again.

Best moment this week: Even though its aggrivating, it brings me joy that my husband "plays" with my son and gets the dopplar out to listen to him.

Gender: Definately a BOY!

Craving: Still Lemon -I even requested Lemon dessert for my babyshower. I figured it was fitting. LOL

Movement: Oh Yes. DH can feel him now. He felt him right before christmas for the first time. Now he just aggrivates him by poking my stomach just to feel him kick him. He loves it. Me? Not so much. That crap hurts.

Labor Signs: No.

Belly Button in or out? Still In

What I miss: Sleep and lack of heartburn. The heartburn has kicked it up a notch.

What I am looking forward to: The ultrasound this afternoon. It's to check my placenta but I'm excited to get to see my little boy and how big he's gotten.

Milestones: Babyshower has been scheduled for February 6th. SQUEEEEE and we are ordering the crib this week. Double SQUEEEEEE We are now in 3rd Tri AND we have a name (TRIPLE AND QUADRUPLE SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES). (A lot happend over the past two weeks huh?

Meatball Parmigiana Sliders

The last recipe to finish out my Martha Stewart Living parmigiana bonanza, I decided to give us a break from all the chicken and “beef up” the menu with these adorable sliders. This may become one of my go to party favors for things like the Super Bowl and “man parties.” How can any guy not get on board with dainty sandwiches when they involve meatballs and red sauce? Seriously.

I expect pinkie fingers to fly out at a moments notice if for nothing else, then to wipe the drool from their mustaches. (Okay, my imagination may be running away with me a little bit, but if you see in your head what I see, you would be grinning from ear to ear.)

Meatball Parmigiana Sliders

2 slices sandwich bread, torn into 1 inch pieces
½ cp whole milk
2 pounds ground beef
½ cup grated Parmesan
2 tsp chopped/minced garlic
1 large egg
Salt and Pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped

Marinara Sauce
1-2 dozen Brioche or dinner Rolls (depending on if you want to freeze half for later or make all for a party now)
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
½ cup grated Parmesan

Soak bread in milk for 5 minutes. Gently add in the rest of the meatball ingredients: beef, parmesan, garlic, egg, salt, pepper and onion. Refridgerate for 30 minutes.

Roll mixture into 24 1 ounce balls (golf ball). Place in simmering marinara sauce over medium heat. Cook partially covered for 20-25 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.

Preheat oven to 400. Arrange rolls, cut side up on a baking sheet. Place 1 meatball, 1 spoonfull of sauce, 1 tbs mozzarella and 1 tsp Parmesan on each roll. Bake until cheese melts (about 3 minutes).

Since there are just 2 of us, I choose to freeze half the sauce and meatballs for a later meal (served over spaghetti, sliders, etc.) but you could easily half this recipe or make it all at once for a party.

Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce
Inspired by Martha Stewart Living

A good Marinara Sauce is a standard basic that everyone with a kitchen needs in their repertoire. As much as you may like your recipe, it never hurts to try someone else’s. Most of them, are pretty similar with maybe quanitites or an extra herb etc. My marinara is the most basic you can get since I stay away from dried herbs and peppers (you wouldn’t believe how mildewy/moldy those things can be from the way they are processed to the pepper cores etc.)

In the January issue of MSL, there is a whole section on Parmigiana with several recipes starting with their basic marinara sauce. I decided this was a great idea to try. So without further ado, I give you my take on MSL Recipes with some annotations for those that don’t have the pesky allergies I do.

MSL Marinara Sauce
3 tbs vegetable or olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 tsps chopped garlic
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 14 oz cans of whole tomatoes, pureed in food processor
Salt and pepper
(MSL uses ½ tsp crushed red-pepper flakes, ¼ cup fresh torn basil leaves, and 1 tbs fresh oregano as well. I enjoyed it without these additives though I’m sure its scrumptious with them).

Heat oil over medium heat in stock pot. Cook onion and garlic for 5-10 minutes until translucent. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 25 minutes or until it thickens up some. (If you choose, add in herbs at the end).

MSL Notes: Sauce can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months.

MSL Chicken Parmigiana

Coincidentally, it was about this time, last year, when I posted a Chicken Parmiagiana recipe. While they vary a little bit, I think its always important to change things up, revisit, improve, expand. Cooking is like working with horses. You can never learn all there is to know, or know too much. There is always something to improve on.

Yesterday was National Spaghetti day, and so what better dish to serve in the winter, on National Spaghetti Day than Chicken Parmigiana with spaghetti. (According to MSL, serving parmigiana with noodles is an American tradition anyway, so I will argue you can’t get more appropriate!)

I followed the recipe petty closely with only slight variations, but you will find the recipe in its whole in the link. Below is how I did it.

Chicken Parmigiana

2 cups plain breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan
2/3 cup flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 package (8-10) Boneless, skinless chicken tenders
¼ cup vegetable oil

Marinara Sauce
1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup shredded Jack cheese (or Mozzarella)
¼ cup grated Parm
1 lb spaghetti noodles (small box)

While Marinara Sauce Simmers, boil noodles and heat oil in sauté pan.

Mix breadcrumbs, flour, ½ cup Parm in a shallow dish or pie plate. Beat eggs in a separate shallow dish or pie plate. Dip Chicken first in egg, then in breadcrumb mixture, then repeat before placing in hot oil. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side until crispy and dark golden brown. Drain on plate lined with paper towels.

In a 9 x 13 baking dish, add 1 cup marinara sauce, top with Chicken tenders followed by another 1 ½ cups of marinara Sauce. Top with Cheeses. Cover with tinfoil. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.

Drain pasta and add noodles to remaining Marinara, tossing gently. Serve Chicken Parmigiana over pasta.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mustard Parmesan Chicken

This is one of those recipes that I decided to try after watching a Paula Deen episode. I love Paula Deen. Seriously. Brazen, tell it like it is in your Southern Grandma’s voice. LOVE HER. I took loose inspiration from her Oven Fried Chicken recipe to create this simple delightful creation. I enjoyed the juicy lightly flavored taste but my husband was not a fan.

Mustard Parmesan Chicken

2 cups Flour
1 cup Grated Parmesan
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and Pepper
¼ Mustard
2 Chicken breasts pounded ¼” thick (wrap in Saran Wrap to reduce mess)

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

Combine flour, cheese, salt and pepper in a pie plate or shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish combine mustard, oil, salt and pepper and whisk.

Coat chicken in mustard mix then dredge in flour mixture coating everything well. Bake for 30-40 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Serve Hot.

Black Bean and Avocado Salad

Another recipe inspired by Paula Deen. (I think it was the same episode as the Oven Fried Chicken). I used the basic ingredients but changed up the dressing. An excellent salad: hearty, filling and fresh.

Black Bean and Avocado Salad

2 cups Chopped Romaine
1 Avocado (peeled and sliced)
Juice of One Lemon
1 cup Corn Kernels (drained)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes
Salt and Pepper

Mix all the vegetable ingredients in a large bowl. Top with juice of lemon, salt and pepper. I served with my Homemade Ranch Dressing drizzled over it. My husband was actually a fan of this salad (which is probably a good thing since he didn’t eat much of the chicken I served with it. LOL)

Sour Cream Bread

The first casual bread recipe I tried out in the Bread machine for National Bread Machine Baking month, this will fast become a favorite. Not as strong as sour dough, but a nice flavor on a dense white bread. Perfect for garlic breads and sandwiches.

Sour Cream Bread
The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook

As always follow your particular bread machines instructions when adding the order of the ingredients:
1/2 cup plus 1 tbs water
1 cup sour cream

3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tbs light brown sugar
Optional: 2 tsp gluten for a lighter texture
1 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast

Place all ingredients in and program to Medium crust, Basic cycle, 1.5 loaf and press Start.

Remove immediately when baking ends and cool on a rack before slicing.

January Week One

Last year, I tried to keep up with Menu Monday posts but towards the end of the year, I noticed that they were just space fillers. Yes, I continued to PLAN my meals for the week and post them, but I was in a rut and they became repetitive and un-interesting. So really, what was the point of you reading them as I highly doubt they were giving you any inspiration for your own menus?

To mix it up a little bit, I ‘m going to work harder at more descriptive menus, with at least a few new recipes per week which should be pretty easy since I’m following the National Foodie Holidays to help plan. The Holidays for the week will be posted each Monday so that you can participate on those days or just look forward to the recipes. I hope this will not only keep me motivated, inspire you but also add new favorite recipes (and even days!) to my repertoire!

National Foodie Holidays:

Month of January:
National Bread Machine Baking Month
National Candy Month
National Egg Month
National Hot Tea Month
National Meat Month
National Oatmeal Month
National Soup Month
National Wheat Bread Month
(I'm pretty sure there are more but I gave up). LOL

This Week:
Jan 2nd- National Cream Puff Day
Jan 3rd- Chocolate Filled Cherry Day (that must take talent!)
Jan 4th- Spaghetti Day
Jan 5th-Whipped Cream Day
Jan 6th- Bean Day
Shortbread Day
Jan. 8th-English Toffee Day

Meal Plan:
Sunday: I tried out my new Deep Fryer and made a hodgepodge of Finger foods: Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders, Homemade Mozzarella Sticks, served up with Deviled Eggs, Sour cream Bread (fresh baked in the Bread Machine!), and Profiteroles with Chocolate Cream Sauce. (totally not the best for you, but I promise I limited my quantity –except for the Profiteroles which I think I had 4 or 5 they were so good).

Monday: Mustard Parmesan Chicken with an Avocado and Black Bean Salad (both recipes courtesy of Paula Deen.

Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Bread (Courtesy of the current issue of Martha Stewart Living)

Wednesday: Parmigiana Sliders on fresh Brioche bread (Courtesy of the current issue of Martha Stewart Living and the Breadlover’s BreadMachine Cookbook).

Thursday: Bean Sliders (Courtesy of the current issue of Martha Stewart Living) and Shortbread Cookies dipped in Chocolate.

Friday: Tomato Macaroni and Cheese (Courtesy of Paula Deen) with Turkey Meatloaf

Saturday: Chicken Salad Panini with Cole Slaw and English Toffee

In addition to the above Menu, I have a bushel of apples on my counter, with the intent of making Apple Butter and Apple Pumpkin Butter. I need to find the time and energy to take care of that before they go bad. I would love to use my Deep Fryer and Perogie Press (both Christmas presents) to try some Apple Dumplings as well but they may have to wait till next week as it is apparent I will be pretty busy this week!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Profiteroles with Dark Chocolate Sauce

January 2nd is National Cream Puff Day. So to honor that, I decided to try a recipe I've had marked in a cookbook for quite some time. Profiteroles with Dark Chocolate Sauce adapted from Kitchen Library Desserts.

Cream Puffs have been in the US since 1880 but were actually invented in the 1540's by Catherine de Medici's pastry chef for Henry II.

The one issue I have with the recipe I used was that it did not tell you to cut them or pipe them immediately. It said to let them cool in the oven for 5 minutes so when I took them out they had deflated. BOO. However, deflated or not, these little bad boys are not only phenomenal but addictive. I am officially a Profiteroles fan. These remind me of my favorite Krispy Kreme doughnut: Custard filled, chocolate glazed. It's like little delicate bites of heaven.

Profiteroles (Cream Puffs) with Dark Chocolate Sauce
1/4 cup chopped butter
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup flour
3 eggs, room temp, lightly beaten

White Chocolate Filling
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tbs sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup white chocolate chips

Dark Chocolate Sauce
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 425. Spray a baking sheet liberally with cooking spray. Put butter and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and add flour. Return to heat and stir to form a smooth ball. Set aside and let cool slightly. Add eggs to flour ball with an electric mixer until dough is smooth and glossy (thick paste like consistency). Using a cookie scoop place balls evenly on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden and puffed. Turn off Oven and skewer a hole in the side/base of each puff and let dry in oven for 5 minutes. (When I took mine out they deflated immediately so I'm not sure how apt that direction is.)

For Filling:
Combine pudding mix and sugar in saucepan. Whisk in milk slowly until smooth. Heat slowly until boiling and thickening (mine thickened but I never quite let it boil, my fault). Remove from heat and add white chocolate. Stire until melted and let cool. Using a piping bag, filling each pastry with custard.

Combine dark chocolate and cream in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and drizzle over filled pastry.

Champagne-Soaked Baba

Okay, so actually It's Ginger-ale Soaked Baba but only because I'm pregnant. LOL

January is National Bread Machine Baking Month. Since my BFF Sarah bestowed upon me her Breadman (as she is now Gluten Free and those breads don't do as well with the Bread Machine) I decided to finally free it from the dark confines of my pantry and use it to honor National Bread Machine Baking Month. What better way to kick it off then with a New Year's appropriate bread?

Read your Bread Machine Instructions clearly as some machines prefer Wet/Dry/Yeast ingredients to be added in a different order. Breadman is a W/D/Y method. Seriously this is so easy my Dachshund could probably make this bread.

Champagne Soaked Baba
Page 521 of The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Baking Cookbook

For a 1 and 1/2 pound loaf:

1/3 cup water
3 large eggs
6 tbs unsalted butter, melted

2 cups bread flour (I used Gold Medal)
1 1/2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (I used zest from one whole lemon)
1/2 tsp salt

1 3/4 tsp bread machine yeast (I use Fleischmann's)

For Soaking Syrup:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sweet champagne or Gingerale (for us pregnant people)

Directions:Add Dough ingredients to machine in manufacturer's order. Set crust for medium and program for Sweet Bread cycle; press Start.

My machine took about 3 hours to complete bread process, rise, baking time. So with about an hour left, I made the Soaking syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a small sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved. cool until warm and add Champagne or gingerale. Set aside.

When bread is finished baking, poke wholes with a skewer and turn bread out onto a deep plate. Pour the syrup all over and let it stand to absorb. cover with plastic wrap until all liquid has been absorbed. Serve with warm fruit glaze. Recipe includes an apricot jam glaze but I chose to serve with homemade Pear Preserves or Applebutter.

Stephen and I are not huge fans of Soaked breads due to the soggy texture but this bread did have an excellent taste. Would have even been fine without the soaking mixture and just served with jam.

Baby Foot Necklace Winner!

And the winner is: Mary Harowitz! Mary had the 7th comment which is what the Random generator I used picked! So Congratulations! Please email me your shipping information and if you would prefer the Gray/blue or the Black cord. (Reposted Picture below so you can see again!) Email:

Congratulations again and thank you for all who participated in my first giveaway! I hope this necklace brings you hope, peace and luck in 2011.


Random numbers generated Jan 2 2011 at 14:24:0 by

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! 1/1/11

This year is bringing me such inspiration that I can't wait to get started. Already I have my desk littered with notes, a calendar full of ideas and Foodie Dates. A stack of Recipe Books at my feet filled with post-its marking new recipes. A spiral notebook with my chicken scratch of ideas.

As a crockpot full of seasoned black eyed peas simmers, a loaf of Baba bread is baking, a roast is in the oven, and future posts and recipes are swimming through my head (even though I should be taking down Christmas decorations.)

This year, my resolution is be an organized cook. To plan more meticulously AND adventurously. To help me out with that, I'm going to be using the National Food Holidays to give me direction as well as new magazine subscriptions: Cooking Light, Weight Watchers, Southern Living and Martha Stewart Living. Towards the end of the year, I began to get in a rut, planning the same old meals over and over with nothing interesting to blog about when Fall is typically a good time of year for my cooking endeavors (where as summer is usually busy with gardening/canning I have little time to blog about the activities). Granted last fall, I was dealing with morning sickness etc. so I'm giving myself a break.

Despite the fact that I'm expecting a bouncy baby boy in March, I am still planning to be active with this blog ESPECIALLY while on Maternity Leave. (I'm pretty sure, my plans may change when I'm sleep deprived and trying to function and decide cooking is not in my immediate future, three months from now. LOL)

To begin the year, I am going to list out 11 things I want to try this year. What do you aspire to make?

1. Croque en Brouche
2. Croque Madame (without ham)
3. Perogies
4. Bread Machine Baking
5. Deep Frying
6. Pannini's
7. Creative Salads
8. Creative Grilling
9. Homemade Pasta
10. Sugar Cookie Decorating
11. Pastry Decorating

Some of these may not sound very intimidating but they are things I haven't done a lot of, have new equipment for (Thank you SANTA!) or I've just been putting off for various reasons. I don't want to just try everything, I want to be really good at some of it!

I hope the New Year brings good things your way: good food, good friends, and lots of love. Hope to see you here all year!

Fat Ladies Eat Small Children

and they cry. It's no secret that I'm overweight. I've talked about it often enough on here and many of you join me in the constant struggle against bodies that fight us back. I've been overweight since puberty. Dieting is not something I do, its a way of life for me and one I was starting to get a handle on once I learned to eat around my PCOS issues. In 2010 I lost 46 lbs before getting pregnant.

I've whined about how I struggle with the pregnancy weight gain and losing control of my body that I was finally gaining control of. It's a daily fight in my own head to accept what is happening to my body to carry this child that I want so badly. I realize that most people probably can't tell I'm pregnant because I just look fat and do not have a pretty little bump. Today however, I was completely humiliated for being fat at the hands of a three year old and her inconsiderate mother.

I have never been more aware of my size than I am today when a little girl and her brother played a shopping cart game of duck down and hide from the "Fat Lady so she doesn't eat us." I was mortified as they pointed and squealed in their high voices: "there she goes, that was close but she might eat us next time" as I pass thier cart.

I was shaking and as the tears started to fall and I purposefully went the opposite direction, I could hear that little high voice "Where did the fat lady go Mom?" And the mother replied? "I don't know, I'm sure you will see her again." "Will she eat us mom?" "She might."

I broke down crying with this conversation ringing in my ears as I stared unseeingly at the aisle of bread. To complete my mortification, people veered around me and wouldn't look me in the face as if I had the plague. For thirty minutes I stood there, with tears streaming down my face and a child's high pitch voice becoming increasingly louder ringing through the store wondering where the Fat Lady who was going to eat them was.

It was all I could do to calmly exit with my pile of groceries that we desperately needed without crawling inside myself and feeling like I was going to die of shame as people stared at me.

Had it been just the mother, I'm sure I would have spouted something off about how humorous it was coming from someone in Pink Velour pants that showed every dimple of her cottage cheese ass bouncing over her knock off designer tennis shoes with the cubic zirconian glinting rather dully on her orange spray tanned fingers. But really, what do you say to someone in front of children who don't know any better? They don't know that they are being insensitive and rude because it was so obviously what they are being taught. What happens in 10 years when that little girl develops an eating disorder or a weight problem? What happens when these children become bullies and cause a girl to kill herself because of her hateful taunts because that just happened in our local high school.

How do you tell a parent off for their complete disregard for appropriate parenting in front of children without making it worse for the kids? Nothing I could have said in that situation would have made a difference for those children. The mother would have just turned it around as a lesson to the children on how fat people are evil and rude and completely belittled the whole point of any sermon I could have spewed at her. How do you fight ignorance and insensitivity?

All I could do was get in my car and know that my son will not behave in such a manner and if he were ever to innocently make an inconsiderate remark I would correct him immediately and teach him how to behave appropriately. MY SON will know kindness and have actual class. That lesson, on how to treat other humans, may be the finest lesson I can bestow upon my son. People are often crap, and its easy to form opinions based upon those examples, but we have to continue to rise above and be the best that we can be and provide better examples when we have learned from experiences such as this.

It hurts. I admit it. It hurt me to my soul. I dropped my groceries and sat in the middle of my kitchen floor balling and hiccuping while my husband tried to soothe me and find out what happened through my garbled stream of words. I questioned my ability to parent and if i was going to be a horrible person because I would be the "fat mom" that the kids make fun of hindering my child's ability to have a normal social life. I questioned everything about my existence as that little voice still echoed through my head. It HURT and I let it hurt me, but I'm not going to hide from it and let it fester. I'm going to post this, and let it out into the world that there are mean people who are raising mean children and I will not be one of them. I may judge harshly and make snap rude comments occasionally but my New Year's Resolution is to try and better control that part of my personality because it is only a part. A small part at that. I'm a nice person with a great capacity to love and give of myself and provide comfort to others and damn it I will be a great mother to a compassionate and giving child.