Tuesday, November 23, 2010

9 Months

Sloane is now 9 months and went for a check-up recently. She weighed 17 pounds and 2 ounces which put her in the 25 percentile. Her length on the other hand, is in the 95 percentile at 29.5 inches. She is a tall, thin baby. Her head circumference was 43.6 cm which was 45%.
Recently, Sloane cut her first tooth on the bottom, and when the doctor looked into her mouth, she said the top four were on their way and should pop out at the same time in the next two weeks. Sloane is also crawling everywhere now and can pull herself up to stand holding on to things, so we started safety proofing our house. We have already put baskets full of her toys in different rooms so she has a place to crawl and get into stuff and moved objects out of her way. She is very mobile and curious to discover everything in sight. She has become especially interested in remote controls and cell phones. We also lowered her mattress on her crib. Next on the to do list is put covers on the unused outlets. She is also starting to eat more adult foods. We are introducing soft fruits and veggies like bananas, carrots, and peas. So far we notice she likes to eat them if they are by themselves, although she still has difficulty picking them up. We have tried mashing them up and mixing them with her cereal or other foods, but she spits out the chunks.
Sloane had recently had her first fever and cold, so when the doctor looked in her ears she found an ear infection. She was amazed that Sloane was still sleeping so well and so happy. She said Sloane must have a higher tolerance for pain! Despite being sick, she was still her pleasant self. It just reminded me how blessed Jake and I are to have such a wonderful daughter. She is so sweet and becoming increasingly affectionate to show us her love in little ways. Sloane will put out her arms for you to pick her up, and when you do, she will nestle her head in the crook of your neck. My favorite is when she crawls over to me just to sit in my lap and play with her toys as if that is the best place to be. Jake and I have decided this is the most fun time with Sloane. She is so interactive and loving right now, and seems to learn something new each day.

Here are some things Miss Sloane can do:

* holds her bottle
* crawl
* pull-up to a standing position from sitting
* drink from a cup
* play peekaboo
* say "mama" or "dada" indiscriminately
* object if you try to take a toy away
* bangs objects
* responds to name well

Recipe of the Week: Roasted Vegetables and Spinach With Pasta

Roasted Vegetables and Spinach with Pasta

1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large red onion, cut into thin wedges
3 yellow and/or green sweet peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 11-ounce can condensed tomato bisque soup
1 cup water
12 ounces dried cut ziti or rotini pasta (about 4 cups)
1 6-ounce bag prewashed baby spinach (about 8 cups)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)

1. Preheat oven to 4oo degrees. In an ungreased 9x13-inch baking dish combine eggplant, red onion, sweet peppers, and the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes until vegetables begin to brown, stirring twice.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat the 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Add thyme, fennel seeds, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in tomato bisque soup. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and return to pan. Add tomato bisque soup mixture and roasted vegetables; toss to coat. Stir in spinach.

4. Spoon pasta mixture into the same baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Recipe found in 9x13 The Pan that Can

From My Experience: I wanted to make this recipe because I've always wanted to try eggplant. I had tried cooking it once, but it turned out terrible. Now after making this recipe I realized I just don't like eggplant. It turns a brown color when cooked and has a spongy texture that was unpleasant to me. Without the eggplant, I would have liked this recipe. If I made it again, I would use roasted broccoli or asparagus instead. In making this recipe, I used more crushed red pepper than called for, so it was spicy! And when I started fishing around in my spice basket, I realized I didn't have fennel seeds, so I just didn't use them. Use whatever cheese you have or none at all; I used parmesan cheese and I liked the crunchy texture it gave on top. My husband had the same opinion on eggplant, but I think he was also turned away since there was not meat included. I tried to sneak that past him! Meat such as chicken, ground beef, or italian sausage could easily be added although you might need a bigger casserole dish. Happy cooking!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Sour Cream Enchiladas

Sour Cream Enchiladas

8 oz. sour cream
10 3/4 oz. can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
4 oz. can green chiles, chopped
12 flour or corn tortillas
2 1/2 to 3lbs. cooked, boned, and shredded chicken
8 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

Combine sour cream, soup, broth, and green chiles. Heat and stir until smooth and well blended. To soften tortillas, place one at a time directly into soup mixture. Lift tortillas out of soup mixture. Place 3 tablespoons of chicken and 2 to 3 tablespoons of each cheese in center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in 2-quart baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with salsa. Freezes well.

From My Experience: I was given this recipe from a friend, and I've always wanted to try it. I decided it would be a great recipe to multiply, so I ended up making several batches. To do so, I used the meat from two roasted chickens, which I had cooked and pulled the day before, and quadrupled the rest of the recipe. Consequently, I was able to make 4 possibly 5 meals. Now I will have a frozen main dish on hand when I need to bring dinner to a family or when I don't feel like cooking anything elaborate. It was an easy and fun recipe to try. I brought all my supplies into the living room, and set up on the coffee table so I could watch a movie while going through the process. I learned from making a mess, that you should keep one hand wet to handle the tortillas while keeping the other hand dry to scoop the chicken and cheese. This will make you more efficient and the process go smoother. We ate one batch that night, and they tasted awesome. My biggest critic (my husband) loved them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wurstfest 2010

Wurstfest is an annual event in New Braunfels, TX to celebrate their German heritage. Their is sausage, saurkraut, and beer galore. They have a dance hall with a polka band and offer rides and other booths like a fair, but we attend for the food and beverages!

This is our group that ventured to NB for the festival. We all go to church together and are involved in the community group. These were our first purchases.

I was excited about eating a Cheddarwurst, while Jake was just concerned with getting Spatten.

Jake ate a few things such as a Wurstentashen shown here, but mostly savored the special beers (see shirt pocket).

After eating 2 Cheddarwurst, fried pickles, some cajun potatoes, and a piece of a cinnamon, sugar-coated Belgian waffle, I indulged with a final fried oreo!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hi Aunt Brittany

Miss you Auntie! Thanks for my cute tights.

Look at me crawl!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Beef and Vegetable Stew

So the inspiration for my recipe pick was a leftover butternut squash that I did not know what to do with. In the end, I decided that I would make a beefy vegetable soup (which I have never made before) and cube the squash to put in it. Then I decided to make it a crockpot recipe so that I could fix it and forget it; it was a busy day.

Beef and Vegetable Stew

This is a good old-fashioned basic beef stew. No prebrowning is required. Toss everything in the slow cooker and 8 to 9 hours later, the stew is ready to serve.

* 6 medium russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cubed
* 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices
* 1 onion, coarsely chopped
* 1 celery rib, chopped
* 2 pounds lean boneless beef stew meat or boneless beef cross rib roast, trimmed of fat and cut
into 1-inch cubes
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced peeled tomatoes
* 1 cup dry red wine
* 1 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* salt

1. In a 6-quart electric slow cooker, mix the potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery. Toss the beef with the flour to coat evenly. Add to the slow cooker. Top with the tomatoes and their liquid mixed with the red wine, dry mustard, thyme, and pepper.

2. Cover and cook on the high heat setting 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Reduce the heat setting to low and cook 7 to 8 hours longer, or until the beef is tender, stirring once or twice during cooking, if possible. Season with salt to taste.

From my experience: I used the butternut squash and cut potato requirement to 4. I have never cooked butternut squash this way so it was an experiment. The squash ended up getting so soft, they lost their shape and acted as a thickening agent and turned the soup an orange tint. I didn't have any red wine, so I used a couple of substitutions. I wanted to stretch this recipe a little so I added a carton of beef broth. Plus I added a couple of splashes of Worcestershire sauce, which I had seen used in other vegetable soup recipes; I think it could have used a little more too. I didn't use the flour either. I don't know what it was supposed to do, but I didn't think it was too important. Overall the soup was good; it tasted like beefy vegetable soup. It was nice to throw everything in one pot, and at the end of the day have a meal containing meat and veggies!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Halloween

Jake's brother Martin K and his wife Ozde were here visiting from London on Halloween so we had a photo shoot dressing Sloane up for the holiday. Here is a picture of Uncle Martin and Aunt Ozde with Sloane!

Jake and Martin both went in to give Sloane a kiss. Such a cute moment!

The family:Jake, Sloane, and me (Shae)

Sloane's official Halloween costume was a UT Longhorn cheerleader outfit. Jake thought it would be nice to try taking her pictures in her costume outside. She started to get fussy when we put her down, but the longer we took pictures, the madder she became. She was especially upset when set her down in the grass; it grew into a full-blown temper tantrum.

This was the final outfit, pajamas. This outfit was a gift from Aunt Brittany. Sloane was alot happier at this point because she had had a bath and was being entertained by her aunt and uncle. Jake and Martin K actually took her to a few houses in her Halloween pajamas. After Sloane went to sleep, the adults played games and watched Fright Night. It was a fun Halloween!