Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thirty One Weeks with Chicken Nugget

Maggie - 31 Weeks

Maggie is officially crawling and it is adorable. There are a jumble of legs and arms as her body scoots along. She's making it places with amazing speed. Nothing is safe. 


I also got Maggie's eyes checked through the InfantSEE program. She has a slight stigmatism and is farsighted in one eye. Both of these things will probably be outgrown but the eye doctor suggested that we get her eyes checked again in a year. She got some cool shades at the end of her visit to wear home since her eyes were dilated. They made me giggle a lot. 


This week we tried out two new babysitters, played in the backyard and spent some time with friends. The end of the week brought some hard news. Poppa (Grandpa B) went into the hospital with an infection. The whole family visited on Saturday and Maggie was entranced with all his tubes and wires. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kale Caesar Salad with Fried Chicken


There is a salad that I crave. It's delicious and hearty and so good! I discovered it while pregnant with Maggie. I was out with Molly and famished. We stopped at Skillet for lunch and as I pondered their deliciously carb heavy menu, I noticed this Kale Caesar Salad. It was Low-Carb! I was intrigued and ordered it. I had them throw on some chicken to really fill me up. Now I secretly tempt Scott with visits to Skillet so I can order this salad. I decided to try to make my own so that I don't always have to go out for my fix. This was also the perfect salad for the over abundance of Kale that I have growing in my garden.  


I adapted my salad recipe from The Skillet Cookbook and I think I got it pretty close to the real thing. This doesn't mean that my visits to The Skillet are going to fade anytime soon, they have plenty of delicious items on their menu for me to sample. I added some sriracha for a slight kick to the dressing and the fried chicken is an old family recipe that I've been making since I was a kid. I've always loved fried chicken. 

Kale Caesar with Friend Chicken

by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients (1-2 large salads)
    • 2 cups day-old bread cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    Caesar Dressing
    • 1 small cloves garlic, minced
    • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
    • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
    • 1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon dijon-style mustard
    • 1/4 teaspoon sriracha
    • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1⁄4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
    • 1 pound Kale, stems discarded and leaves cut into ribbons
    • 8 plain anchovy fillets
    Fried Chicken
    • 1/2 lb chicken breast, cut into strips
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • olive oil
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Toss the bread cubes with olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated.
    3. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
    1. In a large bowl, mash the garlic with the salt until it forms a paste.
    2. Add the anchovy paste, lemon zest, lemon juice, dijon mustard, Worcestershire, sriracha, mayonnaise, parmesan and pepper. Stir well to combine.
    Fried Chicken
    1. Slowly heat olive oil (or vegetable oil) in a deep skillet to 350F.
    2. Sift the flour with the baking powder, salt and pepper; set aside.
    3. Whip the eggs with the milk; set aside.
    4. Coat the chicken with the flour mixture and set aside.
    5. Mix the remaining flour mixture and egg mixture together. Coat the chicken again with the flour/egg mixture.
    5. Deep fry a few pieces of chicken at a time until golden brown, making sure to flip the pieces occasionally. Drain well on paper towels.
    To assemble the salad
    Toss the kale with the dressing. Scatter croutons and chicken strips over the kale before topping with anchovies. Enjoy!
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    Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Monday, July 21, 2014

    Seven Months with Mag-Pie (and 30 weeks with Chicken Nugget)


    You are a master squirmer! This month you have mastered backward crawling, pulling up from sitting, sitting from laying down and you are finally rolling around. You so desperately want to walk but you are not there yet. Well to be honest, you just don't have the muscle strength yet but soon my child, soon!

    Maggie - 30 Weeks

    I often see your little face peeking over the edge of the couch or ottoman at me. You also get stuck in the standing position after pulling up on the ottoman. It would be cute if it wasn't so loud.


    Summer has been in full force here in Seattle so we've been hanging out at the wading pools, the beach and the pool. Your sister has been taking swimming lessons so we've been hanging out on the pool's edge during her lessons. You've been taking swimming lessons on Saturday with the whole family. You love the water but get so tired and have to leave before lessons are over. I'm still hoping you'll be a water baby like your sister! 

    First Day of Swim Lessons! #forcedfamilyfun #summerbucketlist

    It's been so hot around here that you are enjoying cooling off in the wading pools. We recently enjoyed a picnic with your buddy, Vivienne and her sister (your sister's bestie), Norah at the Greenlake Wadding Pool. It was a fun evening and another item knocked off our Summer Bucket List


    It's been fun watching you get more mobile. You love playing with your sister and her toys and now that you are mobile, you can really get in to everything. Molly is not as excited about these recent changes you are. 


    You also graduated to the shopping cart seat! Now you and your sister get to ride in the front of the cart at Costco while your Dad complains that the cart weighs a thousand pounds. 


    We took a family hike to Discovery Park on the Fourth of July. It was quite an adventure. There was a lot of crying, excitement and sleeping. You were a great hiking buddy though and I look forward to our next hike. You continue to be a pretty stellar sleeper though the last week has been a bit rough. You are working on your first teeth and that wakes all of us up. You look so sad but settle down when I bring you to bed with us. Then your Dad moves you back to your bed which causes more crying and back you come. I sense that we'll be working on this situation if it doesn't resolve itself once your teeth come in. 


    We've also been spending a lot of time with my parents. Grandpa is sick and so I go over to help him and Grandma out. He really enjoys spending time with you and all your smiles. You are just such a happy baby. I'm happy that you can bring him some joy while he's not feeling well. I also feel blessed that you get to spend some time with him now even though you may not remember him when you are older. But I'll have the memories and the photos. 


    Thank you for being such a bright, shiny person. You are the sunshine in my day. I hope you continue to spread joy as you grow. I love spending my days with you. 


    Stats at 7 Months
    Weight: 20+ (I have no clue as our scale is broken and you haven't been 
    to the doctor since your six month check-up)
    Likes: Sleeping, Sister Molly, Standing, Sitting up
    Dislikes: Getting stuck standing up, when Mom leaves the room, being alone 
    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    Spicing up Seattle


    I love living in Seattle especially on days like today. The sun sparkles as it hits all the bodies of water surrounding this great city. The smell of sand, salt and food is almost always in the air. That's the best part, the food. This city is packed full of fantastic restaurants, great food writers and photographers. This is a city where you can really enjoy a good meal.

    Octopus Potato

    I follow a lot of Seattle Food Bloggers and know where they get their inspiration from. This city just provides tons of it from the Pike Place Market to all the fantastic farms within a short drive. Of course this means I have a ton of recipes that I'm dying to make but no good place to collect them. I was excited to recently learn about Kitchenbug which is a smart recipe collector that shows dietary and nutritional information on any recipe from any website. The other awesome thing about Kitchenbug is that you can adjust the size of your recipes. This is great for me since I have two adults, one toddler and one sometimes I eat food baby eater. I don't need a dinner that makes enough for 6 people. I like to adjust my meals so we have the right amount of food.

    This was from the kid's menu! It was delicious but so much food. We helped Molly finish it.

    I've been hard at work collecting some of my favorite Seattle recipes on Kitchenbug in a collection box named, "Spicing Up Seattle". I have a few favorites and a few recipes I'm dying to try in there. Come check it out and tell me, what are your favorite Seattle recipes? 
    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    Pumping the Race

    8:42 am I wash my pump parts and bottles. #adayinthelifephotochallenge

    Exclusively pumping is like running a marathon. You start out with the best of intentions and goals. You'll pump as long as this child needs you to pump! You pump 8-10 times a day. It is mind-numbling boring and sometimes a bit painful. The amount of time you spend pumping each day never seems to decrease. Sometimes you'll ask for advice on how to get more efficient and people will tell you to throw in another pump session to boost your output. You pump in the strangest of places because while you may travel away from home, your boobs can't leave the pump behind. You'll waver. You'll stop at the water station and think, I'm not going to finish this race. I'm ready to throw in the pump.


    And if the pumping marathon finish line is one year, I'm getting ready to quit the race halfway through. I've been sprinting for the last 13.1 miles and I'm done. My training partner keeps trying to trip me up. She doesn't like waiting for the milk to be produced but won't drink from the tap. She's getting more wiggly and doesn't want to sit while I pump. Her cohort sister is either a great supporter (MORE PUMP, MAMA!) or a great hinderance (NO PUMP, MAMA!). And my body keeps rebelling. I've had mastitis three times, three painful times. My output has decreased with each instance and Maggie is thriving on a mix of breast milk, formula and solid food. I've made it this far and I'm done. This is the end of my breastfeeding career and I can say it was a wild one. 

    9:58 am Pumping while Maggie naps and Molly is distracted with the iPad. #adayinthelifephotochallenge

    All in all though, I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished with breastfeeding it certainly didn't go the way I expected but little in life does. In some ways, it was easier than I expected and in other ways, it was WAY more difficult than I thought it would be. I fed both my babies with some breast milk for some period of time which is great. Now I get to reclaim hours of my day back. I won't have to rush home to pump. I'm a bit giddy at the freedom, I see within my grasp. I'm also excited to really start exercising again. Each time I've tried while pumping, I've gotten sick. 

    I do have some guilt at weaning from the pump. Logically, I know this is worthless guilt as I've done everything to help Maggie breast feed and in the end get breast milk but emotionally, I feel a bit like I'm letting Maggie down. The heart and the head don't always meet in a logical place. The thing is at some point I am going to wean from the pump. I may be doing it a few months earlier and I really can't continue with the status quo. Three bouts with mastitis just does a person in! I have started the pump weaning process and I plan to take it slow so that I don't get sick again. I've been pumping 4x a day and shortening the amount of time that I pump. I was pumping 30 minutes each time. Now I pump 25 minutes each time and I'll be dropping that down to 22 minutes after a few days. I'll continue dropping down the minutes I pump until I'm down to 5 minutes when I'll start dropping pumps. It's a long, slow process but one I'm trying to be careful with. 


    All in all, this little face made all the pumping worth it. Her cubby little thighs are proof of my efforts which is a reward in itself. Now we're moving on to a new stage in her food adventure and I can't wait to continue to introduce her to all the yummy food out there. She's already a huge fan of sweet potatoes, apples and bananas. 
    Monday, July 14, 2014

    Fresh and Fruity Blueberry Lime Yogurt Popsicles

    blueberry popsicles3

    It's been a scorcher of a weekend around here. Seattle has been in the 90s which for us is HOT! HOT! HOT! We've been spending a lot of time in the water which helps us to keep our cool. Another great way we've been keeping our cool was with these fresh and fruity Blueberry Lime Yogurt Popsicles. Making popsicles was also on our Summer Bucket List so we've knocked another fun thing off our list!

    blueberry popsicles

    I used these popsicle molds and found them to be awesome! Pro Tip: Running the frozen popsicles under a bit of warm water helps release the yummy frozen treat. 

    blueberry popsicles4

    My popsicle taste tester heartily approved of these treats and even requested one for breakfast. I gave in. It was already in the 80s and heck, these have fruit in them so they are practically healthy. 


    Blueberry Lime Yogurt Popsicles
    by Rebecca Mongrain
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Ingredients (Makes 6 popsicles)
    • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons corn starch
    • 2 teaspoons lime juice
    • 1 teaspoon lime zest + 2 teaspoons lime zest
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 12 oz blueberries (fresh or frozen; thaw if frozen)
    • 1/8 cup honey
    • 1 1/2 cup greek yogurt
    1. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and corn starch.
    2. Slowly stir in the lime juice, lime zest and water.
    3. Bring to a boil before adding the blueberries. Cook the blueberries until they start to pop. Set aside and allow mixture to cool.
    4. Whip the honey, greek yogurt and lime zest together in a small bowl.
    5. Spoon soon of the blueberry mixture into the molds and then add the yogurt. Alternate for a nice swirled look.
    6. Insert the sticks and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.
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    blueberry popsicles3
    Saturday, July 12, 2014

    Twenty Nine Weeks with Chicken Nugget

    Maggie 29 weeks

    It's been a scorcher of a week around here! Luckily we've managed to stay cool through most of it but I think I may have used an entire bottle of sunscreen on Maggie and Molly. We started out the week with our monthly trip to Costco. It was the first time that Maggie was able to ride in the cart with Molly. As you can see they were 'thrilled'.


    On Monday, Molly started swim lessons and Maggie slept right through them. I decided to walk up to the nearby wading pool that afternoon to cool both kids off. It's straight up a hill and pushing a Double Bob with 60+ lbs of weight was quite the workout for me. Maggie thought the water was awesome and giggled so much which made the hike up the hill totally worth it. 


    It was super sunny so I wrapped Maggie up in her swaddling blanket. I took this picture to send to Scott because it made me laugh. Molly wouldn't look at the camera because a fire truck was going by and that was way more awesome than I'll ever be. Luckily Maggie still finds me to be more interesting than a truck. 


    Maggie spent most of the week working on her water skills and angry backward crawling. She keeps getting stuck under tables, the couch and the media center. Her angry look cracks all of us up! I figure one day she'll figure out how to get out of reverse and start crawling forward. We walked to Molly's swim lessons one day which was awesome. Maggie and Molly both enjoy riding in the stroller and I enjoyed the walk. Hopefully we'll be able to do the same next week. 


    We ate most of our meals outside which I love because it means less clean-up inside. Maggie is at the especially messy stage of eating where food is everywhere. She is loving solid food though and eats a lot of spinach, sweet potatoes, apples and pears. 


    We ended the week with a trip to the Greenlake Wading Pool where Maggie got to really experience a wading pool, swim diaper and all. Like her sister, Maggie is looking like she'll be a water baby. I think I have lots of time sitting by the pool in my future. It's a good thing that I love swimming!
    Friday, July 11, 2014

    Oatmeal Granola Cookies


    Molly has been resisting naps lately which means our afternoons can feel long. Earlier this week, I decided we needed a diversion from our no-nap afternoon and since Molly loves baking, I thought it would be fun to make cookies with her.


    Oatmeal cookies are a favorite around here because we like to pretend that they have some nutritional value. I also had some granola leftover from my granola-fest in May that needed to be used up before it went bad. I decided to mix in the granola along with some dried fruit to my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe. The end result was delicious! My recipe tester couldn't keep her hands off them. 


    Oatmeal Granola Cookies

    by Rebecca Mongrain
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Ingredients (makes 2 dozen)
    • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 2/3 cup milk
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    • 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
    • 3/4 cup granola
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
    • 1/4 cup dried fruit
    1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
    2. Cream the butter, oil and sugar together until fluffy and smooth. Slowly add in milk and vanilla extract and mix together.
    3. Sift together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add the rolled oats and granola to the dry mixture.
    4. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
    5. Stir in the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and dried fruit.
    6. Place the dough by the tablespoon on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
    7. Cool for 5 minutes before enjoying.
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    Wednesday, July 09, 2014

    The Wednesday Links from Around The Web 7.9.2014


    A Baby's First Year Journal I love this idea!

    Eat Well on $4 a Day! - Free Cookbook and Kickstarter

    Print Your Instagram Photos

    Collect Your Recipes with KitchenBug This is the coolest site. Basically it is a recipe collector that shows you nutritional information but also lets you size up or size down recipes. Go check it out. 

    Project Life I'm seriously thinking about doing one of these next year. 

    Sunday, July 06, 2014

    Twenty Eight Weeks with Chicken Nugget

    Maggie 28 Weeks

    The big news this week is that Maggie is backward crawling! She keeps getting stuck in the most hilarious of places. She also keeps flipping from a sitting position to her tummy and then getting so mad because she doesn't like being on her stomach. 


    I would be surprised if Maggie is crawling forward in the next week or two. She's a very determined little mover and shaker. 

    I'm a backward crawler?

    We spent some time at my parent's house this week. They needed me to do some yard work so they watched the girls while I worked in the garden. Molly decided that their rug was a "flying rug" and spent a long time trying to get her sister to fly the rug with her. When that didn't work, she tried rolling her up in it. Maggie thought all it was super fun!


    On the Fourth of July, we took a family hike to Discovery Park. It was Maggie's first time in the hiking backpack and she loved it. Molly was jealous that she got to ride in the backpack and insisted on being carried most of the way so we turned around early. Still it was a fun time and something I think I would like to make into a family tradition. I think we'll be going back to the park soon and attempting the whole loop trail again. Hopefully Molly will walk next time but if not, I'm going to bring the stroller along. 


    Molly liked the carrier so much, she even fell asleep in it. 


    We had a fun Fourth of July BBQ with our friends after nap. The kids wore themselves out and the adults had a fun time hanging out. Unfortunately shortly after my friends left, I came down with mastitis for the third time. Luckily for me the on-call doctor called in some antibiotics for me so I didn't have to go to the ER with on the Fourth of July. I'm sure that would have been a great entry into Maggie's baby book!


    We laid low during the day on Saturday and I even attempted a family nap with the girls. Unfortunately the girls thought it would be fun to bring a hula hoop into bed and chew on it. That night we headed over to my brother's to celebrate his birthday a few weeks late and so Maggie could meet her Great Uncle and Aunt. 
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