Tag Archives: cooking

TMI

While I have been contemplating how many more days of BC I have left to take and the state of my left ovary (hahaha), some pretty awesome awards have been circulating in blog-land. And I have been lucky enough to get a couple from some of my favorite bloggers. First up, the Beautiful Blogger award! The rules follow….

1. Thank and link to the FABULOUS bloggie who nominated you. My hugest thanks to Bunny, Basic Girl, Missy, Low Fat Lady (LFL actually nominated me for the Blogger BFF award, but it’s very similar to this one and might take me another week to post!), Tio and Finch. You guys are awesome writers and wonderful women and I love visiting your blogs to find out what’s up in your worlds each day. In short: You rock.
2. Place the award in your blog. (Finally!)
3. Try to stop thinking about your cyst and a March cycle for a little while and instead come up with seven random & interesting things about yourself.
4. Nominate seven amazing bloggies and link to them. I have been such a slacker on this front that I will refrain from (re-)bestowing this awesome award upon all of you lovely ladies. If anyone out there has not received this award, put it up on your blog now, from me to you!

1. French fries and brussels sprouts: I’m equally obsessed. That kind of sums me up, in a way. I love splurging, but I’m generally pretty healthy.

2. Hubs and I met in Latin class our freshman year of college. I think it’s kind of awesome we’ve known each other since we were 18 years old.

3. I played soccer, basketball and tennis in high school and college. I have slowly fizzled out on keeping them all up as an “adult.” This is a very boring thing about me, but I wanted to share it in case you thought I came out of the womb running marathons. I did not…running was always a necessary evil of playing sports. Then I got addicted somewhere around age 22, when I suddenly had no organized sports activities to let off steam.

4. I have an older brother, younger sister and younger brother. Hubs has a little brother and little sister and a bunch of cousins. I love being from a big family!

5. I’ve always wanted to live in Portland, Oregon. Probably not ever in the cards for us, but I love that city. (My grandparents retired to Oregon so I grew up visiting them there.) My secret dream is that I work for Nike and wear sneakers to work every day and drink lots and lots of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. After putting my three children to bed, natch. 🙂

6. I am kind of of obsessed with birds. Like, cute and happy birds. I have a lamp with birds carved onto it (sounds creepy, is very cute, check it out). I commissioned a friend of a friend to do two bird paintings for our kitchen (actually they are kind of creepy). Hubs doesn’t get it, but he loves me anyway.

7. I’m currently stocking pomegranate juice (to improve lining!) and grapefruit juice (to improve CM!) in my cupboard. I’ll probably invest in some pineapple juice down the road too—cuz I heard it helps with implantation. What, did you think I could go a whole seven things without talking about getting pregnant?! Not a chance.

Next up! Mama Courtney at The Road Worth Traveling nominated me for the HAPPY 101 Award. Thank you so much, Bestie! The rules are: List 10 things that make you happy!

1. Waking up before the alarm goes off and realizing I still have a couple hours left to sleep. Ahhh.

2. Making hubs “pay the toll” (give me a smooch) when he walks down the hall past my study. Also known as “violent affection” in our household (when you are overwhelmed by the extreme cuteness of the other person and become physically incapable of not folding them up into a bear hug that instant).

3. The clear-headed, tired, happy feeling I get after I go running.

4. Clean, crisp sheets. I would change them every day if I could.

5. I love shower and bath products. My all-time fave body scrub is Brown Sugar Body Polish by Fresh. It’s pricey, so I tend to save it for big days at work or before a special night out. I also love Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser. You use it and feel like your world is right again, like you just got a spa treatment—it’s that good.

6. Ugg boots. I know they are hideous, but I love traipsing around the apartment in them and some “lounge pants after a long day at work. Also known as my “domestic outfit.”

7. Cooking. (And eating.) I think you all probably gathered that from the amount I talk about it! Last night hubs and I made pasta from scratch and homemade bolognese sauce. It was LEGIT!

8. Getting a handwritten letter in the mail. Isn’t it just the best? My Mom and I write each other letters.

9. LOST, my very, very favorite TV show. ‘Nuff said! (It’s on tonight!)

10. A day off work. We got President’s Day off yesterday and I loved every second of it.

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Not very elegant & graceful (but trying)

I have not written much lately! After I had my impatient/totally discouraged–breakdown a week ago Thursday (that seems like a million years ago, but it’s only been 11 days, crazy), I talked to my Mom about our treatment status. (I hadn’t discussed IF stuff with her for a few weeks.) She was mostly helpful and understanding. She could hear my extreme frustration with this cyst situation and calmly advised me to be “elegant and graceful” in the face of this setback. Which is kinda creepy 1950s-ish speak, but she also has a point. I haven’t had very much “nice” to say about my situation lately, so I’ve opted to chill out on the blogging just a bit.

Two months has given me waaaaaaaay too much time to reflect on how our next cycle will go. Given my history, I’m pretty much assuming I will always get a cyst and have to take a couple of months off after each medicated cycle…which gives me about four chances a year to get pregnant! That puts a lot of pressure on this upcoming cycle. Because if it doesn’t work, it may be summer before I’m trying again. (Did you see how I just went from hypothetical to doomsday?! I can’t stop doing that lately!)

I’ve also been hyper-, hyper-aware of how my left ovary feels. I must admit, I still feel that dull ache that I’ve noticed since I started the Provera last month. I’d like to believe that it’s all in my head, but I have a feeling that darn cyst just isn’t going down. But, I keep reminding myself, Dr. C said in his email that we’d consider draining it if it’s still there when I finish up the BC. I’m just gonna have to be firm and aggressive and demand that he follows through on that! I’ve been seeing the RE since October, it’s time for me to cycle again!!

Anyway, aside from my halfway-successful attempts at being “elegant and graceful” during this second break month, I have had some fun times, too! I met up with A, Al, Basic Girl and and Erin on Friday night for an awesome bloggies dinner. These women are smart, fun, funny, kind and beautiful. In short: awesome. I know if we’d randomly met in real life, I would be friends with each and every one of them—and that is pretty darn cool. We had lots of good laughs and great conversation at dinner, it was so good for my soul. I think we finally had to call it a night at 10:30pm….but we easily could’ve chatted for another few hours!

I also had a lovely Valentine’s Day with hubs! We spent yesterday running errands around town and getting the house in order, then cooked up some Sheperd’s Pie for din. (Mmm.) It was mellow and perfect.

And that, my friends, is about all that’s up with me. Two more weeks to make it through before we figure out how to deal with this cyst. I. Can. Do. This. Right?

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By popular demand(ish)

In the comments of my last post, my faithful readers wondered 1) what my hair cut looks like, and 2) about my Super Bowl recipes!

1) Disclaimer: I do NOT  look anything like Gwyneth Paltrow, except I adore this style she began sporting last spring and copied it. It’s super low-maintenance (perf for a runner girl like me) and it’s sunnily, naturally blonde (perf for a, let’s be honest, dirty blonde like me). Maybe someday I will post an actual pic of myself. Until then, I don’t mind if, when you think of Egg, you think of Gwyneth. 🙂 Totally wrong, but no harm for now!

2) I’m including the prosciutto-wrapped dates with cheese and mint recipe below, because it seemed to be the biggest bloggie crowd-pleaser out of all of the delicious-ness hubs and I cooked on Sunday. (It’s an easy recipe, promise!) It was a pretty random SB snack, I must admit. But I’ve been wanting to make something like this ever since I sent Kate from This Place Is Now a Home to Avec after our bloggers-meet-IRL drink a couple weeks ago. (Avec does this dates dish spectacularly well, you must order it if you are ever in Chicago and eating there.) This Bon Appetit version did not disappoint. Unless you’re serving a crowd, you may want to half this recipe…it makes a whole lotta dates.

Ingredients

  • 20 Medjool dates
  • 20 whole fresh mint leaves
  • 1 3-ounce piece Manchego cheese, cut into twenty 1 1/2×1/4×1/4-inch strips
  • 4 3-ounce packages thinly sliced pancetta (we used prosciutto and did not use nearly this much)

Preparation

  • Cut small slice off 1 short end of each date and discard. Using tweezers or needlenose pliers, carefully remove pits from dates through small opening; discard pits. Place 1 mint leaf across opening of 1 date, covering cavity. Using 1 cheese strip, push mint leaf and cheese into date cavity. Using fingers, pinch date opening closed. Repeat with remaining dates, mint leaves, and cheese strips. Wrap 3 pancetta slices securely around each date, enclosing date completely. Place pancetta-wrapped dates on baking sheet, spacing slightly apart. 
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake dates uncovered until pancetta is crisp and bottoms of dates caramelize, about 30 minutes. Using tongs, transfer dates to platter and serve warm.
That’s all, carry on!

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What’s up with me

As I count down the days until I begin Provera and finally start cycling again (oh, no impatience here!), here is a bit of randomness, the stuff passing my time on this off (freaking) month. 🙂

Tomorrow afternoon hubs and I are going to a Chili Cook-Off! We have gone the past three years and it’s always a great time…sampling chilis, voting for our favorites, drinking beers. (Okay, you all know I SO wish I couldn’t drink beer right now, but I’ll tryyyyyy to enjoy it.)  Hubs makes a MEAN chili himself, so we have planned to cook up our own on Sunday. His recipe is pretty much perfect, but he always gets inspired by something at the cook-off so I’m sure our Sunday rendition will be tweaked just a bit!

The temps have been quite pleasant for January—we’re talking 20s instead of single digits—and I have been taking advantage of the warm spell and running outside. My current workout sked: Three days of running outdoors, one day riding my bike indoors, one day of ellip or yoga super EZ and one day of light lifting. It’s feeling good….nothing crazy, but enough to keep me sane and buzzing with endorphins.

I have a couple of Christmas gift cards I need to use—one to Anthropologie and one to lululemon. Do you want to know something crazy? I have been putting off using them because I wanted to treat myself to some cutie preggo something-or-other in a few months. Every month that goes by on the sidelines or with a BFN, I wonder why I deprive myself of a cute new something I could wear NOW! 🙂

My hubs makes me (and my siblings and his sibs) a couple of CDs every year for Christmas. It’s all music he has discovered over the year from various secret sources. Each CD is different, customized just for that person and their tastes and personality. Oh, they are awesome, I look forward to them each year. Right now I am totally digging The Dutchess and the Duke, which made an appearance on one of my CDs. Check them out. You will not be sorry. My fave song by them, at this moment, is Scorpio.

My all-time fave female athlete is American runner Kara Goucher. I. LOVE. HER. After the mararthon world championships in August, she publicly announced she was taking a break to start a family. I recently Googled to see if the media has caught wind of her being knocked up. So far, no news of that. Since her entire life and income revolve around running at an elite level (something she can’t do while TTC or being preggo), I wonder what the pressure to make a baby must be like. Brutal, I’m sure.

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Getting geared up for Thanksgiving

Cooking has always been something my hubs and I love to do, but for years I’ve been more of a sous chef while he’s the man in charge. Well, lately, I’ve been bananas for finding recipes and cooking them all by myself. I’m finding it very therapeutic. (Hubs loves this because he comes home and plays his computer game to unwind while I dash around the kitchen!) I think this intensified penchant for cooking has something to do with the fact that I’m spending less time at the gym, but whatever the reason, I’m rolling with it.

On Tuesday night, I baked a pumpkin pie after work! It was a trial run for the one I’ll be baking on Thanksgiving at my in-laws. (I’m also making a pecan pie…and hubs is doing grilled brussels sprouts and sweet potato hash with sage.) Normally, I’d just whip up the recipe on the back of the Libby’s can. But this year I wanted to go all real-deal and so I used pumpkin puree, yams, maple syrup, fresh ginger, fresh-grated nutmeg and cinnamon stick, etc. I’m pasting the recipe below. Mmm. It’s tasty, friends. If you want to be an overachiever, you can make your own crust, too (no crust recipe here as I’m still sleuthing down a fabulous one). I’m actually debating whether or not to do that myself…

PUMPKIN PIE

(from the November 2008 issue of Cook’s Illustrated)

Filling
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup drained candied yams from 15-ounce can (see note)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
  1. While pie shell is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks, and vanilla together in medium bowl. Combine pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Remove pan from heat and whisk in cream mixture until fully incorporated. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl, using back of ladle or spatula to press solids through strainer. Rewhisk mixture and transfer to warm prebaked pie shell. Return pie plate with baking sheet to oven and bake pie for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue baking until edges of pie are set (instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175 degrees), 20 to 35 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.

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