Meal Pinning Monday

Back to school.

If anyone has any extra energy to dole out send it my way. I'm pooped.

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Chicken Pot Pie (it's the recipe I saw Destin Duchess post on IG last week)

Tuesday - leftovers

Thursday -  leftovers

Friday - Grilled Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes, and Salad

Saturday - Eat Out

Sunday - Salsa Chicken Bowl (rice, crockpot salsa chicken, peppers and onions, cheese, sour cream, avocado)

Hi Blog, It's Me... Emily

Can you tell back to school has eaten my lunch?

I haven't workout out.

I haven't blogged.

The house was a disaster so when someone wanted a showing I had to speed clean... which is painful when you're in your 3rd trimester.

I am just a big ball of can't this week.

So let's have a little life update...

I won a free month at Pure Barre over the summer and have loved it, I really need to write a blog post about my experience. Sadly since school started I was kicked to weekend classes this week and can't even go today just because we have a packed schedule that doesn't allow mama to disappear.

This is also going to be a blog post... but I'll likely write about it at Lafayette Moms Blog. 

Last night... or I should start out with during the day Jeremy called me to say that our wonderful sitter had offered to keep kids that night so couples could go on dates. 

He hopped on this one quick and I tried to talk him out of what he wanted to do, but I'm glad I didn't. We ended up driving into Baton Rouge to eat at Doe's Eat Place. I tried to take him for his birthday last week but alas we got a flat tire and those plans were cancelled. 

So last night we went. Now you can split their steaks, the lowest size is a 2lb-er and we are usually a 1lb-er couple... individually. I eat about half of mine and split it with another meal, Jeremy not so much. This steak though, meant to be shared. But with my regulations with food during pregnancy (cough I wanted mid rare cough) I wasn't going to make him suffer. I also wasn't going to follow through and got a medium well, I almost died ordering that... I would have been carried off by ambulance if I had to ask for a well done steak. We worked in a nice restaurant, I refuse to take the side eye that comes with burnt meat. 

Anyway, best steak I've had in the history of my life. 

I made Jeremy get their tamales jus to see how they compared to my Delta Tamales... they were legit... mine are legit. Everyone was happy. Everything here was perfectly seasoned. The fried drop biscuits were to die for. The bread pudding tasted like my grandmother's. 

But hey, it's a restaurant that originated in Greenville, MS. Actual southerners know what is up. 

In the mean time, Harrison had the time of his life while we were away. 

I wouldn't have posted this pic but I think the sunglasses cover up faces well.

Now Jeremy recently mentioned how he'd like to have a big brother/little whatever this is shirt for the hospital. I mentioned that to my mother... so you can see where this is going.

We ended up getting this sibling set from Little Faces Apparel. Perfect gender neutral set and super cute.

That's about it with life at the moment.

I don't think I mentioned my glucose test debacle... I had to take the 3 hour. Luckily I passed, my poor arms did not.

It's also the TDAP Vac time of pregnancy, everyone get's one. It's just not as exciting as Oprah handing out cars.

Other than that, I'll be back Monday with a meal plan... unless I forget or fall asleep.

Thought on Breastfeeding at the End of my Second Trimester

Next weeks marks the 3rd trimester and only 13ish weeks before we meet this next child face to face.

Having successfully nursed my first born for 17 months you'd think I would be ready and raring to go on this one, but not so much.

You see, I know what goes into it. I monitored my calorie intake, fat intake, water intake. I spent so much time hooked up to a pump all the while using hand massage techniques to help with my pumping output. When Harrison finally started sleeping through the night I took advantage of that big supply I had at 2AM and continued to get up at that time just to pump more milk. It was exhausting to work full time, have to supply milk for a sitter, and nurse when I was home.

Lest we also not forget, mama doesn't possess the ability to miss bedtime for over a year.

Our kids will go on all of our dates for the unforeseen future. Unless there's a sitter that doubles at a wet nurse out there. But still, I refused to pump in the car or at a restaurant. I'd rather just nurse the baby and carry it along.

To do all of this again, supplements, tracking macros, water intake galore, pumping... it's an exhausting thought.

But I do it so that 1) my child gets breastmilk 2) it saves us so much money and 3) it's such a nice chance to cuddle my baby, especially since I have to work out of the home.

I'm not at all concerned with pumping so other people can feed the baby. You will never see my pump for a time that I could just as easily whip a boob out. The fact that someone else wants to feed the baby, the them I say "you fed your own, this one is mine." It might not go the same for men, but the extra cuddles are my reward for not sleeping throughout a pregnancy because the child would start kicking at random times. Or reward for how sick I was, or all the blood test... and hello, childbirth.

So while parts of me dread the work that goes into breastfeeding a second baby, I also look forward to the forced time to sit. I'm not a sitter. Usually I'm up doing something around the house.

The only real downside to nursing this second baby... my husband has figured me out.

It was well over a year before he really participated in the bedtime routine, I didn't encourage it. Then one day he waltzes in only to find out just how cuddly Harrison was at bedtime and I have yet to shake him. He's now a bedtime fixture... except that Harrison is no longer cuddly. He's more of a maniac.

So, new baby. Might as well be brand new everything. I know I'll have to relearn the whole shabang... except my art of hiding out to nurse. Because that's mama's time.

Meal Planning Monday

I was livin' la low carb until about 2:40 today. We wrapped up that glucose test, picked up more diapers from Sam's Club... and I got a big fat salty pretzel.

I've actually never gotten one before, I've snacked on what Jeremy had of course, but one all to myself. That was reward to 1) not puking during the test 2) not crying when they drew blood and 3) Jeremy making me pop his back this morning and gagging when it did.

I can't take that sound!

Anyway, here's dinner.

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Wednesday - leftovers

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - Family Reunion... I need a side idea

Sunday - leftovers, it's my favorite guy's birthday and we are living it up at Doe's Eat Place before we come back Saturday. 

Oh and my favorite birthday cake to make for him >>> Plaster Cake
I wish he had stronger opinions about life, like I'm a ride or die Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake gal. 

Cranberry Orange Lemonade with Cape Cod Select

I'm really excited to be participating in the Cape Cod Select Summer Breeze Recipe Challenge. I've not been one to come up with new ways to make things this last year, so having something new on hand and the push to try to come up with something new has been fun this summer. 

So for the next 3 recipes I share they will all be based around using Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries. 

Cranberry Orange Lemonade with Cape Cod Select

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the product, I've never cooked with fresh or frozen cranberries before. I'm such a sucker for buying pre-made cranberry sauce or using dried in more cranberry related recipes. I guess the best surprise was how much I decided I loved frozen cranberries and just how much everyone loved the recipes. 

A little about the company: Cape Cod Select is a women-owned family business. The Rhodes family has been growing cranberries on their 800 acre farm for 75 years and are now in their 4th generation. Their cranberries are Non-GMO verified & they also focus on sustainability and power their facilities with primarily solar power using better growing practices on their farm. 

Cranberry Orange Lemonade with Cape Cod Select

Now for this Cranberry Orange Lemonade. 

I started out just wanting to make a plain Jane lemonade with cranberries added in, but when I started making my no bake cheesecake and had two whole naval oranges left... I had to add something to this. 

The result was a lemonade that is perfect for summer and could easily transition to your table for a holiday... that is if you want something cold. We don't have particularly cold winters here, so this could be incredibly refreshing during Thanksgiving. 

Now keep in mind, the cranberry base/sauce I am making is super versatile. I am using it in all 3 of my recipes for this challenge and you could even use it as the cranberry sauce you pop on the table this year for Thanksgiving. It's simple, tasty, and a great base if you wanted to add more spices. 

Cranberry Orange Lemonade with Cape Cod Select

Basic Cranberry Sauce

2 lbs of frozen Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Place cranberries, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes until they are soft.  Mash with a potato masher or use an immersion blender to smooth out the cranberry sauce. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes until thickened.

Cranberry Orange Lemonade

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup Basic Cranberry Sauce
1 cup of fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 cups of cold water
Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries for garnish

In a small sauce pan bring the sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil. Turn off the heat. Add cranberry sauce, orange juice, and lemon juice to the mixture. Stir well. (If the cranberry sauce isn't "dissolving" into the mix well just turn the heat back on and the warmth should help it blend in better.) Pour cranberry mixture and remaining water into a pitcher. Stir well and add ice. Pour into glasses and serve with Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries for garnish. 

** Tip: When I juice my two naval oranges they came out to about 1 cup. If you have a little less just add more lemon juice to get to 1 1/2 cups of citrus juice total for the recipe. 

Cranberry Orange Lemonade with Cape Cod Select

To find Cape Cod Select on social media:
Instagram - @CapeCodSelect
Twitter - @CapeCodSelect

Sun Dried Tomato and Feta Salad

When we were in Monroe a few weeks ago I ordered the lunch special at a local restaurant. Honestly I was nervous about sun dried tomatoes in a salad, I've only ever used them in cooked dishes.

But y'all. It was amazing.

So amazing I've eaten it nearly daily for 3 weeks (well the days we've been home in the 3 weeks).

The original salad had arugula in it, but that is a hard to come by lettuce variety at our local grocery store. So instead I have gone between romaine (because it was already in the fridge) and the Marketside Super Blend from Wal-Mart. 

But in an effort to sound like Ina Garten... any lettuce variety is just fine. 

<h2> Sun Dried Tomato and Feta Salad</h2>

Serves 1
2 tbsp of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp white balsamic
chopped up chicken (I used a few grilled chicken tenders)
1/2 bag 5 oz Marketside Super Blend Salad (this is a blend of Brussel Sprouts, Napa Cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots, and kale)

Place salad onto a plate, top with sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, and feta. Pour over the white balsamic (or just use regular). Top with chicken and toss to combine.

I don't add any oil to this just because I use the bit of oil from the tomatoes as my oil. It tastes great, the brand I was able to get had garlic in it so it was slightly seasoned.