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


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

Directions:
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


Ingredients:
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
ice
Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries for garnish

Directions:
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
Ingredients:
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)

Direction:
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.


Weeks 24 & 25 Baby Update

If my boobs were smaller I wouldn't look quite so large and in charge... but dang the pregnancy boobs.


Yesterday at the gym, 25 weeks.

24/25 Week Pregnancy Update


Size: Baby B is the size of a loaf of bread. 

Due Date: November 2 (measured for Nov 6 at the ultrasound, but they aren't changing it). I'm betting I have the baby in October. 

Heartbeat: At my ultrasound appointment it was about 122 and then at the OB the next week it was back to 166. Also known as, you can't predict gender with my children. 

Symptoms: Indigestion is still bad but manageable. I'm taking Zantac and Prilosec and it really keeps it in check. I also have to watch what I eat, anything sugary makes my indigestion bad. 

Currently Missing: I'd love some Bluebell ice cream or a big piece of chocolate cake. I'm making my favorite chocolate cake for Jeremy's birthday, which is conveniently after my glucose test, and plan on just suffering for the cause.

Cravings and Favorite Foods: I got a recipe for Alabama White BBQ Sauce this week and have slathered it on everything that holds still. I'll post my current favorite salad recipe on Friday!

Sleep: Good, when I get up to go to the bathroom it wakes the baby up. So all the kicking keeps me up for a bit longer. Mom sent Jeremy the My Pillow for his birthday and I got one too... that sucker is comfortable. We also ordered a Sensorpedic Sensor Cool Gel Mattress Topper on sale this week and I can't wait to put it on the bed. Our mattress is at a point of either needing to be replaced or do something like this. This topper should extend the life of it and help up both sleep better.

Food Aversions: 
Nothing really. Toddler food doesn't smell good. Sweets make me sick but they aren't an aversion.

Exercise: We were out of town for literally 15 days visiting family, so workouts weren't happening. Now that we are back I'm combining the Faster Way to Fat Loss Fit Pregnancy workouts with the free month of Pure Barre I won. Cardio makes me want to die, half because I'm so out of breath and half because it's uncomfortable.

Reading/Baby Related Classes and Prep:
Mama Natural Week by Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth
Mom's On Call 0-6 Month

I'm now flipping through two Bradly Method books, Husband Coached Childbirth and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. Any extra comfort and position tips for labor are more than welcome.

Weight: 15 lbs total before the July appointment. I freaked out for a second, but it's within range on the weight gain chart for this point in time. My stomach is out there big time, but my boobs are the problem. I've gone up bra sizes 3 times now.

Movement: All the time. Jeremy is finally feeling it this week.

Maternity Clothing: Yes. I'm loving my non maternity swing dresses from Old Navy that I talked about here. The only issue has been maternity workout clothing. I can't very well wear Jeremy's shirts to Pure Barre like I can at Planet Fitness.

Gender Guess: I've got nothing. Maybe girl because I'm carrying differently, but that means nothing. I might be carrying the same but my boobs have hit the floor and are making my stomach look higher lol! Jeremy and my Mom both think girl though. I think they just want a girl.

Here's a side by side from 25 weeks with Harrison and this baby. I feel like I was lower with him, but my boobs are insane with this one.


Meal Planning Monday

We are finally back home, and y'all have no clue how happy this makes me.

Also, no links this week, just sharing what I'm up to. A no recipe kind of week.




[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 - Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (using a bag salad)

Tuesday - Burgers with Sauteed Mushroom and Onions, Havarti Cheese, and White BBQ Sauce, served with Roasted Potatoes and Cucumbers

Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Meatball Subs

Friday - Fried Shrimp & Catfish, Fries, Coleslaw - working on a few recipes to go with this that will be up soon. 

Saturday & Sunday - I haven't thought this far yet lol! 

Breakfast - eggs, a sweet potato, and a peach
Lunch - a new recipe I'll share later in the week! 

Five on Friday

It is Friday right?

We've been traveling so much I don't know up from down at the moment. But being back in my own bed for the weekend is glorious... over 9 hours of sleep last night.

So this week's favorites:

[ O N E ]

I finally broke down and ordered the Buffet serum from The Ordinary. I've loved every product I've used from them in the past so getting one that combines everything I want in a serum should make me just as happy.

In case you're wondering... I use (in this order) Teddie Organic Rose Hip Oil, whaterver serum, either CeraVe lotion or cream depending on day or night, then Neutrogena 100 SPF during the day. I was also topping off my night routine lately with a sample of Dermatologica Sound Sleep, its's okay but not worth the full price container of it. I'll stick to The Ordinary... and then my beloved RetinA once I'm done with pregnancy and nursing.

[ T W O ]

This made me laugh way too hard.

Harrison has gotten to the fun age of copying us in prayer. He also wants to sing "Jesus Loves Me" before bed and I won't even talk about how I've now sleep trained myself and start yawning when I sing it.

Anyway.

After two grandparents houses and not living what he deems his best life I caught him praying to watch Ninja Turtles before we got home. I looked over and his had his little hands clasped together and kept saying "watch turtles" over and over. So I said: "Harry are you praying that you can watch turtles?" His response: "Yes." And then continued to plead to Jesus that he could watch turtles... 3 year olds.

<blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk3JTomhhBD/" data-instgrm-version="8" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:500px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:62.5% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"></div></div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk3JTomhhBD/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">When you’re so happy to finally be home that you’re praying you can “watch turtles” driving into the neighborhood. I feel ya kid. #noisylittleharry</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A post shared by <a href="https://www.instagram.com/labride/" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;" target="_blank"> E M I L Y - LOUISIANA BRIDE</a> (@labride) on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2018-07-05T19:25:59+00:00">Jul 5, 2018 at 12:25pm PDT</time></p></div></blockquote> <script async defer src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js"></script>

[ T H R E E ]

This baby is all up in my hip area and sciatic nerves. Some days I walk fine. Other days I might as well be 90. I don't know how much of this is just mom amnesia or what, but I don't remember Harrison tormenting me in this way before my 3rd trimester. This baby also takes zero breaks. I could get up during the night and sway around to knock Harrison back out to get more sleep, if I get up to potty I think I'm waking this one up. It immediately starts moving around and takes me forever to fall back asleep. Fingers crossed this isn't any indication of things to come. 

[ F O U R ] 

I'm something frugal about products, my husband might disagree... but he exceeds my frugality. So with that said it took me months before I broke down to try out the Dry Bar Dry Shampoo. What finally made me do it was the Red Stick Moms Blog Bloom Event. The girl there curled my hair and added some in... and the next day my hair looked just washed. I can get by with other brands of dry shampoo, but this legit makes my greasy head not look greasy. So after a solid two months of using their travel size can and still not using it up I broke down and bought the big can. And y'all, I am not lying, this stuff if Christmas Miracle beauty product status. If you hate washing your hair everyday you definitely need some of it.


On a side note, I used the brunette version of Batiste for ages but couldn't after dying my hair. This doesn't leave the white cast I had issues with in other products so I don't even bother either their colored versions. 

[ F I V E ]

In other hilarious Harry things that I want to remember... he has discovered attempting to distract us by pointing out his "boo-boos." If we bring out the medicine... he points to the immense amount of boo-boos on his legs. Suggest he put on pajamas... boo-boos. Lotion, that just causes boo-boos. Yesterday took the cake though. We were at Chic-fil-a and I wanted him to eat at least one bite of food to play and get ice cream (shocker he got neither because stubborn is more important at the moment). Every time I suggested he eat a bite to go and play he had to display his recent boo-boos. I look like a nut in public because I'm trying to enforce something but giggling at the boo-boo distraction technique that doesn't work. 


Chicken and Sausage Creole

I don't make a lot of Cajun food... don't let people lie to you but North Louisiana isn't Cajun land. No, it's more of a down home country food place. Think Paula Dean food. 

Years ago I made Chicken and Sausage Creole on the blog back in the land of not having to post pictures. I know that might confuse some younger bloggers... but 10 years ago Pinterest, Twitter, and IG didn't exist... so no photo needed in any post you published really. 

Hence the high time for a recipe update...


I really love this recipe because it's insanely easy to make and very hearty. My only warning is to be careful with your sausage. I managed to pick up some really spicy andoullie this time and it was good but REALLY hot. 


Chicken and Sausage Creole


Ingredients:
serves 4-6
1 lb chicken, cut into cubes
1 lb Cajun seasoned sausage, sliced
10 oz bag of Pictsweet Seasoning Blend
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp sugar

4 cups of cooked rice for serving

Directions:
Saute chicken and sausage in a large pot with seasoning blend until meat is cooked through and veggies are softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add in worcestershire sauce, cajun seasoning, parsley, and sugar. Top with crushed tomatoes, stir to combine. Put a lid on the pot and cook at a simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over the rice.

*For those of you who don't live in the where Seasoning Blend is sold, it's just onion, celery, bell pepper, and parsley.