Sunday, February 22, 2009

The secret

Okay, so maybe it's not really a secret anymore. But, for the small handful of you who may have not figured it out yet, I'm going to spell it out for you now. I'm expecting! I'm pregnant! Yes, there is a baby on the way!

No wonder my diet has changed drastically and I can't seem to get over this darn stomach thing. I'm starting to show now, so there's no reason to beat around the bush about it anymore.

Quite some time ago I was lucky enough to get my first glimpse of the little one causing such a ruckus inside me (I needed an early sonogram to determine how far along I was at the time). He or she was practically microscopic, looking nothing like a baby, but more like a Chinese dumpling or potsticker (I was only 6 weeks, 5 days). Therefore, I started referring to my tiny swimmer as none other than "Dumpling" (I'm big on the food related names).

Now don't worry about my unborn child getting teased on the playground later in life; it's just what I'll be referring to the little one while he or she is still nestled within me. For instance, Jacob was known as "Jelly Bean" or simply "Baby Bean," before his birth, while my sister called her boys "Bubby" and "Peanut" prior to their arrivals (my aunt got Colin the cutest little onesie with a peanut on the front as a shower gift).

From what I've read, my Dumpling is now about the size of an apple, so my mother-in-law thought it was funny to refer to him or her as "Apple Dumpling." So, there we go with the food again.

I got another quick look at my tumbling Dumpling at my last doctor's appointment (that child is already on the move). I have another one scheduled this week, so I can't wait to find out when I can get a better view. I'll let you know when the time comes. In the meantime, have fun guessing whether or not it is a girl or a boy.

Tonight is our usual Oscar celebration at my parents' house. You may remember me telling you about our mini red carpet, fun menu, award predictions, and of course, the attire. Unfortunately, I don't think I should risk stretching out the tummy on one of our lovely gowns, so instead, I think I'll wear this comfy top my boss brought back from me from her trip to Thailand (she goes back to visit her family every year).

The bright color and light-weight fabric reminded me of some of the clothes Good Morning America highlighted recently to get the "Slumdog Millionaire" look (they also gave tips on dressing in fashions similar to those in "Revolutionary Road" and "Changeling"). Too bad the top isn't yellow, like the memorable hue from the movie.

"Slumdog" is definitely my pick for best picture. I've been a big fan of it, even before it won the Golden Globe.

This year, Matthew and I decided to make more informed choices as to who we think should win. Usually, we are at a disadvantage, only seeing one, if any at all, of the nominees.

Going into this vote, I've managed to see "Slumdog Millionaire," "The Wrestler," "The Reader," "Vicky Christina Barcelona," "Rachel Getting Married," "Happy Go Lucky," "Tropic Thunder," "The Dark Knight" and "Iron Man." Oh yeah, and don't forget "Wall-E," "Bolt" and "Kung Fu Panda." My son makes sure I catch the animated films, too.

Speaking of animated films, my husband and I took Jacob to see "Coraline" last night. The 3-D looks amazing, much better than the old-school flicks we've watched at home on our T.V. (check out Jacob who is sporting a pair of the updated 3-D shades) I bet it will be a strong contender next award season. We'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Make it last

You know you've heard the phrase: "Take a picture; it will last longer." So, that's what I decided to do with these Valentine flowers from my hubby.

I couldn't think of a better way to preserve these buds than with a photo shoot conveniently displayed on my blog. I can always log on to jog my memory.

Now, I also might press a few when the time is right. They keep forever that way and are great for craft projects (something I always enjoyed doing with my grandmother. She has quite the collection of phone books stuffed with perfectly dried blooms).

I just adore the peachy tone my husband selected for me. He knows me so well. Forget the traditional; I'd much rather have these blushing beauties. I don't need to receive a bouquet of red to know my man really loves me :-)

Hope you're enjoying your Valentine's Day. I sure am. And, just for the fun of it, take some time to reminisce with last year's menu. I'm thinking about doing something similar tonight.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Circle of love

If you can recall how much I adored making raw recipes with bananas (n'ice cream, cupcakes, smoothies, pudding and more), you can imagine how heart broken I was the first day even a glimpse of my former fave caused me to gag. How was I going to make it through the upcoming months without my beloved fruit?

Well, I'm happy to report that I can now consume bananas again, thanks to some encouragement from my son. He thought they'd go great in my bowl of berries, although I think he had another agenda.

You see, he really wanted me to have less room in my bowl for the strawberries he had hoped to save for himself (I know they're not in season, but they are his favorite food at the moment).

Actually, his idea proved to be a good one. The bananas tasted okay, and I continued to eat a few more slices over the past couple days.

I seem to prefer them mixed into things, so it was no surprise when a recipe on Food Network caught my attention yesterday. Jacob and I have been glued to the shows with a chocolate theme, agreeing that the Choc-Nanner-Nuts Custards on Cooking for Real would be worth a taste test (with a few modifications, of course).

Now, I had no interest in the vanilla wafer crust, but thought an almond crumble might be nice as a base. As for the filling, I was right with the host as she added the next few ingredients.

This chunky monkey concoction (she said she used to refer to just about any recipe involving bananas with this name) started out with a combination of chopped bananas, chocolate chips and nuts. She added this mixture to the mini tart shells, leaving me hopeful that this would act as the custard.

I should've known that she was still planning to make an actual custard to bind these ingredients together, but I was content with what she already had in the tart shell. It was the perfect snack for me.

I didn't have a cute little heart-shaped, tart-sized ramekin like hers. Instead, I opted for this shallow round one.

You can quickly whip one up, too. But if you are fully raw, I'd advise using some cacao nibs, a broken up raw chocolate bar or homemade raw chocolate chips (make your own raw chocolate, pipe it into mini kisses and allow to set). I hate to admit that I sprinkled some organic dairy-free, gluten-free chips in mine. I apologize for the not-fully-raw visual.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Yum, yum, gimme some :-)

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm happy to report that I'm craving grapefruit and lots of it. The best part is that I don't have a desire to cook it before I eat it. There's hope for me yet.

Unfortunately, I don't have a taste for this blast from the past. You may recall my Citrus Kicked White Chocolate with Ginger Mousse from last year. I couldn't get enough of the stuff at the time. If you didn't take this one for a test drive the first go round, give it a try now.

By the way, speaking of flashbacks, I was reminded of another post last night, as "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" was on cable. The coincidence was similar to when "Splash" came on T.V. right after I typed this memorable post.

The world works in mysterious ways, but I think I like it :-)