chocolate peanut butter magic shell

Posted: October 3rd, 2014

chocolate peanut butter magic shell

I know, I know.  I am so late to this.  And it’s really not much of a recipe (but hey, I have an almost two month (what?!) old).  But it seems like I would be remiss not to tell you about the one dessert that has been dominating our kitchen for the past two+ months.  We love this so much.  It’s the homemade version of my favorite store-bought ice cream topping, a chocolate and peanut butter sauce that hardens up over the cold ice cream to give you a crunchy shell on top (for those of you unfamiliar…which surely is no one). Read more »

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crispy mustard roasted chicken

Posted: September 30th, 2014

crispy mustard roasted chicken

This is a dish that will forever be implanted in my memory, because it is last thing I made and ate before I went into labor with Evelyn.  We were having my parents over for dinner, really as a way to distract us while we were waiting for Evelyn’s arrival, and for dinner we had crispy mustard roasted chicken with green beans and cous cous and some frozen yogurt for dessert. Read more »

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my postpartum meal survival guide

Posted: September 25th, 2014

postpartum meal survival guide

weeks 1-2: the meals everyone brought us

I don’t think I cooked anything for at least the first week and a half to two weeks that we were home.  Family and friends were so good about bringing us food.  My parents bought us an anniversary dinner for our first night home (since we missed our actual anniversary date seeing as how Evelyn was being born).  Gerrit’s parents brought us burgers and Chick-fil-a and friends of our brought us Mexican.  Our church brought us meals from the freezer.  My grandmother and great-aunt brought us a big pan of baked chicken.

I’m telling you, we were set.

week 3: meals from my freezer

In the weeks leading up to Evelyn’s birth, I made several meals that I put in my freezer.  I would make double batches of some favorites and and freeze half of it in disposable pans with labels on the top (and eat the other half that night).  It was so great to be able to pull something out of the freezer in the morning, stick it in the oven for about 30 minutes or so in the evening, and have dinner ready.  The most I had to do in addition to this was sometimes put some rice in the rice maker or some frozen sweet potato fries in the oven.  And since some of these meals were big portions, many times we had leftovers for the next night or lunch the next day.

My freezer meals included:
- mushroom lasagna
- white chicken lasagna with sun-dried tomatoes
- chicken poppy seed casserole
- pizza pasta

Some other ideas that I didn’t have time to get in my freezer:
- sweet corn and mascarpone lasagna
- pesto lasagna
- baked rigatoni with tiny meatballs

weeks 4-6: cooking easy dinners

By about week four postpartum I felt ready to get back into the kitchen again a bit.  We were finally starting to get a semi-decent amount of sleep and were slowly finding our rhythm.  So I made a list of quick and easy meals that require very little prep time.  We rotated through several of these meals, mixed in with occasionally grabbing take out and going to eat at our families’ houses every once in awhile.

{1} baked chicken thighs (olive oil, salt, pepper, seasonings, 40 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees F), sauteed zucchini with almonds, rice

{2} fried rice (made with leftover rice)

{3} baked potatoes

{4} asian marinated salmon, almond green beans, cous-cous (probably the most involved meal on this list)

{5} chickpea pasta, baked frozen sweet potato fries

{6} store-bought rotisserie chicken, garlic bread with a store-bought baguette, a roasted vegetable

{7} chicken pesto panini, baked frozen sweet potato fries (again)

weeks 7+

Now that Evelyn is 7 weeks old, I’m almost fully back in the kitchen, cooking normal meals (although I still rely on easy favorites for many nights).  It takes some juggling…I need Gerrit to be home from work in time to take care of Evelyn while I make dinner, I need to feel up to it (and to be honest some nights I haven’t and we’ve scrapped dinner and gone to grab Chick-fil-a).  But it feels good to be cooking and planning meals again.

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“branola” bars {+ things i’m loving lately}

Posted: September 22nd, 2014

branola bars
Life has changed so much lately, and in adapting to having a new baby, I’ve also come across some things that I love and have come to depend on regularly.

{1} The feedly app.  Since I am holding the baby so much, I am on my computer so much less.  The feedly app on my phone is helping me keep up with my blog reading though.  It is so smooth and easy to use. Read more »

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a day in the life {with a 6 week old}

Posted: September 19th, 2014

I thought this would be a fun project to take on occasionally.  The thing about taking pictures of your day is it really makes you think about each moment and how you spend your time, even when your time is consumed with a baby.  I know I’ll want to remember how we spend our days right now, because next month and the next and next year and in five years it will all be different.

These are pictures from Wednesday, September 17.

{Just a side note–you’ll noticed there are a couple of pictures of Evelyn here, but generally those are going to be pretty few and far between, especially as she grows older.  We’re trying to find the right balance between sharing her life simply because her life is a part of our lives, and protecting her privacy.}

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Sawyer.  Always in his bed.  Always.

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Morning diaper change.  While we use disposable diapers most of the time, we’ve started using cloth diapers from time to time when we are just at home.

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After some morning play time, it’s time for a nap.  Evelyn slept for a very long time this morning, giving me a chance to get some things done on my computer.

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I went to the office this afternoon to get some work done.  I’m so fortunate to have the working situation that I do: working part time for my dad, which means my schedule is very flexible and I can bring Evelyn with me.

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After work (and going by Gerrit’s office so he can show Evelyn off) it’s time for our weekly dinner at my parents’ house (which hasn’t happened in two weeks because they were passing a cold around).  The weather was perfect for rocking Evelyn on the porch, and there is nothing my mother loves more.

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Squash ready to be roasted.

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Home.  Gerrit getting a couple of things done on the computer while I go take a shower.

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Hanging up the diapers we used during the day (and that I threw in the wash before leaving for work) while Gerrit gives Evelyn a bath.

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Nightly journal time.  This is one of the things that keeps me sane.

Thanks for joining.  I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into our lives.  And I’ve enjoyed recording it so much that I think we might make this a semi-regular thing.

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