Saturday, May 28, 2011

Caprese Chicken Recipe

This is one of my FAVORITE things to cook. I shared it with Ky and thought I would share on the blog. It is perfect for the summer!


-Chicken breast (grilled, baked, or breaded*)

-Fresh basil (chopped)

-Small onion (diced)

- Garlic

-2 containers of cherry tomatoes halved (I actually use more but we really love tomatoes in this house.)

-Fresh mozzarella cheese (thin to medium sliced). If you can’t find fresh shredded mozzarella cheese is ok, but if you can get fresh use that!

*Now you can grill the chicken, bake it, or bread/fry it (to bread and fry the chicken I suggest pounding out the chicken a bit so it cooks all the way through and the outside doesn’t get burnt but stays golden brown. Then for the breading - place pounded out chicken (or chicken cutlets) in flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs and fry up in a skillet with a little vegetable oil). I have tried both breaded and grilled and both are wonderful.


- Grill/bake/fry some chicken breasts. (Your preference.)

Pounded out chicken

- While the chicken is cooking........In a skillet with a little olive oil and over medium heat cook up a small or half a medium onion diced with some garlic.

- After a couple minutes (just enough time to let the onions start to soften) add the halved cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Let them cook until the tomatoes start to fall apart and are soft and the onions are soft and cooked.

- Remove from the heat. Add as much chopped fresh basil as you want and let heat through.

- When the chicken is done cooking place chicken on a baking sheet or oven safe container and add the tomato and basil mixture on top of the chicken breasts.

- Add slices of fresh mozzarella over the tomato mixture. You can also add Parmesan cheese if you like. Sometimes we do sometimes we don't. Heat in the oven/broiler or toaster oven just to let the cheese melt a bit. (You are not really cooking, just melting)

- Serve with a salad, veggie, pasta or whatever sounds good!

I don’t measure…so I am not sure about the quantities but you can adjust as you go and make how you prefer :)


Friday, May 27, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 25 Weeks

Baby's now the size of an eggplant! Wow, that seems big.  So THAT is what is inside me....crazy.

 BabyFruit Ticker

"Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. His weight is about a pound and a half, but he's beginning to exchange his long, lean look for some baby fat. As he does, his wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and he'll start to look more and more like a newborn. He's also growing more hair."

I then found this baby morpher website and put in our pictures.  As Terry does not take a single serious picture this is the one I picked for him!
Yep, that is the man I married and the future daddy to our son.....and I LOVE it!!!

And my picture....even though I don't have the red hair anymore I liked the picture :)

And this is the baby we made.....
HAHAHA - Awesome

Surprisingly this may not be too far off.....the curly hair, chubby cheeks and headphones. Yep, that may very well be our son!! This is actually one of the better baby morphing sites; normally the kids look deformed :)

Otherwise I am doing great. I go in for another ultrasound next Tuesday and I am hoping our stubborn child will take a good picture! Last time all we were able to get pictures of was his junk and his feet. Nice. He is totally Terry's child. I also go in for my sugar testing that sounds like fun. I am also feeling pregnant and slowing down a bit but it is all good.

The only other thing I have noticed is that I am being told rather frequently that I don't look 6 months pregnant (6 times in the last 2 weeks!). I was asked twice this week; when will you start showing more. And my favorite; are you on a diet.

Let it be said again, we are ALL different with different body types. So please, how you looked 6 months into your pregnancy is not how I will look. I have also read that first-time moms often start showing later because their muscles haven't been stretched by a previous pregnancy. Also, I am 5'10 and have a long torso which means Henry has more space to fill, lengthwise before he starts to move outward. And granted you may be concerned about no weight gain because I am basically at my pre-pregnancy weight. But I lost some weight the first trimister and being I was also overweight to start with and I really should only gain between 12-20 pounds during my pregnancy and I still have 15 weeks to go and my Dr. isn't concerned....I think things are just fine! It bothers me sometimes when people say that stuff...I don't know why. Other times I just laugh because there is nothing about the way my body looks that need to eat more! I mean really folks, I am not a tiny girl. And also, I feel like it is my JOB right now to eat and in all my life I have never been able to just eat and not worry about the weight gain. So this is what a high metabolism feels like! anywho....

As for Henry, I think he is doing good. We "passed" the 2nd trimester genetic quad screening test which we took since Terry is adopted. And I am feeling Henry move a LOT more, especially when it is time to eat or when I eat....the piglet loves his food! Terry still can't really feel him move, but I can tell the kicks are getting stronger and I hope soon T. will get to feel some big kicks!

25, this really does go fast!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ah….Home From Vacation!!

(A very long post)

So this past week Terry, my parents, my sister and her boyfriend all went to Hilton Head for a MUCH needed vacation! It had been a very long time since T & I went on vacation and some relaxing time away was very much needed.

Overall the trip was FANTASTIC! We had 7 nights at this beautiful condo and pretty much relaxed and ate for the entire trip. Yeah, my kind of vacation!!

We left at 1:00 am Saturday morning…yes ONE am!!! In retrospect, maybe not the best choice. The trip down was looooooong and even though Terry slept for about 6 hours before we left, just driving on the boring road in the dark made him naturally tired. Of course I stayed up as Terry can fall asleep anywhere so I figured we both needed to be up. Luckily, my doctor wanted me to stop every couple hours, so that gave us both time to walk around and wake up. We ended up making 10, yes TEN, stops along the way. CRAZY!! You know the trip is only about 12-13 hours, right?!

Reststop and visitor's center in TN. Our favorite!
Terry liked it :)

It was actually a nice trip down as we just took our time, enjoyed many of the rest areas from here to Hilton Head, and listened to music. Only drama came when we were in the hills of Kentucky and as we are driving up in the mountains with few to no exits we see the gas light come on. Now as I recall I suggested at our previous stop when we were at a ½ a tank we should just fill up, but someone else doesn’t like to fill up until we are at least at a ¼ of a tank. So in a mild state of panic knowing we hadn’t seen exits for awhile, we took our trusty TomTom* that our friend let us borrow for the trip and found the nearest gas station was 5 miles away. Terry usually doesn’t worry about that stuff, but it was a little tense as the last thing Terry wanted to do at 8am was to have our car run out of gas on the mountains! Longest 5 miles of the trip I must say. However we made it to the gas station and my 14 gallon tank drank up 14 and ½ gallons of gas!! Nice. Let’s just say we didn’t make that same mistake on the trip back.

The mountains after the gas situation.

We arrived in Hilton Head at 5pm. We unloaded our car, looked around at the awesome condo and ordered pizza for dinner since we were ALL exhausted. By the time I went to bed at around 9:30 that night, I had been up for 36 hours with only an hour nap during that time. Basically, everyone in that house was ready for an early night!

But the condo itself was really nice. (Great pick Mom & Dad!!!) Two full bathrooms, three bedrooms, full kitchen, dining room, living room, a deck with a grill, a balcony, about a mile from this cool plaza, and about .2 miles from the beach. It also had two pools and was really quiet.


Our Room

Turtles in the lagoon. See those three little heads? 
There were like 15 turtles in this little lagoon.

Getting Sun
Hello Turtle!

I probably took at least another 20 pics of just turtles :)

The rest of the week was great. The weather was actually fantastic, sometimes even a little chilly in the evenings – PERFECT! Sunday it was in the 80’s but it wasn’t again until Friday and the Saturday we left that it got back up in the upper 80’s and was humid. The entire week it was in the 70’s/low 80’s. YAY!!

We also walked a LOT! (Which made me feel a little better about all the food I ate.) There was a shopping plaza about a mile away from where we were so we walked there a few times. Mom, Kristen and I even spent a morning at an outlet mall and had a lovely time together and got some great deals on clothes! Ok, Henry made out really well at those outlet malls…..but who can pass up a $5 pair of OshKosh jeans or $7 footie pajamas from Carters?! Not us.

And the food….oh the food!! We ate some really great food while down there. I think my favorite was Skull Creek Boathouse. It was the first place we went too and the food was AMAZING! T & I got hushpuppies & hot peel and eat shrimp as an appetizer (YUM!!), and then Terry got clam chowder and a mix of fresh seafood for dinner and I got Dungeness crab legs. This place had everything and I think everyone had an amazing meal!

We also tried the Old Oyster Factory one night and we had some amazing oysters Rockefeller, Terry had raw oysters and a seafood pasta for dinner, we had more hushpuppies and I had this spinach and crab stuffed flounder. Again, it was all wonderful!! Oh and for dessert we got 2 desserts to split between four of us. An amazing key lime cheesecake and a dark mouse with berries. *drool*

We found a New Orleans place called Kenny B’s and had some delicious Po’Boy sandwiches and beignets. Totally my kind of food and SO good.

There was also this cupcake place called Sweet Caroline’s Cupcakes… had awesome cupcakes. Only complaint there was the cupcakes are $3.50-$4 EACH! How can I get my cupcake on for that price?! Maybe it is good they were not cheaper or I would have eaten more than I should have!! I had the red velvet from there and this one which was a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting INSIDE the cupcake and then chocolate fudge ganache on top with vanilla frosting on top of that. Think a ho ho cake times 100!! Honestly, I would have paid more for that cupcake.

We also ate many many many other places while down there and most of them were really good. There were a few duds, but really no complaints at all!

One day we headed over to Savannah. My husband LOVES this town. I mean he wants to retire there or even move there tomorrow. I had never been, nor had pretty much everyone else, so we took a 90 minute trolley tour of the town which was great. It is a very interesting town full of lots of history. Very fascinating. We also ate at a great place called the Cotton Exchange Tavern….BEST clam chowder and BEST clam soups we had. DELICUOUS! We also got some pralines, which I had never had because there is nothing about pecans I enjoy. HOWEVER, the pralines there were amazing. Sorry pecans, when put inside a freshly made praline you are delicious! We walked into the candy store and you instantly got a cavity as the smell of cooked butter and sugar just surrounded you. It smelled amazing. We brought back plenty of pralines for us as well as some Honey from the Savannah Bee Company. Terry also had to get a drink and walk around the town so he got a frozen drink called “Call a Cab”. It basically was 151 Rum with a bit of fruit juice. Awesome. He was a bit tipsy after that. I really want to go back to Savannah. We didn’t realize that many of the tourist things close at 5pm, so you can’t get into the church and many buildings after that which was a bit of a bummer. But we did get an overall good look at the city which is great for first-timers. And there is no doubt in my mind we will be back to check out many of the places we didn’t get around to seeing.

So pretty there.

Besides eating ALL. THE. TIME. We also played putt-putt, went to the beach, and explored Hilton Head. It is a quiet place. Things close early and there is not a lot to do, but it is relaxing which is really nice. A week was a perfect amount of time to not get too bored there and to not get to too annoyed being in such close spaces!!

At the beach. Lovely.

Kristen and I

He will NEVER take a serious picture :)

And one last thing, during this trip I felt very much pregnant. I guess you don’t feel as pregnant when you just come home and flop on the couch, but it really hit me that I was pregnant. Between trying to get comfortable at different places, all the walking, sweating from EVERY PORE on my body (no human should sweat as much as I did….and it wasn’t even that hot), finding clothes that fit but were comfortable, being tired, always being hungry or really full, stopping what felt like every 5 minutes to pee, having to tuck my swimsuit top into my bottoms because my belly kept flopping out of the swimsuit (attractive), always breathing like I just ran a marathon, not enjoying having to bend down to get my golf ball during putt-putt and instead having T. get it for me…..yep I felt pregnant!!

Here is me on vacation at 24 weeks. Look at the stretching on that shirt….It is giving it all it can, no?!

Honestly, at times it was a little annoying (like how much I was sweating – seriously, it was gross – I WAS GROSS). BUT I also embraced it too. I have really tried to embrace EVERY step along the way, and even the one where I had a break down in the car because I was tired, hungry and felt stupid because I had to stop every 90 minutes….it may have taken me longer, but I eventually embraced that moment of crazy as well. I embrace the fact that I have to wear panty liners EVERY day and when it was really hot I started to sweat and after I sat down the bottom of pants were damp. Nice. I embrace having to eat at least two prunes a day or else things just don’t move right in my body. I embrace that sometimes I have to walk at a pace meant for people 3 times my age. I embrace, for the first time ever, my husband rubbing my feet (under a blanket of course) because it actually feels amazing right now. I embrace that my skin is perpetually flushed and blotchy. I embrace that a portion of what I eat ends up in my now enormous cleavage and it is totally ok for me to reach down in there and pick it out and eat it. Don’t judge me. I embrace having to take a huge vitamins that make me gag EVERY single time I take them. I am trying to embrace the fact that I am hungry every 2 hours but there is a very fine line of eating too much which will most likely cause me to have to take Tums after I eat. And I spent most of the vacation embracing the fact that our lives are about to change and to just relax and enjoy this time because soon it won’t just be T & I anymore but we will have a little one in our life to take care of. And that this is totally worth EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of this so-called uncomfortableness I am going through right now. This vacation really helped me step away and take time to reflect on what is going on, spend time with my family and helped me to embrace this beautiful and slightly scary moment in our lives. This vacation was planned a year ago, but couldn’t have happened at a better time!!

So in summary: Vacation was great, I ate A LOT, I am sort of a gross person to be around right now, I am embracing pregnancy, and I feel so thankful and grateful that we all got to go on this vacation. Thanks again Mom & Dad….it was wonderful and we are SOOOOO appreciative.

*We borrowed our friend’s TomTom navigation device and I must say that I believe that thing saved our marriage. We ordered maps and a trip tik from Triple A, but I fully believe that human error is possible and can cause some heated discussions when you are already tired of driving and being in a car for so long. We have gone places like Ann Arbor or Cincinnati and had our “trusty” google directions, but it never fails that at some point those directions are wrong or one person think they know the route better or you miss a step in the directions and then let the arguing commence. But TomTom, in his wonderful British accent, told us with plenty of time to spare “in 2 miles you will exit on the right”. What, ok…thank you Thomas (we called him Thomas…seemed more fitting for such a wonderful English gentleman). His directions got us where we needed to go and he never tried to mislead us. That TomTom knew what he was doing and I thank him as it saved T. & I from what I can only imagine would have been inevitable fights and possibly one person left somewhere in Kentucky.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Cat Picture Edition!

The thing is, I love our cats. I mean I may be borderline crazy cat lady! (Like I would totally put a picture of all of our cats on a sweatshirt and wear it IN the house - see borderline crazy cat lady.)  So I am always snapping cell phone pictures of my favorite little feline friends!!

It took him about 15 minutes to finally get this on his head. And then he just sat there.
"Is this a good look for me?"
"Soooo, I don't really know what to do now."
"TA DAH!!!"

I was cleaning out our pots and pans cabinet and looked away for 2 seconds and Belle and Charlie found their way into the cabinet.  It is hard to take them out because they want right back in, so they played in there for 15 minutes until they got bored.  I am such a cool mama to the kitties :)
"I got the top shelf!!!"
"This is the coolest thing EVER!"

I woke up to find the two of them laying at the foot of the bed "looking" at each other while they slept.
"Don't you try anything funny...I am watching you!"
"I can totally hold this pose longer than you!"

After we put together the stroller.
"I am ready...lets go!!!"

*I don't know if Wordless Wednesday will ever really be totally wordless.  It is just not my thang.

Monday, May 09, 2011

A Day Late, But It MUST Be Said

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

We love you so very much and I HOPE that I can be as wonderful a mommy to Henry as you have been, and still are, to Kristen and I.

You are beautiful, giving, caring, strong, extremely talented & artistic, so very kind, oh and one smart cookie! (I know where I get!!)

You never ask for anything; well except for us girls to be happy and for us to love and care for one another. And really, I don’t know what we could give you that would come close to repaying back all the laughs that have been shared, tears you’ve wiped away, booboo’s you’ve kissed, hugs you’ve given, lessons you’ve taught, and moments we’ve shared. But know this, you are loved SO much and not a day goes by where we don’t appreciate what any amazing mother you are.

Believe me when we say that in all of time and space, we could never find a mother more wonderful than you and feel so lucky to say you ARE our mummy ;-)

Jenn & Kristen

And your other kids…Terry, Henry, Sebastian, Belle & Charlie