Wednesday, July 29, 2009

gnocchi with summer vegetables

After having market fresh yellow zucchini at Leslie's birthday party over the weekend, Nuno and I were inspired to visit the market yesterday for fresh produce. This time of year is the ideal time to buy all your produce at market. I swear, you can never find yellow zucchini at regular supermarkets, but at the farmer's market you sure can. Anyways, this is my favourite way to eat zucchini and gnocchi.

Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 zucchini or summer squash, or one of each (about 2 pounds total), quartered and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 package (15 to 16 ounces) gnocchi
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add squash and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until juicy, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook gnocchi according to package directions. Reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid, drain gnocchi and transfer to skillet. Toss gnocchi, adding enough cooking liquid to create a sauce. Remove from heat and stir in basil, cheese, butter and lemon juice.

Monday, July 27, 2009

two thirds in!

Today I went for a check-up at the OB's. It was fairly routine and pleasant and I was in and out in no time. My blood pressure is great and the baby's heartbeat is exactly where they want it to be. I had my first tummy measurement - 25 cm at 25 weeks (um, this is a vertical measurement - not circumference) - which they told me is right on and will grow one centimeter every week from here on. Can you imagine - me with a 40 cm tummy? But I'm certainly feeling the baby slowly taking over my body. I'm no longer jumping in and out of seated positions and I'm slowly inhaling and exhaling getting into bed and the car... oh, even the office chair. By no means am I trying to be dramatic, if anything it's embarrassing, but it's what I've got to do. One last point to note - the OB told me that I'm now officially in the third trimester. 15 weeks left and a pound to gain each week. It's exciting to have made it this far - the final stretch!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

dog blog

Tot seems to have an anything goes attitude up here. She's making the most of her vacation by walking on the boardwalk, swimming and boating. She's into it all!

She met a St. Bernard on her walk along the boardwalk yesterday. Big meets small. She also has friends next door, a Jack Russell and Vishla along with Timmy's new chihuahua, TURBO!

The sound and speed of the boat didn't seem to bother Tot. Even the spiders didn't phase her.
She got so bold she propped herself over the side. She seems to be all too trusting of her life jacket outfit.

Yeah, she may never want to go home.

Monday, July 20, 2009

yay! we're at the cottage!!

I'm blogging right now on the beach of my family's cottage in North Bay. We're having a great time up here, I really wish it wasn't so far away.

I thought I'd share some photos. Most of them are of Hot Tot who has really taken to life up here. She's being a big suck and seems to be getting lots of love and cuddles from all of us.

Tot's claimed this lounge chair as her own. She much prefers to spend the day in a chair - not laying on the sand like any other dog.

Or better yet - shaded and cuddling with Nuno.

Here I am happily looking pregnant. Maybe I'm pleased because I was able to fit into my swimsuit for this week at the cottage.

My dad has made a point of mentioning how happy he is that next year we'll have the fifth generation of our family up here at the cottage. It's really sweet. I've spent a lot of time daydreaming about coming up next summer. I'll be on maternity leave and my dad suggested I come up and spend time up here with the baby. I'm thrilled with the idea of spending a few weeks here and a few weeks at the other cottage we're planning on renting in the south end of the lake. It's a cabin we hope to be sharing with my cousins. It should be a wonderful summer next year - I hope the weather will be warmer.

Monday, July 13, 2009

cute baby clothes overload

I just got back from a weekend away with my mom and sister for outlet shopping in Pennsylvania. The Grove City Prime Outlet was great for me, shopping for baby stuff, but would not be so great for a group of young girls road tripping. My sister had a lot of luck at the Banana Republic store, but other than that there weren't too many deals.
But the deals for children were totally out of this world. I usually only see a couple of cute outfits while shopping for the baby at Babies R' Us and Old Navy - but the prices just make you wince. Well, at this outlet we found Osh Kosh and Carters - the goldmine of adorable baby clothes, all discounted way over half off. All three of us loaded up on enough clothes that will get the little one through to the age of 1. Over 50 outfits including sleepers, onsies, tees, pants and sets. I bought an old man inspired sweater and plaid pant set for his formal Christmas visits, Katie bought summer outfits and swimwear for his first trip to our family's cottage next summer and
a special bib for his first birthday. It's such an exciting time for us.

Friday, July 10, 2009

22 weeks and what a difference!

No denying I'm looking pregnant now! I look like I've got a cantaloupe up my shirt. But believe it or not the baby is just high enough that I'm still in my small jeans.

At this point I feel very connected to the baby since I can see and feel him. It's really neat to feel him moving around. These two changes have eased my mind completely so that I don't feel any more stress wondering if he's OK. He's in there having his daily 4am dance parties and that's just fine with me.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

microwave chicken fajitas

I started to get my mind going around the idea of microwaving meals. Not that I want this to be a habit - but it seems as though there are a few meals that might just get away with it. So after seeing how easy it was to prep Asian Chicken with Cashews, I woke up in the middle of the night from a squirming baby and came up with a variation on this recipe for Chicken Fajitas. We tried them last night and they worked perfectly!

Chicken Fajitas

  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime), plus wedges for serving (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), cut into strips
  • half red onion
  • half a jalapeno finely minced (w/ seeds)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
Follow the prep method from my previous entry.

Serve on flour or corn tortillas with monterey jack cheese and sour cream.

Monday, July 6, 2009

family reunion 2009

This weekend was a long one for us opting to work Canada Day and take Friday instead. We were super busy the whole weekend, but yesterday was the most eventful day. We went to Nuno's family reunion BBQ at Bronte Creek. We had a great time. Not surprising, being an expectant mom at a family reunion is fun because of all the excitement of a new family member on the way. Everyone wants the scoop and recent parents offer fantastic advice.

My little nephew was as cute as ever. Here he is as Huckleberry Finn in his make-shift tent.

Hot Tot came along with us. We just made the decision to buy a doggie seat belt for her instead of using her crate. It was a disaster at first since she pulled a Houdini and shimmied herself out of the harness, but once I gave it a good tighten she was stuck in place. She found herself quite comfortable and relaxed.

Here we are in the way home from the family picnic. Hot Tot was quite the hit!

Now that we know Tot can travel in a seat belt we feel more comfortable about our weekend purchase. We bought our baby a stroller / car seat combo. We traveled with the car seat set up beside Tot and it looks like it will work out perfectly - which is a giant relief.

Friday, July 3, 2009

microwave meal!

I wish I knew about this recipe when I was in a college residence living without an oven or a stove. Asian Chicken with Cashews is a crazy simple recipe that couldn't taste any better if you cooked it stove top. I thought it was a no-no microwaving chicken, but this recipe proves otherwise. I think I'll be turning to this regularly in the future with starting a family and not having all the free time in the world to prep dinner. And, really, who cares when you can have something this delicious.

Asian Chicken with Cashews

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime), plus wedges for serving (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), cut into strips
  • 1 bunch scallions (about 6), cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (2 inches), peeled, thinly sliced, and cut into thin strips
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 1/3 cup roasted cashews
  1. In a 2 1/2-quart microwave-safe dish with a lid, stir together soy sauce, lime juice, and cornstarch; season with pepper. Add bell pepper, scallions, garlic, ginger, and chicken; toss to coat.
  2. Cover, and microwave on high 8 to 10 minutes, turning chicken over halfway through. Thinly slice chicken crosswise. Transfer to serving plates, and top with vegetables and juices. Scatter with cashews, and serve with lime wedges, if desired.
We ate this with some noodles from the local asian market. Maybe next time we'll try rice.