A Labor of Love

Pregnancy is beautiful. Pregnancy is a miracle. Pregnancy is special. Pregnancy is amazing. Pregnancy is a gift….

Pregnancy symptoms, best viagra thumb however, are a bullshit, pain in the ass, nauseatingly terrible experience if you are like me and have issues with morning sickness throughout your pregnancy. Recently I was told by my friend Katie that she is expecting baby number two! This is the most exciting news as her first little one is the sweetest little peanut and I can’t wait to meet baby number two!! Unfortunately for her, she is like me in the morning sickness department. I cannot begin to imagine how she is handling taking care of a one year old while going through that. There are not enough uplifting adjectives to describe how strong and amazing she is!

They (I’m not sure who “they” are) say that it takes a village to raise a baby. While I couldn’t agree more with that statement, I say it also takes a village to “raise” a pregnant woman, haha. So, I decided to take the lovely opportunity that my son presented me with last Tuesday morning when he woke up at 5:40am ready for the day, to spend the quite hours of ta snowy morning doing my part to put an end to my friends morning sickness. I also knew I just had to incorporate a laugh or two so I found this adorable alphabet stamps at Michael’s to stamp some funny sayings into the cookies.

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Now I know, not everyone is a fan of lavender. When I was first introduced to it, I thought it smelled awful, it was so strong I got a headache, but after my pregnancy with my son, it will forever be one of my go to herbs and yes, one of my best friends. Don’t judge. ;)

So here is my take on Lavender Shortbread… and you don’t have to be pregnant to enjoy them.

Happy Tasting!

Lavender Laugh Cookies

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

2 heaping teaspoons dried Lavender

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

1 lemon; zested and juiced

1 cup of organic unsalted sweet cream butter

2 cups organic unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

coarse sugar, optional

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Method

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, place sugar, lavender and the zest of one lemon. Pulse until lavender and lemon zest is well blended. Add the room temperature butter to the food processor and cream the sugar and butter together. Add the vanilla extract and salt, pulse to combine. Add the flour and whirl until the dough starts to form a loose ball. Remove dough to a large piece of cling wrap and gently form into a disk. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to chill. In the meantime, juice 1/2 a lemon into a small mixing bowl. Add 1-1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar and whisk to make a lemon glaze.

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When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out chilled dough, being sure to flour your surface to make sure the dough doesn’t stick. Roll the dough out between 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch thickness and using a fluted edge cookie cutter cut out your cookies. Place on an un-greased baking sheet and stamp whatever sayings you like. I chose: boy oh boy, blue or pink, keep calm stay strong, pregnancy sucks, etc..

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Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until the edges are slightly golden. Let cool 2-3 minutes, then remove the cookies to a cooling rack. Glaze with lemon glaze, after about 1 minute, add a generous sprinkle of coarse sugar to “set” the glaze, and let cool completely. For the stamped ones, leave them plain. The glaze will render the word illegible.

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Enjoy!

Things I’m crushing on this Valentine’s Day

Remember those days at school when you would make Valentine’s day cards and pass them out to all your girl friends and if you were brave enough you would sneak a Valentine into your crush’s Valentine’s box too? Yeah, cialis generic salve me too. Those were the good old days. I love opening all my Valentine’s cards and I loved all the candy that usually accompanied the cards. Now that I’m all grown up and married, it’s pretty much a guarantee that I will receive flowers (Roses, what else?) and a box of chocolates. And while I am married, that doesn’t mean a gal can’t have a few crushes of her own. Here are a few of my Valentine’s crushes this year. What are you crushing on?Ello Water Bottle

Ello Glass Water Bottle found at Target

love birds

Love Birds Tea Towel from Terrain

Necklace

Latitude + Longitude Pendant from UncommonGoods

Josette chemise

Josette Chemise from BHLDN

 

 

because sometimes you just have to break your diet…

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This New Year has been tough! Is anyone else feeling this way? Maybe its just because I will be celebrating a big birthday this year, discount viagra for sale or maybe its because I’ve been seriously working on eating more healthy, patient or maybe it’s just that this Winter has been more brutal with all the illnesses circling around us, but all I can say is that no one, absolutely NO ONE is looking forward to Spring more that I am. Well, maybe other mom’s out there are too! So it was one particularly difficult day spent grocery shopping with my one year old that I found myself eying the candy in the check out lane.

Four words…

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

     I found myself in mid-reach when I came back to myself and said, no, no I will NOT give into temptation! Jules, put the candy DOWN!         So, what do you do when you need a chocolate fix and have a hankering for something very specific? Make it at home. Make it from Organic products. That automatically makes it more healthy, right??? So here’s my take on a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Happy Tasting!

PB Cups

1  16 oz. bag Organic Milk Chocolate Chips

1 cup Organic All Natural Peanut Butter

1 1/2 Tablespoons Organic Salted Sweet Cream Butter

Method

In a microwave proof bowl, place chocolate chips and microwave in 30 seconds burst, taking out to stir often. Once melted, take a tablespoon of melted chocolate and spread a thin layer in the bottom of a muffin tin lined with muffin liners. Place in refrigerator to cool until hard, about 10 minutes. Take the 1 cup of peanut butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons of softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer attached with a whisk. Whisk on medium for 2-3 minutes until peanut butter is light in color and smooth. Place one tablespoon of peanut butter on top of the cooled chocolate in the muffin tins and place in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes. Once peanut butter is set, place another tablespoon of melted chocolate on top of peanut butter and smooth with the back side of the spoon. Once more chill in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes more. After they have cooled, pull the muffin liners out of the tin and store in an air tight container.

Now, this is just one version of this perfectly delicious treat. But if you aren’t keen on peanuts or peanut butter you can use almond butter and semi sweet chocolate chips. Follow the same recipe above, but omit the butter and add 1/2 tsp of salt to the almond butter. Top the upper layer of chocolate with chopped up bits of almond for an added crunch.

Enjoy!

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Sundays with Friends

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Today I spent a wonderful afternoon hanging out with Dan. Some of you might recognize Dan from one of my earlier posts featuring Dan and his fiancee Bill’s engagement photos. Not only is Dan one of the best cooks I know, viagra buy cialis but he happens to be hilarious too. This morning I received a text from him telling me that he was enjoying a pre-cooking Screwdriver, viagra generic and that I shouldn’t judge him!  It’s moments like this that make me love sharing this blog with my friends and family.

These days, it can be so hard for me to get inspired to cook. I have to admit, that while I love, love, love cooking, I’ve had very little time and energy these days. One year old’s will do that to you. So I am always looking for new foods, simple recipes that don’t have a zillion steps (that’s a technical term, to be sure.) The first time I ever met Dan, well actually it might have been the second time (I blame Dan’s strong cocktail mixing skills) he made these egg rolls after a day spent lounging around the pool- this was way pre-baby, mind. Maybe it was the sun, or maybe the cocktails, but when I ate the first of what would be many egg rolls to come, I immediately knew that these little rolls of heaven were something that needed to be shared with the world. I am so excited that I now know the secret behind these crunchy little bites and that I can share with you the fun of making these with my friend.

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Excellent + Easy Egg Rolls

1 lb Hot Italian Bulk Sausage

1 Bag Broccoli Slaw

1 package Egg Roll Wrappers

3 eggs; divided

2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp. Sweet Chili Sauce; plus more for dipping

1 quart Canola Oil for Deep Frying

Method

In a large sauce pan over medium heat, brown the sausage and break up into little pieces using a wooden spoon. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until done. Drain excess fat and set aside. In a large bowl combine the Soy Sauce and Sweet Chili Sauce, 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk and the Broccoli Slaw. Add the cooled sausage to the filing and combine, set aside.

Turn on oven to warm, or 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Place Canola Oil in deep sided pan and heat until it reaches 385 degrees Fahrenheit on a thermometer.

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In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg white with 1 tablespoon of water to create egg wash. Take 1 egg roll wrapper and brush all the sides with egg wash. Take 2-3 tablespoons of the sausage and slaw filing and place in the center of the wrapper at a diagonal angle. Pull one triangle of the wrapper up and over the filling, followed by folding each triangle on either side of the filling inward. Finally, roll the filling and wrapper up, making sure the sides are tucked in. Brush the top flap with egg wash to ensure it is sealed.

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Place no more that 2 egg rolls in the oil at one time and cook 2-3 minutes per side flipping once. Once egg rolls are deep golden brown, remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.

Cut in half, dip or drizzle in Sweet Chili Sauce and enjoy. I bet you can’t eat just one. ;)

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Happy Tasting!

Chocolate Mousse Mille Feuille

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I love the holidays. I really love Christmas. I also really love to cook. You know you are a cooking addict when you have to go to three different stores just to complete your grocery list. This year, viagra sale sickness is our son’s very first Christmas and we are lucky enough to host both sides of our family. Well, I think we are lucky, but my husband (who does all the clean up) might disagree. Whenever I am hosting, I tend to get carried away with the dishes I make. My family still teases me about 2 years ago when I made so much Beef Wellington that I was able to send each member home with their own personal Wellington. But this year, is so very special to me. It is CJ’s first Christmas and I know he won’t remember it, and I know my culinary exploits are a bit wasted on him, but there it is. The want and the need to do something fun for my son, and also for my other loved ones. So here is my culinary exploit for the day. Chocolate Mousse Mille Feuille. It’s the greatest love child between French and Scandinavian cooking…. well, ever. And apart from the making of the Krumkake, pretty easy to make.

Chocolate Mousse Mille Feuille

For the Mousse:

6 eggs; separated

1 cup granulated sugar

8 oz Chocolate ( I use a bar and break it apart)

1/4 cup butter; room temperature

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

For the Krumkake: (pronounced kroom-caca)

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter; room temperature

3 eggs

1/2 tsp Vanilla

1/2 tsp Cardamom

8 tbsp heavy whipping cream

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Method:

Mousse

In a double boiler over medium/low heat, melt butter. Add broken up chocolate and stir until just melted. Do NOT over heat. Chocolate should be shiny, not grainy. Remove from heat to cool.

Separate eggs. Place egg whites in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Set aside. Add 1/2 cup sugar to egg yolks and beat until they turn pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the egg mixture to the cooled chocolate, constantly stirring to avoid scrambling the eggs. Once the mixture is combined, add 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate and stir in. This helps to lighten the mousse. Take the remaining eggs whites, one scoop at a time and fold into the chocolate mixture. Be careful to fold gently as to maintain as much air in the mixture as possible. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Krumkake

Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix together with a handheld mixer. Batter should be the consistency of slightly runny pancake batter. Set aside. Heat your Krumkake iron on medium heat for 3-5 minutes before use. Rub iron liberally with cooking oil, either vegetable or olive oil. Drop a tablespoon sized dollop of batter onto iron. Immediately close lid and squeeze iron until the batter just starts squeezing out the sides. Each side needs between 1-2 minutes. Remove from iron with a fork and place them FLAT on a cooling rack. Remember, just like making crepes, your first 1 or 2 cookies won’t turn out. But you will get the hang of it.  Batter yields around 30-40 cookies. But you only need 12 to make the Mille Feuille.

Mille Feuille

Place one cookie onto a cake platter. Scoop about 1/4 cup of chilled mousse on top. Spread as best you can, taking care to keep cookie intact. Place a second cookie on top pf mousse and repeat process until you have 12 layers. It’s okay if the cookies slightly crack when pressing them into place. Place completed Meille Feuille in the refrigerator for 2 more hours. Before serving dust with powdered sugar and shaved chocolate. I also serve mine with a generous dollop of homemade whipped cream.

Bon Appetite!

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Potato Chip Cookies

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There are two reasons why I started writing Bite + Board and sharing it with the world. Those reasons being that, viagra buy no rx one, I had a friend tell me that I should start writing a blog. Many, many thanks to Kimber over at Ohhera.com for encouraging me to find my own voice and broadcast it to the world. The second reason being, a couple years ago my mom gave me my Great-Grandma Kathe’s (pronounced Kate) church cookbook and I love to cook and explore new recipes. Actually, it was Kimber’s encouragement that started me off, and my great grandma’s cookbook that inspired the theme of my blog.

This cookbook was written, as best I can tell from the advertisements in it, in 1921. The pages are brown with age and the edges are dog eared and crumbling in a few spots. You can see the splashed stain of ingredients spilled and hastily wiped off its pages and on a very few special pages you can see my great grandmother’s small cursive writing in pencil. Crossing off items in a recipe and adding ingredients here and there to suit her taste. This book is living history. It comes to life every time I open it’s pages.

History has always held me fast. I am, quite simply, fascinated by the past. And I am completely wrapped up in discovering more about my past family. My family history and where I came from. Not only places, but the people I came from. And most importantly what they ate and the traditions behind it! And I’m starting with my Great-Grandmother Kate. So naturally, I started with her youngest daughter Adele to find out more about the woman behind the small, neat cursive pencil strokes on the pages of a 93 year old cookbook. As I learn more about my Great Grandma Kate, I will share her story through our shared love of cooking, as I cook my way through her beloved church cookbook. Technically this recipe isn’t in the cookbook, but it was found with the cookbook so I’m counting it!

1st recipe up: Potato Chip Cookies

Yup, sounds disgusting, right? Wrong. Dead wrong. They are possibly the greatest cookie invention known to man. So this one is for you Grandma.

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Potato Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cups Sugar

1 1/2 cups butter

1 1/2 cups smashed potato chips

2 egg yolks

3 cups flour

2 tsp Vanilla

1 cup nuts; chopped

Method:

Make into balls and flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake 10-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

I, like my Grandmother before me like to change recipes, so I used Jalepeno Kettle Chips, and I omitted the nuts.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Remedies for a busy Mama

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These past few weeks have been so busy. We recently celebrated the Baptism of our son, viagra sale nurse followed by celebrating almost every single member of both mine and my husband’s immediate family’s, viagra generic diagnosis and now we are on to the Holiday Season. With all that we have had going on, keeping oneself healthy is quite the challenge, especially when you’ve got a sick baby.

It seems like the 1st snow fall always brings on a wave of sickness in the Midwest, but this year, I feel more effected by it, because I have my sweet little son, germ plantation that he is, to contend with. It seems like all my mama friends are suffering the same diagnosis. Sick kids equals sick mamas. I thought I had miraculously escaped my “fate” this time around when everyone else in my family got sick, but not me. I was thanking my lucky stars, and then I woke up in the morning, bleary eyed and exhausted. Headache, check. Stuffy/runny nose, check. Throat on fire, check. So it’s time to bust out my best cold fighting remedies. Hopefully you won’t need them, but just in case you are thanking your luck stars one minute and the next finds you feeling like you swallowed one of those pointed edged stars, here they are. Call them hippy-ish/ holistic if you want, but they do the job just like a spoonful of sugar!

1. Ramen Noodle soup. I like to start out by boiling the water, adding some carrot slices, followed by an egg and scrambling it up in the water. Then I add some green onions and the noodles. Cook it for 5 minutes, turn the heat off and add 1/2 cup of frozen peas. Bonus that the frozen peas cool the broth off enough to start eating it almost immediately.

2. Smog Brew Tea

1 yellow onion roughly chopped, skin on and all

6 cloves garlic; smashed

1 bunch fresh oregano

6 cups boiling water

1/2 lemon

Cook the onion, garlic and oregano for 10 minutes. Allow mixture to cool, squeeze in lemon juice. Chug, do not sip.

3. Thieves Oil and pretty diffuser. This oil is pretty neat. It’s based on research about Thieves in the 18th century that used to rob plague victims. You can read more about it here: www.youngliving.com

4: Bath & Body Works Lavender Vanilla or Lavender Chamomile Pillow Mist. Trust me, it will change your life for the better.

Stay well.

L-O-V-E

Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking some Engagement photos for two of my favorite people in this world. There are so many reasons to love Bill & Dan, best viagra cialis they are wickedly funny with their quick wit and sense of humor, cialis sales shop they are always there when you need a shoulder to cry on. They hands down, always throw the best wine night parties… but the reason that I love them the best is that they know their hearts and they always follow them. In everything they do, you can see their love and devotion to each other and the life they are building together.

I’ve known Bill and Dan for just a few short years. Bill and I met right after Bill met Dan actually. So I asked Bill to tell me a little bit about how they met and this is what he said:

“We met online… which seemed to be so taboo, but now it is the new normal.  Our first date was September 29th, 2011 at Chili’s. We sat and talked about our jobs, families, childhood and the future.  We moved in rather quickly, but, just as friends.  Dan was learning some hard life lessons and he felt like he had no one to lean on and no one should ever feel that way.  Dan and I continued to hang out and get to know each other over the months and it turned into something that was unexpected; a partnership which is now leading to marriage.  We have had our hurdles like any relationship but we have had each other’s backs regardless. Of course we do not always see eye to eye but once he understand what I am trying to say he is pretty much on board, joking of course! We are both very excited for this new adventure and can’t wait to see what is to come!”

L-O-V-E doesn’t get any sweeter than that, my friends.

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WHAT?!-a-Leekie soup

It pretty much goes without saying that I am a fan of the Outlander book series and the TV show on Stars. Give me historical fiction mixed with romantic costumes and sexy Scottish brogue and I’m a happy woman. Throw in some adventure and romance and I’m a goner. Hook. Line. Sinker.

I’m deep into book number four of eight in the series and of course I find myself fascinated not only with the entire story, viagra cialis sale but by some of the weirder and quirkier things people eat and drink on the yonder side of the pond. Yes, cialis buy rx I’m taking about you Brits and Scots and even you Irish. So it happened that I was up late one night turning the pages fanatically, unable to tear my eyes away from the page even though it was pushing 11:30pm and I have a 9 month old baby who likes to get up around 2am, that I stumbled upon a Scottish soup by the name of Cock-a-Leekie soup. Now I know it was late, but yes, I chuckled out loud like the secret 12 year old that I am. Then I grabbed my phone to Google what the hell Cock-a-Leekie soup was and how it was made. I was, at once, both happy and disappointed that Cock-a-Leekie gets it’s dubious name from chicken and leeks.

The more I Googled the more I found out that there are literally hundreds of different recipes, all with the same basic ingredients but with some variations. These are my kind of recipes. I like recipes with lots of room to maneuver and opportunities to make it my own. So here is my version of Cock-a-Leekie soup. It’s best served with a giggle. =)

Cock-A-Leekie Soup

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3 boneless/skinless Organic Chicken Breasts; cubed

2 giant Leeks or 4 small to medium sized Leeks; halved and sliced

1 Yellow or Spanish Onion; chopped

1 cup Pearled Barley

5 medium to large Carrots; chopped

1 bottle light beer ( I use local beer like Grain Belt Premium)

1/4 cup prune juice

1/2 cup half + half

6 cups water

1 Tablespoon chicken Bouillon grains or 2 Bouillon cubes

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

2 Teaspoons Salt

1 Teaspoon Pepper

In a large soup pot set over medium flame, add the olive oil and the onion and the leeks. Saute for 8-10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add prune juice to de-glaze the bottom of pan making sure to scrape up bits from bottom of pan. Add the carrots and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add the bottle of beer and wait until it comes to a boil. Once the beer, onions, leeks and carrot mixture comes to a boil add the 6 cups of water and the Bouillon. Bring to a boil and add the cubed chicken breast and the barley. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes. Soup should still be liquid. If it becomes dry or thick add 1-2 cups of water. After 30-40 minutes reduce heat to low and add half and half. Simmer another 5 minutes. Serve warm with some bread and a giggle!

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Enjoy!

Celebrating Halloween

IMG_3593In my family we are BIG on traditions! Every family has different traditions and some of my favorite holiday past times have come from discovering how other families celebrate the same holidays! So I thought I would pass on a tradition in my family.

Sounds a little goofy, viagra canada pills I know, viagra but every holiday we celebrate has a tree involved. Yes, a tree. Think Christmas, but on a much smaller scale. It took me a few years to figure out that this wasn’t exactly a common practice with other families I know. I don’t know where this came from. Seriously. No clue. Except maybe my mom loved the tradition of the Christmas Tree so much she wanted to share the wealth with the rest of the holidays? But whatever the reason, it stuck and I love it! We have an Easter Tree (traditionally a stick picked from the forest and spray painted white and stuck in a base.) We have a Christmas tree. And my favorite, the Halloween tree!

IMG_3592These trees, save the Christmas tree usually sit on our dining room table starting in the month in which we celebrate said holiday. And as kids, we always got to decorate the trees. It was so much fun sitting with my sister going through the box of spooky ornaments to hang on the tree and figuring out the perfect place for the ghost and the skeletons and the black cats to hang. Then we would turn off all the lights and turn on the Halloween tree lights. Because, yes, our tree was pre-lit with lights! I remember always getting a chill rush over me as we stood their admiring our creepy handiwork.

IMG_3591This year, CJ is celebrating his very first Halloween. And while the logical side of my brain realizes he will never remember his 1st Halloween, I just can’t stop myself from decorating! I was so excited when I found my own Halloween tree for my table! I immediately asked my mom where she put the ornaments, and if I could have them for CJ’s new tree. These ornaments are teeny tiny little things, like skeletons, and little cloth ghosts and a little plastic Frankenstein, and little witches. The collection of ornaments growing each year in our youth so that we amassed about 20 ornaments. To my dismay, my mom informed me that she thinks she gave the box away to some charity. WHAT?! NOOOOoooooooooo. I was devastated. So the hunt began to find new ornaments for CJ’s tree. And just like my own lost collection of ornaments, we will grow his collection each year. So if anyone knows where I can get teeny tiny little ornaments for a tree that is only about 14 inches tall, please drop me a comment!

What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions??