Recipes from the Past {9} - Pumpkin Cheesecake Shooters

I really enjoyed being pregnant in the fall. It wasn't uncomfortably warm or uncomfortably cold. It was lovely. Also lovely = anything pumpkin. I craved it sooooooo much. I typically do regardless of being pregnant but man, it tastes so much better when you are!

I found this recipe on Pinterest and on a whim one night in October, decided to make it.  

I do recall that while I was absolutely overjoyed to make desserts during that time, I had zero ambition to make dinner. Sorry Gspice....and my hips.
3 (1.5 oz total) whole chocolate graham crackers **I only had the cinnamon kind
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c pure canned pumpkin
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp dark brown sugar, unpacked
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
8 oz light whipped topping **I didn't buy enough so I had to go a little light on this. I think it would have tasted even better with the actual amount needed

Crush graham crackers in a food processor (You think my pregnant self got that out? Yeah, I didn't. Crush those bad boys yourself!). Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Beat until well combined and creamy.  Use a spatula to fold in 5 oz (1-1/2 cups) of the whipped topping; combine until no streaks remain. Place in a piping bag or ziplock bag with a corner snipped off.

To assemble: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of each shot glass. Pipe a layer of pumpkin cheesecake onto the graham cracker crust (about 1 tbsp) followed by a layer of whipped topping (I also couldn't do this part). Repeat a second layer and finish with another sprinkle of crumbs. Insert small spoons and refrigerator until ready to serve.


Recipes from the Past {8} - Meatball Stroganoff

I tried this recipe in early September and have yet to post about it! I know, I know. Tsk, Tsk. Give me a break though - I got a new job, was pregnant........

......and lazy. There, I said it.

This recipe was actually quite good, but if I could change one thing about it, it would be to use real beef broth. I am coming to the realization that I really don't like to use the store-bought chicken or beef broth. The flavor is whack. I actually cringe when I think about it. Regardless, the store-brought beef broth is what I used and it wasn't too bad. I had it as leftovers for daaaays!

Meatball Stroganoff adapted from Menu Musings of a Proud American Mom

Homemade meatballs (enough to cover the pan, just freeze the rest!) oh, and no mozz balls!
1+ Tbsp EVOO
2 c. beef broth
1 1/2 tsp parsley, oregano, basil (dried)
S&P to taste
1 c. sour cream
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 c. heavy whipping cream
Wide egg noodles - I think I used a whole bag

1. After you've made your homemade meatballs, brown them in olive oil. Deglaze pan with beef broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt, pepper and dried herbs.

2. When it starts to reduce, add sour cream and heavy whipping cream.

3. Meanwhile, cook egg noodles to al dente. Add to the simmering sauce. Let the mixture cook together until it reaches your desired thickness.

4. Eat for days unless you have 8 people in your family :)



I haven't taken too many nice photos of Owen because I never have my camera out and ready plus I'm not loving the lighting that I always capture when I do use my camera (ie - read your manual, Vanessa).

My goal over the course of the next nine months is to get to know my camera better and of course, take more photos with it. I depend way too much on instagram, and while I do ABSOLUTELY love it, I prefer to have nicer photos in case I want to blow up a photo for decor later on. Just to keep me motivated, let's brainstorm some smaller goals to achieve to help this massive goal, shall we?

1. Read camera manual once, take notes
2. Test concepts from manual to perfect capturing the right lighting and shooting indoors or outdoors
3. Capture Owen purposely at least twice a month - again to help test the concepts I'm supposed to be learning
4. Read camera manual again
5. Try to blog about what I'm learning and to show off our little cutie
6. Don't stop using instagram!

And to start this new goal off with a bang, here is an adorable series of photos of Little Mr. himself, with the slowest toppling over movement I've ever seen. It was adorbs. And yes, the lighting blows.


Little Mr. {Three Months}

Crazy to think that our little goober is now a quarter of a year old. How did that happen? This month went by so incredible fast but also incredibly slow. So much transition and sickness - not a fun combination but somehow we have all made it through.

The month started out really well. I went to work and Owen went to daycare. He has lots of new baby friends, I believe two other little boys and maybe five girls. I love to drop him off and pick him up because I get to see all the different stages of baby - from Owen who can't really move much, to babies feeding themselves - I'm fascinated. It's so exciting for me to see that but it helps me really appreciate where Owen is right now. I don't find myself thinking about him walking and talking as much. Even over the course of the last couple of days I find myself really missing Owen as a squishy newborn. Dare I say that I may want another one already? Don't worry, I'm only kidding. For now.

Then week two hit. Bam. I got sick. Owen got really sick. And eventually Gspice got sick. And then Mommy had another mother of a meltdown. Watching Owen progress to a really low point was the hardest thing to watch. We tried our best to keep him as comfortable as possible and feed him as much as we could but it was hard. Owen got super congested and seemed to completely lose his appetite; he started to lose lots of weight and then got a fever that seemed to last for daaaaays. After a couple of doctor appointments and his symptoms getting worse, we confirmed RSV but were able to keep him at home for observation. Ever since, Owen has gotten a little better every single day. Not quite fully recovered, but we're getting there. I love the days when I can't hear any congestion but it does come back every once in awhile.

Now, two weeks later, Owen is busy smiling, cooing and talking, getting stronger and stronger and GROWING! I feel like Owen got so tall this month. I was able to confirm today what his stats are and am all giddy with excitement that he's getting a ting bigger each month. I do miss his squishy newborn-ness, but I love his growing little body too. I can't wait for the leg rolls!

One huge highlight of this month - everyone at daycare gets to see how happy of a baby Owen is. We always believed it but they reaffirm that he is such a happy baby. Just today he got the "Gold Medal of Happy Babies" from one of his caregivers. So sweet!

Ok, since I totally teased about it above, here are Owen's stats:

Newborn (11/16/2013)                  
Weight: 7 lb 9 oz           
Height: 20 1/4 in

2-Week Appointment (12/2/2013)
Weight: 7 lb 12 oz
Height: 21 in

2-Month Appointment (1/14/2014)
Weight: 10 lb 9 oz
Height: 22 7/8 in

3-Month-Mommy-wants-a-weight-check Appointment (2/18/2014)
Weight: 11 lb 5 oz**
Height: 24 in

**Owen weighed in at 10 lb 9 oz on the Friday after getting sick. He obviously lost weight during the week he was really sick and that's what drove me to my mommy meltdown. I felt sooooooo bad and honestly had trouble processing what to do when we brought him home. Luckily Gary was there to help me and we got him to eat a lot more that weekend. So much that he gained four ounces by Monday! And then gained eight more ounces over the course of 15 days. I'll take it!

Catch up on Owen's First Year!
ONE  |  TWO  


Beefy Grills - Part 3

I caused a little bit of confusion for those that don't know my inner thoughts that well - I think Gspice and my cat Peach Pickles might be the only ones...

I have a thing for trucks, but more specifically, black trucks and their beefy grills. One day, I bet you a million bucks that Gary and I will own a black truck. But it's got to be THE black truck and I still haven't seen one that fits the bill in over five years.

Here's the pic (that I risked my life to take!):

Take a look back at these posts to get up to speed on my love affair with beefy grills.

Beefy Grills - Part 2
Beefy Grills


Happy belated Birthday, Peaches!

Gary and I had every intention of putting this thing together MONTHS ago. We bought the tower to celebrate Peaches turning one (back in August...) but we had lots of other things going on and got lazy. Months went by, a baby was born, and this lady went back to work. Well, when Owen and I were home recovering from nasty colds a couple weeks ago, I finally mustered up enough energy to put it together.

Peach was definitely intrigued.

But is only mildly interested in it now that the tower is up.

This is how it looks on most days. Empty... I think he's nervous about toppling over - he does weigh over 15 pounds...


PS - Remember when you were THIS tiny???