Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Baked Banana and Chocolate Chip Donuts

Work is so busy.

I don't have time to say much except ... make these. It's not hard at all and everyone will love them!

They have real bananas and Greek yogurt in them!

Make them.

Pin them.

Eat them and share them!

Baked Banana Chocolate Chip Donuts (Recipe from Janie's Kitchen she uses spelt flour though and has a tasty topping! Check her out)
1 cup Mashed Ripe Banana (Roughly 2 small bananas)
1/2 Sugar
1/2 cup Fat Free Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup Unsalted Butter (Melted)
2 Eggs (Room Temperature)
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 cups AP Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325F

2. Using your electric mixer with the whisk attachment, add the mashed banana, sugar and greek yogurt. Mix until incorporated.

3. Add melted butter, eggs and vanilla extra and mix.

4. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the batter and mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix!

5. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.

6. Scoop the batter into a zip lock bag and seal shut. Using scissors, snip the bottom corner of one side of the ziplock bag to create your homemade piping bag.

7. Grease your doughnut baking pan and pipe 3/4 full the batter into each doughnut mold.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool before eating.

Monday, February 25, 2013

26 Weeks Baby Update

 26 Weeks: Baby is the size of a head of lettuce
Average size: 13.6-14.8 inches, 1.5-2.2 lb.
Eyes are forming and will soon start to open

Total weight gain: 25 lbs. Ugh. I feel huge. They told me to workout more at my last doctors appointment. They suggested that I get some more exercise in now before it gets too uncomfortable in the coming weeks. I only wanted to gain 30 total... that is seeming impossible now that I'm getting so big in the belly.

How I'm feeling: I feel okay. During the work week I feel pretty good on the train ride into work and okay when I get there. I don't start getting cranky and achy until about 3pm.

For the first time though this morning, I'm a little sore. I think little man is getting stronger and his ninja kicks beat me up a little last night. Let's hope this doesn't become a regular sore in the mornings thing.  :(

Most major issue: Severe rib pain on my upper right side. One day I thought one of my ribs must have been broken. It's this terrible pinching sensation. I've actually cried about it. Now it's a weird burning sensation. Almost feels like I have really bad sunburn in that area.

Only one thing helps, an ice pack. I now ice my ribs about 3-5 times a day. It's a must before I go to bed or before I ride the train home.

Other annoying things: Severe heartburn (thank God for Zantac). No matter what I eat (no matter how mild) it's there. Numb hands. This happens most frequently at night and but for the past 3-4 days my ring finger has been numb at the tip.

Sleep: Sleep could be better. I'm still taking Unisom everynight and then on top of that this sleeping on my side thing really sucks. It hurts my ribs to sleep on my side. Tonight I am going to try propping myself up with 5 or more pillows so I can try sleeping on my back (even though I'll really be sitting up).

Exercise: I've been making it down to the gym about 2 times a week to walk (briskly) for 45 mins and then do some arm weights. I also count my long walks to work Monday-Friday as exercise.

I need to really try to do 3 times a week at the gym though.

Best moment this week: Cuddling with my hubby in the morning. Sounds cheesy but it's true. 

Miss Anything? Raw tuna, brie cheese, sangria....  Did I mention raw tuna? ... and sleeping on my back. 

Movement: Tons. He is getting bigger I can tell. His kicks just started to feel stronger.

Food cravings: Everything I am not allowed to have and also a hot dog from Super Duper Weenie in my home town (Fairfield, CT). 

Rings are off btw. My fingers are definitly swollen, and so are my calfs. I can't wear any of my boots :(

Friday, February 22, 2013

Avocado & Goat Cheese Mini Grilled Cheese

I turned 31 yesterday (eeek). It was a good birthday. I went to work (love my job) came home had dinner with my husband, took a bubble bath, got a nice back massage and went to bed early.

That might sound lame but this year, much like Valentines Day, it's hard to think about anything other than this little guy in my belly who is kicking up a storm and busting up my ribs. Nothing compares to the excitement of meeting my son in a few months so I didn't care much about my birthday ... I just care about his. :)

Nick did get me this awesome Martha Stewart cast iron pot (6 quarts) in Tiffany blue. I can't stop staring at it.

Anyway, I made this grilled cheese with stuff we had around the house this past weekend. We needed a good lunch before we headed out to run errands and I had no idea what to make.

With half a loaf of French bread, some goat cheese, mozzarella, avocado and honey, I got my husband to say "Wow baby, this is really good"

Mission accomplished. 

I just set up a little assembly line, got them going on the grill pan and voilĂ !

The sweetness of the honey with the savory of the cheese and creamy avocado ... mmm mmm mmm. These might be really good at my baby shower. What do you think?

Avocado & Goat Cheese Mini Grilled Cheese (makes about 1 dozen)
1 loaf french bread (baguette)
4 oz. goat cheese (about half a tablespoon for each mini)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 avocado

1. Slice your baguette so you have an even amount. For example 24 slices, 12 tops and 12 bottoms. Butter the top and bottom half  (side that will face the grill pan) lightly.

2. Form an assembly line of mini baguette slices. Top one half with goat cheese, a couple small slices of avocado a small sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and then a dollop of honey.

3. Place the other half of your mini baguette slice on top and toast each side for just one minute on a grill pan on medium heat.

Serve warm right away. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vietnamese (Cilantro-Lime) Chicken Wings

As we all know, this pregnancy has me craving wings 24/7, so I was really excited when I saw that this months Food Network Magazine has a pull-out booklet with 50 different wing recipes.

This one in particular jumped out at me.

I can't believe I am about to say this, especially because you know I love my spicy ranch wings sooooooo much...

But these are my new favorite flavor. They are so good.

The sauce is mouthwateringly (is that a word?) amazing. It's made up of cilantro, lime juice, garlic, fish sauce and butter.

The fish sauce gives it this savory quality that you just can't put your finger on (btw fish sauce doesn't taste like fish) and then the butter mellows out some of the herbiness (another made up word) perfectly. I don't know what else to say except that you have to try these wings.

You really have to.

On a side note -- the wings that I got had the wing tips etc. still on them. You know what I mean right?

I really didn't care for breaking them down. Breaking the bones with my knife and then ...gross.  I won't get into it. 

The only way I could get through it without cringing was to pretend like I was a professional chef. I mean I bet Jenna from Eat, Live, Run doesn't freak out when she has to break down chicken wings.

I stayed tough and got through it but I will pay more attention when I buy them next time.

I think my wings look a lot like Food Networks! Not bad.

P.S. I saved the left over sauce and used it to marinate some flank steak for dinner. Really good.

Vietnamese (Cilantro-Lime) Chicken Wings (From Food Network Magazine)
10-12 Chicken wings
1 1/2 Cup Cilantro
1 Clove Garlic
2-4 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
2 Tablespoons chopped jalapeno (optional)
6 Tablespoons butter
1 Cup flour
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

1. Mix your flour with the garlic powder and salt and pepper. Dredge your wings in the flour mixture and then fry in batches for at least 15 mins.

2. In a food processor add your cilantro, garlic, lime juice and fish sauce (and optional jalapenos for extra heat) Puree ingredients.

3. Melt your butter and add to your cilantro lime mixture.

4. After your wings are fried and have cooled off on a paper towel (to soak up extra oil), toss them in the cilantro lime and butter mixture.

5. Garnish with extra limes and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pink Champagne Heart Shaped Jello Shots

So, tomorrow is Valentines Day... It doesn't feel the same to me this year but that's because we have so many other wonderful and heart warming things going on already that we haven't made big plans.

With a new baby coming in just a few months (this belly is getting big) and a new home that we close on this Friday, there isn't  much time or money for hearts and flowers. But I feel so lucky and loved anyway!

But of course,  I still came up with a cute heart shaped jello shot again for this lovey dovey day!

This one was really easy too.

They are a lot like my New Years Eve Peach and Vanilla Champagne Jello Shots but they are made with pink champagne and I also used some Amaretto to flavor it and kick it up a notch on the alcohol content.

Super easy steps.

Pink Champagne Heart Shaped Jello Shots
1 bottle pink champagne (3 cups)
1 cup Amaretto
4 envelops Knox gelatin
4 tablespoons sugar
1 drop pink or red food coloring
1 heart shaped (or any shape you like) mini cookie or fondant cutter

1. Pour 2 cups pink champagne in a medium sized sauce pan (no heat yet) sprinkle on your 4 envelopes of Knox. Let sit for 2 minutes letting the gelatin activate. Turn on medium heat and stir with a fork or whisk until the gelatin dissolves. Add 4 tablespoons sugar. Whisk until dissolved. Turn down the heat to a simmer.

2. Spray a 9" x 13" brownie pan with cooking spray.

3. In a separate bowl pour 1 cup Amaretto and 1 cup pink champagne. Add a drop of pink or red food coloring so you don't lose the pretty pink champagne color. Add Amaretto mix to you your hot champagne mix and then add to brownie pan. (4 cups total)

4. Refrigerated overnight. Slowly and carefully (with a heart shaped cookie cutter) remove your heart shaped jello shots. Refrigerated until serving.

Happy Valentines Day friends. Wishing you all as much luck in love as I have right now xoxo

P.S. Nick brought these to work ... I mean who has a wife that makes jello shots and then you bring them to work? We are so weird.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Weekend Shots

We had our family in town this weekend and staying with us. When we have guests I usually put aside cooking and just enjoy spending time with them.

I took some photos so I could at least share those with you. The little ones love Grandpa so much. Look at that cheese smile!

Nick and I went to Old Navy to look for some new maternity clothes for me for work. We ended up leaving with some great deals on a lot of monkey onsies.

Lil monkey love.

We took Nick's grandparents to see our new house. We don't move in until April even though we close this week but look at my lovely new kitchen!

I can't wait to blog here!

I got a shipment from Chobani! I made some pear and coconut milk frozen yogurt. Look for some photos and a recipe post soon.

I also learned to knit. Well I am starting to learn atleast. I've wanted Nick's grandma to teach me for awhile. This is the gorgeous blanket she is making for baby Austin. All the babies in the family get a lamb blanket like this.

So special.

I have a new blog post coming soon but just incase you need some ideas for Valentines Day, here is a throw back to my heart shaped jello shots from last year.

How to Make Heart Shaped Jello Shots with Cherries  ---- > Click here

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Blood Orange Sangria

Last weekend we had my husbands boss and his wife over for dinner. While I was planning the menu for the evening I came across this new blog post on How Sweet It Is for blood orange sangria and it was gorgeous!

Even though I can't have sangria (sad face) sometimes just that little extra something added to the meal makes entertaining that much better. I decided to make it.

I haven't had much experience with blood oranges before. I know they mostly come from Italy and that they are really pretty and seem a little exotic. They remind me of Tuscany for some reason, maybe it's the colors.

I made this sangria with a pino grigio but I am thinking next time I might try it with a fruity pino nior or this Barefoot Sweet Red. The tangy sweetness of the blood oranges might taste better with a red.

Sigh... I miss wine.

Remember this Sangria? It's still my favorite. Come summer time it might be one of the first things I treat myself to post pregnancy. Raspberry and peach sangria and tuna sashimi. 

Here is the promised baby bump picture. I didn't end up wearing my new Ravens jersey because it was a little tight around the bump. Next season though it will be perfect!

I'm six months along today. I'm not going to do the whole update on how I feel because it's pretty much the same as last week, but ... I did start exercising this week, finally.

A little something funny about this picture. Do I look like I was crying? Well I was. It's actually pretty normal these days for me to cry at the drop of a hat. I asked Nick to take this photo and -- like a typical man -- he takes like 20 pictures rapidly (before I even know if I like the angle) and some while I still talking (asking him to stop).

Then we have these pictures where I have a double chin and am making funny faces while Im talking. Then I feel huge and start crying and say never mind and on and on. It's actually funny now ... and I love him for putting up with me :) but jeez these hormones won't stop.

P.S. Honey Bear wanted to be in the photo too. She always looks great.

Blood Orange Sangria  (just slightly changed but adapted from How Sweet It Is)
6 blood oranges
2 bottles of pinot grigio
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup brandy (I omitted the brandy, didn't have any)
12 ounces of strawberries, sliced
1 pint of raspberries (no raspberries for me either but I bet they would be good)
1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup sugar

1. Juice four of the blood oranges (by hand), discarding any seeds or pith. Chop the remaining blood oranges into pieces. Chop apples and strawberries as well.

2. In a large pitcher, combine the wine, brandy, blood orange juice, club soda, sugar, apples, strawberries, raspberries and blood oranges. Stir well to combine.

3. Let the sangria sit for at least a few hours, it gets better the longer it sits.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review: Cantina Steak Burrito!

Last week the Dailybuzz Tastemaker Program asked me if I wanted to review Taco Bell's new Cantina Steak Burrito and write about it on That's so Michelle.

Um hello, does a pregnant lady want to try a burrito? That's an easy one. Yes. Yes I do.

So here are my thoughts; it's different than anything I have tried from Taco Bell before and I actually liked it. 

I have ordered their Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco before when I needed a quick lunch that was low calorie (it only has 160 calories and it's not bad). But the steak in this new Cantina burrito is really, really good. It is soft and fresh tasting with good flavor.

I also noticed that the corn is really grilled. They aren't just saying that. You can see the grill marks on it and the flavors are all there. 

I also really liked the fresh pico de gallo. I even ordered an extra side of it to put more on my taco. (You can order sides of pico and guac now at Taco Bell, definite upgrade)

After I was done I didn't feel like I had eaten something packed with sodium and cheese. It wasn't sitting in my tummy like a brick either. I felt like I ate something fresh with rice and veggies and protein. Check the toasty marks on the top of the tortilla too. Yum.

My only criticism was that it was HUGE. That might be good for some people but I gave the other half to my husband.

(Sorry for the delay on my posts guys, I've been super busy at work and with doctors appointments and Nick was sick this weekend. Time slipped away. Tomorrow I will have a recipe post for a Blood Orange Sangria and a new baby bump picture. Promise. )

This post is sponsored by Taco Bell. See how great our steak is when you try the new Cantina Steak Burrito. Because when it comes to a great steak burrito, it's all about the steak.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Remember Herbal Essences?

When I was in the 5th grade, or somewhere around then, I remember Herbal Essences was the shampoo to use. I don't know how a shampoo can be trendy, but it really was. All the "cool girls" used it.

It was probably because it smells so good, and I was just around that age when things like make up and clothes and hair styles started to become important.

I picked up a bottle of their Smooth and Shine Collections (the pink one) the other day (the same kind I used to use exactly is back on shelves!).

You know how they say scent is the best sense tied to memory? Well it's true.

I was brought right back to my hyper color t-shirt, boys to men loving middle school days.

I'm wondering if they still had these orgasmic "yes, yes, yes" ads running in the early 90's? Wonder if my mom would have still let me buy the shampoo? :)

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