Menu Plan What Day Is It?

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Y’all. I officially have lost all sense of time. And my oldest starts back to school in less than a week. I don’t think that’s a good thing. All I can think about is how hot I am and how very pregnant.

But I still have to cook for another week or so while we wait for the dining hall to open again. So here it goes – the last hurrah!

Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken

Saturday: recipe testing for Chattavore!
Sunday: One Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies
Monday: Fettuccine Alfredo and Roasted Salmon
Tuesday: Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken, Pressure Cooker Sesame Broccoli (from Cooking Under Pressure)
Wednesday: Perfect Pot Roast, macaroni and cheese
Thursday: tacos, Spanish rice
Friday: Savory Cheesy Waffles, eggs, sausage

I know we are all looking forward to the dining hall opening. It’s not that I don’t love cooking, but I am reaching the point of pregnancy where I feel totally justified in making Hot Pockets for dinner because dang, I am tired and getting uncomfortable. Plus, washing dishes.

Hope you are having a great weekend so far!

What I Read: July 2016

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I think it’s been the Summer of Series, huh?

I reread all of the Harry Potter series (we are waiting on our library for The Cursed Child), and this month I finished what’s been written of J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series and six books of the Anne of Green Gables series.

(And with Anne, I finished all the books on my Spring TBR except Wild in the Hollow, which I did try to read but had a hard time getting into.)

robert-galbraith

The Silkworm and Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith – I finished The Cuckoo’s Calling in June and immediately picked up the next two books in this mystery series. Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) writes some gruesome, twisted mysteries; usually I don’t feel like thrillers are my thing. But a good one can really drag me in, and these all had me turning the pages. Her characters are so vivid and well-defined. (And hello, cliffhanger at the end of Career of Evil! Anyone else dying for the next installment??)

weddingdress_hauck

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck – I listened to this one on audiobook via Overdrive from my library. I enjoy having an audiobook to listen to while I clean or cook, and this one was good enough to make me ignore my favorite podcasts for a week or two. Half set in modern-day Birmingham, half in Birmingham of 1912, this novel goes back and forth between Emily – a young, rich, engaged but dissatisfied socialite in 1912 – and Charlotte – the owner of a trunk purchased at an estate sale with mysterious contents. When I started listening, I didn’t realize this was Christian fiction. I didn’t feel like it was very heavy-handed with “Christianese,” and Hauck does a beautiful job of just displaying a real faith for the two heroines. I loved the story and would definitely recommend it if you enjoy a light romance tale here and there. The historical fiction aspect of it is really nice.

anne-series

*Most* of the Anne of Green Gables series by LM Montgomery – When you buy a 99-cent collection on Amazon for your Kindle, apparently you should check and make sure you have all of the books in a series. My collection had the original six Anne books (not Windy Poplars or Anne of Ingleside, which were written later by Montgomery) and also Pride and Prejudice thrown in (??). Very strange. I’m trying to make myself read something else instead of immediately going back and reading the two I missed, because I devoted most of July to reading about Anne.

AND I LOVED IT.

I was familiar with many of the stories of Anne of Green Gables from the movie, but reading them was so very enjoyable and tied it all together for me. As expected, I absolutely fell in love with the stories, characters, and Montgomery’s writings. My favorite books were Green Gables and Anne’s House of Dreams. I could swoon over them for days, and I might, but probably in a separate post.

______________

Right now I’m reading Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher and loving it. I feel like I was in kind of a reading slump, and this month totally pulled me into a happy place. What are you reading now?

This will be added to Quick Lit at Modern Mrs. Darcy. 

Menu Plan Monday

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Saturday: Pretzel-Crusted drumsticks, parmesan rice mix, baby carrots, salad
Sunday: Ham and Potato Frittata (lunch); Stuffed Flounder Rolls, sweet potatoes, broccoli, zucchini noodles (dinner)
Monday: Brown Rice and Lentils
Tuesday: spaghetti and sauce with meatballs, green beans
Wednesday: Smoky Turkey Shepherd’s Pie (from Rachael Ray 365)
Thursday: Chili-Orange Country-Style Ribs, corn, veggie

That was as many meals as I could bring myself to plan. ūüôā PBJ for dinner it is! Actually my in-laws are coming this weekend, so meals might be flexible anyway.

Have a great week!

Hi Again, Third Trimester.

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Things I cried about yesterday:

  • David starting kindergarten. (Just thinking about it. He still has about 2 1/2 weeks.)
  • A sad part in Rilla of Ingleside.
  • Wanting Chinese food for dinner.
  • For sending my kids to bed early after they were being especially hooligan-like and disobedient.
  • That we are going to have more kids than we can afford.
  • That I may not be able to hold onto my sanity until the baby is born.

I feel absolutely enormous already. Mr. V says I just can’t remember the third trimester – it’s been 3 1/2 years since I was there with Joshua. I maintain I wasn’t as big with him (you can see my belly at 36 weeks in this post; I’m only 28 weeks right now). I have more time to think about being pregnant this time around, too; when I was pregnant with Joshua I had 4 and 2 year olds keeping me pretty busy 24/7.

Whether it’s memory loss or just that things are different, I am tiptoeing into the third trimester with some trepidation. This is my first pregnancy since Libbie that I haven’t been able to take my antidepressants (they make me wildly sick to my stomach for some reason), so I definitely feel less balanced – and that plus the lovely emotional turmoil and discomfort is a little frightening.

And yet, with baby four here, I am fairly positive I will make it through the next 12 or so weeks. I know I will be very uncomfortable, won’t be able to eat normally, will cry, and will want to sleep all the time. I am incredibly grateful that over the next few weeks, all three of our kids are going to be in school at least three days a week, so I will have time to get some much-needed rest. (And maybe do some cleaning and baby prep!) I am hoping and praying desperately that continuing in water aerobics and starting healthier will keep my back in check this time. I am giving myself a whole lot of grace and asking for help if I need it.

And I am enjoying those baby kicks. Because THIS IS THE LAST BABY. FOR REAL THIS TIME. ūüėČ

 

Corn and Black Bean Sauté

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Black Bean and Corn Saute

This is one of my favorite summer side dishes. It comes together quickly, and makes a nice alternative to a rice side for Mexican dishes. It would probably be more purely Mexican if you use cotija cheese, but I have feta on hand a lot of the time, so I just throw it in there.

I could pretty much just eat this for dinner. How about you?

Corn and Black Bean Sauté

Yield: 4 side servings

This quick side dish goes well with tacos or enchiladas.

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T minced yellow or sweet onion
  • kernels from two ears of corn
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • juice of one lime (1-2 T)
  • 1 T chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup (or so) crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add corn kernels and garlic; stir and cook for a few minutes, until the corn starts to brown a little. Add in beans and stir to mix.

When beans are warmed through, add lime juice and cilantro. Remove from heat. Stir in feta. Taste and season with salt and black pepper if needed. (The feta is pretty salty by itself.)

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2016/07/corn-and-black-bean-saute/

Menu Plan Monday

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Monday: Coda Alla Vaccinara and Sun Dried-Tomato Bread (carried over from last week)
Tuesday: Red Beans and Rice
Wednesday: Fish en Papillote, roasted potatoes
Thursday: Impossible Taco Pie with homemade Bisquick
Friday: Vietnamese Roasted Chicken Thighs, rice, stir-fried veggies
Saturday: Cheesy Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli
Sunday: Hawaiian Turkey Burgers on salad

What are you eating this week?