Friday, February 28, 2014

#nelsendays2014 Week 8

Day 50: Any recipe that starts with sweet onion, garlic, olive oil and tomatoes usually ends well. This one turned in to a no-bake baked ziti. I haven't shared this one yet, but for my baked ziti soup recipe, click here

Day 51: Picking up Tally from daycare after work. :) Yes, we are those people.

Day 52: Friday night was spent like this- planning one last getaway before baby Nelsen arrives in July! More to come on this...

Day 53: Saturday routine when the weather's nice- heading out for a hike along the Chattahoochee. 

Day 54: Driving to look at a car for Matt (his was totaled about a month ago and it took the other guy's insurance company forever to settle the claim). ...Tally offering moral support on the drive down. ;) I swear he thinks he's a human.

Baby shower for Lauren and baby Cade!

DAy 55: My stepdad's last day at Sander's furniture- closing the doors after 45 years of work for him and over a hundred for his family-run company. More on this here and here.

Day 56: Bringing home his new ride! 

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bedroom Furniture- down to two!

A couple of summers ago, my mom and I painted the two dressers that are in our master bedroom so that they'd be ready for the future nursery whenever that time came (I wasn't kidding in this post when I described my "old" self as having a plan for every future second of my life).

We figured it would make more sense long-term for us to buy bedroom furniture for our room, than nursery furniture for the baby's room. Plus, bedroom furniture has been on our list of things to purchase for ourselves for quite some time.

When we were living in the apartment, we said we would buy bedroom furniture when we bought a house. Well then we bought a house and flipped the whole thing, so bedroom furniture seemed slightly unnecessary after all of the other changes we made in a short amount of time.

I got in my head (that's never a good start, haha) that I didn't want to "set up" our room until we got bedroom furniture, thinking that we'd make that decision fairly soon after moving in. But anyone who owns a house knows that there are ALWAYS more investment-worthy house decisions that stand in the way when you get ready to make "fun" purchases. Like a fence. Or grass. Or paint. Or a porch. Or, my personal favorite, new pipes (remember this picture?!).

Thankfully, God's timing of this baby is (shall I even say it?!) falling in line with a good time to actually make a fun purchase. Fingers crossed nothing breaks in the next 24 hours after me putting that out there. Well, minus the fact that Matt's car was totaled a month ago. (Confession- my first thought after knowing that Matt was okay was honestly, "Dangit! There goes the bedroom furniture... again." Yeah, not my sweetest moment. At least I didn't say it out loud?

Thankfully, the insurance of the guy who hit Matt covered the cost of the car and we were able to come away with a newer version of Matt's old car without having to put much of our own money in at all. Major blessing!

So insert bedroom furniture.

We're down to two options. I really like one of these, but Matt's not too sure about it.

Unfortunately, because he rarely has an opinion about things like this, I feel like I should listen to it. That whole trying-to-be-a-good-wife thing pops up at the most inconvenient times.

Point being- I was thinking a little feedback may help to sway either one of us to what the other likes. SO, I won't tell you which one of us likes which furniture the best, but I'd love to hear what y'all think. Don't hold back. Shoot it straight. I can take it.

Option 1:

Option 2:

And here's a general view of what our room looks like now so you can envision the new look (except we now have a dark fan and different bedding:

So what do you think?! 

Option 1 or 2?

Thanks for your help, friends!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Calzone Stuffed Chicken Breast with Fire Roasted Linguine

Calzone Stuffed Chicken Breast
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup ricotta (I use Sorrento or Polly-O), part skim
1/2+ tsp Kosher salt
2T freshly grated parmesan (I use Locatelli)
1T fresh basil, chopped or chiffonade
14 Fresh Mozzarella Pearls (I use Bel Gioso- found in the deli cheese section)
14 pepporonis
Italian bread crumbs (I use Progresso)

Mix together basil, ricotta, salt, and parmesan. Cut chicken in half and pound out with a meat tenderizer. Season with kosher salt on each side. Spread cheese mixture on each piece of chicken. Layer pepperonis and mozzarella pearls on top. Wrap the sides of the chicken and close with a toothpick (this part gets messy!). Sprinkle with Italian style bread crumbs.

Suggestions: Add red pepper flakes for an extra kick (I don't do spicy at all!)- either mix in with cheese or sprinkle on top before closing the chicken.

Fire Roasted Linguine
Sauce Ingredients:
1T butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes (I used Hunt's)
1/4 cup pasta water
pinch of baking soda
bigger pinch of sugar ;)
kosher salt to taste
handful of mozzarella pearls
freshly grated parmesan (I use Locatelli)

Saute garlic in butter and EVOO for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes. Bring to a low boil. Add baking soda and stir. Add sugar and salt to taste. In a separate pot, cook 1/2 lb. linguine (or angel hair or spaghetti- the brand I bought actually looks like spaghetti) in heavily salted water to al dente. Remove 1/4 cup of water before draining and add to sauce. Right before serving, toss in mozzarella and stir.


Friday, February 21, 2014

#nelsendays2014 Week 7

Day 43: Matt and I were both home from work on Wednesday due to the snow. It was so fun to be stuck in our house and not in the car like the last snow disaster! These were some snapshots of our day- basically Matt worked out while I ate and relaxed. ...oh and Tally served as his personal trainer, following him from room to room. ;)
Recipe for the crock-pot dish here.

Day 44: Matt was home for half the day on Thursday too. Tally played for hours in the snow with his best friend Hagen (our neighbor's dog) and got SO muddy! Matt had to carry him in the house with a towel and put him straight in the tub before he left for work. After a forever long bath, Tally snuggled up and passed out. :)

Day 45: The Whole Foods by our house was GIVING AWAY lobster tails with filet on Valentine's Day (granted, the filet was $30/lb which my mom said was crazy expensive... but I guess that's what we get for living in Buckhead- they charge more and give you lobster to along with it- ha). I had never made lobster tail before, but Google taught me how. This little video was quick and easy to follow, and the lobster turned out great! I also made a variation of my mom's twice-baked potatoes which I'll have to share on here in the near future.

Day 46: Saturday morning, this actually happened. I know this may be strange to some people, but I have always wanted Matt to get a pedicure with me. I guess because it's one of my favorite things and I always thought it would be fun to do it together. So for Valentine's Day, he did! He has played sports for his entire life- still does- so his feet were in need of a little TLC. Needless to say, his lady got a big tip. ...He looked over at me at one point and said, "This is actually pretty nice" - ha! I knew he'd like it. ;) 

Day 47: Sunday afternoon, we hit up a movie matinee and saw Endless Love. I had low expectations, but it was actually really good! And way less sketchy than the movie poster makes it look- ha.

Day 48: One of our sweet neighbors brought us these beautiful tulips as a congratulations after our baby announcement. Fresh flowers in the house make me happy. 

Day 49: The bump- for more on my thoughts about the beginning stages of pregnancy, plus reactions from my kids when I told them the news, see yesterday's post.

It is FRIDAY!!! Have a sweet weekend!