I'm back! Confession: I always do my blog posts from my work computer (on my lunch break! I swear!) so that is why there have been no updates...because I've been home with the bay-bee! That's right, I had the little guy...6 lb, 3 oz on Nov 5th at 11:38 am. I thought about typing out my birth story here but then thought better of it. If anyone is still reading this blog, it's probably for the occasional link to a new recipe, not to read a birth story (right?).
I will at least say this: the first two weeks were awful. I spent the entire pregnancy reading up on pregnancy - this was dumb. If you're pregnant and reading this - stop googling every pregnancy symptom and instead read up on breastfeeding and post partum blues/depression. At least this is what my future self would have told my pregnant self about four months ago. Ok, I'm done with the baby/pregnancy talk. If you have questions, email me! Because obviously I'm an expert, since I'm the mother of an eight-week old baby. Ahem. And honestly, this sounds so cliche, but it's true - I cannot imagine loving something more than I love this little boy. After we made it through the first two weeks together, it only got better and better and before I knew it, I was truly enjoying it and felt like I knew what I was doing. It also helps that he is extremely easy-going and really only fusses if he's hungry.
In food-related news, it didn't take me long to get back into the kitchen. Oh sure, we had our fair share of takeout and crappy food at the very beginning (because I was exhausted), but as time went on I was able to set up baby in his little bouncy seat in the kitchen and get right back to it. Here is what I managed to make during my break.
- Chess pie, for Thanksgiving - the recipe came out of one of those church cookbooks that my mom gave to me. I expected it to be like a version of chess squares (which I had never heard of before moving to the South), but I was wrong - it was more like a very sweet, dense and moist custard with a slightly crispy top layer. I'd make this again. Here are some similar recipes.
- Buttermilk pie, for a Saturday night dinner. Also from a church cookbook (ah, I love those), but here is a similar recipe, and here is another one. This was a loftier, more egg-y custard of a pie than the chess pie. I think I'd make this again but I'd like to play with the recipe a bit.
- Moroccan chicken pot pie. I double this recipe so I could get two pies out of one effort, and we gave one pie to our neighbor. I've made this countless times and it's just so good. Bookmark this one.
- Chocolate Carmel Tart, from the Chocolate and Zucchini cookbook. We took this up to St. Louis for Christmas and it was a hit. Although we had so much dessert (cookies, more cookies, this tart, and a yule log cake), we barely made a dent in it. Side note: if you don't have this cookbook, you really should go buy it. It's got some really nice, quality recipes in it that I've got bookmarked.
- Rosemary Roasted Cashews, and Feta Salsa, also for Christmas (I think I linked to both of these a few Christmases ago, but oh well. Both recipes are SO good, it's worth repeating them).
- Pot stickers. Wow, just wow. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone a bit and try some new recipes from different cuisines, so I made this last Saturday night. I'd suggest doubling or even tripling the recipe, and then freezing half for another time. It's a bit time consuming filling all of those wrappers, but yikes this was so good. We served them with hot mustard and chili dipping sauce.
- Baked Shrimp Scampi, for our quiet New Year's Eve. I've also made this numerous times and it never disappoints. Warning: it's quite rich. We had lots of leftovers, so last night I tossed it with some elbow macaroni and I have to say that I think I prefer it with the pasta. It helps to cut the richness of it. Either way, it's a perfect recipe.
Having said all of that, now that it's the New Year I'd love some ideas on what else to dive into. I loved making those pot stickers, so I'm looking for more ideas on what else to try. Do you have any favorite recipes of different cuisines that you could recommend?