My morning sickness has completely passed, there are two lovely rows of herbs planted on my back patio, and the dog seems to be completely potty trained...life really can't get much better.
Besides those wondrous joys, life lately has been filled with soccer games, a Taekwondo advancement, Spring cleaning, a new piano teacher (me), dance class, doctor visits, a much needed (and enjoyed) month long break from social media and all of our usual day to day craziness. There have been a few beautiful Spring days which we have cherished after such a long, bitterly cold winter. We have made a few trips up Rose Canyon to hang out as a family and potentially find a future home. It has been so fun to go with the kids and walk the paths where John and I used to visit when first dating, 13 years ago. It was surreal to walk along our favorite stream, now with 3 children, a dog, and a new babe on the way. Time flies and I was struck with how much has changed and how I want to cherish every moment.
One particular day, we spent a nice afternoon walking along, exploring the area, enjoying the beautiful surroundings...John was excited to work with the dog (his new obsession) and we ended up recorded their little training session, which he was quite proud of...
What I first thought was an innocent tinkle, ended up being not quite so innocent after all. The next thing I knew, our sweet little Gus stood anxiously behind Cole, quickly snarfing up the unmentionables as they exited his body. I was unable to do anything but scream while John was paralyzed by uncontrollable laughter. Therefore, the horribleness continued on much longer than it should have, until finally John was able to get control of himself and put an end to the whole affair. It scarred us all for life and I'm pretty sure I passionately hate all animals, including my own little pup. I am aware of the fact that no one on earth wants to hear about our dog eating our child's feces, but for some sick twisted reason, I kinda don't want to forget that moment, though I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to free my mind from that image with or without a blog post to remind me of it.
Other than that little incident, a beautiful and promising Spring is well underway. I have so much to blog about from the past few months and have a very busy month ahead of me. Hopefully I can keep this thing updated. Blogging has been very low on my priority list lately, which is okay, but I do want to continue to journal our lives as much as possible (now that I have a bit more energy). On that note, here is our Try Something New Recipes from last month (which I never bothered to post)...
Since breakfast is by far the best meal of the day we decided to try out a whole new breakfast menu...
A new smoothie was a must.
To be honest, it was a little sweet for me, but the kids loved it.
We also tried a potato dish which turned out OKAY, but a lot more work and not any better than frozen shredded potatoes, so I won't bother posting the recipe.
The main dish however, was definitely worth talking about...
John: "This is THE BEST thing I have ever put in my mouth!"
The kids dubbed it "Mikey-Potata" (I have no idea why) and LOVED it. Since I am a total egg hater, my opinion was the true test...it was amazing. I made it again for conference weekend at John's request and we realized that part of what made it so good the first time, was that I substituted pepper-jack cheese. This is definitely a new family favorite at our house, in fact I am kinda craving it right this minute.
Happy Cooking and Happy Spring!
Breakfast Stratta with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Monterey Jack
8-10 (1/2-inch-thick) slices French or Italian bread
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces breakfast sausage, crumbled
3 shallots, minced
8 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup medium-dry white wine (I used cooking wine)
6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 3/4 cups half-and-half
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 225 degrees. Arrange bread in single layer on baking sheet and bake until dry and crisp, about 40 minutes, turning slices over halfway through baking. When cooled, butter slices on one side with 2 tablespoons butter; set aside. Cook sausage in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking sausage apart with wooden spoon, until sausage has lost raw color and begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms no longer release liquid, about 6 minutes; transfer mixture to medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add wine to skillet, increase heat to medium-high, and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside. Grease 8-inch square baking dish with remaining 1 tablespoon butter and arrange half of bread slices, buttered side up, in single in dish. Sprinkle half of sausage mixture, then 1/2 cup cheese evenly over bread slices. Arrange remaining bread slices in single layer over cheese; sprinkle remaining sausage mixture and another 1/2 cup cheese evenly over bread. Whisk eggs and parsley together in medium bowl; add reduced wine, half-and-half, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste and whisk until combined. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread layers and cover strata tightly with plastic wrap, pressing wrap against surface of stratta. Weigh strata down and refrigerate for a least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Remove strata from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Uncover strata and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over surface; back until both edges and center are puffed and edges have pulled away slightly from sides of dish, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.
*To weigh down the assembled strata, use two 1-pound boxes of sugar. To double this recipe, use a 13 by 9-inch baking dish greased with 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and increase the baking time to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
1 banana, peeled and sliced into 1 inch segments
3 1/2 cups berries
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup apple juice
3 ice cubes
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; arrange banana pieces and berries in single layer on baking sheet. Freeze until very cold, but not frozen, about 10 minutes. Process chilled fruit, milk, juice, ice, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in blender until uniformly smooth, 10 to 15 seconds. Serve immediately.