Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Help preggo win some treats!

January 28, 2010

You don’t really have to do anything to help, just check out my friend’s blog.

I’ve entered Kilax’s favorite things giveaway, which is particularly exciting for me since she’s been kind enough to open it to international folks such as myself.  This is my first, and maybe last opportunity to win something once she gets a load of international shipping rates!  Mwahahahaa… (j/k)  The giveaway includes such yummy favs of mine like gourmet peanut butter, Luna bars and Dots!!

I get an extra entry by linking to her post on my blog so all my friends can check it out as well.  Besides that, Kim is an awesome blogger; her topics are always timely and thought provoking, plus she just an all-around badass chick!  Stop by and give her a read sometime.

Brain Food

January 4, 2010

Something very strange happens to me whenever I try to read up on labor and delivery-related topics lately.  I get dizzy, so dizzy that I have to literally stop and put my head between my legs to make it go away.  I think part of it is because I start to unconsciously hold my breath and my brain isn’t getting enough oxygen but the rest I can’t really explain.  I’m not usually like this with medical stuff, but it’s probably because I know this stuff is going to happen to MY body and my subconscious panics.  The only other person I know who also gets this way is my mom, but she is much worse.  Once when my step-father broke his knee cap, she nearly fainted at the hospital when the doctor was showing them the x-rays.

The first time I experienced this was when I was reading up on episiotomies a few months ago.  I was looking at medical illustrations, so that was kinda hardcore, but tonight I was just reading the side effects of epidurals (fairly mediocre stuff) when suddenly the room started to spin.

On a totally unrelated topic, since I’ve started my third trimester, I’ve been trying get a lot of DHA rich foods (aka Omega 3).  Enriched eggs, chicken, fish, and walnuts.  DHA helps big-time with the baby’s brain development in the last three months.  I just bought half a kilo of walnuts yesterday from a street vendor.  There are nut vendors everywhere in Turkey, selling anything from pistachios to acorns.  In the winter there are even carts that roast chestnuts on the street corners.  As romantic as that sounds, whatever they’re burning to roast them smells completely toxic and fills the street with smoke.  I can’t wait until they stop roasting chestnuts, it’s vile.

Anyway, so I’m eating walnuts yesterday (dipped in peanut butter, wut?) when I start noticing how much walnuts look just like brains.  How is it a coincidence that food which is known for helping brain development looks just like a tiny brain?

Tell me I’m not crazy…

Slow Day/Survey

November 11, 2009

I woke up very early this morning 6:30 am to be exact.  I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately because I’m getting bigger and the bed is staying the same size.  We currently have a full-sized bed, add a full-sized woman and full-sized man, the bed is a full size too small!  I’m tall, 6’1″, and although my feet don’t hang off the bed, my arms do which makes me sleep with them scrunched up near my body and that is reeking havoc on my shoulders.  I even had him switch places with me last night because the left shoulder was calling it quits.  Today I made it known that all I want for Christmas is a new bed.

I don’t really know what to do with myself in the day time.  We ran all of our errands this morning, ate lunch and now I’m just sitting around.  He’s playing a video game.  We’re both night people.  We both work at night, I cook and clean at night, and I just don’t really ‘wake up’ until the sun goes down.  Also now that we are nine hours ahead of the US, night-time is when we can make business calls and talk to friends and family.  Dawn is our usual bed time.  If we both didn’t love garlic so much, I swear we were vampires…well besides that whole, not craving blood thing…

Annnnyways, in baby news, I’m now 20 weeks, the official half-way mark.  WOOO!  I’ll try my best to take and post new bump pictures tomorrow.

The baby is growing like crazy, but thankfully I haven’t put on too much extra weight, although my appetite is now in overdrive, so we’ll see what happens there.  I have just started to grow out of my clothes believe it or not.  Tomorrow we’re going to go buy my first pair of maternity pants, although I’m dubious about our ability to find a pair long enough for me, Turkish women are fucking tiny.  I’m also anxiously awaiting the bra extenders that my mom has mailed me, anything mailed takes at least two weeks.  My cup size is still the same but the chest circumference is not.  I’m going to try to put off buying new bras as long as possible.

On the medical front, we decided together not to go through with the Down Syndrome screening that the doctor scheduled.  I came to this decision on my own after doing some research, discussed it with the hubs, and he agreed.  First of all, I’m at a very low risk time in my life.  If I was over 35, I would definitely go through with it, but I’m 25, and the risk of having a Downs baby right now is very minimal.  Second, the blood test is known to sometimes result in a false positive, and the only test they can do to actually confirm it is an amniocentesis, which I will NOT do.  Third, all of the other tests and sonograms have looked totally normal, another reason to believe that we are not at risk.  Fourth, and most importantly, there is nothing that can be prevented or treated, nothing would change.  She is our baby and she is already loved no matter what, nothing can change that either.

I think we finally decided on a name and middle name, but I’m keeping that under wraps for now.  Gotta have a little mystery!  😉

Now for a fun survey that Leese tagged me on over at her blog.  If you want to take it, please do!  I’m too lazy too tag people right now.

This is a one-word answer survey, uh oh, I’m gonna try…

1. Where is your cell phone? HUSBAND

2. Your hair? THINNING

3. Your mother? SAINT

4. Your father? SWEETHEART

5. Your favorite food? CHICKENNUGGETS

6. Your dream last night? RANDOM

7. Your favorite drink? MILK

8. Your dream/goal? TRAVEL

9. What room are you in? BEDROOM

10. Your hobby? DRAWING

11. Your fear? POVERTY

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? TRAVELING

13. Where were you last night? BED

14. Something that you aren’t? MEAN

15. Muffins? BLUEBERRY

16. Wish list item? BED!

17. Where did you grow up? AUSTIN

18. Last thing you did? PIZZA

19. What are you wearing? CAPRIS

20. Your TV? NONE

21. Your pets? STATESIDE

22. Friends? MANY

23. Your life? UNPREDICTABLE

24. Your mood? CALM

25. Missing someone? EVERYONE

26. Vehicle? NONE

27. Something you’re not wearing? BRA

28. Your favorite store? DIESEL

29. Your favorite color? PURPLE

30. When was the last time you laughed? DAILYSHOW

31. Last time you cried? HORMONES

32. Your best friend? TORI

33. One place that I go to over and over? GROCERY

34. One person who emails me regularly? MOM

35. Favorite place to eat? HOME

Okay… so now I have to tag 6 people:  Consider yourself tagged!

Cooking with Jen

October 10, 2009

I’m not the most domestic wife and soon-to-be mom.  I don’t win any awards for housekeeping or laundry (I’ll wash the clothes, but folding and putting away…not so much), and pretty soon I’m going to start teaching private English lessons from home so we can afford a housekeeper once a week.  Granted, I do love the satisfaction I get after cleaning the house myself…AFTER being the operative word.  But with my lack of energy lately and the hub’s constant work schedule, the house is quite a mess.

The one domestic chore that I love?  Cooking!  Mmm, mmm, fooood…

I find nothing more gratifying lately than experimenting with my limited resources and cooking utensils and whipping up something delicious.  Experimenting is key here because it’s like a whole new ball game over here.  I’m not a gourmet chef by any stretch of the imagination, I barely know how to make rice.  I’m also used to the easy, pre-packaged, frozen, canned type of meal starting.  You can’t really find anything in a can here besides tuna.  And frozen veggies?  Fat chance.  I also have very few cooking utensils–I have two smallish pots, two skillets (although I mainly just stick to the large one) a small bamboo cutting board, one chopping knife, a cheese grater, a couple of wooden spoons and small wooden spatula.  That’s it.

This month we’ve been short on money, so I’ve had to get really creative and make our food last, but I’ve been quite successful at it.  Here’s the ingredients I’ve had to work with

Chicken

Carrots

Potatoes

Rice

Pasta

Packets of powdered soup

Butter/Oil

Salt/Pepper

Milk

Cornmeal

Cheese

On Tuesday I made fried chicken and mashed potatoes.  Pretty easy for me, any self-respecting Southern girl knows how to make fried chicken.  I usually batter the chicken with a whipped egg before dipping it in the breading, but since I didn’t have any eggs, I used milk instead, then rolled it in the cornmeal mixed with salt and pepper.  Worked out just fine, and actually made the breading lighter, which I liked.  I’ve always prefered to pan-fry chicken as opposed to deep-frying it because that way I can see what’s going on (over-cooked/under-cooked fried chicken is the worst) so I fried it as usual using oil in the big skillet.  Mashed potatoes are extremely easy too, and I have to say as far as my favorite foods go, mashed potatoes are at the top of that list.  I simply chopped up potatoes, leaving the skins on, boiled them until they were falling apart, then added a little milk and A LOT of butter, salt and pepper, and mashed them up using the end of my wooden spatula.  I chopped up some raw carrots to have on the side and add a little bit of “healthy” to the meal.  It was supper yummy.  (Side note:  I love to dip my fried chicken in honey, weird, I know, but it’s delicious!  All out of honey though, so I had to substitute ketchup.  Hub’s european side comes out when ever he eats anything fried…you guessed it, mayo…yuck)

On Wednesday night, I made chicken and rice.  Here’s how I do it:  I get out my two pots and fill them both with water.  When they boil, I add all the chicken to one (the smaller one) and I pour the other one over the dry rice sitting in a bowl.  This softens up the rice, but doesn’t completely cook it.  While the rice is preparing and the chicken is cooking, I take two or three carrots and grate them completely, then set that aside.  When the chicken is cooked through, I take them out and use two forks to shred them on the cutting board.  I drain the rice (remember, it’s been softening up in a bowl with hot water) and then dump the rice into the larger pot.  I take the chicken broth I’ve just made in the smaller pot from boiling the chicken and pour that over the rice until it covers it by half an inch.  Then I turn on the burner to cook the rice.  While the rice is cooking, I put all of the chicken into a skillet with butter to brown it a little bit and add seasoning.  When it’s almost done, I add just a little bit of the grated carrots to carmelize the carrots and add some more color to the chicken.  When the rice is just about done, I turn the burner off, dump all of the chicken on top of the rice, add the rest of the grated carrots and then cover.  I put a few layers of paper towels between the lid and the pot to aid in steaming.  I let it sit for 20 minutes to finish with the steam.  After that, I just stir it to combine the rice, chicken and carrots and then eat.  It lasts for days and it’s delicious.

After we ate our way through the chicken and rice, I made chicken and pasta.  Now here’s my dilemma with pasta.  You can buy any kind of pasta imaginable, but you cannot buy sauce!  I guess Turkish women are just required to make it from scratch.  I’m not really a sauce maker, nor did I have any sauce making ingredients so I had to figure out how to make chicken and pasta interesting without sauce.  I don’t know the name of the pasta I had, but it was just like penne, only cut into much shorter, straighter pieces.  Whatever, pasta is pasta.  So to make it interesting, I decided to fry the chicken before combining it with the pasta.  Instead of battering and breading it like I usually do, I cut the chicken into really thin chunks for faster cooking and breaded it only.  It was really light, and I was hoping to give the chicken just a slight crisp.  It worked out really well.  While the pasta boiled, I quickly fried the chicken in the skillet.  When they were both done, I drained the pasta, put it back into the pot, added a few slices of butter and the chunks of chicken.  When I plated it, I added salt and pepper, then grated a bunch of mozzarella cheese over it.  For a recipe I came up with as I was going along, it was super easy to make and very tasty.

Tonight I discovered how to make really yummy, really easy chicken noodle soup.  We’ve had these powdered chicken noodle soup packets in our shelves for a while now, but to me they always looked sorta boring and bland.  They kinda remind me of ramen, with the powdered broth and dinky noodles (these are more like angel hair pasta, only slightly thicker and flatter).  But tonight, inspiration struck and I decided I could make this powdered soup rock.  I started by boiling one large chicken breast.  When it was cooked, I removed the chicken to cut it up.  I was about to drain the pot to put in water to make the soup when I stopped myself.  Why the hell should I throw away perfectly good chicken broth and rely on the soup’s powdered broth…(duh, Jen) double broth=double delicious!  So I put the pot back on the stove, added two packets of the dry soup mix (to make it extra thick and noodley) chopped up the chicken breast and a few carrots, added them to the soup and let it boil for about 15 minutes.  It turned out super thick, and indeed, double delicious.  This one I am definitely making again very soon.

Cooking and eating are awesome…cleaning up the mess I make afterwards…not so awesome, but it has to be done.  Now off to finally do the dishes and think of new and exciting ways to combine chicken with carbs.  I hope I’ve made you hungry!