Monday, April 30, 2012

Grilled Fish Tostadas

This happened for dinner. Party in my mouth! :)

Grill tilapia filets over medium high heat after seasoning with salt and chili powder (on both sides).

On a small bowl, mix 1 cup of sour cream and 1/2 a cup of mayo with juice from 1/2 a lime, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and chopped cilantro to taste. Set aside.

Prepare some veggies to go on top:

Cabbage, chopped
Tomato, diced
Fresh corn cut straight from the ear
Lime wedges

Fry corn tortillas in a small pan with enough oil to immerse the tortillas. Fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side.


Spread the sour cream mixture over tortilla and top with coarsely chopped fish, veggies and a squeeze of lime.


The Weekend Review: Trampolines, Pork Tacos and Baby Pains.

This past weekend we had my cousin over to spend a few days with us. He and Kevin got a new trampoline on Friday night and had it set up in less than an hour. Kevin was very motivated. He's wanted a trampoline of his own for years and we finally have our own yard to house one; actually we've had a yard for 2 years but ... we finally have a trampoline!

It's huge and round and takes up a lot of our yard. But it's worth it. It's great to just lay on the trampoline at night and watch the sky. Pretty much the best ever. Being the pregnant balloon that I am, Kevin has kindly set a chair next to the trampoline so I can get on without crushing my uterus or pulling 5 muscles.

Over the weekend he was practicing some flips and impressing our brunch guests. Have I mentioned how I love brunch? It's my new favorite meal of the day.

Oh and Kevin hung the hammock this weekend too! Pretty much a great weekend for the yard: we had a lawn service (first time ever!) come mow our yard because we are mower-less for the time being; we applied a 'coat' of mosquito repellant spray; we got a new trampoline and we set up our hammock. All excellent reasons to spend as much time as possible in the back yard. And it's been delicious outside the last few weeks. We're soaking it all in before summer hits. 

I tried out a new recipe this weekend for Griffin's first dinner with us on Friday. I had some pork chops lolling in the freezer, a bit of pineapple leftovers, and corn tortillas that needed a purpose ... basically I had some random ingredients that, when married, would make something yummy. I just needed a guide.

I was craving tacos but usually I do fajita-style tacos or fish tacos with the cabbage and the cumin-y sour cream dressing. But it was time for something different. I found a recipe on the Tabasco website of all places; I've never been to the Tabasco website but they really came through.

Of course, I tweaked it because I don't actually have any Tabasco products in my house. PLUS they didn't use cilantro! *tisk tisk*

Here is my version. If you are not pregnant, be sure to eat these with some beers. yum!

Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa + Pickled Onions

1 medium red onion, sliced into thin rings

1 c vinegar, red wine or rice have a ton of flavor though any vinegar will do the trick

Seperate all the rings of onion once you slice them and immerse them with the vinegar in a small bowl. Leave them to pickle while you prepare the rest of the recipe (about 20-30 minutes). Once you're ready to serve, drain off the vinegar. I also sliced the larger rounds in half so they were "C" shaped. This seemed easier to eat than a big round of onion on a small corn tortilla.

2 cups chopped pineapple (small pieces, like 1/2")

1 fresh jalepeno pepper and seeds, diced small

1/4 c cilantro, minced

Toss all 3 ingredients together and set aside.

4 small pork chops, I used boneless

cumin, to taste

chili powder, to taste

pinch of salt

Season the pork chops on both sides and sear them in a hot pan with some olive oil til cooked through. Turn them as little as possible so they can get crispy and brown. They'll stick a little at first which is fine. Set aside to rest then slice into thin strips.

Corn tortillas

Place a small non-stick pan on medium-low heat and warm the tortillas, about 1 minute per side. Don't let them get too brown or they tend to get tough once they are back to room temperature. Wrap them in a tea towel or a few paper towels to keep them warm.


Take a warm tortilla, add a few slices of pork and top with onions and pineapple salsa. Repeat!

Baby Update:

Sleeping has pretty much been my only relief lately. The back aches and the strained breathing have been enough to turn me into an angry pregnant Godzilla. Everything annoys me.

I can't stand up from the couch without swaying side to side as I approach the edge of the couch - as though I weigh 400 pounds. Walking or standing for more than 5 minutes causes pain all the way from my feet, up the backs of my legs, through my entire back and then into my neck. I have head aches and body aches constantly.

So yeah, sleeping and napping are my friends. Except that it's hard to find a comfortable position. Sleeping on my left side has proved the most comfortable of all, using a body pillow to help keep me aligned.

The fetal kicks are still consistent and the times of day are consistent, too. He's hell-bent on waking me up, even from the womb. All the complaining aside, his kicks are probably the best part of the pregnancy at this point. Everything else is unpleasant.

Oh and I seem to have an instinctual drive to tip over every cup I drink from. Every cup of water I have at work ends up all over the floor or my desk. At work. Only at work. I have yet to spill a thing at home (knocking on wood right now!)

Kevin and I ended the weekend with a walk which was nice. I had to go slow because my lung capacity is at about .27%. It's a drag, no lie. But the walk was pretty. Our neighborhood looks so sad in the winter but once spring comes, everything is glowing green and floral and pollenated. It's so verdant and refreshing.

I took this photo of our alley which is not verdant or refreshing, but the light is cool.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tortilla Soup + Smashed Bladder = bathroom breaks!

Little man cub/papaya baby has been very active this week.

His kicks/jabs/elbows/knees are much stronger and when he's moving, the duration is longer, too. He has quiet spells a lot but he's still super active - mostly in the evenings, midday and early mornings when I'm just not quite ready to wake up but ... he doesn't seem to care.

The other day I woke up at 6:30am to my bladder being smashed by a fetus foot/hand/elbow/whatever. Good morning to you too, baby! 

Thankfully my rocky food relationship is long over and I can eat like a "normal" pregnant human now. And from time to time I crave a little something spicy. I've craved spicy and pickled things from the very beginning, actually.

And last night I was craving tortilla soup: something rich but light, and obviously spicy. And lots of cilantro!

I had a picked-over chicken carcass (hate that word a lot) from a roast chicken earlier this week so I threw it in a pot of water to make some quick broth.

Here's the recipe I just made up as I went along; that's how I roll in the kitchen and it *usually* works out. 

Last night was a complete success and I the baby ate like, a gallon of soup.

Of course tweak this to your taste ...

Chicken Tortilla Soup

One 4 pound chicken or just the carcass, either way you get a lot of flavor

Large pot/dutch oven

Put the bird in the pot and fill with water til the bird is covered (about 12+ cups). Heat to a boil for at least 30-45 minutes to get as much flavor as you can into the broth. Of course if you are using a whole bird, cook for longer so it's not raw in the center, a full hour. Then make a cut where the leg meets the breast to check that it's running 'clean' (not red). Remove the bird and add the following to your pot of broth:

Can of diced tomatoes with juices, preferrably a spicy variety - I used a 'salsa style' tomato that was fire roasted with green peppers

Can of green chilis (the little baby can)

1/2 bag frozen or one can of corn

Can of beans, your choice - I used kidney because it's what I had but chili or black beans would also work

Let this simmer for a while, about 20 minutes. Then add:

1 T Cumin

1 t Chili Powder

1/2 t Thyme

1/2 t or less, just a hint really, Ground Cinnamon

Fresh Jalepeno pepper, diced with seeds - use 1/2 a pepper, a whole pepper, 2 peppers - this is where you'll be controlling your heat so use as much as you like

Diced chicken, about 2 cups

Let this simmer a few more minutes to let the jalepeno soften. At this point I tried something different, for me at least: I crumbled up 3 small corn tortillas and dropped them into the soup. I wanted a little 'thickness' to the broth - it seems like a good tortilla soup has an almost creamy base, even though there isn't any dairy added. The tortillas kind of fell apart as it simmered and turned the broth a little opaque. *Perfection*

Add coarse salt to taste. And that's it.

I prepared the following toppers while the soup was simmering:

Fresh diced avocado
Fresh minced cilantro

Grated cheese - I used colby which was good but cheddar would work. Heck if you are an actual Hispanic person or a Mexican food purist, use something like Queso Fresco. yum (Actually if you are Hispanic you're probably laughing at my gringo recipe or not even reading it in the first place!)

Also a little squeeze of lime juice would rock this soup but I didn't have limes.

Speaking of bebe: These things somehow made their way into my cart and then just showed up at my house. *weird*

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Feet! Or elbows or knees.

Best feeling this month:
Feeling the fetus move.

A little bit crazy and a whole lot awesome.

He has been moving - ever so gently - for a few weeks.

Until this week. Apparently he has been taking his Flintstone's vitamins because he is totally stronger. I can tell.

Red letter day: I saw my belly move.

No lie.

I was in bed reading last night; he was moving a lot and I had my hand on my stomach so I could feel it. Then I saw it! A foot or an elbow or something. Totally sci-fi. Crazy!

And then Kevin came in and I tried to have him feel it but little man was done; no more movements. We've still got a few more months for Kevin to feel it though. I'm sure bebe won't be shy forever.

Yes, a little crazy.

But mostly awesome.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Goldfish Baby

Last week, we found out: We're having a boy!!

We couldn't be more excited. Little man took a beautiful sono photo and was very cooperative with the technician. And apparently very proud of his ... boyhood. ;) He sized a little big and his fat and brain symmetry measured just right.

And since then, I have been feeling like my belly is a little portable goldfish bowl. Like there is a little fluttering fish in there just hanging out, kicking around. I'm 19 weeks 3 days and I know it's a little early for the official, oh-my-gosh-I-just-felt-the-baby-move moment. But I am pretty sure I feel him moving. Nothing monumental yet, no jabs or punches. Just little baby butterfly flutters.

I have been a little ... dubious? Uncertain? About feeling the first movement. Just a few weeks ago it seemed like the strangest part of this generally very strange experience: growing your own human inside of your body is a little wild, after all. But now that I can feel his gentle little baby movements, I am kind of excited and anticipating the day when he makes that first big jolt of movement.

My own little resident goldfish baby.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Tomorrow is the day that determines the color of all the baby clothes we will be gifted by people who think baby girls have to wear pink and baby boys have to wear blue until they are old enough to have long hair that differentiates them from the opposite sex. Some people really are that old fashioned.

I'm not old-fashioned, really. I guess I'm not very traditional at all. I don't think that hair or activity or color of clothing - or even style of clothing - determines sex. I think that a child should be able to choose what they wear even if that sometimes means they look like an old bag lady or Hallowen costume gone very, very wrong.

I think when they are too young to chose for themselves, that parents could manage opening up their predispositions and allowing a little yellow, orange, green, red and black (gasp) into their child's wardrobe, whether boy or girl. I'm not sure who came up with the pink/girl, blue/boy themes but I'm over them. I want ALL colors and lots of them around my baby. I am pretty sure there is nothing wrong with exposing your child to all the options out there and allowing them to make their independent decision to wear blue or pink or orange or purple without swaying their choice. Check out this article for more.

So yeah, all that to say: tomorrow we find out if our little dragon is a boy or a girl.

We go in at 1:30pm to have our sonogram and find out if everyone and their dog has been right: My friend and I are the only ones who thing 'boy'; Kevin and everyone else think we're having a girl.

If the old wives tales hold any water, then I feel like it might be a boy based on my symptoms. But you never know. I have a 50% chance of being wrong! ...

I'm not sure how this might change my ideas of baby color coding. I tend to get a tiny bit nauseous when I see babies in pink and flowers and lady bugs or blue and trucks and bears and construction equipment. (Or worse yet: Dora! omg! Take your infant OUT of that branded polyester, please! Gap makes great cotton onesies. No logo or mascot required) No wonder your toddler loves those things; that's all you've exposed them to.

There is still so much gender expectation and inequality, however modern humanity likes to think we are 'advanced' and 'open-minded'. I'm not sure who or where these open-minded, free-thinking parents and citizens are but they certainly aren't in Texas (open-minded, free-thinking, non-traditional people of Texas please prove me wrong!)

I may find out we're having a girl and then go nuts for tutus and pink - paint and clothes and stuffed bears and shoes and socks blankets, and, and, and - but I really don't see that happening.

We'll know tomorrow! =)


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