About Me

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I have two kids - a girl and a boy - and live in north-central Minnesota, land of snow and ice. Well, for 9 months of the year, that is. I work full-time for a local government, and on my "free time" I enjoy cooking, baking, hanging out with my kiddos, and RELAXING.

Monday, March 28, 2011

maternity jeans

Last weekend I finally purchased my first pair of maternity jeans.

They. Are. Awesome.

I had been putting it off for a while, partly because I could, but mostly because I couldn't find any that fit right. They were too short at Target, too big at Burlington Coat Factory, and just plain weird at JCPenney.

And then Darren made me go to Macy's. Let me tell you, there are positive things to be said for spending more money on maternity clothing. They make long jeans. (And regular and petite, but I'm not interested in those.) These jeans fit like a dream. Well, not like a dream - they are maternity pants, after all - but they fit so much better than my old Levi's I kept shoving into. I was long past the point of zipping them (and I've nearly forgotten what it's like to button pants) but they were still hideously uncomfortable.

So now I'm firmly into the maternity pants stage. I seriously doubt I own any more pants I could fit into, since my baby belly really exploded in size in the past two weeks. Every week I tell my husband I'm twice the size I was the week before.

It's probably more like three times the size.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

apple crisp

I was in the mood for apple crisp this weekend. Apple crisp reminds me of fall, and I usually make it at least once during that time, but since I missed last fall I figured it was acceptable to make it in March. Right? Start with 5-7 tart apples. I used 7 because I like apples in my apple crisp. I'm weird like that.

I have the Pampered Chef apple peeler/corer/slicer, which is absolutely amazing for making any apple dish. Works like a charm. I've never mastered the art of peeling apples (or peeling potatoes for that matter) and I don't plan to start now.

This is what the apple looks like after I crank it through the peeler/corer/slicer.

Just pull it off and the core is left behind. You can see the nice slices. It's like a continuous ring of apple slice, so I use a knife and quarter it (top to bottom) so the pieces are the right size. I also don't worry about the little bit of skin left on. Life's too short to be worrying about things like that.
Here's what it looks like after I quarter it.
Darren took this picture of me while I was doing the apples.
Put the apple slices in a bowl and add 3/4 cup sugar...
...a dash of salt...
...one teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. I was generous on both because I like it pretty flavorful.
Mix it up until the apples are nicely coated. Eat a few. Consider eating them all. Talk yourself out of it by reminding yourself how good it will taste baked.
Spread the apples in a 9x13 pan.
For the topping, mix 1 cup flour...
...1 cup lightly packed brown sugar...
...1/2 cup oatmeal...
...and one stick butter. Yes, I realize my bowl is dirty; it's the same one I mixed the apples in. Who wants more dirty dishes than necessary?
I love the Pampered Chef pastry...pastry...thing...to cut in butter. I can't remember what it's called; someone help me...
Sprinkle the topping over the apples and bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
Remove from oven when the top is nicely browned. Top with ice cream or cool whip. Think of fall and enjoy!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

the weird thing about pregnancy

The weirdest thing about pregnancy is the cravings.

Or, in my case, the lack of cravings. Not to say I don't have cravings, but the cravings I have are so different from what I craved before I was pregnant that it's absolutely shocking.

I don't eat chocolate.

It's not that the thought of chocolate makes me sick or anything like that. It's just that I'd rather have a potato. Or some kettle chips. Or a McDonald's burger. Or anything greasy or salty. Preferably both.

Occasionally I'll have a piece of chocolate at work, and I'm not sure if I really want it or if chocolate had just become such a huge part of my existence I think I should eat it whenever I see it. Probably the latter. But I haven't eaten chocolate at home since...since...probably since the day I found out I was pregnant. This past Christmas I ate as many Christmas goodies during the entire Christmas season as I ate in one day the Christmas before.

I even threw out my own Christmas goodies a couple weeks ago because they were still sitting there, frozen as rocks. It's a strange, strange thing, this lack of craving for chocolate.

Normally this time of year I'm stocking up on Cadbury eggs. Both the kind with the gooey center and the solid chocolate kind. You can only get them at Easter, you know.

This year I bought a bag of Starburst jelly beans. Probably if anyone gives me chocolate for Easter Darren will end up eating it. Or I'll bring it to work.

And you know it's weird when I, the person who used to be able to eat a 12 oz bag of M&Ms in one day, give away chocolate.

Although probably I would save any Cadbury eggs in the freezer until I start craving chocolate again. They're fine frozen - trust me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

ready for spring

I'm so ready for spring.

Winter needs to end. Now. But we're supposed to get three more inches of snow today and tomorrow, so I know that won't be happening any time soon.

Two weeks ago I scored this bright yellow purse at JCPenney's for only $15.

I love it. It's sunshine yellow (hard to tell from the picture) and the inside is a vibrant green. It reminds me of spring. And, just because an eye-popping yellow and green weren't enough, I bought a new fire-engine red wallet to go with it.

My spring-themed purse and I are just waiting for the snow to melt and the warm weather to arrive.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I opened a brand-new bottle of Miracle Whip the other night.

This is the expiration date. I'm pretty sure I got this Miracle Whip shortly after we were married for mere pennies.

My mother raised me to disregard expiration dates. In fact, there's not a single food product I won't eat past its expiration date. Unless, that is, it smells bad. Or is moldy. Although sometimes I just cut off the mold. Like on cheese, for instance.

I'll drink milk until it tastes bad, and eat yogurt the same length of time. Yogurt lasts for months past its expiration date.

But nothing holds a candle to Miracle Whip. Sixteen months after its expiration date and I'll still eat it. Likely, I won't place any expiration on Miracle Whip until it makes me sick. Although realistically, I probably would have been more skeptical about this particular bottle if the bottle before it - the bottle I just finished off and threw out - didn't have the exact same expiration date. And, since I'm pregnant right now, chances are good I wouldn't have eaten it.

I did actually throw out some sausage a couple weeks ago. I was cooking it up and it smelled really bad. Looking back now, I'm not sure if it was too far gone or if it was just my pregnancy nose. Guaranteed, if I hadn't been pregnant I would have eaten it anyway.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


The client I'm working at right now is in downtown St Paul. I park in a ramp about two and a half blocks away, and since it's cold and dark and I'm a woman, I take the skyway.

Every morning, at approximately 6:17, I walk by a McDonald's. And It. Smells. So. Good.

I can smell the coffee percolating, the bacon sizzling, and the hashbrowns frying.

I see a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit in my not-so-distant future.