Saturday, December 27, 2014

{FOOD} Deep Dish Pizza

Last night we were craving real, Chicago style deep dish pizza!  And Brad did not disappoint!



Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza
Author: CarnalDish
Prep time: 3 hours Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 4 hours Serves: 2 9-inch pizzas

adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Ingredients For the dough:
31⁄4 cups (161⁄4 oz.) all-purpose flour 1⁄2 cup (23⁄4 oz.) yellow cornmeal 11⁄2 tsp table salt
2 tsp sugar

21⁄4 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
1
1⁄4 cups water (10 oz.), room temperature
3 tbsp unsalted butter , melted, plus 4 tablespoons, softened 1 tsp plus 4 tablespoons olive oil

Sauce
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1⁄4 cup grated onion , from 1 medium onion (see note below)
1⁄4 tsp dried oregano
Table salt
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons) 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1⁄4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper

Toppings:
1 pound whole-milk or part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups) (see note below) 1⁄2 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1⁄4 cup)
Hot or mild Italian sausage, casings removed (optional)

Instructions FOR THE DOUGH:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast together on low until incorporated -- about 1 minute. Use the dough hook attachment. Add the water and melted butter and mix on low speed until fully combined, about 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is glossy and smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes. Keep in mind the dough will only pull away from the sides while the mixer is on, and will fall back to the sides when the mixer is off.
  2. Coat a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, using your fingers. Rub any excess oil from fingers onto the blade of a rubber spatula and transfer the dough to a bowl, turning once to oil the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until it's nearly doubled in size, about 45-75 minutes.
FOR THE SAUCE:
1. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Then add the onion, oregano, crushed red pepper and 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt, cooking and stirring occasionally until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown -- about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant -- about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar, increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue simmering until the sauce has reduced to 21⁄2 cups, about 35-30 minutes. Remove the sauce from the stove and stir in basil and oil. Season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust as needed.
TO LAMINATE THE DOUGH:
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1. Heat your oven to 425 degrees, and put the oven rack on the lowest position. With a rubber spatula, turn the

dough out onto a dry work surface and roll it into a 15 by 12-inch rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread the softened butter over the dough but leave a 1⁄2-inch border along the edges. Starting at either short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder (like you would cinnamon rolls). With seam side down, flatten the cylinder into a 18 by 4-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half, crosswise. Take one half and fold into thirds (like a business letter), pinching the seams together to form a ball. Repeat with the other half. Place both dough balls into an oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough balls rise in the refrigerator until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
  1. Oil two 9-inch round cake pans with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil each. Place 1 dough ball on a dry work surface and roll out into a 13-inch disk, about 1⁄4-inch thick. Transfer dough to the pan by rolling it loosely around the rolling pin and unrolling it into the pan. Press the dough into the pan lightly, working into the corners and up the sides by 1-inch. If the dough is tough to work with, let it relax about 5 to 10 minutes before trying again. Repeat with the other dough half.
  2. Sprinkle 2 cups of mozzarella over the surface of the dough for each pizza. If using sausage or any topping, scatter it evenly on top of the cheese. Spread about 11⁄4 cups of tomato sauce over the cheese and toppings, then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of parmesan over the sauce. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 25-35 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven to rest for about 15 minutes.
  3. Slice, serve and enjoy! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

{BABY} What's in a name?

Well, we thought we had The Name selected (at least I thought we did) but now we have added another name to the mix.  There is a poll on the right side of this blog that will let you vote for a name.... your options are:

Katelyn Leigh
Katelyn James
Madelyn Leigh
Madelyn James

Also, here are some pictures we were going to use to reveal we were having a baby but we went the ultrasound route instead!



Monday, December 15, 2014

{BABY} Ultrasound Photos!

Yea!  We got the good ultrasound tech today who did a great job at taking photos!


She was very active and refused to sit still for very long, but we did get some good shots!  
She is right below normal weight, which the doctor said is fine and everything else measured great.  It is so cool to be able to see her organs and limbs and face so clearly.  

Also, I got reweighed and I am only up 20 pounds since pre-pregnancy, not 30lbs!  I knew the last one was wrong!  

Next up this week is the 28 week appointment with the other doctor!  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

{BEARS} The harness that saved a relationship


Reggie and Brad were in a bad spot due to nightly walks.  It was pretty much the worst 30 minutes every time we tried to walk Reggie.  Then we discovered this... 


The Gentle Leader East Walk Harness... it was like a magic fairy came down and saved both Brad and Reggie.  Walks are now peaceful and fun, no more yelling, strangling, threats of death!

{FAMILY} Adventures with Jon

Each week we try to take Jon out for lunch and a little fun.  We took him to lunch at AZ 88, a very swanky place known for their martinis... perfect place for Jonny Boy, right?

Jon & Brad at AZ 88

Well, Jon had a GREAT time with a grilled cheese and Brad had a great time with a Martini!  He (Jon, not Brad) always surprises us with how he can acclimate to so many different, new places and have a great time.  After lunch we walked around the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza... 



Then we decided to take Jon to look at Open Houses in the area... which to Jon probably seemed like The Torturous Tour of Strange Bathrooms in Scottsdale! 

Luckily, Jon was a good sport and decided he had enough at house number 6, I know a lot of people who would have cashed out after house/bathroom number 3! 

{FOOD} Easy Cheesy Mexican Chicken: A Slow Cooker Recipe


In order to prep for our upcoming arrival, we have been trying to make freezer dinners to see which ones we like before we make a ton.  This dinner was sooooo good and so easy to make, also it fed us three times!!!

Easy Cheesy Mexican Chicken: A Slow Cooker Recipe

Yields: Serves: 4

Slow cooked chicken, vegetables, and cheese sauce make for a delicious, healthy, and EASY meal served over brown rice.

Ingredients
   2-3 chicken breasts (about 1 lb)
   1 16 ounce jar of your favorite salsa
   1 cup black beans
   Optional: 1 cup cooked, pureed squash or pumpkin (for added tasteless nutrition!) -I DID NOT ADD THIS
   1 cup of organic frozen corn kernels (canned and drained works too)
   4 ounces of low fat cream cheese
   2 cups cooked brown rice
   1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
   Topping ideas: shredded lettuce, diced avocado, sour cream, diced onion, minced jalepenos, chopped black olives

Instructions
1) In a slow cooker, add chicken and top with salsa, black beans, and squash/pumpkin. Stir until combined.

2) Cover and cook on high heat for about 3 hours or low heat for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender and white throughout.

3) Remove chicken and cut into bite sized pieces or shred it. Add to slow cooker. Add corn and cubed cream cheese. Stir until cream cheese melts and blends into sauce and corn is warm.

4) Serve over brown rice with shredded cheese and your favorite toppers.
Freezer Meal Instructions:

If you plan to freeze this for later (like these meals), go ahead and fully cook. Let it cool. Store in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours and warm on low over the stove or in the microwave. For a quick thaw, use the defrost setting on the microwave.

- See more at: http://thrivinghomeblog.com/2010/01/easy-cheesy-mexican-chicken/#sthash.JMxQNgiW.dpuf


{BABY} 27 weeks...



How far along: 27 weeks, and if I divide 40 weeks by 3 trimesters, I would officially be in my third trimester now (though some sites say 28 weeks is the third trimester). Baby could come in ten weeks and she would be considered full term. Better get to work on that nursery.



How big is baby: Babycenter says the baby is about 2 lbs (think a cantaloupe) and 14.5 inches long.  I think baby is bigger than that. 


I took this fun little due date prediction quiz:

Just about the time you think you can't handle hearing one more "when is that baby going to pop?", your baby will decide to make it's appearance. We predict your baby will be born 3-7 days before her due date. Your baby will most likely be born in the morning. Justmommies predicts that your baby will weigh approximately 7.5 pounds and that your labor will be about 12 hours long.

Total weight gain: Scale at home says I have gained 23 pounds but the doctor’s scale last week had me over 30 pounds so far… I am getting re-weighed tomorrow to clear this up.

Maternity clothes: I am living in yoga pants, Old Navy Maternity shorts and shirts. I just got  a pair of maternity jeans, which I am excited to wear since it just got super cold in AZ (63 is the high).  
Storm on Saturday Night
Sleep: Best sleep I have had in YEARS!  I can also get up to go to the bathroom and go right back to sleep with no TV on.  I cannot remember a time in my life where this happened.

Best moment of the week: Realizing we are less than 90 days until she comes…

Food cravings: Candy – hard, sour candy. 

Food aversions: Oatmeal.

Symptoms: Peeing more often thanks to baby pushing on my bladder, and general feeling of being huge and bulky which makes everyday things a little more difficult (getting up, leaning over, tying my shoes, etc.).

Movement: A lot especially at night and in the morning, then she is really quiet during the day when I am most active.  I am hoping this is a sign she can sleep through loud noises and activities!  The doctor asked about contractions and so far so good, no contractions!

What I'm looking forward to:  We are going to another ultrasound doctor tomorrow morning that I LOVE.  They are very detailed oriented about getting a really good picture and have a 4-D machine that I hoping that they will use if we are nice!

What I miss: Eating whatever I want… like bleu cheese, sushi, sour patch kids; being able to stay up past 9:30 PM.

Next appt: Ultrasound tomorrow and Doctor O on Thursday.

Baby items purchased: NA


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

{BABY} Week 26




How far along: 26 weeks.

How big is baby:  About 14 inches from head to heel (picture a scallion) and roughly 1 2/3 pounds and may be able to hear both your voice and the voices of people you talk to. 



Total weight gain: +30 so far; which seems really high considering I gained 10 lbs in 2 weeks.  I am attributing this to the new gestational diabetes diet and the fact I was wearing a lot more layers than normal due to the weather.  I am going to check with the doctor in 2 weeks to even this out!

Maternity clothes: I am living in yoga pants, Old Navy Maternity shorts and tanks along with a lot of Brad’s polos.  Since summer lasted sooo long I am tired of wearing dresses, but I am sure I will work them back into the rotation soon.

Sleep: Best sleep I have had in YEARS!  I can also get up to go to the bathroom and go right back to sleep with no TV on.  I cannot remember a time in my life where this happened.

Best moment of the week: The best moment is intertwined with a sad moment… one of our best friend’s moved to Salt Lake City with his family which was incredibly hard but since their daughter and ours will be exactly 2 years apart they gave us a ton of the cutest baby clothes to get us started along with a ton of baby items like a bumbo and bathtub and other items we do not even know how to use!

Food cravings: With this GD diet I am craving things I cannot have such as donuts or pastries (which I do not normally even like very much).  I also never realized how much sugar is in everything!

Food aversions: Oatmeal.  I never liked it as a child but especially now it grosses me out.

Symptoms: Peeing more often thanks to baby pushing on my bladder, and general feeling of being huge and bulky which makes everyday things a little more difficult (getting up, leaning over, tying my shoes, etc).

Movement: A decent amount especially at night and she loves to kick very hard on my sides and I need to move her over so I can stand up straight.  The doctor asked about contractions and so far so good, no contractions!

What I'm looking forward to:  We are going to another ultrasound doctor in two weeks that I LOVE.  They are very detailed oriented about getting a really good picture and have a 4-D machine that I hoping that they will use if we are nice!

What I miss: Eating whatever I want… like bleu cheese, sushi, sour patch kids; being able to stay up past 9:30 PM.

Next appt: An ultrasound and follow up in two weeks!

Baby items purchased: Organization bins for the nursery for the new clothes and shoes. Other than that nothing so far, although I did order so fabric samples to hopefully narrow down the nursery theme/d├ęcor.  We also finally decided which room is the nursery!


Brad quote of the week: Well, you finally look just pregnant nothing else… so the last 26 weeks I looked like what???