Monthly Archives: March 2013

Soy Marinated Steamed Chicken with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Ooooh yes. These recipes? SO good.

Full disclosure? The chicken recipe is not my own. It’s Tyler Florence’s, and I found the original here on Food Network. But I’m still reposting it because in the past, when I’ve only saved links, I’ve twice had awesome recipes disappear from the web and ughhhh. I still mourn them.

mmmmmmm marinade

The brussel sprouts? I just roasted them the way I would other veggies. After mixing them in olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. And if you’re new to brussel sprouts, like I kinda am, the ones in the first pic may LOOK burnt — but they aren’t! They were perfectly crispy on the outside and warm and delicious on the inside. I wish I’d doubled the recipe because we both went back for more, but there were only three left. So… I let N save them and the last chicken breast for his lunch the next day. SUCH a sweet wife, right?

I’ve never steamed meat before. I’ve never used a bamboo steamer. I will definitely do both of these things again. I was supposed to use the steamer with a wok, according to the recipe, but we only have an electric wok and I have no clue how to use it. And was too lazy to figure it out, though it’s probably not complicated, ha! So I used our pasta cooker. The 10-inch bamboo steamer (bought it here) fit pretty perfectly. And the chicken turned out pretty fabulous. So screw the wok!

Things I’ll change? Well, I’ll probably quadruple the garlic (I doubled it this time). And take out the ginger (even though I’d already cut it in half). I’m not a ginger fan, but I kept it in just for this first try because I know ginger’s a big element of asian seasoning… But I think it tasted to strongly in the chicken. I marinated the breasts for a few hours, next time I’ll do it overnight.

Things I did change: I added some soy sauce and garlic salt to the boiling water. Not sure if it made a huge difference to the taste of the chicken, but it certainly didn’t hurt!

Marriage Equality

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States is considering whether or not gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry the people they love.

There are two cases on the docket: 
The first case challenges California’s Proposition 8, an initiative that states marriage is between a man and a woman — and this case asks the question of whether there is a fundamental right to gay marriage. The next is a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which is a federal law stating marriage is something between a man and a woman, and denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in their states. 
Both cases should be answered by the end of June. And I pray that both cases are found in the favor of same-sex couples. 
I believe that supporting this is simply the right thing to do. 
I’m not going to write some long blogpost about this. I’m merely marking it here more as a placeholder, so someday, I can come back and remember I am NOT one of the people out there who should be ashamed of myself for once having believed that gays and lesbians don’t deserve the same happiness as everyone else.

And, even more so, so that my daughter doesn’t ever have to be ashamed of me. 

For those friends wondering, this special “red” equality symbol signifies that marriage equality really is all about love. Thanks to the Human Rights Campaign for this effort. Please consider changing your profile today in support–esp if you are a straight ally.” ~George Takei, via Facebook, March 26, 2013

Honestly? Third Trimester Kinda Blows. And Other Stuff.

First of all, third trimester is NOT fun compared to second trimester.

Exhibit A: I’m getting HUGE. Gone are the days where I feel kinda cute with a little bump. Like so far gone I can barely remember them. But maybe that’s the preggo brain. I can barely remember anything these days.

Things that also suck? Let me count the ways… My SI joint in my left ass cheek is constantly in pain. But don’t worry. The right side throws itself into the mix sometimes, too. If I stand for too long, my lower back hates me. If I lie down for too long (including at night) the muscles around my upper spine scream at me. And whichever side of my ass I’m on begins to BURN. Seriously, pins and needles as though they’re on crack cocaine. It hurts to roll over because my stomach is so big. I still have to pee constantly. I have NO energy. If I’m on my feet for more than an hour, it takes half an hour with them up to recover. I think back to every pregnant waitress or bartender I’ve ever seen and basically bow down to them in appreciation. No clue how they do it. And it especially sucks because that urge to nest is kicking in super hard, but I can’t give the energy I want to in the zillion projects I need to get done before this little girl breaks outta me. Oh… And let’s not forget the agonizing charlie horses I keep getting. First my right calf (and it was tight for DAYS after) then my left (also tight for days). Ugh. Oh and if I’m gonna be really real? How about my lady bits? They don’t feel so hot. Honestly, they haven’t felt good for at least the last few months. It feels like … How can I say this? … It feels like there’s rubber cement up in there. Gross, I know. But there’s no non-disgusting way to describe it.

I do know that some girls have trouble getting pregnant and that I shouldn’t take anything for granted. And I don’t. Really. I’m so thrilled with what will be the outcome, that these aches and pains are worth it. My daughter is already worth it times a gazillion. But for the love. This is my pregnancy, and I’ll whine if I want to. 😉

Oh. And zombie nightmares. Though these have happened periodically all pregnancy. Last night’s was so scary though I couldn’t go back to sleep. I contemplated turning all the lights on — but then realized that zombies probably would be attracted to light. I’ve given up watching The Walking Dead. I don’t read zombie books. I steer clear of all zombie things. But still these stupid nightmares find me. (And before you mock me, I’m not scared of vampires or monsters or other made up creatures. But think about it… One CDC mess up, one virus accidentally released? ZOMBIES. They’re way more possible than the other stuff.)

In other news…

Nelson’s cousin and wife (Aaron and Carol) had us over for dinner over the weekend. They have a 16-month-old and a 4-month-old. And they made it look EASY. It gave me hope. True, we were only there for three hours, so I’m sure they have their days, too–but still. Even with two under two, Carol cooked this amazing meal: pork tenderloin with au jus, roasted brussels sprouts, spinach artichoke bread… I’ve basically been looking up awesome recipes for the past two days because I’m totally inspired to start making more grown up meals. We’ll see how long it lasts, ha. I’m starting with shrimp scampi tonight. (With roasted asparagus and sweet Hawaiian rolls.) Will post pics/recipe later if it’s successful!

I reorganized the kitchen today. Took the entire day — and there’s still some left over mess — but I’m pretty pleased with the results. I managed to keep one three-shelf cabinet completely empty for bottles and (later) sippy cups/toddler plates and utensils and stuff. (The following pics are from the very beginning of the reorg. It got waaaaay messier before it got better…)

I have my first class tomorrow night. Breast feeding. I’m actually looking forward to it. Though the fact that I’m at the point where my classes are starting freaks me OUT. Because it means the end is near. Which, of course, given my complaints at the start of this post, on the one hand makes me happy. Plus, I’m excited to meet this little girl!! But, um, on the other hand, I don’t feel prepared enough. At all.

Just under 8 weeks left to go!!

Excuse me while I go crap myself.

The Big 3-1

How far along? 31 weeks, 2 days

Total weight gain: 18 pounds (omg and 5 of them in the past two weeks, woops!) (Granted, I had two baby showers over the weekend, so that *might* have had something to do with it…) Time to pick it up a little at the gym. Gonna have to tell my trainer to start kicking my ass a little harder. (Which will be hard to do because she kills me already…)
Maternity clothes? Yep! And I am sooooooo ready for the weather to warm up so I can start rocking maxi dresses all the time.
Stretch marks? No
Sleep: Depends on the night. Last night I actually slept from 9pm to 8am! (With about 5 pee trips, of course) but that hasn’t happened in a really long time. Usually I’m waking up for the second or third time around 4 to pee and then up for a few hours after that. Sometimes I can fall back asleep, sometimes  (most times) not.   
Best moment this week: Both my and Liz’s showers! We had them back to back (hers on Saturday, mine on Sunday) at my house and they both were wonderful! Full post to come later, when I’ve collected some of the pictures other people took!
Miss anything? Still sandwiches. But mostly just because they’d be an easy thing to have for lunch every day and it’s getting harder to figure out what I want to eat.  I also miss the ability to turn over easily in bed. It’s an entire process these days nights — and it hurts. And along those lines, the ability to easily put shoes on. And socks. 
Movement? Kicks! They’re getting a little stronger. AND: it’s so fun — at night, on my back and in the dark, we’ll shine my iPhone light on my belly and after a few minutes, she’ll start kicking and hitting where the light is!! She also LOVES to dance around in there when I play Mumford and Sons or Adele. (Seriously, I’ve tried other artists, but nothing gets her moving like those two!) 
Food cravings: Nothing really stands out. I’ll have little cravings here and there, like last night I suddenly wanted swedish meatballs–but that craving passed within a few minutes.  
Gender prediction? Girl!
Labor Signs: Nothing really. Maybe some Braxton Hicks? Not even really sure about those. Also, her head is finally in a downward position, after spending most of the pregnancy breached. So I guess she’s starting to get ready, the smart little thing 🙂 
Symptoms: Not much energy. Heartburn. Pain on the sides of my ass when I lie too long on one side while falling asleep. I had one crazy painful muscle spasm in my upper left shoulder one night that stuck little daggers all the way up the side of my neck and down to my elbow. Nelson had to pound on my arm and shoulder for a long time to get it to stop. Thankfully, I already had physical therapy scheduled for the next day, so that helped. I also think I have some eczema on my upper stomach (SO dry and itchy) but I found that Aveeno has a freaking awesome lotion and body wash for it, and they’re helping a lot. Also my boobs. They’re out of control. I could probably knock myself out if I jumped too hard. You could wear my bra like a helmet. Nelson’s even tried it once (the jerk). I can’t even imagine what they’re going to look like when my milk comes in. I’m a little scared… 
Belly Button? In, but getting so small, ha! 
Wedding rings? On — though my engagement ring is a little tighter. I may just stick to my wedding band from here on out.
Mood? Pretty good, actually. Maybe it’s just that I get so tired easily, I don’t have energy for much more than laid back, ha. (Though I was FULL of energy all weekend, but that was more adrenaline-based because of the showers and getting to see so many people I love.) I am a little depressed, to be honest, about the sudden bout of weight gain. And about the ridiculous number on the scale. But I’m trying to get over it. 
Looking forward to: Excited for the glider to arrive. Should happen in the next couple of weeks, hopefully! And we still need to switch out the closet doors. Otherwise the nursery is really coming together!! I can’t wait to organize everything I received for the shower — and to do that one final shopping trip for everything we still need. (Ha, final? Who am I kidding?)
Any other changes? I failed the 1-hour glucose screening with a score of 150 so I had to take the 3-hour test (which was not the most fun thing in the world.) BUT I passed that one perfectly. So THANK GOODNESS I don’t have gestational diabetes. (Phew.) I’m still going to watch my sweet intake for the rest of pregnancy though. (After the rest of the baby shower cake is gone, of course…) And not that I’ll deprive myself, but maybe ice cream only on the weekends instead of a bowl each night. Also, I have started weekly physical therapy sessions to have the pains in the sides of my ass worked on… It’s really been helping.