Friday, July 31, 2009

Murphy's Spaghetti Sauce

I first learned how to make this sauce from my Grandma Murphy who I believe learned it from my Aunt Robin, who by the way, makes the best lasagna. It's simple and easy to make but boy is it yummy. The longer you allow it to simmer on the stove the better it gets. I have added my own touches along the way when it comes to seasonings but even without it's pretty tasty. Here's what you'll need!

Murphy's Spaghetti Sauce~

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef, browned and drained
1 lg. green pepper, finely diced
1 md. onion, finely diced
1 22 oz. tomato sauce
1 14.5 diced tomatoes
1 4.5 oz. jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. dried basil
1 tbsp. dried oregano
a few dashes of black pepper


1.) In a large stock pot, begin browning your ground beef, add diced peppers and onions. Brown until no longer pink, drain any excess grease.
2.) Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and mushrooms.
3.) Add seasonings. Simmer for about a 1/2 hour on medium heat. The longer it simmers the better it gets, you can start it several hours in advance and just add more tomato sauce to keep it from drying it up.

Serve over spaghetti, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

For any of the other pregnant women or working Mom's out there who occasionally stop by my blog, this sauce freezes really well. A suggestion is to store the sauce and save room in your freezer by adding to Ziploc bags after the sauce has cooled and then place flat on top of a baking sheet and then freeze. Once the bags of sauce have froze you can remove them from the baking sheet and store in a small stack.

Hope you enjoy, I know our family does!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Skyline Dip

The cravings have finally started to hit me which is a nice change from having to force feed myself because absolutely nothing sounded appetizing. For the past week I have been craving this recipe and Tuesday night I finally broke down and stopped at the store to purchase the ingredients. I first had this dip while growing up, my Aunt made it for almost every family function. Unfortunately due to heart issues that the family has been diagnosed with due to genetics she has stopped bringing the dip and now brings Fortunately for me this is my step-dad's side of the family so while I should be protective of my heart, now more so than ever, I don't have to worry about the problem quite as much. I do still find the urge to dip into this wonderful unhealthy goodness from time to time...obviously.

Skyline Dip~


2 8oz. blocks cream cheese, softened

1 bowl of frozen Skyline Chili, thawed

3-4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

tortillas chips for dipping


1.) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.) In a 9x13 baking dish, evenly spread softened cream cheese.

3.) Pour chili over cream cheese. You may need to microwave the chili for about a minute to make it pourable.

4.) Sprinkle on shredded cheese, bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and the sides are bubbly.

This dip never lasts long whenever I bring it to other family functions, not my step-dads. The sad thing is it just doesn't photograph well as you can see by the picture I took.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I think it's safe to say that the cravings that most pregnant women experience has finally hit me. How do I know this you ask...the list below is what was purchased last night at the grocery. Please do not judge me, remember "what the baby wants, the baby gets."
  • Regular Pringles
  • Sour cream and onion pringles, which are sadly already gone.
  • Microwave popcorn, extra butter
  • Brownie mix
  • Reese's minis to put in the brownie mix
  • The ingredients needed to make Skyline dip, recipe will be shared on my food blog.
  • Chocolate pop-tarts, the big box!
  • 2 cans of vegetable beef soup, Campbell's edition
  • Tortilla chips for the Skyline dip
  • 2 slices of cheesecake
  • The latest People magazine to read while stuffing my face full of these very unhealthy foods.
  • I also bought some bananas so I wasn't completely bad.

The worse part of this list is that what is listed is all that was purchased. This trip to the store was purely to indulge the junk food cravings that I have been having. What isn't shown is the big box of Lucky Charms and Trix that was bought about two weeks ago.

The funny part about all of these cravings is that my hubby has also started to have them, please see below conversation.

Daniel: "Are you bringing home anything for lunch?"

Katie: " I hadn't planned on it, why?"

Daniel: " Just wondering"

Long Pause

Katie: "Would you like for me to bring home lunch?"

Daniel: "If you want...McDonald's sounds good."

Katie: "You want your usual?"

Daniel: "Yeah"

Daniel: " Man, last night I was cravings Wendy's so bad."

Katie: " Well there isn't really a Wendy's on my way home or else I would get you some."

Daniel: "Yeah, I know, McDonald's is fine."

Daniel: "The night before then I was craving Taco Bell, and then the other night I was craving me some fried chicken. I think I have your pregnancy cravings."

Katie: " Sounds like!" (Insert giggles)

I wonder which one of us is going to gain the most weight during these next 6 1/2 months?

Stuffed Pepper Rings

So last week I promised that I would be sharing a new recipe with everyone and low and behold it never happened. I didn't forget on purpose nor did I really forget I just never got around to it. The sad thing about buying fresh produce from Super Wal-Mart is that by the time you do get around to it, the produce needs tossed. We don't even want to discuss the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that have been thrown away at our house because they haven't been used in time. I think with a little one on the way I really need to get out of the horrible, horrible habit and remember to slice and dice and then freeze for later use. I didn't get to make the recipe therefore there is no picture but I thought I would share it with you anyway. The original inspiration for this dish came from Sunny Anderson, one of the many chefs on Food Network. I improvised quite a bit and came up with this winner. My Dad and Uncle Dan love this dish so I hope that it is a hit with your family as well.

Stuffed Pepper Rings~

6 Large Peppers- Red, Yellow, and Green
1 lb. ground chuck
1 lb. ground turkey
2 eggs
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
salt and pepper
hot sauce
worchestire sauce
1 C. Bread Crumbs
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1/2 tbsp. dried basil
olive oil
1 16oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 C. cooked white rice
Shredded mozzarella and mild cheddar cheese, optional

1. In a large bowl mix together the ground chuck, ground sausage, and ground turkey.

2. Add the two eggs and mix well.

3. Add the dry ingredients consisting of bread crumbs, dried basil, dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste, garlic powder, and onion powder.

4. To that mixture add a dash or two of hot sauce, and about three dashes of the worchestire sauce. Depending on how spice you want the mix you may add or subtract the hot sauce. I find that it gives the mixture a nice little kick.

5. Lastly combine the cup of cooked rice.

6. I allow this mixture to sit off to the side while I am cleaning my peppers. I core the peppers and then cut them into horizontal slices so that they stay in nice little circles.

7. In a large saute pan drizzle a little olive oil and then set to medium high heat.

8. Begin taking your stuffing mixture and adding to your peppers making a nice little patty. It reminds me of hamburgers just surrounded by a pepper ring.

9. Add to your saute pan the stuffed rings and brown evenly on each side. After they have browned on each side add them to a 9x13 baking dish which has been lined with a thin layer of your crushed tomatoes. After adding your peppers top them off with the rest of your crushed tomato mix. Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or until meat is cooked all the way through.

10. During the last few minutes of the baking time I usually sprinkle on top some shredded mozzarella and mild cheddar cheese and allow to melt on top.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pregnancy Symptoms so far...

The symptoms that I have experienced so far, and please keep in mind we are only ten weeks in to this almost ten month journey, are listed below.
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion/heartburn-the kind where you think you are breathing fire
  • Frequent need to go "poddy"
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cravings of either fruits such as pears or junk food such as potato chips
  • The need to cry at every T.V. show or commercial ever as well as all of the Mommy blogs I am now following.
  • Hormonal...I will apologize now to my Husband because sadly, it's probably only going to get worse.
  • Fatigue
  • Laziness, similar to fatigue but now quite.

Now as I said we are only ten weeks into this journey and I must admit, no one ever warned me of these "issues" before hand. I was vaguely familiar with the nausea/vomiting thanks to my sister but stupid inexperienced Katie just assumed that the need to pee every hour on the hour didn't come until later in the pregnancy, and don't get me started on the laziness part. I swear people, if I didn't have to shower and occasionally feed myself or do laundry/dishes, I probably wouldn't do it. I have absolutely no motivation to do anything and the real kicker is that I don't give a hoot.

Now on to the emotions; I knew I was in trouble the other day when I made the mistake of turning on TLC. During the day is when TLC plays all of the baby shows, A Baby Story, etc. Please take my advice ladies, if you are expecting please do not turn on any of these shows!! You will cry and cry, and cry some more. You will blow snot all over your sleeves, it will run down and out of your nose, you will use up all of your Subway napkins that you require to eat the sub you are attempting to get down. It is not a pretty scene and another piece of advice, if you must watch these shows, please do so while your husband is either napping or not home. Husbands find crying over "stupid" T.V. shows the most hilarious thing ever.

The one symptom though that seems to be bothering me the most this week is the heartburn. Nothing helps this heartburn and I am seriously afraid to start a conversation with anyone at work for fear of toasting their eyebrows right off their foreheads, it's bad, real bad. What scares me the most is that I have around six and a half months left of this and something tells me these symptoms are only going to get worse and that I will probably have to expand my list to cover the new ones yet to be experienced.

Motherhood, it is just lovely and I have a pretty little ultrasound picture that I can't quit starting at that proves to me that at the end of these next six and a half months I will have the most beautiful baby in my arms and all of these miserable symptoms will have been worth every second.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Someone you might be interested in meeting...

There is someone I would like for you to meet, please click on the link below to find out who!!


for the very first time, my little peanut. We finally got to see our little sprout on the big screen today, proof that there really is something growing in my belly. They have moved our due date up to February 11th due to the fact that at nine weeks and 5 days our little miracle baby is measuring in at ten weeks and 4 days. The moment the words viable, healthy baby came out of the ultrasounds techs mouth, I lost it. My little baby who then waved for their audience and then proceeded to hiccup on several different occasions causing it's tiny little body to fling upwards is healthy, active and ready to make their mark on the world. The tech informed us that its pretty unusual for the baby to be this active this early on...does this mean I am going to have my hands full or what? The heart rate was 160, which according to the old wives tale means we're having our little princess. My sister though, being the party pooper that she is, casually informed me that the heart beat for her baby was 160 as well and he has an extra limb if you know what I mean. I am going to pretend that she is crazy and believe what I want. She also informed me as did our lovely cousin Heather, that they have both had a dream now that it was a girl, so I am thinking since I have also had the "it's a little girl" dream, that maybe I am having a girl. I just have this gut feeling that it's a little princess and for now that is enough for me.

I finally broke down and bought our first baby items on Friday. I had to buy myself a new pair of tennis shoes thanks to a Great Dane named Lennon, or a Lab named Bandit, or heck it was probably both of them so I stopped at Kohl's and of course the baby section is right across the aisle from the shoe department. I bought the baby several different neutral outfits and I had to fight the urge to not buy any of the cute little pink and purple sundresses that are currently available. Lord I can't wait to find out what we're having so that I can either start buying the dresses or hold out hope for the next little one. I can picture it now...our little lady dressed in her Sunday best with her frilly little headband on holding down all of her light colored fuzz, those big blue eyes that I hope my child gets after my Dad and I, followed by those chunky cheeks and fat rolls for thighs. I can't wait to chew on those cheeks and rub baby lotion on the rolls. It's not quite time though, someone has to continue baking for several more months. On another note, we have just over two weeks left during the first trimester, I am confident in the fact the baby and I will make it through these next few weeks and next several months for that matter, healthy and ready to go. It will be a relief though to know that we have made it through the most crucial time and that our chance of miscarriage is so low it's almost non-existent. I will continue talking to the baby and rubbing my belly, willing this baby to stay strong and to stay healthy. Mommy and Grammy are ready for you little one, Grammy wants a boy though so here's a $100 smackers if you come out being a little lady.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Morning sickness and everything else that goes with being pregnant

When my sister was in her first trimester back towards the beginning of the year, she had morning sickness bad. Take for instance when I had my first Remicade treatment in February and she went with me for moral support, the nurse got a kick out of Nikki flying out of the room to throw up on several different occasions. Another priceless morning sickness moment for Nikki was when Uncle Dan was admitted to the hospital, we had all stopped by after work and she along with her hubby and me decided we would head to the cafeteria to grab a bite to eat. I promise you, two bites into her hamburger she took off like a bat out of hell for the bathroom only to come back saying that she didn't make it. Now let me tell you, it's one thing to throw up in public, but its a whole nother ball game when you throw up in the hallway of a hospital surrounded by nurses. Their first thought is that you are seriously ill and need to be seen stat. Poor Nikki had to explain she was just pregnant and her dinner hadn't gone down well. The situation didn't become funny until we had finished our dinner and were headed back to the room when Nikki about lost it because the nurses were still in the hallway cleaning up her mess. She was mortified that we were going to have to walk past them. We pulled ourselves together and she walked by with her head held high, while Kevin and I tried desperately to contain our ever growing giggles. As her older sister I should have taken that little bit of information to my grave but as the elevator doors opened to a crowd of our family chilling in the waiting room I couldn't help but shout "Guess what Nikki just did?", to which I had I to tell everyone the wonderful story. If I only knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have giggled so much or been desperate to tell her horrid tale. Now Nikki is the one giggling and while I don't yet have a public humiliation story I think she takes satisfaction in knowing I am just as miserable as she was and my time may still be coming. Morning sickness, isn't it just grand?

Believe it or not...

but I have actually made dinner two nights in a row this week and boy does my kitchen look like it. The morning sickness is really aggravating me. My appetite is starting to come back but the constant nausea and dare I say it...vomiting seem to be getting worse. I have to eat several times a day it seems, just to keep my stomach from going crazy. I know part of this is the whole gall bladder issue but as of today I am officially nine weeks pregnant, that means in about three to four we can safely do the endoscopy and surgery if necessary. That is one surgery I am looking forward to, which is a big accomplishment coming from someone who despises medical procedures involving needles or scalpels or anything that will cause me pain. My labor and delivery ordeal here in seven months should be just fantastic for everyone (please note sarcasm in that comment).

Anyway, no new recipes for today since I have been making items out of the box/can, or recipes that have been previously posted such as my wonderfully easy taco salad and the even easier cheeseburger rice, but I promise I have a brand new one coming up. It's a spin of stuffed peppers but they are so much easier to make and my family loves them.

I would also like to share with everyone the brand new blog that I have started for this little one Daniel and I are expecting. I am using it as way to keep family, friends, and anyone else interested up to date with the happenings of the pregnancy and once he/she arrives on top of their big milestones in life. I hope everyone enjoys, I can't wait until I can start posting baby pictures.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July

No I haven't fallen off of the face of the planet I just haven't been cooking. My poor husband is seriously going through normal food withdraws. This morning sickness crap that isn't really morning sickness but really all day and all night sickness is really kicking my butt. Not sure how much weight I have lost so far but it's enough that my pants are loose. I am not overly concerned with the weight loss since I gained about 15 pounds over the course of the year due to my steroid usage. I happily stopped taking them on June 4th and I am glad that I did because just a few days later I found out we were expecting. These past few weeks have seemed surreal to me, I still don't think the idea of being pregnant has settled in with me. I am still questioning whether all of the tests and the Doctor were wrong. I wonder when it will really hit me? My guess is during the labor and delivery portion of this adventure I am now on.

I am excited and nervous beyond words. Excited that after two years of trying to conceive it finally happened and without the help of doctors or modern medicine. It was almost a relief for both of us to know our "stuff" actually works. I will be 8 weeks next Wednesday and with every passing week comes a little bit of relief. My sisters miscarriage and the miscarriage rate during the first trimester weigh heavily on my mind. Deep down inside I truly feel that this little one is fine and that in seven months I will be holding him/her in my arms, unfortunately there is still that little voice in the back of my mind that reminds me anything could happen. I don't want to even think that God could be so cruel as to take yet another baby away from our family in such a short amount of time but I will go with whatever decision he makes for us.

We have already picked out names and I secretly hope that the baby growing inside of me is a little girl. Beggars though, cannot be choosy and I will warmly accept being a mother to a little boy. But God if you are listening, and I know the decision has already been made, but if you are listening, please keep in mind I live in a house with four male dogs and a husband, a little estrogen in the house would be so appreciated!!

I had mine first exam a little over two weeks ago and the Doctor is seriously questioning my conception dates. I know for a fact when my official dates are because I mark them down on the calendar...when you are trying to conceive you keep track of these dates. She questioned me twice on them and the reason being is that there may be more than one little miracle growing inside of me. Rumor has it steroid usage does something to the way you ovulate and having multiples run on both sides of my family only means one thing...I could seriously be having more than one. It will probably be confirmed at my next appointment which is on the 16th. The family in the mean time is having a hay day with the thought of twins. My Aunt swears I am having two, my MIL informed me that she had a dream the other night that I delivered twin girls and to top it all off, when I registered for the bedding...since we are already receiving gifts...I registered for two without realizing it. My goal is to have the nursery done by September for one reason, my nephew Dylan is scheduled to arrive then and I want to be prepared for over night excursions if I get any. Daniel is hoping with all his might that there are two, we had this discussion yesterday and I asked him, "you really want it to be twins don't you", his response, "yeah, it will be more fun". I wonder if my Mom thought it would be more fun when she found out she was having my twin brothers?? If I remember correctly she said she cried because she knew how hard it was to take care of one baby, let alone two at one time. I don't know that it will be fun right away, but I agree that eventually it will be a blast, of course up until the time they both need a car or go to college, this should be interesting on our bank accounts.

Speaking of my Mom, my parents are both really excited for this big adventure. My Dad is about to become a Grandfather for the first time with Dylan and then just a few short months later a Grandpa for a second and possible third time, I can't wait until we can get a picture of him holding all of his rugrats. My Mom on the other hand has suprised me. I never thought she was going to be one of those hands on Grandparents due to the fact mine weren't with any of us kids and plus parenting in our family is something that is being improved on with each generation as we learn from the mistakes of the ones before us. I know that my Mom loved us but she was never one to get down on the floor and play with us or do crafts or even sign up to be class Mom for that matter. My Grandma was the same way with them and they are all getting better. Being a Grammy as she has put it is something that I am guessing she is going to excel at. I was on the phone with her the other day and out of no where she said "I am so excited", for what I asked, "for this baby" she responded. She is already calling the baby the "lil beazer" and I was informed not to long ago that she and my sister would be getting weekend visitation in they will take my kid from me on a Friday and not deliver him or her back until Sunday. Please keep in mind I was not asked of this, I was told of this. She is also now on a quest to buy the baby a miniature pony, that started yesterday with an e-mail I sent her of a miniature pony over in England. She's dead serious to, I called her last night and she informed me she found one in Michigan for $500. This baby has gotten a present from my Uncle Dan and Aunt Robin every weekend now since I found out I was expecting and now Grammy is buying him/her a pony. I thought they only did that in the movies?? I don't think this child will be spoiled rotten do you??

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know I am doing good and to apologize for the serious lack of food blogging and commenting. I don't even do much blog visiting like I did in the past so please don't be mad at me since I am not commenting on anyone's blogs. I have zero appetite and am pretty much force feeding myself. I never thought I would have to do I promise I will be back soon and here shortly I will give everyone the link to see the new blog I started for the baby. I have lots of family out of state or that we are not in close contact with so I want to share all of the happenings of this pregnancy with all of them and what better way to do that than to start another blog!

Everyone please have a safe and happy 4th of July and please keep in mind all of our service men and women. They are the reason why we can continue celebrating this very special day for our country!!

She's having my baby...

I have always loved babies, the smell, the chubby legs, everything about them. Well almost everything, I could do without the poopy diapers and throwing up but I guess it comes with the territory. I was always fascinated with the thought of becoming a mommy yet was never able to picture myself as one. Today as I sit here typing this I realize I am becoming one. I have a tiny little being growing within me created by two people who had been trying for more years than I care to remember. I had finally reached the point of "if it happens, it happens", and if Nicole Kidman can do it at 40 then by golly so can I. Everyone always says "quit trying and then it will happen". I never clearly understood how you can just "quit trying" when you want something so desperately. I also don't know that we actually quit trying, I guess I just wasn't pouring over the idea quite so much.

This past year has been a struggle for me. My Crohn's or so the Doctor thought was going haywire and no medicine was helping, I was miserable and sick almost everyday. After almost a year with no relief I was really starting to lose my sanity. For a year I questioned whether it was my Crohn's causing my sickness and for a year my doctor ignored me. That was until about a month ago when he finally admitted that my gallbladder might be the culprit, something I had been screaming at the top of my lungs about for a year.

I was a week away from finding out whether or not my gall bladder needed to come out when the unexpected happened...I found out I was pregnant. I had been questioning it for a week and for a week I refused to take the test for fear it would be another negative. Imagine my surprise when instead of one line I got two...pregnant. My only reaction was too cry and to walk out into the living room waving the stick in my hand to show my Husband who had been saying all're not pregnant, you have been late and queasy before. Not pregnant huh, well here's your proof Daddy. His only word was "cool". I still don't think the shock of becoming parents has hit us and I don't think it truly will until we see the baby on the monitor for the first time and know for sure something is growing inside of me. I am two months into this pregnancy which means that we have seven more to go. I look forward to the end when after years of trying to have a child I will finally get to hold one in my arms.

Plans for my gall bladder are on hold for now although it will be addressed once I have successfully hit my second trimester. There is a digestive specialist in my OB's office who has operated on pregnant women for this same issue before and she feels that he will be my best bet. I of course would love to be able to hold off until after the baby arrives but sadly I have been sick now for over a year and am desperate for some sort of relief. I also worry what these symptoms are doing to by unborn child? That doctor and the nurse have both reassured us that the baby is fine as long as the problem doesn't worsen. If it does I am to contact them immediately. I pray I make it another four weeks when I will be officially in my second trimester. Fours week is so short when compared to the seven more months until February 18th is upon us. In February my entire life will change...I will be responsible for another little human being and while I look forward to the challenge I am also sad for the fact I will more than likely not be able to sleep in again until the child is 18 and even then as a Mother will I ever be able to stop worrying about this child of mine?

I look forward to sharing the rest of this pregnancy with you and I can't wait for the moment when I get to start sharing the milestones of this baby. Please sit back and join us for this wild ride into parenthood.