Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stuffed Red Peppers

My family loves stuffed peppers, we have those that only eat the stuffing and we have those that eat the whole darn thing. Thankfully Daniel and myself are in the group that eats the whole pepper, stuffing and all. Most people that I know use the green peppers however whenever I make my stuffed pepper rings with an assortment of colors everyone always says the ones made using the red peppers are the best so last night I thought I would do it with the red peppers. I sort of winged these so I hope you enjoy them...I know we did.

Stuff Red Peppers~

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
2 cups white rice, cooked as instructed on box
2 15oz. cans of tomato sauce
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 cup shredded cheese
5 md. red peppers


1.) In a medium skillet brown ground beef until cooked. In a separate pan boil water to cook rice, cook until done.

2) Mix ground beef with white rice, dry ingredients, cheese, and about 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce.

3.) In an 8x8 baking dish spread some of your tomato sauce on the bottom. Cut tops off of each pepper and scrape out the insides. Stuff peppers with mixture. Place each pepper in the baking dish and top with remaining tomato sauce. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or until peppers have softened.
Sorry about the horrible picture, this picture was from today's lunch and the tomato sauce splattered in the microwave...guess what I get to clean when I get Also please note, I keep my peppers whole when baking them however today I cut it in half in order to speed up the warming process since I only have an hour for lunch and am also responsible for feeding the boys at that time.

Two Days

People, we have two days left until we know whether Jack or Addison will be coming to the family. It will be nice to actually call the baby by it's name and not feel guilty for saying Addison for the past five months when in fact it is Jack in there or just saying baby like Daniel has been doing. The goal is to wait to tell everyone on Saturday night so that everyone finds out at once but something tells me that since my husband was on the phone with everyone and their brother five seconds after the pregnancy test came back positive, that keeping either of us shut up for over 24 hours is going to be very hard to do. Plus Nikki still hasn't popped Dylan out yet and something tells me it is going to happen this weekend whether he likes it or not. The poor girl had been dilated to two for the past several weeks and then found out in the early part of this week that she had gone from two to ZERO...what??? Aren't you supposed to go forward and not go back? I guess it's possible but right now it's a very touchy subject with her and she informed me this morning that during her appointment tomorrow she is going in there to plead her case for induction and if pleading doesn't work she's dropping to the floor and starting the water works. Thankfully my baby will be here right on time, no later, no sooner...isn't that right little one?

Little one...isn't that right??

Come on now, work with Mommy, you will be here on February 10th correct???

Shit...I got no response. The good news is I am willing to give this kid until the 14th since I think it would be cool to have a valentines day baby, but that is between me and you, don't tell the kid though!!! Thankfully being due in the second week of February means that more than likely, unless I go early, that I am for sure having a February baby. Unlike my poor sister who thought she was having a September baby but has now decided he would rather be an October baby.

On another note, I think it's time for us to renew our membership to Sam's Club. Did you know that a Twix bar a day out of the vending machine at work at seventy cents a pop calculates to roughly $140 during this pregnancy? I wonder how much money I could save if I bought them in bulk?

I also didn't realize how much diapers cost. I mean really, is it necessary to charge someone almost $20 a box for something that is going to be shit in and then tossed? We will literally be throwing money in the trash with these things. I have received one package so far as a birthday gift from my Grandparents, and I guess I should really start buying a package with each pay check but man it tears me up to spend that kind of money. Guess that is something I should have thought about before I let my husband knock me So far to date we have received or bought the following items for the baby; crib, rocking horse, excasaucer, 1 package of diapers, two tubs of baby wipes, two pacifiers, several outfits, one toy/rattle, two baby books, and three bottles. I think we better start shopping don't you? Look out Babies R Us, Mommy is going to be on the prowl on Friday!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

And the winner is...

The winner of the first ever giveaway at Katie's Korner is...Willoughby!!! Yay, please send me your mailing address so that I can get your gift sent out to you, still don't know what it is yet, but that just means I get to go shopping tomorrow!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

20 Week Appointment

Today was our twenty week appointment and everything went really well. I almost canceled it after being up all night sick to my stomach but I was dieing to schedule the big ultrasound so I pulled myself together and went.

This little child of mine is already quite the character. He or she had myself and the nurse laughing out loud because the little one was not being tolerant of the doppler this morning. The poor nurse would find the heartbeat, you would hear it for a second or two and then swoosh, the baby would take off in another direction. After about a minute or two of that little game the nurse would find the heartbeat and then all of sudden, BANG, the child would kick the doppler and then off he or she would go. I kid you not this went on for what seemed like four to five minutes before we got a heart rate of 147.

I have my glucose test scheduled on the 13th, yuck! Not sure how that is going to go but I remain optimistic that I pass it with flying colors. My next appointment is on the 23rd and oh yes, the ultrasound is scheduled next Friday at 7:45 in the morning. Anyone else so excited they could pee their pants or would that just be me??? The bad news that came from today was that I have to have a RH- shot in the next few weeks, seriously, nobody told me about that shot so I was non to thrilled with that news but I have to do what I have to do to ensure the health of not only this baby but myself as well.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

General Tso's Chicken

Long time no post but you all should be getting used to that by now.

Today's recipe is brought to you by my husband Daniel, I helped make the stuff and found the recipe so I do get some credit, but he did the hard work so we will just give it up to him. My husband loves Chinese food, me...not so much. Chinese and I have a love hate relationship. I will crave it and be so excited to get it and then after about three bites I wish I had something else to eat, I do that with Chipotle to. Daniel had been craving some Chinese for the past few weeks and finally last night he put his foot down and decided that after having this recipe along with it's ingredients on hand for the last month that it was about time we actually cooked it. I was just fine with that because after all, it was my birthday and it was only fair he cook dinner for me. I actually really enjoyed this dish up until I got a bite of the pepper and that set my taste buds on fire. I think next time because I am a wimp like that, that I will have him leave the peppers out for my portion of the dish. On a side note those peppers cleared up my sinus' and I slept like a baby last night so maybe I should just deal with it. Anyway here you go, you must try this at home sometime!
General Tso's Chicken~
Compliments of, Recipe #164706


3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 cups green onions, sliced
8 small dried chilies, seeds removed (bird pepper or thai chilies are good)
2 cups white rice, cooked as directed

Cornstarch slurry:
1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium preferred
1 egg, beaten
1 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sherry wine or white wine
14 1/2 ounces chicken broth


1. Place sauce ingredients in a quart jar with a lid and shake to mix. If you make this ahead of time just refrigerate until needed, shaking it again when you are ready to use it. This also keeps your dirty dishes down.

2. Mix cornstarch slurry in a large bowl- the mixture will be strange but trust me it works. It will be VERY thick almost paste like. Add chicken pieces to coat. Using a fork remove ONE chicken piece at a time and let the excess mixture drip off. YES even though the mixture has a weird consistency it will not stick like paste and the excess will drip off. Add chicken to the hot (350 degree) oil and fry until crispy. Only cook 7 or 8 chicken pieces at a time. You do not want to raise the temp of the oil by cooking too many at a time. You can use a simple cooking or candy thermometer to judge the temp of the oil.

3. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm- I just put them in the oven with the oven off. Repeating until all chicken is fried.

4. In a separate wok or large skillet add a small amount of oil and heat to 400 degrees. Again, a candy thermometer works great. You can fry all the chicken, drain the oil to the desired amount and use the same pan if you like.

5. Add green onions and hot peppers and stir fry about 30 seconds.

6. Stir sauce mixture, and then add to pan with onions and peppers, cook until thick. If it gets too thick, add a little water. The thickness of the sauce should be similar to what you get when ordering this at a restaurant.

7. Add chicken to sauce in wok, and cook until all is hot and bubbly. The quicker this is done the crispier the chicken stays.

8. Serve over rice.

Like I said this dish was really good, the fact that I enjoyed it speaks loudly. Some suggestions that were posted by others was to do all of the prep work the night before which would help cut back some time when you make this during the evenings. We are definitely going to do that one when we make this again which we will be. When my Dad found out we were making Chinese for dinner he requested the recipe before we even knew it would be edible. Here you go Dad, here's the recipe...LOL.

On a totally separate note some of you may have noticed that September 15th has come and gone. I was totally supposed to pick a winner for the giveaway I was holding and failed to do so. Since I didn't get the response I was looking for I am going to extend the giveaway until Saturday the 26th at twelve o'clock p.m., that's noon just in case you didn't know. I will randomly select the winner from a hat and notify you right away so that I can get your mailing address.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

20 weeks and counting...

Today we are officially twenty weeks into this pregnancy which really takes my breath away. It seriously feels just like yesterday that I came walking out of the bathroom, tears streaming down my cheek, waving the pregnancy test in Daniel's face. It had been a long two and a half years of trying but yet it came as a total surprise to both of us. So much so that the week prior to knowing for sure when I commented that I might be, Daniel swore up and down I wasn't and to quit getting all worked up about it...what did he know!!

Not only is today the official twenty week marker but it is my 26th birthday which puts me at four away from being thirty. I will be honest with you, that number scares the absolute hell out of me...LOL. Daniel got through his without any problems but you are looking at someone who had issues with turning 25 so that should be interesting.

Today is also big for our marriage! For the first time in the almost three years that we have been married, my husband is now working first shift which means I will have someone to eat dinner with, watch TV with, and to also celebrate my actual birthday with.

Seriously, could this day get any better??

Friday, September 18, 2009

Our first big baby purchase...

Would anyone care to know what we are doing tonight?

No, well tough, I am telling you!!!

We are making the first big baby purchase since we found out we were expecting. My wonderful MIL has stepped up to the plate and has offered to buy the little ones crib and it is currently sitting on hold for us at Babies R Us. Would you like to see the one we have picked? If yes then please see below.

Now as you can see the changing table is attached to the crib which means we won't have to purchase an extra changing table. I spent weeks researching cribs and after countless favorites, reading customers reviews to the last letter, and weighing the pros and cons of picking this particular one as opposed to others, we decided that this one my friends, is the big winner. Here are my reasons; it's a lifetime crib which means that not only will it be a crib but it will also eventually be a toddler bed and then sometime after that a full size bed, it has a changing table attached which means we won't have the added expense of having to go out and buy a stand alone changing table that can only be used for so long, this one can be used on it's own as a nightstand if we so choose. My last reason is the big one, the nursery is relatively small so I knew we wouldn't have room for all of the furniture we originally thought we might need so buying a dresser was out of the question. This changing table has drawers attached which means all of the small things I knew would need to be in grabbing distance during diapers changes would be right there safe and sound. This means that we can get away with not having a dresser and thankfully the closet is set up in a way that it has shelves so the plan is to buy smaller baskets for the clothes that cannot be hung.

Now at the end of the day the crib is a little on the expensive side, we're talking between three and four hundred, but if you were to add up the cost of buying a crib, dresser, and changing table we were talking close to a thousand dollars if they were all purchased from Babies R Us. I am anal like that and wanted all of the items to match and I knew there was no way in you know what that we would have a thousand dollars just laying around for nursery furniture so at the end of the day I think we have made an excellent decision. We offered to split the cost of the crib however the MIL said no so off to Babies R Us we go.

I can't believe we are to the point where we are buying a crib. This pregnancy seems as if though it has flown by. My sister and I were talking just the other day and she said she couldn't believe how fast mine is flying and how slow hers is taking. She is two centimeters dilated by the way!

To make it seem like this pregnancy has gone even quicker is the fact my Doctor must have been having an off day during that first appointment when she said my due date was February 18th, that didn't seem right to me and our ultrasound tech confirmed that it was off at our 9 week ultrasound. I have been telling everyone I was due the 10th but was still sticking with the week that I was told I was at in the pregnancy. I finally sat down today and pulled the calendar off of the wall and started counting the weeks that have passed since this journey began so to say. As I originally suspected we are due on February 10th which means I am a week farther than the Doctor originally thought. Next Wednesday I will be 20 weeks which more importantly means we are half way through this journey. I cannot believe that in four months I will have this little one in my arms. It all just seems so surreal, how I went from wanting a baby so bad to actually putting those feelings aside so that I could devote all of my time to getting well and then bang, Baby B is on their way. I guess what they say about not thinking about getting pregnant or trying so hard and it will happen is true. We are proof that it is true and I guess when you have something else to put your mind towards so that you aren't thinking about it, it actually becomes feasible and not easier said than done.

Our next appointment is the 25th so I am excited that we will finally be able to schedule the ultrasound that will reveal whether this little peanut is a girl or a boy. Daniel has finally been moved to first shift which thankfully should only last until February, but I am sad to think he is going to miss out on all of the appointments starting with this next one up until the baby is hatched. He did say that they should allow him off long enough to join me for the ultrasound but even if they don't I have come up with a plan so no matter what happens I won't find out before he does. You may be wondering why I am not thrilled with the idea of him being on first shift, it's something we have wanted for awhile now because it would be nice to see my husband more than twice a week, but now that the baby is on the way we were sorta glad it never happened because my being on first while he was on second meant one thing...NO DAYCARE!!! I refuse to have my child in daycare at this point because it just seems so unfair to have to put my newborn in daycare with the kids and all of their pesky germs, especially now with the swine flu going around. I know that some have no choice but I was hoping it wouldn't be a choice that we would have to make. We also didn't want to have to do it because honestly, there is no way that we would be able to afford it even if we tightened our purse strings at home. We figured that since my sister will be a SAHM that she would watch the baby for those two hours that we wouldn't be available and she happily agreed. Now though we could possibly be facing the fact that the baby might be away from home during the entire day, my sister is OK with it but my fear is having two newborns under one roof that she is responsible for entirely will be overwhelming. She always said she wanted twins so I guess this is as close as she may get...LOL. I guess we will play everything by ear. For now the goal is to get this baby here, we will worry about babysitters later!!

Hopefully my next post with either be with the results about whether it a boy or girl, or when it is scheduled! I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be the first one and that they get me in right away because honestly not only am I going mad waiting, but our families are ready to know as well.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One thing...

I have one thing to say...round ligament pain sucks. I feel like I have just done fifty sit ups after having not done any in ten As much as the pain and discomfort sucks I know it just means things are growing and shifting around like they should be to make room for my little one. I have already started having trouble sleeping, I can't sleep on my back, I can't sleep on my tummy, obviously, but even sleeping on my sides hurt. I was starting to wonder I am just being a big fat complainer but my sister confirmed today that she started having trouble sleeping around the same time. It's nice having someone to go to so that we can compare notes, now if only our husbands would Good news for my sister though, after her doctors appointment this morning the doctor confirmed she has completely thinned out and Dylan should be here within the week. I am going to be an Auntie, YAY!! She is definitely ready as she can't even sit without being completely miserable. I joked with her today that I will wait until her labor and delivery to determine whether or not I want to go through with this, she promised not to scream to loud. The girls at work informed me that I am in to far to turn back now, I am going through this whether I want to or not.

On a nursery note, we are starting to work on the nursery this weekend. We have lots of stuff that needs to find a new place in our home so this should be interesting. As I mentioned in a previous post we are doing a farm theme in the nursery and my step-dads girlfriend has offered to do a mural for us. I can't wait until the room is done and ready for the baby. The nursery takes priority but then we get to start working on the spare bedroom upon the nursery's completion. The room is currently being used as Daniel's personal walk in closet so we have to organize and get the furniture arranged. We're slapping on a fresh coat of paint and getting some new bedding and then that room will be ready to go for any overnight guests that we might have in the first few weeks of the baby being home. It's ridiculous that we have been in this house for three years next month and it's taken a pregnancy to push us into getting things done around here.

I am off to bed now, hopefully I can get comfortable, this ache in my belly really needs to cease until it's time to get

Friday, September 4, 2009

Slow Cooker Italian Beef

Last week I had the urge to come up with some new dinner ideas for the hubby and I and so before we did our grocery shopping I perused several different blogs and some of my favorite cooking websites. I found this recipe at and thought why not give it a shot. Daniel is not a big red meat fan and the first time I made pot roast I think he dreaded having to sit down at the table with me and eat it. Lucky for me though he loved my pot roast and I have slowly started bringing him around. He still won't touch a steak of any kind but hey saves more for me. Of course I was somewhat leery of how this would be accepted by him but I knew that as long as it came out tender and juicy he would at least be willing to try it. Plus put anything on a sandwich with cheese and peppers for him and he's a happy camper.

Slow Cooker Italian Beef
3 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. onion salt
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 bay leaf (I omitted)
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1 (5 pound) rump roast (I used an eye of round roast because we were unable to find a butt roast)

1. Combine water with salt, ground black pepper, oregano, basil, onion salt, parsley, garlic powder, bay leaf, and salad dressing mix in a saucepan. Stir well, and bring to a boil.

2. Place roast in slow cooker, and pour salad dressing mixture over the meat.

3. Cover, and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4 to 5 hours. When done, remove bay leaf, and shred meat with a fork.

Now as usual I started putting this together without fully reading the instructions...big surprise I know. I completely skipped step one and ended up just putting everything in the slow cooker mixing it together as I went and then I threw the roast on top. Honestly, I don't see the point of step one so even if I had read the directions, I probably would have skipped over it anyway. I am afraid that here in five months I am not going to have time for extra steps that can be omitted from a

Also a quick note, GENTLY place your roast into the slow cooker, DO NOT accidentally drop it in, especially if you omit step one as I did. Why you ask? Because if it gets dropped in, the liquid ingredients get splashed EVERYWHERE!! All over yourself and into your hair, on the poor dog who was just an innocent bystander and all over the kitchen counter and canisters and then unless you shower or give the dog a bath you will smell like italian seasoning for the remainder of the day. The other dogs are giving Lennon a hard time because they think Mom gave him a treat and forgot about them, poor guys.

Anyway, we served ours on hoagie buns with lots of mozzarella cheese and banana peppers and threw them in the oven for a few minutes to help melt the cheese and to make the bun nice and crispy. These were so good and so flavorful. I really think you should give them a try!!

Don't forget about my first ever giveaway. Everyone has until midnight on the 15th to enter!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cabbage Rolls

Tonight I made cabbage rolls for the very first time in my life. Seriously, the trying to pry cabbage leaves off of a head of cabbage without them tearing is a chore. The women folk on my facebook page suggested putting the head of cabbage in hot water and then they should peel right off. Where were those suggestions when I started the

I had planned on using my MIL's recipe because honestly, hers are the best I have ever eaten. As usual though I couldn't find the recipe card she had given me, I know the vicinity in which it's located but I just couldn't find it this round...maybe because I was looking to hard. So instead I sort of winged it and came up with my own and let me tell you, I was so darn proud of myself I almost cried. Not as good as my MIL Sue's but they were yummy, especially for my experimentation. Daniel suggested adding more meat next time and I will since I will know then how to get my leaves off in one piece.

Katie's Cabbage Rolls~

12 cabbage leaves
1 1/2 lb. ground beef, browned (I used only 1 lb. but the boss said to use more)
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
sprinkle or two of ground black pepper
1 cup white rice, cooked as directed on packaging
1- 8oz. can sauerkraut
1- 26oz. can tomato sauce

1 cup chicken or beef broth (plus extra in case needed)

1.) Begin by boiling a large pot of water and in a separate skillet begin browning your ground beef. In a smaller pot begin boiling water for your rice.

2.) Add your garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to your ground beef mixture. Drain excess grease and set aside in a mixing bowl to cool. Add rice to water, cover and set aside. Once the rice has absorbed all of the water throw in with your ground beef mixture.

3.) Slowly and carefully pull your cabbage leaves off of the head of cabbage trying to keep them intact.

4.) Dip the cabbage leaves in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes to soften them enough that you can roll them. Drain and allow to cool so that you can handle them.

5.) Turn on your slow cooker to the low setting. Remember cold food into a cold slow cooker, warm food into a warm slow cooker!!

6.) Begin stuffing your cabbage leaves. Add about a scoopful of the meat mixture placing at the bottom of the leave. Tuck in the sides and continue to roll forward. Place each roll in the bottom of the slow cooker slowly building them up as you go along.

7.) Once all of the rolls are in pour in your tomato sauce, sauerkraut, and chicken or beef broth. Take a spoon or some kind of utensil and gently pull your cabbage rolls away from the side of the dish long enough to allow some of the liquids to slowly make it down to the bottom of the dish. Cover and turn to high for four hours or keep at low for eight hours. Keep extra broth on hand in case it appears your cabbage rolls are beginning to dry out. I did ours for four hours so I imagine that after eight the liquid may have all but evaporated out.

Serve alongside a heaping mound of mashed taters and you have yourself one heck of a comfort meal. Throw in some green beans and it becomes that much healthier for you.

Also make sure you take a look at my previous post for something very interesting!!

First Ever Katie's Korner Giveaway

I had full intentions of having my first giveaway back around the time of my 100th post but this little thing called pregnancy got in the way and my blogging had pretty much come to a screeching halt.

Since I am back into the swing of things when it comes to making a mess in my kitchen I figured better late than never!! So starting today and ending on September 15th at midnight I am doing a giveaway...yay!! In order to participate all you have to do is two things; if you haven't already...become a follower of my blog, and leave a comment on this post giving me your favorite pizza recipe. You can either type the recipe out or paste the link of where I can find the recipe. The husband and I have been making more pizzas at home and I would love to branch out to pizza combinations that we haven't yet tried! As a bonus if you mention this giveaway on your own blog you get an extra chance to win, just make sure you mention it when you leave your comment!

Still working on the prize but it will be worth your while and my guess is that it is going to be pizza related. I just love suprises don't you? Also, please be sure you leave me with some way of contacting you should you win and unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to those living within the United States...blame FedEx and their outrageous prices.

Happy posting!