the best gift

the great tree hunt

benny got a deer. venison recipes anyone?

i love my boys

father son time

matchy matchy

grandpa and his boys

gobble gobble

What's Cooking: Thanksgiving

I'm pretty sure my Mom and I are in over our head's this year.  Last week when we talked about what we'd have for Thanksgiving I told her we'd keep it simple.  I'd be tending to Anderson a lot and wouldn't have much time for too much creativity in the kitchen.  We'd stick to the old standby's and that would be that.

(photo from Martha)

Something happened over the weekend and now we're trying out all new recipes.  Really smart.  I blame Martha Stewart Living on the iPad for inspiring us and making me think, "Yes, let's make that too!"

I'll head out to my parents tonight so in the morning we can get a jump start on cooking.  We'll make the brine for the turkey- a first for us- and we'll make pumpkin pie.  Martha's meringue pumpkin pie.  We'll also do a new cranberry orange sauce and prep things for Pioneer Woman's Oyster Dressing.

(photo from the Pioneer Woman)

On the day of we'll have to put together Bobby Flay's Sweet Potato Gratin, the Oyster Dressing, and an herb butter to put under the skin of the turkey while it cooks away in the turkey roaster.  We're also doing pees and something with brussel sprouts I think.  There will also be rolls.

I'm armed and ready with my mandolin, fat separator, and good attitude.

Here's to wishing you and your a Happy Thanksgiving!  So much to be thankful for around here this year!

balsamic brown sugar slow-cooker pork

This is life right now.  One food picture.  The first food picture in awhile.  I told you I'd be back and right now back means slow-cooker recipes a lot.  Anderson sleeps more in the morning so I can throw something together.  The afternoon and around dinner time he's awake and potentially fussy so for now, Slow-Cooker recipes it is.

I saw this one on Pinterest and decided to make it right away.  I used a 1 pound pork tenderloin I had in the freezer and used fennel seed instead of sage.  The sauce was simple to throw together once Benjamin got home and it tasted delicious.  We'll be making this recipe again most definitely.  Check it out here.

Eight Weeks?!

Eight weeks?!  I can't believe it's already been that long.  He's getting so big!  Benjamin stood on the scale, stepped off and grabbed Anderson, and stepped back on again.  We think he may be 11 or 12 pounds.  That seems crazy to me.  We go to the doctors next week and we'll see what he really weighs.  I'm guessing 10 pounds, but then again he's probably closer to 12 which would almost be double his birth weight!

He's loving his mobile and the play mat and the toys that hang on his car seat.  Benjamin and I call them his friends because he gets so excited to see them.  He's sleeping more and I'm hopeful that the trend will continue and I'll gradually continue to get some sleep back.  I'm used to the sleep deprivation now and waking up at 3 am isn't a big deal to me anymore.  It's sweet time with the sweet little man who has brought so much joy to us these past 8 weeks.

He continues to smile more and more, especially in the morning.  Maybe he's a morning person like his Mamma.  Then again he seems to like the spotlight and wants to make sure we're paying attention to his Daddy.  Can't wait to see more and more of his little personality shine through in the next 8 weeks!

deer caught in headlights

Hunting season started this weekend so to the country we went so Benjamin would be closer to the land on Saturday morning.  I gave him a hard time about not coming home with anything on Saturday morning so back he went on Saturday night.  He saw several but couldn't get a shot.  The last one he saw was in front a farm so if he did shoot and miss it could have gone into a house.  I married a smart man who let that doe go.  Alas, no venison yet but I'm sure we'll be getting some this season and I'll have to figure out how to cook it.  Recipe suggestions anyone?

mocha apple bundt cake

Mocha Apple Bundt Cake.  I made this before the little one as need for me to tell you that.  It's good- not very mocha-rich but the apples and chocolate are a nice surprise and a combination I liked more than I would have thought.

We ate half of this and then I froze the rest to be consumed when the babe arrived.  I didn't use granny smith apples as the recipe calls for, and I made it as a bundt cake without frosting.

Check out the recipe here.  I'd make it again as it's different and was pretty easy to assemble.

slow cooker meatballs

Food?  On this blog?  Yup.  He's sleeping and I'm catching up.  I made these before he arrived and will probably make them again before too long.  The slow cooker is the way I'm easing back into cooking- especially because fussy time is between 5 and 7 pm.

You can make these meatballs the night before and throw them in the slow cooker the next day.  That might happen here soon.  They were pretty delicious and it made a ton- great for a crowd!

Recipe is thanks to Good Housekeeping and can be found here.

this was my daddy's outfit...even though he's not a sailor

it's funny when overalls are too big

seven weeks dear anderson

Dear Anderson,

You are getting so big.  You're looking at things and starting to see more and you definitely know who I am (which I love.)  You're figuring out who your Daddy is and smiling at him too.  We love you a lot and are excited to see you growing and revealing your little personality to us.  In the morning you smile the most for us.  It's a happy time, especially if you just slept for a nice 5 hour stretch, then 4 hours, then 3 or 2 hours.  That makes Mommy feel much more rested so keep up the good work.

As much as I love seeing you grow, I'm glad you're still a baby.  This season will be gone before we know it and you'll be crawling and the little coo's you make will be words.  First sweet words then funny words then when you're older you're probably going to say things that we'll have to sit down and talk about.  

This weekend your Daddy is going deer hunting.  He can't wait to bring you along.  It's ok if you don't like hunting though- no pressure.

It's fun to get you to smile at me.  This morning I made some silly faces and you really liked that.  You bring us so much joy and really show us what life's all about.

Lots of love to you,

seven weeks with my bear

mamma t

such a good daddy