Friday, November 30, 2012

Claire Bernice

Our sweet Claire surprised us and came a week earlier than planned!  She was born on November 9th at 8:02 am.  She weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 19.5" long.  She is healthy and unbelievably beautiful...of course.

She's three weeks old today!  My how time flies.  I've intended to post about her birth every day since she was born, and then the days whip by in a flurry of diapers, feedings, guests and chasing our busy toddler around the house.  Life is busy, but oh is it beautiful!

In the essence of time (BOTH girls are napping right now, woo hoo!), I will share some pics of the last few weeks and then get this posted.  And then I'll try really really hard to do an update about life with two within the next week.  No promises, but I'm going to make an effort.







Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pizza Sauce

I've been trying to get a few things made and in the freezer so we have quick meals when the baby girl arrives.  Trying being the key word.  So far I have two bags of chili, two enchilada casseroles, three pizza crusts and 10 bags of pizza sauce.  So, maybe I went a little overboard on the pizza sauce.  But, its the best homemade pizza sauce you'll ever find.  This sauce is thick, without being chunky, and the spices, garlic and onion meld to make an unbelievably rich and tasty sauce. I know I won't regret having extra on hand.

This sauce freezes well and can pulled out of the freezer in the morning and put in the fridge to thaw.  Or you can stick it in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes, for a quick de-thaw.  I freeze the sauce in one cup portions, which is the perfect amount for one 12-inch pizza.  No matter how you de-thaw it, it makes for a quick week night meal when paired with a super easy pizza dough I will be posting soon.

This recipe doubles, triples, quadruples (you get the point) easily.  So, make some extra to have for those weeknights when you just don't have the energy to cook...which is basically everyday for me right now!

Basic Pizza Sauce
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Makes about 2 1/2 cups, enough for 2 - 12" pizzas

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup onion, grated
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion, oregano and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Add tomatoes and sugar, bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 25-30 minutes.  Sauce should be reduced to about 2 1/2 cups at this point.

Remove sauce from heat and stir in basil and olive oil.  Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately on a pizza, or allow to cool completely and freeze for up to two months.  Either way, you are going to love it when you...


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Weekly Coo: Halloween Edition

This little creature?  This is a creature named Elmo who I want to squeeze until her eyes pop out of her head (uh, oops) and who had a very Happy, and sugar-filled, Halloween.  (Oh, the sugar!  Don't even get me started. I still haven't figured out how to deal with that one.  I am fairly certain Anna has consumed more sugar in the past 24 hours than she has consumed cumulatively in her life up to this point. Sugar meltdown equals pure hell. Ugh.)

We scored big time with the weather this year on our first official year of trick-or-treating.  I have accompanied Danesa and her kiddos for the past lotta years for the yearly candy haul and, since this is Montana we're talking about, the weather usually flat out sucks.  Last night was a balmy 50 degrees and perfect for gallivanting with our Littles.

Despite the fact that Anna clearly was not digging the pre-trick-or-treating photo shoot, we had a great time once we were out on the streets.

Danesa was a life saver, as usual, pushing Anna around in the stroller, picking her up and plopping her up on each doorstep in time to say trick-or-treat, and then back into the stroller.  With my enormous belly, swollen feet, and general all-over bodily discomfort I would have lasted all of three houses had I been by myself.  (Mace unfortunately had class until 6:30, so was only able to join us for the tail end of trick-or-treating.  The part with the sugar melt-downs and general tiredness.)

All in all, it was a beautiful night, and we were a wiped out clan at the end of the night. We hit our beds around 8:30 and slept soundly through the night.



Fall is here in full force and we're already feeling a little cooped up.  We've had a lot of snow and rain this past week, and during the occasional break in the clouds we've been hitting the park for a breath of air whenever possible.  Its been a major mood and spirit lifter.

Anna never ceases to surprise us with the fact that she is her very own person that can do her very own thing without any direction from us.  What?!?  Neither of us have ever ventured over to the monkey bars with Anna, but she walked up to them like it was the most natural thing in the world and started swinging away.  Oh my monkey...


I am still, obviously, pregnant and we're anxiously awaiting Miss Thing #2.  I can hardly wait to snuggle that little one in my arms, breathe in her newborn scent and give her a million little kisses. Until then, the three of us are (im)patiently cooing together and enjoying the calm before the storm.

Happy November!