Friday, October 26, 2012

Food Friday - Potato Casserole

I LOVE potatoes. I also love casseroles. So to mix the two? BRILLIANT!

We had this as a side last week with our meatloaf and it was great. Not to mention, the leftovers were awesome.



You will need:

2 bags of Simply Potatoes cubed potatoes with onions. You can find these by the bagels/breakfast food
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 pint of sour cream (or sour lean which is what we used)
2 cans of cream of potato soup
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350*

Combine everything in a large bowl. Yep, it's that easy.

Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 pan and bake covered for 90 minutes. Uncover and broil for about 5 minutes or less (until the top is crispy).

Serve!!

DEEEE-LICIOUS!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kylie's Birth Story

We are so so blessed to have such an amazing little girl in our lives.

Kylie Joy joined us on October 16th 2012 at 1:18pm. She weighed in at 9 pounds and was 21 inches long. Baby girl came roaring into this world and I can't imagine there was even one person in this world that was as happy in that moment as Tyler and I were.

I will (I'm sure) talk about this more in the future as time permits, but for now, just know she is just the happiest baby! She cries to poop or eat... BAM. That's it. Ok... once in a while she cries when I put a shirt on her... but nobody likes a shirt thrown over their face... am I right?

Onto the birth story. This is probably the longest post in the history of the world. I will warn you , I am writing this for my baby girl. So she can look back on it one day and know exactly how she came screaming into the world. You all get to see it as a perk :).

Kidding. But really, forgive me if there are details you wish I would have omitted. Remember, it's for her.

At my doctor's appointment on 10/15, things went as normal. NST, blood pressure, weight (ick), and she stripped my membranes. This didn't work before, so I had no hope now. Just to be safe, we had already scheduled Kylie to be induced on 10/18/12. Kylie had different plans.

**Side note: It is so much fun to say Kylie as opposed to baby K. =)

Well 3am rolled around and I had some seriously uncomfortable (what felt like) menstrual cramps. I tried to time them, and I got a range of 7-9 minutes apart. Tried going back to bed... fail. Tried sleeping on the couch... fail. So I did laundry and called my sister (which she was ever so thrilled to talk to me at 4:30 am... SORRY BECCA!!).

When the pain got a little more intense, I called the hospital (about 5am) to see if these were the real deal. She told me to keep timing and come in when they were 5 minutes apart.

Tyler woke at 6am per usual and at that moment, I had my worst one yet. He said "wouldn't it be crazy if we had her today?"! Careful what you wish for, dad!

He showered his 20 minute shower and asked me after how I felt. I mentioned they were getting closer based on the data from my contraction counter.

**Another side note: DO NOT download a free contraction counter. I had one and it was great... for the first twenty contractions... but then good ol' number 21 rolled around and the damn thing said "please upgrade to continue tracking contractions"! Excuse my language, but SERIOUSLY?! I was frantically hitting "BUY" but it asked for my password which I was too irritated to enter... so Tyler wrote the stats and we cleared the data to start over. Dumb.

Tyler said "What a brilliant selling technique". I have a hard time agreeing.

Tyler had his coat on ready to go to work and we sat at the kitchen table... well, he sat. I paced. When they got to 3-4 minutes apart, I decided it was time to go. Tyler said "Nah... we can wait a while". I won't share my response. I believe I may have said a few words and went out to sit in the car. He followed (smart man).

We got to the hospital at 7:15 and went to the OB floor where there was already someone checking in so a nurse came and took us to a room (bypassing the admitting room) since I was clearly uncomfortable. She said that if I dilated at all from the 2cm at my appointment the day before, I would be admitted. I was a 4.

Then it got real.

I called my mom who was on her way to work and told her to turn around and my sister and Tyler called the rest of the world.

The nurse asked me if I would like the epidural and I said "let's see how this goes, can I get in the tub?". She said sure and I jumped right in. It really helped take the edge off... until a couple of hours later I was getting mean and nearly (well maybe actually) crying during the contractions which were one on top of the other at this point. I believe on a few occasions, while my sweet husband was telling me "breathe honey, in through your nose, out through your mouth" I snapped "stop breathing on me with coffee breath!!". Fortunately he forgave me.

When the contractions were beginning to get unbearable, I decided to get the epidural. Note to all you women who want babies: If you might want the epidural, start it sooner rather than later... you have to have 1 hour to suck in a whole iv bag. They plugged me in while I was still in the tub... for comfort's sake. Didn't work.

When we were ready for anesthesia, I got out, signed my life away, and sat to get checked. I was a 7. In a matter of an hour/hour and a half, I had dilated 3 cm... average is one per hour. Maybe this is why the pain was so unreal!

I had to sit through 4 contractions while I got the epidural where you cannot move. I had Tyler pinching my feet to try to focus me elsewhere. Ouch. This was the loudest I was during the whole pregnancy... OOHING through each contraction without a break.

An hour later, I was at 9.5 cm. Baby girl wanted out fast.

We started pushing right when I got to 10. I thought it would be like on TV where they walk you through how to do it... nope. You just instinctively know how it's done. I got about 5 pushes per contraction as I felt every single one. I felt them coming. Epidural work? For about an hour.

On my second round of pushing (2 minutes into pushing), I had my eyes pressed tight and I was holding my breath until something pushed down on me. My eyes snapped open in time to see my giant husband falling to the ground. Fortunately the doctor caught him before he hit the ground. Unfortunately, she caught him with the glove she just checked me with... gross. So he came to (after a little groaning) with a scratch on his face from hitting the IV machine, changed shirts, and we were back at it. While he was passing out/on the floor, I started crying hysterically saying "TYLER, WAKE UP!!! I NEEEEEED YOU!!!" Really guys, it was like a bad drama series. We have spent plenty of time laughing about it already. I love my husband.

He always says "I think that is just when it got real. I mean nothing gross was really happening yet!!". I love him.

So the doctor told him to eat some of the jello or broth I had neglected twice and we were back at it.

After 1 hour of pushing, our baby came screaming into the world. They laid her on my chest and all I could do is sob. I had known her for not even a minute and she stole my heart. The screams, the naked buns in my hand, and the beautiful eyes of our first baby. Even if there are words to describe this incredible unreal feeling, I can't find them. If I could relive that moment every day for the rest of my life, I would die of too much happiness.

I held my baby for a total of two minutes before they whisked her away to clean her off and Tyler went with (just across the room) while I got stitched up. Yep, I tore. But would I do this all again? Absolutely.

Other than holding her for her first few minutes, the moment that still brings me to tears is the moment Tyler walked over to me, holding his baby girl with tears in his eyes and a big, happy daddy  smile on his face. Again, a moment I would pay all of my money to see again.

6 hours. I was in labor for 6 hours and we now have our little angel, laying next to me as I type away. As of yesterday, she weighs 8 pounds, 13 ounces... almost back to birth weight. I am so completely, and utterly in love with my family.

I will write about recovery later, but for now, I will bombard you with pictures. : )

Waiting... just after epidural.
One of the first pictures of our angel. Welcome to the world, Kylie Joy!

Based on how my face looks, I wouldn't typically post this, but it's our first family picture and I love it. Tears and all.

Kylie's first momma kisses.

Introducing Kylie to family.

My happy baby girl.

Proud grandpa and my wonderful dad Jeff!! =)



My first picture with our baby.

Such a proud daddy!!! Still melts my heart.

We love you to the moon and back, Kylie Joy.







Friday, October 19, 2012

Food Friday - Meatloaf

Meatloaf scares me. In fact, I don't even like the word "meatloaf".

It scares me because it is SO easy to make a bad meatloaf. Not that I've ever tried... I had never made one before this. But I have eaten dry, poorly made meatloaf. Yuck.

So I thought I would give it a go. Just like the lasagna, I made it while my husband watched the football game. We made a large pan (as we do with almost everything) because you can refrigerate/freeze extra for leftovers!

Also, we made this with some amazing potatoes which I will share NEXT Friday.



Moving onto meatloaf... you will need:


3 pounds ground beef (I used lean ground beef... which scared me because it has a lower fat content and I worried it would dry out our supper. Worked like a charm. This meatloaf rocked)
2 eggs
2 large onions, chopped
2 cups milk
2 cups dried bread crumbs
salt and pepper

Optional glaze/topping (we didn't use it)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup mustard
2/3 cup ketchup

Directions
  
Preheat oven to 350*

In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, onion, milk and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a greased 9x13 baking dish

If you want the glaze/topping, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour over the meatloaf.
 
Bake at 350* for 75 minutes.

It stays moist and delicious.

Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Baby Girl is Here!!!!

Hello, all!!

Please welcome to the world Miss Kylie Joy Knott.



Tyler and I couldn't be more excited about welcoming our first little angel into the world.

Please be patient while we gather ourselves and bask in the wonderful glory of parenthood. Doesn't get much better than this! =)

Birth story to follow.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Food Friday - Apple Turnovers

Oh. My. Goodness.

Have you ever had an apple turnover? No? Well, neither had I until I made them. They are outstanding both fresh from the oven and just out of the fridge.

This lovely treat followed Chicken Wild Rice Soup and was accompanied by hot cider. God Bless great friends, sweatpants, movies, hot supper, and dessert.

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This is Ann... I have talked about her before. She is due one month after us... almost to the day!
They aren't as easy as the oreo truffles or the pumpkin cupcakes I've made before... but they are GOOOOOOOOD.

I would estimate they took about 30 minutes to make 8. Not bad in my book.

I have been on a HUGE apple kick. The day I saw this recipe, I went and got 4 lbs of apples, a gallon of fresh cider, and some caramel dip for the leftover apples. Yum yum yum.

I got the recipe from one of the 10 million free magazines I have received in the last 6 months. I tried to cancel them... because I don't want to get some outrageous bill in the future back-paying for the issues they sent me as promotions... but they still keep coming! This recipe came from Family Circle (but I made a few modifications).

You will need:
2 medium apples peeled, cored, and diced (I used Honeycrisp as that's what was on sale... the recipe calls for Fuji)
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 egg separated
1 package (two sheets) of puff pastry sheets (thawed). You can find these by the Cool Whip at the store.
1/4 cup powdered sugar

 Makes 8 pieces.

Preheat oven to 400*

Mix apples with flour, sugar, ginger, lemon juice

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and toss in apple mixture. Cook for 4-5 minutes (stirring constantly) or until apples start to get tender.

Pour back into bowl and let cool. Then add egg yolk. Mix it in well.

Unfold pastry sheet and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out a bit with a rolling pin.

Using a knife, cut the sheet into 4 equal pieces.

Stir up the egg white a bit to ensure it separates. Then brush it onto each of the pieces of dough. It'll help maintain the seal.

Place about 3 heaping tbsp of the mixture onto the center of each of your squares. Fold sheet over to form a triangle and press down edges to seal. 


Photobucket

Put all triangles on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes or until dough starts to turn brown.

Using a small mesh strainer (what we used) or pinching the powdered sugar in your fingers, sprinkle a bit on each of the turnovers.

Serve warm.

Photobucket

The magazine says they aren't good re-heated... but my husband LOVED them cold. Wouldn't recommend covering them though as they will get mooshy. I would recommend eating them within a few days of cooking though or they will stale without being covered.

ENJOY!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Doctor Appointment Update

This post might be a little graphic. So squeamish, look away. boys, don't read this. You've been warned.


This little girl is never coming out. 


I will be pregnant forever.


I no longer remember what it feels like to not be pregnant.


I am dilated to a 2... and thinned out... but (to my knowledge), I am not having any contractions. I started getting PMS type cramping last night and into today, but I am not sure that's a real contraction. She said if I keep getting them, time 'em. So that's just what I'll do!

Our doctor says baby is more than ready. She stripped my membranes today (see... I warned you... TMI) and said all we can do now is wait. (For those of you who are unaware, stripping the membranes is a technique that is supposed to jump start the contractions in the least invasive manner possible. Google it.)

Our due date is Thursday. 10/11/12. What a cool birthday, right? Hopefully SHE thinks so too...

We have a nursery, and a name, and a wardrobe... now all we need is a baby.

If she is not here before, we will have another appointment Monday which will include another NST (non-stress-test), another membrane strip, and another heartbeat check.

On the bright side, we scheduled the induction if it gets to that point. If you don't hear sooner, we are having this baby on the 18th and we go in at 5am to be induced. Ideally she'll be here tomorrow... or yesterday. I would be fine with either.

All you other moms, did YOU get this anxious too? What did you do to keep your mind off your discomfort?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Food Friday - Applesauce

I am not opposed to cooking all-natural. In fact, kudos to all of you who are able to do so 100% of the time as it is obviously better for you.

I try to cook things without adding ingredients that have been too processed, but at the same time, that's not how we were raised. So it proves to be a bit of a challenge sometimes.

Applesauce however, that's one thing you can't  screw up!! I mean literally... there is no way you can screw up applesauce.

Here is what you'll need:

10 large apples (or 12-14 smaller apples... really whatever fits in your crockpot)
1/2 cup of water

BAM!

That's all you need. No sugar or additives. Just good old fashioned apples, just what the doctor ordered.

Peel, slice, and remove the core from all of the apples. If you don't have one of these nifty gadgets, I HIGHLY recommend one. Mine has proven to be useful on way too many occasions. If you are from my area, you can find them at Runnings, Fleet Farm, Farm & Fleet, Cabela's, or at a kitchen gadget store (there are some in Albertville). Worth every penny.


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This is exactly what mine looks like. Found here.

Toss all of your apples in the crockpot so it's full, then pour in approximately 1 cup of water. It really just helps keep the apples from sticking to the bottom until their juices come out.

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. You should be able to whisk through the apples and determine if the applesauce is the consistency you desire. We like a few chunks in ours.

Turn off heat and spoon into serving sizes you desire. You can also put it all into one container and scoop it out as you see fit. I feel we grab that as a healthy snack more often when it is already portioned out.

This is a recipe I hope our baby learns to love.

We made Taco Pie this week too which I have shared before and my husband (and some of my Facebook friends) L-O-V-E it. You should probably try it =)

 
Have an outstanding weekend!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes

This was too good and easy not to share. Seriously... it was without a doubt the easiest thing I've ever made. I found it on Pinterest via.

Oh yeah, and it totally made me think of fall. And if you didn't gather from yesterday's post, I LOVE LOVE LOVE fall. Everything about it. So you have to make these... for fall's sake : )



AND... After I ate one two, I realized the recipe says it is a Weight Watchers recipe!! Now I am not currently watching my weight as I am closing in on X# of pounds right now... dang baby. But it DOES make me feel a little better about myself!

You will need:
2 boxes of yellow cake mix
1 29oz can of pumpkin pie filling
**optional: cream cheese frosting or (what I used) powdered sugar

BAM!

Preheat oven to 350*

Mix the ingredients together. No milk, no eggs, no oil, no nothin'.

Fill muffin cups just about to the top.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until they are baked through.

Let stand until cool.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar (I just let it sift through a mesh strainer).

Voila! I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!!!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Marvelous Mondays - Chicken Wild Rice Hotdish

Today I am doing 2, count 'em TWO link ups!!

This one is Marvelous Mondays... which is so so appropriate for a Monday, right?


Now, for those of you who aren't aware, it's FALL! Our trees are changing color and the weather is cooling off.. I mean this weekend's highs will be in the 40s and 50s!! Does it get any better than that?! Answer: Nope. Nothing better than a Minnesota Fall!!

Today I would like to share a recipe with you. It is one of mine and my husband's FAVORITE recipes recently. Bonus? It is EASY!

 

You will need:

2-3 large chicken breasts cooked (I boiled them)
One box of uncle Ben's long grain wild rice cooked per package's instructions
8 oz jar of cheeze wiz. Not the canned stuff for crackers. The jar for cooking.
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 stick margarine
Mixed veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots are the best)
2 cups French Fried Onions
Non stick spray

Prepare Rice

Prepare chicken and cube (I recommend no large than 1" square)

Put chicken and rice in a large bowl and add 1 bag of frozen veggies.

Mix together cheeze wiz, soup, softened margarine and when mixed together, mix in with the chicken/rice mixture.

Spray 9x13 glass baking dish with non-stick and pour in mixture.

Bake at 350* for 45 minutes UNCOVERED. Remove from oven, top with french fried onions and put back in oven for 15 minutes. 

Serve hot!! =)

Totally amazing and delicious fall casserole.

Finally, if you want additional recipes, I have compiled them all here. Last night we had Taco Pie which is a blogland favorite (so I have heard).

Happy Fall!!! :)






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