Steak, Feta and Olive Quesadillas

Another quick and easy dinner headed your way with this Mediterranean twist on the classic Mexican quesadilla.  All the quesadilla ingredients are mixed together to save time – there’s no layering or trying to make sure you save room for each element.

To make the quesadilla stuffing, cook the thinly sliced steak on the stovetop until browned.  Add in the spinach, cream cheese, feta and chopped olives.  Allow the mixture to cook for two minutes and then remove from the heat.

And just like that, you’re ready to make your quesadillas.  I used corn tortillas but you can use your favorite – whether thats flour or corn.  Spoon the filling on one tortilla and then top with another tortilla.  Cook until browned in a little oil and carefully flip.  Make sure not to overstuff your quesadillas!

The quesadillas are served with a side of greek yogurt for dipping.

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And on the side, a simple cucumber and tomato salad with parsley, olive oil, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.

I loved this spin on a dinner that is so common in many households.  The steak paired with the olives was so yummy and the cream cheese made it extra creamy and delicious.

OPA.

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Sheet Pan Hawaiian Shrimp

These days dinner needs to be on the table in less than 30 minutes.  I know that this is a small season of life, but we’re still trying to figure out Blakely Gray’s schedule and therefore, our schedule is a little up in the air.  Despite having less time to devote to dinner, I strive to still serve healthy, delicious dinners.  (p.s. we have lots of friends bringing us dinner over the next several weeks and we are insanely grateful for those “easy” meals that don’t require any thinking or effort from us.)

Sheet Pan Hawaiian Shrimp is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever cooked and it’s sure to be a favorite of many.  Cooking Light actually has a whole section on “sheet pan dinners” in their most current issue and I’m looking forward to cooking more because of the ease of cooking and the easy clean up.

One important step in this recipe is to allow the pan to preheat in the oven while the oven is warming up.  This will help with the texture of the rice.  While the oven is heating, mix the precooked rice with canola oil until the rice is broken up and coated with oil.  Once the oven is hot and the sheet pan has been warmed, spread the rice on the pan and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and top with your chopped red bell pepper and pineapple.  Cook for 5 more minutes.  Finally top with the shrimp and cook for about 6 minutes (we ended up cooking for 2 more minutes).

Remove from the oven and pour on the glaze – a mixture of soy sauce, sugar and rice vinegar.  Toss with the Hawaiian Shrimp and then sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

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Easy, healthy and delicious.  You honestly can’t go wrong with this sheet pan dinner. I think my favorite bites included a little bit of crunchy rice and the sweet pineapple.

Do you have a favorite sheet pan dinner?

Guacamole Buffalo Chicken Pizza

We’ve survived two weeks of being parents!  But let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy.  Don’t get me wrong, Blakely Gray is the sweetest, most adorable baby (I know, I’m biased) but she has her moments.  And as I expected, it’s been a whirlwind.  Every time I think I’m a step ahead, I realize I’m two steps behind.  Ya’ll know I’m a schedule gal and while I am 100% on board with Baby Wise, you can’t really go full speed ahead with the schedule the first few weeks.  Some days she stays right on schedule and then other days, she’s in control.  It’s amazing how a six pound baby can be the boss of two grown adults.  My prayer is that we can merge two of the night time feedings so that I’m getting up one less time in the middle of the night.

Anyways, I’ll do a full check-in once we hit one month (which will be here before we know it and makes me want to cry).  What I really came here to do was share a pizza recipe.  Yesterday we wanted to have our first pizza Sunday as a family of three and while little miss wasn’t really interested in our plans, we absolutely devoured this pizza and somehow the crust turned out better than usual despite using the same recipe as we always do.

The pizza starts with the best ever crust and then topped with a layer of ranch dressing followed by fontina cheese and buffalo chicken.  I used shredded rotisserie chicken and then tossed it with the buffalo sauce and melted butter.  On top of the buffalo chicken, a sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese, sliced green onions and the rest of the fontina.  Bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted to perfection.

While the pizza is baking, whip up your guacamole by mashing together an avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper and cilantro.  When the pizza comes out of the oven, slice and then top with dollops of guacamole.

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Such a fun twist on a pizza!

And for there record, I started typing this post over two hours ago but a feeding plus projectile vomit caused a little delay.  #truelife

 

Totchos (Tator Tot Nachos) with Cheese, Sauce, Charred-Tomato Salsa and Chorizo

Totchos were my last craving of pregnancy.  But I didn’t get to fulfill my craving until last weekend.  You see, we were planning to have these for dinner the Sunday I had Blakely Gray.  So instead of enjoying them while pregnant, we enjoyed this platter of deliciousness during the Super Bowl with a baby hanging out in her rock ‘n play.

And despite not being pregnant, I was still craving these little potato nuggets – I had been thinking about them for two weeks!

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I used store-bought frozen tator tots and simply baked in the oven as the package directed.  They would have been amazing fried, but I felt there was a enough going on and let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got time to fry with a newborn.

The totchos are topped with cooked and crumbled chorizo along with a homemade salsa that is made from broiling tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and garlic and then blending until smooth with cilantro and lime juice.  And you can’t have nachos or totchos without cheese, so a smooth and creamy cheese sauce is made with extra sharp cheddar and evaporated milk.  Let’s be honest – the cheese sauce is my favorite part of any nacho dish.

The platter is then topped with diced tomatoes and green onions for a pop of flavor and freshness.

And while football season may be over, I promise these are worth finding an excuse to make.

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Blakely Gray’s Birth Story

**If birth stories aren’t your thing, feel free to skip over this blog post – no hard feelings, promise.  We have been cooking a little so I’ll share a recipe very soon.**

Happy Due Date, Blakely Gray!  She surprised a lot of people and arrived a week early after a very fast labor and delivery.  But let’s back up…

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Last Saturday, January 27th, Big Guy and I had a date night at home involving homemade pasta and the most delicious brownies ever.  The only reason I joked she would come the next day was because we had absolutely nothing planned and all Big Guy wanted to do was smoke a cigar on the back porch.  Needless to say, that hasn’t happened yet.

I woke up around 2:30am on Sunday was an achey lower back.  I tossed and turned and just couldn’t get comfortable.  Finally around 6:30am, I gave up and decided to get out of bed.  As soon as I got out of bed, I started to have pain in lower stomach.  Having heard that “true labor” contractions typically happen in the upper abdomen, I didn’t think too much of it.  I decided to make some breakfast.  I couldn’t even drink my coffee and I honestly wanted nothing to do with my yogurt bowl.  I think deep down I knew it was the real think because I forced myself to eat knowing I wouldn’t have anything else if was true labor.  The pain was doubling me over, so I decided to call the doctor on call.  I had not been timing what I thought were contractions so he told me to take a shower, perhaps put a heating bad on my lower belly and take some tylenol.  I did take a shower and Big Guy asked if I wanted him to go get a heating bad.  I had starting timing the contractions as soon as I got out of the shower, and I knew that this was real.  They were lasting 40 seconds every 2 minutes.  I dried my hair – taking lots of breaks because I couldn’t do anything during the contractions.  Big Guy quickly packed the remaining items that were on our list and packed a bag for himself.

We arrived at the hospital at around 9:30am where we checked in and they took me back to be examined to see if I would be staying or not.   Big Guy thought for sure that we were going to be sent home.  I was 3 centimeters and since I wasn’t yet 40 weeks there was nothing else they could do for me.  So they told me to walk the halls – I had 2 hours to show progress or I was going home.  I made it around the loop twice and my water break.  I was told that was my ticket to stay.  I was having a baby.

At this point, the anesthesiologist  came in so I could sign all the paperwork for an epidural.  They epidural was terrifying because I was so afraid that I was going to move and something was going to go wrong.  After they inserted the epidural, they checked to see how I had progressed.  In less than an hour, I had gone from 3 centimeters to 10.  Not only was I having a baby, but I was having a baby FAST.

The next hour and half is a blurry memory of pain, pushing and pressure.  Unfortunately the epidural only worked on half of my body but at 1:26pm, Miss Blakely Gray entered the world.  She immediately began crying and unbeknownst to me, the cord was wrapped around here which is why they had made me wear an oxygen mask and change positions multiple times, pushing on my side for several contractions

They let the cord pulse for one minute (delayed cord cutting), and then Big Guy cut the cord and Blakely Gray was finally in my arms.  The fun didn’t stop there – I had to deliver the placenta (something I was prepared for) but the cord came unattached from the placenta and well, let’s just say “delivering” the placenta wasn’t very comfortable.  As I held my baby girl, the doctor prepared me for recovery, including a few stitches.  The one downside to a fast delivery is tearing.

Once I was moved to the mother-baby floor, I couldn’t stop staring at the beautiful, perfect baby that Big Guy and I made.  It was surreal.  The worst part of recovery for me was that my left leg stayed numb until midnight due to that being the only side the medicine affected.  This led to a catheter.  Sunday night I was pretty helpless and the nurses truly did everything for me that evening.  By Monday, I was up and moving and felt so much better.  And on Tuesday afternoon, we were discharged from the hospital and started our life together as a family of three.

The past week has been the hardest yet most magical week of my life.  I am in awe as to how Big Guy has transitioned into fatherhood.  Some days I feel like I’m living life in three hour cycles but I honestly feel much more like myself than I imagined.  We’ve had some outings (three days of doctor’s appointments due to jaundice) as well as a glass or two of wine and I’ve managed to shower every.single.day.  (That is a goal for the month of February.)

Our life will never be the same and I never knew I could love something so much.  Sometimes the love that I feel for our little girl brings tears to my eyes.  And I can’t believe how much she’s changed in a week.  I promise this isn’t going to be “a baby blog” but I will be sharing some posts on life at home with baby.  We haven’t gotten very much sleep but I’ve started using the Baby Wise method and slowly but surely we’re increasing the amount of shut-eye we get each night.  But looking at her sweet little face makes all the lost sleep totally worth it.

Blakely Gray, you are my little love.

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Blakely Gray {baby girl watson}

Blakely Gray was born on Sunday, January 28th at 1:26pm weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces and measuring 20 inches long.  To say we are in love is an understatement.

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My hope is to write up her birth story, if not just so that I can always remember and I need it for her baby book, so I might share that here.

The first couple of days were an absolute blur but all the struggles and fears and anxieties are worth it when I look at her sweet face.  Daddy (Big Guy) has been a champ and it’s been fun to watch him take on this roll in fatherhood.

Well, I hear a baby cooing, but I’ll leave you with one last picture – our first family photo.

firstpicasfamilyof3

Cheers!

Baby Girl Watson {nursery reveal & week 38}

I thought I would pop in on a Saturday and share with you a quick recap of week 38.  It’s weird, the 9th month of pregnancy is the longest and the shortest.  The weeks fly by but some days crawl by.  I also wanted to share a few pictures from BG’s nursery – it’s complete!  We followed the design, leaving out on a few little details.  We did not change the overhead light (something that can always be done later), we didn’t add a roman shade (we kept the blinds that already existed) and we have yet to add book shelves (another item that can be done at any time).

nurseryfinal1

The pillow was a total splurge and the rocker is so comfortable.  I also love the pouf – even though gold would have been fabulous.

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I’m obsessed with the print from Minted.com paired with the wall paper from wallshoppe.com

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The furniture from Pottery Barn is gorgeous and I love the pineapple sconces.

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The window treatments were also a splurge but such high quality.  If she doesn’t love this room, I’m moving in.

Size of Baby: BG’s the size of a winter melon and weighs around 6.6 pounds (guesstimate from a baby app) and is somewhere around 19.6 inches long.

Weight Gained:  Last Monday, I had lost 2 pounds.  Thankfully my doctor wasn’t concerned at all.  So I’m up 8 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.

Workouts/Exercise:  My sanity.  Still going for it.

Sleep:  Multiple wake ups when I move throughout the night.  I also had my first experience with back/leg pain on Thursday night which made falling asleep a little tough.

Symptoms:  I’m still wearing my wedding rings and my belly button is still intact (until I sneeze) and right after I wake up because it definitely pops out when I’m laying on my side.  Hilarious – though Big Guy is a little freaked out by this.  Belly is feeling heavy but it may because she’s working on getting ready to be born.  At my appointment this week, I was almost 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced – I’m happy to hear there’s some progress but I’m realistic in knowing it still means she could be hanging out for a couple more weeks.

Food Aversions:  None!

Cravings and Favorite Foods:  Tator tots.  So random.  And brownies.

Looking forward to…:  Opening a bottle of Iron Horse bubbles once we’re home and settled.

Baby/Pregnancy Purchases:  A few more burp cloths (I’ve heard you can’t have enough) and some bows/headbands.  I don’t want anyone thinking she’s a boy.

Other:  I got a pedicure yesterday and I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with myself today.  Probably a long walk since it’s nice out.  Big Guy is nesting by finishing a good clean-out of the garage.  OH, and we had a date night out last night.  I head back to the doctor first thing Monday morning for my 39 week check-up…