Sunday, July 29, 2012

Meet George

Our tiny IVF miracle arrived one week early on July 24 after a quick labor, weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces. It's a boy and he has a head full of dark hair. I can't tell you ecstatically happy and grateful we are. When I start thinking about everything we've been through to get here I start crying. So many years, so many procedures, so many tears and he's finally here.

This is George:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Baking with Julia: Blueberry Nectarine Pie

I've totally been slacking off on Baking with Julia, but I did manage to bake one recipe this month. The last recipe for the month is this Blueberry Nectarine Pie. I'm so glad I made it because it was so incredibly good and a great use for all the fresh fruit available right now.

First of all the pie dough is the best I've made in terms of ease of making, flakiness, and taste. In the book there are several ways listed to make the dough; in a food processor, by hand, or by stand mixer. My food processor is too small so usually I make pie dough by hand, which is a pain. However, since this dough gave stand mixer directions I decided to try it and it was so much easier. The dough recipe uses both butter and shortening which I think is the best of both worlds, you get the taste from the butter and the flakiness from the shortening. Plus this recipe made two (double crusted) pies worth of dough so I had enough to freeze for a second pie. 
The filling was (obviously) blueberry and nectarine. You took half the fruit and cooked it with sugar, lemon zest, and flour and then added it to the remaining uncooked fruit. I really liked this method, there were still crisp pieces of nectarine in the filling which I thought was a nice touch.I do think in the future I would have added some breadcrumbs (a la Dorie Greenspan) to the bottom of the crust before adding the filling to soak up some of the juice but other than that I really loved this recipe.

Go visit the hosts for this recipe! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Final baby prep

In about 10 days (or really whenever this baby decides he or she is finished baking) we're having a baby. If you've been reading my other blog you'll know that I still find this completely amazing and slightly unbelievable. 

Last weekend I got into severe 'everything must be done now' mode and got a lot done. Doug installed our carseat bases, put together the baby swing and the stroller. I made three more meals and a batch of cookie dough for the freezer. My hospital bag is kind of packed, right now it just has my toiletries and my robe in it but I do have the list of things I want to go in there. Doug has a bag but will probably be waiting until the last minute to pack it. The baby's bag is pretty much packed, expect for socks. For some reason I couldn't find plain white baby socks anywhere around here. All the socks I found were either girly or boyish. So silly, socks should be plain for goodness sakes. I ended up ordering some plain white ones online and I'm waiting for them to come in. People keep asking us if we're ready and I think we're as ready as we're going to be. Although is anyone ever really ready for parenthood? Probably not. 

A few weeks ago we had some super nice photographers (Charbonnet Photography) come over and do some maternity pictures and pictures of the nursery for us. They turned out so well, despite the fact it was around a million degrees outside and the dead chipmunk we found in our backyard.
The nursery is 99% done, it's missing that darn mobile I should have finished weeks ago and it's also missing some type of rug. I'm looking for something plain and easily cleaned but have to find anything suitable yet. We are both really happy with how it turned out, Doug did most of the work, bless his heart. It's a really happy room and hopefully it's pretty gender neutral. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer bundt

It's hot. Obviously, since it's July in Memphis. It will be hot until October. Or possibly later judging from the recent NOAA report. I'm doing my best to stay indoors. One of the few perks of summer is the widespread availability of produce. Berries, squash, tomatoes, etc. Oh and watermelon, I have been eating the heck out of watermelon lately. I've been pinning a lot of summer-inspired recipes, there's a recipe for peach-ginger handpies I hope to make this weekend. Last weekend I made the Triple Berry Summer Buttermilk Bundt Cake that Deb at Smitten Kitchen posted a few weeks ago, the recipe is adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts (which I own and has lots of great recipes, including a delicious jam cake).

It's a berry-filled bundt cake with lemon zest and a sweet, thick lemon glaze. It's completely worth turning your oven on for. I sent half home with my nephew and I think he, his brother, and his parents liked it. Doug and I liked it a lot too, we managed to polish it off within a few days with nary a crumb left.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins

After finally getting our kitchen back in working order I got back to baking. I missed it so much, you don't realize how much you much using your whisks and cake pans. One of the first things I baked were these muffins from the Joy the Baker cookbook. I can't say enough good things about this book, it's been out for awhile now but I still love thumbing through it and picking out something to make.
 Besides the blueberries, the browned butter is the other major flavor going on. Browned butter makes almost anything better. The first time I made it I burned it, it was blackened butter - not as good. However, when you don't burn it it's awesome and makes everything taste better.
They're super easy to make and especially right now when blueberries are in season (you can use frozen too).