transitioning into motherhood.

I’ve been struggling to produce regular content as of late, in case you haven’t noticed. It’s not that I haven’t been doing anything (although for several weeks during my first trimester that was exactly the case!), but I am still trying to figure out how to transition into motherhood. I am not typically a “tell-all” kind of person, so the odds of me sitting down and writing all of the gory details of my pregnancy are highly unlikely. However, my life is drastically changing and that means changes will inevitably be coming to this space as well.

I will obviously still be cooking because we have to eat and I am incapable of eating fast food or boxed dinners (the horror!). So those of you who come here for the sweet and savory will not be disappointed, I assure you. I’m also already planning our first vacation as a family of three, so if you stop by for travel tips – never fear. But I’m also hoping to add in more about pregnancy and motherhood as well.

As I’m learning and growing (literally) I want to share bits and pieces of that journey with you all as well.  If I stumble upon good advice or great, stylish products, then I want this to be a place where I can gush over that too. Speaking of, if you haven’t read Bringing up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman, then you need to drop everything and pick it up now. I cannot recommend this book enough and I am so glad it was the first book I read after finding out I was pregnant. It’s chock-full of practical tips for raising children who sleep, wait patiently, and eat real food. Not to mention, plenty of advice and reminders for parents to calm down and retain their identity as individuals and spouses after delivery. Pretty excellent stuff.

I hope you will all hang in there with me as I figure this new role out and exactly how it’s going to fit into the blog. 2017 is looking to be a very exciting year!

Pacapod Mirano Diaper Bag / Bannor Toys Classic Rattle /  Adorababy Striped Shoes / Hazel Village Juliette Rabbit

pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls.

I almost hate to say this for fear of jinxing myself, but today is day 7 of feeling like a normal human being and I could almost cry I’m so excited. The last 9 weeks or so have been fairly miserable to say the least and I think I’ve finally turned a corner, just in time for the holidays.

As soon as a I started feeling well last week I began to pour over all of my seasonal recipes in a desperate search for a delicious weekend breakfast. As most of you know, Saturday morning is arguably my favorite time to be in the kitchen. I love to have coffee brewing while I whip up something scrumptious in my pjs. It’s the best. Unfortunately, my Saturdays have been all about sleeping and doing as little as possible lately, so I’ve missed out on all of my fall baking. It had to be remedied.

This recipe was originally from Paula Deen, but it’s been tweaked to include a pumpkin filling because – duh, fall. I always get nervous when I find recipes for cinnamon rolls because they usually make enough to feed a small army, but this recipe only makes about 8 rolls in a cast iron skillet so it was perfect for just the two of us. It’s a really simple recipe to follow and the end result is out of this world. It’s like rolling up all the flavors of fall into a warm, gooey swirl of cinnamon bread…and then topping it off with icing.

You just can’t beat that.

pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

Rolls

1/4 Ounce package yeast
1/2 Cup of warm water
1/2 Cup of warm milk
1/4 Cup of sugar
1/3 Cup of butter melted
1 Teaspoon of salt
1 Egg
3 – 3 1/2 Cups of flour

Pumpkin Filling

1 1/2 Cup of pumpkin puree
3/4 Cup of brown sugar
2 Teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 Teaspoons of cinnamon
1 Teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/3 Cup Diced Pecans optional

Icing

1/2 Cup of warmed milk
3 Tablespoons of butter melted
2 Cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

Dissolve yeast into warm water to activate. While yeast is dissolving combine sugar, warm milk, melted butter, salt and egg into a large bowl. Mix in two cups of flour and then mix in yeast + water mixture.

Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. The dough should be elastic, but not sticky.

Sprinkle flour over a large surface, remove dough from mixing bowl and knead for 5-10 minutes. Place in a large well- greased bowl (I use butter) and cover with two clean dishtowels without touching the dough.

Place in an unheated oven for an hour to double in size.

While the dough is rising, mix together all the ingredients for the pumpkin filling (minus the chopped pecans).

Remove dough after an hour and preheat oven to 350º F.

Punch down the dough and roll out into a large rectangle. Spread pumpkin filling mixture evenly over rolled out dough and sprinkle with pecans (optional). Roll the dough and cut into 1-inch slices. Place into cast iron pan/casserole dishes close together. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Mix together powdered sugar, vanilla, and melted butter. Slowly add in milk until you have reached your desired consistency.

Pour icing over the rolls while they are still in the skillet. Remove and enjoy!!

simple fettuccine alfredo.

I’ll be completely honest – I haven’t been in the kitchen much lately. I certainly don’t like the fact that I’ve missed out on all of my usual fall baking, and I’m too embarrassed to tell you all how often we’ve been dining out lately, but the truth is…I simply haven’t felt like it. Everything seems to take too much energy and all I’ve really wanted is chips and queso anyway.

But the last couple of weeks have shown a glimmer of hope and the return of a bit of gumption, so I made it to both the market and the kitchen. (I must tell you, I congratulated myself profusely on this tiny accomplishment.) I didn’t want to try and tackle anything too time consuming and carbs have been a dear friend to me lately, hence this simple fettuccine alfredo. It really turned out to be what this pregnant mama needed and I can’t wait to make it again soon. It’s a bit healthier than your typical recipe because I didn’t use heavy cream, but the flavor is still perfectly rich and delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

simple fettuccine alfredo

Ingredients

2 ounces fettuccine
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or butter
4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely-minced
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk (I always have whole milk handy, but you can use skim)
3/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
(optional toppings: chopped fresh parsley, extra Parmesan)

Instructions

Cook pasta al dente according to package directions, in generously salted water.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil (or melt butter) in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute one minute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Sprinkle with flour, and stir to combine. Saute for an additional minute to cook the flour, stirring occasionally.

Slowly add chicken broth, whisking to combine until smooth. Whisk in milk, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let cook for an additional minute until thickened, then stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until the cheese melted. Reduce heat to medium-low until pasta is cooked.

Drain pasta, then immediately add pasta to the saute pan with alfredo sauce. Toss to combine. Serve topped with chopped fresh parsley if desired.