20 Weeks Twin Pregnancy Update

Friday, August 4, 2017

I am halfway through!  That is insane.

- Still napping regularly.  I don't have to take a nap everyday now, which is nice, but some days it is definitely a necessity.  

- Eating a ton everyday (A book that was recommended to me says you should gain most of your weight in the first 28 weeks when the placenta is developing and forming vital organs and such.  Then plateau until delivery, and you should have heavier, healthier babies, and be able to lose the weight faster... Guess we will see!).  My favorites currently are plain yogurt and bran sticks, crackers and cheese, and cold cereal.  Obviously all the carbs.  

- Babies moving like crazy.  Most days I feel them moving a lot.  I think most people are just starting to feel their babies right about now, but I have been feeling them for weeks.

- Terrible heartburn.  Tums are a current staple in our medicine cabinet.  I had it pretty bad with Fox, so I was not totally surprised.  Last pregnancy, I thought it was a dairy allergy for about 6 weeks, but this time I was prepared, and knew how to handle it.  Makes a huge difference.

- Feeling huge.  I went to a doctor appointment a few days ago where they measured me, and I am measuring at about 24 weeks... I am going to be huge by the end!!!

A few (mostly) sugar-free desserts I am loving right now

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Summertime is a great time to try your hand at pushing refined sugar out the door (maybe let the fruit in instead?).  I am certainly guilty of loving refined sugar, but have tried my hand at some healthier options.  That isn't to say they aren't sweet, but they have significantly less sugar than lots of options, and they are totally delicious.  I have made them all at least once, and loved them (these photos are all mine, like usual, from when I made each recipe).

I would love to hear if you have any great refined sugar-free dessert recipes to share with me!

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Sprouted Kitchen via Minimalist Baker) - I have made these a few times (I usually leave out the coconut, and adapt it some... One of these days I will get around to posting my version).  They are delicious!  And really quite healthy, all things considered.

Hazelnut Mini-cakes (My Name is Yeh) - I was looking for a good treat to take to a baby shower, and the girl I was throwing the baby shower for had gestational diabetes.  So this seemed like a decent option, since it was healthier, and not quite as carb heavy as most other desserts (mostly because of the hazelnut flour).  Anyway, they were delicious, as expected, and I didn't even miss the sugar.  Really, they were just flavorful, moist and delicious.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream (Measure and Whisk) - An experiment on my part that went delightfully well.  I was thrilled with how well this ice cream turned out. I love ice cream, and this was so rich, creamy and sweet that I didn't miss the sugar one bit.  It probably should be eaten in small servings, but I feel better about eating lots of maple than lots of refined sugar.

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons (Half-Baked Harvest) - Last year, when I was working with Bob's Red Mill, they sent me a Christmas Gift for being a partner, and it was a box from Cake in a Crate.  I normally am not the sort of person that would subscribe to a food box (mostly because of the cost.  I like the idea of them though), but when one shows up on your doorstep, and you need a dessert for book club, you make it.  And they were AMAZING!  In fact, we were on our no-sugar challenge when I made them, and I cheated so I could try one.  I don't even like macaroons that much, and I just about died and went to heaven.  They were SO good.  I froze a few and ate them once we finished our challenge.

Now go and try out these tasty desserts!  Happy Cooking!

18 Weeks Twins Pregnancy Update

Friday, July 21, 2017

Eighteen Weeks!

A few things about this pregnancy at this point:

I am feeling great for the most part.  So much less nausea this trimester, as long as I eat about every 2-3 hours.  If I wait longer than that, I almost always pay for it.  

I am measuring about 3 weeks ahead (21 weeks), which is normal with twins, so I am likely to be enormous by the time they are born.  

As of my appointment on Wednesday, they are both doing well, and looking good and healthy (which is a huge relief every appointment).  

One of the benefits of twins is that I am going to have two ultrasounds every two weeks (one quick on at the OBGYN's office, and one at the specialist's).  I will get to watch them grow up before they are born! 

I am already feeling pretty big, and am on the hunt for some good stretchy shirts.  So, let me know if you have any great maternity places that you shop.  I love the idea of eco-friendly and something that can be worn after pregnancy, but that might be reaching for the stars.  Anyway, if you have suggestions, let me know.  

I re-reading this fabulous book about multiple pregnancy that my insurance company sent me.  A friend in Texas had recommended it, and I got it from my library and read it in like 2 days, but having my own copy has been really nice.  If anyone is looking for a great multiples pregnancy book, it is called "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads.  It is very helpful.

The Best Biscuits

Thursday, July 20, 2017

For the past 3 or 4 years, I have been looking for a great biscuit recipe.  I would try a new one, be dissatisfied, and Adam would say, "what does your perfect biscuit look and taste like?"  I usually would reply with something really specific like, "I don't know, but this isn't it."

This went on for about 12 recipes.  I tried suggestions from friends, and new cookbooks, and on blogs.  I really didn't know what I wanted, but each biscuit was a disappointment.  Until this one.

This one is light, fluffy, melt in your mouth, rises so high they fall over sometimes, and is supremely good.  I really don't know how to convince you further.  They are spectacular.  Also, they are super easy.  No weird ingredients, or long chill times required.  I am a big fan.

For my birthday a few weeks ago, I made them so we could do biscuits and gravy for breakfast, and they were perfect.  If you are still in the market for a biscuit recipe, you really ought to try this one out.

The Best No-Nonsense Biscuits:
from Bake!

Makes about 8 biscuits (My version of the recipe is halved, because we can't eat 12 -15 biscuits in a sitting, so feel free to double if you like, for a full dozen biscuits)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (spoon into a measuring cup and level off with a knife)
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
7 Tbs unsalted butter, very cold, and cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 + 1/8 cup milk (or 5/8ths cup, but that seems overly complicated...)

Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, and pulse several time to mix.

Add the butter pieces, and mix until there are no visible butter pieces left, but the mixture is still powdery looking.

Turn off the mixer, and dump the milk in.  With a rubber spatula, scrape upwards from the bottom of the bowl, to moisten as evenly as possible.

Flour a clean counter top or cutting board, and turn out the contents of the mixer.

Very carefully, press the dough into a 6" square, and fold into thirds, by folding the bottom third over the middle third, then folding the top third over that,  and pressing down.  Now, press it out again, to make it a little longer in length, and fold it into thirds again, this time from the shorter ends. Now press your small square of dough back into a 6" square.

Using a 2" cutter (or glass), floured before each cut, cut out the biscuits, cutting straight down, without twisting.  Press the scraps together, and cut out more biscuits, discarding the remaining scraps, after your first cut out of scraps.

Place biscuits on your baking sheet 1" apart and bake them for 15-20 minutes, pulling them when they are golden brown and well risen.  Let them cool for a couple minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Finding the perfect swim cover-up

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

*Thanks for all your sweet comments here and on Instagram about our babies!  We are super stoked! I am grateful for your votes of confidence and congratulations! 

I used to think I didn't own that many clothes.  Until we moved.  There is something about moving that makes you feel like you have a mountain of stuff (ours is still a mountain of stuff, because it is currently living in a large, somewhat organized pile in my in-laws basement).

While I do have a lot of clothes, I still feel like there have been some holes in my closet that needed filling, including a swim coverup.  But, when I went looking for one, I didn't want a coverup that I could only wear for the next four weeks and then have to pack up with all the other clothes that don't fit a 'pregnant with twins' body. 

I also hate stuff that can only be worn to the pool, because I don't spend enough time at the pool to justify a dress just for that, so I wanted something that had some sort of sleeve and was long enough to wear to the grocery store (I never think I have a lot of opinions until I start looking, then I can't find a single thing that fulfills all the requirements I have).  

After lots of online browsing, a little in-store looking, and a Kohl's cash incentive, I found this dress in the maternity section at Kohl's.  Is it the most amazing swim cover up you have ever seen?  No.  It isn't even a swim cover up.  But it fits all the requirements (maternity body: check! sleeves: check! knee length: check!  super lightweight: check! can be worn in spring and fall: check!), and I thought it was pretty cute.  It is also dang comfy, which seems really important right now.  Anyway, I am kind of loving it, and wore it for an extra 3 hours after these photos were taken.  That is the sign of a successful swim coverup.  

dress: kohl's// shoes: DSW (similar)

Check out what Merrick and Janssen are wearing over their swimsuits this summer:

Measure & Whisk: Real food cooking with a dash of minimalist living © . Harlie Ave Design .