Why hello there. It’s been a long time, huh? Since I last posted about being pregnant with twins (I think I was still in shock about the surprise of twins when I wrote that post!), things have been awfully silent around here. And that, unfortunately, is because I was barely able to cook while pregnant.
After the morning sickness (read: all day nausea) wore off, I had a month or two of feeling pretty good, and I spent all of my free time frantically prepping our home for our babies. And then I became so physically exhausted that every spare minute was spent napping. Thank goodness for my amazing husband, who made almost all of our food for essentially the whole nine months. Because he was flying solo, we relied on old familiar staples and food without a lot of spice (hello, pregnancy heartburn) that he could make quickly without trying to learn a whole new recipe (pizza, sandwiches, tacos, and yam, quinoa, & avocado bowls were our staples).
In early November, at 36 weeks and 4 days of pregnancy, I was induced. After many hours on pitocin and six crazy hours of active labor, I gave birth to two amazing boys, and our lives changed forever. In their first eight weeks of life, we relied on family and friends for all of our food. But I went to the store with the twins alone for the first time last week! It was the first time I had been in a grocery store since October! And now that they’re napping in longer stretches and the grandparents and aunts and uncles have all gone home, I’ve been venturing into the kitchen again. Mostly to make salads and sandwiches, but I have hope that someday soon I’ll be cooking and trying out new recipes again.
There are a few new recipes that we did make while I was pregnant, but since I didn’t have the brain power or energy to modify the recipes, I’m just going to link to the original websites below. These recipes are winners, all of which I left open in tabs on my iPad for months because I wanted to remember them and didn’t have the wherewithal to post them here. I hope you enjoy, and until I am cooking and posting regularly, I hope the archives on my blog serve you well!
Quinoa Avocado Salad. Looking for a quick dish to take to a potluck? You can’t go wrong with this recipe. We made it for our block party, and people were raving (the perfect introduction to our new neighbors!). We also made it for our babies shower (see what I did there? Two babies!) and it was completely consumed. It’s that good. We love it on the side of field roast sausages, or simply as a snack with tortilla chips. It’s best when fresh corn is in season, but you could probably make due with frozen or canned corn in a pinch.
Tarragon Chickpea Salad. Sandwiches were my saving grace while I was pregnant. Besides being quick and easy to make, they sat well even when I was nauseous. Egg salad and avocado & cheese were in heavy rotation, and I remember wanting something a little different for a change of pace. We were at Trader Joe’s one weekend, and I saw a container of their Tarragon Chicken Salad. The combo of grapes, celery, and walnuts sounded delicious. I searched high and low and landed on this recipe. I think it’s absolutely perfect.
Lentils with Vegetables. The last time I had friends over for dinner, I made this. It was right in the sweet spot of my second trimester, and I was craving hearty, healthy foods – quite a change from my first trimester! These lentils are the perfect combination of simple to make but complex-tasting. We served the lentils with goat cheese, rice, and some fresh arugula. This might just be one of the first things I cook again…
Spinach Torta Rustica. A good friend gave birth to her adorable baby in July. I wanted to bring something over that could be eaten with one hand if needed, was nutritious, and tasted great. Then I remembered this recipe! My mom used to make it for all special occasions, and I love that the recipe calls for lots of rising time, because rising time = nap time.
Bee Sting Cake. One of my close friends got married at the end of May, and I helped bake desserts for her wedding. Her now-husband is from Germany, so her awesome idea was to surprise him with traditional German desserts. Although my mom’s family is German, and we grew up eating pflaumen kuchen (a yeasted plum cake), I had never heard of Bee Sting Cake (or Bienenstich), but it’s a cake that I will definitely make again. The cake itself is yeasted and not too sweet, which complements the sweet topping and custard in the middle. Deb at Smitten Kitchen writes such an amazing blog, and her recipes are always spot-on. She gives very thorough and precise directions about how to cut open the cake and fill it. We questioned the directions when we were making the trial version, but they were totally right. The moral of the story: trust Deb! And make this cake. My only regret is that I didn’t make two, because it was eaten so quickly by the guests at the wedding!
Black Forest Cupcakes. I made these for M & P’s wedding as well. Just like the Bee Sting Cake above, the cupcake isn’t too sweet, which perfectly complements the sweet cherry filling and whipped cream. We couldn’t find kirsch (a cherry brandy), so we just used regular brandy, and they still turned out great. We also found that Trader Joe’s has the best pitted cherries (stored in jars in their own syrup) for this recipe!