In honor of my new Rifle Paper Co. shopping pad (which is just as adorable as I knew it would be), I figured I'd list out a couple things we've been up to this past week / weekend.
1. I completed my third full week of menu planning - successfully! Menu planning has always been something that I was weary of. There are some things that I'm just not good at following through with, and I always knew that this would be one of them. While I love to cook, prior to having Sammy, James and I would go out to eat sometimes 3-4 times a week. (Clearly that had to change....) Between that and our schedules (basketball one night, soccer another, a late night at work here and there), it honestly just didn't make sense to plan out our weekly dinners. When I felt like cooking, I'd stop at the store after work, grab only the things I needed for that meal, and that was it!
In the past few months though, I began to tire of going to the grocery store multiple times a week (which inevitably happens if you don't have a clear plan as to what you'll be eating that week), and I felt like I was spending a lot of money in doing so. But it order to cut down on these trips, I really did need to figure out what we'd be eating ahead of time. And you know what I realized? I enjoy planning out our weekly meals! I cook more, I'm trying out new recipes, and not only do I feel like we've been spending less money, but we've been eating healthier! It's also been great in terms of feeding Sammy.
Now I'm not promising to share our menus each and every week (please refer to aforementioned inability to follow through on certain tasks), but I enjoyed a few things from other blogs this past week, which are definitely worth talking about.
- Monday: Pasta carbonara with leeks and lemon - It's Spring, and thus I'm obsessed with leeks, and I'm obsessed with lemon. This was absolutely delicious.
- Tuesday: Thai chicken wraps - The Culinary Couple is quickly becoming a new favorite blog of mine. Not only are the recipes fantastic, but Emily and her husband have their own little adorable Sam! But I digress. I was a little hesitant at first about making this recipe, as I'm not typically a peanut sauce kind of girl, but these were awesome. I had figured we'd have leftovers, but between James, my sister and I, these were gobbled up in in minutes. This week we'll be trying out thai chicken pizza, also featured on Emily's blog.
- Wednesday: Black bean burgers and salad. Just as good as the day I originally made them! I also may now be obsessed with making things ahead of time and freezing them. Why didn't anyone ever tell me about this concept before?
- Thursday: Out to dinner, where Sammy was on his best behavior, minus a few dozen high-pitched shrieks.
- Friday: In honor of lent, and in my quest to actually like salad (because like anything that is of the whole wheat nature, I just can't bring myself to like salad), and because I saw it on another blog, I made this Super Sprout Chopped Salad from Food & Wine magazine. Eh.... I guess it was okay, but the dressing was not very flavorful, and the only real appeal to me was the baked sweet potato fries. I should have known better. I never like recipes from Food & Wine and still only continue to subscribe because it costs something like $6 a year. (Side note: I will forever miss Gourmet. Sigh.)
- Saturday: Dinner at a friend's house while watching the Final Four
- Sunday / Today: Pizza Rustica (and likely leftover salad), my next Tuesdays with Dorie assignment, is currently baking away in the oven. Stay tuned...!
2. Speaking of menu planning, I am getting very excited for Easter next weekend! James and I are hosting our very first holiday, and I've spent the morning planning out everything from the table settings, the brunch menu, and our related to do tasks this week. The menu is still a work in progress, but I am almost certain we'll be serving these pretty Lillet champagne cocktails throughout the day.
3. I ran a quarter marathon this weekend. (Which sounds much longer and more exciting than the 6.55 miles it actually is.) As is always the case with New England weather, while we enjoyed sun and warm temps a few weeks ago, this weekend began with 30 degree temps, rain and snow. All of which seemed to climax right as my race was about to start.
As I am the most unattractive runner in the world, the above photo is the best you'll get. I'm wearing the red hat - can you spot me?
4. Sammy is a legit crawler as of this weekend! Over the past week, he's been ditching the army crawl more and more, but last night, we spent the evening at a friend's house who had wall-to-wall carpeting, and I think that gave Sammy the confidence to be on his knees for an extended period of time. And though he is back to the hardwood floors in our house today, I've barely seen his old belly scooch!
As if that's not enough, on Friday Sammy began using his walker all by himself! I just can't believe that only last week, he barely knew how to walk in a forward position. And this week, he's walking all over! (With a little assistance, of course. And please make note of the multiple "weights" placed in his little mail cart so he would not topple over.)
5. And because it seems only appropriate to have a five-itemmed list, I'll share with you the book I'm reading / crying over lately - Where You Left Me, by Jennifer Gardner Trulson. Jennifer's husband died in the 9/11 attacks, and she was left to raise her two young children alone. Eventually she finds love again. (New York Times Book Review, eat your heart out.)
Thus far I'm only a few chapters in, and while it's been a great read, my Lord - I'm looking forward to the part where she meets the second man she'll eventually marry. My eyes - and heart - can only take so much!