May 152017
 

The celebrating started Friday when I picked Logan up from daycare. He made me a Mother’s Day present at daycare! Footprint butterfly and a handprint on the bottom. πŸ™‚

On Saturday we went to a friend’s house for a little surprise birthday dinner for another friend. My friend Star and her boyfriend Larry made a feast! They made marinated chicken and veggie kebobs and grilled them up. There was also rice (I skipped that to save my carbs for dessert!). I made a spinach, kale and chard salad topped with carrots, strawberries and feta cheese.

Yummy dinner!

Star made our friend Samantha a gorgeous Polish cake.

How beautiful is that cake? So pretty. It was really delicious, sort of like shortbread with custard and whipped cream. Logan ate some rice, chicken and strawberries and he LOVED the whipped cream. πŸ˜‰

Here is the recipe:

Kremowka Papieska "Papal Cream Cake

From: http://www.europeancuisines.com/Poland-Polish-Kremowka-papieska-Papal-cream-cake-recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces butter
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • A pinch of salt
  • Custard cream:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 6 egg yolks

Instructions

  1. Grease well 2 8- or 9-inch baking pans / tins: coat with bread crumbs and set aside.
  2. Cake mixture:
  3. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender.
  4. Beat the egg yolks into the water: mix into the flour. Mix well.
  5. Divide in halves and spread/press each half to completely cover the bottom of one of the baking pans.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes in a medium-low oven (325F / 160C): remove and let cool. Remove from pans when cooled.
  7. Cream:
  8. Scald the milk and vanilla. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, salt, and egg yolks. Stir until very well blended (ideally, whisk to make sure there are no lumps). Add milk gradually. Cook over low flame, stirring constantly, being careful to scrape bottom of pan.
  9. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 3 minutes, still stirring constantly. When finished cooking, remove from heat and pour cream into a bowl; allow to cool, stirring occasionally until cold.
  10. When the custard cream is cold:
  11. Whether you're using puff pastry or cake, spread the custard cream thickly over the bottom layer. (If the custard is at all runny, put one baked layer back into a baking pan of the appropriate size and then do the spreading.) Then top with the second baked layer.
  12. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Cut and serve (possibly with thick whipped cream on top, if you like). A note about cutting: This is where calling this dessert a "cake" comes slightly into question, as it doesn't handle like a cake at all: the thick pastry cream center makes that impossible. The kremΓ³wka will always squish down somewhat when you slice it. However, it tastes so good that no one's going to care...
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=52143

The cake wasn’t overly sweet. It looks like it would be really sweet and rich but it was light and summery.

It was such a nice night! We had a great time and it was so lovely spending some time with friends.

On Sunday we celebrated Mother’s Day by going out to breakfast. (But first Logan woke me up in the cutest way…I was still asleep and then all of a sudden Michael said “Wake up mommy! Happy Mother’s Day!” and I open my eyes and see a big goofy grin on Logan’s face and then he giggled and laughed and crawled all over me. It was probably the best moment of the day!)

We went to Genie’s Cafe. We got there early enough that we got a table immediately! That is unheard of in Portland!

I got a complimentary Mimosa for Mother’s Day and a delicious mug of coffee (much needed). It was a busy morning but we got our food pretty quickly. I’ve been craving French Toast for about a month and kept putting it off. I decided to save it for my cheat meal for Mother’s Day.

The French Toast was perfect and delicious and really satisfied my craving. The one downside to cutting out carbs is that when you finally do eat a bunch of them, they sit like a rock and make me really sleepy. I just don’t like the way I feel after eating heavy carbs now. πŸ™

Michael got the caprese hash and said it was really good:

Logan had a bunch of my French Toast and he loved it. πŸ™‚ First time having it and first time having maple syrup. He’s a fan. Logan got me a gift (a new heart rate monitor–will review it soon!) and a card, which was very sweet.

After breakfast, Logan took a nap and I went swimming. It felt wonderful. Then we all ran some errands and went for a walk in between the rain showers. For dinner Michael picked up Pad Thai to continue my carb cheat day. It really hit the spot. Pad Thai is something else I’ve been craving for a long time!

It was a really lovely Mother’s Day and I was glad I got to spend the weekend with some of my favorite people!

As for the diet: I am going to reign it in today and tomorrow and try and really cut the carbs and weigh in Wednesday. Although I’m not looking forward to it!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

Jan 032017
 

My New Year’s Eve started with the gym:

Per usual! Thankfully the gym wasn’t crowded! I did my body weight exercises, free weight routine, weight machines then finished up with the elliptical. I was feeling ok but a little on the run-down side. I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready for summer…!

After the gym Michael’s mom and stepdad came over to babysit Logan while we had a date! I had NO idea what our date was. Michael planned it all and it was a surprise. He just said we had to be ready to go at noon.

First stop: lunch! I had no idea where we were going and was pleasantly surprised when we went to Papa Haydn’s! One of my favorites. It was pretty busy but we got a table right away.

Michael got the Pale Ale on tap and I got this gorgeous looking Bloody Mary:

It was spicy! YUM! Lunch was slow, which was perfect! We had time to relax, didn’t feel rushed, could have ADULT CONVERSATION and enjoy each other’s company in a calm, quiet setting…can you tell we were ready for a date “night”? πŸ˜‰

We both got the Croque Monsier except Michael got his with ham and I got the turkey. Instead of fries or a salad I asked for the seasonal vegetable because it turned out to be Brussels Sprouts and IΒ love sprouts! They were really good, too. Of course, the fries at Papa Haydn’s are to die for, so really you can’t lose whatever you order. I’m super happy with my lunch.

We chatted about Vegas and planning a potential trip in 2017. We’ll see if it actually happens. We’ve been away from Logan overnight once and will be away from him overnight in January, but a whole weekend? I don’t know that I am ready for that quite yet. But it was fun to imagine a little vacation getaway. We both agreed that it would be nice to stay at The Venetian.

We hung out and finished our drinks and relaxed and then got dessert to go for later. As we left the restaurant it started to SNOW!!

The next stop was nearby in Sellwood, The Moreland Theater. We’ve never been to that theater and we’ve both been curious, so it was cool to finally check it out. It was built in 1926! It was really old and reminded me of that old fashioned theater we went to in LA. (I wish I could remember the name of it.)

We saw Rogue One. It was okay. I am not a Star Wars fan so it’s kind of lost on me. But I can see how fans would be excited about it. I told Michael that I just can’t get into movies or TV shows that have fake creatures and fake languages…and he countered with Game of Thrones, which I love. So, yeah, I really can’t explain why GOT is ok but Star Wars doesn’t do it for me.

After the movie we had one more surprise stop to make for our date.

A new phone!! A Christmas tradition we have is giving each other a card and in my card this year he said that I’d get the rest of my present on NYE. YAY! My phone (the iphone 5S) has been buggy for awhile and every other day a message pops up saying I am out of space on my phone–no matter how much I deleted off it! It is so nice to have an upgrade.

We went home and we had originally planned on making Cornish Game Hens for dinner but they weren’t defrosted! Even though we took them out of the freezer two days ago….sooo we put in a frozen lasagna. And opened a bottle of wine that was a gift from Michael’s sister:

Pretty fancy New Year’s, huh? πŸ˜‰

Dessert was the Bourbon Ball we bought at Papa Haydn’s:

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Day

Our tradition for New Year’s Day has always been snowshoeing on Mount Hood. I even did it last year when I was like 30 weeks pregnant (and my snow pants didn’t fit)! But this year we skipped it. Logan is too small right now to take him up there in the snow. Hopefully next year!

I was a little bummed about not snowshoeing. But I went swimming and was pleasantly surprised that the gym and pool was pretty much empty. I guess everyone else was nursing a hangover.

Sunday night we had some friends over for dinner. Michael made his mac n’ cheese:

Turned out great as usual! Our friends brought a delicious salad: spinach, blueberries, pine nuts and a homemade basil vinaigrette.

Comfort food + wine + good friends! We played Cards Against Humanity and talked into the evening. It was so good to have some adult time and catch up with friends. Being sick so much lately we’ve kind of been holed-up in our house.

It was a good New Year’s!