Wednesday, August 6, 2008

An Extension on Nothingness

Ok, so before I share my recipes, I'll give you the update on the preschool dilemma. We decided not to put her in. I know, I know...many of you are shaking your heads at me, but I feel good about our decision. We sort of felt unsure about it last year when we enrolled her, but a day or two before the crazy registration sleepover we found out we were pregnant. So...we decided to go ahead and enroll her based on that, thinking that a couple hours a week would help me out a lot with a new baby. But as our circumstances have changed...I don't necessarily need that extra help. There are a couple of other reasons as well, but more than anything it came down to the fact that she's so young; she'll start school soon enough. I had to stop and ask myself why I was rushing it. I didn't really have an answer. So for the same reason I still rock her at night and I still let her sit in her bouncy seat and I still give her a paci at bedtimes...she'll be at home with me for another year. That thought makes me happy. I'm not ready to share. :)

And regarding the transition to the big girl bed...after I wrote that post, Braelyn fell out of her bed two nights in a row. Poor Baby! Those wood floors make for a rude awakening.

Well, enough about my motherhood drama...on to food!

Recipe 1: William-Sonoma's Spaghetti with Spicy Tomato Sauce

The Sauce:
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 4 Cloves of garlic, chopped
- 4 Cans of diced plum or Roma tomatoes, drained (28oz cans)
- 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste

You will also need:
- Salt
- Spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
- 1/4 Cup of fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 1/2 Cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus shards for garnish

* The sauce recipe makes enough for this meal plus more to store for other recipes. I cut the recipe in half and it made plenty.

Prepare the sauce:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and saute' for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered until the sauce is thick, about 40 minutes.

Cook the pasta:
Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to a boil. Add two tablespoons of salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add as much of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce. Divide the pasta among shallow bowls, top with the sauce and garnish with the basil and Parm.

Recipe 2: Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

- 2 Cups of whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 Cups of buttermilk
- 2 Egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1/3 Cup of vegetable oil
- 1/2 Cup of honey
- 1 Cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat the oven to 350. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. Sift together flour and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter milk, egg whites, oil, and honey until creamy, then stir in blueberries. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Fold together with a rubber spatula until the batter is moist yet remains still lumpy. Pour into muffin cups and bake 18 minutes. (The original recipe said to bake them for 30-35 minutes, but that seems way to long. Around 17-19 minutes they're perfect.)

Hope you guys enjoy these recipes. I really love them both. Again, the pasta is pretty spicy, so you might want to test it before you serve it to the kiddos. And I probably wouldn't serve it to anyone who wasn't an avid tomato lover. It's not very saucey...really just pasta with chunks of spicy tomatoes. As for the muffins, they are delicious! Braelyn likes them, but she pulls out the blueberries. :| She kills me. We'll keep trying though!

Happy cooking and baking!


The Kramer Family said...

I'm excited for you. And Braelyn is super blessed to have parents like you guys who are all about what is best for her. Even if it means making a last minute change of plans. I love it!

You know, its timely that you wrote this and it encourages me on so many levels. We have KK signed up for Pre-K which starts in a few weeks. Up until yesterday, Jason and I were still unsure of if it was the right choice.

We feel good about what we've decided, but also hold it very loosely in our hands. If the Lord shows us clearly that it isn't the right thing for our family, we won't hesitate to pull her out and go in a different direction.

The sauce looks yummy! Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Always remember only you can know what is best for your child as no one knows her as well as you and Casey do. I'm proud of you both for following your hearts.


Lynnette said...

I am all for having kids stay at home with their mommies if it is possible. I plan on keeping Cortlyn home until he is four and then probably preschool two days a week. I feel that society tends to rush parents to get kids in all kinds of programs where it turns out they do just fine when they go to school later. I too still rock Cortlyn at night sometimes and he still has his paci and I am not ready to send him off yet either.

mandi said...

i'm with you. i think we push our babies out way to early. there is no one better to teach little b than you and her daddy.
i'm just catching up on your last post too. i leave for a week and this is what happens?!? i'm so impressed. let's get together and chat.

Terez said...

Thanks for posting the recipes! And, I'm sure you feel a huge sense of relief for deciding not to put Braelyn in school this year. Something in my gut tells me that my little Jake isn't ready, and we felt pressured to sign him up for school - so, I've given myself a one month deadline. If it's too traumatic for him after four weeks, I'll pull him out. I can't bear to see him scared, and I know I'll be bawling his first day! Take care and thanks again for the recipes! Hope little B stays in her bed and off of the floor tonight!

monique said...

Sounds like you made the right decision for all of you. You are so wise to enjoy it and to not rush her to the next "thing". It all happens way too quickly.

crystal said...

i love recipes and i love nothingness! sometimes nothingness is good!