Monday, September 17, 2012

The End of the Challenge and Pics of The Sweetest Baby Alive

So I'm exhausted.  This underway isn't really different than any other, but for some reason I'm just pooped this time around!! The kids are actually being really good (knock on wood) and I haven't had any serious discipline issues yet, but just keeping them alive and dressed is wearing me down!!

I'm DETERMINED to get back to 'working out' tomorrow.  Maybe that will help with the exhaustion.  I sorta feel like the best thing that might help with the exhaustion wold be not having four kids age six and under, but it's a little late for that.
By the way, this post is going to be filled with pictures that I took of my sweet baby Anastasia and played around with last weekend, trying to get used to the new actions.  I have since found my FAVORITE edit, but as I am collapsed on the couch in a puddle of hair and warm diet coke and I don't have PSE loaded on the laptop, I can't go back and re-edit any of these.
So we're done with the Angela and Jennifer Tackle PW Challenge.  We did everything we wanted to do, and then we were going to do the gross stuff to, just so we could do the entire book like we said we would, but then we finally got the balls to admit that that was stupid and neither one of us WANTED to cook gross stuff, we just each didn't want to be the one to bail.
In the breakfast section, we never did the pancakes or the doughnuts.  I never did the piecrust, but for some reason I think Angela did.  We did the muffin melts right before we quit, and I LOVED them and licked my plate, but don't feel like posting the recipe.  I'm just in that sort of mood today.
My favorite recipe from the breakfast section would have to be the cowboy quiche, with the breakfast bread pudding in a close second.

From the lunch, we skipped the home made croutons (dumb! you can buy croutons for like eighty cents!!), the grilled vegetable panini (gross!), the chicken apricot panini (apricots weird me out), and I skipped the spinach salad because spinach is also gross.

My favorite recipe from that section is basic chicken salad.  TO DIE FOR.  And I'm sure you remember how I felt about the curried version.
Let's pause and say it, all together: SHE'S GORGEOUS!!!
We skipped a lot from the soups.  The gazpacho, italian meatball soup (I actually want to try this later), french onion, and cauliflower.  It's hard to eat soup on a tropical island.  Of the three we did, I wouldn't even bother picking a favorite.

In starters and party foods, we skipped guacamole, stuffed mushrooms, fried mozzarella, the bloody mary, and the watermelon granita.  My favorite? Don't be stupid, it's the asian hot wings.  That's my favorite recipe from the entire book.

In pasta and pizza, we skipped fig prosciutto pizza, carnitas pizza, and I skipped the dough, but I am almost positive Angela did it. I would have to pick the rigatoni and meatballs as my fave, but I know Nick really like the peanut butter pizza.  I mean the thai chicken pizza.

I did the fancy mac and cheese last week too, and didn't care for it.  I'm sort of a mac and cheese snob.  In that I only like kraft mac and cheese in the blue box.  I don't like baked, I don't like when they put breadcrumbs on it, and I guess I don't like real cheese.  I mean, I like to EAT real cheese, but apparently I don't want to melt it into noodles.

In the supper section, we skipped over the osso buco.  Wow!! That's it!! Wow.  I skipped the shepherd's pie, but I thought it was sorta dumb, it's just leftover beef stew and some mashed potatoes.  So I sort of made it.  Halfway.

My favorite from suppers would have to be the ranch style chicken, but without being overly dramatic, the onion blue cheese sauce for the ribeye recipe sort of changed my life.  And I also really liked the peach whiskey chicken, although I learned the hard way that it doesn't convert to the crock pot very well :(

From sides, we skipped twice baked potatoes, panfried kale, and whiskey glazed carrots.  I can't handle cooked carrots, even the smell.  My favorite was actually the rosemary rolls, which wasn't really a recipe so much as unwrapping a pack of rolls and sprinkling some rosemary on top.

I did the green bean casserole last week and Nick almost cried.  Well I guess it must not have been last week if he was here.  He's a green bean casserole FANATIC and he didn't even want me to bother making this one because it's so different that the regular cream of mushroom soup on.  Gross.  But this one was gross too, so what does it matter?

From the desserts, we skipped way too many to even list.  We did four of seventeen.  My favorite of those four was the coffee cream cake.  And now my mouth is watering for it.
I might make a few more of the desserts.  We just didn't want to make them all at once, and we wanted to start our new book soon, instead of making a cake a week for the next four months.  We skipped the canning section entirely because neither one of us are interested in that.

I'm actually quite proud of what we've accomplished!! It was a tiny bit more work than I'd thought it was going to be, and I never really got any feedback, so I'm not even sure that anyone cared about all the recipes I posted, but it was fun, and I'm glad we did it.

Next, we decided to do an Alton Brown book.  He really digs into the nitty gritty science of WHY cooking certain things certain ways works or doesn't work, it's SO neat to read through.  It's something like a hundred and forty recipes, so we're dividing it up by seasons and are going to give ourselves a LOT of time.

The first four recipes we're doing are all very basic and very boring and I'm a tiny bit bummed, but also very much looking forward to a few easy nights.  We're doing steak, potatoes, a whole chicken, rice, and scrambled eggs.  And by
scrambled eggs, I mean scrambled eggs.  Eggs and milk.  That's it.  But his technique is a little different and I'm curious to see how that changes things.

And now, for my second favorite shot from that afternoon.

The only reason it didn't win for favorite shot of the day is sort of weird and awkward to say, but on the off chance that someone might be able to tell me how to fix this, Anastasia's complexion isn't that pale, and I don't know why it came out that way.  It's not the action, even straight out of the camera she was too pale.

So my favorite shot?
I love absolutely every single thing about this picture, except her pants.  I wish I could figure out how to get the bright pink out.  But other than this, this is the picture I'm most proud of in like the history of ever.

And now I officially have baby fever.  Time for another google research project about getting my tubes untied.

Engelbrecht out.

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