Saturday, November 29, 2014

Recipe: Taco Pasta

     I wanted to make something at least half-way healthy for the home-birthing class I was getting ready to attend. It was a potluck style meal deal seeing as we'd be attending class for several hours. I came up with Taco Pasta.

6 oz elbow macaroni
1 lb ground beef
1 can petite diced tomatoes
4 oz shredded cheese (of your choice - We used Colby Jack)
8 oz Nice 'N Cheesy (Kroger brand pasteurized process cheese spread - use whatever is available to you)
1/2 cup milk (sorry, I'm guessing because I eyeballed it about half-way up the cheese blocks in the bowl. Let me know what works best!)
1 package taco seasoning

Thoroughly cook beef while boiling noodles to aldente. Once done, combine the beef and macaroni in a large pot. Add drained petite diced tomatoes and taco seasoning. Now, combine diced Nice 'N Cheesy block with milk  in a separate microwave safe bowl and microwave in 1 minute increments and stir until melted. You can reduce the time over time. Stir what is in the pot, add cheeses and stir until mixed evenly.

I like to use whole grain or veggie noodles, and when I double the recipe I use 1 lb beef + 1 lb turkey burger. You may use Shells and Cheddar in place of the elbow noodles and Nice 'N Cheesy.

Side note: My family is picky. You can add any type of taco toppings into or on top of this recipe. Examples include lettuce, onions, peppers, sour cream, etc...

Bon Apetite!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Real Reason I'm Not Finding Out the Gender of This Baby

     At 17 years old, I became pregnant with my first child. I was afraid and in denial, but I told my mother as soon as I could. I was taking medication and whether I was keeping this baby or not (adoption), I was going to make sure it was healthy. After my mom cried for a few minutes and asked a nice long list of questions and I wasn't dead, we scheduled an appointment. After my appointment, it sunk in. I was going to be a mommy! My boyfriend (not the baby's biological father) wanted to father the baby and helped me decide to keep the baby when I was about 3 months along. My mother also became excited after seeing the little "bean" on the ultrasound for the first time. We began doing what expectant families do. We thought of names. We browsed all the best brands of feeding products, baby furniture, registered impulse "needs" on our registry,... We thought of names, went to yard sales, dreamt, etc... We went to stores smothered in cute ruffles and bows with a dinosaur or a star here and there. Little dress shoes and lacey socks were everywhere. I wanted a girl. I mean, who wouldn't? Boys can't be cute. There's just ugly graphics and plain onesies with stretchy plain pants to go on boys.
     Finally it came time to find out if we were going to be meeting M.B. (girl's name) one day or T.A (boy's name). We went to the 20 week anatomy scan. In the waiting room my mom asked, "What do you want?" I, of course, without hesitation, said, "A girl." Then she questioned whether or not I thought it was a girl. I told her, "I think it's a boy." Once we went in to get the ultrasound, we were love struck once again. After what felt like forever (but in reality was probably less than 30 seconds) we found HIS parts. It's a boy!!! Oh my. I cried. I ACTUALLY CRIED! How could I cry? How selfish!! I mean, even though he is a boy, it's not like I don't love him? How could I be so disappointing? We went to Wal-mart immediately after knowing we were going to be having a boy to start our gender-based shopping. I was so disappointing? I couldn't even find the boys section! I began crying when I realized there was about 60-70% girls' racks and about 30-40% boys' racks. How could this happen? That's not fair! The boys' stuff isn't even cute. It's got puppies and bears on them. No bows, no glitter, no ruffles, no tutus, no lace, just plain plain clothes. It seemed the same with everything. Let's not forget that it's much easier for a girl to get away with wearing a super-hero shirt before a boy gets away with wearing a glittery tutu. Why? (seriously.)
    A few months passed and we were becoming super excited to meet our little man. Still, though, I couldn't figure out why there was nothing cute for my boy to wear. Finally, in a store with ONE isle of baby items, I found it. I found something CUTE for a BOY. It was a cowboy onesie. It looked like a t-shirt layered under a vest with a bandanna/handkerchief at the chest. It even had a little star on the side for sheriff. I cried. I FINALLY found something cute. I thought it was impossible.
     T.A. was born! xx-xx-10 my baby is finally here. The first time I saw him and held him, the tears in my eyes... I'm not sure how I was able to hold them back or why I did, but it was an overwhelming love at first site. I couldn't believe I made and grew this 8 pound baby! What a miracle!
     Still, for the next full year, I found myself in these stores filled with disappointment on what is offered for our baby boys. Then, one miraculous day, I discovered Etsy. A friend of mine had the cutest hats in her newborn photography pics. I asked her where she got them, and she told me about I, instantly, fell in love. Yes, YES! CUTE STUFF!!! Suspenders, vests, bow ties!! One of the first cute things I came across on Etsy was this cute baby boy car applique bloomers/tank singlet.
     Why am I not finding out the gender of the baby due in 2015? Because I don't want to give myself the time of day to be disappointed in an unborn baby that I love. This go-round I still would prefer a girl. If it is a girl, I'll be done baking for the rest of my life. If this one is not a girl, we'll have to keep trying. I like the idea of having a boy also. I still have a lot of T.A.'s clothes and furniture, so that would save us a ton of money. I think if it is a boy, T.A. and C.L. will have a lot more in common (hopefully) and have a better/closer relationship due to this. They're so far apart in age already. :( Maybe I could even put them in matching outfits! Eek!! :D If it is a girl, our family will be complete and perfectly spaced. I may only get to do the ruffles for the first 3 years, but, for some stupid reason, that's important to me. Perhaps because it is so glamorized all the time. Either way, once I hold my baby in my arms, do you think I'm going to have the time to be disappointed when I am meeting my baby for the first time? No. It will be my miracle. It will be my baby. It will be perfect. No matter boy or girl.
      By the way, I've already heard the sermon on how I should just hope for a healthy baby and how selfish I am for having a preference. At the same time, though, I know I am not alone.

     Here is an update on my 17 week bump and my handsome, T.A. at almost 4 years old. <3