40 Weeks

40 Weeks

Who could have ever imagined that when I was trying to find the perfect name for my blog nearly two years ago it would tie so perfectly well with the turn it is about to take.
Rassasy is an outdated word that means to satisfy a craving, which I just thought was the best name for a food blog. Am I right?😁. Concurrently, I rediscovered an unfulfilled part of myself, that I was and still am pursuing. What I found was actually me, but had been covered up and put away for awhile.
A monumental piece of this was that I had actually found my best friend. My soul sister. My person. I was always envious of movies, TV shows, books and real life when there were best friends. You know the ones I am talking about? I always dreamed of that connection, but didn’t find it until right before I turned 40. What’s so ironic is that she was in and out of my life for the 10 years prior; the only way to explain it is a work of God. We laugh when we remember (or don’t 😉) all the connections, intertwinings (or is that intertwinnings?!)   and what appear to be coincidences that were present. But, I don’t believe in coincidences, it was definitely the work of a higher power knowing that not only was my person out there, but she lived only 1.5 miles away!
Fast forward to a little more than two years later and near the eve of her moving 1291 miles away for a nine month teaching assignment in Alaska. How far away is 1291 miles? 22 hours by car, 5 days by bike or a mere 18 day walk. Because I am a much more of a “better to laugh than cry” type of person, I’m trying to make the best of it… although writing this is making me cry.
So, one of the ways we’re getting through it is looking at it like a pregnancy. She’ll only be gone for a pregnancy. And after one hilarious road trip we came up with actually documenting “our pregnancy” (cause why is she the only one that gets to be pregnant?😂) weekly based on the food each week of pregnancy represents. Which, now comes back to my blog. A nine month food pregnancy blog, with each recipe based on the food that corresponds to the size the “baby” is.
To satisfy a craving. Full circle.

Turning 40. Midlife. Middle age. This is cause for something epic to be done, right? Thanks to the inspiration from a dear friend, I compiled a 16-item bucket list of forty things to achieve during the year.  These include things that I’ve been wanting to do, been putting off, quietly nagging at me or just plain fun!

I love food! I’m fascinated with new foods and learning about foods from different cultures.  There’s so much out there!  One of my #40 bucket list items is to cook forty new recipes.  What makes this more ambitious is that I’ve stopped eating meat and dairy this year, while my family has not.

Rassasy, an old 15th century word meaning to satisfy a hunger.  Could there be a better name for a food blog?  I think this just may be my new favorite word.  If I’m having deep thoughts, thank you Jack Handy, this hunger could also be my love for adventure.  Or food adventures.

 

Week 31 – Pineapple

Week 31 – Pineapple

Bedrest. Who would have ever guessed we’d both be on bedrest together? Oh, but only if we were together…. Like even in the hospital, wouldn’t the nurses love us? We could perfect our whole routine on them, our captive audience. Alas, we are not. Instead we’re in the middle of a pandemic, affecting both our lives, along with every other single person in the whole entire world. While I was blessed to not actually have to experience bedrest, I had many patients who did and I imagine this is a bit like that.

Quite similar to bedrest, with the goal being a healthy baby, but enough to make you go nuts in the meantime. So how would you occupy your time on bedrest? Netflix and chill wasn’t even a thing when I was pregnant. I did recently relearn how to knit #twisterscarf. Of course, there’s books, so many to read. First on my list is “Heart Berries.” Don’t want to come unprepared! Or maybe adult coloring? Selfies with all the filters??

16.2 inches long and 3.3 pounds are our #fakebabies weekly stats! Now I’m starting to wonder if it was a bad idea to get a dog so close to the impending birth…. They both will require constant attention. Oh, what have I done?

Luckily, Apoc is very low maintenance.

Just keeping myself entertained, one day at a time. Now, that just sparked something. If we were to think of a TV show to describe this time in our lives, what would it be?

  • Days of Our Lives
  • General Hospital
  • One Day at a Time
  • My So Called Life
  • The Twilight Zone
  • The Prisoner
  • Grounded for Life
  • Desperate Housewives

This wasn’t quite the recipe I originally had in mind. Was hoping to find some freeze dried pineapple, but that must be on people’s panic shopping list because Trader Joe’s was out. And in the current situation I couldn’t continue to keep going back to check. Trying to be a good human. But, I’ve never made a pineapple upside down cake, so I can check that off my list of firsts. Of course, trying to make it as healthy as I could….I don’t want to gain the quarenetine 15!

I was delighted to find this recipe to follow. I made a few tweaks based on what I had and could find. I used canned instead of fresh pineapple, orange extract instead of pineapple extract, coconut oil instead of butter. And I just used monk fruit sugar instead of her concoction because there were a lot of words, too many words. I also took the liberty of sprinkling a bit of unsweetened coconut shreds on top after baking.

www.joyfilledeats.com – Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pineapple rings
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1/4 cup monk fruit sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • —————————————————
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup monk fruit sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • Unsweetened coconut shreds for sprinkling

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Spread 1/4 cup of coconut oil in bottom of 8×8 baking dish
  • Arrange 5 pineapple rings in dish, like so
  • In a small bowl mix 1 tsp of orange extract with 1/4 cup of monk fruit sugar and spread atop the pineapple
  • Mix remaining ingredients in food processor until smooth batter forms
  • Dollop the batter on top of pineapple, then spread out (dollop is such a fun word!)
  • Bake for 30 minutes until a golden brown
  • Let cool for 20 minutes
  • And because I’m easily entertained…. first hold it up to see what it looks like from underneath. Note, if you want a picture, you’ll need an extra set of hands
The underside, soon to be the upside of Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
  • Very, very (in your best Elmer Fudd voice) carefully invert onto dish
  • And once flipped – Wa-La!!
  • Sprinkle with coconut shreds

And if not cake, there’s always pineapple for your pizza 😉 #hawaiian #nationalpizzaday

Oh, can’t wait for February 9, 2021!!!!
Week 30 – Cucumber

Week 30 – Cucumber

I’m trying to remember back to how old I was when I first learned that pickles used to be cucumbers…do you think that in the cucumber life span or within its’ circle of friends, being a pickle is something to aspire to? Are they all bobbing up and down chanting “pick me, pick me?” That is a funny visual though! Okay, back to my original thought, I’m afraid to say, while I don’t remember my exact age, I have a feeling it was older than your average bear.

And pickles. The stereotypical cliche that every pregnant woman hears multiple times throughout her gestation. And not just pickles. Pickles and ice cream. I don’t know about you, but this combo never appealed to me in the slightest. Reading an article on http://www.slate.com about pregnancy cravings, it seems that no one quite knows where this mismatched duo came from. The author theorized that it may have started with an I Love Lucy episode where Lucy sends Ricky out for a papaya milkshake and pickles. She’s impatient when he comes back about what took him so long and he exclaims he had to go all over town! Which is also another pregnancy stereotype, the woman sending the man out immediately when the food craving hits, no matter how bizarre and at all hours of the night. Back to I love Lucy, Lucy then proceeds to dip the pickle into her milkshake and as they say, “the rest is history.”

30 weeks pregnant and the size of a cucumber! Our #fakebabies weigh 3+ pounds and are 16 inches long. The top of the uterus is now about 4 inches above the belly button, starting to press more on maternal internal organs. And it just made me smile out loud when one of the pregnancy websites used the visual of 30 week baby’s starting to pedal their feet right now. Cause you know, without a doubt, our #fakebabies are pedaling their little hearts out!

Are you so curious about what we could possibly be making this week? I’m sure you know by now, we’re using pickles and not cucumbers due to their shelf life and well, the pregnancy cliche of pickles is pretty perfect.

And just like that, with a snap of the fingers ….. Cucumber becomes pickles 😉

Wow, and that was a lot of ‘p’s …. Could make a tongue twister out of that.. partaking in pickles while pregnant is pretty perfect. How about pickle cookies? Oh, you think I joke… I am serious!

I followed this simple 3-ingredient recipe.

www.nestandglow.com – Pickle Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar of pickles
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour

Directions:

  • Drain the liquid from the pickles into a bowl and add the cashews to be soaked overnight.
  • The next day. Place the drained cashews, along with the pickles (I sliced up about 8 of the ones I sent you) into a food processor and mix until it forms a paste
  • Add the coconut flour and mix
  • I had to add a bit of water to make the dough stick together.
  • Once it is a good consistency, roll into small balls
  • Slice about 2-3 more pickles and place each slice into a rolled ball. Making a thumbprint type cookie
  • *Side note, this is where I got confused… These are no bake cookies. I won’t tell you how long I looked for the oven temperatures, baking instructions, etc #details
  • Once rolled and printed, into the refrigerator they go.
  • Full disclaimer; I liked the taste a lot, I just found the texture a bit odd, but still edible!

Week 29 – Acorn Squash

Week 29 – Acorn Squash

Is it an art project? Is it a recipe? Maybe it could be both! Don’t play with your food is a silly rule! But, there’s children’s books, memes, Pinterest posts, quotes and news articles about this.

http://www.funnyjunk.com

Yes, I’m sure we all tried to instill this in our kids. But, now they know better and that there is a time and a place. The time is now and the place is Alaska. Coming soon (or way late) to a post office near you! Acorn Squash!

Well, this was a Pinterest #nailed it! Was fun to mix together! #fingerpainting

Weighing in at 2.5-3 lbs and stretching out to 15.5-16 inches long, these #fakebabies sure are growing up! Their wrinkly skin is smoothing out thanks to the white fat being deposited, serving as an energy source. This differs from the brown fat, which is higher in fetuses than adults and turns food into body heat. Since you’ve had a lot of cold exposure #northernexposure during the pregnancy, I would imagine you’ve activated your brown fat too!

Acorn squash is described as having an inedible hard, thin skin with a firm flesh. That reminds me of something, bet you can guess what I’m thinking!?! Squash is native to the Americas and was first cultivated by the Native Americans and is one of their three most important food staples, along with beans and corn.

Growing up I only ate it cut in half, baked with brown sugar piled on. Now that I know better, it has so many other tasty options. This recipe I found was savory and promptly devoured by us, exclaiming, “This is really good!” With emphasis on the really.

www.therealfoodrds.com – Herb Parmesan Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Carefully slice top of squash off, save,to be used for your art project
  • Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds
  • Thinly slice squash, leaving skin on. Yes, you can eat it!
  • Mix remaining ingredients in bowl and toss with sliced squash, may need to even use your hands to really get cheese to stick, for maximum coverage
  • Arrange on baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes.
  • Remove and top with additional herbs or cheese if desired

Hope your squash art turns out better than mine! Can’t wait to see it!

Week 28 – Eggplant

Week 28 – Eggplant

Although technically a berry, eggplants are treated as a savory dish in the cuisine world. Thank goodness for that, I sure can’t imagine biting into an eggplant on a hot, summer day. Originating in India, where they are known as brinjal, and as an aubergine in many other parts of the world. The United States began calling them eggplants because the first species here were small, white and oval, like an egg..but on a plant. Get it?! Did you also know that they contain the highest level of nicotine of any other food? But, don’t worry…you’d have to eat 20-40 pounds of eggplant to equal the amount of nicotine in 1 cigarette.

When I remembered this canned eggplant from Trader Joe’s, it immediately reminded me of our fabulous, Friday night football feasts! I definitely know we cracked that can at one of the games…. along with a few other treats!

In Japan, the first dream of the new year is called Hatsuyume. If you dream of Mt Fuji, a hawk and an eggplant; this is the happiest omen for the year. I wonder if anyone has actually ever dreamed of this trifecta? 28 week babies are dreaming now, too having Rapid Eye Movement sleep patterns! They’re weighing 2 1/4 lbs and 15 inches long! Well, the size of an eggplant! At least in length. I’ve yet to meet a 2 1/4 lb eggplant!

Trying to come up with something interesting to do with this can of eggplant took some thinking. And I’m sure there are better culinary delights to be had. I just wanted something a bit more interesting than the spoon.

Can you even imagine that blog post? Talking about sleep….that would for sure put you to sleep. Hello snoozeville. So instead I came up with this beauty!

Eggplant in a Pepper

Ingredients:

  • 2 bell peppers
  • 4 eggs
  • About 6 large chunks of the canned eggplant with sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • Cook’s cheese choice (I used what I had, tuscano)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Slice top off of bell pepper off and remove inards
  • Mix together the eggs, eggplant, parsley and cheese
  • Strategically make the peppers stand up, I used single serve cake pans
  • Fill the peppers with the mixture
  • Cover with foil
  • Bake for 45 minutes
Before
During
After

If you use it for something else delicious, you’ll have to share!

Week 27 – Rutabaga

Week 27 – Rutabaga

Week 27 is pretty much the beginning of the third trimester! Which I’ve decided is a fine time for the baby shower! My favorite (est) baby shower was the book shower thrown for me when I was pregnant with Maya, everyone brought their most beloved children’s book! There were so many good ones, but I think my favorite was King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub!

Was this one you read? I loved the illustrations and how silly it was to read, almost sing, with fun effects. So, when I was stumped with the rutabaga, then found the children’s book, “Rutabaga Bob” I decided this was the perfect time for a book baby shower and some fun games! I know, I know, I really shouldn’t quit my day job!

Yes, I finally met my match. The rutabaga. I worked my way through the avocado and lettuce, and still not sure what I will do with durian….but Rutabaga=1 and Angie =0. I do have a vague memory of us even buying rutabagas and not being impressed with them. I think I mashed mine and you may have roasted yours or vice versa #details. And really, what else is there? Plus, it was time to mix things up. So, yes “Rutabaga Bob” with just a few alterations 😉

The two “funnest fun facts” I found about rutabagas, besides them being a root vegetable, a cross between a turnip and cabbage is their history of being carved into masks and for Halloween until the pumpkin became widespread in the 1980’s. And in Ithaca, NY, the International Rutabaga Curling Championship is held on the last day of market season.

Can you even believe the #fakebabies are getting so big? Not only the size of a rutabaga, but also a Barbie doll (or Ken). Their brain is rapidly maturing and their brain is active, with sleep cycles, even having dreams!

So, how, you ask, do you throw a baby shower, long distance, through the mail?

1. Mad libs. You fill it out and I will add in the words for I’m sure a hilarious story.

2. Draw baby. Place paperplate atop your head and draw your best baby. Here’s mine.

3. Nursery Rhymes. Fill in the blanks.

Now, let the games begin! And please let me know what you think of the book😂

Week 26 – Lettuce

Week 26 – Lettuce

When I saw lettuce as one of our #fakepregnancy foods, my mind immediately went to the “lettuce of the sea.”  In the form of dulse.  A well known, red algae snack food. Growing north, along the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.  I wonder if as north as you, #twisterofthenorth. Lemme Google that, pause please, I’ll be right back! Well, I still don’t know. None of my friends knew; Alexa, Google and as you know, I’m not allowed to play with Siri. And she’s probably the one who has the answer. However, I did discover that it’s been eaten in Iceland for centuries and is also found along the Irish coastline. This just all screams research to me. The dulse that I have is from Maine. Rich in iodine for your thyroid, chlorophyll giving you energy and is highly alkalinizing improving your immune function. A trifecta!

26 week babies weigh in at 2 pounds and 14+ inches long also about the size of a VHS tape.

Pretty fitting, and such a great flick!

This is when the babies can start opening their eyes. Did you ever try the flashlight trick? Shining a flashlight on your stomach and waiting for the baby’s response? So fun! First play!

Now the next obstacle was finding a recipe using the sea lettuce. I was really excited about finding this one.

www.meghantelpner.com – Sunflower Dulse Bread

Ingredients:

  • Sunflower seeds (soaked) – 2 cups
  • Flax seeds (soaked) – 1 cup
  • Dulse – 1/3 cup
  • Carrots, chopepd – 1 cup
  • Olive oil – 1/4 cup
  • Dried basil – 1/4 cup
  • Dried parsley – 1/4 cup
  • Salt – 1 1/2 tsp

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients into food processor and mix until smooth.
  • If too sticky, a little water can be added (I didn’t need to do this)
  • Spread mixture onto pan.
  • If using a dehydrator, dehydrate at 115 degrees for 3 hours, then flip and dehydrate another 4 hours.
  • I used my oven and since it won’t go as low as 115 (175 is the lowest) I just followed the same directions, but set it to warm.
  • Keep in a sealed container.
Fresh out of the oven.

I rather liked it with some goat cheese spread on it, thanks to the idea from your eldest😄

You may try this and think it’s for the birds…well, that is okay too, feed the birds!

Pretty please!
Week 25 – Cauliflower

Week 25 – Cauliflower

Cauliflower is such a good substitute for rice, I find it indistinguishable. And I have been so antsy to share this recipe with you, best dolmas I’ve ever had! No joke. I don’t joke about food. I often feel like Winnie the Pooh, when trying to come up with some of these #fakepregnancy food ideas. Think. Think. Think.

Cause there’s rules. So many rules. Oh, all good rules though. Plus it keeps it more creative. So when the lightbulb went off to make dolmas with cauliflower I was ecstatic. Knowing that you do enjoy a good dolma, but there’s the rice, so I’m excited for you to try these.

How versatile is the cauliflower? Let me count the ways! Not only can it be eaten raw or roasted; it’s now quite popular as a pizza crust, made into mashed “potatoes” or as a rice, like in these dolmas. Of course, you can make your own cauliflower rice at home, just grating fresh cauliflower. But, now it’s so easy and economical to just buy it already “riced” in the frozen section, and after my search I was pleased to find a shelf-stable option!

Did you know that cauliflower contains choline? Say what?!? Haha, me neither! Thought it was an interesting and timely fun fact because choline helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. All so relevant! And as an added bonus fact, Jeopardy are you listening? Peanuts are another food high in choline.

25 week babies are 13.6 inches long and weigh 1.5 lbs! Their new trick this week is sticking their tongue out, according to babylist.com. Moms may be starting to experience a hard time sleeping, so pretty fitting that the cauliflower contains the choline, aiding in sleep!

Following this recipe, just making an easy switch of rice for cauliflower.

www.ethicspoon.com – Dolmas

Cauliflower Dolmas (when I see this I read it as California Dreams, but I digress)

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz grape leaves, 1 jar
  • 1 1/2 cups riced cauliflower
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion medium, diced
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/4 c raisins
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 Tbsp mint fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 c parsley fresh, chopped
  • 3/4 c water

Sauce

  • 2/3 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh squeezed

Directions:

  • To make the sauce: Mix olive oil, sugar and lemon juice together. Set aside.
  • In a bowl place cauliflower, raisins, mint, parsley, and allspice and mix well.

  • In a small skillet saute the onions and pine nuts in the olive oil until onions are translucent.

    Before & After

    • Remove from skillet and add to cauliflower mixture. Mix well.
  • Can we just stop and eat this now?

  • Rinse grape leaves and pat dry.
  • Place leaf flat on a large cutting board.
  • Place a heaping teaspoon of the cauliflower mixture near the bottom of the leaf.

  • Fold the bottom of the leaf over the rice, and bring the sides inwards following the guide you created.
  • Roll tightly to form a cigar shape.
  • Place seam side down in a skillet lined with the grape leaves.

  • Pour olive oil sauce mixture and water over the dolmas, and weigh down with a plate.

  • Cover and cook on low for about 50 minutes.

  • Allow dolmas to cool in the pan.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving.

    But, who are we kidding….like we have time to wait for them to cool in the fridge, get in my belly now!

    Happy 25th week!!!