Week 24 – Cantaloupe

Week 24 – Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe. One of the foods I craved when I was for real pregnant with Maya. Well, actually, it wasn’t just cantaloupe, it was all the fresh, summer melons, thanks to those third trimester summer pregnancies. And by that, I mean all summer, the whole hot summer. And once was so fun, I did it again. Finally got a little smarter and only had to spend half of the summer pregnant my third time. The final, third time is a charm, time. Boy, I’m sure glad our #fakebabies are due May 31 and we won’t be pregnant over the summer, for so many reasons! What a drag it’d be being pregnant on the Danube!😉

According to the Google, cantaloupes are the most popular melon in the US, originating from Cantalupo, Italy and first brought here by Christopher Columbus. Their vines can grow to be 5 feet long. That’s nearly as tall as us, says Captain Obvious. In Australia they’re referred to as rock melons. Which, now that I think about it, they do kinda look like rocks. Edible, nutrient-filled rocks.

24 week babies are 11.8 inches long and weigh about 1.3 pounds. This is also considered the point of viability, when they can survive (with a lot of help from the NICU) outside the womb.

By the way, I can’t believe this is #6 of packages, all just piling up waiting for a clear day for the mail plane to head your way! Ha, I think I just made a poem. Speaking of delayed #fakepregnancy food packages; from our phone chat, the last one(s) you received were the avocado/onion/sweet potato trifecta. Does that mean our #fakebabies are now different sizes? I hope you feel sorry for me at delivery when mine is similar to an uncontrolled diabetic mom and weighs 14 pounds, but yours on the other hand will be suffering from IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) and you’ll have a petite little thang. Oh dear, do you think they will look like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito from Twins? Do you remember this movie? Speaking of twins, will we be able to tell them apart?

“Only their mother can tell them apart.”


Okay back to the cantaloupe. And feet. Wait, what do feet have to do with anything? Well, at 24 weeks moms-to-be may start to experience foot swelling. So this is the perfect time for the Cantaloupe Foot Soak. Thanks Camp 36 Soapery!

And if this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is! Remember that day I ran home from the high school? On purpose, with no wild animals chasing me, in case anyone is wondering. February 1st to be exact, the same day I started writing this. Anyway, just as I was approaching the bridge, you’ll never believe what I spied laying in front of me… One lonely, cut up piece of cantaloupe, just lying there on the bridge sidewalk. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen cantaloupe chunk(s) on my running path, or for that matter, any other sort of path.

Not sure what this means, but how ironic that the same day I’m writing this, I find a piece of cantaloupe on my run. I’ve never seen cantaloupe running before! It’s a sign!


And now after all my running and your snowy adventures; which when you also sent me a message today, still February 1st, about needing an Epsom salt bath, I almost died. Okay, we’re listening universe!


Cucumber/Cantaloupe Milk Bath & Foot Soak

Ingredients:

  • 1 silver bag
  • 1 bag Epsom salt and dead sea salt
  • 1 bag of powder milk, baking soda and citric acid
  • 1 bottle of oil and fragrance oil
  • Body safe mica color
  • Lavender buds

Directions:

  • Add one bag of mica color to the bag of salt. Close the bag and squish it around to mix the color in with the salts.
  • Add fragrance and oil to the salt bag, make sure to close the top and do the mixing dance again. (I think this requires music..maybe ‘Push It’ by Salt-N-Pepa, okay that’s better, MUSIC!)
  • Once mixed, add this salt mixture to the milk, baking soda and citric acid. And repeat.. Turn up the music, seal the baggie and mix!

Once all mixed, pour everything into the silver bag!

  • Now it’s ready for your feet!
  • Add 1 Tbsp for just a foot bath
  • Add 1/4 cup to a whole warm bath
  • Sprinkle with the lavender buds!
One Happy Foot!!

Week 23 – Grapefruit

Week 23 – Grapefruit

I thought I had a brilliant idea and went to look up the German word for grapefruit and you’ll never guess what the German word for grapefruit is? Yup, grapefruit! How’s that for a letdown? Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll find more just as useful German words 😉.

Grapefruit, a cross between a pomelo and an orange; a sour, sometimes bitter fruit. This was all news to me (well, not the sour part) seeing as how I’ve never been much of a grapefruit fan, hence not a lot of research has been done. But, does anyone really research the history of the grapefruit, I digress. But, now that I’m such an adult, the adultiest of adults, I am slightly obsessed with them and haven’t been able to stop eating them. Can’t believe I’ve missed out on them for so long! Don’t worry, I’m making up for it now😉

Making a smorgasbord of these citrus fruits was quite tasty! And a fun perk of “my job.” 😂

Our week 23 #fakebabies are 11 inches long and just over a pound. This is when they start to pack on the pounds with some serious weight gain, doubling their weight over the next 4 weeks, all while listening to what’s going on outside the womb.

This week we’re steering off of the food train again, “All aboard the crazy train,” using one of Camp 36 Soapery recipes, Grapefruit Lip Balm. Sorry, I didn’t mean to trick you with the fresh fruit pictures.

Coconut Grapefruit Lip Balm

Ingredients:

  • Beeswax and 1 cocoa butter wafer
  • 1 bottle of sweet almond oil, coconut grapefruit fragrance oil and grapefruit essential oil
  • 1 lip balm tube

Directions :

Place beeswax and cocoa wafer in a glass microwave safe container, preferably a measuring cup with a pour spout.

Melt these 2 ingredients together in 15 second bursts, mixing in between. It took me 2 minutes to accomplish this.

Once melted, add the oils and fragrance from the glass bottle. Stir to combine. If it hardens from the oils being cold, just pop it back in the microwave for 10 seconds.

Now, it’s time to pour the mixture into the lip balm tube.

Once it’s full, set aside to harden, with the lid off. Will take a few hours.

And look at how great it looks on your lips…. #childishantic#11

Like I was just saying, “the adultiest of the adults.” 🤣😂🤣😂

Week 22 – Papaya

Week 22 – Papaya

Did you know that we like to call Maya, Maya-Papaya? And she isn’t a fan of this nickname. So this week reminds me of her.

Who knew there were so many ways to fill your papaya quota? From the fruit flesh, to the leaves, seeds and flowers. Papaya is widely used in many culinary and therapeutic purposes.

Okay, confession time. Now already being at week 22 and reading about the health benefits of all these different foods (what is that 18 so far?)… it’s beginning to sound a bit like the teacher in Charlie Brown, wah wah wah.

Which fun fact, did you know that it was actually a trombone that did the teacher’s “voice?” Actually all the adults in The Peanuts. A trombone. Spoiler alert. Wow, how is that for veering off topic? Rest assured your students will never think that you sound like that- cause you’re way too fun!

So yes, eat papayas, long story short, they’re good for you! Also, if a real pregnant lady is actually reading this, this is in no way all that you should be eating- as Michael Pollan says, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Our 22 week #fakebabies are 11 inches long and just under 1 lb! They’re growing more hair on their head and eyebrows, nails are growing to the ends of their fingers and the lips and eyelids are becoming more distinct.

Well, this is a lovely recipe, mainly because I am enjoying it while I am typing this. The only thing that would make it better, is if we were sharing the cuppa tea together.

Tea brewing. Almost like watching paint dry or grass grow.

www.thewholeserving.com – Papaya Leaf Tea

Ingredients:

  • Papaya leaf tea
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup milk ( I used Trader Joe’s Almond Cashew with Macadamia Nut milk) #allthenuts
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Cinnamon

Method:

  • Steep tea
  • While tea is steeping- combine milk and coconut oil in small saucepan and bring to a low boil
  • Transfer milk and tea into blender and add in the honey and vanilla
  • Blend until creamy and frothy
  • Pour into mug and serve (I sprinkled some cinnamon on top too)

Happiness begins with a cuppa tea!

Week 21 – Pomegranate

Week 21 – Pomegranate

Pomegranates are so worth the work to obtain those little juicy jewels of red seeds inside. I wonder how many Google searches are done during their ripe season of October and November for the best way to cut open a pomegranate? Millions? I wrote that in my best Austin Powers voice with my pinky finger at my mouth. See below, for reference 😂

I know, practically twins, lol!!

21 week fetuses are about 10.5 inches long and are beginning to have more controlled movements, now that their arms and legs are proportionate. The amniotic fluid also tastes different each day depending on what mom eats. That’s one way to get your child to eats its’ vegetables, mama needs to eat hers too. No problem.

Pomegranate seeds, with all their antioxidant properties, are amazing just eaten as is, great atop a salad; but also can be cooked down into molasses. Although pomegranate molasses is thick and syrupy, it’s not overly sweet, it adds more of a tanginess. With just a little bit going a long ways. I’m sure you knew the recipe had to be pomegranate molasses because it’s shelf stable. And not only that, but my trusty Google source even says opened pomegranate molasses stays fresh in the pantry, or the USPS mail holding center (weather permitting). Same thing.

While researching what to make this week, I was super stoked to find this recipe because it also calls for dukkah; which I believe you were with me when I bought this herby nut blend at Trader Joe’s. And really, who am I kidding, aren’t you nearly always with me or me with you? Because this is an Australian recipe, the measurements differ from the United States. Not in the way that the UK does, with the good ol’ trusted metric system, using grams instead of cups, which actually makes total sense, by the way. But, did you know the Tablespoon in Australia is different from the Tablespoon in the United States? 20 mL compared to 14.8 mL. Mind blown. So I have done all the #maths (conversions) for you. You’re welcome.🙂 And who knows, it may not even make a noticeable difference- plus you’re so skilled at cooking without measuring anything anyways…. I’m not quite there yet!

www.sbs.com – Vegetarian Kofte with Pomegranate

Ingredients:

  • 100 g bulgar
  • 400g can lentils, drained and mashed
  • 1 lemon, juiced and grated rind
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1.5 Tbsp dukkah
  • Salt
  • Cooking spray

Method:

Place the bulgar with a large pinch of salt in a bowl and cover with about 3/4 cups of boiling water. Add the lemon zest and juice and stir. Put aside for 15-20 minutes, until the water has been absorbed.

Mix together the tahini, tomato paste and pomegranate molasses in a large bowl. Add the lentils and dukkah and mix well. When ready, add in the bulgar and mix until well combined. Taste and adjust the flavors if needed. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°. Shape the mixture into 8 equal sized kofte, although I did not learn this shape in elementary school, I made do. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. The original recipe says cook for 7-8 minutes, turning once. You’re looking for a golden color and starting to brown around the edges. Was it because I doubled the recipe or did I make them too big? #bigkoftes Whatever the reason, it took a good 20 minutes of cook time.

All the the little kofte soldiers lined up ready to be baked (I doubled the recipe when I made it, so I could share 😉)

One cooked kofte

These would be an amazing Mediterranean salad addition, eaten plain or as the original recipe suggests- in pita bread.

No surprise, I had it with a salad! Greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, artichokes, pomegranate seeds and homemade taziki!

Week 20 – Banana

Week 20 – Banana

Half way! Mid term. Half time. Center stage. Midstream. Mid race. This is it! Surprise! The big week of our #fakebabies gender reveal!

Couldn’t have planned it better if I tried. Week 20. Traditional time for the anatomy ultrasound, which generally coincides with finding out the gender. And since they’re the size of a banana…

  • Is it a he?
  • Is it a she?
  • No, it’s a mon-key!!

Congrats baby monkey Mama!

Did you know that the baby’s inner ear is the only sense organ that is fully developed at birth? Time to crank up our 90’s dance music! Not only will they be foodies but music aficionados as well!

So, bananas. Another tricky food to find shelf stable. Thank goodness for Trader Joe’s and their freeze dried fruit selection.

And thank you to Google for allowing me to find this recipe. And I’d like to thank… Geez, I sound like I just won an Oscar.

Bananas are high in potassium helping with leg cramps. They’re also high in carbs, increasing as they ripen. Whereas green bananas are starch resistant with many health benefits, such as providing good bacteria for your gut to feed on. Alas, this recipe calls for regular, ripe, freeze dried yellow bananas. It’s okay, it’s for the #fakebabies

I was stoked to find this recipe, and in keeping with tradition, I did tweak it a bit, and I renamed it, because how could I not name it Monkey Balls? It all ties together so nicely.

www.oatandsesame.com – Monkey Balls

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup freeze dried bananas

1/4 cup almond flour

2 tsp ground flax seed

1.5 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

Method:

Place the bananas in a Ziploc bag and beat with a rolling pin. You could put them in a food processor, but as the waiter said in NOLA, that takes the heart and soul out of it. And when else can you just beat something with a rolling pin?

Separate 2 Tbsp of the crushed bananas and mix with 1 tsp cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. This is for dusting the rolled balls. (Haha, I said “dusting the balls.”)

In another bowl, mix together the remaining crushed bananas, almond flour, flax seed and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

In a third bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey and vanilla. Now mix the 2nd bowl of dry ingredients with this bowl of wet ingredients until you get a nice dough.


I used a Tablespoon for consistency and rolled them into balls, then rolled them in the banana/cinnamon coating, you know, “dusted the balls.”

MONKEY BALLS 🙈🙉🙊

Week 19 – Mango

Week 19 – Mango

Week 19…. And you’re home! Now it seems extra silly to be doing this while you’re just 1.5 miles away from me. But, since I’m on a streak; can’t stop, won’t stop!

The world wide web says our #fakebabies are the size of a mango, which is 6 inches (that’s 1/2 foot, whoah! #maths) and is already weighing a whopping half a pound! Speaking of mangos… In some ways this just feels like yesterday and in others a million years ago of the mango (well, it actually might have been a papaya…. mango, papaya – similar-ish) we shared in Hawaii, when you stuck your spoon up my nose?!?! 😂

Which, if memory serves correctly, this is kind of a thing… Hello Iceland Air?!?

Okay, back to business…. mangos are also comparable in size to the alien in the claw machine from Toy Story, well, if that isn’t frightening… I don’t know what is. #afaceonlyamothercouldlove

Mangos are high in Vitamins A and C and are great in deserts, salads and savory dishes. Since I’m using the freeze dried mangos from Trader Joe’s, desert it is!

Mango Coconut Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag freeze dried mangos
  • 1 can coconut milk

Method:

Place can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Then 10 minutes before you start making the whipped cream, place the mixing bowl in there too.

Pulvarize 1/2 bag of mangos in your food processor, although cook’s discretion on how mango-y you want the flavor. I did half.

Scoop out all the solid coconut milk and place in cooled bowl and whip until smooth, then add in the mango dust. And whip again until your desired consistency.

And wal-la! Easy peasy!! Mango Coconut Whipped Cream*!

*tastes better than it looks 😉

I topped coconut muffins with it. And here’s the recipe for that

www.healthyrecipeblogs.com – Coconut Flour Muffins

Stay tuned for Week 20…it’s going to be epic ♥️

Week 18 – Sweet Potato

Week 18 – Sweet Potato

The dog days of summer…or opposite would be of Alaskan winters. Yes, this week it’s all about man’s best friend. More specifically your doggies. Changing things up with a fun treat for my fury friends. Coinciding so nicely with Lexi’s birthday.. She was my guinea pig and got to try them first, but isn’t it comforting knowing her brother and sister will be able to share the same treat?

Yawning and hiccuping are two new tricks babies at 18 weeks have mastered. Similar to the length of a sweet potato the #fakebabies are 5.5 inches long and are weighing between 5-6.5 ounces.

Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and beta carotene. They’re a popular and slightly healthier substitute to the regular potato with many cooking applications. Even with all the fancy recipes out there, my favorite way is just simply slicing them to roast with coconut oil. But, oh what fun it was to make these dog treats using canned, pureed sweet potatoes. I think when you know how much someone or some-dog will enjoy it, it adds so much more joy to the cooking process.

One for you. One for me. Do you know how much I like to buy things in twos? This “pregnancy” is helping me indulge that habit 😂🤰… As long as I don’t eat for two.

Following this recipe for the birthday girl.

www.allrecipes.com – Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned sweet potatoes
  • 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup applesauce(unsweetened)

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Mix all ingredients together, to get a nice dough

A nice dough!

  • Roll out on floured surface, until about 1/2 inch thick
  • I used a bone shaped cookie cutter to cut out, then placed on stone
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes
  • Let cool for 10 minutes, then move to wire rack

And of course I tried a bite, you know how much I like dog and/or cat food😉

Remember that time in Iceland when I may have eaten cat food…. And really liked it!!

Dog tasted and approved! Happy Birthday Lexi! And happy 18 weeks to the #fakebabies!