Week 33 – Durian

Week 33 – Durian

The “king of  fruits,” durian is well known for its’ strong odor, to put it mildly. So bad in fact, it’s actually banned in many public places in Asia.

I haven’t had the experience of eating fresh durian, only in a candy flavor we found in San Francisco’s Chinatown last year. And geez, I don’t even know, have you eaten it? I figure highly likely since you lived in Indonesia for awhile. Now, I’m super curious to know this. Please shareπŸ˜€

So here’s my first taste of the king of fruits.

So scared and excited!

Obviously I couldn’t send you a fruit, through the USPS, that has a smell described as a cross between rotten onions, turpentine and raw sewage. Can you even imagine when that package arrived? “Ooooh that smell, Can’t you smell that smell.” Most people think in song lyrics right? But, I actually thought the lyrics were “the smell that’s all around you,” but it’s actually “the smell of death surrounds you” Well, I like mine better. Sorry Lynard Skynard. On the flip side, may be the fastest mail delivery to Alaska in history! Just to get it out of there! Instead I found freeze dried durian, conveniently wrapped in packaging.

But, then for the big dilema of what to make. I settled on three items, and I’m including all of them. Since I’m writing this before I’ve made them, I’m committed, no matter how bad they turn out.

  1. Whipped durian coffee
  2. Chocolate covered durian
  3. Durian flavored popcorn

But, before we get into the recipes… we’re 33 weeks pregnant! The #fakebabies are 4.2 pounds and measure 17.2 inches long! Major brain development, hardening of the bones and starting to coordinate breathing with suckling and swallowing are all happening, oh so busy they are! Interestingly, the pregnancy sites also recommend to pack your hospital bag and prepare for postpartum care. Well, I think our postpartum care will look vastly different than most! Feels like it’s time for a list πŸ˜‰

Well, are you ready for the recipes? Ready or not… While none are particularly horrible, neither are they great… so proceed with caution and “as you wish!”

1. Whipped Durian Coffee

Have you heard of this whipped coffee phenomenon? Of course I was intrigued to try this and why not go all out and add in some freeze dried durian?

I mixed 1 packet of Starbucks Via, 1 packet of sweetner, 1 Tbsp of crushed durian, 1/8 tsp vanilla and 1 Tbsp water with my frother. I was disappointed it didn’t achieve the real whipped consistency,

About as “whipped” as I could get it

but what’s a girl to do? Just go with it, I added it atop 1 cup of milk. And mixed it together.

Whipped durian coffee

2. Chocolate Covered Durian

Pretty simple this one is. I melted a chocolate bar and dipped the freeze dried durian in it, then popped it into the fridge for a bit.

They kinda look like frogs

3. Durian Flavored Popcorn

Sorry for this one….but I couldn’t resist. Almost might want to save it for April 1. I used a rolling pin to crush the durian and then just sprinkled it on the popcorn.

Before
After
My dare devil taste tester!

And if none of those appeal to you, maybe feed it to the birds? Happy 33 weeks! πŸ˜€

Week 32 – Squash

Week 32 – Squash

Squash. What squash would you be speaking of pregnancy food comparison chart? We’ve already had acorn squash and butternut squash is coming…..So I’m feeling at a loss at just this non-descript “squash.” Oh sure, I could have went looking for delicata, spaghetti, kabocha or any other fun variety, but remember we’re on bedrest? And all we want is a healthy baby, so we have to stay put.

Babies born at 32 weeks have a high rate of survival without long term complications.  Even so, each week, each day the baby stays in utero increases the odds of a favorable outcome.  Like us, each in our “bedrest” state, just hoping and praying for heathy babies! 3 1/2 – 4 pounds and 18 to 19 inches long. Thirty-two week babies, if born early do require a NICU stay until they can regulate their body temperature, consistently breathe on their own and are able to eat.

Although I don’t have a new fun or weird recipe to share, just wait, week 33 is durian!! I’m giving you a week off. Maybe in preparation for the durian, haha! In the downtime, I am continuing with our baby shower games

made some coloring pages

and spelled out ‘squash’ with yoga poses. I used your alphabet yoga letters you made for your students. I did have M take pics, but am sparing you and the interwebs that horror. Not pretty or flattering or inspiring, definitely no Adriene πŸ˜‰ , hello Yoga with Adriene!

Happy Week 32 #fakebabies!

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 350Β°
  • 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 πŸ˜‰ #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 πŸ˜‰

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 400Β°
  • 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 πŸ˜‰

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 bookπŸ˜‚