Monday, January 21, 2013

Lemony Rice Salad with Peas and Mint (Page 184)

  • Date: Saturday, June 30, 2012 -- 5pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Cheryl, Thomas, Dan, etc.
  • Recipe Rating: B

Our friend Cheryl invited us to a summer barbecue in June and I made this simple side dish to share. This rice salad consisted of arborio rice and peas, dressed with olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and mint. The salad came out a little bland after following the recipe, so I had to add a bit of extra salt and lemon juice to give it some more flavor. The result was tasty. This dish wasn't terribly exciting, but it did remind me how much I love rice salad. I make a lot of what we call Refrigerator Pasta Salad at home. Recipe: Cook some pasta. Cook whatever vegetables are in the fridge. Make a dressing. Toss. I like Refrigerator Pasta Salad, but this recipe reminded me that I could make Refrigerator Rice Salad too, which would also be good! The evening of Cheryl's barbecue we had concert plans, and thus had to leave the party before the food-eating began. So I have no idea if anyone else liked this salad! Personally, I thought that for a simple salad it was pretty good, but it needed a little more flavor.

This recipe isn't online.

32 recipes down, 1074 to go!

I am very happy to share that I am pregnant! With twins! Our twin girls are "due" June 25th, although twins are on average about 5 weeks early, and almost no one carries twins all the way to the end. So the doctors say that they could arrive any time in May or June (or sooner!). We are hoping that they stay in there for a long time, as many of the complications that are more common with twins are related to premature birth.

I am about 18 weeks now, and already quite big:

It's a little hard for me to imagine what that belly is going to look like 18 weeks from now! I never thought we would have twins, and I admit that I was nervous about it at first. But now I am extremely excited!

This has been a long road for us. We started trying to have a baby almost three years ago. With my tumor and everything, I expected that it wouldn't be easy. But there is no way I could have anticipated all of the problems that we encountered. Infertility is a horrible and painful thing. After years of dealing with testing, and fertility drugs, and rounds of IUI, and miscarriage, and surgery, I can honestly say that I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I have been surprised by the number of people, who when they hear I am having twins have asked, "Do twins run in your family, or did you do infertility treatments?" Even strangers ask me this, which I find a little shocking and a little uncomfortable. But I tell people the truth: yes, we had infertility treatments. We didn't do IVF but we did do 5 rounds of IUI with fertility drugs, and this pregnancy is the result of one of those assisted cycles. Yes, the babies are from my own eggs, and my husband's sperm, but no, it seems that I can not get pregnant the usual way, due to a variety of medical issues, all of which (except for the tumor) we were completely unaware of three years ago. I answer whatever questions people ask -- even strangers. And I'm writing about it here. Because infertility is lonely, and sad. And I found great comfort from those people who had been through it (or were going through it) and were willing to talk about it.

After everything that has happened, this pregnancy has been scary for me. I have spent a lot of time worrying about what could go wrong. But at 18 weeks, the babies look great and I am doing great. The doctor says my test results are so on target right now that I am "almost boring." It's a huge relief to be boring in this case.

I am optimistic that in a few months we will have healthy twins girls. And I am so very, very excited!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Gimlet (Page 9)

  • Date: Monday, June 25, 2012 -- 7pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Book: Gourmet Today
  • Dining Companions: Matty and Adam
  • Recipe Rating: A-

This was another lovely beverage we made on a beautiful summer evening this past June. This recipe couldn't have been simpler: stir together ice, gin, and Rose's lime juice. Strain into glasses filled with ice and garnish with lime wedges. That's it! This drink was simple but tasty. We used good gin and it came through beautifully. This is certainly a drink recipe that I will come back to again. I made this while my special gentleman's friend and collaborator Adam was visiting to work with him. Below is a picture of the two of them after a leisurely dinner on the porch. 

This recipe isn't online.

31 recipes down, 1075 to go!

Happy New Year! I have spent the first couple days of this new year trying to get my life a little bit organized after a crazy semester followed immediately by a couple weeks of holiday travel. Over the break we went first to Wisconsin to visit my family and then to Ohio to visit my special gentleman's family. Both trips were really fun. We arrived in Madison the day before a huge blizzard hit. I grew up where it snows and have spent most of my life living in places that get a reasonable amount of snow, so I'm not too impressed by most snowstorms. This one was pretty impressive though. The storm dumped something like 18 inches of snow in a little over a day and strong winds blew that snow into huge snow drifts. It was severe enough that the University of Wisconsin apparently canceled a day of finals. Luckily, we were safely at my parents' place well before the snow started and we made no attempt to go out until the storm had passed. I spent a lazy snow day lying on the couch, watching movies, and writing Christmas cards. It was just what I needed! Unluckily, my brother was supposed to fly in from Los Angeles the night of the blizzard, and his flight was cancelled. Because of crazy holiday travel there were no available seats on other flights for days. So he didn't make it home, which was disappointing. After the blizzard had passed, we went to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, for an early Christmas celebration with my mom's extended family, which is a annual tradition that I look forward to every year:

We drove home to Michigan on the 23rd so we could pick up our cats (who some friends had generously been feeding during our travels). On Christmas Eve we drove down to my special gentleman's parents' house near Columbus, Ohio. It was a full house for the holidays: Karen and Dave (my in-laws), me and my special gentleman, Brad and Deniz (my special gentleman's brother and his wife), their daughter Hannah, my special gentleman's brother Wes, Brad and Deniz's two dogs, and our two cats! We had a beautiful Christmas there, full of family traditions and huge extended family gatherings. It was very nice. And my niece Hannah is about 17 months now and super funny, so it was a good time hanging out with her. Here's a picture of Hannah and my special gentleman with matching hairdos:

We spent about a week in Ohio and headed back to Michigan just before the New Year. We had a wonderful time traveling, but it is also great to be back home. We had a very relaxing New Year's Eve, which was perfect! So far 2013 has been pretty nice. I have high hopes for it!