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the haas machine: July 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bird Mobile

I think I'm going to be blogging a lot this week... it's just too hot to do anything else, so I'm hiding in our basement, where it's nice & cool (we've got a killer dehumidifier thanks to John's mom!) We've got a bathroom down here, our TV, all our borrowed library movies, & I've brought down tons of books & other projects for me to do, so I think I'll be OK. We've got a heat index of 115 today through Thursday, so the basement is where I'll be camping out for the week!

Speaking of projects, we've completed a few other ones... my favorite so far is this adorable bird mobile that we made with the help of a few friends who were visiting over the 4th weekend. That weekend we sewed together the felted birdies & stuffed them full so they are nice & plump. Just this past week, John & I finished the project by stringing them on a wreath, tying on the leaves on the top of it, & hanging it from the ceiling of the baby's room.

Besides the heat, I've been feeling great-- we have two more weeks of childbirth classes & we're now seeing our midwife weekly until the baby comes. I can't believe we're getting so close to meeting our little one!

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Spanakopita

I've been making some meals that I can freeze now & eat after the baby comes & this is one that we stumbled upon that is absolutely amazing! It was a little tedious, but I promise, all the steps are worth it (& I'm so excited to be able to just pop one of the frozen pies into the oven someday). John & I both loooove Greek food, so this recipe is near & dear to our hearts.

Spinach pie recipe
1/2 cup(s) olive oil
2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
4 medium onions, chopped
6 clove(s) garlic, minced
Coarse salt & ground pepper
6 package(s) (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
1 pound(s) feta cheese crumbled
1/2 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup(s) plain dried breadcrumbs
2 teaspoon(s) dried dill
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounce(s) frozen phyllo sheets, thawed & thinly sliced

Make the filling: In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, & cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic & 2 teaspoons salt; cook until garlic is tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; stir in spinach, feta, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, dill, 2 teaspoons salt, & 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Fold in eggs until combined. Divide mixture evenly between two 9-inch spring form pans or two 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plates; press firmly to flatten. 

Make the topping: In a large bowl, gently toss sliced phyllo to separate, then toss with remaining 1/2 cup oil until coated. Divide phyllo between pies, covering the tops evenly & completely. (To freeze, cover pies tightly with plastic wrap, being careful not to flatten topping. Bake within 3 months; do not thaw first.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until heated through & topping is golden brown, about 1 hour 15 minutes for frozen pie (30 minutes for unfrozen pie).

Recipe taken from delish.com

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Strawberry Chocolate Pie

A perfect summer pie for a perfect summer guy (& myself!) This pie didn't require much baking (only 10 minutes for the crust), which is nice since it's been sooo hot lately. It's quite simple & oh-so-delicious!
Chocolate Strawberry Pie
Ingredients
2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 pie crust (I used the graham cracker crust, but you can use whatever you'd like)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups strawberries, halved
2 tablespoons honey
2 semi-sweet chocolate baking squares, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Combine all ingredients for the crust (the first 3) & press into the bottom & sides of a pie pan & bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together chocolate chips, cream cheese, honey & vanilla until fluffy. Spread mixture in crumb crust. Cover & refrigerate until firm, about 1 to 2 hours. Lightly press halved strawberries, into top of cream cheese mixture after refrigeration. Melt semi-sweet chocolate squares & drizzle before serving.


  • Recipe taken from food.com
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    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Nesting 4th of July-style

    Even John is nesting these days! Check out these three articles of clothing that he stenciled/spray painted for the baby... & it just so happened that they are red, white, & blue. Happy 4th of July!
    (I thought the owl needed some button eyes)

    Over the 4th weekend, we had some friends come into town. Whenever we have people stay with us, there's usually always one big meal that we plan & this time was no exception. Because of the ridiculous heat & lack of air conditioning in our home, we decided to take the meal outdoors...
    We had a Mexican-themed meal... fresh corn tortillas, shredded chicken, avocado, black beans, salsa verde, & this amazing corn thing that Keri shared with us (corn on the cob with Mexican sour cream, chili powder... I think that's it... it was amazing!)
    & Lisa made some 4th of July-inspired cupcakes (lemon & blueberry)... you'll have to ask her for the recipe because they are outstanding!
    Our "back yard" meal!

    In other news, we have our 36 week appointment this week & our midwife is actually coming to our house for it to make sure we have everything we need for the birth. It's crazy to think that on Sunday, our baby will be full term & s/he could arrive at any time! I think we're as ready as we'll ever be... my body is starting to feel the toll of being pregnant (especially in this heat) so I'm ready to meet this kid!

    Could you pray for us? Here's what we need prayers for:
    • Physical relief, especially from the heat & from exhaustion. It seems like lately I cannot get enough sleep & I feel very tired most days. I haven't had much of an appetite (I think mostly because of the heat), so it's been a challenge to get all my protein, fruits, & veggies in! I've also had some pretty normal pregnancy swelling, which is more uncomfortable than anything. I'm still learning the art of putting my feet up & not doing too much :)
    • That the baby won't be born much later than the 7th (the estimated due date)
    • A smooth, safe, & quick labor & delivery
    • & of course, that we would transition well into being parents
    We really appreciate it & look so forward to sharing some baby Haas pictures with you soon!!

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