Guinness Affogato

yum

yum

In prep for the big Irish Day, Bon Appétit emailed the masses a photo/recipe for a Guinness Affogato earlier this week.  One quick read of the ingredients; Bailey’s Irish Cream, Guinness, espresso and ice cream, and I knew it was something I had to make and put it in my gob as soon as possible. Continue reading

Connie’s Crispy Oven Fried Chicken

nana + baby p

nana + baby p

The week after I had baby P my mom made us oven “fried” chicken per my dad’s request. Along with spaghetti and meatballs (which she also made) her oven fried chicken is one of my dad’s favorite meals. The Hubs and I liked it so much that we requested it two more times over the remaining twelve days of their stay. The leftovers (she made a ton of chicken!) were especially our favorite the next day. Because we were eating at odd hours (i.e. whenever we remembered to) it was lovely to have a quick and tasty protein on hand with which we made wraps, sandwiches and salads. It’s amazing how sleep depravation makes you feel like you are starving when you wake for a 3AM feeding.

we are a couple of chumps for this baby

we are a couple of chumps for this baby

I can’t believe baby P is already two months old today! He’s grown and changed so much already. He pretty much has his daddy and me wrapped around his finger and plays us for chumps on a daily basis. Anyway, back to the chicken… did I mention yet that the leftovers are the best!? Hot or cold, this chicken does not disappoint. The Italian dressing marinade makes the chicken super tender and the chili powder and paprika give it a little kick right where it’s needed. We could eat this (at least) once a week. Serve with roasted veg and some potatoes and you’ll have one happy belly. The ingredients are pretty simple and the prep is quick and easy. Let’s get started! Continue reading

Spicy Tuna Roll

this bite was 10 months in the making...

this bite was 10 months in the making…

Today marks M’s Belly’s two year blog anniversary!  Woot!  When I look back into the post archives and see my first (uninterestingly written and poorly lit) post for mini beef wellingtons, I see I shot some of the photos outside on the condo balcony.  I remember March being simply lovely and in the mid-50’s that year for temperatures.  Man, what I’d do for mid-50’s now!!!  We’ve been sloshing through the Icepacolypse for the past two weeks and even for this Northern girl, it’s been unbearably cold here in the South.  The ice coating was rather pretty though, all the tree branches were icicle weighted and looked like sparkling prisms in the sun.  I noticed kids throughout our neighborhood sliding down hills on makeshift sleds such as laundry baskets and cardboard.  These homemade sleds were not for lack of funds, just for lack of sled availability, as sleds are hard to come by and sledding in Tennessee is not a pastime like it is in Michigan.

the magnolia tree in our front yard after Icepacolypse!

the magnolia tree in our front yard after Icepacolypse!

I thought I’d commemorate the bloggiversary with one of my favorite things to eat; spicy tuna rolls.  I had to forgo raw tuna for the entirety of my pregnancy, so I’ve been craving these rolls big time now for a while.  This made me wonder; do pregnant Japanese women omit raw fish from their diets?  Someone, please let me know. Continue reading

Perfect Filet Mignon at Home

this recipe is foolproof!

this recipe is foolproof!

As I mentioned in the last post, I always cook a special dinner for The Hubs on Valentines Day.  This filet is the To Die For cornerstone of said special meal.  If you like meat and have a fancy occasion on which you are willing to drop a few extra bucks, this recipe is for YOU.  This year’s V-day was slightly different than last, featuring a new, extra demanding, one-month old special guest star.  Even though we had to hurry up and eat in-between his cries for diaper changes and feedings, I wouldn’t have traded it for any other Valentine’s Day dinner.  Our meal was delayed by one day because by the time Saturday night rolled around severe sleepless fatigue set in and we ended up ordering a pizza (for shame!).  The Hubs then gave me the greatest Valentine’s Day gift possible; he told me to go to bed and he took ALL the night feedings.  I slept from 8:30 PM to 6:30 AM.  Ten hours of glorious sleep – I truly have the best husband on the planet.  I felt SO AWESOME the following day. Amazing what sleep can do for you when you’ve not had it in a month.

thank god for the mamaroo!

thank god for the mamaroo spacechair!

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Toaster Oven Single Sized Serving Chocolate Chip Cookies

in 25 min or less, these cookies can be in your mouth!

in 20 min or less, these two cookies can be in your mouth!

In my last post I mentioned toaster oven chocolate chip cookies for two.  Again, this is about all the baking/creativity I’ve been able to manage lately.  When The Hubs isn’t home, it seriously comes down to living off of what I can make in the toaster oven.  I don’t know about you, but when I make cookies it looks like a flour bomb went off in the kitchen.  Also, multiple mixing bowls, mixer, multiple spoons, baking sheets, cooling racks – let’s just say the clean up can sometimes be so daunting for a 9 month pregnant lady that a box of chips ahoy sometimes wins over homemade cookie cleanup.  Not anymore!!!!  This recipe is awesome because all you have to throw in the dishwasher is one cereal-sized bowl, measuring spoons, and a 1/4 sized measuring cup – that’s IT!  Total homemade cookie cleanup I can get behind.  It’s quick, too; in less than 20 minutes you can be eating warm, gooey homemade chocolate chip cookies, which is great because my attention span lately… SQUIRREL! Continue reading

Monkey Bread

yes, this came out of a can and I am not ashamed

yes, this came out of a can and I am not ashamed

Let me begin by saying, this is not from scratch, not even remotely.  I’ve thrown scratch out the window and replaced it with ease these past couple of months… I’ll tell you what, this pregnancy thing is not all it’s cracked up to be… I’m 35 1/2 weeks preggo and I think I’ve spent more time at the doctor’s office and hospital in the past week than I have in my own home.  I’m finding high risk (advanced age, remember?) equals tests, testing and more tests, followed by multiple unnecessary freak-outs.  The Hubs has taken over most of the cooking (quite skillfully, might I add) because I’m so physically exhausted by 5PM, it’s all I can do to make my way to the sofa and curl up on the preggo pillow (a lifesaver, by the way) to watch Big Bang Theory re-runs.

35 weeks, 3 days...

35 weeks, 3 days…

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Nana’s Cookies

Nanas_cookies-14

My parents came to visit last month and I was able to kill two birds with one stone, um, I mean, cookie.  I got to make our traditional family cookie with my mom AND participate with said cookie in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

cookie swap packaging prep

cookie swap packaging prep

A Christmas family tradition of ours is to make “Nana’s Cookies”, also known as “Ice Box”, “Little Horns,” or “Kolaché” cookies.  These cookies are a two-day labor of love process and one batch can make up to 180+ cookies!  In early December, my mom usually has my brother Bob, my sister-in-law Jodi and some of the granddaughters over to her house and they make Nana’s cookies assembly line style.  I have missed this tradition, as I am normally not home in Michigan mid-December for the cookie-making party.  This year, however, mom was in Tennessee for Thanksgiving, so we made them together!

the mother recipe...

the mother recipe…

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Cranberry Sauce!

dribble overtop your turkey and then you won't have to give up valuable space on your plate!

dribble overtop your turkey and then you won’t have to give up valuable space on your plate!

Ok, so cranberry sauce… Growing up, I never touched it, as it was totally just some wobbly jello-y looking thing that slithered out of a can.  I didn’t bother with it because it took up valuable real estate that could be used for more stuffing on my Thanksgiving plate.  I recently found this recipe on-line for the sweetest cranberry sauce you’ll ever eat.  These bursting berries are mixed with enough sugar for sweetness, orange juice for tartness, and warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon to bring home the holiday season.  I’ve found I like just a wee bit dribbled overtop my golden browned turkey breast slices.  The Hubs is a dark meat leg man, but I go for the breast!

so pretty, so festive!

so pretty, so festive!

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Connie’s Amazing Pork Sausage Stuffing

 

Hi Mom!

This is how my mom looks after a day of stem-christies on the slopes.  #flawless

Turkey is great; gravy, brussels, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole – all great.  But the stuffing?  I swear I could just eat 2 plates of mom’s stuffing and nothing else on Thanksgiving and call it good.  My mom makes the best effing stuffing on the planet.  She only makes it once a year on Thanksgiving because it’s so deliciously sinful.  It all starts where many awesome recipes begin, with pork fat.  For those confused about the difference between stuffing and dressing; stuffing goes into the bird and dressing is made outside of the bird.  My mom is a bird-stuffer so this recipe is for stuffing.  I’m sure you could put it in a casserole dish and maybe pour some butter overtop and bake it covered at 350 for 20-30 minutes or so if you need it t0 be crispy, but this stuffing is meant to be flavored by the fat of turkey drippings melded with pork sausage.  She makes the stuffing the night before and then stuffs it into the bird the following morning before roasting.  Her turkey is always perfect and the stuffing always moist and flavorful (thanks again turkey drippings, pork fat and chicken stock).  My only advice if you go the stuff-the-bird route is: make sure the stuffing is ALSO brought to room temperature before you pack your bird with it.

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