Time to Buy a Waffle Maker

*This will be a long post – mostly a foodie review at the end.  If you get bored, peace be with you.

Yesterday was a pretty good day, though it didn’t quite start out as such.  I woke up, and my husband said that he would go down and make us breakfast so I could stay upstairs and relax, in hopes of not getting sick.  He’s pretty wonderful.   So when breakfast was ready, I headed downstairs.  He made scrambled eggs with pepper jack cheese and dill, along with some toast on the side. YUM!

So we sat down in the dining room to eat, and all was well.  I ate about half of the scrambled eggs and a bit of the toast, and then had to stop for a second.  My husband can now tell when I’m having a wave of nausea.  I usually tap my fingernails on the edge of the table as a distraction to thinking about my stomach.  It helps me get through it.  Only this time, I didn’t get through it.  So now, I can cross scrambled eggs off of my list for the rest of my life (or at least the remainder of this pregnancy).

Of course, after that happens in the morning, my whole day is generally shot.  If I have to go to work, I will certainly go, but I am the most unproductive person and am not my normal, cheerful self.  Yesterday, we had tickets to a farm-to-table dinner/ craft beer tasting event at County Line Orchard with some of our friends.  I was not about to give those tickets up (they were $55 each)!  So, I basically sat around all day, took a few naps in preparation for the evening activities.

The good news is that I made it through the whole night!  Granted, I was quite tired by 9 p.m., but I made it without getting sick or even having to sit down!  The funny part is that those $55 tickets included unlimited food tastings (which were pretty decently sized), and unlimited craft beers from local breweries.  I walk up to the pop table and ask for a Coke like a 4-year-old (yeah, they didn’t even have Pepsi).  She pours me a pop and then says, “That will be one dollar.”   I just stared at her blankly.  Then I said, “Oh.  I will be right back – hopefully my husband has some cash!”  Since he is always way more prepared than I am, he did have some money.  Before he handed it over, he asked, “It’s Pepsi products, right?”  And I looked at the floor and said, “Sure.”  Granted, we were there with his best friend who works for Coke.  He let it slide since there was literally nothing else I could drink.  Still ridiculous that I had to pay for that.  I felt like collecting as much craft beer as I could and finding something to store it in to make it worth our while.   No problem though, the boys drank more than enough for all of us put together.

So the food was AMAZING.  I was a bit worried, because farm-to-table can sometimes be a bit weird (ingredient-wise, at least).  So we started out with appetizers.  Since it was at County Line Orchard, we had an apple tasting (honey crisp apples have never tasted SO GOOD!).  After that, there were some pita chips and breads set up, followed by a bunch of locally made cheeses from local dairy farms.  I was so impressed!  Aside from the fact that I knew I couldn’t try the moldy-oldy cheeses that looked so good.  There was one that actually said “penicillin” in the description!  And another one that had pure lactate and cow’s milk.  Mike was very concerned with what I brought back, but I think I stuck to the safe ones.  If not, one piece of cheese isn’t going to kill me (us).  The boys went to get the remainder of the appetizers.  This included a pumpkin-sweet potato hummus (NASTY – I love hummus, but I have always been a hater of the sweet potato), an onion marmalade (not bad), and a green tomato chutney (didn’t try).  CHEESE FOR LIFE!

Promptly at 7 p.m., the restaurant booths were opening up for business with their samples!  Megan and I started out at Strongbow while the boys held our table.  Basically, you get in line in front of the restaurant’s “window” – behind the windows were the chefs for each restaurant, prepping everything in the giant kitchen.  It was a very nice set up, in my opinion.  So here is what they gave each of us from Strongbow:  Chili-braised brisket tostadas w/ pickled tomatillo salsa (like a full sized tostada!), and then a mini cup of Turkey Mulligatawny w/ apples & pumpkin.   And the nice thing was that they allowed us to bring back extra servings for our husbands.  Strongbow’s food was AMAZING!  The tostada was fantastic (I went kind of light on the brisket because I didn’t want to mess up my stomach early on), but the lime salsa/ sour cream sauce was delectable.  Also, the Turkey Mulligatawny was EXACTLY what I needed.  It was a hearty, creamy stew with all good stuff in it.  Baby definitely enjoyed it and I felt like I could finally keep something healthy down!

Next window we went to was Rolling Stonebaker, since they were the only ones creating a wood-fired pizza.  And I LOVE pizza usually depending on the sauce.  What a let down.  As we were standing in line, I kept smelling this terrible smell.  I couldn’t even describe it, but I was praying it was the woman in front of us.  WRONG.  It was the pizza!  Oh dear.   Here is what they served us:  Wood-fired pizza with maple-glazed brussels sprouts, candy onion jam, wood-roasted squash, and Italico cheese.  So I can’t figure out what it was that smelled so badly (I know, brussels sprouts you would think, but I’m pretty sure that was not it), so I basically took one bite and was finished.  I just couldn’t get over the smell.  The crust was good, though!  They also gave us a wood-fired giant meatball made with local pork, lamb, and bison w/ tomato ragu, whipped ricotta and basil-chili oil.  I can’t eat anything with tomato sauce or I will vomit, so Mike has this.  He said it was fantastic.

Next was one of our favorite restaurants/ breweries that we frequent.  3 Floyd’s (Munster)!  We expected the best, and they did NOT disappoint.  They served us smoked pork shoulder w/ pork belly cornbread, cherry BBQ and last season pickled ramps (i.e. pork rinds).  They also gave us a piece of apple, maple, and sage pork sausage.  I didn’t try the pork sausage, but loved the pork shoulder dish!  The pork belly cornbread that everything sat upon was savory – wish I could have managed to steal the recipe somehow.  I always forget how much I love cornbread!

Next was Bartlett’s Grill in Tavern (out of Beverly Shores).  Bartlett’s is another restaurant that we have started to frequent in the summer months.  They have my favorite baked mac and cheese, and my favorite pear cider.  Their restaurant is out in the boonies, and we always lose service/ get lost trying to find the place.  But it ends up being worth it when we get there!    Anyhow, they served us a winter white bean cassoulet w/ local sausage, lamb, duck confit, and pork topped w/ truffled parmesan breadcrumbs.  They also gave us a mini cup of squash, cinderella pumpkin, leek & apple bisque, which was topped w/ caramelized shitake mushroom & baby kale/ arugula pesto.  The bisque proved to be too sweet for everyone, though the flavors worked well together.  The winter white bean cassoulet was a winner though!  Another hearty type of casserole with tons of healthy/ fresh ingredients.  SO GOOD.  (ps, I was still feeling pretty good at this point – just two more stations to go!)

Next was something that I was not even close to being interested in, but Megan and I got in line since the boys wanted to try it.  This was from White Oak Tavern, and the dish was a savory sweet potato custard w/ fall vegetable salad, smoked vegetable broth & buckwheat crumble.  I will never understand everyone’s obsession with sweet potato dishes in the fall.  Just so gross.  Mike really enjoyed the dish, so I will leave it at that.

Saving the best two for last!   The line was crazy long for the chicken and waffles dish from a restaurant called Valley Kitchen and Bar out of Valparaiso.  Chefs Cory Muro & Jason Rudy were the geniuses behind this dish.  It was a homemade belgian waffle (they had the sweet waffle iron right there so everyone could watch), butter, Sink’s Sugar Camp Syrup, with fried Amish chicken, Carbon’s Golden Malted Syrup, and a dash of hot sauce.  Now, I have never had the pleasure of trying chicken and waffles yet.  It has always been on my to-try list.  So, the chicken basically melted in your mouth.  That being said, chicken is usually a no-no for me lately, so I only had a bite so that I could take in the whole experience.  It was by far my favorite dish.  Mike went back to get me another one, and then I went back and asked if I could possibly get just the waffle.  The head chef was SO NICE and held up an entire waffle asking if I wanted butter and syrup (they were cutting them in fourths to fit them on the mini plates).  I love that I didn’t even have to explain my situation, they just buttered it up and handed it over!  Granted, they probably thought it was for my kids, but I wish I could have told them that their waffles are the best thing I have tasted in the past three months!  I think I will write them a thank you note.  The awesome thing is that they won first place!  Everyone got a voting ticket so you could vote for your favorite dish. So perfect.

And finally, they opened up the dessert window at 7 p.m.   This was from Valpo Velvet and consisted of Hoosier Honeycomb vanilla ice cream atop of an apple cinnamon donut, and everything was topped with a honey drizzle and sea salt.   BEST DESSERT EVER.  Sweet and savory.  Loved the addition of the honey drizzle and sea salt – I am a big fan of sea salt in just about anything, but this is the second time I’ve had it paired with an ice cream and it is just exquisite.  They even gave us a mason jar sample of the honey they used on our way out as a favor.  We will definitely go back next year!  A very well-planned event and evening – and it wasn’t overly crowded!  Win Win Win.

Okay – that’s enough from me.  Just excited to have made it past 9 p.m. last night WITH a full stomach 🙂

Sad Realization + Ultrasound Photo

So the other day, I got home and grabbed the mail while my chili and velveeta dip was heating (this is a new craving for me).

I find a pretty little Anthropologie catalog amongst the election day propaganda.  Immediately, I threw everything else to the side.  Grabbed my chili cheese dip and tortilla chips and Dr. Pepper.   Started perusing the catalog.  You see, sometimes, Anthro catalogs can be hit or miss.  In this situation, I pretty much loved everything I saw.  And OF COURSE I would.  I’m 12 weeks pregnant.  Why wouldn’t I love everything I saw?

So I start figuring out what I can pull off being a near-future fatty.   Good thing I like a lot of their cardigans and vest sweaters.  They won’t be snug at all, and I would have a shirt underneath it.  Win win.

Mike gets home and I show him my shopping list.

He says, “Normally, I would tell you to buy whatever you like.  But this is pointless!  You won’t even be able to wear those cords because your legs will be bigger”….

Uhhh, what world is he living in that he can assume that my legs will be enlarged immediately?  I mean, sure, it is possible.  I don’t exercise at all anymore, and walking up the stairs more than once makes me want to vomit.  Maybe in my third trimester, food will actually be appetizing again and then I will be making up for lost time.  But in my world, I still get a full stomach really quickly.  I’m not going to start forcing food down my throat and make myself uncomfortable.  My doctor told me NOT to do that, and basically NOT to listen to any of the fools who bother me about my eating habits.

I still know that it doesn’t make sense to purchase a $200 pair of cords that I will likely only be able to wear for a month.  I hear that measurements change a bit after delivering a baby (ha!), so who knows.  I am still going to fight for those cardigans and boots, though!!  🙂

Oh, and something terrible that I have learned.  Whenever I eat something sweet, I end up with this TERRIBLE aftertaste!  I carry cinnamon gum with me everywhere now.

So, we finally told Mike’s sister last night.  And we will be telling more of his family members on Sunday.  Pretty excited for that.

I have another doctor appointment on Monday, November 17.  Hopefully, that will be an easier appointment than the first one.  Fingers crossed!

Ultrasound photo!

ultrasound2

Ultra Cool!

Moving right along… So yesterday was another big milestone for us.  Ultrasound Day!  To explain my experience (since I had no idea what to expect), I will start with the diagnostic center medical building.  We walked in, and we were pretty much the only ones in there.  It was awesome, and the opposite of the cramped little waiting room at my doctor’s office.  We checked in, and then I headed for a chair close to the door that they open to let you into the exam rooms.  Stupid me!  Mike stopped dead in his tracks when he saw where I was headed, and motioned to the other chairs, so he could see the dumb TV.  “Come on!  It’s the show that stars the guy who looks just like me (people say)!”   OMG, yes please, let’s sit wherever you’d like. They called me in right on time.  The ultrasound tech was kind of a bitch.  Or, I guess just really impersonal.  I walked in with her, and she asked, “why are you having this ultrasound”? Uhhh, don’t you have my paperwork? Whatever.  I told her I had orders from my doctor to get this done since I am pregnant, along with bloodwork.  She then said, “well that is very odd, because usually they do an ultrasound at 8 weeks and then at 24 weeks.”  And then she just stopped talking.  Nothing calming about that. So I get on the exam table and she puts this toasty gel stuff on my tummy.  It’s go time!  And then she starts moving around with her little wand thing.  By the by, I don’t know if the techs are supposed to do this, but she was pushing really hard on my stomach with the wand thing!  It actually hurt at one point.  Stupid bitch.  She barely talked to me throughout the entire process, except to say, “I’m kind of struggling to see anything, since your bladder is not full like it should be.”    WTF.  I drank at least 32 ounces of water an hour before.  My bladder certainly felt full.  Especially as she punched directly on my bladder.  Not my problem if she can’t figure out how to do her job the right way.  So she keeps prodding around for a good 10 minutes, and finally says, “okay, I will go get your husband.”  To which I followed up with, “Um, did you find the baby?!” Turns out she did, and we had three lovely photos showing our little bebay.  We were done, and then I had to go give blood (gross).  Turns out, the blood technician was 100x nicer than the ultrasound technician.  She told me not to worry, and talked me through everything and said how much respect she has for my doctor.  So nice to hear. We went out for lunch to celebrate after.  Husband was kind of in shock as to how much the ultrasound picture actually looks like a baby.  Dude was expecting a bean or something that was not very baby-like.  I still don’t think it has set in for either of us.  Maybe when I start showing? The technician did tell me something interesting after doing the ultrasound.  She told me I am actually 13 weeks along, likely.  Making my new due date May 10 (Mother’s Day, oddly enough).  At this point, I actually wanted to cry because if that is indeed true, I should not still feel like complete shit all the time. This morning was a great example.  Got up and went downstairs to get some breakfast together and let the dog out.  Had to RUN for the bathroom.   FUCK THIS SHIT.  I felt gross all day, constantly on the edge of puking my guts out, yet trying to keep down some food.  Even my prenatal vitamin GUMMIES proved to be a challenge getting down.  I know, I’m such a child.  Husband has been great though.  He has been doing all the laundry (he pretty much always did that though, since he doesn’t like how I fold things and I often forget to take things out of the dryer…).  He reorganized the pantry today while I watched reruns of Roseanne.  He let me nap while he made dinner for tonight and another soup for tomorrow.  I am so lucky.  I feel like such a bad wife. I will end with a husband quote before I finish my herbal tea.  I sometimes collect too much of things in the pantry (tea, coffee, candy….he disposed of some Pop Rocks and Fun Dip today…WHO DOES THAT?!  I was totally going to eat that stuff!!) “If you buy any more coffee in the next two years, I’m going to murder you.”