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Thursday, March 29, 2012

baby bump: week 27



how far along: 27 weeks... whoa!
the time is just zipping by!

baby size: the size of a head of cauliflower.
last friday, she weighed in at 2 pounds, so she's
probably a little over 2 pounds this week &
about 14.5 inches long. :)

total weight gain/loss: 12 pounds total.
thank goodness it's starting to warm up -
the hubs & i can take the pups on walks to the park.

maternity clothes? the only "maternity" clothes i've
gotten are my gap jeans. still love them.
however, i did just get a few new dresses & tops
that are cool & flowy & perfect for the warm weather!

stretch marks? not yet.

sleep: sleeping has been better.
i seem to stay in one position longer than i used to,
but i've been having icky acid reflux.
awesome.

best moment this week: seeing her little face on friday.
it was the most amazing thing!
she's just so beautiful already...
her daddy & i can't wait to meet her & kiss that face!

miss anything? margaritas.
we went to an awesome new taco place over the weekend
& they had ahhhhhh-mazing looking margaritas. 

movement: all the time.
she LOVES music & anytime there's music playing,
she wriggles around.
i love when i can feel her roll or turn -
it's like a roller coaster!

food cravings: not really.
i just love food.

anything making you queasy/sick: nope!

have you started to show yet: absolutely.

gender: little lady.

labor signs: no

belly button in or out? innie

wedding rings on or off? on

mood? happy & exhausted.

looking forward to: meeting baby!
...and dressing her up. hahaha!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

mangia mondays 55: spicy mango pulled pork

hello, friends!
welcome to


a blog hop i co-host each week
with the outstanding
lisa from shine your light!

this week i'm sharing:
spicy mango pulled pork

1 sm-med pork loin
garlic & herb grill seasoning, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste
vegetable oil, for searing
32 oz. mango nectar
8 oz. hot green chile, chopped
2 TBS garlic, minced
8 oz. chipotle sauce
2 TBS apple cider vinegar
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 jalapenos, cut in half lengthwise
1 lemon, quartered
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 sm can tomato paste

** this recipe is relatively spicy.
i've included notes after each step so you can choose what to omit/change
& make the recipe more mild. :) **

1. pierce & tenderize pork loin with a fork. rub with grill seasoning & cayenne.
*omit cayenne*

2. heat oil in a dutch oven over med-med high heat. sear pork on both sides. add mango nectar, green chiles, garlic, chipotle sauce, vinegar, red pepper flakes, jalapenos, lemon, salt & pepper.
*use mild green chile
remove seeds from jalapenos
omit red pepper flakes*

3. bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. simmer, covered, for 3 hours or until pork is tender & easy to pull apart.

4. remove pork from liquid. simmer liquid while you pull the pork with 2 forks.

5. strain liquid & return to heat. add tomato paste & stir well. add pork & serve!

we served ours on a baguette,
but it would be good in a burrito, taco, or on its own!
i'm pretty sure this has already become a family favorite! :D

now it's your turn -
link up those recipes & food posts!

how mangia mondays work:
. add a link to your recipe or food post & visit some others who have linked up before you .
. link back to mangia mondays anywhere on your blog .
. thanks for not linking up to giveaways or items you're selling .
. help spread the word about mangia mondays by sharing this post with others .

until next time,
dowlings out!

Friday, March 23, 2012

look at that face!



just had to share our beautiful little love-bug!
she's already 2 pounds (56th percentile!) &
13 1/2 inches long.

love love love her so much.
<3

Thursday, March 22, 2012

baby bump: week 26


how far along: 26 weeks! bye-bye second trimester.
this is going by so quickly!

baby size: the length of a hothouse cucumber,
14 inches long & nearly 2 pounds.
we'll find out for sure tomorrow at our ultrasound.

total weight gain/loss: it feels like a million pounds...
& my face is getting puffy!
i want to go swimming!

maternity clothes? just ordered a couple of dresses & tops.
hopefully, they work out!

stretch marks? not yet.

sleep: i toss & turn a lot. i have an extremely
hard time getting comfortable & staying comfortable
throughout the night.
ahh, the joys of pregnancy!

best moment this week: i saw charlotte move from
the outside! that was exciting... & really bizarre!

miss anything? sleeping on my tummy. *sigh*

movement: this baby is part ninja, i'm convinced.

food cravings: anything sweet...
remember those million pounds i've gained?!

anything making you queasy/sick: nope!

have you started to show yet: just a little! ;)

gender: charlotte is a tiny princess.

labor signs: no

belly button in or out? innie still

wedding rings on or off? on

mood? happy 99% of the time.
i had a break down on sunday, & i don't know why!
& i've been really tired...
it was the first week back from spring break
& i need to get back into the swing of things.

looking forward to: finishing the nursery!
that'll be a huge weight off my shoulders!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

we have a winner!

i'm so happy to announce the winner of the $50 amazon.com gift card!
thank you to everyone who has participated
both in the giveaway & in mangia mondays.
you're all the best...
& if i had the resources,
i'd love to give you all gift cards!
but, remember,
i am a poor college student with a baby on the way! ;)

SOOOOO...
the winner:

i've sent you an email,
so be on the lookout!

until next time,
dowlings out!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

mangia mondays 54: cinnamon toast crunch cupcakes

howdy, ya'll!
welcome to another edition of


a blog hop i co-host each week
with the lovely
lisa from shine your light.

this week i'm sharing:
cinnamon toast crunch cupcakes



for cupcakes:
1 C all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C milk
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
2 lg eggs
3/4 C + 2 TBS sugar
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

for frosting:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C powdered sugar
1/3 C cinnamon toast crunch powder *see note*
additional crushed & whole cereal pieces, to garnish

1. preheat oven to 350 f, & line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.

2. in a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, & salt. set aside.

3. in a small saucepan over low heat, warm milk & butter until butter melts. set aside.

4. in the bowl of a standing mixer mix eggs, sugar, orange zest, & vanilla extract until thick, about 5 minutes.

5. add the flour mixture & stir until blended, then add milk & butter mixture. stir until combined.

6. fill each cupcake liner approximately 3/4 full & bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 16-18 minutes. cool in pan for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  
for the frosting:

1. crush approximately 1 C of cereal using a rolling pin & sift into a bowl. repeat as needed, setting aside the bigger bits left in the sifter, until you have 1/3 of a cup of very fine cinnamon toast crunch powder.

2. mix cream cheese & butter in standing mixer until very smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. add vanilla extract, powdered sugar & cinnamon toast crunch powder, & mix until incorporated. taste for sweetness, & add more powdered sugar as needed.

3. frost cooled cupcakes, & sprinkle with the larger leftover bits of cereal that you sifted out. garnish with a whole piece of cinnamon toast crunch. 



i love love love cinnamon toast crunch.
that & peanut butter crunch are the only cereals
i've been craving while pregnant! :D
peanut butter crunch cupcake next??

**if you entered the $50 amazon.com giftcard giveaway,
the winner will be announced tomorrow!**
a big thank you to everyone who has helped make
mangia mondays successful over the past year!

now it's your turn -
link up those recipes & food posts!

how mangia mondays work:
. add a link to your recipe or food post & visit some others who have linked up before you .
. link back to mangia mondays anywhere on your blog .
. thanks for not linking up to giveaways or items you're selling .
. help spread the word about mangia mondays by sharing this post with others .

until next time,
dowlings out!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

baby bump: week 25



how far along: 25 weeks. i can't believe i only have a few short
months until i get to meet this feisty baby!

baby size: 13 1/2 inches long & a little over a pound...
about the size of a rutabaga.
{which i had to google because i've never ever
seen a rutabaga before!}

total weight gain/loss: like, 9-10 pounds.
i need to hit the gym.

maternity clothes? i desperately need to go shopping.
my pre-maternity shirts are starting to fit weird...

stretch marks? not yet.

sleep: i've been sleeping just fine! getting comfortable,
however, is a whole different story!

best moment this week: getting the nursery all painted
& the crib assembled!
i can't wait to share pictures! :D

miss anything? sleeping on my tummy, margaritas,
tuna salad...

movement: she's definitely a wiggle worm.

food cravings: uhhhh... ice cream.
but, i just bought some fruit popsicles with
waaaay fewer calories & are loaded with antioxidants.

anything making you queasy/sick: nope!

have you started to show yet: i would say so!!

gender: she's a little lady! 

labor signs: no

belly button in or out? innie still

wedding rings on or off? on

mood? super happy.

looking forward to: getting our new living room furniture so
our house can {kind of} go back to normal!
buying the mattress for charlotte's room &
putting the finishing touches on her nursery!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

mangia mondays 53: ONE YEAR!

whoa!
welcome to the one-year anniversary of


the blog hop i'm *delighted* to host each week with
lisa from shine your light.

can you believe that it has been an entire year since we started?
boy, have we come a long way!
thank you all for coming back each week & linking up!
i just love everything you guys post
& getting inspired by all of your amazing ideas.
i think i've gained a million virtual pounds just looking
at all of your delicious creations each week... ;)

you guys really are the best.

SOOOO...
in honor of our one year anniversary
& all of your awesomeness,
i'm doing a giveaway!


i'm giving away a $50 amazon.com gift card!

how to enter:
- there are a few ways you can enter to win! -

1. link up like you normally do for mangia mondays
2. leave a comment below! what would you get with your giftcard?
3. share this post on facebook
4. or share this post on twitter {include #delightfullydowling}
{leave another comment for each additional entry}
{all additional entries through facebook & twitter will be verified!}

that's 4 whole chances to win! :D

winner will be selected at random next monday,
3.19.2012
with the random number generator from random.org
& will be announced on tuesday,
3.20.2012

good luck to you all
& thank you again for your support each week!
lisa & i love you {& your food posts}!

how mangia mondays work:
. add a link to your recipe or food post & visit some others who have linked up before you .
. link back to mangia mondays anywhere on your blog .
. thanks for not linking up to giveaways or items you're selling .
. help spread the word about mangia mondays by sharing this post with others .

until next time,
dowlings out!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

mangia modays 52: homemade gnocchi

hey, all!
welcome to


a blog hop i co-host each week with
the wonderful & sweet
lisa from shine your light!

so...
i totally rocked my midterm!
i got a 98% on my written
& a 9/10 & 10/10 on my practical.
yay!
i'm so glad that they're over
& i have spring break to look forward to.

this week, i'm sharing

homemade gnocchi


5 large idaho potatoes
2 eggs
3/4 C grated parmesan
3-4 C all-purpose flour
1 TBS salt

1. preheat the oven to 400 f. & bake the potatoes until they are fork tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

2. while the potatoes are still hot, peel & pass them through a food mill so they land onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. when doing this, pay careful attention to keep the potatoes as light & fluffy as possible (this will aid in keeping the gnocchi light). refrigerate the potatoes on the sheet tray until cold (this is also a very important step: if the potatoes are warm while adding flour, they will require more flour which will result in a much heavier finished product).

3. when the potatoes are absolutely cold, transfer to a clean work surface. beat together the eggs & cheese & pour onto the potatoes. season with salt. cover generously with flour (it should look like snow on the mountains).

4. crumble the potato/flour mixture between your fingers. begin to knead the dough until it is a dry homogeneous mixture. the dough should feel slightly moist, but not tacky. if too tacky, repeat the snow on the mountains stage.

5. form the dough into a large log. cut slices off the log and begin to roll into long ropes that are about 1-inch in thickness. cut the ropes into 1/2-inch lengths. cover generously with flour. place the gnocchi in a single layer on a sheet tray dusted with flour. DO NOT PILE ON TOP OF EACH OTHER!!

6. use or freeze the gnocchi immediately. if freezing, place tray directly into the freezer. once frozen, the gnocchi can be stored in plastic bags, in the freezer, indefinitely. when cooking gnocchi they can go directly from the freezer into salted boiling water.

**it is a general practice to take gnocchi out of the water when they float. this is a big mistake. gnocchi need to be cooked in boiling water until they float & get nice & puffy. not cooking gnocchi long enough will also result in heavy gnocchi.**


i love gnocchi,
& i loved making my own!
i tossed it with sauteed spinach, sun dried tomatoes,
truffle oil & parmesan.
it was delicious!
:D

now it's your turn -
link up those recipes & food posts!

how mangia mondays work:
. add a link to your recipe or food post & visit some others who have linked up before you .
. link back to mangia mondays anywhere on your blog .
. thanks for not linking up to giveaways or items you're selling .
. help spread the word about mangia mondays by sharing this post with others .

until next time,
dowlings, out!