Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Kitchen & The Haircut

There's been a gaping whole in my life, err, kitchen recently.
I was sitting on the couch late last week relaxing when I heard a strange sound. I turned the volume on the TV down and looked at Aiden's monitor (he was napping) to see if the sound I heard was coming from Aiden's room. Nope.

"What the heck is that?!" I thought to myself as I stood up and looked around our downstairs. And then I saw it. The keypad on our microwave was going crazy. I went over and pressed the "clear" button. The sound stopped and I walked away wondering why my microwave was acting up, but thankful that it seemed like a freak thing. As soon as I sat back down on the sofa it started again.

"What?!?!" I really didn't understand what was happening. This time the clear button didn't work. I had to climb up on a chair and unplug the microwave.

This went on for a while, me naively thinking each time that somehow I fixed it. Unfortunately this was not the case. Our microwave---our THREE YEAR OLD microwave--was dead. Fixing it would cost more than a new one, so the microwave research began.

Our old over the range microwave was a GE, but after my research I found that this was a common thing with GE microwaves and we made a vow to never purchase a GE product again.

After a day and half of not having a microwave, I was lost. I use it so often, especially for heating things for Aiden. So, Adam and I made a decision and went out and bought a new one. I wish that was the end of that story, but it wasn't until two microwaves later that my kitchen was back to normal. The first one we bought was broken right out of the box. The second was perfect. I loved it, but the digital display was blue. My stove's is green. I couldn't stand the mismatched colors, so back it went.

We FINALLY found one that worked for us and guess who installed it? Yup, me! :)

No more microwave! :(

Finally installed!!

On a happier note, my little man got his first haircut this past weekend! I loved his hair the way it was, all cute, curly, and whispy, but I was also tired of people thinking he was a girl. My mom came down to visit for the weekend so while she was here I asked her to put her haircutting skills to work. We both agreed that she'd just take off the bulk of it. Afterall, I didn't want my baby boy to look too grown up!

Pre haircut--look at all of that hair!

Pre haircut--notice all of the curls/bulk on the sides?

I just got my haircut for the first time! Hooray!

Do you like my new 'do'?

Have a good week!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Curious Aiden

My little monkey is saying and doing new things all of the time, so I'm not sure why I was so tickled when I rounded the corner and found him doing this...

(yes, the outlet has protective plugs in it)

I could almost hear his thoughts, "Hmm...this is where I see Mommy plug it in!"

Perhaps I have a little helper in my future!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Visit From Grammy!

My parents live in NJ (where I grew up) and ever since a certain little someone has come into our lives, my Mom has made a point of seeing him about once a month. (Dad comes, too, but not everytime.)

Grammy came in on Saturday afternoon for a weekend visit and Aiden was so happy to spend time with his favorite person (other than Mommy and Daddy!). My mom didn't get to start playing with Aiden until around 3 o'clock on Saturday, but they made the most of their first day together by reading books, playing, laughing, and just being silly.

On Sunday, Adam and I took take a "daycation" and went to a local water park called Wet 'n Wild. We had so much fun! It was great to spend the entire day having fun together as a couple without the baby. Sure, we talked about him and missed him, but we rarely get to spend an entire day baby-free. It was much needed and so wonderful.

While we were gone Grammy and Aiden had fun of their own. My little one was very happy to spend the entire morning and afternoon being entertained by his Grammy. Later on Sunday Grammy and Aiden went swimming.

Fun in the pool

Basting the little turkey

I love my Grammy!

Needless to say, we all had a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Caramelized Butternut Squash

I've seen it in the grocery store a thousand times. I've fed it to my son from a baby food jar plenty of times as well. I think most people, like me, have a fear of it and walk quickly by it as they peruse the produce section. I have not known what to do with it myself, until now! It's long, it's round, and it has seeds like a's butternut squash! (Ha ha. I know, I'm corny. I can live with that.)

My little Aiden loves butternut squash, but until recently I had never made it for him myself; I've always bought it mixed with something else in a baby food jar. Last week while grocery shopping, I picked one up and decided to buy it, even though I didn't know what to do with it. When I returned home I looked up butternut squash recipes online and I found a plethora of recipes and flavors to choose from, but one struck my fancy immediately: caramelized butternut squash.

Caramelized Butternut Squash:


2 medium butternut squash (4 to 5 pounds total)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

(note: I cut this recipe in half and it was more than enough for 2-3 people)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off and discard the ends of each butternut squash. Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize. While roasting, turn the squash a few times with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

(recipe taken from Ina Garten/Food network)

I served this delicious side with my pan-seared lemon-butter tilapia with basil.

Bon appetite!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Playing Catch Up & Tasty Tuesday: Banana Bread

Wow, I've been quite the neglectful blogger lately! July has been a busy, semi-irritating month here at the Lane house.

Since my last blog entry we went up to New Jersey to celebrate Aiden's first birthday with my side of the family. What a great day! Aiden got to see a lot of family, some that he's never even met, but I admit that it was a little overwhelming for him. Most days it's just Aiden and Mommy at home with a play date thrown in here in there, and of course outings to stores or the library. But over 40 people in one house all looking for his attention was a little much for my poor little guy. Regardless, it was a wonderful day to celebrate my little one's first year of life and for me to catch up with family and good friends.

Other than Aiden's NJ birthday party, we haven't done any other traveling, but Aiden and I both came home from NJ with colds. Actually, Aiden's started before our trip, but fully manifested itself after our travels, as did my cold. I can't remember the last time I had a cold in the summer, but it was awful and took me almost two weeks to get rid of. It's no fun being a sick mommy!

Now that we're both better we've been catching up with friends, celebrating other birthdays (Adam's and my friend Megan's son) and enjoying the summer weather.

Now that I've caught you up on current happening, it's Tasty Tuesday time!

Last night I finally decided to make banana bread with my over ripe bananas instead of throwing them away. Sure, I know that banana bread is super common and you've probably made it a thousand times, but I was thrilled with the recipe I used last night. Give it a try!

Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten.* Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

(Recipe courtesy of

*Tip: Over stirring the batter leads to a very dry bread. Stir only until flour and banana mixture is just combined.

I followed the recipe above, but I changed two things. I used one cup of all purpose flour and one cup of whole wheat flour vs. two cups of all purpose. And, in addition to the brown sugar called for in the batter, I sprinkled extra brown sugar on top of the batter before baking to add a sweet crunch to the bread. This is seriously the best banana bread I have ever had!