Baked Ziti with Crème Fraîche and Spinach

Maybe I should be sharing a spooky recipe for today, but I wanted to share this because it is recipe you can make ahead. Basically you can follow the recipe below right up until the step where you bake it, and then just refrigerate it until you are ready to bake it. It might take a little bit longer to bake since it is cold, but I did it the day before and it was still great. So, if you’re getting kids or yourself ready for trick or treating, you can assemble this the day before or in the morning, then pop it in the oven while you get ready. Eat, then go enjoy some treats!

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Topic-Changing Thursdays: The Chiplet is 11 Months Old!

So, in Chiplet news, there has been some great news and much progress! I am getting a little anxious trying to plan for his birthday. I’m trying to figure out what kind of party I will do since I want to do something…but it is tricky since many of our friends have a lot going on this time of year. So, we shall see…but let me update you on what he has been doing.

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Spinach and Ground Beef with Walnuts and Pasta

One weekend I decided to see what I could make with some ground beef I had in the fridge. I liked a recipe I found in my Back Pocket Pasta cookbook, but I didn’t really follow any of the ingredients…hers used escarole, sausage, pine nuts, and garlic. So, I was inspired and made my own pasta dish.

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Current Favorites (part 1)

I wanted to start this post because sometimes I go archive digging and it is tricky to remember which iteration of a recipe is my all-time favorite. For some categories I don’t have a favorite but for some, I do, and I wanted a convenient spot to find them.

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Topic-Changing Thursdays: Dear Chiplet, Part 2

Dear Chiplet,

I finally feel comfortable writing to you about this. Back when you were newly 8 months old, I gave you some peanut butter. You had it before that and were fine, but this time it was either having had it for a few times or the fact that I gave you a bit more, but you had an allergic reaction. We took you to get tested a few days later. It was not fun…we waited for almost an hour before the doctor came in to explain the test, and then it was a short few minutes to see that you had a peanut allergy…and a dairy allergy! We still don’t know about tree nuts since they are waiting to test you for that, but we were quite distressed. It didn’t help that they immediately started explaining how to use an epi pen and throwing around “and then call 911” over and over without answering our questions about your allergies.

Finally they talked to us about what we could do moving forward. We ended up switching offices for various reasons, but in the meantime we weren’t allowed to give you a lot of different kinds of food. You wouldn’t believe all the places they hide milk/butter/etc. I started making bread for you and figuring out substitutions.

When a couple months had passed, we were able to do a baked milk challenge. I had to follow their recipe using a cake mix and lots of milk and milk powder. I’m sorry the cupcakes didn’t turn out so well. I promise I can make better cake than that, but I have never been good with box mixes. You and I were in a single room for 4.5 hours. You would get a bite (or more) of cupcake and then we would wait to see if there was a reaction. I kept you entertained in the Ergo baby carrier (where you also napped) and bouncing you on my lap. You wanted to wiggle all around but were fairly happy practicing your waving and babbling. Somehow we made it through and now you are able to have dairy baked into things, as long as it isn’t a major ingredient. In fact, we have to make sure you eat it so that you can build up a tolerance. I was so excited! For your birthday I plan on making a chocolate cake. Vanilla cake would be nice but most require too much dairy and I don’t want to do weird substitutions. I want you to have as normal a birthday cake as I can. You have already been loving the new foods you can eat, including egg scrambled with milk.

Even if you don’t outgrow your allergies, I hope you never feel like you are missing out. I have been so sad worrying about you and how you will feel, but then I realized that if this is how your life is, and if I find other special treats to make for you, then the treats you can’t have won’t seem upsetting to you. And besides, I still get to make you chocolate chip cookies which is very exciting to me. We’ll worry about things like ice cream and buttercream frosting later.

I’m also grateful you are growing up in a time when allergies are common enough that people respect them. Milk is tricky since most people think it is like lactose intolerance, which is completely different, but we can help train you and the Fudgelet to know what is okay for you. You have so many people looking out for you and crossing their fingers!

Love always,

Mom

Mixed Bag Mondays: Mushrooms and Waffles

I swear I’m not being lazy, but I just don’t see the need to go through all the steps of sharing some recipes that aren’t ones I would make again. Let’s start with the waffles.

What’s wrong with this waffle?

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Sous Vide Halibut

Here I am bringing another sous vide recipe your way. This is not meant to sway you to buy one. I think I have said this before, but I never planned on having one. It was a gift and I wanted to find recipes to use with it. My best luck has been with seafood, so I wanted to share a favorite from this summer.

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