Last night and this morning I had a lot of fun sorting and organizing all the adorable gifts that friends and family were so kind to give us for our dear little baby on the way! Thank you so much to all the ones that made last night so special. I think we are ready for baby Garland! It is amazing how God has provided everything we need. The baby shower was a lot of fun last night. My friends did a great job planning, decorating, and running the party. The theme color was light pink, and the theme was international travel/ precious cargo! The food and games were great:)
I'm on my own for dinner tonight. The grad student husband is grading papers at Dunkin' Donuts before meeting a friend there for coffee. The two of them are having a guys night while I am having a ladies night later on this evening with a bunch of friends from my church that are throwing me a baby shower! I was going to make a banana peanut butter smoothie but then I thought of throwing honey-roasted peanuts in instead of peanut butter for more texture and fresher flavor. My smoothie which included: 1 banana, ice, vanilla, honey-roasted peanuts, and 2% milk was delicious.
When I was at Big Lots the other day I was inspired by the recipe on the back of a Procino-Rossi lasagna noodles box. I bought the noodles and purchased most of the rest of the ingredients listed in the recipe except the sausage. I decided to substitute vegetables for the sausage.
I really liked the method on the P&R box for draining the noodles on a baking sheet between paper towel layers. I was pleasantly surprised that the noodles did not stick to the paper towels. This method also kept the noodles from making the lasagna watery.
I had a lot of fun with my assembly line layering all the ingredients. I enjoyed the organization that went in to it all.
I made a chicken pancake sandwich for lunch. I toasted two pancakes leftover from breakfast, squirted lots of horseradish sauce on one, ripped some romaine lettuce leaves from a head of lettuce, washed and squeezed them dry before adding them to the beginnings of my sandwich, loaded a couple pickle slices on top of the lettuce, and finally I put the chicken patty on the other pancake. While the pancakes were toasting, and the chicken patty was being zapped in the microwave, I cut a huge nectarine in half, quartering one half to eat for dessert, and bagging the other half for later. I completed my lunch with a tumbler of sweet tea. I would highly recommend this amazing lunch to all! The pancakes used as a sandwich ingredient reminded me of Dutch Country potato bread a little bit. The sandwich as a whole was soft, sweet, and savory with a kick.
Yesterday I tried to go grocery shopping at Aldi. The lights were on but they weren't open. The other customers and I standing outside the locked doors couldn't figure out what was up if they were getting held up or what until we saw a sign- Closed for Labor Day. I thought it was kind of ironic that a German grocery store was closed on an American holiday and the American grocery stores were still open. Pretty funny. At any rate, I didn't save as much as I would have liked to this week shopping, but I did end up getting a bunch of different or new to us items, very exciting. One of these new items was a box of Aunt Jemima's Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix which I purchased at Big Lots. All that needs to be added to the mix is water, no milk or eggs! I made pancakes with the new mix this morning for breakfast. Our pancakes were almost an inch thick! Anthony said he and his family used to make thick pancakes growing up, and that he likes them that way. Me too. I think I might even eat a couple more for lunch. I'm thinking something like a toasted pancake sandwich stuffed with pickles and a chicken patty. I asked Anthony if he wanted a similar sandwich to take to school, but he just wanted a regular sandwich.
I asked Anthony what he wanted for dinner- a Labor Day picnic meal or lasagna. He said a picnic! I got some tea bags out and started boiling some water. I put some frozen sweet potato waffle fries and a couple frozen chicken patties on a baking pan, and stuck it in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. I washed up some red grapes for a healthy edible garnish. I poured my freshly brewed tea over some ice and sugar. I sliced then toasted a couple French hamburger buns, slathered chipotle mayo on them, and then added some romaine lettuce. Last, I placed the cooked chicken patties on our sandwiches, and the waffle fries on our plates. I had planned on serving ice cream sandwiches for dessert, but we were too full! We had an enjoyable night on the back porch:)
My Clemson grad student husband is having a lot of fun developing his first Android app! His app is called World Map App. He saw the need for such an app when we were in China this past summer. We would try to show people a map of where we were from and it would take forever to download a map. He decided to create an app that allows people to download an app with maps on it when they have a good internet connection so that when they don't they can still have easy, fast access to maps. He just released Version 5 of World Map App which allows users to download additional maps. The app has been traveling around the world. World Map App Version 3 update included me the wife translating the app into Russian. World Map App Version 4 involved Anthony translating the .xml file into Spanish. Below is a link to my husband's blog article with more information concerning World Map App Version 5 as well as an update on the tremendous success that World Map App is currently having in Russia. Underneath the link to Anthony's blog article is a Google play button you can hit to access our World Map App. Just look it up and download.
So today I made something that Anthony has been wanting me to make for a long time- corn chowder and sweet potato biscuits, a Garland family tradition. Of course I changed things up a bit.
I started cooking a bag of frozen yellow sweet corn on the stove. Then I got started on my biscuits. I dumped 3 cups of Bisquick in a glass bowl with a can of pumpkin. Back to the soup, next I dumped leftover rustic spicy New England clam chowder from yesterday in with the frozen corn. I softened 1/2 a stick of cream cheese in the microwave and added it to the pot. Returning to the biscuits, I mixed Bisquick and pumpkin together with a spatula, dropped dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet, and baked the biscuits at 450 degrees for 8 minutes while stirring the soup occasionally. We loved the cream cheese in the soup! Anthony and I could not have been more pleased with my rendition of the Garland tradition of corn chowder and sweet potato biscuits.