Thursday, February 11, 2010

You Might Too

This postpartum period has been the best one for me, ever. It has also been the worst. I have had the most support from Greg this time, taking shifts every night for the first 6 weeks (I wouldn't allow him to with the first three kids since he had to go to work and all) meaning more sleep than ever and he's given some good help around the house, too.

On the other hand, I have visited the hospital no less than three times (I think I know all the doctors there now) and visited my OB/GYN once, and still haven't been for my regular 6 week check-up (though I'm two weeks late). I've only thought "it was something serious" about 14 times, but I never died even once.

Spencer took a few hours to get the hang of nursing but has done very well since then, unlike most of the others. However, I have had other nursing related problems which are what have had me in the hospital (nothing serious, just urgent-ish after hour visits to the doctor, with plenty of physical pain and emotional stress for me).

Despite the (sometimes serious) stress and worry I've had off and on, the depression I feared would envelope me after the birth has never made an appearance. I am so grateful.

I have spent the weeks since the birth doing as little as possible. Feeding people has been my main activity and cooking and baking and nursing (when I'm not crying in pain) are things I love/don't mind doing. Besides that I have only been keeping the house tolerably clean with Greg and the kid's help, and having good food and a clean-ish house has made me very happy. Oh, that and having a SUPER sweet newborn around.

So I wanted to share two recipes that I absolutely love and have made waaaay too many times in the last two months since just before the baby came. This first is a pasta dish that is so easy to make it's unbelievable. My family cannot get enough of it and I have made it once a week since I got it in a recipe exchange (these weeks super fast and easy AND delicious is EXACTLY what I need). It might not be your cup of tea but I would feel terrible if I didn't share it just in case you love it as much as we do and you never had it to resort to for those last minute meals we all sometimes have to throw together. It's made of foods that I personally have on hand at all times (pretty much). I've changed it from the original recipe but here's how I make it:

Thai Peanut Noodles
1/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy or not)
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons water (I take it from the water the chicken boiled in)
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 garlic cloves pressed (or minced)
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I leave this out since I can't handle heat)
1 lb chicken (I only use one small breast since we eat very small amounts of meat around here)
3/4 lb. spaghetti noodles
Bring water to boil and boil chicken (I first cut into even sized pieces, otherwise my chicken is tough on the thinner parts). Remove to cool and cook noodles in the water. In a separate small pan whisk soy sauce and peanut butter together. Stir in remaining ingredients until smooth. Shred chicken and add to sauce. Keep on low to warm sauce while noodles cook. Drain noodles and toss with sauce.
Then there's this dessert which is lower fat so I think I've convinced myself it's good for you. Also, there's no eggs so it's great for snacking on the dough. I tweaked this one, too by melting in chocolate, which you don't have to do. The original recipe only uses cocoa, just add a couple extra tablespoons if you omit the dark chocolate for melting.

Cocoa Fudge Cookies

1/4 c butter
5 T cocoa
25-50g dark chocolate (maybe 1/4 c chips?)
1 c sugar
1/3 c plain yogurt
1 t vanilla
1 c flour
1/4 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 cup? less?)

Melt butter and cocoa. Stir in dark chocolate to melt. Stir in sugar then add plain yogurt and vanilla and stir. Mix in dry ingredients and chocolate chips. Bake in the usual way (350 for 8-10 minutes)

These cookies are much better quite undercooked (as are all chocolate cookies, IMO) and pretty much not worth eating, or at least not worth the calories, if cooked through (as are all chocolate cookies IMO).
Maybe you don't care about recipes, but maybe you're like me and you try almost any recipe that's recommended to you. I just wanted to share because I reeeeally like these recipes and I thought You Might Too.


Carolyn V. said...

I love recipes. I used to spend all my time buying and trying new recipes. I will have to try the dessert. Yum! (I'm craving sugar like crazy lately, maybe this will help with the calories). Thanks! And I am so glad to hear the PostP. isn't bad. That is such a difficult time, but a joyous one too. =)

Melissa said...

Lisa, I am so sorry! My recovery with my 4th was also a nightmare. My only consolation was that Felix was super sweet-and healthy. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! I know at first it seems like it will never end (especially with pain involved!).

Susan said...

Since we've been snowbound (it will be 10 1/2 days total of no school or church by the time the kids go back to school next Tues.) I've been making dessert daily. I think those cookies are next!

Barbaloot said...

How fun to have a brand new baby! He looks darling.

Melissa Bastow said...

I'm with you on the undercooked chocolate cookie thing. Actually on all cookies. I like goo.

I hope your boobs don't explode. (That is the problem, right?)

Erin said...

I am so sorry to hear about your nursing woes! If you need a sympathetic ear, I am here. I feel like I could be a lactation specialist with all the problems I have had. I look forward to trying your recipes!

Melissa said...

So glad to see you blogged again! I have been cooking a lot lately, too, and the recipe you shared sounds a lot like this Thai chicken satay that I love (it also has vegetables in it, if you like vegetables). Anyhoo, so sorry about the pain you have been having. I hope that goes away soon and you are able to enjoy your new baby to the fullest! (P.S. I may be coming to Europe this summer. Do you guys ever get over to Paris or the Netherlands?)

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm so sorry about the hard time. Prayin' for you.

Thank you for the recipe. Those noodles look DELICIOUS. Thank you!

Kazzy said...

The noodles look yummy, but not as yummy as Spencer.

Erin said...

The Thai Peanut Noodle recipe looks so good. I definitely need easy recipes for the near future.

I'm sorry your body is having so many post-baby issues. I hope things get figured out quickly.

Alison Wonderland said...

Sweet sweet baby, forget the recipes, I'll eat him up instead.

gramalee said...

Dissenting here! Cookies should crunch! Sure there can maybe be some "chewy" after the crunch but NEVER gooey. You know, ginger SNAPS!

I can't wait to taste that pasta!

Annette Lyon said...

SO glad the blues didn't hit this time!

(You had me at Cocoa Fudge.)

Kimberly said...

I am so with you on undercooking chocolate cookies and I am going to try that recipe - SOON.

So sorry about the pain and suffering, but so glad for the sweetness and the support you've been getting. Such a mixed feelings time of life this newborn stage...

Heather said...

Do you read Chinese? Does the anonymous commentor know that? Anyway, I totally agree about the undercooked cookie thing. And I thin I'll try that recipe today, because I just discovered that we have no eggs. The Thai peanut noodles sound good too. What veggies do you eat with them? Maybe bell peppers or sweet peas?

Melanie J said...

I'm glad the postpartum depression has bypassed you. I didn't have any with Grant and I'm not worried about any with this new one but I hope I'm not experiencing a false sense of security.

I'm totally making the Thai noodles. I've been stocking up on easy and fast too for those first six post birth weeks.

Anne said...

Before I actually read the post, that better not be spencer! If it is you better get over here right now! Now I'll read it...

Anne said...

Okay, that's it, I'm coming out.

Anonymous said...

oh he's so cute!!!!!!!!!!

What the Hecklinger?! said...

I am excited to try the recipes! And I wish I could hold your sweet little baby!

Heidi Ashworth said...

So sorry that you are having to deal with that! I have always been so paranoid about that happening to me and have always kind of pressed on the ducts that seem to be reluctant to empty out as the baby nurses (not sure if that does a blessed thing but I have never had a full blown infection and I'm convinced, rightly or otherwise, that it's the reason why. And now I am 45 and never having another baby so I guess my personal theory is safe). These recipes sound delish and your life of domestic bliss sounds exactly that--blissful. I look at my baby, eight and a half years old, and am just glad that he's a little peanut of a kid and can still fold up into my lap and is not too heavy for me to carry him around. Wish I could love up your little one!