Saturday, December 31, 2011

Broiled Pesto Salmon

Since we opted to stay home for New Year's Eve this year, I decided to make a restaurant-worthy meal for DH and I.  This meal was inspired by a salmon dish I had eaten once at a restaurant (I can't remember the name) several years ago.  I don't really measure much so the following measurements are approximations.


2 Salmon fillets (one serving size each)
1 package (8 oz) sliced baby portabella mushrooms
1 bag (10 oz) fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1-2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
juice from half a lemon
2 tablespoons basil pesto
salt and pepper to taste

Set Broiler to HIGH

Melt 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add mushrooms and saute until they are brown and tender.  Salt and pepper to taste after mushrooms have browned.  (adding salt before they are cooked will pull the moisture out of mushrooms).

While the mushrooms are cooking, season both sides of each salmon fillet with salt, pepper and dill weed.  Line a deep metal pan with a piece of foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Place the fillets on the foil, topping each with a small drizzle of olive oil and a dab of butter.  Broil on HIGH for 5-10 minutes, depending on how cooked you prefer your fish.

As the fish is cooking, add the entire bag of baby spinach leaves to the cooked mushrooms and continue to heat until the spinach begins to wilt.  Add a pinch of nutmeg, toss.  Remove skillet from heat and add Parmesan cheese.  Toss to mix the cheese throughout the spinach.

Remove the fillets from the broiler.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the hot fillets.  Spoon half of the spinach mixture onto a plate, creating a bed for the salmon.  Place the salmon fillet on top of the spinach.  Repeat with the remaining spinach and remaining fillet.  Top each fillet, while they are still hot, with a spoonful of pesto.  Serve with a side of your choice.  (I chose a boxed garlic and herb couscous).

Serves 2

Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm baaaack!

So, I know I've been MIA for a few months but apparently babies really take up a lot of one's free time! Here's the condensed version of our life since September:

In late September, we welcomed The Joyful Baby into our lives!  Labor was surprisingly easy (Thank goodness. Pregnancy was rough.  I earned it.)  JB has been an amazing blessing of an addition to our family.  She's such a happy baby, smiling all the time and, more recently, babbling non-stop.  Wonder where she gets that?  Must be from her father…

Anyhoo, we had DH's parents down right after she was born.  Then my parents, brother and sis-in-law and nephew came down for Thanksgiving where I hosted dinner outside on our lanai.  We figured what better way to celebrate a Florida Thanksgiving?  The weather was gorgeous!  Everyone is totally over the moon for this little girl!  We also squeezed in JB's first Pumpkin Patch experience right before Thanksgiving.  We picked out a Mommy pumpkin, a Daddy pumpkin and a Baby pumpkin!

Our Outdoor Florida Thanksgiving Dinner Table

I had lots of fun decorating the house for Christmas this year.  It's always been my favorite holiday and I was extra excited since we had JB around for this one.  I started in early November.  Having a new baby to tend to meant that it took a few weeks, but it finally got completed.  I wanted to have everything up before my family arrived for Thanksgiving.  Here's a link to my Christmas decor.

Our first Christmas with JB was fun.  We took her to see Santa.  She was so sleepy in line we were afraid she might cry in his lap.  She didn't smile for the picture.  She was way too interested in the skylights and everything else new around her.  Even after waving jingling toys, goo-gooing at her and fluttering around like a moron in a mall full of people to get her attention, she didn't smile.  But she also didn't cry, poop or spit up on Santa so we called it a win-win scenerio.  Of course the second Santa handed her back to me, she turned to him and flashed one of the biggest, gummiest smiles ever in his direction. *sigh* Oh well.  Maybe next year?

(This Santa looked so much like the real thing I almost bumped JB out of the way and took a turn myself!)

Two happy parents and one SLEEPY little girl

On Christmas morning, we tried to let her "help" open her gifts by slipping her tiny fingers around some of the paper but she was still pretty sleepy.  Less than five minutes out from all the gift-opening excitement, she was out like a light.  We Skyped the family, then went to my cousin's house for my extended family's Christmas party.  JB got to meet my cousin's new baby girl for the first time.  They are only 5 weeks apart (JB's the oldest) and were so cute together!

As far as work went, our original plan was for me to return after my three-month maternity leave.  As that time came closer, we were back and forth on the decision.  Could we afford to have me be a SAHM?  I just couldn't imagine leaving this sweet angel's side.  We prayed (constantly!) about it and finally decided that I would stay home with JB.  We both feel such relief and happiness to have finally come to a decision and are very pleased with it.  There will be lots of sacrifices made, but for our family, this was the best choice for us.

So now that the new year is right around the corner, I'm ready to enter Mommyhood full force.  I've literally stumbled my way through the past three months (sleep deprivation will do that to you) and have finally developed somewhat of a rhythm.  I'd love to blog more.  It's a fun way to share the joys and journeys of our life.  Who knows, maybe someday people will actually READ it! (besides my mom, haha)  Take care all, and many blessings into the new year!

Christmas Home Decor 2011

This year marks our first Christmas with JB.  I wanted to leave no stone unturned for her first Christmas season so I decorated everything I could get my hands on!  I went very adult and rustic/elegant inspired because this will be the last year for quite some time that I'll be able to display breakable/edible/dangerous items.  At the bottom of this post, I uploaded a pic of the loot I scored on sale at Target the day after Christmas for next year.  Next year's Christmas will be MUCH different.  Lots of bright colors, PLASTIC ornaments and very whimsical.  Think Christmas in Who-ville.  I can't wait!  Now without further ado, I present to you, Christmas in the Joyfully Random Home!

Just noticed the can of pledge on the shelf. Oops.

My in-laws got us the "Our 1st Christmas" wedding ornament last year and the "Baby's 1st Christmas" ornament this year.

And as for that sneak peak into next years Christmas…

Merry Christmas from The Joyfully Random Family to you!