|Introducing: Kenzie Erin|
My cousin Erin was due on Monday, May 14th, so I knew there was a good chance that I would not get to meet the little peanut. However, she insisted I head South for a few days and promised me a great weekend no matter what. Seemed like a good enough reason for me!
I arrived on Saturday morning and immediately started helping them move into a new place. (Who moves into a new apartment two days before her due date? Answer = my cousin. But she had lots of good reasons).
Tin Roof Bistro in Manhattan Beach. It's located in a shopping mall, so initially it might seem like a weird spot, but the food was fabulous. For dinner, we had: fried brussels sprouts (as you know, I'm obsessed), lasagna (Stu declared it his favorite lasagna ever), seared ahi tuna salad, and crab cakes. They also have a wood fire oven, so their pizzas are supposedly delicious as well. Overall, I was really happy with our meal and would totally recommend.
We came back to the new apartment, chatted for a bit and went to bed, ready to enjoy some volleyball on the beach the next day. And then Erin's water broke about an hour later. They woke me up to inform me they were headed to the hospital. So exciting! I was certain I would be meeting the baby by Sunday afternoon.
Chicken Parmesan, Enchiladas, and Macaroni and Cheese with roasted Jalapenos and Pancetta. All of these work great for the freezer because they all called to be fully cooked before their oven time anyways.
The only tricky one was the Chicken Parm, as I was worried about it getting soggy. To combat this, I filled a dish with tomato sauce and froze that layer. I added some mozzarella cheese (to act as a barrier between the sauce and the chicken), then froze that. I flash-froze the breaded/cooked chicken breasts on an a sheet pan lined with foil and placed those on top of the frozen layer of sauce/cheese. Finally, I sprinkled with more mozzarella and some Parmesan (another barrier) and a little more sauce. I froze extra sauce in a plastic freezer bag in case they wanted to add more when they baked it. (Or to use separately in pasta). In all, I think they'll have about 6-7 meals waiting for them when they get back to their new apartment. I'll be interested to hear how all of the dishes reheat.
I got to come in and meet her around 5:30. She weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces and was 18 inches long. She is adorable and has a big mop of dark hair already. It was so crazy being able to hold a newborn less than an hour after she was born. (By the way, that photo on the upper left was taken about 6 hours before Erin's water broke. She decided to have a last-minute maternity session on the beach....doesn't she look gorgeous?!?) And even after a marathon labor, she still looked as beautiful and glowing holding her newborn baby girl. Congrats to the proud parents! I'm so thankful I was able to be a part of it!