Monday, February 25, 2013

Bacon and Brussels Salad

Hey everyone! Guess what?! I had a baby! A beautiful little boy born on Valentine's Day. In typical Jax-tries-to-do-too-much-fashion, I spent a good few days pushing through what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions, and I did a Body Step class just a few hours before my water broke. The endorphins temporarily eased the intense pain until the water broke, and after that I was in full-blown labor. I came somewhat close to delivering my baby in my bedroom but luckily we made it to the hospital on time. Whoops! It worked out great - he's healthy and I'm doing well too!

A good lesson that I learned though, and think is important to share, is that evidentially labor can feel different and act differently between women and even for the same woman in different pregnancies. I was having contractions for nearly six weeks, but they always went away after an hour or so. The last few weeks of my pregnancy, they were pretty painful. I couldn't talk or walk through them. But they felt different than they did during my first pregnancy. They would always go away and never had any regularity to them. I taught my last Body Attack class at 39 weeks, and I could barely get through it. But you know me. I always like to try.

Anyways, I'm at home and my husband is with me for the next few weeks as we adjust. Two young kids is hard work! Logistically speaking, especially difficult. There is almost no down-time during the day. Yes, I am nursing as I type this. I look forward to seeing the rest of my baby weight come off as I attempt to juggle the two of them solo next week. I have about six extra pounds on me from my pre-pregnancy weight, so nothing crazy.

The weekend before my little dude was born, we all went to this cute pizza place near our house. They had the most awesome brussel sprout salad! Their version has coppa and ricotta salada, which would make this super expensive, so I changed it up just a little. Bacon and brussel sprouts, goat cheese, almonds and EVOO - simple, but what's not to love?

Please don't confuse me for awesome for cooking when I just had a baby. I use a baby carrier constantly to nurse and soothe my newborn while attempting to juggle everything else. It is the ONLY way I can get anything accomplished. My newborn son always has food stuck to the top of his head from me eating and drinking while he's in the carrier. Today I found lettuce and balsamic vinegar in his hair. Yup!

Here's my angel last week at one week old. Love him!

Bacon and Brussels Salad

Inspired by the Chopped Salad at Hersh's Pizza

1 pound raw brussel sprouts
1 pound extra thick bacon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (the higher quality, the better)
2/3 cup slivered almonds
5 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Bake the bacon according to directions and let it cool (Have you ever tried this method? Because if not, you're missing out. So much more fantastic).  Shred the brussel sprouts. I used my food processor with the grater attachment. Once the bacon is cool, chop it coarsely. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Keep it refrigerated, but warm it up for about 30 seconds in the microwave before serving it.

Very easy and simple. See? I told you I'm not awesome. But make this because it's really good.