Perhaps the greatest joy of pregnancy (and possibly motherhood) is the necessity to make dozens of lists.  This soothes me.  Sure there are things that I can’ t plan for and it’s been good for me to learn that. But, man, the notebook I carry with my to-do, to-buy, and thank you lists is my best friend.  If I’m mugged on my way to the steps of my house I will not doubt protect the notebook along with my own life.

Now that there are four weeks left before my due date and the house is as ready as it can be, I’m focused on taking care of my associate and myself foodwise with a massive grocery list and a marathon session of cooking and baking to freeze for later.  It’s been said that people will bring us food, but I’ll be eating at home 11o% of the time for a while and I want to keep the kitchen stocked for  low-maintenance meals.

I have a handful of pretty good pantry meals that we have once a week, and love to find new things to make.  Raising a child will probably cut into the 40 hours a week I spend bookmarking recipes online, but I have found and tried a few new recipes that will be in the dinner rotation and will tide me over until I have spare time again.

Southwest Potatoes — I love corn/cheese/black beans in anything.  We like this dish with eggs on top.  It was a good way to use up the incredible amount of jalapenos that grew in the garden.  Good job, Bittman.

Black bean enchiladas — Corn, beans, and cheese?  Wha?  This lasted us for almost a whole week.  Richard made this in the oven and not the slow cooker.  I somehow managed to buy the smallest crock pot available, so it only comes in handy when I’m making tiny stuffed cabbages for when my miniature bridge group is hosted at my house (is that a thing?  I don’t know, I’m really tired all of the time).

Black bean and tomato quinoa — Great for your vegan dinner guests.  Try it with corn and cheese.

Basil tempeh — I tweaked this by adding sautéed green peppers and onion and then cooking the vermicelli with the leftover stock.  I substituted crushed red pepper for the chili peppers.  Thai Diner 3 up in my house.

Whole wheat brownies — Both times I’ve made this they’ve come out beautifully, and I accidentally ate the page from the magazine because I was so confused by how perfect the real ones looked.  Plus they’re, I don’t know, 100% healthier than normal brownies.

I will still welcome anyone who wants to bring me a pizza or macaroni and cheese while I’m out on leave.  Also, it’s the weirdest thing to me that I will not be at work for 9 weeks.  I will either kill my pets or learn to understand what their various cries and whines mean.  “I’m a jerk, wake up!” is currently my guess.