Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Gourmet Pregnancy

On Wednesday, May 19, John and I had planned to prepare a meal for all of us, including an appetizer and dessert, from a book I was asked to review by Mom Central Canada called The Gourmet Pregnancy. They graciously sent me a gift card to purchase the groceries I would need to prepare the recipes I chose from this beautiful book.

And then at 3:30 am on May 19, I jumped out of bed seconds before my water broke all over the bedroom floor (Henry's full birth story is still forthcoming... that's just a taster of how it all went down).

Needless to say, I had to send an email telling the nice people at Mom Central Canada that my review would definitely not be in on time. They said "no problem." They're good like that.

About 2 weeks after Henry's birth, we finally got to cooking that meal. And it was awesome! The only hard part was choosing what to make. The book is full of beautiful photos and truly gourmet recipes for those of us who like to label ourselves "foodies". The book is careful to stay away from the foods that most western pregnant women avoid: unpasteurized cheeses, sushi, alcohol, while ensuring that these recipes will truly make a pregnant woman feel pampered and healthy at the same time (okay, except for the chocolate mousse cake which just makes you feel happy).

As an appetizer we chose to make the prunes (referred to as dried plums... I had to laugh) stuffed with maple roasted pecans and wrapped in bacon.

I chose these for some, ahem, obvious reasons that a pregnant or post-labour woman might choose them. But also, they tasted awesome. Needless to say, the girls peeled the bacon off and just ate that.

As a main course we made a warm steak salad. The grilled steak was marinated and then sliced over spring greens, tomatoes, avacado and walnuts and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (I pulled out the good stuff, not the stuff from Costco).

For dessert I made the decadent chocolate mousse cake. It was killer and really, really easy. You could easily whip that dessert together an hour before your company arrives. I didn't take a photo of it however because, although it tasted divine, it was really hard to get out of the pan. When I finally post the recipe for it (after I locate the book amidst the boxes and general chaos that is our house right now) I will add that you must not bake the crust for as long as it says because it is almost impossible to cut through and therefore impossible to get out of the pan looking like anything but mess. No matter how it looks though, it tasted great.

And now for the giveaway! I have a copy of this book to give away to my gentle readers. Leave a comment below and I'll do a random draw on exactly one week from today. To make it fun, tell me what you knew you shouldn't be eating but did while you were pregnant... or if you've never been pregnant, tell me what you would miss and probably sneak once in a while.

As an aside, I avoided all those foods your doctors tell you to avoid during my first pregnancy, was a little more lax during the second and by the third assumed that women in France and Japan were eating cheese and sushi and having perfectly healthy babies so I just went with it. I'm a rebel!


Bart said...

Sounds delicious! For me, it was deli meats. For some reason, pregnancy makes me crave salami. Yum.

Erika said...

Soft cheeses! I could NOT go 9 months without things like Brie and feta (does that count as a soft cheese?) and chavrie (chevre) and that stuff that Miss Kate eats by the spoonful that tastes like garlic. And anyways, the milk's all pasteurized around here... not like I'm getting it from a farm fresh or anything. Mmm... now you've got me thinking about cheeses... and food... and made me hungry. Now... to get pregnant so I can try out your book! (or maybe I can just cook for my preggie buddies)

jevans said...

I didn't rule out anything while pregnant: not coffee, not wine, not sushi. And, the real kicker: I didn't feel guilty about it either ;)

Love to win a copy of your book! Crossing my fingers.

Julie said...

bacon wrapped anything... yum. deli meats me too. i didn't go for the veggie pizza. i went for the whole meat on top of meat with a little meat sprinkled with extra pepperoni. and tuna. i ate tuna.

Jocelyn said...

Sushi, until about 8-10 weeks I lost my appetite for it so badly that I couldn't enter the restaurant, and asked my husband not to bring it home! I planned to drink more with this pregnancy too, but also lost my appetite for it, and the one glass of wine I had in the first trimester gave me a massive headache. But I'm making up for it now! I figure he can't have fetal alcohol syndrome after he's born, right? :-)

Great recipes!!

Erika said...

I vote for Julie's comment (C;