31 January 2010

Weekend Update 01.31.10 BLOG HIJACK OH NOES.

Hiya! Baby Peter here. My dad is busy cleaning the kitchen and my mom is off "finally having some 'me' time". They are too busy this week to do any weekly update. So I hijacked the blog and thought I'd fill you in. Grab a few graham crackers and settle in.

We were busy this week. I went to daycare and mom and dad worked their tails off. Mom had book club and I tagged along, where my Houdini impression failed miserably. Everybody was ready for the weekend.

Friday was nice and cozy - I had dinner with mom and dad and then went to bed, and Uncle Paul stopped by for a minute to talk and pick up his calendar. My mom actually didn't hear him at the door (noisily doing dishes), so Paul had to knock and knock and knock and finally send a text message to dad (who was upstairs with me), begging someone to let him in before he turned into a Paulsicle.

I was all "hey man, long time no see!", and then talked him into coming over for the SuperBowl next weekend. Sweeeeeet: party with the Paulster.

Saturday morning we went downtown. We had breakfast at Miltons, yummy pancakes and home fries and sausage. Then we went to The Toy Store and poked around before heading home. A big thumbs up from me!

The rest of the day was just how I like it, too - lots of playing. Mom also sewed me some new bibs, because I am too slobby for normal-sized bibs. Which reminds me: I should practice being more neat while eating.

Saturday night was the KU/K-State game. It was a nail-biter, but KU won it in the end! Let me re-create what we did to Silo Tech's ego by snapping this graham cracker in half.

Sunday morning mom and I went out to do some grocery shopping. As she put me on her hip to head into the grocery store, I decided to try head-butting, which is something I had only heard of from other babies before that time. Let me tell you: I am never trying that again. My mom got a big cut on her upper lip (she had blood all over her mouth, gross) and I got a big, purple, tooth-shaped indention in my forehead. We ran right to the grocery store restroom where we sat at the sink and tried to clean ourselves up with scratchy paper towels.

Here, let me show you what happened: KAH-BOOOSH. Then I screamed and mom had the bleeds. We still did the shopping though, because we are hardcore like that.

The afternoon was better! I supervised while dad brewed a new batch of beer, and mom cleaned and did more sewing and played with me.

I napped really nicely, too. I was a super good baby and laughed and played and got into cabinets and drawers (and then my dad babyproofed? Boo). And then it was time to start the bedtime routine, and get ready for another week.

Well, I should probably sign off. Hope you guys all have a good week! Many sloppy baby kisses and head butts! Bye bye!

PS: my mom also made robot cookies, which she said she will post another day. Here is a shot of me being a cannibal, gobbling up my fellow robots. YUMMEH YUMMEH ROBOTS NMMPF NOM NMMPF NMMPF..

28 January 2010

Things I Love Thursday

A few things I adore at the moment...

Magic Bullet
We have all seen the ads. We are all slightly scared of the random smoking lady in the bathrobe (because seriously, who thinks that sort of visual image sells product??). But more importantly, we all sit back and watch them whip up goodies with that darn thing, and we ask ourselves - really? Could it be that useful and great… really? Well: in my opinion, yes. We bought it to whiz up smooth purees for Peter (we have a nice food mill but it made food a bit too chunky for our his palate). It is nice and compact so we just leave it on the counter to use on demand. It has been a lifesaver for making baby food. What I didn’t expect was to use it for a myriad of other things: to quickly make a dressing or marinade, to mince onion and garlic, or to blend a chunky marinara. I also use it to make fresh bread crumbs and pesto. Fab! Who knew!

Talk about product love. The first time I laid hands on this is when it was given to me at one of my bridal showers, just a little something slipped inside a gift. I have been addicted ever since. I don’t have the prettiest of nails: genetics blessed me with shallow nail beds, and cuticles/nails that constantly peel and split in the winter. This cuticle cream works a miracle: it can’t do anything for those shallow nail beds (obviously) but I no longer have the peeling and cracking problem in the winter. I apply it every night before I go to sleep. And the lemony scent is divine: this is the only lemon-scented product I have ever encountered that actually smells like real lemons, delicious (as opposed to that lemon Pledge smell that you find in everything else). And I dig the packaging - not housed in some hard plastic jar with a twisty lid, or soft plastic squeezy thing, instead - it’s a darling little tin jar with a pry-off lid. Something about that feels a little more charming and girly.

Neil Patrick Harris' tweets

Twitter = platform to express yourself. Each time a person uses Twitter, it is called a “tweet”. If you don’t know what it is, I like to describe it to people as a “140-character blog post”. A quick snippet of what you are doing/thinking/saying/whatever. You can easily tweet from your phone or crackberry or whatever, like sending a text message on a "regular" cell phone, so a lot of people do it. And you can follow them, just like blogs, which is the only reason I have a Twitter account!

A lot of daily Twitter “tweets” are boring (sorry). I do follow a few, however, and one person I follow is Neil Patrick Harris. The guy is charming and quick-witted (shocker, I know). This is his first tweet, and I have been hooked ever since. I think his tweet during the Golden Globes, when he found himself next to Mickey Rourke, is my favorite to date…

My friend Jules shared this recipe with me and I loooooove it. It is so yummy and dead easy to pull together: bring your liquids to a boil, pour over the other ingredients in a casserole dish, and pop it in the oven to bake. The result is a creamy, lovely dish that is reminiscent of a nice lemony risotto. Serve with a green salad and a nice mineral-y white wine, and presto! A lovely dinner on the table with minimal effort!
I am a sucker for a gorgeous candle holder, and these are right up there in the LOVE category. The owner started her GlassyBaby line of hand-blown votives to help with the battle to cure cancer (she is a cancer survivor herself, and proceeds go to cancer research organizations). Each looks like a tiny work of art, the glass illuminating candle light so softly and the colors are just amazing. I want approximately 34 of these suckers for around my home. Approximately.

25 January 2010

Motherhood: Just Like Your Normal Life, Only Ten Times More Complicated

Tonight I had my Book Club from 5:30p to 7:30p. As mentioned earlier, I forgot to get a sitter and was a host so I couldn’t exactly stay home. Besides, Free State Brewery is a favorite of mine…

Now, a year ago this is how things would have gone:

  1. I would have probably worked until 5:15p-ish, then headed downtown to find parking and walk over to the brewery.

However, now I have a child to include in my plans. So things went a little like this:

  1. Left work a little early to drive over the bridge and through a detour/construction, to pick up baby from daycare.

  2. Talk to daycare provider probably much too long about the state of my son’s dirty diapers, then wrestle the car-hating child into his car seat. While he howls in protest.

  3. Drive back through detour and construction and over bridge, then waaaaaaaay over to our house on the south side of town. Through “Lawrence rush hour”, A.K.A. this town is too big for its own britches, therefore way too many drivers are forced to share a small side street as if it were a main thoroughfare, resulting in it taking 15 minutes to drive a mile and a half. Insert: the sounds of an angry, spiteful child yelping from the back seat the entire time.

  4. Wrestle child back out of the car seat, and attempt to carry the squirming child into the house, while also carrying (1) diaper bag, (2) purse, (3) daycare bag, (4) office lunch bag, and (5) breast pump.

  5. Get caught by super nice next-door neighbors, so spend the next 10 minutes anxiously glancing at watch and trying to cajole a pouty baby to FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY JUST SQUEEZE OUT A TEENY SMILE ALREADY for the nice little old people. Instead he buries his face into my chest and moans “ah-buuuuuuuuu” the entire time.

  6. With trembling arms from the weight of baby and all the bags, finally make it into the house. Baby is squealing “aaaaaaaah-buuuuuuuuuu!” at a pitch that could break glass, so drop all bags and scramble baby and self out of coat to get him something to drink.

  7. Baby zonks out after approximately 5 minutes of drinking. Great. Because we probably should have left to go back downtown about 5 minutes ago, as parking is hard to find on a KU game night.

  8. Wrestle child back into car seat. Baby is now SUPREME HULK ANGRY after being awoken from sleep. Proof that sometimes God does look down upon me happily: I find Rockstar Parking right in front of the brewery. Sweeeeeet. Only: we're about 25 minutes too early for the room reservation...

  9. Wrestle baby out of car. Spend 5 minutes fiddling with Bjorn to get it right and get baby in it properly. Bundle blanket over baby (it was FREEZING! Cold. And I forgot my own hat, great). Grab enormous diaper bag and start hitting the stores.

  10. Get so involved in looking at the clearanced scarves in The Gap that I have to sprint to Free State to be there for our reservation time.

Aaaaand: fin. Actually the rest was a piece of cake: Peter was a dream all night, smiling and cooing at the ladies, sitting nicely on my lap the entire time.

I do earn Mommy of the Year points for what happened at the end: we were all getting ready to leave. I plopped Peter in the high chair and was chatting happily while getting our things together and pulling on my coat. After a few minutes I hear the quietest little squawks, and look down to locate where the weird noise is coming from . . . Oh boy.

I thought I had the high chair divider between his legs? But no, I put both legs into one leg opening. So he had somehow squirmed all the way through, with only his head keeping him from sliding to the floor. It was a sight to see actually, and after letting out a few motherly "PETER!!!" shouts, I was able to pull him back through the top. Crisis averted.

Yeah. Dramatic re-creation of the moment can be seen below (I am too lazy to cut out an entire baby body, TOO MANY ANGLES PEOPLE, so I drew the body with the handy paintbrush feature):

24 January 2010

Weekend Update 01.24.10

This week has been awesome!

Okay no, maybe not awesome. But alright, which is better than not-good. Work has been busy, I had a client from IEEE visiting so I spent most of the week worrying/prepping for it. Peter was teething and I swear, not to get too graphic but I was changing his diaper every hour or so and still had to change ruined outfits 2-3 times a day. Scott has been sick, with strep. Fun times. I guess I should mention that we had our dishwasher fixed, which oh yes - that seriously kinda made my month. I forgot how it was living without one.

Friday I was ready for a break and serendipitously, Nikki happened to be in town. We had a night downtown, dinner and drinks at Yokohama then ice cream as a nightcap. Fantastic! I needed some Nikki Time.

Saturday was kinda lazy, although we did get a lot done given the lounging around that we did. Scott repaired the shower*. I shopped for supplies to re-start the renovation of the office. I started laundry, and ironed fabrics for bibs/window treatments, and framed up some things for the office (as a totally awesome side note: I had mat cut, then got home and realized my dimensions were off by HALF AN INCH. You know, too big. So had to buy new matting. Yay me). Scott researched recipes for this insanely huge pork roast I scored on sale at the grocery store. Six glorious pounds of pig! Hoorah.

* So: the shower? The knob kinda sorta snapped off. Yikes. I was never terribly fond of the thing, not like I need something fancy (I mean hell, who's gonna see it but the homeowners while we are absent-mindedly hurrying through a shower before jetting off to work), but it was kinda dirty and old-looking. So Scott made a run to Ace Hardware and picked up a new shower knob, as well as new shower head while he was at it (um, that had been leaking for awhile, something we've both been ignoring in our aforementioned morning rush). Anyhoo. Scott fixed both, Peter supervised. The knob and shower head are both pretty much the same as we had before, so nothing too exciting, but now both are new which is lovely.

Sunday was a blur of cleaning and grocery shopping and sorting more baby clothes to pack away (sometimes I swear all I do is pack up baby clothes on the weekends). Cleaned my closet, made a huuuuuge pot of chili and froze it. I plan on making soup this week too - our deep freeze is kinda empty these days, and my goal this winter/spring is to get more in there for busy days later in the year.

Scott roasted the pork roast Cuban style, marinaded in a Cuban mojo and then he reduced the juices/marinade afterwards to make a tart, garlicky sauce to serve over the meat. Mmmmmm. I made some black beans and rice, and we had a proper Cuban dinner. Lots of meat leftover for Cuban sandwiches this week, too.

Um, and Peter and I took a 3-hour afternoon nap. Don't judge - he hasn't been the best sleeper lately, and he and I got *maybe* 4 hours of sleep the night before. So it was needed.

Peter, let's see - since I last did an update on him, he's learned all sorts of fun things. He pulls up on anything he can get his hands on - the couch, the ottoman, push toys, his crib, the coffee table, random 2-year-olds that get in his way (in the famous words of Asher at daycare: "Baby Peter nooooooooo! Don't knock me down!"). He will gloat once he conquers a new summit. Most times he will then promptly fall flat on his face. I am going to be an alcoholic by the time he figures out how to pull up without maiming himself.

Observe: having fun pulling himself around on things.

About 30 seconds later: boo boo city.

We are suspicious that he has learned a word, moaning "ah-buuuuuuuuu!!!" every single time he is tired and wants a bottle. What that translates to, we are not quite sure...

He seems to grasp what "no" means, he responds by looking at you, stopping the "no" activity, and slowly crawling away from the "no" while still watching you to ensure he's doing the right thing (we are enjoying it while it lasts, yes, because I am aware that this is extremely short term). He laughs hysterically while he jams his fingers into your mouth and tries to get you to blow to make noises. He is happy and all-around delectable and boy, but he's already insanely stubborn, too. He comes by that honestly from both sides of his family, so I think we are going to be In For It.

And ceiling fans are still the most fascinating thing on the planet. Weeks later, and he still comes to this conclusion whenever he sees one. Obviously we should be calling Mensa to set up some testing.

He is still fussy about 6pm, ready for some dinner and a warm bath and some soft PJs, then a book/bottle/bed. Also there are two cringe-inducing lumps on his top gums, Scott thinks it means teeth and I am just pretty much totally grossed out, (1) hoping if that's the case the teeth come in soon so those hideous lumps go away; and (2) praying that it doesn't mean he will be the next Michael Strahan, because duuuuude. Those are huge, gappy bumps. Oof.

That's it, folks. Gotta run get some things packed up for tomorrow: I am co-hosting our Book Club tomorrow after work - which, oopsies, kinda forgot about that. Also I have not secured a sitter for the time period during said Book Club (which we are co-hosting at a FREAKING BAR, no less), so Peter will be tagging along. I am officially That Person. Hopefully the fact that we're buying the first round and appetizers will distract people from the squawky little person munching on baby Cheetos in the corner.

23 January 2010

Who Knew? It Really Does Work...

I always used to hear how apple pie was best served with cheese, and yeah, you know what? I'll just take peoples' word for it. I'm not a big apple pie kind of girl anyway, and the thought of pairing it with cheddar just seemed absurd. And this coming from the chick who will give pretty much anything a shot.

However if there is one person I trust, it's Dorie Greenspan, so when I saw her apple scone recipe was a cheddar-and-apple combo, I figured I'd give it a shot. Besides, they're scones - if I don't like 'em, I can give them away ;)

Well, as it turns out - everybody is right. Cheddar and apples really do pair up amazingly well together. I love this scone recipe in and of itself, by the way: using not only apple juice but dried apple is a brilliant move, it really lets the apple sing and there isn't too much moisture or mushy bits, it retains that perfectly dense-yet-delicate scone texture. The cornmeal adds a yummy, crunchy layer of flavor, too. Sooooo yummy.

PS - the recipe says to use cold cold cold cubed butter. I have found better results with scones by freezing the butter, then grating with a cheese grater (then popping back in the freezer until needed, at least 10 minutes).

Apple Cheddar Scones
(from The Dorie Bible)

1 large egg
1/2 c. cold buttermilk
1/4 c. cold apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 c. finely diced dried apples

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Stir the egg, buttermilk and apple cider together

Whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between – and that’s just right.

Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until the dough, which will be very wet and sticky, comes together. If there are still some dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl, stir them in, but try not to overdo the mixing. Stir in the grated cheese and dried apple.

Still in the bowl, gently knead the dough by hand, or turn it with a rubber spatula 8 to 10 times. Then, because the dough is very sticky, the easiest thing to do is to turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, pat it into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and, using a dough scraper or a chef’s knife, cut it into 12 roughly equal pieces; place on the baking sheet. Alternatively, you can just spoon out 12 equal mounds onto the baking sheet. (At this point, the scones can be frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight. Don’t defrost before baking – just add about 2 minutes to the baking time.)

Bake the scones for 20 to 22 minutes, or until their tops are golden and firm-ish. Transfer them to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving, or wait for the scones to cool to room temperature.

21 January 2010

Things I Love Thursday

Hiya! It's late, but I'm doing it. This one doesn't have a theme, that was not exactly the route I wanted to go anyway. So behold: Things That I Love on This Particular Thursday.

Oxo Candela lights
We were suckers and bought a GloMate for Peter's room, only to discover (as did many others who bought the thing) that while it looked cool, it died after only a few months of use. Boo. Then I was introduced to these pretty little things, and I am told they have a much, much longer shelf life. And are actually cooler than the GloMate. Awesome. I think Mr. Pete needs the red rocket.

Alice in Wonderland OPI collection
Yay, I love new polish colors! And I have an insane addiction to OPI, so I am always excited when I see a new collection come out. These little colors are Sparkle City, and I like the timing on the theme (Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland comes out soon). I only wish that I knew about these colors earlier -how cool would Mad As A Hatter be for a New Years Eve party? I mean, if I had actually gone to a party... I'll probably pop into JC Penney this weekend to check them out in person.

Herringbone Fabric
It is official - the renovation bug has bitten me again. I blame it on all the reserves of energy I now have because the child only gets up once in the middle of the night (ha!). Anyhoo, where was I... oh, yes. So we're kinda sorta halfway through renovating our office. Before the baby we painted a nice relaxing Ryegrass on the walls (see on some other room on the Interwebs? Pretty!), much nicer than the previous peachy color. We bought smart new office furniture, and framed up a few pictures in black frames.

Just a few things need to be done to finish, and I'm starting with treatments for the window and door-less closet. Since this will also double as Scott's personal retreat, we don't want anything too design-y (and risk looking like a girl touched foot in there at any point). Enter: herringbone. Manly, yet more adult than Scott's old Led Zeppelin fabric poster type things from his college days. And I really dig the charcoal shade.

Ann Taylor's Perfect Soft Tote
I am in the market for a new handbag, and this one I LOVE: it's big and roomy. I like a soft bag, but this one also has some structure which I appreciate (I love my current Balenciaga knock off, I do, but it is such a smooshy shapeless thing which is sadly a little sloppy looking). And the shiny black crocodile print! Love. Oh, Ann Taylor, stop tempting me with your deliciously gorgeous bags.

It is that magical time of year - blood oranges are in season. I love them! They are more tart than your usual orange and have this slightly-raspberry-ish taste to them. They are easier to peel, and they have fewer seeds, and of course have that beautiful deep red interior. Can't get enough of them this time of year. Go buy some for goodness sake!

17 January 2010

Weekend Update 1.17.10

Peter cannot wait to learn to walk, so he can properly use this toy (much preferred to what he actually did, which was a baby-version of a Trust Fall into the thing from a standing position, which gave him an awesome cut on the back of his head...).

Let's see, let's see...

Well, first I should tell you the tale of the Evil Dishwasher.

So it started leaking a little, I set Scott on getting some use out of our home warranty and setting up an appt. to get it checked. Turns out? There was a recall on the darn thing. It is a FIRE HAZARD. The recall is 3 years old to boot, that's longer than we've owned the house. Anyway, we paid our hundred bucks through the warranty only to hear that there was a free replacement part through Kenmore and we wouldn't have to pay for labor either. Figures. Part is now in, we're just waiting for the guy to come back and install it. It has been a looooong 2 weeks without a dishwasher, my friends.

I am still heading out to the gym with Anna on Tuesdays, which is good. We are actually working hard as well as chatting (in-between great gasps for air; a big change from our usual gym gabfest in past years, where exercise is secondary). Scott and I spent the rest of the week alternating going to the gym, with the one at home putting the baby to bed that evening. It's working pretty well! I also picked up 30 Day Shred although I am still too chicken to actually put it in the DVD player as of yet.

The weekend came around, finally, blessedly, and go figure - Scott and Peter both came down with a flu bug. Boo.

So we spent most of our time at home, which wasn't too terrible I guess. I got a ton done in-between dealing with The Sick: went through all of Peter's teeny early babyhood stuff, cleaned it, folded it and wrapped it up nicely, then put away in plastic totes in the attic storage. It was fun to see the teeny newborn clothes again. I also made a few piles for JBFing in a few months and for yard sales. And I cleaned my closet (a little bit, kinda). And I got ALL of the Christmas stuff packed and put away! And cleaned a few areas of the house that have been driving me nuts for the past month, so there. A productive weekend, even with the flu hanging around. Scott even got a beer brewed despite being ill, such a tooper.

And while I'm typing this frantically to get it online before getting things ready for work, then spending 20 minutes pumping, then taking a shower and finally crawling into bed - my dear husband is enjoying a (small, thanks to his illness) glass of wine and settling in to stay up late and watch TV. Because he doesn't have to work tomorrow, and Pete's got the day off from Daycare, too. Boo. I'm jealous.

PS: This picture is of our dear Peter finding my chalk stash. His face was classic, after a few seconds you could see that he thought he hit some sort of multi-colored baby Cheeto motherload, and started shoving fistfuls frantically into his mouth. Being Mother of the Year, I contemplated taking pictures but opted to put down the camera and clean out his mouth instead...

14 January 2010

Things I Love Thursday: Recipes!

I was going to say at first that this idea came to me when I reached for a bottle of juice in our pantry last night and caught sight of the 8 cans of tuna stacked in one corner. In the back of my mind I was trying to decide which yummy recipe to make with tuna next week.

And I was excited. Because if there is one trait that I share with my sisters (other than insanely similar looks, fashion tastes, reality TV show favorites, a seething hatred-slash-obsession with Britney Spears, and all the other bajillion things we share so I guess JUST NEVERMIND THEN), it’s an undying love for canned tuna. Seriously. We all really really dig the stuff. Muzzy kept stacks upon stacks of canned tuna in her pantry when we were younger, because we were forever making Tuna Melts.

Well, as I’ve aged I’ve also broadened my tuna repertoire beyond tuna melts. And while I wasn’t actually going to do a post on canned tuna (because really? No, but really?), it was then that I saw a write-up on canned tuna in the latest Cooking Light.

Well let me tell you people: I have much yummier recipes in my collection than they printed in that old rag. So without further ado, here it is: my Thursday Canned Tuna Lovefest.

Tuna, Green Bean, and Potato Salad
This one comes from my Everyday Pasta book, it’s Giada’s take on Nicoise Salad. I love this recipe, especially in the summertime. It’s a great mix of flavors, light and zingy with the lemon and herbs but substantial with the hot veggies and pasta. It’s crunchy and fresh and such a filling salad. Some people scoff at making this with canned tuna but if they only knew how authentic it is, that’s the way they actually make Nicoise salad in France.

Tuna Turnovers
I found the recipe a million years ago at Allrecipes, when I was at a loss as to what to make for dinner and had a random list of ingredients to work with. Who knew that it would be many years later, and I still make these things regularly?? Now, I will admit: they sound gross. But they are soooo good, these hot baked puffs of biscuit dough, crunchy on the outside from the egg and crumb, with a oozy cheesy tuna filling. YUM. The best part is that they freeze well – I partially baked them (all but maybe 5 minutes of the baking time, until they were just barely starting to brown), then froze them and wrapped them and stuck them in a freezer bag. Then we were able to pull them out as needed and reheat at the same temp for about 10-15 minutes. Worked like a charm.

Tuna and Tomato Pasta
This is a trick I learned from another Giada DeLaurentiis book, Everyday Italian – she has a recipe for a very basic marinara, and then about 6 variations that just mean a quick stir-in or two of ingredients. This was one of her suggested variations, and I just love it. The sweet, tomato-y sauce marries well with the tangy and salty tuna + lemon + capers. I usually have tons of marinara ready in the freezer so I can whip this up in no time flat.

Tuna Hash
Oh, here we go. Another recipe that probably sounds insanely disgusting. But let me tell you, I’ve made this before for others, and the initial reaction is almost always the same: “Great hash! I mean, really good! What’s the secret?”. The secret, my friends, is the tuna. I make our usual hash and add a can of the stuff while sautéing the potatoes. It breaks up really small so you don't really see it, but it makes the hash seem meatier and gives a sharp little depth of flavor. This recipe came from my trusty copy of Fannie Farmer. I love that old thing.

Tuna Cornbread Cakes with Lemon Aoili
Oh, yum. The tuna cakes are easy to make and taste great, but it's that lemon aoili that is the real star. It's garlicky and tart and the perfect foil to the meaty, plump tuna cakes. I like them with a nice side salad and there you go! Healthy dinner!

12 January 2010

The Human Garbage Disposal

I am behind on updating, like EVERYTHING, I know (cut me some slack, I'm on my third night of working on laundry, plus grocery shopping and cleaning and whine moan complain, blah).

So for now I give you a simple list. Of food. That our son has decided to scarf down with utter and complete abandon. Thus far, this includes:
  • Greens and veggies (although he's more partial to sweet, like peas, over green beans. Still eats any veg we throw at him)
  • Fruits, with strawberries and pineapple being the most popular
  • Baby Cheetos and Cherry Puffs, Wagon Wheels, Yogurt Melts, also those annoying Mum Mum things (aka: baby junk food, all of it)
  • Chicken dishes of all kinds, also - beef, pork, venison, nilgai, and hot dog
  • Steel cut oats and regular oatmeal
  • Indian cuisine - he digs Korma, Tikka Masala, curries DUDES THIS IS SO TOTALLY MY CHILD
  • Snow
  • Pickles
  • Lemony-goodness of any kind, be it in savory or sweet dishes
  • Risotto
  • Paper
  • Black bean soup, wild rice soup, any sort of soup
  • Salmon and cod
  • Quinoa
  • Blueberry pancakes
  • Fage Greek yogurt
  • Cookies. Cake. And apparently he inhaled his cupcake (enjoyed in honor of Kiri's birthday) at daycare at an alarming speed, like Miss Fanta was all , "and then I tried to take a picture, but he was just *so fast*, I couldn't get one...".
  • Smoked fish hash
  • Yarn strands yanked out of the bathroom rugs
  • Gnocchi
  • Assorted crackers leftover from nights of "cheese tray" dinners
  • Goulash and other casserole type dishes
  • Smoked chicken nachos
  • Liver pate (however: while he loved it, it did not love him back)
  • Floor lint
  • Sorbet (and, ah, he may have had a few teeny bites of ice cream. Maybe)
  • Cheese - feta, fontina, cheddar, Parm, you name it - as long as you can get it in his mouth
  • Gift bows

... and who knows what else. I am enjoying his hearty appetite while I can. In the meantime, his beloved friend Potato Pete is happy to hear he has not yet ingested perogies.

He just kinda chews on them.

10 January 2010

Weekend Update 1.10.10

Not much to update for the week/weekend other than the trip to Halstead to have Christmas with the Muellers! Pictures to follow, as usual. Enjoy! We sure did!

We headed out on Saturday. Peter was pretty decent in the car. Better than screaming the entire time...

Sunday morning Eric and Debbie showed up bright and early, to start on dinner (Eric's job for the day) and have the family Christmas before everyone else showed up.

Jumpin' with Aunt Debbie.

Checking out the goodies from our stockings.

Grandma and grandpa discovered the way to Peter's heart - baby Cheetos.

Peter got lots of goodies.

Once set to roam as he pleased, he made a beeline for his other love in life - gift bows.

Sayin' hi to grandma.

He loved those bows.

Scott helped Eric prep dinner.

Yay, bows!


Still with the bows.

Passed out after ODing on bows.

And then the Haury family showed up! Peter had lots of fun with the other kids.

The spread: Eric made smoked mushroom risotto, homemade parsley gnocchi in cream sauce, balsamic carrots, pasta salad, roasted pork tenderloin... We were spoiled.

It took 3 adults to figure out how to set up the doll Pack-in-Play. One of which has much recent experience setting those things up...

It seemed like we just got there and then we were off back to Lawrence. On the way home there was an insane amount of geese in the sky, I got a few shots.