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Posts Tagged ‘food’

I enjoy cooking.  I honestly do.  Granted, none of the dishes I make are particularly complex, but I enjoy the time I spend making the meal and I think my concoctions usually turn out pretty darn tasty.

Usually Little C agrees.  But for whatever reason, he does not like stew.

I don’t get it! It’s one of my favorite things to make (and eat).  Who doesn’t like a slowly simmered pot of tender beef, delicious carrots, tasty potatoes, savory onions and mushrooms?  No one, that’s who!  Yet, no matter how delicious I make it, even when I up the ante by adding bacon, he just refuses to eat it.

It makes me crazy!  It’s so simple to make, I just can’t give it up.  I love cooking it in my slow-cooker.  It literally takes me only 15 minutes to set-up and voila! dinner!

But I am not about to force-feed my son, so I need to change it up.  Does anyone have any kid-approved slow-cooker meals they would like to share with me? Or you know what? ANY kid-approved recipe would be great.  Seriously, it’s getting dire around here.

Here are my requirements: no seafood.

That’s it.

Help please.

If I eat chicken nuggets or peanut butter and jelly for dinner one more time, I will scream.  Or if I actually cook and lovingly make just one more meal my son won’t eat, I might just set my kitchen on fire and be done with it.

Please, save my kitchen.  Send me a recipe.

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I may have gotten a little over-excited today, or maybe I was just suffering hunger pains from my diet, either way, I ordered a bread-maker.

In my defense, it was on sale and it’s a Cuisinart..and it was a ridiculously good deal….and I love bread….mmmm….bread.

Visions of fresh, steaming bread danced before my eyes as I hit the purchase button. The heady aromas of carrot or zucchini bread seemed to waft directly off the computer screen. What a wonderful mother I would be serving my child bread I baked with my own two hands (and the help of a fancy electrical appliance)! How great would that be?!?!? The answer: so great!

Ahhhh…I can already taste it…

Now that it’s late at night and I’m feeling rather bloated from my chicken and pasta dinner, I’m wondering WHAT IN THE WORLD POSSESSED ME TO BUY A BREAD MAKER?

When did I think I would have time to make bread? And when will I be eating said bread, since I’m allegedly on a low carb diet? Where in the world am I going to store this darn monstrosity?

I am already overloaded with unused or under-used appliances. My beautiful, cherry-apple red counter top mixer is currently collecting dust as it pitifully lays on its side in the back of a cupboard.

so beautiful, so lonely

And, I believe at this point that my sleek, oh-so-fancy immersion mixer has been used…once.

And so I bought a bread-maker to really round out my kitchen. I think we can safely say that now my kitchen is complete.

ooooohhhhhh….the Belgian waffle maker is also on sale? I totally need that!

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Now that my son is nearly one year old, his personality is beginning to surface.  And since his mother is a bit eccentric, it only makes sense that Baby C would be as well.

So here’s a list of C’s current eccentricities, some of which I can relate to, some not so much.

1. Loves being outside, but hates grass. C loves being outside so much that he goes up to windows and starts baby talking.  I don’t know what he’s saying, but I imagine it’s something like “Wow! Do you see it out there? It’s awesome! Look Mom, trees!  They’re moving.  How cool is that?” because he always looks at me over his shoulder as he’s talking to the window.  Once outside, he would love nothing more than for me to put him on the dirty ground and let him toddle or crawl around.  When I do, it’s usually accompanied by more baby talk (“Hey Mom, this ground is great.  There is stuff all over it.  Hey, look a bird.”).  However, put him on the grass and you’ll get one upset baby.  It is far too pokey!  C lifts up his little hands as if to say why is this ground hurting me?  And while I can relate to this, since I’m allergic to most grass, I think it’s odd that his love of the outdoors is crippled by his hatred of grass.

2. After I place food in C’s mouth, he spits it into his fingers and then eats it again. I don’t know if I should be offended by this or what, but it’s an odd behavior.  I’m not really sure what to make of it.  Is he just trying to assert his independence or does he need to double-check all the food I feed him?

3. The same food tastes different depending on who feeds him. I can feed some foods to C and he spits them out, refusing to eat them at all.  But lo and behold, I put the same food on his high chair tray so he can feed himself, and suddenly C loves it!  What the hey?!?!

4. Finds crying babies amusing.  I’m really hoping this is just a phase and that I’m not raising a sociopath.

5. Loves cats’ meows, especially videos of cats meowing. I learned this when we were looking at some animal flashcards on my iPhone.  There’s a cartoon picture of an animal, and when you press the button it shows you a photograph of that animal while playing the sound that animal makes.  After a couple pushes of the cat button C started laughing every time he heard the “meow”.  To test whether it was just the sound or the picture and the sound, I showed him a couple YouTube videos of cats meowing.  C went crazy for them!  He laughed so hard his laughs became squeals and wheezes.  It was hilarious and bizarre all at the same time.  Here is his favorite:

I know, it’s weird that he likes it so much.  He laughs especially hard when the kitten jumps on the chair.  Every time.  He knows it’s coming and he still falls into peals of laughter.

We don’t even have a cat. It’s weird.

But then, who am I to throw stones?  I watch Holmes on Holmes every day, despite the fact that I know exactly how each episode is going to go.  Maybe he thinks I’m weird.  If he does, he would be right.

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My lovely sister and her boyfriend were here yesterday to watch Baby C for a few hours so I could relax or nap.  In reality, I just read my book for half an hour then spent the rest of the time cleaning and cooking.  However, I love cooking, so it was a zen activity for me.

The downside (but ultimately the upside) of last night’s cooking experience was my barren fridge.  Here’s what I had that I knew I needed to use in the next few days:

2/3 leftover rotisserie chicken

1 container of pre-made pesto sauce

1 package of buffalo mozzarella

3 tomatoes

Other than these ingredients, my fridge held very little.  The only other fresh vegetables I had were bell peppers and onions, which, in my opinion, don’t really go with mozzarella.  The only other meat I had was some ground turkey and a lamb shoulder steak.  Again, not the best combos.  So I had to think fast and dive into my freezer.

One of the best things of my nesting nature is to make sure the freezer is always full (sometimes too full).  I am, also, keenly aware that I tend to let fresh veggies go bad before using them, so I stock up on my favorite frozen veggies: peas, corn, broccoli.

Ok, so now we’re getting somewhere! I’ll add broccoli and peas to the mix.  And voila! I have a pasta dish.  The tomatoes and mozzarella make a caprese salad (with some olive oil and dried basil).  I found some garlic toast buried in the back of my freezer and we were in business!

Here’s what I did, in case you want to make my semi-homemade pesto pasta dinner.

Strip and shred the meat from the leftover chicken (removing the skin so we don’t have leftover flavor)

Boil some water for 1lb of penne pasta.

While the water is boiling, heat a large skillet with 2 tbs of extra light virgin olive oil (I chose the extra light so it won’t overwhelm the taste of the pesto later)

Add 1/2 -2/3 cup of frozen peas and 1 and 1/2 or 2 cups of frozen broccoli to the skillet over medium.  occasionally stir, thawing and cooking veggies as they go.

Once the veggies are cooked (about the same time the water should be ready for the pasta), add the shredded chicken to the skillet (and if need be, another tbs of olive oil) and 1 tbs of garlic/parsley salt over top of everything.

As chicken warms, mix in however much of the pesto suits your taste.  I used about 4 tbs.

Drain pasta, return to pot. Pour chicken/veggie mix over pasta. Stir and serve with parmesan cheese.

All in all (including slicing the tomatoes and mozzarella for the caprese salad) this recipe took about 30 minutes.  And it was taaaasty! Yum!

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My dogs are foodies

Everyone knows that dogs love food.  In fact, they spend a good part of their day trying to find more food to consume, even after they’ve eaten.  Dogs are incredibly talented at getting into trash cans, on to counters and tables, and sniffing out any scrap of food that may be any where within reach of their little paws.

Now, I believe that not only do my dogs love food, they are foodies.  The are obsessed with food!  They also prefer some types of food over others.  For example, Penny turns her nose up at raw cucumbers, but will gladly eat them drenched in salad dressing or taztiziki sauce (the reason she gets cucumbers is that I won’t eat them).  She also is picky about her dog treats.  Penny prefers treats that smell or taste like meat, and refuses to eat those dry, hard dog treats (like at the vet’s office).

She has also figured out how to make herself look as cute as possible during meal times.  Penny will sit next to me while I am eating and take one of several different tactics.  She will first try nudging my elbow.  This never works, but she does it anyways because she is a very bossy dog.  Penny will then try placing her head in my lap and looking up at me so that the whites of her eyes appear, making them look even larger than they already are.  This is really too cute.  She looks very sad and pitiful.  And true to my role as an over-indulgent pet parent, I only want her to be happy, so I feed her when she looks this way.  Penny’s last tactic, if these others don’t work, is to lie on her side at my feet.  She will glance up with pain in her eyes, and then sadly place her head back on the floor.  She has become very good at feigning starvation.  This is generally too much for me, and I cannot resist.

Dodger on the other hand will eat anything and everything I choose to feed him.  He immediately adopts the patient attitude of sitting nearby, making sure not to look at me, so that I know how humble he is in pursuit.  He will then eat the food so mildly, that I very nearly have to place the food on his tongue.  He may be very naughty in so many other things, but in this he is so good.  At times he will start to lick or make chewing noises when he sees me eating, as we may open our mouths a little when we see some eating an ice cream on a hot day.  So much does he love food, that every morsel that passes over my lips appears to him like ice cream on a hot day.

Dodger loves food so much that he dreams of eating at night.  While he leans against me in his sleep, he will chew.  And when he is chewing, sometimes his tail will wag!  So much does he love food!  It appears he has become a foodie and not just a hungry dog.

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As most woman are currently, so am I: dieting.  For me it is always a struggle.  I don’t mean this purely as a physical struggle or a struggle of will.  I struggle emotionally and intellectually.

My weight problems began when I went off to college, as is the case with many women.  A combination of the fat laden foods of the dinning commons and the 1st time on my own eating schedule and decisions, along with the introduction of birth control to my body created in me an immediate weight gain.  Things didn’t improve over those for years as I began to enjoy the free flowing booze and late night drunk snacks.  My mental health also faltered, meaning I began taking various drugs to combat my illness, many of which are prone to cause weight gain.  On top of this, I had grown up in a house that was diet obsessed, weight obsessed, and filled with only health food.

As a teenager I had longed for salty chips and sweets.  I wanted meaty casseroles and ice cream.  I wanted pizza with pepperoni and extra cheese! Few of these I got, and those that I did, were few and far between.  So a part of my dietary choices in college was based on my need to rebel, to finally have all that food I had longed for.

But what was I to do with all that extra weight I was carrying around?  Diet?  I hated the idea.  I wanted to rebel further against my weight obsessed family that had created a complex in me as early as 13 that I would never be thin enough.  So my reaction was, if I would never be thin enough, why bother?  Why not embrace my fat and my food?  Why not enjoy eating and drinking instead of obsessing over every calorie that passed over my lips?

Finally I was driven to diet by a desire to fit into clothing better and to stop the barbs and insults that were thrown my way by family.  And I looked good!  I drew stares and looks wherever I went.  I was hit on everywhere from the grocery store to a standardized test for grad school (honestly, weirdest thing every).  I had cute clothes!  But my weight loss didn’t last.

The reasons for which are as plentiful as they were before.  I could easily hide behind the excuses.  I found a man who loves food as much as me!  I found a new love for cooking!  I have a syndrome that nearly guarantees being overweight!  I have battled illness after illness that have left me bloated, weak, and overweight!  Yet this is not the whole story.  I love food!  I love to eat and talk and drink and have fun revolving around these things.  So here is where we get into the greater struggles of weight and weight loss aside from the actual eating and calorie counting.

Intellectually I want to embrace my size.  I am still an attractive woman, even at 25 lbs overweight.  I want to shout that woman don’t all have to fit into the same mold.  And I am proud of the fact that certain parts of me (hips and breasts especially) will never ever fit that mold.  Not only am I 5’9″, I am also broad shouldered and literally big boned.  My wrists are only a centimeter smaller than my husbands and my fingers and palms the same size.  I dated several men whose shoulders and hips were not as broad as mine.  So I will never be a size 6.  I think I may have been that size when I was still growing at age 11.  Now, these things alone mean that I will carry extra weight, more weight than many women, even women my own height.  So why not accept that I will be overweight compared to societal standards?  Intellectually, I long to.

Yet emotionally I long to wear sheath dresses and tunic shirts, that are so popular, without looking like a sausage stuffed in its casing or, conversely,  like I’m trying to disguise a pregnancy!  I want to wear skinny jeans and bikinis and actually resemble the celebrities who model them.   Emotionally I want the same attention I got when I was skinny and single.  I want my family once and for all to stop with the weight comments!
But what will all these wants and desires garner me?  A higher shopping bill?  A larger wardrobe?  A dangerous addiction to attention?  So what is more important?  My intellect?  My emotions?  I want to feel good about myself without counting calories.  I want my feelings on my weight to stop swinging like a pendulum from content and proud to insecure and repulsed.  I want to strike a healthy weight and a healthy balance.

So for now I will diet, not for fashion or self esteem.  This time I diet for my health, although this in itself seems like an exercise in futility since I will only have to diet again and again in the future to combat the effects of my syndrome.  Or I can live with a calorie calculator in my pocket and a gym schedule in my hand.  I don’t want to be either people: the obsessed or the serial dieter.  Thus, my weight pulls not only at my body, but at my mind and my heart.  It literally weighs on me.

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I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday with friends and family, near and far. I pray that Jesus’ birth warms your hearts and fills your spirits with joy. I expect bellies to be full, heads to be swimming, and mouths to be laughing. I know this will be a great Christmas!

And if you do not celebrate Christmas, I hope you are taking advantage of all the short lines at movie theaters and Chinese food restaurants 🙂 Enjoy your day!

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