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She & Him, 38/52

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A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014

She: We brush our teeth in the bathtub.

Him: With his favorite cousin at the cabin.

It’s not chicken, it’s…squash?

The siren song of Starbucks sucked us in today. It was “buy one, get one” Salted Caramel Mocha or PSL. We went for the salted caramel because, obviously, and also this New York Post article.

The barista was new, they were out of Salted Caramel Mocha (what???) and naturally, the cake pops went down the hatch of the kiddos in lightning fast speed. All this to say, we needed some entertainment as we waited for our sub-par drinks (which, by the way, weren’t BOGO because they were out of Salted Caramel Mocha…whatever, Starbucks).

Thankfully, I’m one of those “always prepared” moms. Need a box of raisins, single use packet of sunscreen or expired soy milk coupon? It’s in my purse. Also in my purse: small tablets of paper, markers (crayons melt) and stickers.

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Apparently we’ve skipped Christmas and are on to Easter in our drawings. Naturally, then, when I saw the next picture drawn, I thought…

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Chicken, right?

No no no. This is obviously a dinosaur and what was I thinking even questioning this fact?

It’s not a chicken, it’s a dinosaur.

Or, if we’re talking about my dinner, it’s not chicken, it’s squash.

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We got an acorn squash in our CSA. Do you know how hard these are to cut and trim?

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Hard. I almost cut my finger off at least 36 times.

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These look like cantaloupe. I kinda hate cantaloupe. J Man had a buddy over a few weeks ago and buddy’s mom brought a cantaloupe to share. I felt obligated to eat some so I choked down at least 5 chunks. It’s very hard to eat something so disgusting while pretending to like it in front of the person who brought it to you.

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Back to the squash. After my near death experience of trimming this bad boy, I finally ended up with a pile of squash chunks that I tossed with olive oil, salt, granulated garlic and poultry seasoning. I hope there isn’t actually poultry in poultry seasoning.

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High heat (450) for 30 minutes. A new baking sheet is on my birthday list. Maybe mine is so trashed because I roast everything at 450.

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Soft tacos cannot subsist on squash alone, even if the squash is perfectly roasted. Lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper and corn joined the party. By the way, I tried cooking my corn wrapped in a wet paper towel in the microwave. Fail.

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Have you ever had the potato soft taco at Taco Bell? These are like those. Only better. And not from Taco Bell.

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Because if you got a chicken taco at Taco Bell, you might hear, “It’s not chicken, it’s…?

Marbles

Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my marbles.

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Speaking of marbles, Great Grandpa had a box of marbles that I hid from the kids because I was sick of stepping on them in the middle of the night. Surprise, surprise, Sleuth 1 and Sleuth 2 found them and I’m once again stepping on marbles in the middle of the night.

But back to the metaphorical marbles.

I don’t mean to whine, but I have too much of everything. There are too many baby showers, too many play dates, too many school picnics, too many field trips, too many lunches to be packed.

Sometimes, even when I feel like I have too much, I still feel like I have too little.

Too little time, specifically.

So I’m trying, oh I’m trying , to prioritize. To be in the moment. To be present.

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To be present on a random coffee date with my husband.

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To be present on an early morning run.

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To be present as I spend time with my little ones who are growing up before my eyes.

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Sometimes I scarf down my breakfast in the car (challenging with a 5 minute commute…)

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Sometimes I work a little too late…

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But if I can be present, especially with these two, then maybe I won’t lose my marbles.

Although I’m sure I’ll still have a rude awakening in the middle of the night as I step on yet another errant orb of pain…

Not Too Spicy Salsa

I don’t like spicy things.

Mild salsa isn’t quite mild enough and I do NOT like jalapeƱo poppers.

I really like ketchup. That’s just about right.

I guess I just don’t understand why anyone would want food so spicy that their lips burn. So spicy that their eyes water. So spicy that they can’t even taste the food they’re trying to eat.

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Let me introduce you to the progression of our summer garden:

Phase 1: We have lots of snap peas and nothing else.

Phase 2: Everything is dying.

Phase 3: Wait. Everything is alive but we don’t have any tomatoes.

Phase 4: No tomatoes.

Phase 5: No tomatoes

Phase 6: We have tomatoes! Let’s make bruschetta!

Phase 7: Too many tomatoes!

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I never made salsa with our tomatoes because salsa is spicy and I don’t like spicy. But then I realized that if I make the salsa, it can be as mild as ketchup as I want and no one can stop me.

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I cooked my salsa. Is that weird? I don’t think so. I think uncooked salsa is pico de gallo. Am I ignorant? Probably.

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As with all salsa recipes, feel free to spice it up as much as you want.

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Me? These two are spicy enough for me.

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Yes, that is permanent marker. Yes, it was too quiet downstairs.

Not too spicy salsa

Ingredients

3 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup diced yellow pepper
1 cup diced leek
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp salt

Instructions

Cook tomatoes, pepper, leek, cilantro and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until soft and cooked through (about 30 minutes).

Pulse in food processor with salt and lemon juice until desired consistency.

10 miles. Done and done.

I go through phases in life where I get somewhat obsessed with one thing, thinking about it, talking about it (sorry, Matty B), obsessing over it.

So it is with running these days.

I ran 10 miles this morning. If I say it was fabulous, will we still be friends?

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I ran 10 miles this morning. 2 miles of silence, 2 miles of music, 6 miles of Joy the Baker podcasts.

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I ran 10 miles this morning. The weather was perfect. Sunny, but not too warm.

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I ran 10 miles this morning. I was on the Whitman College campus when an elderly couple, flagged me down to ask for directions. I apologized, letting them know that I didn’t attend Whitman and was purely running through. The lady made my morning by telling me that I looked like a college student. I guess my hair doesn’t look gray when it’s sweaty.

I ran 10 miles this morning. It was easy. Well, it was hard, but compared to last week’s 9 miles, it was easy. And then I came home and sat at the table for 45 minutes eating watermelon and peaches.

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I ran 10 miles this morning. And then I took the kids over to my parents house under the guise of “watching football,” except we all know it was just an excuse to lay on the couch and let other people entertain my children.

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Also, spinach/banana/strawberry/protein powder smoothie.

Also, yay Broncos!

I ran 10 miles today. And then at the grocery store I saw this poster and got excited because my crazy running obsessed brain saw “fun run”.

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Normal people will note that this event is a baked potato bar called Potato FUN at Quail RUN. No running. Just eating potatoes.

I might have a problem.

She & Him, 37/52

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A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014

She: eating the chocolate chip cookies made because of the stress of…

Him: …the first Kindergarten field trip, the hair salon:)

Mac ‘n Cheese Taste Test

Pre-kids I was certain that my future children would not subsist on Mac ‘n cheese, hot dogs, and PB&J alone.

They would enjoy thai food, pesto pasta, and maybe even some veggie sushi.

And then real life happened. And we do our best. We really do. We expose. We bribe. We demand “just one bite.” And still, Mac ‘n cheese is the obvious winner.

At least I’m in good company.

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J Man invited a friend over for lunch. To clarify, this is Fearless Friend from swimming lessons. FF’s mom and I were trying to determine the lunch menu to suit her highly allergic youngsters and my highly picky ones.

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Enter the Great Mac ‘n Cheese debate of 2014.

On the left, the blue box, Kraft Mac ‘n cheese.

On the right, the questionable white pouch, Leahey Gardens Macaroni and Cheese.

FF’s mom was happy with the ingredient list. No dairy, and no soy.

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The powdered “cheese” looked suspicious, but doesn’t all powdered cheese look suspicious?

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Us moms took a preliminary taste test.

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It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good. It tasted very strong of nutritional yeast, but with aluminum undertones?

We didn’t say a word to the starving kiddos and served up lunch (vegan for all).

Fail. Total, utter fail. Kids, shockingly, took one bite and then devoured their PB&J. And maybe, if given the option of this vegan Mac ‘n cheese and thai food, I might enjoy some long awaited pad thai…

Has anyone found a good vegan Mac ‘n cheese in a box?

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