Thursday, January 16, 2014

Week Plan Wednesday, and a Midnight Snack.

My single, solitary new year's goal is to have a healthy midnight snack once a week.  The Hubby and I seriously eat or drink a snack between 9:30 and 11:00 PM every single day.  The quality varies.  Sometimes it's just a beer.  Last night it was sliced pear, whole grain crackers, assorted cheeses, and red wine.  Milk and cookies, as well as chips and salsa are in the regular rotation.  One unequivocally healthy snack a week isn't too much to ask.  Today it's Pumpkin Pie in a Mug.  Trust me, that's healthy.

Pumpkin Pie in a Mug
In a saucepan on the stove over medium heat, combine equal parts pumpkin puree and milk.  You could sub almond- or soy- or hemp-milk, but I just used regular 2%.  Either home-made or from-a-can pumpkin puree is fine, just don't get the "pumpkin pie mix."  
For every cup of milk, add a pinch of each ginger, allspice, and nutmeg, plus a 1/8 tsp cinnamon.  Otherwise, used 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice. 
Stir in brown sugar to taste and adjust seasonings.  I used about 1/2 tsp sugar per cup of milk.
Serve in a mug with optional whipped cream and/or graham crackers.

Wednesday- Cream of broccoli soup, buns.

Thursday- Taco salad, without the tortilla shell.  Or Mexican Pile-Up, without the chips.  You get the idea: ground beef, re-fried beans, cilantro-lime rice, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, sour cream, piled on a plate.

Friday- Eggplant burgers.  I found a recipe in the Weelicious lunch cookbook.  It looks good.  I'm trying it.

Saturday- The last Christmas Party of the season!  I'm bringing a shredded beet and carrot salad.

Sunday- Cabbage and mushroom stir-fry, brown rice.

Monday- BBQ ribs, roasted cauliflower, baked potatoes, and microwaved frozen peas.

Tuesday- Pasta with mushroom white wine sauce, carrot sticks.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A lady stole my boots

Not going to lie, I enjoyed the sudden and brief popularity brought on by my BINGO cards.  Thanks for the love, all.

Today was The Gibbon's birthday celebration.  Five!  Woo hoo!  Since I find throwing kid birthday parties more stressful than rewarding, we're experimenting with the "King for a Day" birthday model, whereby the birthday child gets to make the decisions we parents usually make.  For example, what to eat, when to go to bed, where to go, and who to see.  In the future, there will probably be a budget to work within, but not this year.  The Gibbon still gets confused by numbers over 35.

We originally planned for swimming, but The Sparrow is sick, and nobody thought taking a sick 2 year-old to the pool would be fun.  We tried to arrange for The Gibbon to go swimming at night with Auntie A, but the scheduling didn't work out.  So instead, we went to Pump It Up, he watched movies during naptime, we all went out to dinner at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries, and Auntie A took him out to a movie at the theatre after dinner.

Pump it up was great fun.  It's a giant inflatables place.  And they do Preschool play from 9:30 to 11 AM every week day.  What a great idea!  Also, more fun places should have that kind of schedule. 

The baby slept through the entire morning (I know, right?!), so I just jumped and played with the bigger littles and chatted with a couple of other moms.  When it was time to go, I went to the cubbies to get our stuff, and my boots weren't where I left them.  I spotted them 2 rows down.  No big deal.  Then the boots don't feel right.  I looked at the bottoms to see if I had them on the wrong feet (because sometimes I do that), and immediately realized they weren't my boots.  Same brand, same style, different size, and mine got resoled this summer.  Not.  My.  Boots.

I ran out to the lobby, looking at everyone's feet and shouting.  Yes, I'm the crazy lady!  In stocking feet!  Waving boots in the air!!  Gone. 

Then one of the employees noticed me acting weird.  "Did someone take your boots?" she asked?  Turns out the other mom had gotten home, realized she had the wrong boots on, and called.  She came right back (just enough time for me to feed the baby, who conveniently started to fuss right as they kicked us out).  And as luck would have it, she was one of the moms I had chatted with earlier.  Her comment was, "Oh!  I'm glad it was you!"  Not sure about that one.  But I'll take it.

Yay happy ending.  Also, the burgers were great.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Suboptimal parenting BINGO

I'll admit to shamelessly stealing this idea from The Ugly Volvo.  But I thought the cards could use a little tweaking.  For starters, there were some important things she missed.  Also, I wanted the boxes to be a little more objective. 

These cards will work great if you have a preschooler.  A baby would probably be fine for most of them.  I'm not so sure about an older kid.  Any feedback on that?  Please note that the more kids you have, the faster you'll "win."

Here's how to play!  Pick a number between 1 and 10, count down to the corresponding card, and keep track of how life is improved by your child(ren)!

If you are an IRL friend of who lives within 10 miles of me, send me a message when you get a BINGO, and I'll reward you with a cheap bottle of wine and some sympathetic company.  If you're not an IRL friend who lives within 10 miles of me, I suggest you concoct a similar arrangement with a few parents in your neck of the woods.  Tell me how it goes.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

On the Menu!

I totally promise that I've been doing my meal plans.  I haven't been posting them, but I have been DOING them.  So, C- for execution, but B+ for effort!  I'm good at typing with one hand while nursing the baby, but our computer now requires me to type while holding the keyboard, and clearly that isn't going to happen while nursing. 


Wednesday- So Very Fancy Vegetarian Cassoulet.  AKA Skillet potatoes with random vegetables. 
Sautee a diced onion in hot oil. 
Add garlic after a couple of minutes. 
Then throw in diced potatoes, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and/or as much of whatever vegetables you have on hand as you can fit in your pan. 
Add also some wine. (I used the dregs of three separate bottles, two white and one red.  So fancy!) 
Salt and pepper and one or more herbs (dried thyme here). 
Vegetable or chicken broth would be nice, but I didn't have any handy and couldn't be bothered to get the bullion from the fridge. 
Cover to cook faster, uncover to reduce the liquid.  Throw a little water in your pan if it looks like it's getting too dry. 
Stir in a can of white beans now or later. 
When everything is cooked and hot hot hot, turn off the heat and toss in a couple big handfuls of some kind of bitter green (rapini has been on sale here, so that what I did). 
Serve with big hunks of French bread for everyone and glasses of wine for the grown-ups.

Thursday- Corn chowder.  With maybe some sliced carrots and nothing else on the side, because it's snowing and I'm not going to haul the littles out shopping in this mess.

Friday- Black beans and butternut squash with Mexican flavors (cumin, garlic, chili, lime, cilantro, and maybe tomatoes).  Over brown rice.

Saturday- White bean soup with a ham hock.  Buns.

Sunday- Crock pot chili.  Maybe leftover buns, if I've got them.

Monday- Eggplant parmesan.  Pasta with red sauce and homemade meatballs.

Tuesday- Probably going out.  Otherwise, grilled cheese and a salad.

Also, FWIW, I've given myself a pass on the homemade bread until The Baby is 6 months old.