I was born in a simpler time. A time in which you picked up the (as in the only) remote, pressed power, and the television came on. I feel like I'm launching the damn Space Shuttle now whenever I try to turn on Jeopardy.
We are using a new babysitter tonight and I actually had a debate in my head as to whether or not I should clean the house. On the one hand, I don't want to scare her off by letting her know that we are total slobs most of the time. On the other hand, if I did a really good job cleaning the house, she might expect that all the time. It is stuff like this that makes me never want to leave the house.
I have a room in my house that I've named "Away" so that when my husband asked what I did with some and I say, "I put it away." I am telling the truth. Later when he asks where something is and I say "It's away." he knows where to look.
My friend told me today that her mom has an embroidery sample on her wall that says, "Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow For babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow, So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep."
I told her that for our first Christmas together, I made Marty a pillow with an embroidery sample that says, "You can only rent the beer."
I came home from my walk to find that my children had shoved every available kitchen towel we own (and we own A LOT of towels because we don't use kitchen towels) in their pants so that they could have a booty shaking contest.
I kid you not. When I handed my husband his breakfast this morning and told him it was a Dutch Baby, he looked at me aghast and said, "No really. What is it?"
After a week of rough school days, I was determined to start today off on the right foot with a special breakfast. When I saw this gluten and casein free recipe for a German Pancake or Dutch Baby on The Spunky Coconut (and could you love that name more?), I knew that I had found what I was looking for.
It was totally delish and so easy to make! Plus, I got to use my cast iron pan which does not get as much use as it deserves.
It is cold here! Like "I think I just saw a polar bear and a penguin walk by my window" cold, which would be insane since they don't live anywhere near each other.
All this cold weather has put me on a bit of a soup jag lately, which is even wierder than polar bears and penguins hanging out together, because I am not a big fan of soup. Actually, what I've learned is that I don't like broth based soups with limp grey veggies and hunks of ironically dried out meat floating in a brownish liquid. I can hear you saying, "But it sounds so delicious when you describe it that way."
I do in fact really enjoy a pureed soup with lots of veggies. It's a warm, easy way to get a bunch of veggies in my belly without a whole lot of effort. Besides, who wants to eat a cold salad when it's 15 degrees outside.
Today's soup was so ridiculously easy that I hardly feel I can call it a recipe. Better to just say that some stuff happened in the kitchen and soup came out.
Like most moms I know, I'm fastidious about getting my kids to the doctor for their annual check-up. However, the last time I took myself to get a physical was when it was court mandated so that I could adopt my older children. Today, however, I am off for a check-up, because it is the smart and right thing to do, even if I do get the same feeling of guilt and shame as when I go to the priest for Confession. I know that I am going to have to face up to all the skipped work-outs and second helpings of dessert from the last year(s). Bless me doctor for I have over-eaten and under-exercised, it has been 6 years since my last check-up.
In other yummier news. When my sister visited this weekend I made us Butternut Squash Soup for dinner. Unfortunately, it was one of those "Throw It In The Blender And Pray It Works Out" recipes. However, the estimated down and dirty of it is this:
roast cubed butternut squash at 400 until it looks done
put in blender with about a cup of chicken stock, a half cup of half-half, a tsp or 2 of curry, salt, and pepper
top with parmesan-garlic croutons (which are just bread cubes that I threw in a zip bag with olive oil, parmesan, and garlic powder then toasted on the same pan I used for the butternut squash for about 5 minutes while I was making the soup) and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese
I had the left overs for dinner since I don't much like Chicken Fried Rice, which is what I made for the family, because they do like it.
Yesterday I was craving tomato soup, but opted to make butternut squash soup instead. No matter how good it was, it wasn't tomato soup. With the bottom about to fall out of our temperatures, I needed a little taste of summer to help prepare myself for the coming onslaught of frigid temps.
As Stephen Covey says, "Begin with the end in mind."
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with Cheddar and Sourdough
Last year was a hard year and it took its toll on just about every area of our life. Personally, the place it took the biggest toll was in the health department. Slowly, slowly I started to let go of many of the healthy eating habits that I had worked really hard to incorporate into our lives. There just wasn't enough time for everything and it was easier to buy a box of cereal and a loaf of bread at the store instead of finding the time to make granola and bread. Facing the fight that accompanied the insistence that the children eat fruit with lunch, just wasn't worth the effort. Rationalizing food choices, to the point that ketchup and french fries became servings of fruit and veggies, made its way into my thinking. I can give you a million reasons why I got lazy, but the truth of the matter is that I just got lazy and I let things slide. And slide they did.
Well, it's a new year! And it is time to start clawing my way back to healthy. A few years back, when I started this health journey, I lost over 20 pounds (YEAH!) then last year I gained it all back (BOO!). The worst part is that when I eat crap, I feel like crap. So why do I do it? Because it's easy? Because at the moment of consumption the food tastes good (if not real)? Because I am too tired, stressed, whatever to think about food?
The worst part is that I LOVE to think about food. I read cookbooks like novels. I can waste a whole day perusing cooking blogs. I get giddy when I put a well made meal on the table. A new recipe makes me dizzy. The happiest birthday in my recent memory was a few years ago when I made dinner for about a dozen and a half of my friends.
There are not many domestic areas in which I can say that I truly excel. I'm a crappy housekeeper. Sometimes I think my house looks like an episode of Hoarders. More often than not, my kids have to go searching laundry baskets for clean jeans. I perhaps yell too much and do crafts with my kids too infrequently. However, there is one thing that I feel like I am really good at. I am a damn good cook. It goes against all my upbringing to brag on myself like that, but it is the one area of my life in which I feel like I am on pretty safe ground to compliment myself.
Today it hit me like a ton of bricks...I am too damn good a cook to eat this crap!
So today we get back to clean eating! We get back to whole foods and real ingredients. There will be more homemade items and less processed food. There will be food that tastes good and makes me feel good. No more excuses!