Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cute boots, Unfortunate name


Minding my own business, browsing the Aerosole website looking at the cute sale boots for my tiny feet and athletic calves and I come across these beauts: The Sota Water. Cute brown or black leather with a wide cuff, and named after the litmus test to determine if an accused woman was in fact an adulteress.



Unfortunate mistake? Random pairing of words? Willful use of a misunderstood phrase?

As cute as they are I just can't bring myself to buy them with a name like that!


Minding my own business, browsing the Aerosole website looking at the cute sale boots for my tiny feet and athletic calves and I come across these beauts: The Sota Water. Cute brown or black leather with a wide cuff, and named after the litmus test to determine if an accused woman was in fact an adulteress.



Unfortunate mistake? Random pairing of words? Willful use of a misunderstood phrase?

As cute as they are I just can't bring myself to buy them with a name like that!

Monday, December 6, 2010

WWYD? Borrowed toy is broken

Our apartment building has a shared courtyard where everyone keeps their riding toys: bikes, cozy coups, scooters. We have our toys in the corner near our front door and we always return them there when we are finished. The neighbors generally have a pretty open sharing policy,

Today our hand-me-down scooter was there in the corner, or at least most of it. I found part of it in the grass about 200ft away. This means someone borrowed it, broke it, then put it back without saying anything, leaving a note, anything. We aren't in a position to replace it at the moment and I'm part sad and part angry about the whole situation.

My first impulse is to hang a note near our things asking they be returned in the same condition they are borrowed and then with an addendum that whoever broke the scooter please leave $20 in the attached envelope towards a replacement. But I doubt anything would come out of it.

I'd hate to bike lock our belongings since we use other people's toys and not having ours available doesn't seem right. Bringing the toys inside isn't practical.

Anyone have advice? Should I lock the remaining toys? What else can I do besides shake my fist at the failure of communal sharing?

Our apartment building has a shared courtyard where everyone keeps their riding toys: bikes, cozy coups, scooters. We have our toys in the corner near our front door and we always return them there when we are finished. The neighbors generally have a pretty open sharing policy,


Today our hand-me-down scooter was there in the corner, or at least most of it. I found part of it in the grass about 200ft away. This means someone borrowed it, broke it, then put it back without saying anything, leaving a note, anything. We aren't in a position to replace it at the moment and I'm part sad and part angry about the whole situation.

My first impulse is to hang a note near our things asking they be returned in the same condition they are borrowed and then with an addendum that whoever broke the scooter please leave $20 in the attached envelope towards a replacement. But I doubt anything would come out of it.

I'd hate to bike lock our belongings since we use other people's toys and not having ours available doesn't seem right. Bringing the toys inside isn't practical.

Anyone have advice? Should I lock the remaining toys? What else can I do besides shake my fist at the failure of communal sharing?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Conversations with a Toddler: Intro to Toddler logic

Awa is a 4yo chatterbox. It's genetic, definitely from my side of the family. She can create a lengthy conversation out of thin air, changing topics mid-sentence, firing away like a pinball racing around it's machine. I understand this, I am also like this, it still drives me crazy. It's definitely always good for a laugh.

Lately she has been asking "Tell me all about _____." My boo boo, the dinner, where I went shopping, bugs, pocket lint, lather rinse repeat.

Tonight's conversation began about the days events, meandered into learning about dinner and kosher. Then she hit me with:

"Ima, tell me about the whole world." She says, leaning forward with interest like any good interviewer would.

My response was naturally lots of eye blinking. "That's a big topic with lots to talk about. Where should I start?"

I patted myself on the back for keeping the lines of communication open while simultaneously directing the conversation to a narrower scope.

"Start from the beginning. Tell me everything" Of course, that's logical . . . .

And this is why dinner conversation over sweet and sour hot dogs and rice was about the creation of the world and G-d's plan.

Awa is a 4yo chatterbox. It's genetic, definitely from my side of the family. She can create a lengthy conversation out of thin air, changing topics mid-sentence, firing away like a pinball racing around it's machine. I understand this, I am also like this, it still drives me crazy. It's definitely always good for a laugh.


Lately she has been asking "Tell me all about _____." My boo boo, the dinner, where I went shopping, bugs, pocket lint, lather rinse repeat.

Tonight's conversation began about the days events, meandered into learning about dinner and kosher. Then she hit me with:

"Ima, tell me about the whole world." She says, leaning forward with interest like any good interviewer would.

My response was naturally lots of eye blinking. "That's a big topic with lots to talk about. Where should I start?"

I patted myself on the back for keeping the lines of communication open while simultaneously directing the conversation to a narrower scope.

"Start from the beginning. Tell me everything" Of course, that's logical . . . .

And this is why dinner conversation over sweet and sour hot dogs and rice was about the creation of the world and G-d's plan.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Droolworthy Doodads: Tea charms

As we cough and sputter our way into cold and flu season, I've had reason to unpack another gadget gifted by my mom. Most of the tea bags we have in the house are staple & string free. Great for the environment, not so much for the tea bag retrieval process. Enter the tea charm:


I love jewelry and accessories. It's an obsession. And isn't this just the cutest thing? Picture it hanging out of a dainty Ikea teacup, or more likely: my enormous Walmart tankard. I need more of them, not just so I can accessorize my mug, that would be lame, right? It's for when I'm hosting, really! A quick google turns up awfully few purchasing options, but mom found one by cruising TJMaxx/Marshalls/Ross, she can do it again!

What would my British in-laws think if they found this gracing the side of a cuppa? Hubsters has seen me stir tea with a knife, at this point nothing would shock them.

As we cough and sputter our way into cold and flu season, I've had reason to unpack another gadget gifted by my mom. Most of the tea bags we have in the house are staple & string free. Great for the environment, not so much for the tea bag retrieval process. Enter the tea charm:


I love jewelry and accessories. It's an obsession. And isn't this just the cutest thing? Picture it hanging out of a dainty Ikea teacup, or more likely: my enormous Walmart tankard. I need more of them, not just so I can accessorize my mug, that would be lame, right? It's for when I'm hosting, really! A quick google turns up awfully few purchasing options, but mom found one by cruising TJMaxx/Marshalls/Ross, she can do it again!

What would my British in-laws think if they found this gracing the side of a cuppa? Hubsters has seen me stir tea with a knife, at this point nothing would shock them.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Loving lentils: Vegan Couscous & Lentil Curry Soup

My obsession with lentils began after the birth of my first child. The pulses in my diet had been confined to gandules (pigeon peas) and I was surprised how much I loved the red lentil side dish I received from a friend with an after birth meal.

Now lentils are my go to meat substitute, and add-in every time I make rice or soup.

This recipe was born of reverse engineering a delicious instant cup of soup I bought at Whole Foods. It was tasty, spicy, and most importantly kept me full for hours.

In Israel I could find red or green lentils, but here in the US so far I've really mainly seen green. I find them mostly interchangeable, although red tend to dissolve more when cooking where green keep their shape.

Here's what we had for dinner tonight:

1/8 cup organic split pea mix
3/4 cup green lentils
2 Tblsp crushed garlic
1 carrot sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 Tblsp crushed tomatoes
2 Tblsp cumin powder
3 Tblsp curry powder
Water - at least twice the level of the previous ingredients (could use veggie broth)

Combine all in a pot, and simmer until the carrots & peas are tender, about 40mins. Check the broth level, if the soup has thickened too much add more water or broth at this point.

Before serving add 1/4-1/2 cup of couscous, stir, and cover for 5 mins. The couscous really reduces the amount of water in the soup giving it a thicker consistency.

I find soup to be very forgiving and throw any combination of vegetables I have on hand in, sometimes it's nice to have a simple, filling soup though.

My obsession with lentils began after the birth of my first child. The pulses in my diet had been confined to gandules (pigeon peas) and I was surprised how much I loved the red lentil side dish I received from a friend with an after birth meal.


Now lentils are my go to meat substitute, and add-in every time I make rice or soup.

This recipe was born of reverse engineering a delicious instant cup of soup I bought at Whole Foods. It was tasty, spicy, and most importantly kept me full for hours.

In Israel I could find red or green lentils, but here in the US so far I've really mainly seen green. I find them mostly interchangeable, although red tend to dissolve more when cooking where green keep their shape.

Here's what we had for dinner tonight:

1/8 cup organic split pea mix
3/4 cup green lentils
2 Tblsp crushed garlic
1 carrot sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 Tblsp crushed tomatoes
2 Tblsp cumin powder
3 Tblsp curry powder
Water - at least twice the level of the previous ingredients (could use veggie broth)

Combine all in a pot, and simmer until the carrots & peas are tender, about 40mins. Check the broth level, if the soup has thickened too much add more water or broth at this point.

Before serving add 1/4-1/2 cup of couscous, stir, and cover for 5 mins. The couscous really reduces the amount of water in the soup giving it a thicker consistency.

I find soup to be very forgiving and throw any combination of vegetables I have on hand in, sometimes it's nice to have a simple, filling soup though.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What are basic skills needed in the kitchen?

I read and interesting article over at theKitchn.com by Emma Christensen about what basic skills all cooks should have, with Anthony Bourdain's POV from his book Medium Raw. Personally I can do all of the tasks with varying degrees of success, apart from cleaning a fish, something I've never learned to do. Here's his list (from theKitchn.com) :
• Chopping an onion
• Making an omelet
• Roasting a chicken
• The correct way to grill and rest a steak
• Cooking vegetables to desired doneness
• Making a vinaigrette
• Shop for fresh produce
• Buying a fish, cleaning it, and making it
• Roasting meat
• Roasting and mashing potatoes
• Braising meats and vegetables
• What to do with bones (a.k.a. How to make stock)

Emma adds baking cookies, bread, and a birthday cake, which I heartily agree should be basic. It's quite often I hear people claim the can cook but not bake. Some things are just basic skills, just like English Majors need some small proficiency in math to graduate. Other commentators mentioned adjusting the list for regional and dietary needs. This made me think more about what the basic skills I use day to day as a mother in a kosher kitchen. Living in Israel taught me some things I hadn't done in America, and I know my "basics" are more complicated for it. I'd add:
  • make homemade pasta sauce
  • eyeball portion size before and after cooking
  • Read a recipe
  • keep laws of Kashrus (Jewish dietary laws)
  • cook in a crockpot
  • make at least one vegetarian main dish
  • make a balanced, nutritious menu
  • fry an egg, over easy
  • cook dried grains or beans (from the comments at theKitchn.com)
  • use common cooking & spice substitutions
My grandmother would lament my inability to cut a whole chicken up, something considered basic in her day, while my mother-in-law is appalled that I can't make a good cuppa (tea that is) or kasher my own meat by salting.

On the other side, I've met people who subsist on instant food of all types and was recently in line at Target between two different families with carts piled high with microwave dinners.

What cooking skills do you think are necessary in general, or for your lifestyle?

I read and interesting article over at theKitchn.com by Emma Christensen about what basic skills all cooks should have, with Anthony Bourdain's POV from his book Medium Raw. Personally I can do all of the tasks with varying degrees of success, apart from cleaning a fish, something I've never learned to do. Here's his list (from theKitchn.com) :

• Chopping an onion
• Making an omelet
• Roasting a chicken
• The correct way to grill and rest a steak
• Cooking vegetables to desired doneness
• Making a vinaigrette
• Shop for fresh produce
• Buying a fish, cleaning it, and making it
• Roasting meat
• Roasting and mashing potatoes
• Braising meats and vegetables
• What to do with bones (a.k.a. How to make stock)

Emma adds baking cookies, bread, and a birthday cake, which I heartily agree should be basic. It's quite often I hear people claim the can cook but not bake. Some things are just basic skills, just like English Majors need some small proficiency in math to graduate. Other commentators mentioned adjusting the list for regional and dietary needs. This made me think more about what the basic skills I use day to day as a mother in a kosher kitchen. Living in Israel taught me some things I hadn't done in America, and I know my "basics" are more complicated for it. I'd add:
  • make homemade pasta sauce
  • eyeball portion size before and after cooking
  • Read a recipe
  • keep laws of Kashrus (Jewish dietary laws)
  • cook in a crockpot
  • make at least one vegetarian main dish
  • make a balanced, nutritious menu
  • fry an egg, over easy
  • cook dried grains or beans (from the comments at theKitchn.com)
  • use common cooking & spice substitutions
My grandmother would lament my inability to cut a whole chicken up, something considered basic in her day, while my mother-in-law is appalled that I can't make a good cuppa (tea that is) or kasher my own meat by salting.

On the other side, I've met people who subsist on instant food of all types and was recently in line at Target between two different families with carts piled high with microwave dinners.

What cooking skills do you think are necessary in general, or for your lifestyle?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Inspired by Parent Hacks & Amazon!

I've found some amazing tips at ParentHacks.com and some amazingly helpful products at Amazon.com (yay free shipping!) but never before has shopping at Amazon collided with Parent hacking!

My kids are between sizes at the moment. Too skinny for their size, and too tall for the next size down. I had safety pins and belts in my Amazon shopping cart when I came across Smartie Pants cinch belt for adjusting kids' pants/skirts whether there are belt loops or not. Brilliant! And cute colors, I was almost sold until I remembered a little something I had stored away in their sock drawer. Extra mitten clips to the rescue! My mother is forever buying hats, gloves, and mitten clips at a rate exceeding our number of heads, hands, or sleeves.

Isn't a mitten clip the same idea as the cinch belt? So I did a test run.

From iTookThisOnMyPhone

Success!

Here are some of my fave Parent Hacks from ParentHacks.com:

What to do with onesie snaps during diaper change or potty time?

What to do with extra wipes containers?
How to make slippery finger foods easier to hold

Hack away!

I've found some amazing tips at ParentHacks.com and some amazingly helpful products at Amazon.com (yay free shipping!) but never before has shopping at Amazon collided with Parent hacking!

My kids are between sizes at the moment. Too skinny for their size, and too tall for the next size down. I had safety pins and belts in my Amazon shopping cart when I came across Smartie Pants cinch belt for adjusting kids' pants/skirts whether there are belt loops or not. Brilliant! And cute colors, I was almost sold until I remembered a little something I had stored away in their sock drawer. Extra mitten clips to the rescue! My mother is forever buying hats, gloves, and mitten clips at a rate exceeding our number of heads, hands, or sleeves.

Isn't a mitten clip the same idea as the cinch belt? So I did a test run.

From iTookThisOnMyPhone

Success!

Here are some of my fave Parent Hacks from ParentHacks.com:

What to do with onesie snaps during diaper change or potty time?

What to do with extra wipes containers?
How to make slippery finger foods easier to hold

Hack away!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

If Amelia Bedelia had shabbos guests

This shabbos proved that when British English meets toddler logic, hilarity ensues. A friend is coming for a meal with his girlfriend. We're meant to meet, greet, impress, provide a comfortable table. This is what happened instead:

Hubsters: "Our friend is coming with his bird." (British slang for girlfriend or woman)

Later during dinner:

3yo asks puzzled: "But he did not bring a bird."
Me: Pause. "No, no he didn't, but thank you Amelia Bedelia" unrestrained laughter.
3yo: polite giggle. Sigh. "You thought he was going to bring a bird." Headshake.

Me: tears.

The best part was her mature "silly grownups" patronizing reaction. From a 3yo still funny. I'm hoping it stops while she's ahead.


This shabbos proved that when British English meets toddler logic, hilarity ensues. A friend is coming for a meal with his girlfriend. We're meant to meet, greet, impress, provide a comfortable table. This is what happened instead:


Hubsters: "Our friend is coming with his bird." (British slang for girlfriend or woman)

Later during dinner:

3yo asks puzzled: "But he did not bring a bird."
Me: Pause. "No, no he didn't, but thank you Amelia Bedelia" unrestrained laughter.
3yo: polite giggle. Sigh. "You thought he was going to bring a bird." Headshake.

Me: tears.

The best part was her mature "silly grownups" patronizing reaction. From a 3yo still funny. I'm hoping it stops while she's ahead.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Kids and Guests

We love having guests. We don't have the most spacious accommodations, but we don't mind sharing what we have. My kids have occasionally heard me lament any Shabbos we weren't able to drum up guests. We're lucky enough to have several regulars who make sure this doesn't happen often.

This past shabbos we were invited out to lunch, fun for all, but that means no guests. On the way home the kids saw some people out for a walk.

"Are those our guests?" They asked pointing excitedly. The disappointment when I said no made me very glad I'd thought to invite a family to join us in the late afternoon! Awa and Hubsters sped home while RE and I plodded along together slowly.

Then RE saw a dog. "Can the dog come to my house?" He asked at least five times before I could answer. Seeing that we couldn't catch up with the dog I decided to use the opportunity to coax some conversation out of my strong n silent little guy.

"What would you say if the dog came to our house?" I asked, proud that I thought of a non yes-or-no question.

"YES!" RE nodded. So much for avoiding yes-or-no. "I'd say, Yes you can come to my house doggie."

"What would the doggie do at your house," I continued the interview.

"Um, I'd give him strawberries and melon." RE spoke with certainty.

"Where would the doggie sleep?" I was on a roll.

" . . . " Confused look.

"Ok, who else should come to our house?" I asked desperate to keep him talking during his rare moment in the spotlight without his older sister piping in.

"A dog, and a cat, and Nana & Papa (my parents), and Saba & Safta (hubster's parents), and a dog. . . . and a cat" RE listed.

Phew! He was still willing to talk, and boy did he have plans!

"And where will they all sleep?"

". . . " Again confused look.

I guess he'll do the inviting and I'll do the worrying about who will sleep where and what to serve outside of the fruit course.

We love having guests. We don't have the most spacious accommodations, but we don't mind sharing what we have. My kids have occasionally heard me lament any Shabbos we weren't able to drum up guests. We're lucky enough to have several regulars who make sure this doesn't happen often.


This past shabbos we were invited out to lunch, fun for all, but that means no guests. On the way home the kids saw some people out for a walk.

"Are those our guests?" They asked pointing excitedly. The disappointment when I said no made me very glad I'd thought to invite a family to join us in the late afternoon! Awa and Hubsters sped home while RE and I plodded along together slowly.

Then RE saw a dog. "Can the dog come to my house?" He asked at least five times before I could answer. Seeing that we couldn't catch up with the dog I decided to use the opportunity to coax some conversation out of my strong n silent little guy.

"What would you say if the dog came to our house?" I asked, proud that I thought of a non yes-or-no question.

"YES!" RE nodded. So much for avoiding yes-or-no. "I'd say, Yes you can come to my house doggie."

"What would the doggie do at your house," I continued the interview.

"Um, I'd give him strawberries and melon." RE spoke with certainty.

"Where would the doggie sleep?" I was on a roll.

" . . . " Confused look.

"Ok, who else should come to our house?" I asked desperate to keep him talking during his rare moment in the spotlight without his older sister piping in.

"A dog, and a cat, and Nana & Papa (my parents), and Saba & Safta (hubster's parents), and a dog. . . . and a cat" RE listed.

Phew! He was still willing to talk, and boy did he have plans!

"And where will they all sleep?"

". . . " Again confused look.

I guess he'll do the inviting and I'll do the worrying about who will sleep where and what to serve outside of the fruit course.

Happy Mother's day!

This year was my first real Mother's Day. The kids learned about it in school a little and made gifts for me.

RE made a little bowl that said "Ima" (mother) in Hebrew stickers. Inside was a little cupcake and a cookie. Which he at Shabbos morning when he woke up early! Little scamp! "Happy Mother's Day Ima! I got you a bowl of crumbs and an empty cupcake wrapper!" Urp!

Awa's gift survived until today. It is a painted box filled with: A heart with her name in it, 2 muffins, a button key chain, and "Ima there's coffee!" A little sleeve of french vanilla instant coffee. I like to think her maturity and love kept her from scarfing it, but I think she just forgot all about it.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there! May the crumbs always frame smiles of love!

This year was my first real Mother's Day. The kids learned about it in school a little and made gifts for me.


RE made a little bowl that said "Ima" (mother) in Hebrew stickers. Inside was a little cupcake and a cookie. Which he at Shabbos morning when he woke up early! Little scamp! "Happy Mother's Day Ima! I got you a bowl of crumbs and an empty cupcake wrapper!" Urp!

Awa's gift survived until today. It is a painted box filled with: A heart with her name in it, 2 muffins, a button key chain, and "Ima there's coffee!" A little sleeve of french vanilla instant coffee. I like to think her maturity and love kept her from scarfing it, but I think she just forgot all about it.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there! May the crumbs always frame smiles of love!

Weirdo wakeup call!

I have two brothers, a dog, several years of college, and motherhood under my belt. I thought I'd been woken up by it all. But last night took the cake . . . or more accurately, the chocolate.

Hubsters had gone to a movie with the guys and I tried to stay up to greet him when he returned. I gave up just after 1am and collapsed exhausted. Somewhere around 2am I had a dream that my hand was covered in some brown goo. Then I realized that my eyes were open, my hand was outstretched in front of me, and it was indeed covered in brown goo. I sleep on my stomach with my hand under my pillow, so I immediately jumped up, sure enough, there were brown smudges next to my pillow, and underneath my pillow? A body-heat melted bar of Cadbury's chocolate that hubsters and I had shared as a Shabbos snack.

Then I noticed that hubsters wasn't in the room. Ok. Double panic. Covered in chocolate. Missing husband. Wanting to keep the chocolate devastation confined to my bed linens I went the bathroom to wash up and discovered hubsters brushing his teeth.

Although disoriented, I still appreciated hubsters reaction to seeing me stumble in bed creased, dazed, and covered in chocolate, yet relieved to see him.

"On rough days don't you say you wish you could swim in chocolate?" He asks. A sleepy squint and a grunt are my only answer as I lick chocolate from my fingers.

After helping me change my sheets and bagging the imported bedwrecker, hubsters adds "You've gotta tweet about this." Thank G-d he's well trained :)

I have two brothers, a dog, several years of college, and motherhood under my belt. I thought I'd been woken up by it all. But last night took the cake . . . or more accurately, the chocolate.


Hubsters had gone to a movie with the guys and I tried to stay up to greet him when he returned. I gave up just after 1am and collapsed exhausted. Somewhere around 2am I had a dream that my hand was covered in some brown goo. Then I realized that my eyes were open, my hand was outstretched in front of me, and it was indeed covered in brown goo. I sleep on my stomach with my hand under my pillow, so I immediately jumped up, sure enough, there were brown smudges next to my pillow, and underneath my pillow? A body-heat melted bar of Cadbury's chocolate that hubsters and I had shared as a Shabbos snack.

Then I noticed that hubsters wasn't in the room. Ok. Double panic. Covered in chocolate. Missing husband. Wanting to keep the chocolate devastation confined to my bed linens I went the bathroom to wash up and discovered hubsters brushing his teeth.

Although disoriented, I still appreciated hubsters reaction to seeing me stumble in bed creased, dazed, and covered in chocolate, yet relieved to see him.

"On rough days don't you say you wish you could swim in chocolate?" He asks. A sleepy squint and a grunt are my only answer as I lick chocolate from my fingers.

After helping me change my sheets and bagging the imported bedwrecker, hubsters adds "You've gotta tweet about this." Thank G-d he's well trained :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Shabbos toilet paper made easy

I don't know why it took me so many years to finally think of it. I either bought pre-torn paper or spent a good chunk of time tearing pieces one by one. But no more! Now I grab my big kitchen scissors and cut through the roll and VoilĂ ! Long strips in a fraction of the time. Generally works best when down the the last 1/3 of the roll. Now if I had gardening shears . . .

I don't know why it took me so many years to finally think of it. I either bought pre-torn paper or spent a good chunk of time tearing pieces one by one. But no more! Now I grab my big kitchen scissors and cut through the roll and VoilĂ ! Long strips in a fraction of the time. Generally works best when down the the last 1/3 of the roll. Now if I had gardening shears . . .

Toddler Bedelia


Conversations with toddlers often leave both sides rather confused. A confused look from a toddler however shouldn't be mistaken for a lack of understanding or slowness. I'm still boggled at the cleverness my two and a half year old showed this morning once I caught up with him.

I was helping him get dressed.

Me, holding socks: Do you want to wear socks today or have bare feet?
RE: Bare feet.
Me: Ok. (puts away socks)
RE, grabs favorite teddy, throws to the ground, stands upon its back & yells: Bear feet!
Me: wha?
RE, points to bear: Bear feet!
Me: oh, ok . . . wait . . . lol!


Apparently he inherited my side of the family's curly hair, olive skin, wide short nose, cleft chin, AND love of bad puns.

Of course that's assuming he meant to be funny and wasn't just pulling an Amelia Bedelia.


Conversations with toddlers often leave both sides rather confused. A confused look from a toddler however shouldn't be mistaken for a lack of understanding or slowness. I'm still boggled at the cleverness my two and a half year old showed this morning once I caught up with him.


I was helping him get dressed.

Me, holding socks: Do you want to wear socks today or have bare feet?
RE: Bare feet.
Me: Ok. (puts away socks)
RE, grabs favorite teddy, throws to the ground, stands upon its back & yells: Bear feet!
Me: wha?
RE, points to bear: Bear feet!
Me: oh, ok . . . wait . . . lol!


Apparently he inherited my side of the family's curly hair, olive skin, wide short nose, cleft chin, AND love of bad puns.

Of course that's assuming he meant to be funny and wasn't just pulling an Amelia Bedelia.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Visitors' Center

Thanks to Hannah's (of cookingmanager.com) post interviewing yours truly, there are probably more heads & hats checking out my little blog over here.

In the beginning I had planned on a modicum of anonymity, but frankly that takes more effort in planning and execution than I can drum up these days.

So welcome, enjoy the peeks into the boxes that clutter my attic. Don't look in that one over there, that's where I'm keeping my crazier ideas, like using sofrito in my shepherd's pie. My grandmother would be so proud and hubsters would be horrified!


Thanks to Hannah's (of cookingmanager.com) post interviewing yours truly, there are probably more heads & hats checking out my little blog over here.


In the beginning I had planned on a modicum of anonymity, but frankly that takes more effort in planning and execution than I can drum up these days.

So welcome, enjoy the peeks into the boxes that clutter my attic. Don't look in that one over there, that's where I'm keeping my crazier ideas, like using sofrito in my shepherd's pie. My grandmother would be so proud and hubsters would be horrified!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Shepherd's pie: a Non-recipe

I don't really follow recipes anymore. I either decide what I want to make and look around to see how I can approximate it with what I have, or I look at what I have and decide from there what to make. This recipe has so many variations, pretty much everything is optional (which may make it a misnomer since authentic Shepherd's pie is the standard chopped lamb & potato casserole).

This is a sneaky chef recipe as you can hide several kitchen sinks worth of vegetables without anyone being the wiser!

You can choose one or more from each category:

ground beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, cooked lentils
shredded carrot, onion, zucchinni
mushrooms
corn
peas
tomato sauce/paste/diced
garlic
1 egg for every pound of meat/ meat substitute
paprika
pepper

Mix until everything is well coated and press into the baking dish. I've used a pan, roaster, or crockpot with success. Just be aware that there will be a lot of grease in the crockpot unless you brown the meat first.

Top with mashed or shredded potatoes. Optional: drizzle with olive oil and more spices.

Bake uncovered at 350 for an hour or until bubbly. You can cover partway through if the potatoes get crispier than your liking.

If in the crockpot it'll need 6-10hrs on high or 3-5 hrs on low depending on whether you brown the meat first or not.

Freezes very well.

I don't really follow recipes anymore. I either decide what I want to make and look around to see how I can approximate it with what I have, or I look at what I have and decide from there what to make. This recipe has so many variations, pretty much everything is optional (which may make it a misnomer since authentic Shepherd's pie is the standard chopped lamb & potato casserole).


This is a sneaky chef recipe as you can hide several kitchen sinks worth of vegetables without anyone being the wiser!

You can choose one or more from each category:

ground beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, cooked lentils
shredded carrot, onion, zucchinni
mushrooms
corn
peas
tomato sauce/paste/diced
garlic
1 egg for every pound of meat/ meat substitute
paprika
pepper

Mix until everything is well coated and press into the baking dish. I've used a pan, roaster, or crockpot with success. Just be aware that there will be a lot of grease in the crockpot unless you brown the meat first.

Top with mashed or shredded potatoes. Optional: drizzle with olive oil and more spices.

Bake uncovered at 350 for an hour or until bubbly. You can cover partway through if the potatoes get crispier than your liking.

If in the crockpot it'll need 6-10hrs on high or 3-5 hrs on low depending on whether you brown the meat first or not.

Freezes very well.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mommy feats that will wow any Toddler

  1. Getting around to sharpening all the colored pencil stubs in the house
  2. serving lots of ketchup
  3. Flip them upside down & pretend not to notice
  4. Warm milk with a splash of chocolate
  5. this:

    (photo courtesy of thewind 's flickr stream)
  6. Knowing the noise any animal makes, even if you have to make up a few
  7. Teaching a new song or game (little bunny foo foo again??
  8. Piggy back rides
  9. Letting them (try to) spit into the sink while brushing their teeth
  10. Getting around without the help of the gee-pee-ess (Mommy turn left!)

  1. Getting around to sharpening all the colored pencil stubs in the house
  2. serving lots of ketchup
  3. Flip them upside down & pretend not to notice
  4. Warm milk with a splash of chocolate
  5. this:

    (photo courtesy of thewind 's flickr stream)
  6. Knowing the noise any animal makes, even if you have to make up a few
  7. Teaching a new song or game (little bunny foo foo again??
  8. Piggy back rides
  9. Letting them (try to) spit into the sink while brushing their teeth
  10. Getting around without the help of the gee-pee-ess (Mommy turn left!)