Sunday, February 27, 2011

what's cooking

I did a better job of taking pictures of our meals this go-round, hopefully I inspire to make something  this week.

Butter Lettuce Salad with Egg:
I love butter lettuce.  This salad has butter lettuce, pears, shaved Parmesan, toasted pecans, balsamic vinaigrette and is topped with a fried egg.  The egg makes it creamy, adds protein and tastes really good.

Salad with Honey Goat Cheese:
 Butter lettuce, honey goat cheese (from Trader Joe's), pear, pomegranate seeds and lemon balsamic vinaigrette.

Butternut Squash Ravioli:
This was better then it looks (photo people I would love your suggestions on how to improve).  I made a quick brown butter and sage sauce then added nutmeg.  I topped it with kosher salt and Parmesan, some toasted walnuts would have been good as well. The best part of this meal was my "creamed" spinach.  I put a bunch of spinach in a pan with a little garlic, add milk, cream cheese, nutmeg and salt. It is good and an easy way to get in a lot of spinach.

Turkey Sliders and oven cheese fries:
Sliders are the perfect size for my small people so I make them instead of regular sized burgers.  I mix grated onion, add BBQ sauce, frozen chopped spinach, Worcestershire sauce, egg and oatmeal (instead of bread crumbs) into the meat.  I had little buns for the kids, but I skipped it so I could have the oven chile fries, that I made with New Mexico green chile, so good.

Hummus and Greek Chicken Pitas:
Hummus is so easy to make, this time I started with dry garbanzo beans instead of canned.  I soaked the beans over night and cooked them for 40 minutes. I topped the hummus with smoked paprika and it added good flavor.  Let me know if you want the recipe and will write it up.

For the pitas:
For the Greek chicken I put oregano, lemon, salt, and garlic on chicken breast and baked it. I served it with red onions  and cucumber marinated in balsamic vinegar, feta, fresh spinach, hummus and some creamed spinach.  This was the best thing I made all week.

Pasta with clam sauce:
Not so exciting but easy and good.  I cook a bunch of garlic in olive oil, add canned clams, a little butter and salt.  Then I toss in the pasta and a little pasta water, I add lemon zest, Parmesan and parsley. 

Pasta with Spinach Sauce:
Clearly I am on a spinach kick and I fell off the not white flour train.  I made this with frozen chopped spinach, garlic, milk, nutmeg, salt and parmesan. 

Another Salad:
 Butter lettuce, strawberries, honey goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, and balsamic vinaigrette.  If you have not put strawberries on salad you should try it, and you should try the the honey goat cheese on just about anything.

Bonus Meal:
My husband is gone a lot, we eat dinner with out him at least half the week often more.  Most of the time I eat with my kids but on occasion I eat veggies with them but skip the rest of the meal and then I have this for dinner.  Yes, that is cereal and a glass of wine, it makes me happy.

What are you making this week?

Happy Cooking,


Friday, February 25, 2011

day 6

Today is day six that I have sick small people.  

My house is a mess because my kids are feeling needy, "Mom where are you?" and "Mom you sound far away" all day long.  I am spent.  

I have not been running all week.  Not once.  None of us have been sleeping, Rob has been working, and I am feeling like a lump. 

What I should be doing is Insanity, these crazy workout videos that have me dripping in sweat.  I may be a little extra curvy but I am in great cardio shape.  My heart is strong but  those workouts kill me.

I should be doing crazy workout videos but I am not, when the small people are sleeping I am done.  I sit in a dark room lit by the the glow of my computer and the TV, until I zen down enough to sleep.

Did I mention that Rob is gone until Monday.


I am actually in a fairly good mood and here is why:

I have wonderful friends who offer to help, and go out of their way to keep me sane.

I snuggled Taylor and Jaxson a lot.

I will not be sitting in the glow of my computer tonight.  The babysitter is coming and I am going out with friends.

The marathon is just over a week away.  I did not run this week but I already got all my long runs in.  I am just taking tapering to an extreme.

By next week we will be healthy, Rob will be home, and I get to run.

Happy Friday,


Thursday, February 24, 2011

its Thursday...

What does that mean?  Absoutly nothing.

Today is day five that I am at home with sick kids.  And yes, I know that I am fortunate to have generally healthy children, they suffer from no long term ailments and for this I am endlessly grateful.

I am aware of my blessing but this is day five.

I am over being a snot-rag every time I pick up my baby and he rubs his constant flow of snot on me, and I am over the endless neediness, I am over trying, at no avail, to keep them both happy and humored.

Do I sound callous and unkind? I really am a warm and fuzzy mom, but my contact with the outside work has been minumual for the past week and to remain calm and helpful I am going to complain to you so I can turn around and smile at my kids.

One minute I am feeling so  bad for them and the next I am feeling sorry for myself because I am spending yet another day in my house with whining kids. 

I love, love, love my kids but I really enjoy the outside world.

In this moment my small people are distracted I am reaching out to the outside world on my computer, picture me in dark room with the shades drawn, toys, books, water cups and tissue everywhere hoping I can have a few uninterrupted minutes.  My friend Kim posted this link on her blog it made me laugh, and then I read this on the same blog and I was crying laughing, I also highly reccomend taking the time to read about and about #2, I may be going a little stir crazy but this is some funny sh*t.

Ok.  That's it.  I am done.  My small people are requesting me again, warm and fuzzy here I come.

Happy Thursday,


One more thing, do you have any good online reads for me?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Whats been cooking?

I have been cooking, somehow once again I missed taking pictures of a lot of the meals I made.  Next week I will aim to take a picture of everything I cook for dinner.

I cook a lot of chicken.  I eat chicken most days of my life.  I don't actually love chicken.  This week  I did not cook any chicken! 

Here is what I did make:

Shrimp Scampi:

This picture is screaming for color, we ate it with asparagus and spinach salad, apparently I should have taken the picture of all the food the table.

Shrimp with pasta is one of my favorite things and is a my pre-long run meal of choice.  I made this in preparation for my 21 mile run.

Here is how I make it. While pasta is cooking put butter, olive oil, and garlic into a pan and cook for a few minutes.  Add shrimp to the pan as well as some lemon zest, lemon juice, and a little white wine if you have some open.  It will only take a few minutes for the shrimp to turn pink, then add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss with the shrimp and sauce. Top with Parmesan and serve (maybe add some parsley for color but it tastes good as is).

Miso Maple White Fish:
Mix miso, maple syrup, sake, and a touch of sesame oil.  Taste it, it tastes good, a little sweet and little salty, a little something extra from the sake.  This sauce would be good on just about anything, if you are not a fish eater try it on tofu or chicken or other meat.

 I like it best on white fish. I make a little packet with foil and pour the sauce on, sometimes a add a touch of butter on each piece of fish.  The I seal up the little pack of goodness and bake.  I normally serve it with brown rice and veggies, this time I used couscous. This meal is a hit for my whole family.

Butternut Squash, Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup:

Taking help from the store with pre-cut butternut squash and using white beans I had frozen made this soup quick and healthy. Thanks Erin for the inspiration.

A few more meals I made but did not get pictures of:

Warm Asian Noodle Salad:
I cooked bell peppers, onion and carrots with a bunch of spinach, made whole wheat spaghetti, then cooked it all together with Trader Joe's Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette (available in the refrigerated produce section).

Italian Sausage and Veggie Soup:
This is Taylor's favorite soup and she had been asking for it all week, it is good, easy and healthy how can I say no to that.

Here is what is in it: Italian turkey sausage, carrots, zucchini, onions, tomato paste, chicken broth and pasta.   I have an actual recipe I typed up for Rob to make a work, let me know if you want it.

We went out with friends on night we had drinks and appetizers before we went out.

Here is what I made:

Spicy Shrimp with lemon and garlic:

Shrimp, garlic, butter, parsley and lemon roasted.  Serve with bread to soak up the sauce.  So good, not low calorie at all, but a few shrimp wont hurt.

Baked jalapeno poppers: cream cheese, cheddar cheese and bacon (I wrapped around half of them because while I don't eat bacon I don't think that everyone should suffer), served them with corn tortillas. (sorry no picture)

Two decadent appetizers done in less then 20 minutes, served with chilled bubbly, how could you go wrong.

What are you cooking this week? 


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

on running and schedules

My schedule is challenging,  I'm not saying I am busier then everyone else, because I know I have it pretty good, but my schedule is challenging for me.

When Rob is at work he is gone, he leaves at 5:00 in the morning and does not come home until 9:00 the next morning, and often he is gone for two or three or sometimes 4 days.

I have two small children, and aside from my village of friends, I have no real child care, I don't have family that helps.  When Rob is gone it is just me and my kids. 

Years ago Rob was injured (playing basketball not fighting fires) he was home for months.  I could run every day of the week.  I would have an hour to myself Monday through Friday. 

It was amazing.  It was when I started enjoying running, it was when I first decided to run a full marathon.

This week Rob is taking a class and he is home in the morning, and I get to run.  It is so good.

I set my alarm for an ungodly hour and then I get to spend an hour running with friends. 

It is dark, it is cold, I am tired,  I love it.

Happy Running,


Ranting and Venting

I feel overly wound. 

Which is bad.  

I am generally happy to operate at a very tightly wound stage.  Overly wound is not good.

I feel as thought my head my explode at any moment, and I don't have a headache. 

Word of cation: Please, please, please don't say the wrong thing to me because I may loose it.

I try to be a good friend, wife, mother....and any other role I play on a give day or week.   How I effect others and the impression I make matters to me.   I hate it when I feel like I am coming up short, or when despite my best efforts, I leave someone feeling shorted.

I am give all of myself, all the time.  When it is not received well I feel it.

I am who I am, this is me, and that is it.  There are no pretenses, no falseness, just me.

I will hold your heart in my hand where I also hold my own.

Be cautious with me.  When I let you in, you hold my heart in your hands. 

Proceed with cation.

Just Me,


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valenines Day

You know me, I love a holiday, I love a theme, but I have no urge to go out for Valentines day.

I will give Rob credit, he scheduled a babysitter so we could have a date.  But I opted out of the V day date, we went out on a date with friends the night before.

This is what Valentines looked like at our house:

Taylor and I made 27 Valentines for school

The girls baked cakes for there dads

Dinner with the Fam

Easy meal, store bought rotisserie chicken, green beans and strawberries. Done

What can I say, my baby

Rob and his cake
Then it was bed time for the kids and we watched a movie.

Easy. Perfect. Done.

Happy belated Valentines day,


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Home Alone...

I love this picture, before I felt I looked big and pregnant but now that I am not big and pregnant I love it.

I am having a case of the Sundays.

Remember when you were younger, and you went out all weekend, which started with Thursday night Ladies Night, then happy hour on Friday...., then Sunday would roll around and you would feel tired, and drained and all you want is something cozy and comforting.  A case of the Sundays is when you just want to hide out, snuggle, eat tomato soup and be cozy.  I don't want tomato soup I want Rob.

I love having time alone at my house, and for the most part the only time I get to be alone at home is when the kids are sleeping and Rob is at work.

I like it.  I like to be in my house alone.

But not tonight.

I don't need anything.  I had a good day.  I went a long run, I spent time with my kids and friends, the kids have been happy all day, and now they are sleeping.  This is my time.

But...I want my husband home.  I am over him being at work.

I would like to snuggle on my couch, and watch some TV, maybe he can rub my head (which is just about the best thing ever).

We are going on a date tomorrow night, and it can not come soon enough.  Right now I want date night on my couch, with my down comforter, the TV remote and my husband.

I am having a case of the Sundays.

I like being alone, I married a man that was gone on purpose but tonight I wish he was home.



Friday, February 11, 2011

Not Quite A Domestic Diva: Instalment One

I dream of having dinner parties and having everything clean and done before everyone arrives, I would love to learn how to cook and bake with out making a disaster my kitchen.

I have not figured it out yet.

Today is Taylor's preschool teacher's birthday.  We love her, and when I love someone I feed them.  For Ms. Grace I am making wheat free cupcakes (she does not eat wheat).

I was going to get up at 6:00 to bake before the kids woke up.

The best laid plans....

At 5:00 the smoke detectors in my house started going off for an unknown reason. There are at least 10 smoke detectors in my house, it was LOUD!

Both kids woke up and were not going back to bed.  Shortly there after Rob left for work.

By 5:40, it was me, two sleepless kids, and 27 cupcakes to bake before school.

 With "help" from my small people we got it done.

Distracting the baby is key

Old picture, my hands were too sticky to get the camera.  I measure, Taylor dumps and stirs.

The Mess

I am a work in progress and not quite a domestic diva yet.

Happy Friday,


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

a note to my husband and my mother

Rob has been working a lot.  

As I have mentioned in previous posts I like my space, I married a man that was gone on purpose.  I love when he leaves and when he comes home.

That being said, I don't love when he works so much, I miss him and it means I am home alone with my kids.  Which is fine for a day or two but it can get long.

My kids were sick last weekend, I needed to go grocery shopping, we were out of milk, bread and eggs among other things that we use every day. 

I felt stuck,  I did not call a friend to come help because I did not want to subject them to our germ filled house.  It made me think a lot of how glad I am that I don't have to do this on my own.

This is where I would like to talk about my mother.  She was a single mom for a good part of my childhood and even when she was not a single mom, she was kind of a single mom. 

She ran a business and had three kids, not to mention an array of pets.  She was not perfect, she had her struggles but she did a good job and managed to hold it all together.

I would not want this life without Rob to help me take care of it, I would have to live in a condo near a park, because I could not handle it all.
I am so grateful that I am able to have this life and I know that I would not be able to do it without everything my mom has done for me and continues to do, or without Rob, he is my everyday.  I don't have to do it on my own.

Thank you both,

Monday, February 7, 2011

Whats been cooking

I made beans, I love beans.  I would eat a bean and cheese burrito everyday if I could, and at times in my life I probably have. 

I highly reccomend making your own beans, they are so much better (and cheaper) then canned.

Here is how I make them: Get your crock pot out.  Soak the beans over night in water (or if you do not have the foresight to do this, boil some water, poor it over your pot of beans and soak them for as long as you have).

Then drain the soaking water, and refill with fresh cold water, add a few cloves of chopped garlic, turn your crock pot on high and leave.

Several hours later come back and your beans should be done.

They will not taste good! Beans need SALT, a lot of salt.  I add salt, and sometimes I add a little cumin and red chile powder then let them cook for a little while longer so they can soak up the seasoning.

You can freeze extras in small serving sizes, the next time you want to reach for a can of beans you can pull out your frozen beans instead.

Clearly we ate some beans this week, I will spare you the pictures (yummy but not so pretty).

Also on our menu:

Chicken Fajitas:

Saute chicken tenders, bell peppers and onions that have been marinated in lime juice, red chile powder, salt and a touch of cumin.   I made guacamole and salsa also super easy, let me know if you want the recipe.

Chicken with mushrooms and parsley:

My picture is not so good because I had chopped all the chicken for fajitas, it tasted good but looks much nicer if you use a chicken cutlet.

Asparagus with a soft boiled egg: This is so easy and good.  Top asparagus with a little olive oil and roast it in a 425 degrees, then top it with the egg and coarse ground salt.

What are you cooking this week?


Sunday, February 6, 2011

I had good plans

We were going to spend Saturday in Oakland and San Francisco, I have had the date on my calendar for over a month now.  I was ready to spend day and night with friends and family.  Then we were going to come home on Sunday and head to a Super Bowl party, I like parties.

But, you know what they say about plans, the best laid kids got sick. 

We are home.

I feel bad for my sick babies.  Taylor keeps asking, "When will I be better?"

I gave her some orange juice and told her it should help her feel better. Half way through the cup she called, "Mom it's not working!" 

"What do you mean its not working, is the cup leaking?"

"No, I still feel sick, it's not making me feel better." 

Poor my baby girl. 

We were heading to the doctors so she could have her ears looked at and  just before we walked out the door Taylor coughed, it made her gag, which made her vomit, all over herself, me, the blankets, the couch and the carpet.  My sweet little girl then apologized to me for throwing up every where.

Poor girl. 

Poor me.

Rob went to work at about at 5:00 am Saturday morning and does not come home until 9:00 am on Tuesday.  That means that it is just me and the small people at home all weekend.  We are not good at staying home.

No parties, no trip to the bay, just home.

This may not be the most thrilling post, sorry but I am not having a thrilling weekend and for some reason I decided to share, aka whine about it.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday,


Friday, February 4, 2011

I was going to run this morning but...

I just could not do it.

I am taking a personal morning.  Taylor is at school (for a wopping 2.5 hours), Jaxson is napping and I am playing on my computer. 

You know what I like? 

Cooking Blogs. 

I have been playing on, she has a page of her favorite cooking blogs and there are some good ones, good pictures and fun to read.

I like reading about food.

I will sit down and read a cookbook just for kicks.  Which, by the way, if you are looking to do I reccomend reading Nigella Lawson.  If you have ever heard her talk you can hear her sultry voice when you read her cookbook.

Enough on that, it is Friday and it feels like the week has been endless.  I am tired.  I am trying not be be blaa today.  So in addition to taking a personal morning here are the other perks of my morning. Hopefully writing them down will be the perk me up I need.

Jaxson slept until 8:00, so I had the morning alone with Taylor.

My husband sent be flowers.

I sneezed and Taylor said, "bless you", from the other room.  It was a "good job mama" feeling.

I had Blue Bottle coffee (thank you Kyle and Tabby).

Ms. Grace, Taylor's preschool teacher, I had a good conversation with her.  Love her.

Rob is home from work, only for 20 hours the gone for 3 days, but at least he is home.

I am not running tomorrow so I can have a glass of wine or a margarita tonight.  Long runs on the weekend = no cocktails for me, which = no fun.

I am going to the city this weekend to play with my friends.

Happy Friday,


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What I do

I stay home with my kids.  I chose this.  I wanted this life.

I never thought I would stay home with my kids but when Taylor was born it felt right for my family and I.  I know people who would love to stay at home but it is not an option, and I know people who would not consider staying home with their kids.  There is not a right answer.

Occasionally, I struggle with the decision.  I liked working, I liked business cards and business lunches, I liked professional clothes and shoes, I liked getting a paycheck. 

I liked being a professional. 

I put my career on hold, I stopped moving up the ladder.

I don't want to work crazy hours any more, I want to snuggle my kids when they get up and before they go to bed.  I want to be their primary care giver all the time.  We have built our life so this is an option.  We live in Sacramento largely because it allows me to stay at home.

I want stay home but don't take that to mean that I am not strong and capable.  

I could fully support myself and my family.  It is not what I want but I could do it.

I choose this life, this is what I want, it is not for lack of other options.