Saturday, March 17, 2012

trying to go green...

I really am trying to be more...shall we say "effort-ful"  about my role as mother and homemaker.  I want to make things fun and exciting and educational (but mostly just fun and exciting).  For St. Patrick's Day, I decided to make a special green breakfast for Caleb and Jane.  It was special, all right, but not very green!  I made eggs and bacon along with blueberry buckle.  I put green food coloring in everything and this is how it turned out:

Not very appetizing, is it?

I wasn't disappointed that the food coloring didn't touch the bacon.  I kind of expected that.  But with the eggs, I had visions of Dr. Suess's Green Eggs and Ham running through my mind when I began.  And if you are thinking, "DUH.  You should have done scrambled!", I thought of that, too, but Caleb loves fried eggs, so I went with that.  Again, think Dr. Suess.  And with the blueberry buckle, the batter looked greenish, but somehow the end result didn't match.  <Sigh>

Jane, however, didn't mind the color (or lack thereof).

And she looked festive enough.

(This is the best shot I could get as she is constantly running.)
And dinner did actually turn out fantastic--a nice corned beef and cabbage meal to end the day with.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

so you had a bad day...

...or week...or whatever.

For some reason I was super emotional last week.  I cried almost every day.  I didn't feel like cleaning (well, fine, I never feel like cleaning, but it was worse than usual), I made pathetic meals, I didn't go on walks or take Jane to the park.  I don't know what was going on!  Luckily it has passed, but I thought I'd share one story from my week.

Before I tell the story, I just want to include one little fact:  I don't bake cookies.  If you have ever had cookies I "made", they were from store-bought dough.  Over the years the few times I have attempted cookies from scratch have been unsuccessful, so I gave up.  I'm not sure when I last attempted cookies, but I think it was on my mission.

Anyway, back to last week...
I was bored, emotional, and unmotivated.  The only thing I was looking forward to was our Relief Society dinner on Wednesday.  Caleb had agreed to watch Jane so I could enjoy the night without worrying over her.  This may sound a little pathetic, but I crave social interaction, and I was really looking forward to a night out with the ladies.  I even signed up to bring a salad.

Interestingly enough, we had not one, but two dinner invitations that night.  It totally bummed me out that we had to say no, but as I already said, I was excited to go to the Relief Society dinner and I had committed to that salad.

By 6:30 pm, my salad was in the fridge, Caleb and Jane were finishing up their dinner (with exactly enough for just the two of them--no leftovers, no hassle!), I had changed my clothes, and had my makeup on.  As I waited a few more minutes--I didn't want to get there too early--I decided to check the flyer again and make sure I had the time right.  Yep, 7:00 pm.  Unfortunately, it was the date I had wrong.  The dinner wasn't until the next day.  I (of course) started crying and then, realizing how hungry I was, started to scavenge something for my own lonely dinner.  The best I could find was a $1 microwave meal that had been sitting in our freezer for months.

Let me just insert a small reminder here that we had declined two dinner invitations.  OUCH.

I was feeling so forlorn (and hungry!) that I worked up the courage to attempt baking some cookies using minty chips my mom had bought me in December.

I was nervous about how they would turn out, especially since it wasn't your typical chocolate chip cookie.  But oh! what a beautiful, blissful moment when I took my first bite!  The bitterness of my day was washed away in gooey, minty, chocolate deliciousness.  The closest thing I can relate it to is how I felt when I finally decided to have an epidural after 18 hours of labor:  very happy.

I highly recommend them to any of you who like mint and chocolate, and unlike the epidural, your legs won't go numb.

Caleb's and Jane's dinner:

my salad before it sat in the fridge for a day:

my dinner:

mint chip salve for the soul:

(You can get the recipe here, if you're interested.  And you should be interested.)

becca baking...

Actually, more like Becca crockpotting, but that doesn't really flow.

As you may have noticed, most of my posts are about Jane.  It's the socially acceptable form of vanity, I think, to blog about one's children.  Well, I thought this time I would post a bit about something wonderful I've discovered.  Most of you have probably discovered it, too, but just in case you haven't here it is:

I love this site!  The key is to use other member reviews as your guide--I usually only try something if it has 4 1/2 stars and 50 or more reviews.  I also highly recommend scanning through at least five or six of the written reviews to find helpful hints or slight adjustments.  And then just go with it!

The last few weeks I've been working really hard at planning meals (not my strength) and trying to use up what I already have instead of letting it go bad (another weakness).  In almost every case, after whipping up something new from this website, Caleb has been full of praise.

The point of this isn't to applaud myself, but to share with you a very helpful resource (pronounced "re-zorce") as well as a few of my favorite tried-and-true recipes.

These are some of my favorite dishes from my recipe box.

white bean chicken chile, hambone soup, spinach strawberry salad (and dressing), chicken asparagus roll-ups, Moroccan tagine, lemon bars, salmon chowder, sour cream pork chops, chicken pot pie, and my new favorite:  chocolate mint brownie cookies!


Monday, March 12, 2012

adios mullet...

Jane was not a bald baby.  But her hair has definitely grown very slowly.  Especially the sides and the top.  As we all know, this is the recipe for a baby mullet.  And I am morally opposed to mullets.  They make good people bad and bad people badder.  But Jane's mullet had such cute curls!  I didn't want to see them go.

However, last Sunday, I was feeling a little antsy.  Needing some sort of change.  There was my motivation, so I enlisted Caleb in the cause and we stuck Jane in the sink, doused her head with water, and <snip>! 

Bye-bye mullet!

It just so happened that we put her in a dress that my mom had bought for her (wish I'd taken a picture) that was shall I say....3rd wife-ish.  She looked so cute with her new little bob and her homey dress, we couldn't help but refer to her all day as "Baby Julie Andrews".