Wednesday, September 17, 2008

cooking on the fly

having a kid makes you become first less efficient (A LOT LESS!), and then suddenly more efficient. i am finding a new groove at last. (thank you exersaucer!) i am learning to roughly plan ahead and to make stuff up on the fly. i now go to the grocery store with no real list, but instead, some vague notion that we should maybe have some food in the house and that some extra diapers wouldn't go amiss. and maybe more advil. for example, on saturday i just went to the store with this notion of coming back home with FOOD. and here is my smartest idea ever: buy a whole big family pack of boneless chicken breasts and all kinds of random vegetables. grill the whole pack of chicken. and then for days--you have dinner almost made already. i keep making random stuff with grilled chicken and veggies, and man--it's been pretty good. here are some successes:

one night i roasted a butternut squash--i chopped up half a pear (random) and put it in the cavity of the squash, rubbed the whole thing with olive oil, sprinkled a bit of cinnamon on it, and baked it for somehtng like 50 minutes at 350. when it was done, i scooped out the squashy goodness and mashed it up with a little more cinnamon, and voila. with that we had some cous cous (one of those near east boxes--i think this was the toasted pine nut variety) to which i added a handful of spinach. and by the way, i will definitely be doing THAT again. i just threw the spinach in on top of the cous cous and let it steam for a few minutes, and then stirred it in--it wilted beautifully, and man, it was good. and i think my hands on time for this whole meal was maybe 15 minutes.

chicken caesars. easy peasy. use real parmesan for this, people, and you can't go wrong.

last night i took half a box of pasta and cooked it. then i added it to a saute of mushrooms, halved grape tomatoes, and some frozen soycutash from trader joes(although you could also use pretty much any frozen vegetable or a can of something), a cup of chicken broth, some sprigs of thyme, and a few red pepper flakes. and you know, chicken. fast, low fat, and delicious.

sandwiches with sliced chicken, roasted red pepper, basil or watercress, and herbed mayo. or if you want them to look fancy, drop the mayo and serve them open faced with shaved manchego cheese and a drizzle of olive il and balsamic vinegar. yum.

burritoes!!! take some of that chicken and add some avacado, some salsa, maybe some black beans and cheese, a little cilantro if you have it. roll it up in a tortilla.

tonight we will have some sugar snap peas and something. maybe a stir-fry. i'm sure i still have some other vegetable bits and pieces hiding in that crisper drawer--half an onion, a red pepper, some mushrooms...something...

i realize there's nothing earth-shattering here, but it's made all the difference to my psyche this week. last night the hippie was reveling in the fact that we're eating at home, and that it's not all PB&J (although yum! PB&J!). it's good, finally getting back into the swing of my kitchen.

ps--speaking of PB&J, can i just tell you how good this strawberry and rhubarb jam we found is? we bought it in a general store out newr my hometown, and holy lord--YUM! just sayin'...

Monday, September 15, 2008

blogging from the iPhone: a test

sometimes it's hard for me to accept that this phone i am using has more power and memory than the computers i learned to program on. technology is just crazy, man. a friend asked me to test whether or not i could write a blog post from my iPhone. apparently yes.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


it's morning, and i am sitting alone in my living room thinking about how tenuous our grasp life is. it's that same kind of panic i have written about before i guess, but today it weighs heavy. my really good friend meredith's family is experiencing a terrible tragedy, and i can't stop thinking about it. her cousin's wife collapsed last week and turns out to have an enlarged heart, which led to a cardiac arrest and countless other complications. now, they are concerned that her higher level brain functions may be permanently impaired. i would normally not presume to write about their issues, but they have a blog on which they are posting updates about her condition, so it's already out there. and really, in this case, i think the more people praying for hyatt, the better. she needs a miracle. i have never met hyatt, but she is a young mother with two daughters--her baby is about the same age as kieran, which is probably why this is hitting so close to home for me. i believe that this is something that every mother fears. in addition to your fears for your child, you fear for yourself, because--who will take care of your baby if you can't? even if you have a plan in place, money and care provided, who will be his mother? who will love him like you would love him? it's about the worst thing i can imagine right now, short of losing the baby or his father. anyway--i am a downer on this bright sunny sunday morning. i am sad. i am overcome thinking about this family and what they might lose. and i am praying as hard as i can for them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

i knitted something

pumpkin hat for lisa's baby

gift, given
it's not a big thing, but i did manage to start and finish and gift something in less than a week--this little pumpkin hat for my friend lisa who's baby is due just a few days before halloween. i feel strongly that all babies should have at least one handmade thing to surround them with love--i may even be a little superstitious about this. and well, i just don't have the time to make blankets like i used to. this little hat though--i have made it before, and i knew i could do pull it off if i tried hard. i knitted most of it in the dark while we were driving to my parents' house for a visit, and then i did the stranding at home (the night before her shower). although i had to stay up late to finish it--it was totally worth it for the smile on lisa's face when she opened it up. :)

for the record, i also managed to knit a little hat in july for our frineds clay and heather whose baby was soon to be born while we were in pennsylvania, but i don't have any photographic evidence of that one. it was a dove grey malabrigo umbrella hat--i used the leftover yarn from my foliage hat, which was still lingering around in my knitting bag.

hats are the new blanket.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008