Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Home Stretch

Woo! Meal plan! This will be week four of cooking something new every night. My goal is to go a full month so we're almost there. This week in food:

Monday: Pork Chops with Caesar Salad
Tuesday: Sweet Pepper Chicken with 5 Spice
Wednesday: Hamburgers with Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Thursday: Grilled Halibut with Blackeyed Peas
Friday: Beef Stroganoff

My next goal is to create more variety in my side items. I know how to cook very few non-starchy items and none that my husband likes, so it's a hurdle. Ever since our computer broke, and I lost my meal planning widget, Mindful Menus has been a great motivator to keep us eating in and organized. To join in, click Mindful Menus

Taking the Good with the Bad

The Good:
I've been running again. Sort of. I ran a mile without stopping last night. I know that's not that far, but I hadn't run since before my son was born so this is a big deal. Plus, this involves taking some time for myself which is not something I have been able to do much of in the last year so it's a milestone in that regard as well. I love running but when I got pregnant the nurse told me not to exercise AT ALL because my chance of miscarrying is higher than average. So I quit cold turkey of course and then when I finally saw a doctor, he told me that I should only be avoiding exercise I wasn't used to. By then however, I was super paranoid about what "used to" would mean for me at that point and was basically to terrified to do anything beyond a leisurely stroll. So this is great. I'm running again. I run.

The Bad (or at least mildly sucky):
I tried to scale back on the breastfeeding and the day after we began this new routine, our son spiked a fever that lasted for days. So now we're back to normal breastfeeding and I'm totally gunshy about trying again. I think I may have to go to college with him.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

First Birthday! and Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Okay, so as I've mentioned we took our son to the beach for his first birthday for what we hope and pray won't be the last time. It was a wonderful trip, and I just wanted to share some pictures and obviously, a cake recipe.

First, since you can't have a birthday without cake:

I give you Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake! Seriously if you like chocolate you need to try this. It is the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever tasted. I have to generally avoid sugar because I have an endocrine disorder, but I use special occasions as an excuse to experiment with baking. I bought a boxed cake mix in case it was as gross as it sounded but it was awesome and totally easy. I made cupcakes (that's one of them above) so I reduced the cook time to 18 minutes at 350 degrees, and I used this vanilla buttercream recipe instead of the chocolate icing they suggest because Husband isn't actually that big a fan of chocolate.

And now...


The requisite flopsy hat:
My Boys:
Me and the cutie:
He wasn't sure about the water. I think it was too cold, but luckily he was all about the sand!

The whole thing was just amazing and I'm so glad we got to go, but I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Weekly meal plan

I so totally need a copywriter. I am awful at coming up with titles. At any rate here is this week's Mindful Menus meal plan.

Monday: Chicken Tacos with Rice and Black Beans
Tuesday: Shrimp and Crab Fettucini Alfredo
Wednesday: Meatlog and Green Beans
Thursday: Multigrain Pancakes, Turkey Bacon, and Scrambled Eggs
Friday: Ground Beef Tacos

If you're wondering about the two tacos nights, I do that because my Pinto (rice and beans) recipe makes way more than we need and mixing it directly into the ground beef and salsa makes it a good texture and helps soak up the salsa so the "taco", which are really burritos aren't so drippy. Meatlog is basically a stuffed meatloaf, or at least it used to be until I just started combining all the ingredients in a skillet and cooking it that way which is way easier and just as good. The shrimp and crab recipe will be the new thing we're trying this week so we'll see how that goes as seafood and pasta recipes have thus far ended in heartbreak.

To join in with your own Mindful Menu, just click here. Mindful Menus

Monday, May 10, 2010

I hate BP's stupid face

Everyday it looks more and more likely that my son and any other children we may have will not get the privilege I had of growing up loving the Gulf Coast. This truly saddens me and I wanted to post about it seperately from my son's birthday post because I don't want to detract from the happiness of that event.

I don't live there anymore but I grew up near the beach at went their frequently. I consider my love of the water in general, and that beach in particular to be central to who I am as a person. And I can't effing believe that one stupid oil company is likely going to steal that from me and from countless other people. I know it's an ecological nightmare and that's terrible to think about which may be why I keep pushing the environmental consequences of this out of my head. The main thing I keep thinking about is how this is going to ruin so many people's lives and there will just be no accountability for it. It's like my friend said,

"I mean there are only two things there, fishing and tourism. When those are gone what's left?"

The economy there has already been depressed by the insurance companies who have jacked up their rates in the last few years to make it almost impossible to live there and very difficult for business to turn a profit as it is. If they don't start getting this contained I just don't know what will happen to everyone who depends on those industries.

How could BP not already have a plan for this? Am I really supposed to buy that no one in that whole multi-billion dollar international corporation thought that just maybe a man-made machine in constant use, outside, and submerged in saltwater just might break eventually? I think it's much more likely that just didn't give a damn because caring is generally not cost effective.

I've been to other beaches all over the world, and their lovely. But this one is mine. And I'm afraid I'm going to lose it forever.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Weekly Meal Plans

Finally! I'm joining the Chivetalkin' Mindful Menus blogroll! I think it's only been like two months since I first started talking about it. That's okay right?

Here we go!

Monday: Roast Pork in Orange Sauce with Caesar Salad
Tuesday: Hotwing Burgers with Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Wednesday: Tilapia with Honey Mustard Pecan Topping, Blackeyed Peas and Garlic Kale
Thursday: Lemon Chicken Spaghetti
Friday: Hot Beef Sandwiches with Steamed Broccoli and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I got the idea for Garlic Kale from The Little Stuff of Life, but I can't find the exact post to link to. Sorry! I have never made the Hotwing Burgers before and I'm really looking forward to trying them because I am really looking for ways to incorporate a bigger variety of vegetable into our lives and this is full of them, plus my husband is really into spicy things. I make the Sweet Potato Oven Fries at least weekly and I cannot say enough good things about them. The only thing is that there is a lot of peeling and chopping involved, but the end result is totally worth the extra bit of effort. And yes, there are three Rachael Ray recipes on this week's menu (the Lemon Chicken Spaghetti is just this recipe with some chicken that I cook in a skillet thrown in at the end). What can I say? She completes me.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there!

Here's a dancing Corgi.