Friday, September 24, 2010

First Night-Night Alone

I put my son down in his crib to go to sleep by himself for the first time tonight. He cried when I put him down but I scratched his back for a little while and he stopped and sat down. I said "Night night" and I left. He was lying down as the door closed. He hasn't cried yet. It's been about 20 minutes. I've been crying since I shut the door. I don't even know why.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Hey y'all as it turns out, brussels sprouts are freakin' delicious!

Via the How to Cook Everything app on my iPhone I bring you the recipe that made me love this much maligned vegetable. (So maligned in my life in fact, that I have never bothered trying them before.)

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon


6 Ounces Bacon, Chopped
1 Pound Brussels Sprouts (trim off hard edge of stems and remove first layer of leaves)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon thyme
( I added one handful of parmesan cheese at the end)


1) Put the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it starts to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium and cook until crisp and the fat is rendered. (about 5-10 minutes). Meanwhile, cut each sprout into thin slices or shreds, or cut them into quarters.

2) Add the sprouts and 1/4 cup water to the pan with the bacon; sprinkle with salt and pepper, turn the heat to medium, and cover. Cook, undisturbed, until nearly tender, about 5 minutes.

3) When the sprouts are ready, uncover and raise the heat back to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until any remaining water evaporates and the sprouts are fully tender, about 5 more minutes. Stir in the vinegar and thyme. Sprinkle cheese over top if desired.

Dew it!

ETA: OMG I just realized this isn't a Rachael Ray recipe!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recipe Review: Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac

I made this Chili Mac recipe for dinner tonight.

Surprise! Surprise! It's a Rachael Ray recipe! I know. I'm eventually going to have to branch out, but there's a reason they call it a comfort zone.

Anyway, I'd recommend giving this a try if you like spicy stuff. It is pretty economical, simple, and makes a lot of food. It's even the kind of thing you could make the night before and then just pop in the oven for a little while after you get home. I used regular macaroni instead of whole wheat because that's what I already had, but I think whole wheat would work just as well in this kind of dish.

That being said, there were some problems for me.

1) For me, it was bit too spicy. The recipe calls for 1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce and I only used 1/4 and it still overwhelmed the rest of the flavors. I did leave it simmering for a really long time because I started making dinner early when I convinced myself it was an hour later than it really was so that could have been a contributing factor. You be the judge.

2) It needed more cheese. Next time I make it I'll probably add close to two cups worth of cheese to it. I'll probably pick a milder cheese (like either cheddar or mozzarella) for the additional gooeyness and while I'll definitely keep the pepper jack and blue cheesy crust on top ( I added some parmesan to that even), I plan to poor the chili mac mixture into the baking dish a little at a time and add cheese to each layer. I think that would balance things out and hold things together better.

3) There could have been more chicken. Budget-wise this probably stretches a buck pretty well with less meat and less cheese plus more pasta, and it is definitely filling. I just think that even one more chicken breast would have made it feel more substantial. But I think that's just a personal preference issue. It's totally fine without it too.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Totes Easy Recipes: Delishus Sauce

I've been trying for a while now to figure out a nice recipe for an easy cream sauce. Up to now all of my attempts have fallen short. Something always seems missing.

As it turns out, what was missing was dry onion soup mix.

Delishus Sauce

2 tbs olive oil
2 cups heavy cream (or milk you can always thicken it with corn starch)
8 cloves minced garlic (4 tsp from my jar)
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 packet of dry onion soup mix (2 ounces)
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.

2. Add garlic, cream, soup mix, and salt and pepper. Heat to bubbly.

3. Add the cheese a little at a time stirring as you go to prevent too much clumping.

4. Lower the heat and allow sauce to simmer until desired thickness is achieved. (IMO it is already fine by this point but a little reduction never hurt)

As with everything I make, I believe this to be flexible with the measurements and generally user-friendly. So far I have used it over the top of some Lobster Ravioli that we got at Costco (highly recommended) and a chicken, spinach, mushroom, fettucini dish that I made tonight that was freakin' awesome that I'm going to post the recipe for as soon as I make it again to get a better idea of the measurements. Did I mention I don't measure things?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Journey to Body Acceptance Part 1

I never really meant for this blog to become so food centered, but I guess it makes sense that it has. A short time before I got pregnant, I was introduced to the world of fat acceptance by a friend via Shapely Prose. (I'll probably link to their posts a lot in this series even though Kate hasn't decided if she wants to continue the blog because they were my first exposure and therefore most concrete in my mind.) I was only beginning to absorb the ideas and question my own practices and beliefs when I got the news that I would soon be a mother. From that point on I have been, in earnest, fighting to normalize my relationship with my body, with food, and with exercise because avoiding passing on self-destructive/self-hating habits to my child/ren is really important to me. No matter how they look, the world gives kids all kinds of messages that they are not good enough. I want to do everything I can to make sure none of these messages come from or seem supported by me.

In this series I want to explore all of that, so I can parse it out for myself, so I can use it in my future children's adolescence, and also in case anyone who happens to read this might find it useful in navigating their own path to being kinder to themselves. At some point I'll post more specifics about my past and about the things I've done to come this far, but tonight I want to start with a victory.

I never liked pictures of myself. If I got dressed up and looked in the mirror I was capable of thinking I looked nice but if I was ever photographed and then I saw the pictures you can rest assured that up to now whatever I was wearing at the time would never be worn again due to how ZOMG DISGUSTING WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME? I looked in it. But a little over a month ago, I was at my MIL's house about to leave for church and I decided to snap a picture knowing I was in a situation where I would just have to accept the result and would not be able to change. So I did. And I looked at the picture, and felt nothing. Just kind of, "That's pretty much what I thought." It may not seem like much, but this is huge people.

For example,

I'm on the right, the one standing up straight. This is about 20 years ago and this is not a picture of a kid totally stoked to go trick-or-treating with her BFF. This is a picture of a kid wishing people would stop taking pictures of her because she's so freakin' fat and she'll probably have to be tortured by looking at these pictures later. And this isn't even the earliest I felt this way. I remember feeling too fat for the world in mother-effing pre-school so I've got a long way to go before I'm deprogrammed. But I've made some progress, and that's something.