Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Anderson had 2 Big Sticks and some Goldfish crackers for lunch. That's it. Popsicles and crackers. They weren't even the whole grain kind. Meh. Sometimes I just don't have it in me to object.

Monday, July 25, 2011

If I had an extra $100...

Today I would have bought these:
And 6 of these:

Eat: Lemon-Almond Souffle

We had Scott over for a little birthday dinner last night and although I was craving chocolate cake, I didn't trust myself with the leftovers. Have I mentioned I think I may have a tape worm that is making me insatiable? Anyway, I made these instead.
Pretty easy and quite good. Though tonight I am really wishing there was some leftover cake in the kitchen. I had to make do with a bittersweet chocolate almond bar instead.

An extra $100

I could very easily spend an extra $100 a day just on stuff that makes me happy. As a matter of fact, I think I am going to post when these little thoughts pop into my mind. Maybe that way when I find that unclaimed $100 bill in an empty parking lot (I'm sure this is a totally plausible scenario) or I win some extra cash playing a scratcher (must buy scratchter at grocery tomorrow!), I'll know what to do. As I type this it seems to me that I remember there being a feature in Real Simple where they ask people what they would do with an extra $100. They must be asking either very wealthy or extremely virtuous people because they always want to buy everyone a Starbucks or donate it or send it to children in Uganda. And, trust me, it's not like I wouldn't love to do that, too, it's just that this is my little blog and I want to think about how I could spend the money on myself. Or my house. Or my kids. Kids, plural. Wow, I think that's the first time I've said or written that since having Baby Beck. Wow. But I digress completely. Anyway, this is my imagination that gets to spend this money and I will harness no guilt for doing with it what I please. Although maybe I'll have days when I want to spread my imaginary money around. Maybe.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Anderson Digs Being 2

I have never known anyone, big or small, as obsessed with trucks, dirt, and construction as my sweet boy. He squeals at the sight of the garbage truck and goes crazy when passing a construction zone. He loves street sweepers, bulldozers, and cranes. He can spend hours watching "Mighty Machines". This kid loves "bee yucks" (translation: big trucks). Only a construction-themed party would do. Due to hospital bed-rest and his little brother coming quite a bit earlier than expected, Anderson had to wait until over a month after his birthday for his celebration. Somehow I doubt he noticed. Needless to say, planning this party first from my hospital bed and then with a newborn was harder than anticipated , but we did it (thanks in huge part to Miss Jihan). Details were skipped, a huge bag of decorations and favors were never used, and many guests who would have made the original date could not make the re-schedule, but my boy got his party. And he loved it. Or, he "dug" it, as it were.
 I was really pleased with how the invites came out. After finding a lot of inspiration, but nothing quite right I had to create my own design. Drawing that bulldozer in Illustrator was a beyond frustrating, but at least now I can have a bulldozer on anything I want!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Eat: Grilled BCAT (bacon, cheddar, arugula, and tomato) with pan-seared corn on the cob, & grilled asparagus

Tonight I almost lost it. Crying, er, make that screaming, baby and cooking were cause for a near meltdown. Add to that a raging barbecue and a frying pan of bacon and it's a wonder I made it through with only water and not a margarita. Why is it that in this house 4:45 marks the beginning of the witching hour? The hellish hour when everyone needs mama and mama just needs fifteen minutes to get dinner going. FIFTEEN minutes! Is that really too much to ask? Apparently so because instead it takes me over an hour to make even the simplest meal fit for human consumption. And did I mention that I'm married to a vegetarian? A very picky vegetarian? But I digress. This post is about what finally made it to the table, and not so much about the amount of patience, shhhhshing, and naughty words it took to get there.

Grilled BCAT
Let me start by saying I just threw this together because I happen to have an abundance of arugula (from last night's dinner) and tomatoes that are on overdrive in the garden right now. It basically is just a slightly snooty BLT. And for the vegetarian husband, I modified and made just a CAT. Hehe.

cracked wheat sourdough bread (Or just plain old sourdough, or any other bread for that matter. I just used what I had, as pretentious sounding as it is. Heck, you could use Wonder white and it would be just as good.)
olive oil (for brushing on the bread)
bacon (I am embarrassed to admit how many slices, but you go ahead and use as many as you'd like)
cheddar cheese, sliced
fresh tomatoes
dijon mustard (I didn't actually use the dijon, but I would have had there not been a screaming baby in my arms)

Prepare the bacon and set aside. Grill up the bread (brush olive oil on both sides first). Ultimately you want both sides grilled so grill a side and then flip it before continuing. Add the cheese to one slice of the bread and let it get melty. The add the bacon, tomato and arugula. Spread the mustard on the other slice and assemble. Yummy, melty goodness awaits.

Pan-seared corn on the cob
This is a variation on a recipe from Parents magazine of all places. I say a variation because I really don't like to measure stuff. 

olive oil
3-4 ears of corn
1 t cider vinegar
3T water
2 cloves minced garlic
pat of butter
chopped parsley (a pinch? a tablespoon? use however much you like)
salt + pepper

In a large saute pan on medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and add the corn. Sear corn on all sides until it gets some color (about 5 minutes). Meanwhile combine the vinegar and water. Reduce heat to medium and add the butter and garlic to the pan and saute for about 10-20 seconds, just to take away the raw taste of the garlic. Add the water/vinegar mixture and cover. Cook about 3-4 minutes more. Add the parsley, salt and pepper and you're good to go.

Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic and Parmesan
I think the title is pretty self explanatory, but if not, here goes.

asparagus (I like the super thin kind)
olive oil
balsamic vinegar (Preferably a good one that is slightly sweet and syrupy. Fini is what I like because it doesn't break the bank)
parmesan (The real stuff really makes it better. You know, like the kind that comes in a wedge, not in a bag.)
salt + pepper

Heat your grill to a low flame. Trim the ends of the asparagus and drizzle with olive oil. Throw them on the grill and watch them and turn them until they are to your desired done-ness. This totally depends on how thick the asparagus is. For the pencil-thin kind that I used it only takes a couple of minutes ion a very low flame. When they are ready, drizzle with balsamic, sprinkle with salt and pepper and parmesan shavings. Easy peasy.

Ice Cream Party

Thinking of planning a summer ice cream party just so this can pull up in front of the house.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Ethan and Riley came over today. It was hot, so we ate watermelon. A lot of watermelon. On the front lawn without shirts. (OK, I kept my shirt on. I was in the front yard, afterall.)
Love the juicy belly.

Eat: Simplest Summer Salad Ever

After eating my way through a five day trip to New Mexico, salad wasn't a choice so much as a desperate attempt to stop expanding. This is the easiest salad I know. No cooking, no heating, one bowl, easy clean-up, and easy to modify according to what's on hand. Not to mention I was able to use some of my tomatoes that went crazy in the garden while I was gone.
Lentil and Brown Rice Salad
I based this off of a recipe given to me from a friend of mine last summer, his version used different herbs, but I had to go with what is currently growing in the garden. My sister-in-law makes a slightly different and warm version using all pre-prepared ingredients from Trader Joe's. Either way, it's fool-proof.

2 cups cooked brown rice (I make my own in the rice cooker, but you could just as easily use the pre-cooked kind)
2 cups prepared lentils (I use TJ's)
3/4 c diced tomatoes or grape tomatoes (I use both because I have both growing, but it makes no difference)
2 T chopped chives (parsley would be good, too!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 T red wine vinegar
3-5 T olive oil
juice from 1/2 of a juicy lemon or a whole one if not so juicy
salt to taste

Dump everything but the arugula in a bowl and mix. Seriously, that easy. Add more of whatever to taste. Adjust the olive oil to combine the ingredients and use as little or as much acid as you like. Serve over arugula. You could also use it as a side dish or heat it if you prefer. See, I told you it was easy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Baby Beck turns 3 moths old!

Baby Beck, how is it that you are already 3 months old?! (Three and a half, actually, but I'm a bit late with these things lately). In the last month you have begun to smile, coo, gurggle, and drool. You have (thankfully!) dicovered your jungle gym (which can earn mama up to about 20 minutes of hands-free time) and you have made it perfectly clear that you must have a nap that ends right at 5:00 in order to make it to bedtime (6:30) without an epic melt-down. The debate continues as to whether or not you will be a red head. You regularly spit up on me and I have never changed so many diapers in my life, but you are so darn cute I just can't get upset. You are perfect and I love you to bits.


We have a pool and I'm not a fan. Too dangerous. Too cold. Too deep. And, well, too bad I am a really terrible swimmer. Besides, the sprinklers are so much more fun.
And, of course, a little break to have a Big Stick.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July Fever

All plans to attend the Fourth of July parade downtown were quickly thwarted by a sweet little two-year-old with a temperature. At 4 am I woke up to the saddest little moan of  "owwww...huuuurt....head hurt me" which was only calmed by sleeping in between our bed. And, right on schedule, Baby Beck decided to wake up and begin his Independence Day celebration at the crack of dawn (which, by the way, is at about 4:45 these mornings). And so began our day- Gabe and I trying to get even just a few more minutes of sleep while shoved to the very outskirts of the bed. As uncomfortable as it was, I have to admit that I kind of enjoyed it.