It’s a Science

I try my best to pump my child full of really good food.
It’s easy considering she eats two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, and a dessert every day. Pretty sure she’s either the proud owner of a very large tapeworm, or training for a triathlon.

We spent part of the day at the pool this morning.
Last month, we were at the pool for ten hours. I learned that day that my child is immune to sunscreen. She is not immune to freezing cold water, though, unless it’s at home in the shower. Today, she got too much sun, again. I put sunscreen on her every hour. We’re back to wearing swim shirts, and me trying to remind everyone that I do, in fact, love her and spend a lot of time trying to keep her safe and healthy. She was comparing her white belly to her tan/red chest and shoulder. She said, “I wish I was this pale again.” Such a change from the 80s when no one wore sunscreen and everyone was out to be as dark as humanly possible.

To make up for being overexposed today, I coated her in aloe from our plant and I made some of her favorite foods for dinner. Kept up with the green theme. It is my hope that she is healed from the inside out, and that we somehow figure out the perfect recipe for skin protection.

I heated olive oil and butter in a skillet with one whole clove of garlic. I used a vegetable peeler to make zucchini ribbons. I added some kosher salt and removed the garlic clove as I was preparing to plate the noodles. I topped them with shredded mozzarella cheese.

I prepared the steelhead trout in the same skillet I cooked the noodles in; no need to add more butter or oil. She ate every bite of all of this PLUS a bowl of vanilla ice cream. And hey! There’s nothing wrong with being vanilla.

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Keeping It Simple

I am a mostly grateful mother when it comes to mealtime. My daughter eats pretty much constantly. And she enjoys things like raw peppers, sushi, shellfish, Indian food, hummus, and edamame.

That being said, she does exactly what I did as a child. She eats one thing at a time, and will save the strangest things for last; like eggs. She doesn’t like things touching. My dad used to say about me, “When she gets married, we’re going to register her for Chinet.” 

My daughter has recently reverted to her 2-year-old self. She is constantly asking me “Why” this and “Why” that. “What does that mean?” “Who was the first person to hold me?” “Where was the first restaurant I ever ate?” “What was the first song I ever heard?” We’re taking it back to the basics here, this summer. So, after receiving a zucchini from my cousin’s wife’s garden, I thought we would make a very basic dinner. And, wouldn’t you know it? My daughter dumped her roasted butternut squash into her zucchini noodles. (She is always surprising me.)

I wish I had better photos, but that’s what usually comes of nighttime and dinnertime.

I was happy I had zucchini left after all the raw zucchini she stole off the cutting board. Reminds me of me and my poor mother peeling and chopping potatoes. One for the pot, three for me. 

I peeled the zucchini in long strips with a vegetable peeler. I heated 1T of butter and 1T of oil in a skillet with nearly a whole clove of garlic (you could use more, of course). Then I added the zucchini strips, salt, and pepper. I cooked it for about a minute. It was out. of. this. world. My kid begged for more, and was disappointed when I told her we were out.

I also roasted the butternut squash, after peeling and chopping, tossing in oil, with salt and pepper. I have to say, I think butternut squash has become my favorite vegetable. I melts in your mouth, and has such an amazing flavor, which is such a great reward considering all the work you have to get into the darn thing and on to the baking sheet.

This is going to be a recurring theme for the rest of the summer.
Back to basics. Yep.
And I’m loving it.

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Rehab

My child would have pasta every day. When I ask her what she wants for dinner, she says, “PASTA” every. time. 

I find this to be a huge coup, considering we’re gluten free. 

The other night at the grocery, I purchased Barilla gluten free pasta. I did not want to buy it. I had a coupon that for some reason outweighed their views on homosexuality. I can’t overlook it. *sad face* 

Even sadder face that I must tell you, after five years of eating gluten free pasta, Barilla is hands down the best I’ve ever tasted. 

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I cooked the pasta, and with about 2 minutes left, I added broken bits of asparagus. 

In a separate bowl, I whisked together 1 egg and 1/6 cup of Parmesan cheese. 

I tossed the hot pasta in the egg mixture. 

Eh. Mah. Gawd. 

It was Ah. Maze. Zing. 

You could easily cook some bacon and reduce the grease with white wine. 

It is not going to break my child of her pasta habit. And, now…I’ve got one myself. 

Highly recommend. 

Just Another Saturday

I have always cleaned on Saturdays. My ex-H hated it. “You’re wasting the whole day inside.” Didn’t matter if was raining or sunny, he couldn’t deal. I had never really thought of it before, but he was right. I guess when you’re single and working and socializing, not a lot gets done on a Saturday day, so I cleaned and did laundry. It’s a horrible habit. Especially now that I have a child. She certainly does not enjoy sitting around and watching me clean. 

Today was no different. (I’ll learn…eventually.) I did laundry and dishes (always with the dishes). Straightened up a bit here and there. Wrote out the grocery list. Plopped her down in front of Enchanted. 

At the grocery, I restrained myself from most things, and then heard myself saying aloud, “Let the child have some damned hot chocolate.” I should be making it from scratch (as my dear friend of Candy Coated Reality pointed out), but sometimes you just have to let go. Today was one of those times. 

When I got home, I couldn’t get the chips and salsa out of the bag fast enough. Then, I had gluten free Udi’s cinnamon raisin toast with Nutella. It was $1 off, and it’s quite delicious. Then…I had rice with gluten free chicken tenders and sriracha. I found the tenders at Target, and I have to admit…they are quite tasty. 

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I may be the only person with sriracha left in the whole world. There is not expiration date on this thing, so who knows if I’m eating poison or not. Mmm. Delicious poison. 

I previously mentioned my crazy dry eye issue I’ve been having. I got to wondering about the eye liner/mascara/eye shadow I was using. I would look at myself in the mirror and almost see the red veins popping out on my eyeballs. There wasn’t a mention on the packaging of anything derived from gluten, but you never know. 

I went to sephora.com last week and typed “gluten free” into the search bar. A bunch of stuff showed up; a few of them being these: 

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I am liking them very much. I think the eyeliner has made a big difference. The texture is quite nice. The liner goes on very easily, and is easy to wipe off when you make a mistake which I often do. The lipstick is very lovely. I should have taken a picture of it opened at either end. It has two colors, a light-ish pink and a darker rose color. I only use gluten free lip products since you basically eat lipstick. And, I know people say that no one should be affected by topical products that contain gluten. I find that to be a real piece of malarky, considering skin is the largest organ in the body. Hello? Transdermal patches, anyone? 

The mascara is also quite lovely. Except for the fact that I am a freaking idiot and could not figure out how to get the freaking thing open. That gold contraption stays. I was trying to pull it off and ripped off the cap. When I put it back on, it was misaligned and ain’t nobody got time for that. I remove my eye makeup with olive oil, and after smearing that on (and on…and on…and on…) I looked like I’d just gone five rounds with Mike Tyson. It has some staying power. But, it’s gluten free. And it didn’t bother my eyes at all. I’m going to go with it. 

Tomorrow, I will end the evening making a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. I have serious issues. I’d rather have a piece of cake than crappy chocolate. Wait. That’s not true. I’m not picky about chocolate. It’s a sickness, okay. Leave me alone.

 

FAIL

I haven’t had a complete failure in the kitchen in a very long time. Last night…was epic.

The child has been requesting lasagna for a few weeks. We were expecting a huge ice storm by early evening. I stopped at the grocery and picked up sauce and three different cheeses. At the checkout, I saw that someone had neglected to take a significant amount of change from the machine. I tried to find the guy who had been in front of me outside, but the parking lot had eight hundred and fortyleven people in it. I took the money to customer service. My payment for bringing good karma on myself was this disgusting dish:

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I don’t even know what to say about that hideous mess. The sauce tasted like your fork when you would accidentally rub it on your TV dinner.

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Do not buy this. It is foul. But you probably won’t listen to me, and you’ll buy it anyway, and then I’ll say, “Oh, I’m so sorry!” because I am not one of those “Told ya” kind of people, so if you want to waste yo’ monies…feel free. Here’s my shoulder.

Sweet daughter had a hot dog and pickles for dinner, and I grabbed the bag of corn chips and some salsa. Emptied the jar into my favorite salsa bowl. Opened the chips. And they were FREAKING NO SALT ADDED. WHO DOES THE FAHKING SHOPPING AROUND HERE?

Then today, I worked from home and every. single. thing. I ate was some form of chocolate. I made my frittata for breakfast. My daughter was still hungry, so I chopped an apple for her and gave her some caramel. She didn’t finish all the caramel, so I threw it away. Then I got it out of the garbage and put it on some chocolate coconut milk Trader Joe’s ice cream. That was a low point. And it wasn’t great on it, either.

At dinner, I burned my child’s pizza, and the snicker doodles.

So much for karma.

Secret Single Behavior

If I didn’t have a child (cannot even imagine such a thing), I would spend nowhere near the amount of money I spend on groceries every week/month. I cannot believe what two people eat, especially two rather small people. 

I would go back to my weird habits of eating chips and salsa for dinner, or cereal, or…cookies and milk. 

The child wanted pizza tonight, so I did a little experiment for my own dinner. I had two slices of ham that I cut into triangles. I layered two in muffin cups that had been sprayed with non-stick spray. 

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I cracked one egg into each cup. I added chopped red peppers, shredded cheese, and scallions. 

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Next time, I think adding some thyme or crushed red pepper would be good. I cooked them at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes (13 mins., back in for 3 mins., back in for 2 mins.). 

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After they were finished, I sprinkled them with a little kosher salt and black pepper. I ate one. Then two. And the last two snicker doodles. 

THEY’RE GONE! Woohoo! 

So, I Could Have Done That

How many snicker doodles are too many? Say six, because I ate five.

I didn’t start with five. I started with two. And then I ate them. And then I went back for two more and realized how stupid that was, and grabbed a third. They’re so good. They’re also really easy. I always think I’ve forgotten an ingredient. You have to let them cool completely or they will just crumble. (That was completely not on purpose).

I should, instead, be working out. But…no. I did help a friend move today. It was so heartwarming and just what I needed. I was feeling kind of sorry for myself. Next thing I knew, I was in my car driving to the meeting place for a little brigade. It was a completely selfish act to make me feel better, and it worked. There was a lot of love there.

For dinner, I made pork tenderloin. I could have just made a little something for my daughter, and eaten chips and salsa standing up at the counter. But I didn’t. Tenderloin was thawed, and it is always delicious. I brown it in honey and butter on medium heat, then I finish cooking it in a 375 degree oven.

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I remove the tenderloin and add hot water from my kettle to the pan to loosen the browned bits. I reduce the sauce and pour it over the tenderloin. And tonight, I made mashed potatoes. Only two items, but it was plenty.  Image

My daughter said, “I love this honey chicken.” I could have corrected her, but…no.

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I could also throw the rest of these away.