Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What do you eat anyway?

A few people have asked what we eat on a daily basis. I don't eat cholesterol, so that takes out almost all animal products: dairy, egg yolks, meat, cheese, etc. That makes us almost vegan. "Almost" because I still eat egg whites on occasion and don't mind the tiny amount of butterfat or whatever in dark chocolate (if it says "0 mg" of cholesterol, that's good enough for me). So for those that are curious, here is what we ate last week...

Monday: Baked potato and vegan chili
Saute onions in olive oil. Add vegan "hamburger" crumbles (we use Morningstar brand and, amazingly, Scott and Bruce actually really like this stuff) and cook for a few minutes. Add a can of black beans, a little taco seasoning, a can of garbanzo beans, a bit of frozen corn, a little frozen butternut squash and a big can of diced tomatoes. Simmer for a half-hour. Serve with baked potato.

Tuesday: Soba Noodle Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing and Shredded Fingernail
6 oz soba noddles (I used plain Chinese noodles since that was what was in my cupboard at the time)
1/2 c peanut butter (I used a combo of peanut butter and almond butter because I had a jar of almond butter with a few tablespoons left that's been sitting in the fridge for way too long)
1/4 c brown rice vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger (this is where I added the freshly minced fingernail too. you can leave that out in your recipe if you wish)
2 tsp soy sauce (I used some random stir fry sauce in the fridge that had soy sauce as the main ingredient. time to get soy sauce at the store)
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp lime juice (I used lemon juice because that's what was in my fridge)
1 tsp lime juice (again, no limes in the house. so I used orange rind. it's amazing this recipe came out tasting so good since I substituted pretty much everything)
1/2 c cilantro, divided
1 cucumber, sliced and diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced into little slivers
1 large carrot, grated
2 Tbsp chopped peanuts (pulled these out of trail mix, so they had a raisin-y taste)
Cook the noodles up. Put a bunch of stuff in the food processor - from the peanut butter to cilantro. Then toss it with the noodles and everything except the peanuts; sprinkle those, along with some extra cilantro for garnish, on top.

Wednesday: Whatever-Is-In-The-Fridge Pizza
Wednesday was a busy day, so I needed to make something quick. I keep a few pizza crusts in the freezer from times when I make too much bread dough, so I grabbed one and dressed it with whatever was nearly rotting in the fridge: red sauce, mozzarella cheese on one side and soy cheese on the other (the Trader Joe's mozzarella soy cheese is the lesser of the many evils - I miss real cheese), fresh basil, kalamata olives, sliced plum tomatoes, dried oregano, diced red onions and red peppers, and sauteed mushrooms.

Thursday: Fajitas
I had some sauteed mushrooms, red peppers, and onions left over from making pizza the night before. So I added some of that Morningstar fake meat crumble stuff and some taco seasoning. Then I put out a bowl of black beans, a bowl of cheddar cheese, a slice of soy cheese for me, a bowl of lettuce and tomatoes, some salsa, and a sliced avocado along with a stack of warmed tortillas. Another quick, yummy dinner.

Friday: Indian Food that I didn't cook
We went out to eat with some friends last Friday. We ordered "the vegetarian special" that had matter paneer (goat cheese and peas in a spicy tomato sauce), daal (spicy lentils), naan (flatbread), some kind of spicy chickpea-cauliflower stuff, and a few kinds of chutneys. Everything tastes good when I don't have to cook it.

Saturday: Pasta and Veggies
Once again, the sauteed mushrooms/onions/peppers came out, this time presented on a bed of ziti and red sauce.

Sunday: Veggies in Thai Red Curry Soup
3 c cauliflower florets
1 c green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 c cremini mushrooms (I used baby bella since the store ran out of cremini), quartered if large
1 x 14 oz can light coconut milk (I ended up putting in too many veggies and then had to add more coconut milk, so I had one can of light and one can of regular super-fatty-tasty coconut milk)
1-2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste (I put in one teaspoon and ran out, so I used a bunch of red curry sauce to try to make up for it, but the batch came out not as spicy as I'd like)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce (once again, used some random stir fry sauce)
1 red bell pepper, sliced into slivers
30 Thai basil leaves
Blanch cauliflower for 4 minutes in pot of boiling, salted water. Remove with strainer and repeat with green beans. Set aside. Heat oil in skillet and cook mushrooms 5-7 minutes, set aside. In wide saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk, curry paste, sugar, soy sauce, and 1/2 c water. Add cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, bell pepper, and half of basil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining basil.

There it is. A whole week of vegan meals and we didn't even eat tofu. Maybe this week...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thong Shirt

Confession: I have a habit of falling in love with articles of clothing. In high school, I had a pair of pajama pants that was so comfortable that I wore them until they got holes in the knees. I kept wearing them until my brother literally ripped them into shreds so I could no longer wear them (you owe me awesome pants, Dave!). Anyway, I've had a shirt that has been one of my favorites for nearly eight years. It is a shirt I got at a track meet, the Mt. SAC Relays, in 2002. This wasn't just any track meet either; I have good memories from this one...

This track meet always has a full day of distance races including several heats of the 10k. I ran in one of the last heats of the 10k for the day. The meet was running behind schedule, so I didn't end up running until about 10 p.m. I ran it with my teammate/roommate/friend Mooner, and we ran within a few seconds of each other the whole time (it's always good to have a friend around for 25 laps). We ran a good race in 36 minutes, which was our best for the year. We hadn't eaten dinner and we were starving by then, so we ran to an In 'N' Out that was across from our hotel. Each of us ordered a burger and a chocolate shake. We ate it as we walked back to our hotel. By the time we got to our hotel lobby, we'd eaten it all. And we were still hungry. So Mooner and I turned around and made a second trip to In 'N' Out and ordered the same thing (this was in the days before vegetarianism, of course). And here is my awesome shirt that reminds me of a fast 10k, my buddy Mooner, the smell of a rubberized track, and In 'N' Out burgers. The shirt now has a few holes in the armpit, a gaping hole on the upper back, a few holes on the front, etc. Scott calls it the "thong shirt" because he says it's been reduced to a piece of fabric held together by a few pieces of string. He threatens to throw it out pretty much whenever he sees it (but then again, I've threatened to throw out his nasty glasses).

What do you think? Is this shirt ready for retirement or simply a memory-filled running shirt with extra air vents?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Phoebe is moving up in the world. Upright, anyway. She likes hanging out in this fancy contraption (modeled by Bruce when he was 9 months old). Good thing she's cute: she is getting up three times a night lately. Scott and I feel like zombies pretty much every day.

Phoebe decided a few weeks ago that she prefers drinking out of bottles instead of breastfeeding. This came at an unfortunate time since a week before the beginning of her rejection phase, I got fed up enough to quit pumping altogether - a sort of breastpump rejection. We had about one glorious week of normalcy before she started turning her head away from me and shrieking when it was time to eat - breast rejection. I succeeded at tricking her into breastfeeding for a few weeks - I had to feed her when she was waking up but not fully awake. But then she got too smart for even that. Now she has a tantrum if I even fiddle with my shirt.

I'll admit that I am a total believer in the "breast is best" theory. Even the can of formula that we have says "Breastmilk is recommended" on the side! However, I was losing my marbles pumping for three hours a day and telling Bruce I couldn't do this or that with him because I was tethered to a pump that I didn't even like. So formula it is.

I whined to Scott about my breastmilk bias and he informed me that Phoebe will only lose three IQ points from being formula-fed. Three points too many, I lamented. Then he said he was kidding and cited a bunch of inconclusive studies.

Breast rejection is very common in preemies since they are bottle-fed from birth, but I never had this problem with Bruce: he always drank whatever came to his mouth in whatever method it came. Bruce was a rare specimen in many ways though. Bruce stole the camera for a few minutes and snapped some pictures. This is the only one that came out focused enough to put on the blog. Since this whole post is about breastfeeding, I'm not going to put any scandalous photos up to illustrate the text. I'll use these random photos instead. :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Great-Grandma's House/Restaurant

We visited my grandma and I brought my camera to snap a few pictures of things around her house that remind me of her. The picture above shows a thick pile of trashy magazines.
My grandma used to cook for a restaurant. She did catering too. She has not one kitchen at home, but two. And they are always stocked with cookies and treats. When we arrived, she had a pot of potato soup on the stove, a few sheets of peanut butter cookies laying around, a batch of rolls on the counter, and peppermint oreo cheesecake and some kind of coconut-pudding cake in the fridge.

Sweet tooth heaven!This is a shelf in her second kitchen. Notice the stacks of baking sheets and round cake pans.
There are pictures all over the house; these ones are of my grandpa, who dressed up like Santa Claus every Christmas until he died.
My grandma doesn't like having her picture taken. If I asked her to pose, she'd scowl at me and then I'd feel like a rotten granddaughter. So here's the closest I got to a picture of grandma. Isn't she a rock star?

We Love You, Christian

Christian used to live one mile from us in Boston, but he moved and now he lives one hour away from my parents' house. He came to the Grandparent Resort to hang out with Bruce for a glorious reunion. This picture looks a little weird, but it's Bruce telling Christian a secret.
The boys had lunch with Ruby, who is fashionably dressed in a pink tutu.
They took the Jeep for a spin, of course, and spent several hours playing like old times.

Grandma and Grandpa's

We spent a few days with four of my siblings who live in a cluster two hours south of where my parents live. This little Transformers game kept Bruce busy on the drive and on the airplane. Bruce has never even seen Transformers, but likes this thing (Optimus Prime's head?!) because it looks like a robot, has a manly voice, and talks about strange things like "autobots" and "decepticons." I guess I like it too; it keeps Bruce occupied on long trips.
Once we got to my parents' place, we put the game down and played outside all day every day. The weather was gorgeous the whole time we were there. Bruce fed the ducks...
...rode on the Jeep with Cousin Jared...
...climbed the apple tree with Ruby...
I enjoyed letting Bruce run around without holding his hand or worrying about him running into a street. Bruce is a total city kid in some ways - he knows how to get around on the subway, for example - but he appreciates open spaces too. I have to put this picture on the blog: I've probably seen my dad's calves less than a dozen times in my life. He always wears pants and, until a few months ago, never really exercised. Now that all the kids are out of the house, my parents got a treadmill and elliptical to put in the basement. They work out every day now and are in the best shape they've been in for years.
When I'm home, I always have a list of a bunch of people that I want to see. I usually get around to about half of them. This time I got to see one of my high school cross country teammates, my best friend in high school, and world traveling companion (we went to the Galapagos Islands one summer).

Cousin Time

Bruce played dress-up with his cousins almost every day. His favorite costume was a Mardi Gras mask, a pirate's hook, and a pink princess crown. Lovely.
Eliza skipped a day of kindergarten to hang out with us. We skipped a week of preschool to be with her. Ruby is either dressed to the nines or not at all. On this day, she wore a princess dress and pink cowboy boots. We went to lunch with my sisters and a bunch of kids. Margaret came along, but the kids mauled her because she's awesome like that. This picture is of her saying, "Save me!" We went to an indoor play space and let the little ones run wild.They got lots of energy out, but they were so tired that night. If I can ever get Blogger videos to work again, I'll upload an awesome video I have of all my sister's kids and Bruce crying at bedtime. It's a good one, I promise.Bruce thinks Janis' house is a magical place. They have a hairless cat named Mulan, whimsical murals on the walls, ceramic sculptures everywhere, and buckets and buckets of Legos.

Spring Break!

This week was Scott's spring break from school, so he went west to have a man-trip with his brother, Mark. They were planning on going to British Columbia, but decided at the last minute to go to Utah because of some fresh powder on the slopes and a few sisters they could see. Perhaps we'll hear more about Scott's trip later, but these next few posts are about my spring break trip. While Scott went skiing, the kids and I flew to Ohio for a week to visit family.

Phoebe got plenty of attention.And don't worry; Bruce got plenty of attention too. Here he is with his fellow Bat-Cousin.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Up Close

I need to dig out vintage Bruce photos, but Phoebe looks a lot like Bruce did. Just a little more feminine. Scott says she gets cuter every day. I agree. She also gets more stubborn every day too.
Bruce and I usually have lengthy conversations about what happened at preschool on our commute home. This week after telling me what he ate for snack, who he played with, what books they read, etc., he said, "I'm done."

"Done with what?" I asked.

"I'm done with this discussion."

I think he may be outgrowing preschool.

Museum Hopping

Now that Phoebe is a little older, we're venturing out to museums more often. This week we headed to the Children's Museum.

"Why does Bruce have all the fun?" yawn, yawn.

Bruce's Magical Life

Bruce is keeping Phoebe entertained. Almost every day he dances for her......but it's not every day that he dances in his Mr. Incredibles costume.
Here is a picture since I never appear on this blog. Yes, I exist.
Here's The Man at the park looking like a stalker.
And here he is in his play tent. He leads a good life.