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Archive for June, 2007

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Like Crack for Babies

So we tried a few new things today. I got this neat little teether thing. It’s a mesh bag that locks onto a little handle and you can put stuff in it that is delicious but that would otherwise present a choking hazard if it weren’t in the mesh bag. Enter frozen peach slices. Chase nibbled that peach slice like a madwoman. She kept looking at me like… oh, this if good! Later we tried a teething biscuit. Chase loved it, unfortunately neurotic mommy is not yet ready for teething biscuits. I could actually feel my anxiety level rising with every passing nibble of cookie. Oh, and we are well in our way to high fiving! We still need a little more practice but we are definitely getting there!

Last week I picked up some summer squash at the farmers market. Of course, since the week flew by I didn’t get to use it. Because I will not be bested by zukes I whipped up a little veg lasagne for dinner. I used a Marcella Hazan recipe as a guide but really sorta did my own thing. Looks, like I’m starting a trend here. If only I had time to write down the stuff I try as recipes. It was really good. Between the cheeses and the bechamel sauce I’m going to have to say it’d probably not the healthiest of dishes aside from the no meat thing. I guess if you look at it like you would have eaten the same serving full of red meat instead of veg then I guess that does represent some kind of savings health-wise. Yes, let’s look at it like that.

Ok, so here’s what I did:

First saute half a small onion in 5 tablespoons of butter. Once the onion has softened stir in five tablespoons of flour and cook briefly, stirring to form the base of a roux. Slowly whisk in 3 cups of milk and stir over medium heat until thickened. Season with salt and pepper, turn off heat and stir in about a cup of grated parm. Set Aside.

Heat a few tablespoons of evoo in a pan. Meanwhile chop a clove of garlic and 4 small to medium zukes. Throw the garlic in the pan and cook for a minute until you can smell the garlic before adding the squash. Cook the zukes over medium high until all the liquid they release has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile soak a package of no boil noodles in a bowl of boiling water. When the zukes are softened and slightly browned take them off the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Repeat the same process in the same pan, adding a little evoo, with a package of sliced mushrooms. Once the mushrooms have cooked down and the pan add a splash of white wine, broth, or water to deglaze the pan. Continue to cook the mushrooms until you have cooked all the liquid out. Add the mushrooms to the bowl of zukes.

Drain the noodles.

Pour all but a cup and half of the bechamel sauce over the veg and combine gently. Butter the bottom of a 9×13 dish. Layer in enough noodles to cover the bottom and top with a third of the veg mixture. Dab on 1/3 of a 10.5 oz log of goat cheese. Repeat the layers until all the veg is used up ending with a dry noodle top layer. Pour the reserved bechamel over the top of the lasagne. Sprinkle on two tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley and another handful of grated parm.

Bake uncovered at 375 until your baby falls asleep… I don’t know like maybe 30 minutes until the cheese is brown and the sauce bubbles around the edges. Let the lasagne rest while you prep a salad or what have you. Serve topped with a chiffonade of basil. Enjoy! Ok, so it’s annoying not to have an ingredient list I suppose. You will need:

  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • ” ” flour
  • 1/2 a small onion
  • 3 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 c grated parm (use 3/4 for the sauce and 1/4 for the topping it really doesn’t matter)
  • 4 small to medium zucchinis or mixed summer squash
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 package mushrooms (I used creminis)
  • 1/4 cup white wine (I used dry vermouth) or chicken stock
  • 1 package no boil lasagne noodles (I like Barilla)
  • 10.5 oz log of goat cheese (I used Ile de France)
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsely
  • a few basil leaves to sprinkle over the top before serving.
  • salt and pepper of course!

In other news, still NOT finished painting. Ben installed some extra outlets in the room that he SWORE we needed. Of course that simple project turned into… hey babe, I have to take the baseboard off. It’s all done now though and we have two more outlets so I guess it wasn’t all bad. I went by pier one today to pick up something I saw online on sale but of course they were like huh? and I hadn’t had the presence of mind to note that product name so no dice. I’ll have to try the one in Towson armed with all the information a sales associate should have you know, so I can help them find the product. Jerks! I have to wait a whole nother day just to get my wall hanging. I didn’t chance it. Chase was sleeping and I didn’t want to scour the store knowing she’d be up at any minute looking for boob.

I guess that’s about it. I’m trying to get things around my desk a little organized since I brought home all the stuff from my desk at work. Most importantly, I need to make a list of ongoing projects and deadlines so that I don’t get blindsided in the next two weeks. I’ve been saying I would do that for the last two weeks at least but no such luck. I’m going to really buckle down now though, I swear! Well, I’ll buckle down after cookie time. Yeah, that’s it after cookie time.

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Friday, June 29th, 2007

The Little Lady That Cried Wolf

I know I’ve made this claim a hundred times.. but today was the longest most stressful day ever! I almost totally lost it at work. We’re moving the office and this is our last day in there so stuff really had to get done. Thankfully it’s all done. Now I have an equal amount of work to do at home. On a positive note our furniture came today! I am so very very pleased with it. It’s awesome. We are mostly done with the painting. I have to do some more trim work tomorrow but nothing big. Maybe another hour or two. I have a few preliminary pictures but hopefully I can get something better when it’s all together.

We went through all our clothes in preparation for the switch and weeded out four bags of stuff we didn’t want anymore. In spite of all that weeding I still inexplicably have a whole crapload of laundry to do. Well off to put on a load of laundry and to his the sack. There’s plenty more work to be done manana.

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Friday, June 29th, 2007

Woo Hoo Furniture!

I only have a few minutes to nip in and post while Ben is in the shower.  Then I have to hit the sack because I have to drive in tomorrow.  On top of everything that’s going on at work and school our furniture is coming tomorrow so we decided we needed to paint at least the relevant walls beforehand.  Our mattress is also coming tomorrow.  I’m so proud of myself for picking it in under an hour.  It’s amazing what you can do and how fast you can do it while toting a 6 month old.  I think I got a good deal if I do say so myself.  Although I didn’t shop around as much as the old me would have.  Ok, I didn’t shop around at all.  BUT in my defense mattress giant had the quickest delivery and a good sale price on what appears to be a sturdy mattress.  Happily they claim to be the only ones that carry this brand in the US and as far as I can tell that’s true so I don’t really have to do any direct comparison shopping.  I can’t wait til it gets here the description promises that my hard earned case has bought me “European luxury feel.”  As if I would know that if it slapped me in the face.  

Tomorrow I’ll post pics of the new stuff!  I even have the sheets all ready.  Good thing it’s coming on a Friday so I don’t have to get out of bed in the morning.

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Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

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Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Murphy Rides Again

My grandparents gave me Murphy when I was little, really little.  I can’t remember a time before Murphy.  He’s been with my through thick and thin.  He’s had a few different outfits fashioned by me over the years but the one pictured here is the original.  I have officially passed the torch.  I was sort of back and forth about whether to pass him on or to just keep him in a box somewhere but that just didn’t seem fair.  I say he has many years of comfort left in his fuzzy little body.

The afghan was a gift from out old lady neighbor at our last place.  She has since moved away too but mailed it to us when she heard we’d had a baby.  Chase loves to snuggle it.  My goal is to have it printed and to send it on to her.  Chase is a lucky baby, she has no shortage of cozy afghans to choose from.

We got a call today saying that they want to deliver our furniture on FRIDAY.  I haven’t even started shopping for a mattress yet let alone bought one.  Nor have we even taped the room for painting.  4 to 6 weeks they said… this is awesome and sucks at the same time!  I guess I’ll try to find a mattress tonight.  They only stock queens in the store there so that won’t work.  If I order from Costco online the mattress will probably take  months to arrive while the bed came right away.  I’m thinking I should just go do mattress discounters or something… maybe the bedding barn :)

I made the blueberry pancakes tonight and the bacon that we got from ole pioneer kitchens.  Dang!  That’s all I can say.  That was some good bacon.  I did it in the oven so it stayed flat and got all crispy.  I ate three pieces but I could have eaten three more.  I restrained myself because I have coffee ice cream for later.  If I was more adventurous I’d do some iron chef moves and make myself some bacon ice cream.

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Monday, June 25th, 2007

Damsel in Stress

You know, like a play on words. Damsel is distress.. ah well I thought it was funny when Ben said it this morning. Actually, I’m feeling pretty good and on top of things today. So, I marked up my whole magazine with recipes to try. Everything looks so good. I pushed blueberry pancakes back until tomorrow and made Stir-Fried Shrimp with Spinach and Peanut Noodles for tonight. It was good. I’ve never made Asian peanut noodles that I like at home but these were good and easy to boot. I highly recommend this new release to anyone with a Costco membership, it’s awesome. They weren’t kidding when they said quick and delicious.

There’s not a whole lot else to report. I got a shipping confirmation on our stuff but have no idea what that means because they don’t provide any additional shipping info beyond that. I don’t suppose that it will just show up here one day so I’ll wait for the call. Meanwhile I’ve started to scope out sales and clearance stuff for some big bad sheets.

I have class tomorrow so I should hit the sack, plus I have an episode of the closer to watch :) but not before I tell you about this interesting gem from today. Remember way back when I posted that Seinfeld clip about guys who honk at women from their cars? So I’m walking today with Chase down U street and (I’ll spare you the part where the homeless dude with no teeth tried to chat me up… those of you who have ever been to U street know what I’m talking about) I’m crossing by the 7-11 and this guy smiles from his suv leans out and says nice baby. First of all… “nice baby?” and secondly even though it didn’t sound all the suspicious when he said it… I can’t give him the benefit of the doubt on that one and have to call it the MOST pitiful attempt at attracting attention that I have ever seen. A woman with a baby for crying out loud!

That’s it! Goodnight!

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Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Just Like the Infomercial

We did a lot today. Ran errands that didn’t get taken care of yesterday, hit the farmer’s market, did a little cleaning… you get the picture. First stop was the farmer’s market. It’s like a smörgåsbord of babies. The place is just crawling with them you wouldn’t believe it. Anyway, we picked up a couple of things. For dinner tomorrow: breakfast! Blueberry pancakes and bacon.. both made locally. I can hardly wait I can already taste it. I would have made it tonight but it didn’t seem right for Sunday dinner but I can’t get into that yet I’ll come back to it later. I bought the last of the plants I need to finish the planter in front and maybe next week we’ll do some hanging baskets for the porch. Some of our neighbors have them up and they look nice.

From the market we were off to Costco. Ben finally broke down and bought some new stuff. Thankfully! We knew the tab was going to be bad so we kinda just bought everything we had been needing and passing up on earlier visits. Hopefully getting it done in one fell swoop will keep the slow leak at bay for a little while at least. So he got some clothes and we got the foodsaver we’ve been coveting forever. You can store a steak in the freezer for 3 years! Why would you want to do that? I dunno, I told you my theory about me, my grandmother, hoarding, and the war right? I got a bunch of my pictures printed. I wasn’t convinced that the stuff I did in photoshop would look as good printed as it does on the screen but it totally does. They look just like normal pictures I’m so happy with the way they turned out. I got a picture of Chase blown up to 12×18 and it’s pretty cool… now to find frames but more importantly, get the up on the walls. Did you know that Costco seels discount magazines? Yeah they do! Right now they have a package deal of Fine Cooking magazine (my fav.) You get an their current compilation of Quick and Delicious plus a back issue for 7 bucks. I snagged it and tried a recipe tonight. It’s already proven itself to have been a worthy investment.

At home, we cleaned up the kitchen! I can hardly believe it. I mean a deep cleaning.. spring cleaning if you will. Ben even resealed the granite. Of course we played with our new toy and took some pics. I planted the stuff we bought, made dinner, wrestled my baby to sleep and now I’m looking for the drivers’ license that’s lost in here somewhere. I haven’t seen it for two weeks. I thought it would resurface but now I’m starting to worry. I couldn’t buy beer last time I went for it! Unacceptable but awesome that even toting the babe i still get carded.

So for dinner I tried a recipe for Broiled Tomatoes with Feta and Herbed Couscous and grilled summer squash to accompany some marinated grilled flank steak. I didn’t use a recipe for the steak just threw together a marinade of soy sauce and fresh ginger, a little rice wine vinegar, garlic salt (cause it was going on the ‘cue) salt, pepper, and a smidge of honey. The grilled squash was good but the tomatoes OH, the tomatoes. I was almost as happy biting into them as I was of taking that first delicious sip of iced coffee this morning that I had to wait forever for (I was so weak by the time we got to the drive thru :) ). They were so dead easy I just never would have thought to try this. Of course I can’t find the recipe already posted anywhere online but no matter you don’t even need one. You just cut out the little core and slice the tomato in half horizontally. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. This is the hardest part: finely chop a clove of garlic and a small amount of fresh herbs. I used the leaves from one sprig of oregano. Top each half with the garlic and herbs and then drop on some crumbled feta. I had goat cheese so I smooshed on a pat of that. Then you just throw it on the grill til it’s heated through and the cheese has melted. I have never tasted anything like it. Maybe it’s because we’re so lucky as to be in this awesome mid-atlantic climate and already have tomatoes in season but seriously this is going to be a staple in this house from here on out. Anything that tastes this good and doesn’t require a recipe goes right into rotation.

Geez, this is getting long! Don’t worry only a few more things. See, this is what happens when I don’t post for a day… verbal diarrhea. Anyway, last night I did fish tacos. I cut the tilapia filets into strips, seasoned them up a little tex mex style with cumin and chili powder and threw em under the broiler. While they cooked I whipped up some quick guac and toasted the corn tortillas on the stove. To assemble I just layered in the fish with some fresh baby spinach leaves (still sneaking in the veg!) topped with the guac and a sprinkle of feta. They were really good. Ben went on about how they were delicious (cause he’s awesome) and how do I come up with ideas for dinner. I told him the truth. He was busy working last night and it was particularly hard to get Chase down and I was tired and it was late… and on and on and on. Decisions about dinner come from how set against ordering out I am, how tired I am, how little time I have to invest in cooking, and lastly, what’s available. We had gone out to eat the night before and even though I was ass tired I had already defrosted the fish… voila! Fish tacos are born. Broiling takes no time and neither does heating tortillas. I just didn’t want to invest time in cooking rice or the like. This was a perfect less than 30 minute meal and you couldn’t tell at all.

So about the sleeping. We’re entering a new sleep phase apparently. Nursing doesn’t cut it anymore. So we’re learning how to sleep from scratch that is Chase is learning how to do what we do everyday by getting in bed and lying there. We’re not doing anything fancy no sleep training or anything. I nurse her, put her down, she lies there playing, eventually she cries, we comfort her, she fights sleep, eventually one of us picks her up, she settles down, we put her back down awake, she snuggled in and sucks her paci and eventually drifts off. This is how it’s gone for the last couple of days. I’m not to worried about it. I don’t have the time or energy to freak out and read up on it so I’m just going to play it by ear. I figure so long as she’s going down still awake I don’t feel so bad abut picking her up. The only thing I’m dead set against is spending hours up there rocking and comforting her. A) I know she doesn’t nee it B) I’m too frickin tired! I need someone to rock me for hours! On a positive note, the 4am feeding it out! She’s sleeping straight through til almost 7 and then again with us until almost 9 so we are VERY happy.

Alright, that’s it. Now to get my pictures uploaded, finish my reading, and off to bed!

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Friday, June 22nd, 2007

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Ain’t that the truth! The weather today was fabulous. I managed to get my begonias in… in less than a week since I bought them AND before they died! I can hardly believe it myself. Now, to keep them watered. I bought one of those coiled hoses so it’s easier to take care of in the front of the house. Let’s see what else… Chase got some new toys today and we ran some other errands. I bought her a little piano and she smiles and plays and rocks to the side like Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder. It’s so cute. I took her to Petsmart to look at the fish and she seemed to really like that but no more pets are coming in here.

I did a little more playing with photoshop and am having a good time futzing around with my photos. I uploaded some and will finally get some prints tomorrow. I took some pictures tonight. We had dinner with Dave, Angie, and Elsa at Rocky Run. It was great and I think that they might be under new management because the waitstaff was unusually attentive. I had a delicious Krabby Patty. It was so nice that we sat out on the sidewalk and it was great to see all the other families and kiddoes out there. Everyone was so happy and friendly that little St. Paul street corridor is really picking up steam. If they put the trolley in like they’re talking about it will be pretty cool. Our sitter passed by us while we were out so we went by Coldstone to visit her and to get a cone.

More tomorrow here are some pics for now.

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Thursday, June 21st, 2007

More Fun With Photoshop

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Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Thanks, I Like to Play

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