Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Crave Wednesday: Egg Salad Sandwich

Time for a Christmas recap!  Before we hit a full month after the fact.  As usual, we made the trek up to the inlaws.  It was a long car trip.  But the kids found ways to occupy themselves.

Because Christmas fell on a weekend, we decided to head up the Friday before, which actually meant far less traffic than we usually encounter.  We also decided to stay in a hotel.  Which was a godsend.  Funny to think there's more room in a single room for 4 people and a dog than a whole house!

It was also nice because there was a place downstairs where we could grab breakfast in the morning.

On Christmas Eve, we spent the day with Magski and her family in their new place.  We all remarked at how incredible it was that despite only seeing each other a few times a year, Thatkid and Ace fall right into old patterns as soon as they see each other. 

The new place has a tire swing in the backyard.  And Ace couldn't wait to show it off.  And Thatkid couldn't wait to join him.  They were pretty good sports about having their younger siblings horn in.

Then it was time to say goodbye and head back to change into our church clothes for Christmas mass.

This is what happens when you ask 2 boys to smile nicely for a family picture.

After church, it was over to Grandma's house for Christmas dinner.  Then back to the hotel to get ready for bed.  While I put Thatbaby to sleep, Thatboy and Thatkid read The Night Before Christmas.

We weren't sure if Santa was going to make it to the hotel, so there was lots of joy and excitement to find presents with his tell-tale wrapping on them in the morning.  "SANTA WAS HERE!" 

In addition to bringing the "Christmas blankets" Thatkid had asked him for, Santa left another special treat - Christmas cookie breakfast cereal!

Once it wasn't an obscenely early time, we headed over to TBIL's house for more Christmas festivities.  Or more sitting around for hours until breakfast was ready (hence filling my kids' bellies up with cereal before we arrived.) and then more sitting around until it was finally time to open presents.  The kids kept themselves entertained during the waiting period.

Presents, presents, everywhere for all my boys.  As for me, I got a special gift from my little guys.  My very own ugly Christmas sweater (sweatshirt).

 We waited so long to open presents, that as soon as we were done we had to get dressed and head over to TSIL's sister's house to spend Christmas with the rest of her family.  Her sisters both have little girls, so my boys were definitely outnumbered.  But they enjoyed playing with the girls, watching them do ballet performances, and everyone joined in the "talent show" of singing their favorite Christmas carols.

The day after Christmas was the kind of day I've come to expect from Thatboy's family.  It was supposed to be our day together, the last day we were there before heading home.  We had made plans to meet an hour away, and even though we called when we were on our way, they waited until we had arrived to cancel on us.  So we drove an hour back to their homes, only to find out that TSIL had taken her kids to see a movie she had seen earlier in the week, and TBIL wanted to stay home and play with his new Christmas presents.  So instead of spending time with them, we spent the day with TMIL watching "Secret Life of Pets."  And the next day we were on the road.

We got home very late that night, without enough time to go shopping, and I worked the next day.  Which meant the next night's dinner was going to have to be something that could be thrown together with things we already had in the fridge.  Things like - eggs.  Because everyone always has eggs right?  Rather than the ever-popular breakfast for dinner, egg salad found its way onto the table.  Sandwiched between some hearty slices of sourdough bread.

I think egg salad is one of those classic childhood dishes.  Or maybe just a classic dish from my childhood.  It's one of the first things I ever learned how to make, since it's really just mashing up hard boiled eggs.  But there are so many variations as to what you put in with the egg.  Personally, I go very light on the mayo, and heavy on the mustard.  This version doesn't skimp on the mayo, but it gets cut with reduced fat sour cream.  Which I love.  It adds an extra tang to an already unbeatable dish.  If you've ever had hollandaise sauce, you'll know how lemon brightens up egg, and this is no exception.  Not enough to make it taste lemony, just enough to give it some zing.

Egg Salad Sandwich (From Cooking Light)
1/4 cup mayo
3 Tbsp sliced green onions
3 Tbsp reduced fat sour cream
2 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp grated lemon rind
8 hardboiled eggs
8 slices of bread, toasted
4 Boston lettuce leaves
  1. Combine mayo, onions, sour cream, mustard, and lemon rind in a medium bowl.
  2. Cut 2 of the eggs in half legnthwise and remove the yolks.  Chopp the egg whites and add to the bowl.  
  3. Chop the remaining eggs and add to the bowl, stirring gently to combine.
  4. Top 4 of the toast slices with a lettuce leaf and 1/2 cup of the egg salad.
  5. Top with remaining 4 toast slices.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Crave Wednesday: Caesar Salad Bagels

Hi hi hi hi hi!  We're going to rewind for half a tic so I can fill you in on December.  Which means we'll probably hit January next month.  But that's nice, because I know how much you'll enjoy reading about July in the middle of next December.

The weekend before Christmas we did some of my favorite holiday traditions.  Thatbaby was old enough to help decorate the gingerbread house this year!

Here's the side he did

And here's the side Thatkid did.

And speaking of old enough, now that Thatkid has some theater experience under his belt, we decided he was old enough to go see The Nutcracker!

Since Thatbaby still isn't there yet, we made it a special mommy-son date.  Complete with lunch out at his choice of restaurants....our local bagel store.

Prior to the show I had explained to him that unlike the musicals he was familiar with, there was no singing in this production.  Or talking.  Just dancing.  He told me he wasn't sure how that was going to work.

 But once the show actually started he was very interested.  He loved it!  He even had favorite parts.  And now he recognizes the songs when he hears them.  I'm sure it doesn't hurt that we invited one of his bestest friends to join us.
I love that Thatkid loves the theater.  And I love that he loves bagels.  It makes me feel like he's really part of my family.  My family that sang show tunes and always had bagels in the freezer.   And we've also clearly taught him that bagels are not just for breakfast.  They are equally as fantastic as pizza bases, or as buns for sandwiches.

This bagel sandwich reminds me of one of my favorite things - Caesar salad wraps.  Because like bagels, Caesar also makes for a great sandwich.  Personally, I made this with everything bagels.  Partially because they're my favorite, but also because I felt like the onion and garlic added to the flavor of the sandwich.  The chewy bagel pairs perfectly with the crisp lettuce, cheese, and creamy dressing.  It still feels light, but a little more filling than the salad on it own.

Caesar Salad Bagels (From Cooking Light)
3 Tbsp Caesar dressing
2 bagels, split and toasted
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 thin slices red onion
1 cup torn or shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. Spread dressing evenly on cut sides of bagels.
  2. Sprinkle with pepper.
  3. Arrange half the onions, romaine lettuce,a dn cheese on bottom halves of bagels.
  4. Repeat layers with remaining onion, lettuce, and cheese.  Top with top halves of bagels.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Mommy Mondays: 19 Months

Weight: 27lbs 6oz (+ 19 lbs, 2 oz) (from last month)
Height: 35"(+ 13") (from last month)
Head: 19"(from last month)

Sleep:  I hate to jinx myself and say its getting better.  So let's just do the eye thing you and I, okay? We've only had a couple really bad nights, most night he's just up once.  His naps are still shorter than his brother's are, and he's still up at dawn, so things are far from perfect. 

Eating: Thatbaby has a touch of the anemia.  So we've been trying to up his iron intake.  Hamburgers, dried apricots, and multigrain cheerios.  He still prefers fruit and bread.  He still is loving grapes, but is also very into peas.

Best Moment: This month Thatbaby has decided that I'm not supposed to shower alone.  If he hears the shower start, he comes running and starts taking off his clothes.  That's not the best moment part.  The best moment was when we were in the shower and Thatkid kept asking if we were in the shower (the bathroom is not a private place in our home).  I responded "No one in here but us chickens" and Thatbaby started flapping his arms and saying "bock bock bock."

Monthly Wisdom: I was looking back over the updates I did for Thatkid and at this age I was loving his toddler-hood.  I have mixed feelings about Thatbaby.  He is absolutely adorable, and so much fun, but he's also so much trouble.  I kind of miss the quiet little bundle he once was.  Maybe it's because he's my last that my feelings are exactly the opposite.  Or maybe it's because he's my Oppobaby.

Goals for the Upcoming Month:

Things Thatbaby is doing:
-  More words. He has  more every day.  Last month there was a lot of "Tris tris tree" "dan ta" and "yights." He tries to repeat everything we say.  AND he says his name.  I'm not sure if he knows its his name, but he'll repeat it at the top of his lungs.
-  He started nodding his head!  Thatboy has even heard him say "yeah" on occasion.  Maybe we'll stop getting so many nos?
-  Singing.  Thatbaby looooves to sing.  His current favorite is Jingle Bells, which sounds more like "poo poo bells" when he sings it.  But he loves it and screams out the "Hey" and the "ha ha ha."
- Dancing.  Basically the kid loves music.  He just starts to boogie when he hears music, and at the end of the song he claps.
- He loves shoes.  Which is funny, because Thatkid also loves shoes.
- He is so good at saying "thank you."  Still need to work on the unprompted "please."
- Chores - Thatbaby likes to help unload the dishwasher and walk Thatdog.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Sunday Runday: 2017 Forcast

I've got big plans for this year folks.  Welcome to the year of the 10k!

My running resolution for the year is a sub 1 hour 10k.  And I think it's going to be a bit of a challenge.  Because I'm not running sub-30 5ks right now! 

But this is a great way to get back into running form, and it is an attainable goal.  Especially since my 10k time hovers between 64 and 66 minutes.  And I've got a full year to do it.

So this year expect to see a lot less 5ks as I concentrate on the longer distance. 

As for my planned races this year...there are a lot of question marks, and a lot of blank spaces to slide some 10ks in.  If anyone wants to jump in with feedback or recommendations, I'm all ears!

Star Wars Half Marathon - The Light Side
Hip Hop 10k?
Cardiff Kook 10k
St. Patrick's Day 10k?
Encinitas Half Marathon? 
Race for Autism
Sharon's Ride
Grape Day 5k
Surfing Madonna?
Fit Foodie 10k
Jingle Bell Run

Monday, January 02, 2017

Mommy Mondays: Big Kid Room

Happy New Year!  I'm so excited for 2017.  We're trying to start it off right, including spending the weekend cleaning the entire house. 
Do you know how much fun it is to get a 5 year old to clean his room?  Let me put it this way, at 3pm when he was claiming to be finished, I noticed that the cleanlieness of his room was inversely proportionate to the amount of stuff shoved into his closet. 

After we "recleaned" I realized that although I began sharing his room transformation, I never shared the completed project. 

The "Before" picture.  When Thatkid was still an only child and sleeping in a crib that had been converted into a toddler bed.

Despite the fact he was no longer in diapers, the changing table still had a home atop his dresser.  The windows were hung with mismatched curtains that he picked out when we moved in.

The first step was picking out a new room color.  Which we let Thatkid do.  After all, it was his room.  Whenever we moved to a new house when I was a kid, we always got to pick our own room color.

The color he picked? Behr Curry powder.  Or as we called it, "baby poop."

As much as I'd like to say I'm the cool mom who let her kid design his own room, I'm not and I didn't.  Once he picked the color, I did everything I could to keep the room from looking like an assortment of bodily fluids.  I pushed him toward decorating in blues and whites, which I felt would work well with the paint color he chose.

He got a big boy bed, and big boy dresser, both in white, as we moved his old bed and dresser (and glider) into the nursery.  Blackout shades and floor length curtains were hung in the hopes that he'd sleep later.  Which was unsuccessful.  Although originally I had hoped for some kind of fun rug to brighten the place up a bit, this one seemed to fit the decor and had a almost "road" like feel.  Good for car racing.

The giant bookshelf remained, still filled with books, but the old fabric shelves were traded out for new ones.

We picked up a table and stools for doing art and playing games, although in truth, most of that happens on the dining room table.

It's very much not a baby room anymore.  It also looks a little different than in these pictures.  In the first place, it's not this clean.  But we've also hung a bunch of Thatdad's Batman cells on the walls.  Which I think makes the room more kid-like.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Garden of Light: Thai Red Pork and Pumpkin Curry

This happens to me every year.  December is another busy month.  Since we're out of town for Christmas, we pack so much into every weekend, and the days come faster and faster and my blogging, well, I end up telling you all about December in January.

So stay tuned for Christmas and Chanukah, but for now let's backtrack to earlier this month when we made our annual trek to the Botanical Gardens "Garden of Light."

BH has a couple new words this month, including "Christmas Tree" and "Lights."  Both of which got used a lot that night. 

He definitely got more out of it than last year.  Chasing after his brother.  And Thatkid is old hat at it now, remembering all his favorite spots and sharing them. Like the trains.

Both boys sat enthralled by the singers as we ate our dinner.

And then it was time to visit Santa.  Thatbaby was 0 for 2 on Santa visits, but I was hoping the familiarity would help.  That and having the entire family in the picture.  As usual, he was very interested up until it was our turn.

But once we got up to the big guy, he was all out.  In a series of pictures, this was the best one.  And it's not good!

As a reward for bearing with us through Santa, we brought the boys over to Thatkid's favorite part of the garden - the snow!  Thatbaby tried sledding with Thatboy and was scared out of his ever lovin' mind. 

So he sat and drank hot cocoa while watching his brother sled.

And when Thatkid finished up on the sled, they practiced their snowball technique for a bit.

Unfortunately, this was an exceptionally warm weekend, and so both the sledding snow and the snowballing snow was mushy and melty.  Not ideal conditions.

It definitely got colder as the month went on.  I had several runs that were in 30 degree weather.  Weather like that makes me worry that I'm cold blooded.  I don't mean that in a "heartless" way, but when I go out in the cold, I feel like it takes me days to warm up.  I spend the days shivering through the house no matter how many blankets and sweatshirts I put on.

Sometimes you need to get warmed from the inside out.  Curry is fantastic for that.  Both because it's a nice, warm, dish, and, because the spice level is also good at raising your internal temperature.  I have a week spot with curries that have a coconut base, and this one seems especially seasonally appropriate with pumpkin being one of the star ingredients.  Don't skimp and use coconut milk.  I mean, flavor wise it would be fine, but coconut cream gives a beautiful thickness to the sauce.  This works fine with chicken, but pork has such a great fall apart quality when cooked into a curry.  So if your days (or hearts) are cold, this is a perfect recipe to thaw you out.

Thai Red Pork & Pumpkin Curry
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb pork loin, cut into cubes
2 red chiles, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
12 oz coconut cream
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 lb pumpkin, cut into cubes

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the pork and sear until lightly browned.
  2. Add the chiles and red curry paste and stir fry for 4 minutes.
  3. Pour the coconut cream into the pan and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the chicken broth and pumpkin.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender.  Season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

May your day be warm, bright, and full of love.