Monday, June 29, 2009

Memo Monday

Recipe: Cheese Crackers

I found these on the blog of a fellow nestie - Toddler Treats and More - and tried them out yesterday.

Jude's Easy Peasy Cheesy Puffs

1/4 c old fashioned rolled oats (If you don't have oats, use 1/2 c flour)
1/4 c flour
2 tbsp cold butter, chopped
4 oz shredded cheese (I used cheddar this time, but any hard variety should do)
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp water

Grind the oats in the food processor. Add the flour, butter, cheese, and salt to the work bowl and pulse until combined into a course mixture. Slowly pour in the water until the mixture starts to come together (I didn't need all 2 tablespoons). At this stage you should be able to press it into a ball with your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper and chill for 20 or so minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Roll dough into 1/8 -1/4 inch thickness. If you don't have a non-stick baking sheet it would probably be a good idea to line it with parchment paper.

Cut the dough into 1" squares using a pizza cutter or dough scraper, making sure to go all the way through (original recipe also mentions tiny cookie cutters, but I have to agree 100% with her take that would be a PITA to transfer and re-roll scraps). I separated my squares so they weren't touching, but you should be able to bake them in one big piece and then break them apart later. Transfer the dough onto the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

They were very simple to make and they were really good! They actually tasted just like Cheez-Its. If I had poked a hole in the middle of each piece they would have been pretty much dead on. I want to try another batch this week with Parmesan instead of cheddar.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I'm getting all geared up for tomorrow's concert and just realized that I never blogged about the first one! It was everything I hoped it would be. Granted, I set some pretty low expectations for this one, but still....

First of all let me start by saying that I can't believe it's been almost 20 years since I saw them at the Meadowlands. I remember little bits and pieces about the whole event - it was my first concert without an adult. I was going with my supercool teenage babysitter/neighbor Jeanette and her friends. I selected my outfit carefully - my black NKOTB shirt with black leggings, high tops, and green visor perched on top of my permed hair. If only I had a picture....

Oh wait! I do!

I also had an NKOTB-themed 9th birthday party with my old BFF Jaclyn. (I wonder what she's doing these days? Maybe I should look her up on Facebook)

This was our cake:

Anyway. So before the show we went to check out the bar next to the arena. OMFG I don't think I've ever seen that many girls packed into one place. It was like all of the girls who were BFFs in elementary school who grew up to hate each other in high school came back together for one magical night when everyone lived in peace and harmony. Seriously, for not one single cat fight to break out in a place with that many women in such close quarters is pretty impressive.

Wouldn't be an NKOTB show without the cheesy ballad with them all decked out in white.

I wonder how much that guy with the guitar hates his life?

The downside of the random assortment of women in the crowd? This lady, sitting behind me.

All in all, it was a pretty badass evening. It was such a novelty to be at a New Kids concert, but aside from that, Donnie is still a hottie and those boys can put on a show!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hippie or Not?

So over the weekend it was brought to my attention that some people think I'm "hippie-ish." I was shocked to hear this piece of information. Not because I think hippies are bad, on the contrary I admire the individuals who were part of that subculture - their respect for individual rights and their unwillingness to blindly follow authority. Apparently the idea of "me-as-hippie" was inspired by a few characteristics of my life. Perhaps the better term would be "Crunchy," rather than "Hippie."

The Pro-Hippie/Crunchy List
1. Eating habits (Natural/local/organic/homemade)
2. Breastfeeding
3. Eco-Friendly/Sustainable Living
4. Baby-Food Making
5. Cloth Diapering
6. Craigslist/Thrift Store Shopping

I'm not saying that I'm really good at everything in that list. I sneak a soda here and there during long and boring days at work, I don't think Dunkin is organic OR natural, I can't bring myself to use cloth toilet paper, and we use disposable wipes on the really awful diapers. I also don't think these behaviors need to be limited to the "crunchy" set. If we all made an effort to live a little more sustainably we could have a huge impact on our environment. Breastmilk is the most natural and beneficial food you can give an infant, so to me that was a no-brainer.

I also like to think that I'm not pushy when it comes to these things. If I'm out to dinner at someone else's house, am I going to refuse to eat the meal that's been prepared if the ingredient list includes processed cheese food, high fructose corn syrup, and conventional veggies? No, I won't. Do I judge moms who don't breastfeed? That's a trickier one, because I'll admit that I do believe that everyone should at least consider it, and that the "it's gross" excuse is just flat out wrong. If you've tried it and you either can't do it or decide that it's just not for you, then that's your decision and I won't say a thing either way.

I do like to discuss politics, lean more liberal than most, and if you handed me tickets to Bonnaroo I wouldn't turn them down, but let's think this through realistically, shall we?

The Not Hippie/Crunchy List
1. The car in my garage
2. Satellite TV
3. Occupation
4. Skill set
5. Daily Life

I like deodorant, and I don't mean the natural crystal deodorant. Give me the aluminum-filled antiperspirant deodorant any day! I work in market research, which is probably one of the most anti-crunchy/sustainable occupations out there. Do I question my decision to sell my soul regularly? Yes, but I'm still there, which means that a paycheck can buy me away from my principles.

In summary, when's the last time you saw a HDTV-watching, Real Housewives-obsessed, KitchenAid mixer-loving, sports-car driving Hippie?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Suck

I fell down the stairs tonight while carrying Baby C. It was only the last two steps, my foot just slipped right out from under me. It all happened in slow motion, I tried to keep him up in the air but I just couldn't keep him upright enough to stop him from hitting the ground and he banged his head on the floor. I hit my back on the edge of the step so I have a nice bruise and he has a goose egg.

After the drama he ate dinner, we played on the floor, went for a walk, and he had his bath. He seemed to be ok, but I decided to be "that mom" and called the on-call pediatrician. They said to watch for vomiting and lethargy, and if he presents with either of those symptoms I need to call back. Unfortunately, he went to sleep at bedtime so I can't really watch for lethargy, but he hasn't vomited at all and he seems like his normal self. It looks like I'll be enjoying a sleepless night of worrying and checking.

I'm so freaking lucky, these things always seem to happen when C is out of town. Fevers, ear infections, vaccinations, the whole gamut. I feel like such an awful mom :(

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sweet Potato Rice Pancakes

(From the Wholesome Baby Food website)

Sweet Potato Rice Pancakes

1 cup basmati rice (not pre-cooked)
1 ½ pounds of Sweet Potato, about 2 cups pureed (use orange not white ones!)
¾ cup frozen baby peas
¾ cup zucchini
⅓ cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove
1 egg or 2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper (optional)
olive oil

Cook the rice in a large saucepan of water according to directions.

Chop & steam or boil the sweet potato until tender, drain well. Mash until almost smooth. Cut the zucchini into small dices - add zucchini and all other ingredients to mashed sweet potato and mix well, season with pepper if desired.

Divide the mixture into equal portions and cook in lightly oiled frying pan for approx. 3 minutes each side, until golden. Drain on paper towel. Great warm or cold!

I have a bag of these in my freezer right now - I made them about 3 inches in diameter, so he gets one pancake for lunch or dinner and fruit or veggies on the side.

Applesauce Cereal Snacks

(From a random Google search that brought me to Qwerty Kitchen)

Applesauce Cereal Snacks


2 cups cereal (Cheerios, corn flakes, Chex, Kix, etc)
1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup applesauce


Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Lightly grease pan (9x9 for bars, pressed / jelly roll for snacks, loosely spread). Bake at 350 20-30 minutes until crisp and golden--watch the snacks, they cook faster. Cut or crumble, store in an air tight container.

I haven't tried freezing these but I can't imagine it would work out very well. I made them in "snack form" because I thought tiny pieces would be easier for Baby C to handle. I also made sure that the dried fruit I used was cut up small enough that it wouldn't be a choking hazard. Like the cheese logs, these also make a good adult snack. I think they'll be a staple in our house for years to come.

Cheese Logs

(From the Wholesome Baby Food website)

Cheese Logs

½ cup all purpose flour (could use wheat flour but may be gummy)
¼ cup of butter (I use ¼ cup applesauce instead)
½ cup of shredded Cheddar
1 egg (or 2 egg yolks)
pepper & garlic powder, to taste (optional)

Mix the butter (applesauce) and flour, then add the cheese & egg (spices are optional). Mix until a rough dough forms (will be very wet). Roll dough into thin logs and & bake for about 10 mins (longer for thicker segments) @ 375 F. If you notice browning on the bottoms, turn the logs over 1/2 way through the cooking time.

I could eat these myself, they're a very tasty snack. I do wish they were called something other than "cheese logs," though. These freeze well.

Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Nuggets

(From the Wholesome Baby Food website)

Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Nuggets

1 16-oz Package frozen broccoli, cooked, drained, and chopped
1 cup Seasoned bread crumbs
1 ½ cups Shredded cheddar cheese
3 Large eggs or 5 egg yolks (can substitute fruit or veggie puree)

Pre-Heat oven to 375. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Add seasonings if desired - garlic powder, pepper, extra basil & oregano for example.

Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes and place on baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes. (I shape the nuggets with two teaspoons as though I'm making cannelles. For lunch he will eat 2-3 teaspoon-sized nuggets with some veggies on the side.)

I usually make only half a batch - even half the recipe makes a ton of nuggets! These freeze well.

Baby Finger Food Recipes

A friend of mine asked for my collection of baby snack/finger food recipes, so I decided I'll post them on the blog as I try them out. Eventually I'll get some pictures of them, too, so you can see what they look like.

I'll cite the source where I'm able, but a lot of these have been copied from random websites over the past few months. My general routine is to pick one Sunday each month to make a few different foods, then I freeze them and pull them out as needed. This lets me offer Baby C a variety of foods throughout the week without a lot of work. It also lets me control the ingredients going into his meals.

Friday, June 5, 2009

30 Day Shred Day 1

So I had every intention of starting The Shred last night, but my good buddy Stephanie came over for dinner and conversation. We ended up talking on the couch until past 9:30, by which time I'm usually in bed. After she left I still had to make bottles, lunches, and milk, and by the time that was all wrapped up it was pushing 10:30, so I decided I'd get up at 4:00 and do it in the morning. C was positive I'd change my mind when the alarm went off. I almost did, but forced myself out of bed.

Three main thoughts of the day:

1. I started out on Level 1, thinking I could just ease back into exercising. Not so much. It's either not as beginner as I thought it would be or I'm more out of shape than I thought I was. Probably a little of both. Can I tell you how much I hate push-ups? My arms feel like jello.

2. I need to get a better sports bra, but since I only have 18 days left as a dairy cow I'm not going to buy one right now. I guess that means modified jumping jacks with my arms crossed over my chest for a while. Holy cow I hope these things shrink soon.

3. This is probably an unpopular opinion, based on the huge numbers of people I see extolling her virtues, but I don't really like Jillian Michaels. I thought she was kind of annoying and tried to be too funny and clever. I've decided that I'm going to mute the DVD and use the awesome XM stations that came with DirecTV instead. I'm also going to replace my mental image of Ms. Michaels with the Real Shredder, instead.

Much more motivating.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Jumping on the Bandwagon

I'm one of the lucky ones who lost all of the extra pregnancy pounds and then some relatively quickly after having the baby. I'm sure breastfeeding had a lot to do with it, and since we're about to wrap that up I know I'll have to readjust my eating and exercise habits again. To be honest, I haven't exercised in MONTHS, outside of the walks we take around our neighborhood after work.

While I've lost the weight and the number I see on the scale every morning makes me happy, the pounds that belong on my body have redistributed themselves in a way that I'm not very happy with. Certain areas jiggle when I'd prefer them to remain static and other areas look more like cottage cheese than I'd like to admit. Either way, I'm not doing this to lose weight but to redistribute the weight that I have and maybe build up some muscle so that I don't feel like I'm going to die by the time I get to the checkout with the monster package of baby wipes.*

Since all of my (internet) friends are doing it I picked up the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD at Target last night. I was originally going to wait until I was done with the whole pumping thing (19 days!), but I'm going to start tonight, instead.

* Yes, for the most part I only use cloth wipes, but there are some diapers whose contents require a cleaning by something more easily-disposed-of. Still 100% cloth diapers, though.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Memo Monday

What chaps my ass

(One of the many, many things, I guess)

It irritates the hell out of me when people complain about how broke they are and then talk about how they spend money on all kinds of frivolous crap.

If you're flat freaking broke and can't survive on one income then GO GET A FREAKING JOB. Plenty of women (and men!) would love to stay at home or work only part-time, but we don't, either because we can't or because we like having a career of our own and financial stability. This is doubly annoying if the individual in question doesn't have any children. WTF are you doing all day, anyway?

If the situation is really as dire as you make it out to be, then suck it up and go find some way to make some money. If you're still going to complain about not having enough money for basic necessities then yes, people will crawl up your ass when you brag about your latest purchase of more clothes, shoes, electronic equipment, etc. when you really need to be buying food, toilet paper, and diapers.

I'm not going to feel bad for you anymore and I'm not going to offer you free stuff.



Related Posts with Thumbnails