Monday, February 28, 2011

It's Only Fitting...

It's only fitting that February conclude with a few things that are near and dear...

The casa.

There is no place I'd rather be come quitting time.

Or starting time, for that matter.

Her toes.

See them peaking out?

I want to pinch them.


Every night we all sit down, as a family.

Now, there's just a bit more green.

The creatures.

All my furries.

I never want for cuddles.

My dishwasher.

He helps with the dishes every night. He always has, since day one.

I'm lucky. Good help is hard to come by.


I chose "pause" as my word for 2011.

I'm living it, as much as possible.

His play.

It's loud. It moves fast.

It won't last forever. Sometimes that's good. Other times, not so much.

Fresh baked cookies, piled high in the kitchen.

I needn't say more for this one.

So long, February.


Monday, February 21, 2011

What's For Dinner?

Inspiration has found my kitchen.

The new eating plan has brought a renewed sense of excitement to the nightly dinner prep. I have spent hours looking through cookbooks, gathering ideas, planning for future meals.

I told you I was a party animal.

I've whittled the list of things I want to make down to a week's worth of suppers...

Sunday: spaghetti, sautéed summer squash & zucchini, lettuce and tomato salad

Monday: stir fried leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, & mushrooms with magic sauce, brown rice

Tuesday: baked Italian tofu, hot skillet salad

Wednesday: red posole with beans, salad with avocado, corn, & tomatoes

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: veggie burgers, oven fries, tomatoes, avocado, salad greens

Saturday: out

A quick update...

Giving up all meat and dairy has not been difficult.
At all.
No lie.

I have yet to feel hungry.

My jeans are looser.

My crew has had minimal complaints.

So far, so good, I say!

I'll admit that I'm lucky. The Mr. is totally on board with the changes being made. The Offspring are young and, although they might whine a bit, will eat what's on the table.

A batch of vegan chocolate chip cookies lulled them enough for me to launch a sneak attack with kale and chard at dinner.

I can't end this post without a standing ovation for Angry Chicken's magic sauce.

Holy smokes.

I'll admit to eating a spoonful...or two, straight from the jar.

When I read her post, I knew the concoction would be seriously delicious or a sad disaster. I should never doubt The Chicken. She knows her condiments.

I made a jar full tonight.

I had to make another batch to use on our lunches tomorrow.

OK peeps. That's my story.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Just a few outtakes...

Valentine's Day came and went.

It was Monday.

I didn't shave my legs.

No luck was had. Sorry, Mr.

He wisely skipped the Vermont Teddy Bear.

Now, I feel a bit guilty about foregoing the leg upkeep.

I reorganized the pantry.

I think it's my new favorite place in the house.

All those glass jars filled with bulk items...*sigh*.

Froot Loops make counting to 100 much easier, ya know.

Nutritional standards can be overlooked in the name of education.

My reading material.



I betray my coolness by admitting how giddy it makes me.

Naughty kitty.

He's gotten lost more times than I can count.

I don't blame him for wanting to be left alone in that beautiful pantry.

But if he's not there, you should also check the cabinets.

The drawers.

The closets.

The TV console.

Between the shower curtains.

Stuffed in pillows.

Oh, and The Girl's backpack.

I've been in the kitchen.

A lot.

I feel inspired again.

It's a nice change.

I think it's easier to let her start the night here.

The Mr. might disagree. He's the one that carries her back to her own room.

I'm not fighting it. I like crawling into a warm bed.

After eating fruit for dessert all week, The Mr. brought me a vegan chocolate chip cookie on Friday.

I transformed into Cookie Monster.

I felt like I had gotten lucky. And no one had to shave their legs.

It was a really good week.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Life Lesson

Don't tell your teacher that you aren't feeling well and that you have an older brother at home named Francis that can pick you up.

This is especially important if your mom also happens to teach at your school.

Teachers talk.

And you will get busted.

Nice try, dude.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

{A meat-free, dairy-free} What's For Dinner?

Meat-free? Dairy-free? Yes. You read that correctly.

I fear that these menu posts will soon become a place where the crickets chirp.

Please. Be patient and have an open mind.

Some background:

We have always eaten pretty healthy. We weren't extreme, but definitely above the fray. You know: lean meats, whole grains, lots of veggies.

Then, a couple of week ago I read this book.

At first I thought, "Whatever."

Then I thought, "This is starting to make a lot of sense."

And then I thought, "Crap. This makes total sense."

I didn't want to buy into it. But I felt I had no choice.

And so, the decision was made: This family was gonna be making some changes.

I'm jumping off the high diving board and giving up all meat and dairy products.

The Mr. is giving up most meat but will still eat eggs and a tiny bit of cheese.

The Offspring will make a gradual transition to our new way of eating.

No sense in having them run away from home. Especially with the weather being as cold as it has of late.

So, without further ado...this week we will be eating:

Sunday: curried chickpeas & greens, cauliflower purée, chard & kale salad with no-oil balsamic

Monday: chickpea & rice soup with cabbage, romaine salad with sweet peppers & cucumber

Tuesday: baked tofu, black eyed peas, asparagus & brussels sprouts with lemon & mustard, simple lettuce and tomato salad

Wednesday: vegetable bean burritos, salad with avocado, corn, & tomato

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: black bean burgers, tomatoes, avocados, cabbage salad

Saturday: out

See. Not so bad, right?

Mind you, all of these dishes can be adapted for meat eaters. I've added meat to vegetarian dishes for years with excellent results.

Most nights we will have a piece of fruit for dessert. But I am going to bake a little somethin'-somethin' for the weekend.

I want to bake these brownies that just so happen to be vegan. Who knew?

Or these vegan chocolate chip cookies.

Sarah is also taking the vegan plunge. We have agreed to be a mutual support system to each other while we go through this switch.

I'm not going all militant, "Meat Is Murder", on all of you. I am doing this for pure health reasons. And shrink my ass reasons.

I'm a vain vegan.

This decision is right for me. And my family.

Our health.

I'm non-judgmental. What's good for us isn't good for the whole crowd.

I'll elaborate more in the future. But for now, what's important is that a change has been made.

I still like the taste of meat and cheese. And I'm not going to say that I'll *never* have it again. But a daily serving is a thing of the past.

Ketchup and Diet Dr. Pepper, however, are a completely different story.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ten On Ten: February

February 10th.

Ten pictures taken over ten hours.











A handful of images captured throughout the day...

Today was a school day. But we stayed home.

Not feeling well enough to go to school. Not feeling bad enough to stay in bed.

Scratchy throats. Coughs.

I'm not complaining.

My day was a lot prettier this way.



It's still not done.

I'll see you with another ten in March.

That's when winter officially ends, right?

Praise. The. Lord.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What's For Dinner?

On the menu this week...

Sunday: roasted vegetable lasagna, garlic bread

Monday: beef stew with cauliflower purée, spinach, roasted asparagus

Tuesday: tacos, black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo

Wednesday: chicken and dumplings

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: hamburgers, oven fries

Saturday: out

I am tiring of cold weather food. I miss my grill and the warmer temps that go with it. I shouldn't complain. Houston's weather is much more tolerable than most.

But still. I miss my tank tops and flip flops.

Seeing as how I'm bored silly with winter eats, I spent much of our cold weekend laying around, reading cookbooks, searching for inspiration.

That can be a dangerous quest...

So, I decided to bake bread. I made three large loaves that should get us through the week and then some. It's worth all the effort just to have that smell waft through my house.

I've been having toast every morning. Big slices of toast. I'm pretending that since it's homemade, the carbs aren't as bad as the store bought variety. I'm right, aren't I?

I cook big, ya'll. There will be plenty.

Stop by if you'd like.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This is what I'll remember about January...

It's no secret that January was less than stellar around these parts.

No tears were shed when the calendar changed over to February.

But now that it's all said and done, this is what I'm choosing to remember about January...


my boys


before midnight

work attire


held, always



in the blink of an eye

seen, again

to my right


a blur

never enough (sleep)




every night

100 days, recorded

This is why I take a picture every single day...

To remember the good parts.

Bring it, February.

My battery is charged.