Category Archives: Food

Thanksgiving dinner

It will just be the five of us, and I’m trying to keep it simple.  None of us likes turkey, so we’ll have Ribeye steak . . . with bacon, because it’s a holiday, and bacon makes everything better.  We’ll also have from scratch stuffing, butternut squash soup, and pumpkin trifle.  And cranberry sauce from a can.  ETA – and carrot bread!  Which L makes from scratch without any help except putting it in and taking it out of the oven.

This will be our second time making the trifle; L did a dry run last week, and wow.  I highly recommend it if you’re looking for an extra dessert.

What are you cooking for Thanksgiving?

breakfast ideas?

I’ve been dealing with stomach problems with S was born, and I’m beginning to think I may be lactose intolerant.  As such, I’m exploring some low dairy / non-dairy breakfast options.  I’m also trying to go low carb.  Any suggestions?  I eat eggs for lunch, so I’d prefer to avoid eggs if possible.  So far, I’ve got:

  • Avocado w/ olive oil
  • Sardines
  • Dairy-free or low dairy yogurt
  • Miso soup
  • Smoked salmon

What do you have for breakfast?


I started feeling guilty for going grocery shopping.  We are now getting 100+ cases daily in my county, and testing is very limited, so actual daily cases are likely between 500 and 1000.  (Basically, you cannot get tested unless you are hospitalized.)  So, I decided that this week we’ll switch to delivery.  I’ve done delivery before, and it was very convenient.

First, I try QFC.  No delivery available – period.  When I first logged on, it was available Sunday night (as in 6 days from now), but that disappeared within minutes.

So, I went over the Safeway.  Their site crashed within a few minutes of me trying to use it.

Back to QFC – I’ll try pickup.  That’s just as good, really.  First available – Thursday night.  I’m currently trying to predict what groceries I’ll need Thursday.  And Saoirse and I will be off the grocery store today.  Last week, it was packed.


Where’s L?  Oh, right, she’s in her quilt and blanket fort.

My library finally got in a copy of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.  I’m contemplating giving it a try.  However, this photo is as far as I got today before B woke up from her nap.

Pots and pans, anyone?  I’m thinking of replacing our nonstick pans with stainless ones.  Any thoughts on this?  I read an alarmist article in the NYT by Nicholas Kristoff.  After initial panic and a little internet research, I concluded it was alarmist, but I think nonstick is overrated anyway.

Key lime pie!  OMG.  So good.  I used a pre-made crust, and it took less than half an hour to make, not including cooking time.  Though not quite as good as the lemon meringue pie I made the other day.  That one was a fair bit of work but it was perhaps the best pie I’ve ever made.

L’s response to my command to smile.

Free-motion quilting practice:


living life

It’s so hard to believe Briony has been in my life for more than 2 months.  Her arrival coincided with a huge change – working to not working, pregnant to not pregnant.  Pregnancy is such a miserable experience for me, just eight months of blackness, and since then I’ve been in this crazy place that alternates between blissed out happiness and losing my mind, aka infancy and the newborn period.  Of course, B is no longer a newborn.  Unlike L, she’s a fabulous sleeper and sleeps 3 to 4 or even 5 hours at a stretch.  My guess is that she’ll be sleeping through the night within a month or two.

Finally caught a smile on camera:

The days are filled with firsts.  We imposed our own self-quarantine until recently.  Basically, with both L and B, we kept them out of grocery stores and basically any indoor place with lots of people for the first couple months of their lives.  We went to outdoor places like playgrounds and had one-on-one play dates, but we just avoided large congregations of people, especially toddlers.  Anyway, two months are up, and we’ve been emerging from our cocoon.  I took B on her first trip to the grocery store yesterday and on her first trip to the mall today.  She was so amazed at the sights and sounds, she forgot to fuss, cry, and scream, as she usually does in the Ergo or stroller after any length of time.  It was great!  I was, however, disappointed in our mall’s Halloween showing.  I guess it’s not really a retail holiday.  They had trick-or-treating planned for 4 pm, but I took L and B earlier as J (new word for B since we have a conflict with the little one’s initial) and I wanted to take L around the neighborhood at a fairly early hour.  You would not have known it was Halloween.

We stopped at’s to say high to N, our nanny.  She works in the make-up area with the women who do makeovers and sell fragrances.  She is kind of special, as evidenced today by the fact she was the only one in full costume, looking much like a fairy straight out of Ava.tar.  (I have never seen that movie, but based on the clips and trailers, that was what I thought of.)  The costume was so complete, I wasn’t sure that it was her, and L refused to greet or hug her as she completely couldn’t grasp who it was.

While I was pregnant, I really didn’t feel like doing anything.  After the worst part of morning sickness, I felt up to knitting and a bit of reading but not much more.  Now that I feel like myself again, there are so many little things I want to do.  Just the normal parts of life I put on hold for the better part of a year – outings to the park, cooking, sewing, going to the mall, visiting some of the stunning scenery we have here in the Pacific NW.  It’s obviously tough to do these things with an infant, but I am making some headway.  L and I have been cooking a lot lately, and I’ve been meaning to post about our attempts.

I primarily use recipes from Smitten Kitchen and from Pioneer Woman.  The former can be a bit unnecessarily complicated, so I often try to simplify her recipes.  The latter can be a bit unhealthy, so I omit butter or replace with olive oil, and double and triple veggie quantities.

1.) Grapefruit cake – absolutely delicious, not too hard to make and to too unhealthy.  What’s not to like?  I made this one basically as written.  I eat a grapefruit almost daily these days, so this recipe was right up my alley, but my husband who is not a grapefruit fan liked it as well.

2.) The image above is from making peanut butter balls.  There are numerous recipes out there for making these.  The chocolate covering is completely unnecessary.  The result is delicious, and I suspect it’s almost impossible to screw them up no matter what recipe you choose.  They are, however, unbelievably unhealthy.  You might as well eat sugar by the spoonful.

3.) Carrot cake  Oh my goodness – LOVE this recipe.  So easy to make, so toddler friendly, so tasty, and not that unhealthy.  Could it possibly be better?  I think not.  It’s considerably simpler than the grapefruit cake listed above.  I think I will have to make another one, and soon.  I made this one as written, no icing.

4.) I can’t remember what we were making in the picture above, but it must have been tasty if it included cocoa, right?  So, I’ve been making my way through Pioneer Woman’s 16 minute meals.  Her Shrimp Scampi is delicious and requires little modification, though if you can make it from start to finish in 16 minutes, I’ll eat my socks.  It is quick and easy, but more like 30 minutes quick and easy.  To be more healthy, obviously, use less butter and more olive oil.  It still tastes fabulous.

We look so happy in this picture.  But really, every day was a struggle at that point.

5.) Chicken and rice soup  Love.  This one is more work to make – probably the better part of an hour by the time you clean up – but it will easily last two nights, and since it’s got meat, starch and veggies, it’s really all you need.  Maybe a bit of bread on the side.

I suggest using low sodium chicken stock instead of water and bouillon cubes.  It’s just as easy, looks a bit better (omit the food coloring), and is healthier.  Triple the recommended vegetable quantities.  Use butter for the roux, but use olive oil to saute the veggies.   The result is unbelievably tasty, not super unhealthy, and passes the toddler test.

Ah, toddler art projects.  So much fun!  So much mess.