Posted tagged ‘Amy’

Chana Masala (Yowza!)

January 26, 2012

Indian food feels comforting.  The aromatic spices seem warm, alluring.  And, Indian food offers quite a few vegan options.  So, as I shuffled through some recipe options online, this recipe for Chana Masala popped out at me.  I had most of the ingredients on hand, and the recipe seemed easy enough for a week night.  Yeah, my algorithm for dinner selection isn’t too complicated…

I breezed through the recipe.  After mincing onions and garlic and grating the ginger (which is by far the hardest part), the recipe comes together in about 15 minutes.  Rad.

But… YOWZA!  This Chana Masala really packs some heat!  I like spicy.  Really, I do.  But dang this was hot!  What’s more, I felt like it was hot without the heat really enriching the flavors.  Maybe my cayenne is too hot (I put 1/4 teaspoon instead of 1/2, and it was still way too hot).  AND, I left out the green chili because I couldn’t figure out exactly which pepper I needed at Publix.  Yeah, I also have no qualms about dropping seemingly superfluous ingredients out of recipes… don’t ask me how that usually works out for me.  But still… so hot.

Amy didn’t eat it at all.  Jane (our almost one year old) ate quite a few bites before she opted for the palate cooling pear & mango baby food instead.  I ate a whole bowl, but I had to have two pieces of buttered bread to help me along.  I was bummed this was so hot; I really liked the flavors.  Unfortunately, Amy didn’t like the flavors either, so this is the last time Chana Masala will make an appearance in this house.  (Sad trombone)

I say totally give this recipe a try… but start out with a pinch of cayenne.   Otherwise… FIRE! FIRE!


Mercy Tastes Like Bubble Gum

January 22, 2012

Strep throat.  Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a kid like the threat of strep throat.

Now I remember why.

On Thursday morning, I woke up feeling off–my head felt foggy, my muscles ached.  At 6 a.m., I asked Amy to get up with Jane so I could sleep for a bit longer to try to ward of the impending sickness.  Turns out, sleep only delayed the inevitable.  By 1 p.m., when Amy mercifully came home from work, I knew that I was really sick.  My fever already reached 100.3.  From there, even on a steady dose of Tylenol, it climbed to 103.1 before it finally broke at 10 p.m.

Fevers, chills, hot flashes, and throbbing achiness… and an almost 1 year old to take care of.  Those factors can only equate to agony.  I do not remember ever being in that much seemingly inescapable pain.  And it all seemed so hopeless.  Jane wanted me to play.  Moving around hurt.  She still need to be fed, and held, and loved.  And I just wanted to cry.  Awful.

When people used to tell me how much my life would change after I had Jane, I thought they were idiots. Of course my life would change.  I understood the ways in which it would change.  Even after Jane was born, I felt like I had adequately prepared myself for what it meant to completely care for another human being.  But OH MY LORD… people forgot to mention that kids don’t go away when you get sick.  Jane wouldn’t issue a time out.  I could hear her chanting “No mercy” as I lay moaning on the floor next to her tunnel, which she had already crawled through 101 times.  It was hell.

At this point in the chaos, Amy was stricken down with the plague, too.  That’s right.  Both parent figures down for the count by Thursday evening.

Oh, but wait… at this point, my throat didn’t even hurt!  Nope, not until Friday morning did I wake up feeling much better… except for the thousands of tiny knives sliding down my throat when I swallowed.  But 3 p.m. I was at a walk-in clinic begging for mercy.

Mercy came in a pediatric dose of bubble gum flavored amoxicillin to treat strep (although no one is really sure I have strep at all… it is just an educated guess).

I am not exaggerating when I say that hell is strep throat with an almost 1 year old.  Absolute torment.  But it is over; we are going to be okay.

Now, if I can just get Jane to stop chanting “no mercy,” everything will be back to normal around here.

So What? I’m Still a Rock Star

January 12, 2012

Amy and I got a hall pass for the night.

We haven’t been out together without Monkeybutt in months.  It sucks to ask someone to babysit in the evenings.  Jane goes to bed at 6:30.  So, basically, we are asking someone to come over and sit in our house while the baby sleeps.  And we don’t even have cable.

But tonight, a friend launched his magazine The Local Dirt.  We decided to go out and support his endeavors to raise awareness about local and sustainable foods in the Tampa area.  Amy’s folks came over to sit in our house, not play with Jane and not watch cable.  And Amy and I headed out to party it up in Ybor City.

Okay, okay.  Partying it up for me means seeing a few old friends, drinking some icy ice water and taste testing the salsa from our friend’s new salsa company.  By the way, the Mango Habanero had a lovely smoky and spicy taste.  Definitely my favorite of his offerings.

Anyway, after the par-tay, I was starving.  Just like old times leaving Ybor, except I wasn’t drunk, I wasn’t climbing into a cab, and I still remembered my home address.  But I was hungry, so we headed for the Taco Bus.  I am embarrassed to say that, after 8 years of living in Tampa, this was my first trip to the Taco Bus.  How could I have waited so long?!  It is a BUS, out of which they serve TACOS!  Brilliant!  And so very delicious.  They offer multiple vegetarian options… and they had vegan steak strips!  I ordered the tacos (flour) with vegan steak strips and all the taco veggies.  I got two.  I would happily have put back four; they were that good.  And the green salsa on the table, go for it!  It is hot, but so very tasty.

Thank goodness Amy and I got out tonight.  Turns out we both remember how to socialize a bit.  And we both still know how to scarf down food at the end of the night.  We are rock stars!   (Not really at all)


What Do I Spy Next to the Baby Cereal?

January 11, 2012

I am really into salsa right now.  For a while, hummus was my snack of choice; but, lately, I crave a good salsa while I am watching my daily dose of Netflix after Jane goes to bed (right now we are watching Damages–highly recommend).  What kind of salsa do I like, you ask?  Newman’s Own–either peach or pineapple.  The juxtaposition of the sweet with the hot pretty much rocks.  I enjoy my salsa so much, in fact, that I have been known to load the baby in the car and drive to Publix just to grab salsa for that night.  Yesterday, I did just that.

Last night, Amy fixed me a small bowl of salsa to go with my chips and brought it to me while I watched TV.  The bowl serves help me regulate my salsa intake, because I could likely demolish the entire jar without much fanfare.  I will definitely say that salsa was worth the drive to Publix.

Which is good, because the remaining 3/4 jar of salsa never made it into the fridge.  I found it in the pantry this morning, when I went to grab Jane’s cereal.  I take “refrigerate after opening” very seriously, so the salsa found its way to the garbage disposal.

Poor, poor little peaches that gave their all for that salsa…  And poor me, who suffered through hummus and pretzel chips tonight, all the while daydreaming about the salsa that met such a tragic end.  And poor Amy, who is going to have to hear about the premature salsa death for what very well may seem like forever.

(Psst:  Open salsa should go in the fridge.  Just sayin’.)


Orlando, do you like me the way I like you?

January 7, 2012

It seems as though I might be developing a crush on Orlando.  I find myself wooed by the vegan options and the adorable arts district.

Ethos Vegan Kitchen is located in Orlando’s Downtown Arts District.  I have mentioned Ethos before:  vegan comfort food.  Delicious.  I find myself almost overcome with excitement at being able to order anything in the whole restaurant without having to play 20 questions about the ingredients.  True, I always order the same thing (the What’s the Dilly, Philly?).  But I COULD order anything.  I am so enthused about this place that Amy bought me one of their shirts.  Now I can claim my veganism proudly, while advertising their rad restaurant.  Sweet.

After lunch, we trekked down to Artichoke Red Vegan Market.  The place is tiny, but they pack a lot in.  The have everything from fresh bread and some frozen meat substitute options to health & beauty type stuff and (this is the best part) candy!  Amy bought me a dark chocolate peanut butter cup.  I never really appreciated being able to walk into a store and just buy food that I wanted before I became a vegan.  But I appreciated the hell out of that vegan peanut butter cup.  And, just like Ethos, everything in the store is vegan.  No guesswork, no reading labels.  Just pick something up and enjoy it.

So, yeah, I am crushing pretty hard on Orlando and its vegan-friendly ways right now.  I have felt a little beat-up about the vegan thing lately, so I was pretty grateful for the reprieve today.  Cheers to the little things!

Snort Snort Snort Snort

January 5, 2012

My 11 month old snorts.  She picked up this habit when she was about 7 months old, out of nowhere.  She snorts at random (sometimes, in the middle of breastfeeding, she will pause, look up at me beatifically–and snort); she snorts on command (simply uttering “snort” in her presence can start off a snorting episode).  She knows it is funny.  And I often snort back at her.  We hang out, snorting at each other, and I sometimes get really tickled… which makes her snort all the louder.  Amusing stuff.

So, here I am, freely admitting that I have encouraged this snorting.  And one of my primary reasons for encouraging it:  I knew it would drive my father-in-law nuts.  He likes a certain sense of decorum, one which snorting completely defies.  I love my father-in-law (really–I love him lots), but everyone in the family seems bent on pleasing him.  And, I–well, let’s just say I get a kick out of being the one that talks back, the one that teases him.  Hence teaching his lovely granddaughter to snort.

And tonight I got to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  Janie was playing with her toy, looking around to see who was paying attention, when she caught my eye.  I smiled, and she snorted.  My father-in-law immediately assured her that there was no need to make that strange noise again.  Her Nana, her Baba and I laughed.  Guess who she found more persuasive?  She was off in a fit of snorting like I have never seen.  I swear, the kid snorted for 15 minutes.  I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.  Her Nana and Baba were shaking with laughter.  And her Pop-Pop just kept admonishing all of us to stop laughing.  But every time the laughing would quiet down, Janie would snort again.  And her snorting just kept getting louder and louder.  Her poor Pop-Pop was beside himself.  Heh.

Yep, I think Snortfest ’12 might just go down as one of my prouder parenting moments…

Good, Bad & Crazy…

January 4, 2012

Good news:

The lasagna qualified as normal!  In fact, Amy said she even forgot that the tofu ricotta wasn’t real cheese.  (I think she may have been exaggerating on that one, but I will take it).  Honestly, I am a bit surprised the lasagna turned out as well as it did.  I sauteed the onions, herbs and garlic to the sweet melody of a baby screaming bloody murder from her Pack ‘n Play (which was 3 feet from me, by the way).  I ran out of oregano and basil in the middle of cooking and had to take a fun little jaunt to the store (where I had already been not even two hours before).  Oh, and the the recipe was for spinach lasagna.  Um.  Yeah.  I forgot the spinach.  But it was recognizable as lasagna, and that is what counts–at least for today.

Bad News:

This week, Jane can’t seem to nap.  She falls asleep while I am nursing her (like she always does), but then she wakes up when I put her in her crib.  Typically, this scenario would mean about 15 minutes of crying before she fell asleep.  This week, though, it means crying for 5 minutes and intermittent crying and playing for the next 55 minutes.  That’s right… for one whole hour, she refuses to sleep.  Consequently, she exhibits sleepytime behavior not even an hour after her non-nap has ended.  This is crazymaking.  For both of us.

Crazy News:

I signed up for the Croom Zoom on January 15th.  A 25k trail run.  I am extremely excited.  What?  I told you it was crazy news.