Monday, March 21, 2011

lasagna was served

My previously rejected bolognese sauce and creamed spinach were finally hauled out of the freezer and put to good use. My friend J. came over for dinner and we both had seconds it was so good. Only I kept a couple of lasagna noodles aside and dressed those with sauce (no spinach this time around) to feed Ben. It took two days and some bribing (he took his first bite in exchange for a bottle of milk) and he finally realized I wasn't trying to poison him. It's such a bummer. I really want him to eat vegetables in their original form. Take your pick: because I love them, because I want a foodie baby, because we visit a kick-ass farmer's market every single weekend and it makes no sense to me why he rejects produce. But it looks like that's not meant to be. So I steamed and pureed some cauliflower last week that I could slip it into his mac and cheese and I'm this close to breaking down and buying Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious. I'm so against the idea of "hidden" veggies, especially in any type of chocolate dessert, but if you can't beat 'em...

Friday, March 18, 2011

almost done!

It's my last day of work for two weeks and I'm itching to finish. Lunch and dinner has been a sad and sorry carb fest of pizza, pasta, quesedillas and pita and hummus since I've had very little time to plot out elaborate and/or nutritional dinner menus. I was a vegetarian for about 15 years so the carbs always come easier to me than planning around a protein. This afternoon's grocery bill at Whole Foods is gonna be insane since I have to stock up on all the stuff I skipped while working...meatballs, grilled chicken, etc.
I also accepted two new assignments for next month so I need to make sure I'm better prepared next time. I probably would have said no to the extra work because I've been living on coffee to keep me going but they're both social media jobs, which IMHO are tons of fun. There's nothing like tweeting when you're getting paid for it. And I think the 140 character count was designed with busy moms in mind. We've no time to focus and everything said needs to be short and sweet--which might as well describe social media management and/or parenting toddlers.
PS. Got the new babysitter a Starbucks card this morning because she's a keeper and I basically want to buy her loyalty. At which time Ben asked for a bagel. I should have bought the whole wheat but without thinking I went with the white flour bagel. I felt guilty before he finished the first bite. I'm sure there are worse things kids could have for breakfast but this looked like it had all the (lack of) flavor and nutrients of a piece of white bread. Yuck.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

picky eaters suck!

Dinner Tuesday: Steak & pasta w/ zucchini parmesan sauce. Rejected by B. and DH (who said he only wants meat cooked on the grill, not in a frying pan. Scuse me!)
Dinner Wednesday: Leftover steak, rice and peas. Rejected by B. who "no like" peas and wants beans and avocado with his rice. DH never made it home for dinner.
Dinner Thursday: Thai lettuce wraps @ the Cheesecake Factory for me and DH. Spaghetti w/ meat sauce for B. He wouldn't touch a strand. No idea why.
Seriously considering hooking mac and cheese IV up to B.'s arm and not unhooking till he leaves for college.

Friday, March 4, 2011

it's been a long week...

Most of SATC2 sucked but there was one moment when Charlotte freaked out and locked herself in the pantry to get away from the kids. I watched the movie on a flight from L.A. to NYC and teared up while watching her meltdown - thanks god no one was paying any attention to my blubbering over such a crap movie with this one redeeming motherhood moment. Anyway, I had that moment today. Only instead of locking myself away I started hacking at a 3-pound Valrhona chocolate slab we have in the baking cupboard, (which was inevitable since we don't have any other kind of dessert in the house right now and we're out of liquor and/or wine).
Part of the frustration is I made some healthy-ish oatmeal cookies with B. earlier today (recipe below). He loves oatmeal so the idea behind this was to make a portable snack, sort of like a homemade granola bar, that he could enjoy. And he was totally into helping me add and stir ingredients. Only he refused to try the cookies once they were baked. So take that all you parenting books and blogs that say kids will try anything they've had a hand in making. Not true!
And then dinner (chicken sausages, pizza bread, which is basically homemade focaccia, and roasted brussel sprouts) went totally unappreciated by all dudes in the house--sidebar: I wasn't expecting anyone but me to enjoy the brussel sprouts--until I literally threw a piece of sausage in B.'s mouth while he was yawning (he was otherwise gritting his teeth) and then he loved it and ate a bunch. Except instead of being grateful that he was finally eating and enjoying the sausage, all I could think was, "You little mother effer, I knew you'd like it. Why couldn't you just trust me and eat it in the first place." Like I said, it's been a long week. So after chomping down on a bunch of Valrhona, I hacked up some more chocolate and added the chunks to the leftover oatmeal cookie dough. Somehow seems like a fortuitous salvage of the neglected cookies and my Friday night.

Oatmeal Cookies

The inspiration for these came from the awesome Smitten Kitchen blog but I cut down on the sugar and added some applesauce since I figured B. might not like the raisins suggested for this recipe.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce (or half of one of those little Knotts containers)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups instant oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add the egg, applesauce and vanilla and blend well. Smitten's blog says to whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a separate bowl before mixing with the wet ingredients but I just measure and dumped them straight in because I hate washing extra bowls.
Because the applesauce makes a fairly wet batter, I refrigerated the mix for about an hour before baking. I use a Silpat mat (nothing EVER sticks, it's amazing) but the original recipe calls for parchment paper. And then baked for about 12 minutes.

DISCLAIMER: T. ate two cookies and then decided he didn't like them. They are on the healthier side. So don't make these if you're expecting the full fatty version. I do have a richer oatmeal cookie recipe somewhere that I'll post later.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

kale can't be escaped

OMG, kale chips are everywhere--every parenting blog, Food Network show and now last night's episode of Modern Family. OK universe, I get the message. Today we will make kale chips.
UPDATE: Never managed to get the kale. B. had a fullscale meltdown at Whole Foods so I couldn't get more than chicken and bananas. The only thing that got us through the checkout line was a sample of roast beef the deli guy gave B. And my picky little kid wolfed it down like it was the best thing he'd ever tasted.

Nine days later...just made kale chips. Not sure it was really worth the trouble but I'm glad I tried them. I was way too liberal with the sea salt and olive oil as that is essentially all I could taste (unless that's the point?). Pretty simple really. You preheat the oven to 350. Tear the leaves off the woody stems and toss them with about a tablespoon of olive oil and sea salt to taste, lay them out flat on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. If I ever make them again I would take them out a little early because I enjoy the less crispy bits but I think that's personal preference.

random stuff

Finally finished with a red carpet marketing project I was working on that was sucking up all my time (it turned me into a tweeting maniac, though I'm sure getting paid had something to do with the obsession). In the meantime I managed to make a kick-ass Mario Batali bolognese sauce out of all organic ingredients which B. rejected. (This was particularly frustrating because his favorite restaurant meal is rigatoni bolognese. What gives little man?!) And then there was one day where B. insisted on mac and cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The kid knows what he wants. Next week will be interesting since I have a two-week assignment and we just got a new blond babysitter that B. seems to be infatuated with. Hmm. Maybe she'll be able to get him to eat all sorts of healthy things. Mwahahaha.