What We Eat (new page)

I’ve added a new page that lists all things food related on the site. I’ve called it “What We Eat” and here’s what I’ve posted their so far, the plan is to update it regularly in case you just want a place to go for meal ideas so you don’t have to search for a particular ingredient or recipe by name.  Let me know if it is useful or if some different categories would be useful – maybe people are interested in prep times or stuff like that?

Savories

Baked Potatoes with Fried Mushrooms, Onions, and Green Beans
Baked Potato Salad
Biscuits, Gravy, and Roasted Vegetables
Black and White Bean Mushroom Chili
Cilantro Lime Dressing
Fresh Tomato Sauce
Gluten Free Flour Tortillas
Ketchup
Marinara Sauce (perfect for freezing)
Persian Lima Bean Rice (Baghali Polow)
Roasted Curry Chickpeas
Salad With Quinoa or Brown Rice Couscous
Slow Cooked Refried Beans (another good freezer option)
Stuffed Cabbages
Sunshine Burgers
Three Bean Salad
Tomato Onion Salad
Tomato Salsa
Vegetable and Bean Soup
Wheat Free Pizza

Snacks
Trader Joe’s Lentil Chips

Sweets
Apple Pie
“Animal” Crackers
Blueberry Millet Muffins
Gluten Free Hemp Seed Wedding Cookies
Graham Crackers
Pumpkin Bread
Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting
Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

100th Post!

I thought for my 100th post it would be fun to share some stats about the site:

Most Read Post: Harmonics Flooring From Costco (603 views as of 8/22!)

Most Viewed Recipe: Persian Lima Bean Rice (113 views as of 8/22)

Most Viewed Month: June 2011 (1,008 views)

Most random search term people have used to find the site: “parts of a lima bean 3rd grade”

I meant to add more but with E’s birthday things got busy. Thank you for reading, I am glad people are finding useful information here though it is funny that the most read post is mostly by my husband. He’ll need to write more!

VegBooks.Org Review – Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11

Here are some of my recent Vegbooks.org reviews!

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 – this is really worth your time to check out from the library, click through for my full review.  I got the suggestion to read it from @babytoolkit on twitter — her suggestions for good reads were: “Moonshot (Floca), Visitor for Bear (Becker), LMNO Peas (or anything by Keith Baker), Chalk (Thomson), Sick Day for Amos McGee.”

We actually checked all of them out and they were all well done.  It is so nice to have personal suggestions from people about books their children love.  Visitor for Bear was cute, a bear doesn’t want a mouse to stay and values his private time but by the end they are friends.  Great illustrations.  LMNO Peas is an alphabet book with little peas acting out all of the activities related to each letter so that is a lot of fun!  Chalk is wordless but is about some children discovering a bag of chalk on a rainy day and the things they draw become real, like butterflies or a dinosaur.  They manage to cleverly escape the dinosaur and return the chalk to where it began so other children can play with it.  The illustrations are almost photographic.  A Sick Day for Amos McGee is about zoo animals helping their caretaker when he is sick but if you can ignore the fact that it tries to make zoos sound like places animals want to be in, it is pretty charming.

Ever since starting to write for VegBooks I’ve been on the lookout for what messages books are sending about animals and how we treat them.  To me zoos with research and conservation components are good things but I know that they make other vegetarians/vegans uncomfortable.  I think it is all very personal.  We most definitely do not support circuses, it surprised me this summer in E’s preschool skills class at the community center that the teacher was obsessed with the circus since it was coming to town.  So many crafts were circus-centric and it was a good chance to talk to E about what is wrong with them.  Oops, that was a bit of a tangent but I am pretty tangential most of the time.  I think the thing I most often hear from people is “get to the point!”

Anyway, I also recently reviewed (using publisher copies): Whooo Loves You? and Are You Eating Something Green?

Also, one of my recipes was posted as a guest post on the Vegetarian Experience, a vegetarian blog by a mom in the UK!  She was going on vacation and asked on Twitter for guest posts so I was happy to share.  It is fun to get a window into the world of other veg parents, especially with the added twist of being abroad.

 

One Day More

Couldn’t resist the Les Miserables reference (fantastic musical!) with my title as tomorrow is E’s third birthday.  Three.  Years.  Wow.  And almost four, really, since there’s all that waiting and belly talking that happens before that very first birthday.

What a difference a year makes, E is talking now – sentences, stories, make-believe games, you name it.  She plays with her brother (current favorite: chasing each other around the house, squealing at one another) and though they do have their differences at times they are fantastic friends.  I think it is normal to wonder about the impact a sibling will have on your first born but it is better than anything I could have hoped for.  Well, this exchange on Monday aside:

E: “Mommy, can you please put R in my room?”

Me: “Why?”

E: “So we can play with your choo-choo train.”

Me: “You mean put R in your room and close the door?”

E: “Yuppie.”

To clarify, I did tell her R was too little for me to bring out my electric Lego train but that was (1) a while ago and (2) I said I’d bring it out for the holidays.  I ended up bringing it out after breakfast, I am a softie!  Her little memory is surprising me.  She tells me about things that happened before she was talking and I know she is really remembering them, not just reciting stories we’ve told her.

Here’s a little birthday interview:

What is your favorite color? I like green.

What is your favorite book? Little My.

What is your favorite movie? Be Our Guest. (Beauty and the Beast, she also loves Mulan)

What is your favorite food? Logurt (she was eating Ricera yogurt while I asked her this, it is always whatever she is eating at the time, I asked her what she wanted for birthday dinner while she was eating biscuits and gravy and she said biscuits and gravy)

What is your favorite snack?  Strawberries with cereal (she was also eating cereal and there were strawberries on the counter)

What is your favorite room in the house?  Little My Room (didn’t know we had one of those!)

What is your favorite toy?  Little My.

She is no longer a baby, she is tall and limber, jumping off of and to everything.  She loves to hear “Little My” stories (can you tell from the above?  I drew her a big poster with her and Little My together as a birthday surprise actually.) we make up as an extension of the Moomintroll books.  She is devouring chapter books and going on adventures.  I love it.  I know moms always say “they grow up too fast” or “I wish they could stay a baby” but that is not how I feel at all.  This is the adventure, isn’t it?  The getting to know them, the battles of wills, even the “I don’t like you Mommy!” that has cropped up of late.  I do get flutters of nervousness about the reality of sending her into the world for school someday, I don’t know if that is the “allergy mom” in me or just that I may sit at the dinner table with her someday, ask her about her day, and hear something nondescript like “fine.”  I worry about that because I remember saying I was fine when I wasn’t but then again it is my job to give her tools to make decisions and deal with situations, not advise or monitor.

I envy little things about her, her cheer and resilience.  Her awesome father.  Her incredible honesty.  Why do we “teach” kids the little ways of being dishonest, by the way?  The social lies, the feeling crummy and not saying something about it, the feeling frustrated and bottling it up.  Or not asking “why?” when we want to know more.  So far she and I have looked up things like why the bull in the Clifford book chases Clifford (turns out, the whole “bulls don’t like red” thing is untrue, I’d have never known that if she hadn’t questioned me!) or why we say “ta-da” (to mimic a fanfare, thank you Google!).

I love the littlest things, like how she likes to lay her shoes on either side of mine when we come into the house.  Or how the first time I taught her the game of trying to keep a straight face while the other person makes silly ones I thought she was an easy mark because she laughed the first three rounds.  Until she started making me laugh.  It is a great feeling.  On the day we brought her home her Daddy sang a Bob Dylan song and now she can identify a Dylan song the minute she hears one.  What a difference three years makes!

We have fun talks and serious ones, she asks me about why some people eat animals or if particular friends are allergic like she is.   She loves her friends, she loves to talk about us being a family, she just has such a capacity for kindness.  I like how when she sleeps I get a window into the baby she’s been and the woman she will become.  Her lips that look like they did on the day I met her, the lashes that she is still growing into.  I love her with all of my heart and then some.

Sweetie, you made me a Mama, and though I am also other things, I have never had a harder or more rewarding trust.  I hope I am worthy of it, of being one of the curators of the early years of you and your brother.  The first letter I wrote to you I signed with my name, I hadn’t been called “Mama” by you yet.  It didn’t seem really real.  And yet it did.  I thought it would be surreal but as I held you in those early months it seemed natural, like you had always been here.  Thank you for all that you are and will be.

Love Always,

Mama

Orange Marmalade Tea Biscuit Photos

This is one that sounded really good, looked really good, but just was a miss for us (From the Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook by Cybele Pascal (amazon affiliate link)).  I don’t know if it is because I am not a marmalade fan (despite how pretty it looks, all jeweled and orange).

I did like the marmalade in the biscuits but not on top, the kids had me peel it off.  I might have made the rounds too little based on the cutter I had available or baked them too long but they were pretty tough.

I ate them all dipped in tea eventually, I guess I just expected the kids to be more interested in them than they were.

I am glad we gave them a try, the biscuit itself is a solid recipe, I think if I had put raspberry jam on top the kids would have liked them more.  But they were certainly pretty!

Windmill Library Photos

So here are some overdue pictures (taken with my cellphone) to go with my post about seeing the Fratello Marionettes at Windmill Library!  There was a neat art gallery set up, I love that the libraries here try to feature local artists.

Everything was repurposed.

Can you see the fly swatter outlines in these peacock feathers?

Or the rollers and pans in this little frog?

It was the last day of the exhibition, the artist is listed as Dave Thompson.   We all really enjoyed looking at everything.

The entry area.

What struck me about the new library is how bright and open it feels.  Very busy, they even give out tickets for story time and if you miss getting into the designated room they hold a separate story time just outside.  We did the storytime outside the room and the librarian was engaging and funny.  The kids loved it.  Another great storytime we’ve done recently was at Whitney Library which I mention because I will forever mix up the names of the Windmill and Whitney Libraries.  Simply because they both start with W.  I think I could use more sleep before it will become clearer in my mind, then again, I mix up the streets Windmill and Wigwam perpetually and that started before I even had kids.

Biscuits, Veggie Gravy, and Roasted Vegetables Photos

Frying the onions, these days I dice them, though.

 

 

 

Adding the potato flour (awesome thickener for gravies, wheat and gluten free).

 

Veggies ready to go in the oven, covered at first, then uncovered as they finish up.

 

 

She loves to help.

 

 

These biscuits are time consuming to make but we love them and make them almost once a week.  I know we are essentially eating potatoes in the gravy with some potato starch in the biscuits and roasted potatoes on the side but you work with what you have.  Some spices here and there and you have a feeling of variety.

Ok, not the best plate view ever but I think it is nice to show what E uses for her plate.  She loves to dip things like most toddlers so we like these plates.  She probably would do fine with a regular plate but you never know when it could go flying.  I make these Flax Biscuits (From the Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook by Cybele Pascal (amazon affiliate link)) into a few little person shapes for her, she calls them “Ginger Man” even though we’ve not yet gotten around to making gingerbread.