Very nearly a recipe

If you've read this blog for any amount of time you'll have noticed that I like to post about food and I try to throw you some helpful links but I never write out actual recipes. The reason is simple: it seems like a lot of work? And also, when I do manage to create something that tastes good all by myself, I tend to forget to pay attention to the tiny details such as "ingredient quantity" or "cooking time."

So I'm going to give you a very general summary of these German potato salad...nachos? See, naming things is also a problem. I wanted a party-friendly version of potato salad, so I coated thick slices of red potatoes with olive oil and Dijon mustard and roasted them in the oven at a...high-ish temperature for...a while. Then I flipped them over and put a little pile of chopped red onion and sauerkraut on top and cooked them...some more. Then I took them out and put sour cream and scallions on top. Ta da!

Listen, I also wish I had more specific details, okay? We're all at the same disadvantage here.

The last couple of bus stop mornings have been very very very good for me.

Less so for my children, who remain unconvinced that humans can survive sub-70-degree temperatures for extended periods.


A Friday disrecommendation

I'm spending all of today at an elementary school Field Day, so I have very few precious scraps of energy to spare for this blogging venture at the moment. Just want to say that I highly recommend eating Smitten Kitchen's Chicken and Dumplings if you are feeling kind of sick, and also that I highly disrecommend attempting to make Smitten Kitchen's Chicken and Dumplings if you're feeling kind of sick because it takes one million hours and many of them are spent pulling chicken off of bones.

Yum and ugh.

Make Pizza Beans instead next time, you sick fool.

Big thanks to my food group on Facebook which I use solely as a "links to Smitten Kitchen recipes" resource


Probably also 90 degrees there, right?

The girls are currently in the midst of a slightly preposterous four-day weekend, so we had no choice but to go into full Vacation Mode.

First, we harnessed the energy of Enchanted Rock.

Then we went to Fredericksburg and promptly spent that energy on...uh...shopping.

We also ate some German food because certain members of my family went to the Oktoberfest this year and I was a little jealous but now I figure we're pretty much even.

Cuckoo clocks on the wall! Exactly the same as being in Bavaria.


Pumpkin twice

It's the first week of October, which means I exclusively cooked pumpkin things and I'm not sorry.

Pumpkin muffins, thanks to Miriel for reminding me about these. I made them with all white whole wheat flour so that my children would be less inclined to eat them all. It's working!

Roasted butternut squash tacos. Also, if you object to my calling these "pumpkin," please refer to my family's favorite autumnal factiod.

Definitely recommend adding live cats to your Halloween decorations this year, I find that it adds a certain what-exactly-is-happening-here quality that's hard to beat.

Yesterday Ivy was home from school with a fever, but it was the kind of sickness that responded well to medicine and caused me to have a very much perked up child by midday. This meant that every time I turned a corner I encountered these things attempting to trick-or-treat from me. 

They made off with about $3 in change and a book of matches, I didn't really want to take chances with dead-eyed tricksters.


Honey put on that party dress

Things are a lot right now.

So...  *helplessly tosses armful of links out into the void*

Puerto Rico:

Amazon wishlist compiled by people on the ground
Hispanic Federation, endorsed by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Unidos por Puerto Rico, established by the First Lady of PR
Community Recovery Fund, promoted by PBS

Effing guns, man:

RIP Tom Petty:

*exhales for longer than should be possible given standard human lung capacity*

I was sans spouse for my anniversary this year so I made myself some nachos to match the flowers he sent.

I also broke my children's "eating things" streak with this avocado salsa bowl:

Anyway. Donate some time or money to something you are worried about if you can. Take a social media break. Talk to someone who puts you in a good mood. Think about how great, like, museums are. Eat the bread bowl.


Beans: a celebration

Twitter informs me in an unusually non-soul-crushing hashtag that it is National Coffee Day, which is terrific because I had been feeling pretty rudderless this morning and now I have a raison d'ĂȘtre. Coffee! Our most celebrated of drug addictions. Go forth, friends, and be wired.

Last night I made lentils and everyone ate them. I'm not sure what's going on with the food consumption this week but I suspect some sort of changeling situation.

Good luck fairies, hope you have plenty of cereal bars

Dan is out of town again and again we are spending our time constructively.

Blending in to your surroundings is a valuable skill, probably

Podcast Corner: lately I have been wanting to listen to interviews with competent people, so I've been catching up on The Turnaround with Jesse Thorn and How to be Amazing with Michael Ian Black. Give those a go if you find people who are good at stuff to be soothing.


Also, what if: pasta every day?

I can't remember who mentioned The Lazy Genius on Twitter (sorry/thank you, Twitter friend) but I've been poking around those parts and have emerged with several helpful ideas, first among them "always eat pasta on Mondays." Okey dokey!

I picked this Vegetarian Citrus Pasta with Swiss Chard recipe because (brace yourself, brag incoming) I knew we had some chard in the garden that needed to get eaten and because I had enough energy to weather the storm of whiny children certain to object to green flecks and whole wheat pasta and the taste of lemon and the angle of the sun etc. etc.

And then do you know what happened?

They both just...ate it. And one of them had seconds. And they said I should make this recipe again. So the moral of the story is: eight years and 74 days into parenthood I am still absolute garbage at predicting the whims of my progeny.

They are riddles, wrapped in mystery, inside a miasma of Goldfish crumbs and confusing Minecraft factoids

I got to do one of my very favorite things this weekend, which is watch live tapings of podcasts.

And now I know for sure that Ana Marie Cox raises her eyebrows questioningly just as often as I imagined she must

I also got do do one of my other very favorite things, which is go out for Mexican food.



Time to eye my light jackets longingly

 Happy fall equinox, everyone! Hope you're ready for some nice cool 7:00 am walks to the bus stop!


We are celebrating with a very carefully thought-out, labor-intensive theme this week.

If that isn't enough to ward off the chills, remember: you can always just climb right on top of your sister to share body heat.

She won't mind.

Calendar-ignoring heat aside, I am actually very excited to be spending the weekend at The Texas Tribune Festival, where I intend to see many, many people that I follow on Twitter and maybe also my senators. But maybe not! Because honestly, those two dudes can go jump in a lake. YEAH, I SAID IT. RIGHT IN A LAKE.

But it's Friday and it's fall and I want to close on a happy note, so here is this: proof that the kids are alright.


Hot marshmallows, cold tomatoes

Yesterday was very hot because September is a very hot month every year despite my eternal optimism that it will not be, just this once. So I made my family eat cold soup.

They weren't that excited but only because they didn't realize how fast it was to put a bunch of ingredients in a blender for a minute. Then they would have shared my enthusiasm, I'm pretty sure.

We spent the weekend with friends, mournfully noting the end of summer, contemplating transitions, wistfully covering every possible surface in a gloss of marshmallow goo.

But we emerged ready for the next phase of the cycle: dressing ourselves as various internet memes.


Finally some cuteness innovation in safety features

Because 100% of my magazine subscriptions were gifts with the purchase of, I don't know, moisturizer or something, and I refuse to internalize their continuing existence in my life, I am surprised/delighted every single time they appear in my mailbox. This week's mailbox surprise: "I still get Rachael Ray Every Day?"

WOOF, that name, but look how pretty and even the children scavenged some edible bits.

Unfortunately, my children generally behaved like small, busy, functional humans this week, rather than tiny hilarious face-making photo props. As this trend is likely to continue, I fear for the future of the Anna-scowls-at-fun-things blogging industry. Alas. Here instead is some Ivy art to get you through your Friday.

A cat very very much enjoying some pizza with black olives.

A rocket ship...hmm...deploying its heart-shaped air bag upon impact?