Also, most of my beef intake is in podcast form

Nobody panic, but I did find it within myself to cook a thing this week. And not just any thing! If you travel in the same internet circles as I do, you will know that Korean Beef is the thing, the very very hottest thing. Your children will love it! Your spouse will find you more attractive! The leftovers will inspire fisticuffs amongst loved ones!

I have to admit that my feeling going in was "hey internet, why are you trying to feed me sugarmeats" because 1/4 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar for one pound of beef seems like a lot. And just to be clear, I probably ate 17 pieces of taffy while I was preparing this dish, so I'm not judging anyone's sugar intake. I just don't really like it in my meats.

Anyway, it's not as bad as that Buzzfeed candyfish I made last month, but it was still a liiiiiiiitle on the sweet side for my taste as written. I think it's a useful idea in general, I would just cut the brown sugar down to a tablespoon or so. Teaspoon maybe? Eat the rest right out of a bowl after dinner.

Child approval rating: her thumbs say "two thumbs mostly up" but her eyes say *Morse code distress signal*

Based on her end of year preschool program, I think Ivy is pretty excited that we are zoned for the performing arts elementary school.


The very shiniest

As you know, I no longer cook provisions for myself or my family, I merely change the temperature of various items from Trader Joe's BUT I am strongly considering getting back in the game, as evidenced by my setting these down on a surface where I am forced to confront them directly:

Although it may actually turn into some hardcore investigative journalism re: are these two magazines actually exactly the same magazine or what:

By which I mean thirty seconds of googling publishers and then getting distracted by my Bachelorette fantasy league

Both issues are pretty promising in their own way.

If Martha says it's cool stuff for cool dads, I am IN

Plus Rachael has this...word salad situation here

Anyway, I again find myself with nothing nice to say about the age of four, so I will instead pay tribute to the age of six, which has gone very well so far. It's pretty great to have a kid who can competently and enthusiastically engage with a pen pal:

...and give her PowerPoint presentation on crystals the absolute best title of a presentation on record:

But still put her pants on backwards with amusing frequency:

...and apparently believe that my middle name is Domino.


Which is not to say that I'm not still a little afraid

I reallllllllly tried not to do anything productive this week, but I still got to eat cake for breakfast at least once:

And I have also gathered one anecdote per child, in order to meet my minimum annual legal requirement as a blogger with progeny.

Me: (does a perfectly proficient job of parallel parking the car, thank you)

Anna: Mom, that took you a really long time. Are you sure you did okay on that driving test? With the trash cans?

Ivy: (holding pretend telephone) Mom, I'm talking to my ghost friend. He couldn't come last night, but he's coming now.

Me: What's your friend's name? (Braces for most horrifyingly real-sounding demon name ever because I have been listening to a lot of scary podcasts and with Ivy nothing seems out of the realm of possibility)

Ivy: His name is....mmm...Ghosty.


It's my birthday and I clearly feel even less need to entertain you than usual

It continues to be Make What I Wanna Make Month and, inspired by last week's soufflé realization, I determined that what I wanted to make this week was a wholly irresponsible, no-holds-barred trip to Trader Joe's.

Shop like there's nobody watching

Hey! I'm 36 now! Look:

Just count the rings under my eyes

Yesterday Anna got her first library card while kindly uncle Nathan Fillion looked on in the background.

LOL why would the captain of the Firefly care that much about readin--what's that? A whole other series? Huh, okay.

Anyway, it looks like Anna got started celebrating without me, so I'd better go.


It's the greatest show that was ever afloat

In the early, heady days of Make What I Wanna Make Month, I mistook "what I wanna eat" for "what I wanna make." Obviously, at 4:30 on a weekday, the only thing I really wanna make is a phone call for pizza delivery (haha, just kidding, an internet order for pizza delivery). Which is how I ended up with ingredients for cheese soufflé sitting in my fridge for two weeks.

Did NOT wanna make it

For sure for sure wanted to eat it

Here's what I actually did wanna make this week: my way down to Barley Swine for a fancy month of SSFLA.

Always start a meal with strawberries when possible

This is genuinely one of the best salads I have ever eaten

That puddle is CHEEEEEEEESE


Duck, egg, etc.

Mt. Fried Chicken

So anyway, that list above is maybe the largest collection of good decisions you'll even see from me in one place.

GUYS if you ever find yourselves on a glass bottom boat I highly recommend Anna as a tour guide.


My meal plan for the next week is just "croissants with frosting"

Whaaaaaat did I wanna make this weekend? A burger from my Bob's Burgers cookbook! Specifically, the "Edward James Olive-Most Burger," which is stuffed with feta and covered in tapenade and very good, two thumbs up.

Child approval rating: one "good," one "it's as though you have brought home a puppy and then murdered it in front of me" (not pictured).

On Mother's Day Dan proved that he knows what I like and what I like is sugar and Lin-Manuel Miranda.


And in case you were not appropriately impressed/concerned about my well-being re: the basket of pastries, here's some scale on that sugar mountain:

Both sublime and terrifying


Just a number

I'm still getting warmed up with this Make What I Wanna Make month--turns out what I wanna make right now is "not much, frankly." Snuck some chalupas in there, though.

Listen, I'm not making a taco bowl joke, why don't YOU make a taco bowl joke you lazy bums

So what was I busy with if not fulfilling my sacred duty as "person who combines different food-pieces onto a plate and then beatifically endures a barrage of whining about said food-pieces"? Well, I went to a concert, dyed (bits of) my hair blue, did some Snapchat bumbling, and went to sling candles on the East Side. At a BAR. On a WEEKNIGHT. That's right, everyone...I lived my life as a millennial for three solid days and I lived to tell the tale, but juuuuuuuuuust barely.

Seriously though, I discovered via Facebook yesterday that I am NOT a generation-less monster trapped between X-ers and millennials, but rather a member of the Oregon Trail Generation, which is honestly terrific news that I wanted to share here, where you all are trapped and forced to read about the things I personally find interesting and are generally too polite to aggressively explain why I am wrong to find them interesting. *gives FB some side eye*

Anyway, everyone have a great weekend and may none of your snack foods betray your true calendar age.


Oh, there will also be Bob's burgers

Hellooooooo gentlefolk and welcome to the much-anticipated, second annual It's My Birthday Month And I'll Make What I Wanna Make May! I wanted to make soup! So I did that!

Huge pile of vegetables + butter + wine = really flipping great job, French people

Anyway, everything for the rest of the month is in the "nachos" category, pretty much.

We spent the weekend chick-sitting Anna's class...uh, tub o' birds. I am happy to report that we brought six living chicks home and returned six living chicks to school Monday morning although I spent a lot of time worrying that would not be the case. I credit Anna's avian-maternal instincts.

Seen here quietly reading to them from the Bob's Burgers Cookbook

We also began the slow process of acceptance that lo, the Infernal Season has begun.

Hello summer, my old friend 


The end of Tastiness

Here we go, time for the dregs thrilling conclusion of Is It Tasty month, wherein I possibly employ some self-sabotaging recipe selection in order to feel good about moving on from this theme.

Recipe #penultimate: Cheesy Zucchini Sausage Cups. Claim: "Tasty." Hmm.

I think this is actually from the "Tasty Junior" department, implying that your children will be excited to help make/eat these.

Tasty: eh, sort of, but the edges were painfully crispy and the bottoms were soggy.

Did my children want to help make these: hard pass.

Did my children want to eat these: no they certainly did not.

Recipe #thelast: Slow-Roasted Honey Glazed Pork. Claim: "Is So Delicious."

Tasty: I feel like I needed to cook this for about two more hours.

So Delicious: I guess if you just lick the glaze off the top it's pretty good, but I couldn't chew the thing at all.

Child Approval Rating: one thumb down, one slow backward retreat from the table coupled with a thousand-yard stare.

I got my Mother's Day gift early this year because Anna was so excited to "give it to me."

Seems like I will really enjoy that someday!

Ivy, predictably, is taking the contrarian position on Hamilton.

Her actual objection is that the costumes are "so boring."

PODCAST RECOMMENDATION FOLLOW-UP NOTE: The number of you who have thanked me for introducing you to The Beef and Dairy Network podcast is upsettingly close to "zero," but it's okay. I can wait.


Surf and turf

It must be near the end of the month, because I've lost track of what recipe we're on.

Recipe #somethingteen, probably: Deep-Fried Spring Rolls. Claim: Are Awesome.

Tasty: yes.

Awesome: no, I did not feel awe. I did feel pleased with my egg roll-wrapping abilities, which is not so much "awe" as "aww yiss." Still good!

Child Approval Rating:

Recipe #somethingteenalso: Grilled Salmon and Salsa. Claim: Is Amazing.

Tasty: man, as far as I can tell you cannot combine avocados and lime juice and fail to come up with something tasty.

Amazing: I don't know, I'm stingy with my awestruck-ness but pretty easily amazed, so, sure.

Child Approval Rating: sooooooooo done with having to pose for photos mid-meal, for some reason?

Anyway, Ivy has been kind of grumpy and bored lately so we got her a pet.

SPEAKING OF EXCELLENT ANIMALS: I need everyone to go listen to the Beef and Dairy Network Podcast. I know you're wondering if "The number one podcast for those involved or just interested in the production of beef animals and dairy herds" is really the right fit for you, but it is. Look, Episode 1 is 11 minutes long. The very worst that can happen is that you'll think "Erica, you have wasted 11 of my precious precious minutes" but if you're here reading this you were already in for me to waste at least three or four of them, so I would say you're pot-committed. The best that can happen is that you are eternally grateful to me for changing your life, or at least your Tuesday. Bonus: if you make it to Episode 6, you will know why my blog theme for May is "rich beef sausages."