Not to mention what a nice city Brussels is

We went to Mansfield this weekend, where we were were immediately confronted by my brother's homemade kolaches.

I can see you under that plastic wrap, kolaches.
I believe this was done out of brotherly concern that two vegan dinners in a row had rendered my pants too loose.

Not vegan.
There may have been parental concern on that front as well.

Check out their super fancy new waffle iron. It's full of super fancy make-the-day-before waffle batter.

Imagine how these probably taste and then add a lot more butter. I know, I'm jealous of my past self too.
Anna did an impressive job of avoiding being photographed amongst flowers. Staged-photo-shoot avoidance is emerging as a significant talent.

"I will climb this tree if I have to."
Back to Austin, back to plants. Let's give some love to America's Most Hated Vegetable, the Brussels sprout. It's no purple cauliflower, but it's pretty neat looking.

"Stop hating me so much, America. I am a stalk of tiny cabbages and I am cool."
I put Dan to work making potato and Brussels sprouts hash. He did an admirable job! More dinner duty for him in the future. I did add my signature element to the dish.

Can you spot it?


Aren't you glad I don't have surgery very often?

Tight pants, time to hit the low-fat vegan cookbook: Appetite for Reduction. I looked and looked, but there is absolutely no bacon in there anywhere. I actually got it because I figure if anyone knows how to use up a giant box of vegetables, it's a vegan, right? Look what the CSA membership is driving me to! First recipe: braised cabbage with seitan, which I served over roasted yams. Oh, and also? I MADE that freakin' seitan. Out-hippie that.

Added bonus: nice and mushy for my still-compromised jaws.
It tasted good, probably because it was about 50% garlic and soy sauce. Works for me.

Next up: Ethiopian millet, greens, and mushrooms. Yeah, mushrooms, again. They weren't even in the box, I put them in a bag at at the grocery store and bought them on purpose! I have no idea what's happening to me, you guys.

You may have noticed that, like all smart and lazy people, I tend to favor one-pot meals. Any time I attempt three different dishes that all require more than one pot/pan I'm basically going to be angry at the meal before I even eat it. I would say that was definitely a factor here. Also, there were about 20 spices involved and they just came across as "generically spicy," not "complex and exotic" like I was hoping.

Also, the millet kept getting caught in the DISGUSTING HOLES in my mouth.
Anna is helping my efforts by reorganizing the kitchen for me.

"This tile is for limes."


Meanwhile, Anna is adding teeth: circle of life

Another day, another ridiculously cute toddler birthday party.

I believe there is a birdhouse and/or castle involved here. Possibly some sort of hybrid. The world of crafty people is mysterious and wonderful to me.

Sugar sticks plus sugar blobs! It's like springtime made of sugar.
Anna doesn't typically go for cake, but we managed to convince her.

Don't worry, chocolate and coconut balance out to form a well-rounded meal.

Speaking of meals, our last couple have had a "mushy as possible" theme, due to the two gaping holes in my mouth where teeth used to be.

All I want right now are chips and taffy.
I managed to get the roasted tilapia and mashed turnips down by taking tiny bites and keeping my head tilted at a 45 degree angle the entire time. I think the scowling also helped.

Waaaaay too many textures here.
I didn't do as well with tonight's kohlrabi curry. I guess the little voice insisting that I embrace this very good excuse to have ice cream for dinner finally wore me down. (The voice was Dan's.) (He is a smart man.)

Anyway, trying to punctuate things correctly through my painkiller haze is wearing me out, so I'm going to leave you with popular blog feature "Anna's Fashion Corner":


What if I try to ventilate the house in my sleep??

Have you been missing me? Here, have some cabbage soup, it's good for you.

Oh, you want more color? How does a roasted beet sandwich sound? Disgusting? Fair enough.

It is homemade bread, though. Bumps it up to "semi-disgusting," right? Score.

Hey look, I got to ride a train!

It's actually been quite a while since someone made me feel totally inadequate regarding cute-toddler-related-projects, so check out this train made out of cake:

Then do some reminiscing with me.
It has also been a pretty long time since I updated the Minor Household Crises section of this blog! Earlier this afternoon we heard a bird chirping in what seems to be the very inside section of our kitchen vent. Since then, I absolutely swear I have heard eggs cracking open. Because of this, I immediately became overwhelmingly paranoid that I was going to accidentally press the vent button and eviscerate a nest full of baby birds. I was actually afraid to be within a foot of the microwave just in case my hand went rogue and pressed the button. Here is how I fixed it.


Happy Valentines Day, I think we need some time apart

Hi there. My belated valentine to you is not showing you a picture of the cutesy heart-shaped breakfast I made yesterday morning. Only the cutesy heart-shaped dinner.

Root vegetable latkes. I knew beets would come in handy eventually.

"Aphrodisiac" salad. If avocados are involved, I'm in.
I kept it pretty light and simple over the weekend. Figured we hadn't had soup in a while. Or a huge chunk of cheese.

Tandoori carrot, lentil, and apple soup. This made a very nice transitioning-to-better-weather lunch.

Eggs on mustard-creamed spinach with crispy crumbs. Personally, if I'm eating eggs and croutons for dinner, I don't even notice whether there are greens mixed in.
We also tried to take advantage of that better weather by spending some time in the back yard. Anna and Hopper, usually consummate gardeners, were surprisingly skeptical.

It was all very tense.
Anna continued her pursuit of water from any non-sippy-cup sources.

The water wasn't even turned on.
We also took Anna to the park, where she repeatedly attempted to dive in after the ducks.

That, or she was trying to get a drink.
Finally, a site update: my classification is temporarily changing to "Semi-Employed Lawyer Mom." It's sort of like Sandra Lee, but instead of tablescapes and culinary half-assism, it's just a lot of files and parental half-assism. Anyway, for a couple of months there will be fewer adventures, ambitious meals, and updates, but I FULLY INTEND to reestablish my unemployed wastrelhood by May at the latest.

Also, in case anyone was curious, spellcheck has no objection to the term "half-assism." In the interest of accuracy, I'm going to try to work it into my résumé. Under "hobbies."


The featherweight division is very competitive

With Dan out of town this week, I haven't really done any cooking. I've just been eating leftovers, by which I mean stuffed cabbage. Day and night. Since I have nothing new to show you, here's what stuffed cabbage looks like on the inside:

It's what I see when I close my eyes at night.
Our "active all week" plan sort of fell apart due to weather, so there's been a lot of inside time. Anna has spent most of it somberly lining things up.

And rasslin'.


She's pretty hardcore about her sports

In celebration of National Football Day yesterday, I decided to make some for-real queso. It was a good decision. Look at this beautiful pile of peppers!

"Serves four."

I improved this chip 600%.
We put the football jersey on Anna, but she improvised the helmet herself.

Poor Cash, innocently unaware of all the tackles that await him this evening.
In the meantime, we finished a puzzle, which is an extremely indoorsy activity.

Please stop judging my lifestyle choices, spellcheck.
With Daddy out of town all week, we're trying to keep our days pretty active. Today we went to the wood chip pile park.

When we needed a little extra excitement, we took Anna's hat off.

I believe this is being powered by leftover football adrenaline.


Snow. Failure. Cabbage. Beets.

If your Facebook feed is remotely similar to mine, you have already seen approximately 539 pictures of small children playing in one inch of snow. If not, here you go!

Yes, those are socks on her hands. It was 80 degrees a week ago,  I'm doing my best.
The last time it snowed, I made pizza dough. I wanted to do something warm and indoorsy again, so I finally tackled my pile of never-before-used canning equipment. Also, if outdoorsy can be a word, so can indoorsy, spellcheck.

I'm already doing five things incorrectly here.
Despite nervously studying my books for a full week beforehand, I did it pretty much completely wrong. Fortunately, I anticipated the high likelihood of such a scenario and only sacrificed one bunch of CSA turnips to the project.

I probably won't eat these, but I will leave them in the pantry for a while because they make it look very accomplished.
Incidentally, this is what Anna looked like the last time it snowed:

Before the angst set in.
Stuffed cabbage is considered comfort food, right? Is anyone from a region where this is the case? I'd never tried it before, but as I am now in a constant state of needing to use up cabbage, I figured I would give it a whirl. This one seemed promising due to my already having most of the stuffing ingredients in the pantry: stuffed cabbage with quinoa and roasted sweet potato.

What's that on the side, you ask? It's more cabbage. Such is the grotesque amount of cabbage we have to consume around here on a bi-weekly basis.
It was good, but very very sweet. I guess if you look at the list of ingredients, it's obvious how sweet it's going to be, but it still surprised me. I would probably make it again in a de-sweetened form.

Last night we had salad and bowls of ketchup. With whipped cream. THE COLD HAS FINALLY DRIVEN ME MAD.

Okay, roasted beet and butternut squash soup. With Greek yogurt. Still a bit mad, no?



Sorry for the lack of updates, but our household has been pretty sickly this week and we're just dragging through. I've tried every activity I could think of to help Anna feel better.

Eating crackers.
Watching her favorite show.

Making daring fashion choices.

Fixing her own hair. I have to point that out because it doesn't look any different than when I fix it.
To no avail. Fortunately, Dan's work trip was postponed until next week, so it hasn't just been me and Anna whimpering at each other 24 hours a day. Close, though.

Still, the dinner must go on.

Monday night we had these pork tacos again. Not that veggitastic, I know, but it was supposed to be an easy weekend meal and got delayed. It did use up some cabbage and gave me a chance to work on my tortilla-making technique. I'm much improved!

Tuesday night is a little bit sad because I transformed this amazing specimen of plant life into a mushy brown pile. In my defense, mushy brown piles are sort of my specialty.

Seared Cauliflower with Couscous and Almonds. I burned it a little bit. It made a ton of leftovers. I want to go back to bed.