Plastic happiness

More from the I Totally Planned Ahead For This Baby Files: ratatouille (with huge gobs of brie, on toast) and lasagna.

I find that tomatoes need a great deal of salt and saturated fat to reach their full potential.

Just like me!
If any of you remember the live (/evil) Christmas tree saga of last December, you know that all of that effort and grief and actual physical pain is about to pay off, because we totally have an eco-friendly tree all ready to go another year! Let's go check on our investment.

Um. What about the heaviest pot in the universe? Aww. It's like the empty chair where Tiny Tim used to sit.

In the dark reboot of the franchise where Tiny Tim is really pointy and vindictive.
So, yeah, we bought a fake tree this year. It's soft and symmetrical and a normally-strengthed human can move it from one place to another and it's covered in pine cones, which Anna calls "pine tones." (Or, rather, "PINETONES!!!") I love my fake tree. I'm sorry, earth.

Despite the tree's artificial nature, Anna remembers how important it is to check for squirrels.

Make sure you really get in there.

Can't be too careful.


Hey, remember when I got diabetes? So weird.

Everybody ate a disgusting amount yesterday, right? The extra weight won't count if we're all in it together. This year was exciting for me because for once there was a gap in the dessert menu so I got to experiment with some seasonal recipes (read: things I bookmarked during my cardboard period with a single tear in my eye).

Pumpkin gingerbread: win.

Apple cider cream pie: mega win.

Pumpkin spice rice krispie treats: fail. Super soggy.

I still ate four of them.
So, anyone who has (very kindly) told me that I don't look like I just had a baby, don't worry:

By Christmas I definitely will.

So will Dan.
I joke about the downside of overindulgence, but the important thing is that everyone really savor and appreciate such a bounty when it's available.

Maybe she was just getting a glimpse of her future, wherein we dressed her as a pioneer pilgrim flapper.



Almost saved this one for the Christmas card

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Hope you're enjoying this special time of togetherness as much as we are.


The long-awaited return of tortillas to my diet

After multiple (2) days without tortillas in the house I broke down and made some with my recently ignored but still-magnificent tortilla press. It helped that my brother was in town, since he's always up for a food project and is pretty handy around the kitchen. Look at this lovely plate he assembled:

Pretty colors! Toasted seeds! He is straight up gourmet, you guys.
Technically we were trying to make Zucchini and Red Pepper Enchiladas, but we substituted the cheese and halved the oil and used a grill pan and...decided not to bother rolling them into enchiladas. So, you're never going to believe this, but what we ended up making was...piles. Happy ones, though. Fancy ones. (Fancy Piles will be my upscale gastropub.)

I also made him braise some cabbage.

My culinary whims are mysterious indeed.
Normally, dinnertime with Anna consists of her kicking her chair away from the table and repeatedly declaring "Want-need crackers! WANT-NEED CRACKERS!" (I'm giving her the linguistic benefit of the doubt with that hyphen, I'm actually pretty sure she thinks "want" and "need" are one compound demand.) She generally whimpers a lot. Sometimes she throws things. It's pretty great, all around.

BUT there seems to be a chance that she has inherited her mother's slavish devotion to observing holidays as thoroughly as possible, because being at her grandparents' house for Thanksgiving week has awakened her dormant eater.

"This is for the pilgrims."

No strand left behind.

Don't know why we never thought to set her to "Food: DESTROY" mode before now.

Like a true American.


Now I'm going to spend all day thinking of a motto for my new venture

Having run out of tortillas, we have recently moved on to eating eggs at every meal. Remember when I warned you this might happen?

Random Stuff From the Fridge Omelet

Random Stuff From the Fridge Frittata

I guess when we run out of eggs I'll just form the Random Stuff From the Fridge into sad piles. Incidentally, a quick peek at the archives indicates that if I ever write a cookbook, "Sad Piles" will probably be the subtitle at the very least. (Fast-casual restaurant chain? Hey, did America's Next Great Restaurant get canceled or what? I'd like to make this happen. Someone please forward this to Bobby Flay. You know, the blog. Forward the whole blog.) (I think I might need an assistant.)

Anyway, as happy as I am to sit in my house and eat eggs (very happy), we were starting to get a little stir crazy so we ventured out to Black Star last night to check up on our investment.

I went to a restaurant and ordered beer like a grown up because I'm not pregnant anymore yaaaaaaaaay!

I also had a big bowl of chicken curry that I didn't have to cook double-yaaaaaaaaay!
The curry was perfect for the fairly chilly weather we're having here at the moment. It's one of those exciting times when the temperature actually lines up with the calendar. If only I could figure out how Anna feels about the cold...

Inscrutable as always.
Once we got her jacketed, she regained her strength and started commanding airplanes to come HERE.

I don't think she's messing around, airplane.
Happy Due Date, little Ivy! It was all bonus time up until now, but today you're officially on the clock.

Ready set FULL TERM GO!


I'm just glad she has someone to talk to

Time to dip into the freezer stock! We repurposed some braised pork with tomatillo salsa to make a lovely taco dinner. I know, we're hitting the tacos pretty hard around here. So unusual for us!

I probably rank "wrap it in a tortilla" somewhere between "put an egg on it" and "add kale for no reason."
We've also revisited zucchini garlic soup and tomato broccoli pasta casserole. So far, everything is holding up. Excellent nesting, me!

In "food I couldn't eat for three months which makes it even more awesome now" news, the banana pancakes that Dan made the other morning were good enough to induce family-wide breakfast-food-trance-state.

I'm starting to wonder if Anna had a falling out with creepy robot dog, because she is absolutely having some sort of special relationship with her ball popper right now.

Dan specifically requested that I post a "normal adorable baby picture."

Check the archives, dude. Not my style.



At least the destruction is still confined to inanimate things

I can tell Dan was (justfiably!) proud of the egg and veggie tacos he put together for us because he photographed them himself.

The compulsion to take pictures of your food: contagious, apparently.
Also, I just wanted to let you know that this cookie has a huge pile of frosting on top of it.

If your cookies don't have huge piles of frosting on top of them, you are kind of missing out.
Anna has finally started interacting with Ivy a little bit more!

Pretty sure she's checking for the return label.
When Ivy received a gift in the mail yesterday, Anna even took care of the tissue paper it was wrapped in.

Definitely no signs of sublimated rage here!


I love it when melted cheese arrives at my door

Now that I have a tiny bundle of reasons to avoid cooking, I'm going to do that for as long as possible (aiming for June or so). But that doesn't mean you can't be jealous of the awesome things that other people are bringing me! Thank you thank you, other people! Drool away, everyone:

Also! In the last few days I have followed up my burger and shake with pizza, barbecue, cookies, and small amounts of coffee. I can only assume that by tomorrow morning I'll be having tequila and cigarettes for breakfast.

Anna, as you can imagine, is so excited about being a big sister watching more Curious George than normal!

She's such a good little helper, she even assisted us in filling out Ivy's newborn vital signs chart.

Seriously though, I think she's handling it pretty well.


Anna finally has someone to share the burden of Blog Model

Okay, so, a Big Thing happened the other day and obviously I am going to mention it, calm down, but it seems like a shame to ignore the fact that I made some perfectly respectable-looking plates of food last week just because SOMEBODY showed up two weeks before her due date. Right?

Chicken and cashew stir-fry. Another excellent recipe from Gourmet, and it made perfect leftovers for post-Big Thing recovery.

Quinoa con queso from Simply Recipes. It probably goes without saying that any recipe involving the words "con queso" gets an automatic bookmark from me.
I mean, would you really have wanted me to skip over this pork chop saltimbocca? It's pork that's stuffed with more pork! And also cheese! And then there's a butter sauce, but don't worry, the sautéed spinach on the side makes it all healthy!

A perfect meal.
And then look what happened on Friday:

Okay, sorry, before that: IVY!

Note that the milkshake is very, very close at hand.
Welcome, Ivy Elisabeth! You'll probably want to work on that scowl if you want to fit in around here.

So close.
There's my girl.