Have to publish this so I can go look at Pinterest

Okay. It's time to talk about Pinterest.

If you don't know what that is, it's a sort of social networking-ish site based on creating pin-boards of various appealing things from around the internet. And if you have ever heard it described as anything other than "a gigantic time-suck," I feel you have been mislead. I mean, I'll grant that maybe that isn't universally true--maybe some people hate looking at beautiful pictures specifically tailored to their personal interests and spend as little time as possible doing it. They would probably rather being reading books and exercising and doing charitable works. Meanwhile I am very busy looking at pictures of cake.

And to be fair, some people do actually seem to use Pinterest productively--for travel planning or home decorating or organizing gift lists, but my boards may as well be called "Melted Cheese," "The Fine Art of Putting an Egg on It," and "Various Uses for Nutella."

All of which is to say that it's Pinterest's fault that I made and then ate four of these chocolate donuts over the weekend.

There were 12 of them and 3 of us. Math.

Not to mention some tasty Blood Orange Gin Sparklers. Whats more, I'm pretty sure Dan's sudden attack of Dramatically Artsy Photographer Syndrome was Pinterest-inspired as well.

This rosemary is just reaching out to give you little herby kisses.

And seriously, have you ever seen a lovelier portrait of brutalized citrus?

This is definitely what our evening cocktails look like every day. Now you know.
Anyway, we were talking about eggs?

Might have to change my motto to "Put an egg on it and then put some goat cheese and roasted red pepper sauce on top of THAT." Yes. It's snappy.
Some good, easy, vegetabley things come out of it too. This Italian white bean soup was fine and dandy.

This grilled vegetable and hummus tart would also have been fine and dandy if I hadn't thought it was a good idea to make the hummus myself, starting in the morning with dried chickpeas. That is too many steps for me to be happy at the end of the day. So, you see? Pinterest doesn't JUST make me want to eat cake.

It also makes me want to do ambitious things and then reward myself by eating cake.
Anna's just been, you know, hanging out. Experimenting with winter fashion.

And...doing The Robot?
I did insist that she wear pants for her shift as Cheese Inspector.

She claims pants compromise her palate. That's why she's having to focus extra hard.
Hey, did you guys know that Ivy has RED HAIR OH MY GOODNESS.

That, or her skull is on fire.


And that's why you should be wary of my dinner invitations

So, swiss chard and caramelized onion tacos somehow sounded pretty classy and great, but limited selection at the grocery store forced me to substitute kale and here we are. It's not like I'm not proud of these, I did make the tortillas and the salsa myself (mostly--see below), but it occurred to me later that I had invited a friend over for dinner by saying that we were "having tacos."

I guess I thought the "consisting of kale" was implied.

At least I found a way to focus Anna's brute strength into a productive activity.

If she's going to be resigned to any task, it may as well be making my dinner.


I was not specific as to the quality of the puns

Left to his own devices in the kitchen, Dan will produce delicious breakfasty things almost every time. I wouldn't say it's my primary reason for staying married to him, but I don't not take it into consideration.

Sourdough French toast gets you to a 10th anniversary, easy.
That was a nice sweet way to start our weekend, so why not keep the party going? Cake seems like a good idea! This thing is one crazy slab of molasses and I like it. What? It's not like I didn't have a reason to bake a cake.

Wanting there to be a cake in the fridge is a reason.
Um...at least the pizza is on whole wheat crust?

And there's broccoli on it! It's almost a salad.
Here's an exciting behind-the-scenes peek at the process for you guys. We learn two things in this photograph, 1) I've recently come to prefer the flavor of Oaxacan melting cheese in recipes that call for mozzarella and 2) I eat pretzels while preparing pizza.

That's because having diabetes taught me NOTHING. High five, Paula!
I find that Anna's mood is more positive when we make sure she has plenty of physical activity, such as her daily balletsketball drills, pictured here.

You should see her plié-ups. (I TOLD YOU.)
I worry though that Ivy is right there, picking up the attitude slack.

Or just expressing concern at her January sleevelessness.


See? She smiles sometimes.

I returned to my already-beloved Homesick Texan cookbook to further counteract some of early January's nutritionally responsible leanings. Really, though, this Jalapeño Mustard Roasted Chicken with cabbage and radish slaw doesn't rate too high on the Sin Meter.

It did set off the Awesome Chicken alarm, though.
This left me with an inordinate amount of cabbage, so the next night I improvised a chopped salad. I grouped the ingredients like a restaurant would because, while less practical and actually a little bit annoying to eat, it looks a lot better than a fully integrated pile of bits.

Dan is used to sacrificing for my art by now.
Lest you think I've abandoned my dietary Jiminy Cricket, though, I did make a stack of these quinoa patties for breakfast and snacking.

You can top them with, uh, anything you like.
The holidays may be over, but that doesn't mean Anna can't still help me with some baking from time to time.

She's just taking a moment to reflect on how much fun she's having.
She also wanted everyone to know that she can color-code and line things up even in her sleep zombie-esque state of reanimation.

I'm guessing no one will be surprised when we eventually recover a tidy line of brains in her closet.

So this is cute, right? Anna calls it her "astronaut" hat.

I call it her "please don't alert CPS, I promise this was well-supervised" hat.


She likes them french fried potaters

Well, with all due respect to Heidi and her good intentions toward my arteries, I felt like it was time for some winter comfort food this weekend, so I went with sausage and peppers over mashed potatoes. (The potatoes have buttermilk in them.) (And sour cream.) No cheese, though! (There's cheese in the sausage.)

This is where 3-D blogging technology would really come in handy. Chicken sausage UP IN YOUR FACE.
Also, it had been several hours since I put a poached egg on something, and miso soup seemed as good a candidate as any.

I bought dried kelp and weird fish flakes, so this is extremely authentic except for the part with the egg.
We've had a pretty good stretch with Anna. She's actually eating:

Only in character as The Fonz, but that's probably a passing phase.
She's accepting her manual labor responsibilities with admirable stoicism:

That bell ain't gonna ring itself, kid.
She is also still executing her gardening duties with aplomb:

Although in this case...

...she stays in character...

...as Sling Blade.


Haven't been to preschool since the 80s, maybe teaching methods have changed

On Wednesday night we had pot roast with carrots. This is entirely unremarkable aside from the fact that it 1) came out of a jar 2) where my mother had placed it 3) and given it to us as a Christmas gift 4) because that is how we roll in my family.

Right under the tree, y'all.
Then we returned to Super Natural Every Day yet again for some split peas and pesto with salad greens. You guys know that expression, "Cheeseburger and fries for lunch, guilt and green mush for dinner" right?

I have it in cross stitch.
 If you've been following along at home, you already know exactly what I had for lunch today.

I feel bad for cookbook authors when I think about my natural gift for improving their recipes 300%.
As I mentioned, Anna has started going to school for two days a week. It was really heartbreaking to see how sad she was about leaving her beloved mother.

It's hard to tell what she's learning so far, since her answer to the question "What did you do at school today?" is "Mama and baby sister IN THE CAR!" because she does not like to dwell in the past, you guys. I can say that her yogurt-eating and lining-up-of-things skills seem intact.

And this is probably a coincidence, but all week she has been trying to eat things with her feet, by which I mean proving surprisingly competent at eating things with her feet. Not on the curriculum, but she never did that before, I'm just saying.

Ivy's laying low.


If you're not making enough hilariously terrible decisions, try sleeping less

More healthy vegetarian dinners, welcome to (the first half of) January!

Cabbage and white beans

Miso-curry squash with tofu and greens
Both from Super Natural Every Day. Don't worry, there aren't actually enough recipes in there to do it every day, and also I am getting bored of health and also my refrigerator broke again and ALSO my two-year-old started "school" today and I am very distracted still quite tired. So I predict...steak fingers soon. Or something with gravy. Just gravy? Yeah, maybe so. Let's just cover the entire second half of January in gravy.

If anyone is in the market for a doctor and/or horror movie villain, I think Anna has you covered.

Also, I 100% do not want any more children, yet a source who shall remain nameless but completely linked to made me second-guess myself, because, seriously, tiny alienbabyfeet.



I think she's running the long con

Time to play with new cookbooks! I figured the best place to start with The Homesick Texan Cookbook was with the cover recipe, so here is my version of Guajillo-Chile Fish Tacos:

They look pretty good, right? I wish I could give an accurate report as to their flavor, but that night we had a dinnertime meltdown and sometimes my fugue state deadens all the senses, not just sight and hearing. So to me these tasted like "please just let it end, let it end, let it end" and I probably won't make them again. Sorry, perfectly good recipe!

Fortunately, the cauliflower soup from Super Natural Every Day was eaten during peacetime, so I can say with confidence that it was delicious.

This week in Anna's Fashion Corner...I just...I really just need more sleep, you guys.

At two months, Ivy is quickly emerging as the happy-to-pose one.

"Just keep it on my good side, Ma."
Although sometimes I get a weird feeling that Anna has just been messing with me this whole time.

"No one will ever believe you."


2011 Wrap Up

Here is a sampling of the tortillas/flatbreads I ate in 2011:

Tuna and cabbage salad in wheat flatbread, pulled pork tacos, potato tacos, hot veggie wrap, egg and veggie tacos, braised pork and tomatillo salsa tacos, zucchini and red pepper enchilada....stack, barbecued lentil tacos, enchiladas suizas, soooooo much Tacodeli, chicken gyros, quesadillas stuffed with greens and feta, spinach enchiladas with chili gravy, pork tacos again, the INFAMOUS turkey burritos from Prevention Magazine, the follow-up edible veggie burritos by me.

Haha, GET IT? 2012 is the year of the pun, suckers! Get on board!

Anyway, yesterday was the start of a whole new year (observed), so obviously I had a garden wrap at Galaxy Cafe and then made these chickpea wraps from my new Heidi Swanson cookbook:

Heidi Swanson make me want to throw out everything in my pantry except dried beans and brown rice and ancient grains (as in "Quinoa" not as in "This bread is getting moldy").
Anna was immediately ready to attack some New Year's resolutions, starting with clearing out the garden.

Battle mode.