Semi-annual yardwork installment

I was going to write, "It's still winter, time for more soup!" but realized that in a few months I'll be writing, "I don't care that it's summer, bring on the soup!" so I guess there's no need for this seasonal-cooking charade (see also: the following salad). Egyptian red lentil it is.

This was very good and also nicely mysterious, as Dan guessed two ingredients and both were wrong. This soup is a Top Chef challenge waiting to happen.
I made some Egyptian flat bread to go with the soup, and it was really terrible. I'm not sure where I went wrong, but I'm guessing it was somewhere around "maybe I should just use up this quinoa flour." Anyway, the texture was kind of gross. So was the aftertaste.

And regular taste.
I bounced back though, look at the pretty colooooooors:

Mexican black bean burgers with sweet potato fries.

Extremely unseasonal strawberry tofu chopped salad.
This weekend we informed Anna that if she wanted to keep going through pouches at her current rate, she was going to have to start working off some of the expense. She wasn't too thrilled with this new level of responsibility.

She does love those pouches, though.

Okay everyone, that's the end of your regularly scheduled blog post, nothing more to see here, just going to throw in an extra little tag for the sake of my grandmother.


Search my blog for subtle clues as to my television preferences

Okay, Wednesday managed to fall on one of the few non-exempt healthy diet days of the past week, so back to salads we go! This picture is sloppy, but the Chinese chicken salad was a really nice combination of flavors.

Plus, the Chinese are pretty into Lent, I think.

Look who's so biiiiiiiiiiiiig she can sit with assistance!

"Hey, Mom, this thing says no elevated surfaces. Just right there on the bottom."
And Anna is growing in her own way. Attempting to clean up after herself, for example.

Personally, I think she's better suited to the leisure class.

It'd be a shame to waste all this disdain on a scullery maid. This is Dowager Countess stuff.


Jockomo feeno ah na nay

Dan was on top of things this morning in his role as Official Breakfast Ambassador. Happy Fat Shrove Pancake Tuesday!

Mardi Gras colors on the pancake! We just steal the best bits from each tradition and run with it.
Oh, the calorie counting thing? Ahem. Right. I should explain that holidays are exempt, and Mardi Gras is definitely a holiday. So is Lundi Gras. Birthday parties are obviously another exception, especially when they offer giant glass containers of candy. Aaaaaand, just, weekends. I don't make the rules!

I did manage to sneak a little bit of nutrition in between my many dietary-shore-leaves. On Friday night I ate something called a "spinach chop."

This one was really, really healthy.
And last night, broccoli gribache. Both from Super Natural Every Day, and both quite brown and green, so.
This one is full of eggs.
Anna! You're at a super fun birthday party, what ever could be the matter?

Ooooooooh. Embarrassing.

Who Wore It Best: Toddler Edition would be a funny joke if it weren't a REAL THING, US MAGAZINE.
Ivy will just be rocking out over here if you need her.

See you in the Lenten Season, kids! Bring out your drabbest wardrobe and most penitent self-denial!


Jaded in the postpartum wing is my new favorite

I'm pretty sure the only thing that's more of a drag than counting calories is reading about someone else's efforts to count calories, so...I feel for you guys, is what I'm saying. But I think the time has come for me to stop attempting to re-gain all of my baby weight.

Don't worry, my first entry in this regard (Greek pasta salad) isn't even terribly healthy, other than having a lot of veggies in it. It's even LESS terribly healthy if you, like I, interpret the instruction to add "as much of the dressing as you like" to mean "every last drop of the dressing."

She also shouldn't have included "or more to taste" in the step where cheese is added. Recipe error.
Wait, wait, we should back up and discuss the Valentine's bacchanalia that helped necessitate this (surprisingly cheese-heavy) diet.

First, I found another way to use the ridiculous amount of rosemary simple syrup left over from previous sun-drenched cocktails: mix it with lemon juice and prosecco.

Then call it a "sparkler" because that is highly festive.
Next up: steak tenderloin in a pink peppercorn sauce, sour cream mashed potatoes, "salad" consisting mostly of walnuts and blue cheese. I should note that I did not follow the instructions for cooking the steak as written in the recipe, because Jen made a fortuitous comment about cooking steaks in the oven right as I was getting everything prepped, and it was MUCH BETTER than the chewy disaster of badly cooked cow I usually end up with. Anyway. Sear then roast, I am a convert.

Saturated fats are for lovers.
And THEN there were deep dark chocolate cookies (good, good, good idea) and raspberry-buttermilk ice cream. I have to admit that I did not do a very good job with this ice cream, it was more icy than creamy and just didn't come together right. Probably because Jen didn't miraculously show up on Twitter an hour before I was going to make it to advise me on the proper technique.

So, her bad.
We did finally bribe Anna into a cheery Valentine mood with candles and a pre-dinner chocolate cookie.

Or a "this was her dinner" chocolate cookie, I don't know, semantics.

In other good news, my friend Emily had her baaaaaaybeeeee finally! I know people have babies all the time, but I'm pretty sure Emily has been pregnant for a science-defying four years, so it's very special. We went to visit them in this hospital this morning, because what welcome (to the world) wagon would be complete without this face?

Scarlett's older brother is excited about her arrival, so Anna just wanted to offer another perspective.


She's probably off planning her Easter wardrobe

Happy Valentine's Day from the Enthusiasm Twins!

They find the whole thing kind of tacky, considering what the man went through.
Oh, well. What we lack in holiday spirit, we make up in red velvet pancakes. Generally, if it's an occasion, there are pancakes.

I can see you from here, Shrove Tuesday!
I'm starting to suspect that I just enjoy typing the word "loaf." Not sure how else to explain smushing a bunch of lentils together in this form.

Lentils, loafing.
Sorry guys, I was going to try to wrangle Anna into some more V-day themed poses, but I can't seem to find her anywhere.


Top Chef: Sweatpants

Oh, man. We have been pretty fancy up in here this week.

Apple-dressed lentils with new potatoes and crunchy salad

Red pear, blue cheese, and walnut pizza

Maple and mustard-glazed salmon with roasted brussels sprouts
Such refinement! Such class! You'd never guess how much spit-up I have caked in my hair. Or how often I stepped in PUDDLES OF IT while preparing these very elegant dishes. Or exactly HOW unwashed I am willing to let my hair become (so very, very unwashed).

Anna knows that the first rule of eating well is staying hydrated.

And slightly ornery.

And I'm not sure whether Ivy is jealous of all these delicious solid foods or just attempting to gnaw her way to freedom.

I do not blame her either way.


Don't worry Anna, I'll delete this blog long before you're a teenager

The thing about meatloaf is that even when you make fancy, delicious, Homesick Texan-y, filled-with-CRUSHSED-TORTILLA-CHIPS meatloaf, it ultimately remains a loaf. Of meat.

Not a combination that photographs well.
Fortunately for all of us, I stuck with Homesick Texan for the next meal and her tortilla soup is as lovely as it is spicy and wonderful.

Every time I make soup I wonder why I bother making anything besides soup.
Hey Ivy, you're three months old now!

The disillusionment gene runs deep, you guys.
In other news, sleep training is going well.


In her defense, he probably had some pretty important intelligence

I've mentioned before the truthiness involved in my "healthy recipes" designations, and now that I have a public Healthy Recipes board on Pinterest, everyone can see first hand that I consider these blackened catfish fajitas healthy, because...fish? Despite the fact that they are drowning in butter.

Take my healthy recipes with a grain of salt dram of butter, is what I'm saying.
I'm not sure what infraction Pooh committed to incur this gruesome punishment.

But I do know that Anna ran the gamut of emotions in exacting it. (Warning: the ending is, while perhaps foreseeable, rather disturbing.)

From glee...

...to concern...

...to hesitation...

...to despair...

...to experimentation...

...to shock...

...to possible psychopathy.