Christmas is coming, the goose is getting canned

I had one major food goal this week, and that was to start clearing out the pantry in anticipation of the holidays. While other people gather up and donate old toys or clothes in order to make space for the coming influx of gifts, I find myself looking at my kitchen shelves, thoughtfully trying to work two servings of roast beef and a small jar of fruit compote into my menu. The adults on my side of the family are only exchanging "consumables" this year, which sounds like "cookies and preserves" but will actually end up being "anything you can fit into a jar and stick in the pressure canner, which is basically everything." I need space! It's a good problem to have! It means I have barely cooked at all the past few days.

Canned item #1: Roasted red pepper potato soup that I put up in anticipation of Ivy's...um...birth. Thirteen months ago. It was still good! Cooked item: none, technically, though I did shred some brussels sprouts for a lovely salad.

This salad also gave me a reason to use my FANCY PEPPER for the first time in two and a half years.

Canned item #2: olive salad for muffulettas. These were highly lazy sandwiches, with only one type of deli meat and the wrong kind of bread. But none of that matters in the presence of olive salad. Cooked item: roasted cauliflower.

Canned item #3: roast beef with carrots, a gift from last Christmas. Yes, the carrots came with the meat.  And it was all just sitting in my pantry in one delightful little dinner jar. Cooked item: roasted broccoli.

I thought Dan was going to lick the aluminum foil in his quest to get all the roasted garlic bits.

So there you have it. In this entire week I have 1) roasted cauliflower and 2) roasted broccoli. Not my most ambitious stretch! But you know I'm just doing some motivational hibernation right now in order to store up for my next project, whatever and whenever that may be. This...historical collection has been suggested, although I think I miiiiiiiight hold out for something that sounds slightly less soul-murdering. Still, you never know. It's a contender, thanks Lynnette! Who am I to resist Inspiration Soup? And, let's be honest, this one was tailor-made for me.

Anyway. I'm 85% certain Anna and Ivy are involved in some sort of Freaky Friday situation right now.


It's a SEE-food diet wait that joke doesn't work on paper

Hey, we're all still talking about Thanksgiving, right? No one has completely moved on to Christmas even though it's still November *cough*Twitter*cough*? Okay, whew. Because I really wanted to let you all know that I have fully mastered this deviled egg thing.

Fine, it's sort of Christmasy colors, are you happy?
I can tell they were good because deviled egg filling is the only solid food Anna ate that day.

It makes me happy to make her happy.
This is how my first attempt to photograph my Thanksgiving plate turned out and I'm going to stick with it because it basically matches my memory of the experience.

A swiiiiiiirling vortex of gluttony.
Ivy was surprisingly unimpressed by her first solid-foods Turkey Day which makes me think she's just trying to show off for her big sister.

That turkey was delicious and you know it, child.
She didn't seem all that interested in decorating for Christmas at YaYa and PaPa's house either.

I mean, fair enough, it is only November.
I'm actually a little spooked at how close Ivy is to mastering Anna's "burdened toddler enduring fun activities" face.

But also kind of pleased. Sisters!
Plus, I get it. Sometimes at the end of a long decorating spree you just want to throw your elf hat over your shoulder and call it a day.

It's milk thirty, y'all.

It seemed like we needed a change of pace. Get out of the house, you know. Eat something on the lighter side after all the festivities cheese enchiladas covered with fried eggs and avocado and strips of steak.

Mine is not your run-of-the-mill holiday detox plan.

And who wouldn't be excited about queso? Queso!

Oh, she's good.
Okay, I really have tried to lighten up a little since last week. I mean, I'm already at the point where I'm eyeing pants that button with suspicion and disdain. So when we hit up Black Star the other night I went for some good, nourishing vegetarian chili.

What do you mean you don't see veggie chili? It's right there. No, under the cheese. On top of the Fritos.
And what's lighter than fish and beans? The pesto is made of arugula.

I don't know what chorizo you're talking about.
And now, apropos of nothing, here is Anna with a stuffed lion.



This year, I am thankful for Anna's school pictures.


Short and sweet: busy prepping for Thanksgiving edition

When composing my meal plan for the week, "Margherita pizza" and "Golden egg curry with naan" struck me as very different dishes, yet looking at the pictures now it seems that I am just in the mood for a certain bread and tomato combination at the moment.

At most moments, honestly.

Anna seemed slightly distressed when we informed her it was time for her first haircut in a year and a half.

But I think it's safe to say she was pretty pleased with the result.

LOOK HOW CLOSE THAT IS TO A SMILE. One corner of her mouth is definitely trending upward.


There were miniature desserts too, but my mouth got to them before my camera

I'm afraid since getting back from my trip I haven't quite geared up for things like looking at recipes or exerting any significant effort on dinner. I start daydreaming that I am standing in line at the omelet station at The Court of Two Sisters and suddenly hours have passed and I'm scrambling to throw together the least appetizing steak fajitas in history.

It's weird to describe food as melancholic, but there it is.

And honestly, how little attention was I paying when I inadvertently made a Whole30-compliant dinner for no reason? That's just shoddy.

I even cooked the sweet potatoes in coconut oil, it was a full paleo relapse.

Luckily for me (and all of us) Mary Beth hosted Bunco this week and made a MINIATURE THANKSGIVING FEAST HOLY COW LOOK AT THAT.

Plus she is nine months pregnant, which 1) makes this even more impressive and 2) also sort of explains it.

Every Thanksgiving food, on sage biscuits.

Delicious things inside of other things.

Delicious things inside of other things, Part Two.

I picked up these duchess potatoes and dunked them in the gravy boat like so many Oreos, oh yes I did.

This veered a little close to "green and healthy" for me, but I'll allow it.

Even though I haven't quite got my cooking mojo back yet, it's worth it to be home because I missed some little munchkin faces! They missed me too, I'm almost sure.

She's definitely going to remember who I am any day now.

No one in New Orleans showed a proper amount of skepticism regarding their breakfast items. Side effect of free Bloody Mary refills, probably.

Mostly we're just getting back into a routine. Hanging with friends.

If I made this expression at you in NOLA, please know that this is actually our "having fun" face.

Aaaand I just saw that Laura nominated me to answer a list of questions, which I will maybe do later. Or not. Do. I have kind of a lot of housework to ignore today. Sorry Laura! XOXO


I went to New Orleans and all you got was this lousy realization that I am very awkward in person

Oh, you guys. That was...a whole lot of weekend. I never walk away from a party without feeling that I probably need to make amends with some people, and this one was no exception, so here we go. 

Things For Which I Am Sorry

Meaning to spend more time with you and failing. Several of you are eligible for this one.

Pulling a weird sympathetic face when you paid me a compliment as though your taste is questionable/borderline tragic. (Ironically, I was pretty comfortable with Emily's approach of directly threatening to kidnap me and carry me around in a little cage. Hey, speaking of...)

...photobombing your cute headshot while sucking down a sandwich.

Not actually sorry about this one.

Not stealing all the name tags for you as promised. Or making it home with my own. Or my lobster hat. Or my sense of dignity never mind, didn't even pack that one.

Having the same name as you and causing some blog-related confusion. Also, aaaaaalmost linking to myself there just to be a jerk.

Dragging down your 5k time by 3 minutes/mile.

Being a dud at Saturday night dinner. I was just really tired and stressed out from all the vacationing and lack of responsibilities I had endured for three solid days.

Not squeezing ooooooone more free Bloody Mary refill in there, come on Erica! Four is weak! Where was your A game?

Probably owing you cab money.

Making you eat sushi in Baton Rouge.


Not taking a video of the best street performer ever, the Transformer who ACTUALLY GOT DOWN ON THE GROUND AND DROVE AROUND LIKE A CAR. It was amazing.

Only understanding about every third word that you said, you delightful little ball of Canadian energy.

Not getting your Twitter handle until I heard you say it out loud on Friday. That one is more an apology to myself, for having to live with dumbness.

Giving you the free flashlight/compass/whistle I got when I checked into the hotel instead of a proper souvenir, sorry honey.

Sitting/staring. Prolonged exposure to big groups causes my brain to start eating itself.

Things For Which I Am Not Sorry

Coconut cake for breakfast.

Among other things.

Any of this, really.

Expressing fear that your hypothetical barefootedness would guarantee contracting a case of syphilis and learning that syphilis is easy to treat and therefore of little concern.

Discovering my ability to telepathically control the satellite radio through a small stretch of East Texas.

Knowing what I'm going to ask you guys the next time you pop up on Gchat.

Leaving my camera behind at the Friday night party and gaining some special memories/blackmail fodder.

Alligator poetry.

This guy:


Happy birthday, Ivy! Sorry I didn't feature you more prominently!

Before it gets lost amongst all the BIRTHDAY HULLABALOO, I thought it was important for you to know that I made pasta with eggs on top of it. And there was kale involved. How could anyone have predicted that I would be drawn to this recipe? Ah, a woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets.

No, I have no idea what you're talking about.

Hey, my teensy baby turned one! I'll probably start acknowledging that there's a whole extra human in the house any day now. I went with the traditional purple for her cake, though you may notice that three years of motherhood have stifled my creativity and also my desire to permanently scar the minds of our youth.

I doubt this one will come up in therapy at all.

I made up for this newfound lameness by making queso.

It pretty much tasted like Velveeta. I don't have any problem with that.

I also made a casserole. Here is my recipe: a lot of chicken, a lot of cheese, a jar of salsa, leftover tortilla scraps from making Halloween chips, two zucchini you found in the crisper, two cans of beans. Heat up.

It was actually pretty good, because casseroles are magical.

Getting a party together is a lot of work, but Anna really threw herself into helping me this year.

All in all, it was a pretty staid affair.

"Children playing here. A little privacy, please."

You can barely tell they're related.

Realizing they're one always seems to get them.

Things perked back up at our post-party birthday dinner at Quality Seafood.

What? It takes a lot of energy to fully engage that scowl.
Okay all, I'm headed to New Orleans in a couple of days to hang out with other bloggers because I am a Real and Important Blogger and they need me there to wear lobster hats and make other people feel better about their ability to dress themselves and also their dancing skills. It's not like I have a choice. I continue to be too lazy and self-conscious to do a vlog, so if you are reading this and you don't know me yet, I WILL BE THE ONE IN THE LOBSTER HAT.