I feel like I gave it the fairest of shots, really

It's been a while since I brought home a cookbook from the library, so of course I chose one that I immediately wanted to argue with.

Oh, "everyone" will love them? WE'LL SEE ABOUT THAT, COOKBOOK

I then proceeded to change most of the ingredients in the recipe I picked.

Don't "fat free half and half" me, mister

So what I made was something sort of akin to Spaghetti and Meatballs with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, but presumably much worse for our hearts.


Did everyone love it?

Polite smile

Unbridled enthusiasm for the noodle side of the plate

Ambivalence for the meatball side of the plate

General-purpose dab

 I hope you have a happy Friday and a chance to watch cats watching squirrels.



It was below 60 degrees Fahrenheit when I woke up yesterday morning, so I felt I had no choice but to turn on the crockpot and put meat in it. No choice, I tell you.

Not sure what powerful forces compelled me to make Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Banana Bread, just the phrase "Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Banana Bread," I guess.

The girls have had a lot going on the past few days. Anna marched for science, with all the solemn dignity that entails:

Ivy metamorphosed into a caterpillar, but didn't get all bent out of shape about it like some people:

Enthusiastic yardwork:

And finally, the activity that required more energy than all the others combined: fighting over one square foot of table space for no apparent reason except that they are siblings.

I'm instituting a new no-turf-wars-before-Mommy-has-her-coffee house rule.


Living my best podcast-oriented life

It's been a while since we had a Super Social Food League of Austin post, so I figured we should come back strong with some very very very good fried chicken from The Peached Tortilla. I think they only serve this on Wednesdays, so if you are in Austin you should make a note of it. If you aren't in Austin, you should come to Austin. On a Wednesday.

Regan and I also enhanced this month's #SSFLA with a side of #SSDGM.

This is all part of my live podcast taping SPRING SPREE, which began with Doug Loves Movies last month and concludes with an Adventure Zone/MBMBaM weekend in May. I don't think I've ever included My Favorite Murder in my podcast recommendations, probably because 1) they don't need my help, it is crazy popular; 2) true crime isn't for everyone; 3) true crime with spotty research and a lot of inaccuracies is for even fewer people; 4) I don't really like to advertise what a ghoul I am, generally. REGARDLESS, we went, we had fun, we stayed sexy and did not get murdered.

Obviously we were not getting through this post-Easter week without some Curried Egg Salad


I tried that internet thing where you put a square on the floor and your cats get in it except my cats were like "nah we're good." But it wasn't a total failure.


It is the most be-hatted of holidays

Yesterday I learned that if you slice cabbage thinly enough, by which I mean purchase very thinly sliced cabbage, you can mix it undetected amongst rice noodles and your children will be none the wiser.

To clarify: they will still whine about the noodles, but not about cabbage specifically 

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend. We had, as always, varying levels of enthusiasm for the proceedings.

High marks from all parties for "hats," though.

Or at least for plates of macaroni and cheese and jelly beans.

We are Easter dinner traditionalists 

Lotta good feline feedback on my decorations, too.


The ponytails are what make it *go*

This recipe for Caprese Avocado Breakfast Toast is less a "recipe" and more an "advertisement for cheese," but what can I say? I'm buying what she's selling.

I'm surprised "selling cheese to an Erica" isn't already a sales idiom of some type

The girls are off school today and we have a lot of very busy very important plans such as going to see the Lego Batman Movie at the discount theater, so I'd better go attend to all that. Have a good Good Friday. Go see a 3D movie for $2. Color a rainbow cupcake.

Add the ponytails back on to the handles of the bike your sister passed down to you.


Anna faces some hard truths

We're having a drizzly, overcast week here, which is great for me, as I am a reverse-Superman who is weakened and enervated by Earth's yellow sun and find cloudy days very animating. Yesterday, for example, I had the energy to do the chopping and mixing and simmering required to produce some Vegetable Chili, and leftover energy to face arguing with my children about it.

And that's saying something.

If I am being 100% honest this entire series actually documents her confronting the surprising fact that she *likes* the chili.

Anna's school had it's annual Spring Fest fundraiser this weekend. We had some trouble deciding on which activities to pursue.

Eventually we worked it out. We sampled some cuisine.

Took in a musical performance.

Questioned an obstacle course.

Not sure what Ivy was up to, but I'm sure she managed to entertain herself.


Finally bringing some panicked intensity to relaxation

First, food. I swear I am not sponsored by Trader Joe's but this is what I have been eating for lunch lately and I advise you to do similarly:

H/t the person in one of my FB groups who recommended this seasoning blend, thank you person!

I also ribboned some omelet because Deb at Smitten Kitchen told me to, thank you Deb!

Eggs: is there anything they can't do?

SPEAKING OF EGGS NOT DOING THINGS: when were you guys going to tell me about Gudetama? Do you know how behind on things I feel when I have to find out about a lazy/depressed egg yolk character from a Vox explainer? IT'S A LAZY/DEPRESSED EGG YOLK WITH A BUTT. YOU KNOW SUCH A THING WOULD BE IMPORTANT TO ME. So I guess the bad news is that I will be bringing litigation against Sanrio for using my likeness without permission. But the good news is: socks!

Gudetama also led me to Rilakkuma, whose moderately threatening description of forced relaxation appeals to me: "You will be dragged into Rilakkuma's world and become lazy and relaxed." Sign me up! Wrap me in breathable cloth and throw me over your shoulder, Rilakkuma!

I also finally looked into hygge, which is a word that I have seen a lot but have for some reason been avoiding because I guess I don't want Danish people rubbing their cozy sweaters in my face? But the fact that it's pronounced HOO-gah and always starts with "light a bunch of candles, constantly" has me coming around.

Anyway, that is your relaxation rundown for the week because the world is scary and decidedly un-hyggelig.

Also you may have noticed that I am slowly replacing pictures of children with pictures of cats who will not someday be teenagers with internet access.

One hopes 


An exception to a rule and a slight resistance to the passage of time

If you were to ask me if I like April Fools Day I would tell you of course I do not like April Fools Day, I am a sensitive adult human and the entire concept is clearly of the devil. Fooling people is mean and it makes them feel bad and not like you as much, if at all, going forward. I might even be provoked into a semi-hysterical diatribe about how we are living in a post-truth era as it is and how can lying be considered humorous, not that it was before anyway, etc.

But listen.

Come closer.

*whispers* I actually do really like the parts that are very silly and not mean-spirited. *no longer whispering* BRING ME ALL THE OBVIOUS JOKES.

This Tastemade video, for example (h/t Kate, thanks Kate) tickled me enough that I actually made the recipe in it.

I like it heavy on the Flavor Ashes, but that's personal preference.

So anyway, that's where I'm at vis-a-vis the beginning of April.

We also went to a seventh birthday party for a child who looked kind of like our friend Cash but can't be because Cash is a baby and so is Anna.

Vaguely familiar but way too tall

This is Cash and Anna.

Best of friends!

Doorknob-height, tops.

And don't even get me started on the other two.

Anyway, happy Tuesday, I know the day of fools has passed but it doesn't hurt to keep an eye out.