Monday, February 13, 2012

1950s style

All growing up I never once attended a themed costume costume that is.  We never went out and paid money for a store bought costume that was just right.  We never had the right stuff at home to fit whatever the theme was.  And I was usually too school for for school to be caught dead in something that sort of made a lame attempt at fitting the theme, but didn't quite hit the mark.

As a result, I was the equally lame kid who showed up in jeans and a t-shirt who stood around too cool for costumes that weren't quite right, and yet desperate to fit in just once for a themed party.


We got an invitation to William's cousin's birthday party - 1950s themed - and William's all like "let's do this baby, we're doing it!!"

There were usual groans and moans on my part as I tried not to dredge up the bad costume party memories from my childhood, but I told him I'd do my best.

Thankfully I didn't have to rely fully on my best or I still would have been in trouble.  I had two friends ready to help out who let me look through their stuff and loaned me almost the entirety of my wardrobe.  By the end, I felt ready to rock the 1950s and any party that came with it.  

And so, because this might in fact be the only time in my life that I actually attend a themed costume party, IN COSTUME, and look really fabulous doing so, I will now shamelessly post far too many pictures of us in our get up.  I admit to feeling awesomely beautiful that night. :-)  Thanks girls. :-)

Someone asked if I was Jackie O.

Someone said a brunette Marilyn.

Someone said Black Dahlia.  (I had to look that one up.)

I just felt awesome and incognito.
Pretty Lady and Nerdy Scientist.

Nerdy Scientist and his 1950s radio.  (from my Grandmother's shed)

Slide Rule anyone?

He's not overly excited.....

Makes you kind of nervous doesn't he?

Okay, perhaps Mad Scientist is better.

How did the nerd ever get the babe?

Can't forget the scarf and gloves.

Red lipstick and shades.

And the coat and bag.  :)

So there you go.  Our totally awesome 1950s birthday party get up.  Happy Birthday to Nicole and thanks for having a costume party so that I could for once in my life, go in costume and rock it out!  This crunchy mama enjoyed her night of glam!  :-)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Horrifying experience

Yesterday I experienced something horrifying.  Not nearly so horrifying as it could have been, but bad enough for me.  Enough to truly piss me off as a mother.

When Charlie and I play outside in the front yard, he loves to run and be chased.  The way our yard is set up, we have two trees that he loves to run around.  One of them is about 10 feet from the road.  So in the process of making the run around the tree, there is about 5 seconds where he always looks like he's headed straight for the road before making the turn.  I am so blessed that he's never run into the road yet.  He always turns.  Or he always stops short a couple feet from the edge of the yard, because Mama has drilled it into his head to do so.  Really, he is so good about this, I admit to letting my guard down a bit in this area.  (Not that I am not paying attention, but I generally don't have to be middle man between him and the road at all times.)

Yesterday I was standing at our porch steps while Charlie was making his usual dash towards and around the tree near the road.  I had looked down for a moment at my shoe and looked up to catch this picture.

My son "heading for the road" in his usual manner while running around the tree and a woman in some big SUV type car, driving the entire length of our yard, WITH HER HEAD DOWN STARING AT HER PHONE.  I watched horrified, as there was that moment where, had Charlie deviated from his normal routine and continued to head into the road, this woman would have in fact run over him.  I was absolutely terrified for that moment in time before seeing Charlie make his usual left hand turn and seeing the woman leave the perimeter of our yard.

Then my horror turned to absolute RAGE.  How DARE this woman be so engrossed in her phone that she was driving while not looking where she was going?  How DARE a text be so important that it requires a reply while driving?  How DARE she look down to find a contact to call in her phone, while taking her eyes off the road on a neighborhood street where there are children?

How DARE I judge because I know I have done the same thing.

I don't text, but I have been guilty of glancing downward to quickly find a contact to call.  I try not to do it often, but I know I've done it.  Have I had any narrow misses like this woman had yesterday?  I dare say with the large number of people talking and texting while driving, it's not a matter of "if" you had a narrow miss, it's a matter of "how many" narrow misses you may have had.  And. Never. Even. Known. It.

I don't judge this woman, because I am guilty of the same thing she is.  I have no doubt her remorse would have been severe had anything happened.  HOWEVER, I don't excuse this woman's actions.  And I genuinely hope that my moment of sheer terror as a mother, spurs me on to be safer about my phone habits while driving.

Be smart.  Be safe while driving.  You never know when there is an invisible little kid somewhere and a terrified mother standing just a bit too far out of reach.

Taken Christmas Day.
I love you little man.  I'm eternally grateful every day you are alive and in my life.

Do you have a mustard pusher in your house?

Found this post in my drafts folder, sadly tucked away and somehow unpublished.  Since mustard pushing was so important in our lives for so many weeks, I decided I'd go ahead and share it, even if this was back in October. :-P

Charlie has long been obsessed with all the mustard bottles in our house.  It doesn't so much have to do with eating the mustard on every food item on his plate (in fact that phase is almost completely gone).  It has to do with him obsessing over having to have all 4 bottles out on the table when we eat, and him having to be the one to pull all 4 bottles out of the fridge, by himself, at the same time.  Which almost never works and then never fails to result in frustration and tears.  It has to do with his desire to pull the mustard bottles out at random times and tote them around the house on his little push cart.  

He is my little Mustard Pusher.  Whatever that is, he's that.

The hummus got lucky and got to go along for the ride this time too.

Mustard pushing can be very intense.  He (ahem) WE take it very seriously.

Lean into it son - mustard pushing can be hard work sometimes.

So hard sometimes you just have to pull it instead.

There he goes around the corner.

We love mustard pushing!

But sometimes mustard pushers get distracted... staring at their own awesome reflection.

Organizational strategy is also key.  See, we DO take mustard pushing seriously in this house.

I'm bracing myself for the day when I find a moldy mustard bottle under the living room chair that's long been forgotten from one of the mustard pushing escapades.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hummus Soup

I'm sure you all know by now my fascination and obsession with hummus.  Hummus is cheap and healthy, easy to make large quantities of, and most importantly, super tasty!

So imagine me when a friend passed on a recipe to me for hummus soup!! :-D  No way.  I of course had to try it.  I tried the recipe as was, and it was, I admit, less than stellar.  I thought how could that be possible given the inherent tastiness of hummus.  Then I realized the recipe just needed some tweaking (insert my hummus recipe here), and then BAM!  We had a super tasty soup that I could seriously eat every day, for a really long time before ever even considering getting tired of it.

I can't actually remember where the original recipe came from, so my apologies for lack of credit where credit is due.  But I did make some pretty serious alterations to it, so this version is my version. :)

As always, picture quality leaves a lot to be desired, as I am no photographer.  But it gives you an idea. :)

Tangy Hummus Soup!  (Because a soup like Tangy Hummus Soup must have an exclamation point with it)

5-6c veggie stock, depending on how thick you like your soup
2 batches of homemade hummus
1-3tsp of fresh garlic (I liked 3, William only liked 1 - compromise people)
4 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1.5-2 tsp turmeric
1/2c cilantro (optional, but totally awesome)
1 onion chopped

Additional ingredients for a more hearty soup: potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, diced tomatoes

In a little bit of olive oil or broth, saute onions, garlic (and any additional ingredients you are using) until soft (don't have to be fully cooked).  Add rest of veggie broth and seasonings and let veggies cook until soft.  Stir in 2 batches of hummus, let cook for 5 minutes or so to let the flavors meld, and then serve with fresh chopped cilantro (if using).

This soup packs an incredible flavor punch and when paired with a crusty bread (which we don't do a lot of in this house), is Ah-MAZ-ing.  But then again I AM an extreme hummus fanatic.  

But I'm pretty sure if you love hummus and tons of flavor, you'll love this too.  :)  

If you try it let me know what you think!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sunflower Lentil Pie and Sesame Mustard Tahini

Here we go.  Finally posting the latest yummy recipes in our lives.  I can take no credit for these, as I pulled them from the yummy Vive le Vegan! cookbook by Dreena Burton.  She has several cookbooks out - I have eat, drink & be vegan and Vive le Vegan!.  I would recommend both, and I'm sure her other books would be just as awesome.

So I tried the Sunflower Lentil Pie and Sesame Mustard Tahini Sauce about two months ago and my husband and I were BOTH instantly hooked.  So yummy.  I cooked it up with a side of pesto couscous and sauteed green beans and we had a really yummy, healthy, and filling meal.

Sunflower-Lentil Pie - my alterations

3/4c brown lentils, washed and picked
1 3/4c water
1 1/2c red onion, roughly chopped (I have used both red and yellow onion just fine)
1c quick oats (I used regular rolled oats and it worked just fine)
1/2c sunflower seeds
1/2c celery (I didn't add)
1 med-large clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp tamari (or Bragg's Liquid Aminos)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp vegan Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium high heat, combine lentils and water and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to med-low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Add the onions, stir through, and let cook for another 10-15 minutes, covered, until lentils are soft and absorbed all the water.  In food processor, combine the lentil mixture, with the remaining ingredients and puree until just smooth, but retaining some texture.  Transfer mixture to a lightly oiled pie plate, and distribute evenly.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned and just firm.  Let stand a few minutes before serving.  (It firms up as it cools.)

My Notes:

  • I have easily doubled the recipe and put it in a 9x13 pan and it turns out beautifully.  Let it cook a little longer than given times.
  • If you don't have a pie plate, just use an 8x8 casserole dish or something similar sized
  • I left out celery because I've always been an ardent hater of it, but if you aren't an ardent hater, you should use it.

Sesame Mustard Tahini Sauce (picture on the Sunflower-Lentil Pie in the picture)

1/2c water (use more if you desire thinner consistency)
1/2c tahini
1/3c apple cider vinegar
1 small clove garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp honey alternative (I use agave)
3 Tbsp tamari (or Bragg's Liquid Aminos)
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 1/2-3 tsp toasted sesame oil (I just did 2tsp)
1/4-1/2tsp sea salt

Put all ingredients in blender and blend till smooth.  Season to taste with more of any ingredient.

The combination of the flavors between the dish and the sauce are just awesome.  The sauce has a hint of sweetness, lots of tang and is an awesome contrast to the Lentil-Sunflower Pie.  I think I have made the dish a total of 3-4 times since first trying it.  This is definitely a regular in our house now.