Hungry Hungry Hippie

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Sickness season

I’ve been holding my breath all week as my friends’ kids get sick, one after the other, but there’s only so much you can do to avoid it.  And OF COURSE it hits P right before OIT.  That’s the only reason I care.  He can’t updose if his immune system is under stress so when he began coughing Thursday evening and then was up coughing on and off until waking up for good between 4 and 5 am on Friday I was really nervous that we wouldn’t get very far at our appointment.  It’s hard not to be frustrated when we have slowed down to every other week appointments and then we can’t accomplish much during the time we go.  It’s also a long trek so I want to make it worthwhile!  Anyway, after making breakfast for P, I grabbed some weights and started a Nike+ workout.  It was 6:30 so I definitely had plenty of time, but before I knew it, V was up and calling for me.  So my workout wasn’t super focused. After getting her squared away with some books, I returned to my “workout” and tried to at least get something done while P finished eating.  It was so dark out, it felt weird to be up, and yet, they were so wide awake and happy to be playing with each other.  I showered while they continued to play in the bedroom and then made myself a smoothie before loading up the car.

I brought vega proteins & greens vanilla protein powder from home and added it to kale, cauliflower (first time!!), bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and water.  This was my first time adding cauliflower to a smoothie, but it’s all the rage right now.  I used a tiny bit of raw cauli and didn’t taste a thing, obviously, so I’m inclined to try more.  Perhaps frozen steamed cauliflower next time?  I bet frozen florets would give a cool texture, similar to the way frozen bananas do.

Venti!  I quit starbucks in Davis, but the Lafayette store is great and never mess up my drink so it’s my twice a month treat.

We did three updoses but he was coughing too much to risk any more.  He is now at 0.2 grams of peanut.  I was in a grumpy mood from the lack of sleep the night before and bummed that we couldn’t do more, but now that I have the gift of time, I can see that obviously that was the right call.  He was acting moody throughout the appointment, which is his sick personality, so I was trying to remind myself of that, but blah.  Whatever.  His cold was getting worse and worse by the minute and adding peanuts to that doesn’t help.  So we went home.  No Whole Foods 🙁  That was also contributing to my grump status.

I made tuna salad when I got home with vegenaise (nom nom nom) and carrots, avocado and chips on the side.  My stomach was all kinds of bonkers after and that was probably half way due to the knots I got it into from being anxious all morning about the what-ifs of dosing with a cold.  Stress and the gut, man.  After a couple of hours I went to the store with my sister to get a kombucha which totally soothed my stomach.  Phew.

I liked spending the rest of the day with my family.  They made me feel special.

My birthday meal request to my mom – flank steak, salmon, and kale salad.

And roscato!

No complaints from the littles, obviously, since there was steak involved.

And chocolate pecan pie!

This is Marie, Kyle and my favorite dessert my mom makes.

And it’s hard not to eat the whole pie “by my own self” <–Valley-ism.

Hi Milo.

Cliffs notes version of the night: LONG

More detailed description of the night: P was coughing and waking up every 5 minutes.  Since we were sharing a room with him, that meant we were all up all night.  Kyle went in the bed with him to soothe him around 11 pm, and I think I dozed off for a bit but then V on the monitor woke me around midnight.  She was telling me she had to go to the bathroom but then when I went in there she had had an accident…confused I took her to the toilet and she had mega GI issues.  I was so proud of her for waking up and going!! I changed her clothes and her sheets and tucked her back in and went back to bed.  But then when it happened a little bit later I was wondering if we were going to be up all night with diarrhea too.  Fortunately, the answer was no.

But she was up at 6. EEeeekk.

Weekend birthday deets to come….

Help me brainstorm

Ok guys, what would be your perfect dinner?  I’m trying to think of the menu for next week and I want to make something extra awesome for Monday (my birthday).  I have a few kale salads that I’m looking at – this one for example. But I’m also leaning towards something in the instant pot too, like another version of short ribs.  Recipe ideas and links welcomed in the comments section  🙂

Wednesday morning was as busy as always – I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s the busiest day of the week for us. After I drop off P I race over to stroller strides, then straight to music with V, then after that I zip to school pick up and picnic.  I packed our food the night before, so I didn’t have to scramble in the morning.  They ate and then spent the next 30 minutes running all over the church lawn with their buddies (and I got to socialize). Between the mama time at SS and lunch picnicking, I feel very fulfilled when we finally head home.

Then I get to eat MY lunch (because eating at the picnic isn’t as fun as talking).

In addition to this TJs salad I had my artichoke leftovers from the weekend.

My angel baby agreed to nap (he was THAT tired out from the school/picnic combo), so I had a few hours to myself to get stuff done.  You guys, I finally finished my CE hours to renew my RN license.  Phew!  I had been having a hard time squeezing in the time to tackle them, but it’s officially done and in the mail and now I’m good for another 2 years.

I feel like he’s playing catch up on cultural learning…who eats a hot dog like this???  Perhaps a kiddo who has never had a proper hot dog before? This is the second or third time he’s gotten one in the past few months (all from the Hotdogger stand at farmer’s market) and every time he attacks it straight on like that.  Dude.

She gets it.

There’s only one more Wednesday farmer’s market this season, but this was the last one for us so we got food to go.

Kyle and I both got food from Buckhorn.  Since the kiddos had already eaten, they colored at the table with us while we grubbed (P needed to stay calm after I gave him his peanut dose at home so this was the ideal quiet activity).  My food was fine but nothing stellar and the portion was lacking.  For a world renowned farmer’s market, the salad options are so limited it’s annoying.  Kyle and I have discussed this at length and he is SO into opening a stand with me to sell salads.  His entrepreneurialism is infectious, but I’m still way too out of my comfort zone to get my head around it.

I had some of this monkfruit sweetened bar but wasn’t that impressed.  The rest of the TJs bar was way better, and I ended up having a bit of candied ginger on top of this.

My bike ride this morning was dark!  Helloooooo Fall!  I listened to Lady Gaga and was in. to. it. Made a pumpkin cafe au lait while flipping pancakes.  Real pumpkin + coconut milk + almond milk + cinnamon + nutmeg + stevia + coffee.  I saved 1 tbsp of pumpkin puree from their pancake batter specifically for this.

The nourish bread is done-zo.

P had parent teacher conferences and school was cancelled, which I totally forgot about until the night before!  With no other plans, I brought him with me to Valley’s “school” and hoped that it would be ok (since I know the teacher and she knows P from having him in her class for years of paint and sing and creative play time classes I figured it would be).  Luckily, she was fine with it and the kids had a blast.

I brought this snack for them (he can have things that say “may contain traces of…” now!!!) but they weren’t as into it as I thought they would be.  I was!

After school I fed them an early lunch and then we went to parent teacher conferences at P’s school.  They had childcare for both kids while we were meeting with his teachers but you can probably guess how that went with V.  Sigh.

I ate once we got back. Kale and spring greens with home-made balsamic vinaigrette, candied pecans, and avo.  And the rest of the carrots.  And because that still wasn’t enough…

More of these addictive buggers.

For dinner we had leftover Sunday gravy.  Only I completely de-paleo-ed it by serving it with bread and cheese. Kyle’s got regular old cow parm, whereas mine had sheep pecorino romano.  The bread, which I couldn’t pass up this time, was the leftovers we brought home from the weekend.  Lots of Buckhorn in our lives this week.

Just as good (even better!?) the second time around!  After that we loaded up for our weekly OIT trip…

Tuesday food

I forgot to tell you guys!  I finally found the mocha califia!!  Praise be. 😉  My morning coffee has been 25% better as a result.  And morning coffee is daaaaamn important, amiright??

I was in a rush this morning and didn’t have time to thaw the last slice of nourish bread so I had zucchini banana bread instead (with cashew butter).  I had a dentist appointment so I needed to finish my coffee and food with enough time to brush my teeth again but without it being right after I eat.  You know what I’m talking about right?  I need a little bit of time between eating and brushing.  I don’t really mind the dentist though, aside from the fact that Kyle and I have to coordinate taking turns with V.  We typically do appointments back to back and just flip flop watching her (which they know when making us appointments and work around – perks of living in a small town).  In an effort to keep that minty fresh clean teeth feel last, I waited until after picking P back up at noon before I had my second cup of coffee.  Gotta be honest, I was really looking forward to it, so I gave it the mocha califia treatment too.  For the sake of my sugar addiction, I limit myself to one calfia-ified cup of joe a day (the second cup I just have with plain almond milk), but today I just went for it.  I’m going to use the “birthday week” excuse for the entire week leading up to my birthday, ok?  Just so we are all on the same page.

I keep trying to remember to take pics of their meals, but then I just forget.  They had leftover pancakes and Asian pear slices for breakfast.  For lunch they had half a sunbutter sandwich, bacon, broccoli, and then carrots and apple slices once they were done with the plated stuff.  The carrots and apples were leftover from Valley’s snack that I packed for library. P had pretzels and cream cheese at school for snack (yes, he just eats whatever dairy they are serving without any issue!).

Here’s my lunch.  I made balsamic dressing on Sunday and it’s pretty good.  The rest of the salad had greens, candied pecans, avo, and smoked salmon.  Yum!  With almost a pound of baby carrots on the side.  But NO chips!!!

After naps we went to a friend’s house to make apple juice from the apples they picked over the weekend.

The kids took over after they figured out the plunger and made enough for all four of them to get a cup.

Even though V was trying to sneak the apples on the way to the juicer.

Dinner was already done from the day before so I didn’t have to worry about a thing.  Actually, that’s not entirely true, I did have to boil water to make spaghetti noodles.  But I did that during nap time. Unlike GF noodles, you can cook wheat ones ahead of time without them ending up weird and gloopy.

Here are some action shots from the day before…

I don’t know why chopping things is so enjoyable, but it just is.  I put on Bruno Mars pandora station and had a dance party while I made this yesterday.

Three different kinds of meat and 50 minutes in the IP….

Pre (left) and post (right) meat shredding (which took under 5 minutes).

Now I feel like my kids are officially initiated into childhood.

Every parent has these same spaghetti face pics right?

I alllmost forgot the fresh basil and parsley, but remembered just in time.  Our garden still has basil going strong but I may have to pick the last of it to freeze soon…it’s been getting pretty chilly at night.

So yum.  And we still have half of it left for another full meal.  Hip hip!

I had kombucha while watching TWO (!!) episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale.  I am terrified by this show and infatuated by it at the same time…hence the double header.  We debated staying up til 2 am to finish the series but figured we would hate life the next day if we did that.  Remember when we could be irresponsible like that and it didn’t matter because we could just phone it in the next day?

Third time’s the charm

We went to the pumpkin patch for the third time this season.  Oof.

Truth be told, I was reallllly looking for any reason to get out of going.  Is it weird to hope your kid gets sick as an excuse?  It seems to happen all winter long when I don’t want to have to skip things, so it would be great if every once in a while it got me out of crap I don’t want to do.  Anyway, I never let on my true feelings to V, and she was very excited, so I sucked it up.

We were running a little behind all morning because I was making pancakes to order…

Which meant (a) they weren’t ready at 8 am on the dot when the kids were in their chairs begging for food and (b) they were  “as hot as fire” when I served them.  Blow on them children!  But now I have enough for another breakfast, maybe two.

I went back to the nourish bread because I needed something with more staying power (read: carbs) that morning.  I woke up hungry, which meant I didn’t do a good job the night before.  Oops.  Rather than play make up all day, I just dumped half a cup of cashew butter on a thick piece of bread and called it a day.  Done and done.

Plus I needed fuel to wrestle baby animals out of Valley’s arms all morning.  [Not joking]

After dropping P off at school we set off for trip number 3 to the pumpkin patch.

She’s pretty cute.

She acted like she was most looking forward to the hay ride and picking out a pumpkin, but then it came time to pet the animals.  And then good news about this visit was that the wind was in check and so the animals were outside and happy.

It is truly a MIRACLE that we didn’t leave with a kitten.  Other moms fell prey to the cuteness, but Kyle would have killed me if I came home with a pet (also, no thank you, I have enough pee and poop clean up already in my life).

She finally gets it!  Being gentle means you get snuggles!

Sorry for the excessive photography.

Somehow she lulled this guy into a nap.

Can you even handle this cuteness???

There were bunnies too (and goats, pigs, ducks, chicks, ponies, donkeys, calfs, and sheep), but those aren’t as sweet in my opinion.  V also tried to break her leg again and half way succeeded (because I’m the fun police and sprinting on top of the maze is far more fun than going through it safely like IT WAS INTENDED).

This certainly wore her out and resulted in a mega nap that afternoon.  We picked up P from school and both kids told me they were starving and needed lunch asap.  I gave them apples on the way home to buy myself time while I threw something together fast.

Course one: chickpeas, broccoli, and tomatoes

Course two: mandarin cuties

Course three: salty roasted almonds and carrots

And then they both passed out.  Quiet time for mama!

I wish I had something more interesting to share, but I am so repetitive.  It was delicious though, so I’m fine with it.

For dinner I took inspo from the Ready or Not cookbook on ways to use up odds and ends from recipe leftovers. Thanks to my prep from last week I had (1) Thai citrus dressing and (2) chicken leftover.  So I made a salad with a mix of greens, some herbs (mint and cilantro), and the smoky lime pepitas from Ready or Not.

I hardly had any work to do aside from making the pepitas which took 20 minutes start to finish.

After we got home from the park that afternoon I quickly chopped up the chicken and tossed the salads together.

I gave Kyle and Valley some more tomatoes from the garden, and everyone but Kyle got cucumbers too.

This was another slam dunk.  Kyle thought it was the best and didn’t even know it was made from repurposed things.  Everything from this cookbook has been pure gold, I tell ya. The kindle version is like $10 bucks FYI.

I did more than roast pepitas during nap time though…

These weekly meal plans are SO COOL.  Definitely awesome to have everything done for you that takes into account leftovers and tells you meals to make by repurposing them. I prepped the “Sunday Gravy” during nap for the next day’s dinner, but also planned on making “Hangry soup” which calls for 1 cup of Sunday Gravy leftovers…two meals, basically done!

I followed the instant pot option for the recipe (it has stove top and slow cooker versions too) so as soon as it was in the pot I forgot about it and went about my afternoon activities.

Several hours later…after dinner was all cleaned up…I put it in the fridge until the next day.

This is what quiet time (before bed time) looks like.  Music and books are his happy place.  He was like this the entire time we were in the hot tub. 🙂

And then it was time to get him in bed and enjoy some chocolate and tv with Kyle.

Ok a couple more.

Now I’m done.

Weekend eats

We tried to run and play tennis on Saturday morning but it was so windy we had to call an end to our terrible attempt.  Running against the wind with the heavy double stroller acting like a sail was extreme.  I was glad to be home and warm up in the shower.  It’s feeling like Fall these days!  At least in the mornings with the chilly darkness.

I had zucchini banana bread with cashew butter for breakfast.  This isn’t my best loaf, but it gets the job done.

I was unsure of what to make for lunch so I scrounged up what I could find.  The last of some different kinds of lettuce…home made herb ranch dressing…and…

Avo and hard boiled eggs and carrots and plantain chips. It was actually a really awesome meal that left me perfectly satisfied!  I love when nothingness turns into yumminess.

Inspired by the mountain of tomatoes on the counter, I decided to make something with them.  A bit of googling led me to green tomato soup…which was made with so few things, I figured I could throw it together with what I had on hand.

Into the instant pot went:

  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 6 oz uncured black forest bacon, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Which I sautéed until the onion was translucent and the bacon was cooked through.

Then I added GREEN (unripe!) tomatoes all the way to the 2/3 max fill line, which is approximately 16 cups of tomatoes.  Talk about using up what you’ve got!

I know, 16 cups of tomatoes sounds insane, but it really was a lot of tomatoes.  It’s hard to measure tomatoes accurately when they are whole without a weight based measurement, but I didn’t weigh them.  Sorry.

Wow, I just typed out tomatoes SO MANY TIMES.

I picked out the green ones first but then added in some yellow ripe ones too, to give more flavor diversity.

We still have a bunch remaining.

It’s hard to tell their size in the photos, but I put my hand in one of the pics above for reference because they are much bigger than cherry tomatoes.  They are basically the size of golf balls.

I added water, bay leaves, and (a hefty pour of) salt and cooked them in the pressure cooker for 18 minutes with a natural release.

It smelled ahhhhmazing and I don’t even like tomatoes!

I used the immersion blender to puree it.

And then packaged it up for now and later.

Having these jars in the freezer will be clutch in later months.

I had some extra bacon, so I baked that up for the kids’ dinner.  P smelled it and came running, ha!

We squeezed in a grocery shopping trip that afternoon and then I bathed and fed the kids before our babysitter arrived.

And after plenty of tears from V, I just put her down to sleep before we left to go on a date.  She has to come around eventually right????


We went to Buckhorn in Winters, which is a landmark steakhouse in the area.

I started with a salad (that I didn’t photograph) and got a baseball sirloin with a cherry port sauce, veggies, and a baked potato as my entree.  It was stellar.

My handsome date ordered the peppercorn sirloin with mashed potatoes and veggies.

Look at that loaf of French bread!!  We took the uneaten portion home, of course, and I am probably going to gluten up my life for it.

Oh!  I also got the grilled artichoke app as a part of my dinner.  I really wanted it once I saw the tarragon aioli it came with, but sadly, it was VERY underwhelming.  It wasn’t cooked through and so I basically gave up on the outer leaves and skipped straight to the heart, which was still under cooked.  I brought it home though, and will try to cook it more to make it edible.

Actually I took a lot of stuff home as leftovers because I knew I wanted dessert.

Yes please!!!  Chocolate cake to share  🙂  I’m pretending this was my birthday cake that I didn’t have to make myself (because I’m totally going to make myself something else later this week).

We came home to two sleeping angels (this was the second time with this babysitter and she ROCKS) so we are determined to keep it up.

I went on a long bike ride Sunday morning because I thought we were skipping church.  P had been up a few times that night with GI stuff (it’s been ongoing for the past week – UGH) and he seemed pretty miserable so I figured church wasn’t in the cards.  Given that, my ride was longer than normal and I took my time showering, but once he finished breakfast he declared he felt fine and really wanted to go.  Oooookay then!

I ate super fast and was getting ready to go when V said she wanted to go too!  What!?!  Ooookay then!  Kyle quickly got dressed and a bit later we were all in the car ready to give Valley girl her first shot at Sunday school child care.

Guess how well it went?  You don’t need to guess, I’ll tell you.  Despite telling us repeatedly on the way there that she was “excited to play with the kids and toys” and “there will be no mama and dada” but “mama and dada always come back” etc etc etc, she burst into tears the second I took one step towards the door without her.  She lasted half a song before my pager started buzzing in the service for me to come retrieve her.  Oh well.  I guess we will keep trying.  I thought she was serious about being excited since she sees P get dropped off there for school and I basically have to drag her kicking and screaming out of his classroom, but apparently not.  She was super well behaved in church though!  Probably knew she better behave or she would end up back in the child care area.  😉

Kyle dug into the soup for lunch!  With leftover French bread.  He said it was great.

MY lunch was great too.  I used the dressing from this dish on kale and added avocado, smoked salmon (more than shown), and carrots.  All about dressings right now.  I even prepped two different ones for the week ahead – a balsamic vinaigrette and a sesame miso one.

I was really excited to make this Bon Appetit dish for Sunday night dinner.  I halved it because I didn’t think I needed 8 chicken thighs, but it was soooo good that next time I will make the full amount so we have leftovers.

I used the stock from the whole chicken I made last week and it was mega gelatinous.  Holy moly I bet it was packed with nutrients. It certainly helped amp up the flavorful nature of this dish.  I can’t even believe how good this smelled…all afternoon I was excited for dinner time.

Braising away…while I try not to amputate my hand as I slice the acorn squash.  Please someone have a trick for making it easier to hack into a squash??  I feel like my knives are plenty sharp, but it makes me so nervous.

Everything all nestled in.  I added the lettuce to wilt when I re-heated the whole thing 10 minutes before serving.

I don’t know of a fancy way to present this. I suppose that’s why I don’t make $ off my blog.  But you guys MUST MUST MUST make this.  I loved it so much that I told Kyle I wanted to make it again for my birthday dinner (in one week).  Too soon?  Nope.  It’s that good.

I poured the extra sauce into my mouth and will probably go to bed dreaming about it.  If you nixed the chicken and subbed in a bean (chickpea, cannellini, whatever) it would be a fantastic side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Oops, did I just jump too far ahead?  Ok, ok, let’s just wrap our minds around October.

As much as I wanted dessert, I actually felt like a ginger kombucha more.  So the ‘booch won.  With the end of Sunday night football.  Onto the week!