Hungry Hungry Hippie

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International Women’s Day

First things first, I’d like to give a virtual pat on the back to all the amazing women who read my blog…I’m so proud of us…and today is about celebrating, supporting, and nurturing our female community.  I know there was a #daywithoutwomen movement to encourage us not to work (paid or unpaid) but that’s just not realistic in my case. And more importantly misses the mark.  So here I am, plugging along during nap time, taking care of sh!t like me and all the other badass moms do every other day.  My husband is a feminist.  My kids are too young to know what I do for them on a deep level.  And since those are the main people who would be affected (negatively) by my calling in sick for the day, I’m choosing to celebrate in a different way.  By sending love out to all the women who DON’T get the recognition you deserve for how hard you work.  I know you’re out there.  Keep it up.

After a decadent weekend eating out, it was back to basics come Monday.  Steel cut oats for everyone – raisins, slivered almonds, cinnamon, and (unsweetened) applesauce to sweeten.

Plus a million oranges and cuties on the side.  V likes both oranges and cuties, but P prefers cuties. V housed 2 full oranges after seconds of oats, while P was right on her tail.  My kids wake up starving!  I suppose it makes sense since they eat dinner at 6 and are in bed by 7…

I had a big slice of banana bread WITHOUT nutbutter!!  This bread is so packed with good stuff (coconut oil, almond flour, and walnuts) that I don’t even want more on top.  Also, it’s really good cold.  I actually like it better straight from the fridge more than heated.

She’s ordering off his menu.  I was spying on them while doing laundry.

Lunch was kale massaged with oil, then chopped up with avocado, bacon, and dates.  With carrots on top and on the side.

P had swimming, but Kyle got home early so I could take him solo.  He and V did dada/daughter stuff while I watched him get his shark face on.

I had already made dinner while they were napping, so when we got home is was ready to go.

It’s hard to tell what this was in the final plated portion, but it was so good.  Since I still hadn’t been to the grocery store, I made a big stir fry with every fresh veg I could find in the house, including cabbage, shredded carrots, purple carrots, and celery.  I added it to diced chicken that I sautéed in a sesame ginger soy sauce.  It was super saucy, so there was a ton of juice to spoon over the quinoa when I served it.  Three of us loved it, and the other was too tired to function during dinner. Can you guess which was which?  Miss V wasn’t in the best of moods and I ended up feeding her while she sat on my lap because she was crying non-stop for some reason in her own seat.  I have no clue what was up with her, but it wasn’t great.  I try to avoid catering to them during meals, especially when it means I can’t eat because she is on my lap – it just sets a bad precedent.  But sometimes you just have to give in.  In the end she ate a full meal, so the compromise worked out.

PJs + deezer + meal planning + the final episode of the OJ show.  Good start to the week.

Snow day

Notice anyone missing from the family photo???

Poor Kyle was up all night with a stomach bug – a mere 8 hours after arriving home.  The combo of jet lag and a compromised immune system from all his travel plus some random stomach thing just put his body over the edge.  He was a sweaty, shaking, nauseated mess the next morning.  We were supposed to hit the road early to avoid traffic and bad weather, but Kyle was iffy on whether he’d be able to go.  So in the meantime, I fed the kids and my sister went and filled up the car with gas and got breakfast.  We set off around 9, but in hindsight, we should have just left Kyle at home and scrapped the first sledding part of the day with the kids.  He thought he was feeling better, but he was not.  He tried to sleep and not throw up the whole time I drove and played with the kids.  While he napped in the car, Laura and Chris and I took the kids to build snowmen and such.

Weeeeee!

They were really having a blast, but Kyle was in bad shape so we didn’t stay too long before getting their lunches from the car and feeding them.

I had packed them SB+J sandos plus cutie tangerines, pistachios, and apples slices.

P was bummed to not get to stay longer which I felt bad about, but I’m just happy they both had a good first experience in the snow.  No tears, no freezing, just fun, leaving them wanting more.

I would have gone back with Kyle, but I had already purchased a lift ticket in advance.  My sister knows me so well.  She made me buy the ticket earlier in the week because she knew that’s the only way I would be forced to do something for myself.  Kyle had agreed to take the kids back after a half day and let me ski for the rest of the day with my sister because I needed major me time after a long stretch of solo parenting without any relief.  So, even though Kyle was still pretty ill, he took the kids back and I stayed to ski.

It was SOOOOOO fun.

We got lunch before we hit the slopes.

So healthy.

Tahoe Donner is a pretty affordable place to ski, especially if you get tickets on liftopia in advance like we did. It’s supposed to have a kid area, but it’s not on the same property, so that was pretty lame. The kids didn’t care enough this time, but in the future, I’d go to Soda Springs for the tubing and sledding stuff. We didn’t have the energy to get back in the car and go somewhere else after getting all our gear on.  For skiing, it’s good for the price.  They have a limited number of runs, and they aren’t too long.  But there were no lines to get on the chairs, and the runs were variable enough.  We didn’t do any diamonds because we aren’t professionals (I haven’t skied since I lived in NYC!) but it was pretty amazing how fast it comes back to you.  I really had a blast.  I can’t wait to do more frequent and longer trips – maybe renting a cabin with family and/or friends.  In the end, I knew Kyle needed me home sooner rather than later…plus there was a storm coming that evening.

After we got home, Kyle went to bed, and I fed the kids while Laura and Chris went to get us dinner.

Guadalajara never disappoints. Except they forgot my tortillas!!!  So that was a bummer.  I used chips, though so it was fine.

We were going to go in the hot tub that night but then it started raining!  Didn’t see that coming!

So instead we watched SNL (Kyle slept straight through til the morning). 🙁

Crepeville for breakie!  I worked out first thing, and by 7:45 am everyone was ready to head downtown.  Kyle was feeling decent after a full night’s sleep and zero food, so he joined us, too.

It was a dreary morning and not many people were downtown, but it meant getting a table and ordering were a breeze.

I got the gluten free scone because their muffins weren’t going to be done for another hour or so. It was pretty good, although I do think the Pushkin’s baked goods might be better.

Kyle, V and I all shared the midtown Benedict as well.

It’s hard to NOT order this, and since I wanted a little something savory in addition to my scone, it was an easy sell for Kyle.  He had already eaten a bowl of cereal earlier to test his stomach out, so he wasn’t hungry or willing to push it.  He had a few bites, V had a lot of bites, and I had a medium number of bites.  Like the three bears all mixed up.  I also brought apples slices and muffins for the kiddos, though.

Laura and Chris left after breakfast and I got straight to work on house chores.  Vacuuming and cleaning and such.  I was pooped, but the feeling of a clean house is worth it.

I made smoothies for Kyle and the babes for lunch.  With three whole oranges, one banana, almond milk, hemp seeds, probiotics, soaked goji berries, and home-made nectarine chia jam.

Basically an antioxidant and vitamin C packed, gut healing tonic.

My lunch was the predictable kale situation.  Miso dressing, avocado, macadamia nuts, and heaps of carrots.

Miss thang looking all sweet.

We hit up Costco that afternoon because it was raining and we were all exhausted.  Nobody felt like doing the shopping, but that’s life.

In my completely lazy state, I bought pork buns, which I paired with sesame tamari green beans.

Per usual, the prepared food wasn’t met with much enthusiasm.  I both love that and lament that. I thought they were pretty good – nice and sweet breading on the outside.  The ratio of meat to bun was good too.  But they each had one and were done.  They asked for seconds and thirds of veggies though.  So that says all you need to know about their food preferences.  If P outgrows his food allergies it may be too late…they may have already been “ruined” by home cooking.

After dinner Kyle went to bed and I went to a girlfriend’s house for a birthday celebration.  I had champagne and cake and girlfriend time and it was exactly what I needed.  I am so lucky to have such great friends in Davis.  It was a night of fun and laughter and I didn’t get home until way too late, but it was so fun and worth it.

Hey La, My Husband’s Back!

I was very excited for the arrival of Friday.  TGIfreakinF.

We are making the most of our groupon to ArtBeast that’s for sure. We’ve been three times already in the first week.  It’s a nice change up from our usual indoor-let’s-see-how-we-can-ride-out-this-rain-and-brrr-weather activities. There are only so many times you can go to the library and gymnastics.

They made their own buttons.  P was more interested in watching (and figuring out) the machine than the actual decorating portion of the project.

Temple is next door so as we were leaving I went in and almost ordered myself a fancy schmancy almond milk coffee thing, but resisted (also known as, my kids were done done done and I knew waiting for the barista was going to make everyone’s lives so much more miserable).  #sacrifices

I made myself a less fun but still delish cafe with Califia coconut almond chocolate milk at home.

I have no photo proof that the kids or I ate breakfast or lunch, but I assure you they both happened.  While they napped I made dinner something out of nothing.

I had forgotten Kyle was coming home in time for dinner, so I realized I had to make something more real than leftovers.  Especially for his first meal back from a week away.  I figured home-made was what he was missing most.

I roasted spaghetti squash and then added this soup as “sauce” plus ground beef for his portion. I scooped out some from each half to set aside for the kids, too.

I set it in the oven to bake for later (I figured out the oven settings to do delay start and turn it off – all while I’m away!!).

Snack time for V – her first pistachios!  She is now obsessed and asks for them all the time.

Kyle got home!!!!

Since he flew through SFO on the way back he went to the See’s stand.  HUSBAND OF THE YEAR.

At 4 pm, we woke P up for an afternoon play date.  Kyle got the nicest welcome ever – fighting over who sat in his lap (not being facetious – that’s actually a big deal because they usually only want my lap!).

We went to a friend’s house that afternoon to hang and it was nice for Kyle to come and ease back into our life, and time zone, in Davis.

His and hers above.  The kids had the same thing without sauce.  P liked it as soup the first time we had it, and then tolerated it as pizza sauce the second time we had it, but as it turns out, he really isn’t a fan of tomatoes and cashews (which are pretty much the only things he is vocal about disliking).  I don’t blame him at all because I hated tomatoes until I was in my 20s and didn’t touch nuts until I became vegan shortly after.  He is not even remotely picky when it comes to food, so I’m not worried. He is entitled to have taste buds with preferences.  Anyway, the kids’ version of the meal had squash and beef and mixed veggies (carrots, corn, peas, and green beans).

I wasn’t planning on finishing this…but then I did.  It’s like a warm comforting bowl of yum. How could I not finish it all?

Don’t worry I still had room for these.

I went back for more.  Oops.

Kyle was barely awake by 9 pm, but we stayed up for my sister and her husband to arrive because they were spending the weekend with us.  We had snow and ski plans for Saturday that I was SUPER excited about.  P has had such minimal snow exposure, and V hasn’t had any that I can think of!? With Lake Tahoe being so close to us, it’s silly we haven’t been more!  To be fair, babies in the snow isn’t exactly the most fun, so they are only now getting to the right ages for enjoying the winter scene. I grew up skiing several times a season, and it’s something I have always enjoyed, in spite of the cold weather (because we all know I’m a total wuss when it comes to braving the elements).  Kyle isn’t a skier, but he’s not opposed to learning at some point.  He has snow boarded in the past, but I think he’s going to (eventually) give skiing a go…down the line when our whole family is ready (and age appropriate) to do more lengthy trips.  It’s probably a few years away, but I think P could be ready for lessons soon.  Maybe next year?

Anyway, the next day was both terrific and tragic.  The above photo was (fortunately) a false alarm.  Kyle, however, was struggling in such a major way that the whole trip almost got canceled.

I missed rabbit rabbit

I have so much to say but I’m so exhausted.  Last time Kyle was gone the kids were sick but at least I was healthy.  This time I’m sick (too) and there’s only so long that you can fake it.

But I will forge ahead because he is coming home soon and we have so much fun stuff planned this weekend.

You know what people email me the most about?  Well, allergy stuff mostly, but aside from that I get asked how we do “media free” for the kids.  I haven’t ever responded in a formal way because I don’t have a good answer!  I honestly don’t know what to say.  We just…don’t.  I realize all kids are different and I definitely don’t want to shame or guilt parents who use tv or ipads or whatever to help them out, but I don’t consider it an option so it’s just not an option.  That’s really it.  As a result, the kids don’t know it exists.  So far P hasn’t seemed to realize all the references that he misses when classmates are talking about Star Wars or whatever character (it helps that you can get everything in book form at the library). And V thinks that TV means Mickey Mouse in a hotel room (because that Florida trip was a special kind of h.e.l.l. that needed an exemption).  Sooooo they aren’t asking for it, and I’m not offering it, so therefore it doesn’t exist.  Does that help? Probably not. Every study says free play free play free play, read read read, and then more free play.  So that’s where my parenting “style” (if you call it that) comes from.  I think it’s had a positive effect on their development, but I have no “control” so it’s just my intuition.  And while I’d happily brag about my kids for another 200 paragraphs, that’s not what this blog is about.

On Wednesday, P had a field trip to the fire station, and V and I had nothing planned while he was in school, so I figured I’d “sleep in” and work out after he was in school – probably a stroller run with V. But then both kids were up and ’em at 6:30 so we were done with breakfast by 7:40 and I decided we may as well go on a run then!?!  So I took the double stroller and went on a 30 minute jog, and got back with plenty of time to spare before taking P to school.  There are some perks to having kids on an early am schedule I guess?

V played dress up in my closet while I showered.  This was after she got herself naked and I re-dressed her.  I knew it was too quiet in her room…

I got this at TJs the day before and can’t wait to try it!

My girl friend drove on the field trip and sent me photos from the trip.

What’s better than firemen?  A bestie hug.

The rest of the week has been very fireman focused.  Note his mask and hose.

I didn’t photograph their food very well this week.  It’s so hard to remember.  They had the rest of the red lentil noodles I shared a few posts ago from TJs.  They LOVED those noodles and have requested them almost daily.  They are definitely on next week’s grocery list.  All I did was toss them in olive oil and salt!  It’s an easy carb option that has more protein than normal, which makes it a whole meal once you add a fruit and veggie on the side!

And I know I rarely mention their snacks, but they eat apple slices pretty much exclusively as snacks because it’s an easy on the go option.  They eat them in the car, they eat them when we are grocery shopping, they eat them all. the. time.  They never seem to get sick of them, so I never bother changing it up.  We go through so many apples though.  They each eat at least an apple a day, but probably more??  My tupperware are suddenly not big enough for both of them to share.  I just got a glimpse of my (bag lady) future – in no time at all I am going to be shlepping around a cooler for them both, full of sliced fruit.  If we are at home, I’m more creative, and their snacks are more well rounded (like roasted chickpeas, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, sliced veggies, home-made bars, etc) but they don’t snack at home very much, probably because we are always out and about.  Roasted chickpeas are definitely a staple, and I always have a batch made because I pack them for Pattycakes’ school snack 99% of the time.  They are easy and cheap, too.  Home-made bars require more prep but I make such big batches now that they last a long time.

The tangents!! Oh the tangents!

Lunch for moi. Standard. Add another handful of mac nuts to the post-salad scene and you have the full picture.

We had no plans that afternoon so once they woke up from naps we went to a new park.  It was so awesome!  There was nobody else there and the ability level for both of them was perfect, so I literally sat on a bench and read articles on my phone while they played (with each other!).

She needed a little help from time to time because she’s a daredevil (she went all the way to the top of this thing!), but otherwise it was an hour of me just watching them play.

Dinner was leftovers re-purposed.  Ground beef + veggies + brown rice.  Not fancy at all.

And more pizza for me. I have officially eaten all the Simple Mills crusts I made. They are so good. If Nugget market doesn’t sell them I can get them from Thrive Market.  I went to Nugget the other day for my usual non-TJs products run (now that WF is closed) and was sad that they didn’t have Kite Hill stuffs, but then I talked to the super awesome staff member in the yogurt section and he said he’d make a note to see if they could get it so I’m hopeful about the way they listen to consumer requests.  Good sign!

This guy!

Can we just discuss the title for a sec?  Ravishing Rocky Road salted caramelized almonds and chewy marshmallows pave the way in milk chocolate.  Dude.  I want to be the person who comes up with the descriptions on candy bars.  What lucky person gets that job in life?  I want to throw my hat in that ring, asap.

I would have been surprised that the ingredients weren’t crushed and embedded within the chocolate had I not already had the same reaction to the chuao pretzel bar I had last week.  It was milk chocolate based, so pretty sweet, but I liked the spiced nuts a lot.  The marshmallows weren’t super fluffy but it was still good.  I don’t think I’d buy it again though, because even though it was tasty, there are better bars at better price points, in my opinion.

After my sugar high kicked in, I got to baking.

It was too late to bake them (I need my sleep) so I threw them in the breadmaker on the quickbread/bake cycle and left them to do their thing overnight.  Since I have two breadmakers and 4 super ripe bananas, I made a double batch and set them both up.  Out of curiosity, I set one for delay bake and the other to start right away.  I didn’t notice much of a difference in the outcome, but it was definitely nice to have one warm and ready as soon as I woke up.

I set my alarm for 5:55 to work out before the kids were up, and sure enough P ran to my room at 6:30 on the dot.  He said “I smell pancakes!!!! I love pancakes, they are my favorite food in the whole world.”  He gets his foodie hyperbole from his mama.  Good thing I had pancakes already made for them! 😉

Because this bad boy is allllll for mama.  Well, at least I hope.  I’ll probably end up sharing because when my kids beg for quality food I really have a hard time saying no.

I had two slices.  One warm with buttah.

And one plain while I waited for the other to toast. Look at those walnuts in there!

Hmmm…looks like my photography was spotty.  Without the kids’ food photos, who knows what I gave them. Probably a smoothie and something else. My lunch salad had miso dressing, avocado, carrots, also (unpictured) coconut flakes and then I had leftover french fries (don’t judge me but they were from almost two weeks ago but still good so whatever!). Usually I maximize nap time, cramming it with housework, food prep, and everything, but I was so tired today, I just sat and ate lunch.  I did the rest of the stuff after they went to bed that night.

P had soccer that afternoon but we got back home in time for them to play in the yard.

I ran upstairs for two seconds and took this photo and then P immediately fell off his bike.  Of course. I have never left them in the yard by themselves and gone farther than the kitchen (which has a connecting door to the yard), so naturally this happens the first time I risk it. He was fine btw, and already over it by the time I got down to him.

The mosquitoes were a different story though.  Both kids were completely wigged out by them and so we eventually gave up on the outside play time and came in to read stories before dinner.

I added leftover rice to the leftover crock pot chicken soup (that I think I forgot to blog about?) to make a new dish for the kids.  They both had seconds (finishing it off) followed by a few medjool dates each.

I enjoyed the leftover GF baked bread from Pushkin’s with smoked salmon, vegan cream cheese, and bacon. I basically tried to recreate the same dish V had for breakfast there.  Total winner.

I finished off the dark chocolate almonds and chuao bar for dessert while tackling my to-do list and blogging and watching The Mindy Project.  I am way behind because I only got into it when Kyle started taking trips out of town (because I needed a show that I could watch that he wouldn’t care if I watched without him).  Problem is, I now think he would like it so I want him to watch it too, but I’m too far ahead, so I’m in a limbo land of do I continue or do I stop and restart with him? What are other shows that are easy to watch that aren’t totally dumb, but can also accommodate multi tasking??

AAG scones

These are the currant scones from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain, but made without sugar.

I’ve been using this NuNaurals simple syrup in recipes that call for honey or maple syrup ever since I got it a while back – the directions on the back tell you how it substitutes for other regular sweeteners.  So far it has been pretty easy to adjust for and I haven’t been able to tell any different in the outcome.  Flavor and texture wise, it’s a solid low carb/sugar free swap.

NuNaturals is so on trend with their product line.  They are always putting out new things that make me think “of course! this is so perfect for what I want to bake with!” <–which is pretty much the best thing you can say about a company right?  I am not being paid to say that, btw. I would LOVE to be on that payroll.

So I thought I had currants in the pantry when I went to make this.   And technically I did.  But they were no good.  They were all white.  Mold?  Not sure.  I threw them out and chopped date to use instead.  Happy mistake!

Because dates and coconut?  Mouth-gasm.

Add cashew butter and you have full on nirvana.

Find this cookbook and make it.