Friday, August 28, 2015

What's for supper?

Because this linkup is even easier than Seven Quick Takes, which means it's about my speed.

For those of you who are new here, I am cooking for a 26-year-old dudeperson, a 25-year-old ladyperson, and a 21-month-old vortex of hunger. The adult people have assorted health problems that mean we have to eat a lot of meat. Also we just like meat. The little vortex likes meat too.

Saturday: Ham and bean soup. I was going to make this on the stovetop, as one does, but Scott wanted to go to Confession so I converted it to a crockpot soup and got it all ready before we left for Confession and the Vigil Mass. And then I locked my keys in the car so we didn't get home until 7 p.m. and the carrots were kind of mushy but man were we glad for that soup.

Sunday: We had leftovers. We always have leftovers on Sunday because I don't cook because I am more pious than you.

Monday: Chicken alfredo. This alfredo sauce, linguine, chicken, and a couple handfuls of spinach from the bag of spinach I keep in the freezer for emergencies. And when I say "emergencies" I mean "days where I want to feel sanctimonious about our vegetable eating and so put spinach in random stuff."

Tuesday: Beef stroganoff. I put too much salt in it (to compensate for not putting enough salt in the chicken pot pie last week--because that's totally how cooking works) but everybody liked it anyway. Also green beans.

Wednesday: More leftovers!

Thursday: Pork stew. I use this recipe except I use regular potatoes and leave out the ginger and recently leave out the bay leaves as well because I ran out a couple months ago and haven't gotten around to buying more and use a boneless pork loin and substitute half a tablespoon of Italian seasoning for the thyme and allspice and don't really follow the directions except don't forget that sneaky "2 cups of water" because otherwise the stew turns out gummy and gross.

So, yeah, love that recipe. Five stars.

Friday: Stuffed shells. Right now it's 2:30 and I have already mixed up the filling and pretty soon I will cook and stuff the pasta because I want this to be ready to pop into the oven the second we get home from picking Scott up. Complicated Friday dinners are no bueno in this household because we all get super hangry without enough animal flesh and yet for some reason persist in keeping meatless Fridays year round.

See Simcha for more questionable food choices!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Experimental Cookery

Two recipes for y'all today, both of which will probably be edited without comment as I refine them with further experimentation.

Both of these meals were inspired by, "I have a tight grocery budget so I'm going to use up random things I dig out of the freezer."


Pork and rice stir fry

2 cups rice
A splash of olive oil
2 lbs pork, cubed
2 carrots
1 head broccoli
4 oz mushrooms
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

Cook rice in a smallish pot

In a large skillet, cook pork in olive oil

Add vegetables and spices and cook covered for about 20 minutes

Add broth, sauces, and cooked rice and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes

(My husband says that I should buy teriyaki sauce or something like that, considering I don't like the taste of straight-up soy sauce but Worcestershire sauce isn't very Asian.)


Ham and bean soup

1 ham bone with meat on it
10 c water
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tbsp salt
3 carrots
3 stalks celery
1 onion
2 tbsp parsley
3 cups cooked beans

Add ham bone through salt to crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Put a strainer in a big bowl and pour contents of crockpot into it so that the broth is retained in the bowl and the solid pieces are in the strainer.

Return broth to crockpot; pick meat off hambone and add to broth. Discard bone, vegetables, etc.

Chop additional carrots, celery, and onion and add to ham/broth mixture along with parsley. Cook on low another 3-4 hours.

Add beans and cook for about 15 minutes.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Tad in sentences

The Great Language Explosion of 2015 seems to be slowing down a bit. Tad now has a little more than 60 words; a month ago he had hardly more than 20.

Despite this, overgeneralization is still very much a thing he does. For example, any kind of lotion or soap or cream is "coconut" (well, "cokie") because I put coconut oil on him during diaper changes.

During his most recent diaper change, I made the mistake of asking "Do you want coconut oil?" and he replied cheerfully, "No cokie!"


Combining things in two-word phrases is not new; but for the most part I have been somewhat hesitant to count them as "sentences." I mean, do "Toe kick kick!" and "Car beep beep!" really count as sentences? Yes, he uses all four words separately from each other, it's not a fixed phrase like "All done" or "What's that?" but is it really combining two concepts when the concepts in question are so similar?

Anyway, a few minutes after his "No cokie!" declaration, Tad was drinking out of a black water bottle and seemed to be experiencing some difficulty. Guessing that the water bottle was empty, I asked him, "Do you want more water?"

Instead of doing the trusty point-and-grunt or even just saying "More," Tad thought it over for a second and then said in a slightly anxious tone, "Ah duh cuppie; ah duh cuppie." (All done cup; all done cup.)

Reader, I gave him more water. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The First 50 Words

Adapted from a running list I have in my drafts folder.

all done

vroom vroom
beep beep

right there
thank you


Where's Daddy? + Peek-a-boo!


what's that
time (Baby Signing Time)

the end
coconut (coconut oil)

hair (hairbrush)

peanut butter

Monday, August 10, 2015


Tad definitely hit his language explosion recently and I have been posting a ton of cute stories on Facebook but sometimes there are just too many and I thought, "Maybe I should start a closed group or something and only people who REALLY want to see the cute stories will have to read them."

Then I remembered I have a blog. So:


The other day I was wearing a shirt that has a very small train as part of the graphic on the front of the shirt. Tad pointed to it and said, "Caw! Bee bee!"

He always calls trains car-beep-beep (if it has wheels at all, it's a car-beep-beep) so I think that still counts as "Identifying pictures by naming", which is a big language milestone for babies his age.

(He can also identify balls and cups in his books.)


Yesterday we went for an evening walk in the stroller and it started to drizzle a bit so I put the sunshade down and Tad looked up and then said "Hah!" (Hat!) while making the appropriate sign.

It is sort of like a hat, isn't it?


On a non-language related note, he knows all the steps to starting the dishwasher now. Once we've unloaded it I always suggest that he should shut the door and go on back out of the kitchen (so I can scrub and load the dirty dishes without worrying about him grabbing a dirty steak knife) and he always insists that I put soap in the little soap compartment first. Then he insists that I turn the lever that locks the door. Then he turns the knob that starts the dishwasher...and he doesn't even turn it randomly; he turns it only just far enough for the dishwasher to kick on.

Okay, he forgets one step: He does this while the dishwasher is EMPTY, not full of dirty dishes. We might have to work on that before the landlord raises our rent for using too much water.