An Ode to Friday

Dear Friday,

I have always loved you. When I was school-aged, it meant the end of the school week. In college, it meant Football Saturdays and time with friends. In law school, it meant time to catch up on reading for class and studying, but also time for friends and backyard sits.

Even as a young lawyer, when weekends meant more working, I still loved you because those working weekends meant casual wear, and I had no kids to rush home to. Then came kids and less hours at work, and I raced to Friday afternoon so I could rush home to those kids, even though they were worn out and grumpy from long hours at childcare.

As a lobbyist, I loved you. Even in the waning days of long, drawn-out sessions, the legislators always tried to finish up the weekly business on Thursday, so that they could race home to you, dear Friday.

Now, during my gap year, my career break, I look forward to you all week, and miss you when you are gone, too quickly. You are my dawn, and my sunset. While the kids are at school, I run my long run. I take a shower without anyone yelling at me, knocking on the door, or, more frequently than not, barging into the bathroom and asking me where x article of clothing or y food item is located. Maybe I even have a moment alone to read. Now a bit older, the kids are usually happy on Friday afternoon. We come home ready to make a fun dinner and have a movie night.

But alas, the Friday fun will come to an end. Saturday will dawn. If there is a morning run it will be rushed to get back in time for a Tae Kwon Do class, a gymnastics practice or a volleyball tournament. We will rush about, doing errands and tasks, entertaining kids and doing household chores.

Counting the days until next Friday.

Super Simple Sick Day Soup

I made this last week when #2 was recovering from the stomach flu. I usually just make some miso soup but her nausea was dragging on, and #3 was also home with a cold and fever. It tastes really good but does not have anything that might upset a tummy – no fat added, no garlic, low sodium if possible. I also add ginger to help with the nausea but not enough to be overpowering.

Ingredients

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 leek, white parts only, carefully rinsed and chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 T* minced ginger
  • 1/2 t* dried oregano
  • 1/2 t dried basil
  • 4 cups Vegetable broth, preferably low sodium
  • 2 cups water
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans
  • Conchiglie (small shells) or any small pasta
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, saute the celery, leeks and carrots for 6-8 minutes or until soft, adding water to prevent sticking.
  2. Add the minced ginger and spices and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, water and bay leaf, and bring to a slow boil.
  4. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, cook 1 cup of the pasta according to package directions.
  6. Add the cooked pasta and garbanzo beans to the soup, adding additional water if you like it with more broth. Continue cooking until heated throughout and serve.

*I always use capital T for Tablespoon and lowercase t for teaspoon.

Veggie Mommy Recipes

I started a food blog years ago when the kids were younger. It was really more of an online recipe box to be honest. It is nothing like the slick photo-filled blogs of today. There are some good memories on there though, so I am going to share some of them here. I hope to add more recipes in the coming months as well. And in case it is not already clear – we are a Vegetarian family. I have been Vegetarian since college and try to eat mostly vegan. My kids are all Vegetarian. My husband eats meat occasionally but we rarely cook it at home.

Enjoy!

Recipes from Veggie Mommy Recipes: Recipes for Football Saturdays

Super Bowl Recipes for the Whole Family, Including Baby

2018 Note: I got so sentimental reading this post! I loved making baby food for my kids. I wish I could still make it ahead and freeze it in ice cube trays. I do still utilize the crock pot often. Just last Saturday, I had a sweet potato chili in one crockpot and queso in another for basketball/football Saturday. And I loved looking back at my blog intentions 5+ years ago.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Baby food, Super Bowl cheese ball and Committing to the Blog

I had a list a mile long of all of the things I was going to do on my maternity leave. I am back to work now and the list remains. Sigh. But you must approach all such lists in the same way – one thing at a time. So, I really want to commit to recording recipes in this blog. The little bit I have done has been so useful to keep track of recipes we like and what went right and what went wrong to improve the recipe for next time. I have at least half a dozen draft posts I will finish but it seems only appropriate to just start today.  So, here’s a quick recap of some recipes from this weekend.

First, how can this be a VeggieMommy blog without recipes for Veggiebaby? I just made the following two recipes for our little man. I tend to make several batches of food every couple of weeks. I freeze it in ice cube trays and then store the cubes in ziplock bags to be reheated as needed. First up, green beans and quinoa. I know, yum;) (Read:sarcasm.)

Green Beans and Quinoa
12 oz. green beans
1 cup quinoa

1.   Trim ends off green beans.  Steam for 10 minutes.
2.   Place 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all of the water is absorbed.
3.  Combine the green beans and the cooked quinoa in the food processor and process to desired consistency.

Rice, Lentils and Carrots
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
1 carrot diced
3 cups water

Place all ingredients in pan.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour.  Puree or mash to desired consistency.

I love lentils, so I also made myself some lentils while the baby mash was cooking.  This time, I just cooked the lentils with water, but I usually use a combination of vegetable broth and water.  Add some diced carrots, onion and garlic.  Add pepper to taste.  Serve with a salad or rice.
 
Now, onto the Super Bowl party.  We finished our basement over the holidays to add some home office space and a bar where VeggieDaddy can serve his Homebrew.  We decided that the Super Bowl would be a great time to unveil the new bar to our friends (and their 17 children!).  We just made chili, a football-shaped cheese ball, and threw in some frozen pizzas.  The guests brought appetizers and desserts, which included some tasty little cheese buns, baked brie, artichoke and spinach dip, king cake, cheesecake frosted brownies and cookies, among other tasty treats.  It was a great spread!

Super Sweet Potato Chili
1 large onion, chopped
3 small or 1 large sweet potato, cubed
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans cannellini beans
2 cans pinto beans
5 cups water
2 1/2 cups beer (I used an IPA)
1T Garlic
2 t Cumin
1 t Seasoned salt
1T Pepper (I used ancho because I didn’t want it to be too spicy for the crowd, but the combination of the sweet potatoes and spicy is really good when you do spice it up.)

I cooked this in the crockpot all day, but you can make it in a large pot on the stove as well.  This makes ALOT.

1.   Set crockpot on high and allow to heat.  Saute onions with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until translucent.
2.  Add sweet potatoes and allow to cook while preparing the beans.
3.   Open all of the cans of beans and dump into a colander.  Rinse and drain well.
4.   Add the tomatoes, beans and all remaining ingredients and stir. If you use a crockpot with a timer, set it to 8 hours on low.  Since I was home, I cooked it on high for a few hours because there was so much to cook, it needed the high heat to get going.

Kickoff Cheese Ball
This is from the Parents Magazine February 2012 Issue.  This is super cute and the girls had fun helping me make it.

4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
4 oz. Colby-Jack cheese, cubed
1/2 cup canned chickpeas. drained and rinsed
1/4 cup finely chopped jarred roasted red pepper
1/2 cup small pretzel twists
Chives or green onions for decorating

1.   Combine cheeses and chickpeas in a food processor and blend until smoothe, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times.  Add the red peppers and pulse until just combined throughout.
2.   Spoon mixture into a shallow dish and spread.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
3.   Crush the pretzels into crumbs either in the food processor or by placing in a ziploc bags and crushing with a rolling pin.  Spread the crumbs on a piece of wax paper.
4.  Scoop the cheese out of the dish and form into a football shape with your hands.  Roll it around in the pretzel crumbs to coat.  Transfer to a serving plate and use the chives or green onions to make the laces.

With the chickpeas, this is much healthier than your usual cheese ball, and it holds its shape much better!

And on tap we had VeggieDaddy’s Mocha Stout, a friend’s Scottish Pale Ale, and Green Flash West Coast IPA.

And, with that, I will sign off for now with the pledge to post at least a few more times this week.

 

 

The Last Stroller

We ended 2017 with a new home improvement project that required the purging of extra items and furniture. We have only been in this house 2 years and we got rid of a lot of stuff when we left North Carolina (some by choice, some not so much; they literally ran out of room on the moving truck!). Our little guy was 4 when we moved so most of the baby gear was gone. There were still car seats, booster seats, and one remaining stroller.

We were never really “stroller people.” When out first was born, “travel systems” were all the rage. These gargantuan multi-piece matching (often patterned) sets were a bit off-putting to someone like me who left Babies R Us in a panic after seeing the bottle aisle for the first time. My one and only request for our first stroller was that it be easy to fold. The Ingelsina Zippy, if anyone remembers, boasted that it could be closed with one hand. Sold.

We used the stroller occasionally, mainly to keep #1 in her car seat (the only other place she would sleep besides on someone’s chest), or because it was too stinkin’ hot in the heat of the North Carolina summer to walk around with her in the Bjorn. Later, there was the sit n stand double stroller (narrow enough to still maneuver) and a double jog stroller (that also boasted how easy it was to fold). Not to be forgotten, through it all, we had the car seat on wheels for travel, the Sit n Stroll – we loved that thing!

Sit n Stroll
The Sit n Stroll travel stroller.

Not sure why it never caught on (other than the reasons in this 2008 Slate article, where this pic is from, and the fact that your kid was sitting on the nasty ground as you walked around cities or theme parks or wherever you travelled to).

 

 

 

 

By the time we had #3, our girls were 7 and 4. They were done with strollers. A lot had happened in the baby gear world since the girls were born. And it turns out, some items, like car seats, expire. Yes, really. The theory is that the plastic breaks down and it isn’t as safe . . . Anyway, we got new baby gear for the little prince, including a stroller.

Maybe because he is the youngest, maybe because he is a “mama’s boy,” maybe because he spent more time in it while I was actually running . . . whatever the reason, that boy loved the stroller. At 4, he would definitely rather be pushed than walk. Honestly, that sentiment holds true today.

But, alas, the time has come to part with the last stroller. Even if my husband had an ounce of patience for pushing a 6 year old around in a stroller, none of us had any desire to lug it around. It took up too much room in the garage with all the bikes and other gear, so it was relegated to the basement storage room at some point in the past year. Like any other sentimental but practical mom, I threw it up on Craigslist for $50 and it was gone by the next morning.

Just like that, we are a stroller free family. Someday soon (or not, depending on how closely we follow the guidelines) we will even be car seat free.