Blue in the Sky

A lesbian wife and mother tries her hand at something new. Surely there is a hat that fits out there somewhere!

The Last Week of August Tuesday August 30, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 7:01 pm

Although the weather wasn’t quite as fall-ish this week we did have some cool walking mornings and we were safe from tornadoes, earthquakes and Hurricane Irene, so I guess we fared well all things considered.  The highlights of the work week included lunch at the Farmers Market with one of our Mommy groups.  Bean likes to eat at the Greek place at the Farmers Market.  Hummus, rice, tabbouleh, and falafel.  Yum!!!  Now that he has finally decided to join the Eating World, he is pretty  enthusiastic.  Unfortunately we had to do a little shopping this week as the little guy has finally grown out of his 9 month clothes.  I was thinking we could squeak through short-sleeve season without going up a size, but I gave in and bought a few things at Once Upon a Child to get us into Fall.  On Friday morning we had a neighborhood baby friend come over to play.  He is 6 months old and I had been telling his Mom that playing at our house would be a good opportunity to see what’s ahead for her.  But Bean was having a very off kind of morning in which he just wanted to be held while he whined.  Not exactly the kind of whirlwind 1 year old behavior I had prepared her for.  We still managed to have a good time though.

Unfortunately this was a kind of preview for the weekend.  Off and on throughout the weekend Puny Bean appeared, but there were bright spots.  On Saturday night we had dinner with some friends and Bean got to play with their 3 year old boy which he loved.  He even got to ride his tricycle with a little help from Mommy.  I loved the grilled salmon, orzo salad   and lemon cake.  The little dude spent the next day in his p.j.’s which if you know my wife is a real statement about how badly he was feeling.  On Sunday night I went to a meeting of a book club I have recently joined.  The book was The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life which was quite a stretch for me (Warren Buffet who?) but I do enjoy a good biography and this was no exception.

What’s on the horizon next week? Gearing up for Mother’s Day Out.  Cross your fingers.  For me.  Bean will be fine.

 

Pumpkin Curry with Tofu Wednesday August 24, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,Food Glorious Food,The Chef — The Professor @ 1:31 pm

I’m still mildly obsessed with pumpkin and so when Toad FINALLY agreed that she would be willing to try curry, I knew this was the one.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll let you know when I do.  Speaking of obsession I found the recipe on my new favorite foodie site Peas and Thank You.  LOVE that blog.  And the cookbook.  Have I mentioned that?

 

INGREDIENTS

Marinade:

  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 t. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. ginger
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg

Curry:

  • One 16 oz. package of extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh oriental pumpkin (i.e. Golden Nugget, kabocha or other winter squash), peeled and cut into 1/2 in. thick pieces
  • 1 T. minced ginger
  • 1 t. minced garlic
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
  • 1 c. broccoli florets
  • 1 c. red bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 T. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. garam masala, if desired
  • One 14 oz. can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Granular sweetener to taste (sugar or stevia), if desired
  • 2 c. cooked brown rice

PREPARATION

  1. In a shallow pie plate or dish, combine marinade ingredients.
  2. Add pressed tofu and turn to coat.
  3. Allow tofu to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, peel, seed and slice pumpkin.  Set aside.
  5. Preheat broiler. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium high heat. Sauté ginger, garlic, carrots, broccoli and peppers for 4-7 minutes.
  6. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl covered with tin foil to keep vegetables warm.
  7. Place tofu and pumpkin on a prepared cookie sheet and broil for six minutes on each side.
  8. To prepare pumpkin curry sauce, heat curry powder and garam masala over medium heat until aromatic. Add coconut milk and bring to a low boil.
  9. In a small dish, combine canned pumpkin and cornstarch. Mix until fully combined and then add mixture to curry sauce and bring mixture back to a boil.
  10. Add juice of 1/2 a lime and cilantro, and then add vegetables, tofu and roasted pumpkin.
  11. Stir, heat through and serve over brown rice.
 

The Third Week of August Monday August 22, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 7:28 pm

Toys!  After the Birthday Extravaganza, Bean had lots of new toys to play with.  There was the train, the bongos and tambourine, what I like to call the “Woodpecker Lawnmower”, a bunch of great new books and the crowning jewel – the Fisher Price Learning House.  Without exception these toys are loud and frequently irritating (well except the books, but you know books are always the perfect gift), but the little guy loves them.  He has been crawling back and forth through the doorway, shaking the tambourine, arranging the lumber on the train, pushing the woodpeckers (usually into walls), ringing the doorbell like a crazy person and trying to yank the flower out of the flower-pot.  And that is just what he’s doing with the toys.

As you can see in the bottom right of the collage, he is also into EVERY bottom drawer and cabinet in the house.  He can entertain himself for wide stretches by pulling everything out, throwing each item on the floor (it really is a throw and not a drop) and then putting all of it back again; in all the wrong places of course.  In the space of a few short weeks he has become the Master of Destruction.  He’s still cute, but he’s destructive.

The arrival of new toys worked out well as the nap schedule shifted this week (or rather I finally gave in to the new timing) and we missed every play date and activity we had on the schedule.  If it wasn’t Bean’s nap it was his friends that caused the problem.  Babies are truly hell on a schedule.  But… we managed to have plenty of fun on our own, playing with toys, going to Downtown Story Time and strolling down to the neighborhood bagel joint for lunch.

I also joined the Volunteer Task Force at church which had its’ first meeting (a potluck) on Wednesday night.  The group is tasked with uncovering how the matching process between individual church member and church need operates now and how it could better operate in the future.  The other folks seem kind and interesting and I think this will be a good opportunity for me to get more involved, meet some new people and actually use my skills.  It’s looking like (qualitative) data collection and analysis will be in my future.

We spent the weekend swimming, going for walks, buying baby gates (?!), and enjoying our non-working/non-traveling time together.  On Saturday night Toad and I went out to dinner and Bean stayed home with a babysitter.  A babysitter who did NOT clean up after bedtime.  Oh how I miss Jill and Cousin Lauren.  In spite of arriving home to a messy house, we enjoyed the night out.

Also, I think summer might be packing up for an exit.

 

Green Tea Smoothie Wednesday August 17, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,Food Glorious Food,The Chef — The Professor @ 9:19 am

I’m branching out a bit in the smoothie department and looking forward to trying this soon.  Just got to buy some green tea and honeydew.  I’m thinking this could make it into heavy rotation.  Oh and I got this one from the ever delightful Eat, Live, Run.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 large honeydew melon, cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup strong brewed green tea (use two tea bags and seep for ten minutes)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Blend until smooth.
 

The Second Week in August Monday August 15, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 7:25 pm

This week was a birthday week.  Toad’s parents arrived at the farmhouse on Sunday the 7th and my parents rolled into town on Thursday the 11th.  Muzzie and Grandpa came into town in the afternoons to play with Bean giving me a little time to myself.  Love that.  Unfortunately I had to spend some of it doing things like grocery shopping, emissions testing and oil changes, but at least I didn’t have to drag little Bean along.  I also had time to do things like cook recipes from my new favorite cookbook Peas and Thank You, which I loved.  Bean and I kept busy in the mornings with playdates and we took Nana and Pops to Story Time at the downtown library on Friday.  Nana has always been a Calamity Jane fan, so she was particularly excited for the Wild West Circus.

Saturday was party day and we all had fun.   Bean wasn’t sure what to think about his cake, but when we finally moved it off his tray and replaced it with his dinner, he was a happy guy.  Why eat cake when you can eat peas?  The remainder of the day was spent taking pictures, playing with new toys and enjoying our favorite boys.

The grandparents headed for home on Sunday morning and we headed to church.  We were scheduled as greeters along with Norah’s family, but unfortunately Norah stayed home with her Mom.  Boo.  We did get to visit with her Dad though and we like him too. ;)  Toad, Bean and Baker went for a post afternoon nap hike while I enjoyed a little solo Mama time.  We wrapped up the weekend with yet another Peas and Thank You dinner (Red Lentil Enchiladas with Homemade Salsa).

 

Peas and Thank You Sunday August 14, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,The Chef — The Professor @ 4:40 pm

A few weeks ago I opened my front door to find an Amazon package that looked very much like a book.  Knowing that we weren’t expecting a delivery, I was immediately excited.  A surprise book!  My very favorite thing!  I opened the package to find that Les had sent this book.  How cool is that!!!

I had heard nothing of this book or the VERY cool blog that inspired it, but now I’m hooked.  If you:

  • are always looking for easy, healthy and flavorful meal ideas
  • want to limit your meat intake without eating boring food
  • love cookbooks with great food photography and cute family pictures
  • like to read stories written by a smart, funny Mom

you should check out this book.  I have had so much fun with it and it’s really changed the way I cook.  So far, I’ve made the following dishes and each one was a winner:

  • My Kind of Bar (homemade Kind bars – YUM!)
  • Panzanella salad
  • Spicy African Peanut soup
  • Thai Veggie burgers
  • Green and Red Lentil enchiladas with Homemade salsa
  • Pea Daddy’s Jambalaya

If you’ve got the book, let me know what you’ve made.

 

Summer Farro Salad Tuesday July 12, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,Food Glorious Food,The Chef — The Professor @ 8:37 am

Although it seems to be the case, I have not abandoned this blog.  I’m back to share this delicious summery recipe that is perfect for a hot summer night.

  • 2 cups uncooked farro (or substitute barley)
  • 1 medium red onion, cut in half
  • 1 clove garlic
  • handful of fresh parsley plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
  • 1 cup finely diced (about 1/4 “cubes) fresh mozzarella cheese (I used shredded mozzarella)
  • 2 teaspoons minced pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

FOR THE DRESSING

  • scant 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  1. Add the farro, one onion half, garlic, handful of parsley and salt along with 2 3/4 cups water to a 2 quart pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Turn off burner and let sit, covered, for 5 more minutes. Discard the onion, garlic and large pieces of parsley. Spread out on a rimmed sheet pan and let cool completely (do not skip this step or the mozzarella will melt into the finished dish).
  3. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegars and honey to prepare the dressing.
  4. Chop the remaining onion half finely. Add onion, cooled farro, mozzarella, kalamata olives, tomatoes, remaining tablespoon of parsley and basil to a deep bowl. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and stir well to combine, using a long wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. The salad is ready to serve, but can also be made and stored in the fridge, covered, one day ahead.
 

 
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