A “Fun” Recipe

So, there has been a much longer break between posts than I planned on.  I have several in draft form and thought I could get them posted either right before or during our family vacation.  Clearly I had a small break with reality.  Did I mention I was sharing a room with Little Ginger? On the upside, that means there should be several posts this week, and I have added setting realistic expectations to the list of post topics.  For today, I thought I’d share a recipe that I suffered through tried recently, with a few notes and adaptations…

Toddler (Reality) Bites: An Adapted Recipe

Are you looking for a healthy, all in one meal for your picky toddler? Look no further! Just follow these twenty easy steps…

Step One: Realize your toddler has eaten some variation of cheese, chicken nuggets, apples, crackers, and whatever the hell it was that was on the floor for an unseemly number of consecutive days.

Step Two: Berate yourself moderately. This is seriously affecting your credibility as a “chewy granola mom.”  You did Baby-Led Weaning for eff’s sake. This child was supposed to eat anything and everything.  Still, its better than the time you almost flipped them out of the wrap in a fit of over-zealous baby wearing. So, there’s that.

Step Three: Fire up Pinterest and consult your Healthy Food/ Toddler Food boards for ideas you’ve been meaning to try. Find yourself being seduced by phrases like:

“It’s an entire meal in a little handful!”

“My kids won’t even drink water, and they love this recipe!”

“My little one asked me to make these instead of a birthday cake!”

Step Four: Settle on the recipe with the simplest ingredients that looks like it has the slightest prayer of being a success. Add the ingredients to the list app on your phone.

Step Five: Head to the grocery store with the toddler for whom you are trying to make the bites.  Commit your list to memory while sweet chubby little hands try to snatch your phone out of your hand.  Try to concentrate on what you need to get while the toddler asks to watch “Baby Shark” on your phone by shriek singing increasingly frantic choruses of “doo doo, doo, doo, doo, doo.” Sing “Baby Shark” while trying to remember if eggs (doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo) are in the recipe.

Step Six: Get home, realize you forgot the quinoa, which is an integral part of the recipe.  Add it to the list for a grocery store run later, because if you go back now you’ll run the risk of a car nap, and F. That.  Noise

Step Seven: Make a plate of apples, cheese, and crackers for the toddler’s lunch.  After a rousing chorus of “No, no, no, NO, NO!” it’s off to nap time!

Step Eight: While adding wine and/or chocolate to the new grocery list, check Pinterest again.  If you’re going back to the store for quinoa anyway, you should just go ahead and make two different recipes.  Then you can freeze them and always have healthy options at the ready! Right, RIGHT?!?!?

Step Nine: Go back to the grocery store; get the quinoa and whatever else you’ve deemed necessary

Step Ten: Throw the quinoa into the Instant Pot, find your favorite Google result for how to cook quinoa in an Instant Pot. Go with that.

Step Eleven: Leave the quinoa in the Instant Pot to cool. Forget about it overnight.

Step Twelve: Fight breaking into sobs when you realize you forgot the quinoa. Pick yourself up off the floor and dust yourself off. This recipe is now your Everest. You will not be defeated.

Step Thirteen:  Do some more Googling. Decide the quinoa is probably still okay to eat, you’re baking it again, and heat kills germs, right?

Step Fourteen:  Feed the toddler lunch. Tell yourself it’s okay that it is cheese… again.  Tonight, they will be feasting on not one, but two lovingly made recipes that will fulfill all of their nutritional needs and introduce them to new and exciting tastes!

Step Fifteen: It’s nap time, you are ready to DO. THIS. THING. You assemble all of the ingredients and mix and roll and bake frantically before your toddler wakes back up. At this point you may want to throw up a prayer to Julia Child, Mr. Rogers, Chef Boyardee, and anyone else you think may be helpful

Step Sixteen: You’ve done it!  Now to let them cool and to decide you can’t wait for dinner.  You and the toddler are going to try these magical bites as an after-nap treat! Contemplate starting your own You Tube channel to teach other moms how to make easy healthy meals.

Step Seventeen: Watch with glistening eyes as your little cherub, the light of your life, takes a bite from the first recipe, spits it out, and frantically starts scraping their tongue. Take a taste yourself and decide the kid really does have a point.  Put the bites from the first recipe in a freezer bag.  Place in freezer and hope some benign neglect will improve them. If you’re feeling strong, you can offer a bite from the second recipe.  No one will judge you if you just can’t even at this point. Use your best judgement.

Step Eighteen: Preheat the oven for chicken nuggets.  Try one of the bites from the second recipe yourself. Decide they don’t suck.

Step Nineteen: Feed the toddler dinner.  You can throw a new veggie or two on their plate if you feel up to it.  Don’t be a hero.

Step Twenty: After the toddler is in bed, serve yourself some of the wine and/or chocolate you purchased on the earlier grocery run and return to Pinterest for some more ideas.  Don’t forget to eat a few of the toddler bites; they are an entire meal in a tiny handful, after all.

One Month In

So, I’ve been blogging for about a month now, and want to say thank you to all of you for reading and your support. I’m working on several new posts and hope to keep in the twice a week groove of posting. My goal is to post on Sundays and Wednesdays for the most part. It might vary a bit, because Gingers and adulting.

As I continue to find my voice for this blog and the other project I’m working on, I’d love to hear from all of you.  What are some things I should try?  My goal is to continue to try things that improve/ simplify my life and make me think about who I am.  The Capsule Guide has been a wonderful first project.  It made me think about organization, and made me take some time for me.  It has turned into a way more introspective project than I ever imagined.  This, in turn, has made me excited to try other things, and that is where all of you come in:

If you have already turned forty, what was something you were glad you did before that birthday? What was something you wish you had done before? If you could go back and tell yourself one thing in the lead-up to your fortieth, what would it be?

If you’re starting the countdown to forty, like me, what do you want to accomplish before then? What are you thinking about changing, if anything?

Right now, I’m focusing on more self-improvement/ life enhancing things, rather than the extreme sport/ skydiving aspect of turning forty. Remember, I’m risk-averse to the point that wearing camo print pants was a major leap of faith for me! I’m sure there are going to be a few posts that will have some more midlife-style adventures… I mean, I’m in my late thirties, not my nineties.

Although, my first job out of college was in a retirement community, and let me tell you, some of those people could PARTY.  We’ll have to come back to my days of hauling nude paintings, breaking up fights, designated driving the community bus, and bingo at a later date.  There’s a lot to discuss there.

If you have a second, please let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions for me to explore. I’d love to try more new things and want to challenge myself a bit!  Thank you all so much for reading- the next post will be longer!



Trying Not To Sound Like Doogie Howser, MD

You can tell yourself these people started out as exceptional.  You can tell yourself they had influence before they started.  You can tell yourself the conditions under which they achieved were different from yours. 

Or you can be like a woman I knew who sat at her kitchen window year after year and watched everyone else do it and then said to herself, “It’s my turn.”

I was  37 years old at the time— Erma Bombeck

So, I’m a year behind Erma, but starting a blog or two is something that has been on my mind for quite a while.  I’ve always been afraid it would wind up sounding like the final scenes of a Doogie Howser, MD, episode where we’d see the lesson learned appear letter by white letter on the blue  computer screen.  To be completely honest, the inspirational nineties music is blaring in my head right now…

As I said, I’m a year behind Erma, and forty is coming at me fast.  I’m in a different place than I imagined, not worse by any means, just different.  I’ve started this to chronicle me getting my ish together, as the kids say (I think they still say that? Anyone??) and as motivation to try things I haven’t before.  My goal is to close out my thirties strong, and enter my forties having tried some things that I have put off until now.  Strap on a helmet, it’s bound to get interesting…