Friday, January 22, 2016

Five on Friday

Jeesh.  Two weeks of radio silence.  Kinda the norm these days on personal blogs, yes?  It is what it is, I suppose -- although I would love to see this little space be more of a priority for me.  I'm currently in a place where I'm feeling conflicted about what to share here about the kids, especially now that L is at the age where she is actually voicing an opinion about her photo being taken, etc.  And since the kiddos currently are a massive chunk of "Who I Am" {for better or worse}, I sometimes find myself grasping at content straws.  I'm still cool with family activity recaps and reporting little factoids, but I'm thinking I'll save more of our struggles and frustrations for real-time.  Or Snapchat. {Kidding.} {Mostly.}

All this to say, expect more shoddily photographed recipes, work vs. school struggles, and day-to-day mundanities while I muddle through these 21st Century Deep Thoughts.  And speaking of the daily grind, I am currently editing my contribution to the Winter 2016 Day in the Life.  Thanks as always to Julia for hosting. And you, too, can get in on the fun for the next week or so {more info on Julia's blog}.

Now on with the show...


I've fallen into a bad habit of tossing traditional kid food at my little monkeys most nights for supper. There's a lot of different elements at play here... E doesn't get home until 6:30 or 6:45 so we really don't have time to eat as a family on weekdays.  Even if we all could sit down to eat together, I really enjoy cooking without minions underfoot -- kitchen time is my unwind time and I relish the quieter moments when everyone else is upstairs doing bathtime or it's just me and E watching the news and chatting once the children are asleep.  This combo of elements inevitably equals something quick for L and B around 6ish and a more European dinnertime for the adults.  And yes, I can always feed them our leftovers the next day {which I do attempt}, but throw B's extreme pickyness into the mix and chicken nuggets and Annie's mac often win the day.  L will eat just about anything but hell if I'm going to convince her to eat kale when her brother is covered in fancy Velveeta.

TL;DR -- I'm changing it up in 2016.  I'm committing to making a full supper prior to 6 pm two or three weekdays {we do all eat together for pretty much every meal - unless E and I are out - on Saturday and Sundays}.  And I'm going to be a little bit more hardcore about not giving B a complete alternate {crap} meal. There's always the warming drawer for grown-ups who prefer to eat later, but I am definitely noticing the kids eat better / are more willing to try different things when the food is fresh vs. next-day reheated leftovers {little food snobs}.  Last night, I threw together this One Pot Lemon Herb Chicken & Rice while the kids played in the backyard... It literally took 5 minutes of prep {and free range parenting} before I was out the backdoor to supervise their scooting.  I came back 30 minutes later and dinner was magically finished {along with quick steamed broccoli in the microwave}!  It isn't a meal I'd make for my most favored house guest, but both tiny meatloaves devoured it {well, The Boom got B's broccoli... baby steps!} and E and I enjoyed it a few hours later as well.  My only changes: I seasoned the chicken {I used cutlets} with garlic salt and added 1 tsp smoked paprika to the whole pot in Step 2.  I also sliced a second lemon and layered the circles on top of the chicken before popping the top back on for simmering. Two thumbs up for a super quick weekday meal!


this is most definitely my photo

In the same vein, I can't recommend the cookbook Sheet Pan Suppers enough!  It was a suggestion from Samma and has already proved a delicious source of inspiration for super adaptable, minimal-effort meals!  The whole family loved the cous cous stuffed red peppers {L ate a few bites of the actual pepper; otherwise, both chicklets mainly ate the cous cous stuffing... again, small victories}.


A big chunk of our house is being painted as I type. We are finally switching out all of the very beige doors / trim and dingy white walls in our entryway, hallway, and stairwell to something much more fresh and bright.  All of the painted wood trim {chair rail, molding, door frames} will match the bright white trim in the rest of the house, and the walls will be Sherwin Williams' "Filmy Green" - a name that makes me cringe a little bit {filmy? really? surely we could have done better, SW}, but a color that makes me supremely happy.  I thought we'd run with Sea Salt, which I love in others' homes, but it read much too blue for our particular space.  Our kitchen is this odd textured green {which sounds negative, but I actually really like it} and we needed a color that was really going to coordinate.  Fingers crossed my paint choices in this house continue to work out!


My little crazies both had their teeth cleaned last week.  I am embarrassed to say this was L's first time at the dentist, but her pearly whites looked great, so no harm / no foul {maybe this should be my personal parenting motto}. Pediatric dentists have come a long way -- girlfriend watched Frozen on a mounted iPad the entire time and was, for the most part, cool as a cucumber since Anna and Elsa were keeping her company.  I asked the tech how many times a day she listened to Frozen songs and her answer was a deadpan "fifty-eight."  I feel her pain. One element of the dentist remains wholly the same from my childhood: the teeny-tiny plastic prize bin.  I know lollipops from the dentist send mixed signals, but OMFG can't we just get a sugar-free dum-dum and a sticker and call it a day?  If I have to find the "rubberband bracelets shaped like a moon and star" or the minuscule silicon monkey one more time this week, I might need to up my meds.


We finished Making a Murderer last night. {I should probably stop right here and say SPOILER ALERT, but, seriously, if you live in the world, my comments shouldn't be shockers, at this point.}  I'm feeling very Serial-Season-1 about the whole thing, which is to say, I don't really know if Steve Avery is guilty or innocent, and it honestly doesn't matter much to me.  The abject failure of due process matters very much to me, however. I am in the Dean Strang Camp of almost hoping Avery is guilty as thinking of him sitting in prison again for another crime he didn't commit nearly makes me nauseous. But! That conviction was dirty, dirty, dirty {and don't even get me started on Brendan Dassey; that kid never had a snowball's chance in hell} -- it just should never have come to pass, regardless of his actual guilt or innocence.  I know the filmmakers presented a very narrow slice of the truth -- that is kind of the nature of documentaries, after all -- but still, I'm adding Manitowoc County to the list of places in which I never want to get arrested. Too many poisonous trees 'round those parts, it seems. #lamelawyerjoke


  1. I'm so glad to hear you say that you are dealing with kid pickiness/separate meals too. I am in the same boat - my daughter is the same age as B and the pickiest eater ever so I've pretty much stopped trying to serve her the same thing we're eating, and many nights resort to nuggets and Mac and cheese (and there are a few veggies she'll eat). When you put up that picture of the broccoli pizza on Instagram I almost commented to ask if your kids would eat that or if you served them something different! I'll have to try the chicken recipe for sure.
    Did B have a dentist appt at the same time as L? I haven't taken mine in yet but have an appt for next week. I'm bracing myself for disaster!

    1. Oops! Meant to reply to your comment instead of posting a separate one -- see below!

  2. Solidarity, sister! Leighton will eat the broccoli pizza (or any pizza), but B will not...he won't even eat plain cheese pizza. Or spaghetti sauce. Or any vegetable aside from spinach or kale disguised in a smoothie or a sweet potato fry. Unless he's at my grandmother's house and then all of a sudden he will eat vegetables. SO FRUSTRATING!

    B did have a cleaning and fluoride treatment at the same time. They had me put him in my lap with his legs straddling my waist (so, facing me) and then they laid him back onto the tech's and dentist's laps. He did not care for it at all, but we got it done! I did want a drink at 11 am, though. Good luck!

  3. What's your snapchat name or handle or whatever? I'm not cool :)

    1. I am cheesefiend13

      I am also not cool. Pretty sure I am "snapping" all wrong!

  4. UGH. You make me feel so much better, because I still haven' taken DH, even though one of my dearest friends is a pediatric dentist. Making appt tomorrow. So glad you like Sheet Pan Suppers as much as I do!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.


happy little comments!