Monday, July 30, 2012

actual food i've actually tried from Pinterest

I love and hate Pinterest.  At the moment I am loving it.  Since I'm a housewife at the moment I have tried to step up my game and try some new recipes.  Does anyone else get stuck in a recipe rut and make the same things for weeks on end without thinking about it?  One of the frustrating things about Pinnie is that it's a great resource for ideas but they're useless if you don't try any of them  So I have started making a couple of recipes a week that I've pinned, mainly to prove to Sam that I'm not wasting hours on Pinterest but actually accomplishing something.  Here are the ones from the past two weeks.....

(Via here)

Crockpot Cashew Chicken
What a darn good idea, if you have a crock pot.  Ours broke.  But I followed this recipe and just cooked it at a low heat in the oven for about 3 hours and it was delish.  We will most definitely eat this again.  I don't often cook with nuts so it felt slightly exotic to make something with cashews.  And it fit right into my current recipe criteria which are ease, speed and tastiness.

(Via here)

Baked Brie Dip
Holy moly, this was good.  Sam and I both were moaning in ecstacy as we devoured it.  I used half a camembert which was more than enough for a starter for the two of us and also that way I can make it twice:)  The only thing I did differently with this was one was to blend the garlic, tomatoes and herbs before layering it with the cheese to make it smoother.  Another recipe that was easy, fast and GOOD.

(Via here)

Peanut Butter Mug Cake
I was desperate for something tasty, and desperate for this to work.  I don't know if I did something wrong or if our microwave is just bad but it was a disaster, it did not rise or become cake like.  I am intruiged by the idea of a mug cake and would love to find a recipe that works.

(Via here)

Baked Quinoa Broccoli Casserole
  I was a little late hopping onto the quinoa train so I am still testing it out in different forms.  Baked is best in my opinion.  This was pretty good and got the thumbs up from Sam which is always nice.  I used cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of broccoli because that's what I had and it was pretty good.  Fast, easy, tasty.  Yes.

(Via here)

Santa Fe Chicken Salad Wraps
These were really good, a nice combo of flavors and textures.  They met my expectations, we both liked them and I'll probably make them again. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

we went to the beach

There are some decent beaches within two miles of our house, but the best ones are a little further south.  This week we went to Putsborough in North Devon for the day.  Sam has 6 weeks off for summer holidays and the weather has been amazing, sunny and in the 70's, so we have been making the most of it.  It was Maya's first time to put her little toes in the Atlantic--the ocean that separarates her two homes.  She got to play in and eat some sand, and Sam and I got to bask in the lovely sun and get a little tan!  It was a beautiful relaxing day for all three of us. 

It always amazes me, a very non-dog person, that people bring their dogs to the beach, allow them to get in the water, roll in the sand, get on the blanket and slobber all over them, but this time I realized that a baby does the exact same thing.  The key is to have a beer or ice cream available, then you care a little less about the sand in your crevices.  I was putting a diaper on Maya today and when I openend it up a bunch of sand came out of it.  That's because while Sam was dragging all of our stuff across the beach loaded onto the stroller, which seemed like a good idea at the time, it collapsed and everything fell on the ground so the diaper bag was full of the horrid grainy stuff, but while he got a little annoyed I opened my Corona and Ole'! it was no problemo.  I look forward to going back next week!

Monday, July 16, 2012


I recently put together a treasure basket for Maya.  Treasure baskets are a way for babies and toddlers to enjoy heuristic play--exploring every day objects that are made up of different textures, shapes and sizes.  Basically stuff from around the house that will be more interesting than plastic toys.  They have a few of these baskets at the childrens' center we go to and Maya is always fascinated by things like sponges, wire egg cups and wooden spoons so I decided it was time to make one for her to play with at home.  It took me about 5 mintues to grab a bunch of different things and clean them before putting them into a spare basket that is low enough for Maya to reach into.  I now am always noticing things that she would be interested in, things I didn't really consider beforehand. 

The first thing she usually does is to empty the basket completely so that all the objects are spread around her, then she examines (and of course chews on) each one. 

 She will spend so much time playing with the items in her treasure basket.  This morning she spent 30 minutes exploring happily while I sat nearby watching.  She does not spend that much time playing with any of her other toys, so it's incredible to me that these every day bits and bobs really capture her attention.  She is absolutely fascinated by this stuff!

 Today she was fixated on the silicone muffin cup.  She played with it for about 10 minutes, just turning it around in her hands, dropping it and picking it up and making sure it was sufficiently covered in slobber!

 Ideally the basket should be filled with lots of items to stimulate baby's senses, and not many plastic things.  I have included a few plastic items that are a bit different from her other toys, and of course a spoon because she is always eager to hold her spoon when we are feeding her. It amazes me that she can already do that, and that she always puts it in her mouth the right way! 

In Maya's Treasure Basket:

A couple of plastic measuring cups
Lavender sachet
Silicone muffin cup
Wooden rings
Bath sponge
Snack cups
Woven napkin ring
Champagne cork
Tupperware lid
Baby spoon

Other cool things to add would be pine cones or big sea shells, some shiny or sparkly fabric, velvet, leather, silk or fur, something metal like a tea strainer, bell or small whisk.  Lots of ideas!  I will probably encourage her to play with the items in her treasure basket only once a day, I don't want her to get bored of them, and I will continue to add and take away items as she gets older (I'm not sure how the cork would survive once she has teeth!).  I guess this will keep her occupied until she is able to empty the cabinets in the kitchen and play with the pots and pans!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

a little eye candy

I never get tired of looking at flowers, the more colorful the better in my opinion.  I only wish I knew how to grow them, or what they are called.  These roses smell so so good, but my favorite by far are the fox gloves, I imagine a little fox coming along and actually putting it's paw in the flowers to keep them warm.  Yes warm, because it is still chilly here.  We haven't even officially turned off our heating for the 'summer'.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

we're back. with a post about food.

Has it really been over 4 months since I wrote on the old blog?  That's terrible.  I will be honest though, I never intended this to be a baby blog, and since baby stuff is basically all I do right now I have refrained from writing.  It's also been a really nice break.  Blogging can be really frustrating and I get annoyed with how long it takes to process and upload pictures. But this is also a blog about our lives, and since Maya is a MASSIVE (and noisy) part of that now I will include the little tot but try not to overshare.  You're welcome.

So, she's 7 months old next week. When I look at her now, sitting up and rolling over, I can't believe she is the same baby who only a few months ago laid very still and only made slow motion little movements. She eats real food now too, as you can see.  

Thankfully the whole feeding thing has gone really smoothly, she has liked every single thing I've given her.  From butternut squash to spinach, peaches to raspberries.  We have done a combination of the regular old pureed food and a little bit of baby led weaning.  Baby led weaning is a really silly term for letting the baby feed herself--so we give her little sticks of things like soft apples, avacado and cucumber to gum (she doesn't have any teeth yet) and she loves to do it.  It's so fun to see her try different tastes and textures.  I dreaded the whole messy food business but it's been really enjoyable for all three of us, and since I made a ton of food and froze it in advance it's been really easy and convenient, even when we are out and about.  Now Sam gets to participate in feeding time (and I can have a little break!) and Maya gets to expand her palate.  

 We already have some rituals.  Mays sits happily in her chair while we get the food ready and heated, she gets really excited too because now she's learned what's happening.  She likes to rest her feet on the bar of her high chair, nice and comfy.  She does a poo EVERY SINGLE time, usually right after we start to feed her, which I think is astonishing because it literally happens every single time and it must be the most horrible and uncomfortable time to do that, strange right?  But there you go.  Is that oversharing?  Sorry.

Say hello to little broccoli brows.  Food gets into all of her little creases and crevices, especially her nose.  And she has to touch everything these days.  'forget about this sweet potato, give me that camera, it looks tasty.'

We do still do a few things that aren't baby related, however.  Sam and I have found time to go on a few nice dates, and our garden is also flourishing thanks to me actually being around to take care of it this summer. We have grown cucumbers for the first time and there are so many of them, I'm going to have to learn how to make pickles.