The balance

January 24, 2012

Creamy White Beans with Garlic and Herbs

I’ve always had the best of intentions. An organized pantry. A well-stocked freezer. A weekly dinner plan. A Sunday morning power hour to prep the week’s dinner ingredients. After returning to work eight plus months ago, those best laid plans took a back seat to cans of diced tomatoes mingling with near-empty containers of couscous and cashews, a mish-moshed freezer that could lend to a batch or two of these, mid-week grocery store detours for the essentials, and Sunday morning power naps to counter 6 am hunger cries. I’m officially convinced, loyal readers. Babies change everything. (Baby? Our kiddo is well into the double digits. Thirteen months. Wowza.) And so we modify those plans. We evolve. And semi-type A-ers let ourselves off the hook, loosen the pony tail, and come to terms with the fact that there will always be laundry and dust bunnies and milk-stained playmats. In the end, memories of time well-spent with my family will far outshine the fulfilled intentions, the validation of an orderly pantry or perfectly balanced meals or sparkly floors. I’m not discrediting the importance of a kept home and healthy meals. These are valid and good and necessary. But in the end, it’s about the balance. It’s about trusting in the fact that not having it all together doesn’t mean you won’t have it all. Perspective and attitude are just two of many life lessons Caleb has already taught me in his young life.

With all that said, I assure you we’ve been eating. I’ve cut myself some slack with regard to photographing and writing. Much as I truly love to do it, it’s time consuming. And at the end of the night, after we’ve managed to pull off dinner for the three of us and prep clothes and lunches for the following day, the allure of a glass of wine and tivo queue oftentimes shines brighter than the screen of my mac. But I’m taking the balance attitude to heart and following Kyle’s instructions to allow myself a little more me-time now and again. I’ll raise a glass to that, and hope to fall back on the comfort of this creative outlet when I feel inspired to do so.

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Secret oats

April 4, 2011

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

We were quick to discover that babies draw crowds. Family. Friends. It’s lovely for many reasons.

People coming together makes me happy. Much as I appreciate down time, I love gatherings. I love when family and friends stop by. It’s what makes a house a home.

Anticipating visitors also means the house is (usually) clean. The first floor anyways. Please don’t open our bedroom door.

And who can deny that visitors mean temporary baby-holders (and diaper-changers, if they’re brave and you’re lucky). So you can put the dishes up and go to the bathroom. That’s always nice.

So when folks stop by to play, the least I can do is have a little something for them. A cup of hot coffee and a toffee bar, slice of banana bread or chocolate chip cookie.

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Winner, winner shrimp dinner

March 29, 2011

Roasted Shrimp with Tomatoes, Feta and Breadcrumbs

I’ve come down with a major case of blogger’s block.

I’m inspired to cook, uninspired to talk about it.

Perhaps my brain is muddled with reminders that the end of this wonderful little thing called maternity leave is looming. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome a return to the working world (And people talk! Adult people talk!), but I dread the “first day of school” (aka the first day of daycare). He’ll be fine. Momma’ll be sobbing. Returning to work also means I have to wear real clothes again. Like, with collars and without elastic waists. (Imagine that.) And I’ll have to fix my hair. (The horror.)

Long gone will be the days of coffee to the tunes of Sesame Street, mid-afternoon errand runs when we’re feeling brave (read: Caleb’s rested, changed and very well fed), and lots of carefree mommy-and-me time. They’ve been wonderful and truly cherished, but welcome will be the days of a new routine. We’ll be busy and I’m certain there will be times my head is spinning with to-do’s and to-go’s and help-me-Lord!‘s but that’s life and we’ll manage. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time. I’m looking forward to what the future has in store.

So about this shrimp. In anticipation of hectic weeknights I’ve had an eye out for recipes that require one pan and minimal hands-on time. This one fits the bill. It’s jam-packed with some of my favorite things and good for the body and the soul. Winner, winner shrimp dinner!
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Precious, fleeting

March 15, 2011

Roasted Pear Salad

I started writing this post last week, describing a shopping trip and trying on clothes and the gloom that followed when I realized it would likely be socially unacceptable to wear maternity jeans for the rest of my life. And I commented on what a coincidence it was that the recipe included pears, an ingredient that reflected the current state of my hips.

But all of that loathing seemed even more self-absorbed given the tragic events of this past weekend.

I was reminded of how precious life is, and hugged Kyle and Caleb a little tighter. We are together today.

I was reminded of how fleeting life is, and was sure to tell my mom I loved her before hanging up the phone. I know where my loved ones are today.

I was reminded of how fortunate I am, to have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food in my fridge. So many are going without today.

And I was reminded that reminders about the fragility of life should not only occur when heartbreaking misfortune happens to others, thousands of miles away. I am grateful for the life I’ve had and have today.

I’ve come across this list of simple ways you can support Japan, if you’re looking for ways to help. Or purchase this neat poster or this t-shirt and 100% of proceeds will be donated to relief efforts.

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Eggs are cheap

March 10, 2011

Broccoli Cheddar Frittata with Caramelized Shallots

I’m trying my hardest not to allow these new adventures in mommyhood to overtake this here blog. Because while I know you’re all very kind, you came here to talk food, not listen to me babble on about my new found responsibility, fun as he is.

Yah yah, Carolyn. We know, we know. You’re sleep deprived, you’re lucky if you have a chance to brush your teeth, and you’re not leaving the confines of your house for the next 5 years. We get it. Show us the food.

While I can’t guarantee the little one will not sneak in to play every now and again, I can promise there will always, always be food. Because everyone poops eats (Oops. I clearly cannot escape the cute and comical baby shtuff taking over our life). On that note, let’s talk frittata!

Babies are expensive. Eggs are cheap. We’ve been eating lots of eggs.
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