Friday, August 24, 2012

Santa Fe Summer BBQ Pizza

One side benefit from not having a job is being able to spend more time cooking and using our garden produce. Yes, it's a very small benefit, but we're looking on the bright side here folks. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't be able to start pizza dough in my bread machine on a weeknight. Now, with a little planning and foresight, I can do this fairly easy. I need to look into making pizza dough ahead of time and then freezing it. Does anyone know anything about doing that?

The main reason I made this particular pizza was because we happened to have all of the ingredients on hand and fresh. Fresh cherry tomatoes, cilantro and sweet corn. I even happened to have some black beans in the fridge begging to get used. I've taken to buying dried beans, soaking them overnight and the cooking them on low in the crockpot during the day. It's the cheaper option and I throw them in the freezer (never to be seen again) and pull them out as needed. This was also a good supper option because it includes no meat. Meat is pricey. Our stockpile of beef has dwindled and there isn't any magic money lying about to buy another side of beef. So, meatless Tuesdays it is. Lance has even stopped complaining about the meatless meals we have because it typically uses up a healthy pile of garden tomatoes.

Enough tangent. This pizza wasn't bad. Most people would probably be like this pizza as long as you like subbing bbq sauce for your typical tomato sauce. I'm not sure if I'm part of that group. But again, we had every single ingredient on hand, so it was hard to argue against making this pizza. I'd probably make it again too, but not terribly often.

Without further adieu, the recipe.

Topping ingredients
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Pizza crust ingredients

3/4 cup water, 80 degrees
1 T oil
1 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1 T dry milk
2 1/4 cups bread flour
3/4 t Red Star Quick Rise Yeast

With my bread machine you add all the ingredients in the order they are stated and then hit the program for dough. It takes an hour and 20 minutes. Then you pull out your dough, flour it lightly and then press into a pizza pan, top with desired ingredients and then bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Another great meatless Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Kitten

No, we did not get a new kitten. Lance has put the ki-bosh on adding any pets to this household until I turn 32. Just wait, I'll be opening my animal farm then! But my childhood kitty died earlier this spring and my parents brought home a tiny bundle of joy named Annie. I was the one that came up with her name. They got a ragdoll kitten - Raggedy Annie - hence, Annie. My mom has decided that this kitten is a spitfire - Annie Oakley - or one pistol of a kitty! We were home the weekend they got her and Lucan wanted to be her friend. Annie hid. The friendship is not reciprocal :)

"Be my friend Annie! Quit hiding and running away!"

"I cannot reach you to pull, er, I mean, 'pet' you"

Hiding under a table. Smart move kitty.

What a sweet little precious face. There's nothing cuter than a kitten.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lucan: 14 months old

My friend Katie confirmed what I had been suspecting for several months now: little boys are destructive. She has two little girls and has a little boy who is 4 months younger than Lucan. Katie is convinced that her son is going to break every single drawer in her house by trying to climb them like stairs. She says that her girls were never this bad. Boys are like a bull in a china shop. Lu is constantly pulling things down, toppling things over, throwing things over the back of the couch and down the stairs. Just this week he has destroyed two night lights, pulled the piece of trim off his beadboard that Lance assured me Lu wouldn't be able to pull off again, dumped over the cat's water bowl twice, shredded countless pieces of paper and unrolled the better half of a roll of toilet paper. Goodness it's no wonder I'm exhausted. I'm constantly trying to keep Lu out of mortal peril.
The theme of 14 months is fearlessness. Lucan is AWESOME at climbing. Up the stairs. Down the stairs. Climbing onto the couch. Climbing his high chair. Climbing the kitchen chairs. Lu even tries to climb up my legs. Fantastic Lu. Now if you could just master walking ... And quit throwing your blanket over the side of the crib during naptime and then proceeding to cry hysterically. 

 I don't want my picture taken.
Clap, clap, clap your hands.

Did I mention that I'm DONE with pictures?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tiny Table Terrorist

We will not negotiate with terrorists.

When it comes to meal times, I find those words coming to mind several times a day. My son is a tiny table terrorist. I just finished reading Jenny Rosentstratch's Dinner: A Love Story where she cataloged her family's meals from when she and her husband were newlyweds to being a working mother with two small children to transitioning to being a work at home mom with two slightly older kids. I totally dug her book as it was a combo cookbook/life story. But I'm the sort of person who finds that sort of thing awesome. But she coined the phrase "tiny table terrorist" when trying to find foods to feed her youngest. I empathized with the chapter she titled "How to Triumph over a Tiny Table Terrorist (or, How Not to Love Your Mind When Cooking for a Picky Eater). I think most parents (okay, not you Jessica), have a moment in their life that fits this phrase.

Today I tried to feed Lucan a slice of toast with butter. He refused and threw the bits on the floor. I tried to give him some banana chunks. He threw those on the floor too. (note: later Lucan got out of his high chair and proceeded to kick his legs wildly through this bread crumbs and then sit on the banana chunks. What a mess. But it's one of Lu's favorite ways to scatter food. He does this on a regular basis with cheerios too.)

Lu is high maintenance eater. He happily ate a piece of zucchini bread and when I fed him the banana chunks with the butter knife I was using to slice up the banana, he ate those too. Lu doesn't like fruit unless it comes in a puree or I've skewered and grilled it. Can we say diva? Regardless of what sippy cup I use or what is inside the sippy cup, Lucan has to have a bib on because he will take a drink, swish and spit it all out all over him.

While Lucan is not as bad as some eaters at this age, it's still annoying. I think his plan is to just eat half of whatever I'm eating. The other night he ate almost all of my zucchini and broccoli out of my pasta. I was annoyed. He tries to eat all of my fries. I was also annoyed. I acknowledge that my child is stealing bites of zucchini and broccoli, which is not typical. Last night he happily ate eggplant Parmesan. It just goes to show that we all have our food battles with our children.

This is a picture of Lucan and his girlfriend, Bridget, sharing a snack of yogurt covered raisins. And when I say "sharing" I mean, Lucan was stealing Bridget's, so Mandy had to give Lu his own box before Bridget got too upset!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Poop stain eliminator

I don't think that I'm a gushy person. There are things that I love and I get passionate about, but I don't think that I'm that overly excitable. Yes, I use my fair share of exclamation points, but I try not to be overly exuberant. My revelation today, it's worth gushing about. And it's worth about 11 exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The enemy of all new mothers are the unavoidable baby blow outs and brown poop stains. If you are a pintrest-er, you might have seen various pins about getting stains out of clothes. I've been stockpiling clothes that needed to be spot cleaned due to runny, nasty diapers (apparently corn and edamame pass right through Lucan). Just today I got poop on two separate white shirts because of Lu poo (look I'm a poet and I didn't know it). I figured it was time to suck it up and deal with various garments that needed my attention (just like I need to do more ironing - yes, Jessie, more ironing. I know you find it unbelievable). I had pinned the spot cleaner pin, so I brought it up to see what all it entailed. It's fairly rudimentary in it's ingredient list, in fact you should be able to pick up everything you would need at DG (for those of you not in the hood - Dollar General) if you don't already have it at home.

Spot cleaner: hydrogen peroxide, Dawn dishing washing soap (based on a couple of comments, using Dawn is important) and baking soda. Easy enough, right? I used a small Gladware bowl and three parts hydrogen to one part Dawn and baking soda. In my particular case, 3 teaspoons of hydrogen to 1 teaspoon of Dawn and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Using an old toothbrush, I poured a little on and scrubbed at it for a minute or two. Then I let it sit for about an hour and came back, scrubbed a bit more and rinsed it out. Voila! Brown poop stain, be gone.

I did have a particularly stubborn spot, so I applied, scrubbed and rinsed twice. Then it was gone. This was a spot that I didn't catch and it went through the washer and dryer. It came out. I was amazed.

I did this on a colored jcrew tank top too and it worked as well. I am sold. I actually went through a bunch of Lance's shirts so I could find things to spot clean. This might just make me nuts. Because no sane person digs through their husband's shirts so they can see if this spot cleaner is as good as it seems.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lucan 13 and 14 months old

I feel bad about not doing a post for Lucan at 13 months. Oh well. Too bad, so sad.
Here are things from the best of my recollection.
  • At my last report, I stated that if you told Lucan "NO" he burst into tears. That's certainly changed. Not only, does he not cry, he doesn't stop and he will turn and smile at you. Touching the flat-screen TV, yes, please. Trying to push over the glass lamp, why yes, I'll do that too. Shredding momma's magazines, sure why not? Ah, the joys. Even swatting his hands seem to have no effect. I bought Dobson's Strong Willed Child at a garage sale. Maybe I need to start reading it now.
  • Lucan is not walking yet. There's a part of me that feels bad, but a bit annoyed with that continual question of if he's walking. Lu didn't crawl until about 10 months, so I'm guessing he won't walk until like 15 months. There, I'm putting my stake in the ground.
  • That being said, he pulls up on everything and is constantly climbing. Steps are a delight. We discovered that Lucan could climb stairs just after his birthday. We were at our friend's parents lake house where they have carpeted stairs and Lance thought it would be "fun" to see how far Lucan could get. As a result, Lucan feels entitled to try and climb all staircases and gets upset when you pull him off of them.
  • Speaking of good tricks Lance taught Lucan, we are also going to have a potential problem with Lucan trying to climb over the back of the couch to peer over who is coming up the stairs. That's another one Lance taught Lucan.  
  • After Lu gets up from his nap, his eyes travel upwards to the shelf where TC (Twin Cities) Bear sits. Lu insists on being able to visit TC on a regular basis. 
  • I still feel so blessed that Lucan is a good sleeper. He goes to bed around 8 pm every night, sleeps through the night consistently and takes two naps during the day, averaging about 3 hours total between the two. Yes, we are blessed indeed.
  •  Lucan is in size four diapers. Much needed size four diapers. Lu's only pooping about once a day and they are GINORMOUS. And disgusting. Maybe enchiladas or chicken lo mein doesn't agree with his digestive system ...
  • We finally moved him into a bigger car seat. After much hemming and hawing, we shelled out the big dollars and got a Britax Marathon 70 G3. Gads. I suppose car seats are one of those things you really shouldn't skimp on.
  • We are still having difficulties with sippy cups. Lucan's favorite trick is what I refer to as "swish and rinse." He'll take a sip of water and then spit it out. Usually all over himself or me. Yay.
  • Food. Lucan likes either really crunchy things or purees. I have this innate fear that I will be pureeing Lucan's food until he's 8 years-old. Sometimes he'll surprise me and feed himself, but it's infrequent.
  • Everyone dressed like a cow for Chik-Fil-A's "dress like a cow" day. It was there that I discovered that Lucan likes chicken nuggets and french fries. A lot. He ate a quarter of my meal and I was not happy. But it appears that anything that is breaded, Lu is a fan. Chicken nuggets, chicken fingers, fish sticks.
  • Lucan likes to carry things around in his mouth, particularly his little puppy named Bandit. Poor Bandit, he's disgusting. The puppy's ears spend so much time in Lucan's mouth, they are completely crusty. It's gross.
  • Lu's favorite book is his Baby Barnyard Animals book that makes animal noises. It's a somewhat obnoxious book, but Lu loves it. 
  • We still have some issues with separation anxiety. I'm sure it's only going to get worse now that I'm home with Lu full-time. If I try to go to the bathroom or grab something downstairs, Lucan starts crying hysterically. Even if I still keep talking to him as I walk away. I guess my days of peeing in peace are officially over.
  • Speaking of things that are over, we have tabled Lu's baby bathtub. It's pretty entertaining to watch Lu swim around in the bathtub. It's definitely more dangerous, especially since Lucan insists on periodically standing and walking ...
  • UGH. Lucan has determined that his high chair was intended for him to stand up in. It's so freaking dangerous and I can't leave him by himself for a second.
  • I weaned Lucan about mid-June. Because I was a crazy lady who pumped almost 3 extra times a day, we have lots of frozen breastmilk for Lu. 
  • His favorite toy is his Cozy Coupe car. Lucan loves to climb in and out and open and shut the door. We do this on a regular basis. We also zoom around the house, in and out of bedrooms and around the kitchen. Lucan loves his car.
  • He equally loves his firetruck ride-on-toy. Lu's favorite feature are the noise buttons - they make firetruck noises and have little songs. 
  • Ha! Lucan's favorite song is the "Wheels on the Bus" and the theme song to the "Big Bang Theory." Lucan loves the theme song and always bounces along to it. For him, it's 25 seconds of delight.
  • I know this isn't a new thing, but everything that Lucan encounters goes into his mouth. Water bottle nozzles, starburst candy, bottles, etc. Why do babies do this?
  • Ugh, Lucan has also started pulling hair. My friend's daughter, Cora, got the brunt on this one day where Lucan pulled out an entire fistful of her blond strands. Poor Cora, she took it pretty well, but she was still afraid the next day of a repeat performance. 
  •  Haha. I attempted for the first time ever, to cut Lucan's hair. Diaster. It didn't help that Lucan was all squirmy and Lance was yelling at me and I was sweating profusely from the pressure. As a result, Lucan didn't end up with the best hair cut. I berated Lance later and told him that he couldn't yell at me. A week or so later I worked up the courage to try again and this time was much more successful. I've learned that haircuts are not to be done too close to bedtime.
  • Lucan does like swimming but does not like the sprinklers. I think that it must be too cold and too startling. He just started crying when one stray sprinkler hit him.
  • Fire still does not want to be friends with Lucan. Something about loud shrieks and fur pulling is off-putting to Fire.
  • Ohhh... we had our first pavement rash too. Lu was riding a ride-on-toy at daycare and fell off. My poor baby. He was rubbing his head in some pillows and rubbed his scabs right off. They came off too early because the area, almost 3 weeks later, is still red looking.

One of my favorite things now that I'm getting my incizors in is to suck on this waterbottle nozzle. That and riding in my car.
     Nigel Lithgoe is cool. No momma, I'm not tourching the TV ... now.
    I'm plotting to take over the world. In my cozy coupe :)
    See my scabbies? I hurt my face by falling. It was sad.

I'm so mad. Why can't I push over the fan? Mean mommy.

I'm 13 months old and I know it (sung to I'm Sexy and I Know it)
Meet my favorite puppy Bandit. He's my bestie and so tasty!

I'm sunshine and smiles :)