smoothie II

This is Rowan's and my standard smoothie:
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
Spinach ice cubes or fresh baby spinach
1/4 can, or 3.5 oz., full-fat canned coconut milk (Native Forest is BPA-free)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (usually homemade)
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/2 tablespoon ground flaxseed

I've been out of almond butter so I haven't made this one lately. I want to try making my own (because for some reason I have pounds of almonds on hand). Has anyone done it?


I made a smoothie for breakfast:
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen sliced strawberries
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
3 spinach ice cubes (I took two big bags of spinach from the farmers market, washed the spinach, blended it with a bit of water and lemon juice, and froze it in ice cube trays)
1/2 cup berry smoothie juice, which was cheap at Aldi. Orange-carrot juice is good, too.
1/2 cup unhomogenized whole milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (not homemade because I'm out right now)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
1/4 teaspoon probiotic powder

Then I ate two brownies for lunch. Everything in moderation, right? :)

spinach-feta breakfast strata

So this is what I did, and it turned out well.

I took 6 slices of leftover herb bread and toasted them in the oven until they were dry but not browned. I broke them into chunks and put them in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. I forgot to grease the dish. Don't forget to grease the dish!

I thawed most of a bag of frozen chopped spinach in a colander in the sink and then pressed the water out. I mixed the spinach into the milk/egg mixture, which didn't work very well. Next time I would layer the spinach on top of the bread.

I crumbled about 5 oz. of feta cheese over the bread. I sprinkled about 5 oz. of Cheddar, grated, over the bread as well, but next time I would mix the Cheddar with the milk/egg mixture. You really want cheese as the top layer and not spinach. Ask me how I know.

I whisked 7 eggs (6 would have been fine, but I was using up a carton) in a mixing bowl and then added 3/4 cup EACH milk and plain yogurt. I added about 1/2 teaspoon salt, about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and a bunch of fresh dill, which I snipped right into the bowl and didn't measure. Next time, this is where I would add the Cheddar. I whisked it all together and poured it over the bread.

I carefully covered the top with plastic wrap and then weighted it with a couple of cartons of tomato soup and chopped tomatoes. I put the whole dish in the fridge for about 18 hours. Then I removed the cartons and the plastic wrap and baked the casserole, uncovered, at 350 degrees for an hour. Next time I would check it at 35-45 minutes.

I cut the casserole into 12 squares but I ate three squares for dinner so I can't guess how many this would actually feed.

It was quite good.

(Inspiration-wise, I began here, then found this, which is more what I was going for, and I weighted it because it worked well when I made this.)

good deals/children's gifts

I really love finding good deals on things. $9 for a tub of Duplos for Rowan's birthday--would have been $25 new. $4 for a Christmas gift for a friend's daughter--would have been $15 new. A couple of board-book editions, in perfect shape, of three books we have out of the library right now, $2 apiece. I'm going to put those away for Rowan's birthday, too.

I have a question. I have a friend (who is not on Livejournal) who has two daughters. Because there are two of them, and because their grandmother/nanny used to teach preschool, and because their mom has an eye for good deals, they have way too many toys. And books. And magazine subscriptions. Basically, anything I could think of to get them, for any reason. I usually skip their birthdays, but I like sending a Christmas package every year. But I'm running out of ideas. Most recently, I've given books, but when I visited them this spring, even their books were taking over the house. Any suggestions?

these things only happen to me...

Slugs. In the kitchen. Four, so far, on four different days. The three I've spotted and scooped up and tossed in the ivy patch in front of our apartment are not as bothersome. Bizarre, but slugs are not on my short list of "OMG KEEP THAT *THING* AWAY FROM ME!!!" However, the fourth had made its way onto the rag rug in front of the sink, where it was perfectly camouflaged, and I stepped on it with a bare foot. Unpleasant for both of us, though at least it died quickly. But, UGH.

Someone please tell me that either a) I am not alone or b) covering my entire kitchen floor with salt is a good idea.

Do I know where they're coming from? Not...exactly. We have this weird closet next to the doorway from the hallway to the kitchen. It has our hot water heater in it, and then we use the closet space in front of the heater for storage. It contains an empty cooler, a laundry basket full of extra storage containers, a jug of peanut oil for deep-frying, the jumbo-size Oxiclean powder from Costco, the mop and bucket, the broom and dustpan, a pair of crutches (yeah, I don't know, either), and Bear's chimney starter and grilling tools (which are on top of the cooler). Today I dragged all of that stuff out and wiped down the floor with a vinegar-soaked rag (which is how I clean pretty much everything around here). I didn't see any slugs, but I wonder if there's a colony living around the hot water heater. There used to be a leak back there, and it's been fixed, but the closet is still a bit humid. And the area around the water heater is...hmm...let's just say I wouldn't be surprised if there were wildlife back there!


I won't even say where I found this. I didn't edit it in any way (obviously).

"Have you ever feel that you don't have much in comom with moms older than you?.I decided to create this group,because I would like to meet moms of my same age who can be real and non-judgemental.The purpose of this group it's to support each other with the challenges of being a mom, wife,dauther,etc.The only condition to join the group it's that you should be a mom in your 20's."

I'm afraid I wouldn't have much in "comom" with the mama who runs this group.

(no subject)

Note to self:
When cosleeping with acrobatic toddler, do not do said toddler the "favor" of pulling the covers over her without first ascertaining that she is right-side-up on the bed. That angry shrieking? Is because she did not want covers on her HEAD, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, Mama.

keeping Rowan entertained on the plane

So I went to Dollar Tree the other day and bought a bunch of stuff to (hopefully) keep Rowan entertained on the plane. It's two three-hour flights each Saturday. I found a Sesame Street coloring book and a package of color-your-own stickers, and I bought a box of big "toddler" crayons at the grocery store. I found a cardboard Winnie-the-Pooh chalkboard that actually works quite well--I might need a couple more for my "secret drawer"*. I found three Sesame Street bath books about colors, opposites, and the like. I found a set of three squeaky rubber frog bath toys. I found a small duck keychain that quacks when you press a button. I found a set of three plastic bracelets. Then at Kid to Kid today, I found two small Sesame Street board books. Plus two really cool Ravensburger puzzles, though those aren't for the plane. I posted photos of the puzzles on Facebook because they were so neat. I also found new Robeez in the next size up and another swim diaper for Rowan.

*When I was a kid, my mom had a "secret drawer" in her file cabinet in the office, in which she kept children's toys and art supplies for presents for birthday parties. I have a cardboard box that serves the same purpose--I hate to pass up fun toys that are too old for Rowan, or clean copies of books we already own, or what have you, when I see them at Kid to Kid or somewhere else for cheap. The Winnie-the-Pooh chalkboard is really fun, and for a buck I might as well buy a couple for the box.

Right now, the box contains:
-a hardcover copy of Pretend Soup: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up by Mollie Katzen, from Kid to Kid.
-a paperback copy of Home Sweet Home by Jean Marzollo, probably from Kid to Kid, which would make a good new-baby gift for someone who would not be offended by "bless each birth / In our home called Earth."
-an Eeboo Candy Matching Game, which is for ages 5 and up, from Kid to Kid--I'll probably keep this for Rowan.
-a set of Eeboo Candy Dominoes, which are for ages 3 and up, from Kid to Kid--I'll probably keep these for Rowan, too.
-a "little sister" onesie from Target for a friend who's having a girl; now that another friend is also having a girl, I need to pick up another one.
-a BIG stack of board books:
-three copies of Cats by Julie Aigner-Clark, from the Borders going-out-of-business sale.
-two black-and-white board books from the Target dollar section, for a new-baby gift.
-a copy of Carl's Birthday by Alexandra Day, either from Kid to Kid or from The Book Rack--I'll probably give this to Rowan for her next birthday, along with the baby doll I have hidden in the upstairs closet.
-three copies of Jingle-Jingle by Nicola Smee, from Marshalls--I meant to give these to the kids in our playgroup, but I couldn't find them at Christmas (the books, not the kids :p)! :p So I gave them all a scratch-and-sniff book from the Target dollar section.
-two copies of The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton, one from Kid to Kid and one from Marshalls.
-one grown-up present--an address book from Big Lots.


This morning Rowan and I went to Ray's Splash Planet. It wasn't worth full price--the new moms' group had it on the calendar as a parent-tot day, but it wasn't--but I had already promised Rowan that we were going swimming, so we stayed. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as warm as it could have been, and by the time Rowan stopped being overwhelmed by the noise, she was shivering violently. We'll try it again when it's cheaper, and maybe we can get our whole playgroup to go sometime.

Speaking of playgroup. There are four of us, C. and her son, D. and her son, H. and his son, and Rowan and me. H.'s wife is pregnant, due in March. Just found out last week that D. is pregnant, due in June, and C. is pregnant, due in August. I'm not ready for a second child; and I'm still under thirty and don't feel as if I've got to hurry up and have my kids before it's too late; but I do feel a bit left out now! Including these three, I have ten friends and acquaintances who are pregnant right now, seven with their second child. Perhaps I'll feel more like joining them when Rowan nurses less and sleeps more?

After lunch, Rowan took an hour to fall asleep in her crib, but she is asleep now, thank goodness. I've got the grocery list(s) written for the rest of the food we need for this week and for Christmas. After she wakes up, I think we'll go to Trader Joe's. I'm hoping I can get some things there for cheaper than Earth Fare.

Bear drove down to SC this morning, thinking he'd be down there all week, but hoping to get Thursday off (that's when his parents arrive). But, no. He's driving home tonight so he can go to training at the Charlotte office tomorrow and Wednesday, and then he's driving back down to Columbia Wednesday afternoon and working through Thursday. Sigh.

But that's okay, because he has the whole week between Christmas and New Year's off.

But then he won't be home the first two weeks in January at all, because they're going to a 14 hours on/10 hours off/7 days a week schedule for those two weeks.

But he'll get overtime, so that will be nice.

Back and forth and back and forth.

Plan for Christmas dinner:
*Alton Brown's City Ham.
*Cranberry relish--a can of the jellied kind for my FIL and also my family's traditional recipe.
*Mashed potatoes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks.
*Gravy. Probably this one.
*Green bean casserole.
*Sweet potato pie.
*Apple pie.

So that's the plan!