Wednesday, October 27, 2010

cooking at home, it can be done!

Recently I got in into my head that I should start making dinner every night. You know, because I've got nothing else going on. Or really because Truman is too tired and hungry at night to deal with a restaurant and I was excessively tired of jparks and I debating for 20 minutes each night over what kind of take out we were going to order. So I cracked open my cookbook cabinet and set to work on a meal plan. Actually the first week I tried this experiment I didn't make a meal plan and by Tuesday I was standing at the hot counter in Whole Foods picking up dinner for us. But this week, week two, I made a meal plan and success!

This week's recipes come from these sources

I swear I'm so proud of myself you would think I've cured cancer and AIDS right in my kitchen. Nope, I'm just doing what all those cooking bloggers do every day.

So here's the thing, a lot of the recipes I'm using come back issues of Everyday Food, which I have an abundance of:
That's a small selection of all my copies and they are slowly taking over my cabinet. The issue (ha, pun!) is that I hate to get rid of them because right now I have no good way to store the recipes. Same thing goes with a few of my cookbooks. Most of the ones I own I love and use for a variety of recipes, but a few I only use for one or two things. Why keep the whole book for such a small selection of recipes? Is there a way to store recipes that you love? Should I just rip the recipes out and stick them in a folder? Does that get too overwhelming to flip through for creating a weekly meal plan? Do you keep a collection of core recipes separate? Things you know everyone will eat and love? Am I making this way too damn complicated?

And because I'm feeling rather triumphant as a parent right now, here's a picture of my kid eating Moroccan chicken with chickpeas and couscous. I win! Take that chicken nuggets and hot dogs!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

learn from me

If you have a kid and you're purchasing something that comes with an optional warranty, buy the warranty! Don't think, foolishly, "I'll just keep it out of his reach" because you won't. Don't think "I'll teach him to leave my stuff alone" because you can't. Just buy the damn warranty. Seriously.

Broken toy with no warranty:

New toy that does have a warranty:

Yup, lesson learned.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

getting my nerd on

Is it well known that I am a total literature nerd? Because I am. Like huge. I was, for a few semesters, an English major in college and I would have gladly continued to take discussion classes for years because they are just so much fun. I honestly can't tell you how many times my advisor tried to persuade me to not sign up for another specialized English discussion class because it served no purpose in helping me graduate. Since UT looks down on random, non-tuition paying people sitting in on classes, I have to get my literature fixes in other places and this weekend I did this at the Texas Book Festival.

I won't drag you through the details of all the discussions I attended but a few highlights included The Literary Death Match and Tony DiTerlizzi's discussion of his writing and art work process. I know it probably seems like something that only nerdy English majors, middle school teachers wearing holiday vests, and people in the publishing industry would attend, but if your state has a book festival I really urge you to go. Not only will you get to hear and talk to some amazing writers, but you'll be allowed to wander around your state capital building without a tour guide chatting in your ear. (Although it should be noted that I have no clue what the rules are for visiting capital buildings on normal days. I assume it's typically under lock and key, but I've been wrong before*)

See, totally empty hallway located somewhere below the state capital that I was able to wander through:

You get to sit in the senate chamber and listen to people read from their books and answer audience questions. Justin Cronin author of The Passage:

Alton Brown; he really had the fan boys out in full force:
Alton Brown!

Is it totally nerdy that I'm looking forward to next year's already? I am so going to plan better so I can hit more signings since I skipped quite a few in order to attend more discussions.

*I was wrong one time and it was about dental cleanings. Jparks went through my calender to prove to me that I am in fact crazy and my old dentist made me go in every six months. It's amazing how that first year of having a child is a giant blur because I swear I didn't see the dentist when Tru was wee.