Friday, June 17, 2016

bang bang sauce

We make bang bang sauce to accompany steak - and I finally shared the recipe on the blog. Link in profile.

Summer in our household means that Saturday nights are for lobster rolls. It’s the least we can do considering we hardly have dinner out these days as childcare costs eat all of our disposable income—and then some—and Avi’s bedtime is still an early 6:45 p.m on the dot, and sometimes earlier.

I often get questions about how we parent, what we do with Avi, what I feed him, and so on. I only do what works for me (us) and this is in no way being prescriptive with things. Families (moms/dads) do what works for them. Period. You like co-sleeping and it’s going swimmingly? Hats off to you, friend. We had to go the CIO method, cold turkey, and while it was horribly stressful at the time, it worked for us in the end. For me, personally, sleep is the Holy Grail. If I get adequate sleep, I do 100 percent better in everything; and if Avi sleeps through the night—meaning he goes to bed on time with his routine of settling down—then many more things fall into place. Everyone wins.

We don’t do a crazy number of things. We don’t organize playdates; rather we see friends and if they have kids, great. We don’t take Avi to special classes just yet. I don’t think my parents did it with me at Avi’s age, and I think I turned out okay. We read to him a lot; we play music; we show him lots of things. Avi is a very active toddler, and likes to keep busy and be on the move. Even when we read to him, he refuses to sit down, standing next to me, his hand on my shoulder. This morning, we read Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? about ten times while a Bach concerto was softly playing in the background. Avi’s reaction to the flute is to stand really still next to the turntable and hold his breath with his hands suspended midair.

Continue reading bang bang sauce.

Friday, April 1, 2016

fatima ansari’s chicken korma

This chicken korma might be one of the best things to ever emerge from my kitchen. Thanks, @azizansari for sharing this with all of us. I made a few tweaks - we inhaled it tonight.

I know it’s a loaded thing to post anything even remotely politically inclined in an election year (or ever for that matter!)—no good can come of it. And yet… As my friend Tim wrote recently, the election can bring out the worst in people. There’s fear-mongering on one side, and self-righteous bullying on the other. I think it’s safe to say that building walls and barring people of a particular faith won’t solve America’s problems nor will it build it up in the world. And threatening to stay home and not vote—unless it’s your candidate that gets the nomination—seems awfully myopic in my view. Some of the viewpoints feel to me very privileged and entitled (for goodness sake—vote! Please!); and some arguments are basically code for, “Shit, us white people are losing our dominance!” Neither stand is particularly inspiring.

Continue reading fatima ansari’s chicken korma.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

spaghetti carbonara

Contemplating eating carbonara for the entirety of this f@$&ing cold weekend. I might have a bourbon or two in between. 🍝

As I’m typing this, my trusty weather app tells me that it’s currently 8°F and feels like -10°F. In other words—it’s FREEZING here! I’ve not poked my nose out since coming home from work last night, and Avi’s had a cold all week, so we’ve decided to keep him at home until this frigid weather passes.

Aside from running after a toddler, my thoughts generally turn to what to eat while being a shut-in. I could very well eat spaghetti carbonara through the long weekend and be happy doing so, but sadly, we’ve run out of pancetta, and had to make do with merguez meatballs and salad.

Continue reading spaghetti carbonara.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

we do not suck at it (and thoughts on baby food)

Minutes later, they brought our brunch and this kid was ALL over feeding himself spätzle and sausage. So, weekend tally so far: first real word (cat); a third tooth; and self feeding for the first time. #avigram

I wonder how we got here, already more than halfway through January. I hadn’t intended to stay quiet for so long, but right around Thanksgiving things went a bit haywire, and it’s taken us until this week to sort things out.

In no particular order, we, collectively as a family, had a bout of stomach flu, the winner of which, unquestionably, was Avi, who managed to smile despite having thrown up all over himself. We also spent about a month cleaning cat pee and sh*t off of everything, living in an apartment covered by heavy-duty tarp (to protect it from said things), shuttling in and out of pet hospitals, and spending a fortune on emergency surgery wherein our already-neutered male cat is now, technically, a lady. I’m deeply thankful for pet insurance.

In December, Andrew spent a week in Paris, doing all manners of important things at COP21, like interviewing this guy and witnessing some epic, historic sh*t while my mom kept me company here and hung out with Avi, and I raced to the finish line with some books I’m editing.

Speaking of Avi, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that in a week, he’ll be one. I’m not one to get emotional and think, gosh I hope he stays a baby forever. Quite the opposite, I’m excited about him getting older. But I’m just in awe that we’ve been at this parenting thing for about a year now and while we’re far from perfect, I’m pleased to report that we do not suck at it.

Continue reading we do not suck at it (and thoughts on baby food).

Monday, October 26, 2015

crockpot chicken chili

See you in 10 hours, crockpot chicken chili.

Over three months ago I wrote about Sour Cherry Conserva and then vanished into the void. I can’t feign apology, because I don’t think many people noticed, and I’m not saying it to be all , don’t make me sing! I mean that in the sense that we are all busy and have a lot of things going on. And the living—the real kind, that is—is made up of human interaction, not bits and bytes via a series of tubes. And these months, I’ve been focusing on exactly that with a tiny human who has enough energy to power a small town.

One quick aside before I cut right to the chase: many of you have asked what I feed Avi now that he’s older and eating solids. I’m happy to write about various things I’ve cooked for him, but I don’t want to sound at all condescending or suggest that there’s a right or wrong way to feed babies. So, if you’re interested, I’m happy to share what works for us.

Anyway—let’s get right to business, shall we?

Continue reading crockpot chicken chili.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

sour cherry conserva

I've been bringing breakfast to work lately. A dollop of sour cherry conserva covered by plain full fat yogurt - this was inspired by the superb White Moustache yogurt which is ne plus ultra of yogurts. I even reuse their jars which are perfect yogurt ves

In the first few weeks that we brought Avi home, I was convinced that I’ll never cook again. I was tethered to him night and day. Between feedings, pumping sessions, more feedings, a few stolen naps here and there, and severely fractured sleep, I thought that throwing a piece of meat in the slow-cooker and dumping tomatoes over it was going to be as advanced cooking as I was ever going to do. But you good people, you assured me that one day, in not so distant future, I would cook again. And I didn’t believe you. Honest to goodness I thought you were all full of shit. I even laughed to myself about it – the kind of mirthless laugh that’s full of regret. Cooking was, is, and will be the way I anchor myself to the world. It’s the way I know how to make myself feel like I belong somewhere. And not having that piece of myself made me feel unmoored.

I’ve been meaning to drop in here sooner and write about postpartum anxiety, and somehow I haven’t been able to find the right words. I still don’t think I have them, but screw proper phrasing and waiting for the right language to present itself. Here’s the gist. Around eight weeks after Avi was born, I decided that what I was feeling and going through wasn’t healthy. In addition to being severely sleep-deprived and shell-shocked from transitioning from a household of two adults and one large cat, to a households of two adults, one large cat, and a tiny screaming baby – who refused to sleep anywhere but on a human (which at nights meant me) – I was also severely anxious.

Continue reading sour cherry conserva.