What to muse about today?

November 10, 2013 ~ Cooking Day

New baby!  Need to break it in!! #nerdycook

New Baby!

Yesterday my 15th anniversary present from work arrived at the house. I picked a cast-iron dutch oven by Le Creuset.  It is cherry red, and lovely.  It also made me want to cook something new and exciting today.

The other day, Yahoo! had a recipe that peaked my interest – Spatchcocked chicken with chickpeas.  You take the back out of a chicken and then roast it flat.  It cooks up super fast.  I asked Stu to run to the store to get me an unfrozen whole chicken, and we tried it for dinner.  He got me a 7 pound chicken, which is probably a bit bigger than the recipe calls for, though it didn’t really specify.  It wasn’t too difficult to cut out what I thought was the back, though I couldn’t get enough leverage to break the breast bone to have it sit flat.  It still had a bit of space underneath.

One chicken less backbone. Let's go! #spatchcocked #chicken

No backbone

So, the chicken took a bit longer than the 30 minutes the recipe called for. Could be the size of the bird, the fact that our oven doesn’t go to 500°F, only 475°F.  Or it could be that I cut the wrong side out… At least, I think I may have. The legs didn’t sit the same way as the recipe pictured.  I’ll try the other side next time!

Yum! #spatchcocked #chicken


The recipe was super simple.  Spatchcocked chicken, salt, pepper, can of chickpeas, lime.  The chickpeas go in the pan after the chicken is in the oven minutes.  They get a bit crispy and take on the taste of the chicken.  Very.  Interesting.  I ended up transfering a bunch into a shallow baking pand.  They were soaking in the chicken juice towards the end when I needed to put the chicken back in longer, and not getting crispy.

It turned out really good.  Very tender, very juicy.  I took some of the pan juices and made a gravy, adding in some lime juice.  I didn’t chop the parsley fine enough for that to go in, but it was tempting.  The girls really liked their chicken legs, though they weren’t fond of the chickpeas or the fresh lime juice.  Stu devoured the wings and some white meat, a big spoon of the chickpeas and used both the gravy and brown sauce.  Crazy Englishman.

I'm a baking fool. #brownies two ways


I was a bit sad I didn’t need to use my new pot.  But soon!  Soon!

Earlier in the day, I baked.  Yeah, I know!  I did a repeat of the apple brownie recipe I had made a few weeks ago as well as a pan of chocolate brownies.  The apple ones were for work, but the regular ones were dessert!  Ashlin helped me make both, Teagan was up in her room reflecting on the merits of listening.  Turns out, Ashlin is a very good listener, and a pretty good help.  She was very careful pouring in the ingredients, as well as whisking them together.  She really loved mixing the apples in.


Mix mix

Though, not as much as she enjoyed licking the spoon!




August 27, 2013 ~ Eating Buterflies

Unsure Kitty

Unsure Kitty

It turns out that Teagan, (and Ashlin), like to eat butterflies.  Really!

Not real butterflies, but tri-color bow tie pasta.  Looks like butterflies.  Enough that they ended up giggling about it as they wolfed down dinner.

I was late to get home, so Stu picked up the girls.  Teagan, who is going to have a nice black eye to match her sister, asked what was for dinner.  Stu replied “butterflies!”  Teagan did not believe him – she’s too smart for that!  She said that she’s had them, and didn’t like them.

“Where did you eat butterflies, sweetie?”

“Day care.  I eated them at day care.”

“Ok, that’s good, we’re going to have moths!  You haven’t had moths before, have you?”


Supposedly, during this interchange, Ashlin was chattering about something she saw out the window.  Stu didn’t think she caught on until they got inside.

Teagan was very unhappy, not wanting to eat butterflies.  As they head into the kitchen, she starts crying.  With tears.  “Dada, I don’t want to eat BUGS!” she says when asked.  Oh.  Poor baby!  Daddy is totally joking with you.  He has a strange sense of humor sometimes.  You’ll eventually like it.

So, Stu shows them the cooked pasta, and Teagan tries one.  Ashlin goes “red one!” and tries that one. “Yum!”  Teagan said “Yum!” too.

The girls had butterflies with cheese for dinner.  As I walked in to the kitchen, they both are laughing and yell to me about how they’re eating butterflies!  “Buhflies, mommy! Yum yum!”

So fun.


July 26, 2013

Ice cream for dinner!?!?


Why, yes. We did have ice cream for dinner.  It was delicious.  The girls thought it was the best idea ever!

I had to pick something up from the IKEA for my sister. I had meant to pick it up weeks ago, but of course, got side tracked, busy, forgot.  So, we picked the girls up a bit early and headed out.  The girls were very good, well, for them, as we wandered the store.  Teagan had asked to go up the escalator, so we did.  Then went through the “secret passageway” to go immediately to the children’s section and the stairs down.

As we head to the check out with my sister’s items, I ask the girls if they’re hungry.  Not really, but they want something.  I suggest that we could eat there, or not.  Stu isn’t sold.  The girls perk up, they like IKEA food, they have mac-y-cheese and chicken donuts.  I suggest ice cream.  This everyone gets excited about.

The girls got rainbow sprinkles.  We missed out on the chance to link that to treasure.

Maybe the next time we get ice cream for dinner!


March 9, 2013


When Ashlin apologizes she will rub her fist on the person she’s apologizing to, her version of the “I’m sorry” ASL sign.Then she gives the recipient a hug. It’s so sweet. Is is the closest I’ve been able to get of her doing her version of “sorry.” She had stabbed Stu with her fork at the restaurant at dinner tonight.

We went out to dinner tonight to celebrate dad’s birthday. We ended up getting there late, it was super busy, food took a long time to get their, but both girls were still super well behaved. Stu and I surrounded Ashlin, my dad and sister had Teagan. It was a good restaurant night with them for a less than stellar restaurant service.


Happy birthday dad. You’re a great PopPop!



February 6, 2013

DeerThis morning as the girls were eating breakfast, we saw a large family of deer in the back yard. Teagan and Ashlin were thrilled!  There were at least five that I could see, and at least one in each girls line of view while they ate.  They meandered back and forth, up and down the hill.  They seemed generally calm and relaxed, for deer.  I’m sure they were a bit nervous, I’m sure, especially when they heard the girls squeal if they came too close.  They hung out there for a while, at least thirty minutes.  Long after Stu had taken the girls to day care.



Tonight at dinner, the girls were squealing over another subject.  Farts.  Miss Teagan was a bit gassy, but Ashlin kept taking the blame:

Sometimes they’re just too funny.


November 2, 2012



Today I was able to finish Stu’s scarf. Yay for fringe! He’s been wearing it already, but now it has it’s fringe. I was really happy with how it turned out, just a simple single crochet and then a double crochet make that nifty waffle-like pattern.  It’s delicate without being feminine, very nice.  I’m going to need to try that with another scarf, or even a blanket. Yes, maybe a blanket.  I’ve got three baby blankets and three-quarters of a toddler blanket under my belt…  Maybe it’s time for an adult one?  Though I do have my eye on a circle in a square pattern…


Apple Cheddar Meat Pie!

For dinner tonight I made Apple and Cheddar meat pies! I had a package of the Goya discos and oh, so many apples.  They turned out pretty well, considering.  I think next time, I’ll try with rolled out pizza dough, maybe do a Stromboli type roll.

I bought some puff pastry, so will use that to make some more apple hand pies.  It seems more of a sweet pastry than savory one, so I’ll be making more hand pies soon…  maybe with Teagan this weekend.  She asked about them, while eating her dinner tonight.  Also, if I could make a broccoli pie.  Um.  Ok.  I could, I’m sure.  I’ll find one with cheese.  Everything is always better with cheese.


Can you make broccoli pies?

Both girls enjoyed the meat pies. Ashlin ate three quarters of hers, in something like 1o minutes, while Teagan ate about the same amount in 30 minutes.  She almost didn’t get her treat – Sherbert – because she was taking so long with her dinner.  Stu liked them too :)


Taped on shoes! Really?!?!?!?

Teagan had a great day at day care, a great week actually, hence her treat.  Ashlin, well, I’m not sure what happened for her today at day care.  She came home with her shoes  taped – yes, I said TAPED! – on. AND they taped her socks on too.  Stu didn’t notice when he picked them up tonight, but you can be sure I’ll ask why they felt they needed to tape them on.  Yes, the shoes are a bit big, she’s outgrown the size 4’s and is a bit too small for the 5’s, and she does love to take her socks off, but still.  It just doesn’t seem right.


AND socks!?!?! WTF??

AND her socks?!?!?! WTF??


October 1, 2012

Treasures from the walkAnother post I’ve been sitting on, for some reason.  Sigh.  Getting there.

Anyway, we had a rough few days with Teagan.  After visiting the Aquarium, last Sunday, we had to leave a bit early, both girls were too tired.  They became little monsters, that we didn’t want to be around in public.  Teagan did fall asleep almost before we got out of the parking lot.

Unfortunately, after her power nap, she wasn’t much better.  So, Sunday was the first time she was sent to bed early.  As a punishment.  Before she had finished dinner.  She was still pushing everything, not listening, being willful and defiant.  By the time she was three quarters through her dinner we both were fed up and Stu took her up to her room for the night.  What seemed to upset her the most, not that we were unhappy with her behavior, but that she hadn’t finished her dinner and that her sister was downstairs watching “Signing Time” without her.  Eventually she calmed down.  Stu talked her down from the screeching, unhappy little girl that howled up the stairs.

She woke up promising to be better.  And asking for her leftover dinner, which Stu had actually put in the fridge for her.  She had maccaroni and cheese for breakfast!

Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to keep her promise.  Again, she gave us a near repeat Monday night. More screeching, crying, promising to be good, telling us that she could be a good girl.  Insisting she was a good girl, and would listen now.  Right. We’ve totally heard that story before.  So, she had another early night.

Tuesday, she was better, and Wednesday and Thursday.  Friday, well, she called one of her teachers a name.  This teacher asked her to be quiet during nap time.  Teagan didn’t want to, she said “no” then called the teacher a pig.  Horrifying.  I have no idea where she even got the idea of calling someone a mean name like that.  Day care told her that we don’t call people names.  Day care made Stu sign a note.  He was mortified.  We told her that we don’t call people bad things.  She said she’d be good, and wouldn’t do it again.

As I was getting her ready for bed, she called me something – a fart, a burp – I don’t remember what any more and then laughed.  I told her that she had just lost her books for doing something mean like that.  She thought she was being funny.  Apologized, but she knew she wasn’t getting any books.  A few minutes later, she called me a poop.  I picked her up and carried her to bed, telling her that her behavior was unacceptable, and made me sad. Stu came up, hearing the commotion, and reinforced the message.

We were dreading the weekend, but she was quite good.  Fun. She got to play with her friend G for a bit.  And she learned how to pedal her tricycle! All by herself!

She was pretty good today too :D


September 21, 2012

20120921-202916.jpgTonight was a night full of win!

We all went out to dinner.  Just the four of us.  It was the first time in a while that just the four of us actually ate out.  Both girls are great alone, but will feed off of each other, helping to escalate into embarrassing tantrums.  What we could normally be dealt with quickly and quietly if there was only one of them, but are impossible with the two.  With just Teagan, we would go out to dinner, and get compliments from other diners about how well behaved she was.  If we went out with just Ashlin, it would be the same.  Somehow, the two of them together don’t make double good.  So we stayed home, or took out.

We had told Teagan that if she was good all week, listened at day care, at home, if she behaved, that maybe we’d do something special.  Well, today, we got coupons for DQ in the mail.  Their kids meal comes with a frozen treat at the end :D  We decided to try eating in.  She was so excited, that we almost changed our minds, but we decided to try it, knowing we could always throw the food in a bag and dash out if either one started something.  Something we couldn’t calm down.  Well, did we get close to needing to leave, but it all turned out ok.

Tonight, was a good night.  With ice cream on top!


Thank you (for ice cream)


Don’t take my ice cream, dada


What’chu doing?


I can have a spoon?


Brain Freeze!


We all laugh for ice cream

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August 5, 2012



Tonight was one of my favorite dinners. Cheese and pâté.  Stu found one of my favorite cheeses, a goats milk bucheron, as well as a very lovely goats milk Brie.  Our grocery store doesn’t seem to carry the bucheron at all, whereas our former store did, as well as the one in the town over.

The piece of goat cheese that Stu picked was thick, with a nice creamy ring around the outside.  The middle was solid, but not crumbly.  It was a strong, but rich taste, but not overpowering.  Definitely one to eat after the brie.

And oh, the brie!  It was very creamy and rich.  Mild, but more along the lines of a Camembert than a Brie, but still, a very lovely cheese.  Both went nicely with the Champagne pâté, a mild  yet satisfying pâté.  I paired my dinner with a hard cider, Stu with a beer.  I had a quick thought about maybe some wine, but it is Sunday night, and we didn’t get to sit down for dinner until late.

One reason Teagan was up so late, I figured out how to get some of the Olympic events on the iPad.  I showed her the Synchronized Swimming, and she was in love.  She started doing the leg lifts on the floor, some of then hand motions, asking why they do that? What’s their name?  She was very impressed with how long they could hold their breath.  To be fair, I am too, and I did my fair share of synchronized swimming (water ballet!) when I was younger.  Nothing along these lines, but we had shows with all the groups doing a routine.

Maybe she has a bit of Olympic spirit after all.


Creamy Brie


Goat’s Milk Brie



August 1, 2012 ~ Dinner

20120801-222448.jpgTonight I made a recipe I saw on Rachael Ray’s show the other day.  I had all the ingredients, except for one, which is a bonus.  We picked it up last night on the way home from day care.  And well, it had cheese, which is always a winning ingredient for me.

The Taco Cake was very easy.  I did a few slight changes and a substitution.  I used a blend of cheddar and Swiss cheeses, as that’s what was in the fridge just waiting to be used up.  Also, I swapped out the refried beans for the  mashed black bean soup I usually make.  The bean puree, I made a bit thicker than normal, to more closely resemble refried bean consistency.

I was able to get the two main parts done over the course of the day, five minutes here, 10 minutes there, so all the parts were ready to put together after the working day was done, before I had to leave to get the girls. A quick 10 minute bake and then I pulled it from the oven to let it set while I picked the girls up.

20120801-222455.jpgI removed the spring form to serve, and it oozed out.  For some reason, it hadn’t set enough, it was too wet.  It may also have been a bit too warm still.  After sitting on the counter, waiting for Stu to get home, it seemed to firm up and I was able to cut two nice slices for us for dinner.

One of the girls loved it, the other, not so much.  Ashlin ate her portion as well as most of Teagan’s.  Teagan had a few of the corn chips I served hers with, for dipping and scooping, but barely even tasted the cake.

I had also made a Date and Honey smoothie, and that both girls loved.  Teagan kept calling it soda.   Ashlin did an awesome job drinking hers from an open cup!

You lookin' at me?