Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Flying Burrito Experiment

Last night, my loving husband actually asked me if I wanted Flying Burrito for supper. This is something he NEVER does so, of course, I said "yes"! Later, as we sat there enjoying our huge rice bowls and watching the cubs, I did get a few Paleo guilt flashes. Each time I would either take another tasty bit or looked over at my beautiful children scarfing their food (well, except Kendall who will soon be blown away by a Fayetteville breeze) and the feeling would pass. When it became apparent, however, that the Cubs... namely Wells whom needs to go back to the minors for a while... had blown it, my mind started to wander. Naturally, it wandered to food and my experiment was born!

Think about it. There are LARGE portions of Flying Burrito that easily fit within the Paleo life style. Let's go through my rice bowl from yesterday: Jalapeno tortilla, ground beef, rice, black beans, grilled onions and peppers, lettuce, tomato, pico, black olives, queso and guac... This is very similar to how I would also build a burrito or, Keegan's fav, nachos. Can you guess what I'm going to change with this experiment?

The rice bowl thing would be very delicish without the tortilla but what about rice? It's in the NAME! Surprisingly as it may seem, this is actually a fairly easy switch-a-roo. White rice on its own doesn't actually have much flavor. We mix it in to dishes, pour gravy over it or allow our Chinese food sauces to soak right in. Rice is more a mouth feel/texture thing. It fills in space and works well as a medium to get those yummy sauces and such to our belly's. Cauliflower "rice" fits this bill in the same way that it can disguise itself as mash potatoes without even a child noticing. Done and done.

Next, there is the tortilla or chips. I did some research and here is where more of the experiment part comes in. My kids LOVE quesadillas and nachos. Frankly, I LOVE to dip tortilla chips in guacamole and salsa. Granted, I could spoon guac straight without thinking but I could, also, totally skip the rest of the Mexican restaurant and JUST eat chips and dip. SO, I did my research and I have come up with a recipe to make Paleo tortillas and chips. I obviously have yet to try this recipe but I have a feeling I can sneak it past without notice. I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheese is not restricted by all Paleo's and is something that we do still eat. It has been limited in our household for the past 6 years anyway because of varying degrees of lactose intolerance so I don't count it in the guilt factor. The other issue is the black beans. As a former veg-head, black beans are super hard to give up. I do sort, soak and cook my own and, because I am no longer a vegetarian, don't eat them often so I really don't feel guilty about it.

There you have it.  Can I match that Flying Burrito experience? Who wants to come over and partake in my experiment? Come on Beth, you know you want some chips!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

When Momma Can't Sleep

I know that any "stay-at-home" mom has contemplated, read about, argued over, stood up for and/or questioned her dicission to assume the poorly named title. There is a plethera of articles and jokes about us, support groups, play groups and message boards for us. Entire product lines and advertising ploys out the wazoo are set up for us. Still, I can't sleep so let's talk about it some more.

Over the years, mom has played many roles with varying degrees of involvement in the actual raising of the children. I am no looking to say who was/is the best or even put some sort of order to it all. We can all though, in my opinion, agree on a few things:
The role of defining whom mom is can be vary widely based on
  • Centery/ generation
  • Class (yes, I said it and you they are real)
  • Country of origin
  • Age at conception
  • Number of living children
Though our current generation has come a very long way and made phenomanal strides in reviving the importance and stature of mom and family, we still have a long way to go. As a group, we could stand to learn a few more things from our past. Oh and let's face it, there are some down-right wack-o ideas on parenting out there. (that is for another day when I feel like poking angry bears)

Recently, our family was in need of a new car. I dread this process. However, this time I got some interesting take away. Our salesman looked and spoke to me more than Joe! Ok, so, granted, I am a sight for sore eyes (especially with the pregnancy cleavage) but he was looking me in the eyes and using intellegent language. While this may have become much more of a norm than I realize, none the less I was impressed. After all, I would be the one using it 90% of the time. Doesn't it make sense to talk to me; sell me? Joey is just the oPSne paying for it anyway, right? (wink, wink)
When we got around to financing, another interesting tid-bit popped up. The government has given us, the "stay-at-home" mom, a TITLE! Now, this was information that I already knew but our time spent at that little table in the annoying back and forth on pricing gave it time to wobble around in my head. The government calls us "homemaker" and takes it into consideration for the "net-worth" of a family. Ok, so that is only on paper and the importance of "homemaker" is still widely and heatedly discussed but it is a step.

I, personally, prefer the title "domestic goddess. Guru could work too; domestic guru has a nice ring to it. At least, though, stay-at-home MOM has a fraction of the stigma that stay-at-home DAD! Most of these guys work just as hard at us girls! Isn't the point that you, be it mom or dad, are taking an active role in raising the family? Male or female, we are still responsible for rearing the happiest, healthiest, smartest, most well rounded generation possible. We feed, clean up after, play with, act as doctor, teacher, therapist and coach to them daily. We are often, also, responsible for maintaining the family budget, creating a comfortable home and making sure we are doing our part for the good of the community, school and environment. Don't forget maintaining our own health and well being all the while supporting our husband/wife in good times and in bad. Whew, it can get a bit overwhelming!

I do give tons of props to the working moms (and dads), single moms (and dads) and, yes, even to the working dad (or mom) whom "allows" for the "homemaker". Right now, though, I'm throwing my hands up in cheer for the MOMMIES! YOU ROCK!!!

BTW, in the end we purchased a Hondo Pilot from Gordon at Fayeteville Auto Park and I LOVE IT! I would recommend them to all!

PS My computer seems to be getting a little tired and so am I so when it refused to spell check this, I gave up and am publishing as is. Sorry!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oh Good Gravy!

Ok, so its been a few days, let's catch up.

On the food processor front, I got a Ninja and I LOVE IT! I have made almond flour (which I used last night to "bread" crunchy oven fried shrimp) and wonderful mash that kids had no idea was steamed cauliflower NOT potatoes! The times I have tried this switch-a-roo in the past, I was never able to get it smooth enough and the kids found me out. Last night, they all had seconds!! Check in the mommy wins column. The kids and I have also had smoothies every day. They CHUG them and have NO IDEA that there are carrots and spinach in there!! This morning was spinach, cantaloupe, mango, apple, and strawberry. I always use almond milk and, of course, ice. I'm sure it helps that my kids have always been "forced" to eat their veggies and love fruit. They truly are good eaters but these smoothies are pretty darn yummy and the kids don't know I put spinach and/or carrots in them.

Moving on, I spent the morning in the doctors office on observation. I have been having regular contractions on off becoming much more of a regular occurrence over the weekend. This morning, they were about every 5 minutes there for a while but have slowed and the baby is staying is put. I am now, however, on BED REST, dun dun dunnnnnn..... hopefully this isn't a permanent thing considering I'm only 29 weeks BUT, I'll be confined through weekend before any decisions are made about increasing my activity level. I plan on making the most of it. I have the computer, netbook and 2 library books. We have a tv in our room for which I have the remote. I'm coming up with a list of things to make Joey do (hehehehe)... you know, so he feels more useful ;) I also have AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL friends and family whom help out in more ways than I could ever properly thank them for. We are blessed to have such a great support system.

Considering that I will have PLENTY of time, I will try to come up with funny things to write about. I may even post a few recipes I've come up with that I plan on making Joey try to cook. I might even let you know how he did! I'm thinking it to be a good thing that I can't really see the kitchen from here ;)

Wish me luck!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

So I have made a recent discovery. I need a food processor!! There have been many times in my cooking/baking life that I have though "I need a food processor." However, I have always been able to make my way around the need. I can guarantee you that it has not always been easy but my tiny little food chopper, my set of wonderfully fantastic knifes, an immersion blender, a little ingenuity and lack of space to store such "luxuries" has allowed me to make it this far.

Why the sudden change of heart? What could possibly cause such a dramatic shift in my paradigm? 3 words... The Paleo Diet.

Anyone whom knows me, knows my desire to live the healthiest life possible all the while not forfeiting the flavor, texture and all around yumminess of food. You may also know that I have struggled with food and my screwy digestive system. I won't go into to many details... you are welcome! My children also suffer various degrees of screwy digestive systems and, especially the boys, have struggled with all kinds of allergic reactions. Lots of research and experimentation have led us to this point but that is not what this post is about. If you would like to know more about our choice there are a lot of great resources like http://http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz1sc1wBdNg

Back to the point. Today I decided to make my own almond flour. I even had the grand idea of making my own almond butter. In theory, this should have been a simple task that would also save us some money. Here's the thing, my tiny, little, pitiful, 9 year old food chopper is no match to almonds. The extremely loud experiment left me with something much closer to finely chopped almonds than even almond meal. Needless to say, I was no where close to almond flour, let alone almond butter. Sadden but not defeated, I used the almonds to make some extremely tasty chocolate chips cookies.

I would love to try to make some paleo graham crackers and various other paleo treats but many of them call for... wait for it... FOOD PROCESSORS! I'm done trying to live my culinary life without one. I'm biting the bullet. Now, the question is: WHICH ONE? There are so many choices that it becomes rather overwhelming.

I'll keep you updated on my search and, in the mean time, I'll keep buying my pre-packaged almond flour. Once I get one, who knows what fabulous things I'll come up with!?!?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Opera and Boogers

As a mom, I often find the wide variety of occurrences in my day comical. In the same 2 seconds, I can think "how in the world does a 6 year old have such stinky feet?" and "Coldplay should not be sung as opera masquerading as not opera." Really?

Well, the two thoughts came together rather naturally. First, I can still smell Keegan's feet burned into my nose. It can actually be difficult for me to sit close to him in the evening during reading time because the odor. Do they make odor eaters for shoes that small? While I was having that thought, one of the voice contestants came on. He has an amazing operatic voice. Don't get me wrong, the boy can sing. However, two performances in a row, he has attempted to do a pop-esq type song and cannot, I repeat, CAN NOT break away from the operatic sound. So just sing opera man. You are good at it.

So, ok, this was random and short but that was my thought for the day. Enjoy it!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wow, It has been a LONG time!

Good gravy; it is amazing how easily life gets in the way of talking about life. Actually, I think I just had severe writters block. You might just be amazed at how many posts I have started, saved in drafts and never finished because I couldn't come up with a way to finish them. Well, eventually, I just gave up for a while.

Guess what... baby #4 is inching her was closer to her "due date" and I am being forced to find a way to sit still.

HA!! HA HA!! HA HA HA!!

I need to head to our fabulous library in search of a new book series to hook me. Currently, however, I only get enough time to quickly glance over the recommendations tables before I'm rushed back to the children's section, bathroom (there is something about public restrooms that AMAZING to children; YUCK!) or someone desperatly needs to go home. Our 13 amazing television channels offer very little in the way of lasting entertainment... I'm not much of a TV watcher to begin with but come on! Granted, it is 4 in the morning but of those 13 channels, 2 are home shopping networks, 2 are showing news reruns and 9 are paid programming. Netflix has gone downhill. I surfed the internet for a while but quickly caught up on facebook, picked a resturant for Joey and my date night, don't have excess budget for shopping... everyone says I need to join pintrest but I just can't bring myself to do it.

SO, you lucked out and I'm writing. Granted, it is very rambly writing but hey, did you catch the fact that is 4 in the morning?

Yep, I was sleeping GREAT, for a while. As anyone whom has been pregnant knows, that does not always last. Alas, she woke up and started dancing an Irish jig practically bouncing me off of the bed. I then realized that I was rather hungry and needed to pee. After all of that, I'm pretty awake and baby is still dancing so, here I am.

In a few hours the kids will wake up and be ready for breakfast. Being the perfect little "Suzie Home Maker" mommy I am, there is already some AMAZING muffins made and fruit cut. I bet that Kendall is still going to want cereal and Keegan will ask for Nutella on toast. Guess what kids... we are having muffins, fruit and yogurt!! Shortly after that, pending it isn't raining, we will be headed to the Heart Walk. We are having company for dinner on Sunday so I'll need to do some extra "you haven't even been to our house" cleaning. Tomorrow... um, I mean tonight, Joey and I are going on a date. HEY, I could look to see if there is a good movie out! We haven't been to the movies together in a LONG time. No really, I'm thinking it has been over a year!! Well, there you have it. I need to wrap this up so that I can go look for a movie. HOPEFULLY, after that, I will be able to get a few more winks. Wish me luck!!