Enjoying the bubble
Sahadi’s Lebanese Lentil Soup with Spinach

skipaheadLittle K has hit another milestone in life. I stopped hauling his carseat everywhere. He now sits all by himself in the front of the shopping cart eyeballing all the shoppers around him and straining to reach whatever is close enough for him to yank off the shelf. I have so much fun shopping with him, I barely notice what’s going on around me and I sit and chat with him even though he’s not quite able to chat back. “Where do you think they hide the mayo, kid?” “Do you want turkey and rice or chicken and apples?”

When I went into Target the other day though, I noticed a mom putting a baby seat into the shopping cart. I peered into the carseat and saw a very new, very sweet little girl. Her momma was inspecting and reinspecting the way the carseat latched and then, when all looked well, she pushed the cart off into the produce area, all the while in her own little bubble. She was beaming (both momma and baby) and each only had eyes for the other.

It made me feel very nostalgic for a time that was only a season ago. I can remember the first time E and I took Little K to the store and how many people remarked about how tiny he was. I’m sure we had that bubble around us too. Walking in a daze, bumping into endcaps, grinning like a fool. It’s funny how the everyday, mundane tasks – like grocery shopping – can become such special little moments between momma and baby. In the not-to-far future, Little K will want to walk on his own and I’ll miss the squirming, grabby, handle-sucking baby in the front of my cart. Until then, I’m happy to enjoy the bubble.


Sahadi’s Lebanese Lentil Soup with Spinach

Overall: five-star

When I met E he had really tall hair. Like no one ever told him to trim his frizzy hair shorter than 3 inches and use pomade. It wasn’t the best look for him, but luckily I looked past that and looked at what counted. That’s what you need to do here. Look past the uglier than 3-inch tall hair, to the amazing, fresh, yummy flavor. (Recipe here, from Bean By Bean: A Cookbook.)

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Dinner Parties are Dangerous
Vegan Fruit Tart

skipaheadI mentioned that we went to a dinner party a couple weekends ago and hung out with Jenny and Cait, two of E’s friends from his home town. And I think I told you that Jenny is vegan, but what I didn’t mention is that Cait’s husband Steve is allergic to peanuts. Last time we had the group over to our house I was a proud hostess, offering up all sorts of nuts to my vegan friend. Only to find out later that poor Steve was sitting on the other side of the room, not because I smelled, but because of all the nuts! This time I decided I could do better and find a dish that the lovely vegan could enjoy, and the anti-peanut man wouldn’t die from. Reasonable, right?

E had a brilliant idea of looking up Jenny’s Pinterest dessert board and raiding one of the good recipes from it. Unfortunately most of the recipes involved peanuts, or Nutella, or almond milk – or any other variety of nut-related item. I didn’t know Steve’s exact allergy and decided to just avoid the whole nut thing all together. I almost gave up on the idea though, until I came to a pin at the very bottom of her board: fruit tart!


Vegan Fruit Tart

Overall: three-star

Awesome flavor, though it does take a little effort and patience to prepare. Best prepared, immediately baked, and served warm.  (Recipe here, original from A, B, C, Vegan.)

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It’s pronounced keen-wah
Lemon Herb Rainbow Quinoa Salad

skipaheadWe’ve been eating pretty unhealthy around here. Or at least my recipe feed would have you think so. So I figured it’s high time we bust out a healthy recipe. Plus, I haven’t had many vegetarian recipes and no vegan recipes yet! (Sorry Jenny! Your potato soup recipe is still in the queue though!) So we’re busting out of our “meat, potatoes, pasta, and chocolate chip” funk today with a quinoa recipe. I have only had quinoa a couple of times and I’ve never prepared it myself. It’s one of those foods that scare me, simply because I don’t know what it is exactly or where to buy it or how to prepare it. And I know my mom is reading this now saying, “Qw-in-o-ah? What the heck is that?” So, here is a great infographic to help you, Mom!

I can summarize though: We should all be eating more “keen-wah.” Get started with this recipe. It’s easy and yummy and fast.


Lemon Herb Rainbow Quinoa Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts

Overall: three-star

We loved this salad. Light and fresh and easy to make. But it was expensive, man. E was trying to dissuade me from thinking it was expensive, so maybe I’m a cheapskate, but I had to spend $10 on the quinoa alone. Mint and pine nuts aren’t cheap either. (Recipe here, from Simply Scratch.) Continue reading