I referred to my go-to cook book, Thug Kitchen, for this recipe.  This book is the shit.

Ingredients:

2.5 lbs red potatoes, cut up into bite size pieces.

2.5 tbsp olive oil

1 1/4 tsp paprika

A little more than 1/2 tsp salt

Crank oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all the above ingredients and bake on a rimmed baking sheet for 25 minutes.  Flip halfway through.

1 1/4 cup diced fresh parsley

1 1/4 cup sliced scallions

3 cloves garlic, minced

5 tbsp olive oil

5 tbsp red wine vinegar

2.5 tbsp water

2.5 tsp lemon juice

Mix all the above ingredients.  When potatoes have cooled for at least 10 minutes, put them in a bowl with these herb sauce ingredients and toss.  Cool in fridge for at least an hour so that all the yummy flavors can marinate.  Serve cold or at room temp.  Enjoy!

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*Use organic whenever possible!*

I used a kebab recipe to season the beef:

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup tamari sauce

3 TBSP red wine vinegar

1/4 cup wildflower honey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 TBSP ground ginger

Mix ingredients and marinate 1 lb beef chunks for 30 minutes, at least, in the refrigerator.  Then bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Set aside.

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For the salad:

3 small cucumbers, chopped

3 scallions, chopped

2 cans of beans, I used Garbanzo and Cannellini

2 cups frozen peas, cooked

2 cups frozen broccoli, cooked

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, cooked and chopped

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For the dressing:

2 TBSP honey mustard

2 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

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Bon Appetit!

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We took our little bub on her first plane ride last weekend to Virginia.  She was great.  Here are some things I’d recommend:

  1. Gate Check travel bags for stroller and car seat, if you decide to take them.  Keeps them clean and helps to prevent any pieces from getting stuck or breaking in transit.  Wearing baby is also an option, but having the stroller until the gate helped our backs.
  2. Pants with feet so that during the hustle and bustle baby’s socks don’t come off.
  3. A larger changing mat so that you can bust it out and change baby on the floor in the airport.  Saves time and a trip to the bathroom, which sometimes might not be the best sanitary option.
  4. Change baby immediately before flight so that there is less of a chance of needing to change her on the flight….on a shorter flight of course.
  5. Dad mentioned having a vest with lots of pockets for our next trip.  Lots of pockets for toys, pacifiers, cleaning wipes, snacks for us, boarding passes, IDs, etc.
  6. Backpack for a diaper bag so that everything has a zipper and it is more comfortable.
  7. Plan a feeding for takeoff is helpful.  It calms baby and helps her to sleep during the trip.  I think it also helps with the pressure in the ears.
  8. Get a window seat so curious Georgina is distracted.  Hehe.
  9. Bring a bunch of toys or even new ones so that she is intrigued.  My girl gets bored easily.
  10. Possibly ear plugs.  We didn’t use them but baby was really startled when the pilot and the stewardess’ spoke over the loudspeaker.  Or just cover your bubs’ ears with your finger.  Same shit.

As we get more flying experience with baby, I’ll repost with additions.  Please feel free to also add your advice here.  Thanks!

Feeding Baby on Plane

Baby Needs Legroom on Plane

New York from the Sky

You just do it.

Up until I had Phoenix, I was always on my own path and didn’t mind it too much.  Yes, it bothered me that my family didn’t get together much, but I never paid it any mind.

We see each other at funerals.  At weddings.  Maybe at holiday gatherings.  Maybe at a yearly gathering every few years or so.  When a baby is born.  Then it’s back to being alone.

I see my friends more than I do my own family.  And frankly that pisses me off.  But I have to get the idea of family out of my head or it’s going to ruin my life.  My family now is Phoenix and Gabe.  That’s it.  If I see any other “family” at any time, it’s just a bonus.  I put family in quotations because they feel like strangers.

My friends and I plan weekly dinners, daily play dates, vacations, road trips.  We text and share pictures frequently.  So when others preach about family being the MOST important, I shrug and keep the conversation moving.  To each their own.  Not everyone has the same experiences.

As I read in one of my favorite books about raising a happy baby “The Happiest Baby on the Block” (find it in my page Reading instead of TV), “Never in history were a mother and a father expected to care for their baby all by themselves.  The idea of a nuclear family – one mother and one father to do it all – is one of mankind’s most recent, and riskiest, experiments, attempted only over the last two or three generations.  (That’s a mere sixty years out of the 60,000 years since the modern human era began.)  In the past, a couple’s family and community always pitched in to help, and later the couple would return the favor.”

So when I get ticked off about this, there are 60,000 years of programming in my head that I am trying to fight.  I’m not crazy.  I’m realistic.  My village consists of one person, Phoenix’s daddy.  I’ll manage.  It’s what I have to do.  I wonder if this “risky experiment” will succeed or fail.  I guess time will tell.  I remind myself daily that the greatest gift I can give my daughter is a happy mother.

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I decided to delete my Facebook account.  Permanently.  Yes, permanently.  Didn’t know you could do this?

Yes.  Yes, you can.  They just don’t make it an easy thing to find out how to do.

I got tired of seeing family doing things together, without me or my little family.  It’s always been that way so I don’t know why I get bothered, still.  I got tired of seeing so-called friends getting together with others, after failed attempts at trying to get together with us too.  Priorities, not busy as they say.  The friends I do have that are what I think of the real definition will be available by phone, or in person.  What a thought!

I am disgusted at the way social media has changed the way people have relationships.  So disgusted.  People need real contact.  Real people contact.  Facial expressions in real time, tones of voices, human touch.  I hope to teach my daughter what those are.

My boyfriend will stay on Facebook, so we are going to advertise my blog still through there.  He doesn’t get as bothered with it.  Maybe it’s a woman thing.  What else is new?  There are so many “woman things.”

If you’d like to know how to permanently delete your account and come back to the real world please shoot me a message or leave a comment.  You won’t regret it.  Maybe your house will even look cleaner.

Peace.

This is the time of year for a lot of good stuff.  Pumpkins, apples, fairs, comfy sweaters, warm soups.  Some friends and I went apple picking the other day.  Knowing that sometimes having a lot of apples at home ends up in their way to the trash (or compost), we planned a day to make apple goodies.

Today we made apple pies and apple-smothered pork chops.  Holy delicious!

Pie:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  I bought pre-made pie crusts from Whole Foods.  We peeled and thinly sliced about 6-7 apples.  Use whatever kind you want.  Mix 3/4 cup of sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Start layering the apple slices in the pie crust.  Between each layer sprinkle your sugar/cinnamon mix.  We used a second pie crust as a cover.  Take the second pie crust out of the tin holder it’s in.  Lay it on top of the made pie.  Let sit for a few minutes.  Once it is thawed, use a fork to pinch edges together.  Use a knife to slice three or four slits in the top.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, lower to 350 degrees and bake 30 more minutes.  Serve with ice cream and enjoy!

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Pork Chops:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  We browned the pork chops on each side for about 10 minutes because we had thick ones, on the 2-3 inch side.  We took them out of the skillet and added about 2 cups sliced apples and 1/2 cup of red onion flakes.  Let cook for 2 minutes.  We took them out and added 2 tablespoons amaretto, 1/2 cup of broth, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup butter to the skillet.  Saute for about two minutes with 1/2 cup mustard, scraping the brown stuff from the bottom of the pan to mix.  Return pork chops and apple/onion mixture to the skillet.  Top with a few teaspoons of dried thyme (or use 8 fresh sprigs).  Bake at 450 in the skillet for 10 minutes.  Voila!

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