Meal Plan Sunday

Sunday night! This is a nice Sunday night in particular because I don’t have to get ready for work tomorrow. The kids have preschool but I am “off work” or working at home for the week. Mostly reading novels, I hope. Before I get into the plan for this week, here are a couple of things from this past week:

Vegetarian lettuce wraps
Leftover filling turned into a rice bowl. Add yum yum sauce and sambal oelek.
Two very good helpers who are getting too big for the shopping cart.

Sunday: burst cherry tomato and shrimp linguine from Run Fast Eat Slow. We love carbs in this house! (CW)

Monday: baked Thai tofu bowl. Kale and quinoa base, roasted vegetables, peanut sauce.

Tuesday: some kind of vegetable soup. (CW)

Wednesday: some kind of big salad, likely with roasted garbanzos as the protein and kale as the base.

Thursday: Thanksgiving! We’ll be eating at our neighbors’ house and we are responsible for mashed potatoes, a roasted assortment of fall root vegetables, and a pie. I might do a pumpkin pecan pie?

Friday: TBD and/or leftovers. Not sure how the leftover situation will shake out if we don’t eat at home?

What do y’all have planned?

Pie Night

Somehow, out of the desire for a Friendsgiving of sorts, my cul-de-sac neighbors and I wound up having an entirely pie-based party tonight. It was a magical confluence of ideas and timing and one of the most fun things that has ever happened at my house. We wound up eating a meal that consisted of seven different pies. Let me tell you about them.

Everyone went with one sweet dessert pie and one savory entrée pie:

My next-door neighbors brought a classic pumpkin pie (with fresh whipped cream!); individual hand pies made with sausage, potatoes, and apples; and (!) a bonus banana cream pie.

My across-the-street neighbors brought a sour cherry pie and a zucchini pie (with egg and cheese).

I made an apple pie and a butternut squash galette.

Listen, y’all. Every single pie was fucking delicious. Here are some pie awards of great distinguishment:

1) best handful of nutrition and buttery flaky deliciousness: the sausage hand pie

2) most rustic French and beautifully seasonal pie: the squash galette

3) prettiest vegetable pie: the zucchini and egg

4) my favorite dessert pie: the sour cherry

5) the most classic and flawless fall pie: the pumpkin with whipped cream

6) the beat surprise bonus pie, and so decadent: the banana cream pie

7) the classic American pie: the latticed apple pie

Y’all. Somehow it was one of those rare occasions where the six children wound up playing (mostly nicely) together the entire night — I mean, granted, the two older girls (6 and 8) undoubtedly got annoyed with the four younger kids (aged 3.5-4) at various points, but they all did great. And! The grown ups got to be grown ups and talk about grown up shit like bookstores and fantasy kitchen renos and the return of bootcut jeans. I mean, thank god.

I finally even got to open up the giant bottle of red wine that’s been sitting in my kitchen forever because I can never imagine disposing of that much red wine. But friends, I think we did it.

Pie Season

I love fall baking, especially pies. I mean, one can bake pies any time during the year, of course, but fall is when I tend to bake the most pies. Apple and pumpkin are my favorites for Thanksgiving — I love doing decorative crusts on the apple, especially. Here are a few inspiration images I’ve saved over the years:

Mine are never quite this elaborate, but it’s so much fun to try!

This weekend, I get the chance to bake a couple of early Thanksgiving pies for a neighbor-friend get-together, so I think I’m going to do a double-crust apple and a savory vegetable galette. Lots of folks on Twitter recommended the butternut squash and caramelized onion from Smitten Kitchen, which looks right up my alley. I love butternut squash for fall dishes (a fun gourd that sometimes gets forgotten due to all the pumpkin), but do you know what I really love? Caramelized onions. Cooked in butter, in particular. That smell is one of the most heavenly cooking smells I CAN’T EVEN STAND IT. So this recipe seems perfect. I think I’ll make the crust doughs tomorrow night, bake the apple Friday night, and then do the galette Saturday morning.

In other pie news, tonight I made the dough for Friday night’s pizza (this recipe is pretty much flawless every time) which will be resting and slowly rising in the fridge for the next couple of days. Pizza, apple pie, squash galette– pie season truly is upon us and I. AM. HERE. FOR. IT.

Magic Bullet

It’s that time again! Time to organize my new bullet journaling supplies, that is. I have recently received delivery of some of my favorite pens and a new notebook, so once I straighten out my tab situation I should be in good order for 2020.

I thought I might share some of my favorite supplies in case anyone is interested:

Leuchtturm 1917 A5 dotted grid notebook. This is such a great notebook, y’all. It’s no wonder why this is so popular. The pages are numbered and there’s a built-in index, for one thing, which means it’s already set up for bullet journaling. There’s the usual pocket folder and elastic band to keep it closed, and of course the subtle dot grid that helps me keep my pages neat while allowing freedom to doodle and hand letter as I like. Comes in a rainbow of colors, too. I went with navy this year, which is emerging as my favorite color of late.

Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens. I bought this three pack that came with two black pens of different hardnesses and a dual-tip black and gray pen that has become a fast favorite already. I am so into the gray for lettering.

Sakura Pigma Micron felt tip pens. These are my favorite, favorite everyday pen. I buy the “01” size, which is (I believe) the finest point they make. Please alert me immediately if you come across a double zero or similar. They are super neat seem to dry instantly — they don’t smudge or smear, even if you brush colored ink over them immediately after writing.

One item I haven’t found to my satisfaction yet: In the past I have bought these K&Company Smash Tabs in the fabric version, which are basically my holy grail tabs. However, this year I’m only seeing a listing for 12 tabs for $5.99, which seems ridiculous. I feel certain that I’ve ordered 36 for that same price previously, so. Hmm.

And one for the wish list: Stabilo Fineliner pens come in a million colors and have that fine felt tip that I love.

Got a favorite pen? Let me know about it. I mean it.

Six Years

It’s our six year anniversary! I went back to look for wedding and honeymoon photos for this post and had a lovely stroll down memory lane.

2013

The day feels so crisp in my memory, but it also feels like a lifetime ago. I think primarily that’s because our day-to-day life has changed so much since having the twins. Like today, we spent the morning snuggled up in bed with them while they watched Curious George and we got an extra half hour of sleep, allowing us to get out of bed at the luxurious hour of 6:45. We wrangled them in the yard while I cleaned off the back porch and CW mowed the lawn, both of us legitimately excited to get these two neglected chores checked off. Right now, CW has taken them down to the neighborhood playground and I’m here enjoying the quiet house for a little while (a truly great gift!).

Tonight, though, we will head out on a date and enjoy some of our favorite special-occasion treats — fresh oysters, martinis, something wonderful for dinner, dessert with Really Good Coffee, and possibly an additional drink at a Second Location — and we’ll get a lyft back home so no one has to be the driver. We’ll get to have a whole night of enjoyable conversation without (we hope) anyone interrupting us to scream about anything.

I braved my TimeHop app today for oyster photos (please note that is November 9, 2019 and therefore I only looked back at the previous two years; I could not really bear to go back three years to see the morning-after-the-election tears) just to show you our tradition. I’ll make sure to snap another one tonight!

2019 and better than ever

Oh, Butter Irony

I started a post about powerlifting earlier today but I am too tired to finish it, oh butter irony*. Tuesdays are usually my most exhausting days of the week, and this one did not disappoint.

On a typical Tuesday, I’m up at 5:30 and out the door by 7:00, teaching classes from 8:00-2:00, in office hours/meetings after that, and then I hit the gym or track. By this time I’ve already walked about two miles on campus in dress shoes that make my feet angry so I’m feeling grimly determined to get the run done nevertheless. Today it was a track workout on tap. I somehow messed up the stats that display on my watch, the end result being that I ran my intervals significantly faster than needed, felt bad about myself because the workout seemed too hard, and almost barfed at the end. My stomach still feels pretty iffy, to be frank.

By the time I get the kids from daycare on Tuesdays, get home, do dinner/bath/bedtime, and so on, I generally start to feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. Then, the 30-60 minutes after bedtime when the kids insist on coming back out of their room for Very Important Kid Reasons, but during which I’m also trying to shut down the house by completing my final chores before bedtime, is the most difficult hour of the day. I’m crouching in the bathroom holding a geriatric/paraplegic dachshund over the toilet so I can express his bladder, for example, and suddenly there is a child climbing on my back and shouting in my ear about how they just needed to get back out of bed to see what Egon was doing. And as soon as I get all that taken care of and go to lie down for a minute I’m confronted with a pile of laundry I forgot about or with the ping of my daily phone reminder telling me to set up the coffee pot for tomorrow or or or.

(Because someone will wonder: yes, CW is involved in all this work, too. But this is my blog so it’s gonna be all about me, dammit.)

Current status: lying in bed, sweaty and stinky but wearing fresh lounge clothing, next to the aforementioned dog (curled up under my blanket), contemplating getting up to find my roller so I can work on my calves before I fall asleep. It’s 7:56 pm, y’all.

*autocorrect, obviously, but I’ll let it stand.

Fall Back

Thanks to the time change, the children and I woke up at 5:00 this morning. What a delight. I’m not going to launch into a long discussion of their sleep habits, though — another time, maybe?

What wound up happening was that after about forty five minutes of trying to convince them to snuggle up quietly in our bed or to go play in another room, the sun had started to come up. I decided to take advantage of the early light and my own annoying alertness and I got my butt out the door for a run. I felt mildly bad about leaving two raucous preschoolers with my husband, who was trying to get more sleep, but obviously not bad enough to stay home. I think the kids watched Daniel Tiger in bed with him while I was gone.

It was cold and delightful and I threw in a few hill repeats just for funsies and then came home and drank all the hot coffee.

Running has been nice lately — all the more so since the temperatures started to dip, of course, but also since I have quit looking at pace on my watch during easy runs. I used to think my “easy pace” needed to be around a certain number, but it doesn’t. If I’m trying to hit certain intervals during a speed workout, of course pace matters. Otherwise, IDGAF. So freeing!

Tomorrow I meet up with my lifting partner and our trainer for a powerlifting session, which is something I’ve been doing since January and it is so much fun. I should do a full post about it— maybe tomorrow. It seems like I’m actually sticking with the old NaBloPoMo so far, so maybe that will actually happen.