Random bits of life

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I miss writing here. I really, really miss writing here. It’s not for lack of topics – because, boy you me, there is a lot of shizz to write about.

We, well, I’ve gotten myself caught up in the world of insta-tweet-booking, or more accurately, stalking celebrity chefs (ahem, Tyler Florence) who are insta-tweet-booking and so forth.

I briefly had the lofty goal of reinventing this space, really focusing on a topic, area of interest. But, really, that wouldn’t be reflective of me (or anyone really) – because, yes, I am that random…and got gobbled up by life.

So, in the last 18 months:

*we’ve done the (partial) summer in Europe thing – which has been fabuleuse!
*the youngest has graduated from day care and will be starting first grade this coming Fall – what the what?!
*Sonoma Raceway is quickly becoming a second home for us – #teamhelloclarice (see the 24 hours of LeMons)
*orthodontics made an early appearance in our lives
*I’ve become a soccer mom in theworst way – and am having flashbacks to my own elementary sports nightmares
*the kids have been introduced to winter sports – and I am skiing again after almost 15 years! Ski boots are still very uncomfortable.
*I’ve trained for and completed a half-marathon – woot!

Here’s to hoping that I’ll be back here before the 18 month mark…

(a few days late to post…)


Over the course of this first year…

*she’s learned how to read in French & English (!)
*she’s learned how to print & write (the French teach cursive writing early)
*she’s learned how to tie her shoes (even though she hasn’t worn her “tie” shoes in months and, as expected, is opting for her boots)
*she’s learned how to ride a bike without training wheels (that may have been before school started…)
*she’s lost her two front teeth
*she’s successfully (read: I didn’t have to pick her up at 11.30pm) attended her first sleepover…and proved to be a party animal by staying up until 1am!

19 Jun – oh, and she’s learned to ski!

As my daughter said, “It’s so not funny how sweet this is!” I’m still in shock she said this.

All you need:

  • Bridgeford dinner rolls
  • Home made cream cheese frosting
  • Sparkling sugars in green, purple, and yellow

Prep& bake rolls per packaging, make the frosting. When cool, frost the rolls and sprinkle on the sugars

As some of you may have already seen on my FB page, meal planning was very…uninspired this week. If I plan for take-out three days in a row – it’s still a plan, no?

Combine a crazy week (Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, AND Valentine’s Day) with this calorie counting I’m doing – I’ve got to plan carefully. Very carefully.

Monday was originally supposed to be meatless Monday. Actual, was far from it. (I figured with Ash Wednesday and the first Friday of Lent – we’ll have two meatless meals this week.) I ended up finally making the Baked Apricot Mustard chicken with green beans. Though my kids ate it, they kept asking, “Is that all? What else are you making?”

Mardi Gras. Plan was for slow-cooker red beans & rice and king cake to follow. Almost there. Instead, we had dirty rice – which the kids LOVED! (No king cake, unfortch.)

Ash Wednesday. Though we are not practicing Catholics, I still adhere to a few of the rules. But because, I didn’t plan for tonight, we’re ordering sushi. Oh, and king cake.

Valentine’s Day. Meat. In a big way, too. Some sort of steak – Florentine-style or a filet mignon – with potatoes & broccoli. And because it is Valentine’s Day – chocolate fondue for dessert. (Thank you to Mrs. A, for the idea…) The Husband was trying to justify both a cheese fondue and a chocolate fondue, but I think that may be a bit much.

First Friday of Lent. Fish. Either a miso-glazed whitefish or baked salmon.

Late swim class, so a night out likely. Kara-age ramen sounds good…again…with the weather being so chilly lately.

Easy, peasy chile verde with rice and beans.

I am SO looking forward to the short work week next week it’s not even the slightest bit funny.

But first, I need to get through the brilliant idea of crafty Valentines.

I bought this kit at Paper Source – the best store EVER – thinking it might be a nice project that Peanut could work on for her class. I was blind to the fact this task may end up in my lap as it did/will. Good thing I’ve got wine and two episodes of Downton Abbey to catch up on tonight. I guess I’m not giving up alcohol for Lent.

So, I think I’m finally recovered from a devastating Super Bowl loss – looking forward to next year though!

I’ve come to accept that, even though I meal plan and I may not even follow through with the plan (I was 2 for 5 last week, excluding the 2 date nights) – it prevents me from (most of the time) buying unnecessary stuff at the grocery store. Less waste – yay!

Starting Monday, I’ve also started keeping a food journal on the My Fitness Pal app. I’d say I’m A LOT more conscious of what I’m eating and checking labels like no tomorrow. Their food database is quite extensive – they have even the nutrition facts for the freshly ground peanut butter we buy!

I had to take it to extremes because the jeans just are not fitting like they used to. Sad. So the exercise routine is being bumped up to several times a week and I’m looking to get back with my endorphin dealer next week.

So the plan for this week is/was:

The frittatas I was supposed to make Friday, I made Monday. Two frittatas/crust-less quiches with sauteed leeks, cremini mushrooms, and pancetta. Froze one of them for either lunch or dinner later this week.

We had a last minute dinner guest – so we ordered Thai…again.

Take two for the skillet pie – thank goodness for freezers!

I think Thursday will have to be a leftover night.

Take two for the Apricot-Mustard Baked Chicken

Not sure yet – might go out – we get out of swim SO late!

Either a pasta carbonara or spaghetti with tomato sauce.

What’s cooking with you this week?

It’s FAR from Monday.

So while last week’s efforts to plan the meals was stellar, execution lacked. I found myself pooped after three nights of cooking (and working and doing other mom things) and ordered pizza Thursday night from here, we went out Saturday night (and had some great Kara-age Ramen here), and fell back on to the mac ‘n cheese crutch Sunday night.

I also didn’t take into account that I would have leftovers coming out of my eyeballs.

So, better late than never here’s this week’s plan:

Date night #1 – Muse concert (yay!) (link to one of my faves)- Grandma babysat, so dinner was taken care of.

Polenta Bake with Asparagus, Simple Salad, with Fish Sticks/Chicken Nuggets for the kidlets.

Southwest Skillet Pie – recipe from an early issue of Everyday Food.

Date night #2 – Sketchfest at Nightlife – so I plan to pick up teriyaki bowls for the kids & babysitter.

Dinner with friends at home – two kinds of quiches, “simple” salad, and a “fun” dessert.

Slow cooker chile verde, with brown rice, and beans

Har-bowl! Go Niners!


image from

One thing I haven’t been really good at is planning out meals for the week. I’ve also been really bad at remembering when the CSA box was arriving and I always managed to double up on the fruits and veggies, which some, unfortunately, went to waste.

Well for some reason, I decided to change that. Yesterday.

I went to the CSA site so I knew what to expect in the box this morning (and knew what not to buy at the grocery store).

Then I took it one step further and mapped out what we were going to have for dinner this week:

Monday – Chipotle Bean Burritos
This recipe from Cooking Light is tried and true and the kidlets LOVE it.

Tuesday – Lentils with Spinach and Eggs
I’ve been seeing a lot of lentil dishes with poached eggs. Really, anything with poached eggs. I don’t have a recipe for this, so will be making it up as I go along. May serve it with roasted potatoes, not sure yet.

Wednesday – Butternut Squash Soup
Recipe courtesy of Mrs. Chris Martin. Grilled cheese and/or salad on the side.

Thursday – Italian Sausage & Chard Crust-less Quiche
…or fritatta. Using my basic quiche recipe (eggs, cream, s&p, nutmeg, gruyere) and adding sauteed sausage & chard.

Friday – possible date night?

Saturday – Easy Peasy Chile Verde
The kids have swim class late on Saturdays, so needless to say we get home pretty late. I’ll be using the slow cooker for this one.

Sunday – 10-hour Roast Chicken
Another one courtesy of Mrs. Martin. Slow roasting the chicken at a very low temp for 10 hours.

(I’ll update with pics if I remember…)

What are you cooking this week?


Favorite workout songs of the week (powered by MOG & YouTube):

{1} Scream & Shout by f/Britney

It’s Britney, bitch.

{2} Yeah Yeah by Willy Moon

{3} Don’t Stop the Party by Pitbull f/TJR

Opting to not post this video – even I have limits, Mr. Worldwide.

{4} Lose Yourself by Eminem

(Such a good movie!)

{5} All My Life by Foo Fighters

Happy workout!

{1} We dog-sat over the holidays and it warmed my heart when I saw Peanut laying next to Maple (our friends’ dog)  petting her gently. Then Peanut brought me to tears when she said, “I wish Maple was Lucie”, so matter-of-factly.

{2} As holiday-lazy as I’ve been feeling lately, Peanut & I kicked off the season with a girls skate date at the Embarcadero Ice Rink. Apparently, my skating skills aren’t good enough to give my daughter the confidence to let go of the wall. For the record, I did not fall…this time around.

{3} I finally gave in and turned on the Christmas radio station and they happened to play my top 3 three songs in a row! {1} O Holy Night (they, unfortunately, played Leann Rimes’ version) {2} Jingle Bell Rock {3} Last Christmas

{4} I’ve been looking into Elf on the Shelf – part holiday fun, part behavioral enforcer. Okay, TOTAL behavioral enforcer. I’m leaning towards getting it, but I fear that Peanut’s belief in Santa may be coming to an end. (Some of these pins are hilarious – these people have more time than me, however.)

{5} I think I’ve reached my turkey threshold – turkey soup, thanksgiving sandwiches, turkey tetrazzini – today. Hello compost bin!

{1} Training yesterday, yoga today, and a planned “run” tomorrow am – I will be SO ready for T-giving grub!

{2}  “I follow sports, when I have the time” – Lenny Kravitz. I must have had  a lot of time this past fall.

{3} These guys crack me up! How can you NOT love them?! (Zito’s line is golden.)

{4} The best quote from the movie premiere:

“(Benjamin) Bratt said someone outside had him pose for a picture, thinking he was Angel Pagan”