I'm not big into the review blog thing, but if I WAS, this is what I'd be saying*:
1. Kabocha squash, otherwise known as Japanese pumpkin, otherwise known as UGLY.
Roast this thing, peel off the skin and EAT. It already tastes like pumpkin pie, only better, because I don't LIKE pumpkin pie and I LOVE this squash. Of course, I mashed it with butter AND maple syrup and my kids still wouldn't touch it, but that's okay, I turned it into a soup and now I am orange. YUM.
2. Hungry Monkey, by Matthew Amster-Burton. I don't know if it's because it's written by a man, or because he is SO chill about feeding kids, or because it's hilarious, or because he's local, or because he's a FOOD CRITIC and his kid doesn't eat her vegetables either, but I cried Actual Tears Of Relief while reading. Perhaps you have met me and my Spirals of How-To-Feed-My-Kids Shame? But really, even if you aren't in charge of a two-year-old who subsists on cheese, I think this is a fun read, just stories about a stay-at-home dad and his daughter, recipes included.
3. Danonino yogurts.
Jack and Molly enjoying their chicken fries (thx Amanda!), frozen peas and Danonino!
When we lived here, we got to take two free space available flights a year. Something like that. I forget what the official term for that was, but it roughly translates to "We, the United States Government, are very sorry for sticking you out in the Middlest of All Nowheres, so here, take these free flights back to Civilization." Anyway. So we would fly to a navy base in Spain where we had some friends from the last place we lived. I have all these chunks of memories from our trips to Spain and one of them is what I call "little yogurts". I LOVED my little yogurts. Our friend in Spain had them for her kids and we'd just squeeze the yogurt out and lick it up. When we moved to the next base I was beyond excited to find the little yogurts in the one grocery store in town and even when I came home from college I would make my mother buy me the little yogurts. Which are for BABIES.
And now? They sell the little yogurts in the Safeway up the street. AND? My kids EAT THEM. (Because they taste like dessert. But they aren't dessert. They are YOGURT. Yogurt = health food!)
4. Orville Redenbacher Kettle Corn 100 calorie packs. Um, when I started this it wasn't all about food. Promise. Ummm, anyway, I am in love with these because they are just the RIGHT amount of popcorn. And even though they are disgustingly fat-free, the "kettle" part of the corn makes it taste like something. AND it takes me a while to eat it all, so I'm not sitting there watching Glee and being all, "Dude, that snack went by too fast and now I need ANOTHER one." You know what I mean?
5. Nordstrom shoe department sales people. (See? Not ALL about food!) You would laugh, then roll your eyes, then snort, then gape at me all, "Are you SERIOUS?" if I told you about the DRAMA my sister and I have been enduring re: what shoes to wear with our bridesmaid dresses. Attempting to find a shoe that is 1) not ugly 2) silver 3) closed toe-ish 4) available in both our sizes and 5) not in a Paris Hilton price range is IMPOSSIBLE. However! At Nordstrom this weekend I found a pair of shoes that fit four out of the five requirements. I then had a Nordstrom sales girl call every Nordstrom in the Western United States to try and find a pair in my sister's size. No luck! But I was impressed (especially after an interaction with a saleslady in DSW today, HARRUMPH.) I am usually crazy intimidated by Nordstrom employees on account of the fact that they all look like runway models, and also I can't AFFORD anything in Nordstrom, but it was the SALE RACK and they didn't make me feel like an idiot for calling all over to find SALE RACK SHOES. Too bad for my sister, though. Guess she'll be barefoot.
6. The easy toffee bars I told you guys about long long ago, where you pour melted brown sugar and butter over graham crackers, and then let a bag of chocolate chips melt on top. I made some as an egg-free treat for our get together this Saturday, and passed them around yesterday morning for some mom friends to eat. I am now eating them as I type. Thank goodness I cut them tiny, huh? PLENTY FOR EVERYONE! These are the only cookies I've made for winter celebrating, and they aren't even CHRISTMAS cookies. I am going to be SO out of practice for next year's party. And see how I brought it back to food? MMM FOOD.
7. Potty training. I KNOW. Weird, right? But potty training is turning out to be the one and only parenting trauma that I can endure with an honest-to-God smile. I am not pushing it, worrying about it, stressing, feeling guilty, feeling judged, researching, comparing, ANY of that crap. I am simply putting my kid on the potty and giving him high five after high five. Jack is a Champion Potty User at this point (and never forgets that he is owed a treat) although he is also, still, a champion DIAPER user, and I'm not entirely sure when things are going to switch over. In the meantime, as long as I suggest it, he goes. I can't tell you how awesome it is to have this THING that isn't stressing me out or making me angry in the Jack department. I still can't figure out how to feed him or discipline him or make him pick up his frillion Legos, but potty training is a frustration-free zone. I reserve the right to change this, of course, if he is still potty training NEXT year, but for now? It's really kinda fun. (Don't want to talk about food NOW, do you!)
*I was not compensated in any way by any vegetable, book, processed food product, Nordstrom salesperson, cookie recipe or potty training ideas recommended in this post. The opinions in this post are mine alone, and they are actual factual.
More quick takes here