Tuesday, January 27, 2009

If Only I Could Eat A Picture . . .

Wanna see some food photography so lusciously intense that you'll even drool over things you normally wouldn't choose to eat? Well, even if you don't, check this out, and tell me what you think. :)

Funny thing is, the site offers recipes for all the dishes pictured, but for once I don't care how to make the food. I just want to keep LOOKING at it . . .

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Influence of Munchkins on Self-Definition

Sometime in the murky past, I was on an internet forum where someone noted that a disproportionate number of mothers choose usernames centering on their role as a mom: briansmommy, motheroftwins, momandthreemonkeys, etc. The person posed the question whether it is a positive thing to define yourself by the role you play in life, especially when that role centers on someone else.

I don't recall what the consensus was on the forum, or even what my response was at the time. All I know is that I'm increasingly coming to embody that scenario. Not that I'm considering changing my blog title to "Mama of Two" in a few weeks, but mothering does dominate my time and thoughts far more than anything else these days.

While I love cooking and I compulsivley turn on NPR in the car to hear the latest news or soak up a bit of culture, most of the time my mental energy is devoted to molding my daughter's character, figuring out what she's trying to communicate, and struggling to remain calm when she spills another glass of juice. Motherhood challenges and rewards me more than any other activity ever has. It is a source of incredible joy, but it also relentlessly reminds me how imperfect I am. Taking all that into account, I suppose it's a logical step to define myself by the role that consumes my time and thoughts, motivates and directs my efforts at self-improvement, and consistently brings me the most joy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

This isn't any sort of meme I got tagged for (though you're more than welcome to post a similar list, if you feel so inclined :). I just got to thinking about the simple pleasures in my life, and thought I'd share:

1) Husband hugs
2) Daughter laughs
3) Feeling the Spirit in peaceful moments
4) One-on-one time with my sweetheart
5) Cooking something that tastes good
6) Reading something for pleasure
7) Doing a little exercise
8) Acquiring new kitchen gadgets (I'm currently drooling over this, but I'm not sure I'd use it enough to justify the expense)
9) Productivity (now that I'm a mom, I have greater appreciation for this increasingly rare pleasure)
10) Eating See’s milk chocolate peppermint patties (I could probably live on those things, but if I couldn’t I’d sure die happy.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

If Ye Love Me, Eat My Pancakes

I love my husband for many, many reasons. One of them is that he supports my hobby/creative outlet/obsession for trying new recipes. Occasionally I make something for dinner that we've actually had before and know we'll like, but for some reason I feel much more motivated to try out new recipes. I don't like cooking for just myself, though, so I am deeply grateful for a husband who's willing to sample whatever I put in front of him each night.

Today was a case in point. A while back I found a recipe for cornmeal pancakes with chunks of cooked ham in them. The concept intrigued me, but when I mentioned it to Phillip he looked at me as if I were absolutely daft. "You want to put WHAT into perfectly good pancake batter?" Ham. "That sounds like it would taste really strange." Who knows--we might like it. "Maybe . . ."

I happened to have some cooked ham on hand this weekend, and I decided that today was the day to try the pancake recipe. This afternoon when we got home from church, Phillip started looking through the fridge for lunch prospects and I asked if he was in the mood to sample those ham pancakes I'd mentioned. He slowly looked up from the twice-baked potato he'd been hungrily eying and said, "Sure, we can try them."

I whipped up the batter, cooked the pancakes, and . . . they were pretty good but nothing to write home about. I probably won't make them again, but even though this recipe didn't end up being a keeper, it did provide a welcome reminder how lucky I am to have a husband who supports the hobby that matters so much to me. He thought the recipe sounded weird, and he ended up being right, but he still ate some of it with me.

Thank you, sweetheart. I love you.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cake Wrecks

In the mood for a laugh (or a groan)? Head over to Cake Wrecks, a blog of photos and pleasantly snarky commentary about professionally-decorated cakes that "go horribly, hilariously wrong." The Santa Slug is still my favorite.

Incidentally, the blogger posts some excellent, non-wrecky cakes on Sundays. Today's dragons are particularly impressive (um, except for the one in the tutu--to each their own, I suppose).

P.S. Thanks to my friend Beth for linking to this site on her blog. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Resolutions Accomplished

So, I resolved this year to read a book a month, and exercise more. I finished Rowling's "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" today (thoroughly enjoyed it), and I did some prenatal yoga during Joy's nap, which is more exercise than I've probably done in the last two months. So that means I'm done with this resolution thing, right?

Especially since next month I'll go from being a moderately sane mother of one to being a sleep-deprived, stressed-out, world-turned-totally-upside-down mother of two.

Better make February's book a short one. Do board books count?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy Old Year! (& the new one, too)

On the radio today one of the announcers asked whether 2008 had been a good year for listeners, or one that they’d rather forget. I feel it’s been a good one for me. I’ve enjoyed sharing my little girl’s progress and adventures, and I’m excited to meet her little brother in February. I asked Phillip how he felt about this past year, and he agreed that it has been a positive one because his education is going in a more promising direction, and he has switched to a new lab project with more appeal and fewer roadblocks. All in all, we are happy with our current situation, and looking forward to what the new year holds for us.

Hope the same can be said for you, gentle readers. :)