Thursday, August 4, 2011

Not Part of the Blog Tour...

I'm not as cool as CaitlinAverieKath, or Angela.
These super cool ladies (all favorite blogs of mine) got invited to "officially" review Mama Pea's new book as part of a "Blog Tour." They got swag to give away and everything.

Granted, they must get thousands of hits per day on their blogs...which can really help with the marketing of the book.  My max has been 24. (Woo Hoo!! I totally appreciate each and every one of my 24.)

Nonetheless, I'm a HUGE fan of Mama Pea.  (I admit, I kind of have a foodie crush.)
So, I thought I'd review the book myself.
Sorry, I don't have any freebies to give away. :(

I went a little Peas and Thank You crazy in the kitchen today.  (Tip: Go to that link and you can download 5 free recipes!)

For dinner, I made her Chickpea Strawberry Mango Salad.

As part of that, I made the Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas and Cinnamon Vinagrette (which didn't photograph's a brown dressing. Haha...).

Then, I also made her My Kind of Bar - a knockoff of the "Kind" bars.  I've seen them at the Starbuck's checkout, but have never felt right spending another $2ish bucks (on top of the $4ish for the coffee) for a glorified granola bar.   

All was delicious, but I've made many of Mama Pea's recipes before and I wouldn't expect anything less.  I almost had a What About Bob? moment while eating the salad though. Mmmm...mmmm...Delicious!

The book is much like her blog.  She has lots of fun stories about her family and pics of the girls throughout the book.  Her whit and anecdotes make her seem like your favorite gal pal that's just sharing a story and some recipes with you. 

Every recipe has a picture to go with it.  I love being able to see what things look like before I make them!!  I remember reading on the blog about the crazy weekend Mama Pea had when they photographed most of the food for the book.  Well, the hard work and craziness paid off.  The pictures are beautiful!

I love the way the book is organized.  Her index in the back has things organized by ingredient.  So, for example, tonight's salad had mint in it.  Now, I have a bunch of leftover mint and was wondering what I could make with it.  I looked up "mint" in the index and her recipe for Falafel with Tsaziki is listed.  Perfect!

I'd highly recommend getting this book.  It's not one of those cookbooks that will acquire a permanent residence on your kitchen shelf.  This is one that will have a messed up cover and wrinkled pages with various food splatters. Meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike will love the stuff in here. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011's in the Eye of the Beholder

I was happy to have ended today with a "win" in the baking department. 
It was kind of a rough day to begin with.  

Aaron woke up at 3am asking for milk.  I reminded him of our rule that he can't have milk until, he climbed into bed with me. 

Luckily, we have a king-size bed.  But, for some reason, Aaron needs 16" of space between him and the edge of the bed.  So, I was smooshed between him and Mike...and he proceeds to flop his arm over and smack me in the face, punch my boob, and kick me repeatedly in the legs.

Then he had to go potty.

Then he wanted to go back to his bed.  But needed me to come cover him.

Then, around 4:30 when there may have been a glint of sun, he tried the milk card again and argued that the sun was coming up.

I literally got ZERO sleep between 3 and 6am.  It was definitely a grumpy mommy morning.

I wish I could wake up in such an instance and mutter some sarcastic remarks...but still manage to whip up some beautiful layered smoothies รก la Mama Pea.  But no.  My child got some blueberries & raspberries...and a bag of Pirate's Booty (his request...and I wasn't in the mood to argue).  I set him up with a Veggie Tales movie on my computer, in bed with me, and I dozed off to the sounds of Silly Songs with Larry

When the movie (and my nap) was over, I found my sheets covered in a generous dusting of Pirate's Booty cheese with a couple red raspberry smears.  Lovely.  I had 3 loads of laundry to do anyway...might as well add in the sheets.

The entire day wasn't awful though.
We had a definite turn-around mid-afternoon.

I got my NCLEX test results online - I PASSED!!  I still have to wait for the official licensing from Oregon and I'll then have to apply for an endorsement from Washington...but, that horrible exam is behind me!! I think two of my stress zits went away immediately.  (Is it OK to talk about zits on a food blog??)

Then, in the mail, I got my copy of Peas and Thank You.

I also got word from the TV station where she's appearing on Monday that I can bring Aaron to the taping.  I'm beyond thrilled.  Not sure if my child can be quiet through an hour-long live show taping though.  I'm thinking I'll bribe him with a trip to the Space Needle (we have a free set of tickets from Mike's work) and a ride on the monorail.  Wow. This post sure is showing off my amazing parenting skills.

I was happy with how dinner turned out.  I made a Vegan Yellow Split Pea soup inspired by some that I had at our last trip to IKEA.  I found a random recipe online and then tweaked it.  I'll have to share it another time. Then, we had some homemade honey-wheat bread...and, for dessert, I made these yummy white chocolate raspberry scones.

Mike even said, "These are the best scones ever.  I'd pay money for these." 
So, you know they're good.

Something about the raspberries - they added more liquid or something when they got smooshed.  It ended up making them look all weird.  But, nonetheless, they're delicious.

White Chocolate Raspberry Scones

         2 cups all-purpose flour
         1/3 cup sugar
         1 teaspoon baking powder
         1/4 teaspoon baking soda
         1/2 teaspoon salt
         1 stick of unsalted butter
         1/2 cup white chocolate chips
         1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
         1 large egg
         1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
         Sugar for dusting (coarse sugar would be best, but regular sugar works too)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack on the lower-middle position.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Cut butter into small pieces and then use a pastry blender to mix it into the dry ingredients.

Blend the butter into the dry ingredients until they're little pea-sized clumps.  Then, add the white chocolate chips.

In a small bowl (or your measuring cup) whisk together the yogurt and egg until smooth.

Use a fork to stir the yogurt/egg mixture into the dry ingredients until large dough clumps form.  Add the raspberries here.  (I forgot to until later...) Then, use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. 

It will be pretty sticky at first and you will swear there is not enough liquid.  But keep pressing it and it will come together.  I promise.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7 or 8 inch circle. Sprinkle with sugar and use a knife or pizza cutter to cut it into several triangles.  Depending on how big you want them, you can do big or small.

Place the triangles about 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let cool for a few minutes after removing from the oven.  Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tell yourself you'll only eat 1/2 of one - just to try them.
Then (after you've eaten 3 WHOLE ones) put the remaining scones into an air-tight container.

So yeah, like I said, not beautiful - but we can't always be perfect. 
On the bright side, they taste amazing...and it's a clean sheet night for me!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pretty Uneventful...

Another blogger I love is Caitlin Boyle over at Healthy Tipping Point.  She's really into dry cereal with yogurt for breakfast.  I typically need milk with my cereal. (Recently, it's been almond milk.)  However, the other day, her breakfast really intrigued me and I decided to try it for myself since I had everything on hand.  Into the bowl:

  • Plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • A drizzle of honey (Caitlin doesn't do the honey, but I'm not that hardcore.)
  • Some cereal - I used Gorilla Munch
  • Sliced banana

The combo was REALLY good.  May definitely become a breakfast regular.

Lunch was such a "MOM" lunch, it made me laugh.
I made Aaron a PB&J...with apple slices and a yogurt tube.

Here's what I had:

Remnants of the train sandwich and the final few apple slices that were in the bag. Where I actually found a few pieces that Aaron had gnawed on and put BACK in the bag.  I'm hoping it was from Aaron, at least.  (He had been eating them straight out of the bag a couple days ago.)

This evening, we went to a new favorite park.  It has an amazing play structure and sandbox for Aaron...

...and a nice jogging trail that goes around the park for me and Mike!  I need to take my Garmin to see how long the trail is.  We're estimating >1 mile...but not 2 miles. ??? So, tonight, Mike and I took turns running while the other person watched Aaron.

We left the park at 8, and hadn't had dinner, we stopped by Safeway on the way home and grabbed a take-n-bake pizza and salad.  Not the most healthy, but it'll do.

Since we're all off time-wise with the late dinner, Aaron is still up (way past his bedtime), so mom duties are calling.  Literally.