Tag Archives: day care

**(Updated Recipe!)** Red, Pink and Chocolate Chip

6 Feb

Scalloped hearts from youngheartslove etsy.com shop

**Recipe is being revised. Please check back soon! 10/26/13***

Something is happening to me in my old age. I’m loving colors I never really responded to before. Has that ever happened to you? I once asked my husband, the scientist, if there was any correlation that he is aware of between mood-levels and color-affinity. For example, I used to loathe the color red. I mean really and truly hate. I’m not sure if it was the excessive use of red, black and white in 80s home decor (please don’t even try to lie to yourself right now. You know you were a part of that ‘situation’). Maybe it was the excess of red leather jackets, also occurring in the 80s, that rubbed me the wrong way? Maybe it was just the 80s in general and what they did to color? Who knows but what I can tell you is that immediately after our wedding I started L-O-V-I-N-G loving the color red. Someone got us a set of red Fiesta ware plates for our wedding and I couldn’t stop using the mug. I was so drawn to the color. It just made me so happy so I figured, well, I am so happy in life so maybe red is the color of happiness? From there I started wearing red shoes and started the search for the perfect red lipstick (I am still, in fact, on that search) and my red obsession hasn’t stopped.

Just me and my red leather jacket circa 1983

Just me and my red leather jacket circa 1983

This brings us to pink. When my daughter was born, I felt very strongly about the color pink. Actually, let me correct myself. Before my daughter was born I felt very strongly about the color pink. In fact, I enlisted my bestie, Jackie, to send a message, not literally but rather to be a point person if need be, to let folks know that should they be looking to get us a gift, please please please, do. not. get. anything. pink. Incidentally, I also asked that there should be nothing with the words, “princess”, “queen”, “cutie”, or “sweetie” on it. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m somewhat opinionated. Anywho, the point is, no pink. Of course, the inevitable happened and it was like a pink parade. I mean seriously, there was pink coming out of our ears at her Simchat Bat. You can’t fight it. People love giving little girls pink stuff. We’ve been conditioned to do it. And I tried fighting it. I really, really did. When she was really tiny, I would dress her in as much gender-neutral color as possible while strolling her in her gender-neutral colored stroller or carrying her in her gender-neutral colored Baby K’tan and I would always get comments when we were out. “How old is your little boy?”, asked well-meaning Bubbie from across the hall. “What an adorable little boy. What’s his name?”, asked well-meaning Bubbie at Target. “Oh, your little boy sure is bald”, said well-meaning Bubbie at Winn-Dixie. For the record, little boys do not have the market cornered on bald and the color orange. Regardless, the point is. I fought it and Bubbies all across South Florida were pissed. So it came to pass that on the random occasion I dressed her in something pink. Maybe a hand-me-down from a dear friend at work (my fancy friend. Y’all have a ‘fancy’ friend, right? That one friend who wears designer clothing, drives a luxury car, goes on fancy vacations but can still hang.) who gave us a bunch of clothing from her baby girl and you know, even I had to admit that it looked cute but I was still worried about the ‘gender box’ so nothing was too frilly. But then it happened. Oh dear. It happened. My sister-in-law, Caitlin, gave us a hand-me-down of a pink polka-dot dress with matching leggings that her dad’s neighbor made and oh sweet Lord when it was on, that was it. The pink flood gates opened. Now, OK, I’m not fully embracing pink and you can tell the day care ladies are desperate for me to dress her in more pink since every time I pick her up she’s conveniently wearing all of the extra clothing I brought throughout the week that just happens to be pink but still, I love it. In fact, I’m typing this while wearing my new pink and white stripped pajamas that I got from scientist husband for Chanukah this year. Hmmm . . . I wonder if they have this in baby sizes?

Embracing our pink

Embracing our pink

So all this talk of red and pink has me excited for Valentine’s Day. And yes, we’re Jews, observant-y Jews at that so we don’t really “do” Valentine’s Day. But, I can still oggle all the pink and red hearts all over Pinterest these days and I will possibly pick up a super cute Valentine’s Day mug at Target just for myself because hey, besides my mom, I was my original Valentine. And, of course, with Valentine’s Day comes cookies. The following cookie recipe is a healthy one because I care about your heart too!

Getting There

Getting There

I recently made Paleo cookies for my friend and customer, Dana, and she actually liked them. I want to use the term “cookie” loosely here because I think they’re better described as ‘treat’. A breakfast treat at that. I used coconut flour for this recipe but I had made these a while back with almond flour and much preferred the taste and texture of the almond flour versus the coconut flour. I scoured the internet for recipes but eventually took bits and pieces of several recipes and created my own. I hope you enjoy! They’re best enjoyed in the morning with a hot cup of coffee . . . .possibly in a red mug.

Recipe Updated! — Happy Heart Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s That!?

  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 3 tbs of maple syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
A place for everyone and everyone in it's place.

A place for everyone and everyone in it’s place.

How’s That Now?!

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Melt the coconut oil on the stove for until runny
  3. In a large bowl mix together the coconut oil, syrup, eggs, vanilla extract and sea salt.
  4. Stir in the coconut flour and chocolate chips.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll out little tbs size balls of cookie dough. Place on the baking sheet and gently press down so they look pretty once baked 🙂
  6. Bake for 12-15 or until golden brown.
LET THEM COOL -- they'll harden up after a few minutes of cooling.

LET THEM COOL — they’ll harden up after a few minutes of cooling.

***Scalloped hearts photo taken from youngheartslove etsy shop. Check them out here.

Transitions, Shmansitions.

19 Dec

Before I get into this post, I must wish a very heartfelt ‘refuah shleimah’, a renewal of body and spirit to my partner in blog, Jeremy.  Jeremy was hit by a car while walking home at night this past weekend.  Thank Gd, only suffering a nasty black and blue nose; the worst of it being the fact that the person who hit him drove off without offering apologies and responsibility.  If the past week hasn’t shown us enough, it’s a rough world out there folks.  Please make sure you look both ways and always remember to stop and say you’re sorry.

That's Jeremy, to my right, and the rest of our crew, being awesome on my wedding day.

That’s Jeremy, to my right, and the rest of our crew, being awesome on my wedding day.

It’s become increasingly obvious to me that one of the biggest challenges in parenting (for me at least) thus far, in all of my four and a half months of being a parent, is the number of transitions one goes through.  Let me get real on your a** for a moment.  I HATE transitions.  I mean it. I hate transitions.  And I’m a school counselor and I do not like using the word ‘hate’ but I’m gonna use it here because it’s true. The irony is, of course, that since I was 18 years old until we moved to Miami almost two years ago, I have been in a constant state of self-inflicted transition because of my inability to stay in one place. I lived in Chicago for 3.5 years and that was a wonder! I’ve lived for some amount of time in the following cities since I was 18 years old (I consider ‘lived’ being I had my own bed in an apartment, not crashing on a couch):  Wooster, OH; Milan, Italy; Washington, DC; Marietta, GA; Asheville, NC; Athens, GA; Jerusalem, Israel; Chicago, IL; Ann Arbor, MI; and Miami, FL.  I feel very strongly that I’m forgetting a city so maybe if Mom or Misty reads this they can fill me. Regardless, the point is I should be used to transitions by now but the fact of the matter is that I am not.  I don’t like them and I’m terrible at them. So it was a surprise for me when I had a little revelation that much of parenting is deeply imbedded in transitions and I might want to get over myself right quick-like.

I mention this because we are about two and a half weeks away from yet another transition—day care.  I spent the first 2.5 months of our baby’s life home with her during maternity leave.  If I’m being honest, I have to tell you, I truly struggled during maternity leave.  I was often unhappy during the first 2.5 months of my child’s life, not because I wasn’t head-over-heels for my little one but mainly because I couldn’t get to the purity of my love for her because I was dripping with anxiety and depression.  I so vividly remember asking my sister-in-law, Caitlin (found at her blog, The Joy of Caitlin), “Why doesn’t anyone tell you how hard this is?” And she so honestly said, “Because we want you to have kids.”   So it was difficult. It was difficult but it passed.  My husband took over our baby’s care when I went back to work and has been with her for the past 2 months.  He’s AMAZING with her and I count my blessings daily that he’s had this incredible opportunity to be with her.  I feel much more comfortable sending a 5 month old to day care rather than a 2.5 month old but I am still terrified.  I’ve already started telling my co-workers to be prepared to see me in a fit of tears the day we drop her off.  I should mention that we are doubly blessed that the day care is across the parking lot of the school I work in and I should feel better (always with the ‘shoulds’.  The ‘shoulds’ will drive you crazy) about sending her but I don’t. We’ve got such a nice little routine down and I feel a lot of comfort in the routine but come January 7th,  we will become a fulltime working family.  A coworker said to me yesterday, “Whitney. I don’t know how you leave her. I couldn’t leave my baby for 2 years.”  For which I replied, “Well, my landlord forces us to pay rent and I like eating so that’s how.”  Cheeky? Probably, but the point is we don’t have a choice so day care, here we come.

Someone Else in the Family is Starting to Enjoy Solids Too!

Someone Else in the Family is Starting to Enjoy Solids Too!

So what in the world does this have to do with today’s recipe? Absolutely nothing.  I just needed to get that out so thank you for listening.  Incidentally, this post’s recipe is one of my most favorite shabbat chicken recipes and follows in the footsteps of Jeremy’s Ina Garten post.  My dear friend, Annie, made this chicken for shabbat dinner on the first shabbat I landed in Ann Arbor (the second time. That’s right, I went back for more) and I fell in love.  It’s delicious, juicy and makes your guests think you’re a James Beard award-winning chef.  Bon Appetite!

P.S. I’m taking words of advice/encouragement re: the whole day care thing so please feel free to post in the comments section 🙂

Ina’s Lemon Chicken with Croutons (adapted)

What!?

  • 1 (4 to 5-pound) roasting chicken
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 4-5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. rounds
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 4 lemons, quartered
  • 6 cups (3/4-inch) bread cubes (I use fresh challah. It’s SO good)

How’s That Now!?

Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers. Toss the onion and carrots with a little olive oil in a small roasting pan. Place the chicken. Place the lemons inside the chicken and around the outside. Brush outside of chicken with the olive oil, and sprinkle the top with salt, garlic powder and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh.  The key to the juiciness of this chicken is basting. Baste every 15 – 20 minutes! Cover with foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. (The onions may burn, but the flavor is good.)

Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Lower the heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8 to

10 minutes. Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the croutons on a serving platter. Slice the chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices, over the croutons. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.

Pepper

Pepper

Carrots and Onions

Carrots and Onions

Ready for the Oven

Ready for the Oven

 

 

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