the death of naptime

Violet, being Violet

is persnickety but cute.

She’s decided most recently

that naptimes are moot.

For anyone can fall asleep in the middle of the day,

but it takes a determined child to stay awake just so she can play.

…which is why she went to bed at 6:30…

Here is a picture which I may or may not be authorized to post of her and AJ, back when she did nap. They fell asleep on a bus while driving through Pennsylvania, and of course I took a picture.

just warms my heart…

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three non-pertinent points of information

So, today I realized that we are way grosser than I ever gave us credit for. We found a mostly empty half-gallon of vanilla eggnog under our bed. From early November. How sick is that? It’s not like we have a ton of stuff under our bed either; I have a storage tub for linens, and that’s about it. Have I really not looked under the bed for three and a half months? Luckily it was a plastic carton, so it never smelled, but seriously…

Number 2: So way back in the 2002 Olympics, Apolo Ohno  won a gold medal because the man who crossed the line first was disqualified for blocking. This man was a South Korean. Ever since then, Ohno has had the dubious distinction of possibly being the most hated athlete in South Korea. Since he is competing in this current Olympics, all the old wounds are resurfacing. Apparently, hell hath no fury like a South Korean scorned. For example, one company even makes toilet paper with pictures of Ohno’s face as he celebrates his gold medal.

Lastly, it feels like the beginning of a beautiful summer around here and today was no exception.

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there’s a reason the internet shouldn’t be trusted…

So, tonight for dinner I made tandoori chicken. I’m sure that somewhere, someone has made this and it was amazing. That someone somewhere was not me in my house. It was the weirdest recipe ever. That’s what I get for using a reader-submitted recipe on allrecipes.com. From here on out, I will be going with a reputable source for my recipes–good foodie blogs and people like you. By the way, thanks to all of you who have posted recipes for me to try. I haven’t tried any of them, but I most likely will sometime 😉

Secondly, today AJ made Jello for Violet. Just plain fruity jello because she’d never had it before and we figured she would be completely amazed. She was. She also didn’t think it was edible, but good for playing with; sucking on chunks and spitting them back on her tray just to watch them bounce. I finally mixed it with vanilla yogurt just to get her to eat it. Is that weird?

Lastly, if you have high blood pressure, heart problems, or too much stress in your life, then I have a solution. Watch Baby Einstein videos on youtube. Violet and I watched one today while AJ was making lunch, and all I can say is that they have the wrong target audience. Forget the babies, play those videos during corporate meetings and watch the blood pressure drug companies go out of business. I’m serious.

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Violet, Violet, and more Violet

We just got a year pass to the children’s museum in Mount Vernon. At $5 a month for unlimited visits, it’s completely worth it considering how fun it is. We went the other day and all I had was my cell phone for pictures, but they’re so cute you have to see them anyway.

Here she is in the sandbox.

The budding artist at her easel…

Crawling around in the toddler barnyard

Here is the link to the children’s museum. The $5 cost is for a family of any size, not per child.

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Still going strong on the Indian food idea…

First off, I know what you’re thinking; Why did you post a picture of regurgitated bat food on your blog? I think it looks more like vomit to me, but to each their own, right? Actually, I shouldn’t have written anything about the appearance, because by now you should know that I value the Ugly Foods for their innate ability to capture flavor, comfort, and delish in every bite. Usually. Indian food is no exception. This is only my second official indian recipe of the month, but I’m already sold. Indian food is amazing. Not only that, it gets better as a leftover the next day. I don’t particularly like having to cook for every meal, so leftovers reign supreme in my fridge.

Speaking of recipes, does anyone have a tried and true restaurant-style naan bread recipe? So far I’ve made three batches and none of them have made naan.

Anyway, the above picture is of Curried Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard. I was seriously unimpressed while I was making it, but the results were amazzzzzzzing. I’m not sure if it’s technically Indian food, but this one is going into my regular rotation.

Here’s the recipe:

Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard
(taken from the amazing Smitten Kitchen blog, here: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/11/curried-lentils-and-sweet-potatoes/)

Yields 8 to 10 side-dish servings; 6 main-course servings.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired, then minced
4 to 5 cups vegetable broth as needed
2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into
1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1 pound Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/3 cup finely chopped tamari almonds, for garnish (optional), available in health food stores
1/4 cup chopped scallions, for garnish.

1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. (If lentils seem dry, add up to 1 cup stock, as needed.) Stir in chard and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and chard is cooked, about 30 to 45 minutes total.

3. Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish. Garnish with almonds if desired and scallions.

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