Weekends and Cooking

I’m trying to use weekends more intentionally than I have been.

Get things done while F is glued to J, being glued to J myself for at least a little while during daylight hours, seeing friends, meal planning so J can grocery shop, and cooking ahead.

We cooked a fair bit ahead in the time leading up to C’s birth. We didn’t plow through it all immediately – I was feeling good, we had family in town to help, and we’re not too bad at throwing together quick meals. But it was sooo nice to have them on days when a home-cooked meal wouldn’t have otherwise happened.

Last weekend, we banked three (yes, 3) lasagnas, straight into the downstairs freezer. Score. And by “we,” I mean that I intended to do it but J did it because I was obviously not going to get it done. I’m telling you – he’s good. ❤

Then I cooked a batch of slow-cooker lentils, divided it into several mug-sized servings and one larger serving, and froze it all.

With that all done, I’m eyeing Deb’s pho recipe while the weather is still cool.

Stairs

Back in the condo, there was no “upstairs,” nor was there a basement.

It’s been a surprising adjustment!

At first, I would go to near-extraordinary lengths to not take extra trips up or down a staircase. The goal was to make stairs less annoying, but the effect was the opposite. I think there was just such a mental load involved with maximizing every trip up or down that a very simple thing became overwhelming.

So I stopped trying to be efficient, and furthermore embraced the exercise, and it’s been fantastic.

Another problem is cleaning. I just don’t seem to get to the upstairs. Or the basement. But here we are at the beginning of Spring, and it’s time to seriously clean. I might as well embrace all of it, including a good many trips up and down stairs with donations, recycling, the vacuum, seasonal laundry, and so on.

A Day at the End of March

Somehow several days this week got by me, and here we are the evening of March 26th.

The day started with warm on-and-off rain, and ended with a warm, gorgeous, sun-soaked afternoon and evening. We spent most of the day with friends we met at F’s swim class, inside at first and then outside at a playground. I forgot my camera, but I didn’t miss it.

We came home and had delicious leftovers (Chicken Posole Stew found on the 100 Slow Cooker Recipes page that I can basically no longer live without) for dinner, and are preparing to wind down.

Tonight is J’s online game night (an MMORPG), so I’ll put F to bed and then see where I stand. I’m sleepy, but still might play another solo game of Agricola – my new evening hobby as of a couple of days ago.

Early Dinner Prep

I think the keys to getting anything done around here are:

  1. do it early
  2. either involve F or get someone else to hang out with her

We’re having some family over this evening for dinner, and dinner and dessert were pretty much ready to go by lunchtime.

The menu:

The prep:

  • J and I threw the BBQ in the slow cooker this morning (even better would’ve been to mix up the dry rub and the sauce last night) and it’ll be done cooking by 4:15.
  • F and I mixed up the corn bread’s dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another. When it’s almost dinner time, we’ll mix them up in the bigger bowl, toss them in the pan, and toss that in the oven.
  • The frozen veggies and fresh salad were purchased pretty much ready.
  • And F and I made the pudding right after the corn bread was prepped. It’s setting in the fridge right now.

I’ve already mostly cleaned up the kitchen, too. It’s a good feeling!

Weekend in NY: Home Time

We stayed with my parents while we were in New York. I took plenty of pictures of people, but I’m too private to post them here. Here are a few pics of the colors and textures from the weekend.

DSC09996

DSC00195 DSC00199 DSC00203 close-up chair

We had a good time wishing my sister a happy birthday, watching The Twilight Zone, going out for lunch with my grandma and a couple of her best friends, playing Mexican Train with my grandma, and having my great aunt and uncle over for dinner. There was also some classing staying up till the wee hours gabbing.

We also washed some clothes because we forgot F’s suitcase… parents of the year! At least that was all we forgot.

We baked a cake with wretched-to-spread frosting. Baking Illustrated, this was the first time you failed me! It was also the first time I ever used a hair dryer while frosting a cake.

And J and I even got to go out for pizza with just a sleeping baby while F had grandpa time. It was a very nice, relaxing visit!

 

One final image: a treasure found while beginning to pack up the kitchen for its upcoming renovation!

old Sandwich Bags box

Weekend in NY: Travels

high line play area

play area

 

high line bench and chopper

a bench made for climbing, and many helicopters landing next to the Hudson

 

high line tracks

It wasn’t very crowded mid-morning on a Friday in March

 

 

We visited my family in New York this past weekend and had a great time!

We tried driving at bedtime this time around, and it was a thing of glory. Baby C slept the whole way in both directions, and F slept for all but maybe two hours.  I had a long conversation with my husband! Twice in one week!

I’ve been wanting to see High Line Park in NYC ever since I first heard of it. It’s been mentioned in a couple of TED talks – Robert Hammond’s and Amanda Burden’s. Then on a whim a few weeks ago, I took this book out of the library to find out more.

We decided to go for it on Friday because the weather was nice. We went to the northernmost section because it was most convenient for us.

It was great! F loved it too. Baby C slept the whole time. 🙂

I want to go back someday soon to see more of the park itself and to see it in a different season.