Freezer Food: 1st Edition

A few months ago I became obsessed with this frozen oatmeal Trader Joe's sells. It's about 1.50 for a pack of two, which isn't too bad, but if you think about it, IT'S OATMEAL. Oats are cheap. So I came up with my own version:

Freezer Oatmeal

You'll need:
4 cups oats
1/4 cup flax seed if you like it
6 cups water
dried or fresh fruit, your choice, any combination, any amount
- dried cranberries
- fresh or dried blueberries (I prefer fresh)
- raspberries
- peach
- diced fresh apple
- dried apricots
1/4 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
brown sugar, to taste or maple syrup (use the real stuff folks)

Boil water and add oats and flax seed, reduce heat to med/low (you can also boil the water with the oats in it for a creamier oatmeal...I like mine chewy). About 2 or 3 minutes in, add the dried fruit and apple. Stir regularly. Pull the oatmeal off when water is gone (check it around 5 minutes). Stir in fresh fruit such as berries, and also the nuts, let rest until it reaches your desired consistency. Eat some now and freeze the rest! I use freezer bags - freeze in individual portions. Press out as much air as possible and flatten the oatmeal in the bag so it defrosts evenly. To defrost, remove frozen portion from bag and reheat in microwave about 4 minutes, checking and stirring about 1/2 way through.
This is so good and an easy way to have a healthy filling breakfast.


Is it Sad That Babies R Us is My Favorite Store?

Today I'm accompanying my friend Lisa to Babies R Us. She needs to register and is seeking my counsel as to what she'll need - she and her husband Dylan are expecting their little boy, Finn, in September.
It's so funny, less than a year ago I remember being in the exact same predicament. What the heck do newborn babies need? Since I'm up at 5 am with my darling child and my brain is barely functioning I think I'll make a list of what I've found to be necessary and useful thus far. Here goes...

Cloth diapers: Before you think I actually am ambitious enough to use these as actual diapers, I'll divulge the truth - I use them as burp cloths, pee pee shields and for while my son is breastfeeding since he dribbles a lot. I probably go through 10 of these bad boys a day.

Baby Bags: Well, that's what we call them at least. I think they're actually called sleep sacks. We were so paranoid about what my son slept in during those first weeks, and these fit the bill.

Lap Pads: Multiple uses, but favorite so far is on the changing table - protects the changing pad cover so you have to wash it less often.

Old School Desitin: Not the fancy new 'creamy' version. A nurse explained to me that the creamy wipes off to easily while the old stuff stays on indefinitely - protecting baby's sweet little bum much better.

Totally Toddler - This stain remover is the bomb! Seriously, I've sprayed it on what I've thought are hopelessly soiled onesies and they've come out of the wash brand new.

Boppy Pillow - I honestly don't know how I would have breast fed without it.

Breast Pump - This one works great. Was a life saver during my son's left breast strike. You don't want to know. Ouch!

Onesies - I love them...my husband hates them - thinks they're too hard to put on. But this was an essential layer of clothing for baby during the winter. Carters are my fave - seem a little softer, plus they're better for long torsoed kiddos like mine.

Jammies that zip rather than button - These are tough to find, but I hate all the buttons. Zippers make late night diaper changes so much easier!

Breast pads - No one tells you how much you need them. And you will. Trust.

Good nursing bras - I like these. You will not regret investing in good, supportive bras once your milk comes in and you're walking around with huge piles of pain on your chest!

I know there's more, but these are some of the things that saw us through those first weeks. Plus tons of coffee and a freezer full of frozen, pre-made dinners.



I have always had problems keeping up with writing in a diary or journal. I had one diary that lasted me from third to seventh grade. I would fervently write for about a week, then you wouldn't hear a peep from me for about six months. I started a journal when I traveled abroad. It has two entries.
What all my self reflective writing has in common, besides it's rarity, is how hideously embarrassing it is when I look back at it (it does get less embarrassing and more funny as I get older). So I was delighted when I ran across this book called Mortified
(http://www.getmortified.com/book/) during one of my many lunchtime field trips to my new favorite bookstore, The Elliot Bay Book Company (http://www.elliottbaybook.com/). Mortified is a deliciously humiliating compilation of journal entries, letters, stories, etc. that have been graciously released for publication. Some of the stuff these kids (now adults) wrote is just so painfully funny it's almost difficult to read. When I first read the book, I was on the train and had to stop - I was laughing so hard I looked crazy.
So, since most of my girlfriends are turning 30 this year, I decided this would be my gift of choice for all of them. I'm pretty sure that some of the notes we passed back and forth in junior high would make the cut for this book - I'm positive my diary entries would. But I don't quite think I'm ready to divulge my dorky past. Maybe later.


The Rib Recipe

I will never profess to be the greatest cook in the world, but I think that I've got a few failproof recipes up my sleeve. This is one of them. Brian would probably eat these every night given the chance.

You will need:

2 lbs country style pork ribs (either bone-in or boneless)
1 medium sweet onion roughly chopped.
1 T red pepper flake (more or less to your taste)
1 bottle of beer (I find a domestic macro works better than microbrews)
1 cup bbq sauce of your preference
olive oil

Turn the oven on to 300F. On the stovetop, heat to med/high heat a large dutch oven and go round a few times with the olive oil. Saute the onion and the red pepper flake in the oil till onion is translucent, push to the sides of the dutch oven. Add a bit more oil and lay down the ribs (which you've already seasoned with salt & pepper). Sear on all sides. Pour the beer into the dutch oven and use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits from the bottom (the fancy term for this is deglazing).
Put the lid on the dutch oven and place in the oven. Set the timer for about two hours. At two hours, pull the dutch oven out and get rid of all of the cooking liquid except for about an inch on the bottom. Add the bbq sauce and mix well. Cover the dutch oven and place back in the oven till the bbq sauce is sticky - ususally about another 1/2 hour.
Serve as pieces of meat or shred it up for pulled pork.
I won't even give any kind of nutrition information because you probably don't even want to know (I know I don't).


Things That Annoy ... First of Many Editions

Stupid Band Names.

Where do I start? I will refuse to listen to a band simply because I find their moniker irritating.
It's completely ridiculous but something I do nonetheless.

For example - Finger Eleven. What? This annoys me mostly because they're probably trying to be clever. Like an extra finger? But humans only have 8 fingers. TWO THUMBS. Thumbs are not fingers. Therefore this band's name is not only neither clever nor edgy, it's anatomically incorrect.

Next: verb/noun combo band names. Flogging Molly. Breaking Benjamin. Meh. Don't like. Can't tell you why, just don't. Same goes for movie names in this vein. Chasing Liberty. Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Irritating.

There are so many stupid band names I could go on forever. But I'll end on a positive note. I generally like band names preceded with a 'The.' The Killers, The Beatles, The Kooks, The Shins. Classic band naming. I'm a traditionalist.


Starting Them Young

I noticed these lovely little items on a blog I frequent the other day. They're called heelarious (http://www.heelarious.com/) and they're baby high heels, made in the fashion of Robeez (which I love) but with the extra bonus of a non-functional heel (duh) for the baby fashionista. Scary, yet overall pretty funny. Kind of like putting a bikini on a dog.


Near Death Experience!

I guess the title's a little misleading. The story goes like this:
I was driving home from work this last Monday on Highway 99. As I was emerging from the viaduct, a pretty terrifying experience in itself, something hit my windshield. As I scanned for the inevitable chip (there was none), I noticed that the object that had hit had been pushed down by my wipers and was hanging out down at the base of the window. I couldn't quite make out what it was, but it was gold...no definitely not a rock.
I pulled in the driveway at home and almost forgot to check - but I glanced over as I passed the front of the truck and the gold glimmer caught my eye. Any guesses what it was?
So either someone was shooting in my general vicinity or had been hunting (with a handgun?) and it flew out of the back of their truck when they hit a bump. I'll go with the former, it's more dramatic. Plus, if you're at all familiar with the area the casing came from, you'd probably concur.
I've been watching the news for any stories about a shooting in the area. None so far. Just really hoping I'm not holding some kind of evidence in a crime...


If You're Looking for Deep, Meaningful Thoughts, You're Probably in the Wrong Place.

Seriously, folks. Sometimes I have glimmers of brilliance though, so stay tuned...
This little blogger thingamajig (or blob, as my father has been known to refer to such things) is merely a way for me to wrangle a bit of myself down in writing. I used to like to write...I think college ruined that for me. But lately I've been itching to write some stuff down, especially since my memory (or lack of) is alarming these days. So we'll just give this a little go.