Monthly Archives: August 2014

Eggplant dinner!

We were given a beautiful eggplant from one of Brian’s coworkers but I was stumped . . . all I wanted was good old Eggplant Parm but Leland is allergic to tomatoes (and spinach, and blue food dye).  After poo-pooing all of a lovely friend’s ideas, my sister-in-law mentioned goat cheese so I got thinking and googling . . . and found this recipe for Fusilli with Roasted Eggplant and Goat Cheese.  I substituted gemelli for fusilli, and sunflower seeds for the pine nuts ($3 for 9oz vs. $9 for 4oz – eek!).  I also tweaked the directions and order of steps a little to fit in baby-holding, baby-feeding, and toddler-managing. And to clean up chicken stock off the baby.

I also added a cup or so of chicken stock because it was in the fridge and I thought it would beef (chicken?) up the flavor a little (I think it did).  I also added more lemon juice than called for because it could use more.

So the chicken stock was in a carton, and it turns out it was not closed, I discovered when I shook it and it flew all over me, my kitchen, and the baby on the playmat.  He was not pleased!  But the playmat is machine washable!  

Some yummy ingredients 


Roasted eggplant


And the (not very pretty) result!


The toddler was not a fan, but he tried it.  I added a spoonful more of goat cheese to my dish after serving.  Brian thought it was okay, and also enjoyed it with more goat cheese.   I liked it!  

Look out, I might start thinking I am a food blogger or something!


Maple Bacon Upside Down Cake



Yes I went there.  I followed this recipe for the topping and technique, but I didn’t want to use a cake mix so I used this cake recipe instead. This resulted in the use of 3 sticks of butter, one tub of sour cream, 3 cups of sugar (white and brown), and, you know – bacon.

Some ingredients (this is my favorite kind of bacon):



Cooking pecans in bacon grease, then with maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla:


The topping and melted butter:



Mixing up the sour cream cake:


Ready to go in the oven!

DSC04215Out of the oven, with a toddler in the background eating grapes




Top with bacon and scrape the rest of the topping out of the pan . . .whoops . . .



Look at this amazingness!


Oh my yummies . . . 



Shout outs to my parents for some of the supplies and the use of their kitchen, my Mom for taking it out of the oven and scraping the topping, and Brian for holding the bowl while I poured the batter since I had a baby wrapped up on me!

If I did it again I would try putting the bacon in with the gooey topping so it would be more mixed in, but I think the recipe had the directions this way so the bacon didn’t get overcooked.  

It’s so good and completely decadent!

Phone Calls

Do you know what I dislike? When non-medical professionals who answer the phones at doctors’ offices try to talk to you about your medical problem.  Three stories:

  1. When we first started looking into infertility testing, the first recommendation was to use an ovulation predictor kit to make sure I was indeed ovulating.  I was, and called back to find out the next step.  “So have sex” was this person’s brilliant advice.
  2. When Leland was 3 weeks old he spiked a high fever.  I took it in his armpit because I was too nervous to take it in his bum. I think in his armpit it was around 101.5? This person on the phone said he was probably fine because his actual temperature would be lower. Turns out you need to add a degree to get a rough estimate of actual temp from the armpit, and he ended up being up over 103 by the time we got to the ER. (Side story: The original person set up an appointment and I was on my way in.  They called back to say I needed to take the temp in his bum, so I had to turn around and drive home, go back up to our third floor apartment with a 3-week-old in his carseat, take his temp, and find out it was high enough to go straight to the ER.  Thankfully my Aunt Denise was visiting at the time so she came with me.  He had a UTI and was in the hospital for a few days)
  3. While I was hanging out in the NICU with Elliot (3 months ago already!) my feet swelled very badly, I could barely walk.  When I called to talk to a midwife on call, the answering service person said “Oh that happened to me, I think it’s normal.” Turns out I had postpartum preeclampsia and I was hospitalized for a day.(Another side story: Do you think I could get my blood pressure taken in a hospital?  We were at a different hospital than where I gave birth so I wasn’t a patient.  It took all day before a NICU nurse finally swiped a blood pressure stand from another floor and then promptly sent me down to the ER)

Do you know who I love talking to?  There is a woman at the OB/GYN office in our town where I used to be a patient.  She did all of the organizing and scheduling of our infertility testing and she was so very helpful and kind.  She would call me with results and talk about everything with me.  I only ever met her in person one time for a few seconds but I spent a lot of time on the phone with her.  I just called her again after 3 years because we are looking for a new provider and she talked with me for a good while about what is going on with my health and what I am looking for in a new doctor,  She was so glad to hear that we are no longer dealing with infertility and about our kids, and was more than happy to take time to chat about my concerns.  She is just truly a wonderful, supportive, and helpful person who I think goes well beyond her required tasks.

She is also someone I always refer to by her full name – Barbara Baxter is a household name for us!


I was going to write a post about nursing in public.  About how maybe the stories that make the news of women being harassed are actually only a small sample of what happens when women breastfeed in public.  About how maybe our outrage over these occasional happenings is biased by how little we hear of people breastfeeding in public and nothing happening.  That maybe the culture at large is improving in the normalizing of nursing.

I was going to write about our trip to Mystic Aquarium yesterday. About how busy it was and how hot!  And about how many people I saw feeding their babies in various ways, and no one seemed to care.  About how one woman I saw using a cover, one woman was not. About how I fed Elliot at the sea lion show and at a grilled cheese cafe in the shops next door to the aquarium without a cover and hardly anyone even noticed what I was doing.

I was going to write about how I don’t use a nursing cover anymore, not even in church.  Because it is too much of a hassle, too unwieldy, too hot, too hard to see what is going on . . . and maybe because with my second baby I can get him latched on a little quicker and my boob isn’t hanging out for quite as many moments.

I was going to write about how I went to a gathering hosted by my former workplace and I could tell people were not used to seeing what I was doing, but then just went back to what they were doing.

I was going to . . . but then I read an article about a baby dying because of a police officer trying to arrest a mom for breastfeeding in public.  And it was graphic and horrible and made me feel sick and so very sad.

And then I was going to write about that article, and I did a little looking to find out that it was satire.  I guess I don’t understand the point of satire.  Too many articles get sent around and too many people take them seriously.  Maybe I am just too gullible or too sensitive.

I was going to write about another satire piece being shared around recently about a woman breastfeeding her 12-year-old in public.  People were so appalled and it was extreme, but more importantly people seemed to not realize that nursing into even toddlerhood is the norm worldwide and is good for mom and baby (besides the fact that people seem to not realize it was satire).  One comment by a friend of a friend (commenting on a friend of a friend posting the article on facebook) said she thought the golden rule was you stopped when they got teeth!  Goodness no, my dear, goodness no (unless of course other circumstances prevent breastfeeding longer or that’s what a person decides to do – no judgment there, do what you got to do [p.s. I have a post about judging in the works – I don’t like that I have to qualify what I say to try and avoid even seeming like I am judging others]).

So I guess I don’t know anymore what I was going to write about.

So here is a picture of Leland eating a gigantic PB&J (in public)