Friday Food Round-Up!

We were trapped in our house this week so we cooked. A lot. I also did a ton of baking with Critter that is unpictured. Oddly buying an extra bunch of green onions at the store has been the secret to our success lately when it comes to improvising/adding meals.

Friday – Harissa Salmon Salad

Loving this.

Sunday – Chipotle-Honey Chicken with Mango Avocado Salsa from Cravings, Sweet and Salty Banana Rice from Cravings: Hungry for More, Steamed Broccoli

The banana rice (which is basically a banana fried rice) is wild.

Monday – 90’s Taco Salad

Yum. Eating the chips while I make this is also great.

Tuesday – Kimchi Fried Rice, Steamed Broccoli

We haven’t made this recipe in like two years. Oops.

Wednesday – Pork Turkey Larb from Cravings: Hungry for More

These lettuce wraps are not photogenic. Full stop.

Thursday – Sesame Peanut Noodles from Cravings, Garlicky Wilted Spinach

We had all of the ingredients so this was our “bonus” dinner of the week.

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Dispatch from the Tundra

A brief summary of how things are going in Minnesota.

I am wearing all manner of Patagonia pullover and hibernating. The only time I have left the house is to shuttle the children (alternately) to Baube’s so that they could get out of the house and get some one on one time with each of us.

They cancelled school again tomorrow, this means that this week we have had one late start and three full days off. In my entire lifetime as a Minnesotan, I cannot remember something like this happening in terms of duration. If someone else does please share in the comments.

This was the thermometer in Marcus’ car yesterday at 6:00 AM.

Feels like -50°!!! But on Sunday it should be 43° and rainy?!

Meanwhile, our blinds have been drawn since Sunday with good reason. The windows and hardware have frosted over.

There’s a first time for everything.

I added a degree to the thermostat. Our furnace runs constantly.

Critter has been wearing his birthday crown for three days straight and will be starting the fourth today. He is also starting his third full day of pajamas.

Glitter, meanwhile, has learned she has a “pack pack” and is obsessed. She was supposed to start school on Wednesday but since it was cancelled, we are hoping for Friday. She was diagnosed with a double ear infection on Monday and is still cutting those molars so it has been a real fun fest around here.

I still have a few surprises up my sleeve that I can use with the kids, but the reserves are getting low. To all the other Minnesota mamas out there looking at another day of being inside your house only, sending you strength!!!

Three.

Today, you are three. Someone at school told you that you were three in November so you are less impressed with this than we are.

This week, the weather has been so cold that your school schedule has been all mixed up. We were supposed to come celebrate your birthday with your class but when it became apparent that this was not going to work out, we delegated the honors impromptu to Pam who is the Greeter. You just think she is the best ever and were delighted to announce that she read “a new book” to you.

You are smart. It is so fun to see the way your mind works, how focused you are, how interesting you find the world to be.

You are Glitter’s favorite person. Every morning she shouts for you when she hears you coming down stairs.

Every day you continue to amaze me and Dad. We are so proud of you in a way we didn’t know we could be until we became parents.

You are my favorite only son, the nicest boy, the best creation. Every day I spend with you is my best day.

Happy birthday.

What I’ve Been Reading

Here are the books I have read.

The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Some Things

Scene from our hike up Camelback Mountain, last Monday.

It is screamingly cold here. I cannot overstate it, I cannot explain it to anyone who lives beneath the 45th parallel. We got 5″ of snow last night (it is still snowing), Critter’s school has a delayed start. It is too cold for road salt to work. By Wednesday we are supposed to have a windchill of somewhere between -35° and -50° and probably everything is going to shut down because even though we are Minnesotans that is too cold, even for us. I have drawn every blind in the house in am effort to keep the heat in.

On the other side of the coin, we just planned our first cabin trip of the summer so rejoice and be glad.

It is just impossible to overstate how nice it is to be back in our regular routine. I truly love waking up at 5 AM, walking downstairs, lighting a candle, playing some music, drinking a few cups of coffee and reading in the morning.

I wrote up two recipes over the weekend: Toddler Breakfast Bars and Harissa Salmon Salad (do it!!!).

I watched Fyre on Netflix. I knew about the scam that was Fyre Festival but even if you don’t, worth the watch. It’s nuts.

Glitter is finally cutting her bottom 12 month molars. Critter turns three on Wednesday.

I bought a new planner from Target. About 2.5 years ago I switched to the $10 planners you can find there and every six months I get a new one because I need to be able to see the full twelve months ahead. It’s great. I am never disappointed by the quality of the planner and even when I buy two per year, I still save at least $30 compared to a premium planner. I also like the smaller size because frankly if the space for a given day is “full,” then we cannot do anymore things based on our life’s pace right now.

Friday Food Round-Up!

Something we overlooked last week – it was like the 400th Friday Food Round-Up! That’s something.

We didn’t cook a lot this week because we were on vacation. But here we are.

Wednesday – Chicken Sausages, Garlicky Wilted Spinach, Crispy Buffalo Smashies from Cravings: Hungry for More

Easy.

Thursday – Lime Pickle Roasted Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Watercress Spinach

This was actually supposed to be a crockpot meal but I thawed bone-in instead of boneless chicken thighs so I needed a new plan and we had everything for this delightful dinner.

Prepping for the Next Growing Season

It is time to discuss the Back 400!

First and foremost, the deer ripped a branch and some bark off of the cherry tree so we are to be determined as to whether it will survive the winter or we will be replacing the tree under warranty and thus delaying our harvest by another year.

Next, our garden’s permanent structure. At some point this spring, we will put in two raised beds. One where the in-lawn strawberry patch is and another 90° angled off of it. Ideally we will have these built and the berries transplanted by April so they can grow and flourish there.

Finally, when we were at Lowe’s the other evening, I got our little seedling starter greenhouse and some seeds.

We already have strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb and chives. I purchased seeds for lacinato kale, watermelon, pole beans (which you can allegedly co-plant with strawberries), purple and green basils, cilantro and parsley. In a perfect world, I would also obtain a few ever-bearing raspberry plants so we could enjoy them a few times in the season.

Basically I am trying to come up with a mix of things that we will eat/can pick frequently/will be a manageable amount of produce to maintain and share.