Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cookbook Recommendation

Last Chanukah, Juliana got the Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals for Kids cookbook. We've used it quite a few times with success. (Juliana is particularly fond of the shrimp and angel hair recipe.) She went through it again the other day and picked two new things to try: mini quiches and orange-pineapple smoothies.

Seeing as I was on the couch with my tissue box all day, my mom offered to pick up what I needed at the store. The quiches called for mini phyllo cups but the store only had the long sheets of phyllo dough. I did some research on how to turn those into cups and decided to brave it. I've never worked with phyllo dough before, but that's why I like cooking with Juliana; it wouldn't occur to her not to try something because she'd never done it before. Together, we managed to get four layers of phyllo laid out and brushed with melted butter. I cut them into twelve rectangles and we formed them into little cups in the muffin tin. She filled them with bacon and shredded cheese and spoonfuls of beaten egg. While they were baking up golden, we worked on the smoothies.

Here's what you need to know. David eats apples. That is the extent of the fruits and vegetables in his diet. (Although this winter he did start eating clementines (the citrus fruit, not the toddler) on a semi-regular basis) He will claim that eating potatoes counts. Also, pumpkin pie. Now, I've tried making him smoothies before, but he couldn't deal with the texture. Here's what went into these ones: frozen orange juice concentrate, frozen strawberries, light coconut milk, pineapple chunks, light vanilla yogurt. We whirred it all up and he drank the whole thing! Did I mention strawberries? Pineapple? The words "I never thought I'd live to see the day" actually escaped my lips. (I fully expect him to be 4 inches taller in the morning.)

God knows Rachael Ray drives me nuts. She's a needy talker and I can't get past her lack of neck, but David has tried and liked nearly everything Juliana has made out of this cookbook-- including the four mini-quiches he had for dinner.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Something Kind Of Cool

A few years back, I posted about another little girl named Juliana whose journey was documented on TLC. I was moved enough by her story and experience to write to her family and send a donation. Two days ago, I received a holiday card from Juliana's night nurse, Jeanne. I figured that donating money had put me on their mailing list. Along with the card, I found the following letter:

Dear Janet,

Since the note your wrote to the Wetmore's you may have seen Juliana's documentaries, Born Without A Face and Building a Face. The film crew was here last week filming another update. They were fascinated by the amount and quality of mail Juliana has received, and filmed me reading from several of the letters. As a courtesy, I am letting you know that I read a portion of the letter you wrote, because you expressed so eloquently what many people feel. I did not reveal your name or address and gave no information that would identify you, I just read the part of your letter, the part that says, "I feel like knowing about Juliana and your family has somehow made me more connected to the entire human race. I feels such compassion for her and it makes me a more caring person in general". I don't know the name of the documentary yet, or when it will be aired, but I'm sure everyone watching it will be moved by your words.

I am so amazed that something I wrote 2 1/2 years ago stayed with her and still held meaning. It was one of those little gestures that, truthfully, I almost never take the time to make. But I did and it has come back to me in a powerful way.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Guest Blogger!

Blog, schmog....who has time for this? Now I am stooping to the lowest of the low. Elissa posted a story her 8 year old started and it inspired me to post the one Juliana is currently working on. (She's 8 as well and went to preschool with Chloe.)

Consider it a guest blogger and not a cop-0ut, 'kay?

The Magic Shoes by Juliana


Mia Watson had an unbelievable imagination. She had written stories that had even been published! There was a door in Mia’s room that had never been opened before. Mia loved to make up stories about it. One day Mia went up to her room and saw that the door was open!!!!!!!!! She looked inside saw a pair of ruby red high heels with glitter on them. Mia tried them on. It felt like she was walking on clouds. “Oh.” Mia whispered “I feel like I am floating.” Then she noticed that some of the glitter from her shoe had come off. Now it was circling her feet….

The tornado got stronger and stronger. Finally it lifted Mia of the ground!!!!! Soon the tornado stopped. Mia looked around. If you looked hard, you could see a castle in the distance. The grass was emerald green. Mia was standing in a beautiful garden. She looked at herself. She was wearing a purple silk dress. That’s funny. Mia thought. I don’t remember wearing that. Then it hit her, she had gone back in time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe this. Mia thought. I must be dreaming. I can’t be in the time of dragons and knights. And in this time you don’t know what will happen….

Suddenly she heard a small voice. It said, “I can help you”. A little guinea pig crawled out of the bushes. “I am Julia.” The guinea pig said. “And I want to help you.” “Oh will you?” Mia exclaimed. “Yes.” Julia said. “Let’s get started.” Mia saw a trail of rocks and a block of wood that said, HOME in big letters. “Do you think we should follow that?” Julia said sarcastically. “Well duh!” Mia said. So off they went having no idea what was in store for them….

It was not long before trouble started. The two had not been walking for long when the rocks got to a quicksand river. They could see the rocks across the river but, there was no way to get across. “Well that’s a problem.” Julia said. “You think!” Mia said. “Well, there is some wood over there. We could build a bridge.” Julia suggested. “Good idea!” Mia said. “But how can we?” Julia thought about that for a moment. “Maybe we shouldn’t do that.” She said. “We could just jump.” Mia suggested. “Okay.” Julia said. “Great! I will jump with you in my arms. Be careful.” So they jumped. “WOOOOO WHOOOOOO” The girls shouted. When they got across they started to follow the rocks again. They walked and walked.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Should Not Be Allowed To Live Independently

I'm not sure where to start this charming anecdote. I think I'll go with the stressful board meeting I attended this morning. The one where I savagely chewed on bagels to keep from grinding the enamel off of my teeth. And to wash down those bagels, I enjoyed about three times as much coffee as I usually have.

Fast forward to just after lunch time when my phone rang. I picked it up with such gusto that I slammed the receiver into my face. In attempting to right my grip on the receiver (and probably in recoil from the blow to my jaw), the phone flew out of my hand with such force that it hit the edge of the kitchen counter, the plastic belt clip flew off in one direction and the phone skittered to a stop on the wood floor. David picked it up and explained to my mom what happened: "Mom just hit herself in the face with the phone, then dropped it." I think it was the everyday, matter-of-fact tone he used that put my mother into such hysterics that she couldn't even speak.

Now you'll excuse me while I go check for a bruise.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Personal Best

Last night we went to dinner at Red Lobster which is Juliana's favorite place to eat. She has a passion for shrimp scampi which probably dates back to the time I ate my weight in shrimp while pregnant with her. If you asked her to rank her favorite holidays, it would probably look like this: Chanukah, Diwali, and Endless Shrimp. Last night she scored a new personal best and ate 40 shrimp. (I am so proud! Can the hot dog eating contest be far behind?)
Luckily we didn't have a repeat of when she was six. That time she managed to down 34 shrimp. A few minutes after finishing she reported:

"I can feel them swimming around in my stomach!"

followed closely by:

"I have a lot of spit in my mouth."

I whisked her out of the restaurant and into the cold night air which settled her stomach and averted disaster. Now I just need to teach her to binge drink....

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's Way Easier To Do This Here Than On AOL

I shamelessly stole this from The Bloggess. It just gets funnier and funnier the more I watch it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Here I am!

Well, that was completely painless. Not sure I can post without Comic Sans, though...