I have a confession.

The kitchen is not always clean before we go to bed at night.

This has been especially true this week with a husband who was laid up with a man cold. I’m picking on him a little, but we really are a team when it comes to keeping this house clean.  His sick time was evident based on state of the house for a number of days here, I fell way behind on the house work.

Now that we are outnumbered in our parents:kids ratio, our former man-to-man combat plan has become more of a “zone defense” over these past 7 months.

It’s cold here.  (Like, really cold.)

It’s so cold that it’s possible some mornings I turn the oven on before I even turn the coffee maker on.

Just kidding.  (Let’s not get ridiculous.)

But it’s true that it’s cold, and it’s also true that cooking in the morning is a great way to warm up my chilly kitchen.

Chilly kitchen.  Chilly morning.  (Can see where I’m going with this?)

Simple Saucy Kale

January 25th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Vegetable Lovin' - (10 Comments)

I had a bunch of kale in my fridge that was about to be past its prime, so I decided this was the perfect excuse to try out a new dinner side and (bonus!) make myself a snack at the same time.

With a small baby man on the prowl, I do most of my cooking during the morning and afternoon hours right now – i.e., nap time. I aim to stock the fridge with prepared food so that when dinner time rolls around, all we need to do is heat and eat.

Life of Pi

January 24th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Good Reads - (6 Comments)

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

I just finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I didn’t know much about this book before I read it, and for that reason I don’t want to share too many details here.  It was nice picking this up and knowing very little about it, simply believing it was going to be good.  I liked having nearly every part of the story being left to surprise, so I want to leave much of it a surprise for you too.

I will tell you what little I knew going into it though, in case what intrigued me might intrigue you.

Cauliflower is not one of those vegetables I get really giddy about.

I mean, I like cauliflower and all – but you won’t see me running to the produce section while shouting and hip-hip-hooray-ing with my arms flailing above my head like a wild woman when I see that cauliflower is on sale.

I’m probably more likely to say “oh, cauliflower is on sale this week? that’s cool.”

This recipe makes me slightly more giddy about cauliflower than usual though. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese? I didn’t invent this idea, but I did think “I’d eat that” when the idea was presented to me. My next thought was “I need to make that.”

I’ve always been curious about straining regular yogurt to make my own Greek yogurt. I prefer Greek yogurt to regular yogurt these days – it’s thicker, it’s creamier.  It’s got more protein and fewer carbs compared to regular yogurt.  It’s a great sub for sour cream too.  (Hello, homemade burrito bowls!)

Plain and simple – I love (plain and simple) Greek yogurt.

With a quick glance at the numbers in the dairy section, I guessed I could save some money if I made Greek yogurt at home by straining it myself.  Of the two brands of yogurt I buy, the price breakdown looks like this:

Weekend Dance Party Playlist

January 18th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Fitness - (1 Comments)

No baby fingers were stepped on during the making of this blog post.

Just Dance

We don’t have a Wii, but the girls have been playing “Just Dance” at a friend’s house and loving it.  We just recently discovered that you can find many of the dances from this game on YouTube – and now we are unstoppable dancing machines.

My absolute favorite is Mr. Saxobeat, especially the move at 0:36 where she swivels her hips and shoulders. LOVE THAT.  Once I get really good at this I’m going to put my hair in swishy ponytail and go shopping for an identical blue, yellow and pink striped palm tree dress.

Nothing Beets Soup

January 17th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Vegetable Lovin' - (13 Comments)

Last weekend I went out to dinner with some girlfriends, it was my first evening out on the town since Kaz was born and it was glorious.

There was wine.

There was dessert.

There were no children.

There was beet soup.

When perusing the menu for our first course, I couldn’t decide between the Beet and Ginger Soup with Scallions and the Beet Salad with arugula, feta, orange & hazelnut vinaigrette.  Beet salad eventually won my favor in the battle of the beets – but fortunately a fellow beet loving friend ordered the soup and let me sample it.

Always Bet on BLAC

January 16th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Lunch - (6 Comments)

A lunch time quickie today!

When I was a vegetarian, I truly didn’t miss meat.  Truly.

But now that I’ve been eating some meat again, I must admit.  It’s good.

Especially bacon.

When I get good quality bacon from the local markets – or in this case, from Zak’s mom and step dad who raised their own pigs last year – I dig it.

I’ve been cooking 10 – 12 strips at once to make homemade bacon bits for salads.  Fry it up, trim most (but not all) of the fat, move to a few paper towels to soak up the grease, chop and store in the fridge to use on salads over the course of a few days.

How to Make Your Own Kefir

January 15th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Healthy Habits - (19 Comments)

Fermenting stuff is one of my new favorite things to do.  I’ve recently started fermenting milk to make kefir because it’s cheap, easy and good for you.   You had me at “cheap and easy”.

(I’ve been fermenting tea too – brewing my own Kombucha WORD UP!  More on that in a future post.)

The First Thing To Know About Kefir

Short answer: it’s a yogurt-like drink that’s full of probiotics and good bacteria.  More info here.

The Second Thing To Know About Kefir

It’s pronounced “ka-feer”, not “key-fur” like I’d been saying, surely sounding like a dope.