I’ve never liked cauliflower. Wait, let me qualify that. If someone asked me to eat cauliflower I’d probably run fast in the other direction. And I would never, ever, in a million years force it on my precious children. I don’t believe in torturing the young.
But I got adventurous when I saw a recipe for roasted cauliflower in a magazine that claimed to ‘alter’ the cauliflower and make it all caramelized and sweet. True, I was skeptical, but I figured one head of cauliflower for 6 people would give everyone a taste, and if it was awful (like I assumed it probably would be), no one would feel the need to eat copious amounts (myself included).
Let me tell you. I have a new favorite veggie. I cut the raw cauliflower into florets, tossed it with a couple teaspoons olive oil, and lightly salted it. Put it in a shallow baking dish in a 450 degree oven for 35 minutes, stirring it once or twice as it cooked. My pickiest eater asked for a third helping! And everyone gobbled it up. It’s my new fave. Hint: cook it till it’s nice and evenly browned – the more browned, the more caramelized, and therefore the more melt-in-your-mouth sweet.
Well, that’s what works for me. I’ll be gobbling up cauliflower all spring – as long as it’s in season. Head over to Shannon’s place for more cool ideas.
Bean and I fight through the day. She hates to wash her hands. I don’t know why and I don’t remember when it started. But we have certain rules – hands have to be washed after using the bathroom, after going outside, and before eating. It’s been this way for ages – literally, we started it before she was old enough to protest.
But, solution found this week!!! (Drumroll please?) Fancy soaps! She has a little butterfly bar of soap in the downstairs bath and a flower soap in the upstairs bath. I don’t even have to remind her to wash hands anymore. She does it on her own, and she’ll even come and find me if I’m not with her to ask me to help her turn the water on if she can’t reach it. No prompting, no fighting, no rewards necessary. Just pretty soap. Yeah! Thank goodness our local dollar store carries a variety!
Head over to Shannon’s place at Rocks in My Dryer for more helpful tips.
Ok. There’s nothing remotely scientific about it. In fact, most doctors would probably tell me I’m crazy. But for me, for now, it works. In fact, it’s the only thing that works – consistently, quickly, and easily. Every single time.
Honestly, I don’t know if the nausea is caused by the pregnancy, the nasty little cold I have (maybe turning into a flu bug?), or the stress from all the other stuff going on in my life right now. But what I can tell you is that for me, chocolate works. I’m not talking about a giant slice of french silk pie (which I love, and I will admit to using to soothe the grief from other things). But more along the lines of a small piece of chocolate – one of those individually-wrapped ones from Lindt or Hershey. A truffle maybe. Or a chocolate peanut cluster. Something about it settles my tummy (and has the added benefit of making me smile as I slowly, lovingly chew it). Hubs: if you’re reading this, I could use a refill when you come back home…
That’s what works for me. Head over to Shannon’s place for more ideas. Hopefully some of them will be a little more helpful than mine!
We all know kids aren’t incredibly patient when it comes to waiting for food to cool. But I found 2 quick, easy ways to do it with oatmeal. Here they are:
First, the more nutritious method. Keep some frozen fruit in your freezer (blueberries, diced peaches, etc.) and when the oatmeal is cooked, add a handful of the fruit, still frozen. The oatmeal thaws the fruit while the fruit cools the berries. Stir, check the temp., and I can almost always serve immediately.
Second, for the days when your kids are rebelling against fruit. When the oatmeal is cooked and in bowls, nest the oatmeal bowl in a slightly narrower bowl filled with ice water. 2 minutes and you’re good to go.
That’s what works for me. Head over to Rocks in my dryer for more cool tips.
(No, not together silly!)
This is the Brand Loyal edition of Works for Me Wednesday. So here’s my run-down of brands I have to have.
Salad dressing: Old Cape Cod brand, Toasted Sesame Soy & Ginger. It’s all natural, kosher, fat free, and cholesterol free. And full of flavor.
Brownie Mix: No Pudge. Any. All. All the time. Gotta have it. Did you know you can make single servings? Now those are some smart brownies.
Salt: Salt Sense. Yes, I’m picky about salt. It’s lower in sodium than regular table salts, and I’ve found that when I run out and use regular salt I don’t like the flavor anymore. It seems that Salt Sense has turned my tastes.
Pasta Sauce: Ragu Chunky. Mushroom and Green pepper, but only for lasagna. For everything else I use Classico or Barilla – whichever flavor strikes my fancy. (did I really just say strikes my fancy?) And no, I don’t make spaghetti sauce from scratch. Not since I moved back to the US of A where there are a multitude of companies that do such a wonderful job already.
Jewelry: I try to purchase all my jewelry from NightLight. They have a truly amazing ministry that rescues women from slavery and trains them to do something that is worthy of respect, therapeutic, and creative. It’s high quality and I feel good knowing that my purchase brought light to someone living in darkness. The more they sell the more women they can rescue. Truly amazing.
That’s about it for me. I’m not picky about clothing brands, shoes, or anything like that. Just food. I’m a girl who knows what’s important in life (like brownies and salad dressing). For more tips on great brands to try, head over to Shannon’s place at Rocks in My Dryer.
I’m pretty lazy when it comes to entertaining. I have this crazy idea that people don’t expect gourmet – just enjoyable. And casual is usually more enjoyable than formal.
My family does oven baked pizza every Sunday night. Virtually no planning, little clean-up, and the cooking is easy and fun – perfect for the Sabbath. Being that it’s so predictable on Sundays, it’s the perfect night for dinner guests. When I’m feeling industrious I’ll make my own sauce and crust (but I always buy the cheese already grated). Otherwise, I just buy a refrigerated cheese pizza from Kroger or Costco and stock up on all sorts of toppings.
Everyone has fun topping their own pizza, and it makes for a fun evening with friends. Kids love it, and it keeps us grown-ups from getting too stuffy. That’s what works for me. For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, head over to Shannon’s place.
Apparently there’s a reason we crave pickles when pregnant. The vinegar in the pickling process balances out the acidity in the stomach that causes morning sickness. But according to my dear aunt Gretchen, vinegar mixed with water works even better.
So, if you’re struggling with morning sickness, keep a cup nearby with a mixture of vinegar and water – the stronger the vinegar:water ratio, the better. I’ve found that balsamic vinegar is easier to stomach than other vinegars (kind of like tasting a good salad dressing), and it really does work.
When I’m done sipping my vinegar I use one of those Listerine to-go strips that you stick on the roof of your mouth. It gets rid of the vinegar taste and vinegar breath and leaves me ready to move on with my day, un-nauseated.
That’s what works for me. Head over to Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday tips from other bloggers.
Oh, and did I mention? I’m pregnant! Baby #3 is on the way, to be joining us in April.
Moms and dads with small babies, ask a nurse to show you the Heimlich maneuver for infants before you start feeding your baby solids. Some babies have an active gag reflex or just don’t get the idea of chewing or swallowing small amounts at a time.
My now 3-yr old choked on everything (and I do mean everything, milk, for example). She’s getting better about it, but she still has some problems when she’s in a hurry or when she’s eating ‘crumbly’ foods. My 1 yr-old never choked – not even on 1/3 of a banana swallowed at once. All babies are different, but it’s better to be prepared in case you need it. I’m an expert at the Heimlich for infants by now, and just the knowledge that I can do it if needed brings peace of mind at mealtime.
That’s what works for me. Head over to Rocks In My Dryer for more of the parenting advice edition of Works For Me Wednesday.
Okay, so if I were the perfect mom I’d always have a freshly-shredded turkey wrap made with my own hummus and finely grated carrots fresh from my garden for my kids’ lunches when we were out in town. Complete the meal with fresh melon balls and a small ziploc baggie of home-made whole wheat oatmeal cookies and I’d be mom of the year. Which I’m not.
So on our little last minute road trip (and honestly, there’s nothing little about a last-minute 9 hour drive with 2 toddlers) we found ourselves in southern Georgia needing food. And just in the nick of time (meaning nano-seconds before both kids’ meltdown pushed their mama off the edge of sanity) we saw a KFC, complete with buffet.
Public Service Announcement: Do not ever, ever – even in times of near starvation – subject yourself or anyone you care about to the KFC in Valdosta, GA. It is the 7th circle of hell. If you are the owner of any food establishment worldwide, please note the following: If the food you serve is unable to swim in the grease you’ve left it to drown in, perhaps buffet style dining isn’t the right choice for you. If all your entrees are indistinguishable from one another because they’re all obscured by the entire pig you’ve thrown on them in the form of bacon, maybe you should consider something other than a buffet. If your doors, walls, tables, and virtually every other surface are coated in dirt thick enough to peel off, it’s better to ask your staff to either clean it properly or not clean it at all so that the diners in your fine establishment won’t be able to trace where the single cleaning swipe left its trail through the thickly accumulated gunk. Finally, if you have to keep the lights dimmed throughout the ‘restaurant’ (I use that term loosely) so that your clientele won’t see the multitude of things that stick to the soles of their shoes, it might be a good time to douse the entire building in bleach and let it steep for 2-3 months.
That said, a good friend of mine, D., is in the industry. Apparently those in-the-know about fast food consider Chick-Fil-A as the most trusted bastion of nutrition on the road (And no, D. doesn’t work for Chick-Fil-A). So when we’re out and about, we look for Chick-Fil-A if I haven’t packed a fresh turkey wrap complete with garden-fresh veggies and home made cookies (which, let’s face it, I just don’t do). 20/20 hindsight, right? If only I’d known that in Valdosta, Georgia.
Head over to Shannon’s place at Rocks in My Dryer to get more helpful tips!
Bean has had nightmares since she was a couple hours old. At least that’s what I think. So now at age 3 when she wakes up, oh, 4-5 times a night (almost every night) I’m ready to pull my hair out.
For a while prayer worked. We’d pray together at bedtime, and then when she had a nightmare we’d ask Jesus to make it go away. But after a while it stopped working for her – I doubt Jesus stopped answering, but I’ll never understand the complexities of the 3-yr-old psyche and how prayer affects it.
So we moved Bean into her little brother’s room. Yes, he’s 18 months old. And apparently he’s super-baby, because he can protect her from all the nightmares in the world! Nothing scary can get past Little Man with 3 binkies in his crib. I don’t know what it is, but when she sleeps in his room she sleeps through the night. No nightmares.
Now, what to do if you’re a MOO? I sadly have no advice for you. But if you wish to dish, please leave your comments in my … (what rhymes with dish and wish?) You get the idea… For more works for me tips, head over to Rocks in my Dryer.