Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Next Phase of Summer

Oh, the week that always sneaks up on me is here: that first week without camp. I really do have little panic attacks about this because my kids (most kids) do so much better with a schedule and I am not an especially good planner. But I have little things, like the Summer Science program at the library, built in to the days to give us structure. Here's hoping that works.

The crockpot cooking was a big hit last week. I bought a teeny pork roast because last time I made it, we threw some away. This time? I barely had enough for leftovers for the week. And I loved barely having to heat the kitchen. (I did boil potatoes for the double mustard potato salad, and the kids loved the smell of the dressing but hated it on the potatoes. Still--liking the smell of a vinegar-mustard mix=progress.) I also have to remember that all day, the older, less fussy one, was carping, "I wish we were having chicken. I like it better than pork." and then went back for seconds on the pork and said how delicious it was. So while it is not an endearing habit, I need to remember that this is all that the complaining is: a habit. Make what I want.

I also got back in the green smoothie routine. I made my favorite detox soup, and then from the green smoothies page, the mango ginger detox. This was my least favorite so far but I didn't dislike it. That sounds like damning with faint praise, and I suppose I am, but I loved that it used ingredients like celery and parsley, that I almost always have, and if I think of it less as a smoothie and more of a chilled soup, it was fine. And again--my body is just loving the influx of nutrition. It is almost embarrassing what a difference it makes, because I don't think of myself as a particularly unhealthy eater. Too much, maybe, but generally good stuff. But this--this is a totally different order of magnitude of nutrition and the difference it makes is humbling. So, I stick with it and keep blending away. Also: a much bigger hit was the peach-coconut dream smoothie. I added the banana in an effort to clean out the freezer (we had a ton of frozen bananas that have ripened too fast this summer) and this was super sweet. I just took my time with the grapes and my blender got them in to small enough pieces that they still worked with the straw. I chickened out on most of the peach skin, though; that seemed to be a bridge to far.

Also, since the cucumbers are coming in faster than I can use them, I tried Catherine Newman's tzatziki recipe. I shredded my seeded cuke instead of cubing because, ugh--knife work. Not my thing. Since I am trying to cut back on wheat (very hard in the heat of tomato sandwich season--Udi bread is awesome but not quite the same) I skipped the pita and just ate it with a spoon and was happy to do so. Yum.

Since I had the mint for the tzatziki recipe (and let's face it--very few things say "I have a black thumb" like "I cannot get mint to grow and therefore have to buy it in a store"), I made my niece's awesome faux mojito recipe. She noodled around with a bunch of different recipes until she came up with this one. I think she's brilliant and I'm sharing it here.

Fresh mint
Club soda
Simple syrup
Rum (optional)
For each glass:
One-to-two shots rum (one weak, two strong) (I did not use the rum at all.)
One-to-two shots simple syrup 
One half lemon, squeezed
One half lime, squeezed
Add in mint
Fill glass up completely with ice
Pour club soda over mix and stir

Finally, for our neighbor's birthday party, I made the margarita punch that I enjoyed a few months ago at my friend's house. Except for having to chop the ice, I loved it again. Wishing you cold drinks to refresh you this summer!

This week:

Monday: crockpot curry chicken (right back on the horse, only five and a half years later), rice

Tuesday: hooray for tacos

Wednesday: some pasta something, though I may cheat and make pesto quinoa for the kids

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: As ever, depends on the weather and whether my husband is playing soccer, so TBA. He might be geeking out at the SABR convention (it sounds like a James Bond villain but it's really about baseball stats or something) so the boys and I might have a night at the movies with popcorn for dinner or something similar. We'll see. Somehow I feel like I can wing a Friday night in a way that the weeknights do not allow.

Have a great week!

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