Friday, December 9

Time Out from Cookies

If I may, I'd like to take a break from the cookie post. I know, I know. I'm behind, so why take a break already? Well, trying to bake 25 different cookie recipes in 25 days is no easy feat. And I'm feeling a little off my game since I was absent from the blogging scene for a couple months. Perhaps I should have cut it down to 12 days this year, just to keep from biting off too much while I "get back in the groove". haha 

    So it's Friday! It doesn't feel like Friday because we didn't do 'Pizza & a Movie Night'. After the kids got off the bus this afternoon (30 minutes late with no explanation--thank you very much. ugh) we walked home with a friend of Kyleigh's since we live in the complex together. It was actually enjoyable. I wasn't sure how this playdate would go because the little girl (who is a year older than Kyleigh) is a little on the hyperactive energetic side. Also, the mom (who I guess you could say I am becoming more-than-acquaintances with) is Polish and very outspoken and has quite an accent. I do find her straightforwardness refreshing in a time where we all watch what we say in fear of offending someone. 

    But back to the point. The kids had fun and 'D' and I sat and talked. It was nice having a big people adult conversation. So we stayed longer than I thought we would, but part of that is also due to the late bus, and by the time we walked home it was after 6 o'clock. Though the girls did not have pizza, they still got quite a treat--McDonald's for dinner! Then when we got home, it was bedtime. And while the girls drifted off to dreamland, I flipped through my new favorite book.

    The Cleaner Plate Club, by Beth Bader and Ali Benjamin. I have a confession to make. From time to time, I like to read cookbooks like it is a novel. And this one has me keeping on coming back for more. Sadly, it is only a library book so it will have to go back. But for now, it's mine! muahaha 
    So I do cook dinner each night. I put thought and love into what I serve up. I even go as far as planning out my meals 2 weeks at a time and have it written out on a dry erase board. But ya know, despite my best efforts, I am more-often-than-not thwarted by a stubborn picky opinionated 5 year old who lassos in a 2 year old cohort. It sure is enough to make someone throw up their hands. 

Mini rant Quick side note:
    And now we just finished watching 'Four Christmases' on TBS. So funny. I find I am becoming quite a Vince Vaughn fan. I think he is hilarious. 
    But now there is silence--well, except for the heat going--because Nate is flipping through Netflix on his PS3. He takes soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long to find anything to watch on there. I usually throw in the towel after the first 10 or 15 minutes and go to bed. haha Yea, I'm not a fan of silence. It's nice after a particularly long bout of yelling and screaming from the kids, but usually, I like to have some sort of white noise in the background. 
    Niiice. After settling on episodes of 'White Collar' the stupid Netflix and PS3 and Internet crapped out. Good thing I wasn't getting into it. <---major sarcasm going on
Back to the old stand by of DVR'ed Chopped.

    Okay, back to the frustrating 5 year old food critic. 
    My aim is to serve healthy, budget-friendly food without a whole lot of repeats. But how to achieve the healthy rainbow of food? I usually like checking cookbooks out of the library, but only as inspiration. Until this awesome book! 
    The Cleaner Plate Club has some of the most realistic down-to-earth food I've come across in any cookbook. Usually, while the food looks good, I'm thinking to myself that there is no way I would make that or that it would turn out looking like the professionally photographed pages. I'm going to take this opportunity to mention that there aren't any photos of impossible standards anywhere in this book--there aren't any pictures at all. haha I'm enjoying the breakfast ideas, lunches, lunchbox ideas, and mostly the soups from scratch. It also explains some of the questions I'm sure a lot of us have. For example, the difference between 'organic', 'pastured', 'grass-fed', 'free range', well, you get the idea. 
    I think I'm going to buy this book after the holidays (and thus after all the Christmas shopping) and use it to hopefully stick with my New Year's resolution. So be sure to look out for those! I'm excited to try the recipes and share them!


  1. I haven't heard of that book but it might be something I need to look into. I have a 2 year old who doesn't want to eat anything...slightly frustrating to say the least.
    I understand taking a break from cookie making, it is a lot of work.
    Thanks for this post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

  2. Rachel, I actually just happened to stumble upon it at the library. Have you ever looked through any of the 'Sneak Chef's or 'Deceptively Delicious'? I like the concept of those, but it's a lot of extra work--and time I don't always have. So I'd recommend at least flipping through this. I totally understand the frustration. Btw, I give my kids smoothies as an after-school snack that has only fruits and oj in and they love it! I like it because its a good way to boost the immune system...especially this time of year. I'm glad you enjoyed reading this one!


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