Posts Tagged kids

How to Have Your Mushrooms and Eat Them Too

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If you’ve ever run into us at the grocery story, I don’t blame you for thinking that my little J loves mushrooms. It would be a totally acceptable belief given the evidence: J sitting in the cart with a blue styro package of pre-washed sliced mushrooms on his lap as he happily chows down on slice after slice of tasteless white shroom.

It’s totally true. Whenever we get to the produce section, he demands that we head to the mushrooms, demands that I pass him a blue pack and demands that I tear a whole in the plastic wrap so his pudgy fingers can get through. Then he eats his way through half the packet and absolutely refuses to share any with me.

But what do you think happens when we get home?

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When Kid-Friendly Fare Needs Adult-Friendly Flare

Two little blond heads share the pillow next to her. She squints at the clock and is amazed to see 7, 3 and 0 illuminated. “Have they EVER slept this late before? Awesome!” Then the events of 2am come back to her and she wonders if it was worth the extra sleep. At least one of them made it to the toilet. The other, well, a mop for the bathroom floor and some wet towels on the carpet got most of it. Fingers crossed they feel better this morning.

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Foodies in the Family

Gee Gee, my brother and I catching some shade on a prairie afternoon

My Gee Gee would pay us five cents for every potato bug in our pail.

He’d hose mud off of a carrot and off of us at the same time. Shrieking, we’d jump from the spray secretly hoping to get caught by refreshing coldness.

He’d hand us roughly cut rhubarb and send us to Baba knowing she’d sit us at the table where we’d dip scarlet tips into glasses of sugar.

His apple tree yielded so many golden spheres that every pair of pantyhose from Shoppers Drugmart was required to strain the juice.

He always had Rocket Candies in his pocket. He’d tell us, “One for you, two for me” (but only if we’d sing his favorite Ukrainian folk song first). Read the rest of this entry »

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Permission, Imperfection and Pizza = The Best Baby Gifts of All

My toddler is transitioning from crib to bed. Every time he wakes up, he realizes that he’s no longer confined. What does he do? He JUMPS! An excited thunder from bed to floor, from floor to bed and then back again.

His floor also happens to be our bedroom ceiling.

I am so tired. Read the rest of this entry »

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An Unscary Supper: Cumin Scented Chickpeas with Organic Chicken Sausage

Alongside Garlic Couscous Peppered with Golden Raisins

Don’t forget to check out my post Eating Alone: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly this week on Scary Mommy‘s Scary Mommy Society.

Now back to this week’s theme: Strategies for getting dinner on the table.

I’m not great at dashing madly around the kitchen for half an hour.

Well, I can do it if G’s at work, J’s napping and NPR’s talking on my headphones. I cannot do it when G’s just gotten home, J’s rangy and Barnie‘s taunting that he loves me. Need I say arsenic hour?

I like recipes with minimal prep that go in the oven and mind their own business ’til I’m good and ready for ’em. Even better if I can do the prep earlier in the day before all crankiness breaks loose.

With the tiny bit of prep done, dinner cooks while I ask G about his day (and listen to his answer!), read J a story and swap Barnie for some Jack (my two faves: Upside Down and Better Together).

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Make Dinner Wait for You: Simple Salt and Pepper Salmon with Lemon Thyme Rice and Roasted Green Beans

Next week I’ll have a post on Scary Mommy‘s Scary Mommy Society. To go along with it, I’m offering you some of my strategies for getting dinner on the table. Check out my other family-themed posts: the good, the bad and the ugly.

Today: Make Dinner Wait for You

I like weeknight recipes that are not time-dependent. If there’s an emergency poo-plosion, dinner must wait!

Contrast a typical spaghetti alla carbonara that cries out for you to sit and eat as soon as its noodles are cooked, to a typical baked ziti that relaxes in a warm oven (or even on the counter under foil) for an extra 20-30 minutes waiting for you to enjoy its stringy cheese.

Recipes with a bit of patience are easy to find if you’re on the lookout but very few include fish. Fish doesn’t wait for anyone. Read the rest of this entry »

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What My Husband Hates

On February 1st a post I’ve written is appearing on Scary Mommy‘s Scary Mommy Society. This week, in honor of the society, I’m featuring stories and recipes for all my scary parenting friends.

Multiple Choice Question: What do you do when your parenting partner goes out of town?

a) Beg for mercy.

b) Ask your mom to visit.

c) Make it easy on yourself and allow a few days of continuous cartoon-watching.

d) Invite friends over for the evenings: You supply the wine, they supply conversations that do not include the words mommy, poo poo or Idon’twantto.

e) Make pasta with olives, shrimp and feta served on a tangle of arugula.

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When Life Gives You Lemons

One night last week my mom posted on Facebook that she and my dad were cozily waiting out the blizzard that was blowing through Manitoba. I woke the next morning imagining snow on the ground. I looked out the window at lush palm trees with a bright blue backdrop and felt lost. I plastered a smile on my face and went upstairs to get my toddler ready for the day. I asked, “What do you want to do today?” He said, “Go to the park, Mommy!” And why not? It is *sigh* 82 degrees out there after all.

Swings, slides, sand (lots of digging) and a couple of hours later, J and I were walking home from the park singing our ABCs. From behind a hedge I heard, “Who’s doing such nice singing?” J pointed and shouted (very very loudly), “Wook Mommy! A wady!” There was a woman in her yard gardening. She chuckled, “A boy with such a nice voice deserves an orange. Come around back and I’ll give you one.” J ran to her and began happily plucking oranges from her tree (never mind that we have about a million on our own trees at home). She then asked J, “Do you like lemonade?” He nodded his head vigorously. “If I give your Mommy some lemons, will she make you some?” We both nodded our heads vigorously.

As we watched her picking round bumpy lemons from her tree I thought, “I wish we had a lemon tree…oh wait, we do have one…but its lemons are small and seedy and taste bitter and …OH MY GOD…they definitely don’t smell like this…would it be weird to bite through the peel and eat the whole thing here in her yard? What if I just stand here holding it up to my nose while breathing deeply?”


After many thank yous we headed home for lunch. Once there J insisted that he didn’t want any lemonade. After all, if life gives you oranges shouldn’t your mom make you orange juice?  (How he’s not sick of the stuff by now, I don’t understand). I, on the other hand, had been given lemons and when life gives me lemons I make Citron Pressé.

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“It’s just like apple juice but warm and…ummm…BETTER!”

I made this apple cider for our first Canadian Thanksgiving in the US as well as for our first American Thanksgiving. Read the stories here.

As our Thanksgiving dinner guests arrive, we head out to the backyard for pre-dinner snacks and numbingly spiced hot apple cider. The cider stays warm in a crock-pot set on low, thus freeing up the stove. Place a ladle on a plate next to the pot and lay mugs out around it. Guests can serve themselves, giving you time to chat and do any last minute cooking. (If your crock- pot is already in use keeping a side dish warm, pour the cider into a carafe).

There is no alcohol in this cider so it can be served to everyone. Kids like it, especially if you add the extra brown sugar at the end of the recipe. Last year, a little eight-year-old M exclaimed, “This is just like apple juice but warm and…ummm…better!”

For those guests who like a drink that makes them feel a tad friendlier, we place a bottle of spiced rum, a bottle of brandy and a bottle of whiskey behind the crock pot and let people know that they can pour a splash of something-something into their mug before ladling in the cider.

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