I volunteered at Bear’s preschool Valentine’s Day party last week. Being a relatively new mother, I was looking forward to the party for days and couldn’t wait to observe Bear in her classroom with her friends. While the party was exceptionally fun, and Bear made me burst into hysterics after she attempted to eat an entire container of sprinkles and was the only kid who spent the entire party with purple sprinkles stuck to her face, the party was too short. Before I knew it, we were driving home in the snow. As I drove, I couldn’t help but think about how quickly the day had gone. I thought about how the school year is half over. How she will be in Pre-K next year and how she will likely walk into her classroom on the first day with confidence – a seasoned pro at this whole school thing. Of course, that’s not how this first year began. She was nervous for the first day of preschool. I can still picture her in the blue dress with the red cherries on it, pigtails in her hair, and oversized backpack with straps that graced the floor. We walked down the hall together, hand in hand, to her classroom where I left her for the first time.
I was down the rabbit hole that no parent should allow themselves to travel. You know. The one where you think about how fast time is passing. It won’t be long before Bear doesn’t want me to volunteer at her school parties. There will come a time when she will choose to spend all of her time with friends – and not me (sob!). It was all just too much for me to bear, so I turned up the radio and cried into my mitten. Some days are so long and trying with kids, and I lose my cool just about every day, but these days are the best.
This week, I’m trying not to dwell on the inevitable. I’m trying to be present in the moment, because I know that I will one day look back at these days and consider them the good ol’ days.
Last Week’s Menu
White Chicken Chili (recipe from Lisa Leake via Epicurious)
I’ve posted this recipe before. Aside from the chicken, this recipe requires ingredients I always have on hand. It’s an easy meal for me to throw together last minute and I always find the mild spice profile comforting. This chili is best topped with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese.
Sides: Steamed greens and sliced veggies
Mediterranean Steak and Pita Salad (recipe from Cook’s Country, February/March 2019 issue)
This meal requires only a few quality ingredients and it can be thrown together without a recipe. Just pick up some skirt steak (we used strip steak), a lemon, garlic, cherry tomatoes, pita bread, lettuce, and fresh mint. Rub the steak with cumin, salt & pepper, and sear it to your liking. Tear the pita breads into bite sized pieces, and toss with olive oil and seasonings before toasting in a 400 degree oven until crisp. Halve the tomatoes and marinate them in a mixture of olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice/zest, and salt & pepper. Throw the whole thing together and dig in. See? No recipe required.
Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sun-dried Tomatoes (recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis via Food Network)
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Seasoned Salt (recipe from LMillerRN via Genius Kitchen)
I’ve rarely met a recipe from Giada that I haven’t liked and this is my go-to turkey meatloaf. For various reasons, I did not have sun-dried tomatoes or parsley, so I substituted roasted red peppers and chopped swiss chard (for color and nutrients). It was still excellent! Look for ground dark meat turkey at the store.
I also love this easy potato recipe. The fingerlings bake up crisp and salty on the exterior and creamy in the center. The key here is to pre-heat your baking sheet before you throw the potatoes on it.
Sides: Sautéed Zucchini
Happy Valentine’s Day!!
Homemade Pizza Crust (recipe from Dinner A Love Story)
This isn’t my favorite recipe for homemade pizza crust, but it’s so easy and seems to be a cult favorite.
We topped our pizza with sausage, swiss chard, fresh mozzarella, and sliced red onion.
Oreo Balls (recipe from New Nana via Genius Kitchen)
I was looking for a quick dessert and, after years of seeing this recipe all over the internet, finally caved. The only change I made was to melt a bag of chocolate chips with a pat of butter, to thin it out, for the coating. The ingredients in chocolate bark make me cringe. Best kept in the fridge, these oreo balls are insanely addicting. They taste like an oreo cake pop with a crisp chocolate shell and they only get better with time.
Family night. Thanks for the delicious Korean food, Anna 😉
(Feb 10th, 2019 – Feb 16th, 2019)