Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What a trooper!

My husband, that is.

Because I have the summer off, in between long bouts of lounging and lazing, I've been doing a bit of cooking. Specifically, I have been having fun with meat analogs (and watch out Vegandad, 'cause your concoctions are next on my list! Mwah-ha-ha!).

I made Snooty Joes with Yves soy crumbles, and let me tell you: Yves has become my new favorite fake meat vendor. I have stuck with Boca burgers alone for years and years, occasionally venturing into new waters, only to retreat, sadly beaten back by a strange texture or taste. But a vegetarian co-worker (really?? In Texas? In a public school that is in the 'burbs?? Bestill my heart, I thought I was alone!) alerted me to Yves The Good Dog and even shared one with me. I'm hooked! So, when I saw the crumbles on sale, I had to try them. Let me tell ya, they look like meat and taste like meat, it's so crazy! So, they might not be for you if you don't eat meat because it's icky, but if you like the taste/texture, just not the killing, dance in the streets!

The Snooty Joes were fabu, possibly because I used Isa's recipe from Veganomicon, and not scary Manwich sauce. Eek. What's in that stuff, anyway?

Next, I made Spaghetti with Bean Balls, also from the beloved Veganomicon (or V-con). These were great, although I discovered that they are better with a shorter cooking time than a longer one, since I tried one halfway through the recommended cooking time (starving, I was!), and nearly ate the whole pan and then was a little disappointed with the creamy texture (inside....outside was crispy) after cooking another 15 minutes, as suggested. J gamely tried them and said that although they tasted good, there was a texture issue. I wholeheartedly agree, and hope that he will give them another shot with a shorter cooking time. I'm pretty pleased about that, anyhow, since shorter cooking time equals quicker to my mouth.

Well, with my two experiments pretty darn successful, I decided to try making my own veggie burgers. I tried Black Bean burgers that are not only also in V-con, but actually on the same page as the 'Joe recipe! Seriously, folks. The laziness just doesn't end around here. Turn the page? No way, Jose! Not when I can take a sip of my margarita instead!

The black bean burgers were surprisingly easy to make, but I am a bit baffled by Isa's assertion that these would be "very firm" when cooked, since they weren't. Again with the texture!! Sheesh! J agreed with me on the texture once again, and yet that didn't keep him from rapidly inhaling a burger. Hooray!!

I'm doing happy dances, and you need to understand something about J: he is a meat and potatoes man to the core. Raised in the PNW by a working class single mom, meat is a source of joy and comfort. And although he fully supports me and eats primarily vegetarian (at least at home), he still loves meat and as you reformed meat-eaters know, meat analogs are best left alone until you haven't eaten meat in a while, since they generally fall just a bit short of what they are attempting to emulate. So, the fact that he is trying my experiments and even seems to be enjoying them somewhat makes me heart swell with happiness.

So, to reward him, I'm making him some Blueberry Boy Bait. Because if there is a boy I want to bait, it's one that eats fake meat happily!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I really shine when....

Yesterday I was a bit mean to myself. So, I'm going to give myself some hugs today!

I really shine when:

  • I have just showered and my hair is still wet and I smell clean and look all sparkly.
  • I have a classroom full of teenagers eagerly listening to what I'm teaching (unfortunately, this doesn't happen too often.)
  • I'm making food! :D
  • I read my baby boy stories before bed.
  • I find something fun to do that costs nothing, or nearly nothing.
  • Similarly, when I take my family on an outing that costs most people lots of money but I have planned it to cost us very little.
  • I play dragons with my son.
  • I let my husband sleep in and make sure he has coffee for when he wakes up.
  • I check out a book that my husband loves, or (rarely) purchase one that he loves. (We don't share the same taste in books at all, so this IS a feat)
  • I try something new that scares me, but I do it anyway and just love it.
That's all I can think of while my adorable child pesters me to play Nick Jr. games. Heehee!

When do YOU shine?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


For all SAHMs. Seriously.

I've been out of school for about a month now, and lemme tell ya....the moms who get up everyday and get themselves and their kids ready for the day, do interesting and educational activities, and keep a relatively clean house....well, they are just superheroes!

I've known this for a while, but it's time to make a formal declaration: I am not fit to be a SAHM. I am no good at getting us going in the morning (it's 12:40 p.m. and I just got dressed and my child is lying on the floor, half dressed, watching Spongebob), tend to forget about educational activities in favor of surfin' the net while my kid zones out to tv, and my house is a WRECK, which I attribute to us being here all the time.

P was in swim lessons a week or so ago and will be starting his next session next Monday. Thank goodness for that! Something that gets us out of the house gets us MOVING!

Maybe it's because we've had the hottest June EVER. (Seriously, folks. Since records have been kept, this has literally been the hottest June in Houston's history. Yeah. Lovely. Maybe it's because it's only been a month, and if I had more time, we'd create a routine (I'd like to think so, I would). Maybe it's because we are just a big bunch of couch potatoes who can only occasionally rouse ourselves from the sofa. Whatever the reason, it's fairly obvious: we are a big ole lazy family, unfit for home-schooling or even summer educational activities! The shame, the shame!

Now, that's not to say we do NOTHING. We spent the entire day at Sea World the other day and had a blast! We've been to the beach, and in an hour, we are off to the library to learn about sharks, skates, and rays! P is on a soccer team that practices 3 times a week (lucky for us, it's neighborhood kids, so it's FREE!). We have read a BUNCH of books, and have learned some anthropology and science, thanks to the NatGeo channel and especially to the Travel Channel!

However. I'll conclude this by saying that I am in full awe of all SAHMs and think that you guys ROCK! As for me, I'm going to let my kid play Nick, Jr. games and start mentally planning for the school year.