I’m trying to be all healthy and active and whatnot

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teh cooking and some other stuff

Please tell me that I’m not the only parent who occasionally (like once a day) says to her child, “Buddy, please, PLEASE just stop talking for like five minutes.” I feel like I’m stifling him or just being a bitch, but he really never stops talking. And while I totally appreciate that he’s asking questions because he’s just so curious about everything, how the hell am I supposed to answer stuff like, “Why does Godzilla sound like that?” and “Why do they make popsicle sticks?” I don’t know, dude. It was like that when I got here.

Anyway, with the semester in full swing, I’ve been finding that cooking gives me something to focus on that is usually something I can accomplish and it gives the three of us a chance to sit down and relax for a little bit. I’ve said before that I’m not a natural in the kitchen. That is, I can’t just walk in and cook something. But I’m more than proficient at following a recipe and I’ve even gotten bold enough to deviate from time to time…or sometimes I just forget shit and am lucky enough that it turns out okay.

My main source for recipes is Everyday with Rachel Ray and Everyday Food. While not all of the recipes are budget-friendly or mindful of the fact that crappier grocery stores don’t carry stuff like arugula, I’m usually able to pull about a month’s worth of recipes to follow from the dozens of issues I’ve accumulated. So far this week, I’ve tried out two recipes that I can definitely recommend.

Harvest Creamy Corn “Choup”


I know, I know. Ms. Ray is highly irritating with all of her cutesy phrases and speedy personality, but her recipes are kind of the shit. And this was a perfect early autumn dish and the husband and baby both liked it. I also took some tips from Miss Smilex and used a “garbage bowl.” I also chopped everything up beforehand and put the various ingredients in those crappy plastic bowls that you get wonton soup in from Chinese restaurants. We have a billion of those. Normally I just chop stuff as I go along and I think that makes the whole process take a bit longer.

As an aside, this “choup” (ugh) is not Weight Watchers friendly. I calculated it to be 19 points a serving. But my tactic is to use minimal points during the day when my non-WW family members and I aren’t eating together so that I can cook something “normal” for dinner.

Last night, I made Whole Wheat Pasta Arrabbiata with Arugula.


Like I said before, some stores (coughcoughWalMartcough) don’t carry arugula, so I just used spinach. Not the same thing, but it wilts nicely and tastes good. This dish was a big hit. It was spicy and fresh, also a good early autumn dish. Oh, I forgot to add the reserved pasta water, which I guess would have made the sauce a little thicker, but it still tasted very good. I calculated this to be 12 points per serving.

7 comments to teh cooking and some other stuff

  • Sounds good. Rachael Ray’s personality does grate on my nerves, but I do like her recipes. I would never be able to come up with recipes on my own, but I can follow them like a pro!

    I’m not a parent so I can’t comment on asking your kid to be quiet, but I’m pretty sure I would be saying it more than once a day. Maybe that’s why I just have cats and dogs.

  • Angela

    Oh my god. We went to get food last night at a particularly overstimulating diner with toys nailed to the walls (Paper Moon, for the Mobtowners in the audience), and every. single. time. I started to say something to the husband, the kid would Owen Meany at me, “I HAVE THAT SAME DOLL! DID THESE TOYS BELONG TO SOME KID? WAS IT OKAY TO TAKE THEM? WHAT IS THAT RED THING IN MY QUESADILLA? WHY DID YOU GET SOUR CREAM AND I DIDN’T? IIII’VE BEEN WORKIN’ ON THE RAAAAAAILROAD — WAIT, WHAT’S THE NEXT LINE?” Not only was she talking nonstop, she was talking nonstop loud enough for the patrons of the gas station two blocks away to hear her. Finally, I said almost verbatim what you did: “Buddy. Please. Take a break from talking for just a few minutes, alright?”

  • Oh, god, it’s totally the volume, too. Half the time he’ll be just shouting at me and I’m like, “Dude do you have no depth perception? Can you not see that I’m RIGHT HERE?”

  • A-yep. Welcome to Social Skills 101. (Hey, be thankful that they have the fact that they’re kids to fall back on. There are plenty of adults who exhibit much the same behavior…)

  • Amber

    You’re not stifling him. You’re teaching him social coping skills. If he doesn’t learn when to shut up, he’ll grow up to be on of those people who never shuts up or lets anyone get a word in edgewise. Pretty soon, he’ll learn to respond to nonverbal cues that no one is interested in what he’s talking about and, therefore, he should wrap it up. It’s good that he is inquisitive and precocious, but you have to put a cork in it some time or he’ll think he can get that kind of undivided attention his whole life.

    These are invaluable lessons.

  • So, Amber, what you’re saying is that I should purchase a wrap it up box?

  • jenn

    Arugula is comparable to cilantro in taste, fwiw.
    In fact, it’s much easier to prepare than cilantro and when I think of it is one of my favorite herbs.

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