Monday, September 28, 2009

Bees, Baby Boots, and Bibimbop!

Much to my chagrin, flowers and bees in the yard today were heedlessly disrupting the autumnal mood I'm trying to hold on to. As was the ninety-something degree weather. Sigh.

These boots got broken out a little late, on what was the first sunny day in a few. But it was still pretty muddy out and this is when I realized they fit her, and they looked too cute on to resist.

After extolling the greatness of chicken stock in my last post, here is a dish for (most) everyone. It is both vegan and gluten-free (as long as a wheat-free soy sauce is used), and it's absolutely delicious. It is my version of these recipes, all put together (as suggested). (Just a note, "bibimbop" is one of the parts to it, which also appears to be commonly spelled "bibimbap.")

The spicy miso sauce is so good, I love it, and it was the easiest part of the recipe (really, really easy--took just a few minutes). I will definitely be making it again and again, for this dish and as a basic stir-fry topping, and perhaps for other things as well. I actually had only the teeniest bit of brown rice vinegar left when I made it, so I made up the difference with mirin, which I think worked out fine. I was so pleased with this meal. So tasty and healthy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sick Soup + Baby's Own Photo Album

I just made the second big batch this week of this chicken stock veggie soup.
It's so simple but so dang good, I can't believe I haven't been making this stuff for years. The key is making the broth (stock? broth? Is there a difference I wonder?) from scratch rather than using canned, which makes a world of difference in the flavor I think (I am quite convinced of this, but a side-by-side comparison would still be fun). Herbs and vegetables can be used too for the broth, but all I used was what was left over from a baked chicken we ate recently, simmered in water for hours and then strained. This I used (plus additional water so it would go further) as my base for a simple vegetable soup, seasoned only with salt and pepper (and garlic, if that counts). I used some butter, too, to saute the harder vegetables in first before adding them to the broth. I call it "sick soup" because it's perfect for that and my aunt made me some recently when I had a fever, but really it's an anytime soup, and we all love it (baby included). Enrique even thinks we should sell it, it's that good. And bone broth is really good for you, too. This article talks about it, and has a few different stock recipes, but I've only so far had a chance to skim it.

This is a little photo album I put together for Zoë the other day.

She likes photos and I thought this might help quell her desire to go tearing through mine. There are still some unfilled pages and I recently came across the idea of taking pictures for a baby of things it likes, like favorite toys and places, so maybe I will do that and add them in. Also, it is nice that these photos are sleeved so I can switch them out whenever and make her a whole new set of images.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hello Fall

This photo was taken yesterday; today is actually much grayer (and in the sixties!). I got these little pumpkins at the grocery store (Central Market) last week and just love them. There were tons more, all different shapes and sizes, and all completely charming. I am SO GLAD fall is here, I can't tell you. Woohoo!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mini Popsicles

So it looks like little Zoë Belle has hand, foot, and mouth disease. This is not as gross as it sounds. Or maybe it is, it does involve mouth blisters. But it is a fairly common childhood illness; a doula I spoke with about it yesterday called it "the chickenpox of the Northeast" (another name for it, "Coxsackievirus," is named for Coxsackie, New York). On the advice of that same helpful doula, I made popsicles (cold=soothing to the mouth blisters, and other methods of eating may be uncomfortable). I filled an ice cube tray with fresh watermelon juice then stuck a shortened wooden popsicle stick in each cube. (Breaking the popsicle sticks by hand created splintery ends, so Enrique hacked them down to size for me with a butcher knife). And, while not totally necessary but to help keep the sticks upright, I cut slots in a thick piece of paper, placed it on top of the ice cube tray, and stuck the popsicle sticks through the slots (you can just make out the paper there to the right in the photo). I will have to remember these tiny pops for next summer, when we're in the thick of the heat again (yes, I think we will still be here, but the move is still pending), but thankfully right now the weather is beginning to shift. (We're still talking in the 80's, mind you, but the other day Enrique overheard a woman exclaim "It's freezing out here!" Ha. Us crazy Texans).

Update: Just in case anyone else out there ever has to deal with Coxsackie virus, I just want to add that Zoe enjoyed these juice pops for a few days while she was sick, but then suddenly they seemed to be causing her discomfort--I'm thinking it must have been the acidity of the fruit and maybe the blisters were at their most sensitive then--so something besides watermelon juice might be more ideal. I thought about doing chicken broth (seems gross, but she might like it) or just plain ice, but she started doing much better, so I don't think I'll bother. She does love ice though, so maybe I'll make the plain ones anyway. The cubes are always slipping out of her hands and would be so much easier for her to hold with a little handle.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rainy Friday

Weather-inspired water color.

The last of this soup (minus the croutons--maybe I will try to include them next time).

And new toys!

Here we have a wooden book (inedible pages, yay! Yes, I know you wouldn't normally call paper edible, but Zoë would) and "Sophie la girafe," a rad squeaky teether-type toy made in France from natural rubber, and I am a little obsessed with it. I got both of these at an awesome baby store I just discovered in Round Rock (about 25 minutes North of here). Their online store is very good too and they have free shipping! So next time I might just order stuff and save myself the drive. I'd love to get these blocks, and I think Zoe would really be into that wagon they come in. But the funds to do so are eluding me at the moment. Must work on that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On the Road Again

This time out west, to Amarillo, and via automobile. The trip took us about 9 hours each way.

(Please ignore the blob on the car window in the clouds. I don't feel like Photoshopping).

"The Grand Canyon of Texas," Palo Duro Canyon:

And on the road home again:

Ahh, Texas. I love you but I don't (I do, and I will miss you when I'm gone) and you're darn big.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


At the pool.

Apple cider jelly from Vermont. Tart and delicious!

In the midst of an ongoing massive photo organization project.

Halloween stuff already! I always think of October 31st in Texas as marking when we're really getting into fall weather (finally). Hooray for that, when it comes.