Monday, June 18, 2018

A Day of Pickling: Homemade Dills, Pickled Radishes, and Sauerkraut

Every once in a while, I get hit with this wave of "DO ALL THE THINGS!"  On this particular day, I had tiny cucumbers--so when I started the day, my only plan was to make pickles. I've made my garlic dill pickles plenty of times--pretty easy peasy.
Maybe too easy.  Because then I was like, "hrm...I still have more free time, and the kid is still asleep....what else can I make???"

We had some red cabbage that needed to be used up, so I thought, "how hard is it to make sauerskraut?"

The answer?  Not hard at all.  Pretty ridiculously easy, actually.

Step 1: Chop up cabbage & add some salt.
Step 2: Give it a massage.
Step 3: Put it all into a sterilized jar, cover it with a full cabbage leaf, press it down, and put it in a dark place for 3 days. Vent once a day so the jar doesn't explode.  
Step 4: Stick it in your fridge and enjoy!
Step 5: Nom on various things, but mostly brats.  Or, just eat it with your hands, like our kid does.
Lil' Man decided to help himself while I was doing my photo shoot.

Then, once I had my jar o' cabbage tucked away in the pantry, I still had some time left (and some random jelly jars), so I thought "well...those radishes in the crisper really need to get used up too."

Turns out, pickling radishes is also stupid-easy.
And they're amazing.  Especially with something that's fatty or sweet (or both) to add a nice contrast of bite.  I made some garlic beef & broccoli lo mein earlier this week and served these on the side. A perfect compliment.
So now we have a fridge full of pickled things.  It's a pretty tasty place to be.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Adventures in Parenting: Potty Training & Pacifiers

So, Lil' Man is now 2 1/2 years old.  He's a pretty good kid.
Hanging out with his cousins.

We had to get ear tubes in April because of persistent ear infections and a speech delay, and honestly, I think we're seeing a big improvement in his speech and hearing.  However, words that were already regularly in his vocabulary pre-tubes are still pretty mushy, like a lot of his BFF's names at day care. No worries, we'll get there.

So, onto next battles:  

1) The Binky.  We have already whittled binkies down to bedtime/naps only.  But we've had a really hard time trying to pull the trigger.  So...we brought in reinforcement.
In the form of a duck.
Got this book from the Library, and we've been reading it each night. I didn't know it before we got it, but this is probably the perfect book for him.  In this book, Mama Duck weans Baby Duck down to "only in bed, sleepyhead", before finally taking the paci away 100%.  We knew we were going on vaycay in May so we didn't want to do it before that (since sleeping in unfamiliar places is always a crapshoot).  

Once we got back, the Hubs started to slowly whittle his binky down.  We started by just cutting off the tip.  Lil' Man saw it, and held it up to me: "Mama, wook--my binky bwoke!"  And yet he still proceeded to stuff it into his mouth.  Right now, there's only about an inch left.  He has to be holding onto it with his teeth...but he's not letting go so easy.  My suspicion is that eventually, all of the nipple part will be gone and he'll just use it as a fidget toy. 
Or, he will climb out of his crib in the middle of the night, come into our room, and proceed to beat us with the remaining stub.  One of those options.

2) Potty Training.  Lil' Man has zero interest.  He's inadvertently peed in the potty a total of about 3 times in the last 6 months.  It's a battle to get him on the potty after he brushes his teeth (the teeth-brushing is it's own battle), and then once he's sat down and started playing with his bath toys, it's a battle to get him OFF the pot and into his jammies.

We tried saying "if you pee-pee in the potty, you get a candy".  His eyes lit up: "TANDY?"  And then it's all he talks about while he's sitting there.  But once he discovered that there's no candy for simply SITTING on the potty, cue the waterworks.

We I accidentally broke the toilet seat in the bathroom I share with the kiddo (apparently I don't know my own strength...or at least the strength of my butt.)  So we got a new seat that has the little "kiddo sized" seat that folds up into the lid.  Tried to see if maybe going on the "big potty" would be more of an enticement?  Nope.
So I bought a copy of this book on Amazon...I have yet to read it. (In my defense, I was finishing Nicholas Sparks "Best of Me" first...which I borrowed from my mom like 2 years ago.)  But hopefully it contains all the secrets to potty training. 
Until then, here's another 3-4 months' worth of crap-capsules.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Bacon-Wrapped Crappie (Sac-a-Lait) & Honey Grilled Peaches

So...they tell me it's spring?  Right now, I believe it---but that snow/sleet combo last weekend makes me question our weatherman.  But you know what spring means...the crappie are biting!  I grew up crappie fishing with my parents (if I'd grown up in Louisiana, we'd call it "sac-a-lait" fishing, but I didn't).  Spent nearly every warm weekend on the water...and I have ALL the embarrassing photos to prove it.

Proof that I too was once a sassy teen with no sense of style.

I am a 37 year old woman...whose mom still brings me food.  Does anyone else have a mom like mine? I mean, I'm not complaining.  I love it.  My parents love to fish and keep their (and our) freezer stocked.  A couple months ago, my mom called and said "I found some 'Cajun Style Bacon' on sale for $1.99 a pack. Do you want some?"

Of course, I said yes.  And she brought me like 4 packages of it.

The Hubs doesn't like it as much because it's a little sweet and too smoky for his tastes, but I like it because it's thick cut, not too fatty and very flavorful.  

So in a perfect homage to my awesome parents, I decided to use both the bacon and some crappie they caught to make bacon-wrapped sac-a-lait.  To accompany, since we were firing up the grill anyway (and we had some gorgeous Georgia peaches in the house), we made grilled peaches too. 

INGREDIENTS: (makes 4 servings)
8 crappie filets, lightly dusted with Cajun Seasoning
4 strips of bacon, cut in half to make 8 pieces
8 toothpicks

2 ripe peaches, halved & pitted
coconut oil spray
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon

To prep the fish, dry off the filets before seasoning, and then roll up the filet & bacon long-ways so they look like little fishy roses. Secure with toothpicks.
Place on the grill over medium heat (low flame, or away from the flame) and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the flesh of the fish is cooked through and bacon is crisped at edges.
On the top rack of the grill, place the halved peaches flesh-side down (after spraying lightly with coconut oil so they don't stick to the grill).  These don't need to cook so much as just heat through (and try to get those pretty char marks).

Combine the honey, butter, and cinnamon in a small prep bowl.  When the peaches are done, lightly brush them with the honey-butter mixture.

Serve while warm. Enjoy!

NutriFacts: (per serving-2 filets & one peach half)

  • Calories209.8
  • Total Fat8.2 g
  • Saturated Fat2.6 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat0.6 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat2.6 g
  • Cholesterol15.2 mg
  • Sodium202.4 mg
  • Potassium100.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate7.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber1.3 g
  • Sugars5.5 g
  • Protein24.7 g