Quick Takes: Commerce, Cooking, Corn Dogs

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1. I walked into Isabel’s room this morning to find her STANDING UP.

I cried, just a little.

She was actually holding on to the side of the crib, with this look on her face like “how did I get here and how do I get back?”

It’s going too fast. I’m worried it won’t be long until she’s wanting to go to the Clinique counter to pick out lipstick — do you think they still sell Raspberry Glace? That’s my favorite shade and one I have used from high school on up until I discovered Sephora last year. (I like Sephora for its one-stop-shopping appeal. And for me it’s still cheaper than going to CVS because I can try on what I want to be sure I don’t end up with the wrong shade of anything.) (Note to self: Diane’s Tuberose is not your signature color.)

I ran into a friend at the grocery story yesterday, a woman who had five boys before she had a girl. She articulated exactly how I’ve been feeling: with the boys, I felt like I would always have a six-year-boy, because I always did. Well, I either had one, just had one, or was about to have one. I loved having a six-year-old boy, and I felt lucky this creature was a constant in my life.

With a girl, it’s The Girl. I’m trying to soak up every second.

2. I am trying a new dishwasher detergent. Isn’t it funny how switching certain household items can be so epic? (see above: lipstick)

So I had a coupon for these Finish tablets, $2 off. And the tablets were $2.25. So for all you non-Mathletes out there, I got the box of tables for 25 cents. Twenty-five cents!

Except, every time I go to use them, it makes me hungry for Smarties. Why do they have to look so delicious?

I haven’t let Henry catch sight of them for fear of him ripping into the entire box at snacktime.

3. I bought some new shoes last week.

Let me preface this conversation by explaining that my other everyday shoes were red Mary Jane Dansko clogs. Yes, all of those things together in one shoe. So cute. So sent-from-heaven-above.
I have been wearing these shoes for at least three years, ever since the day I walked into the shoe store and these size 8’s literally sang to me from the shelf. I’m not even kidding. I was walking around, turned a corner and light shone down from the heavens. The sound of angelic choirs filled the airwaves and I wept.
I grabbed the shoes, made my purchase and we have been inseparable ever since.
Fast-forward a few years (years filled with me wearing these shoes every day, except in warmer weather) and I love them. They are a part of me.
But recently I have noticed that I just wasn’t as comfortable in them, like I felt a bit unsteady. To be honest, they just felt too big. I was wearing socks with increased thickness until I was nearing ski-sock capacity and even with all that felt like I had to take slight, deliberate steps, especially when carrying the baby. Where was my cane? Should I switch to a walker?
Ultimately, the shoes were beginning to feel counter-productive.
I went out last week and found a wonderful pair of crazy-comfortable shoes. It’s strange because I went down a half-size (which explains why the ruby slippers weren’t doing the trick) and these new shoes? They are so comfortable that I just notice the comfort. It’s a strange feeling to be able to walk without worrying about my foot slipping inside the shoes.
The shoes are snug and comfortable and have a nice sole that makes movement a breeze. I’m not worried about falling or losing my balance. All in all, the perfect shoe.
They’re so perfect, I’m actually worried they’re orthopedic shoes.
What do you think?

Oh I’m just messing with you. Here are the actual shoes, which are indeed cute and comfy:

4. Have you heard about the Faith and Family Live! Mom’s Day Away? I am so excited about it! If you’ll be there, let me know. I want to meet you!

5. Dinnertime! I have some high’s and low’s for the week.

HIGH: Earlier in the week I made Barefoot Contessa’s Parmesan Chicken. Delicious! This is one of those concoctions that is simple yet complex — it’s a chicken breast pounded to perfection (the boys were happy to help with the whacking-with-a-rolling-pin step). You then dredge the breast in flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs/parmesan cheese — and then fry. (Do you call this step frying or just cooking?)

I was sure to do only one or two at a time (thanks to all of you who noted the over-crowded pan from last week).

You then take the cooked chicken and top with a simple salad of greens tossed with a lemon-vinagrette (olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh-squeezed lemons). So good! Great combination of flavors.

My only downside in all this is the sheer labor of standing over the stove cooking the chicken. Again, this goes back to my 30-minutes in the oven approach to cooking — I’d really rather just not be stuck over the stove for too long, usually because that means there are hordes of male human beings sneaking food in other sections of the house (I should feed them dinner at 4 p.m. but that’s another post for another Quick Takes).

LOW: I made chili yesterday (and this is something I’m really good at — have my own recipe and everything). I wanted to double it, so we could have chili last night and then chili dogs tonight (QUIT JUDGING ME). I put in two pounds of ground beef and then… forgot to double anything else.

Two words: yow. zer.
It was, um, meaty.
I kept complaining about it with every beefalicious bite. The men folk? They dern near loved it.
6. Chili dogs you ask? Why yes, they are my favorite food. Grilled hot dogs. Chili. Slaw, made with mayo and red-wine vinegar. Top it all with mustard and there you go. Good stuff.
7. Earlier this week, I was working on my grocery list and I asked the boys what we needed at the store. I always love doing this, not because I’m not sure but because it’s always fun to see what their version of “needs” is — we generally “need”: cookies and cream ice cream. Chocolate milk mix. Corn dogs. Flint and whetstone.
As I was writing down items for this week, Elliott mentioned something I had been forgetting to grab — more cooking oil.
“Good one, Elliott! Let me jot that down.”
Elliott sighed with deep satisfaction.
“Finally,” he said, “something I say gets put on a list.”
Thanks Jen for hosting Quick Takes!

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  1. Jen Raiche says

    Loved it! And, I love your shoes! The photo of the Grandma shoes was a really nice touch, too!

    I really love Rachael Ray's 30-minute meals. When she says 30 Minute she means 30 minutes. I agree that too much time in the kitchen can be a big stress on the family.

  2. LOL about the shoes. I think many of my grade school teachers wore those back in the late 70's! Now, what are the CUTE shoes you bought?

    The chicken recipe sounds great.

    And Raspberry Glace? One of my favorite colors! I hope they haven't phased it out.

  3. Love your blog post! I appreciate your humor for sure… cute shoes!
    I too am in a male dominated home up into we recently took custody of a 17 year old girl!

    I will certainly be coming back to visit your blog… love it!
    Oh, and never thought to eat my finish dishwasher tabs… until you pointed out how delish they look. Thanks! LOL!

  4. I've tried on the same shoes. If I'm not mistaken, they're Clarks from their Unstructured line. Definitely a comfort shoe.

  5. Try baking the chicken in the oven. Once you've coated it, spray it on both sides with a bit of cooking spray, put it on a wire rack (the kind that you use to cool cookies)set over a cookie sheet and bake in a 375 oven until it's crispy and cooked through. So much easier than standing over a pan and it tastes just the same.

  6. I got a little knot in my stomach when you wrote about soaking up every second with "The Girl" I got a little knot in my stomach and maybe even a little bit teary. I too have 5 boys and now a 5 mo girl and I too feel the need to "soak up every second." I love my beasties to pieces but this girly of ours…it's just different.

  7. They totally DO still have Raspberry Glace – it's my forever favorite….and once in a while I substitute Fresh Watermelon, which is a cute color but has a tendency to bleeed into the little wrinkles above my lips….feathering, I think they call it…..but you're still young and won't have to worry about that for a while.
    I enjoy your blog – was so glad to find it!

  8. Cita Online says

    Oh my goodness, I was scrolling slowly, and for about five seconds I thought you were for real about the orthopedic shoes. BIG sigh of relief when I saw your real shoes.

    Also? Not sure why your choice of shoes was such a dramatic moment for me…

  9. I saw the orthopedic shoes and thought "oh my gosh.." but then thought, "well, if she likes them so much than that's fine". My sister would wear them. Me not.

    I really like your cooking posts. Did you know that I like them because 1) they are about food and practical recipes and 2) b/c I get to hear your voice and the way you talk finally. I love blogs but they are so silent. Now I know what you sound like.

    So so glad to hear about the F&F moms day away! So it is in Stoneham Mass on Apr 2? Just making sure I have the facts right. Thanks for passing the info. It sounds like a dream to meet you guys. I have only just read about you in the magazine this whole time!

  10. Teresa & Shawn says

    So maybe you're the gal to ask! I am attending the Faith and Family Day, but signed up when it was back in October. Do my tickets still work for the April event? I have since changed e-mail addresses so was not sure if attendees had received an update, and I have tried to contact Danielle Bean about my questions, but no one gets back to me. Thanks!

  11. Teresa,

    Email me and I will give you the info.

  12. Thank you all for loving me enough to be concerned about my shoes!

    And yes, they are from Clarks, the Waves line.