Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Durango Chicken

I was blown away with the generosity of friends and family after Noah was born. I was so afraid that gluten-free, dairy-free (with the exception of butter) post-partum meals would be too intimidating for people. But wow, we ate like kings for a few weeks there!

One meal in particular struck me as super easy to make, as well as comforting and delicious, and I find myself making it over and over.

Just wanted to record it here, since it's one of our new favorites.

Durango Chicken
(originally from Lindsay Lady)

4 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded to even thinness
Juice of 2 lemons (I often just use 1-2 Tbs of lemon juice)
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Melt the butter and add the lemon juice, paprika, oregano, and garlic.
3. Dip the chicken into the butter mixture in an oven-safe dish, making sure both sides are covered.
4. Cover the dish and store in the fridge for up to 6 hours before baking.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is done.

My friend brought this meal over with cooked wild rice* and a side of canned green beans with minced onion and garlic. Such a delicious combo! The rice makes a great vehicle for the leftover cooked butter sauce, too!

*Also something I learned from my post-partum meals: did you know you can cook rice like pasta?! Life. Changing.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Escape Artist

Here's something that happened yesterday: my kid escaped the HOUSE. Not just the room, or the crib, or the high chair. The actual house.

In the moment, it was so scary, and I was so guilt-ridden afterward. But thank GOD none of the 'what-ifs' happened, and in the end we're left with a funny little story that depicts Noah's personality well.

So we have a tiny house. The general living space is just two rooms: the kitchen and living room. Two bedrooms and a bathroom are blocked off by a baby gate, and one bedroom is blocked off as long as we keep that door closed.

Yesterday, Ross and I were prepping some food for the week. Oven on, blenders going, etc. Noah was crawling and walking around, making messes like he loves to do, and occasionally coming into the kitchen with us to bang some pots and pans around.

At one point, Noah crawled out of sight, back into the living room, and we didn't think anything of it. Then I noticed he'd been quiet for a minute, so I went to look for him, assuming we'd left a door or gate open and he was playing quietly in a room he shouldn't be in (funny how babies get quiet when they do something they know they shouldn't be doing...). I didn't see him in the living room, the baby gate was locked, and the bedroom door was closed. My heart skipped a beat. Something told me to look outside, AND THERE WAS MY BABY. WITH HIS WALKING TOY. TODDLING DOWN THE DRIVEWAY LIKE IT'S NO BIG DEAL.


I mean, we leave the front door open when we're home because we have a glass door in front of it that latches shut. Now, sometimes if we're not careful, the door doesn't latch completely, although we got pretty good about double-checking it once Noah became mobile. BUT even when it's unlatched, the door is really heavy for a one-year-old. In fact, as a matter of interest, I decided to see if he could replicate his escape, and he could not. On the first try, he got stuck when the door kept closing on him, and on the second try, the door knocked him down. (This was not a violent experiment, by the way. The door is not heavy enough to hurt him, and we were right there. Errr. This time.)

But. Assuming he gets past the door, he still has two concrete steps to navigate, without railings. We know he can crawl down stairs backwards, but walking? It's truly a miracle that he didn't fall and crack his head open. And a miracle that I got out there right as he was making a beeline for the street. The mind boggles at the potential for disaster here.

How he did this all, flawlessly, in literally less than two minutes, is beyond me. The only thing we can figure, is that Noah somehow noticed that the glass door wasn't closed all the way, saw a window of opportunity, grabbed his trusty walker, and made a beeline for the door, Platform 9 3/4-style. The wind must've somehow caught the door, held it open, and closed it softly, because even over the noise of the blender, you'd think we'd hear the door slamming shut. Then he must've used the walker to help him down the stairs (he can totally walk without it, and often lifts it up to change directions when he's pushing it around). Finally, even though he cries when I go outside without him to get something out of the car, he must not have cared that he was outside without me.

This kid.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Toddler-Approved Breakfast Cookies

Since Noah can't tolerate dairy, I'm a little bit obsessed with finding other ways to be sure he still gets enough healthy fats. Because, well, Mama can't breastfeed forever.

Anyway, these cookies totally fit the bill. And he loves them! In fact, if I take one away to warm it up in the microwave, he cries actual real tears.

Toddler-Approved Breakfast Cookies
 makes 2 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (may also use equivalent amount of applesauce or mashed bananas)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup softened coconut oil (butter would work, too)
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut (shredded, dried, unsweetened)
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, egg, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Add oats, almond meal, coconut, salt, and baking powder and mix well. The dough isn't as sticky as normal cookie dough, so a cookie scoop works wonders here. If you don't have one, form Tablespoon-sized balls of dough to put on a lined cookie sheet and flatten with a fork. These cookies don't really fluff up, but that's okay!

Bake for 12-15 minutes.