2016-12-10 02:12 am

Where have the years gone?

I've done it again, journal, abandoned you without a thought as life continues on in its usual vain of blissful uninterest. I'm not sure that's even a word, but oh well.

My girl toddler's birthday is on Tuesday, and I find myself both excited for it and sad. She'll be four, which means she'll be exiting toddlerhood and marching well on her way to childhood.

I always found it extra adorable when she said her age.

Ana: How old are you?

Girl Toddler: I chwee!

Four just does not have the same level of mispronunciation adorability associated with it and it's irritating. Three is really the last number a child can mispronounce. By the time they're eleven, the next difficult number for a toddler to say, they won't be toddlers anymore.

I probably sound insane, lamenting my child's future inability to mispronounce her age, but oh well.

Where have the years gone? Wasn't it just yesterday when she was nursing? Babbling? Crawling? How did this happen?

I don't like it, even as I am eager to discover what the next few years will bring.

I told her she was to remain three forever.

Why does nobody ever listen to me?

:D
2016-11-27 11:44 am
Entry tags:

Brown Sugar-Glazed Marshmallow Yams

Originally called Brown Sugar-Glazed Sweet Potatoes, this recipe can use both interchangeably. They are not, however, interchangeable. I know most of us grew up calling sweet potatoes yams, but they are, in fact, two separate things. I used actual yams for this recipe, not sweet potatoes, so my experience comes from using those. I'm uncertain how the dish would come out using sweet potatoes, but I daresay it'll come out just fine.

For those who adore and wish to emulate the seasonal marshmallow yams our mothers or grandmothers used to make, but who have neither the time nor the inclination to attempt replicating gourmet prep or an 86-step baking process, or if you're just a beginner in the kitchen like me and want something underwhelming but wonderful, this is the recipe for you. The ginger and nutmeg really help to give the dish a subtle flavor that sets it apart from the yam dishes I've eaten in the past. I'm no good at describing like a professional reviewer how things should taste, but all I can say was that I added a rather generous pinch of ginger and I could definitely taste it on the back of my tongue while the nutmeg registered more at the tip. They flourished more in the aftertaste, once the sweetness of the glaze itself had eased off a bit, both a part of it and yet separate in their own way. I would think, depending on what you are seeking, you could probably add a bit more ginger or a bit less depending on your preference. I'd not skimp on the nutmeg though; it really adds a seasonal flavor, and both together were simply divine.

Yield: Serves 8, unless you horde the dish, then might serve only 4. :D

Ingredients:


Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Arrange the potatoes / yams in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

  • Combine the sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat.

  • Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. (Be careful not to overheat or over-stir.)

  • Pour the mixture over the potatoes / yams and toss to coat. (Be careful; hot sugar can burn quite badly if you get your hands in the way.)

  • Cover the dish tightly with foil.

  • Bake the potatoes / yams for around 50 minutes.

  • Uncover and bake until the potatoes / yams are tender and the syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes.

  • Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Top the potatoes / yams with the marshmallows and nuts.

  • Return the dish to the oven and bake until the marshmallows begin to melt and the nuts begin to brown, about 3 minutes.


Notes: I would heat the baking dish a bit before pouring the glaze mixture over the potatoes within, or the sugar will crystalize upon contact with the cold glass, causing you to need to stir the potatoes in the dish over a heated hob in order to salvage the glaze.

Be careful not to over-stir the sugar mixture or, I was told, the sugar will just clump and begin sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.

I did not use nuts in this recipe and it came out perfect. Nuts are totally optional in my opinion. I like them in bread (real bread, not muffin loaves) and precious little else.

I didn't add an Amazon link for the almonds because even I would never substitute a trip to the store to pay what they're asking for on that site. Forget it. Snowed in or not, I'd just live without them. I also don't think the mentioned sweet potatoes are red-skinned, but they're just meant as substitutes I think I'd probably use if I was in an absolute bind, not mandatory brands or products that have to be used in order for the recipe to come out right.

Anyway, this was a spectacular treat. I always loved my adoptive mother's candied yams, and I wanted to make some for my first real Thanksgiving with my girl toddler as well as the first Thanksgiving in Maryland. I did not, however, want to call to get the recipe, for reasons. If you follow the instructions above, you'll have a beautifully made dish all your own. Hey, if I could do it, the woman who manages to ruin everything in the kitchen, so can you. Give it a try! I know you'll not regret it.
2016-11-27 10:40 am
Entry tags:

Easy Bisqwick Bread, also known as the Easy Bisquick Muffin Loaf

This easy bisquick bread recipe turned out to be more like a muffin loaf than true bread. If you're looking for the golden-brown, fill the house scent of baking bread, this isn't the recipe you want. When baking, this smells more like cake than bread. Or, you know, like muffins. Since it's really just a big muffin. You may just want to scoop the batter into muffin cups. It may actually save you some after-slicing crumb clean up, for while the loaf holds together very nicely and has its own moisture to it (although not tons), it is still crumbly when sliced.

Approximate Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes (Or however long it takes you to prep the ingredients and then bake them.)

Ingredients:

Yield: 1 loaf



Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Mix first 4 ingredients together. (bisquick, sugar, egg and milk)

  • Beat vigorously for 30 seconds.

  • Stir in nuts (optional)

  • Pour batter into greased loaf pan, using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl clean, as the batter will need some coaxing if you want to get all of it out.

  • Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

  • Cool before slicing.

  • Let your girl toddler lick the spatula and stop worrying she'll drop dead due to a single taste of the forbidden, cakey batter goodness of raw ingredients.


You don't need to use any of the Amazon links provided. You can probably find everything you need far cheaper at a store like Aldi or Wegmans if you've got them. Those are just alternatives.

Note: Be certain to grease your loaf pan well, and if you must use a plastic spatula to loosen the bread from the pan afterword, be gentle or you'll break your spatula. Guilty. I don't think I greased it well enough, though I must say hardly anything was left over in the pan after the loaf had been turned out, and it didn't affect the taste or shape at all. It still looked like a muffin loaf, dense, a touch crumbly and entirely satisfying.
2016-11-27 10:34 am

Thanksgiving

This year's Thanksgiving was really spectacular. It was the very first time I've ever hosted anything at my own home. My girl toddler was an angel all day, and I actually ended up baking and cooking two of what was served.

Easy Bisquick Bread which I shall be renaming to Easy Bisquick Muffin Loaf since the texture and taste was far more muffin than bready, and Brown Sugar Glazed Marshmallow Yams. Which I was even more proud of than the muffin loaf. My girl toddler refused to eat them and her father isn't a fan of sweet foods, so that was a bit disappointing. I really thought she'd want some. But no matter. I ate them and enjoyed both immensely.

There was also turkey, naturally, mashed potatoes and vegetables. The entire thing was outstanding. I had loads of fun.

I'll post the recipes next.
2016-11-21 01:08 am

Welcome back, winter.

I'm not sure if I should say that winter is back or that I am back in winter. Either way, it's definitely here, and boy was it noticeable today.

My girl toddler's father and I took her to the park today, and I was pretty certain my hands and ears were growing icicles as we played with her. Moving from Florida, I owned no gloves or hat until we swung by Wal-mart after the park, and it was today when I realized, yeah. Might be a good idea to pick those up.
It was a great afternoon. She absolutely adored the park, then we went to get sushi (am I even spelling that right?), then we swung by Wal-mart so I could pick up wrapping paper, scotch tape, gloves and a hat.

Warmth. Much better.

When I moved, I was dreading the winter. I was pretty certain I would absolutely despise it as I used to, but I am surprised I don't. It's really refreshing to have seasons back, truth be told, and I find it rather invigorating. Oh, I'm still no huge fan of the frigid weather, but put some gloves on, a hat and a warm coat and it's all good.

My girl certainly enjoyed it. She had the entire park to herself. Not only was it freezing, but the wind was out in force. But she was bundled up like a baby escimo and thrilled to have the entire run of the playground.

It was an awesome day.
2016-11-18 11:10 pm

Someone stop me!

I think I'm having more fun buying birthday and Christmas presents for my girl toddler than she will have receiving them. I've never really been allowed to do so in the past. Family stuff I'd rather not get into right now, but there's something freeing in being able to give her and those I care about what I know in her case and hope in their case will make them happy. I'm still careful not to blow all my money, but I'm really proud of what I've gotten for my little one. I know she is going to be so happy, and I can't wait to see those reactions.

I'm not the type of parent who buys her toys and gifts just to buy them during the year, and so I think I will have a tendency to go a little insane during the holidays. This will be her first year with both myself and her father close. And while I'll not be at his house on Christmas morning for reasons I'll not share here, he'll be at mine and baby's apartment Monday morning. He'll bring her back Sunday night and she'll get to have another Christmas the next day! At her age, the actual day matters less than what happens, and it'll just make her feel special that she'll get two Christmases rather than only one.

As if she needs any further toddler eago stroking. Haha. She looks at me the other day and I was all, "I love you, princess." And she just sighs and was like, "Mommy, I'm a queen." Well, excuse me, little Elizabeth. Let me just polish off my royal curtsies. *grins*

Anyway, I've been having loads and loads of fun buying presents. Amazon is dangerous, Cyber Monday even more so, and someone needs to threaten me with loss of internet before we're eating carpet for the next month.

Okay, so I'm not that bad, but it's tempting to just take out a loan so I can put the world itself under that tree.

She deserves every inch of it.
2016-11-18 11:02 pm
Entry tags:

Alcoholic Eggnog

My wee one's father introduced me to alcoholic eggnog. I cannot for the life of me recall the brand. I'll need to check tomorrow and update this.

I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to alcohol. It has to be sweet. You'll never catch me shooting hard whiskey or tequila. I drank tequila once and oh my god I about threw up. Loved the effect, hated the taste.

But this? Holy Jezebel is it fantastic! I'm in love. It's strong stuff too!

Amaaaaaaazing.

I'll update with actual info tomorrow so you guys can, perhaps, find it. He got it from the commissary where he works, so it was way cheap, but I'm sure they sell it at regular liquor stores as well.
2016-11-12 04:31 am
Entry tags:

Presents

Bought some presents for my girl toddler's birthday and for Christmas. Some toys I think she'll enjoy. Future Aids isn't currently stocking the magnetic construction set I wanted for her. Guess I'll need to find something similar somewhere else.

Going to get her a trampoline. Small one. Enclosure so she can't fall out.

Haven't yet decided if I'll be giving it to her on her birthday or for Christmas.

Still need to get her a Christmas stocking. Don't think I have hers with us. Thought I brought it, but can't be certain.

Maybe some new coloring books. Large array of new crayon colors. She'll love that.

Books from Seedlings, perhaps, that I can read to her. She loves it when I do that.

Teddy bear, maybe. She loves stuffies. Doesn't really need new ones, but it will make her smile. I love doing that. Making her happy.

When I can.

Was thinking of some dress up clothing too. Will see what Amazon has floating around.

Wonder if there will be any nice sales for cyber Monday. On toys. Must be. I mean, it'll be the home stretch to Christmas at that point.

Headache. So tired.

Will write again soon.
2016-11-12 04:27 am
Entry tags:

Medical Things

Mild scoliosis.

Severe vitamin D deficiency.

Hypothyroidism.

Anxiety

Depression, or just a confused adjustment period?

I don't know anymore.

Working on stabilizing it all.

Guess it's working.
2016-11-11 08:22 pm
Entry tags:

Done It Wrong Again

My girl toddler enjoys selecting pajamas that have been unintentionally mixed in with her actual clothing to wear to daycare. As I cannot see to tell the difference, she often ends up heading off in a pajama shirt or pants. Today it was a shirt.

I feel so embarrassed when these are brought to my attention. As these slip ups happen, I feel as if I can do no right by her.

Maybe I am just having a rough few days.
2016-11-11 08:19 am

The New Cherry Coke

Girl Toddler: Are you Dracula?

Ana: No.

Girl Toddler: We don't like Dracula.

Ana: Nope. We don't want to meet him in the dark.

Girl Toddler: No, because he will come out and he will bite your leg and drink you like soda!
2016-11-11 08:14 am

Girl Toddler's Opinion of Parents

Girl Toddler: I have a good mommy and a good daddy!

Ana: Yes you do, baby bear.

Girl Toddler: But Luke Skywalker has a bad daddy.

Hear that, Vader? You have officially failed parenting class.
2016-09-29 02:27 pm

Updating From Maryland

I've been in Maryland for a day shy of two weeks now. My birthday is tomorrow, on the second week anniversary of my being here.

I've actually been rather busy, which is kind of an unusual state for me. It results in quite a bit more tiredness than I am used to, but also a sense of fulfillment. As of right now, my time is spent unpacking boxes and running errands, but the fact that I can do the latter at all is a serious step up.

I need to get into the habit of blogging again, because I'll admit that it feels weird to do right now. I remember I used to enjoy it, so we'll see how it shakes out in the long run. Perhaps some blogging prompts will help until I can write without feeling as if I am forcing the words past an inescapable block. I've been blogging for a fictional character for so long, maybe real life just seems far less interesting.

Dinner tonight is going to be beef stew if I don't entirely ruin it. If I do, then it's pizza, because I will undoubtedly be too ticked at myself to try cooking something else. I should probably go though to get that seasoning mix put together so I'll actually have something to season the meat with.

Until next time.

P.S. I apparently can't count. My birthday's on the first, which is Saturday, rather than Friday as I'd believed.
2016-09-06 02:52 pm

Open... What?

Girl Toddler: Open this for me?

*Hands over lollypop.*

Ana: Open? What's the magic word?

Girl Toddler: Sesame!

It's a new era, folks.
2016-08-28 08:38 pm

Girl Toddler Instructing On How To Make Smoothies

Who'd have thought. I've been doing it wrong for years! Apparently, to make smoothies, one must do the following:

"First you get a smoovie, then you put the yellow in, then you put it in the oven, and then you eat it!"

If I weren't so exhausted, I'd be laughing my head off.
2016-08-28 08:21 pm

Toddler Quote of The Day

"I really like soda, mommy. It makes you strong like dinosaurs!"

I'll be kind and refrain from telling her that if she wants to grow strong like a dinosaur, she'd do better drinking more vegetable juice. No need to crush tiny delusions just yet, after all.