15/52

Easter

A portrait of my daughter every week of 2014.

Some of the best moments of my day? Early afternoon. Lucy has recently awoken from her mid-day nap, and she’s happy to be held, cuddled and tickled. I carry her into our bedroom and we play together on our bed. She laughs and snuggles, and my heart swells with so much love. It makes the less glamorous parts of my day (the dirty diapers, the soaked nursing bras, the dust under the couch) melt away. I’m with my daughter, and we’re both very much in love.

Mom and Lu with HorseAs I type this, sitting on my living room floor, Lucy is crawling up my back and laughing. She’s so active now, and it won’t be long before she’s walking and running. I’m trying to treasure each day of her babyhood because they really are passing so fast. Today, we’ll nurse and play and share oatmeal for breakfast. We’ll walk and snuggle and laugh. Happy Spring and Happy Easter, sweet friends. Thank you for all the love and support.

Easter

Healthy Essentials For Spring

Hey there, sweet friends. The lovely folks from HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® asked me to pass along this information to you all…so many good savings and a few great ways to celebrate Earth day this Saturday. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend (Happy Earth Day and Happy Easter!)

HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® is offering amazing printable coupons, tips & tools and so much more for all the products you and your family love. You can save over $55 by visiting http://www.HealthyEssentials.com in April and signing up for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® program coupons and offers. 

While you’re there, check out some of these fantastic deals:

·       Save $1.00 on any JOHNSON’S® Baby Intense Moisture Cream

·       Save $1.00 on any LUBRIDERM® product (6oz or larger)

·       Save $1.00 on any (1) CLEAN & CLEAR® product (excludes trial and travel sizes)

·       Save $1.00 on any (1) NEUTROGENA® Sun product (exclude trial size)

·       Save $1.00 on any (1) LISTERINE® SMART RINSE Anti-cavity Mouthwash, 500 ml

·       Save $1.00 on any (1) REACH® Total Care Floss, or REACH® Gentle Gum Care Floss, or REACH® Dentotape® or REACH® Access® Flosser

·       Save $2.00 on any (3) NEOSPORIN®, BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive bandages or JOHNSON and JOHNSON RED CROSS® Brand products (excludes all trial and travel sizes, First Aid Kits, 10 ct Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages, and On-the-Go First Aid Kits. Must buy (2) different brand products to qualify for this offer along with a third product)

In addition to the great savings, you can be more active in your community by supporting Earth Day and the wonderful initiatives sponsored by Donate A Photo:

Donate A Photo. The free Donate A Photo (DAP) app allows consumers to make a difference by raising money and awareness for causes that they care about through one simple act – taking a photo. For every photo shared through Donate A Photo, Johnson & Johnson will donate one dollar to one of its non-profit partners, which each consumer can choose from a rotating list.

Earth Day. You can help support and protect a clean environment. Visit this website to find recycling solutions near you: http://search.earth911.com/?sponsor=jnj

For additional tips and facts on what and where to recycle: http://caretorecycle.com/

 

 

Overnight Pizza Dough

Overnight Pizza Dough | Anecdotes and Apple Cores

I just finished lesson planning. Only a few more weeks of the semester, and I’m happy to report that despite the demands of new motherhood, teaching has been a success. My students, for the most part, seem to be learning…and I think a few of them actually like me. I enjoy getting away two nights each week, and I know that Ryan enjoys the one-on-one time he gets with Lu. And Ryan’s sweet mom joins them each Wednesday for dinner and play. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Overnight Pizza Dough | Anecdotes and Apple Cores

Last week, we made a huge batch of pizza dough on Monday night. This dough is surprisingly simple to pull together, and yet it wasn’t without its challenges. I left Ryan to the recipe while I nursed Lucy to sleep only to discover that he had failed to weigh his ingredients…a must when using any Peter Reinhart recipe (or so I thought). I admit I was a bit perturbed when I realized he’d “guessed” at 2 ounces of olive oil. “That simply won’t do!” I said/shouted. “We’re making another batch. The right way this time.”

Overnight Pizza Dough | Anecdotes and Apple Cores

Ryan, being a wise man, didn’t fight me. He simply bagged up his dough and then sweetly made another batch with me watching him over his shoulder . “We’ll experiment with both batches tomorrow,” he said. And we did.

Much to my surprise (and Ryan’s delight) both varieties turned out wonderfully. My precisely measured dough was a bit wetter (which makes for a more elastic dough) while Ryan’s held up better under the weight of extra ingredients. You can’t go wrong. With or without a scale. And did I mention that this was Lucy’s first time eating pizza? Clearly, it was a win.

Overnight Pizza Dough | Anecdotes and Apple CoresOvernight Pizza Dough

4 1/2 cups (20.25 ounces) unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 (.44 ounce) teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast
1/4 cup (2 ounces) olive oil
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) water, ice cold (40°F)
Semolina flour OR cornmeal for dusting

Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). With a large metal spoon, stir in the oil and the cold water until the flour is all absorbed (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment), If you are mixing by hand, repeatedly dip one of your hands or the metal spoon into cold water and use it, much like a dough hook, to work the dough vigorously into a smooth mass while rotating the bowl in a circular motion with the other hand. Reverse the circular motion a few times to develop the gluten further. Do this for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are evenly distributed. If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet and doesn't come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a tea- spoon or two of cold water. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50 to 55F.

Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with baking parchment and misting the parchment with spray oil (or lightly oil the parchment). Using a metal dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you are comfortable shaping large pizzas), You can dip the scraper into the water between cuts to keep the dough from sticking to it, Sprinkle flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, dip your hands into the flour again. Transfer the dough balls to the sheet pan, Mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a food-grade plastic bag.

Put the pan into the refrigerator overnight to rest the dough, or keep for up to 3 days. (Note: If you want to save some of the dough for future baking, you can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag. Dip each dough ball into a bowl that has a few tablespoons of oil in it, rolling the dough in the oil, and then put each ball into a separate bag. You can place the bags into the freezer for up to 3 months. Transfer them to the refrigerator the day before you plan to make pizza.)

On the day you plan to make the pizza, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before making the pizza. Before letting the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours, dust the counter with flour, and then mist the counter with spray oil. Place the dough balls on top of the floured counter and sprinkle them with flour; dust your hands with flour. Gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil, and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag. Now let rest for 2 hours.

At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone either on the floor of the oven (for gas ovens), or on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven as hot as possible, up to 800F (most home ovens will go only to 500 to 550F, but some will go higher). If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.

Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift I piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. If it begins to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue shaping it. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss as shown on page 208. If you have trouble tossing the dough, or if the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax, and try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, though this isn't as effective as the toss method.

When the dough is stretched out to your satisfaction (about 9 to 12 inches in diameter for a 6-ounce piece of dough), lay it on the peel or pan, making sure there is enough semolina flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide. Lightly top it with sauce and then with your other top- pings, remembering that the best pizzas are topped with a less-is-more philosophy. The American "kitchen sink" approach is counterproductive, as it makes the crust more difficult to bake. A few, usually no more than 3 or 4 toppings, including sauce and cheese is sufficient.

Slide the topped pizza onto the stone (or bake directly on the sheet pan) and close the door. Wait 2 minutes, then take a peek. If it needs to be rotated 180 degrees for even baking, do so. The pizza should take about 5 to 8 minutes to bake. If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone to a lower self before the next round. if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone for subsequent bakes.

Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Wait 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving, to allow the cheese to set slightly.

Makes six 6-ounce pizza crusts.

from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

14/52

14/52

A portrait of my daughter every week of 2014.

Sleep. How it evades us. We’re nearing ten months of night-time nursing…and yet I get to wake up next to this sweet face each morning. It’s all worth it. Lucy’s cutting one of her canine teeth, which means she’s struggling with sleep even more. We ended up putting her in her cars eat last night and driving around our neighborhood in hopes the car and movement would lull her to sleep. It didn’t work. Of course.

We finally laid our tired baby in her bed at 10:00 pm. Almost three hours past her bedtime. Lucy was tired. Ryan was tired. I was tired. I tell myself that this season passes quickly. I tell myself that never again will I be “wanted” this much. And I watch her sleep…when she finally does…and all the frustration and exhaustion melts away.

14/52

Baby in Boulder

Boulder

Excited to launch the first, of what should be several, baby travel guides! As many of you know, we had plans to visit friends and family in Austin a few weeks ago…sadly, an untimely virus led us to cancel our plane reservations. Lu started feeling much better a few days later, so we decided to take advantage of our time off and make a small weekend trip to Boulder. Traveling with a baby presents its own set of challenges and rewards. I’m happy to say we had a delightful trip, one of my favorites, and I’ve been so excited to share our adventures with you. This post will highlight some of the more kid-friendly choices in Boulder (or at least, choices that worked for our family).

Shamane’s Bake Shop

Anytime a bakery makes sandwiches with their own bread, I’m eager to visit. Fresh baked bread and high quality ingredients make the sandwiches at Shamane’s out-of-this-world. At least that’s what I’d heard.

TurkeyClub

Only open Monday through Friday, Shamane’s was packed when we visited on Friday afternoon. Despite being located in an off-the-path strip mall, people had clearly spread the word about this talented baker.

SpinachSalad

After driving for a couple of hours, we were hungry and ready to enjoy a relaxed lunch. Between the turkey club, the monte cristo, and a spinach salad, we all had plenty to eat. Lucy eats strictly table foods, so she happily munched on vegetables and chicken, as well as a piece of that delectable whole grain bread.

MonteCristo

Curry-N-Kebob

Names are important to me. So when I heard about curry-n-kebob, I was skeptical. A little too cheesy of a choice in my opinion. But the reviews we read couldn’t be ignored. Ryan and I love Indian food, and from what I could find, this was the place to go in Boulder (perhaps the place to go in all of Colorado!)

Masala

Even better, it’s strip mall location guaranteed that it would be casual enough to bring a baby on Friday night. The service would likely be quick and we wouldn’t disrupt any white shirt waiter’s groove if we had to slip in and out with a fussy baby.

LuNaan

Well, don’t ever judge a restaurant by it’s name because curry-n-kebob was incredible. Even better, Lu fell asleep for half of our meal, which meant that Ryan and I got some much appreciated “us” time. The evening specials came with jasmine rice and naan, which all three of us devoured. I kept on saying, “This is the best Indian food I’ve had in my life,” and Ryan would just nod, dip his naan into our saag paneer, and smile.

Saag

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

The Dushanbe teahouse is a Boulder institution. Half the experience comes from soaking up the atmosphere. The beautifully and intricately painted walls extend high into the sky, transforming the tea house into an almost spiritual destination. That, coupled with a water fountain and fish, makes the tea house a baby’s dream.Teahouse2

We made an effort to arrive as soon as the tea house opened. Waiting for a table isn’t fun for anyone, but it’s especially hard for a nine-month old. Thankfully, we were seated right away and enjoyed a breakfast bahn mi and whole wheat chai pancakes.Boulder_BahnMi

Lu wanted us to walk around the tea house, and so we took turns eating and walking. When you’re traveling with a little one, you learn to adapt quickly to “the squirms.” You can’t expect a baby to sit still for three, hour-long, meals each day, so it’s crucial to choose restaurants that allow for movement…and to remember to tip well.

Boulder_ChaiPancakes

Boxcar Coffee

Ryan and I love good coffee. I survive on good coffee. Boxcar is the best in Boulder. Enough said.

Boulder_Boxcar2

Boulder_Boxcar

Cedar and Hyde

Ryan and I both love to shop at well curated stores. As many of you know, Ryan makes and sells jewelry, so we’re always excited to find stores that carry other inspiring makers and designers. Cedar and Hyde is located just off Pearl Street (the main drag in Boulder) and we spent a good hour perusing many of the store’s beautiful selections. Home goods, men and women’s clothes, and even a small section for children.

Boulder_CedarHyde

Ryan or I wore Lucy in the Ergo baby while we walked and shopped on Saturday. She stayed close and happy, and we were able to walk up and down Pearl Street with ease.

Boulder_CederHyde

Rincon Argentino

I’d heard great things about these emapanadas, and I knew they’d make a perfect Saturday lunch. Extremely casual (you order at the counter and then wait for your food at a table of your choice), Rincon Argentino was a nice change from the sit-down meal we’d had at the tea house earlier that morning.

Boulder_Empanada1

And let me tell you: get yourself some empanadas. These were incredible. I ordered two, Ryan ordered three, and I think we could have easily gone for another round. Flaky, flavorful, and accompanied with fresh sauces, these empanadas were worth writing home about.

Boulder_Empanada2

Afternoon in the Park

We talked about a long hike and then we talked about more shopping. But after four meals and a drive, we settled on spending the afternoon at a park behind the Waldorf School in Boulder. It was one of the better decisions we made. We explored the school grounds (which included a hen house and a goat pen), enjoyed a cupcake, and had a long relaxing nursing session. Even better, Lucy tried a swing for the first time…and loved it.

Boulder_Cupcake

Boulder_Chickens

Boulder_Swing

Ryan and I tend to be go-go-go when we travel, but with Lu, we’re learning the importance of slowing down. Our afternoon couldn’t have been better spent. After a few hours at the park, we drove to the flat irons and took in the views. Lu fell asleep as we drove back to our apartment (rented through airbnb).

Monet_Breastfeeding

Pizzeria Locale

This was by far our most ambitious dining choice. Pizzeria Locale and Frasca are sister restaurants. And if you didn’t know, Frasca is considered Colorado’s premier dining destination. Reservations are a must (and often must be made months ahead of time) and babies are not necessarily the most welcomed guests. Pizzeria Locale, however, is more casual and faster-paced. They serve Neopolitan pizzas that many of our friends rave about. But due to the reputation both restaurants share, it’s almost always a packed house.

Boulder_PizzeriaLocale2

We were lucky enough to snag a seat at the pizza bar, which mean that Lucy could watch the white aproned chefs assemble each beautiful pizza before sliding it into the wood burning oven. She remained happily occupied for most of the meal. Apple slices and foccacia bread helped.  Ryan and I enjoyed a delicious pizza and arugula salad. And of course, Lucy managed to charm everyone within eyeshot.

Boulder_PizzeriaLocale

Foolish Craig’s Cafe

We finished our trip at a Boulder institution: Foolish Craig’s. Although we enjoyed our morning meal, it wasn’t nearly as awe-inspiring as our other stops. Foolish Craig’s has been around for a good while, and the food seemed a bit heavy-handed. Regardless, we enjoyed our meal, and Lucy even took a few bites of her first crepe.

Boulder_FoolishCraigs

We look forward to visiting several more cities in 2014 (Portland, Pittsburgh, New York…) and I’ll be sure to share more baby guides too!