Happy New Year! We have all been struggling with a pretty serious cold at our house. First, Grace started feeling sick. On New Years Eve, after throwing up a few too many times, I took her to the doctor to find out that she had a bad cold that had settled in her chest and she had two ear infections. As soon as we left the parking lot, I started to feel congested, too. I can’t say I’m that surprised. When a snotty baby sticks her hands in your mouth all the time, it is pretty much a miracle if you come out on the other side without contracting his or her illness. Even Andrew the H is coughing. She is a sneaky one with those snotty hands!
The other day, I was talking at work about how excited I was for Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays for many reasons, and I often make an excuse to celebrate it twice by hosting Thanksgiving with friends. It is a carb-lover’s dream! Dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, a little turkey on the side. How can you not love it? Until my friend at work said that she in fact, did not really like Thanksgiving food. It took me a few minutes to comprehend how anyone on this earth could not love Thanksgiving food and when I finally came to, she explained that it was the dressing that just didn’t do it for her.
Who has to work this week, raise your hand. Okay, now, who is actually—I mean, really working this week and who is just catching up on Google Reader, pinning new pics to Pinterest? Yep, that’s what I thought. I mean, I already did a much needed re-org of my work inbox, cleaned off my desk, put together some emails to shoot out on Tuesday when the rest of civilization goes back to work, and created not one, but two pretty awesome if-I-must-say-so-myself Pandora radio stations. I guess you could say that it has been a pretty productive non working, work week!
Well, it’s a miracle that I haven’t had a heat stroke yet. It is still at least 105°F outside every. single. day. I mean it’s only been two months of torture. But I promise I won’t groan about the weather today. Besides, I am hopping on a plane to Knoxville, Tennessee, where it is a balmy 89°F. I bet the grass is green there, the bushes full, and the flowers abloom. I can’t even wait! Plus, my BFF since the beginning of time just had a baby boy who I can’t wait to coo at all weekend long!
Well, well, weeelll. LOOK who turned one year old this weekend?! No, not Henry the dog. Plum Pie the blog, that’s who! I have to say, even though this little blog has a ways to go, it sure has come a long way since the beginning days. And if I am being completely honest here, I did have a “test” blog on blogspot for a few months before I moved to this one and let me tell you, it is quite frightening. If anyone could ever unearth that thing, you would surely agree with me. Just trust me.
Carrots, an underrated vegetable, are often overlooked in the grocery store. Why? Because many children all over the world have been scarred by mushy, cafeteria-style carrots (I know it isn’t just me). When I think of cooked carrots I always think of the mushy boiled variety or the packaged baby kind that frequented many lunch boxes growing up. The turning point for me may have been when I tasted spiced carrot mash or roasted carrots. There was actually life beyond boiling; carrots are really good! And even though nothing is worse than an overcooked carrot, they are pretty easy to cook and an incredibly versatile vegetable. Here’s a tip for avoiding mushy carrots: use a knife, test carrots for softness with a little bite (an especially important test when steaming or boiling).
Spring is one of my favorite times of year. Don’t get me wrong, I love fall too, but there is something about spring that always turns my mood around. The days are finally longer, which I swear makes me more productive, the sun seems brighter, and the flowers are blooming everywhere. Things just look so much more alive. Plus after winters that seem to last forever in this area, any day with a temperature over sixty degrees makes me crazy excited.
There is really nothing better than a middle of summer tomato from the farmer’s market. And after tasting one, it is even harder to eat mid-winter grocery store tomatoes. So what’s a tomato-loving girl to do during the winter months? Why, make slow roasted tomatoes, of course! These jewels are fool proof and provide the perfect flavor pop for your winter tomato blues. They take less than 5 minutes to put together then slowly caramelize and shrivel in the oven for most of the morning (or afternoon). If you have never tried slow roasted tomatoes before, you will be shocked by the change of flavor from simply roasting super low and super slow.