Tuesday, March 19, 2013

You're doing it wrong.

Does anyone else hate the parent drop-off or pick-up line more than I do? Seriously, I can breathe myself through most any daily inconveniences: long lines at a grocery store, rude comments from coworkers, gum stuck to my shoe... whatever. But, somehow, the parent pick-up line is a curse in my day that will someday drive me over the edge.

Do you remember this scene from Mr. Mom? I don't think it meant much to me as a child who grew up in a rural area where people take buses to school. But now? Now that I live in the suburbs where every god forsaken helicopter parent feels the need to supervise their child at every moment of every day... this scene rings so very true.

Thank all-that-is-holy I only have to pick Annika up once per week to ensure a timely delivery to gymnastics... because once a week is more than enough. After waiting the 30 minutes parked in line with a 4 year-old who is predictably tired/hungry/thirsty... after her full day of daycare to get the once over from the duty teacher (thankfully some  strategically placed tattoos covering my right arm allow me to skip the ID check in the spring and fall) and then she will let the child into my car. The child who inevitably ask, "Mom, why can't you get here sooner???"

To which I have to reply I got here 30 minutes before the school even let out, yet I am STILL 40th in line! I swear these parents drop the kids off at the front in the morning and then circle around the back to start waiting for the pick-up.

Seriously, go back and watch Mr. Mom now... it has taken on a whole new meaning now that I am the parent.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Recipe: Penne with Ricotta and Crispy Pine Nut Topping

My 12-year-old has hit one of those coming-of-age moments: she has decided to be a vegetarian... for one month. I think most girls go through it at some point, I know I did. Unfortunately for her 2 sisters, I am not a short order cook and what one person eats for dinner... we all eat. Congratulations Annika and Acadia, you are also vegetarians this month!

While I am fairly well versed at vegetarian cooking, trying to find dinner recipes to please a 4 and 7-year-old is not quite as easy.  I have found a few meals that all 3 girls (and myself) do like. And when Acadia woke this morning and asked if she could have last nights penne for breakfast, I knew it was a recipe I just had to share.

Here you go:

1 1/2 cups penne
1 tbs plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
2 tbs shallot finely chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 1/2 tsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup ricotta
3/4 grated parmesan, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbs pine nuts
2 tbs panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp dried basil

Cook the penne until al dente. Drizzle with 1 tsp oil and keep warm. Preheat your broiler and oil some ramekins and place on cookie sheet. Heat 1 1/2 tsp of the oil in large saucepan. Add shallot and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Stir in flour until paste forms. Gradually whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stirring until sauce thickens (if it gets too thick, add a bit more milk.) Slowly stir in ricotta and 1/2 cup of parmesan. Remove from heat and add in fresh basil. Stir penne into sauce. Spoon mixture into your ramekins.

Combine remaining parmesan, 1 1/2 tsp oil, pine nuts, dried basil and panko. Sprinkle about 1 tbs over each ramekin. Broil 2-3 minutes or until topping is browned.

It's that easy. It was quite yummy and pleased all three girls... which is hard to do! All I can say, though, is make sure your bread crumbs are panko and do not skip the pine nuts. That crispy topping really made the whole dish.

*I adapted this recipe from Vegetarian Times magazine, which I highly recommend for some great recipes. I also love that I can get it on my Nook (or Nook app) for even more convenient reading.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mommy and Me Monday: My baby girl.

This is how I wake up most mornings that I have the girls. Acadia loves... LOVES to snuggle with Momma. She always says, "Mom, you have the warmest, most comfortable bed in the whole world!" And I do not mind a bit. I know I have repeatedly said this, but I am savoring every last moment before this little girl starts kindergarden. Actually, until her sisters get out of school in June. These are the last few fleeting months that her and I will have alone time... and I truly treasure it.

I must kiss her 100 times a day... because she lets me... and who knows how long that will last. Just look at that smile... could you resist?

Go visit Krystyn for more Mommy and Me moments.