Friday, October 14, 2011

Quick Takes (76)

I came up with an awesome Halloween costume idea: the Flintstones! However, my husband informed me that he was too skinny to be Fred and it would be too cold for Miriam to be Pebbles. So I thought I'd at least share the idea with you, in case you have a bigger husband and/or warmer climate.

What are your thoughts on growing your own herbs? For some reason I romanticize the notion, but seeing as I've never actually cooked with fresh herbs, I don't know that it's the most important thing I could be doing with my time. Is there a good reason to use fresh herbs instead of dried? The little dried containers are just so easy.

I finally joined Pinterest, and as expected, am obsessed. However, part of me thinks I may be too practical for it. I see beautiful things, like rooms done in all white, but realistically I know there is no way I would ever have an all white room (even if we didn't have a child - I couldn't be trusted in one), so I don't bother to pin it.

Never gonna happen.

I know most parents are supposed to think this, but I'm pretty sure my daughter is the smartest baby ever. Evidence: I gave her an empty vitamin container to play with and in less than two minutes the childproof cap was off!

Wait, your child doesn't spend a good part of her day playing with the recycling? How do you keep her occupied when you're trying to cook?

I'm reading a book that really stresses having your child try as many green vegetables as possible before she turns two. So in the canned vegetable aisle the other day, I noticed collard greens and decided it was high time for Miriam to try them. Now I realize that they likely aren't the healthiest because (a) they were canned and (b) they were preseasoned, but seeing as I know absolutely nothing about collard greens, I decided this was a good place to start.

Turns out, Miriam really liked them! However, we decided she would never eat them again, because (a) we didn't like them and (b) they stunk up the whole house.

But then she was willing to eat them for her lunch the next two days in a row. This from the baby who loves carrots but never eats them as leftovers. So collard greens may be making a few more appearances. The can just holds soo much, though, that I'm toying with the idea of making them from scratch. What do you think?

I tried on a couple different outfits for my class reunion last night to get my husband's take. His conclusion? That I need to spend some money and revamp my wardrobe. Coincidentally, I had just been thinking the same thing when I finished reading Jen's article about aprons and thought to myself "Now if only I could remember to actually wear a decent outfit underneath my apron instead of gym clothes."

So while that does me no good at all when it comes to what to wear tonight, it is nice to know I have my husband's blessing to go clothes shopping! Before I go I think I need to finally sit down and figure out my style and all that stuff. My husband and I discussed it a bit last night, but you know how I like to research stuff before doing anything. Do you have any good book suggestions on the topic? I know Hallie and Sarah have mentioned some before, but I haven't searched their archives yet.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
Have a great weekend!


  1. I wish I would have figured out a cute family costume. Joe is going as Cookie Monster and they do sell Elmo and Big Bird costumes at Target, but I'm not going to shell out 80 bucks for those. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

    Pinterest is awesome! I mainly use it for crafts, kids stuff, stuff I'd actually do around the home, cooking and ideas for gifts. It's addictive!

    Oh, yeah... and childproof caps? Joe can break into them too. I think they should be called adult-proof!

  2. HaHaHaHaHa... I'm cracking up because you posted about collard greens. So did!

    They do smell a bit like cabbage or brussels sprouts, don't they?

    I made them this week (from scratch) and I quite liked them. One bunch from the grocery store made about a 2 cup serving. When I was looking for a photo of them for my quick takes today, I saw a few recipes that call for boiling, but I didn't boil. I basically put a bit of oil in the pan, some chopped onion (leftover from hot dog night) and added the clean, chopped greens. I sprinkled with a little vinegar and salt/pepper and a dash of red pepper (maybe skip that for Miriam) and I *just* now ate the leftovers for lunch!

    I suggest you also try kale and swiss chard. Both were yummy. Let me know what you think. :)

  3. The collard greens are hilarious. :)

    I think basil is a must-have, because you can make pesto, and pesto is...oh my. If you can't have pesto, is life worth living? :)

  4. we're going as Leia, Luke and Yoda. i iwhs my husband was here to go as obiwan or han :-p

    also, my son ALWAYS plays with the recylcing. ALWAYS!

  5. I got a Chia herb garden as a White Elephant gift a few years ago. It came with six options and three pots. One of them never sprouted, but the other two took off like crazy and had to be re-potted. We ended up with a giant amount of basil... and barely used any of it. I like it much better to get fresh herbs from our CSA subscription, because we get a manageable amount.

    When I was little I used to LOVE to play in the bottom drawer in my grandma's kitchen. She had plastic measuring cups and spoons and some other things, I don't know what all. I'd stack them up or pour water back and forth between them. It wasn't until I was older that I realized that those things actually had a purpose and weren't just a toy drawer for me :)

  6. Fresh herbs are awesome!!! The flavor of using them dried just cannot compare. This year I grew basil, parsley, and cilantro. I think next year I will grow some more variety. At the end of the summer I dried the extras and crushed them it into my little containers. They looked so pretty hanging in my kitchen. :)

  7. My husband and I don't dress up for Hallowe'en. It's enough trouble to find stuff for the kids. Maria is going to be a ballet dancer, and Henry...we don't know.

    My kids figure out child-proof caps around 8 months or so. They can even do the kind on prescription medicine bottles where you hold the tab on the side down and unscrew the cap. :(

    Collard greens? Wow. My kids are into peas lately. Henry especially loves to pick them up one at a time and eat them.

  8. There are certain herbs like basil that are better fresh and ones like oregano that work better dried. Do some online research.

    I recommend growing your own basil for pesto purposes and it's pretty easy to do.

  9. Miriam looks so proud of herself with that cap off!

  10. I love the Flinstones idea!

    I've only cooked with fresh herbs once or twice and I didn't notice much of a difference, but they do smell delish when they're growing in your kitchen!

    Haha, Pintrest reminds me of all of the things I will probably never do, but one day I've got a "bucket list" of crafts to tackle... or talk my MIL or sister into!

    I give Jack junk mail all.the.time. Someone once told me that mail is the dirtiest thing with traces of everything from germs to drugs... if that's true, oh well! He loves looking through junk coupon books and at postcards!

    Jack loved all sorts of green veggies (beans, peas, etc.) when he was younger but now that he's hit his picky 2-year-old stage he refuses to eat any of those! Ugh... he comes by his pickiness honestly though!

    Hooray for shopping!

  11. I love your blog!

    I definitely recommend growing a few of your own fresh herbs, especially basil, cilantro and parsley. I think fresh is so different compared to dried when it comes to these herbs. Other herbs like thyme, oregano, rosemary work just fine dried. I think it also depends on the kind of cooking you do. Just experiment and see what you like.

    You're story about the collard greens is too funny! I know where I live greens are usually rather inexpensive so I would suggest cooking from scratch because it would be a lot healthier and you can prepare them to your taste. I second someone's suggestion about trying kale and swiss chard, but also spinach too. I think Kale and Spinach are a little less bitter than collards. Good luck and thanks for writing!

  12. my friends went as Marge and Homer Simpson one year... white shirt and blue pants for him (she found some awesome polyester monstrasety at goodwill.) and she stumbled upon the perfect long gown (also thrifted) for her Marge look... and a big blue wig. ( her husband was already bald so that worked)
    Your baby could be maggie... in a blue footy sleeper.

    Easy peasey.

    Another couple did the Incredibles with their kiddos.

    or - steal from How I Met Your Mother... and do Salt and Pepper with Cumin!

    As for how to update your wardrobe - sorry, no ideas without knowing you better.

  13. Collard greens are really good for you. Just thought I'd share how I cook them. I buy a bunch of collard greens, not a bag of washed and cut up. Wash them. Tear off large pieces from the stem. Wash again. Bring a large pot of chicken broth to a boil and add the collards. Put in about 6 slices of salt pork. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender.

  14. This is the collards recipe I always use, although I usually add an extra cup of broth (and usually the low-sodium kind) and sometimes I add extra bacon :)

  15. I don't have a green thumb, but I totally recommend fresh herbs. I do parsley whenever I can. Rosemary is SO great to have fresh and it grows very well here in Texas. Cilantro is notoriously hard to grow. I don't really like basil so I don't grow it.


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