Food

Mommy Time Savers

mommy.jpg

Happy and Healthy New Year!  As a new mommy of two, I’ve learned quite a lot this past year and my favorite thing to ask myself has been, “How will this save me time (and energy)?”  So, in the spirit of new year’s resolutions, here are my top mommy time savers:

(1)  Electric Pressure Cooker–This thing is amazing and I don’t know what I would ever do without it.  I use it primarily for meats, stews, and soups.  A dish that would ordinarily take at least a couple hours to make with my standing at the stove (what mother has time for that?) now takes an hour with my not even being in the kitchen.  I just toss everything into the pot, push a button, and go about my day.

(2)  Rice Cooker–I adore my rice cooker and use it just about every day.  Many people don’t realize that you can do quite a lot with a good rice cooker.  Not only do I use it to make rice, I also use it to steam vegetables (as a matter of fact, since I use it primarily to cook our veggies, I often call it “the steamer”).  And, like the electric pressure cooker, you set the timer and you’re free as a bird.

(3)  Grocery Delivery Service–Depending on where you live, delivery fees can range from reasonable to pricey.  It all comes down to how much your time is worth.  Being parents of a 2-year-old and 6-month-old, Derrick and I rely heavily on this service.  Sure, we’ll occasionally do the shop ourselves (if we forget to add on a few items to our weekly delivery) but we have the same reaction after every trip:  “Geez, that took a whole hour?” (if one of us goes to the store) or “We are NOT going to forget to put this on the list next week!” (if the entire family goes–and, yes, it takes longer for us to get the kids ready to go out than the time we spend at the grocery store)

(4)  Product Subscriptions–If you use any skincare products, I highly recommend this.  Many online stores offer a subscription service where they’ll send your products to you at regular intervals.  This not only saves you time but helps you to avoid the annoying situation of being in the shower and realizing all of a sudden that you’re out of your favorite facial scrub.

(5)  USPS Package Pickup–Because we do most of our non-grocery-related shopping online, we also make quite a few returns via mail.  If you’re like us, here’s a tip:  you’re eligible for free USPS pickup service if you’re mailing at least one Priority Mail package.  Just schedule your pickup online at www.usps.com.

(6)  Multiple Stations–Our home has two levels and when we brought our baby girl home, we decided that we needed at least one diaper changing station on each level to save us the hassle of running up and down the stairs with every diaper change (and if you’re parents of two or multiples under the age of 2, you understand the value of this).  So, we converted one of our loveseats into a changing station complete with a diaper pad, a month’s supply of diapers/wipes/baby powder, and a diaper pail.  To protect the loveseat, we draped it with flat bed sheet (but you can also use a sofa slip cover).  The key takeaway here is to have at least a couple “stations” for something you do often during the course of the day easily accessible to you (because minutes add up to hours and hours add up to days!).

(7)  One Size Ahead–If you have small children, you know that shopping ahead can save you the aggravation of impulse buying and/or having your child(ren) go without something for a certain period of time (and when you have kids, two days without gloves in the winter can seem like an eternity!).  This is why I always try to buy at least one size ahead for my children.  And it’s a great system.

(8)  Cook in Bulk and Freeze–This is quite common and self-explanatory.

(9)  No Holiday Cards–Before we had kids, I was the stationery queen.  Cards for everyone and for every occasion.  No more.  Other than handwritten thank-you and sympathy notes, we now use e-mail and social media to send birthday/congratulatory/holiday greetings via e-cards.

Hope you’ve found these tips to be useful–please feel free to share this post to anyone and everyone who would find it helpful!

Chicken Soup (Chinese Style)

soup

1 Organic Cornish Game Hen

2-3 Fresh Gold and/or Red Potatoes

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Ginger Root

1 Tablespoon of Goji Berries

1-2 Cups of Fresh Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

1-2 Cups of Shitake Mushrooms

1 Cup of Fresh Celery Chunks

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Red or Yellow Onions

2 Teaspoons of Fresh Chopped Green/Spring Onions

Add all of the above to soup pot or pressure cooker pot (placing chicken first and on the bottom).  Fill soup pot or pressure cooker pot with water until all contents are 1/2 to 3/4 of pot.  Program to cook in pressure cooker for 1 hour.  For stovetop (soup pot), boil on high for 1 hour and then medium to low for 1 hour.  Serves 3 to 4.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Menu

charliebrownthanksgiving

Hope everyone is geared up for Thanksgiving.  I am just recovering from three weeks of bronchitis and flu (on my last day of antibiotics) and it feels great to be blogging, again.  For those of you who have never tried Breathe Right nose strips, I highly recommend them (you can buy the regular version at any drug and/or grocery store but I’ve only seen the menthol version online).  They might even make great stocking stuffers and/or holiday gifts.

As for Thanksgiving, it will be a quiet one for us (with only a few weeks until the baby arrives).  This year, the menu will be provided by Whole Foods and a local Chinese restaurant:  Peking duck with scallions, Szechuan string beans, chicken corn soup, mashed maple sweet potatoes, mixed fruit platter, and strawberry cream cake.  Short, sweet, simple, and hits the spot.

McRipOff

FishFilet

Every couple weeks or so I’ll crave McDonald’s–specifically, their Filet O’ Fish Sandwich.  What I’ve noticed for the past couple years is that the price has risen and the sandwich has gotten smaller.  What is now $4.38 (including tax) used to cost less than $3.00.  WTF?

Eggs with Tomatoes

eggstomatoes
6 or 8 eggs
Half of a small box of grape tomatoes  (cut in halves) or three large vine/beefsteak tomatoes (cut in quarters)
8 stalks of green/spring onions (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
Olive oil
Soy sauce
Wok or large frying pan or large sauce pan
 
Coat bottom of wok (or frying pan or sauce pan) with olive oil
Add garlic
Add chopped spring onions
Add cut tomatoes
Turn stove heat on low
Break eggs into mixing bowl
Beat eggs until uniform
Pour egg mix into wok (or frying pan or sauce pan)
Turn heat on high
Stir and flip with spatula to ensure that egg does not get burnt
Add ground pepper
Add soy sauce (per your tastes)
Stir and flip with spatula
Cook eggs until done to your liking
Serve with white rice
 

New Facebook Page

fb

Finally, I created a Facebook page for this site (please “like” and/or “recommend” my page so that I may beef up my online presence!!!).  Part of the reason I did this was because I think some of my friends and family were tired of seeing my (at times) creepy poems on my personal page (which, clearly, are not “family-friendly” and some of my [personal] Facebook friends happen to be children).  And also so that I can post little tidbits that I don’t post on this site (such as articles on writing, etc.).  As you know, I do write children’s poems and stories but, this way (with this new Facebook page), I don’t feel like I need to censor my words.  So, thanks in advance!

Lust

krispykremedonut
Come hither, you beautiful thing
The desires from me you bring
 
Drawn to you I am
I don’t give a damn
 
Fill me with your warmth and sweet
You know you’re a wondrous treat
 
My husband need not know
To you I cannot say no
 
Ravish you I must
In me you I thrust
 
You are many a wet dream
My darling Krispy Kreme