Thursday, April 30, 2009

Irish Eggplant Parmesan

Yes, that is correct. I say this because I made some changes to the recipe and was told by the "Sicilian" it wasn't "traditional," but still good (smart man). Basically, I thought the eggplant was yummy just off the cookie sheets AND I was hungry THEN, AND I can't cook for hours on end with the little man running amok...hence, I bring you Irish Eggplant Parmesan - the healthier (because that's what the Irish are known for??), easier, and faster way to enjoy eggplant parm that won't leave you smelling like a Fry Daddy (thank you, Martha Stewart for you assistance)

My alterations......
I made my own sauce.
I made my own bread crumbs out of multi-grain bread - you really can't tell the difference. Worth it - I'm really trying to avoid white food!
At the end of step 2, instead of switching to 400 degrees, I put a slice of fresh mozzarella on every round and turned on the broiler for 5 minutes.
I completely ditched step 3 (the part that makes it "traditional") and put some whole wheat pasta on a plate with sauce, tossed 3-4 eggplant rounds on the pasta and shredded some parmesan on top. Done.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

lonely quilt top finds a home

I made and quilted this 10.5 years ago and it has sat in my sewing pile ever since! It was originally going to be a twin but it became 2 baby quilts. The other is still in my pile. My friend just had a baby (welcome little Leo!) and I decided to finally give this a home. I had blanket binding in my stash as well, so I pinned, zig-zagged and voila! As you can see in the close-up shots, I was going through a Van Gogh phase at the time I started this quilt. I actually bought the fabric in Florida when I was on my 2nd clinical rotation in PT school. It has made quite a journey..... Now off to Maine it goes!

Springtime on Fiddlehead Lane

Monday, April 27, 2009

meeting the challenge

Yea! Finally something I have created with my own 2 hands to post =) I met my local and seasonal challenge today. I bought some locally raised ground lamb, some local yogurt and pita bread, and made a recipe that I have adapted from a few I researched online. This is the second time I have made this and it is really yummy, although I learned today that fresh mint makes a huge difference in the flavor and is definitely worth it (today I used dried).

Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

Preheat oven to 450. Saute 1 medium onion finely chopped in 1 Tbsp olive oil. Toast 2 slices of bread and using food processor make into bread crumbs or use 1/2-3/4 cups of store bought bread crumbs (welcome to my recipes! no set amounts!!). In a large mixing bowl beat 1 egg. Mix in 1 pound of ground lamb, cooled onion and its oil, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste and 1/4-1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint (I use lots - love mint). Mix well with your hands. Roll 1" diameter meatballs and place on cookie sheet. This will yield about 40 meatballs. Place in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Yogurt Sauce...........
(making ahead allows the flavors to mingle, but not essential)
Mix 1 small container or 1 cup of plain yogurt (I used local sheep to really "lamb" up the recipe. Ha, ha. Actually we have a local sheep farm that makes yummy yogurt. Win win.) with 1/4 chopped fresh mint and 1/2 tsp salt.

Serve with/in/on pita with sauce, or however else you like. Delish, and very spring-esque.

(for those who are lamb-shy, I used to be, as well. Lamb is really not as gamey as it is often made out to be. It is more interesting than ground beef for sure. I am a huge fan lately. It is also high in iron and a great food for babies. Pork is iron-rich as well, but who is really having a hankering for a pork chop right now????)

eating seasonally AND locally

This is always a mission of mine. Easier said than done, often.
Here's a website I just found. I haven't perused it enough yet to give a full review, but like the drop down tabs where you can customize your location and time of year.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I seem to be impaired in the creativity arena these days! I have had no desire to cook and have no grocery shopping motivation. What I've really been doing is trying to finish knitting this cute vest I've been working on for Charlie since OCTOBER.... Thank goodness he's a little pip and hasn't grown too quickly, and that I made it a size bigger then he was at the time. My problem with knitting is that I'm great at the process and enjoy the relaxation in the mindless, rhythmic stitches. I am NOT good at finish work. To be fair, it's also difficult to finish a knitting project when it is in the 80's! When the heck is this kid going to wear this thing, anyway??? Oh well.
I have other projects in the works (as always). I just ordered some fabric to make an easy throw quilt (an idea I dreamt up 3 days ago when sleet was hitting the windows - gotta love the Northeast and its weather) and ordered some essential oils and other supplies to make some body care items. My parents got me a great book for my birthday - Organic Body Care Recipes... I LOVE the book. I want to make everything in it!
I am also lacking motivation because I was treated to a spa day yesterday by papa bear and family. SOOOO wonderful! I was at the spa for 5 hours. Unreal. I feel very loved, very pampered and very lazy today. 32 is looking great so far =)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Goat Patrol!

I am in love with this! I have a friend in NC who just used them. How simple is this idea????

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

a great website

My parents gave me the corresponding book and I love the ideas in it, which led me to the website. Instead of recommending the book, I will recommend the website as a good deed for the day - less money, less paper!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mother Shock

I'm almost done the book.  It is entertaining.  I think it would have been more of a "oh thank goodness I'm not the only one who feels this way!" read if I had read it when Charlie was 4-6 months old.  One good thing I took away from it is reassurance that I can be too hard on myself and that there is no perfect way to be a mom.  Also, it has helped me realize that I know my child better than anyone else, so I need to trust myself and my instincts more.  I know what I'm doing!  I liked the author's reluctance to be called a mom the moment her child was born.  She said it made her feel out of place - why should she get the rank "mom" immediately when moms who have been mothering for years get the same status.  I felt the same way. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A good use for leftover pasta

I made this last night after seeing it on Food Network.  It beats eating plain old pasta and sauce 2 nights in a row.  

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Passover Seder

No, we aren't Jewish.  As Adam told one of his patients, we're just pretending we are this week.  Holidays, whether I celebrate them or not, always give me an excuse to try new recipes.  This week I made matzo ball soup and macaroons.  Here are the recipes I referenced.  
I didn't make my own broth, and used vegetable oil instead of schmaltz.  I also put chopped dill and parsley in by matzo balls.  Definitely use seltzer for the balls - it makes them lighter for sure.
I over toasted (by a lot) my first batch of coconut, so I had to improvise a bit and add more almond.  It was still good - a bit too meringue-y.  The problem was the batch of coconut I forgot about and burnt was long shred and all I had left was short, so I didn't get the yummy and pretty coconut look.  I also didn't get around to dipping them in chocolate, or taking pictures before we started eating them (the whole reason I picked the recipe)!  Oh well.  I'd make them again.  

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009


This idea came from a friend of mine. I am so glad I was able to capture how perfect and tiny Charlie's little feet and hands were when he was brand new. I used Delight paper clay It dries to be feather light and is non-toxic. My friend had the name plates with birth date made for me at an engraving store, and I attached the plate with doublesided tape and the well-dried hand and footprints with a hot glue gun, as the back of the shadowbox is felt. I made one for us and I also made shadowboxes for Charlie's grandparents and great-grandparents. I remember the day I got the foot and hand impressions. I was still in new mom euphoria/shock, but Charlie was about 3 weeks old, so I wasn't feeling like such an amateur (meaning I finally had the courage to attempt the project). I remember it was the middle of the day, and I had Charlie lying on a blanket on the floor while the movie "About a Boy" with Hugh Grant was on TV. I was trying to figure out how to get his fingers spaced apart evenly and how to smoosh his hand into the clay without leaving any of my fingerprints, etc. I remember shaping the clay and putting it on a cutting board and then putting his hand in the clay and gently pushing each finger into the clay in careful new mom fashion (i.e. very deliberately, VERY slowly and worried about EVERYTHING). I'm sure getting all 5 hands and all 5 feet took me the entire movie. It was all worth it, and now every time I look at it I think of Hugh Grant.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Charlie's house

Those who follow Madphrey will know this. I have to post it though - it is 
too adorable.... Charlie's house. Dreamt up, designed, and executed 
by Adam. It is made from very thick cardboard from a shipping box that 
contained medical equipment for one of Adam's patients. The patient 
couldn't wait to see pictures of Charlie and his house. She was so excited to donate the box to the effort. Charlie loves it. We had to install a 
doorknob on both sides of the door, as originally it only had an outside 
knob and Charlie was desperately trying to shut us out of there without 
pinching his fingers. If we are missing anything, it is likely in the garbage 
or stashed in his house.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Almost as good........

......... as the candied citrus peel and 1/10th the time. Definitely a more appropriate recipe for me these days! Melt chocolate in double boiler... dip pretzel... sprinkle with anything you've got lying around, place on wax paper lined cookie sheet - refrigerate to harden, DONE. Next time I want to sprinkle them with toffee bits.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Am I really losing my mind or is this the new normal?!!!!

Feeling worn out and needing a good laugh a week or so ago I searched out funny mothering books on amazon. I selected Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It by Andrea Buchanan. I just received it today and will give the low down when I finish it. I can say that the Introduction is already proving to strike a chord. When it rains it pours, right? Well, I turned on Oprah today and it was a show all about the secret lives of moms. No, not an expose about how we really have secret fabulous agendas and manage to keep things together much easier than we let on. It really was the dirty truth about motherhood revealed. Same premise as my book. Funny stuff. See, I suffer at times (okay a lot) from this guilt that I shouldn't feel stressed out and should always have the house clean, laundry done and neatly folded (my goal many days is just to get it in the correct drawers, as Charlie comes along and rips it all out anyway - why fold??), yummy dinner that is not out of a box or takeout (really I enjoy cooking and feel robbed when I can't cook), etc, etc, etc as I am fortunate at this time to be a stay-at-home mom of only one child. (Long sentence!)  Whenever I feel like I'm dragging or pissy I think of all of the people out there who have it so much harder than I do. Guilt is such a wonderful thing. I create it myself. Lovely.  I have been told it is completely pointless.  I hear that - just don't feel it yet.  Anyway...  tangents....  I am feeling less crazy having experienced these encounters with moms who are talking about the less glamorous and more stressful sides of motherhood.  At the same time, I am stumbling upon all of these blogging moms with so many interesting things to say.  I'm loving these blogs, as blogging is my destressor these days - it's comforting to see others out there.  One blog I learned of today is  I haven't looked at it much yet, but she seems like good comic relief and is braver than I as far as voicing (to the masses) her daily experiences....  I have decided I'm not losing my mind (yet).  YES, this IS the new normal, and I will be fine, so long as I know I'm not the only one out there.  =)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

birthday crowns

These are made out of the left-over banner felt. The back is scrunchie-style to accommodate growing heads. Here's picture of Charlie (reluctantly) modeling his. The last picture is the crown next to his birthday ring. I stumbled upon this old German tradition and thought it was so cute. They don't typically have photos - that's my own 2 cents.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

candied citrus peel dipped in chocolate

Sounds yummy, right? I saw a picture of these somewhere about a week ago and I just kept thinking about them, so I made them last night. I will spare myself from retyping it - it was a L-O-N-G recipe. Here is the link... Let me preface this by saying there is a reason I'm not the world's best baker, which is the same reason I will not be making my living as a candy maker either. The process is long and detailed and requires a precise, non-corner-cutting cook. That is not me. I'm the type that opens the cupboard and throws together whatever I can find and dinner magically appears. I can't stand following recipes - it's just too tedious. That said, I did enjoy sneaking away and having a solid block of time to myself, so I tried to revel in it. Instead of 4 oranges I used 1 grapefruit, 1 orange and 1 lemon. I also only half dipped the strips. The process from start to finish took a total of 2-2.5 hours.... Yes. It takes that long. I knew this going in, but by the end of it, when your careful hand really makes your product look nice, I was too tired. I was so excited to taste them and was SO disappointed when the were exceedingly bitter! I tried my best to really get all of the white pith out, but obviously it wasn't a good enough effort. I hoped the chocolate would counteract the bitter, but no. SIGH! Oh well. I have eaten some of them just because. They aren't so awful, but I just had this idea in my head of the yumminess of candied orange peel that I have had before from a store.... the next time I crave such yumminess, to a store I will go...