So we met Santa. Turns out, he makes pepperoni rolls with Danish dough that he folds butter into for three days. True story.

Ian liked looking at Santa, but wasn’t so sure about sitting in his lap. He wanted to cry but held it together for the photo shoot. However, once mama was trying to select the money shots via the crappy PC the sixteen year old Santa’s Helpers were navigating while Ian was being sung Christmas carols from the big man himself, his courage waned and big tears started rolling.

He was fine once he was back safely in mom’s arms and didn’t want to give up the jingle bell. He traded it for a Westside Pavillion Santa’s Adventures book which he promptly consumed a full corner of. Mom got it out of his grip before he got to a staple.

All in all, it was a successful trip to the mall.

And yes, it does appear that Santa has fangs.

Not my most authentic smile.


How I really feel.


Okay mom, I'll give you one.

Doctor Jackpot

Well it appears that the fourth time’s the charm. Dr. Nancy Blumstein is wonderful! Real, present, she listened and looked me in the eye and shook my hand and everything. Ian didn’t cry and she takes insurance and we’re on the exact same page in the gnarly book entitled Vaccinations.

I’m sold.

Here’s Ian’s stats as an 11 1/2 month old boy:

22 lbs (50th percentile)
31 inches long (92nd percentile)
17.75 head circumference (big brains)

I’m gonna try to feed him more. It’s hard because he’s not super into food, so I can’t tell if he’s hungry or not. I’m still nursing a lot so I’m not super worried. I’m sure more will be revealed as time goes on.


There was a lot of it. It was delicious.


As my friend and client, Denise, wisely told us, cut your turkey and put it on top of the stuffing. Done in an hour and a half, juicy with crisp skin, and the stuffing has soaked up all the drippings. Swoon.



Spiced yam mash.



Crescent rolls (which husband kept lovingly calling croissants), for the white trash factor.



Chocolate pecan pie. No words.



Perfect pumpkin pie.



The spread on a lazy susan at Tiff’s house. Two kinds of stuffing, apple/pear sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, rice made by Chinese grandma, bread, two pies. Nary a green vegetable. My slow cooked broccoli was a fail (I revived it the next day tho- more on that later).



My plate. Went back for more stuffing. And had two pieces of pie.

Ian’s first Thanksgiving dinner.

We thought it went so well. He had yams, apple/pear sauce, and stuffing. I think it was the stuffing. He threw up in his crib at 11pm. Everywhere. We had a costume change, bed change, and play date at midnight.

African Groundnut Stew: An Improvisational Crockpot Dish


A while back, my midwife (and friend) brought my family some delicious African Groundnut Stew, and I’ve been wanting to recreate it ever since. Over the weekend, I boiled a beautiful organic chicken, thinking we would enjoy said chicken all week, but then husband magically got the entire week off work, so we’ve been playing vacation, which means lots of meals out. I was very concerned that the beautiful (expensive) organic bird would get wasted, then I thought of the soft, spicy groundnut stew and what a wonderful accompaniment it would make for the chicken. Not to mention, it will freeze well, so we can hit the town for our meals this week and gobble up the stew and the expensive chicken when we are back to reality next week.


The contents.

When I asked Racha for the recipe, she said it was more a “feeling” than a recipe, and I found this to be true. I will tell you what I did, but this really is all about improvising with your tastes, and what you have on hand.

1 huge yam, peeled and cut into chunks

1 russet potato, peeled and cut into chunks

5 stalks celery, chopped

1 large yellow onion, chopped

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1 28 ounce can tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock

Dump all of it into a crock pot

The spices.

Added the following:

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 tsp sea salt

Cooked on high for 5 1/2 hours, stirring about once an hour.


1 cup roasted, salted peanuts, processed until I made peanut butter (can always sub 1/2 cup natural peanut butter-no sugar)

Add to crock pot and let bubble for another 20 minutes.

You’re done, or you can add cooked chicken if you wanna copy me.

This tastes amazing. Think pad thai without the cloying sweetness. This would be great with rice, or noodles, or a mess of sauteed green beans, or spaghetti squash, or tofu, or…

Ian’s Entourage

Is this real school?

I’m laying on the couch, feeling like death. Mastitis got me yet again. Ian, however, is having the adventure of his life. Literally. His best Debbie took him to her son’s school for story time (she was reading spooky stories), and the whole class thought he was pretty neat. Here he is, being held by the teacher, and I got the first update that there has been nary a cry. There has only been singing, smiling, clapping, and waving (this waving business is news to me).

Now they’re going to have lunch, shop at Trader Joe’s, and play with Debbie’s boys. He’s gonna have SO much to tell me.

I cannot tell you how heartening it is to know that he’s okay without mama for a little while, since I’m going to be cooking again starting in December. We’re growing up, Ian! I love you so much.