Cinnamon Oats with Candied Walnuts

This is the first rainy day we’ve experienced since being in Michigan in June! Geez, we do live in the desert. Ian’s taking a nice long nap while I prep some lamb stew that will bubble away in the crock pot while we play at Bodhi’s.

I started off the only way one should on a deliciously gloomy October morning.

Cinnamon Oats with Candied Walnuts.

1 cup oats

1 cup water

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

liquid vanilla stevia

1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Candied Walnuts

Combine oats, water, milk, cinnamon salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook until desired consistency, maybe5-7 minutes. Pour into bowl (I like to let it cool awhile and thicken up). Stir in walnuts and add stevia to taste.

Serves two people, or one Mama Mandy.

Total calories: 500

Grabbing Grapes at Whole Foods.

Last night, we had company for dinner. I realize now that this was a first for Ian (except when we’ve had relatives in town), and he was so so so so so excited to have not one guest, but two around our little table. My wonderful friend is having her first baby next month, and I have the honor of being her birth (and postpartum) doula! My other wonderful friend, who is a seasoned doula and student midwife, has offered to support me in supporting the mama since this is my first trip to the birth rodeo (other than my own birth, obvi) and because I’m a Mighty Virgoan Worrier.

So over Carrot Coriander Soup (can I ever thank you enough, Lisa, for introducing me to this recipe?) and Brazilian Cheese Bread, we carved out a birth plan. And played with Ian. It was a pretty perfect evening, capped off with an exhausted babe falling into his crib and sleeping soundly for twelve hours.

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta with Walnuts and Manchego

My dear friend, Melanie, just had a stunning baby girl. It’s funny, when people described Ian as “alert”, I was a little confused as to what that meant exactly. Then I saw photos of Luciana, and that is exactly what came to mind. She just looks very…here. Like she knows the deal already.

I got to meet her in person today, and of course I had to cook for mama. It’s not an option. Cooking for mamas is my greatest pleasure, right up there with frosting and running on a foggy morning (in that order).

Because Melanie is nursing, I didn’t want to potentially upset the apple cart with cruciferous veggies or spice or cow’s milk.  I wanted to make a pasta with English peas but they were mighty sad at the market, so I picked up an organic butternut squash instead.



This came out really well. I cut the squash into bite-sized chunks, tossed them in a little olive oil and sea salt, and roasted at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes. Tossed with some pasta, toasted chopped walnuts, and some shaved manchego cheese (sheep’s milk). Voila! Nursing friendly late summer dinner. The sweet, caramelized squash with homey pasta, crunchy nuts and salty cheese did not disappoint, even sans onion or garlic.



It was lovely meeting tiny, tiny Luciana. I cried (it goes by SO fast!) as I walked in with my GIANT baby, and plopped him on the floor so I could give Melanie a squeeze. He promptly pooped. Out the side of his diaper. Down his leg and foot. All over Mel’s NEW rug. Yeah. He got a bath in her sink, and he made sure to barf on the carpet before we left as well. Guess he felt right at home!

I’m bleaching and washing her perfectly white washcloth as I type this.