Monthly Archives: August 2011

Crockpotalooza: Slow-cooker Chicken Tangine

I’m linking this post up to Crockpotalooza on Kelly’s Corner.

I found this recipe on Delish, and since I can’t take credit for it, I’m going to link to the recipe on that site instead of posting it here.  Click the image below to go to the recipe.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tangine

A tangine is a dish from North Africa named after the pot it is cooked in.  According to Wikipedia

Tangines are  are slow-cooked stews braised at low temperatures, resulting in tender meat with aromatic vegetables and sauce.

Most tajines involve slow simmering of less-expensive meats. For example, the ideal cuts of lamb are the neck, shoulder or shank cooked until it is falling off the bone. Very few Moroccan tajines require initial browning; if there is to be browning it is invariably done after the lamb has been simmered and the flesh has become butter-tender and very moist. In order to accomplish this, the cooking liquid must contain some fat, which may be skimmed off later.[1]

Moroccan tajines often combine lamb or chicken with a medley of ingredients or seasonings: olives, quinces, apples, pears, apricots, raisins, prunes, dates, nuts, with fresh or preserved lemons, with or without honey, with or without a complexity of spices. Traditional spices that are used to flavour tajines include ground cinnamon, saffron, ginger, turmeric, cumin, paprika, pepper, as well as the famous spice blend Ras el hanout. Some famous tajine dishes are mqualli or mshermel (both are pairings of chicken, olives and citrus fruits, though preparation methods differ), kefta (meatballs in an egg and tomato sauce), and mrouzia (lamb, raisins and almonds).

I really like it because it’s a little atypical- not too heavy, plenty of veggies, a little sweet, and an interesting taste.  I like to serve it over couscous or rice.  While the Wikipedia description sounds exotic, all the ingredients are found in the grocery store.

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Filed under Recipes

Wordless Wednesday: Stop and smell the flowers

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Filed under Mabel, Wordless Wednesday

A book for a baby scientist (or is it for a scientist’s baby)?

Last week Mac took Mable to the local library to exchange our stale, 2-week-old library books for a stack of fresh, new books.

[Can I take a moment to express just how awesome libraries are?  We buy some books for Mabel, but most of the books we read are from the library.  I get sick of reading the same stories over and over again.  The library, with its unlimited supply of FREE books, means I don’t have to!]

I'm guessing "Nancy, the Budding Lepidopterist" wouldn't have sold as many books.

Anyway, last night I picked up the book on the top of the stack and it was Nancy, the Little Gosling by Eve Tharlet.

The book started out well enough, about a gosling who is easily distracted by butterflies, not that into school, and not good at goose-y things like swimming, waddling, and flying.

What really made me laugh about this book was the point at which Nancy reveals that she doesn’t want to practice swimming and flying, she just wants to be a butterfly researcher.

Yes, Nancy wants to be a scientist, a Lepidopterist, a biologist.  I was kind of (lamely, nerdily) tickled that this character wanted to be a scientist.

Her passion for butterflies was central to the book, but the scientist/biologist/Lepidopterist angle was not- it was just sprinkled here and there- like when Nancy reveals that she’s already thought up a scientific name for the first new butterfly species she discovers:  Lepidoptera Nancy.  (This choice shows that author must know some scientists!  See:  Naming a New Species)

It was nice to find a kid’s book that easily weaved a story about science/scientists without being all about science.  As I’ve said before, science is everywhere, even if people don’t recognize it.  I know that the science portion is probably lost on Mabel right now (since she spent most of the book honking like a goose), but I’m thinking about purchasing this book for her since little kid books involving science aren’t exactly a dime a dozen!

Anyone else know of any books about science/scientists that are little kid friendly?


Filed under #scimom, Mabel, Mother, Scientist

The best baby shower idea: monthly onsies!

This post was inspired by this week’s Show Us Your Life bloghop at Kelly’s Corner.  However, it’s also something I’ve been wanting to share for some time- since I think it’s such a great idea and such a treasure to have.

When I was registering for gifts for my baby shower, I happened upon Culpepper General’s Grow Baby Grow set of onsies.  I fell in love with them and wanted them so badly for my impending arrival.  Well, I didn’t wind up with the beautiful set from Etsy- instead, a wonderful and immensely talented friend MADE a set for me!

What really put the gift over the top was the presentation.  Nobody caught a really good shot of me ‘opening’ them, but I think this shot will give you the gist of how she did it…

A clothesline of month by month onsies!

I opened the bag and began pulling out the rope, pretty quickly my sister and cousin had to help.  We pulled and pulled and lo’ and behold were 12 little onsies.  Teeny tiny newborn size all the way to 12 months.  I was absolutely astounded.  It was fabulous.

Once Mabel was born, I was certain to put them to good use!  Here are 12 pictures, one per month for Mabel’s first year!

Having these really motivated me to document Mabel’s first year.  It’s amazing how much she changed in that first year.  I made the pictures into calenders for myself, the grandparents, and my sister- so each month, we can look and see what Mabel looked like a year ago- another amazing change.

This was such a wonderful gift.  I have this Pearhead Time Frame"" picture frame to display the photos- it’s just wonderful to look back and remember the baby my toddler once was.

I’ve seen baby clothes used as baby shower decor in the past, but I think a clothesline strung with 12 onsies like these would make a great combination decoration/gift!


Filed under Mabel, Mother, SUYL

iPhone (Droid) Photo Friday

Out to dinner at Torches on the Hudson (sans child) after a successful attempt at shopping for a new car.

The reason we had to go shopping for a new car.

Flowers from the Historic Lewes Farmers Market- that subsequently hatched tiny caterpillars who we kept finding all over our kitchen even after we tossed the flowers.

Checking her messages.

Reading to the dog.

Mary Chapin Carpenter at the Belleayre Music Festival!

Not breaking my sunglasses at the doctor's office.

The littlest kid at Spellbinders Storytime, moments before making the little girl in the blue shirt her best friend and sitting on her lap.

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Filed under iPhone (Droid) Photo Friday

Mini Mod #1

Reversible dress from Right Bank Babies

This is my favorite dress of Mabel’s.  She’s been wearing it for a year (!)- being small for her age means a lot of 6 to 12 month stuff still fits at 19 months.

It’s from Right Bank Babies, and I got it for a steal from a HauteLook sale.  It’s actually reversible, one side has a bold print with bright colors as you see in the photos, and the other has a more muted pattern and color scheme.  I think I like it so much because it’s not pink and frilly!

She’s worn it in warm weather with bloomers and in cooler weather with a long-sleeve onsie and leggings underneath, so we’ve been able to get a lot of use out of it.

(PS- my dress is from Old Navy, and the cardigan is from Lane Bryant!)


Filed under Mabel, Mini Mod, Mother

Family vacation: Rangeley, ME 2011

Just like the previous 21 years, I spent the first week in August in Rangeley, Maine.  In 1990 my family rented a cottage on Rangeley Lake alongside two other families.  We had so much fun that first year, we’ve been back every year since.  They are like our aunts, uncles, and cousins that we only see once a year (except for big events like weddings).  Thankfully with e-mail and Facebook we keep in touch throughout the year, but we all look forward to that week together.  That week is sacred, some of us have missed a year here or there due to school, a new job, etc. but by and large, we’re all there every year.

We’ve added people over the years- girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, and now kids.  Two years ago was Mabel’s first trip to Rangeley.  It was fun, but at only 7 months old, she couldn’t really do much.  While the main occupation of the week is sitting on the porch looking out over the lake, see below, there’s lots of other fun to be had.

This year was different.  This year I had a walking, almost talking, adventurous toddler!

We stop in Gorham, NH on the way up to break up the trip (and avoid arriving exhausted on our first day) from New York to Maine.  We stay at a little motel with a gorgeous swimming pool.

From Gorham to Rangeley is a mere 2.5 hours, and with a toddler who wakes at 5am, that meant arriving in time for the Logging Festival Parade!

I’ve left out the photo of the septic truck in the parade towing a trailer with a portapotty on it, occupied by a ZZ Top-esque bearded man reading the newspaper.  However, you can see it here.

Once the parade was over, we could get on with the real vacationing!

We went out on the lake…

We splish-splashed in the water…

We admired the wildlife…

We spent an evening on Mooselookmeguntic Lake having a delicious dinner…

We had an all around fabulous time!

I’m already looking forward to next year!

Do you have a favorite vacation spot?


Filed under Mabel, Mother, travel, Wife

Show {Off} Your Shot: 08.25.11

I didn't have the heart to tell her, "You're doing it wrong."


Filed under Mabel, Show {Off} Your Shot

Wordless Wednesday


Since this is just a little too bizarre to post without explanation, I’m using it for Wordless Wednesday, but with words

This is a photo Mac took while we were on vacation in Maine.  It’s the “float” in the Logging Festival Parade sponsored by the a septic/porta-potty company.

The septic truck (that empties your septic tank when it gets full) towed a trailer.  On that trailer were 2 porta-potties (and that young boy).  In one of those porta-potties was a man with a mullet, a handlebar mustache, and a newspaper.

I guess this is what you would call ‘local flavor.’


Filed under Wordless Wednesday

Steals and Deals: Boba Carrier on Zulily

This past weekend I was with Mabel in the Catskills.  My family has a cabin on several acres there.  On Saturday afternoon my cousin and I decided to take a walk to the pond and pick blackberries (if we could find any left behind by the bears and birds) along the way.

Mabel came along with us, but the tall grass, hills, and rocks were too much for her tiny legs, so she wanted to be carried most of the way.

Last summer we had the Baby Bjorn"", which was a little rough on the back but doable for short walks/hikes around the property.  This summer she’s too big for it- or at least too big to make it comfortable.

Mac and Mabel at the pond last fall.

So, on the way up, I gave her a piggyback ride.  However, because she doesn’t understand that she’s supposed to actually hold on, I had to lean way forward and basically let her sit on my hands.  Despite being stooped over, she still tugged on my shirt and choked me.

On the way back, I opted to put her on my shoulders.  Well, neither of us really liked that.  It was pretty easy having her up there, but she didn’t want to sit on my shoulders and kept twisting and trying to climb down.  Add to that the rocky, slippery, wet, and muddy path and not having my hands free if we should fall, it wasn’t working.

We’re planning a trip to Costa Rica in the Spring, and after this past weekend, I knew we needed a back-carrier.

I had been keeping my eyes peeled at tag sales, on Craig’s List, and in children’s resale shops for months with no luck.  I really wanted an Ergo because I had heard such good things about it, but I wasn’t going to shell out that much money for it.

Yesterday (or was it Monday?) I saw that Zulily was having a sale on Boba carriers.  I read reviews on Amazon (here) and it got high marks and compared favorably to the Ergo according to the reviewers.

However, I’m cheap.  I still wasn’t going to the pay $59.99 plus $5.95 shipping.  Yes $65.94 is much better than $100, but I still wasn’t sold.

Well, today I am glad I waited!  I was reading on Boba’s Facebook page and one of the commenters left a coupon code for $10 off!

Maybe it’s the psychological thrill of getting a deal, but I felt like $55.94 was worth it.

So, this is Mabel’s new ride:


I haven’t tried it on, but from the reviews for the Boba Classic Baby Carrier"" on Amazon, it works for larger people, and if it doesn’t work for us and we have to re-sell it, I’m sure we can recoup the cost.

If I was rich, and money was no object, I would probably get one of the gorgeous Petunia Pickle Bottom Ergo Carriers"".  I love the patterns, but not the price!  Although I’m not sure Mac would want to wear something that feminine.

Do you guys use carriers?  Which do you use?  Would you recommend it?

Oh- and of course, I’m going to share!  Here is the Zulily coupon code I used!  SMDF10


Filed under Mabel, Mother, steals and deals