Thursday, April 30, 2009

a prelude to summer

Nate's lunch: Tofurky, lettuce, soy cheese, Vegannaise rollups; carrots; a pickle; watermelon; bean salad; chocolate bears.
Ryan's lunch: same as Nate's, in larger quantities of course!

Purple Crunchy Cabbage

1 small head cabbage
2 scallions, chopped
1 T. miso
1 T. lime juice
2 T. Vegannaise
2. T. rice vinegar
1 tsp. grated ginger
2 T. cilantro

Slice or grate the cabbage. Add scallions.
Mix together next 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Add to cabbage and toss.
Sprinkle on cilantro. Serve!

I'm not a big fan of raw cabbage or cole slaw, but this dressed in this creamy tangy sauce I'm all over it. And it looks so darned pretty too.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Ryan's lunch: 4-bean salad; snap peas; blue rice w/rice cheese Spongebob Squarepants...with embellishments of white soy cheese red bell pepper; nori pupils; bread crust "pants"; edible ink marker for the blue eyes and blushed cheeks & title.

So Ryan got stung by a wasp last night after dinner! You would've thought he'd been separated from an appendage with all the noise he made.
Ryan: (screaming) "I'm so ashamed!"
Dada: "Why are you ashamed?"
Ryan: (teary-eyed) "I don't know what it means!"

LOL. He never did come up with the right word. But a Nemo ice pack helped. And a bath with the new spider soap we got as a gift from a chicken pox visitor.

Sleep sucked last night. They're doing more water & sewer construction down the street, and they pile the dirt in the town land across the street from us. Apparently last night was one of their night shifts (it's a busy street, so big stuff often gets done third shift).
The lights and beeping, clanging dump trucks apparently woke up AJ. I heard the pitter patter of 5yo feet enter the room. He stopped and looked at the clock..."Only 1:50!" WAAAAHHHH!!!
So I sent Dada in to calm him down. Poor guy thought it was time to get up and was devasted to see it was still the middle of the night.

And a few leftover kid meal pics from the weekend and the past few days...

The boys have been
eating at their new
picnic table often.

Sometimes I have to
figure out acceptable
food for the neighbor
kids or friends too...
not always easy!

When we were out of
regular jam, I pulled
out some homemade
rhubarb jam my MIL
made for us, and some
vegan marshmallow
creme. Whew!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wii Cute

Did you
today is
Pie Day?
Well, it is.
I'm not a
big fruit
pie. I
three of these mini blueberry pies to honor the day. My mother's foster mother used to have a house on the coast of Maine and in the summer she'd bake blueberry pies...that's the only time I can remember ever enjoying pie...drowned like cold soup in melted vanilla ice cream.

Ryan's lunch: carrot sticks w/Genji miso ginger dressing for dipping; mini whole wheat crust blueberry pie; mini farfalle pasta w/peas & corn; Good Dog bites w/broccoli.

Nate's lunch:
mini farfalle w/peas; a pickle;
a carrot; snap pea crisps; mini
blueberry pie; Good Dog bites
with broccoli.

Nate has been very interested
lately when I'm making lunches,
hovering next to me on the stool
asking a billion questions.

Maia plays Wii...

It was in the 90s here today,
quite hot for April in New
England. Maia & Nate
enjoyed some cloudspotting
with Dada...

...on top of the
picnic table.

Too hot to cook...
big salad for dinner,
shared with Maia...

...and a plate of food for
the boys, also shared with
Maia...she enjoys Sunshine
and she got a few
bites of the potato sticks

Craving even more cute??

And AJ...Mr. "Boys Named
AJ Don't Get Chicken Pox"...
not! Maia doesn't care, she
still admires her big brother,
and he wasn't too sick to go
out and play in the pool in the
afternoon and swing on the
swing, after having a brief
playdate. What a guy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Just the Facts

"These astrodroids are getting quite out of hand...even I can't understand their logic at times."

Ryan's lunch: sesame tofu; Tofurky & lettuce sandwich on wheat bread w/soy cheese R2D2; cucumber slices; snap peas; steamed broccoli.
No snacks for AJ this week...he finally has chicken pox.

As part of receiving the Kreativ Blogger award, I must share seven random facts about myself. So consider this a prelude to next month's post about me!

#1 - I can quote all of the original Star Wars, episode IV, including the droid sounds. I lost count somewhere in my teens, but I have seen the film well over 100 times...probably double that. Just yesterday Dada
played Star Wars Monopoly
with Ryan and AJ. Ryan has
Star Wars sheets on his bed.
When we met, my husband
and I each had x-wing fighters
prominently displayed in our
living rooms, his a model, mine
made of Lego bricks. I wore
earrings made of Star Wars
ccg cards to the 12:01am showing of Episode I. Our boys could battle with toy lightsabers before they could competently say the word lightsaber. Ryan dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween last year. And I've made Star Wars bentos in the past.
But I am stubbornly refusing to allow my children to watch the animated series The Clone Wars, nor will I let them see all the movies at such a young age. I saw the first film at age 3 1/ mother took me and read the titles to me in the beginning. I am forcing Ryan to wait another year before seeing Return of the Jedi. Hey, I had to wait longer than that!

#2 - All four of my kids
were born at home
, with
the same midwife, who had
all five of her kids at home
too. Two of mine--#2 and
#4--were considered
"precipitous labors" because
the entire labors were less
than 3 hours long (#2 was
half that). If you live in Massachusetts and want to find a certified professional midwife, visit the Massachusetts Midwives Alliance website.

#3 - Snorkeling the Great
Barrier Reef was the best
time I've ever had. It was
like something straight out
of National Geographic,
absolutely perfect. Add to
that the great buffet on the
, Vegemite and bread
at teatime, and doing all that
with my husband (then
boyfriend) and not even the births of my children--as easy, empowering and perfect as they were--could compare. Sorry kids, no offense! We'll take you there someday!

#4 - I love tomatoes. They are my favourite food. In Vermont, I once grew 39 varieties. Nowaday, we get most of our
tomatoes from Stearns Farm.
One thing I love about our CSA
is the unlimited cherry tomato
picking in August when the
crop is at its peak!
And wouldn't you know it, my
first two kids don't like tomatoes.
Oh, they like them as salsa, pizza
sauce, or in a soup. But they don't care for them plain. And then along came Nate--he will happily eat his weight in tomatoes straight from the bush. But the other boys love to help pick them regardless. And Maia had a few bites of tomato from a burrito a few weeks ago and seemed to like it...fingers crossed!
How much do I love tomatoes?? I dvr'd and saved the Jamie At Home episode about's better than any adult dvd for a tomato-holic.

#5 - I am a closet Yankees
fan. You have to understand.
I live just outside of Boston. You
can get beat up wearing a Yankee
hat at the wrong time. And yet I
put my kids in Yankees shirts as
babies. But I was born in New
York City. It's in my blood.
My husband (also born in New
York state) is a traitor. He now
routs for the Red Sox. I think he just can't stand the peer pressure. Wimp.
And no, I have not made a Yankees vs. Red Sox bento...yet.

#6 - I do not iron. Nope.
Not at all. Not even the pants
I wore at my own wedding
(yes, I wore pants, not a
dress). My husband had to
use the hotel room iron to
de-wrinkle his pants before
our wedding. And I turned
down a nanny position once
when they listed "ironing the baby's dresses" as one of my would-be tasks. And it's not like the laundry gets put away promptly at home either (hey, you try it with 4 kids, 2 still in cloth diapers). The only time I even understand ironing is when you need to flatten a piece of material when sewing...and I also do not sew.

#7 - My wedding was on the
Travel Channel. Actually it
was filmed by a PBS film crew
from Chicago, in Las Vegas, and
later sold to the Travel Channel.
And get this...I've never even
seen the footage. So if you're
ever watching wedding re-runs
and you see two geeks getting married on the bridge of the Enterprise, surrounded by an entire wedding party in Star Trek uniforms, would you tape it for me? Please??

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Restaurant Review: Oga's Sushi

Oga's Sushi, Natick, MA

You know when you walk
into an asian restaurant
and all but one table is
servings asian clientele that
the food is worth the price.
Of course you'd never guess
it from the boring exterior--
the place almost looks closed. But inside you'll find elegant decor, a marble sushi bar, and stainless steel dining tables. If you want a more private Japanese dining experience, check
out the sliding doors at the back of the room in the pic can close yourself off from the rest of the room!

Oga's Sushi is literally the
name of the master sushi
chef and owner, Toru Oga.
He makes even the most
ordinary vegetarian maki
rolls look extravagant.

We went to Oga's again recently
for our anniversary. There was
not a crowd of course on a weekday
afternoon. The service--two
waitstaff just for us--was stellar.

We started with the standard
edamame, a huge bowl.

My husband ordered some miso
soup, and we shared a spectacular
soba noodle salad.

Next came the sushi. Oga's has more vegetarian and vegan sushi options than I could order at one visit!
Check out the salad roll, with
almost transparent slices of
tomato on top.

And what review would be
complete without showing off
my handsome dining companions husband and 9 month old:

Oga's Sushi is located in
Natick, MA, on route 9
(915 Worcester Rd.) west-
bound, near the intersection
of route 27. 508-653-4338
Plenty of parking in the
shared lot at Sunnyside

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I owe someone 10 cents.
And I need to get baking.

I have been tagged with
the Kreativ Blogger award!
My friend recently received
the award for her blog and
has graciously passed it
along to me, and now I get to
choose 2 recipients...

1. Sandbox for my Inner Humorist...a simple, funny blog I found a few months ago, sorta randomly...maybe it's funnier because it's someone local to me, but I just laugh out loud a lot reading it. The guy is funny (and his wife's a vegetarian, pththth).


2. fellow bento blogger Jewelmaker! No, she's not vegetarian, LOL. But her bentos are simple and beautiful, photographed nicely without expensive fanfare. And she makes beautiful handmade bento bags...I recently bought one to give to my husband for his birthday!

----Yesterday's absence of a post was due to a visit to my SIL's house...they already have 4 boys still at home (plus 2 older adult boys!), so they don't need our boys' help emptying their fridge and pantry.
In addition to a Luna bar each, a bag of potato sticks, and a 3-pack of Rice Dream drink boxes, this was lunch: pineapple rings; strawberries; purple grapes; rainbow rice balls, colored with beets, roasted red pepper, turmeric & nutritional yeast, finely diced edamame, & blue food coloring; edamame; cucumber slices; baby carrots; blanched spinach; meatless meatballs.

MIL and her boyfriend were
also visiting, and she kindly
helped me hack and dig a few
shoots from the massive
forsythia bush outside. No way
am I paying $25 at the garden
center for a few twigs of this
stuff that grows in everyone's
back yard (except ours)!

Back home, we packed all
the boys into a box and sent
them to Siberia...actually they
crammed themselves in here
willingly, while Dada slaved
over the construction of their
new picnic table, which they
later used to enjoy their dinner
on outside. I'm still working on
a spot for it. AJ picked me
some dandelions. And Maia
supervised...and dined on
wild dandelion greens, violets,
and a tape measure.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

fit for the zoo

Ryan is off to the Franklin Park Zoo today with a friend from school. I've never been there, I'm not a zoo person, in fact I don't think I've been to a zoo since I was a kid at the Central Park Zoo in NYC, unless you count the small Stone Zoo in MA.
Ryan's lunch: Tofurky & lettuce rollup sandwich on flax lavash bread; purple grapes; a baby carrot; a strawberry; cucumber slices; a strawberry jelly cup on the side. I also tucked in some sparkly Spiderman stickers for him to share with his friend.

Maia & I will finish up the
delicious quartet of Trader
Joe's hummus brought by
one of our many visitors
during the kids' chicken
pox. I could not believe the
generosity some of the
mother's expressed in
thanking us for sharing
our germs! LOL

Neither the rain nor Nate's
chicken pox kept us from
doing a cleanup on Earth
Day yesterday. After Dada
got home from work, we
postponed dinner and filled
a trash bag along the rail
behind our house. We'll
do more later in the week
when the weather is better. It's sad how much trash gets dumped along these beautiful areas.

Incredibly, this garbage bag was filled by a 5 year old & a 6 year old within a few hundred feet. Ugh!