The Wisdom of Motherhood

Do you want to know what wisdom I’ve learned in my 4+ months of motherhood? Here it is:

Trust Your Instincts.

It’s far more important than the advice of friends, family, doctors and experts. Along the same lines, my friend Mary’s doctor has one piece of advice for new parents: “Don’t read too much!”

Lucy’s latest stats

Lucy’s 4 month checkup was yesterday. Along with the standard vaccinations, she had her ears, eyes, heart, belly, and genitals checked. She was weighed and measured. She checks out perfectly well and has no issues at all. We’re not surprised as she seems so healthy, but it’s still good to hear.

Her latest stats, at 4 months of age-
Height: 25 inches, 75th percentile
Weight: 15 pounds, 75th percentile
Head circumference: 47.1 cm, 90th percentile (she’s her father’s child!)

Blazin’ Baked Beans

I’ve never made my own baked beans before. For yesterday’s BBQ I tried these Blazin’ Baked Beans. They were a hit and G, Tessa and I practically fought over the leftovers at lunch today. I’m not going to compare them to Laila’s beans, but they were quite good. I think you could add chipotle to your own favorite recipe with similar results.

Blazin’ Baked Beans
Source: Cooking Light, April 2006

Ingredients
1/4 pound finely diced bacon slices (raw)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
5 (16-ounce) cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 (18-ounce) jar low-sodium barbecue sauce
Cooking spray

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan, and set bacon aside. Add onion to drippings in pan; sauté 3 minutes.

Combine bacon, onion, and remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl; toss well. Spoon the bean mixture into a 13 x 9-inch or 2 1/2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

Yield: 21 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 167(22% from fat); FAT 4.1g (sat 1.4g,mono 1.7g,poly 0.8g); PROTEIN 8.7g; CHOLESTEROL 5mg; CALCIUM 49mg; SODIUM 520mg; FIBER 5.1g; IRON 1.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 24.9g

Pirate Marinade

How could you not like something with that name? I made flank steak tonight using the Pirate Marinade. I think this is my new favorite marinade for flank. Loved the allspice/cinnamon flavor.

Pirate Marinade
Source: Eating Well May/June 2007
Servings: Makes 2 cups. Enough for 2-4 pounds meat.

Ingredients
1/4 cup canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons allspice
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon clove, ground
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 dashes hot sauce

Instructions
1. Heat canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 2 minutes.

2. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients.

3. Let cool to room temperature. Pour cooled marinade into a shallow dish or 1-gallon sealable plastic bag for marinating 1-2 pounds meat.

The Food Stamp Challenge

A number of Senators are embarking on a “Food Stamp Challenge” wherein they must eat for an entire week on $21. Apparently $21 is the average amount a food stamp recipient receives. Sounds like quite an eye opener- no organic food, little produce and only the cheapest meats. I found the shopping lists especially interesting. G was quick to proclaim that we will NOT be attempting this challenge in our household. I’m lucky if we spend less than $21 per day!