Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm baaacckkk

I know, it's been way too long. Here is a video.

I'm six months pregnant and pretty excited about the little one. Just in time for today's post, I've come up with 10 things that surprise me about being pregnant.

10. It hurts. Everything hurts...my feet, my belly, my back....sometimes even places I hate to mention hurt. I told Mr. Pete that sometimes it feels like I'm pooping glass. Sorry for the details but I just went there. No one told me that everything would hurt like this all at once.

9. Every one has a terrible birthing story. Even men.

8. People go crazy for babies, spend lots of money on lots of stuff that takes up lots of room, and they can still buy more stuff.

7. There are a lot of dos and don'ts. Don't eat soft cheese, do get extra folic acid. Don't lift heavy objects, do work out. Don't....

6. Did I mention things hurt ALL the time. I feel like I'm breaking.

5. The sleep deprivation begins early. Mr. Pete's alarm clock went off today at 5:00 AM and I was already awake and could not go back to sleep.

4. People are very protective of pregnant women. You should see my students falling all over themselves trying to take care of me.

3. Babies grow very fast. One day it's an embryo and the next it's the size of an eggplant.

2. Everyone will tell you how big or small they think you look. This is never OK and never flattering.

1. It's pretty darn exciting despite some of the obvious drawbacks to being pregnant.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Soft Sea Breeze, Gentle Waves, Jagged Cliffs, and...Vomit

That's right. Mr. Pete and I ventured into the world of sea kayaking before. We've been out before but it was in Key West in a little bay or channel...a little estuary. This, my friends, was the open ocean. It started with a quick paddling lesson from our guide Mike. Then we ventured into the water and made sure to angle our kayaks toward to horizon as we plowed over waves and out into the open sea. I started to feel a little warm and vomitose early on. I get motion sickness but I've never, you know, wretched. Just felt really sick and kind of blah and then recovered. I vomited around 10 times while we were out at sea. The worst part was that I wasn't really able to take in all the cool stuff around me. We paddled into caves, spotted sea lions sunning themselves on some rocks, and even did a little hunting tour for leopard sharks. In the end, Mr. Pete and I convinced our guide to let us go back early. We left him a nice tip (maybe he will share it with our tour group since they had to listen to the vomiting sounds as Mike pointed out the various forms of sea life). He had some great suggestions for sea sickness. Keep paddling, keep your eye on the horizon, or maybe jump in a swim around a bit. After asking about the sharks in the area several times, I hopped in to the FREEEZING Pacific for a little nausea control. It did help. I was so shocked by the drop in my body temperature I momentarily forgot to empty my stomach's contents into the ocean.

So we arrived back on shore soaking wet (we tipped on the way in to the beach), with broken sunglasses (I leaned over on them after I was done puking in the ocean), and bonded. Mr. Pete took good care of me and didn't even flinch when I whined, "just don't talk to me, it makes me feel nauseous.

More on this awesome trip later. I'm still recovering on the couch with a salty snack.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Burning Questions

I know what you're thinking. "Stinkey Pete," you are wondering, "you have milliontryhundred weddings this summer. What are you going to wear?" I've been thinking the same thing internets. I have! When I was in Charleston Mama Stinkey bought me a really pretty dress from an upscale store I would never buy anything (except maybe a headband or something) from in my life. It's this gorgeous silky, cotton, ruffley, dress with pockets. Super comfortable. Super chic. Super lovely. And. It's. Ivory. Oh, ye old wedding goers we all know that one should not wear white, ivory, cream, beige or anything that resembles bride-like apparrel to a wedding. After consulting other internets, some fashionistas, and my mom, I've decided that this dress is sanctioned for the weddings o'the summer. Pictures? Sorry, can't find any online. I'll try to post some that don't reveal my identity after the string of weddings this summer.

I don't want to disappoint you. You were also inquiring about my idea of a super refreshing THIS IS SUMMER beverage. Right here folks, right here. Smitten Kitchen does not disappoint. WATERMELON LEMONADE PEOPLE!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Been Busy

So, while I've been slacking on my blog I've been pretty busy. A family trip to Charleston, a whirlwind trip to Nashville, the Haus and Garden Show in Columbus, and a two day work week. I HAVE been doing some cooking too. Here you'll see strawberry mojitos, pesto pasta with grilled chicken, and sauteed veggies with peanut sauce and Japanese noodles.

Strawberry Mojitos

7 limes
a handful of fresh mint
club soda
white rum
handful of strawberries (blended into a liquid mixture)

Place 4-5 tall glasses in the freezer. Squeeze limes into a tall pitcher. Reserve lime half for garnish. Using a cup of sugar, muddle the sugar with the coarsely chopped mint. By muddle, I mean squish the mint leaves into the sugar. Add all sugar to the pitcher. Pour 1/4 cup of sugar on a shallow plate. Add two cups club soda, two cups crushed ice, one cup white rum, and strawberry mixture. Stir vigorously. Rub lime around the rim of chilled glasses, dip rims in sugar mixture. Pour pitcher mixture into the chilled glasses. Serve with lime quarter and fresh mint for garnish.

Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta

Very Easy Peanut Sauce

1 cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons (or to taste) soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tbs hot water

1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Actually...most of the ingredients here are optional except, of course, the peanut butter.

Add all ingredients to food processor. Mix until liquid or saucy. Add more ingredients to taste. Pour over sauteed veggies to warm. This would also be a great sauce garnished with cilantro for fresh veggies.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Home Improvement Extravaganza

I just have to post these pictures of our bathroom in process. Mr. Pete has done such a nice job with the bathroom. He's rennovating while working and going to school full time. I cannot describe how excited I will be to get the washer and dryer out of my dining room!

Some Mo Meals

So I've been a bit of a slacker blogger AND a slacker in the kitchen. School was busy as it wound down to the last few days. There were graduations, parties, cookouts, oh and projects to grade, exams to grade, a classroom to pack up. The list goes on and on. One of the hardest things of working at a school is that we end and say goodbye each year. I won't dwell on that...that gets me a little sad.

I have made at least two good meals with our Farm Fresh Produce lately. I made this stuffed cabbage. I told you I was addicted to Smitten Kitchen. I also made a great salad. I used spinach from the CSA, green apples, micro greens, gorganzola cheese, pine nuts, vinegar and oil. It was simple but so fresh and nice for a summer salad. I'm also including a picture of one of the stir frys I've made...I'm trying not to do that every week.
I'm growing my own tomatoes now but they won't be ready until later this summer. My neighbor came over and took one look at my cilantro and offered me her seeds from Equador.

That's all I got. I know that stuffed cabbage looks a little gross..it was good, I swear.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Omelet Oh Omelet

Omelet is a funny word. It makes it sounds like you are making the miniature version of something else (like piglet and pig). I made the most delicious omelet today and it was chalked full of protein and low in fat.

3 egg whites
2 asparagus spears
1 handful fresh spinach
3/4 shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Better Than PF Changs

One of the most difficult parts of enjoying really good food is the damage it does to your wallet and/or savings. One of our most difficult bills to control is our food bill. We love to eat. So, when I stumble upon really good recipes that don't have 5 billion ingredients AND use some of the lovely vegetables from our CSA, I try them. This one is a real winner. I found it on this blog, Sidewalk Shoes. I think this blogger and I would be kindred spirits. She teaches middle school, hunts for good recipes, and it appears that she enjoys reading. Check and check. This recipe was fantastic. It's from Rachel Ray and the author made a few changes. I made a few of my own. I put my changes in bold print
Spicy Shrimp and Bok Choy Noodle Bowl
Serves 4
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 3 turns of the pan
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 inches ginger root, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks or grated
1/2 pound shiitake mushroom caps, sliced, a couple of cups these are expensive, so I just
bought a little carton and chopped them up finely (2.50 for a carton)
1 medium bok choy, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces, then cut sticks lengthwise I had a lot of this stuff so I used two bok choy
Salt and pepper
1 quart chicken broth since I skipped the seafood stock, I used three cups of chicken broth and three table spoons of fish sauce
1 cup seafood stock, available on soup aisle or, 1 cup clam juice I skipped this
1 1/2 pounds medium peeled and deveined shrimp on sale!
1/2 pound vermicelli (thin spaghetti) I used Udon noodles (you can find them in the ethnic food aisle) They are salty and very tender
4 scallions, cut into 3 inch pieces, then shredded lengthwise into thin sticks also in my CSA from last week!

Heat a medium soup pot I used my skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil, 3 turns of the pan, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and bok choy, then season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and seafood stock or clam juice. Put a lid on the pot and bring soup to a boil.Add shrimp and noodles and cook 3 minutes. Add in scallions and cook 2 minutes, then turn off soup and let it sit 2 to 3 minutes more. Adjust salt and serve.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Week 2: CSA Veggies

So here is the line up for this week. It will be tough to eat all this spinach. So, we have spinach, bok choy, green beans, asaparagus, and another leafy vegetable that I'll need to identify.

Here goes week 2

Dinners Week 1

It's been tough, but we pretty much wiped out last week's CSA batch. We've had some pretty great meals including this great recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I made my own version with basil and roasted garlic instead of the tarragon. It was delightful. Oh, and as you can see, I used rigatoni.

We really enjoyed the asparagus and kale. The kale makes an interesting salad, but it's good for you. Here are two more meals. We ate the salads with sushi.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Be Our Guest

I love love love to host parties at our house. I love the frenetic cleaning, preparing, baking, chopping, and watering. I also love to serve people. Since we're not close to finishing our bathroom (let's be honest, I haven't lifted a finger), I don't think we'll be doing as much entertaining this year. So, I want to make sure I'm a good guest so people don't feel like we are always mooching off of their hospitality. I'll be posting some cooking for pitch ins or potlucks...whatever you call them. Until then, check out Smitten Kitchen's 30 Ways to be a good guest post.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Fresh Start

We ate lots of stir fry last summer, lots. So, one of my goals this summer is to get a bit more creative with the way I use our produce. Meal #1: stir fry It's actually a yummy, easy recipe for making just about any vegetable. Here goes:

1 T chicken bouillon granules
1 C warm water
1 T garlic powder (I prefer fresh garlic but I didn't have any)
1 T ginger
1 handful baby carrots
1 handful snow peas
4-5 handfuls of mixed greens (I used radish greens, kale, and collared greens)
4-5 small radishes
1 handful basil chopped finely
1 handful flat leaf parsley chopped finely
1 handful cilantro chopped finely
1 thinly sliced green pepper
Directions: Dilute granules in warm water and bring to a boil in a wok. Add garlic and ginger. Add mixed greens and denser veggies (carrots and radishes in this case...in other cases potatoes or broccoli). Boil for several minutes allowing the water to evaporate before adding the seasonings. Continue to cook over medium heat until carrots and radishes are tender. Serve over pasta or rice.
The verdict. It was a great first try. I added the snow peas at the very end and we enjoyed them el dente. Nothing too exotic about this meal. LOVE this rice pilaf. I could tell there was a lot of salt in the bouillon. I might try to find one that was lower in sodium. Just because.

Week One: Hollar if you hear me, collared greens are all the rave!

Each Sunday, I'll drive to our designated pick up to retrieve our veggies from Farmer Mike. I'll post pictures of the veggies here. The reason for this is twofold: 1) These gorgeous locally and organically grown veggies deserve some time in the spot light. Anyone who is nervous about veggies should see the colors in these fresh beauties. 2) I want you to see them in all of their raw glory...I think random veggies can be intimidating if we don't know what to do with them.

My experience with fresh vegetables last year was mildly successful. We have a really amazing compost pile to show for some of the things I couldn't figure out how to cook. We did a good job cooking the things we were familiar with (corn, spinach, beans) and a not so good job with things that we were unfamiliar with.
So here is what we have this week.

(left to right)asparagus, green onion, collared greens, kale, snow peas, and radishes.

I also want to show your what I have to work with from my own backyard.

This will be my "team" for the summer. I'm hoping they will help me to spice things up in the kitchen. Let me introduce you to strawberry, chives, basil, cilantro, rosemary, flat leaf parsley, more basil, and mint.

Stay tuned for this week's recipes. Also, check out some recipe blogs on the side bar. Smitten Kitchen rocks my world.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Farm Fresh Challenge

I Stinky Pete do solemnly swear to cook with, munch on, or share the veggies from my CSA this year from Martin Hill Farm. If you don't know much about CSAs, check out the farm here. My pledge to you, my readers, and really to the Pete family is to be more efficient with the produce we bought this summer. That means lots of recipe posting, pictures of fresh produce, and griping about yet another meal of stir fry.

I really can't complain since the veggies are super fresh and local. It's just difficult to use up a whole head of fresh spinach before it goes bad. I'm looking forward to canning, freezing, and steaming a bunch of it too.

My challenge to you is to buy more local produce. I'll be featuring recipes and uses for a lot of produce that you can get at your local farmers' market. Hopefully watching me struggle through the produce will encourage you to shop for and cook your own fresh and local produce.

Here goes nothing...

PS: Our first share arrives this weekend.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recipe Review

I've been doing some cooking...man I've been doing some cooking. I love this new blog (new to me) called Smitten Kitchen. She has some pretty amazing recipes AND she takes beautiful pictures of the food she prepares. Note: not all of these recipes are from Smitten Kitchen. Here are some of my favorite recipes to date:

Huevos Rancheros

OK so these incorporate pretty much every ingredient I love except for dark chocolate. Black beans, eggs, garlic, tomatoes. This is a weeknight meal at the very least and a crowd pleaser any other night. The salsa fresca along is amazing. Great for chips, tacos, anything really. I'm making the chicken tacos tonight. More on those later.

Elvis Preseley's Favorite Pound Cake

So I was inspired by this post by Smitten Kitchen. Mr. Pete has an aversion to anything with a funny texture...ketchup, cream cheese, etc. So I couldn't make the pound cake with cream cheese and I found this Elvis recipe instead. Wow...talk about velvety, buttery, vanillay goodness...it might be the seven eggs the recipe calls for. Be sure to spring for the cake flour. We had some left over from our Gingerbread people during the holidays. Mr. Pete learned on NPR that it was the best for Gingerbread. The cake flour is smooth and light and helps the whole pound cake to be just moist and delicious.

Monkey Bread

I think this is an old familiar favorite for most people. I just love that Pillsbury Grands are often on sale and this is a great recipe for an easy brunchy snack. By the way, my grandmother's coffee cake is better BUT this comes in a close second and it's easier to make.

Lentil Edamame Stew

Another week night meal that is easy and has relatively few ingredients. Mr. Pete liked it so...it must be good.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I'm learning to Twitter. Head cold + spring break= time on the computer to do useless things like join Twitter

They Tried to Make Me Comb Out My Rats Nest But I Said "No No No"

According to the Bumpit website "flat hair is so last year." Anyone who knows me knows that I love me a big pony tail. We're talking teasing, spraying, ratting, smoothing and securing. Bobby pins, layers of spray, and a fresh black hair tie make the best pony tail ever. Who knew that there were actual tools and a how to video to go along with this big hair madness. Have you seen the Bumpit? You have to check out the actual website here. They are these plastic pieces that you put in your hair to give you that Amy-Winehouse-bottle-o-hairspray-beehive look.

This is one of my favorite go to hair styles and I can't believe that there is equipment to go with it! In other news, one of my favorite bloggers gives you a step by step tutorial since I my own instructions would lead to devastating results.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wordle is Awesome

You'll have to check out http://www.wordle.net/ It's a word smushing awesomeness to be appreciated in its awesomeness. That's all I have to say. Here is a wordle from Rudyard Kipling's poem "If."

You'll find the orginal words here.

My dad used to quote these lines from the poem, one of his favorite poems "If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;If you can meet with Triumph and DisasterAnd treat those two impostors just the same...."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pass the Salsa Please

Mr. Pete: Do you want to feel better about yourself?

Me: Of course.

Indicating the Family-sized bag of tortilla chips on the counter

Mr. Pete: I have not eaten one chip from that bag.

Me: It's a family-sized bag, of course you have. I haven't eaten these all by myself.

Mr. Pete: taking a chip from the bag This is my first chip.

Me: Man. That's a lot of chips in one week.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Running Late

I was running late for a 10 AM meeting this morning. I realize that I have the luxury of actually sleeping in on a Monday morning to be actually able to run late to a 10 AM meeting. I knew I was going to be late once I stepped out the door...the looming traffic of I-75 and the snarling orange cones and temporary barriers on 275 would be a treacherous drive in to the meeting. I started thinking about how I could excuse my tardiness. Any excuse I came up with (traffic, directions, oversleeping) sounded really lame and irresponsible. While I wouldn't use an excuse on my friend and colleague waiting for me at Panera, I considered what people would actually think is an acceptable excuse. I'm a stickler for being on time, so I realize that my own standard of excuses is actually pretty high. I live by the motto, "prior planning prevents future failure." In essence, you shouldn't really need to worry when you hit traffic because you've already planned for this disaster by leaving a good 20 minutes early.

To me, the only real excuse you can give might be car trouble (ie. flat tire, stalled engine, etc.) The only other socially acceptable excuse is family. I've heard this plenty of times. "I'm sure you understand, it's difficult to get an X year old out of the house." "Sorry I'm running late, but so and so didn't want to eat his/her lunch." It's funny, but I totally accept these excuses. And I think we should. I can't imagine what it's like to get another person dressed, groomed, fed, and out the door. I have a hard time finding both of MY own shoes in the morning--I can't imagine searching for FOUR shoes. The thing that I realized in my own little psychological experiment, is that I would seriously judge someone who was late because she a) had to grab a bite to eat b) was looking for a shoe c)throwing a tantrum because she didn't want to go or d) stayed in bed a few extra minutes because those wood floors really are cold in the morning.

I have hit the age in life where people are constantly "educating" me on how life changes when you have a child. So much so, that I've grown a little bitter. As I got ready this morning, I considered the acceptable reasons for being late and found myself upset that since I didn't have a family, I wouldn't really have a good excuse for being late.

There seems to be a set of unspoken rules in the world that are reserved for people who have children. There have been several situations where people assume I should "step up and get involved" because I have "so much time on my hands." Just last week, a meeting ran over at work and people were packing up to go home to relieve the babysitters. I had plans to meet girlfriends for dinner out, but I wouldn't dare excuse myself from the meeting with that reason.

I want to be sure to point out that I see the work of a parent as some of the most important life work one can be committed to. I think that the efforts (or lack of effort) that parents make might be one of the single most influential factors in the ever changing world around us.

The results of this reflection are twofold for me. I'm realizing that life happens to people and that I need to give people a little less of hard time when they are running late. I wish I could help to foster a culture where it would be acceptable to say, "Sorry I'm running late. I got a new bathrobe for Christmas and I just couldn't bring myself to get ready this morning" or "I'm just going through a stage right now where I am being impossible. I throw a tantrum every time I have to get into the car. It's possible I'm overstimulated, over committed, and over caffeinated. Hopefully I'll grow out of it."

I'm also realizing that the rules change as we grow up. People have different expectations for us at different points of our lives. I'll probably look back at this entry and laugh at how foolish I am some time in the future. Until then, I'll continue to remind myself of the importance of stable families in today's society and the need for flexability in all of our lives.

Monday, February 9, 2009



Thursday, February 5, 2009

School kids

Sometimes I think the kids are more interested in my outfit than in poetry. Could that be? Today I wore a chunky belt over my sweater and my students felt the need to comment on it all day. Some were brutally honest about what I could and couldn't wear as a "forty year old woman." It's almost like they thought my writing prompt was "tell me what you think of my outfit" instead of "tell me what you think of this poem." I'm thinking about creating a line of clothing with the necessary Ohio Graduation Test material printed on it. Just think sweaters with poetic devices, belts with the writing conventions rubric, oh the possibilities are endless. Endless I tell you.

In other news, I had three kids stay for detention today. One student asked me, "If I just want to sit in my desk and do nothing, why are you going to give me a DT?" Do you really need to ask? I just don't have it in my DNA to allow someone to forsake an education.

Today, after school, the woman who cleans my room (we'll call her Glenna) and I struck up a conversation. She said she used to want to be a preschool teacher or a veternarian (very similar careers). Her father didn't have the money to send her to school and in her words "that dream just went right down the drain." It's hard to show kids that they are really lucky to have this opportunity. I just hope that if Gov. Strickland really does start tossing money at public schools that students are held accountable too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So fun

It's been snowing cats and dogs and icing too. It's so beautiful outside right now with the snow and the ice and the sun!!!! How great is that. Here are a few pics from the snow this morning.

I've been staying all cozy and warm inside drinking decaf coffee and daydreaming about reorganizing the bathroom closet. I've already mopped all floors that can be mopped, installed a set of blinds, cleaned my closet, and googled enough of bathroom remodeling pictures to last a lifetime. Here's a little peak at spring. All my house plants have been blooming.

Finally, a picture of the disaster that is our house

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fairy Tale House: An Illustrated Edition

Once upon a time there was a girl name Miss Pete who married a boy named Mr. Pete (don't worry they weren't related). They had a beautiful wedding and after living in an apartment for a few years, they bought a yellow house. They lived happily ever after for a year and did not renew their home warranty. One day, Mrs. Pete heard the washing machine thumping. Mr. Pete pulled it out from the wall to discover that the machine was, in fact, broken. Upon realizing this he also hear a loud thump. When he went outside to get a tool he saw water pouring out of the vinyl siding onto the driveway. Both the hot and cold water pipes in the bathroom had burst during a cold spell. Luckily, Mr. Pete's friend Fix knew how to repair the broken pipes. The two boys set out to fix the pipes and it took all day. After that, the Petes went looking for a new washer and dryer and settled on a model that would fit in the teensy weensy space built by a dumb previous owner. They settled on the Whirlpool Sport or something and they bought a pair of washer and dryer for a REALLY good deal. When they arrived home from Lowes they discovered that the temperature in the house was 55 degrees. So, in his third trip to Lowes that day, Mr. Pete left to buy a new thermostat...but not before Mr. Pete and Mrs. Pete melted down. Now they have a large hole in their first floor shower, a new washer and dryer without an outlet to install them, and a new thermostat. They are living happily ever after.

Afterward: Mr. and Mrs. Pete are truly grateful that their house keeps them safe warm and dry. They are also thankful that they have a small monetary safety net to pay for all their home disasters.

The End