32nd ave farmers’ market

Thankfully, my annoying sickness only lasted about 24 hours, so by Saturday I was back in action and my parents came down for a re-do last hurrah. There was no baseball game, but we made our own fun. We enjoyed sushi takeout for dinner on Saturday (before they return to the land of no sushi) and on Sunday morning we decided to hit up the 32nd Avenue farmers’ market. We’ve been super excited that a farmers’ market opened in our ‘hood this year, but hadn’t yet had a chance to really check it out. I went down there with Willa and the dog a few weeks ago, but despite their omnipresence at every farmers’ market in the nation, navigating a market with a dog and a toddler is NOT easy. Also, when I was there I’d just had a big breakfast, so I didn’t need anything to eat. And I didn’t have any cash, which doesn’t really fly at a farmers’ market.

So this time we left the dog at home, had plenty of adults to wrangle the toddler, and purposefully went hungry. There were so many good things to try! Lots of samples from people making their own jams and pierogis and whatnot (all “handmade” with “local ingredients” of course!) and several food trucks. There were also a few cool coffee carts/vans/wagons that I’ll try next time. (Reminder to self: must go to the market both hungry and uncaffeinated.)

DSC03867DSC03868^^willa’s in the middle of saying, “let’s go get some food!” and that’s indeed what we were about to do. we hit up the japanese hawaiian truck, pacific bonsai, and it was superb!^^

DSC03874 DSC03899^^top: blackened mahi mahi lettuce wrap / BBQ pork slider. bottom: beer battered fish taco / chicken katsu and egg breakfast taco. my favorite was the lettuce wrap. it was all the right kinds of flavorful: spicy, sweet, and grilled.^^

DSC03872^^a rare family shot!^^

DSC03878DSC03886^^aiko pops for dessert. willa and my mom loved the coconut nutella, but dan and i were partial to the coconut anise. only problem was they melted even faster than the average pop on a hot day. willa didn’t seem to mind though!^^

Overall it was an awesome place to spend a couple hours; lots going on but at the same time not overwhelmingly crowded. And we had a lovely time with my parents.

My only complaint: they need to get recycle bins! It hurt my heart to see so much paper and plastic being thrown away.

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i whine

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There’s Willa a week or so ago in a photo my Mom took. She got to go to a cool petting zoo with Nana in Fort Collins. Apparently she drove this tractor “through town.”

She’s looking a bit more disheveled this week. On Monday, she was sick. It was the very first time (well, since she was a few weeks old) that she snuggled with me and slept the day away. Yep, one whole day of a low-energy toddler. I enjoyed the bonding but, man, was she was cranky too. Although who isn’t when they’re sick?

A few days later, I was still feeling good and thought I’d managed to escape the bug (despite the intimate moment when she’d spit in my mouth after declaring the juice I gave her was “spicy”). But nope, no such luck. Late yesterday I felt a tickle in my throat and by this morning I was couldn’t-get-out-of-bed sick. The worst. I see why Willa had been forced to take a break from her usual antics.

When I get sick, I act about 5 years old. I cry and kick and scream that I can’t go to my friend’s house. Or in this case, playschool at the Botanic Gardens and a Rockies game with my parents. We’d had it planned for weeks! Willa was going to stay up late! Life’s not fair!

Good news is that Dan had a light day at work so he could be home with Willa today. Apparently she wasn’t as in to lying on the bed with me all day as I was with her. Geesh. But the bad news is my parents are heading back East in just a few days, and the game was supposed to be one of our last hurrahs. Sad face.

But anyway, enough whining. Instead I want to do one of those fun lists where I chronicle some of the little things in my life of late:

Eating :: Lots of berries. Avocado toast for breakfast most days. Summer salads.
Drinking :: A cup of half-caff coffee every morning. And a Q or Dry soda in the evenings.
Learning :: How to garden. My plants are either exploding (tomatoes) or all done (cilantro).
Wanting :: Filson tote
Reading :: Breakfast with Buddha
Wearing :: Maxi dresses.
Working :: A little bit more.
Cleaning :: Not as much as I should. How do people do it?
Trying :: To let the little things go.

Here’s to being less sick tomorrow. Hope everyone’s having a more exciting Friday!

denver art museum

I read a lot of blogs. Well, actually, I’m not sure what constitutes a lot. But I like to read blogs. Food blogs, “lifestyle” blogs, parenting blogs, ya know. I didn’t read many “mom blogs” before having my own child, but after she was born I felt like it was a good way to put what I was going though in perspective and also to get ideas about how to do things or activities or whatever. However. The blog world is weird. Some blogs are so rosy and cheery you want to puke. Others are so negative and whiney it drives me crazy. Comparison is inevitable, but then again comparison is the thief of joy so we should try to avoid it all costs. Right? Hmmm.

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But still, I read some blogs where the author’s kids seem to be running around happy all day long, and I think to myself, “what’s up with my kid?”

Willa is great. Fantastic. Obviously. But she is certainly not happy all day long. And often, the day I organize a special outing is the day she’s happy for the shortest period of time. But stil, we get out there. We do things. We live life! You have to, no? Because the happy is sometimes even less when we’re trapped in the house!

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Last week, we met up with our playschool friends for a morning at the Denver Art Museum. And while for some the idea of taking kids to a museum might not be the most appealing, let me tell you, it was awesome! Museums these days are so hip. They have activities for kids wherever you look. And sure, some are a ways above the toddler level, but there’s so much to see and explore and do. It made for a really fun morning. Most importantly, Willa was completely full of happy! Even when I put her in her swimsuit so we could play in the outdoor splash fountains on our way out but they’d inexplicably turned off. She just jumped in the water next to face-down sculpted man and was happy as a clam. So take that blog-world. My kid is smiling while out and about on the town too!

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In other fabulous news, I got to go back to the museum a few days later with my Dad, and he taught me a great deal about all the superb Western art they have on display. The Denver Art Museum really made my week. I look forward to going back again.

P.S. That last picture is Willa air high-fiving the giant cow sculptures. She’s pretty much the awesomest.

SOME OF MY FAVORITE BLOGS LATELY
Love Taza
Hey Natalie Jean
Expatria, Baby
Camp Patton
Shutterbean
my name is yeh
The Hot Pot Blog

 

tofu scramble

I like consuming soy. Soy milk. Tofu. Seitan. Edamame. Soy paper wrapped sushi.

But. I’ve heard a lot recently about some of the potential health drawbacks of processed soy. I get it. It’s pretty processed, and when the trend caught on, companies were making an over abundance of products with some sort of soy. But, as with most things, the jury is still out. There are definitely some health benefits to eating soy, but it also has potential risks. This article is a nice quick read about the scientific research on soy. Thankfully, I’m pretty good at summing up these tricky situations with my usual “all things in moderation” mantra. There was a time I ate a lot of soy. Now I just eat a little.

I just cannot give up tofu. It’s definitely one of my favorite foods. So versatile! So cheap! Such great shelf life! I could go on and on about all the best tofu recipes but today all I want to share is my simple recipe for tofu scramble. It’s one of my go-tos for when we need an easy, healthy, hearty dinner that can come together pretty quickly. Add whatever vegetables you have on hand, and you can of course adjust the spices to your own taste.

DSC03804DSC03805^^see that scallion? it’s from my backyard garden. i’m pretty proud.^^

Tofu Scramble
Most measurements are approximate, except the spices (and I know that ½T isn’t a really a “real” measurement, but I don’t always like to dirty a bunch of measuring spoons when I’m making a dinner that’s supposed to be easy. ½T = 1½ teaspoons). Add whatever vegetables you have on hand. I’ve listed my favorite combination, but frozen peas, carrots, and cauliflower would all work well too. Sometimes I add a second block of tofu so that we have leftovers. It’s good for any meal of the day.

firm or extra firm tofu, 1 block
yellow onion, diced
1 head of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
bell pepper, diced
handful of mushrooms, roughly chopped
cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 green onions, finely sliced
olive oil
1T dried oregano
1T ground cumin
½T paprika
½T turmeric
dash cayenne or chili pepper

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1. Press your tofu. Wrap the block in a paper towel and then with a dish towel (or just with a dish towel if your towels are cleaner than my towels) and place it under something heavy while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

2. Chop the veggies. Set the tomatoes and green onions aside in your serving bowl.

3. In a large pan or wok, heat a tablespoon or so of oil. When hot, add the onion and cook until softened. Next add the veggies that take longest to cook (peppers, carrots, broccoli, etc.) followed by those that will cook more quickly (mushrooms, peas).

4. Take the pressed tofu and crumble it on top of the cooked vegetables. Use your cooking utensil to break it up more. Sprinkle the spices over top, and cook until everything is mixed well and the tofu is hot.

5. Transfer to the serving bowl with the tomatoes and green onions. Mix well and serve.

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All things in moderation!

fourth of july weekend!

The past two July 4th holidays in Denver, I realized something: most people leave town. If ever there was a “let’s all go to the mountains” weekend, this one must take the cake. The streets are deserted; many restaurants close for “vacation.” It’s a bit weird, but at the same time, kind of wonderful. We went to the pool on the 4th, and pretty much had the place to ourselves. We snagged a last minute dinner reservation at a place we wouldn’t usually be able to book.

However, come late night on the 4th, things didn’t seem quite so quiet. Firework booms came from every direction until the wee hours of the morning. As if to say, “Don’t worry! We’re all still here! Happy 4th of July!”

Happy 4th, indeed.

DSC03828DSC03832DSC03855^^cherry pie! dan made one around this time last year, and we decided it’d be a solid 4th of july tradition. he used about 1/3 tart cherries from the tree he planted last summer, and the rest were frozen ones from costco. we greatly enjoyed eating it all weekend long. with bourbon vanilla ice cream from brooklyn of course.^^

IMAGE_2647 IMAGE_2649^^between thunderstorms we biked to the neighborhood pool for willa’s continued swim lessons. ok, that’s not true at all. we just let her do whatever she’s comfortable with but it’s exciting to watch as each time she gets more and more interested in the “big kids’ pool.”^^

IMAGE_2809IMAGE_2815IMAGE_2813^^a virgin mule / date night dinner @ lower48^^

IMAGE_2837^^all dressed up for lunch out with friends.^^

IMAGE_2830^^ending the weekend with a splash (pad)!^^