First Harvest

My husband picked our first vegetables of the year from our garden. About two seconds later, he found one of his pepper plants stripped bare of its’ leaves. He also found the fattest caterpillar on earth next to the plant, with an incriminating fleck of pepper leaf in the corner of its’ little caterpillar mouth.

My husband used words that are not fit for public consumption, but being the softie he is, simply relocated the guilty party to another part of the yard.

I’m going to laugh when he finds the caterpillar back in the peppers tomorrow.


Getting the Heathens to Eat Something Other Than Chicken—Kid (and Husband) Friendly Salmon Croquettes

Living in the land of picky eaters means that I have to tinker with recipes…a lot. In any given culinary experiment, I am usually forced to omit one, if not several ingredients because either the Heathens or my husband will not touch the dish otherwise. I’ve worked hard to get the kids eating proteins beyond chicken, chicken and more chicken. Oh, how I’ve worked, Progress is slow, but they’ve come a long way in the past year. They both embraced sausage, bacon and steak, but seafood is still hit and miss.

I recently stumbled on a new way to make Salmon Croquettes that helped further the cause. You really should try these. They are dang tasty.

Salmon Croquettes

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Here’s what you will need:

  • 1 can (14.7 oz) salmon (you’ll need to take out the bones and junk)
  • 1 pkg. herb stuffing mix
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh dude)

Place the salmon in a bowl, after you’ve removed the bones and anything else that looks weird:

Add all the remaining ingredients:

Mix all the ingredients together with your hands until well combined. Sorry Charlie, but there is really no better way to mix it than with your hands. I’m not a fan of touching stinky fish either, but that’s what good hand soap is for.

Once the ingredients are combined, form the mixture into 8 patties:

Cover the patties with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. If you don’t, they will just fall apart when you cook them, and that sure isn’t fun. Once the patties are chilled, heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Basically, you need enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. Cook the patties about three minutes on each side:

Watch the patties carefully, because they burn easily if you don’t; turn the heat down if they are in danger. Since the salmon is already cooked, you are only heating the patties through and browning the outside. Trust me, three minutes per side should be plenty.

Remove the patties from the skillet and drain on paper towels:

The Heathens eat these with ketchup (*sigh*), but I bet a good Remoulade would be awesome too. My husband saves the extra patties (if there are any extras) and slaps them on a burger bun with cheese for lunch the next day.

An entrée for less than $5 that the kids actually eat? One that’s not chicken?

I call that score one for mom.

Six Weeks Old and the Two Baby Products I Couldn’t live Without

Bean is six weeks old today!

After spending a fortune on baby stuff, we’re getting an idea of what we love, what was a waste of money and what we couldn’t live without.

Let me tell ya a little bit about this:

This was the best $15 I spent. When I first bought this timer gadget, my husband looked at me like I was an insane waster of money. After all, we have iPhones and they do everything, right? However, unlocking our password-protected iPhones and waiting for apps to load takes time…precious seconds we don’t have when juggling a newborn. I admit, this gadget is so ridiculously simple in concept that it seems unnecessary. But, as our entire family will tell you, I now live with the Itzbeen timer. This thing was a lifesaver in the hospital. I could keep track, at a glance, of how long it had been since Bean ate, since we changed her diaper and even since I had my pain medication. When I was recovering from surgery, this was my mental back-up when pain and sleep deprivation clouded my brain. Six weeks later, I still use this 24/7.There’s no fiddling or fussing. I just push the appropriate button, and the timer for that particular activity resets so, two sleep deprived hours later, I know how long it’s been. I don’t have to use up valuable post-partum brain power doing the math or trying to remember when I last fed her, changed her, or gave her medicine. It even has a flashlight so I’m able to find the pacifier at night without waking her up. Also, my husband can instantly see where we are at in Bean’s schedule. If she’s crying and I’m in the shower, he can check the timer and know instantly whether she’s hungry or just fussy. So yeah, it was $15 well spent.

As for baby carriers, I researched, over-analyzed, and finally bought both the Moby:

And the Ergo:

They both had top ratings and awesome reviews, and I assumed we would use them both. Sadly, the Moby was a disaster for us. My husband and I tried to figure it out, read the instructions repeatedly, and watched the videos online. Even with extensive practice, we just could never finagle it. Bean was always so awkwardly positioned that we spent the entire time checking and adjusting her. Also, the Moby was too much of a pain in the rear to use. After dragging the tails through the Target parking lot as I tried to put it on, I finally conceded that the Moby just wasn’t for us. Even if we had been able to figure it out, I don’t think that the layers of heavy fabric are practical for the hot, humid Louisiana weather.

The Ergo, however, is the BEST. Either my husband or I use it every day. It’s a piece of cake to get on and off, and to get Bean in and out of. I use it when we shop, go to the library and just about everywhere else. My husband often calms a fussy Bean by strapping on the Ergo and walking laps around our house. Our Ergo was an investment, but six weeks later, I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

So, that’s the skinny on our first round of baby products. The jury is still out on the rest of Bean’s stuff, but I’ll let ya know.