Food Memories

Birthday & Seattle

January has been a rough one for me so far! I got sick a few weeks before Christmas with a cold, that turned into a sinus infection over Christmas, then after New Year’s it came back and moved into my chest. I had an upper respiratory infection/bronchitis and viral sinus infection. Oy. I was on antibiotics (again) for the bronchitis this time, AND prednisone. Yuck! I hate prednisone and first I said no to the doctor, but I’m glad I decided to get it. As much as I hate the side effects, it works. When you have asthma, lung sicknesses are terrible. 🙁

So I started the new year with kind of a whimper. The weight I lost in December (3 pounds) probably came back and then some, thanks prednisone, but I haven’t weighed in yet. I’ll give it a little bit more time and check in. But my pants are tight, so I know I gained.

Because of being sick, I also took some time off from the gym. I made the mistake of swimming when I wasn’t quite over my illness and then my cough got WORSE! I know one of my goals for this year was to rest when I need to and listen to my body better…so I am trying to do that. Even though it’s disappointing.

I am sick of coughing and congestion and sucking on cough drops 24/7. SIGH. So far January has been a bit of a bummer!

This time last year, Michael and I got to spend a little time away for my birthday at Edgefield. It was great! But sadly, on my birthday last year I realized it was the beginning of the end for Yggdrasil. We got back from our getaway and he was sick. I spent my birthday crying, waiting for news from the vet about whether or not my kitty had cancer.

I got lucky, I guess, and it wasn’t cancer and we got 8 more months together, even though they were hard months. It’s definitely hard hitting these “anniversaries” in this first year of Yggdrasil being gone. I know it will get a little easier with time and once these “firsts” without him are done.

For my birthday this year, I had the day off from work. I got to sleep in a little bit and then discovered a nice card from Michael and a giftcard to a spa I like. I had breakfast and then we took Logan to OMSI. 

My parents got Logan an OMSI membership for Christmas and this was the first time he’s ever been there. He had a blast! I remember loving OMSI as a kid when we would come down to Portland from Seattle to visit my cousins.

OMSI has a room for 0-6 year olds and it’s all hands-on stuff they can play with and explore. There were way too many things to describe! Check out my Instagram for some videos. 🙂 Anyways, Logan had a blast running around, exploring, touching everything. He seemed a bit overwhelmed at first. I think the more we go, the more he’ll explore and have fun.

After OMSI, it was home for lunch and naps (me too!) and then I went swimming. It was a nice swim, after a few weeks off from being sick. There was a guy in the hot tub asking me about how to start swimming laps and where to buy goggles. He was complaining about not having any and having to swim with his head above water. So I gave him an extra pair of goggles I had with me that didn’t fit my eyes and he was super grateful! I was glad to pass them on. Hopefully that helps him.

Birthday dinner was pizza and beer. Yay!

Saturday I got up early with Logan and has some quality playtime, then I went to the gym and then drove to Seattle for a few days. Last week my mom fell and got hurt and was in the hospital for 5 days. She’s doing better and will be ok, but I wanted to go up and see for myself and help out.

(That was Logan in the window when I got home from the gym. LOL)

The drive up was nice. I put on some CDs from my childhood, there was no traffic, I saw a rainbow, and arrived home in good time. First order of business: my mom asked me to take some groceries and medicine to my Grandma.

I surprised my Grandma (who just turned 96!) by just showing up at her place with the groceries and some flowers. We spent some time together catching up and then it was time for her to go down to dinner. After our visit, I picked up dinner for my parents and me:

Yum! Dick’s Drive In burgers, fries and milkshakes. My favorite when in Seattle. 😀

On Sunday I made my mom breakfast, went to the gym for a quickie workout, then went grocery shopping for my parents, vacuumed the house, made lunch, did some other little stuff my mom needed. Then met up with my bff Rachel for an early dinner in Fremont.

We met at Nuna Ramen in Fremont and it was SO good! Mine was a bit spicy, she got the not-spicy garlic ramen. It was delicious and hit the spot on such a dark, gray, rainy night.

The food was great and arrived super fast. The price was right, too. After dinner we walked to Swel Restaurant down the street for a glass of wine, dessert and a few hours of conversation. 🙂

I got the deep fried donut holes that came with chocolate sauce drizzled on the plate and a spoonful of whipped cream. Delicious! Rachel got the giant chocolate chip cookie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I was slightly jealous of her order. It looked really good (and she said it was freshly baked and gooey! Yum!).

The restaurant was super romantic and cute. Definitely a good place to go for a date night. We both laughed and said it would be nice to be there with our husbands, but being there together was a good second choice. 😉 We had a lot to catch up on! We’ve both been so freaking busy with life and the holidays and other stuff that we’ve barely had a chance to talk since we hung out in September. So it was a very nice visit.

Overall, the weekend was good. Lots of family time. I was glad I was able to help my parents out. I wish we didn’t live so far away from each other. Whenever I go back to Seattle, I miss it.

Black Eyed Peas Recipe

For Christmas, my parents got us a gift box from Rancho Gordo.  My parents went there last time they were in California. I’ve never had black eyed peas before, so I was excited to try it. Especially with the Southern Tradition of getting good luck if you eat it on New Year’s Day! We could use all the good luck in 2018 we can get.

There were several recipes in the gift box. There was a recipe for posole rojo, caramelized onion cassoulet and the Black Eyed Pea stew. There were bags of posole, black eyed peas, cassoulet beans plus Mexican Oregano and New Mexican Chile Powder (yum!).

Here is the recipe for the black eyed peas:

After our snowshoeing adventure on New Year’s Day, I took a quick power nap and then got to cookin’.

Chopped up the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Cooked the bacon (YUM) and then sauteed the veggies. The recipe took about 2 hours from start to finish.

After it all simmered for a long time, it looked like this:

The one change I made was adding a can of vegetable broth instead of just plain water. We ate our dinner as a family (Logan had mac n’ cheese and green beans LOL, he ate one bite of the stew and didn’t like it).

The dinner was absolutely delicious! We both loved it. I would definitely make this recipe again. So delicious! I’d make cornbread next time, to go with it.

And here’s to hopefully a lucky 2018!

QUESTION: Do you have a special New Year’s Day meal you make?