Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday, Baby Boy

Dear Sawyer,
Today you turn a year old.  My sweet, chunky, cuddly, smiling baby is already turning into a big boy.  I'd be lying if I said I'm not a little bit sad about that.  I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I want to freeze this moment, keep you just like this.

I love that you only have two teeth, one on top and one on bottom, and that you crinkle up your nose in a silly sort of smile to show them off.  I love that your hair is just starting to grow and that it's so light that you still look bald.  I love that your hands and face and clothes and hair are usually sporting remnants of whatever food you were testing out at the last meal.  I love that you play with my rings while you're nursing, curled up in my lap in your chair, and I love holding you after you've fallen asleep and watching your angel eyes flutter as you settle.

These baby moments are fleeting.

You keep showing me that you're growing up.  I am proud of you.  I really am, no matter how bittersweet it is to admit that you're not that tiny bundle I pulled up onto my chest and kissed for the first time a year ago.

At a year old, you're becoming a chatterbox just like your big sisters.  You are saying more and more words every day.
"All done.  Uh-oh.  Mama.  Dada.  Ball ball.  Cup.  Sista.  Weee!  Dancin'.  Pappaw.  Pop.  Up.  Minn-uh (for Minnie and Mickey).  Choo-choo.  Mmmm.  Dog.  Cat.  Thank you.  Hi.  Hey.  Bye bye.  Whassat (what's that)?  This.  Yay!  Oh.  Whoa.  Wow.  Duck.  Clap.  Baby."
There are more that don't spring to mind right now, and we are in awe when you attempt to repeat even the most difficult of words.  It's impressive.  You also do a mean quack and growl.

Last week, you took your first steps.  You walked to me, and I beamed because I knew you put forth a lot of effort to get to your Mommy.  I'm a little happy that you're still unsure about walking and refuse to do more than a couple of steps at a time.  For a little while, at least, I get to see your silly "gorilla crawl"--your on-all-fours mode of transportation.  You are so adept at it.  And I love to see your little booty stuck up in the air as you speed across the room.

You have a way of making everyone so happy.  We can't help but smile when you dance and clap and laugh.  You have always been so sweet, so calm, and so full of love.

When you were born, I was filled with such a sense of power and pride, and those feelings have not ended.  I am proud to be your Mommy.  I am amazed at how you made our family feel whole, like you were missing all along, the third sparkle in my eye.  You bring joy to us all, and you are loved beyond what you will ever be able to comprehend.

My Mommy's Boy. 
Happy birthday, love.
I hope your day and your life are filled with as much happiness as you bring to all of us.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Little Pig, Little Pig...

(And another child of mine begins the incessant knocking and waiting at the bathroom door.  I'm destined to never potty alone.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Salmon Burger Experiment

First and foremost, y'all know I don't cook.  Or at least that I don't cook well.   However, lunch rolled around a few days ago and some factors came together that forced me into it.

1. I'm trying to eat healthier foods.  The pool in our neighborhood opened a couple of weeks ago.  As in, it opened in April, as loony as that is.  Will I be there anytime soon?  No.  But hopefully I'll be able to shed a couple of pounds and convince myself to pull on a bathing suit and splash around at some point this summer.
2. I need to go to the grocery store in a bad way.  My pantry and fridge are pretty bare, so I was forced into creativity, which is usually dangerous.
3. I miss Disney World.

What does Disney World have to do with cooking, you might ask (perhaps not so nicely)?
I'm in the middle of planning for our next trip, and when making all our dining reservations, I perused over all the menus.  One of my favorite things I've ever eaten (ever.) was at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.  The menu at describes it as "Akershus Salmon Burger--on a Toasted Onion Roll with Tomatoes, Arugula, and Spicy Red Pepper Coulis."  Mmmmm.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  Norwegian?  I thought this was a southern specialty!

Growing up, we had salmon patties (no silent "l" according to my southern mama--"SALmon," she calls it) quite often.  These concoctions are pretty basic.  Can of salmon.  Corn meal or flour.  Eggs.  Salt.  Pepper.  Fry in oil.  And boy are they tasty!  Now that I'm married to a fish-hater, I rarely get to eat them.  And since I am trying that healthier approach, the fried aspect wasn't going to work.

I went to my pantry for inspiration.  I knew right away that I didn't have all the ingredients for the delicious salmon burger.  Not by a long shot.  So it was time for one of my creations.

Don't say you haven't been warned.

In a bowl, I threw together:

  • 1 can of salmon, drained, broken up with a fork
  • 2 tbs dried minced onions (you could use about a half an onion, but this is lunchtime and I had no time for chopping with a baby on my hip!)
  • 1 whole egg, plus another egg white.  Keeping these things sticking together is key, and eggs are "sticky," to use a technical term...
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder (could use a clove)
  • 1/2 tsp dill...because it's fish?  I'm not sure why I threw it in.  I think I read somewhere that dill is good with fish.
  • About 3 good shakes of hot sauce.  This was a nod to Akershus' Red Pepper Coulis, mostly because I have no clue how to make a coulis but know I like a little spice.
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire Sauce.  My husband would be proud.
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread, crumbled up, to add more stickiness.
  • Just a small shake of Parmesan cheese, since I knew I would not be allowed to melt a big hunk of cheddar on it.
Can you tell we shop at Publix?

Here is probably the most important thing you should remember:  MIX THIS GENTLY WITH YOUR HANDS.  Oh, yes.  It is squishy and wet and gross.  And there is no other way to do it without turning that fish into a paste that won't stick together at all.
Go ahead.  You know you want to squish it.

So, rings off, gently mix it and  lightly roll it into a small ball.  Roll that ball in flour, smash it into a burger shape (it will be smaller than a regular burger), and plop it into a non-stick skillet sprayed with cooking spray.  Fill up the pan with these babies, and after about three minutes, carefully flip them and cook three minutes on the other side.
Those crunchy bits?  The best part.

Inevitably, you will have some breakage.  If you try to make them big, they will all completely fall apart.

I didn't have a potato bun, so I used whole wheat ones.  I took some more Akershus inspiration and laid down a bed of spring greens on my bun.  I didn't have the coulis, so I topped with...wait for it...ketchup.
Fancy!  It said so right on the ketchup bottle.

Now, it was no restaurant quality salmon burger by any means, but it wasn't bad for just haphazardly grabbing ingredients.  I think it needed more crunch.  Maybe next time I'll add chopped celery or bell pepper.  The ketchup was even good on it, I'm embarrassed to say, but if it had a little horseradish mixed with it it would be even better (isn't that cocktail sauce, though?  oh.).  Also, after I took a picture, I added another patty to my burger because it seemed skimpy.  Delish.

Don't take my word for it, though.  This was Julia's plate when she finished.
Probably all I *should* have been eating.

There are tons of salmon burger/patty/cake recipes out there, all very similar, I might add.  I might just try those.  But for now, this mish-mash worked just fine.