Monday, November 14, 2011

The New Normal

As I mentioned yesterday, Thatboy went back to work last week. Leaving me to play parent all by myself during the day. While he was home we worked out a pretty good routine which involved us taking turns taking care of the baby while the other one got things like laundry, dishes, and meal prep done around the house. In the afternoon, we'd take a nice, long 3 mile walk.

Things are a lot different now. Now Thatboy gets up and heads to work and I have time to do nothing but take care of the baby. Pretty much nothing gets done around here until he gets home from work and we trade off. So dinners are not labor intensive. Especially because I like to head to the gym when he gets home so I can get some running in. I mean the half marathon I'm running in January is not going to take "I just had a baby" as an excuse for poor training.

And I don't get my afternoon walks anymore either - although we do go for walks to the supermarket to pick up things I realize we need. So I've decided to use this time I'm home with Thatbaby to do some exploring. We're going to try to visit a different farmer's market every week. San Diego has 51 Farmer's markets that take place 7 days a week. Obviously we won't hit every one, but it'll be fun to explore and get us both out of the house.

Last week we went to the Carlsbad Village Farmer's Market. It was a little disappointing. The highlight was my favorite apple vendor and loads and loads of summer corn. I picked up A LOT of corn. We'll be eating corn for days!

For $14 I got 7 ears of corn, 2 onions, 2 apples, 2 asian pears, 5 tomatoes a bag of thai chiles, and a bag of bell peppers.

My new weeknight meals are thrown together during bathtime. When Thatboy comes home he gives Thatbaby a bath, a bottle, a story, and a cuddle while I run to the gym and throw things together in a pot. However, just because it's quick, doesn't mean you can't dress up dinner. Like taking storebought ravioli and creating a rich, enticing cream sauce, loaded with herbs, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

And to further take advantage of the fall bounty I served it with some roasted squash tossed with spinach and some chestnuts. With this colder weather coming in, a warm dinner full of fall flavors doesn't take long to make or enjoy.

Tomato, Mushroom, Basil Ravioli
1 pkg ravioli
1/4 cup butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp dry white wine
1/4 cup basil, chiffonade

  1. Prepare ravioli according to the package instructions.
  2. While it's cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the cream cheese and garlic and stir until the cream cheese is melted.
  3. Add milk and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add parmesean, mushrooms, tomatoes, wine, and basil. Heat through and remove from heat. The sauce will thicken quickly.
  5. Stir the ravioli into the sauce and serve.

Creamed Chestnuts
1/2 lb of shelled chestnuts
1/2 cup of beef broth
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp heavy cream
  1. Combine chestnuts, beef broth, salt and pepper in a pan. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Add butter and cream and stir to coat the chestnuts. Heat through.


  1. You aren't doing as badly as you think. I'm impressed by how quickly you have adapted to motherhood. It gets less demanding as the baby grows. I love the dinner you've shared with us today. It truly sounds wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  2. I would get absolutely NOTHING done all day if I didn't have the Ergo!

  3. I am amazed that you are (a) training for a half and (b) still getting dinner on the table! Ravioli are my favorite way to simultaneously dress up and dress down dinner.

  4. Seriously! You are beyond impressive. I need to step up my game.

  5. This looks amazing That Girl. It brings back all the memories of summer!