Monday, March 26, 2012

Chickpea Salad

The other day I ran across a recipe for chickpea sandwich stuffing on allrecipes.com. It called for celery which I am not a fan of but I figured I could leave that out. But, instead of following the listed recipe I was inspired to create my very own chickpea salad.

You need:
  • 1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup of sweet onion finely diced
  • 1/2 of a cucumber, peeled, sliced and then quartered
  • 1/2 of a green pepper finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons of mayo
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of dried dill
  • salt
  • pepper
 Combine all ingredients and mix well. You can serve this as is or atop lettuce. I put it over lettuce and added tuna for some extra protein.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Beyond The Wedding Rings

Seven years ago today I woke up leisurely, my eyes opened wide and I saw my wedding dress hanging up, just waiting for me to put it on. I sat and daydreamed for a minute in the quiet envisioning what married life would be like. This morning I was drug from precious slumber by a three year old's foot to my knee, a five year old effectively paralyzing my legs by laying across my shins and the hungry mouth of a one year old who wanted her early morning cuppa breastmilk straight from the tap. And through the haze of half opened tired eyes I could almost see my husband far away on the other side of this mound of children. My how things change, eh?

It's funny how your perception of marriage, really life in general, changes. Before they get married most people are pretty optimistic about their future of wedded bliss.You know, the cuddles and kisses and chirpy happy I love you pookie wookies and copious amounts of sunshine and rainbows. Pardon me while I laugh for a moment. :-) Many people don't anticipate the time when you no longer jump out of bed to gargle the morning breath away and brush your crazy bedhead hair before your partner wakes up. They don't realize that there will eventually be times when they actually won't want to kiss and cuddle. Yes, I was one of them. Were you?

The truth is, sure marriage can be awesome, if you've chosen the right partner of course. But, marriage is also work, and I know it's been said a million times but it's very very true. Loving someone is relatively easy and it's obviously very important. But the hard part is meshing your lives, learning to compromise, learning when to give and when to take, knowing when to give in and let it go and when to fight. Yes I said fight. Because it's going to happen. Call it a fight, an argument, a disagreement, a discussion, whatever you'd like, but it will happen. Some disagreements of course are really minor while others might make you wonder exactly why you got married at all. Good news! It's normal!

Marriage changes as life changes. Kids are a HUGE change. Suddenly you're not focused just on each other but on these tiny and very needy people as well. And with kids comes more compromises and disagreements. Does he support her desire to breastfeed? What to do about a nursery theme when he wants sports and she wants cuddly little animals? Will he/she change diapers? How will you discipline and what type of actions warrant said discipline? Is Mommy going to get mad if Daddy gives his little princess a cookie before breakfast? Is Daddy going to mind if Mommy paints her boys' nails? Sure, most of these seem pretty minor right? But they are very common disagreements among parents. And yes, my husband and I have had a few of those discussions. ;-)

Throughout life jobs may change, friends come and go, people pass and new babies are born and the family dynamics change. Life events change us individually so of course they cause changes within a marriage. You either adjust or you don't. Sometimes people can work through changes but sometimes events turn them into very different people and they just grow apart. Some people can do their best and work through it but sometimes it doesn't work. That's life and marriage.

My point being that marriage doesn't stay the same and neither do you. That's fine and it's normal. Marriage may not be exactly what you expect when you're sitting there on your wedding day daydreaming about the future but it is what you make of it. There's no specific formula for the perfect marriage. What works for one couple isn't going to work for everyone. The important thing is that BOTH people are trying to make it through all those changes and adjustments. If both people aren't willing to try, then you've got a big problem.

I'll admit my marriage has been through ups and downs but I think it's rare that a marriage is all smooth sailing. There are going to be bumps. It's how you handle them that matters. To give you insight on the state of my marriage today, here's a scene from my kitchen this morning. As my husband wrapped his arms around my waist, I put my arms around his neck and smiled. Then I sweetly whispered "Happy what the f*ck were we thinking day!". My husband just laughed and replied. "I like that. Happy what the f*ck were we thinking day to you too." That may have been followed by some of those kisses and cuddles.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chocolatey Peanut Butter Cheerios Cookies

We recently tried the new PB Cheerios and although I wouldn't like them in a bowl of milk, I thought they would be yummy in a trail mix or perhaps a cookie. So, I created such a cookie. These cookies are very chocolatey which is always a plus in my family's opinion. Enjoy!

You Need:

  • 2 cups pb cheerios 
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 11.5 oz bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. You need to crush the pb Cheerios. This works well in a food processor but if you don't have one, crush them by hand. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a large bowl and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and blend. Spray a cookie sheet with baking spray then drop dough by the tablespoon onto the tray. These cookies don't spread much so you can easily fit a dozen on one tray. Bake at 250 for 12 - 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks then enjoy!


Photographs

Some pictures I have recently taken at the National Zoo in D.C.