Wednesday, February 29, 2012

She talks

This cutie said mama yesterday. Like yelled "MAMA" right at me to get my attention.
(She has been making the sound for a couple of weeks, but this time I think she was really talking to me!)

She also loves the fans lately. Specifically the chains that hang down from them.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Last Friday Night

I told you yesterday that we had a fun weekend. Friday especially was fun. We went to the USC tennis match! It is free, and we love watching tennis, and the stadium is really pretty!
(I didn't take this picture. But I accidentally erased the one I did take and it looked pretty much like this. Except it was night time. But the lights were so bright it pretty much looked like this.)

We were actually doing our laundry on Friday night. While the wash was going, we went to Baskin Robbins. (BTW, the Baskin Robbins next door to our laundry mat is going to be my downfall. How can I resist it when I have an hour and a half to burn when I'm there alone??) I sure love Baskin Robbins. Glenn did not actually let her eat some. She was disappointed to say the least.

Then, we put all the clothes in one giant dryer and set it for one hour and headed off to the tennis match! Violet was so good, and USC creamed the other team. I think it was San Diego. Apparently, USC has won like 30 national championships in the last 50 years. So I guess it is a good team to be a fan of!

p.s. Speaking of tennis...

Here is more proof that The Bachelor is at least partially scripted:
Rafael Nadal
Ben the Bachelor
How do the girls not bring up how much he looks like Rafael Nadal in EVERY conversation??

Monday, February 27, 2012


We had a wonderful weekend, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about it, because I just can't wait to tell you about the enchiladas!

(They were so good we forgot to take pictures until we were halfway done with dinner!)

We only have half a week left of vegetarian month, so I decided I'd try one more new recipe before the end, and I'm sure glad I did! I found the recipe here, but I changed enough things that I'll repost the recipe with exactly what I did. We loved it so much, I'm definitely going to keep making this one!


Vegetarian Enchiladas
For the filling:
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 big red bell pepper, diced small
1 small serrano pepper, diced very small
1 big cup of frozen corn
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1 big bunch of spinach
the juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
as much chopped cilantro as you want

directions: Saute the red onion until it is turing brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper, and serrano pepper and cook until those are turning brown. Add the corn, and deglaze the pan with the vinegar. Wilt in the spinach, and stir in the lime juice, cumin and cilantro. Done with the filling!

To assemble you'll need:
-the filling
-7-8 flour tortillas
-1 big can of red enchilada sauce (I used La Victorias, per the request of the recipe creator. I was nervous about using canned sauce, but don't worry, it was good.)
-about 8 oz of monterrey jack cheese

directions: dip the tortilla in the sauce so it is saucy on both sides. Fill with the filling and some cheese and roll it up. Put it seam side down in your 9x13 pan. Repeat 7-8 times. Pour a little more sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cook uncovered for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees! YUM!

(We served ours with plain yogurt, which we've been using in place of sour cream lately, just because we have a bunch of it. It is a worthy substitute. I like it MORE than sour cream!)

p.s. Here is a random fact about Glenn: He uses the words "lasagna" and "enchiladas" interchangeably. He can't remember which is which!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dessert, yum!

This month I have been cooking dinner more often than usual, I really have. The other thing I've been cooking a lot? Dessert.

There is a reason. Even though I've been cooking a lot, there is still the occasional day when we have a REALLY lame dinner. Like chips and guac. Or scrambled eggs. Lots of my easy, go-to meals have meat in them, and I'm still getting used to vegetarian meals I can cook on the fly. So when I know we are going to have a really lame dinner, I figure we can enjoy it if we know there is dessert at the end.

Things I've made lately: giant chocolate chip cookies (Like five times in the last couple of weeks), brownie pudding (twice in the last month), and last night: Chocolate mini-cheesecakes! YUM!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Presidents' Day Picnic

You might remember from Labor Day that I decided that our family tradition was going to be that on Monday holidays we have a picnic! (OMG I just looked at the pictures from that post and I can't believe how small she was!)

Well, in keeping with tradition (aka, the second time we've done this) we celebrated on Monday by going to the park with a picnic, frisbee, and cutie-pie baby in hand.

(these pictures are weird because we took them with Glenn's phone. Which is weird. Although admittedly not as weird as mine right now. I can only text words that occur in the first half of the alphabet. Don't ask.)

We ate sandwiches, strawberries, and some homemade "corn nuts" made out of chickpeas and covered in spices and some cinnamon and sugar. Yum!

Violet helped eat the strawberries, of course.
How did you celebrate?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

She moves!

On Saturday, Violet achieved forward motion! She has been scooting backwards for a while now, but this weekend she really got going on the army crawl. Then, yesterday, she pulled herself up to standing! It was amazing to watch. I can't believe how strong and smart she is!

Also, I always put Violet in her room with her toys while I shower in the morning. Today, when I got out of the shower, she had scooted all the way to the doorway of her room. I'm going to have to close the door to her room if I don't want her to get into the shower with me tomorrow!

p.s. Has anyone read anything by Ann Patchett? Like State of Wonder or Bel Canto? I just watched an interview of her, and she seems so cool! So I hope her books are cool because I'm going to get them next time I'm at a bookstore.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My first foray into the world of cooking tofu...

I just couldn't let this whole month of vegetarianism go by without cooking some tofu, right? Actually, Glenn probably thinks I could have. But he was such a good sport, and agreed to try some.

So I made this: tofu with tons of veggies and a coconut milk/peanut sauce over brown rice. You know it is going to be good for you when it starts out like this, right?
First I cooked all those veggies, then I cooked the tofu. Then mixed it all together.
And the verdict? Really good. The sauce and the vegetable were delicious.

But, how is this for a twist ending?

Glenn kind of liked the tofu, and I thought it was kind of weird.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A date

We went on Valentines Day date last night! It was so fun. We were only gone for like an hour, but it is fun to be just the two of us once in a while! My handsome date:
We went to a greek place near us that we'd heard was good. We figured greek would be a good choice because there are always lots of vegetarian options. Glenn got a lamb kabob sandwich, which made me so jealous, because that is what I always get when we get greek food. He said it was amazing! I got a falafel sandwich, which was good, but I'll admit it, Glenn's looked better. This was one of the few times I've felt deprived during this vegetarian month. We also got spanikopita for our appetizer, which is phyllo dough filled with spinach and feta cheese. Delicious!

It is a pretty cool restaurant because it is attached to a greek market where they sold big jugs of olive oil, tons of different kinds of olives, and lots of other cool greek stuff. Also they had this dessert case:
Naturally, Glenn couldn't resist. He got a big square of baklava, and I got a biscotti dipped in chocolate. Yum! We brought them home and ate them sitting in our car in our parking lot and talked for a few minute before going inside.

Oh yeah, I also bought some pitas from the restaurant kitchen before we left, because they were so good! I'm always hesitant to make anything at home that we need pitas for, because it is impossible to buy good pitas at normal grocery stores! So I put them in the freezer, and next time I see a recipe for which I need pitas, I'm making it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chocolate Roses/A Mean Girls quote

Here is the story of how we got five chocolate roses in a vase on our table:
Yesterday morning, when we exchanged our Valentines Day gifts, Glenn gave me a chocolate rose, because his school was selling them as Valentines-grams. So that is how we got the first one.

Then, when Glenn walked into lab that morning, he was greeted by his classmates yelling, "FOUR FOR YOU GLENN COCO, YOU GO GLENN COCO!"
Please tell me someone reading this gets the joke?? Those crazy dentists.

p.s. We are going on a date tonight! We didn't want to get a babysitter for the night of Valentines Day because we felt like whoever we asked, it would be like, "We know YOU definitely don't have a date tonight, will you babysit?". So we got one for tonight. We don't even know what we are doing for the date yet, we are just excited to have a babysitter!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to you all! This morning, Glenn and I opened presents on the bed before we got Violet. I gave him his old watch with a new battery. Most romantic gift ever.

Glenn gave me my most favorite movie ever, No Reservations! I know, such a random movie to really love, but I DO! He also got me a book that he saw on my goodreads "To Read" list, called Looking for Alaska. Has anyone read it?

Here are two love stories for you, to celebrate the occasion:

Story #1:
About 3 years and 3 months ago, Glenn and I spent 10 days in Ambergris Caye, Belize for our honeymoon. It was awesome. We snorkeled in Shark Ray Alley and climbed the ruins at Lamanai. (If you are watching quality television on Monday nights, you may already know what story #2 is going to be).

Story #2: Last night on The Bachelor, Ben took 3 women to snorkel in Shark Ray Alley and spent all his time with the girl who was afraid of sharks, but then gave the rose to Kacie B. But that isn't the important part. Then, he climbed the ruins at Lamanai (the very same pyramid!) with COURTNEY and told COURTNEY he felt THE SPARK with her and wants to meet HER FAMILY! I realize I am overusing the caps, but BEN!! COURTNEY??? SHE IS CRAZY!
K, I'm done. This happens every season on The Bachelor. They keep the crazy one around way to long. I don't know why I'm even surprised anymore.

Monday, February 13, 2012

3 good things

Aren't Sundays the best? Three good things that happened this Sunday:

1. Violet was SO good in church. She just played on the floor or in my lap for all of sacrament meeting. This is the first time I haven't had to take her out or at least stand in the back with her in months.

2. We had cottage cheese-chocolate chip pancakes with strawberry syrup for lunch. It was awesome.

3. During Violet's nap, when I asked Glenn if he would like to play Starcraft with me, he said, "no, let's watch Sound of Music." But then later, when we did play Starcraft, we beat four computer zerg teams against just the two of us!

What good things happened to you on Sunday?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Spinach Ricotta Pie

I warned you that this was going to become a food blog for the month of February, right?? Because I have another recipe to share!
Although this is called a "pie", it seems very much like a quiche. It really should just be called a spinach ricotta quiche.

Incidentally, I made the best pastry dough of my life yesterday for this pie! Thank you Julia Child. I got the recipe for the filling from The Moosewood Cookbook, which my friend lent me. It is interesting because it is handwritten and black and white, and from the 70s, but has so many cool recipes! This recipe is the one my friend pointed out to me as her favorite when she lent me the book. The whole book is vegetarian, which is why my friend lent it to me. Her name is Marie. I feel weird calling her "my friend" over and over again.

1. Saute half an onion. At a pound of chopped spinach, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

2. In a bowl, mix 3 eggs, about two cups of ricotta, 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, some basil (I used pesto because I didn't have any basil), and the spinach mixture.

3. Pour the filling into an unbaked pie crust and bake for 45 minutes.
It was easy and so good! Next time though, I might add more stuff. Like artichoke hearts. (Secretly, my unvegetarian heart tells me it would be good with bacon too.)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Doctor

Wish Violet luck, we are headed off to the doctor again! Probably for more shots. But hopefully no more Hep B shots. We think she got four?? It that bad? I'll ask the doctor today.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Glenn can hardly wait for the day when we can play MarioKart as a family!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Veggie Lasagna

Another vegetarian meal success!

A few months ago at our ward's break-the-fast, we had lasagna. There were like five different ones and Glenn got a different one than me. He loved the one he picked, so I tried it, and realized he was eating the vegetarian one! So going into this month of vegetarian meals, I knew I wanted to get that recipe.

The recipe was more of a flexible outline. I will share with you what I made. One different thing about this lasagna is rather than boil the noodles, you make it the night before with uncooked noodles, refrigerate it overnight, and then back the next day. The texture of the noodles was wonderful, much better than other lasagnas I've made where I boiled the noodles first.

Another good thing about this lasagna: you get to eat this big pile of veggies!

Here is the "recipe":
Basically, you cook some veggies with garlic and onion in a big skillet. I picked zucchini, summer squash, asparagus, and carrots. The recipe also suggested bell peppers, which probably would be delicious, so I'll have to make this again in the summer when the bell peppers aren't so expensive.

Then you assemble the lasagna:
Put some tomato sauce on the bottom of your 9x13 (I just used a jar of store-bought sauce)

Then layer:
noodles (uncooked!)
(repeat two more times and put mozzerella cheese on top.)

Bake for an hour at 350!

It was SO GOOD. Glenn loved it too, and we have enough for two more dinners! That is what I call a success!

post update: I'm eating leftovers for lunch right now and it is even better the second day! I don't know what makes this lasagna so much better than others but it is the best!

Monday, February 6, 2012

This weekend

This weekend my parents came to visit! It was wonderful to have them here! On Saturday, we went to Santa Monica to shop, and also to try a trendy vegan restaurant that I'd hear of called RFD. It stands for Real Food daily, and I used my New Years Resolution of Vegetarian February as leverage in convincing the meat-loving men to consent to this place for lunch.

It was really cool inside, and my food was GOOD! I think I ordered the best thing. It was Kung Pao Tempeh, and I loved it. There was one thing in it we didn't recognize, so we asked what it was, and it turns out it was Lotus Root. Didn't even know you could eat that. It was good and crunchy, like a water chestnut.
(Cool light fixtures)
(Violet trying to escape from her high chair)
(The lotus root)
(Violet and her grandpa!)

It was so good to have my parents here. I'm glad we have Violet so we can lure them here for a visit once in a while!

p.s. Here's a sad story for you: One of my favorite parts of the day is when Violet is napping and I make myself lunch. I have a tuna sandwich or soft-boiled eggs every day for lunch when Glenn is gone. Tuna fish is out this month obviously, so eggs it is. I pride myself on the perfection of my soft-boiled eggs. And today they were undercooked and gross. However, this weekend my mom made me a pile of chocolate cookies, so I had some for dessert and the meal was salvaged. The end.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Honey Pasta Salad

I made this for dinner on the first night of vegetarian month because I knew Glenn and I already like it, and we wouldn't be missing the meat, at least for one day! (See yesterday's post for how I ate a ham sandwich later that night.)

I tried to take a screen shot of Pita Jungle's menu, but apparently this isn't on the menu anymore! I have eaten this salad there a few times and I love it, so a few months ago I decided to try to make it myself. Back then, it was still on the online menu for Pita Jungle and it said something like "Vegetables pan-fried with garlic, ginger, and basil, and tossed with pasta and a honey vinaigrette." I remember from having it at the restaurant that it usually had eggplant, squash, and sometimes cauliflower. I left out the cauliflower the first time, and it was so good I've just never added it, but I'm sure it would be delicious if you put it in!

Here is the recipe I came up with:
Honey Pasta Salad
1 box rotini pasta (veggie kind, if you want, so it is three colors)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch of ginger root, grated
1 Japanese eggplant (or small regular eggplant)
2 large summer squash
2 large zucchini
1-2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup of honey or agave (or more, if you want)
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1. Make the vinaigerette: Put honey and vinegar in the bottom of your serving bowl. Whisk in the olive oil.
2. Cook the pasta.
3. Meanwhile, cut the eggplant and squash into similar shapes and sizes. In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the garlic. After about 30 seconds, add the veggies and ginger. Cook until veggies are soft and caramelized. (Don’t stir too much or the veggies won’t get a good caramelization.) In the last minute of cooking time, add the salt and most of the basil, reserving a little for garnish.
4. Add pasta and veggies to the serving bowl with the vinaigerette and toss. Garnish with the remaining basil.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Last night was awesome in all all ways but one. Here is what happened:

A guy in our ward wanted to go to the Van Halen concert last summer (I'll try to get this story back around to last night pretty quickly). Apparently, the only way he could get a ticket was to also buy a bunch of VIP box tickets to a Kings game (hockey). So he offered four tickets to our friends in our ward, Paul and Courtney, who also happen to know that Glenn is a huge hockey fan, so they invited us! The game was last night and we both got babysitters. To make it even more awesome, our friends live like less than a five minute walk from the Staples center, so we just parked in their garage. Parking for the Staples center is CRAZY so it was so cool that that wasn't even an issue for us.
(Seriously, it is impossible to take a decent picture at a hockey game.)
The game was awesome. It was 2-2 and in literally the LAST SECOND of the game the Kings scored the winning goal. Glenn was in heaven. Also, we got to use the VIP entrance, the VIP elevator, and joke about the "poor people" at the game who weren't us. (haha, we were probably the four poorest people in the stadium. Paul is also a dental student.) Also, there was all this delicious free food for us in the box! Like this giant and delicious chocolate chip cookie.
This brings me to my failure. There were also sub sandwiches in that amazing box. Full of ham. And I ate one without even thinking. I didn't even make it ONE DAY into my vegetarian month without messing up! Oh well, I guess I'll just continue my month one day into March to make up for it.

For dinner before we left, I made this delicious pasta:
I've made it many times, and both Glenn and I love it, but the recipe will have to wait til tomorrow, as it is about time to wrap this post up.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It begins!

Remember how one of my New Years Resolutions was to be a vegetarian for the month of February? Well, guess what? It is February already!

So Happy first day of vegetarian month!

(Also, happy birthday Meredith Lewis. I think. I randomly remember that this might be her birthday, and I think she reads this blog.)

To celebrate, tonight I am making one of Glenn's (and my) most favorite dinners, which also happens to be meat free. I'll probably post about it tomorrow. In fact, prepare yourself for more food posts in the next month, because I'm trying a lot of new things. I'm pretty excited!

P.s. My first book club meeting was last night and it was a huge success! Six girls came who had read the book, and we had a great conversation! Everyone liked the book and participated in the conversation. Also, everyone loved the brownies.

p.p.s I made tamales yesterday. They are delicious. I can't believe I didn't take a picture. There are about 25 left in the freezer, so maybe a picture later.