#mightyifitkillsme, food

#mightyifitkillsme: Eat what you love

There are two things I love about recommitting to paying attention to food: Discovering new things I love, and remembering things I love but had forgotten about. So here’s a new one, and an old one for this week.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow cooker Indian food? Okay. I’m in. I found two options that made sense to me, and combined them my way. I gave this one a shot because given the ingredient list I ended up with, the worst case scenario was that it would be a little boring. It wasn’t boring. It was yum.

In your slow cooker, combine:
1 can full-fat coconut milk
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground ginger (could use fresh!)
1 can tomato paste
1 to 2 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt

2-3 lbs pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs), cut into 2-inch chunks
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cups quartered mushrooms
2 cups carrot rounds
28 ounces canned diced tomatoes

Cook on low for 6 hours. In the last half hour, season and thicken with cornstarch if desired, and put jasmine rice on to cook. Serves 6-8 for about 300 calories each.

Chopped vegetable salad

I really hate lettuce. It’s boring and annoying and bleh. I’ll eat a good spinach salad; spinach has flavor. Mixed spring greens can hold my attention via texture. But really, just skip it. What I want about salads are the other bits. So now I make salads out of just the other bits.

1 cup chopped raw broccoli
1 cup chopped raw cauliflower
1 cup grated raw carrots
1 cup diced apple.
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (cherries, apricots, raisins, etc)
1/2 cup nuts or seeds (sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, pecans, sunflower, etc)
To dress it, mix together:
Oil of your choice
balsamic vinegar (in whatever ratio suits your taste)
1tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of hot pepper relish

Whisk until blended, then salt to taste, and add cayenne if you need more kick. Pour over the salad, and divide into 3 portions of about 400 calories each. Enjoy!


Today’s adapted recipe is for no-bake energy bites. All measurements approximate!


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder
  • 1 cup crispy rice cereal
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

Mix the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. 

Combine the last three ingredients in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave for a minute or so to melt, and stir to combine them. Add the softened ingredients to the  dry ingredients and stir until all ingredients are well blended.

Press the mixture into a pan lined with parchment paper, cover, and refrigerate to set. 

After they’ve set, cut into cubes and store in the refrigerator until you’ve eaten them all… Which won’t take long. 


Note: I cut them up into 30 pieces. MyFitnessPal says they’re 125 calories each. 


Jenica’s spaghetti sauce
Half an onion, roughly chopped

A few cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

Olive oil, a splash

Sauté in a heavy 12″ frying pan or 10″ Dutch oven over medium heat, until they smell awesome, then add:

1 lb ground beef of the fat content of your choice. 

Cook until it’s browned through, stirring to break it up and distribute the onions. 


1 cup chopped carrots

2 cups diced zucchini

1 cup sliced mushrooms

(These are approximate amounts; I add what looks good.)


2 cans diced tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

Stir, and set to simmer over low heat. 

Add approximately (to taste! Stir and taste as you go!)

1-2 tsp salt

1-2 tbsp dried Italian seasoning

1-2 tsp garlic powder

Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender, and then taste and adjust the seasonings. 

That’s it. 

Change the veggies to suit you, use ground pork or Italian sausage instead of beef, and serve with spaghetti noodles, spaghetti squash, meatballs, Italian sausage… It’s a flexible recipe. 🙂

#mightyifitkillsme, craftastic, food, gratitudejournal, insert emoticon here

You know what happens when I don’t post or comment on Facebook for 24 hours?

I want to write elsewhere.

Imagine that.

So let’s reclaim that part of me, too. I am a writer. It’s a thing I do that has value for me.

So is exercising. This morning I did situps and squats with hand weights, and it felt good. Really good. Justin commented that I was walking differently when I got dressed this morning. I stood and paced during a meeting today and felt more at home in my body than I have in a long time. Let’s reclaim that.

I made dinner last night. Chicken thighs, turnips, parsnips, carrots, and mushrooms made into a stew/soup stuff, based on this recipe. Tasty. We ate it all. Reclaimed.

I have a novel on my bedside table. I’ve read some of it. Fiction. In print. Reading. Reclaimed.

I knit a cat toy — just a little stuffed squid — for Steve a few nights ago. Reclaimed.

What’s next?

#mightyifitkillsme, food, working mother

I’m feeling rested (mostly) and healthy (mostly) and like I can (try) to make time to exercise and eat better. This is significant progress, and it only took a full year since my maternity leave ended…

But I think I need little rewards. SO. I’m setting some for myself, from my savings account.

  1. When I work out or do yoga every day for 2 weeks straight, I’ll buy a new phone case from Threadless.
  2. When I track my eating and hit my goals for a full week, I’ll buy a new piece of jewelry.
  3. When I finish a full 30 days of the 30 Day Sculpt (aka, What Fresh Hell) I’ll buy a new exercise outfit from Athleta or Title Nine.
  4. When I lose 5 lbs, I’ll buy a new Avatar tshirt from Redbubble.
  5. When I lose 10 lbs, I’ll take me and Justin out to dinner at First Crush.
  6. When I lose 15 lbs, I’ll treat myself to a massage and manicure.
  7. When I get my waist measurement back below 33 and hips below 41, I’ll buy new skinny jeans, at full price. (Unless I find a good sale. I love a good sale.)
  8. And if I somehow manage to lose all 35 lbs that I’m aiming for, I’m buying a new pair of Fluevogs.

Now: GO.

#mightyifitkillsme, craftastic, food, insert emoticon here, The animals, The Tiniest Capen, working mother

This morning I drank a smoothie while making scrambled eggs with cheese, raisin toast, and bacon for the rest of the humans in the house. Then I ate a piece of raisin toast and called it a win.

In the course of living today, I:

  • jammed copper wire from the pan scrubber under my thumbnail
  • had a stack of four garbage cans roll over my big toe because I wore flipflops to Lowes
  • broke a nail while doing dishes
  • took a baby skull to the cheekbone
  • spent 20 minutes trying to convince G to nap but really just getting kicked in the boobs a lot
  • crawled across the floor and managed to put my knee, the one with the big-ass scab on it from falling two weeks ago, right onto an alphabet block
  • wrenched my shoulder, the problematic one, while picking up G at a bad angle
  • walked into a bag of Sakrete on a shelf at Lowes, jamming my upper arm into the corner of it
  • I don’t even know why my left hand hurts but it does

Did you know that if you sprinkle cheerios onto beef-and-bean enchiladas, like a garnish or a seasoning, the toddler whose dinosaur divided plate holds said enchiladas and cheerios will be compelled to eat the cheerios, because toddler, and then will also eat the enchiladas beneath the cheerios despite rejecting said enchiladas not 10 minutes earlier? Because cheerios are the ultimate in food and make everything better.

Note: This does not work on sauteed spinach. Sauteed spinach is for losers, and the toddler will just pull the spinach off the cheerios before eating them.


The kid who lives in my house can now wash her own face (badly), brush her own hair (badly), open the refrigerator (too easily), close any and all doors (so far, with her on the correct side), and independently travels around our home.

It’s brilliant.


I think I’m not going to have a full two-day weekend where I am home and not working until late May. I’m trying not to dwell on this. I chose this life, I love my work, it’s exciting times, and I’m doing good things. But man, would I like to disconnect for a few days in a row…

We took the crib side off of her bed, and made it a toddler bed. Because, hell, she doesn’t sleep in it, so we might as well make it into a little book-reading couch.

Jack has moved in. He sleeps there, now. Screw you guys, this is my new house.

I washed all the dishes ever to dish today. Justin emptied, vacuumed, sorted, dusted, and windexed both cars. We ate homemade breakfast, ran errands and went to four stores, and were home by 10:30 am.

I have no idea who we are anymore. Strangely competent (and yet fully incompetent) adult-type people, I guess.

I have not yet exercised or meditated, but I played with my kid without distractions, I did at least 30 minutes of housework, I made a food plan and stuck to it, and I cooked food for my family. All of those are daily goals, and I did them. I’ll see about the meditation and exercise after I do a few hours of work.

And the whole “get 10 hours of sleep” thing can just go crawl back under its rock, because BWAHAHAHAHA.

I’d like to crochet a blanket for Gwyn, inspired by Wee Liam’s blankies that come with him on Fridays. Then I think about my life and I just set aside that desire for some other time.

Maybe while we’re at Pennsic. I can crochet in garb.



There is a flying pig on Gwyneth’s new carpet. It’s awesome. When pigs fly, dude. When pigs fly.

food, storytime with G, The Tiniest Capen

Gwyneth Feeds Her Friends

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Gwyneth, and she and her friend Blue Dog decided they were going to become Master Chefs. They put on their aprons and their poofy hats, and they marched into the kitchen. They were standing in the middle of the kitchen, whisks and bowls in hand, trying to decide what to cook to demonstrate that they were, in fact, Master Chefs, when Max C. Bear walked in.

“Hi, Max, we’re being Master Chefs. What would you like to eat today?” Gwyn asked.

“Honey! I like honey!” Max answered.

Gwyn said, “Well, we have honey right here!” and gave the jar to Max, who started dipping his paw in, and licking the honey off with glee. Gwyn and Blue went back to thinking, and then Bedtime Bear walked in.

“Bedtime Bear, what would YOU like to eat? We’re becoming Master Chefs, so we’ll make you anything you want,” Gwyn promised.

“Well, my favorite thing to eat is maple syrup,” he suggested, in his quiet way.

No problem, thought Gwyn, we always have that… and so she gave him a jug of syrup, which he began to sip with a straw.

“Now, Blue, what shall we feed our friends?” Gwyn asked.

“How about cheddar bunnies?” asked a new voice. Gwyn turned to Phil, who had just walked into the kitchen, and said, “OK, we can have some cheddar bunnies!” and gave a bag to Phil, who sat down between the bears and started munching.

Just as Gwyn turned around, Millie the Giraffe walked in. “Ooh, snacktime! Can I have some broccoli?” Gwyn knew there was broccoli leftover from last night’s dinner, so gave her that, and Millie sat down on Max’s other side.

As Gwyn reached for her bowl and whisk, BunBun hopped in. “BunBun, what would YOU like to eat? We’re trying to be Master Chefs, and you’re next!” Gwyn was really hoping BunBun would want something that would prove she was a Master… but BunBun’s answer wasn’t what she was hoping for.

“Celery, please! Good crunchy leafy stuff.” Gwyn sighed as she gave the celery from the refrigerator to BunBun, and stood, looking a little downtrodden, surrounded by a circle of her friends, all munching on the snacks she’d given them. Not one of them had asked for anything that would prove she was a Master!

Just then Mama came into the kitchen, and saw Gwyn and Blue looking sad. She looked at the bears with their sweet treats, and Phil with his crunchy crackers, and Millie chomping on broccoli, and BunBun nibbling celery, and said, “What’s wrong, Sweetest? You look sad.”

Gwyn explained her problem. “…and I wanted to prove I was a Master and all they wanted was easy stuff!”

“Oh, baby, don’t you see? You gave your friends exactly what they wanted, and they’re all happy. That sounds like exactly the thing a Master Chef would try to do, doesn’t it? I think you already proved it.” Then she smiled and stroked a hand down Gwyn’s hair. “But if it would make you happy, you can help me make some of your favorite carrot muffins. That’s definitely Master level work.”

Gwyn realized her mama was right. Her friends were happy, and she’d helped. And now she and Mama were going to make muffins, and she’d be happy… a lesson she learned from another Master Chef.

#mightyifitkillsme, food, insert emoticon here, The animals, The Tiniest Capen

I sort of lost September. I got really sick, and then I weaned Gwyn, and then I got really depressed, and suddenly it was October.

So far October’s been pretty great. Turns out that having my hormones level off and starting a scrip for Zoloft turns me back into the person I was pre-pregnancy. I liked her. It’s nice to have her back. And I’m not sick anymore, and can both breathe and sleep simultaneously, so that’s also good. I took my measurements this morning, and weighed in, and Justin and agreed last night that it’s time to put ourselves back on the much healthier reduced-carb eating plan we were on before I got pregnant. We’re healthier when we eat less pasta and bread, because we eat more protein and veggies as a result. So grocery shopping is on the agenda for the weekend, for certain. And I want to bake, so apples and pumpkins and pie crust are also on the agenda.

The Pook is great, and is growing like a mad thing, and moving moving moving always so busy and really just a joy to be around except when she’s missed a nap in which case she screams a lot. She’s started pulling herself up to standing, but still doesn’t actually crawl — she’s an army-crawl baby. She collects all the dog fur on the rug onto her tummy. She slept straight through from 10 to 6 last night, and when I woke up at 4 to go to the bathroom, she was asleep on her knees with her face buried in her mattress and her little butt straight up in the air. Her cousin Orion sleeps like that. She was also wearing her monster butt jammies (I bought them in all sizes so I could get a year’s worth of monster butts), so I was greeted by a grinning green monster face. Possibly the cutest thing ever.

And really, that’s all. September was a loss. Autumn is good. October is better. Monster butt jammies for everyone.

food, The Tiniest Capen

Today Gwyn has consumed:

  • Approximately half a banana, frozen and gummed into submission as a teething soother
  • A finger-sized piece of chicken, see above re: gumming
  • Several steamed string beans
  • A wad of broccoli
  • A couple slices of steamed apple
  • An ounce of puréed sweet potato
  • An ounce of puréed green beans
  • About 18 ounces of formula
  • Three nursing sessions of breastmilk

She also attempted to eat the silicone spoon.

Growth spurt? What growth spurt?

food, The Tiniest Capen

And by ‘tasted’, I mean “licked, gnawed on, sucked on, gummed, or otherwise smeared near her face, but rarely actually ingested.”


Sweet potato



Chicken breast*

Rosemary bread

A french fry**

Ice cream**


Corn on the cob***



*stolen from her father’s sandwich, slathered with mayo. She actually gummed and ate this one.

**some of Justin’s contributions.

***this garnered a LOT of enthusiasm. And sucking. Enthusiasm and sucking.