Category Archives: baseball

Non Fancy Breakfast Friday

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I am a cooking a Fancy Breakfast as I type this, so I think we are past the heat of summer where our breakfasts are less than fancy.  Jack played five games in six days last week and part of his pregame ritual was to eat a bowl of frosted shredded wheats. (King Soopers Brand.)  Look, I’m not here to mess with any baseball related superstitious rituals.  And its been way too hot to cook.  But we did eat a few non-cereal meals last week, and they were delicious and did not involve the oven, so I’ll share those recipes.

I made a giant vat of this barbecue sauce from Smitten Kitchen/Ina Garten.  Dave grilled some chicken legs to go with the sauce.

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Last night I made the tater tot waffle recipe from Food and Wine and topped them with either smoked salmon and crème fraîche or a fried egg.  (The recipe is just  “buy tater tots and smash them together in a waffle maker”.) That was fun and decadent and did not involve the oven, although I did slave over a hot waffle maker.

Next week.. The Return of Fancy Breakfast Friday!

Fancy Breakfast Friday: The Perfect Muffin

DSC07123 (1)I think I have created the perfect muffin for my family.  Texture-wise it was amazing.  It was also yummy, and on the healthy side.  (Sort of.)

I stayed up until incredibly late last Thursday so that the muffins would be ready in the morning because Dave and Jack were going to a baseball tournament in Englewood and Luke and I had to be in Commerce City for his tournament at 7:00 am.  The muffins, as I said, were delicious.  But I somehow managed to forget my coffee, my wallet, my chair, and my camera.  And guess what else?  I had the times wrong.  I thought the games were at 8 and 10 but they were at 8 and noon.  I really could have used coffee, a wallet, a chair and a camera. I finished my book about 5 minutes into the 2.5 hours between games.  It’s weird that I forgot everything since this was about the 7,103,503 baseball game I had attended this season.  No photos of the perfect muffin, because… I was a spaz last week.  But I did bring my camera the second day of the tournament and Jack took this great photo. (above)

At least I packed a bunch of muffins for the games.  (And other food as well for our 9 or so hour day.) This is based on the banana bread recipe from Cooking Light, which I highly recommend.

Perfect Banana Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
3 overripe bananas
1/2 cup  cream top vanilla yogurt ** not low fat
2 Tbs chia seeds (optional)
1/2 cup granola (optional, but so good)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Coat muffin pans with nonstick spray or use liners.
This makes 12 large muffins, or 12 smaller muffins and 12 mini muffins.

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, chia seeds, stir with a whisk.
Cream together butter and sugar, add the eggs, 1 at a time.  Scraping down the sides after each addition.

In a separate bowl mash bananas to desired consistency. Add the bananas, yogurt, and vanilla to the sugar/butter/eggs and blend until completely mixed together. Slowly add the flour and mix on low until just blended, don’t over mix.  Last, mix in the granola.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes (i started checking at 25 minutes but I recall it took significantly longer.) Or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

 

Fancy Breakfast Friday: Portable Baked Eggs

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Last Friday we were lounging in our hotel room, easing into a day of baseball games.  By “we” I mean Jack and I.  Luke and Dave had to get up around 5:30 am.  Jack and I took the leisurely route and showed up for the second inning, or sometimes the second game.  I knew our hotel didn’t have a free continental breakfast, but did have a restaurant.  I was feeling thrifty and organized, so I pre-made some FBF before we left.  Then I beautifully arranged them on a plate for a photo before I put them in a tupperware and then into a cooler for our trip to Steamboat Springs.

I have to admit that I was feeling a little cheap by pre-baking breakfast, but it worked out really well.  Hotel restaurants aren’t super highly efficient at 5:30 am, and even if they are, who has time for a sit down meal before an 8:00 am game, with a 7:00 am warm up that’s a 45 minute drive away?  Long story short, Fancy Breakfast Friday saved the day.

I didn’t want to do a pastry because I was looking for something a little more substantial.  Baseball games can be exhausting so protein is important.  I turned once again to Feed Zone Portables.  Last time used this cookbook, I made frittata, but I wanted to go for something with more kid appeal. (no veggies)  This recipe is basically just 6 eggs baked in a muffin tin.  I did three scrambled and three unscrambled.  A little salt and pepper.  When they came out, I topped them with bacon and parmesan cheese.  In the hotel we reheated them one at a time for about 30 seconds in the microwave.  I had to eat them between a bagel, but Luke ate his “as is”.  These were not eaten off china but rather with a paper towel as a plate, over a snack strewn hotel table, surrounded by exploded suitcases.   It wasn’t pretty.  But guess what?  SO GOOD!  And I wasn’t eating my lunch before the second game started. Hearty. Total win.  For the breakfast – the team went 1 and 3.

I recommend Feed Zone Portables..  It’s a great book for healthy snacks.  (If you like homemade rice cake.  It’s heavy on the rice cake recipes.  Last time Jack took one of the rice cakes to school for snack, his teacher was so impressed that she said, “Your dad must be an amazing cook!”  But what about meeeeee?  I’m the amazing cook! But Dave does make the rice cakes.  I need to make more rice cakes I guess.)    The cookbook does mention that the eggs will be hard to remove from your non-stick muffin tin.  That is a true fact.  I greased the tin with butter and bacon grease and still had to work so hard to clean the pan that I thought I burned more calories than the baked eggs could possibly supply.  But I still think I will make these again.  It always seems like a great idea to bring hard boiled eggs on camping trips or road trips, but then no one feels like eating them when the time comes.  These were good.

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I also brought homemade granola, yogurt, and garden strawberries.  Jack got a yogurt parfait for breakfast because he lives on oats and yogurt.

 

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Baseball Mom

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In case you haven’t seen me in the last week, I should tell you that I wore the same Little League T-shirt three nights in a row to baseball games.  (I even washed it between games.)  And I painted my nails in team colors.  It’s true, I have fully embraced my role in life as a baseball mom.  It’s easy when the team colors are flattering, and the fancy nails worked for the 4th of July as well as the tournament.  And by “fully embraced” I mean, “played the part of” because when I saw a bunch of random moms who were at the tournament because… well I am not sure why they were there if their kids weren’t playing.  I guess they love baseball or something?  Well, I can’t imagine being one of those moms.    Or maybe I can, and I am still in transition.  I have the laundry down, and the snacks, and the supplies for the posse of little siblings.

But today was a sad day because the tournament ended for us yesterday.  It’s sad because now I have to wash the car, and remove my nail polish or else look like a weirdo around town.  I had planned to do that this morning, but poor Jack didn’t get to participate in painting the car, so I had to let him add some flames to a window today.  Now I am not sure when I can wash the car.  And I am pretty lazy, but I did already try removing the paint by just rolling the windows down and that didn’t work.  So I guess we’ll have to put some elbow grease into it.  This job seems like the perfect job to outsource to the children, but that may be too depressing for our young athlete.

But how about that Thunderbird?  Impressive or what?

Baseball

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I was at a baseball game the other day (every day) and I heard a mom say, “I have to send the family to Noodles just to have time to go to the grocery store!”  And I was like, “I hear ya sister!”  But I only said that it my head because I had never seen any of these parents before, which is weird.   Then I heard a dad say, “Ugh!  Noodles!  I refuse to go there!  You can buy 4 pounds of noodles for what it costs for one meal.  It drives me crazy, etc.”  And I said, “Those dry noodles aren’t going to cook themselves, jerk.”  Just in my head again.  Clearly, I needed to move someplace else, which I waited to do until one of the parents said Luke just made a lucky catch to tag a kid out as he stole home.

What is my point?  I have been watching a lot of baseball.  In the picture above, I am doing the pitch count during one rainy game.  So focused. Jack was playing with my phone and clearly, I have been so busy with baseball, I have not had time to blog, or get my eyebrows waxed.

Panic Attack Parenting

I’ve been reading a lot of parenting articles on Facebook lately, and they are freaking me out.  The first was about how kids aren’t getting enough time to be free and unstructured, but you don’t need to read it, I just summarized the entire article.  I kind of agonized over this for days.  Oddly, I was mostly worrying about Luke, who has about 10 hours of baseball a week, and nothing else going on.  My full time daycare child is in a great place and I know he has plenty of time to use his imagination and play kick the can or whatever else people did in the article’s Utopian world.  The real question I had from that article was, “Am I Supposed to Quit My Job So My Children Can Have Unstructured Play Time?”  Because I don’t see how it’s possible to come straight home from school, make yourself a snack and play some pickup baseball with the kids on your street when both parents work.  Why did I get irate about this article, when Dave and I both work from home, and Luke comes home from school and plays baseball in the street all the time?   I’m not sure. Because I am crazy?

The next article to freak me out was about American Kids being spoiled.   Again, I was filled with “I’m-doing-it-wrong-malaise.”  But the thing that bugged me about that article was that no solutions were offered.  In retrospect, the title was “Why Are American Kids so Spoiled” not “How to stop spoiling your kids.”  In summary, kids are spoiled because their parents spoil them.  It was a really groundbreaking article.  Sorry I spoiled it for you.

So, all this has lead to a great deal of self-analysis, and as I pondered my parental failings, I remembered that back in the day, I used to ridicule parenting articles.   What, pray tell is the difference between then and now?  Have I lost my mojo? Is losing your mojo too 1999?  What happens now?  I lost my swagger?  That sounds like it needs air quotes.  Did I “lose” my “swagger”?  OMG, I really have turned 39.5 haven’t I?  It’s all over.  Forget I ever said swagger.  I am having a midlife crisis and I lost my mojo.  I think it’s much better that we all agree that the problem is a midlife crisis.  Because what else could possibly have happened in the last 4 years to cause me to doubt my parenting skills?  Dun dun dun: Jack. Nope, it can’t be my sweet, sweet boy.

Summertime goal:  If I must read parenting articles; view them as opportunities to revive my Panic Attack Magazine blog series.

 

 

Good Eye

Yes, I started this blog post with a title of “Good Eye” and it’s not even going to be about baseball.  We have been living and breathing baseball these days, and so last night, on a rare night off, I was able to walk around the block with Jack, as he practiced riding his bike.  (With training wheels.)  When we turned the first corner, I saw that the clouds were a slightly faded pink, we had missed the best of the sunset, but it was still very pretty.

Me: Jack, look at those clouds.

Jack: Wow!  Those are beautiful! I want to touch them!  I bet they feel squishy.  I want to taste them.

Me: What do you think they taste like?  Cotton Candy?  (So cliche! So unhealthy! Try again.)  Um, or maybe strawberries?

Jack: I bet they taste like rain.

Then he looked up at me and said, “Good eye Mama.  Really great job, noticing those clouds.”

I thanked him.

A Long Time Coming

When I found out that we needed to be at a baseball tournament at 7:15 this morning, I suddenly felt so sorry for my parents and all the early Saturdays they went through for me. When I shared my feelings with my mom she said, “Well, that was a long time coming!”

This is a picture if Jack and I this morning – it was windy and 35. Jack is hidden under the sleeping bag that we luckily had in the car.

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It warmed up quite a bit though – Here is Jack a mere 6 hours later. He’s still not interested in posing.

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Dave and I both brought a sweatshirt and a jacket for Jack and he wore all 4 layers.

Baseball Mom, Baseball Pants

Upfront Disclaimer:  I have no complaints about doing laundry in general.  Dave and I have a pretty egalitarian marriage, in which I completely do not feel that I do all the chores, or more than 50% of the chores.  So I am having a hard time with this blog post because I want it to be about how annoying it is that laundry detergent commercials are targeted to women, and how annoyed I was that all the information about the laundering of baseball pants was directed at me.  But in real life I  do the laundry.  And Dave wasn’t even at the baseball meeting where they talked about the pants.

So what is going on with me?  I am writing a blog post about how I feel about writing a blog post about laundry.  Meta-MetaMegan.

Let’s start at the beginning.  I have always been annoyed at the way laundry, and cleaning products in general are marketed towards women.  Like waaaay back when I could first articulate a thought it was, “Why does the TV woman have to do all the laundry and cleaning?”  I was going to explain the whole thing – but come on.  Who doesn’t think those commercials with the one dimensional mom whose emotional life ranges from mock-exasperation-at-her-family-of-stain-generating-knuckleheads to pure-joy-at-the-removal-of-a-stain?  Plus, it’s already been done, and better than I could do.

So here we are.  I married a great chore-doing husband, my life is perfect, I only watch TV on netflix and the DVR so I don’t even see commercials anymore.  In fact, when I tried to find an image for this post, all I could find were scary pictures of some man with oxyclean.  And yet.  And yet…

When Luke was ordering his baseball uniform, I was giving a very long, very intense lesson on the laundering of the white baseball pants.  My eyes glazed over, I went to another place in my mind where I am someone other than “baseball mom in charge of laundry”  and I contemplated responding with, “Um yeah.  Thanks.  Laundry isn’t really my “thing” if you know what I mean.  I have a very challenging job, I read, I sometimes write.”  And, “Why are you telling all this to me?”  (Reminder:Dave wasn’t there.)  Instead, I mumbled “Oxyclean?  Got it.  Your wife drip dries the jersey?  Good to know.”  Then I proceeded to joke about the laundering of baseball pants for a month, and laughed and laughed about it.  And by that I mean, I became obsessed with whether or not I would win at getting the pants as white as possible.

At some point during all this, Luke tried on his entire uniform several times and was unable to stop smiling the entire time he wore it.  Dave mentioned that maybe the pressure to maintain the baseball pants came not from other moms, but from the kids.  Laundry obsession went up to 11.

Game time came this past weekend and I made Luke hand me his pants as soon as we walked into the house.  I rinsed in the sink, then made a paste of oxyclean and put it on the stain.  Then I started making dinner (more women’s work!  Disclaimer – I love cooking, and Dave does more than I do, and he does the grocery shopping.)  Then I googled “white baseball pants” and read a million things about what to do to get the stains out:  rust cleaner, carpet cleaner, dish soap, zout, oxyclean, some purple thing, bleach, etc.”  For every blog comment about what worked, there was one that said, “that didn’t work at all for me.”  And every once in a while someone would say, “The kids want their pants to look dirty!”  Big relaxed sigh.  Then Luke popped his head in to see if I had any luck getting the stains out.  Wash, rinse, repeat! I decided to forget everything I read online and just go with what I had been told in baseball pants meeting.  Oxyclean.  I may have thrown in some Palmolive for good measure.  I may have started to hallucinate from the fumes.  I may have  reached some sort of inner peace, but that is only because I try to turn chores that I don’t want to do into opportunities for meditation.  I read a lot of magazines, and according to Oprah and Real Simple, I need to be meditating, and I like to multi-task.

The only instruction I didn’t follow was to soak the pants overnight in oxyclean.  And that is because our bathtub doesn’t hold water for that long because the drain won’t stay closed, and all the other sinks are required for hand washing or cooking, and I can’t figure out how to soak something in the front load washer.

Long story short, the pants are perfect.  Me on the other hand?  I am a mess, but I win at white baseball pants.  This week at least.