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nugget is very interested in language.  this week she’s perfected “up” and is working hard on “bug” and “duck.”  last night she signed “more” without prompting and it was the best i’ve ever seen her do it.  baby einstein - my firt signsmaybe we’ll try the baby einstein my first signs dvd again.  usually she’s completely unimpressed by baby einstein, but i keep holding on to the idea that one day she’ll enjoy it.  that’s what everyone keeps telling me anyhow.

that’s right, i’m willing to rot my child’s brain with television.  i know, i know, so not crunchy-ap-hippie-earth-mama-y.  i’m sure i just lost ten granola points.

 

jack's big music shownugget would much prefer i vod her some jack’s big music show.  smartly, noggin added an additional show to their daily lineup.  but since it’s only twenty minutes long, and sometimes mommy needs more than forty minutes a day of semi-quiet, i’m most grateful that it’s also available on demand.

our local toy store called this morning to ask if we were done with la nug’s birthday basket in their birthday vault.  nuggetdaddy said we’d come by today or tomorrow to pick out a few things from it.  well, okay, he said we’d come by but i don’t think he meant that we’d necessarily be purchasing anything.  silly nuggetdaddy!  despite it being unpleasantly cold this afternoon, i decided we’d go ahead and stroll over there.  nugget made out like a bandit.  she got three books, a maraca, a ladybug ball and a froggy nailbrush for bathroom.  fine, the nailbrush is for me.

daddy kisses   mommy loves

bunny kisses togu ladybug ball

we also grabbed a few items from from the clearance table.  a set of boikido musical blocks that were in her birthday basket were actually on the sale table too, so those came home with us along with two small gifts for her tantie and auntie.  they’ll be stocking stuffers.  nooo, it’s not too early to be christmas shopping.  oompa stopped carrying boikido products, citing inferior qualtiy and customer dissatisfaction.  i’ll be keeping the receipt handy just in case.  they look very similar to the haba fantasy blocks tantie gave her and she loves those.  we’ll have to see how these hold up.

   boikido musical blocks haba fantasy blockshaba fantasy blocks       

haba fantasy blocks

after the toy store we strolled across the plaza to the grocery store.  of course the one prescription i needed refilled was the only one i hadn’t gotten from the allergy/asthma specialist.  whatever.  breathing is so overrated.  as i browsed the aisles for dinner ideas while waiting for the pharmacy, nugget decided to sack out in her stroller, ladybug ball clutched firmly to her chest.  hilarious!  no wonder so many people had been looking at her.  i thought they were just admiring her regular everyday cuteness, but this was quite the spectacle.  she’s still asleep in her stroller and snowsuit, parked next to nuggetdaddy’s home office desk.  i can only hope that this becomes a new habit for her!

i settled on ground beef and fingerling potatoes at the market.  i have serrano ham left over from the birthday party that i’m going to wrap beef patties in and i’ll sprinkle the potatoes with pecorino before roasting them.

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tomatoes on the vine

i like tomatoes to taste like tomatoes.  wintertime tomatoes are always risky.  will they taste like summer?  no.  will they taste like cardboard?  i sure hope not.  these at least smell like tomatoes.  they were the best i could find, so they’ll really just have to do.  they’ll be making their way into tomato, mozzarella and basil paninis.

in addition to these little beauties, i have six pounds of plum tomatoes that tomorrow will magically transform into a lovely pappa pomodoro.  we’ll be celebrating nugget’s birthday and i have so much to do.  at least i’ve managed to bake the cupcakes and make the “baby party mix,” which nugget declared most acceptable.

baby party mix

williams-sonoma 6-hour chili 
crock pot chili
serves 6-8

ingredients

2 lb. organic ground beef
3 organic garlic cloves, minced
1 organic yellow onion, diced
1 can (28 oz.) organic crushed tomatoes with juices
2 cans (15 oz.) organic red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2T organic tomato paste
4 t chili powder
1 t dried oregano or 2 large sprigs fresh
1 t ground cumin
3 t cornmeal
1 cup organic beef or chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
organic sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

directions

in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, brown the beef, about 10 minutes. using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a slow cooker.

in a small bowl, combine spices, salt, pepper and cornmeal.  add the garlic, onion, tomatoes with juices, beans, tomato paste, cornmeal-spice blend and stock to the slow cooker and stir to blend.

cover and cook for 6 hours.  ladle the chili into warmed bowls and garnish with sour cream, cheese and/or cilantro.

adapted from williams-sonoma’s 6-hour chili

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