13 May 2016

Kid stuff

Things Declan will say before he will say "Mama":

"Subu" - our nanny's kid-friendly nickname (short for Subhadra)
"Babu" - Subu's son
"Ra-ra" - his name for his sister
"Hiiiii, Jesus!" - this one I don't complain about
"Go Jordan" - as in Spieth, as in Daddy's favorite golfer

But not "Mama." Never Mama.

Also, earlier this evening I was the Mama who had a bare-bottomed toddler on her front stoop. Just... Why, Keira? I mean, I appreciate that she mentioned her need to use the bathroom before we went on a walk, for once, but I just wish she hadn't readied herself by removing her bottoms outside.

Kids sure have a way of humbling you, huh?

05 May 2016

One-Pan Green-Chile-and-Lime Chicken and Rice

Things around here have gotten... Heavy, recently.

So! Here's a nice fluffy post to lighten the mood!

My youngest came home from daycare yesterday with a fever and promptly threw up on his high chair tray. I simultaneously threw my plans for today out the window. Our new plan was for Michael to take Keira to daycare, leaving sickie Declan and I to sleep in a little. And that was it: that was the whole plan.

Even that much didn't work out.

Declan was up at FOUR. FORTY. FIVE. Michael changed his diaper and gave him some milk in hopes that he'd go back to sleep, but it was not to be. So instead we all got up at normal time and Keira and Daddy left, earlier than usual, even. I took Declan down to our basement, where most of the toys are, but he didn't want to leave my lap. I had Jurassic World on the DVR and I turned it on because he's too young to get anything about it but I thought he'd like the dinosaurs, and he did. He sat on my lap with his head on my shoulder and my Miraculous Medal clenched in his fist -- for a sixteen-month-old, he sure has a devotion to Our Lady! -- and growled at the dinosaurs. And then he went to sleep. So at 7:05, he went down for his first nap.

The rest of our day proceeded thusly -- sleep, sit on Mommy and cry, sleep some more -- with the exception of one little venture out of the house: Trader Joe's. Where I saw these cute little cans of green chiles, which inspired our Cinco de Mayo dinner, One-Pan Green-Chile-and-Lime Chicken and Rice! (It may need a shorter name.)

It is so good, you guys. Like Chipotle, but without the e. coli! One simple warning: DO NOT ATTEMPT WITHOUT A PROPER MISE EN PLACE. You will be sorry, like I was the first time I made this.

Not shown: cubed chicken

One-Pan Green-Chile-and-Lime Chicken and Rice

1 lb. chicken breast, cubed
1 T. oil (I like avocado oil, but you do you)
Salt and pepper
4 green onions, chopped and separated (whites from greens)
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 oz. can chopped green chiles
Zest and juice from one lime
14.5 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups Minute rice (must be Minute and not some longer-cooking kind!)
Cilantro, chopped, optional and to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cubed chicken, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until cooked through. Add the green onion whites and the garlic for the last minute or so. Stir in the broth, the greens of the green onions, the green chiles, the lime zest and lime juice, and the black beans. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the rice, stirring in to immerse it as much as possible. Allow to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and put a lid on the skillet. Allow it to steam until the rice is soft; in my experience it takes about 6-10 minutes. (If the rice is still too al dente, turn it back on medium heat for 2-3 minutes and stir it to help the liquid absorb.) Then fluff it, add the cilantro, and serve.

It's a little monochrome -- trichrome? -- for my tastes, so I serve it with a big dollop of salsa on top. Maybe some sour cream? Avocado or guacamole? Cheese and lettuce, Chipotle-style? Again: you do you. And then come back and tell me how much you loved this. 😉

Updated to add: Trader Joe's Quick Cooking Brown Basmati rice is not the same as Minute rice. #askmehowiknow #crunchyrice #stilltasty

03 May 2016

Goodbye, Target.

Well, I bit the bullet. I canceled my Target card.

I had been waffling over this decision for days. I am angry enough at Target -- for putting empty political sentiment over public safety -- that I knew I wouldn't shop there. The issue wasn't whether Target was going to get any more of my money; they weren't. So the question of the card itself remained: would Target reverse itself, thereby making it a hassle to reestablish the card? Would it hurt my credit to close it, especially if I turned around and opened it again? If I stopped spending money at Target but kept the card open, would Target even notice?

But the more I thought about it, the angrier I got at Target: for making this decision in the first place; for making me feel like a crazy person because no one else seems to see that for the vast majority of the boycotters, this isn't about bigotry but about safety, and the refusal to participate in a political agenda that is empirically bananas; for making me devote so much mental real estate to this.

I came to the conclusion that Target made their very public stand, and there's no way they will have the intestinal fortitude to reverse themselves. The LGBTQ+-whatever lobby is too loud and vindictive, and Target has a long history of pandering to it. Unless scores of little girls are sexually assaulted inside Target store bathrooms, they will stand by their bad move, even in the face of falling share value and millions of lost customers.

So I was 75% of the way to the decision to close it when something else occurred to me: elsewhere in the world, even today, Christians martyrs are being beheaded for their refusal to back down from their faith. And here I am, worrying about the inconvenience of closing this credit card.

Decision made.

While I was making dinner for my family last night, I called customer service and got a supervisor on the phone. I told her I wanted to close my account. This conversation (more or less verbatim), ensued:

CSR: I see you've been a cardholder for over three years. Can I ask you why you're closing your account now?
Me: I think your bathroom policy stinks. [SO ELOQUENT, Colleen. 🙄]
CSR: Okay. Just a second while I make a note of your concerns.

She sounded like a) she'd been hearing that a lot recently -- although possibly most people put it better? -- and b) she'd secretly like to agree.

So it's done. I am no longer a Target customer.

Goodbye, Dollar Spot. I think I'll miss you the most.