Hi, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth…even though it might seem that way if you follow my never-ending Instagram feed. A bunch of bad, no-good things have happened in the past week. Where to start…?
First, Mark was in India all week for work. He left last Sunday and got back into the US on Friday. I had planned for us to eat out of the freezer for the week and honestly, our evenings went as well as can be expected. The weather was amazing on Tuesday and Wednesday so we were able to get out and walk in the evenings. The dog even slept through the night 3 nights (damn dog…).
I had to be at an 8am meeting on Wednesday and another, at the hospital, on Thursday morning. Needless to say, we have to be ON TIME the mornings I start at 8am (I know, my schedule is sweet). Tuesday night (Wednesday morning?), I had taken my phone into the baby’s room to nurse her as I always do. Ends up, I left my phone, and thus my alarm, in there. I woke at 6:20am to Shea screaming her head off and my alarm going off in the baby’s room. Obviously, I wasn’t ready for work and we were running late the whole morning. When we were loading into the car, I happened to glance at my phone and the battery was at 28%. I ran back into the house for my charger and after my meeting, charged my phone…only to notice it wasn’t taking a charge.
I left work to run home and get a different charger – no dice. I stopped by Verizon quickly for an opinion there (I’ve only had the phone 2 months!) and he thought he got it charging after a soft reboot. I went back to work to charge my phone thinking it had been resolved – nope. Wasn’t fixed. I called Apple – I could go to an Apple store (1 hour away, it was 3:30pm in the middle of my work day, and I have to pick up from daycare by 6pm) or drop my phone off at a UPS location to send out and “they would get it back to me within a week or replace it”. We don’t have a landline, my husband is in India…no, no, no. I had Verizon transfer my number to an OLD phone from 2013 that barely held a charge. But at least it made phone calls and sometimes received text messages.
Due to all the phone issues, I missed a networking event at work on Wednesday and spent most of Friday morning figuring out my new phone. Wouldn’t you know it hadn’t been backed up since December 28th. Shame on me for thinking I had some time to get that figured out, seeing as it was a brand new phone. WRONG. Sigh.
The girls (all 3 – dog, too!) and I drove to my in-laws in central Illinois on Thursday night. I hadn’t done much packing before Thursday after work, ended up working late, and wanted to be on the road when the baby started to get tired around 7pm. After RACING AROUND LIKE A CRAZY PERSON, we were on the road at 7:05pm. We made good time and after a few hours of the girls being completely off-schedule and a toddler meltdown, the girls were asleep.
Mark arrived from India on Friday and we were all excited to take Shea to her first University of Illinois basketball game (the purpose for our trip to Illinois…in addition to visiting, of course!). Well, Mark spent much of the evening before being violently ill, then I followed suit just an hour before the game. We were driving to the game in beautiful 65 degree weather, thinking, “Okay, just hang in there for the game, stomaches…”. We pulled into the parking lot at the game and Shea started getting sick…really sick. Of course I had packed just 2 diapers and a few wet wipes in a ziplock and she ended up stripped of her sweatshirt and into grandpa’s undershirt in the parking lot. We cleaned her up the best we could (my pant leg, too…yuck) and grandpa took her home and we proceeded to the game without her. I was devastated and Shea was bit by whatever it is we were all experiencing. My father-in-law, too, was ill most of the day. Bad, bad, bad.
An Illini loss topped it off.
Today, I log-in after a this crazy last few days and realize how ready I am for a normal work week with lots of uneventfulness, back to the grind of cooking, some Whole30 meals, co-parenting with Mark, and just going back to our simple every day lives as a family of 4.
In no connection to my sob story above (other than being Whole30, I guess), I bring you the last meal I cooked before Mark’s work trip. We both loved it. I’m just wondering when my grocery store is going to start carrying zucchini that has already been “zoodled” (is this a thing?). I mean, we have cauliflower rice – frozen and fresh – why not zoodles!? In the meantime, at least it’s something I can prep ahead of time to make this a weeknight meal.
- 1 medjool date, pit removed and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- ¼ cup sunflower butter
- Juice of ½ lime
- 6 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1¼ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3 medium zucchini, spiralized
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- Put chopped date in glass measuring cup and cover with about ¼ cup water. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Mash date using a fork against the sides of the measuring cup. Add garlic, ginger, sunflower butter, lime, coconut aminos, sesame oil, salt, and
- In a small bowl whisk together garlic, ginger, sunflower butter, lime juice, coconut aminos, sesame oil, salt, and crushed red pepper; whisk well and set aside.
- In a large, nonstick skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked thoroughly. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
- Return the skillet to the heat and heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add the zucchini, carrots, and bell peppers. Stir constantly with tongs and allow to cook for 2 minutes, just long enough to warm the vegetables thoroughly and soften slightly.
- Remove skillet from heat, add chicken and peanut sauce and toss well to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro
For leftovers, set aside the dressing for the zoodle portion remaining. Toss with "peanut" sauce just before serving for best results
Weekly Menu: February 12th – 16th
- Sunday: Roasted Red Pepper Bisque
- Monday: Ham, Apple, and Sweet Potato Scramble
- Tuesday: Lyndsay’s Chili over sweet potatoes
- Wednesday: leftovers
- Thursday: Jerk Shrimp Stew with Cauliflower Rice