Monday, May 20, 2013

Green Goddess Dressing

Since I have more time on my hands (not as much as I would have thought - corralling that child is a full-time job in and of itself) I started trying a few new recipes (all very easy, no fuss).  The first is Barefoot Contessa's Green Goddess dressing.  Now, this dressing is essentially some herbs with sour cream and mayo, so...yeah.  It's fatty goodness.  It's a dressing but would work just as well as a dip: even our picky kid dipped some asparagus in it and ate it (must be a one-time thing as I have doused veggies in cheese in the past and she wasn't having it).  We served it with some chicken and asparagus from the grill.  It's bright and summery with a slight tang from the lemon juice and anchovy paste (I had this on hand - go figure - but read in some reader comments it can be made without), and the perfect pick-me-up on a dreary day.  Don't shy away from the salt content (I paused a bit): it's needed to cut through the creaminess and unmuddle the flavors.  You'll get big basil, onion and lemon notes. Enjoy!

Green Goddess Dressing
Courtesy of Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

1 cup good mayonnaise
1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (6 to 7 scallions)
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream

Place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sour cream and process just until blended. (If not using immediately, refrigerate the dressing until ready to serve.)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rainy Sunday

Since I'm finding myself thrown into stay-at-home momhood head-first, I've been scouring Craigslist - and this Saturday a few yard sales - for cheapy toys for Little Miss "Let's go outside!  Let's do this!  I'm bored, I'm bored!"  She is always on the move, seeing, doing, taking apart, and putting together.  Today it rained all day but here she is, out with Matt with in the mist, droplets of drizzle on her face, riding her new toy giraffe.  That's $3 well spent.

If you  notice the remnants of a bloody nose, the poor girl fell - face first - into the ground earlier in the day, leaving a bloodied mouth and nose and some tears.  She was fine in five minutes (forever our trooper), not so much. ;-) 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Job loss

I lost my job last week; it was unexpected and incredibly abrupt.  Matt asked what we should tell people if asked, and I said, "I did nothing wrong! I'm not ashamed," so there it is.  It wouldn't be prudent to get into the specifics, but I will say I've felt they were looking to push me (and perhaps, others) out for a while under new management and restructuring and they cited a bogus reason for termination.  It was done with spite and honest-to-god malice and I was out of the building within five minutes.  I was the girl bamboozled, walking down the sidewalk with picture frames and a fake plant in my bag, and other nicknacks I hastily grabbed from my cube.  I called my friend - who had left like a bat outta hell a few months before - and now works at her new gig (that she loves, adores, feels valued at) a block away.  "I'm meeting you downstairs in one minute!" she said, and we talked for thirty minutes on Market Street about how absolutely shitty that place is, the situation is, how, "Can you believe this?!" the thing is/was. She reminded me how toxic that place was, how I was deeply unhappy, how this is the push I need.  Sure, sure.  But I was just fired!, I said.  That sting (no matter how ridiculous or obtuse the reason).  That venom.

The thing with getting fired?  It's not as much the tactical concerns (although they are incredibly stressful - finding another job, financial worries, and so on).  The thing that kills me is this: it's the stripping away of any sense of self-worth.  I hate that they took that from me.  Work - even though I never loved it - made me feel more whole.  I feel devalued, dejected...all of that.'s been a whole week now, and I've experienced more positive feedback and reinforcement from family and friends in this week than I have for the last two years at my former employer.  And for that I am so very, very thankful.  It's things like that that make me tear up now (I haven't cried about the job itself in days).  Like this email from Matt, which I re-read often:
Wanted to make sure you know how valued you are.  If [former employer and former manager] can't see it, it is entirely because of their own shortcomings.  You are lovable  smart, kind, charismatic, friendly, funny, loyal, and gorgeous.  You are a great wife and mother.  Annie and I will be happy to have you more to ourselves, and not wasting your presence on people who can't appreciate you.  We're going to be perfectly ok.  I can run some numbers if that will ease your mind a little.  I'm so sorry you had to go through this rejection, and my thoughts are with you as you figure out how to reconcile yourself with it.
(So he's not like that all the time, but I totally had to post that.)

Or when my friend (the lovely Danita) sent this, like, Visio-esque crazy chart mapping out available steps entitled "Mojo Rising: Operation You've Got Options, aka The Mojo Reclamation Project" (the girl has a way with words and a thing with titles, what can I say? you Danita!).  Or how friends are reaching out almost daily asking how I'm doing, saying let's go out for lunch, and sending me job postings.  Thank you, thank you.

One of the things I've cried over many times was taking Annie out of daycare.  Obviously, there is no reason for her to be in full-time care - and we can't afford keeping her there on a full or part-time basis - but she loves her friends there.  She wobbles with such joy to her seat at the table every morning, with breakfast in hand.  She and her friends giggle and screech and when we pick her up it's like, "Yeah, I see you, but as you can also see, I'm finishing something up here."  I love that she had that.  This week Matt and I visited a few in-home daycares in our area that allow two days a week (for my sanity, job searching, what have you) and that we can manage financially.  I also want her to continue to have that experience: to learn and cope with others, grow independently, discover things on her own away from us.  We're so proud of that girl, and I know she'll be fine, but it makes me hate this situation so much more.  Here are some photos of today at her last pick-up:

Two of her teachers, Mr. Eddie and Miss Holly.  Miss Holly knew her since she was a wee newborn at 11 weeks old.
So I'm not sure where this is going, or what my next step is, but there is beauty in all this ugliness.  Yesterday Annie and I had our first full day together and went to toddler time at the library and made a craft, then took a long nap together (she wasn't napping alone and I'm a bit under the weather).  Sweetness wrapped in a duvet.  Tomorrow we're going to our first local mom playgroup (I'm sure there will be more on that later).  And today I had an interview.  So...things - life - are moving along.  And in it's own way, it's still quite lovely.