A little catch up + a salad

I've been posting to this blog nearly every day -- in my head, that is.  I blame it on winter getting in my way.  However, now that my peas are eight inches tall, I'm quite optimistic about showing up here more often. I'm beginning to feel like I have things to tell you about again. 

But lest you lose sleep wondering what I've been doing all this time, here's a bit of an update on what the mostly rainy days of late have been filled with for me.

18 years -- Byron and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary mid March.  The day came complete with a husband who took a half-day off, gorgeous flowers, enough just-me time to get a much needed massage, and a tasty dinner at home and a bottle of bubbly.  As an added bonus, I had Wyatt's help preparing steelhead for dinner.

Pears and new discoveries -- Wyatt is figuring out lots of new things these days.  He's becoming an expert at feeding himself with utensils (and of course the fingers still get used plenty).  And eating whole pieces of fruit.  This week, so far (bear in mind it's only Tuesday night) he's eaten four whole pears.  Some days, he eats stem and all.

I spend a lot of time laughing and taking pictures of Wyatt doing funny things.  As you can see, he's a big help when it comes to putting away groceries -- here, he's gone in after two grapefruit!

The microwave is still a bit of an enigma to Wyatt, having mastered the fridge, printer, tv remote, iphone, dishwasher, electric toothbrush, and vacuum cleaner already.  About all he can do is operate the cancel button, which, unfortunately, happens a lot while the microwave is in use.

Found a co-op -- Last week, I visited a co-op preschool, which happens to be right down the street, in the hope that it might be a good spot for Wyatt and me to attend starting in September.  I really liked it.  What the indoor space lacks in natural light it seems to make up for in a cheery sense of community and an experienced, professional, and well-loved teacher.  While I checked out the co-op, Wyatt got some quality time with his buddy Arlo.  (Thanks, Darcy!)  I liked what I saw, and so I enrolled Wyatt in his first "school" -- it's a two-hour/one-day-a-week co-op for about 18 toddlers (and their parents) ages 14-23 months.  This will be fun.

As for eating  -- For my friends who despise mayonnaise or who don't like their fruit and nuts together in a salad, you know who you are, stop reading right here. I've been making Waldorf salad. 

This is a lovely salad (photo above notwithstanding). Trust me, my picture really doesn't do it justice.  In my view, it's a salad that does not get eaten enough.  It's super crunchy and has a bit of tang and savory to temper all the sweetness. I never see it on a menu.  I forget about it.  I forget that it exists at all, how easy it is to make, and, honestly, how much like a dessert it is, too.  Yes, I've had a few nasty versions at potlucks in my day.  This one is light and well seasoned.  The addition of yogurt, honey, and lemon zest makes all the difference.  I say make it for Easter.

Waldorf Salad
adapted from a food network recipe

3/4 cup walnuts halves
1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 lemon, zest finely grated
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large crisp apples, one Granny Smith and one Gala or Pink Lady
1/2 cup fresh grapes, halved
2 ribs celery (with leaves), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick square pieces (leaves chopped)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 head Boston lettuce, trimmed, washed, and dried

Toast the nuts on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Cool and break into pieces. Set aside until ready to serve the salad.

For the dressing, whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, parsley, honey, and lemon zest in a large bowl and season generously with pepper.

Halve, core, and cut the apples into 3/4-inch pieces, leaving the skin on. Add the apples, celery and raisins and grapes to the bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice. 

If you aren't serving the salad immediately.  Refrigerate the fruit and dressing separately.  Otherwise, add the fruit to the dressing and toss to coat everything well. Add walnuts and toss lightly.

Traditionally, the salad is served on a salad plate, atop a lettuce leaf.


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