30 January 2010

Bubbles, bubbles, darn you bubbles....

I have been trying to use products that are better for the environment and me (free of parabens, SLS and petroleum-based ingredients, no animal testing, biodegradable).

A few months back, I found a great deal ($7.99 for 32 oz) on Nature's Gate liquid soap in a refreshing scent-Pomegranate Sunflower. I love the way it smells. I love the way it lathers. So does DieselBaby. He loves all the bubbles it makes for him to play with. That should have tipped me off that something was not right. This morning in the shower, I was looking at the bottle and noticed that the front says "Paraben free" but there were lots of hard to pronounce ingredients on the back. Looking it up on cosmeticdatabase.com, this soap has a rating of 5! That's the same rating as the Lever 2000 that I made DieselDaddy stop using! Granted, the Nature's Gate is never tested on animals and it is biodegradable and the Lever 2000 has lots of hard to pronounce ingredients, but I had expected a better rating than that Lever crap.

I'll finish my bottle, but I will definitely make sure to look at the back of the bottle before I buy in the future. Any good soap recs?

29 January 2010

Cold weather rant...

So... it's FREAKIN' cold here (I know...I'm always here to give the breaking news). I walk to work every day (by the time I walk to the bus stop, wait for the bus, stop-and-go to my stop and then walk to the office I could have already been at work.) Here are a few things that irk me:

1) to the hoochie girls i've passed on my walk: it's minus a bajillion degrees out. you are wearing your big poofy coat and current season UGG boots. why do you have your ear muffs strategically placed under your perfectly coifed hair? put a damn hat on!!!! no one cares what your freaking hair looks like when it is this cold out (or dare i say...we never care what your skunk-striped, over-processed locks look like.) This is said by the woman wearing a ski mask, earband, and thermal hat.

2) to the man who rides the elevator with me twice a week: it's minus a bajillion degrees out. I'm standing in front of the (outdoor) elevator. the red light is on indicating that i've already pressed the UP button. why do you have to push me out of the way to push the button not once, but twice??? do you really think i'm standing here b/c i like the cold??? no. i'm waiting for the elevator. like i do every day.

rants over.

26 January 2010

Baby belugas....

DieselBaby is obsessed with belugas. He loves watching/listening to "Baby Beluga" or reading his "beloo beloo" book that we got last time we went to the Shedd. The moment I walk in the door, all I hear is "beloo beloo" (so cute, but easily annoying).

The Shedd Aquarium has a special deal (probably in honor of their newest beluga). Buy an adult ticket and get one free child ticket! This is running thru March 12th so plenty of time to see the new guy.

25 January 2010

Soup's on....

I love love love the corn chowder from Au Bon Pain. I'm sure it's laden with fat and clogs my arteries just thinking about it. We bought some organic frozen corn when we went to Costco, so I decided to try my hand at making chowder. I found a recipe at Epicurious.com and modified it. (Have I mentioned I don't follow instructions/patterns? no wonder my Architecture instructors hated me.)

I nuked 10-12 red potatoes for 5 mins until tender. Meanwhile, I melted 1T of butter in our large Le Crueset and added my minced onion (only had 1/2 an onion in the house would have preferred more onions). When the onions were translucent, I added 1/2 red pepper and a few diced carrots. Then I added 1T flour and cooked for a min. I added 3 cups boiling water and chicken bouillion, the tender potatoes that I cut in 4s, and a few shakes of thyme. Brought this all to a boil for ~10mins. then I blitzed (love my Bamix! it is the one my mom bought in the early 80's. if that's not EF....). I added 3 bottles (yes, DieselBaby's bottle) full of frozen corn, several carrots (diced), 2 ribs of celery, the other 1/2 red pepper (small dice), and 1/3 cup cream. I had no chicken in the house (and ABP's chowder doesn't have chicken in it). I added a dash of paprika, a couple glugs of Worchesterchire sauce, fresh ground pepper, and salt (kosher...of course!). Simmered for 10-ish minutes while my biscuits baked. can you say Carb-olicious?

I prefer my veggies a little al dente (DieselDaddy does not), which is why I added them towards the end. This was surprisingly good. I think the Worchestershire sauce added some nice flavor. DieselDaddy begrudgingly ate it. DieselBaby ate it (between bits of biscuit he shoved in his mouth). I will be eating it all week for lunch.

24 January 2010

yummy (semi-quick) b'fast

i purchased a couple Pillsbury crescent roll packages a few weeks back, thinking i would make them with one of the crockpot meals. this morning i was craving a pastry, so i thought about making the rolls with some chocolate chips in the center (yummers). then i found a recipe for cheese danishes (knowing DieselDaddy would prefer cheese to chocolate). I modified the recipe slightly.

i opened the roll and cut it into 11 rounds (using thread to neatly slice). i smooshed the center slightly then added some filling. i used 1/2 the recipe for the filling (with some leftover). i put some preserves in some as well. it took about 18 mins to bake (longer than i had expected). once semi cool, i put some icing on mine.

they were very yummy and may become a staple of my weekend menu. also, not too caloric (used low-fat rolls, low-fat cream cheese, and low-fat sour cream)