Another Level of Motivation

There are days when I wonder why I never seem to get anything done, then there are days like Sunday when I'm all THAT IS WHY.

You guys, toddlers are a full-time job. It is a nonstop, every second matters job. Between the chaos and shenanigans, they're wonderful little creatures who do amazing things. But chaos. And shenanigans.


Mila was on a mission this weekend. She was on a mission to destroy all of the things. She painted her face with mascara. She made it rain granola bars by climbing the pantry shelves. She rode the cat like a bull at the rodeo. She danced on top of the table. And that was all before lunch. The things she accomplished in the afternoon were an even more impressive excerpt from the Toddler Guide to Making Mom Run Away.

Which, it's going to take more than that, kid. Those random hugs and tiny giggles and general awesomeness do balance out the endless messes. YOU CAN'T GET RID OF ME. SO THERE.

While I wasn't willing to run away from She Who Destroyed All of the Things, I did figure out a temporary solution. I figured out that while duct tape is probably not the best idea, tying the kid into a small confined space is.


Hello, bike trailer! You're a lot like a cage! But better!

It turns out that while I would rather it be cold and snowy, having unseasonably warm weather isn't all bad. Mila very happily climbed into her bike trailer and then even more happily sat there, keeping her hands to herself, while I rode all over our neighborhood.

And rode all over our neighborhood some more.

And some more.


Every time I tried to stop, Mila was all NOPE. All the nopes. She threw nopes around like Shriners throwing candy at a parade.

She wouldn't get out of the trailer.

And she wouldn't stop yelling, "GOOOOOO."

I finally had to drag her kicking and screaming back into the house because I couldn't ride another mile without collapsing into a pile in the middle of the road.

So, basically, if you're in need of a personal trainer, I've got the girl for you. She will cheer you on and refuse to let you stop. Just don't set her loose in your house.


(Vegetarian) BBQ Chicken

Once upon a time, I made Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Dip. And it was goooooood. Very good. I've taken it to potlucks and had nobody figure out it was meatless, even.


Did I just admit I fed people something crunchy and vegetarian without them knowing it? SORRY!

(Not sorry.)

That led to the decision to experiment with BBQ Chicken recipes. If I can leave the chicken out of one thing, surely I can do it again, right? Right. Well, mostly right anyway, because cream cheese and such just weren't going to cut it this time. This time I needed to employ my friend Beyond.


It worked!

(This sauce could very easily be used for a traditional BBQ Chicken recipe. If you go that way, double the recipe and use one pound of chicken. Either precook the chicken or cook it for much longer as described below because vegetarian "chicken" is precooked and there's not that pesky salmonella risk.)

(Vegetarian) BBQ Chicken

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package Beyond Grilled Strips
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
3 tablespoons zesty Italian dressing
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1. Skillet time! The Beyond Grilled Strips are precooked, but I think they're happier when you toss them in a skillet with some olive oil and brown them lightly on all sides. So, do that. Throw the onion in with them so that it has a chance to sauté as well.


2. Toss the BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar into a small crockpot or saucepan. I don't much care which one you use because things will turn out the same. Stir to mix everything up.


3. When the Beyond Grilled Strips and onion are cooked, toss them in with the sauce. If you went with the crockpot, high for one hour is plenty. If you went for the saucepan, turn the heat on low, toss a lid on things, and let everything simmer for 15 minutes.


4. Yaaaay for cutting a whole lot of fat and such out of a tailgate favorite!



Paris Love