It’s summertime and the grill is open for business!
Since moving into our house 4 years ago, we have slowly built up our grill repertoire to be expanded beyond the standard hamburger and hot dogs. Adulting can be a slog sometimes but when you end the week with a cool evening breeze and the grill fired up, it feels pretty sweet! Since the start of the warmer temps, we have already made this recipe a handful of times. I just love this rub because it is super easy and flavorful. Henry GOBBLES up a massive portion of it every time and we never seem to have leftovers. So it seemed appropriate to finally add it to the blog and recipe list since I think this will be a family classic now.
We serve it up with some grilled okra and asparagus!
- 1/4 c. finely ground espresso coffee (not instant)
- 1/4 c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
- 1/8 tsp. five-spice powder
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 1/2 lb. skirt steak, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
Heat grill to high.
Combine coffee, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, white pepper, five-spice powder, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.
Remove steak from refrigerator and let come to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Rub steak with oil, and sprinkle with rub. Massage rub into meat.
Grill until charred and medium-rare, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing at an angle. Serve immediately.
These days it is all about fast!
Before I know it, it is 5PM and time to race everyone to the commuter rail to pick up David. Poor guy ALWAYS gets in the car with everyone screaming (Yes, me included!). And the race home to get all the screaming out of the car can be frantic. My goal each and every day is to make this pick-up and transition as smooth as possible which means to try and have some kind of dinner ready to be eaten immediately upon arrival so all hangry parties can settle. Last night’s concoction was quite delicious and sated the beasts.
1lb Italian Sweet Sausage
Whole Wheat Pasta
Saute 1lb of Italian sweet sausage in olive oil, add one diced onion and cook until translucent, add 2 cups of chopped butternut squash and stir and cook. Let the butternut squash brown a little bit. Add in 2 cup of chicken broth, juice from 1/2 of a lemon and 2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar, simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add a bag of baby spinach and stir in until wilted. In a separate pot, bring 1 cup of whole wheat pasta to boil, cook to al dente, and then mix into the sausage pot and enjoy!
When you have a newborn, cooking becomes even more challenging. Just when you would sit down to cook your meal, the newborn begins cluster feeding. What is cluster feeding you ask? It is a non-stop, open bar nursing session that can last for hours! Owen would start at 3 and want to stop at 7. So there I am stranded on the couch, a prisoner to my new baby and the boppy. Why can’t David cook you ask? Oh he can! He is better at it than me, but there is the two year old who needs some entertaining and while he is interested in cooking he easily becomes a hazard in the kitchen.
So what do we do? Starve.
No, we have really amazing friends who bring us amazing food those first few weeks while we get our feet under us. And then those amazing meals become a part of our repertoire when our amazing friends share the recipe!
We have probably made this one three times since Owen was born and since Lyndsay brought it over to our house the night we came home from the hospital. Gratitude is not enough for the meal drop off those first days and weeks.
So here we are day 5,929 of our great baby wait. At least that is how it feels sometimes. Throughout this pregnancy our medical team has pumped me up with hopes of an early delivery: we will have to induce you for the baby’s size, we will have to monitor you for your thyroid, we will have to induce you for fears of shoulder dystocia, we will have to monitor your sugar levels. All these little “red flags” that were tacked onto my appointments gave me the hope that perhaps this time, my baby would come early instead of weeks late. But, this little dude is quite comfortable and each concern sheds away with each passing day. From “let’s just get you to 35 weeks,” we are now hearing, “you can go all the way to 42 weeks!” And, yes I am delighted. I am thankful that we are healthy and that our complication risks are minimizing. I am thrilled that throughout the long months of gestation this little guy and my body got stronger and more adaptable.
BUT, I am SO ready to meet him. Henry and David talk about the little one all the time, and play in his room, and read books about the baby arriving. We have EVERYTHING ready to go from crib to carseat to clothes to burp cloths, to that dreaded double stroller. And now we wait. My new feeling is that instead of an April baby, this little dude is holding out for May, haha. So what am I doing to avoid the painful staring at my belly?
The potty training chronicles are on-going and have been an oddly welcomed distraction! Henry is doing really well with it too. Almost all of his activities make it to the bathroom and he is getting better and better at telling us. It is really sweet to put him in “big boy undies” and see him playing downstairs and having so much fun. I no longer see him as a “ticking time bomb” waiting to ruin my couch! This weekend to keep our minds busy we are planning to head downtown for a little visit to the North End and some touristy sight-seeing because WHO KNOWS when we will be able to do that again once the new member joins us and on Sunday I am going to my first fitness conference with my fellow coach Nikki. It feels like this mix of teaching, mothering, and coaching is just what I need in life these days. I am busy, and motivated, and feeling strong and healthy (although definitely achy by night fall, I cannot lie that this belly is a burden by the end of the day!). David always has hobbies to keep him busy and to keep him from spinning his wheels. When I was pregnant with Henry it was the summer and I felt very lonely just waiting for Henry to arrive and eventually I felt crazed. But this time, while the wait isn’t fun (because come on little guy don’t you want to meet earth-side already!?!?!) it is much much more manageable with everything that fills my life and day and I am so thankful to feel like I have real ownership over my day.
We are now three days into our “potty training.” It is going much better than I expected it to. Day 2 Henry and I stayed home and while this was the hardest part for me, he seemed to not mind at all. He played and played and told me when he wanted to use the facilities. The only issue I had was with the looming inevitable: how do we transfer this outside? It was “easy” to stay home and have the little dude run around the house bottomless and then hop on and off the potty as needed, but how do you tackle the world!?! It felt very daunting on Day 2 and so even though every inch of my skin crawled to do something outside and to go somewhere fun with the little one, my fear held me back. It also helped that it was rainy outside and really where could I go? By the end of the second day, Henry had “mastered” shouting “poopie!” and running from whatever toy or craft we were in the midst of to the potty. It was hilariously cute. There was only 1 accident on day two because we got really involved into a puzzle and were working with color groupings and you know sometimes when you get TOO into something you just pee yourself, no?
Day 3 was going to be the true test! We had registered for an Egg Hunt in the neighboring town. Could we go? Should we skip and shelter at home during this potty training storm? David and I went back and forth and finally decided “Hey, if he has an accident it is okay, accidents happen and it’s totally fine if this potty training experience is just the first of many attempts.” So we packed up our things and headed to the hunt. Henry used the potty before we left and while hunting for eggs, I asked him if he needed to and he said yes! WHAT? Where do I go? I raced him (as fast as my preggo body could) to the bathroom and Ta da he did it! Henry ate some snacks at the church and then we headed home. Upon arrival he did the potty again! Okay, MAYBE he really was ready for this. Of course during naps and at nighttime he wears a diaper because we don’t expect him to be able to hold it while he sleeps but I am really excited about having had our first venture out of doors! Hopefully as we head back to work this week, we can keep the momentum going even though we know that the arrival of baby 2 might bring about a big regression in this potty business, it is fine. We are trying to stay as casual about it as we can and just trying to follow Henry’s lead. And, yes we might be using a little ice cream to reward this awesome work!
How is it that every month has roughly 30 days and then the last month of pregnancy has 5,435 days! I am not a patient person and this wait killed when it was Henry’s turn and it is just as hard the second time. You would think I would have learned?
And it’s Spring Break which is such a blessing and curse for this mama. Clearly the timing is amazing because I should be relaxing and taking some time off my feet because before I know it this house is going to be VERY different. But I really struggle with empty space. I am notorious for filling up my calendar with a dozen errands and chores and trips and visits. The first day of spring break alone I plowed through most of my two week long to-do list by tackling the basement clean-up, Henry’s closet organization, baby room set-up, and hospital bag packing. I guess the bright side of this is that now there is very little to do and I am forced to confront my free time as it stands…free time. Seriously, this is not a problem because it is such a glorious gift but I need to really practice some mediation to help calm my frantic energy that wants to go go go. I am going to dedicate this time off then to centering and spending quality time with Henry without racing him from one thing to the next. These may be our final weeks as a mama, papa, kiddo triumvirate so I better savor it now before it totally passes me by!
Here is a little glimpse at the room all set up and ready to greet our newest member!
Is he really going to be this tiny? It feels so good having the hospital bag packed just in case, although NO ONE thinks I am going to go early except for me (and maybe my OB). That is what happens when baby 1 is so delayed, everyone around you just keeps reminding you of it.
I probably can’t afford a daily Lush bubble bath until baby, but I can squeeze in a few between now and baby. It was a glorious reminder that when I can shut down my brain there is beauty in the silence.
But, I am so excited to start the next few days home with my littlest man! It is going to be great to just snuggle this peanut and maybe even sneak him off to lunch with Daddy downtown (yup, there I go again planning out our days!).
And then this little one joins the party and it is SO crazy to see him because I feel like I know him and yet he is our greatest mystery.