Friday, April 1, 2016

Eggs Heather

Eggs Heather

Since we started keeping chickens two years ago,
my egg cooking skills have improved astronomically. In our house, scrambled eggs used to mean chewy, grayish eggs cooked in bacon grease. Yeesh. I feel sickly just typing that. Sander usually made them last minute after everything else was cooked for Saturday morning breakfast.

But when fresh eggs daily became a reality for us, I started putting more thought into how I prepared them. I  read a lot about how to do scrambled eggs. I researched a lot of famous foodies, from Gordon Ramsay to Paula Deen, from Alton Brown to Martha Stewart.

Like skinning a cat, there is more than one way to scramble your eggs, I've decided.
But this way is my favorite.
I call it Eggs Heather.
{Because if Benedict gets to, so do I.}
{And even though I'm hardly the first person to serve eggs this style, it's become my signature egg dish.}

Eggs Heather

First, I start with fresh eggs. I really am spoiled now, having my own chickens means I've become an egg snob. I can't do store bought anymore because I DO notice the taste difference and it is very off-putting.

I use 2 eggs for each adult eater, and 1 egg for each child.

Eggs HeatherEggs Heather

I throw in a splash of dairy--whatever I have on hand, milk, half & half, etc.--and whisk my eggs very well until frothy. Meanwhile, I start a pat of butter melting on medium heat.
Eggs HeatherEggs Heather

When the pan is nice and warmed up to medium, I pour in my whisked egg mixture.

Eggs Heather

Then I leave it alone for a good minute or two. I don't stir or agitate the pan at all.
Also, important, I do not add salt or seasonings at this point. Because salt starts breaking down the egg, bringing the water out, it can result in watery cooked eggs.

Eggs Heather

After the eggs have been heating for a couple minutes I start to scrape the bottom to start scrambling.
Just one good stir, then I leave it alone again. The eggs will start cooking faster after they start to solidify.

Eggs Heather

I stir it once more after a minute, then I add some shredded Monterey Jack cheese. I like to shred my own to avoid those anti-clumping covered bits of pre-shredded cheese. I prefer Monterey Jack because it melts so nicely, and has a subtle flavor compared to cheddar. I like cheddar with eggs, but I also feel like it can overpower the taste of eggs.

Eggs Heather

I stir and scramble a third time after adding the cheese, and this is where I really start to watch it.

Eggs Heather

Because while all the famous chefs had various methods of scrambling their eggs {Ramsay stirs the whole time} this was one thing I noticed across the board, everyone did. They stopped cooking just shy of when the eggs seemed to be done. Basically, you remove them from heat and transfer to a plate before they look completely finished. They still have a wet appearance to them. The point where you think, almost done, just another few moments... that is actually the point where you want to STOP.

Eggs Heather

They should finish cooking off heat and on the plate.
They will be fluffy, tender, and more creamy than chewy.
Yum!

Next, my favorite part.
To make eggs Heather style, you're gonna need an avocado.

Eggs Heather

Now is the time to salt and pepper. Also, some Sriracha is in order.

Eggs HeatherEggs Heather

That's the way, uh huh, uh huh! 
I like it! Uh huh, uh huh!

Eggs Heather

So that's it!
So yummy.
I could make my Eggs Heather every morning.
I won't do that newbie blogger thing where I declare, "These are THE BEST EGGS EVER!!!"
{Although I am still right about Grandma Baker's fudge, and the comments back me up.}
But it's a great way to cook and serve yourself some scrambled eggs.

Eggs Heather


Have a great weekend!

Cheers,
Heather


Saturday, March 19, 2016

I finally figured out what is bugging me about these girl superheroes...

Have you seen the new DC Comics superhero line from Target?

My girls love Star Wars. But I'm still waiting for a stinking Rey doll. (SHE WAS THE MAIN CHARACTER!) I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll probably have to craft up my own version of a 12" Rey doll.

So I was interested this week in Target's announcement of their new DC Heroes line that is all-female. Are they finally listening? Girls enjoy Star Wars and superheroes just as much as boys do. I have personally experienced this ridiculous notion myself on a personal level. I had two girls first. So when I was pregnant with Paxton, I heard often from my "boy mom" acquaintances things like, "I hope you like mud!" and "Get ready for Hot Wheels everywhere!" Or when people say, "He's all boy!" I just think...are you referring to the fact that we didn't circumcise him or the fact that he likes cars?

It was perplexing to me to hear those things because my girls have always LOVED playing in the dirt and mud and puddles and all of that with bugs while eating their boogers. And while Violet has always been into dolls and princess gear, Eisley has very much loved her toy cars. All this before Paxton arrived on the scene.

Kids like to play. Period. With dolls, with cars, with dress-up clothes, with mud. Kids. Not boys, not girls, kids.

A couple months back we were at the library and a man was there with his 3-year-old-ish son. I noticed the man browsing books for a good 30 minutes while not even glancing at his son. I tried not to judge, to remind myself he's a busy parent, indulged in a book, taking a much needed break. Besides, his son was just fine, playing 20 feet away near my kids in the play area. He was being so dang cute with a Barbie doll. I thought it was so sweet, talking to Barbie, "We got to get you dwessed Bawbee!"

Then dad comes over. After 30 minutes of ignoring his son, the first thing out of his mouth is a demand, "WHY ARE YOU PLAYING WITH DOLLS, BUDDY!?!?"

Ugh. Gag me with a spoon.

I hate parenting styles like that. Dads should change diapers, spend time alone with their kids, and encourage maternal/paternal play for their children. No matter their gender. It was sad, really. I was sad for that kid.

Anyway, you know my outlook, back to the Target DC Heroes girls. I was sort of pleased to hear about these dolls and see them.

But something was bugging me about them and I couldn't place my finger on what. The past few days I've been seeing them pop up on social media. What I do like about them: they don't have Bratz-style trashy makeup, and they don't have huge boobs. Not that boobs are bad. Moms have boobs. I'm just saying, they didn't seem over-sexualized. They look athletic. That's all good right?

So what was it? Something about them just weren't right. Even though they get a lot right.

It finally hit me today when I saw them compared to male action figure dolls.

They are nice girls. They are smiling. They look like they want to be friends.

So take a look at these guys:



Do you see the difference? Because I do.

They're fierce. 

Sure, there is a woman there, but just the one. Not a whole line of them. They're mostly male, and they look fierce, do they not? They look ready to do battle. So what's the message here? That girl superheroes are all smiles and friendliness? No. My girls have pretended at superheroes and it has never involved smiling all friendliness play. They sound like little warriors.

So they finally come out with a line of DC Heroes girl superhero dolls. Great Target. Except they're not great, they're not fierce superheroes. They are friendly and they are dolls. They are no different than the Barbie superhero dolls they've already made. Basically: this is nothing new.

Look, I get it. I sound really nitpicky here. And I don't identify myself as a feminist, but you can't throw the baby out with the bathwater. I do sometimes identify with feminist ideologies. {Manspreading IS a thing. Just saying.} And I also understand these dolls are coupled with a new DC Superhero girls TV show. But that aside, Twitter is lit up with hashtags about these dolls and how "finally!" but it's not "finally!" to me! We're still waiting for Rey. And we're still waiting for a complete line of female superheroes that look like, well, superheroes. Fierce faces and all.

I know my kids. Violet would probably love these new dolls from Target and would play with them. She would include them in her tea parties and Barbie family play time.

But Eisley is one of those girls that wants the real deal. She wants fierce ACTION FIGURE superhero toys.

So...try again Target.

I don't need to teach my girls that female superheroes need to be friendly while saving the day.

It's okay for girls to be fierce, and they often are. Just ask my husband. 

Cheers,
Heather


Saturday, February 20, 2016

To Violet, on her 5th birthday:

Violet, you're FIVE!

Violet's 5th Birthday

Let's talk about that for a minute.
I remember holding you in the hospital, five so-short years ago, and you would lift your head up and look around. At the time, I thought, "What the heck is with this baby? Should newborns do that?"
But now, I look back and think, "Yep. That's our Violet."
{And you were in there 2 weeks & 2 days longer than most babies.}
{No, I've forgiven you, but I'm never letting that go.}
{34 hours of labor too.}

Violet's 5th BirthdayViolet's 5th Birthday

You carried on as such. You slept through the night from birth. When you were 6 months old, I wrote this post about you and your shoplifting and steak-eating habits. You crawled at 7 months and walked {without holding onto anything} at 8.5 months.

Violet's 5th Birthday

When you were a toddler, I worried you would be a bully and a bruiser.
To be fair, you did once take a Sharpie to my sofa and you pulled chunk of your sister's hair out.
You had a reputation, girl.
You were never really, truly a baby.
And you've never taken crap from anyone either.
From boys on the playground, to the man at the grocery store who teased you.
You were never one to quietly endure.

Violet's 5th BirthdayViolet's 5th Birthday
Violet's 5th BirthdayViolet's 5th Birthday
Violet's 5th Birthday Violet's 5th Birthday

From 0 to about 5 months old, you screamed bloody murder every single time we put you in the car seat. Your father and I had no choice but to:
a) not leave the house, or
b) one of us drive while the other sat in the back with you and held your hand

Violet's 5th Birthday

It wasn't because you were scared or hurt.
It was because you hated not being able to move and get into things.
Like my makeup, which you have always envied.

Violet's 5th Birthday

The fact is, you are not the bruiser I thought you'd be.
You are a princess-loving fairy tale girl.
You love pink.
You love ballet.
You love having your makeup done.

Violet's 5th Birthday

You are a romantic, like your mother.

Violet's 5th Birthday

I really haven't identified a part of you that is like your father yet.
But someday, as you continue to grow up, it will come out of the woodwork and I will admire you for it.
{Don't worry, I can already tell you don't have your father's nose.}

Violet's 5th Birthday

You are not my favorite child.
I don't have a favorite child.

Violet's 5th Birthday

But you and I do connect in a certain way.
We always have.

Violet's 5th BirthdayViolet's 5th Birthday

I hate that you are so hard on yourself.
I hate that you are so easily discouraged.
I hate the self-pity you are prone to when things don't go your way.
{You've got to learn to cope with that, dear. Life is full of it.}
I hate that you compare yourself to your sister
and are let down when you can't do the things she can do.
Especially because, despite being 2 1/2 years behind her, you have always been ahead of your age.
And you're the only one who cannot see that.

Violet's 5th Birthday

But I love that strawberry blonde hair of yours.
Most people do.

Violet's 5th Birthday

I love that you notice your friends, and how they're feeling.
Always willing to offer a hug and a smile, my Violet.

Violet's 5th Birthday

When it is time to make dinner, clean up, or fold laundry, you're always the first and only
of my children to offer to help, and happily too.

Violet's 5th Birthday

You are silly at heart, and you have the groundwork for a brilliant sense of humor.

Violet's 5th Birthday

You compliment people as often as you can,
because you care about how others feel about themselves and you.

Violet's 5th Birthday

You come up with the most creative excuses ever,
for when you're in trouble and need to change the subject. {Even though we're on to you.}

Violet's 5th Birthday

You are sweet.

Violet's 5th Birthday Violet's 5th Birthday

You are loved.

Violet's 5th Birthday

We're excited to see what you do with your life.
I hope you keep up the hard work at ballet class,
and that you go easier on yourself when you fail at something.
But don't give up, keep trying.
That's when you really start to shine.

Violet's 5th Birthday

There are a lot of people in your life,
like Grandma Jan,
like Papa,
like Auntie Brittany,
like Aya & Indy,
like Grandma & Grandpa Sander,
like Aunt Rachel & Aunt Katie,
like Eisley,
like Mommy & Daddy,
and like God,

who love you.
Just the way you are.

Violet's 5th Birthday

We were here for you for the last half-decade.

Violet's 5th Birthday

...and we will be here for the next half-decade...

Violet's 5th Birthday

cheering you on, Little Red!

Violet's 5th Birthday

So Happy 5th Birthday, Princess!

Violet's 5th Birthday


Love you always,
Mom
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