Friday, May 9, 2014

how YOU doin?

I miss blogging on a daily basis.  I especially miss blogging about the kids.  I stopped blogging about the kids because they are getting older and I have conflicted feelings about their privacy and putting them on the interwebs. I may have to start a private blog where I wax rhapsodical about my children.  When I look back at this blog over the past four years the posts about the kids are the ones I most enjoy reading.

I have a number of family things going on behind the scenes here,  most of which are anxiety producing.  The brownie consumption/romance novel reading are way up here.

One of my anxiety producing activities is job hunting. I am hoping to go back to work this year, not to teaching, but in the foster care system or in hunger/poverty organizations.  These issues are dear to my heart and I would like to start a new career in a field I care deeply about.

Since I have had no luck finding a job in the past year, recently I joined a career coaching group aimed specifically at women attorneys who have been out of the work force for a few years.  Interestingly, there are at least a dozen graduate programs aimed at getting career-paused women physicians back into the work force, but I only found one coaching group aimed at serving women attorneys.

The group has been a great help.  It is forcing me to do stuff I already knew but have zero desire to implement, such as expanding my personal and professional network.  Every two weeks I am assigned two to three "action items" that will help my job search, such as identifying useful people in organizations I would like to work and then contacting them for informational interviews.  As in, ask a stranger out of the blue for their time and advice.

Please feel free to send an oxygen mask my way (we are running out of brown paper bags).  Or deliver a truckload of brownies to Introverts Anonymous (can you find us?). I can think of very little I would like to do less than start phoning strangers and asking them to tell me how their career path can help me find a job.

I will ask you, dear readers, if you have any contacts in Orange County in the foster care system or hunger/poverty organizations, please leave a comment.

I will share a few recipes I have been making frequently of late.

1) I have been cooking a Moroccan chicken and lentils dish that I find delightful and delicious, and my family sort of tolerates.  I serve it with the lentils over mashed sweet potatoes.  Lentils over sweet potatoes is my new favorite dish ever.

I have the ability to ruin lentils every time I make them.  I have stopped attempting to make lentils on the stovetop, because despite the fact that every recipe says lentils should take 25 minutes, I find that lentils require 45 minutes to an hour of cooking time and a varying amount of water every time. I generally make them burnt and undercooked. To alleviate this problem I have started using a small crockpot to make them.  They usually turn out a bit mushy, but I am ok with that.

2) I have also started making caramelized onions and putting them on everything.  Making caramelized onions is easy--a stick of butter and two sliced up onions, set on low heat and stir around every ten minutes or so for about an hour and a half.  Caramelized onions are good on EVERYTHING.  (This from a girl who used to detest onions, and still doesn't really like raw onions on anything, or large amounts of cooked onions.  Totally different than caramelized onions.)

3) last but not least, overnight oatmeal.  I eat this oatmeal every day.  I love it to death.  I use lactose free milk and lactose free yogurt.  I put in black chia seeds (my local grocery store carries them in the baking section, with the alternative flours like amaranth and spelt, and sometimes I find them in the rice/quinoa section.)  Because I am also in need of All The Fiber, I put in a huge spoonful of Chia and Flax Seed Decadent Blend with Coconut and Cocoa (also in the baking section) (I don't know that I would call it decadent; I freely admit it sort of looks like ground up bark or mulch, but I enjoy the hint of chocolate and coconut in my breakfast).  I follow it up with a splash of vanilla extract and a superlarge helping of blueberries and strawberries.  In fact I just had a bowl of it for lunch; it only needs about an hour to absorb the milk and yogurt.

I love the berry ones, I am eh to the dried fruit ones, and believe it or not, I did not care for the chocolate and banana one.  The cocoa one is not quite sweet enough; it is like eating straight cocoa.  Also, I really don't like the mushy bananas overnight.  I don't mind bananas but only if added right before eating.  Lastly, avoid frozen fruit, it makes it very mushy and watery.

I would kill to eat the peanut butter ones but alas, me eating peanut butter in my home will not commence until Peter moves out.  Only another fifteen years or so.

So how you doin?

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