Day 12: Cooking Chicken Pinwheels Again. Because It Works.

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Sometimes you gotta give the people what they want. All the time.

Tonight I made a large batch of chicken pinwheels to freeze some for reheating like you would a processed chicken nugget. My oldest is OBSESSED with these chicken pinwheels and takes them to school every single day for lunch, in the days after I make them. It’s really sweet.

So, yes, I make them once a week. I think it’s worth it.

Also, the same exact tomato salad, this time with tomatoes that look like teeny squashes.

I also made rice so that the little guy would actually eat enough to not want me to make him four pieces of toast before bed. It worked!


Day 11: My Sister’s in Town So It’s All-Restaurants All the Time!

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Here’s what I’d like to do every day of my life: Eat in restaurants.

Whenever we have someone special visiting, we take that opportunity to be completely irresponsible and eat in restaurants for lunch and dinner every day. Such was this weekend. We had Islands, as you saw, on the 10th day. Well, tonight was way better, and made up for my disappointment over not spending basically a mortgage payment on dinner at Nobu.

So after going to my friend Shanel’s store, where I bought a pair of my favorite jeans (the brand is called 3×1 and they’re expensive but ridiculously worth it), we walked up the street to R+D Kitchen, on Montana Blvd in Santa Monica.

I had the most ridiculous steak (rare – but order it medium rare if you don’t want it raw, the photo shows medium rare if you can believe that), and my sister and I shared an appetizer of the deviled eggs. I know, I know, I know, that sounds like a gross appetizer but they are FUCKING AWESOME and I’m sorry I can’t be more polite in describing them but they are fucking awesome. That’s all I can say.

Ivan had a salad and some of my steak, the kids had the amaaaaazing grilled cheese they make for children (we had them add bacon because my children are trying to give me a stroke – I don’t eat pork).

My sister and I also shared a Moscow Mule made with Chopin vodka. It was good, I would’ve liked a tiny bit of simple syrup in it, as the ginger beer was super sharp. That it was spicy, and that was great.

Sorry my only photo is of the steak in the to-go box. I was too busy eating to remember to snap a shot until I was done!

I've never taken a bathroom selfie before, but this mirror was cool.

I’ve never taken a bathroom selfie before, but this mirror was cool.

Day 10: We Were Trying to Go To Nobu… But Ended Up at Islands


My sister, Madeline, is in town so we wanted to take her to Nobu to just have a few of the most amazing things you’ll ever eat (and completely empty your wallet on), but even at 5:00 pm on a Saturday, there was an hour wait for walk-ins and no open reservations until 10:15pm. So, that wouldn’t work.

In a GIANT shift of mind, palette, budget and basically everything else, we ended up at Islands. If you’re not a West Coaster with children, Islands is a family burger joint with a hawaiian theme. The food isn’t Hawaiian, the decor is.

I had a burger with no bun (sorry, Gluten, haven’t eaten you in 17 years, not about to start now), add avocado, the kids had chicken/bacon/cheese burgers and pineapple, my sister had a burger and so did my husband.

C’est la vie, I suppose.

Someday, Nobu, someday.

Someday, Nobu, someday.

Day 8: This Chicken Looks Like Bugs. But It’s Not Bugs.

Look at that fucking thing on the left. It's like a giant cockroach! And there's an alien sloth fetus, too.

Look at that fucking thing on the left. It’s like a giant cockroach! And there’s an alien sloth fetus, too.

Tonight I made chicken in an attempt to copy something my sister in law, the chef, did once.

She had these amazing little skewers with chicken on them, and they were rich but not overwhelming and I dipped them in hummus and it was heaven. So I texted and asked her what she marinated them in – she said soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and cilantro. Then sear them in coconut oil and you can dip them in peanut sauce or hummus.

Well, I hate cilantro. HATE IT. And I’m not a fan of ginger. Had she really put all that in? Hers were so good. Maybe if I get a specific recipe I’ll follow it to a tee….

So I tried it. But I marinated it in garlic and gluten-free tamari and then cooked in coconut oil. I’m like a petulant little kid who stomps her foot and says, “I’ll do it myself!” and then makes a fuckery out of everything.

This time, though, they turned out really yummy, but not like hers. The big weird thing about them is how much the tenders looked like bugs and creepy James Cameron-style aliens.

Regardless, the kids ate them with edamame and rice. So that’s good. I had a salad with mine, a little rice, LOTS of hummus. I’ve saved some for Ivan, who is working really late tonight shooting a late night talk show.

Here’s a photo of the bug-chicken on the kids’ recycled milk carton cafeteria plates, which is one of their favorite things because they hate when foods touch each other. They also ate strawberries (are you catching a trend yet with my kids and strawberries?) and drank milk. BECAUSE WE ARE AMERICANS and Americans drink cow boob milk.

double the rice, double the fun. Also, for the record, never let a kid pour his own soy sauce. Major heavy pourers.

double the rice, double the fun. Also, for the record, never let a kid pour his own soy sauce. Major heavy pourers.

Day 7: Take-Out and Frozen Pizza. Now That’s More Like It.

photo 1Working parents’ dinner extraordinaire:

The kids enjoyed a Newman’s Own Four Cheese Pizza at home, courtesy of the toaster oven. They also dined on strawberries as we waited for Ivan to pick up dinner from a restaurant.

He got them Miso soup from the Sushi place next door to where we got our food, as well as avocado rolls in seaweed.

For me: A chopped salad with grilled chicken and kalamata vinaigrette. For him? Grilled chicken breast with gluten free pasta and a butter sauce.

The American way!

Also, the salad looks super gross in this photo but is brilliant – romaine, tomatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli make up the veggie portion. It’s a LOT of food, I ate about half and had to put the rest away for lunch. Good reason to portion out and not dress the whole thing, or it gets soggy in the fridge.

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Day 6: Joanna Cooked Two Days in a Row! Burgers with Roasted Poblanos, too!

So two days in a row of actually cooking actual food. I feel like I deserve some sort of prize.

Tonight: Burgers (the grocery store now has a pound of grass-fed Angus ground beef for $4.99, so let’s do that) with roasted poblanos.

This was easy – except my kids won’t eat much of the beef, so I made some turkey bacon first.

I let the beef warm to room temp, then added salt and pepper. Chucked them into the pan where the bacon had been and cooked two mini-patties for the boys and two regular ones for Ivan and me.

When they were done, I added bacon to the kids’ and Ivan’s and put cheese over the kids’, too.

For the grown-ups, I roasted some poblanos on the open flame of the stove as I cooked the patties. When they were blackened, I let them cool a bit and then bounced them around in a closed paper lunch sack (this is Ivan’s idea, I don’t know that it works all that well). It makes them sweat, and that makes the skin fall off. The bouncing takes about half the skin off. The rest you can do with a towel or paper towel.

Cut those into strips and lay across the patties.

I used gluten free bread as a bun, but the rest went with store-bought buns.

Ivan and I also added Vegenaise, classic French’s mustard, Heinz Simply Ketchup (no HFCS), tomato and avocado.

The kids didn’t want the veg on their burgers so they got Satsuma tangerines and edamame so that I wouldn’t feel like a failure in the nutrition department.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be back to lazy mama dinner time 😉