Our clocks changed today and I had no idea.
The boys both had a good sleep, Odin perhaps waking up a tad on the early side (I thought) but still nothing to complain about given his history as a super early riser. We got up and puttered, vacuumed up the crumbs from the night before, and I put on a program for him to watch.
It wasn't until Niko got up and I glanced at the microwave that I realized that time was different from my phone and watch (which are connected) and had to google when the clocks changed in Europe. Sure enough, it's today.
So I guess in fact Odin treated me to one heck of a good sleep in today!
Guys, I need your help.
Tell me your ideas for a Halloween costume that takes no effort and costs no money. I mean none and none. Does such a thing exist?
By some weird 2020 twist, we have not one, not two, but THREE Halloween parties to deal with next weekend. The first is a morning fika (<--Swedish tradition with coffee and something sweet to eat) with some of Niko's classmates, with the whole family invited.
This is an outdoor event so I assume I will be going as someone who is cold. I'm also shamelessly hoping it will be cancelled due to crappy weather.
Next up, Niko has a birthday party / Halloween party for two classmates. I'm hoping this is the kind of thing where we can just drop the kids and then go enjoy a quiet cup of tea somewhere nearby.
And then lastly, a friend has organized a Halloween party in a big, empty space in her building. This is one where for sure the adults will be dressed up, and I am just completely void of ideas.
I'm also a 2020 Swedish Halloween party pooper since I know it won't be a "real" Halloween. I was planning to take the kids to London for Halloween this year, where my sister's neighbourhood does it up proper with actual trick or treating, but that obviously isn't happening.
I did get costumes for the kids, especially since they have so many parties to go to (four if you include Niko's class party on Friday) but totally phoned it in and just bought ready-made costumes. Niko wanted to go as a Minion, and thankfully, H&M had a Minion suit for kids. I ordered Odie a skeleton suit and consider myself done.
Now I still have to sort a costume for myself, but am loathe to spend any money on it. Like I said, party pooper. So send me your best ideas for an easy and free but awesome costume for a cranky grey-haired lady. Go!
Speaking of Halloween, it's time for me to make my annual PSA (pumpkin service announcement) about how Halloween pumpkins are food!
Here’s a totally bonkers stat: each year approximately 18,000 tons of pumpkins get tossed out after halloween. If they’re not properly composted, those pumpkins end up in landfills where they decay and release methane gas.
One of the most certain ways to help combat climate change is by reducing food waste, so how about cooking your halloween pumpkin instead of throwing it out?
I'll be real - your jack o' lantern definitely doesn't have the same sweetness as a sugar pumpkin. But roasted, turned into pumpkin purée, and given a new life in things like pumpkin muffins or pumpkin pie, you won't notice the difference.
Check out this post on How to Cook a Jack o' Lantern for instructions on how to SAFELY cook your halloween pumpkin.
I have my driving test this coming week and I need you guys to send me all of the good test taking vibes. As someone who has been licensed to drive since the 90's it would be nothing short of humiliating if I fail this test, but man is it tricky.
I've taken a couple of lessons and each time the instructor has emphasized how many more lessons he thinks I should take (at $150 a pop), even offering to come in on the weekend for a double lesson (that'd be $300) so I can get in more practice. Alas, the weekend session isn't an option since I have the kids and no babysitter and don't feel like bleeding more money into this thing that absolutely necessary and oh yeah I've been driving since the 90's.
The rules are a little different here, though, and roundabouts trip me up every time. There are also one zillion road signs to know, and the speed zones are constantly changing so you have to be on high alert.
I have had three single lessons so far, and have a double lesson booked the day before my driving test so I can go out to the area where the test will be and drive around all the areas where they purposely try and trip you up. I am, unfortunately, taking the test in the examiners car, so it'll be a car I've never driven before, which makes me anxious.
But I keep reminding myself that I do, in fact, know how to drive, and I hope that a sense of calmness will prevail and the examiner will be able to sense I am a seasoned and responsible driver.
Sigh. Wish me luck.
One day last week Niko asked me if they could have overnight oats for breakfast the next day. I said yes, then forgot, and when I woke up in the morning decided to correct the situation by cooking up some Cinnamon Roasted Apples to spoon over warm oatmeal.
You'd think that having a mother who is willing to get up early and whip up something special would have been enough, but no. When Niko woke up and I told him what we were having, it was catastrophic. The worst thing I've ever done to him, probably.
He left the room and then started howling in such a way that I thought he must have hurt himself and then when I asked what happened he sobbed, "I wanted overnight oats! Oooooooooooover nnnnnnnnnnnight oooooooooooooats!"
The warm oats with cinnamon apples were not acceptable. They were firmly rejected after a couple of spoonfuls (I assure you, it was delicious) and I promised him I'd make overnight oats in the evening so we could have them the next morning.
At night when I carried him into bed he whispered in my ear, "Mom, overnight oats."
Lesson learned. The boy remembers. So I whipped up a batch of these Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats and all was right with the world again.
ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK
This week I finally got around to updating and re-publishing this beauty of a recipe for Miso Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. Fair warning: this recipe creates a lot of dishes. But it's simple enough to pull off and is incredibly delicious.
Next up, Baked Taquitos with Pumpkin and Black Beans! These are freezer-friendly and super simple to make. Perfect for fuelling Halloween fun.
WHAT’S TRENDING ON HNL
Yeah, yeah, we all know that Mung Bean and Coconut Curry is in number one. So let’s look at what else is trending.
1. Homemade Pumpkin Purée. T'is the season!
2. How to Cook Mung Beans. Mmmhmm.
3. Homemade Pumpkin Seed Butter. Well hello! Welcome to the top 5!
4. Turmeric Latte Mix. Can't get enough of this.
5. 10-minute Vegetable Ramen Noodles. Another newcomer this week!
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Frances left the following comment and 5-star review on my Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe:
I love this recipe. I have done other stuffed acorn squash and I like this one the best. Easy to put together since I had some red quinoa left over and some canned lentils. I altered amounts a bit as I had an entire half of the squash myself, (albeit a small acorn!) I like savory stuffing like this much more then sweet versions actually. A favorite. Thank you.
Thank YOU, Frances, for reminding me how great this recipe is!
THIS WEEK’S MENU
Last week's menu was pretty successful with the kids. In particular the savory Dutch Baby I made on Thursday was a huge hit! I'm going to work on a version of fit to share here on the blog, because it was such a quick, easy, and tasty meal that everyone liked.
Since I've been trying to get my grocery bill down and I think I'll be *almost* on target this month, I planned this week's menu with an emphasis on things I already had in the cupboard or freezer, things that needed using, or things I could repurpose. Here's what I'm making:
Sunday: Leftover pizza (takeout from Friday) and a batch of this Red Lentil and Brown Rice Soup (ancient recipe from the blog archives I need to redo).
Monday: Kale salad.
Tuesday: Leftover soup.
Wednesday: Another batch of Taco Quesadillas (must make this recipe for the blog) to use up some ingredients in the freezer.
Thursday: Creamy Tortellini Pasta. A super easy recipe from my grocery delivery that we've enjoyed before.
Friday: Dinner out with friends!
Saturday: I'm sure after three Halloween parties we won't need any actual dinner, so probably just snacks.