1.  I was planning to roll right in on how we’re almost through February but I’m jammed up with the title.

2.  Number forty-six?? That’s a lot of Friday ramblings.

3.  If I printed all those out and laid them end to end…well, I don’t know how far they’d stretch but it’d be something to see.

4.  Anyway, here we are at the end of February. So far 2021 has a distinctly 2020 feel.

5.  Days that last forever in weeks that fly by or weeks that stretch on and on inside months gone in a flash. It’s disorienting.

6.  2020 doesn’t have a monopoly on fakeouts.

7.  I tried a few more recipes this week.

8.  Hey, did you know I actually have a favorite recipes page on the blog? One of these days I’ll have to track down all the stuff I’ve shared and add the links there, too.

9.  I’ve been pretty loyal to Pioneer Woman salsa over the years. I have to make mine in the Vitamix since I broke my food processor so it’s more saucy than chunky now but still. Yum.

10.  This week I was craving chunky, though, so I gave this recipe from Divas Can Cook a try. It’s quick, easy, and delicious with more of a fresh California salsa vibe. So good.

11.  BrightSide says chips and salsa is a healthier snack so we’ll put this in the “good choices” column.

12.  I’ve been trying to clean up our diet so we also have seafood once a week. This week that meant tilapia.

13.  Tilapia is a non-fishy fish so it’s an easy sell with one of the kiddos. The other one won’t come within ten feet of anything from the ocean but whatever, chicken heats up just fine so we slap that on a plate for her and call it a day.

14.  This week’s experiment was Baked Tilapia from the website Rasa Malaysia. I’ve found some terrific Chinese food recipes on there but we’ll save those for another time.

15.  Tilapia is bland so fresh garlic and cayenne pepper gives this great flavor while lemon juice gets rid of any “muddy” smell.

16.  Plus it’s topped with parmesan cheese before baking so YUM. Highly recommend.

17.  I say we have seafood once a week like it’s that easy but the truth is T-man only loves salmon and tilapia. Period.

18.  Shrimp’s a hard no. Anything with a fishy taste is also off the table. But hey, I’ll work with what I’ve got.

19.  Sometimes that means working around a whole bunch of things. I like to joke that I’m not a short order cook but this week the plates sure looked like it.

20.  Wednesday’s dinner was that baked tilapia, caramelized Brussels sprouts, and glazed baby carrots. I eat all three of those and they were fantastic.

21.  Bear would vomit over the fish so she got chicken, Brussels sprouts, and carrots.

22.  BrightSide hates carrots so he had tilapia, Brussels sprouts, and some leftover air fryer potatoes.

23.  T-man is “not a fan” (his polite way of saying YUCK) of the Brussels sprouts so he had tilapia, carrots, and the rest of those leftover potatoes.

24.  Ridiculous, right? Except in the end everyone had a well balanced meal and we cleaned out a container of leftovers to boot. Win/win.

25.  Sometimes dinner is what you make it, I guess.

26.  Remember last spring and summer when everybody was learning to make bread? No, that doesn’t have a point, it just jumped into my head.

27.  Though it does make me think I’ve got three over-ripe bananas hidden in my fridge in the hopes I’ll make banana bread.

28.  Every time I open the door they taunt me with their darkening peels. Look at us, Laura. Imagine how great banana bread would have been this morning IF YOU’D JUST MADE IT YESTERDAY.

29.  And even though I yell at myself like this several times a day it’s entirely possible I’ll end up throwing out those damn bananas in the end.

30.  I’m trying to cut myself some pandemic slack here but still…it hurts my heart to throw out food.

31.  Those lessons we learned in childhood stick.

32.  Hey, how many of you grew up on those frozen fish sticks? I used to dunk mine in gobs of tartar sauce. They were delicious!

33.  I fed them to my kiddos when they were younger and they recently revealed – and this is a direct quote – “They were disgusting, mom.”

34.  What?? How do you not like crunchy sticks you can dip in – wait for it – ketchup? That’s right, my kids dipped them in ketchup which I’D LIKE TO POINT OUT may have had a great deal to do with why they remember them as disgusting. But baggage.

35.  You see, BrightSide has this thing with mayo and mustard. It’s this whole long complicated story about allergies and eggs when he was born but basically the guy never used condiments growing up and can’t stand them to this day.

36.  Except ketchup and A1, obviously.

37.  Anyway, it seems we may have inadvertently passed along this bit of baggage to the kids. Since he despises those ingredients I never made anything with them so our kids never learned to eat them and so the anti-condiment attitude gets passed down a generation.

38.  Hey, everyone needs something to tell their therapist during a midlife crisis, right? “My parents withheld mayo!” seems as good a complaint as any.

39.  That fish stick thing, though. They seem genuinely traumatized by those.

40.  I don’t know what to say, man. Mrs. Paul’s and the Gorton’s fisherman seemed happy to help a flustered mama out at dinnertime. My bad.