It’s been awhile. I know. But I have a really good excuse. Eventually (this is shocking), I stopped being so pregnant and gave birth to a glorious little spitfire named Wilder. I will spare you my birth story because a. that shit is weird, and b. I don’t entirely remember what happened because I was fabulously high out of my mind. Long story short, everything went surprisingly smooth, epidurals are amazing, and I was on my feet moments later and cheersing the nurses with a crisp glass of Veuve. The terrifying part was hearing that I have the kind of body “meant for having babies” and how much easier/more fun it would be the second time around, which makes me want to OD on birth control pills.
After baby left the building, I went back to work, shooting four projects back to back like some sort of crazy lady. I planned a big wedding and got married so our child was not a Snow, we bought a house because that isn’t stressful, and then we sleep-trained Wilder while moving into said house just to see how close to the edge of psychotic breakdown I could actually get. BUT! Here we are. We have a baby who sleeps almost sort of through the night (he’s lively and stubborn and likes attention– newsflash about trees and their apples: all true), we are settled in quite nicely to our beautiful new house delightfully in the middle of suburbia, and I am ready to get back into the swing of things.
Except the swing of things is a tad different now. Priorities have shifted. Evenings full of tasting menus at five star restaurants are a seldom occurrence, and instead of sitting at a bar in four-inch heels at 7pm, I’m settling my kid into bed reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the 800th time. Nights out are planned well in advance, and weekends away for just the two of us even more so (and they’re usually work-related which means dinners at the good ol’ Hyatt before we really make the most of our evening and pass out for a much-needed sleep catchup before heading home to Wilderville the next day). My point is, this blog used to be full of restaurant experiences, lobster pot pies in Vegas, foodie tours around Paris and New York and blotto wine tasting weekends in the Napa Valley. And I adore that stuff. And I’ll still do it every once in awhile, because I think parents deserve a life break now and then, and also because grandparents looove having alone time with their grandchildren, so altogether now: “HALLELUJAH”. But the majority of my posts won’t be about that anymore. They’ll be about Life 2.0, which involves a hell of a lot of cooking in yoga pants and dinner parties that end at 10pm. I hope you’re cool with that. If not, I’m sure some drunken social butterfly is out there already having taken my place, and she probably writes a sweet little blog from her bubble bath which will go completely undisturbed, all after having slept for 10 hours straight. Cheers, girl.
Fittingly however, this blog was always more about what makes me happy, anyway. A happy opu (tummy) can mean lots of things. Sometime’s it’s filled with Robuchon’s mashed potatoes and a fine Sancerre, which makes me giddily happy indeed. But sometimes it’s just filled with a lot of love, the overwhelming kind that makes my eyes spring with weird water whenever my kid gives me an unprompted kiss, or when I sit back after combing the oatmeal out of my hair at the end of the day and everybody’s in bed and I realize how indescribably lucky I am. So I will continue to write about that which makes me happy. It’s just that sometimes the “that” is a “who”.
My, how she’s evolved.
But to make YOU happy, here’s a quick little recipe for at-home falafel, which I have stuffed into a squishy bun and paired with a bad-ass yogurt sauce. Because I’m still the carb-loving nut job you all know and tolerate.
(I got married, remember?)
For the falafel:
1 can of chickpeas
1 handful of parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
a few dashes of your favourite hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of salt and pepper
For the sauce:
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 heaping tbsp tahini paste
the juice of a lemon
salt and pepper
Good, soft buns (portuguese buns are my fave here)
pickled onions (to pickle your own, dissolve 2 tsp sugar in 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar over medium heat. Let cool, add sliced onions and a pinch of salt, and refrigerate for 24 hours)
Drain the chickpeas and rinse them under cold water. Put them in a food processor with the spices, the parsley, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, the hot sauce, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Blend it all up until it’s relatively smooth. Taste for seasoning to see if you need a bit more salt. Form into burger patties and calm down if they look a little misshapen, they’re going in a bun, who cares.
Make your sauce and get your toppings ready. For the sauce, mix the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Slice your burger toppings so it’s all ready to go.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Carefully add the falafel patties and fry for about 3 minutes a side until golden. Warm the buns for 15 seconds in the microwave, slather with tons of sauce, and pile on a falafel and your desired toppings. How good is that? HOW GOOD?
45 Comments Add yours
I think I will still enjoy your blog posts even though it will be less about restaurants and more about your special guys. I have been eagerly waiting on your sporadic posts for a few years now (saw you at the Calgary Expo and have watched your career for many years) and they have all been enjoyable.
Since I know you’re a foodie , I wanted to introduce you to a process of cooking amazing meals which I think you will enjoy and is great time wise (set it and can’t mess up forget it). Its call Sous Vide and it makes amazing food. I have made 45 hour fall of the bone ribs that are better than any restaurant I have ever eaten at. I have also made super moist teriyaki Salmon that is equal to any dish I have tasted in even high end restaurants.
Here is the Sous Vide machine that I use, but there are quite a few others available now that you might be able to get: https://anovaculinary.com/anova-precision-cooker/
Looking forward to your next post.
your baby looks wonderful. I hope you write as much as you can about him. Your writing style is really enjoyable. I find your posts very funny.
Makes me very happy when other people share their happiness on a post. I’m very emphatic that way.
say hi to Charlie
I’ll be following you girl as you still make the “mundane” somehow hilarious ?
This post made me smile. Thanks 🙂
We will still follow you
can’t wait to hear all about your “new life!” ?
I’m very glad you’re back!
I love your blog and the recipes you share here and it was (while I felt for you) hilarious reading your thoughts as your body changed and you grew this amazing little man you have. I’m looking forward to reading your future adventures in food and mommyhood, ’cause you a badass.
Love the new post! And your son is adorable! I really like the direction your blog is going and will continue to follow you!
BTW, I was pretty pleased with myself for getting your “Snow” reference.
All the best and happy opu!
Thanks Jewel for the update. Happy for you and your Family.
Welcome back. Ain’t parenthood grand? You are bringing back so many memories!
I love the way you write so I’ll read anything you care to blog about, funny lady.
Wilder is straight-up adorable.
It’s so good to see you back, congratulations on the spawn and marriage! These Falafel burgers sound amazing!!
I know it’s a little late, but.. Congrats on your new little browncoat!!!! It’s wonderful to hear that you’re all doing so well. It’s your blog, write about what makes you happy. We’ll be happy to read it. ?
I’m so glad you’re back!
And I can’t believe how easy falafel apparently is, I always thought it was one of those mystery foods you can only get from takeout. Thank you for enlightening me.
Can of chickpeas in the back of the pantry: Watch out. I’m coming for you.
Thanks for sharing , love this post
Welcome back! For me, Happy Opu has always been about happiness: your funny stories of fabulous dinners, and your great cooking tips (risotto!!). Now that it’s got added Wilder-y goodness, it will be even more fun! 🙂
So very happy and excited for you – and Wilder is without doubt the handsomest, smartest, sweetest, most incredible child ever! May your new home ever be filled with happiness.
SO GOOD to have you back!!!!! (You were away?) GRATS on everything, including the oatmeal, which just goes to show everything has its place.
Ps- site looks awesome. W looks even better.
Wow! What a great read. Thanks for the smiles. So looking forward to reading your adventures ?
I adore you and am thrilled that you’re back to blogging; you’re such a great writer.
I love reading this. Now my opu is happy too.
Great on all counts! <3
You exclaimed, “Baby!” at Hal-Con when we met and I had my kid in a little side room of the big meet and greet, where there was no alcohol being served and thus no law being violated. It’s been kind of fun getting updates as you go through the paces we went through a few years back. Evangeline (Evie) is now three and a half and would probably say make the same surprised and happy squee of, “Baby!” if she met Wilder.
Still love you & the pic of Wilder !!!
It’s nice when happiness radiates from a blog post! Congratulations on all of it – and fab-sounding falafel.
This just made my day…..welcome back!
Greetings to my favorite browncoat… Along time ago in another verse I saw you and knew that someday you would become momma, and knew you would be awesome at it.. Yeah kinna psychic and weird, but this is good, I promise… I for one am happy and glad to see that you are experiencing a second part of living that when we’re younger doesn’t seem very appealing, but once you’re in it can’t compare with anything else except, maybe grandparenthood… (Calm down now… that’s still a ways away for you so don’t pass out on me yet..) Congrats on the Hubby (lucky guy, he’d better know how lucky he is and let you know ALOT!!!), and on the birth of Wilder… somehow, seems like a totally appropriate name for a son of yours.
As for me, I will always love hearing about the innerworking of your mind, and tummy, etc, because to me You are the amazing soul in this world who brings into my world happiness (not in a weird way, just in the way that makes the world an amazing place), and a different perspective from my own, which can be weird and happy and fun, I just don’t have the skill or motivation to write about it often…
MUCH Happiness to you and yours, be safe and know that there are many of us out here who look forward to your quirky, and insightful rantings, no matter if their about food, kid(s), or whatever you have noticed interesting in life, because you are one of the interesting… Have fun, Be safe, Enjoy Life, and in the words of another sci fi character, unrelated to The Verse, Live Long and Prosper…
The Gray Wizard
(aka: Matthew Romero)
One Browncoat dedicated to bringing Serenity, & Enterprise to life in this Verse….
Congratulations JBR! Love you and your blog and, don’t worry, in about 18 years…maybe, you’ll be able to go out again…but not in high heels! lol Looking forward to your newest chapters in life! Been there too, so I understand! Wilder is adorbs!! <3
Very entertaining as usual. Thanks for finding the time for a post! Congrats on the house, wedding, beautiful kid, etc! Just watched a couple of episodes of Firefly 2 days ago, so seeing your new blog post was a treat! Looking forward to seeing you on the little or big screen very soon!
You’re right, this does make me happy. I’m also sad that you posted a recipe with delicious dairy products that I can’t have until my own little man develops a properly working digestive system, but that’s a gripe you can’t do anything about. Welcome back to blogging.
Wow you couldn’t have done it better. The transition to being a parent is a stressful journey but one well worth it. As much as you liked all that stuff your used to do the smile of your little one will leave that a very disant memory.
Welcome back! That falafel sounds amazing! And yoga pants are totes my jam anyways.
Congratulations on baby, marriage and house. We missed you.
Miss reading your posts and need to follow you more on instagram for cute baby photos.
And welcome to parenthood where the little things like 5 minutes alone in the bathroom is a big highlight of one’s day.
Congrats on the wedding and amazingly cute baby.
Gratz and welcome back.
Welcome back! Parenting is a wild ride and a love of food and cooking helps!
…I’m settling my kid into bed reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the 800th time.
It’s great so see that it’s the same everywhere in the world, whether you’re starred in one of the greatest TV shows, or are just living an ordinary life somewhere in the German countryside… 😉
Great to hear from you again! 🙂
Yea! She’s back and better than ever. xo
I’m glad you are back to blogging! I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts and I’m sure that won’t change. 🙂
Oh Jewel this is wonderful! Looking toward to new posts and life’s anecdotes!
Congratulations, your son is ADORABLE!!…This new mommy experience is just another turn in the road to being the best person you can be!!
We all eat, and so does your son. Eventually you will be posting recipes that Wilder inspired you to make!! Raising 2 picky eating girls made me a better cook. I always added some extra pureed veggies to my dishes just to get them to eat more veggies. Now that I am a Grandma to Evelyn (15 months) I know the struggle you will have in managing your time and trying to keep yourself sane!!…Even grandma gets sleep deprived babysitting!!… HAVE FUN with Wilder..it goes very fast!! Looking forward to your blogs even more now!!
Jewel… just cross my mind… you have to write children stories. You have this gift of writing. I bet you will be making your own stories for Wilder. Write them down and think about publishing them one day. Your writing style is very special. I’m curious if other readers of your blog think the same as me.
Life is full of changes. Your heart grows and encompasses all the new things you love. Being a parent is hard and sometimes we forget to remember how much we love and how lucky we are to be blessed with this whole new world. I love your blog and now I love it even more.
I’ve followed you on Instagram and didn’t realize you had a blog. I glanced at the older entries and they look like fab fun (particularly the KCMO entry, being a Kansas girl myself), but as a momma I’m really excited to follow your new posts!
Just made your falafel. Dee-lish! 🙂