New things I love

I realized today every recipe I’ve cooked, thing I’ve bought, or new method I’ve tried recently came from the internet. I don’t mean I needed to buy something or make something, so I went looking for it, or asking for recommendations on the internet. I mean I never would have known about any of these things if it weren’t for someone’s unsolicited recommendation.

So, here are some things I’ve been loving lately and/or hope to love all courtesy of blog-land:

The double swaddle: A’Dell mentioned this on Twitter, then linked, and it’s amazing. I was thisclose to buying a Miracle Blanket, just to try it, but the double swaddle is essentially the same thing. It saved me 30 bucks! I used it for a couple of nights, to great success (the baby slept on his back in the crib!), but ultimately went back to our old way of doing things. He gets so spit-uppy (and, therefore, cranky) when we lie him down flat I decided to continue having him sleep in his car seat. Since he can’t really wiggle when sitting up in the seat, the single swaddle works fine. I’m sure we’ll use the double swaddle again when he’s a little older and we try to transition to the crib.

Pumpin’ pal angled breast pump flanges: Arwen recommended these. I haven’t actually tried them yet (they came today), but I am so UNBELIEVABLY EXCITED. My back hurt for the entire nine months I pumped at work after having Meg. Sitting hunched over in a little room trying to juggle pump parts and a magazine was not the best time ever. I want these to work so badly. If I can actually pump while leaning back it will actually change my life. Is that sad?

Nosefrieda:  Another recent recommendation from A’Dell.  I remember when these came out (well, not come out – came to the US, I guess), people made fun of them mercilessly.  I know one blogger I read (can’t remember who) bought one, tried it, and said it was the stupidest (and grossest) thing ever.  I never would have bought one if A’Dell hadn’t loved hers so much.  There’s nothing worse than a nursing infant with a stuffy nose, so I’ll try anything.  I thought Paul was catching Meg’s cold this past weekend, but he ended up being OK, so I haven’t tried it yet.  I know the first cold will come eventually, though, so I’m happy to be prepared.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins:  I was very happy when this popped up in my feed reader since I’ve been wanting to find something besides banana bread to use overripe bananas, but never got around to looking for recipes.  Oh. My. Goodness.  These are the best thing EVER.  I wouldn’t recommend them as a “skinny” food since I’ve eaten four so far today and am eyeing another, but you should totally make them anyway.  YUM.  It’s possible this is just one of those foods that matches my tastes perfectly, not necessarily yours, but I think you should try them.  I love banana bread, but my one problem with it is it’s not banana-y enough.  The bananas give it its texture and moistness, but not enough flavor.  These muffins are basically half banana by volume and I love it.  Plus, how can you go wrong with chocolate? 

A note:  the recipe says it makes 12, but it made 19 for me.  I think my muffin tin might be abnormally small, though.  I recently got it as a hand-down from my grandma and I’m wondering if muffins used to be smaller?  Have muffin tins increased in size over time?  The silicone ones I got at a bridal shower are about 1.5 times the size of the pan from my grandma (they’re also harder to clean so now I always use the metal one).

Deeleeshoos Noodles:  I’ve been reading Temerity Jane’s archives (she’s hilarious, but you all knew that already, right?) and I’ve made these twice in the last week.  I didn’t do it exactly the way she does, since I just used whatever I had around, which did not include scallions, oyster sauce, or sesame oil.  So really, I didn’t make her recipe at all, but I never would have made the pretty-good-tasting, though perhaps not deeleeshoos, noodles I did make without the recipe as a starting point.

Is there anything you never knew existed, but bought after someone on the internet recommended it?  Recipes are good, but I’m mainly looking for things I simply MUST buy.