Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wonder Toy

Tonight's car ride home from dinner reminded me of a product that's definitely worth mentioning to parents with infants and, since it's been a while since I've posted a review, I felt that it was time to talk about Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes!  It's been our great helper on many occasions, especially when you're stuck in between home and another destination where baby can't nurse and nap on time.  Every mom friend I have who owns one of these agrees that it's the toy that calms and entertains when nothing else will do the trick!

Its great features:
  • Classical melodies that won't drive you up the wall.
  • Flashing multicolored lights that mesmerize baby.
  • Cute caterpillar handle.
  • Volume controls that allow you to have audible music in both the happy peaceful times and the "Sorry-I-can't-nurse-you-in-the-moving-vehicle--Look-pretty-lights!!" times of distress.

  • The button, at least on ours, is a bit sticky, so you really have to mash it down to get the music to play.  I'm only assuming that the problem isn't product-wide, but it makes it difficult for Dinobaby to play the toy on his own.
  • The toy is made of hard plastic, which means that if baby is too small, they can knock themselves in the head hard enough to make themselves cry.  This con has lessened dramatically as Dinobaby's coordination continues to improve, but I would be extra vigilant with younger babies.
  • Generally, it's pretty ineffective once you're past the point of no return (". . . the final threshold!"), since it can easily overstimulate an already tired, overstimulated baby.  When we're at this point, we start praying the Rosary.  The repetition (and, obviously, the intercession) of Hail Marys is about the only thing that can calm the poor little Dino-babe once we're at that stage.
It's convenient to carry in the diaper bag and, for only 8 bucks, it's one of the best baby products that we own.  It's prevented many a meltdown and can buy you a few extra minutes of a cry-free trip home!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hawaiian Chicken

This dish is easy and delicious.  I started searching for Hawaiian chicken recipes about a year ago when I was very pregnant and very hungry for the little bowls of rice and chicken that the Hawaiian/Pacific Islander student club would sell on the steps of my college student center.  The chicken was shredded but juicy, salty and sweet, and a perfect match for steamed white rice.

An online search lead me to a couple of recipes for "shoyu" or soy sauce chicken, and I tweaked them into a combination recipe inspired by multiple sources.  Here is my version of some Hawaiian comfort food which can be simmered away in a dutch oven on the stove top, or forgotten about for a few hours in a slow cooker -- both lead to succulent results!

Hawaiian Chicken
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cooking Time:  2 hours in dutch oven; 6 hours in a slow cooker


  • ¾ cups Low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cups Vinegar (apple cider vinegar works well)
  • ¼ cups Pineapple juice
  • ¾ cups Brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon Ground ginger
  • 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-½ cup Water
  • 1 pound Boneless skinless chicken breasts OR 8-12 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 cup Crimini mushrooms, very thinly sliced
  • 1 can Sliced water chestnuts (Optional)
  • 1 small can Pineapple, crushed or in chunks (Optional; use the juice for your ¼ cups pineapple juice!)

For a slow cooker:
  • In a separate work bowl, whisk together the first seven ingredients.  
  • Add chicken and mushrooms to the basin of the slow cooker.  Add pineapple and water chestnuts, if using.
  • Pour sauce over the chicken and mushrooms, cover, and cook on low heat for 6 hours or until chicken is tender and easily shredded.
For a Dutch oven:
  • In a Dutch oven over low heat, add soy sauce, vinegar, pineapple juice, brown sugar and ginger. Stir to combine and heat just long enough for the sugar to dissolve. Add chopped garlic, water, and chicken. Turn chicken to coat.
  • Bring to a boil and skim off and discard any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat to low and simmer with the lid closed for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • At this point, stir or flip chicken pieces so that the opposite side is immersed in the sauce. Add mushrooms, and pineapple and water chestnuts, if using.  Stir and cover. Cook an additional 45 minutes to an hour or until the chicken is easily shredded with two forks.
  • Shred chicken and stir. If using chicken thighs, remove the chicken to a plate, shred, discard bones, and return the meat to the sauce.
Serve over steamed or brown rice and enjoy! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Seek Ye First

"'And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.'"  Lk 11:9-10 

What a gorgeous son we've been blessed with.  

Seated in the cry room (which apparently doubles as a zoo, cafeteria, and playground), we struggled to hold our very wriggly, teething baby and listen as the deacon proclaimed the Gospel.  "And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."  I thought about what I'd asked of God so many times before, when I was young enough to still be living with my parents, years away from being married.  I'd tearfully asked Saints Elizabeth and Rita and Jude to join me in my prayers.  I wondered if it were possible to have such a deep longing in my heart if it was meant to be unsatisfied.

The deacon continued, "'. . .  For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.'"  Tears pooled in my eyes ever so slightly.  Our son extended his creamy, rounded little arm into the air, pudgy fingers spread wide, and laughed an exclaimed, "HA!"  (The child has impeccable timing.)  I turned and smiled at him, and then to my husband.  There is no doubt that the Lord has answered my prayers.  

I try to remember this every time things become especially difficult, or when I get caught up in how amazingly stressful it can be simply being a mother.  Even though I haven't showered or I don't have clothes that fit or the dishes haven't been washed, yet again, by the time my husband gets home or my son has been testing his new chompers on various parts of my body.  Even when I want to cry because I'm so tired or when the baby has popped off keys from the laptop more often that I can count.  Even when I have poop on my hands or drool in my hair.  God answered my prayers.

Before naps and bedtime I nurse the baby in what's called the "side-lying position".  It's self-explanatory, really, but it involves mother and baby lying down with their tummies facing one another.  Those times are some of the very best of the day.  He looks up at me with wide eyes that look exactly like mine but in a clear shade of brown like his father's.  They sparkle, reminding me of his sunny disposition and penchant for mischief, and likewise of my husband.  It's so fascinating to see what aspects of the two of us have manifested themselves in our little one.  He kicks off his covers in the night just like me.  He's vocal and friendly and makes the same "storm cloud eyes" that I gave my mother.  While we're nursing I'll often lean forward and kiss his soft baby forehead and just inhale.  His hair has the sweet, comforting scent of baby shampoo.  Somehow he manages to simultaneously smell like cinnamon and nutmeg and a hay barn, which I love.  He's such a little boy.

Looking into his face sometimes makes me wonder if one's heart can break from loving someone so very much.  Other days, it makes me wonder if that same someone will actually break everything that we own.  

Still, I asked, and I most definitely have received.  Thank you, Lord, with all of my heart!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


This probably tells you a lot about me.  I was driving back from my La Leche League meeting with Dinobaby yesterday afternoon and heard an ad on the radio for Whataburger's latest promotion, their Chop House Cheddar Burger.  It's a burger made with cheddar cheese sandwiched between two grilled patties and topped with bacon, grilled onions, and a creamy steak sauce.

The ad started off saying, "Ladies, when your fella orders a Chop House Cheddar Burger, you know that . . ."

My husband and I actually went to Whataburger last weekend.  He ordered a grilled chicken sandwich.  Guess what I ordered (and then devoured after saying, "Oh, I didn't know it was two pieces of meat.  I don't know if I'll be able to finish.")?


Mixed Bag

Fifty minutes until my second bread machine loaf of bread is finished.  Putting everything in after 8:45pm?  Probably not the best idea.  Still, this loaf is looking a lot more promising than my first attempt.  This time I'm testing out the recipe for Traditional 100% Whole Wheat Bread from King Arthur Flour since the Marilyn Shannon recipe turned out a very dense bread that ended up going moldy before we even put a dent into it. 

In the meantime, I need to sort some things out after a rough day of endometriosis-related pain and a teething baby who cried unless he was nursing for a good majority of the day.

First of all, my diet.  While it definitely hasn't been the norm lately, today's meal tally prior to 8pm included:
  • 2 tablespoons full of chunky natural peanut butter
  • A glass of milk
  • 5 or 6 cherries
  • A handful of almonds
As much as I needed to eat breakfast and lunch today, for some reason I just couldn't convince my appetite to actually do it.  Part of me just wanted to go to sleep rather than eat.  Another part needs to just get over this mental roadblock I've put up in my mind about my husband's idea to go meatless for a month.  (I'm still going to be eating meat to make sure I'm getting enough iron and protein for nursing.)  I'm totally behind the idea of eating more healthful, raw, nutritious foods, but I've sort of gotten into a funk about having to prepare a month's worth of vegetarian dishes.  Instead of being excited about expanding my repertoire, I've honestly been thinking, "I want a hamburger, and/or a meatball sandwich, and/or a barbecue chicken pizza, and/or a taco salad."  Needless to say, my attitude needs a little adjusting.  Thankfully, we'll pick up a half share of organic fruits and veggies this week which should force me to use everything up in as many creative ways as possible. 

Next, my endometriosis.  What the heck?  Am I the only one who feels like their body is falling apart sometimes?  A person should not be conscious of their internal organs during the day unless their stomach growls.  Imagine if people went around saying, "Hmm, my pancreas feels a bit iffy today."  "Oh, I just had a gallbladder cramp!"  Ovaries should not be the exception.  Someone please explain this to my body.

The last time I spoke with my doctor he told me that, if the pain related to my endometriosis was enough to interfere with my daily life, that the next steps would be to begin hormone therapy, i.e. birth control, or to have a surgical procedure called a laparoscopy to visually diagnose me and to laser-remove any endometrial deposits in my abdomen. 

I feel as though I'm experiencing at least some level of pain on a daily basis, but I keep wanting to say, "No, I don't think it's bad enough yet.  This is still manageable."  The hormone therapy route is a dead end.  Before I was married, I was on Yaz for about two years.  My doctor at the time encouraged me to take it as a means of "preserving [my] fertility," which may have actually been what it did. Now that I am married, however, it's completely out of the question for several reasons.  I don't want to be on it again regardless of the principle of double effect.  Laparoscopy is the logical next step, but hopefully it can wait until after Dinobaby is weaned.

On a much lighter note, we put in an offer on the house and it was accepted!  Assuming that the inspection doesn't reveal anything too serious, we have a new house.  Well, and once we pay for it.  That part's in there somewhere, too.  I'm thinking of naming the griffin in the backyard Godric.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

This Always Happens

Earlier today I told my husband, "I should go to bed early tonight so that tomorrow will come sooner." 

I love the feeling of anticipation that creeps up on you once you wake up in the morning and realize that something exciting is going to happen because, "_________ is today!"  Christmases, Easters, vacations, moving off to college, the last day of school, and going on the first date with my husband all began with the idea of "let's go to sleep early because I can't wait for it to be tomorrow!"  Unfortunately for me and the disjointed way that my brain is wired, IT NEVER WORKS.  Apparently, I turn into this little boy from the Disneyland commercial.  My parents are visiting tomorrow afternoon after what seems like a very long month.  We're going to look at the house together and they can see their grandson who, all of a sudden, is looking very much like a toddler.  (Eeek!)

As usual though, I'm the only one still awake.  Somehow I always forget to take my vitamins until late at night, so here I am.  Thanks to my auditory learning style (I always wondered how those kinesthetic learners got along, movin' around and acting things out to remember stuff), I've been plagued for the past hour or so with children's early morning tv theme songs running on a loop in my head.  Get out, Imagination Movers! 

One of the songs isn't so bad, actually, since I've recently fallen in love with the PBSKids show Dinosaur Train.  Little Dinobaby isn't really into television yet, as he shouldn't be, but putting something on for half an hour in the morning helps me get at least 2.5 meals a day!  He's pretty uninterested in Dinosaur Train, but I think it's the cutest kid's show I've ever seen.  For one, it's actually educational.  In just one episode I learned all about a type of pterosaur (flying reptile, also, NERD ALERT!) named Quetzalcoatlus whose wing span was 40 feet across!  Plus, the little dinosaur family on the show is made up of children who aren't snotty or sassy to each other or their parents and parents who kindly discipline and obviously love their kids.  On a sidenote, it allows me to relive my late-elementary school days.  I had a friend named Colin and for a good couple of years we would go back and forth with, "No, YOU can be the paleobotanist.  I'LL be the paleontologist."  "No, I'm going to be the paleontologist and YOU can work with me."  I believe he's now a professionally trained classical guitarist, so neither of us were right.

I'm finally off to bed, but I have to share my inner soundbite.
Dinosaur Train Theme

Oh, and please ignore the dino-centric theme as of late.  I'm honestly not going to make it a regular thing, I promise. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Vanilla-Mint Yogurt Dip

Well, after all of my house worrying last night, I wasn't sure how today was going to be.  After breakfast though -- which lately has been a yummy combination of berries, Bear Naked Fit granola, raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas), and yogurt -- I checked my Google Reader and saw that one of my recipes was featured on the Tasty Kitchen blog!  That'll certainly brighten your day. :)

Here's the recipe below for my Vanilla-Mint Yogurt Dip, which is perfect for dipping fruit or just eating with a spoon.  If you're like me, you'll like it so much that you could stand in the kitchen eating it out of the bowl you mixed it in.  (Don't judge me for ending that sentence with a preposition.  Dinobaby's about to rip off his Incredible Hulk shirt and my husband is home waiting for his lunch.)

Vanilla-Mint Yogurt Dip

  • 1 cup Plain Lowfat Yogurt
  • 1-½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint Leaves, Finely Chopped

In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, vanilla, and brown sugar with a fork.

Wash and dry the mint leaves. (For approximately 1 tablespoon, I used six large mint leaves.) Stack the leaves on top of one another and bunch them tightly into a bundle. Chiffonade the mint by thinly slicing the leaf bundle, creating thin ribbons. You can chop the mint more finely if you like.

Stir the mint into the yogurt mixture and refrigerate.

Serve it with fruit, use it to make into parfaits, or eat it on its own as a refreshing snack with granola!

House Hunt

I'm feeling absolutely overwhelmed at the moment.  Not completely overwhelmed, actually, but at least when it comes to our housing plans.  We're looking into purchasing our first house (even though our lease isn't up for almost another year) and I seem to have just gotten myself into a pickle thinking about the nearly infinite scenarios regarding when and where we should move.

There's always staying in our apartment for another 2-3 years.  It would be nice to save up money to by a house big enough for Dinobaby and any brothers or sisters who might come along (after we get the heck out of this apartment.  Two babies under two in 1092 sq. ft?  NO SIR.).  The only thing is, little Dino is already so close to walking that I'm afraid this place won't be able to hold him too much longer.

A couple of weeks ago, an idea popped into my head about an older property that a friend of ours is trying to sell.  It was built in the late 1970s and it smells like nicotine from the chain smoker who lived there over 5 years ago.  At the same time, it has four big bedrooms, a playroom big enough for our huge baby, and a backyard that's probably big enough to graze a cow.  Plus it has a big stone griffin in the backyard, smiling out from under some vegetation like he's waiting for the right time to fly away.  A griffin, people!

Because of the smoke smell we would likely need to 1.) rip out and replace the carpet, 2.) paint all of the walls to seal in the smell & the nicotine -- I can just imagine Dinobaby licking the walls now -- or, 3.) replace the carpets AND paint in the entire house.  It's making me freak out a little bit.  Who knew that prefinished flooring was $4 per square foot?!  I certainly didn't.  I'm ignorant about a lot of things, but dang.  Why is everything so expensive? 

The house is cheap compared to almost all of the other houses in the area, but is the huge backyard worth all of the money it will take to make it a really nice house?  We weren't planning on getting a fixer-upper, but that's definitely what this house would be.  There aren't any huge problems that we know of (minus the smell), so there's nothing inherently wrong with it.  I just don't know if it's the right house for us, or if it just seems like the answer to my desperate oh-my-gosh-I-want-a-house-but-we-don't-have-tons-of-money train of thought.

Advice?  St. Joseph, pray for us! :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dino Diaper

Never in my life have I had such a vested interest in the p word.  That's right. . . poop.  It must be one of those unexpected but guaranteed aspects of motherhood.  After over a week of nothing but wet diapers, the Dinobaby FINALLY WENT!  Remember that scene from Jurassic Park?  It was something like that, but on a smaller scale and, very thankfully, inside a diaper.

What's that you say?  That's disgusting?  Uh, you're tellin' me!  You're welcome for the visual aid.  If any anything, be thankful that it could remind you of Jeff Goldblum who is oddly attractive as Dr. Malcolm.

Strangely, I think that my child finally pooping is the highlight of my week.  Seeing him in any form of discomfort is terrible, but I was starting to worry that it might lead to a trip to the doctor or hospital for more uh, invasive? procedures.  As completely weird and icky as the process was to actually get him to go, I'm glad that we're not taking him to the hospital for anything serious.  I won't describe any of the yucky stuff, but know that it was weeeeird.  But necessary.  But weird.  Good thing we can avoid this situation in the future with better baby nutrition.

Remember the P foods!  Peaches, pears, prunes, aPricots, and peas.

To celebrate his new freedom, Dinobaby's screeching like a pterodactyl and attempting to rip down our vertical blinds and/or break his father's Guitar Hero instruments.  Sigh.

Bread Machine!

It arrived!  The bread machine.  My theory is that I'll be able to quickly and easily make sandwich bread instead of buying store bought, saving us money in the long run and allowing me to make more nutritious bread with ingredients that I can control.  We'll see how all of that works out.

In the meantime, I'm anxiously awaiting a huge order from King Arthur Flour.  Organic whole wheat flour, baking powder that doesn't contain aluminum, yeast, granular lecithin (to increase the bread's shelf life a bit), vital wheat gluten.  For some reason I always think "viral wheat gluten" in my head.  Thankfully I haven't actually said it aloud when trying to talk to someone like I know about the intricacies of baking bread. 

The truth is that I've only attempted breadmaking a handful of times, to very mixed results.  The dough wouldn't rise enough, or else rose too much and then deflated.  Or it was chewy, or too dense.  I've had much better luck with sweeter loaf breads like banana or pumpkin.  (Oooh, pumpkin bread.  Mmmm.) Hopefully the bread machine will take out some of the guessing, especially because I'll be following a recipe from Marilyn Shannon's book Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition.

Honestly, I never understood the point of bread makers when I was younger.  Where's the fun in just dumping stuff into a pot and not getting your hands dirty?  I'm still sure that baking "real" bread actually is more fun, but I've come to realize that anything that I can dump ingredients into and then find ready-to-eat food in a couple of hours later is definitely my friend.  Slow cooker, I brought you a buddy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Five Years Ago . . .

"Five years from now, is it really going to matter?"  "In five years, you probably won't even care what these people think."  "Where do you want to be five years from now?"

It seems like I've heard these questions pretty frequently, but does anyone actually recall the situations that prompted them when they actually are five years down the road?  I can understand that most friends and parents and advisors have a person's best interest at heart when they ask questions about the future.  Put things in perspective, look at the big picture.  Move on quickly, or try not to let it hurt your feelings, whatever the case may be.  Still, I wonder how often things are radically different for those people after five years, or how very much the same.

In pondering over all of this last night (both guys were peacefully sleeping -- the larger one snoring and the little one sprawled out more than you would think humanly possible for someone so small), I realized that, five years ago:
  • I was living roughly 1,700 miles from my current home.
  • I was living with five roommates, three of whom I haven't spoken with in at least three years.
  • I was happily pursuing a degree in philosophy. (This was before I was unhappily pursing a degree in philosophy, and then in love with my English major.)
  • I was in an unhealthy relationship.
  • I wasn't licensed to drive!  It's sad, but true.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the excuse of being too young for a license either.
  • I was unaware of my husband's existence, at least in the particular sense.
  • I used to cry thinking about the possibility that I would never have a child because of endometriosis.

My, how the tides have turned!

Where were you five years ago?

Agua de Piña (Pineapple Water Cooler)

One of the benefits of living in Texas is the abundance of Mexican food.  It wasn't until a few years ago, however, that I was introduced to aguas frescas.  Aguas frescas are sweet, refreshing drinks made with fresh fruit and chilled water.  It's very likely that you won't find them at your typical Tex-Mex place, but they pair wonderfully with cheap, delicious taqueria tacos and quesadillas.

My undying love for aguas frescas seems to oscillate between two particular flavors: pineapple, or agua de piña, and limonada, sweet and sour Mexican limeade.  Last week I had an organic pineapple in my possession and I decided that it was finally time to make my own agua de piña.  The results were fantastic!

(I've been trying to wean myself off of overly sugary things lately and, in my own weird logic, I concluded that making agua de piña would end up containing less sugar than if I made my own limonada.  Who knows if this was correct, but my pineapple water was worth the blood sugar spike!)

 Agua de Piña (Pineapple Water Cooler)
  • 1 whole small ripe pineapple
  • 6 cups cold water, plus additional water for blending
  • ¾ cups white sugar (You'll need between 2 Tablespoons and 3/4 cups, depending on how sweet/tart the pineapple is)
  1. Prepare the pineapple by removing the rind and eyes and cut it into sections. Remove the tough core, chew on it to your heart’s content, or discard. Cut pineapple into chunks. My smallish pineapple yielded about 4 cups of chopped fruit.
  2. In a blender, add pineapple chunks and just enough water to blend smoothly, about 1/4 cups water for each cup of fruit. Blend until the fruit is smooth, frothy, and light yellow in color.
  3. Place a fine-meshed sieve over a pitcher and strain the pineapple blend, stirring gently to help the liquid pass through the sieve. Once you have strained all of the pineapple liquids into the pitcher, discard the foamy pulp left in the strainer and skim off and discard any foam floating in the pitcher.
  4. Add six cups of cold water to the pitcher and stir well. Add between 2 Tablespoons and 3/4 cups of white sugar to sweeten the mixture, depending on the tartness/sweetness of your pineapple and your taste. For my pineapple, I used a scant 1/4 cup of sugar. The drink should be sweet in a natural fruit kind of way, not in a Kool-Aid kind of way!
  5. Chill in the refrigerator until very cold. Mix well just before serving and serve over ice.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Beauty Products I Could Live Without, But Wouldn't Want To

Since the birth of the little one, it seems like my outlet for treating myself generally falls into two categories: gourmet chocolates or beauty products.  I'll save the chocolate for another post or two (or twelve, if it means I can "research" the subject a little more!), but today I'll give you a glimpse at my favorite beauty products.  

Here are some of my top beauty must-haves:
I stash these babies all over the place -- in the diaper bag, in a drawer in each bathroom, next to the couch.  If it weren't guaranteed to be liquefied after 5 minutes, I'm sure I'd keep one in my car too.  This happy little yellow tube contains Burt's Bees' original 100% natural lip balm infused with just the right amount of tingly peppermint oil.  I believe the peppermint oil has something to do with my addiction to this stuff -- it smells great and gives you a little lift, plus it's super handy if you're out of the house and far from a toothbrush after a meal.

I first tried bareMinerals a couple of years ago during my search for wedding makeup.  While it's a little time intensive for me if you go through each step/product they recommend, I love the look and feel of their makeup and when I do have the time to apply everything, it looks better than any other makeup I've tried.  'Warmth' is a cinnamon colored bronzing powder that swirls on just enough color to your cheekbones and forehead to give you a healthy glow.  It's what I turn to when I need to remedy the death-warmed-over look and before running out the door with no time for other makeup.

Designed for hair that "acts bored," this shampoo has become a weekly favorite of mine.  During my college days, I was spoiled by soft Pacific Northwest water that left my hair shiny and light.  Fast forward to the present and Houston's hard water has done a number on my once-shiny hair.  Thankfully, No Deposit® once a week or so gets rid of the dull, heavy feeling that I've experienced since coming back to Texas and puts some lightness and bounce back into my hair.    

  • Buxom Buxom Lips in Dolly
    • Created by the same people who began Bare Escentuals, Buxom is an off-shoot that produces some of the best lip gloss I've found.  The packaging is slightly scandalous (cartoon women in fishnets and undies) so I'll leave out a photo, but the product itself is a winner.  With a sheer but lasting amount of color and a delectable coffee/peppermint scent, Buxom Lips is creamy without being sticky.