25 July 2014

weekend edition

Heading to the Union Terrace tonight for burgers and Babcock ice cream (and maybe a beer or two) …

Get your dancing shoes on: a song to start the weekend.

There’s just so much tasty goodness to be shared. I’ll cut right to the chase:

Kevin Gillespie was my favorite Top Chef contestant ever … he’s killing it with this recipe. His cookbook looks amazing too …

This may be James’s upcoming birthday cake

For breakfast soon

Sandwich heaven

Waiting patiently for tomato season to make this sexy little salad:

Eggs, Swiss chard and tortillas: dinner this week.

Quote of the week:
It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones. –Jean Webster

Happy eating, -s.

12 July 2014

weekend edition

"Slow down, you move too fast/ You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobblestones/ Looking for fun and feelin' groovy."

− The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)", Simon & Garfunkel
 I love this song for many reasons: 1) it was the first song I learned to play on the guitar and I can still just barely play it; 2) it captures what I am feeling this summer – SLOW DOWN; and 3) it’s Simon and Garfunkel  − love them. 

We’re midstream into patio sipping season; here’s five recipes to try:

1/ The classic daiquiri: not in a blender, dear.
2/ Everything Smitten Kitchen makes is mouthwatering: Limonada de coco.
3/ The delicious − not matter how old you are −Dole Whip … now you don’t need to go to Disney for one.
4/ The raspberry snakebite: make it local with New Glarus Brewing’s delicious Raspberry Tart lambic-style ale.
5/ Hello, gorgeous: a grown-up slushie.

Great article: Bon Appetit takes on the cupcake craze

I want to eat this all day long

perfect pesto: the blanching makes this the real deal

As the temperature rises: Cook's Illustrated takes cold-brew coffee down to a science ... don't forget that pinch of salt.

How "tight" is your state? A paper recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, proposes a sweeping theory to explain this phenomenon. Most striking of all, the authors found "a negative and linear relationship between tightness and happiness" among citizens. Put simply: People in loose states are happier. (Keep "keeping loose" Wisconsin!)
Genius: wish I had it @ (the new) pizza man last weekend for that amazing rosé we had!

I can't wait ... I'm such a nerd and finished rereading all of the books in this series last year (read first in high school/college). Mr. Klein calls them prehistoric porn. He's kind of right; a bit trashy, but copiously researched as well ... Titillating news nonetheless (wink). 

Finally, no better way to sign off than this:

"Got no deeds to do/ No promises to keep.
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you / All is groovy."

Happy eating, -s.

06 June 2014


lake mendota looking lovely
I’ve been stretched really thin the last few months.  I feel like my patience gets even more stretched out when I’m stressed, which is SO unfair to the three boys I live with (sorry, guys). It seems like the more I take on, the harder it is to say no to other things. As summer is just barely starting, but feels almost over at the same time, I need to say “no” to more things that add stress and complications and “yes” to more fun, more relaxing, more stress-free activities. Especially when summer just isn’t long enough here! Here’s to easy, breezy summer fun.

An oldie but a goodie to kick off the weekend.

Bananas! My favorite fruit – so versatile. It can go sweet and savory. It’s portable. It’s great for a hangover and goes perfect with peanut butter. What more can I say, except check out these beauties:
banana meringue pudding
5/ Banana Black-Bean Empanadas – a long-time favorite and kiddo approved.
Popsicles, Paletas, Ices – sophisticated popsicles that are popping up all over the place. Here’s a few I’m going to make for days too hot to eat anything else:

1/ Anyone from Southern California knows their Date shake … here it is in frozen form:
2/ Just in time for strawberry season:
3/ Perfect summertime use of my Rancho Gordo Mexican chocolate:
4/ Ginger + Watermelon­­= refreshing:
Coveting: Serena and Lily’s outdoor collection. Goodness.
Quote of the week:
My doctor told me I had to stop throwing intimate dinners for four unless there are three other people. ­– Orson Welles
Happy eating, -s.

16 May 2014

spring a ding ding

Hello, lovelies!

The weekend is here. Let’s Dance to Pickle’s favorite song of the moment … or is it this now?


I have some leftover rice flour from my horchata-making for Cinco de Mayo … must make these now; holy smokes they look too, too good.

My love for eggs is well-known. Check out smitten kitchen’s truly food-pornographic ode to eggs.

Love and Lemon’s pickled chard stems: So pretty. So practical. So delicious on tacos, ricotta toasts, folded into egg salad ...
Happy weekend, -s.


11 April 2014

traveling eats

if only traveling with these two were so easy!

With two youngsters, we don't eat out a lot. Pizza Brutta is our go-to spot, but most days we eat at home. Heading out on vacation soon, I'm trying to wrap my mind around the idea of not being able to whip something up when a craving hits, or everyone is hungry RIGHT NOW, so scrambled eggs are whisked up — and then inhaled — on the spot. No pantry full of goodies to make muffins or cookies or chocolate pudding. No blender for smoothies at 3 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon.

I know we’ll be fine and I’ll enjoy the break from the kitchen, but when you have kids — hungry ones at that — food is often the source of instant relief, instant calm, instant fixes. For our travel days getting us from point A to point B, I’ve come up with some snacks and emergency rations that will get us through the rough spots and make us feel less far away from home. Most are packable and not too messy for the car and plane. I wanted things that were wholesome, but also had the air of a “treat” since that is ultimately what we’re going for when we’re stuck in a seat for 4 hours. Since we’re not a family that hits the fast-food lanes (at all), a little planning and preparation will (hopefully) keep everyone smiling … or at least not crying.

My picks for traveling treats:
Oat cakes — great with red grapes and cheddar cheese
Oatmeal-carrot cookies — it’s a cookie, so it has that going for it.
Pumpkin mini-muffins — my go-to recipe, but in mini form.
With these homemade items, I’ll throw in some carrot sticks, mandarins, nuts and dried fruit.

Happy eating … and traveling, -s.







04 April 2014

Happy Birthday, Pickle!

my sweet birthday boy throughout the years
Sorry, it's been SO LONG! And thanks to everyone who emailed me about my last post about living in the moment – boy, that is tough to do sometimes! The whole taking-a-deep-breath thing just doesn't cut it when you're in the thick of it! But, I'm trying. And that counts for something, right?

Speaking of living in the moment, how did it happen that my sweet, little Pickle is turning six years old tomorrow? Goodness. Time literally leaps out of sight as you get older. Rhys is growing up to be a pretty special kid. He's a really great big brother to James. Today, he was reading James a book before school and it was just so sweet to see (and a nice contrast to the constant wrestling or the wearing of boxes of their heads and colliding into one another and thinking it’s SO funny – um, so not my favorite). He calls James, “Buddy,” when they play or he’s trying to explain something to him. It's pretty amazing to watch these boys of ours.

As I have wrote before on here, Rhys LOVES chocolate – with a deep, abiding passion. So, for his birthday we’re pulling out all of the stops – double-chocolate cookies for his birthday treat at school today and a gutsy Texas sheet cake for candle-blowing tomorrow.
Rhys, I hope you have as special of a birthday as you are! Love you, kiddo.
From a new favorite band … here’s a tune to kick off the weekend.

If you’re craving Thai, make this tonight. Spot on.

Just made these for my parents’ visit – holy smokes!

Here’s some recipes I just need to make:

Canal House's Pork Belly with ginger-rhubarb compote

Best(?) Chocolate Chip Cookie – anything with gratuitous sea salt worth a try.
This fried rice looks delicious ... and healthful to boot.

My stash of Rancho Gordo beans is dwindling, but I need to make this with some of them!

Cod for God? A perfect Lenten meal and so pretty!

Happy eating, friends.  xoxo, -s.

08 January 2014

in the moment

It’s that time of year again, the one where diets are started and stopped, resolutions are set and forgotten, hopes are high and reality hasn’t sunk in yet. As you can tell, I am not a big fan of making grand statements of change. It’s hard to change. I know, I’ve tried. I’ve tried to be less spastic. Less emotionally charged. Less of a yeller. Less of an over-reactor. Less me (wink). It’s really tough to make a big change in your habits, your personality, your temperament.

Taking things a day at a time, being conscious in your actions in the moment is what I strive for. No human is perfect – we are all fallible. But what is amazing about human beings is that our imperfections make us who we are (for better or worse) and make the world such an interesting place in which to live.

As I tell Pickle – who is very hard on himself at times – that trying your best is the most important thing – not winning, not being the BEST at something, not the medal at the end of the race. Trying, with passion, with all the effort you can expend in that moment, is what makes life full and better. Trying — in the moment — to be the best mom, the best spouse, the best employee, best friend, etc., is what we should strive for – and remember that in each moment the definition of “best” varies and may mean just getting by without losing your mind that you can’t find that matching mitten or that pot of water is boiling over on the stove because someone got “hurt” again and needs another Band-Aid and a kiss, or getting out the door on time without forgetting something.

So, that’s my goal for this year: to breathe deeply and take in each moment, knowing that some moments may be pretty low on the scale of “best,” but accepting that it was the best I could do … in the moment.

Wishing you peace and love in the New Year, -s.