the inevitable…

I’m sure a few of you saw this coming. I haven’t started making gourmet meals for my new little lady, and must confess, I don’t see myself doing that (never say never, though, right?). Frankly, I don’t know enough about dogs’ nutritional needs to start cooking for Miche full-time, but I do know that onions and garlic are on the ‘No” list, and since I cook with those regularly, it would mean making two meals. Honestly, that’s not happening. I’ve never catered to my girls in that way. Besides, there are so many high-quality foods to choose from that I can feel good about feeding her.

Treats are a different story, though. As I started looking at labels, I followed the same rule of thumb for feeding my family. If I can’t pronounce it, then I don’t feel comfortable giving it to Miche. I did come across The Honest Kitchen brand, and loved the ingredient list: barley flour, chicken, molasses, water, eggs, coconut oil, cranberries, and parmesan cheese. It came with a steep price tag, though, and I knew I could make something of the same quality at home for a lot less money. Continue reading »

all in the family

Yes, I know, it’s been a while. I knew time was passing faster than I could keep up. My silence here inspired a few of you to send notes or leave comments wondering if everything is okay. The truth is that I decided to pull back a little at the end of August, just so the girls and I could enjoy our Cape vacation. I needed to disconnect a little, though I stayed tethered a bit to Instagram. Perhaps tethered is the wrong word; that sounds burdensome. I love seeing other people’s lives, and sharing my own, through photos, so you can always check in there if you don’t hear from me over here for a while.

Well, we came back from North Truro on August 30th, and then school started a few days later. After a relatively leisurely summer of waking when we wanted, eating when we were hungry, and going to bed at no particular time at all, well, it’s an understatement to say adjusting to school was a shock (more so for me, than the kids, I think). The girls seemed to settle in as well as could be expected, considering we moved just a few months, their friends are all back in Brooklyn, and they’re now in a new school up here. I’m sure as time passes, we’ll settle into new routines, find new friends, and feel more like we belong, and less like we’re outsiders. If only time was an ingredient we could buy, preferably a “just add water” item. We’d miss the journey, though, and experience has taught me that even the tougher parts of the path make it worthwhile. Continue reading »

when life imitates art

There’s so much I’ve been wanting to share since last week. I got through another anniversary—a big one. Last Thursday, just a week ago, I celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary. I feel like I should get a coin or chip to commemorate the milestone. I don’t mean to be glib, or gloss over it. On the contrary, it was a surreal day, especially with views like this one down the road from my house. I’m just having a bit of an off week at the moment. Pretty much every other person tells me it’s Mercury in Retrograde. I’m still not 100% clear on what that means, even though a few people have tried to explain it.

The girls and I went to see Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (did I really get that right without Googling the title?). I loved the movie, and wasn’t at all familiar with the books, though Isabella knew about them. I woke up Monday, and it seems since then my waking moments have been very Alexander-like. It started with Virginia’s backpack getting lost IN OUR HOUSE. How does that even happen? Then I left the house on a 35F day, drove 25 minutes to school only to realize Virginia didn’t wear a coat. Little insults to injury quickly piled up, and by 11:45am, I wanted to hide under my covers from fear of what else could possibly go wrong (Dear Gods: I am in no way tempting you. Really.)

Anyway, I’d been thinking of doing an apple recipe roundup since it’s ’tis the season. Mode Media, one of the ad networks I work with, gave its publishers a wide berth in choosing a theme this month—low and behold, apples were on the list! I was able to put them into a nice little slideshow for you all, and if you want more apple-centric ideas go visit Foodie.com.

I’ve got a few recipes I hope to share soon. Anyone in the mood for homemade bagels? Writing, recipe testing, and photography for the Winter Issue of Simple Scratch Cooking has been occupying much of my time, as well as a lot of volunteering at the girls’ school (I can’t say enough how much I LOVE this school). If you missed out on the print copies of Simple Scratch Cooking, I’m releasing a digital edition on 11/5, and you can pre-order it now by clicking here.

Disclosure: This slideshow has been sponsored by Mode Media. As always, the words and thoughts are my own.

Check out Favorite Apple Recipes

by Jennifer Perillo at Foodie.com

 

cantaloupe sorbet

As I walked up the stairs from the basement today, I decided to do something I haven’t done the last three summers. I piled beach towels on the bed, found our raincoats in the attic, and began gathering my kitchen essentials to start packing for our Cape trip. We leave in three days. This was my routine for many a summer. I would start preparing for our annual trip to North Truro a week in advance. We waited all year for those two coveted weeks to escape from it all. Back when we first started going, cellphones were just coming into popularity, and we didn’t yet feel the need for them. A few summers later, when we finally had them, reception was very intermittent all the way out there. It was easy to unplug. As time went on, it became more challenging, but we were determined to preserve that old Cape magic. Continue reading »

mini minty s’mores milkshakes

I’m not even going to pretend I have a long love affair with s’mores. It wasn’t until last summer that I even developed a taste for them, as Gina can attest. In fact, before she introduced me to swapping white chocolate for milk or dark, and adding fresh raspberries, I often passed on this summertime ritual. My daughters on the hand are the complete opposite. They would gladly eat them for breakfast if I let them, and really it would be any worse, calorically speaking, than my current pie for breakfast habit. Continue reading »

crispy buttermilk fried chicken

There are moments when I still can’t wrap my mind around it all. I’ve traveled miles I never imagined. Seen and done things, I never thought possible. And yet, today as I drove over the bridge to Rhinebeck, all I could think about is what I was doing at this time three years ago. He was still alive, and the idea that he could be gone in an instant, forever, seems inconceivable, even to this day. I suppose the wonder of it, even reflecting back, knowing what I know, the notion that it could still surprise me—I think that’s called hope. Hope is the fuel our minds need to function even when the rest of our system shuts down. Continue reading »

a clean slate

I don’t know what to say, really. I pressed the publish button on my last post with much hesitation. I’ve shared some tough moments here, but talking about my perceived faults as a mother was not easy. Regardless of how much I struggle with it, though, being a mom is the single most important thing I will ever do with my life. The Mr. used to often say a test should be required to have children. I knew exactly what he meant. It wasn’t about being perfect all the time, rather the ability to understand the overall responsibility. It’s so much easier to manage this delicate balance when you’re part of a team. You can hand over the baton when patience runs thin. There’s also someone else to remind you that one bad moment doesn’t erase the many good ones. Continue reading »

I lost it

There’s simply no sweet way to sugar coat my behavior a few nights ago. I take my life into my hands every night I tuck my girls in. Maybe my drama is in overdrive, but have you ever stepped on a tiny Lego? If so, then you understand the pain it induces when it burrows itself deeply between your big toe and whatever we call the one next to it.

Almost three years ago my life fell apart. I’ve been struggling to put it together, piece by piece, but the reality is it can never go back to what it was. There are so many hard things about accepting this truth, but one of the most difficult is being thrown into single motherhood. I know women who have gone through extraordinary feats to become mothers. Their need to have a child was something so deep, they couldn’t imagine life without one. Continue reading »

cantaloupe & lillet sparkler

Eating seasonally is food foreplay. As I slow-roasted my first batch of cherry tomatoes this weekend, I knew it would be the beginning of a tomato orgy. Two days in a row, I gorged on so much panzanella, my stomach ached. Two huge bowls of tomatoes sit on the dining room table, waiting to be canned (tomato jam or marinara sauce, is the dilemma). I know this affair is a short one, considering tomatoes are only in season two months out of twelve.

But the recipe I’m sharing today has nothing to do with tomatoes. I have nothing prolific to say about cantaloupe, or perhaps I had nothing to say until I started looking at it differently. Michael loved eating cubed cantaloupe. The girls follow in his footsteps. As for me, I never get a craving for it. It’s likely due to the fact that buying melons is like going to Vegas. You plunk your money down, hope for the best, and aren’t surprised at the dismal results. I’ve never gambled, even having been to Vegas twice for business, but imagine that’s how it goes. Continue reading »

take two: corn on the cob

I get a thrill every time I drive by the cornfields along the road into town. Years ago, that thrill would’ve been a chill thanks to the Stephen King horror movie. Now, the fields don’t scare me. They excite me with their endless possibilities once it comes into season. This isn’t to say I’ll be walking past any of those fields at night. I feel much safer tucked into my kitchen, making a batch of this ice cream. Since you’ll need to do something with the kernels (you only need the cobs for the ice cream), you’ll want to check out this easy recipe for creamed corn. It’s one of my favorites, and hard to stop eating once you start. Continue reading »