strawberry blood orange jam

My time in Brooklyn is down to single digit days. I seem to be walking in an alternate universe. Everything seems familiar, yet foreign. It’s in these moments that I feel greater confidence in the change we’re about to make. The conveniences of the city no longer outweigh the cravings of my mind and heart. Continue reading »

all-natural oven cleaning tip + a recipe for strawberry pie

I need to apologize for being a pie tease, for those of you following along on Instagram. It’s downright awful to post this many photos of strawberry pie without sharing the recipe. The thing is, when I’m not in work mode, I just eyeball much of what I cook. When I’m stressed, the need to feel untethered is especially necessary. Needless to say, anxiety is my middle name these days as moving boxes pile higher, and higher…and higher.

My apartment in Brooklyn feels like a war zone. My hope is that things will get better after the apartment sale in a few days. Once the stuff I’m not taking with me is gone, perhaps I won’t feel so utterly overwhelmed at the amount of boxes to be loaded onto the truck in two weeks. Continue reading »

roasted strawberry-basil frozen yogurt

The girls are rather good at keeping tally over everything being even-Steven. Inevitably, the scales tip more in one’s favor on certain days, although I’m quite sure it will balance out to an equitable share over the longevity of our lives. Try explaining that to a six or eleven year old, though.

Most days, I’m pretty sure I’m messing everything up. I wasn’t always sure of what I was doing when we were a two-parent family. Now, on my own, left in charge of raising these girls into strong, confident, happy, loving young women—I think it’ll be okay, but sometimes I wonder. These last few weeks have left me sleep-deprived, anxious and short on patience as I watch moving boxes pile up, and ponder the change about to happen in less than three weeks. Continue reading »

the best therapy {chocolate chip cookies}

You know that whole don’t judge a book by it’s cover theory? Well, today the perception I projected gave me just the boost I needed, even if it didn’t match exactly how I’m feeling these days. I met M’s best friend for breakfast. DL’s friendship has been one of the good things that came out of this often awful situation. Is it okay to admit that anything good actually grew from my husband’s passing? There goes that grief guilt vortex, opening, threatening to suck me in again…

My point is, when I sat down at Balthazar, DL said I looked dazzling. Inside, I felt like a wreck, Disheveled, exhausted, and aches in places I forgot you could get aches, from the physical work of packing boxes, working on the garden upstate, and an overall lack of sleep. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done.

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strawberry, tomato & basil salad

It was a rare moment to be in the city on a Saturday morning. We usually drive up to the country on Friday nights. Isabella had just come home from an overnight school trip Friday evening, so I decided we’d head up the next morning. My mind had settled on the idea of not rushing up, either, being well aware of the fact that in less than a month the country will be our home.

When I first bought the house many people asked if I was planning on moving up there. In truth, it was a back up plan, in the far reaches of my mind. A plan B of sorts for the future, if we needed a place to live. The peace and solitude that began to bloom here was honestly a surprise. I remember saying aloud as a teenager that I never wanted to live someplace where I couldn’t walk for a container of milk. I suppose if I’m up for a 15 mile round trip stroll, that’s still a possibility.

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twice as nice

Lately, time has been a hungry monster, digesting every second of my days before I’ve had a chance to comprehend the passing hours. There are a few posts in my drafts, studded with snippets of recipes, and random thoughts trying to find a thread. Truth is even my journal writing has been a rambling of words, spilling from my mind to the pages of my powder blue notebook.

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city girl, country kitchen {homemade violet syrup}

Spring has finally sprung upstate. It was a long, cold winter, and many of us thought it would never end. The wonderful thing about living in the Northeast is that we have seasons. The not so great part of that gift is that the contrasts between summer and winter are brutal. Spring and fall aren’t always a guarantee. Often, they feel like blips on the radar of Mother Nature, and yet there are people who still question the direct correlation of how we use our planet with climate change (a conversation for another day).

Everything around is coming to life. The raspberry bushes are snaking their way through the side garden. I’ve been told they’re like weeds, and indestructible. I hope that’s true since I have much to learn, and my thumb is far from green. There’s a single rose bush along the house, too. I can’t help but think of M when I see them. He took such loving care of the ones we had at our old apartment on Henry Street.

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eating our way through philly

I gasped at my first glance of the Philadelphia skyline. Dare I say it’s more beautiful than my native New York City one? The next 18 hours proved to be just as incredible a discovery. It seems unthinkable to me that it took this long to uncover its not-so-hidden treasures.

My first, and only other visit, to the city took place in January of 1998. Back then I was only passing through, arriving in town on a Peter Pan bus from Port Authority in NYC. I was on my way to see my father for the first time in five years. So much has happened in the 16 years since then.

I lost a father.

I lost a husband.

But I didn’t lose my resolve to live each day to its fullest, no matter how hard that sometimes seems. And so, the girls and I took a mini road trip. Frankly, 18 hours doesn’t do Philadelphia justice, but it did us Perillo Girls a world of good for reasons I wrote about here. Alas, it’s all we could spare this trip, but we shall be back. Hopefully, very soon. Here’s a few highlights of the calories we consumed along the way.

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when i’m gone…

It’s been a while.

Over the last month, I’ve found myself starting a post, deleting, starting again, and then just moving onto something else. I feel a bit jumbled inside, and haven’t really been sure how to say what’s on my mind. Some days I’m not even sure I know what’s going on in that cavernous space; it’s such a swirl of activity. Recipes are overflowing, but the words…well, those seem to be in short supply.

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peanut butter & chocolate cinnamon buns

My relationship with peanut butter and chocolate desserts needs no explanation for long-time readers. One day I’ll tell the story of how the little peanut butter pie that could came to be. Today, though, I want to share a new peanut butter and chocolate recipe with all of you. It’s only recently that I could even fathom that flavor combination again. Cooking has the power to heal, but some recipes, some flavors, well, they’re too reminiscent of moments that I’ll never experience again.

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