Taking a little break

Friends, it’s been a nonstop time here. The last two weeks are especially a blur. Both girls landed in urgent care, one week apart. First it was bronchitis for Isabella, then strep throat for Virginia. She ran a 102 fever for two days straight, and it pushed my boundaries of being worried. I’d never seen her so run down and tired. It was our first experience with strep throat, and the antibiotics took two days to kick in.

In the midst of it, we managed to escape to NYC for our annual dinner at PJ Clarke’s and to see the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. The evening was magical on all levels, and so perfect. Somewhere tucked in between that week I also had dental surgery to remove a wisdom tooth, managed to bake 61 dozen cookies, and pack them up in tins to ship to friends and family.

It is no wonder I’m feeling incredibly rundown, and a bit burnt out. Both girls are on the mend, thankfully, as am I. But somehow, here we are December 20th, and I have that nagging feeling that if I blink too long I’m going to miss Christmas completely. And so, I need to admit to myself that the goals I had for a few more recipes to share here before year’s end just aren’t going to happen.

The girls and I outside Lincoln Center before seeing The Nutcracker. | In Jennie’s Kitchen

I really wanted to get that DIY Devil’s Food Cake Mix up for all of you. It’s a genius recipe, truly, and would’ve made wonderful no-bake holiday gifts. I’m sorry time has been more foe than friend the last few weeks. It’s a post that needs more time and thought than I can devote to it, to explain all the ways you can use the mix.  The joke is truly on me because I did the photo shoot for it with a Christmas theme and background. I guess it’ll be Christmas in January again for us!

Until then, I’m taking a little break to savor these last days of 2017 with my girls. My aunt is coming in from Florida on Christmas Eve, and while our group will be small—just the four of us, I’m planning a big Italian-American fish feast. Latkes will make a special appearance, too, since she missed our Hanukkah celebrations. There might even be doughnuts in the near future again, too. And there will most definitely be panettone, a sweet, brioche-like Italian bread studded with candied lemon, orange, and raisins. I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and peaceful holiday. xo-Jennie

Eight Years Ago: Homemade Hot Cocoa
Seven Years Ago: Peanut Butter Bon Bons, Crispy Potato Latkes
Six Years Ago: Chocolate Gingerbread Doughnuts
Five Years Ago: Homemade Eggnog
Four Years Ago: Crispy, Chewy Gingersnap Cookies, Candied Pecans
Three Years Ago: Gingerbread Chess Pie
Two Years Ago: Peppermint Fudge Brownies, Slow Cooker Lentil Soup, Gingerbread Scones
One Year Ago: Almond Milk Eggnog, Asian Vegetable Noodle Soup, Homemade Almond Paste (without egg whites)




  • Margaret LeMasurier

    Relax and enjoy this time with your girls. Best wishes for 2018. I wish next year would bring some good changes but . . .

  • farmerpam

    Glad to hear everyone’s on the mend. Sit. Relax. Enjoy. Thank you for sharing your recipes, the one’s I’ve used this year were all keepers. Merry Christmas!

  • Marlene

    Wishing you a peaceful and happy Christmas and all the best for the new year. I’m in awe of all you manage to do, including blogging pretty much daily, so it’s nice to see that you’re giving yourself and your family the gift of a good break.

  • Molly W

    I might get daggers from other loyal readers for this, but there’s also always Christmas in July. It will be here before we know it, and your photo shoot would be a welcome break from the heat, I’m sure!! ❤️

  • Michele V

    Merry Christmas to you & your family Jennie! Love the picture, the girls are looking very grown up! Peace, Health and Happiness to you!

  • Astrid

    Have a very enjoyable and peaceful Christmas with your daughters and auntie. I know exaclty what it means to be run down right before the holidays as I run a café in rural Germany which is busy during the summer and especially at the Christmas fair. So now is the time to unwind, may all be very glittery and joyful.
    Happy holidays! Astrid

  • Cindy Laskevich

    Beautiful, wonderful, strong woman and super-mom of beautiful daughters….do NOT apologize. Your priorities are as they should be. Many mothers, such as myself, go through the same push and pull during the holidays and the choice of family first is certainly always the right one. We will be looking forward to more posts later…after the holidays. Enjoy…play…fill your reserves with love and fun.

  • Theresa Davila

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Great photo of all of you! Stay safe, warm & healthy. Best wishes to you and your family

  • Lucie

    Thanks for sharing your Nutcracker photo. I know the girls are growing, but it’s a joy to be introduced again.

    I read your January musings and OMG it’s well into February. I miss your thoughts on life and hope your overwhelming December (mere mortals stand in awe of 61 dozen cookies) hasn’t led to an abyss, never mind slump.

    Please know that your personal thoughts on life mean the world to me.