Archive for the 'eating in' Category

thanksgiving: a much overdue post

dear world,

we hosted thanksgiving dinner this year at our new house. my whole family came in for the week. both my sisters who live out of state and my grandma came down and we were joined my my mom, my uncle and his lady friend. all in all, including kids, we had 12 people!

M cooked the largest turkey we’ve ever had and as the night went on, the turkey got bigger and bigger to hear him tell the tale. it turned out beautifully!


i cooked just about everything else and i have to say i’m the most proud of the cranberry sauce. growing up, we ate the cranberry sauce that came out of the can with the little rings around it, sliced into a lovely glass serving dish. for the past couple of years, we made homemade cranberry sauce which was chunky and my family eyed it with distrust. this is not what we’re used to eating. this year, i made the ultimate compromise. homemade jellied cranberry sauce. folks ate it up.

food and wine’s cranberry sauce

i finally made something that looked like the picture.

my version

my version

then, M started to make stock with the turkey carcass, but fell asleep putting V to bed. so at the end of the night, i finished my evening quietly.

feeling thankful,



thanksgiving menu

dear world,

i rarely have time for one post, let alone two, but here we are.

this year, we are hosting thanksgiving dinner at our house. and we’ll have 12 people including the kids. yikes! it’s going to be a little nuts, but here we go. this year, i’m pretty excited about our menu. M is responsible for the turkey and gravy and i an responsible for everything else. our meal will have:

  • turkey and gravy (obviously)
  • homemade stuffing
  • mashed potatoes whipped with roasted parsnips
  • roasted brussels sprout with either shallots and balsamic vinegar or maple syrup and brown sugar (i can’t decide!)
  • roasted sweet potatoes
  • jellied cranberry sauce
  • green salad

we’ll also have 2 pre-meal options so folks can munch while we’re cooking: pears with goat cheese and arugula wrapped with proscuitto and an old-fashioned cheese ball (like we had at my grandma’s parties all those years ago.)

and pies. lots of pies. i’m making a vegan pumpkin pie and apple pie and my family is bringing even more desserts.

i cannot wait. happy thanksgiving!


french toast, for the win

dear world,

this past weekend, i asked my husband to pick up a load of the really nice bread from the local bakery so i could make french toast for the girls. but, it turns out they wanted pancakes instead. which is fine. to be fair, this is what they were supposed to look like. mine were a little droopier. but they tasted awesome!

Puffy Pillow Pancakes

photo credit: post punk kitchen

however, i had this load of really nice bread just sitting there getting stale. so, rather than totally waste it, i made french toast last night after they went to bed and popped it in the fridge so they could have it this morning. apparently, it was a hit. every once in a while, i feel like a nail this mom thing.

for the win,


PSA: wax paper is not the same as parchment paper

dear world,

in our effort to eat more whole foods and less processed stuff, i’ve started making homemade cereal bars. i’ve tried a couple of different recipes, but this one from tasted great and requires no use of the stove so the girls can help from start to finish. apparently, the bars are supposed to look like this when finished:


photo credit:

however, the first time i made them, i used aluminum foil to line the pan so the foil stuck a little to the bottom and i let them cool for a bit too long before trying to cut them. they certainly weren’t pretty, but they were absolutely edible.

this time, i thought, i’ll use wax paper to line the pan. the box says it’s oven safe. i mean, i did check the box and since we don’t have any parchment paper, i took the plunge.

my cereal bars turned out like this:

cereal bar crumble

cereal bar crumble

apparently, wax paper, when baked in the oven for any amount of time melts into whatever you happen to be making. my cereal bars had a fine layer of wax melted into them which i then had to peel off.

it was messy business.

in brighter news, my cereal bar crumble tastes just as good as a properly formed bar. one simply needs a spoon or many many napkins available to eat it.

crunching away,


ps- does anyone have any good no-heat recipes that kids can help with?

happy birthday mom!

dear world,

today is my birthday. we went out for a lovely brunch, made the obligatory trip to target for diapers, wipes, etc., and then i went out for a massage this afternoon. not too shabby. all day, V kept wishing me happy birthday and then helpfully reminding me that her birthday is next. it was kind of sweet the first 30 times. after that, it got a little old.

my best moment today, though, happened right after dinner. yesterday, V and her friend helped me bake cupcakes and today, we made frosting and i put the icing on the cupcakes and V put on the sprinkles. then, we just as we finished eating, M brought in our cupcakes. he lit the (single) candle and he and V sang happy birthday to me. the candle mesmerized N. M sang with gusto and V belted it out with the biggest smile on her face, looking at me the whole time.

feeling loved,


recipe: tuna noodle casserole

dear world,

eating while having one’s house on the market is actually a lot like i remember eating while in college. it’s something you totally have big plans for and end up eating whatever you can throw together at 9pm because you just got home and you’re starving and you can’t really be bothered to make an actual recipe anyway.

enter tuna noodle casserole. when i was in college, i worked full time at a retail shop. the shop wasn’t always super busy so i had lots of time to visit with my co-workers. my co-worker pat made me write down her tuna noodle casserole recipe. i felt so accomplished that i could make it from memory. now, i can’t actually eat it because of the dairy, but my family can.

tonight, i have the casserole in the oven ready to go for my family’s dinners this week. i hope you enjoy it as much as i used to.

ingredients: 2 cans of tuna packed in water (drained), 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, milk, frozen peas, sharp cheddar (grated), egg noodles, bread crumbs or potato chips (crushed)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put a pot of water on to boil. While water is coming to a boil, in a large bowl mix in tuna, cream of mushroom soup, half a can of milk, as many peas as you want and a handful of grated cheese.

2. Pour egg noodles into an 8×8 pan until it reaches 2/3’s to the top. Boil noodles for 5 minutes. Drain.

3. Pour noodles into tuna mixture and stir thoroughly. Adjust milk if necessary and add cheese to taste.

4. Pour mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Cover with remaining cheese and top with potato chips or bread crumbs.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbling. (if using bread crumbs, cover for 20 minutes and uncover for remaining time until bubbly and brown on top.)

6. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before eating.

you can always add a little cayenne pepper to spice it up, but with 2 little ones i tend to leave that out these days. MHM adds hot sauce for a little heat which is also nice.

wishing i could eat dairy,


happy thanksgiving

dear world,

we cooked thanksgiving dinner at our house this year. my mother came as well as my sister, her new husband and their new baby. all in all, it was a pretty weird experience.

i guess i had my hopes up too high that we would get to spend some time with each other before the meal then sit down and catch up over dinner. instead, my mother arrived about 30 minutes before we planned to eat and when i called and texted my sister at quarter til, she didn’t pick up. i figured we’d just eat without them if they didn’t arrive. but they did. and we ate.

i’ve known my family forever, yet we had nothing to say at the dinner table. it felt awkwardly quiet. MHM saved the day and asked my sister’s husband something and then we got rolling. nana held the baby all through dinner and nobody ate much of anything. i thought it tasted pretty good. i certainly ate my fill.

and now we begin the eating of the leftovers. tomorrow, we’re having turkey soup with the stock we made from the turkey carcass. i’m really looking forward to that.



ps- i’m really glad to have met my little nephew, but it’s a bit odd to see my sister as a mother.