Posts Tagged 'food and drink'

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!

IMG_0984

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,

cm

Advertisements

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,

cm

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 weelicious.com 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: weelicious.com

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,

cm

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

school lunches – it’s a marathon, not a sprint

dear world,

as this is the first year we’ve been responsible for providing lunch for V, i thought i’d look to the internet for help. i want V to eat well. i want V to have healthy choices. mostly, i just want her to eat what i pack. where to start?

well, the internet suggests about a million things and i kid you not, all these moms are making food that looks like owls for their kids school lunchboxes and i’m all like, oh shoot, i have to figure out what to pack for tomorrow and it’s 10pm.

last night, when this very thing happened, i wandered into the kitchen, stared deep into the fridge and decided on making her a quesadilla with peas on the side and threw in some leftover popcorn and a whole apple. then i almost burnt the quesadilla and totally exploded the peas all over the microwave. but, i think she’ll like it. it wasn’t pretty, but i covered my bases.

here’s what i learned:

  1. land’s end makes a lunch box that wipes clean and fits enough food for lunch.
  2. goodbyn makes a 3 section lunch holder and the stuff doesn’t leak into the other sections or the lunchbox (unless your child forgets to shut it when she’s done).
  3. it’s hard to think of a variety of choices so you don’t end up with pb&j 3 out of 5 days
  4. it’s kind of fun to use pretty toothpicks to hold a sandwich together

i went to a playdate/lunchbox party with some friends and got some good ideas. i bought a cookbook that is *fairly* optimistic in packing suggestions. for example, V thinks lettuce is only for grown-ups- kind of like coffee and wine, and this cookbook suggests things like skewers with tomato, fresh mozzarella, bread pieces and fresh basil.

and then, today, i read a post about the pinterest bitches who stay up to 4am making totally over-the-top stuff for back-to-school time. i’m thinking i can settle down. V is fed. she’s excited about what’s in her lunch and she loves her “coffee cup” which will keep milk cold for 7 hours.

happy eating,

cm

ps – the second week of school, V very specifically asked for lunch money so she could buy her lunch at school including strawberry milk. oh well.

 

travel strategy

dear world,

i am travelling for work at the moment. i realized i haven’t flown in a while when i had the option to use my phone as my boarding pass. it was amazing. i didn’t have to go to kiosk to print anything. i just scanned my phone. i feel so out of touch for not knowing this is how we do things now.

yesterday, i got up at 4:45am to get ready and make it to the airport for my flight to chicago. since i’m only here for one overnight, i packed light. my strategy involved choosing (comfortable) pants with pockets, one pair of shoes that match both outfits i brought and remembering to bring my inside sweater. total success.

now, i must find a special treat for each person in my family. V expressed quite specifically her excitement about having 1 present for her, 1 for N and 1 for M. you mean we don’t have to share? to be fair, i wanted her to go to sleep so i committed. but, my meeting starts at 10:30am this morning so i’ll be bringing treats from o’hare. no time to stop at the toy store downtown. she’ll never know.

photo.JPG

red lentil cake

i took myself out to dinner last night. it felt a little awkward as i was the only person there dining alone, but i had an excellent meal. i went to sable which is all small plates. i started with truffled deviled eggs which it turns out i don’t actually like. then, i had 2 spicy scallops and i thought i would have risotto to finish, but they couldn’t take out the dairy. the server suggested a red lentil cake. i took 2 bites, but it had too much cinnamon in it and the server offered to take it back. i ended up having house-made honeydew-lime sorbet. so good.

i wore a dress. i took a cab. i made my own little night of it. and none of my clothes were any worse for wear after having spent the day in my bag. travel strategy success!

best of all, i woke up early to be able to talk to the girls on facetime this morning. i’m going to get back after bedtime tonight so i won’t get to see them until tomorrow morning.

missing my girls,

cm

why i don’t go to the grocery when i’m hungry

dear world,

tonight, i’m in huntington, wv for work. it’s the first overnight i’ve had by myself in ages. usually, i’m thrilled and looking forward to a night by myself and a shower as long as i want. this trip, the kids were a disaster this morning and i nearly left without my phones because i felt so flustered.

after a 3 hour drive, i worked all day and finally knocked off around 7pm. rather than go sit at a restaurant by myself or swing through a drive through, i thought, i’ll go to the grocery. how economical of me.

you’ll never guess what i came away with:

after staring at the wall of salad greens and remembering i don’t have a knife, i grabbed a bag of pita chips, a small log of goat cheese, hummus, salami, potato salad and a bottle of wine.

seriously? i have no refrigerator in my room and enough food to fill 4 people. what a ridiculous hodge-podge of dinner.

winning,

cm

V is 5

dear world,

V is 5. starting this past monday, we did a little birthday surprise for her everyday after school leading up to the big day on friday. nothing big, but a little something to make the week special. monday, i got her a little potted hibiscus, tuesday she got to eat wendy’s for dinner, wednesday i used duct tape to cover a gatorade bottle and make it into a watering can for her flowers, thursday we went and bought summer sandals and friday we did a pre-school something special.

we registered V for kindergarten. and she was articulate and social and smart and sweet. exactly the little girl i imagine her to be when i’m not around. she showed off the best version of her lovely 5 year old self. she felt so proud to be starting kindergarten in the fall. and i am proud of her.

saturday we held a birthday party at the playground and about 15 friends came and celebrated with her. they mostly banged around on the play equipement and then it was time for cake. mind you, we held the party at 10am so cake at 11am may be a little out of the ordinary, but here we are. we gathered up the kids, sat them around the picnic table and that’s when i realized i forgot the birthday candle.

V was such a good sport. we all sang happy birthday and she literally blew out a pretend candle. they had cake and off they went. at least i only forgot the candle and not the actual cake or something obvious.

loving my little (big) girl,

cm


archives