Posts Tagged 'recipes'

feeling like a good mom

dear world,

today i stayed home with V. yesterday when i picked her up from school, she was literally laying on the floor. the after-school care program teacher said she thought V was really tired. we took her temperature when we got home and it was over 101. 

today, she mostly watched tv. and to be fair, while we don’t usually let her watch much on the television, all i want to do when i’m sick is watch tv. i thought to myself, oh! i’ll get so much done, but she could barely hold her head up. i ended up sitting next to her most of the day. she finally started to perk up around 3pm.

at long last, the tv went on break. no more programs for at least an hour. she couldn’t decide what to do. painting? all the paints are on the sunporch and they’re frozen. play dough? frozen. something else? frozen. then she asked, well can’t we just make play dough? 

actually, yes.

fortunately, we had everything we needed to make play dough. specifically, purple play dough. we used the recipe found here and while ours didn’t look quite as awesome as hers, it certainly worked.

i substituted arrowroot for cream of tartar and i didn’t read all of the directions beforehand so rather than add water a little at a time, i dumped the whole cup in at once. this is not advisable. i had to add flour to thicken it up so it would stop sticking to my hands like glue. once we reached the proper flour ratio, i set her up with some cookie cutters and she went to town.

i feel like i totally nailed being a mom today. i managed to soothe my sick child and create play dough out of thin air (and flour and water and salt, etc). 

and both kids were asleep by 8:05pm. 

living the dream,



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,


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?

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,


holiday gifts for great-grandparents

dear world,

our children are fortunate enough to still have several great-grandparents around. however, this leads to a challenge at holiday time. they don’t want stuff, but we still need to give them gifts. the level of thoughtfulness has been increased. this past year, i decided that we wouldn’t get any great-grandparent something that couldn’t be consumed in some fashion- food, stamps, notecards. only useful, usable gifts from now on.

last year, we gave each great-grandparent two wallet size photos of V and two pretty magnets to hang them on the fridge. this year, V decided she wanted to make treats for them. this is our inexpensive, pre-schooler friendly treat solution. it kept V engaged for a long time and she asked to make more the following day. (i should note that the fun is increased by listening to christmas music the whole time.)

HERSHEY'S KISSES Milk Chocolatesingredients: 1 bag of small pretzels, 1-2 large bags of hershey kisses (depending on how many you want to make), 1 large bag of red and green plain m&m’s


  1. pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. line cookie sheets with foil and spray with cooking spray. (i think the spray is probably optional, but we had it so we used it.)
  2. take the wrappers off of a bag of kisses. put the kisses in one bowl and the wrappers in another.
  3. arrange pretzels in a single layer on a cookie sheet. fit as many as you can on there.
  4. put 1 kiss in the center of each pretzel then put in the oven for about 6 minutes. (you want the kisses to just start to soften, but not get too melty or the pan to get too hot.)
  5. remove pan from the oven and put 1 m&m in the center of each kiss and squish it down.
  6. let cool completely and store in a bag until ready to transfer to festive holiday bags.

the one warning i have is that if you have a young person helping you, be sure to warn her that the pan gets hot. V and i each accidentally touched the pan a couple times. no one got burned, but it is certainly not cool to the touch. we looked pretty funny making these last weekend- i had baby N in the front pack carrier, V stood on her step stool as we took off wrapper after wrapper. we had a ball.

happy for edible holiday treats,



roasted root vegetable salad

hello world,

this weekend, we tried another recipe from this month’s food and wine magazine. as always, i never manage to make the recipe exactly as instructed, but the results were fabulous. good enough that it’s on the menu again this weekend. the original recipe served 4 and called for well as more carrots than we had in the house. i doubled the dressing and attempted to double the vegetables as well.  here’s what i did:

roasted root vegetable salad

ingredients: 1 celery root, peeled and sliced in 3/4 inch chunks, 2 small carrots peeled and sliced in 3/4 inch chunks, 3-4 parsnips peeled and sliced in 3/4 inch chunks, 1 medium sweet potato cut into 1 inch pieces, 1 medium red onion sliced into 1/2 inch wedges, 1/2 a cup walnuts, 3 tsp lemon juice, 3 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, olive oil, feta cheese, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, salt and pepper

  1. preheat oven to 425 degrees while chopping vegetables.
  2. toss vegetables to coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. arrange in a roasting pan with a lip and roast for approximately 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until vegetables are soft and lightly browned.
  4. put walnuts in a pie plate and roast for about 6 minutes. let cool then coarsely chop.
  5. prepare dressing: in a measuring cup, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar and dijon mustard. add salt and pepper, then whisk in 2 tbsp olive oil. immediately before putting the dressing on the salad, gently fold in the chopped parsley.
  6. place roasted vegetables in a large serving bowl, add walnuts, pour dressing on top and stir through.
  7. crumble feta on top to taste. (original recipe called for 1/4 cup, doubled is 1/2 a cup. i didn’t measure.)

the original recipe was served as a side dish for sea bass, but we roasted ruby trout for our protein. i fell in love a little with this salad. it was warm and satisfying and the left overs tasted wonderful the next day, too. i would serve it with chicken, fish or meat in the future.

i should note that i’d never worked with celery root before and it was kind of weird. i found it terribly difficult to peel and ended up chopping the top and bottom off altogether. i cut it into pieces about 2 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. the carrot and parsnip pieces should be the same size as each other and the sweet potato should be cubed as noted above. that will allow the most even cooking.

enjoying an end of winter salad,