December 21st, 2012
Crunch time! I hope you’re not feeling it but, truth be told, I am. I’m working on something new (can’t wait to tell you about it in the new year), getting over being sick, trying to prep for Christmas, getting ready for a vacation, taking care of the boys while my sitter is out of town. You get the picture.
I’m working hard to carry myself with grace and gratitude. I’m not always successful—in fact, I’ve had a few recent epic failures—but I know that I’m exactly where I want to be. Lucky enough to have two healthy, happy boys by my side. Grateful to be able to give my loved ones gifts and make them a big holiday dinner. Blessed that we can travel. Happy that my health is on the mend. And excited (so excited!) about new opportunities ahead.
I’m overwhelmed, for sure, but thankful. So very thankful. And, honestly, that’s all I have for you today. Well, that and this Chocolate Crumb Pear Pie.
December 19th, 2012
This is long overdue. I know.
Those days are over. I’m finally ready to share my simple pie dough. Just in time for Christmas!
December 12th, 2012
Have you started your holiday baking? Me either, but I’m planning! Perusing my favorite food blogs, scanning Pinterest, and flipping through my food magazines is my favorite part of holiday cookie season. (I have even already rounded up 8 delicious holiday cookie recipes on Cool Mom Picks!) My least favorite part of holiday cookie season is all the sugar and butter. So. Much. Butter. Good thing that my friends at Chobani sent this awesome substitution chart.
Seriously, that pic above isn’t even the whole chart and it’s insanely useful! (You can see the full chart below.)
December 10th, 2012
Lemme guess: You just sang that song from those silly Chia Pet commercials. “Cha, cha, cha, chia!” Well, believe it or not, the chia seeds that are currently a nutrition rage are the same chia seeds that made grassy porcupines a fad back in the 80′s and early 90′s. It looks like chia seeds may offer more value to our bodies than they do as a holiday gag gift so, perhaps this time, chia is here to stay!
Chia is a very tiny seed that packs a really big punch. I just recently discovered these seeds and used them to whip up a delicious Chia and Almond Baked Oatmeal with Raspberry Swirl that gave me a killer energy boost. This is a big deal to a sitter who has to keep up with little ones all day, so I was intrigued. I wanted to know more about chia seeds and whether they were really worth the hype, so I did some digging and here’s what I found (including that they can be used as a butter and egg substitute… seriously, read on!).
December 7th, 2012
December ain’t messin’ around folks. We are no longer in the pre-holiday phase of things. Tomorrow at sundown the holidays officially begin with Hanukkah. I realized that many of you do not celebrate Hanukkah, but I also know that most of you will not argue with a holiday celebrated with potato pancakes and donuts.
Before we dive into jelly donuts, let’s talk potato pancakes, shall we? (I promise I’ll get back to the donuts. Really. Calm down. This is me talking to myself, by the way.) I will never argue with classic potato latkes made with nothing more than potato, onion and egg, but I also wouldn’t be me if I didn’t look to raise the cooking bar. This time, I’m not going for crazy technique or golden pancakes made with precision skill. No, I’m talking about varying the ingredients list to include other vegetables and even some fruit.
You can always opt for my classic latkes recipe or the one from Jennifer Brandt‘s Nana Jean, which she shared during our latkes swap two years ago. (Holy time flies!) But, if like me, you’re looking for an easy thrill, check out my latkes recipes round up at Cool Mom Picks.
December 6th, 2012
Tis the season! No, not for gifts. Well, not just for gifts. Tis the season for STEWS, like this aromatic Greek-style lamb stew.
Here’s the deal: I’m not a soup person. That’s right, let me say it again so that you good people can get the say whats out of the way. I. Don’t. Love. Soup. I like it, a lot sometimes, but mostly soup’s just okay. And, no, the right soup won’t come along and fix me. I was born this way.
I promise that even though I don’t love soup, I will serve up soups recipes (amazing ones, even), because I know that you like soup. The boys in my house are fans, as well. But lets remember that there’s winter eating beyond soup. There’s also stew.
December 3rd, 2012
The holiday shopping season is here and, with it, the 2012 One Hungry Mama Gift Guide. This year, I’m kicking off my ultimate gift guide for foodies and cooks big and small with a fabulous giveaway from super stylish Kaufmann Mercantile. It’s a sort of cheese plate starter kit. Hear that? It’s a cheese-themed gift, people: you want this. The gift guide and giveaway deets are below, but first I want to quickly talk about something I’m calling “simplify December.”
(Thank you for humoring me. I love you guys.)
November 30th, 2012
I love sherried mushrooms, all charged with garlic and spiked with (just a little!) warm booze. The combo turns a simple sautéed vegetable into a luxurious layer for serving over toast, under meat or cuddled up to noodles. I recently discovered that sherried mushrooms also pair well with a gently fried egg. I first served the two together as a meatless meal (hello, Meatless Monday), but decided to add some animal protein the second time around (hello, chorizo).
November 28th, 2012
I’m obsessed with cranberry sauce. I make tons every Thanksgiving (a double batch of my favorite Slow Cooker Cranberry Pear Sauce) so that I have plenty for leftovers and, you know, to spoon straight from the jar. Though I’m not a huge fan of turkey, I consider roasting one every Christmas just so that there’s an excuse for more cranberry sauce. I’ve never gone that far, opting for roast lamb or a crown roast instead, but I make cranberry sauce anyway.
I’ve decided that I need to find other ways to get my cranberry sauce fix. Not because I’m opposed to making tons of cranberry sauce—my slow cooker makes having cranberry sauce around really easy—but because my appetite for the intoxicating combination of tart cranberry and sweet orange spiked with cloves and cinnamon is insatiable. It’s disturbing, really, but I’ve learned to love myself, disturbing qualities and all. With that acceptance will come many cranberry sauce inspired recipes starting with this one for Orange Cranberry Spice Pancakes.
November 26th, 2012
My affair with puff pastry continues. I first professed my love for the buttery dough when I shared my recipe for this easy Beet and Feta Tart. It was the second time I’d made a tart using puff pastry after this Zucchini Tomato Pesto Tart. Since puff pastry served me well on the bottom, it was time to give it a chance to be on top.
(Is it me, or is this post taking an unexpected turn towards the obscene?)
I made this easy pot pie using leftover Thanksgiving turkey, but you can use roast chicken just as well. If you’re craving pot pie and don’t want to wait until you have leftovers, quick cook chicken thighs specifically for this dish. Poaching is my preferred method: bring water and/or broth to a low boil and add chicken until cooked through. Add washed, roughly chopped carrots, celery, onion and/or whole peppercorns for extra flavor.
November 23rd, 2012
It’s a long holiday weekend, do you have a sitter lined up? If so, here’s the big question: Do you feed your sitter? Do you tell your sitter to help herself to leftovers or expect her to bring her own food? If she’s ordering food for the kids, can your sitter order something for herself, too? Word on the street is that parents discuss these question with each other. The funny thing is that fewer parents than I’d expect bring the conversation up with me… the sitter.
Even though I’m comfortable with the default assumption that it’s my responsibility to feed myself, it’s always nice when parents are clear upfront. I’m happy to bring my own food or to make sure that I have cash on hand to order, but it helps to know in advance if that’s what’s expected. And, hopefully, making it clear to your sitter ahead of time alleviates any awkwardness for you, as well. Clear communication is a win-win. Beyond that, there are no one-size-fits-all answers. Rather, it depends on your time, budget and the kind of relationship you have with your sitter.
Here are a few thoughts for you consider. Hopefully hearing (one) sitter’s point-of-view will help you come up with a plan that works well for you and your caregiver.
November 21st, 2012
How fun is this paper bag turkey?! It’s suggested as a centerpiece for the kids table, but if you’re not down with turkey day age segregation, you can just set it out for the kiddos, maybe as an afternoon nibble to tide them over before dinner?
Get the tutorial at one charming party. It’s so easy and ridiculously cute.
[via design mom]
November 21st, 2012
Friends: A quick reminder to thaw your turkey, the most important thing you’ll do to ensure a successful Thanksgiving meal.
Here are some tips from my friends at Sawkill Farm in Red Hook, NY where I got my turkey this year. Please read because, it turns out, your plan to leave the bird on the counter all day isn’t the best idea.
As long as your bird has thawed by tomorrow morning, the folks at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line can help you with any other issues. But there won’t be any, right?!
With that, get thawing. Here’s how: