Warning: Your house will smell incredible when making this dish.
I came across this recipe years ago when I was searching for vegan meals that didn’t suck, and even though we now eat meat it’s been a fall and winter staple ever since. Although it takes about 45 minutes to cook, the prep time is short–especially if you buy the butternut squash peeled and cubed–and clean up is quick. Leftovers taste even better as the flavors have time to meld. It’s definitely a winner in my book. It also happens to be vegan and gluten-free, so is a fabulous dish to put together for mixed diner company.
To make future Tracy’s life easier, I like to fill up two or three small bell jars with the stew and freeze them. That way, Faye has a healthy meal when I don’t have any time or groceries in the house. Continue reading
Handprint Turkeys for Thanksgiving. Add a little wired ribbon and they become napkin rings. How cute are these?
While some may view my Thanksgiving Turkey Handprint Napkin Rings as a cute trinket, I view it as a major success. This is the first started and completed craft project in seven months! Not only that, but I finished with 36 hours to spare on my deadline. Whoo hoo! I am so ecstatic, I can hardly contain myself.
I love handprint crafts, but hate that 99% of them are impressions of handprints in a circle or square block of clay rather than the actual hand. Once the kids get to be around 18 months old, their hands are big enough without adding the additional bulk of empty space that impressions require. Lucky me-I just happen to have a background in casting and had almost everything I needed for this project in the basement.
These napkin rings are a hostess gift for my parents. I wanted to make enough of them to support breakage and ended up casting 14 handprints in all. I used one quart of Smooth-Cast 300 for this project.
Nutritionally dense, fabulous tasting, quick to make, and travels well. What more do you need?
We try to head out to a park or playground to burn some energy and get some fresh air twice a day: once after breakfast and once after afternoon nap. Faye is famished after running around for an hour or two, and tends to chow down on a ton of snacks on our walk back to the house.
Faye is a phenomenal eater, but I’ve been feeling more and more like she’s been filling up on these after-play snacks rather than her main meals, making it all the more important that the snacks I do provide are healthy and nutritionally dense (which is easier said than done – especially when they need to travel well). Hence, this smoothie. Continue reading
Not Your Average Baby Food: Beef Tenderloin with Red Beets, Onions, and Ginger
We’ve been doing baby led weaning since introducing solids at 7 months (although she wasn’t interested until 8 months). Although it was quite messy in the beginning and required a bath after almost every meal for the first few months, I’m glad it’s the route we chose. Now, at a little over 14 months, I can plop Faye into the Stokke Tripp Trapp, wrap a dish towel around her neck (yep, dish towels secured with a rubber band are my go-to because they catch way more bits, pieces, and juices than any bib I’ve ever come across), hand her a fork and spoon, and place her food and glass of water down on her silicone mat and she is good to go. With 12 teeth and a strong independent streak, Faye is one self sufficient little champion of an eater.
Cinnamon rolls. I love them. Perhaps too much.
For decades, my love affair with the cinnamon roll has persisted. When I have the time or an insane craving, I whip up a batch. They have yet to disappoint.
Louis CK would be proud.
You’ll have to get a used copy. This book has been out of print for a while.
Stories for Free Children is one of the best collection of short stories, fairy tales, and fables I’ve ever come across for children. It emphasizes non-sexist, multi-racial and multicultural themes, but in a natural, non-preachy or judgmental way.
Compiled from the features in Ms. Magazine from 1972-1982, the book is divided into three sections: “Fables and Fairy Tales for Everyday Life”, “Famous Women, Found Women” and “Fun, Facts and Feelings.” In the first section you’ll “find stories that both escape the bounds of the here and now and help children cope with their own here and now with fresh insight”. In the second, stories introduce the reader to female heros both known and “almost anonymous.” The last section “deals with everyday reality, the people children know, the circumstances of their lives, the problems they face, and what they think and feel about it.”
Totally thought this story was going to end differently…
No petroleum based dyes for me, thanks!
Every once in a while I get hooked on something that is really, really awful for me. Hot wings, deep fried pickles, honeycomb ice cream, boba tea….The list is endless. This past week I’ve been hooked on Thai Iced Teas. Seriously hooked. I must have had at least one a day since coming home from vacation last Tuesday. And I know why I can’t stop. Sugar + caffeine is making it possible for me to stay awake.
As much as I despise my quick sugar pick-me-ups, I absolutely cannot stand that I am ingesting dye when giving into these cravings. (FYI, FD & C Yellow No. 6, the dye that gives Thai Iced Tea its orange hue is a petroleum based dye and banned or restricted as a food additive in Norway, Finland and Sweden.) So, when I awoke yesterday morning to find that there was no more milk in the fridge for a cold-brewed coffee, I did what any half crazed mother who needed a jolt and happened to have evaporated AND sweetened condensed milk on hand for an emergency such as this–I made Thai Iced Tea sans dye and congratulated myself on averting a crisis.
My homemade organic version of CJ’s BUTTer Spritz – I dare say it’s better since it contains aloe vera oil.
Am I weird because I love diaper changing time? I’ve used the RIE approach to diaper changing since Faye was born and it has paid off big time. It is all about slowing down and giving the child gentle, undivided, unplugged attention. Ask for their help. Ask for their permission. Sure, it may take 15 minutes, but sometimes, those 15 minutes are the highlight of my day.
I also have fallen in love with my DIY version of CJ’s BUTTer Spritz. Its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties keeps diaper rash away and softens skin. The dispensing via a spray method versus dipping your fingers into a tub keeps it sanitary and my hands goop free. Plus, it smells great. I always spray one or two pumps into my hands, rub my hands together and then put them to my nose and inhale deeply. I then give my hands to Faye to smell and she raises her eyebrows as if in agreement it smells lovely. I never actually hear her inhale though, so I whole heartedly believe she is screwing with my head.
A healthy dinner for four from leftovers in 6 minutes flat.
After making that 10lb Bo Ssam dish, you may be left with a little bit of meat and a tiny bit of accompanying sides and no clue with how to use them to feed more than ½ a person. This is exactly the predicament I was in 3 years ago after our 20lb Christmas Bo Ssam Feast. A quick soup was a simple solution to using the stray bits and pieces. It comes together in approximately 6 minutes and reheats quite well. The soup can be easily stretched to feed more people by adding more stock or a few more ingredients here and there. If you don’t have one of the leftovers listed, just leave it out. I honestly think the soup would still be lovely.
Note: I always make the noodles in a separate pot because 1) they are easier to distribute amongst bowls and 2) if you have leftovers, the noodles will soak in all of the broth and turn your soup into a wet sponge.
David Chang’s version of bo ssäm is easily one of my favorite meals in the world. His somewhat American BBQ style spin to the traditional Korean dish creates an immensely satisfying and memorable meal with such a minute amount of prep it’s ridiculous not to make this the next time you are having friends or family over for dinner.
Marcus and I first experienced the wonders of this dish 3 years prior when I made 20 lbs of pork shoulder (twice this recipe) for a Christmas Day feast. It has lived in our hearts and minds, as well as the hearts and minds of those who partook in its fabulousness since that time.
Roasting Hour 4 of 6.
Maybe it’s the cold; maybe it’s cabin fever; maybe I’m just really bored these days and need a new hobby–who knows–but I couldn’t get the thought of this succulent, crispy, gooey, salty and sweet loveliness out of my head. For weeks I had been talking about bo ssäm–I just needed an excuse to purchase and make 10 lbs of roast pork. When a back-to-back dinner for four on Thursday and for five on Friday presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity.