• Girl and the Goat Brussels Sprouts

    Asian Brussels Sprouts Girl and the Goat Style

  • homemade red pepper hummus

    Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: an Easy Spontaneous Summer Snack

  • French Apple Tart

    Tarte Aux Pommes

  • tuna tartare

    Homemade Tuna Tartare

  • Chocolate Mouelleux

    Just a Simple Little French Cake: Moelleux au Chocolat

  • strawberry yogurt cake

    Strawberry Yogurt Cake: Great for Breakfast or Afterschool Snacks

  • Chocolate Pudding

    Milk Chocolate Pudding

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Curry

Creamy Coconut Shrimp Curry

These days, as the leaves coat the ground with color, I’m craving color and flavor at dinner. Last night the craving led to a quick and easy creamy coconut shrimp curry, the kind of dish whipped up with the handful of spices we kept for the renovation. It filled the house with exotic smells andContinue Reading

A Weekend in France in Pictures

A Weekend in France in Pictures

We love our life in Chicago, but our family is far, far away. Weekends together are carefully organized, and involve a lot more than a quick car ride. Sometimes, the call of family is so strong that you have to put a stop to everything and just jump on a plane. For no special reason,Continue Reading

Slagel Family Farms: Tour and Gourmet Dinner

Slagel Family Farms: Tour and Gourmet Dinner

When Jack was a toddler, he ate nothing. His bizarre diet was limited to cream of tomato soup and apple sauce. The only way he would even entertain consuming anything else, including meat of any kind, even dinosaur shaped, was if the protein was smothered in maple syrup. We went through gallons of maple syrup.Continue Reading

Would you like to learn how to #Master the Mango ?

Would you like to learn how to #Master the Mango ?

I love mango, and it’s power to make me feel like I’m on a tropical vacation, right in my kitchen. I love how mangoes can go savory on salads and steak or add the greatest color and flavor to smoothies and cobblers. But for all my love of mangoes, I’ll confess that I’m daunted byContinue Reading

Red Rising By Pierce Brown: Weekend Book Pick

Red Rising By Pierce Brown: Weekend Book Pick

Since the Hunger Games came out, hundreds of young adult dystopian novels have been published. A few, like Legend and Divergent, came close to being as thrilling and well written a read. They kept me up late, one more chapter after one more chapter, completely hooked with their fast paced plots. But it wasn’t until IContinue Reading

Apple Jelly and a Nebulous Sense of Home

Apple Jelly and a Nebulous Sense of Home

Our suburb is near Chicago, less than a 20 minute drive without traffic, but it has the feel of a small town, with many families who have lived here for generations. It’s the kind of place that beckons people home after college, and many of my kids’ friends were high school sweethearts, right here atContinue Reading

Baby Curl Tears

Once I had a little girl with curls that haloed around her head. At bedtime those curls caressed my face. I lingered, agreeing to one more book after another. I was addicted to Juju’s curls, their soft feather kisses, like a drug. Then, one spring day, her brother cut them, with dull kindergarten safe scissors. They layContinue Reading

Longhouse Food Revival: the Woodstock of Food

Longhouse Food Revival: the Woodstock of Food

Woodstock was before my time and Lollapalooza is something my babysitters attend. I’m not brave enough to even contemplate Burning Man. But the Longhouse Food Revival is right up my alley: it has been billed as the Woodstock of food. Imagine a pretty red barn, a few fluffy sheep dogs, and over a hundred food writers,Continue Reading

I Remember: Sharing 9/11 Stories

Today my Facebook feed is filled with 9/11 memory stories. Some were in New York, others far away, but everyone remembers that moment when we ushered in the era of terror at home. It seems fitting to honor this day with our personal memories, a national shared memory. My kids never tire of anchoring theirContinue Reading

A New Way to Share Local Faves: the Findery

A New Way to Share Local Faves: the Findery

Beyond my Chicago Dining Page, I don’t do many restaurant reviews and local coverage in my blog posts. I used to, but taking a lot of pictures while eating out started taking the fun out of eating out. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a lot of local faves to share! Enter thisContinue Reading

Living the Dream: Renovation Update

Living the Dream: Renovation Update

It took me a couple of years to convince my husband to take on our ground floor renovation. He was apprehensive: we had never done a construction project. But our kitchen was a hot bed of conflict. Seemingly overnight, Baby Sophie had become a three year old migrating mess maker, and six people constricted inContinue Reading

Losing the Swearing Battle

Losing the Swearing Battle

With four kids, things tend to slide over time. Rules once considered essential become more lax. Daily baths become once every few days. Yearly check ups have six month delays. And the definition of a swear goes from cute to street. At the beginning, I used to worry a lot about swearing. Hate was a swear word. So wasContinue Reading

California by Edan Lepucki: Dystopian Fiction for Adults

California by Edan Lepucki: Dystopian Fiction for Adults

Dystopian fiction is so addictive that it colors my view of the world. After too much binge reading, all government entities begin to look threatening, from the overly jovial crossing guard at school to the angry tea party candidates on TV. But when I binge on too much young adult dystopian fiction, the world becomesContinue Reading

Brown Butter Vanilla Coconut Pound Cake

Brown Butter Vanilla Coconut Pound Cake

We’ve been back from Hawaii for a week. Eight days and nine long nights of endless jet lag bed hopping. Hawaii is paradise, but the jet lag is hell. It took back to school boot camp to rehabilitate the kids, and not a minute too soon. After spending Saturday night laying at the foot of theContinue Reading

How to Take the Stress Out of Making Videos

How to Take the Stress Out of Making Videos

Creating videos used to be an activity I hated. Whether I wanted a video for my blog, to enter cooking contests like the Ben’s Beginners’ Cooking Contest, or to help my kids with school projects didn’t make a difference. Making videos was daunting and stressful, until I learned one simple rule: You don’t need toContinue Reading

Door to Door Organics Back to School Giveaway #SnackAttactics

This year, I’m almost as much in denial about the rapid approach of back to school as my children. June crawled along, July blinked by, and now August seems to be on fast forward, the kind with the four arrows. We’re ducking all school supply purchases, and instead focusing on groceries and starting the year withContinue Reading

Milk Chocolate Lava Cakes and Dreams of Hawaii

Milk Chocolate Lava Cakes and Dreams of Hawaii

We’re headed to Hawaii for our big family vacation in August and I have lava on the brain. My night stand is piled high with Hawaiian travel guides and while my kids are excited to surf, seeing the volcanos in Volcano National Park is at the top of my list. As I plan and dream,Continue Reading

Tennis Tough Love

Tennis Tough Love

I like to think of myself as a pretty tough mom. I beat my kids at Candyland, telling them they need to learn how to lose graciously. I’m militant about having them say thank you. And when they get in trouble? I sentence them to trash duty, which includes cleaning the garbage cans. Fist bump.Continue Reading