• Girl and the Goat Brussels Sprouts

    Asian Brussels Sprouts Girl and the Goat Style

  • homemade red pepper hummus

    Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: an Easy Protein Packed 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

Broccoli Cheddar Croquettes and Embracing Those Facebook Cooking Videos

Broccoli Cheddar Croquettes and Embracing Those Facebook Cooking Videos

When I’m puffing out my chest, after a glass of riesling, I like to call myself an online pioneer, blogging before it became a verb. My blog was my creative space as I navigated the diaper years. It was an elite, exciting world, with great invites, and intelligent discourse. Today, the online world is filled with lists, cute cat videos, andContinue Reading

Steamboat vs. Keystone – Comparing Two Kids Ski Free Resorts

Steamboat vs. Keystone – Comparing Two Kids Ski Free Resorts

Skiing is a sport where the costs can rack up… fast. This is especially true when you have four kids in tow. Lift tickets alone are often $125/day per child. That’s $600… before even putting on a ski! Then there’s lunches, ski rentals, and lodging. For the last five years, we’ve been taking the skis skiingContinue Reading

Easing the Downton Abbey Withdrawal

What was it about Downton Abbey that made it such a delicious escape? For me, it was more about the cooking of Mrs. Patmore than the fashion of Lady Mary and Lady Edith. I could have watched that cheerful lady churn out puff pastries all day long. All that work, done with just her andContinue Reading

Chocolate Chip Cookies by Macho Tweens

Chocolate Chip Cookies by Macho Tweens

Boys are a mystery. I’ve blogged before about the mystery of boys. Having grown up without brothers, the surprises of having a son confound me more every year. Sixth grade, my son’s second year of middle school, has been no exception. This year girls have jumped into the social scene, mostly online, but also occasionally in person. TheContinue Reading

All Day Bolognese: a Traditional Sauce to Bring Back Tuscany

All Day Bolognese: a Traditional Sauce to Bring Back Tuscany

People get upset when you mess with tradition, especially when it’s a beloved food tradition. I have a spaghetti meat sauce that my family adores. I throw it together regularly in the slow cooker. It’s the type of recipe I make by rote, with my eyes half-closed. It bores me to tears, but my husbandContinue Reading

a Long Weekend in Panama

a Long Weekend in Panama

Steve and I recently spent a blissful three days in Panama, kid-free and activity packed. Being transported to a tropical land with 92 degree weather in February has a heavy dream like quality. During our three days in Panama, I couldn’t shake the feeling that everything was a delightful dream, and that any minute aContinue Reading

Sweet Potato Sausage Soup

Sweet potato sausage stew does not sound like a diet solution, and it is most definitely not. I’m a big believer in the magical dieting power of vegetable soups, but when you throw meat into the mix, the fat content goes up significantly. But so does the flavor. And that is what makes this sweetContinue Reading

Caramel Pork with Raisins

Caramel Pork with Raisins

French cooking magazines are my guilty pleasure. It doesn’t matter if you read Saveur or the Food Network magazine, the tone and focus of French food magazines is completely different from what we read in the States. Pumpkin and Camembert Gratin! Cappuccino Mousse! Twenty new foie gras recipes! Different ingredients, different appliances, different techniques. I find itContinue Reading

CREATE: my Word for 2016

CREATE: my Word for 2016

One word new year’s resolutions are nothing new. There are books and websites dedicated to the process of selecting just one word. The New York Times blogged about it. Gretchen Rubin did too. There’s a reason one word resolutions have become some widespread: they work. One word, one purpose, one mantra. It’s much easier to frameContinue Reading

Custard Pie: the Answer to Family Pie Wars

Custard Pie: the Answer to Family Pie Wars

When you travel for Thanksgiving, there are no yummy leftovers in the fridge, a sad state of affairs. Cooking a second Thanksgiving feast was the answer. We whipped ours up Tuesday night, once all our suitcases were put away. But when it came time to make a pie for dessert, a war broke out inContinue Reading

Thanksgiving Memories and Favorite Recipes

Thanksgiving Memories and Favorite Recipes

Thanksgiving is not my holiday of choice, but my father loved this holiday. Loved it with a mysterious passion. Even once his emphysema deeply handicapped him, making long sitting sessions painful and dangerous, he still drove down from Toronto to New Jersey with a giant tank of oxygen in the trunk. During the large family gatherings atContinue Reading

Paris, Je T’aime

Paris, Je T’aime

When you’re far away from a place you love when tragedy strikes, the feeling of impotence and loss has a nightmare quality. How do you reconcile your memories with the new reality? I’ve had to sit for a while with Friday night’s carnage. Unlike the rest of my Facebook feed, I didn’t alter my picture withContinue Reading

Cheesy Cauliflower au Gratin: a Hard-Won Love Story

Cheesy Cauliflower au Gratin: a Hard-Won Love Story

My feelings towards cauliflower used to equal George Bush Sr.’s for broccoli. Disdain. Hate. Disgust. Cauliflower was our running family joke. “What’s for dinner, Mom?” “Cauliflower.” “Ew! Gross! Stop kidding around. Tell us what’s really for dinner.” So much time wasted without this sweet and versatile vegetable in our lives! If you’re not a fanContinue Reading

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty: a Travel Novel with a Twist

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty: a Travel Novel with a Twist

Novels written in the second person are few and far between. JUST LIKE AN EMAIL IN ALL CAPS; second person novels are hard to write and hard to read. The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida is an exception to the rule. The second person point of view plunges the reader into the action,Continue Reading

Miso Mustard Shrimp with 10 Minute Marinade

Miso Mustard Shrimp with 10 Minute Marinade

I’ve been playing around with miso in my cooking for over a decade, but have only recently become comfortable with the fermented soybean paste. Growing up in France, there wasn’t a lot of miso lying around in our kitchen. Soy sauce and fish sauce were ether most exotic Asian ingredients stocked in our fridge. I wouldContinue Reading

The Barter: A Delightfully Creepy Post Partum Ghost Story

The Barter: A Delightfully Creepy Post Partum Ghost Story

As a rule, I don’t like ghost stories. I prefer my horror to be physical: alluring vampires, fast spreading viruses, and even witches. Had I realized that the Barter, a novel by Siobhan Adcock, centered around a ghost, I never would have picked it up. And that would have been my loss, as I would haveContinue Reading

Mushroom Foraging in the Chicago Suburbs

Mushroom Foraging in the Chicago Suburbs

My mother is a mushroom forager. She heads out into the woods of her house in the Loire Valley with pretty woven baskets and returns with heaps of mushrooms. As a teen, I looked at her bounty dubiously. Each bite of her foraged dinners filled me with fear. When would the cramps kick in? WasContinue Reading

Breaking from Slow Cooker Routine: Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

Breaking from Slow Cooker Routine: Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

Breaking from routine can be hard. Impossibly hard sometimes. Not only is there no time to research, there is also the fear of failure. What if dinner is not good? What if the kids complain? Last week, I tried the butter miso chicken recipe from the New York Times dining section and were all underwhelmed.Continue Reading

A Few Soup Recipes for Fall

A Few Soup Recipes for Fall

When the leaves start falling, I start craving soup. As soon as I hear the crunch under the my toes, I need a steaming mug in my hand. Blended, chunky, thin or thick, it doesn’t matter. What matters is having a few quarts of soup in my fridge at the ready when the craving strikes.Continue Reading

Dinner at EL Ideas: a Dinner Party in the Kitchen

Dinner at EL Ideas: a Dinner Party in the Kitchen

When you request a reservation at EL Ideas, you only have one choice to make. Which of two seatings will you take? Early bird or night owl? 5:30 or 9:30? Both choices put us wildly out of comfort zone, but primarily due to car pooling schedules, we chose the 9:30. Then we spent the next weekContinue Reading