Category Archives: Cooking

Last Minute Pulled Pork and my New Insta-Pot Love

Last Minute Pulled Pork and my New Insta-Pot Love

ShareTweet It seemed like the Instapot, or Instant Pot was everywhere overnight. Out of nowhere, about a year ago, my Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram feeds were filled with raving mentions about this new pressure cooker. When it went on sale for $74 on Prime Day, I took the plunge. The Insta-Pot 7 in 1 isContinue Reading

Stuffed Shells, New Beginnings, and a Tablefull of Happy Kids

Stuffed Shells, New Beginnings, and a Tablefull of Happy Kids

ShareTweet I’m a big believer in the energy of new beginnings, but these last few weeks, as back to school neared, I was having serious trouble mustering up enthusiasm for dinner. Blah. Blah. Blah. I just couldn’t muster up the energy to make the same old dinners, all over again. So, I did the unthinkable:Continue Reading

Mushroom Foraging in the Chicago Suburbs

Mushroom Foraging in the Chicago Suburbs

ShareTweet 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?Continue Reading

Breaking from Slow Cooker Routine: Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

Breaking from Slow Cooker Routine: Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

ShareTweet 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 allContinue Reading

True Gazpacho For One

True Gazpacho For One

ShareTweet I lived in Barcelona during my junior year in college and that beautiful city by the sea has a special place in my heart. It was the first place that I pretended to be a grown up, staying out all night dancing at discotheques, seeing dawn bloom while sipping coffee on Las Ramblas. TheContinue Reading

a Blueberry Lemon Ice Worthy of Pinkalicious

a Blueberry Lemon Ice Worthy of Pinkalicious

ShareTweet We are a dairy loving family through and through. Our fridge shelves and lined with yogurts, butters, and cheese. Dairy is my go to comfort food, and the same goes for most of my children. But when Sophie was born, we discovered that she was lactose-intolerant, we had to make some attitude adjustments. The hardestContinue Reading

Salade Nicoise and a French Picnic Brush with Fame

Salade Nicoise and a French Picnic Brush with Fame

ShareTweet When opportunity knocks, you say yes. No matter what else is going on. Then you juggle things around to make things work. That’s the philosophy I try to embrace, no matter how busy things get. Say yes, worry later. That’s the philosophy that brought me to serve my favorite summer salad, Salade Nicoise, toContinue Reading

Caramelized Summer Corn Succotash

Caramelized Summer Corn Succotash

ShareTweet A few summers ago, we hosted my 18 year old french cousin, the daughter of my cousin and thus still my cousin. During her time here, attendance at our public pool saw a steep rise. Reading dog-eared paperback Sartre plays in a beautiful white bikini, she brought the french femme fatale stereotype to life toContinue Reading

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

ShareTweet Barbecue tastes like summer nights, like long slow days next to the grill, checking on the meat, perfuming the neighborhood. I know that’s how the purists do it, but sometimes, that reality just cannot be. During the mad dash that is those last few weeks of school, there is no relaxing by the grill. It’s go,Continue Reading

Cooking Classes at Carnivore in Oak Park

Cooking Classes at Carnivore in Oak Park

ShareTweet Taking cooking classes is a hobby of mine. Nothing beats meeting new food lovers while gathering some inspiration and valuable tips along the way.  Hands on or just demo… it’s all good fun and my idea of the perfect date night. This awesome butcher shop called Carnivore recently opened in Oak Park. Its the kind ofContinue Reading

Slagel Family Farms: Tour and Gourmet Dinner

Slagel Family Farms: Tour and Gourmet Dinner

ShareTweet 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 mapleContinue Reading

Living the Dream: Renovation Update

Living the Dream: Renovation Update

ShareTweet 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 constrictedContinue Reading

How to Take the Stress Out of Making Videos

How to Take the Stress Out of Making Videos

ShareTweet 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 needContinue Reading

Milk Chocolate Lava Cakes and Dreams of Hawaii

Milk Chocolate Lava Cakes and Dreams of Hawaii

ShareTweet 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 andContinue Reading

Carrot Souffle: a Family Favorite Worth Sharing

Carrot Souffle: a Family Favorite Worth Sharing

ShareTweet Vegetable side dishes are rarely the star of the show, but my carrot souffle is the exception. This sweet and fluffy casserole is like eating dessert with dinner. If I didn’t make it for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Passover, there might be a riot involving both kids and adults at the table. Like all greatContinue Reading