• 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

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

Butterflied Chicken on the Grill with a Zesty Lemon Sauce

Butterflied Chicken on the Grill with a Zesty Lemon Sauce

There are many ways to identify a French woman. The most cliche is by their style and their love of scarves, but that’s most likely not the French characteristic people would know me by. I can picture my friends and neighbors nodding as they read this, as they see me most often walking around town in yogaContinue Reading

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Over the last month or so, I have picked up and put down Kitchens of the Great Midwest multiple times without buying it. The title and descriptions just didn’t appeal for some reason. Then finally, serendipitously, in a hurry for a long flight somewhere, I grabbed it for my plane read pile. Had I knownContinue Reading

Vulnerability and Bringing Back Awesome

Vulnerability and Bringing Back Awesome

Vulnerability. Do you find that state of being as terrifying as I do? During yoga yesterday, I tried to do a forearm stand. Inverted, forearms crushed into the ground, I tried to flip my legs up above my head into nothing. My mind was racing with terrifying images: my body crumpled on the ground, my backContinue Reading

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians Trilogy

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians Trilogy

My book reviews took a bit of a hiatus this summer and I blame Lev Grossman. I’d read his first novel, The Magicians a few years ago, but only read the last two in the trilogy this summer, a delicious binge that I recommend to anyone who hasn’t discovered The Magicians Trilogy yet. As SyFyContinue Reading

Hamilton Beach Wave Blender Labor Day Giveaway

Hamilton Beach Wave Blender Labor Day Giveaway

In many ways, fall is the best time to put new resolutions in effect. The start of a new school year is a bigger milestone than trying to make positive changes in the middle of winter. This new school year, to help you bring more healthy fruity smoothies in your life: I’m giving away oneContinue Reading

True Gazpacho For One

True Gazpacho For One

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. The tomatoesContinue Reading

A Real Corn Boil on the Farm

A Real Corn Boil on the Farm

My sister Jessica and her daughters come to visit us every summer from California. For a week, we enjoy the miss and you’ll blink it Chicago summertime, spending lazy days at the pool, and showing these California girl that the Midwest is not the worst place in the world to live. This year, their visitContinue Reading

a Blueberry Lemon Ice Worthy of Pinkalicious

a Blueberry Lemon Ice Worthy of Pinkalicious

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 hardest thingContinue Reading

The Summer Reading War and a Few Great 3rd and 4th Grade Titles

The Summer Reading War and a Few Great 3rd and 4th Grade Titles

Last year my summer reading strategy was simple. Bribery. Big reading goals tied to one big prize per kid: 10 books. 2 oral reports. 1 final prize. Judge me if you want. I don’t care. Last summer’s bribery success justified its questionable moral platform. The kids devoured their books, we had great discussions about them, andContinue Reading