Picnics and potlucks and parties, oh my! Got to love the start of the social season. I’m so looking forward to concerts in the park, school social potlucks, pool parties, backyard parties… [Read more…]
Yippeee! yahooo! It’s SPRING!
Why am I so excited, you may ask? Well, you probably don’t ask–who doesn’t like spring?
I am so excited because…WE GET TO LEAVE THE HOUSE. Cold, wet, grey weather does NOT mix well with young, active children. I can categorically declare that I can build just about anything with Legos and that I know every word in Frozen. It’s time to move on to outside activities. [Read more…]
You know that movie “Conspiracy Theory” with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts where every time Mel sees a copy of Jack Kerouc’s “On the Road” he is compelled to buy it?
Yeah, so, that’s me and Shrimp and Grits. Every time I see it on the menu I pretend that I’m considering other options but every single time I order Shrimp and Grits. Creamy grits, topped with a spice sausage gravy, and sweet shrimp, who could resist? So obviously I had to figure out how to make it using what I like best from the many, many, many versions I’ve tried. [Read more…]
Love is in the air…I really like the idea of reserving a day to remind your loved ones that you, well, love them. This week, in addition to Valentine’s Day, it’s our anniversary so it’s generally a lovely week for us!
Dan and I have never really been a big Valentine’s Day couple. Flowers aren’t actually in season. I don’t especially need a bunch of heart-shaped jewelry. And with kids, sitters are expensive and date nights out are rare, so we don’t want to waste that precious time when restaurant’s are crowded and the service isn’t great. Plus, if Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with your sweethearts, I’d like to include the kids in that! [Read more…]
I don’t know about you but I think that the end of the year flurry of activity is enough to make your stomach turn. Between work reviews and budget reforests, school concerts, holiday shopping, holiday cards, cookie making, holiday party planning and attending, and maybe a birthday, wedding or anniversary thrown in there and the logistics alone are enough to invest in some extra Tums. Add to that planning family visits or travel and a lot of rich food to consume and you’re in for a serious case of indigestion. [Read more…]
I am so thankful for my amazing family and friends and all the wonderful things that life has brought us. This year we’re keeping it low key at home since we have another amazing celebration to look forward to this weekend–my brother-in-law is getting married!
I hope you’re Thanksgiving is filled with wonderful family, friends, and food! Here’s what we’ve got on our “plate” for tomorrow: [Read more…]
Featured Recipe: Grilled Pizza
Featured Wine: Chianti, or if you’re feeling sassy: Champagne.
A dab of flour on noses, oops! a little juice spilled. Cooking with kids, what a delightful mess and such fun, say paper towel companies.
More like, splat! there went a dozen eggs. No, you can’t eat raw bacon. How did spaghetti sauce wind up on the ceiling?
So, cooking with kids. Delightful and fun? Yes. A mess? Definitely!
Despite the mess, I started inviting N to help me in the kitchen when he was about 3 years old. He’s going to be there anyway, so he may as well help out! Plus bringing kids into the kitchen teaches them math, science, following instructions, being independent, and self-sufficicient. And if they’re involved they’re less likely to complain about whatever is for dinner.
Just little things at first–mix this, pour that in there. By 4 he was doing more to make meals like brunch than me–making the bacon (using my baking technique), cracking and mixing the eggs. I just put things in the oven and stir them on the stove.
Yes, he makes a giant mess. But he gets better with practice, and anyway who does’t make a little mess while cooking?
One of the easiest cooking activities to introduce him to was the art of assembly. He loves making and building things (think Legos), and can quickly see his efforts rewarded with a finished product. Plus he felt like he had decision rights on what goes where. Sandwiches were good. Salads are easy. And pizza is great.
I like to grill individual pizzas since the grill can get hotter than my oven–I think it makes it a little more authentic. Pizza dough that is partially cooked on the grill, combined with prepped toppings, everyone gets just what they want, with sauce on the ceiling and flour on the nose to prove it!
Oh happy day, our friends came to play. Which means something so different than what it meant in pre-kids days. Even with the 4 kids running around underfoot though, we can still manage to have good food, good wine and good conversation:
“How’s your book coming along? Nicholas PUT THAT DOWN.”
“Jo Jo stop moving the furniture. Great, almost done”
“I can’t wait to read–WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH”
Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon and boiled potatoes. A cheap cut of meat simmered in wine and bacon all day. Yeah, it didn’t suck. It could also all be made ahead so I wasn’t spending too much time in the kitchen, unless I was trying to escape the chaos.
I also made breakfast ahead so when the kids woke us up at 5:30am after a big night of visiting, we didn’t need to worry about cooking. Just turn on the oven and pop in the Southern Breakfast Strata. An hour later it’s done.
So, the menu for an effortless weekend of entertaining with 4 kids?
Southern Breakfast Strata