Very Warm Cocoa

Posted by    |  January 29, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

“Homemade” Hot Cocoa mesmerizes my kids’ playdates in the winter. “You mean your mom actually makes hot cocoa from scratch??!!” I love the illusion I can spin with homemade cocoa: kids think I am a genius super-mom. The word “homemade” implies work and care and effort. I sort of feel like I’m cheating:  what a ridiculously easy way to be a hero. Read more

The Miracle of Pricey Eats

Posted by    |  January 26, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Ingredients

I pay about $8/gallon for milk. I pay around $15 for a roasting chicken. I buy NY strip steaks that cost $16 each.  I can see you getting all bug-eyed as you read this.  There was a woman who used to stop by when Steve, my Hinsdale hook-up for farm-fresh meat, sold meat from my driveway in the off-season.  She came by on occasion just to look.  Her husband “wouldn’t let” her buy such expensive meat.  “A pig is a pig is a pig,” he insisted.

I know that I pay a helluva lot more for the dairy, meat and produce we eat than other families with similar family incomes. No matter.  My food budget is probably the same my neighbor’s.

How can that be?

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Whole Wheat Pretzels

Posted by    |  January 20, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking

They’re threatening another snow day for tomorrow. I don’t know if I can take it anymore! I’m a hardy Midwestern girl. When it snows in Chicago, you just drive slower. You slog through it. Why does the world stop for New Yorkers every time it flurries? Seriously people!!? You are KILLING me with the snow day silliness. Trapped again in the house with four bored kids, it takes a spurt of creativity to break up the day.

These pretzels are a very satisfying way to make the best of the day. Their flavor and texture are fantastic. They’re minimally time-consuming. The dough is incredibly forgiving of the kind of torture young kids inflict. If your preschooler just decides to stretch his piece into an oddly-shaped clump and insists that’s how he wants it, it’ll bake just fine. Read more

Playing with the Recipe

Posted by    |  January 17, 2011  |  Filed under: Home

I love publishing I love helping other families with something significant. I love the candor that comes from connecting with people through their intimate relationships with food. I love exploring food with my camera. I love unraveling my own relationship with food and family by committing it to words.

I hate publishing recipes.

It’s not that I dislike writing or shooting them. The problem is that, once published, they torment me. In my own world, I rarely ever make a dish the same way twice. I’m always playing and tweaking or just exploring my mood through the dish. To commit in print to the world “This is how I make meatloaf!”– well, I’m filled with ambivalence and regret from the moment I click “Publish.”

During my hiatus, I’ve been playing with the recipe for I’m feeling pretty happy now. Two things have been tormenting me about this site since the first few weeks after I started publishing. It lacked the community feeling that I so loved about the classes. And it was a bit too chicky. Read more

Honey, I’m hooOoome!

Posted by    |  January 12, 2011  |  Filed under: Food Foibles, Foodlife, Home, Organization

A successful move is a lot like a successful birth: everyone’s delighted to simply report the healthy existence of all the participants at the end. No one expects that its not gonna be painful.

We are loving Larchmont. The kids are happy and have been embraced by their new schools. The house is really comfortable. We have fantastic neighbors. It is all just so good.

…but it hurts like hell. Even today. Read more