family

30 days of posting challenge: Day 10

Even after 1,000 (or whatever) years of marriage, I still get a kick out of comparing my dinner to my husband’s. It’s true, I married a giant meat-loving man.

Tonight we had burgers (for the burger-eaters), a hearty salad (spinach, roasted sweet potato, chick peas and miso dressing), new potatoes, a plate of red vegetables and cheese with crackers.

Sid doesn’t like any of those things except crackers, so we made him him a very special kids meal… you guessed it, ketchup with a spoon.

30 days of posting challenge: Day 7

We had a lovely, delicious, early dinner tonight with framily (OMG did I just coin that?!) which I forgot to document.

Instead, I give you this unsolicited message from Rose who thinks we need more followers. Perhaps I should put her in charge of my social media strategy.

It’s Sunday night. Go to bed. xoxo

P.S. Dang! I did not coin framily.

30 days of posting challenge: Day 6

Today was one of those days. Shane was working. I tried to do some unpacking since we moved back to our house in June and are still in boxes. Between 10am and 1pm, I managed to unpack approximately one box, thanks to my incredibly helpful offspring.

I tried to take the kids for a “fun” trip to Party City.

Mistake.

Took them to Trader Joe’s partly as punishment and partly because I wanted to buy wine.

Mistake.

After rolling all over the floor of Trader Joe’s, Sid screamed all the way home because he wanted to take his sweater off, but couldn’t because he was in his car seat. When we got home, he stripped naked in the parking lot and demanded justice at the top of his lungs.

By then, Shane was home so I locked myself in the office to contemplate what kind of salad might just be good enough to turn my day around.

I settled on this salad from Epicurious, but substituted walnuts for pecans, and radicchio and romaine for red endive.

It’s a lot to ask of a salad to be so good it turns your day from poop to gold, but this salad did it’s best and I give it an A for effort. And I’ll definitely make it again.

Shane made pork tenderloin.

 

Dinner every night

I’m challenging myself to revive the blog by posting every night for 30 days (more on that later). Today is a great day to start. Even without fantastic photos, it seems 100% worth documenting the salad Sid made for me with his very own 3 year old hands… and a pair of scissors.

I’m not entirely sold on the ketchup and fresh mint salad dressing, but I love that my little laddie made his own. And I adore that he’s got his vegetarian mom’s back on BLT night, since dad wasn’t home to do his magic.

Father’s Day

“All I want for Father’s Day, Nina, is steak and eggs for breakfast.” said my husband (and father of my children). So that’s what we had, plus cheese biscuits.

The eggs were from Drew & Cathy’s own, happy, western Mass, free-range, table-scrap & weed-fed chickens. They were particularly beautiful and extremely delicious.

Cheese biscuits are really my sister’s gig, but she wasn’t here so I took a stab at them. They came out good. The recipe is below. Here’s to all the good dads out there. Or as my mom likes to call them: the motherf#*kers.

Cheese Biscuits •
Adapted from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads
Makes 20-24

4 cups flour
8 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1-1/2 cups grated cheddar
2 cups whole milk at room temperature

Heat oven to 450. Line two baking trays with foil and grease them. 

Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or two knives. Stir in grated cheese. Add milk and mix until just combined.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten into an approx. 8″ x 8″ square, fold square in half and flatten again. Do this two more times lightly dusting work surface as needed to keep dough from sticking. 

Flatten dough to 1/2″ thick and cut buiscuits with a glass. Gather remaining dough, flatten again and cut until there’s no more dough. 

Place biscuits about an inch apart on prepared baking trays and bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve warm with butter.

Easter Saturday 2017

This is the first Easter in forever that we have not had at my parents’ house. That’s because their lovely house is currently being torn apart and turned into a two-family house, with one unit for my folks and one for our crazy gang of four.

We had our annual Easter Saturday lunch and egg hunt at my parents’ temporary gigs, where due to size restrictions we simplified significantly. My mom asked people to bring salads and she and my dad served up lots of good bread, cold cuts and other sandwich fixings.

It was not our usual savory pie extravaganza (which you can read about here, here, here and here) we’ll get back to that next year, but it was easy and perfect. And a gorgeous day to boot.

As always, there were over 100 eggs and a gang of kids who were delighted to find them. This year, the eggs were numbered and it wasn’t the kid who found the most eggs, but the kids who found the three lucky eggs with a fiver in them who won. So basically everybody was happy and every kid won.

After lunch we died eggs using tinted shaving cream in plastic bags, which was pretty weird and also lovely to behold.

Christ is risen, y’all.

xoxo

Sous chef Sid and eggplant


I love me some roasted eggplant. It’s my go-to thing for when my family is eating meat, or just to have on hand for adding to salads to make them more delicious and special.

The easiest way I’ve found to cook eggplant is to slice it thin-ish, lay it out on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spray with spray oil, sprinkle with salt, flip over, do the same, and then roast at any old temperature (really—I just bung it in the oven with whatever else is cooking, it’s very forgiving) until soft and a little golden. Flip it halfway through if you like.

It may seem weird to hear me talk about using spray oil—it’s weird for me to hear me talk about it—but after experimenting with lots and lots of eggplant-roasting methods, I realized that this is really the best and easiest way to evenly coat your eggplant with oil.

It may make you feel a little better to use canola or olive oil spray rather than Pam which can seems ambiguous in terms of being something that’s ok to consume.

Are you dying to know what’s in the taped-up aluminum foil box? I know you are. That, my friend, is the work of sous chef Sid. We discovered these gorgeous tomatoes called flavor bombs which—contrary to what the color, flavor and name would lead you to believe—are not actually genetically modified.

Sid thought they would best be presented like so:
And then insisted we tape the box back up. Thanks for the help little guy.

Puttanesca and Irish silliness 

This week’s dinner awesomeness came in the form of pasta with puttanesca sauce (the kind without tuna) and a simple salad. The puttanesca recipe came from the Italian Classics book which Rose got Shane for Father’s Day at a yard sale. Aw.

We also had some fun on St. Patrick’s Day with green rice and some awfully good (and totally unrelated) lentils cooked like risotto. If you like lentils you should really try cooking them like risotto. Green rice is fine if you can get your head around it, or if you’re hungry enough.

Today is Shane’s birthday, so check back tomorrow for a post about everyone’s favorite topic… cake!

Lookin’ good at 50

The awesome thing that happened this week was that our good friend Drew turned 50. Being a chef and all, he invited the whole gang out to his family’s amazing home in the countryside for a weekend of eating well and relaxing with friends. Added bonus? Drew did almost all of the cooking.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon and wasted no time getting started on margaritas, oysters and the biggest and best batch of guacamole I’ve ever eaten.

The party really started when the young boys got naked and jumped off the furniture, and the young girls took up darts and pool. With the kids occupied, the parents were free to drink more margaritas. And eat more guacamole.

Dinner was fajitas of many kinds. It seemed like Drew was prepared for pretty much any fajita request. Chicken or beef? Yes. Pulled pork? Natch. Vegetarian? But of course. The homemade pickled jalapenos were a big hit too.

Dessert was a massive tray of tiramisu made by Drew, a gorgeous cake of unknown origin, and a whole pasta pot full of molasses chocolate chip cookies sprinkled with sea salt (by Shane who missed dessert because he was putting Sid to bed).

There were even more desserts but we didn’t have room, so we ate them in the morning.

Happy Birthday Drew, we thought you looked good already.

 

Dinner disruptors

 

DinnerDisruptorsWhat I learned this week is that if you want to have a food blog, you should really try to get good shots of the food.

This poses a challenge when there’s all kinds of craziness going on at dinnertime, and your tiny, dark, basement apartment has horrible lighting and only fits a small table. Usually, I manage to shove the juice boxes, homework and washable markers aside and get a salvageable shot of something we ate, but not this week.

So I leave you with this slice-of-life shot. And the assurance that the Chicken Piccata was very well received (and quick!) and the Fennel Baked in Cream was as over-the-top decadent and delicious as ever.