When I told my sister I made marshmallows she laughed and said, “why?”. I know she thinks I am ridiculous and also that I should have another kid if I have enough time on my hands to make homemade marshmallows. In my defense, I’ve been planning to make my own marshmallows for months now, and I’ve finally found the time to do so. As proof, the unflavored gelatin has been sitting in the dark pantry just patiently waiting to be used since last June.
At the turn of the 19th century, marshmallows used to be something more than what you’d make a s’more with or place in hot chocolate. A sweet confection sold in patisserie shops; marshmallows were a Parisian treat typically flavored with rose water. I am very happy to write, once again, it is FINALLY socially acceptable to eat a marshmallow (something I’ve been doing for years!). No cocoa, no s’more, nothing. Just pop in mouth and enjoy!
A couple of weeks ago I had a good friend and client ask me if I had yet come out of “First Year hiding”. He explained the strange process a couple experiences when you have baby number one; you disappear socially for about a year. You lose track of everyone you hung out with before baby and then remerge; tired, older, haggard-looking, worn thin, yet oddly stronger. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how true that statement is. After I had baby P, any physical, emotional, and mental limits I thought I had were pushed and broken, and then broken again. I realized how little sleep I can (somewhat) function on as a human being. I realized what it means to truly, selflessly love someone else and to put their needs before your own. (And we are talking basic human needs, people, like eating, sleeping and showering.)
he’s cute and likes to wake up EARLY, y’all.
Friends who tired of my regrets to social invitations simply stopped asking and faded quietly into the the background. Work becomes secondary. The main focus is this new demanding tiny person I made. I’m trying to figure out this new parental role while maintaining some semblance of my former self. I am suddenly aware – holy crap – I am A MOM. I’m a 24-7 caregiver for this forever hungry, happy little person who looks like me and has my hair color, laughs easily, and crosses his feet the same way I do. It’s overwhelming, emotional, exhausting and crazy-amazing all at the same time. Continue reading →
I love anything pretty much in pancake or waffle form. Last year, I waffled my mom’s leftover Thanksgiving stuffing and I still think it may be the best thing I’ve ever eaten. When potatoes aren’t available or we are looking for a slightly healthier version of a potato pancake, I’ll make these zucchini fritters. Packed with feta and dilly goodness, it’s a surprisingly tasty bite with an exterior crunch and interior softness. Zucchini fritters are great as a side or they can also be a stand alone meal. This recipe is adapted and scaled down from Cook’s Illustrated too, so you know it’s tried, tested and true. To begin, shred the zucchini. Normally I’m a huge advocate for the food processor, but shredding zucchini on a box grater goes pretty quickly. Just remember to leave yourself the nub for a handle while shredding. Continue reading →
yummy! this recipe made good use of my tripod and photography classes!
On a whim, I picked up a magazine in the grocery check-out lane just because the beautiful cover photo caught my eye. Little did I know, the entire magazine was basically an ad for King Arthur Flour. On the one hand, it was kind of nice, as there were no other ads for anything, but on the other hand, the whole thing read like one giant ad. The food photography was beautifully done and a more darkly lit than the norm. I liked it. I came across a photo for cinnamon apple bread and had to try it. Good thing the recipe made two loaves, as I sort of botched the braiding of the first loaf. My MIL was in town last week and was nice enough to care for baby P while I tried out a new recipe. My first new recipe attempt in over two months, thanks gramma! Continue reading →
Blah blah blah, new moms have no time and are perpetually tired. Blah blah, seasoned moms have no time and are perpetually tired. Blah. I really don’t want to be one of those people who complain about having NO TIME for myself and the things I wanted to do anymore post baby. I wanted to be super mom who could bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, AND make homemade sweet potato baby purée after story time and singing Baby P to sleep with sweet lullabies.
The Cuteness at 33 weeks
I went to my GP for a regular check-up and post baby everyone (your GP, the OB, Husband, the neighbor down the street, EVERYONE) seems concerned (well, except for crazy Tom Cruise) that you might have post partum depression. My GP is a fairly young, energetic woman who definitely has no children. She asked if I’d been back to my “normal activities” since having the baby 7 months ago. Well, let’s see, I’ve missed the last 4 books in book club because I’m simply too tired and I don’t want to wear real pants past 6PM and book club meets at 7. Is that depression or a shift in wardrobe priority? Unsure. She seemed concerned about the no-real-pants-after-6-PM-rule. Clearly she’d forgotten my modus operandi is sarcasm. Anyway, she said, “you need to make time for yourself to do things that fulfill you – Michele the person, not Michele the mom”. Well isn’t that the solution to happiness in everyone’s life, not just new a mom’s? When you figure out how to balance baby and life and not feel like you’ve forced yourself to wear real pants and attend an event because you are too tired to stay awake, let me know and I’ll be all over it! In the meanwhile, I’m going to continue to try to fit photographing, cooking, and blogging in where I can, real pants be damned! That being said, this post is more than 2 months in the making.
It’s (still) summer even though I’m already doing what hubs calls “forcing fall” – wearing long sleeves, jackets and sweaters before it’s truly cold enough outside to do so. I love beginning of the fall season, the first time you see your breath in the morning, first frost on the grass, until finally, the smell of the first snow is in the air. Fall is great but winter is my absolute favorite season. I feel alive and energized when it’s bone-chillingly cold outside. Most people who live in TN moved here to escape winter. Not me! I miss winter and it doesn’t matter what age, 4, 10, 21, or 41, I still feel giddy when I wake up to a quiet blanket of snow covering everything. Nothing makes me happier than hearing the squeak of fresh snow underfoot… I can’t wait to play in the snow with Baby P this winter!
P’s first fleece and toque – ready to GO
But I digress, this post is supposed to be about summery gazpacho soup because, guess what!? We produced ONE TOMATO from three plants this year. Sad, but true. I suppose we’ve been too busy baby rearing to care much about tomato plants. The latest with Baby P? We like to encourage him try to “eat” cheerios (read: throw on the floor) and we’ve also been putting toys just out of reach then watching him belly crawl/scoot towards them. He provides us with endless hours of entertainment and fun! Continue reading →
It’s that time of Tennessee summer for me. That “I-won’t-blow-dry-my-hair-anymore-because-it’s-too-dang-hot-outside” time of summer. Jeans have been retired to the back corner of my closet. My hair has permanent ponytail kink because again, it’s just too dang hot to have hair on your neck. It’s so swelteringly humid it makes me not want to cook anything. In fact, we had our first friends over for an evening dinner post-preganancy last night and except for the 10 minute kebabs on the grill, I non-cooked dinner and served a brilliant salad smorgasbord! If you are looking to non-cook some things like me, this is a very fancy-looking, impressive yet easy dessert to make. It popped up on my social media feed from Bon Appétit a few weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since; sherbet in grapefruit cups.
You know how everyone always puts their best face forward on Facebook and Instagram? No one (well, except one person I follow) ever seems to have a bad day and everyone’s families, spouses, children and pets appear cheery, clean, and (for the most part) perfectly lit while loving life in every photo. We all know life like this doesn’t exist all the time. I type this as I’m sitting here at the computer in my pjs, without (gasp) makeup and it’s almost 3PM! I’m 3 blog posts behind because I can’t seem to find the time to write them up. The photos are created and processed, taken in the moment (thank goodness) but the posts still need to be written. Continue reading →
One of my favorite long-ago-cancelled-but still-running cooking shows is French Food at Home, featuring Laura Calder. Laura makes cooking French food seem like a snap and this most impressive looking salmon recipe is one of the best testaments to easy, yet snappy-looking, French fare. Your guests will think you’ve slaved for hours when, in fact, once you get this recipe down, you can make it all happen in under an hour. “En croute” simply means to wrap something in pastry. Beef Wellington would be an “en croute” recipe, too. Puff pastry is awesome because you buy it in the freezer section, let it thaw in your fridge, and POOF (puff?) you have an instantly perfect flaky package for your salmon parcel. And let’s be honest, everything tastes better wrapped in puff pastry. You’ll have to follow a few steps but none of them are too difficult or labor intensive. Let’s get started… Continue reading →
My family informed me that today is World Gin Day. Apparently we have “days” for everything now-a-days but I think it’s just another excuse to drink more gin…. So while they are all drinking gin and tonics lakeside in Michigan without me, here’s to Gin and Tonic Day, and here’s to my crazy family!
I like my G ‘n T with Hendrick’s Gin and cucumbers – just like Prince Charles. Hey, if it’s good enough for royalty, it’s good enough for me!