Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On another topic

My friend Beth and I have been laughing a lot about all of my adventures in trying to make some local Mom friends. I feel like I'm dating again. And I haven't been dating for a long time. Anthony and I have been together since we were 20. College takes a lot of the charm and finesse out of dating.

Don't get me wrong. I have a great group of friends that I've had for a long time and I'm lucky enough to see them a lot. But already with every ones kids it is hard to find a day when we can hang out and none of our kids are over 3 yet.

I thought it would be nice to make some friends with some local Moms. I also thought it would be good for Oliver to have some more kids to play with. Everyone kept telling me it would be easy to make friends now that I had Oliver. But I hadn't had to make new friends for a long time. College was fairly easy. You are living with all these new people. In law school it was kind of easy because everyone is starting new and doesn't know anyone. At the DA's office everyone is hired in a big class so again everyone is starting all over together. Plus the DA's office had the added benefit of bonding over the craziness of what we were now doing. My point of reference for making new friends is high school. That was a long time ago, but oddly/sadly enough there are a lot of parallels to high school.

I'm curious about other peoples experiences and thoughts about this.

I have a lot more to say on this one, but for now I'll leave it at that. I'm meeting my good and old (not in age way) friends Kim and Kelly today.


The weather took a crazy turn last Friday. It got seriously hot. I was glad to see that winter was gone, but was a little surprised that we went right into summer. We've had some really hot days which has meant we've been outside a lot. It was been great. Oliver loves being outside. But our little boy who hated to wear shoes and socks now hates to not wear shoes and socks outside. He will not walk barefoot on the steps, walkway, grass, deck, or driveway. It's really funny to watch. He'll take one step. Stop and put one of his feet up. He stays that way until I go over to him and pick him up. My Mom bought him some sandals and that are helping, but he doesn't love them either. It is no big deal and I'm sure he'll get use to it, but it is funny to watch him once you set him down with no shoes or socks.

At one point on Sunday it was so hot. I was running out of summer clothes for him. I didn't buy that much yet since it is only April 28th. Oliver was running around in his diaper with his socks on. Very stylish. Actually, he spent a lot of the weekend just in his diaper. He looked so cute with his big belly hanging over.

You'll see in the pictures he is drooling more than he usually does (which is a lot anyway) so I really think he is getting some teeth. My friend Dana gave me some teething tablets that are really helping. I would highly recommend them. They are Humphreys. They are all natural homeopathic teething tablets.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

yummy food

I love all of Dorie Greenspan's baking books, but recently I came across her blog. It is about her cooking, baking, and travels. She spends a good part of the year in Paris. She has the most amazing looking lamb tangine on a recent post. I made it two nights ago and served it last night with couscous. It was incredible. Oliver and Anthony loved it. I highly recommend you go to her blog and look at that recipe. There are some other great ones too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I feel like Oliver has changed a lot this last month. He listens and pays attention to more than I realized. He can get impatient with food and his bottle. When I tell him wait I guess I do this thing with my hands. I put it up like what most people do for wait. This weekend I said something about waiting and I didn't even realize he was listening. I looked at Oliver and I realized he was doing the thing with his hand.

He is starting to say a lot of words and he is really into animals. By far his favorite is his duck. This morning when I went to get him I said good morning and he said duck. He runs around the house yelling quack. He tries to give our cats his stuffed duck and when they won't take it he throws it at them. We were at my Mom and Dad's house this weekend for Easter. (you can tell by the pictures we aren't home. How does she keep her floors so clean?) Anyway, they live by a pond. Oliver would look out the window and make his what's happening thing he does with his hands and say duck. Really cute.

He has started getting picky with his food, but his loves his bottle (bop). He is always asking for his bop. Sometimes it can get tricky because they way he says up is bup. Usually we can figure it out.

It is so much fun to watch him change and grow.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

sorry for the food posts

I love to cook and it is rare that I make a recipe as it is written down. I'm finding that when I go back to make recipes again I can't exactly remember what I did to it. I thought it might be helpful to me if I started writing them down here.

Oliver is talking up a storm. Mostly only things we can understand. He learns anything to do with food very fast. He knows the word for cracker except he calls it crack. We were in the supermarket and he saw a box of crackers. He started screaming "crack" "crack". The other morning for breakfast he kept asking for crack. He would push his yogurt away and say "crack". It's hard not to laugh. His other big word is duck. He thinks all birds are ducks.

Screaming at the ducks/birds in the yard

More cooking

I also made a recipe from last weeks New York Times. It was delicious. The whole point of the article is to make something inexpensive, but still fancy enough for a dinner party. I made some changes to it. It is the kind of recipe that can easily be played around with. The only thing I wouldn't do is subsititute chicken breasts.

My picture doesn't do this dish justice. Sorry.

Pasta With Roast Chicken, Eggplant, Raisins and Almonds

Adapted from “New York Times”

3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, patted dry

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 eggplant diced

1 1/2 pounds dried pasta, preferably bucatini or linguine

1 teaspoons crumbled fresh rosemary

1/2 cup dried raisins

2/3 cup almonds, toasted

1 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped mint

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

4 tbs. butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange thighs in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour 2 tbs. oil over all of the chicken. Bake until just cooked through and skin is crisp about 35 minutes.

2. Dice eggplant. Put in colander and salt generously. Leave for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Put in same roasting pan just drain off most of the fat. Add 2 tbs. oil or use chicken fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until soft about 35 minutes depending on how big your pieces are.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When chicken is done, let cool slightly, then use hands to pull meat and skin from bones, making bite-size pieces. Reserve meat and discard bones.

4. Meanwhile, add pasta to boiling water and cook just until tender but not mushy.

5. Melt butter in a small sauce pan on low. Add breadcrumbs. Stir until toasted about 2 minutes.

6. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the pasta pot on the stovetop and turn heat to low. Add chicken, eggplant, rosemary, raisins, mint and almonds to roasting pan and toss, adding more salt and black pepper to taste, and more chicken broth if mixture seems dry. Top with breadcrumbs reserving some for individual bowls.


I have found an amazing bread recipe. I was nervous about making my own bread. I had never worked with yeast before. My Dad, who has been making incredible bread, for at least 20 years, swears by Mark Bittman's Sullivan Street Bakery recipe. I had looked at that before, but it still seemed complicated. I came across this recipe while looking for something else. It seemed so easy I had to try it. I think you can mess around with the types of flour, but I'm not brave enough to do that.

Here's the recipe:

4 -5 Loaves of Bread

* 24 ounces hand warm water
* 1 1/2 teaspoons dried fast rising yeast
* 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 6 1/2 C unbleached white bread flour


1. Pour the warm water into a large mixing bowl - the water should be warm. Not too hot or it will kill the yeast.

2. Add the yeast to the water and then the salt, mix well.

3. Rub the mixing bowl with 1 tbs. oil because the dough is very wet. This will help you get it out of the bowl. Add all the flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or a dough hook until all the ingredients are incorporated.

4. Leave the bread dough in the mixing bowl and cover loosely.

5. Proof for 2 hours on the counter or on top of the fridge.

6. The dough can now be stored in the fridge or you can use the dough to make a loaf of bread immediately. I store mine in a large tupperware which I also rub with oil.

7. If baking a loaf of bread now, pre-heat the oven to 450F and place a baking sheet or pizza tray in there. Tear off a large ball, about the size of a small melon, and knead it for about 1 minute with floured hands and on a board with wax paper and flour on it. Shape it as desired or place it in a greased and floured loaf tin. Allow to proof and rise for a further 20. Slash the surface with a sharp serrated knife if you wish.

8. Put bread into oven. Add a small pot of boiling water cover removed to the oven as soon as you add the bread – this steams and bakes the loaf to give a brown crust, a good chewy texture and keeps the inside moist. I bake mine in a small oven proof pot. It gives it a nice shape.

9. Bake at 450F for 40 minutes or until well risen, brown and the loaf sounds hollow when it is tapped on the underside.

10. Remove the bread when baked and cool on a cooling rack. Serve warm with butter, cheese, jam, hams and cold cuts, or slice when cool for sandwiches.

11. Store the excess dough in a large covered bowl or Tupperware in the fridge this will keep for 2 weeks. This amount of dough will make between 4 and 5 loaves of bread, depending on the shape and amount of dough you use.