Cooking For Kids: Hidden Veggie Mashed Potatoes

Now listen, before I even start, I know there are plenty of judgmental mamas out there who look down upon the world from the tippy top of their righteous mountains and make arguments like this one. About how sneaking veggies into your kids’ food is bad, you should send the right messages by making them “eat the same thing you eat!” and suggesting that “if the kids help make it, they’ll want to eat it!”. And you know what? I’m not ashamed to admit, I used to be one of those women…. Before I became a mom.

IMG_0794I have very vivid memories of the first meal that I cooked for the kids; I felt like their diet needed a real nutritional overhaul, and I thought I was just the person to do it. So I put together a fool-proof menu of Italian baked chicken, whole wheat pasta, and sautéed spinach on the side. I proudly told my husband (then boyfriend) the plan for dinner and he voiced some initial concerns about how the meal would be received by our younger patrons, but I assured him that it would be perfectly fine. They were going to help me cook the spinach, so obviously they’d eat it without protest. And they’d helped me pick out the jar of tomato bruscetta at the store, so they’d surely be thrilled with the fruits of their grocery shopping labors! What could go wrong?

Well, everything, as it turns out. My stepson refused to put even a single sautéed spinach leaf on his fork, let alone in his mouth. And my stepdaughter literally RAN to the trashcan and made loud retching noises, to ensure that every single person from here to El Paso knew for damn sure that this was NOT a meal she was enjoying.

It was precious.

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Honey Mustard (And Bourbon!) Glazed Salmon

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Finally, finally, FINALLY I feel like a human again!

After days on end of feeling bad, then feeling worse, then feeling (deceptively) a wee bit better, and then feeling harr-rible, I finally took myself to the doctor. Or more accurately, my sweet husband took me to the doctor while I was sprawled out across the front seat, blowing my nose and repeating over and over again how truly awful I felt. This was not news to him, as he pointed out that he had only been telling me to go to the doctor for the past week. Well he was right (as usual, although I’d never admit it.) I left the urgent care clinic with a prescription for an antibiotic and a steroid pack, and now I feel like a new woman!

I had little appetite last week and even less desire to cook, so I was so very thankful and impressed at my own foresight to keep a stash of homemade soups frozen for such an occasion. Look at me! So industrious! We had southwestern butternut squash soup, curried cauliflower soup, and lamb and sweet potato stew. Come to think of it, I bet this is how Ina Garten and Martha Stewart feel every day. #winning Continue reading

Long Time No Blog

Well helloooo there! I haven’t posted anything in a few weeks, but I figured that no one would really notice because I wasn’t sure that anyone else was reading this here collection of recipes and ramblings. Turns out I was wrong; I have had at least one person (besides my mom, I know what you’re thinking) tell me it’s been a really long time since my last post. I mean it’s not like I have hoards of readers, and I’m not getting offered a book deal anytime soon (or ever), but it warms my heart to know that at least one of my friends enjoys my semi-regular brain and food dumps here!

This post is going to be a little short on the words since I am sickie right now, with a nose that continues to run worse and worse by the hour. Thusly, I feel like crap and look like Rudolph. Just keeping it festive around here, like I do.  Speaking of festive, here’s a collection of pictures to sum up how I’ve been spending the beginning of my holiday season:

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The best carpet I’ve ever seen. I want it all over everywhere.IMG_0137 IMG_0142 IMG_0143

Date night at Vermillion, our fave restaurant in Chi-town
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Snowing in ChicagoIMG_0146 IMG_0147 IMG_0151

Lunch at a Chicago restaurant discovery we made, where I had my first-ever lobster roll. A place so nice we ate there twice. In two days.IMG_0158 IMG_0163

Lounging. Life is so hard.

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Surprise sister selfies. Aren’t they the best?IMG_0166

Appetizers that my parent’s neighbors brought over for Thanksgiving. We were all admiring how cute the penguins were! Turns out they were supposed to be turkeys… Whoopsies.

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Went to my high school alma mater’s football playoff game. Never thought I’d see the day. I didn’t even have this much school spirit when I actually went to school there!
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The martini trio at Perry’s: blueberry cucumber, something I don’t remember, and pineapple ginger mojito. It was even better than you’re imaging.

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Spinach and feta quiche with quinoa crust, thanks to this month’s edition of Cooking Light.

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My macho husband doing macho things, like racing a McLaren, NBD.IMG_0203Homemade dough. Homemade sauce. Homemade dressing. And not homemade wine because that would be horrible. Trust me, I speak from experience.