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Brunch for Beleaguered Parents

18 Jul

I was awakened around 5:45am on Sunday morning with a hankering for brunch.  In the old days, before kids, I’d have gotten out of bed at 11am, rolled out of my front door in Manhattan, and met a friend for an omelette and a mimosa.

Hardy har.

Instead, I found myself sitting in bed in front of an episode of Curious George, while my husband blearily suffered through yet another round of my boys fighting over his attentions.  Being chopped liver, myself, I was on my own side of the bed…pondering how I could salvage this morning.  Cormac turned and burped at me, laughing.

I wanted eggs.  Unfortunately, Cormac had gone on an egg binge the day before.  There were only four left, and I knew it wasn’t going to be enough for all of us.  But four eggs was a good place to start.  I began to think about what other odds and ends were in my fridge, that I could use to supplement the main feature.

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Guest Cook! Coconut Chip Cookies

20 Jun

“B.S.!” my friends are saying.  Those who know me well are aware of my strange aversion to all tropical fruits, including coconut.  Wait…is a coconut a fruit?

It’s true.  I have not made these cookies.  Instead, I decided that it was time to rise above my unfair dislike of coconut and, in honor of hot summer days, put up a recipe that touches on the tropics.  The pictures are good enough for me.

Because Kim from Let Me Start By Saying did such a cool dessert post before, I’m am featuring her very fine-looking recipe here.  I especially like that it shamelessly utilizes a cake mix in order to allow you to look like June Cleaver without having time to get too hot from standing over the oven.  Grab your popsicles and pull up a chair on the deck!  I invite you all to make these lip-smacking little numbers and share your thoughts.

Happy baking!

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Guest Cook! Butterscotch Sugar Cookie Bakes with Ice Cream

11 Apr

She had me at “spontaneous cookiegasms.”

My friend Kim is a very funny and very talented writer and blogger and an equally frazzled parent.  Like the rest of us, she knows a good dessert when she sees one.  Well…when she makes one.  Because she made this up, people.  I’ve badgered her into letting me post this delectable treat on my blog, and I’m just leaving it all in her words.  They were good to begin with.

For those of you who are looking for a shortcut to a homemade dessert, this is your recipe.  We’re talking majorly easy – like Pillsbury cookie dough.  Also, I have to confess that I topped all of this off by putting chocolate syrup on it.  Ahem.

Go forth and have a sugar meltdown.  You won’t be sorry.  Oh – and you can get these tiny springform pans at Michael’s craft store if you are having trouble finding them! Continue reading

Digging for Dough Scraps

4 Mar

I was so over this day by 9:45am.

William had an appointment at 8:00am, and I had to get both of the boys up, dressed, fed, and out the door by 7:40am.  Once we arrived at the appointment, I had to stand outside on the nearby playground in near-freezing temperatures with Cormac for the half hour while we were waiting for William.

Crack-of-dawn playground antics

Afterwards, despite my best efforts, there was a potty “incident” that forced me to drag both reluctant children back to the car and then drive all the way home to freshen up prior to getting back into the car so we could traipse to William’s new preschool and take care of some paperwork.  As you can imagine, this was like trying to conduct a business transaction while holding two excitable monkeys by the ears.

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Dropping the Ball

3 Jan

On New Year’s Eve this year lots of my friends were joking on Facebook about how old and lame they had become.  Whether it was watching a pay-per-view movie or going to bed at 10pm…or both…many of the exhausted parents in my group of friends were ruefully lamenting how this generally adult-oriented night had turned into yet another bedraggled and sleepy event — devoid of sparkle.

New Baby, New Year - 2006

Never mind that I rarely had a fun New Year’s Eve when I was single.  In fact, my very worst New Year’s Eves were from my seven years living in Manhattan.  Everyone thinks it’s such the fab place to be on that night of nights.  But the truths are as follows:

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Festively Frazzled – Cookie FAIL

24 Dec

When you are a cook or a baker, one of the aspects of the holiday that lives, cherished, in your imagination is the delightful memories you will make while cooking with your children.  The only evidence I have from my childhood of the making of Christmas cookies is this photo of me baking with my Grammy Ruth in Colorado – probably about 1977.

Festive outfit, too.

As you can see, I am a model of good behavior and artistic integrity, placing my sprinkles JUST SO.

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Bringing Home the Bakin’

1 Nov

Last week I had the rare opportunity to meet up with my friend Katie and her son Lucas for a play date.  In general, I have a lot of guilt issues because I don’t seem to be able to find people with whom I can do play dates or play groups or play armies or whatever.  In truth, I read too many articles when I was pregnant about “Play Date Etiquette” and was scared off.  It all sounded so tedious and impossible.  Play dates with Katie are, however, a pleasure.  Lucas and William are the same age and Katie and I so rarely get a chance to catch up.  It seems like we can’t even exchange ten words without wiping a runny nose, pulling up pants or shouting at a child who is swinging from the chandelier, but at least we are not feeling like we missed out on proper play date etiquette.

The other super thing about play dates with Katie is that she always makes some delectable treat for us – from scratch.  I showed up this time all harried, dragging my two hyperactive boys, and she had stovetop oatmeal cooking and these amazing-looking pans of cinnamon rolls on the countertop.  I’d have assumed they were frozen, but I saw her applying the sugar icing before my eyes.

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Puppies to Pasta

11 Sep

I want to tell you about my Friday, because I think it’s a perfect example of a day when I had to make choices, left and right, in order to cook and get other things accomplished.  With the budget being tight this month, Dan and I have been making an effort to cook cheaper meals, so I had planned to prepare a pasta sauce we first found online, years ago, and made for my 30th birthday.  At the time, it was a big project for the two of us, which shows me how much we’ve learned in the past eight years, because now it seems fairly simple to me.  I felt  a little like a cheater doing such an easy sauce on a Friday, but it was what Dan wanted, so I planned on it. Continue reading