Tuesday, August 31, 2010


We always have a lot of zucchini. A lot. I wish I could mention my garden here, flourishing with organically-grown zucchini that I regularly make into zucchini bread and drop off at my neighbors' homes. But, in reality, I just buy a lot of zucchini from Trader Joe's.

I find that I can shred it or put it in the the food processor and add it to many recipes to get a little extra veggie intake for the kiddies. One of whom declares, "I don't like veggies." Ugh.

Here is one of my favorite zucchini recipes from my lady, the Barefoot Contessa. I use significantly less butter (only a pat) and usually one onion and a few zucchini. I find that you can just take the essence of this recipe and use whatever you have at home to get really delicious results. Using the amounts listed must make an enormous amount of gratin. Be prepared or cut the recipe down significantly.


  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for topping
  • 1 pound yellow onions, cut in 1/2 and sliced (3 large)
  • 2 pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick (4 zucchini)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup grated Gruyere


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a very large (12-inch) saute pan and cook the onions over low heat for 20 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Add the zucchini and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the hot milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until it makes a sauce. Pour the mixture into an 8 by 10-inch baking dish.

Combine the bread crumbs and Gruyere and sprinkle on top of the zucchini mixture. Dot with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into small bits and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend Musings

This weekend was FULL. Too full? I am still pondering that one. We definitely planned the weekend with the kids' needs in mind, minus a few hours for the hubs and I to each get a workout in. The kids played at three parks, went to a birthday party, (barely) made it through church (with a late arrival, at that) and rode bikes/flew a kite/played ball at the beach. Their needs were met. Certainly. But were ours? Not sure.

All I know is that I found myself on Sunday night with a glass of red wine (okay, I had two), remote in hand, ready to watch the Emmys.
And I was tired. TIRED, people.

I know the kids are happier when they are running and playing and outside and loving up the fresh air. But when I am feeling more exhausted on Sunday night than I did on Friday I wonder what went wrong.
Next weekend, I am going to try to pencil in a little something for me. How was your weekend?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Laughing As I Type

Okay, first disclaimer: I love TV. I know that the popular, intellectual and politically-correct response to television is to shun it, or at least to talk about how little you watch and how you simultaneously knit/do the Sunday NY Times crossword/can your own peaches. Well folks, I do my best TV watching while lying down on my overstuffed sofa and looking at the pile of clean laundry on the floor in need of folding.

Which brings me to my new TV find...Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. I thought he was hilarious on SNL but have since "lost touch" due to my early-bedtime-or-else-I-freak-out situation. Meaning: I had kids.

I saw him on Larry King last night and his impressions alone had me crying. He is quick, smart and looks kind of like Ben Affleck, no? I realized that I rarely watch shows that make me laugh. More laughter is needed my friends, so my DVR is set. Going to log in some couch time this weekend....Happy Friday.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

All I Can Manage

All I can handle today is a picture of something pretty.

Does your typical, regular-old, average day ever wipe you out? Mine has. And it is only 2:58. Yikes.

Silk chiffon Juliet dress

Note to self: When two of your best friends are engaged, you might spend too much time online looking at pretty dresses.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bowl You Over

I have decided that my new favorite dinner is anything served in bowls. Lots and lots of bowls. I am not sure why, but the "make-your-own" freedom of bowls filled with goodness seems to excite my family of diners. And I know that the kids love the fact that they can scoop their own and get seconds of their favorite items. (Usually rice, beans and cheese and not the roasted veggies that Mama is hoping for...but, oh well.)

Soyrizo Rice Bowl

brown rice
pinto beans
shredded cheese (jack or cheddar)
chopped avocado
roasted veggies (chopped onions, red peppers, zucchini, grape tomatoes tossed with olive oil and sea salt; roasted until as brown as you like)
salsa (I use refrigerated mild salsa from Trader Joe's)

Soyrizo and eggs (Soyrizo from Trader Joe's)
"Brown" half of the soyrizo packet from Trader Joe's in a skillet. Add 6 eggs that have been mixed with a splash of milk. Scramble the eggs into the Soyrizo. This will kind of look like tacos. Cook for a few minutes on medium.

Everyone can just add what they like to their soyrizo rice bowl. Leftovers make excellent breakfast burritos. Warning: dishwasher will be jammed with bowls, but it is all worth it, right? :)

Monday, August 23, 2010


A summer without Internet and remote-control rights made for a summer full of late nights with books. Ah, literature. Ah, using my brain in a way that The Rachel Zoe Project just does not allow.

One of my favorites was Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life by Kim Severson
This memoir is funny, moving, irreverent, political and about two of my favorite subjects: women and food.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back Home

Los Angeles, CA to Ellicott City, MD to Bethany, DE to Verona, NJ to Brooklyn, NY to St. James, NY to Boston, MA to Gilford, NH...


I'm back from a summer of summers. We did just what we wanted to. Daily agendas were short, kid-focused, full of family/naps/walks/ice cream. We were disengaged from the to-do list and chores and even the internet. Yikes.

Life is not perfect, but the summer was delicious nonetheless.