Wednesday, September 30, 2009


These two are my all time favorites!

This has got be the easiest appetizer. It is a hit every time I make it!

2 regular size packages baby portobello mushroom caps
1 container Light Alouette Garlic and Herb cheese spread
1 1/2 cups panko japanese bread crumbs-way crispier than regular bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove stems of mushrooms and discard. Rinse mushrooms and pat dry. Make sure they get dry or they will be soggy. Lay your caps upside down on a foil wrapped cookie sheet and, using a butter kn
ife, fill with the cheese spread. Then sprinkle the panko over the tops and pop it all in the oven for about 7-15 minutes depending on the size of your mushrooms. Take them out when they are hot and bubbly and the panko has browned slightly. So good.

As for a second venture for mushrooms, I HIGHLY recommend this next one. It is a cream of wild mushroom soup from Barefoot Contessa. It is astounding. Now for people who don't like cream of mushroom soup, you are in luck! This is noting like that culinary atrocity in a can! It is more of a chowder I would have to say. Please try it, if you hate it give it to someone who has the flu. I am sure the gesture would be appreciated. It is by far Hubs favorite soup of mine. Given that I love to make soup, that is really saying something. Really really special.

Monday, September 28, 2009

One toy to rule them all...

Almost every child has "the one toy". The item that goes everywhere with them and could only be left behind by accident. For us, those toys come from Jellycat. H has the large pink corduroy cat pictured above. Today H helped to choose one for E. A medium sized beige bunny with extremely long ears was the winner. They are made of many different materials and come in a variety of sizes and species. Wooly mammoth anyone? But the thing these cute and addictively cuddly animals do have in common is how shockingly soft they are. Seriously, it's tough for Hubs and me to stop touching them. Get two or three for when one is tragically lost.


Figs are one of my favorite fruits! They have such amazing flavor and just look at how beautiful they are.

Holiday Hens with Fig Glaze and Cornbread Stuffing is a culinary masterpiece! Just as great for a dinner party as it is for your average wednesday night dinner. Just so very very lovely. The recipe says it serves 4 but you can split those hens and make more stuffing, it would easily feed 8 with a little salad. Seriously great, I cannot recommend this enough.

Second is a super easy spread for toast or crackers.

8 ounce package plain goat cheese, softened
3-4 fresh figs, minced
2 Tbsp good quality honey

Mix this together and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Spread on toast, bagels, crackers, anything you like! Great with breakfast eggs.

image via eyeonspain

Sunday, September 27, 2009


The humble celery stalk has been used as an aromatic in soups, sauces, roasts, and stews for what seems like eons. I could have given you that type of recipe, there are many to choose from. But I wanted to give you something that would showcase celery as a more prominent flavor.

First up for your consideration: a Celery and Pear Salad It's crunchy and crisp. I think it would make a great lunch. Bonus: it incorporates pears, another fall food on our list!

Second is an appetizer. Stuffed celery is a great recipe to make with your kids!

1 celery heart, separated and washed
8 ounces softened cream cheese or goat cheese or a mixture of both
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
20 green pimento stuffed olives, chopped

Mix the cheese(s), nuts and olives. You may use a butter knife to spread this mixture on the stalks and then cut them into more bite-sized pieces. Or you may form the cheese mixture into a ball and serve the stalks along side for dipping. This spread is also good with crackers, great for the holidays!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ipod Love

We are doing a new series on music. I think it is so important for kids to grow up with a love of music. The next time you reach for a dvd to put in, try putting on some music and playing on the floor. You will find your child dancing more, something every parent loves. So here is a new playlist I made last night.

Chillin' Like A Villian
Augustana-All the Stars and Boulevards
Broken Flowers Soundtrack
Lost in Translation Soundtrack
Garden State Soundtrack
The Last Kiss Soundtrack
Death Cab for Cutie- Narrow Stairs
Imogen Heap-Speak for yourself
She and Him- Volume One

It's mostly Indie Rock. But it just has such a lovely vibe for relaxing. Enjoy!

Outfit of the Day

In honor of the chilly weather coming (and in some cases already here) I present an outfit perfect for spending the day outdoors. Say to go pick produce at a farm? I think a really brilliant blogger suggested you do that, didn't she? Hmmmm. There are two pairs of boots as an option for a wet day. Wellies are invaluable in rainy weather. The brand Hunters is what the royal family of England wear, because they are that good. Enjoy!

My French Kitchen

Once we move and buy our house, this is the kitchen I would love to have. It may have to be the house after that or so, but darn it I will have this kitchen! It is the perfect blend of elegant and rustic without looking country. The chandelier is made of an old wine barrel. The fish shaped cooking mold hangs on the wall and reminds me of the copper ones my mother hung in our kitchen when I was a child. A bookshelf is something I think all kitchens should have. It holds the cookbooks and anything else you want to have right on hand. The facade on the fridge is a chalkboard, perfect for meal planning or munchkin doodling. I adore it. Thoughts?


This veggie harkens back to my childhood of making play forests of broccoli and cauliflower. Now as an adult, I can appreciate the fantastic flavor this Brassica has to offer.

First up is a Cauliflower Gratin. Let me assure you, there is no safer way to try a veggie than when it is smothered in a rich parmesan cheese sauce. Simply amazing.
Second is a Twice Baked Potato. Now you could use any veg here that maybe isn't such a huge hit in your household. Squashes, turnips, and parsnips work well. The trick is to puree it and no one will be the wiser. Although the baking time is long, I use it to read stories to the girls, do dishes or prep the rest of the meal.

2 cups chopped cauliflower florets, about half a head
3 large baking potatoes, like russet
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp butter or margarine, I prefer a heart healthy omega-3 margarine
3 Tbsp sour cream, I prefer fat free as this recipe will still come out creamy
Sea Salt + fresh ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Clean the spuds and prick them all over w/ a fork, place them directly on the oven rack. Bake for 55 minutes. At some point during this time, place your cauliflower in a bowl an cover it with hot water, microwave 8-10 minutes until very tender. Drain well and puree in a food processor or you can try a stick blender. Add 1-2 Tbsp of water if needed but limit it or the potatoes will be soggy. Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Turn your oven to a high broil. Cut the potatoes lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving enough to keep the skins intact. Place the part you scooped out into a mixing bowl. Mash this lightly with cauliflower sour cream, margarine, salt, pepper, and half of each cheese using a fork. Portion this back out into the skins and top with the remaining cheese. Broil on a cookie sheet 6" from the heat for 8 minutes or until browned and bubbly. I like to serve this with a simple sautéed breast of chicken and a steamed green veggie.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Outfit of the Day

Love this look. Love the earrings. Thoughts?

Fluttery Nursery

This is actually my infants nursery. The walls are beige. The colors are pink, white, green and beige, I think it looks pretty cute, but I can't wait for her to share with her sister. Two twin beds is just too sweet! The alphabet cards are the artwork as well as the preserved butterflies from a shop in Florida. The pink and white fabric is her dust ruffle with the stripe frog sheets. You like?

Butternut Squash

By far my favorite squash, I have been looking forward to this post for months! To pick a good butternut look for smooth skin with no bruises or damage. The more orange the flesh the better, so buy from a good source for least risk of disappointment! Now a vegetable of this size may be intimidating to cut into, but with a few basic tools and steps it will be super easy! Remember that squashes are harder than fruits so more force with be required for cutting. Once I wash my beige beauty, I use a potato peeler and peel the entire outside. The orange treasure within will be visible. Now, take a large knife (I prefer a cleaver, but a chef's knife will also work) and grab a wooden rolling pin. Set your butternut on a cutting board and use the rolling pin to tap the knife into the squash to separate the long part from the bulbous portion at the end. I realize this seems silly, but you are saving your hands from serious pain. Continue using the rolling pin and knife method to cube up the squash.

Butternut Squash Soup

5 Tbsp Olive oil
4-6 cups butternut squash, cubed
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
4 celery sticks, diced
1/2 medium size onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 Tbsp dried rosemary or 1 Tbsp fresh
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Heat the oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Mix well and sweat for 5-7 minutes. add the squash and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add the stock and spices. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then lower to a simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and using an immersion/stick blender (one of the most useful things in my kitchen) puree the soup until smooth. Serve hot with some fresh bread and maybe a little salad. Awesome for a cold night.

Secondly is a Butternut Squash Risotto. A little more complex but so great! Love love love this recipe!

image via maangchi and food network

Double trouble.

I found this years ago when I was pregnant with H and just thought it would be the sweetest baby gift for twins. But then again, I think it would be great for any number of children, as long as there is someone to sit on the other end. Seesaws are the cat's pajamas. At $60 I am calling this a bargain!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hey Readers!

So I have posted around 50 posts. What do you think so far? Do you like it? What would you like to see more of? Less of? As my readers, you dictate the content of this blog. Let me know your thoughts! Thank you so much for coming back again and again!

Pick a winner!

In honor of apples, and yes they deserve honor, here is a site devoted to finding a farm to pick your own produce. You may be asking yourself why you would do this, but your children will have a blast and it can be a way to sneak in one more outdoor activity before winter! Don't forget to ask about not only apples, but pumpkins and Christmas trees as well! If you have a wagon, this is the place to use it. Bonus: Look for products for sale in the main building. Many sell everything from fresh cider, to specialty honeys, to fresh apple butter (an amazing spread for toast that doesn't actually involve butter). Happy picking!

image via brownsnout

Outfit of the Day

An outfit inspired a bit by nature to go with our nursery. So in love with the earrings. Just little and sweet. Thoughts?


While there are far more varieties of apples than many other fall produce, I would just use what looks good to you.

So here are the two recipes I think are the best for apples without going into a pie (which I will in November).

Baked Apples:
Serves 4
4 medium to large apples, any variety you like, I use Granny Smith, Gala, or Fuji
4 cinnamon sticks-optional, but beautiful and sooo tasty
4 Tbs dark brown sugar, you can use light brown if you have it
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp REAL vanilla extract (I'll teach you how to make your own, it's way easier than I thought)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I like buying a whole one but it's your call)
vanilla bean ice cream-optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a round cake pan with 2 layers of foil. Wash your apples. Lay an apple on it's side, on your cutting board. Cut off the top inch or so with the stem. It makes an apple hat. use a melon baller to scoop out a cavity inside the apple base. Do this to each apple. Mix the sugars, spices and vanilla in a small bowl and using a spoon, divide it among the apple cavities. Pack it tightly inside. Replace the apple tops. If using cinnamon sticks, pierce them each through one apple top into the apple, to keep it in place. Put the apples in the foil lined pan and bake for about 35 minutes, until easily pierced with a knife.

Place the warm apples in a bowl with a scoop of ice cream and top with the syrup in the pan.

Easy Apple Salad

This salad is is so easy and it goes really well with so many fall and winter foods. I really like it served with pork.

1 bag of mixed salad greens or baby spinach
1/2 of a small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 large apple, cored, and chopped
Poppyseed Dressing, I use Brianna's

Chill all ingredients well and prior to serving, toss with dressing. Easy.

Wild thing, you make my heart sing.

As I have 2 little girls, of course want a little boy. We all want what we don't have, eh? So being the planner that I am, I have been thinking of nursery designs for some time. I hate the look that happens when you buy a "set". It is so forced, not creative, too "matchy matchy". So I look to bring together a room by a central idea. With the upcoming release of the movie, I thought Where the Wild Things Are would translate into a fantastic nursery. It not only has the characters from the book, but also a forest type theme, as the book took place in ... the forest.

I went w/ an apple green, white, grey, and brown scheme. The boat mobile reminds me of the boat Max took to find the mythical place. There many stuffed animals of the characters and I would love to see them on a white wooden shelf w/ books. The wall decals make it more woody for me and the lamps keep it sweet. BTW: I only buy lamps and furniture for a child's room, that I would use in the rest of the house. I think it helps them to grow up with it. Also be on the look out for tribute art. Look at places like ebay and etsy. I like the twiggy bedding too. Did you know you can buy fabric and take it to some dry cleaners and they can make bedding for you? You can! And to finish it off there are beige walls (to let the green and grey pop) and a gauzy drape (it reminded me of the sails from the boat or a tent in the woods). Do you like it?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Calling all crafters!

No matter what your preferred medium of crafting, here is a blog for you! Every entry is a project (most of which are free btw). From knitting, to sewing, to needlepoint and crochet, it never fails to inspire. I adore it. I am swooning over the Charlie Harper needlepoint designs currently. The perfect blend of traditional and modern, which is exactly my style, transitional. I have a deep love of mid-century modern, but my fondness for traditional pieces is undeniable. Go. Visit. Enjoy.

Sounds naughty, but it's not.

One of my favorite places to shop is a clothing store called H&M. It's incredibly affordable and the design cannot be beat. Often there are high end designers collections at prices well below their usual price point. Jimmy Choo is the next to design for them in November! Unfortunately they do not participate in e-commerce yet in the U.S. but I am hopeful that will change as they have started in northern Europe already. They carry clothing for adults children and baby. We are talking baby shoes for $7 and adult sweaters for $25! If you are lucky enough to have an H&M store near you I highly suggest visiting! Check the website for a location near you!

Outfit of the Day

I love this outfit for it's rather eccentric polish. Very put together, very weather appropriate, and very fun.

Acorn Squash

The first piece of fall produce we will focus on is this beautiful squash. The name acorn refers to the nut shape and maybe the slightly nutty flavor. I like using squash and many are interchangeable in recipes which I like because it encourages you to use what is on hand. But for today I wanted to use recipes that focused solely on acorn squash.

The first is Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Goat Cheese. Now I hear some of saying, "Eww, goat cheese. I have never had it and I don't know that I want to." Well hear this: every person I have had in my house that has tried goat cheese has loved it. They all said they would have tried it sooner had they known how good it was. The consistency is like cream cheese, but it is one of the naturally lowest fat cheeses available. I
get mine with herbs already mixed in. My husband, who grew up a picky eater, spreads his on toast or bagels in the morning. It tastes just like a cows cheese, just way better.

This next one will rock your socks. It's Acorn Squash Spice Cupcakes with Orange Sage Buttercream Icing. I realize this may seem strange, but hey you make pumpkin into a pie? I love this for a halloween party or just a fun thing to make with your favorite munchkins. Give it a try, you won't be sorry.
image via liseed

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Outfit of the Day

I love this look for a day at the farmers market. A nice big, roomy bag for your finds and a cup of hot coffee makes for a morning of happy shopping. I thought it only appropriate given our new series about seasonal food.

Happy Autumnal Equinox Day!

It is officially fall! Yay! I can hardly contain my joy! I have all sorts of great ideas for you, my faithful Urban Dweller Mom followers.

But to start us out I wanted to list some items that will be hitting the produce sections of your local grocery store soon.

Acorn Squash
Butternut Squash
Sweet Potatoes

Over the next few weeks I will focus on each of these foods and give you at least 2 ideas for what to do with each. I am looking forward to it and I hope you are too!

image via vtliving

Monday, September 21, 2009

Outfit of the Day

I love this dress. It's a t shirt dress from American Apparel. They sell all sorts of clothing basics from t shirts to swimsuits to leggings, all at great prices!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Outfit of the Day

I like this one as a day to evening look. I think it would be great for a date night. Because the skirt is jersey and the top is a soft cotton, it is romantic and comfortable. How can I beat that?

Music we live by....

We love this album by Feist. It's called The Reminder. It is so great in the evening, smooth, slow, and a little funky. Word.

Date Night!

While I know most parents enjoy being able to get out of the house for a date, sometimes, it's just not in the cards. So we put the girls to bed, put on some fun evening music and are playing board games together! It may seem simple, but this is more contact/communication with Hubs than I would ever get at a movie. We get a six pack of imported beer or a good wine and some snacks. It's a fun way to have a small time together and we really cherish it. Tonight I am behind one-million dollars at the game of life, but couldn't be happier about it.

image via hh

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Balloons were never cuter!

This is just such a sweet gift for a family. Each ballon can be part of a family tree or just list names of people who are there always supporting a family or child. It is a pricey gift at $150 but I also see it as an heirloom. Just too sweet. You can even personalize the little clothespin person holding all of those treasured balloons.

Sushi Dreams

When I was eating at a Japanese restaurant while pregnant with H, a miracle was witnessed. Or at least I thought it was a miracle. I watched a pair of women with their sons enjoying a meal. It seemed as thought the women were good friends who made a habit out of dinner at this particular place. As dinner arrived the 3ish year old boy bounced in his seat eagerly. I noticed there was nothing on the delivered plates but sushi. Soy sauce was poured and rolls were portioned. While the other child took a lesson in chopsticks from his mother, the second boy dove into his meal fingers first.

I watched him eat with the kind of ferocity usually reserved for something smothered in chocolate. He picked up a roll and dipped it in his sauce and the kind of fell apart. Picking up each part he devoured it stopping only at the seaweed inner wrapping. "Mommy?" he asked pensively, "What's that?" She looked over and replied, "It's seaweed, Babe." The boy peered more closely at the specimen and asked, "Is it always in there?" "Yep.", she replied. The boy took one last look, shrugged his shoulders, and tossed it in his mouth.

I. Was. Speechless. I immediately began dreaming that someday I would have a child that would emulate the previous situation. Tonight, we went to the local grocery where a Flintstone-style car is attached to your shopping cart is the norm. We grabbed a few cartons of ready-made sushi for a quick dinner. The moment H noticed what had just been put in, she turned in her seat poking her fingers through the holes in the cart trying her best to get to our sushi. She whined until we got home and the moment her foot touched down inside the house she went straight to her high chair. She waited while we doled out the rolls and as soon as one was presented to her she scooped it into her mouth. Her immediate reaction was, "Mmmmmm." and a rice filled smile. My two year old ate eight pieces and didn't require any encouragement to do so. Dreams really do come true.

image via weblogs

Outfit of the Day

I love the short sleeved sweater! I also like the boots, that look higher than they are. This is a very long and lean look. If you have the body for it, I think it's fun.

Treepee or teepee?

Check this out! It is a floating playhouse for the munchkins in your life. Then again I want one for me! This relaxing little oasis comes in green, khaki, and pink. They also have a UV protection factor of 50+! They can be hung higher in a tree as well. What a great alternative to a full fledged tree house! So cool!

Friday, September 18, 2009

You say tomato, I say soup

This is an easy easy recipes to make a fresh, warm soup for a cool night. The flavor is rich and deep.


1 large can, roasted and crushed tomatoes
4 cups organic low-sodium chicken stock
1 regular size can tomato sauce
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp whole peppercorns
6 leaves fresh basil
Sea Salt
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or other heavy bottom pan. Saute the garlic, peppercorns and onion for 5 minutes. Add the canned goods and stock. Bring this to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add the basil and cheese. Blend with an immersion/stick blender until smooth and salt as desired. I serve mine with fresh grilled cheese or panini sandwiches. Also great with a little salad. Enjoy!

Wall dolls

I stumbled upon these wall decals a few weeks ago and absolutely love them for a little girls room. They can be played with a repositioned without damage to the wall! My girls will love these! They are a bit pricey, but they function as both a toy and decor.

image via hipinfant

Outfit of the Day

Fall is coming. Layer up! I like the belt over this look because it adds a little depth and interest.

Day look

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hummus among us.

As the season of parties is quickly approaching I thought it fitting to post an easy dip to make that is supper quick.

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 Tbsp dried rosemary or 1 Tbsp fresh
3/4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Saute the garlic in a Tbsp of olive oil until it is just a little browned. Place the beans, garlic, rosemary, lemon, and cheese into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times. Now turn on the food processor and drizzle in olive oil until it is smooth and creamy but certainly not soupy. It should be easy to hold on a chip or carrot. Should be very thick. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Refrigerate until serving. I like it with pita chips, tortilla chips, carrots, or red peppers. Easy. Easy.

image via exclusivelyfood

Christmas shopping in September?

One of my bargain strategies is to shop really early for the holidays. This gives me the ability to shop around for the best price and is much more budget friendly than spending all the money in December. I personally don't love the idea of forcing two babies to endure holidays shoppers either. I try to do a little here and there and shop online when I can. This is one of my favorite toy shops online as they carry just about every toy I can imagine. Target also is a great place to start and their wallet friendly small items make great stocking stuffers.

image via pickapoppy

School searching?

While it is back to school season I thought that I would share a cool resource with you. This website is devoted to parents looking for a school for their child. It allows you to view many facts about a school that help you to make an informed choice for your child. I particularly like the ability to compare schools and search by district. Highly recommended.

image via colostate

Outfit of the Day

For those weird pre-fall days that can feel just like the dead of summer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Outfit of the Day

I love this outfit for a day with the family. Relaxed yet put together. Loving the deep color of the malachite ring. You like?

Obsessed, yep, it's official

This is my latest obsession. I adore this ring. I adore just about anything with a fleur de lis on it, but that is certainly not the point. I found this little treasure at a great website called Max and Chloe. Even the name is cute. This girl loves the bling. Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Felted Wool Wonderful

I made this little beauty a few days ago and could not believe how easy it was! A few pieces of loose wool (roving), a template, and a felting needle can create some amazing stuff! Here was my first attempt, a pink rose to go on a hat I knitted for H. I am going for a flapper type cloche hat, it should be perfect. I am so excited for how easy this was to do while watching tv. I got my supplies from JoAnns and all the instructions were included in the template. You also need a "mat' that looks more like a scrub brush to me. It was shockingly inexpensive for fiber arts supplies. For more info go here. Let me know if any of you are already into this or try it out.

Outfit of the Day

Loving these earrings. Loving the vivid colors of fall. You like?

Fire-breathing tire swing?

I stumbled across these amazing creations and thought I would share the find with you. They are tire swings made from recycled tires and each one is amazing in it's own right. Here is the dragon, but there is also a horse, elephant, t-rex, bull, motorcycle, reindeer, and kangaroo. Most retail for $80 but a few larger ones go for $120. Amazing.


Risotto is a classic italian rice dish with a creamy texture. It is not hard to make and is forgiving if you have to leave the stove (say to attend to a child or two?). It can be made vegetarian, beef, chicken, or seafood. I prefer chicken. So here is a basic recipe, great for a chilly night. The creamy texture is made when the starch from the rice is released. You have to stir it a lot to release that starch.

Serves 4-6 hungry people

1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup arborio rice, special rice for risotto, only use this or it will be super sticky like sushi rice
3 shallots (small mild onions) or 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
1/2 cup dry white wine- I use Pinot Grigio-optional, but use something you would drink
or 1/4 tsp lemon zest and 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice it will brighten it up like the wine would
6-8 cups low sodium chicken stock, I buy the organic, it really does make a big difference here
1 cup green peas, frozen is fine
Sea Salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1-2 breasts sautéed chicken, cubed

Heat the butter and oil on med. heat in a dutch oven (Le Creuset type) or just a large non-stick skillet. Saute the onion and garlic 2-3 min. Add the rice and mix to coat in the oil. Allow it to cook about a minute while you stir it. *Add the wine and stir until it is just about absorbed or add the lemon here*. Add about a cup of the stock (I pour from a measuring cup, easier). Stir until this is just about absorbed. Keep adding one cup at a time and stirring. You add it slowly to release that starch. Once it takes longer to absorb the stock it means the rice is nearly done. Do a taste test. Check for rice being done. If not, keep adding stock. If it is done, add your peas, chicken, cheese and season it with salt and pepper. Allow it to heat through. Serve with remaining wine and/or some fresh bread. Enjoy!

image via epicurious

Monday, September 14, 2009


One of my favorite products for the munchkins! Babylegs are an urban dwellers best friend! They are simply leg warmers that cover from ankle to hip. Why these are so useful is because they function as pants while allowing much less invasive diaper changes. Great for for the middle of the night! They protect sensitive knees during crawling as well. And as your child gets a little older they can be worn on the arms under a tee-shirt to make the look and warmth of layers without the bulk. I love ours! They come in a zillion colors and patterns and even in organic! At about $12 a pair I call them a bargain!

Hangin' with my gnomies....

Check out Bake It Pretty! They have all sorts of ridiculously adorable decorations for baking along with many handy tools. Not all the flourishes are so retro, but who wouldn't want this cute gnome on their cupcake?

Salmon Salad

I love Salmon! It's a power food. With tons of protein, B12, B6, omega 3, and thiamin it's definitely something I want my kids to eat. This is only one of many ways to prepare this fantastic fish. To suit other tastes I will try to give different options here and there for you.

2 pounds farm raised salmon fillets
Sea Salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Garlic powder
1 bag fresh spinach or chopped romaine lettuce
1 can salad cut hearts of palm or 1 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
1/4 cup chopped scallions
dressing of your choice, I used Brianna's Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and turn up the sides to catch any liquid. Season the salmon with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast for 25-35 minutes until it flakes easily with a fork. Allow it to cool a minute or two and then plate. Toss the salad ingredients together with dressing and plate with salmon. Enjoy!

image via myrecipe

Outfit of the Day

While it's still warm enough to get away without a jacket, here is a fun day look. It's a little more dressed up, so it could double for dinner out maybe. You like?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Easiest Pasta Ever...Seriously

Those nights when you want a great meal really fast are practically made for this dish.

Tuscan Chicken and Angel Hair

Serves 4 hungry people

3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
Sea Salt
fresh ground black pepper
3 Tbs olive oil
4 Tbs olive spread, a combination of many olives that have been minced fine and jarred. I found mine at a mega-mart, so I imagine you can too. Keeps forever in the fridge b/c it's brined.
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 box of angel hair pasta
fresh italian parsley (flat leaf), chopped
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the chicken. Saute the chicken on medium heat. When there is some good color on both sides and the chicken is done inside remove it from the pan. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions. Lower the heat on the pan used for the chicken and add the garlic and olive paste. Keep this moving in the pan so it doesn't burn. After about 1 minute, add the drained pasta and the parsley. Toss it all together and add more olive oil if it seems a little dry. Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces. Plate the angel hair and add the chicken and cheese. Enjoy!

Sea Salt- I told you it was coming.

There is nothing more basic in a kitchen than the salt. I add it to almost every dish I make, so the quality of it matters to me. If there is a product I use on a regular basis I try to buy a good one. Sea salt tastes like salt but with some minor differences.

Table salt is mined and highly processed to remove mineral content. It also contains the additive of Iodine. This was added in the depression era as many children were suffering a lack of this essential nutrient. As many iodine rich foods are now widely available this is no longer a problem. Table salt is basic in flavor, but can be flat or dull. I realize that many of the foods we eat come from the ground, but very few of them come from a rock.

Sea salt is produced by evaporating sea water, hence the name. It is a minimal process and Iodine is already in it naturally (in minimal amounts). When the salt is processed many minerals are left which imparts a depth of flavor unseen in table salt. As we retrieve lots of food from the sea I think of it as a much more fitting combination.

How do I buy a good sea salt?
Go to your local grocery store. Many mega-marts are now carrying a variety of good quality sea salts. Thankfully I don't have to venture to a specialty store for this basic item. I always look for a brand that sells a varying degree of coarseness. I look for a minimum of fine and coarse. This indicates to me that these people know salt. Ones with French on them are a bonus as classic sea salt comes from the French coasts.

How much should I expect to pay?
I buy La Baleine at $3 for a whopping 26.5 ounces. This seams to last forever.

Let me know what you think when you try it! Can you taste the difference?

Outfit of the day

New idea! Outfit of the day. Thoughts?

This morning I woke up to a chilly 58 degrees. It is supposed to get up to 80 so here is an outfit I could layer up and down depending on the ever changing weather of pre-fall. I realize the boots may look intimidating, but they are stacked heels. They will be much easier to walk in. I highly recommend them. I feel like the more often I wear heels, the less awkward it will be to walk in them. I like these for everyday wear.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chillin' at the crib

What item out here is more synonymous with babies than the crib?

After going through a disaster crib the first time around I did major research for E's vessel to Slumberland. Here is the conclusion! The Jenny Lind Crib by Delta. It is available at Babies R Us and also on their website. The crib is moronically simple to put together, requiring no tools whatsoever. It is gender neutral and can be used for modern or traditional decor. The reviews are fantastic and plentiful! Many reviewers make a point to say the crib had been used for all of their children. Conviently the product changes to a toddler bed as well! Priced at just $130 I call it a bargain!

image via Babies R Us

Stylish Tykes

I promised fashion for the entire family, didn't I? Well here is a boy and girl outfit for the end of summer. I really enjoy Gap, Old Navy, and Crewcuts (all of the sales are great!). I think children's clothing should be affordable but also stand up to be hand-me-downs. Shop clearance sales and sign up for emails from your favorite stores, online stores send out coupons almost weekly.

To be clear, it is a lunch box, not a man bag.