Reader Recipes Are Back! (And I Would Really, Really Like Yours)

Me cooking and blogging, a looooong time ago in the old apartment

Since I'm busy reminiscing about cooking today: Those of you who've been reading here since way back when may remember that I used to make reader-submitted recipes on a fairly regular basis. They were a big part of the process of me figuring out how to cook, since they usually felt more accessible to me than recipes in cookbooks and such (and since I could just email the person who sent the recipe in if I had a question), and a few of them are still in regular rotation at our house, because they were just that good. (Most of them, obviously, are pasta.)

So: If you have a family-friendly - read: easy and non-fussy - dinner recipe that you particularly love and think I need to a girl out? It doesn't have to be your personal recipe; just one that you love.


A Little Life Milestone (Plus Creamy Chicken with Couscous, Bacon and Corn)

Remember when I started this site, and I didn't know how to cook, but pretended I did because I thought I was supposed to know how to do things if I was going to write about them? (I abandoned that ethos pretty quickly, but there was definitely a period when I authoritatively delivered tomato sauce recipes that included actual Prego - which I still enjoy as its own thing, because come on, Prego is delicious, but no longer add to meat to make "homemade bolognese.") My meal repertoire at that point was mostly a rotation of roast chicken from a recipe I'd found in Allure in the '90s and Bertoli four-cheese tortellini with, yes, Prego.

But writing this site inspired me to do many, many (many many many) things I never would have done otherwise, and among them was learning my way around a kitchen. I don't consider myself a "food blogger," obviously - I consider myself a person who likes food, and writes about it, but who still has to solicit advice from Google and my next-door neighbor Alisa whenever I run into something tricky. And while I might make little adjustments to recipes (usually more salt, less pepper, because in my opinion pepper should be illegal) I wouldn't ever really presume to have improved upon an actual recipe written by an actual food person. I always assume, in other words, that everybody who has ever come up with and published a recipe is a better cook than I am, and I should probably sit down and listen.

And then, last night, this cool little thing happened: I found a recipe I wanted to make on The Kitchn, and as I was reading it I Some of this doesn't sound like it'll work quite right. 


Morning Crises: “The Other Fluffy Thing” And Poor Decision-Making In The Field Of Stroller Parking

Do not let this sweet face fool you; three-year-olds are masters of deception.

Ok, I'm going to need to ramble for a second because THREE YEAR OLDS, holy god.

Here is what just happened: I walked my daughter to preschool, as usual. As usual, she wanted to touch "the fluffy thing" (one of the fuzzy reeds that grows alongside the road in a particular spot along our route). So we did. And then we touched "the red thing" (an aloe flower). Then we went on our merry way, and just as we pulled up to school she burst into tears.


A Little Bit Like Magic

This girl never gets sick. I mean it: never. She’ll occasionally do something like throw up out of nowhere, with literally zero warning (which is, as you can imagine, wildly exciting) - but then five seconds later she’ll be A-OK and back to bouncing around like a maniac.

“Are you ok?!”



The Kids Are All Right

There are some places in the world that hold your memories as if they were people. A few of mine: the Wiccan shop that used to be in a basement storefront on West 81st Street, where a woman with long red hair and her HIV-positive best friend sold me candles and helped me figure out how to survive being a teenager. A terrible dive bar in the Valley called The Green Frog, where I learned to play darts and that I should never drink Jack Daniels. The entire town of Ogunquit, Maine, where I hunted for hermit crabs on the rocks at five, ate Strawberry Shortcake and lobster rolls on rickety wooden patios at fifteen, and then walked down a flower-lined aisle buzzing with mosquitoes (one of which was busy investigating my right eyelid) towards my husband at twenty-seven.

And the Cayman Islands; maybe there most of all.

It's the places where we vacation when we're kids that always get us through the heart, isn't it? I wish I had some wise thoughts that might explain why, but the best I can come up with is that our vacations let us be our purest selves at whatever age we're at, while still giving us permission to dip our toes into what came before and what's still to come. We get to hold on to our childhoods by playing in the sand just a little bit longer, and also get to have our first kisses just a little bit too soon. We get to play miniature golf with our parents, and hug them back when they hug us even though we think we're supposed to be too old for hugs  - because really, who's watching?

Before & After Renovations

I Stole My Three-Year-Old’s Closet, And I’m Not Even A Tiny Bit Sorry

This is not my closet; it's Ashley Tisdale's. Mine doesn't have a chandelier, alas.

I was talking to a colleague the other day about a very particular manifestation of mom guilt: the home-and-decor-related type. In short: On top of the other ways that you feel like you have to prioritize your children's needs (all of them), you also feel like you have to prioritize them when it comes to how you set up and decorate your house. And if you don't?


My Looks

My Own Little Walk Through This World

This post was compensated by QVC, in collaboration with International Women’s Day. 

It’s International Women’s Day, and so - in celebration of women entrepreneurs - I thought I’d tell you a little story. It starts when I was in kindergarten, and my friend Matt gave me a hand-me-down copy of Dr. Seuss’ My Book About Me. Matt had already filled it out, and I’m pretty sure that his sister Ali and their cousin Marshall had put their own stamps on various pages, too, but I apparently didn’t care; I grabbed a big, black marker and just drew over whatever everyone else had written.

When I flip back through this book - as I do often, especially now that my kids have their own My Book About Me’s - I always get stuck on the “What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up” page. Matt’s green marker told me that he dreamed of being a miner, or maybe an astronaut. Perhaps a soldier. Ali’s purple crayon x-ed out “swordfighter,” then looped around “actress.”


Just A Few Of The Loveliest Bathtubs I Ever Did See

I want to live in this bathroom. (Buy a similar tub here.)

You know what's happening back at my house right now? We're just about done with the hallway bathroom renovation - we're just waiting on the floor tiles to finish it up and show you the "after" - and so I figured it was time to add another project (you know, to keep life spicy).

So? On to the other bathroom it is; a significant portion of my house is being ripped to pieces as we speak.


New Release: Gray Malin at the Coral Casino

I've been looking for an excuse to post these images from Gray Malin's brand-new Coral Casino collection (first seen and obsessed over during my stop into his office last time I was in LA), and I can't find one. So apropos of nothing, really (apart from the fact that I guess they're semi-thematic, being as I am currently on a scuba diving trip and there is water in these shots, too)...

Here are my favorites. (Oh that beachball one.)

P.S. You get 20% off your first order when you sign up for their newsletter, just saying.