Blame It On Lorraine…Red, White and Blue Cocktail

Or is it The Rain? I don’t know. It’s too damn hot to think. How does one possibly stay cool when it’s 108 degrees? Douse oneself with ice cubes all day? Blast the AC and hole up at home? Move to Alaska? Every summer when there is some semblance of a heat wave somewhere, the […]

Or is it The Rain? I don’t know. It’s too damn hot to think. How does one possibly stay cool when it’s 108 degrees? Douse oneself with ice cubes all day? Blast the AC and hole up at home? Move to Alaska? Every summer when there is some semblance of a heat wave somewhere, the ‘experts’ come out with their rationale about global warming. Atrocious wild fires. Heat beyond your wildest imagination. Record temps. Floods. And by the way, what the heck is a derecho? Isn’t that some sort of Tex-Mex meat filled dish?

Personally I think this whole thing is Tom Cruise’s way of getting back at Katie by hiring the Scientology gods to create a monster heat wave using all of the prenup money he’s not giving her. Cuz he’s certainly not using the profits from Rock of Ages. Oops!

Or maybe it’s a way for Mitt Romney to blame one more thing on Barack Obama. After all, people will be using more AC, spiking costs. More pools will require maintenance, taxing water systems. Gas prices will soar as people flee their homes in the South and Midwest to get to the ocean. Not to mention the lack of hotel rooms in the Pacific Northwest. Who can we blame for that? Paris Hilton. Why not? She’s in the hotel biz. Yeah, this whole heat wave is one big conspiracy theory either by Tom Cruise or the Republicans or Paris Hilton.

I think this heat wave is getting to my head. Even though I’m not exactly in it. I pulled a ‘move to Canada during Vietnam’ and hightailed it to California. Best idea I ever had. Because it’s 70 degrees. Every day. But it’s not like this place doesn’t have its own problems, or conspiracy theories. Last year it was “Carmageddon.” This year it’s “Ramp Jam” — new infrastructure being built on the most crowded highway system in the country wreaking havoc on drivers any time of the day. Probably a conspiracy theory by Arnold Schwarzenegger so we won’t focus on the fact that he slept with his ugly nanny and actually got away with it.

The heat will pass. And then we’ll come up with something else to blame on someone. But for now, let’s toast to our awesome country, no matter how hot it is or how much we hate John Edwards (no, wait, we can all collectively hate John Edwards). We’re lucky to be here. We’re lucky to have the opportunity to come up with conspiracy theories or get the latest news dish from TMZ or Perez Hilton.

Raise your flags high. And hope that a big fat breeze hits you right as you do. Happy 4th to all!

Sittin’ on the Stoop and Fannin’ with your 4th of July Cocktail

1/3 ounce grenadine
1/3 ounce peach schnapps
1/3 ounce Blue Curacao

 

 

Why, Aren’t We Plump and Perky Today?…Crockpot Chicken Chili

If my daughter gets her period before age 11 can I sue Costco? I’m not kidding. Because I just happened to be shopping there over the weekend and couldn’t help but notice that every single piece of produce and every single slab of meat looks absolutely perfect. Perfect like this: And then I just happened […]

If my daughter gets her period before age 11 can I sue Costco? I’m not kidding. Because I just happened to be shopping there over the weekend and couldn’t help but notice that every single piece of produce and every single slab of meat looks absolutely perfect. Perfect like this:

And then I just happened to notice the eight-year-old twins walking by my cart. And they just happened to look a bit too plumped up and perky themselves. And so I must ask the question: Are our kids developing so fast because of plumped up and perky produce and meat from big box warehouse stores? Scary, isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong. I love Costco. I LIVE at Costco. My entire stock of 19 deodorants, 75 pound box of Goldfish crackers and 700-count box of Pizza Bagels all come from Costco. But I just can’t help but wonder what the HECK they put in their produce and meat to make it look so darn perfect. So flawless. Botox?

 

These are the things that keep me up at night. Here I am trying my darndest to maintain the youth and innocence of my two sweet little girls and then I’m totally sideswiped by the boobs on the eight-year-olds at Costco. Then my mind wanders to “Should I go organic? Vegan? Macrobiotic? Should we do a family juice 3x a month? Get rid of all Gluten? Dairy? Wheat?” And by that time it’s 4 am and there’s no way I’m going back to sleep because my head is filled with all of these thoughts.

Help me with this one. Do you see it too? Where does it end? Shaving at nine? Period at ten? Kids at twelve? Menopause at 15? We are growing up too fast people. And it’s all Costco’s fault. Which brings me to my lawsuit. If you go in on it with me we can make it a class action and probably come away with more cash. But then we’ll never, ever be able to step foot in a Costco again. For the rest of our lives.

And that’s an even scarier thought.

So pick your poison. Eat your perfectly plump and perky Costco vegetables and swing by Victoria Secret on your way home for you daughter’s newest push-up bra. Or, join me in my plight and keep our kids flat and reproductive-free for as long as humanly possible.

But for now, ingredients for today’s recipe were all purchased at Costco! (Might as well make it while I’m still allowed to shop there.)

Better Chicken Chili Than The Last Time I Posted Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 package ground chicken
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • splash olive oil
  • splash beer (any kind)
  • 2 cans kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can white beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • few teaspoons cumin
  • few teaspoons coriander
  • few tablespoons chili powder
  • dash oregano
  • dash parsley
  • pepper and chili flakes (to taste)
  • hearty pinches of kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (or the likes) of brown sugar (secret ingredient!! amazing!! don’t use more than 2 or it will be too sweet but sooo good!)
  • toppings: diced scallions, tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, rice

Directions:

  1. Throw onions, garlic and a few splashes of olive oil and beer into the crock pot. Let cook for appx. 30 minutes.
  2. Dump everything else in and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  3. Top with scallions, cheese, or tortilla chips. Serve with rice!

 

Memories of Madeline

I just came home from work to find my dog eating my rug. I’m pissed. But not just because he ate my rug and had the audacity to continue eating as I walked in. Because it’s a MADELINE WEINRIB rug that I got at ABC Carpet for a steal after finding it on the bottom of the pile on the remnant floor. The steal of the century. The kind of steal that designer types would say “Wow! What a steal!” and not just my friends and family. It matched everything and made my kitchen look really good. Like magazine good. Call me a callous superficial snob. I don’t care. Right now I like my rug more than I like my dog. In fact, I hate very much dislike because hate is a very strong word my dog. I’m mad that he ate my Madeline.

I don’t deserve this. I give him delicious food. Treats. Filtered water. The occasional chicken from the leftovers. I give him baths. I take him on walks. I brush him. I play with him. I worry about him at doggy daycare. And what does he do? He eats my rug. My Madeline Weinrib rug.  Why couldn’t he have eaten something else? Is that asking too much? Eat the chairs. The throw in the living room. Eat my daughters’ stuffed animals or homework! Please. Eat ANYTHING but my Madeline.

Yes, I know. It’s a stupid thing to lament in this day and age. But I’m through being paranoid that the world is going to end (in case you just woke up, it didn’t). So I’m bringing it down to a trifling suburban level. And I’m getting mad about my Madeline.

I read that dogs only have thirty-second memories. So I already blew it because I let him out to pee and then I yelled at him instead of yelling at him first. And now he doesn’t remember why. Which leaves me steaming and staring at this.

And this is the salvageable part.

What should I do? Should I rationalize and tell him that there are doggies everywhere who don’t have the luxury of sleeping on a designer rug? That there are dogs who are forced to spend their time on low-end Dupont Stainmasters and the Home Depot specials of the week…even {gasp!} Astroturf?? Does he have no understanding how good his life is????

Oh now he’s trying to be all coy standing at the door. Well it’s not going to work. Not today. Sorry, pal. Sorry, Madeline eater.

There is a cute café in my neighborhood called Le Madeline. It’s French, in that ‘suburban chain restaurant but we’ll try to make it look unique’ kind of way. Nevertheless, there’s a good spinach tomato basil salad that I sometimes get. I think we’ll have it for dinner modified as a pizza to honor the deceased.

Le Madeline’s Spinach Tomato Basil Salad Pizza

Ingredients:

  • One bag fresh spinach
  • One package pizza dough (usually comes fresh in bags in grocer’s refrigerator section)
  • 2-4 Roma tomatoes
  • Marinara sauce (homemade or jarred) – see link for homemade sauce recipe
  • Block fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Handful fresh basil
  • Good olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Roll out the pizza dough (add flour to your hands if it’s too sticky).
  2. Preheat oven to 400.
  3. Ladle sauce onto dough.
  4. Top with fresh spinach, fresh tomatoes, slices of mozzarella cheese.
  5. Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle with S&P.
  6. Sprinkle chopped basil on top.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes (or less depending on how thin your crust is).
  8. Enjoy your Madeline on the floor sitting atop your Madeline not caring if your kids drop pizza sauce on it because you have to throw it away anyway.

www.eSaleRugs.com

Don’t Worry Mamma. Tonight, I’m Cleaning Out My Closet…Fall Salads

Science experiment or sign from above?

It took me about a week to figure out this was a zucchini. Whoops. I really should have noticed that back in July. But life just gets so busy, you know? Plus, what if it had been a science experiment for one of my daughter’s classes? I’d just feel terrible had I thrown it away. So get off my case, okay?

This month marks the celebration of the Jewish New Year. We eat apples and honey for a sweet year. We eat pomegranates because they are plentiful and have 613 seeds inside (just like the number of commandments). It’s a holiday of rebirth, renewal, and a chance to mentally “clean out our closets” (said in my best Eminem). So, I did. And that’s when I discovered the zucchini. It made me stop and think that I’ve really let things sit and fester for quite some time. It was a sign. I’m not sure for what, but it had to be a sign.

Maybe it means if you let something sit long enough unattended it will morph into something you don’t even recognize anymore. Like relationships. Pretty deep, huh? Or maybe it means if you try to hide something in the back of your closet it will eventually come back to haunt you in the form of a rancid zucchini and the sound of a ram’s horn blasting in your ear will remind you it’s time to clean it out. But most likely it means that anything and everything in every religion somehow turns into a symbol of guilt no matter how you discover it. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Don’t you just love guilt? It follows me wherever I go. It doesn’t matter what religion you practice either. It’s just guilt coupled with different food. Jewish guilt is followed by brisket and potatoes and matzah ball soup. Christian guilt is followed by ham. Islamic guilt is followed by some sort of eggplant and chick pea concoction. So basically we’re all in this together.

And we should all take this opportunity to clean out our closets, donate stuff to Goodwill, mend relationships that have been left unattended, and make zucchini things before they go bad.

But back to the food…

I love this salad because it brings together all of the things you wouldn’t normally put in salads. Red pears. Pomegranate seeds. Dried cranberries. The reds look amazing with crisp greens, especially arugula. And the tangy dressing offsets the sweetness to remind you that no matter how sweet you are, you’re still a bitch. I’m kidding. Not really. Depends who you ask. But basically it’s a party in your mouth.

Happy New Year to all who celebrate. May your year be as guilt-free as possible. And it goes without saying that it should always filled with good food to be shared by all religions alike.

Fall Salad with Tangy Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • package of mixed greens
  • one pomegranate
  • dried cranberries
  • sliced red pear
  • roll of goat cheese
  • Panko crumbs
  • olive oil
  • one egg

For Dressing:

  • 2 squirts Dijon mustard
  • few splashes sherry vinegar
  • few splashes apple cider vinegar
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • pinch Kosher salt
  • sprinkle pepper
Directions:
  1. mix dressing and chill in fridge.
  2. toss greens with pomegranate seeds, cranberries and sliced pear. (*hint – cut the pomegranate and remove the seeds in a bowl of ice water. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the junky stuff will float to the top!)
  3. toss dressing with salad immediately before serving.
  4. slice goat cheese and dip in (beaten) egg.
  5. dip goat cheese in panko crumbs.
  6. saute on medium in a little olive oil until crumbs are slightly toasted.
  7. serve on top of salad.

Say Hello (and then goodbye!) to Fall…Pea Shoots, Apples and Cheese Salad

Ohh. Feels like fall! So, quick! Before it regresses back to 95 degrees in the shade, run, don’t walk to the nearest grocery store and stock up on pumpkins, bales of hay, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and anything else that will get you feeling crispy!! Oh how I love, love, love fall! But alas, I know […]


Ohh. Feels like fall! So, quick! Before it regresses back to 95 degrees in the shade, run, don’t walk to the nearest grocery store and stock up on pumpkins, bales of hay, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and anything else that will get you feeling crispy!! Oh how I love, love, love fall! But alas, I know it’s just a teaser. Because it does this every year. A few days of “Oooh, grab your sweater and your dog and a cup of cider and head to the nearest pumpkin patch” and BAM! It’s back to 100 degrees within a matter of days.

What a buzz kill.

Yesterday I was shopping at Whole Foods (a rarity as indicated by my bill) and picked up a package of Andi’s Way sprouts. The company was started by a friend whose mother passed away from cancer a few years back. She was an amazing woman who inspired her son and his wife (my friend’s brother) to start an organic farm. They quit their corporate jobs and moved out to the middle of nowhere where they now grow pea greens, wheatgrass and other alkaline sprouts, known for their incredibly powerful health benefits, vitamins and folic acid. I love this story because not only does their work celebrate the life of a true heroine, but they now sell their products at Whole Foods! And what better way to kick off fall than with a bowl full of organic sprouts!

Anyway…am going to make a crockpot of soup (click for recipe for Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice) and salad using the Pea Shoots to celebrate these nice fall temps. Because in less than 24 hours it’s going to be hot again and we’ll be back to eating popsicles.

Pea Shoots, Apples and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • hearty handful of Pea Shoots
  • 1 apple (sliced thin)
  • handful chopped walnuts
  • scoop of blue cheese or handful of chopped sharp cheddar
  • splash olive oil
  • drizzle honey
  • squirt lemon
  • pinch kosher salt
  • pinch pepper
  • pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:

  1. Whisk together olive oil, lemon, honey, s&p.
  2. Gently toss sprouts, walnuts and cheese.
  3. Drizzle dressing over the salad.
  4. *top with pomegranate or cranberries for added fall effect!


Ohh. Feels like fall! So, quick! Before it regresses back to 95 degrees in the shade, run, don’t walk to the nearest grocery store and stock up on pumpkins, bales of hay, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and anything else that will get you feeling crispy!! Oh how I love, love, love fall! But alas, I know it’s just a teaser. Because it does this every year. A few days of “Oooh, grab your sweater and your dog and a cup of cider and head to the nearest pumpkin patch” and BAM! It’s back to 100 degrees within a matter of days.

What a buzz kill.

Yesterday I was shopping at Whole Foods (a rarity as indicated by my bill) and picked up a package of Andi’s Way sprouts. The company was started by a friend whose mother passed away from cancer a few years back. She was an amazing woman who inspired her son and his wife (my friend’s brother) to start an organic farm. They quit their corporate jobs and moved out to the middle of nowhere where they now grow pea greens, wheatgrass and other alkaline sprouts, known for their incredibly powerful health benefits, vitamins and folic acid. I love this story because not only does their work celebrate the life of a true heroine, but they now sell their products at Whole Foods! And what better way to kick off fall than with a bowl full of organic sprouts!

Anyway…am going to make a crockpot of soup (click for recipe for Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice) and salad using the Pea Shoots to celebrate these nice fall temps. Because in less than 24 hours it’s going to be hot again and we’ll be back to eating popsicles.

Pea Shoots, Apples and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • hearty handful of Pea Shoots
  • 1 apple (sliced thin)
  • handful chopped walnuts
  • scoop of blue cheese or handful of chopped sharp cheddar
  • splash olive oil
  • drizzle honey
  • squirt lemon
  • pinch kosher salt
  • pinch pepper
  • pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:

  1. Whisk together olive oil, lemon, honey, s&p.
  2. Gently toss sprouts, walnuts and cheese.
  3. Drizzle dressing over the salad.
  4. *top with pomegranate or cranberries for added fall effect!

Why Parents Should Play More Video Games…Greek Pasta Salad

Every year I say I won’t do it. But then I do it anyway. Overschedule my kids. Are you the same? It all starts like this: A simple game of Tetris. My life. Probably your life, too. Just as you’re tossing your last dive stick into the pool and squeezing the chlorine out of your […]

Every year I say I won’t do it. But then I do it anyway. Overschedule my kids. Are you the same?

It all starts like this:

A simple game of Tetris. My life. Probably your life, too. Just as you’re tossing your last dive stick into the pool and squeezing the chlorine out of your daughter’s too small bathing suit (was I really wearing string bikinis at age eight? I digress…) wondering why your tomato plants didn’t yield one damn piece of fruit, it all starts again. The alarm clock. The early morning madness. The late afternoon madness. The ballet. The soccer. The gymnastics. The yelling (yours; not mine). Which is why I really love summer, because even if you work and your days are still relatively full, your after-school hours aren’t, and it’s true — those after-school hours are witchy enough as it is, so add in the activities and you’re sitting on one huge heap of chaos (see, it always comes back to the title of the blog, according to that techie magazine article I read).

God forbid our kids should actually come home, do homework, empty the dishwasher, ride their bike around the block, play with the dog, or maybe just SIT THERE BORED FOR 20 30 40 (too much?) fine, 20 MINUTES. Noooooo!!!! This one’s doing this and that one’s doing that. This mom’s emailing me to ask/beg/plead if we can be on the same team/group/lesson together. And, okay, that actually looks fun, plus helps kids with hand-eye coordination but that other thing looks different and gosh, it sure would look great on a college application in 15 years, not that I’m thinking of that now, and oh my, here we go again!

How am I possibly going to get from Junior’s school to soccer practice by 5 while still having healthy snacks ready and an available place to change into clean (well, clean enough if I throw it in the dryer for five minutes) soccer uniform? Let’s see…if I move Junior’s math tutoring to the yellow square and take a client lunch out of the mix (red square) then I can push Junior 2′s green square doctor’s appointment to the blue square and re-insert client lunch on next day, but oh! That just messed up the eloquently devised carpool schedule I set up for Junior 2′s gymnastics (note to self, $100 expensive leotards from last year are now too small), which puts three yellow squares in the wrong box and Junior can ONLY go to soccer practice if we get another carpool going for gymnastics.

See, this is why adults should play video games. They help us to strategize plus blur our fried brains.

I was always a Frogger fan myself, but that’s not helping me with my carpool schedule right now.

 

And yes, I know what you’re thinking. Sure, we can be rational and say this is absolutely absurd and no kid should be doing fifteen activities and when I was young I was doing one activity and walking uphill both ways in the snow and yes, the ‘Road to Nowhere’ has serious repercussions and our kids will all be anxiety ridden when they’re 30. But we do it anyway. Why???

Because we don’t want them to miss out.

Which now takes us to dinner. Dinner that we haven’t exactly incorporated into our little Tetris game. Dinner, which we kind of conveniently forgot about because it’s SUCH A PAIN IN THE ASS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN WE’RE SITTING IN RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC.

But dinner is what this blog is supposed to be about.  And so we must think about dinner. Dinner on the road. Dinner that’s not fat laden, fried, drive-thru with fries (but man, there’s nothing like drive-thru fries). What do you make to give them in between activities?

I may be a sucker and succumb to activities I swore I’d never sign up for, but I won’t succumb to drive-thru dinners 4x a week. Instead, I’ll make a monster vat of Greek Pasta Salad and bring it with me in the car. Triple this puppy and you’ll never have to cook again. Your kids will eat so much Greek salad they’ll hate it by the time they’re in high school. But you’re driving them to said 1800 activities. So they can’t complain.

Greek Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 box noodles (any shape)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 can artichokes
  • 1 box of grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 1 jar Greek olives (pitted)
  • 1 chunk Feta cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 squirt Dijon mustard
  • few splashes red wine vinegar
  • few splashes olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • few pinches of oregano
  • few pinches of parsley flakes
  • few bits of garlic
  • pepper
Directions:
  1. Cook pasta according to directions. Cool.
  2. Dice veggies.
  3. When pasta is cool, mix everything together, adding more vinegar and lemon to taste.
  4. Crumble Feta cheese and add last.
  5. Divide into little containers and keep all week so you can toss in your car at the last minute.

Every year I say I won’t do it. But then I do it anyway. Overschedule my kids. Are you the same?

It all starts like this:

A simple game of Tetris. My life. Probably your life, too. Just as you’re tossing your last dive stick into the pool and squeezing the chlorine out of your daughter’s too small bathing suit (was I really wearing string bikinis at age eight? I digress…) wondering why your tomato plants didn’t yield one damn piece of fruit, it all starts again. The alarm clock. The early morning madness. The late afternoon madness. The ballet. The soccer. The gymnastics. The yelling (yours; not mine). Which is why I really love summer, because even if you work and your days are still relatively full, your after-school hours aren’t, and it’s true — those after-school hours are witchy enough as it is, so add in the activities and you’re sitting on one huge heap of chaos (see, it always comes back to the title of the blog, according to that techie magazine article I read).

God forbid our kids should actually come home, do homework, empty the dishwasher, ride their bike around the block, play with the dog, or maybe just SIT THERE BORED FOR 20 30 40 (too much?) fine, 20 MINUTES. Noooooo!!!! This one’s doing this and that one’s doing that. This mom’s emailing me to ask/beg/plead if we can be on the same team/group/lesson together. And, okay, that actually looks fun, plus helps kids with hand-eye coordination but that other thing looks different and gosh, it sure would look great on a college application in 15 years, not that I’m thinking of that now, and oh my, here we go again!

How am I possibly going to get from Junior’s school to soccer practice by 5 while still having healthy snacks ready and an available place to change into clean (well, clean enough if I throw it in the dryer for five minutes) soccer uniform? Let’s see…if I move Junior’s math tutoring to the yellow square and take a client lunch out of the mix (red square) then I can push Junior 2′s green square doctor’s appointment to the blue square and re-insert client lunch on next day, but oh! That just messed up the eloquently devised carpool schedule I set up for Junior 2′s gymnastics (note to self, $100 expensive leotards from last year are now too small), which puts three yellow squares in the wrong box and Junior can ONLY go to soccer practice if we get another carpool going for gymnastics.

See, this is why adults should play video games. They help us to strategize plus blur our fried brains.

I was always a Frogger fan myself, but that’s not helping me with my carpool schedule right now.

 

And yes, I know what you’re thinking. Sure, we can be rational and say this is absolutely absurd and no kid should be doing fifteen activities and when I was young I was doing one activity and walking uphill both ways in the snow and yes, the ‘Road to Nowhere’ has serious repercussions and our kids will all be anxiety ridden when they’re 30. But we do it anyway. Why???

Because we don’t want them to miss out.

Which now takes us to dinner. Dinner that we haven’t exactly incorporated into our little Tetris game. Dinner, which we kind of conveniently forgot about because it’s SUCH A PAIN IN THE ASS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN WE’RE SITTING IN RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC.

But dinner is what this blog is supposed to be about.  And so we must think about dinner. Dinner on the road. Dinner that’s not fat laden, fried, drive-thru with fries (but man, there’s nothing like drive-thru fries). What do you make to give them in between activities?

I may be a sucker and succumb to activities I swore I’d never sign up for, but I won’t succumb to drive-thru dinners 4x a week. Instead, I’ll make a monster vat of Greek Pasta Salad and bring it with me in the car. Triple this puppy and you’ll never have to cook again. Your kids will eat so much Greek salad they’ll hate it by the time they’re in high school. But you’re driving them to said 1800 activities. So they can’t complain.

Greek Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 box noodles (any shape)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 can artichokes
  • 1 box of grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 1 jar Greek olives (pitted)
  • 1 chunk Feta cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 squirt Dijon mustard
  • few splashes red wine vinegar
  • few splashes olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • few pinches of oregano
  • few pinches of parsley flakes
  • few bits of garlic
  • pepper
Directions:
  1. Cook pasta according to directions. Cool.
  2. Dice veggies.
  3. When pasta is cool, mix everything together, adding more vinegar and lemon to taste.
  4. Crumble Feta cheese and add last.
  5. Divide into little containers and keep all week so you can toss in your car at the last minute.

Too Many Piles…BBQ Brisket (to die for)

I don’t know about you but I have an inordinate amount of piles in my house. Piles that get shifted to various locations depending on the goings on of the household. Typically mail piles are pretty much everywhere unless people are coming over. Then they get shoved into drawers. Which is really bad because bills […]

I don’t know about you but I have an inordinate amount of piles in my house. Piles that get shifted to various locations depending on the goings on of the household. Typically mail piles are pretty much everywhere unless people are coming over. Then they get shoved into drawers. Which is really bad because bills tend to resurface two months after they’re due. I try to throw school piles away but little monsters will go through the trash to rescue them. A friend once told me to make a bin for the crème de la crème of school projects, which I did. Ninety percent of the backpack doesn’t make the cut, which works fine for me until someone empties the garbage looking for her drawing which then becomes another pile of bad art.

Then there are old computer parts piles. Books and disks (do they even make disk drives anymore?) to Commodore 64 type machines, computers that I haven’t used for ten years but am afraid to throw away their manuals because who knows when you’ll finally get around to selling them on Ebay, right?

Don’t even think about kitchen drawer piles. These are the receptacles for anything and everything that doesn’t have a home elsewhere. Where else can you find a Polly Pocket shoe and a mini wire whisk? A receipt from 1996 and 200 Bobby pins? A hammer, a headband and that medicine dispenser to the children’s Tylenol that I couldn’t find last week.

I’m not a hoarder but I do have problems sorting. Socks with no partners remain in drawers for years. Tupperware Lids that haven’t seen their mates since last year sit waiting. Piles of bills, piles of notes to myself, piles of “I need this in the next day so I’ll leave it in common view,” and piles of more piles.

So I get really mad when I walk into my friends’ homes and they have NO PILES. NONE. Where are they??? Seriously, how can people be so darn organized? Last week when I was at unnamed friend’s house I happened to peek into her kitchen drawer. It had yellow markers in one section, red markers in another and nicely sharpened pencils in the third. Seriously? I couldn’t resist. The next drawer had ten (I counted) medicine dispensers all neatly stacked. No random scissors and nail files mixed in. Totally unfair. And then upstairs in her daughter’s room? The Mack Daddy of all OCD displays was in the closet. Six grosgrain ribbons filled with perfectly organized hair bows sorted by color. Bitch.

So this year my New Year’s resolution won’t be to be organized. It isn’t possible. Piles will still appear in and around my house. And if you come over you won’t see them unless you try to open a drawer (and can’t) or take a look at the guest room closet. It will be to embrace my piles and try to make them straighter as they sit around the house. Which brings me to dinner.

Tonight’s dinner is a Pile of Brisket. Because after cooking it for a million hours it didn’t exactly stay in one piece. But it’s delicious. And who cares if it’s in a pile? Just pile it on some rice and you’re good to go. This is my absolute most favorite brisket recipe in the world. Your house will smell warm and saucy so it’s great for a super cold night. Stick it in the crock pot in the morning before work and move it very far away from anywhere where a dog can get it. It’s done in ten hours. The longer you cook it, the better. Slow and Low. That’s what we’re going for.

This is for all you neat freaks with no piles. Pile this on.

Slow Cooked Pile ‘O Brisket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • One Brisket (Costco ones are great)
  • Ketchup (about 2 cups, not that I’m measuring)
  • Honey (about a cup)
  • One packet onion soup mix
  • Soy Sauce (few splashes)
  • Garlic (4-5 cloves, peeled and sliced in half)
  • Worcestershire sauce (few dashes)

Directions:

  1. Mix up all ingredients.
  2. Wash and dry brisket.
  3. Make slits in brisket and place garlic cloves inside slits.
  4. Season with a sprinkle of S&P.
  5. Put a little water in the bottom of crock pot.
  6. Place brisket inside crock pot and cover with sauce. (You can also cook in the oven on 200, covered with foil)
  7. Cook covered on low for 8-10 hours.
  8. Remove and try to slice against the grain. You won’t be able to because it’s so damn good it’s already fallen apart.
  9. Eat on a pile of white rice.
  10. Laugh at your friends who have no piles but can’t cook brisket.

I don’t know about you but I have an inordinate amount of piles in my house. Piles that get shifted to various locations depending on the goings on of the household. Typically mail piles are pretty much everywhere unless people are coming over. Then they get shoved into drawers. Which is really bad because bills tend to resurface two months after they’re due. I try to throw school piles away but little monsters will go through the trash to rescue them. A friend once told me to make a bin for the crème de la crème of school projects, which I did. Ninety percent of the backpack doesn’t make the cut, which works fine for me until someone empties the garbage looking for her drawing which then becomes another pile of bad art.

Then there are old computer parts piles. Books and disks (do they even make disk drives anymore?) to Commodore 64 type machines, computers that I haven’t used for ten years but am afraid to throw away their manuals because who knows when you’ll finally get around to selling them on Ebay, right?

Don’t even think about kitchen drawer piles. These are the receptacles for anything and everything that doesn’t have a home elsewhere. Where else can you find a Polly Pocket shoe and a mini wire whisk? A receipt from 1996 and 200 Bobby pins? A hammer, a headband and that medicine dispenser to the children’s Tylenol that I couldn’t find last week.

I’m not a hoarder but I do have problems sorting. Socks with no partners remain in drawers for years. Tupperware Lids that haven’t seen their mates since last year sit waiting. Piles of bills, piles of notes to myself, piles of “I need this in the next day so I’ll leave it in common view,” and piles of more piles.

So I get really mad when I walk into my friends’ homes and they have NO PILES. NONE. Where are they??? Seriously, how can people be so darn organized? Last week when I was at unnamed friend’s house I happened to peek into her kitchen drawer. It had yellow markers in one section, red markers in another and nicely sharpened pencils in the third. Seriously? I couldn’t resist. The next drawer had ten (I counted) medicine dispensers all neatly stacked. No random scissors and nail files mixed in. Totally unfair. And then upstairs in her daughter’s room? The Mack Daddy of all OCD displays was in the closet. Six grosgrain ribbons filled with perfectly organized hair bows sorted by color. Bitch.

So this year my New Year’s resolution won’t be to be organized. It isn’t possible. Piles will still appear in and around my house. And if you come over you won’t see them unless you try to open a drawer (and can’t) or take a look at the guest room closet. It will be to embrace my piles and try to make them straighter as they sit around the house. Which brings me to dinner.

Tonight’s dinner is a Pile of Brisket. Because after cooking it for a million hours it didn’t exactly stay in one piece. But it’s delicious. And who cares if it’s in a pile? Just pile it on some rice and you’re good to go. This is my absolute most favorite brisket recipe in the world. Your house will smell warm and saucy so it’s great for a super cold night. Stick it in the crock pot in the morning before work and move it very far away from anywhere where a dog can get it. It’s done in ten hours. The longer you cook it, the better. Slow and Low. That’s what we’re going for.

This is for all you neat freaks with no piles. Pile this on.

Slow Cooked Pile ‘O Brisket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • One Brisket (Costco ones are great)
  • Ketchup (about 2 cups, not that I’m measuring)
  • Honey (about a cup)
  • One packet onion soup mix
  • Soy Sauce (few splashes)
  • Garlic (4-5 cloves, peeled and sliced in half)
  • Worcestershire sauce (few dashes)

Directions:

  1. Mix up all ingredients.
  2. Wash and dry brisket.
  3. Make slits in brisket and place garlic cloves inside slits.
  4. Season with a sprinkle of S&P.
  5. Put a little water in the bottom of crock pot.
  6. Place brisket inside crock pot and cover with sauce. (You can also cook in the oven on 200, covered with foil)
  7. Cook covered on low for 8-10 hours.
  8. Remove and try to slice against the grain. You won’t be able to because it’s so damn good it’s already fallen apart.
  9. Eat on a pile of white rice.
  10. Laugh at your friends who have no piles but can’t cook brisket.

Back to School Jitters…Cornflake Crumb Chicken

They look happy enough. So why am I crying?   I’ve been unusually anxious over the past few weeks. You know, your typical can’t eat, eat too much, yell too much, stay away from me or you’ll be in time-out for no reason, and just a general feeling of unease. Didn’t quite know what it […]

They look happy enough. So why am I crying?

 

I’ve been unusually anxious over the past few weeks. You know, your typical can’t eat, eat too much, yell too much, stay away from me or you’ll be in time-out for no reason, and just a general feeling of unease. Didn’t quite know what it was until it hit me while watching a Staples commercial on TV. It’s Back to School! Back to School is the cause of my anxiety! Yours too? Feel free to hand over the $150 at any time.

Summer has been a fantastic cocktail of no homework, diminished stress, and little in terms of social obligations (not to mention not having to see {insert name of person you’re glad you didn’t have to see for ten weeks}). So what happens when I drive into school on Monday morning and nobody waves hi to me or the moms look me up and down or size me up or don’t invite me to mom’s nights or try to one-up me at PTO meetings or exercise their CEO-dom over classroom responsibilities or get mad if I don’t reciprocate play dates in a timely manner because I’m not organized or scrutinize what I pack in my kids’ lunches or simply think I don’t EXIST?

OH MY GOD WHAT AM I DOING?

Let me check the calendar. The last time I was in school was…hmmm…circa 199-something. That’s more than ten, fifteen (let’s just go back to ten for all intents and purposes) years ago! So why, oh why does it feel like I’m the one going to school? One friend equated the feeling with walking into the ‘big, bad halls of high school’ for the first time, wondering how she would fit in. I don’t disagree. My back to school jitters have been keeping me up at night.

I need to seriously get over myself.

Because all of the back to school anxiety that I’m projecting onto my kids is one hundred percent my own. I’ve been to school already. I made my friends. I ate my lunches. And now, well I guess I’m an adult! But kids. They’re resilient. They get over things. They hate someone one minute and love someone the next. They don’t know if a teacher is “challenging them to their fullest abilities” or get bent out of shape if they’re not on “Gymnastics Team” at age three or in “Advanced Math” or “Level Five Reading” when they should really be on level four.

They’re kids! All this other stuff: that’s OUR problem. Projecting our goals/dreams/competitive edge over them. And again, we I (okay, maybe we) need to get over it! Public, private, home- or boarding school. I can pretty much venture to say that all of our kids are in nurturing environments and maybe a few too many of us have the luxury (or too much time on our hands) of picking them apart. And well, that’s neither good for us nor our kids.

God I hate reality checks. They’re so…real.

One of the hardest pieces of advice (which actually wasn’t advice; it was mandatory) I received prior to my daughter’s first day of kindergarten was that I WAS NOT allowed to walk her into the classroom. I was supposed to drive up, have some smiley fifth grader open the door, help my kid out with her ridiculously oversized backpack and say “bye sweetie!” and leave.

But, huh? What if she cried? What if she didn’t have any friends? What if nobody sat next to her? What if she stood in the corner alone and nobody noticed?

Seriously, was that really going to happen?

For the sake of my own sanity I have to put aside my own insecurities and look at my children’s school at face value for what it is: an incredibly stimulating academic institution whose sole purpose is to give my kids an amazing education. Most schools probably have a similar mission, budget constraints or not. I have my friends so I shouldn’t look to their school as my only social outlet. I have my work so I shouldn’t look to it as my career. And I hope I’ve had enough therapy to know that the last thing I need to do is project my own anxiety onto my sweet, innocent, not in advanced math but sometimes in advanced reading, but probably not this year because nobody picked up a damn book all summer, kids.

Happy Back to School, Moms. Go have a drink and get the hell out of the parking lot. Happy to meet you at Starbucks at 8:05 Monday morning if you promise not to make fun of my outfit.

 

Back to School Dinner (always a favorite with the kids and ridiculously easy to make!)

Ingredients:

  • One package bone-in chicken
  • 1/2 bottle Italian dressing (any kind)
  • 1/2 box Kellogg’s  Corn Flake Crumbs (they sell these in the baking section near the bread crumbs)

Directions:

  1. Marinate chicken in Italian dressing for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Coat with Corn Flake crumbs.
  3. Bake for 1 hour @ 350.
  4. Serve with baked sweet potatoes and salad in a bag (who has time to make salad on the first day of school anyway?)

They look happy enough. So why am I crying?

 

I’ve been unusually anxious over the past few weeks. You know, your typical can’t eat, eat too much, yell too much, stay away from me or you’ll be in time-out for no reason, and just a general feeling of unease. Didn’t quite know what it was until it hit me while watching a Staples commercial on TV. It’s Back to School! Back to School is the cause of my anxiety! Yours too? Feel free to hand over the $150 at any time.

Summer has been a fantastic cocktail of no homework, diminished stress, and little in terms of social obligations (not to mention not having to see {insert name of person you’re glad you didn’t have to see for ten weeks}). So what happens when I drive into school on Monday morning and nobody waves hi to me or the moms look me up and down or size me up or don’t invite me to mom’s nights or try to one-up me at PTO meetings or exercise their CEO-dom over classroom responsibilities or get mad if I don’t reciprocate play dates in a timely manner because I’m not organized or scrutinize what I pack in my kids’ lunches or simply think I don’t EXIST?

OH MY GOD WHAT AM I DOING?

Let me check the calendar. The last time I was in school was…hmmm…circa 199-something. That’s more than ten, fifteen (let’s just go back to ten for all intents and purposes) years ago! So why, oh why does it feel like I’m the one going to school? One friend equated the feeling with walking into the ‘big, bad halls of high school’ for the first time, wondering how she would fit in. I don’t disagree. My back to school jitters have been keeping me up at night.

I need to seriously get over myself.

Because all of the back to school anxiety that I’m projecting onto my kids is one hundred percent my own. I’ve been to school already. I made my friends. I ate my lunches. And now, well I guess I’m an adult! But kids. They’re resilient. They get over things. They hate someone one minute and love someone the next. They don’t know if a teacher is “challenging them to their fullest abilities” or get bent out of shape if they’re not on “Gymnastics Team” at age three or in “Advanced Math” or “Level Five Reading” when they should really be on level four.

They’re kids! All this other stuff: that’s OUR problem. Projecting our goals/dreams/competitive edge over them. And again, we I (okay, maybe we) need to get over it! Public, private, home- or boarding school. I can pretty much venture to say that all of our kids are in nurturing environments and maybe a few too many of us have the luxury (or too much time on our hands) of picking them apart. And well, that’s neither good for us nor our kids.

God I hate reality checks. They’re so…real.

One of the hardest pieces of advice (which actually wasn’t advice; it was mandatory) I received prior to my daughter’s first day of kindergarten was that I WAS NOT allowed to walk her into the classroom. I was supposed to drive up, have some smiley fifth grader open the door, help my kid out with her ridiculously oversized backpack and say “bye sweetie!” and leave.

But, huh? What if she cried? What if she didn’t have any friends? What if nobody sat next to her? What if she stood in the corner alone and nobody noticed?

Seriously, was that really going to happen?

For the sake of my own sanity I have to put aside my own insecurities and look at my children’s school at face value for what it is: an incredibly stimulating academic institution whose sole purpose is to give my kids an amazing education. Most schools probably have a similar mission, budget constraints or not. I have my friends so I shouldn’t look to their school as my only social outlet. I have my work so I shouldn’t look to it as my career. And I hope I’ve had enough therapy to know that the last thing I need to do is project my own anxiety onto my sweet, innocent, not in advanced math but sometimes in advanced reading, but probably not this year because nobody picked up a damn book all summer, kids.

Happy Back to School, Moms. Go have a drink and get the hell out of the parking lot. Happy to meet you at Starbucks at 8:05 Monday morning if you promise not to make fun of my outfit.

 

Back to School Dinner (always a favorite with the kids and ridiculously easy to make!)

Ingredients:

  • One package bone-in chicken
  • 1/2 bottle Italian dressing (any kind)
  • 1/2 box Kellogg’s  Corn Flake Crumbs (they sell these in the baking section near the bread crumbs)

Directions:

  1. Marinate chicken in Italian dressing for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Coat with Corn Flake crumbs.
  3. Bake for 1 hour @ 350.
  4. Serve with baked sweet potatoes and salad in a bag (who has time to make salad on the first day of school anyway?)

Let’s Make Some Noise…Sizzling Summer Fajitas

I’ve been decoding my letters from my daughter, Talia to gauge how much fun she’s really having at sleep away camp. The first letter came to her sister, Ryan. It was abundantly loving, leading me to believe she wasn’t having any fun at all. “I miss you soooooooooooooo much and I can’t wait to see […]

I’ve been decoding my letters from my daughter, Talia to gauge how much fun she’s really having at sleep away camp. The first letter came to her sister, Ryan. It was abundantly loving, leading me to believe she wasn’t having any fun at all. “I miss you soooooooooooooo much and I can’t wait to see you!!!” Huh? That’s one too many ‘ooooos’ and probably code for “I’m not having fun so I’m expressing my love for you which I don’t do very often at home and I’m feeling remorseful for all of those times I said I want to be away from you and never see you again.” Highly unusual behavior. Should I be worried? The second letter said the food stinks and that my cooking is “soooooooo much better.” Again, a few too many ‘oooos’ for authenticity purposes. Maybe it’s just a camp lingo thing like SWAK. Or better yet, maybe sleep away camp creates an appreciation for things gone unappreciated all year. Cuz if that’s the case I’m thinking I really like sleep away camp.

Either way, these past two weeks have been really strange. There is a quiet that has fallen upon this household that I can only compare to that of an empty nest. While I still have one kid at home she’s relatively self-sufficient and likes to chill out a bunch which is not something we see too often when they’re both here. But it sure does change the dynamics. I’m even finding myself blasting Disney TV when I’m home alone just to keep the noise level up. Wow, did I just say that?

I don’t like quiet houses. They’re depressing. Could it be that I miss the…wait for it…chaos? Scary how we get used to a certain sound level in our lives. But alas, I’ll have it back in approximately four days and two hours, not that I’m counting.

It’s the last few days of summer anyway. In two weeks school picks up, work picks up and life goes on overdrive. Until then I’ll make some of my own noise in the kitchen.

Sizzling Fajitas (Keeps things LOUD in the kitchen!)

Ingredients:

  • Package of chicken strips or skirt steak (cut into strips)
  • Sliced onions, bell peppers (all colors)

Splashes of:

  • Vegetable Oil
  • Lemon or Lime Juice (generous!)
  • Worcestershire Sauce

Dashes of (appx 1 tsp.):

  • Kosher Salt
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Pepper
  • Paprika (I use a LOT of this!)
Directions:
  1. Marinate beef or chicken in above ingredients (minus the onions and bell peppers) for at least an hour (or overnight if you can hack it).
  2. Saute meat in skillet or grill outside for at least 5 minutes per side or until cooked thoroughly.
  3. Meanwhile, slice up the onions and bell peppers and saute those puppies in some S&P and olive oil until soft.
  4. Serve with warm tortillas (trick to easy tortillas is wrapping them in a semi-wet paper towel and microwaving them for 20 seconds) and yellow rice and beans.
  5. Also serve with basil mojitos (courtesy of The Endless Meal)!

I’ve been decoding my letters from my daughter, Talia to gauge how much fun she’s really having at sleep away camp. The first letter came to her sister, Ryan. It was abundantly loving, leading me to believe she wasn’t having any fun at all. “I miss you soooooooooooooo much and I can’t wait to see you!!!” Huh? That’s one too many ‘ooooos’ and probably code for “I’m not having fun so I’m expressing my love for you which I don’t do very often at home and I’m feeling remorseful for all of those times I said I want to be away from you and never see you again.” Highly unusual behavior. Should I be worried? The second letter said the food stinks and that my cooking is “soooooooo much better.” Again, a few too many ‘oooos’ for authenticity purposes. Maybe it’s just a camp lingo thing like SWAK. Or better yet, maybe sleep away camp creates an appreciation for things gone unappreciated all year. Cuz if that’s the case I’m thinking I really like sleep away camp.

Either way, these past two weeks have been really strange. There is a quiet that has fallen upon this household that I can only compare to that of an empty nest. While I still have one kid at home she’s relatively self-sufficient and likes to chill out a bunch which is not something we see too often when they’re both here. But it sure does change the dynamics. I’m even finding myself blasting Disney TV when I’m home alone just to keep the noise level up. Wow, did I just say that?

I don’t like quiet houses. They’re depressing. Could it be that I miss the…wait for it…chaos? Scary how we get used to a certain sound level in our lives. But alas, I’ll have it back in approximately four days and two hours, not that I’m counting.

It’s the last few days of summer anyway. In two weeks school picks up, work picks up and life goes on overdrive. Until then I’ll make some of my own noise in the kitchen.

Sizzling Fajitas (Keeps things LOUD in the kitchen!)

Ingredients:

  • Package of chicken strips or skirt steak (cut into strips)
  • Sliced onions, bell peppers (all colors)

Splashes of:

  • Vegetable Oil
  • Lemon or Lime Juice (generous!)
  • Worcestershire Sauce

Dashes of (appx 1 tsp.):

  • Kosher Salt
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Pepper
  • Paprika (I use a LOT of this!)
Directions:
  1. Marinate beef or chicken in above ingredients (minus the onions and bell peppers) for at least an hour (or overnight if you can hack it).
  2. Saute meat in skillet or grill outside for at least 5 minutes per side or until cooked thoroughly.
  3. Meanwhile, slice up the onions and bell peppers and saute those puppies in some S&P and olive oil until soft.
  4. Serve with warm tortillas (trick to easy tortillas is wrapping them in a semi-wet paper towel and microwaving them for 20 seconds) and yellow rice and beans.
  5. Also serve with basil mojitos (courtesy of The Endless Meal)!

End of The Summer Salads…Watermelon/Feta, Tomato Caprese, Asian Slaw

A friend of mine hosted an “End of the Summer Salads” dinner party last week. I was confused at first. Did this mean we were celebrating the salads that sat around all summer and we were going to eat them wilted? Or did it mean we would only be eating salads whose ingredients are available […]

A friend of mine hosted an “End of the Summer Salads” dinner party last week. I was confused at first. Did this mean we were celebrating the salads that sat around all summer and we were going to eat them wilted? Or did it mean we would only be eating salads whose ingredients are available in August? Not to mention it’s depressing enough that we start school in a few days. Do I really need a salad to remind me summer is over?

As an aside, this is a woman who works, who has two kids, and who told us to come casual for a very last-minute dinner. She had just arrived home from work when we got there. But somehow it was all done. When we walked in, the place was spotless. The kids actually stayed downstairs with their babysitter (something that would NEVER happen in my house no matter how much I paid them – kids, not babysitter). And there was an array of “End of the Summer Salads” like I’ve never seen before in my life. There were no piles of mail sitting around. I was speechless. If I didn’t like her so damn much, I’d hate her.

Some people just know how to host. So, to pay homage to my friend who can put on a mean “End of the Summer Salads” party (I’ll just keep writing it because I think it’s funny), here are some amazing “End of the Summer Salads” that you can make in your own chaotic kitchen. I won’t even list the directions because they’re pretty obvious. But if you need help just remember these three words: Layer*Drizzle*Sprinkle* Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Caprese

  • 1 beefsteak tomato
  • 1 spring of fresh basil
  • 1 hunk of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Drizzle of good olive oil
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh pepper
Broccoli Slaw Salad (caution, there are measurements in this recipe!)

 Ingredients:
  • Bag of Broccoli Slaw (you can buy this in the produce department)
  • 1/2 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 package Ramen Noodles
  • 1/2 bag sunflower seeds (shelled)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

 

Directions:
  1. Toast Ramen noodles and sunflower seeds lightly (don’t use seasoning from Ramen noodles)
  2. Toss with bag ‘o slaw and remaining ingredients.
  3. Marinate for at least one hour (can also be marinated overnight)
And this one was the real clincher. She adapted it from The Five and Ten famous eatery in Athens, GA. So I won’t take any credit for it. But I will share it even though it has measurements because it was off the chain delicious.

 

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Serrano Chile Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
  • 1 seedless watermelon (cut into thin squares or chunks)
  • 1 wedge Feta cheese (sliced into the same size squares or chunks as the watermelon)
  • 1 bunch butter lettuce or arugula
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt
For Dressing:
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 small Serrano chile
  • 1 small diced shallot
  • splash champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • Squeeze Fresh Lime Juice
Directions:
  1. Mix everything for dressing except for Serrano chile and shake thoroughly.
  2. Chill dressing.
  3. Slice watermelon.
  4. Slice feta.
  5. Alternate slices and top with arugula.
  6. Drizzle dressing over salad.
  7. Garnish with Serrano chile.
Serve all with Prosecco and fresh fruit!

 

 

 

 

A friend of mine hosted an “End of the Summer Salads” dinner party last week. I was confused at first. Did this mean we were celebrating the salads that sat around all summer and we were going to eat them wilted? Or did it mean we would only be eating salads whose ingredients are available in August? Not to mention it’s depressing enough that we start school in a few days. Do I really need a salad to remind me summer is over?

As an aside, this is a woman who works, who has two kids, and who told us to come casual for a very last-minute dinner. She had just arrived home from work when we got there. But somehow it was all done. When we walked in, the place was spotless. The kids actually stayed downstairs with their babysitter (something that would NEVER happen in my house no matter how much I paid them – kids, not babysitter). And there was an array of “End of the Summer Salads” like I’ve never seen before in my life. There were no piles of mail sitting around. I was speechless. If I didn’t like her so damn much, I’d hate her.

Some people just know how to host. So, to pay homage to my friend who can put on a mean “End of the Summer Salads” party (I’ll just keep writing it because I think it’s funny), here are some amazing “End of the Summer Salads” that you can make in your own chaotic kitchen. I won’t even list the directions because they’re pretty obvious. But if you need help just remember these three words: Layer*Drizzle*Sprinkle* Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Caprese

  • 1 beefsteak tomato
  • 1 spring of fresh basil
  • 1 hunk of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Drizzle of good olive oil
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh pepper
Broccoli Slaw Salad (caution, there are measurements in this recipe!)

 Ingredients:
  • Bag of Broccoli Slaw (you can buy this in the produce department)
  • 1/2 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 package Ramen Noodles
  • 1/2 bag sunflower seeds (shelled)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

 

Directions:
  1. Toast Ramen noodles and sunflower seeds lightly (don’t use seasoning from Ramen noodles)
  2. Toss with bag ‘o slaw and remaining ingredients.
  3. Marinate for at least one hour (can also be marinated overnight)
And this one was the real clincher. She adapted it from The Five and Ten famous eatery in Athens, GA. So I won’t take any credit for it. But I will share it even though it has measurements because it was off the chain delicious.

 

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Serrano Chile Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
  • 1 seedless watermelon (cut into thin squares or chunks)
  • 1 wedge Feta cheese (sliced into the same size squares or chunks as the watermelon)
  • 1 bunch butter lettuce or arugula
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt
For Dressing:
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 small Serrano chile
  • 1 small diced shallot
  • splash champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • Squeeze Fresh Lime Juice
Directions:
  1. Mix everything for dressing except for Serrano chile and shake thoroughly.
  2. Chill dressing.
  3. Slice watermelon.
  4. Slice feta.
  5. Alternate slices and top with arugula.
  6. Drizzle dressing over salad.
  7. Garnish with Serrano chile.
Serve all with Prosecco and fresh fruit!