Archive for the ‘The Kitchen’ Category


Moving entirely out of the realm of the profound, I thought I’d tell you what we had for dinner tonight. Taco salad is fast becoming a favorite in our house. Whenever I can find a meal that accommodates everyone’s dietary issues (which are many) while not compromising taste and preferences I am happy. Truly this can be an entirely satisfying wheat-free, dairy-free (or optional dairy for those who can partake) vegetarian dinner.  I’ve made lots of versions, but this is what I had on hand for this evening’s dinner.

Farmer’s Market corn, cilantro, tomatoes 

 Zucchini (grilled) from my Mom’s garden

Fresh mexican cheese, goat cheese, green peppers, lettuce, blue chips, salsa and canned black beans (I just sautéed onion, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and cumin and then added the can of beans) all from Trader Joes

Guatemalan Rice. I made a large batch of this a few weeks back and then froze it in single meal portions. Then all I have to do is pull a bag out of the freezer and heat it up.

  The baby ate beans, rice and a few pieces of zucchini and some oatmeal to make up for the fact that beans and rice were apparently not in her dining plans for this evening. Boo is giving me a bit of a run for my money with eating these days. However, based on the circumference of her cheeks I’m not too concerned. 

While Hannah is a pretty great eater, she does tend to avoid vegetables. Tonight I told her that she needed to add two new colors to her meal – her choice. To her chips, beans, goat cheese and cilantro she added corn, lettuce and salsa. We talked about the fact that most vitamins are found in colored food. For whatever reason that really motivated her to extend her palate just a bit and she was glad she did.  



Read Full Post »

July 1st

Inspired by our friend Audrey (who started preparing dinner for her family once a week at seven) we’re aiming to move this way with Hannah as well. I thought a great entry point would be for her to take the helm in preparing cupcakes for her actual birthday (her party was the last week in June so that traveling grandparents could be present). I moved the Kitchen Aid to the island and handed her the recipe. She took it from there. It was so fun to watch her – you could tell she felt very proud. They turned out great in the end. She only flew off the kitchen stool once while reaching a bit too far for an ingredient.

It was a proud moment watching her operate the Kitchen Aid without my help.

Some parents take action shots of their kids playing soccer. This mom finds great pleasure in snapping kitchen pics.

It’s all in the wrist 🙂

Ready for the oven

Cooling carrot cakes

Happy Birthday big girl! We love you.

Read Full Post »

A Cooking Party

Hannah turned seven on July 1st. This year, she wanted a party and so we complied. I can’t say that throwing kid birthday parties is my strong suit. Thankfully, I had two things working in my favor for this year’s celebration.

1. My child is an introvert at heart and asked if she could keep her guest list to four kids. Fine by me. She also wanted her three local grandparents included. So, between grandparents and parents we had a one-to-one ratio going, less the baby.

2. I happened upon a great post on Simple Bites that provided me with the perfect framework for Hannah’s big day.

Balloons speak Hannah’s love-language loud and clear. So, we procured seven balloons for a seven year-old.

 Homemade birthday banner by Phil Stone. Every day is a great day to make a banner if you’re Hannah. We knew this had to be part of the festivities as well. It’s now hanging up in her room (most likely a permanent fixture).

Flowers from the Farmer’s Market and homemade aprons created by Nana (using dish towels from Cost Plus) for each guest.

Pizza kitchen prepped for the party guests

Fresh squeezed lemonade

Making Pizzas

Fruit Kabobs

Cupcake decorating station (they decorated two – one to eat and one to take home)

This was the part where the kids got to be brave tasters and brave smellers. We blindfolded them and let them explore their senses sniffing things like cinnamon, coffee and vinegar and tasting treats like avocado and honey and trying to guess what it was.

Decorated take-out boxes to carry their second cupcake home. Every guest decided that they’d share their generously ornamented second cake with their younger sibling. Pretty sweet.


Read Full Post »

Weekend Recap

Here’s a few pictures (and words) to sum up last weekend.

You know that you’re off to a good start when Friday afternoon finds you welcoming in friends who are passing through (with multiple bags of hand-me-downs for Boo and fresh picked produce from their backyard). Thanks again Eackers!

I heart oatmeal! I eat it almost every day and feel incredibly excited about it…so much so that I find myself photographing my breakfast. Okay, so maybe that last part isn’t true. Actually, I’m collecting pictures for a cookbook I’m making for Krista prior to her departure to Argentina. I’m doing this because I love her and will miss her and want to make sure that I’m never far from her mind when we are thousands of miles apart. So, here’s hoping that organic quick oats mixed with rice milk and topped with fresh fruit and cinnamon will somehow conjure up warm fuzzies of yours truly! 

Finding this waterfall while hiking with….

…these people.

Wildwood Park is a great place, especially in the spring. We traveled there by way of Farmer’s Market (I needed olives for book club), Subway (for our post-hike lunch at a nearby park) and CVS pharmacy (because I left my purse in the garage and therefore had no diapering supplies). Oops. It’s funny how a simple hike can become a bit of a logistical feat when you take all this plus a morning nap (by way of cruise control and the slow lane) into consideration. Regardless, we pulled it off and had a really great morning.

Feeding our baby dairy products (without her throwing them back up). It’s the small victories, I know. This past week I gave Hailey a tablespoon of goat yogurt and then held my breath for the next three hours. Not literally of course. Still, I’m realizing more and more that Hannah’s allergy to cow’s milk has left me a bit gun-shy when it comes to introducing all things white and creamy to Hailey. So far so good.

Read Full Post »

This morning Hannah and I left the Boo and Daddy behind in order to get some quality time together. We call these outings big-girl/mommy dates and they do good things for both of our souls. We first headed to Peet’s and the bagel shop, then made our way to farmer’s market and ultimately landed at the bookstore. 

Lately, we’ve been talking about the fact that pretty soon she’ll be turning seven (pretty soon being five months from now). Part of the thrill that comes with the number seven in this household is that she will be given the privilege of cooking dinner for us one night a week. We got the idea from a friend of ours who told us that she began doing so at this age and learned great things through the process. 

In order to get prepared for her junior chef status, we went looking for a  kid’s cookbook this morning. We had a great time browsing (one of Hannah’s favorite things to do). Ultimately we landed on two books; William’s Sonoma Cooking Together and Vegan Yum Yum and had a gift-card to cover all but four dollars worth. While this may seem like a funny combination of reads, the two balance out her need for inspiring and fun pictures and ideas with my need for recipes that we can actually make and ingest with all of our family’s dietary issues.

No sooner had we walked through the door, Hannah was planning which recipe she would tackle this afternoon. We landed on the sugar cookies and had a lot of fun doing it.



 What I said above it true; we had a great time today. Hannah and I were due for some quality time together and we achieved that in sweet fashion. But what I need to add is this; we also had annoying, tiring and frustrating moments sprinkled throughout our culinary adventure and beyond. 

Hailey slept through the night for the first time in her life last night and ironically that left both she and I acting more tired than ever. She grunted her way through the afternoon, finding peace in my arms or with a mouth full of rice puffs and nowhere else.

I’ve had countless to-do items swirling in my head and hoped to get through a few today. Somehow I believed that procuring the cookbook would satiate my big girl’s culinary ambitions for the day having lacked the foresight to realise that obtaining the cookbook was only the beginning of the adventure in her mind. Phil was gracious to pinch-hit while I disappeared upstairs momentarily to list six items on Craigslist.

We made our way through the evening eating dinner in shifts, extending bedtime for big H so that she could frost and eat her masterpiece, putting little H down as early as possible so as to cease the grunting, sweeping up stepped-on Os that had dropped from the high chair, squabbling over how to store cookies when egg is an ingredient (they’re heading to the fridge as soon as I finish this post) and emailing people who want to buy my pink Bumbo.

I say all this to say that this in its entirety is family life (at least for this family). Four very different people with four very different sets of ideas, dispositions and agendas. Each day we greet each other in the six o’clock hour with love, ideas, intentions, hopes and often at this stage grogginess. In my most honest moments I admit that I wish the other three could simply see how smoothly life would run if they followed my lead. Yet in the next breath I concede that such a scenario would be bland at best (extremely orderly, but bland). And so, I sign off for now with every intention of getting as much sleep as possible in order to face tomorrow with grace as a Stone. It is a good life, it stretches me and it is exactly where I am supposed to be.  

Read Full Post »


A few upsides of homemade baby food include cost effectiveness (I made 16 portions of organic sweet potatos for under three dollars) and nutritional value. Downsides? I think the picture says it best.

Read Full Post »

Farmer’s Market

This was the best twelve dollars I spent all week! Here’s what’s on deck in the eating department for the littlest one (pureed carrots, squash, broccoli, spinach). As far as the rest of us are concerned, I’m making a few favorites from my vegetable loot – tabbouleh and potage.  

Thanks farmers.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »