Tag Archive | cooking

2019 Figgoli

I’ve already documented my odd relationship with easter since it is so religious and so family in my mind it is very hard to ‘do right’ when I live far from relatives and don’t really practice.  However, we have created a few traditions and as the kids get older it feels more festive and full. img_0357

Yesterday I made the figgoli and today we decorated.  For a treat that is ancient and has no really special ingredients, in a modern kitchen it uses all the tools.  There is the blender for cutting almonds, there is the kitchen aid to make the dough, there is the scale for measurements, there is the hand mixer for whipping egg and mixing the filling.  Egg dying is next up but they are outside enjoying the gorgeous weather.


We had friends over for dinner and some games and it was a nice change of pace, tomorrow we are going to hunt eggs and do a byo brunch at another friends house and vague plans for vacation mom to drop over at some point.  The nook for friends is nicely filled, I just wish I could import family more easily.


However it is you celebrate or spend this weekend I hope you have fun

Where do you put your stuff?

Constantly I feel the need to clean out or organize this place or that.  Usually, I have very organized storage, it is the ‘homeless’ stuff in my house that causes the clutter and mess.  I don’t even remember when I started but it hardly matters because like painting the Verrazano bridge, as soon as you get to the end you need to start again because where you started is messed up again.


Recently I’ve circled back to the kitchen.  It has been nearly a year since I took out ever piece of silverwear etc and this year I could part with over a dozen kid plastic stuff because only Fiona wants to use it now, so, don’t need plastic service for 12 anymore.  I know, how interesting!  I would never have mentioned it except yesterday a friend acutally asked my opinion on orginizing in her kitchen.  She noticed that I orginize by use of item.  I’m flattered she noticed but except for a few things I don’t know how else one could possibly orginize?  So that is the question; in your kitchen what do you put where?

For us, the kitchen isn’t that big so everything is pretty in reach.  When we made the pantry in the garage I moved all baking pans I didn’t use daily and the majority of the dry goods that are not needed for daily use, and, all the extra/duplicate stuff.  It is normal to put the extra things out there like when I buy a 3pack of ketchup or a double syrup 1 is inside and the other are stored.  The dry goods took some thinking, seriously, I don’t need a cake mix within arms reach so out it went.  In the pantry are; all baking mixes, jello, noodles of all variety, and, canned/jarred everything.  It is easier for me to go out and look at the options then go to the cupboard and dig around wondering if I have spaghetti in there somewhere.  My exception is open packs have a home and I try and use them first.


The other organized thing I do is that I put all the things I use together in the same spot.  I put all my baking spices on one shelf, including baking power/soda and all the not baking spices on the other.  My cupcake cups and all decorations are right above them. I have a shelf of all the lunch stuff for the kids so it is an easy selection when I’m packing 3 lunches in under 10min.  Dinner sides are also all together on the same shelf for easy finding.  My last is that I put the tea next to the teapots on a shelf near the coffee and the coffe and sugar together directly above the coffee maker. The worst thing is when the container that something comes in does not fit in the designated space…

Other then those little tricks, I’m not sure how other people organized and I’m interested!


ps.  the one thing that nobody has a real spot for; lightbulbs.  We keep ours in the bathroom closet by the towels but I’m open to suggestions.


Blue Apron

I’ve been meaning to do a real post on the blue apron and the general meal in a box industry but today I was marching through the computer chores of the day including paying bills and I saw this perfect side by side comparison.

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When people ask about the cost I’m going to bring this up because that meal at Perkins was for 6 meals and 3 were kids.  Blue Apron is 6 meals (3 meals for 2 people) all suited for people who eat more than the chocolate chips out of pancakes.  Sure you have to cook the Blue Apron but that’s pretty easy.

Back to business, today I have a giant business related list of items to cross off.  On the bright side, everyone happily went to camp today 🙂

Got my safety glasses fix for the year


bathwater – blue, we actually did a ton of hand washing for a big cooking event, however, Fiona did paint herself blue but then used half a bottle of mint soap to get clean… so technically not a bath but yeah, blue.

Pennsic production – I’ve moved backward!  I put the sewing away in favor of a big work area for cooking.

Cat – doing well actually, moved him to a higher dose of his supplement and its helping.

nap – no nap nooooooo!!!!! (direct quote)  I, however, put myself in a rest for 20min including headphones and they were all alive when I came back out.

Workout – my hopping social life should count right?


Today was a busy day with unusual happenings.  First, we went to visit a local production facility that makes playground equipment.  I’ve seen a ton of production in my time and this shop was in the middle.  They had some very impressive machines and paint line but a not so impressive work flow.  I held back all questions my former self would have grilled them one and one telling glance at the process engineer mom in our group told me she was biting her tongue too. The kids had fun though and so did the moms so that is what counts!


Since they don’t have any of their wares to show on site, we had to take ourselves off to a local playground they produced and run around.  The moms were definitely more impressed with the tour pointing out things we saw in process that were in ‘play’ on this structure and the kids were just happy to be allowed to touch the stuff.


Part 2 of the day was my contribution to the camping event this weekend that I am not personally attending (mom guilt).  Since I wanted to be helpful I volunteered to do the food shopping and invited over the troop to help with prep.  Seriously I didn’t need help beyond Lars (who is fantastic at making pork loin) but we wanted the kids to be aware of the process of food because girl scouts is supposed to be a fun learning experience.  The moms who came were super helpful and made the tasks fly and I’m happy to have organized our way to success.


Part 3 of my day was a fun little jaunt to the board of ed meeting.  I had some questions about possibly running and was very encouraged by what I heard.  It’s some work, but, it’s work for something I care about.  My kids are in this district and I care about them and their friends and all the kids, they need people looking out for them at every level.  From what I’ve seen the current board is doing a really good job, it is a team I would be glad to join to keep the ship going in the right direction.  The fact this is an elected position is a bit scary, I have no idea who else will run, but Lars is supporting my bid so I’ll be moving on the first real step soon.


And now is part 4.  Lars is out – we high-fived in the driveway trading off parenting baton.  He gets a night with the guys and I plan on giving my neglected house some love while listening to my current Laundry File book (hint, it has nothing to do with laundry).  Fiona is asleep, I have leftovers calling my name, and my sights are on a 10:30 bedtime for myself.

I feel like today is a full day.  I’m going to sleep well tonight.

Thinking about Therms


I think people who have read for a while here know I bake.  I bake all our bread, I bake muffins weekly and in this season of birthdays I’m churning out cake and cupcakes like its my job.  This is NOT the time for our oven to go nutters.

For a while, it was just running off but predictably so.  I have an independent thermometer so I would just go by that and adjust – it was roughly 30 degrees hot.  Kinda like our car that the gas gauge was highly unreliable so we kept mileage tally for about 3 years.  Recently it has lost any reliability and baking has become a hazard.  Thanks to a really good tax return we are looking at replacements.  Yes, it might be fixable, however, it is mid range in a mediocre branded came with the house that we have lived in for 16 years.  It’s done its time.

Just like the washer replacement last year, Lars is drawn to the higher end replacements.  I was very reluctant until I found that double convection ovens are now ‘the thing’.  The only down side is my ability to research like crazy so I can find people that hate everything….  The local store did not have any of the brand we wanted but it had a different split oven so I eyeballed it myself and confirmed you can put a turkey in the bottom and a good sized dish, or 2 cookie sheets in the top.  I will miss the storage from a traditional model but I bet I’ll be using the top oven 90% so I can keep my spare pans in the bottom anyway.  The other primo feature is a central griddle burner.  I’ve been using 2 burners and flipping it between batches of pancakes for years, I don’t know what I’ll do with my extra found time while cooking …


For over 1k this thing better be awesome but the washer is so I’m hopeful.

Easter Review


weather – getting to be spring all the time now

nap – not today (so far) <-*** I took a nap for a whole hour. that is 1/5th my normal total sleep!  While I was asleep Fi also fell asleep.  Amazing

Easter Recovery – 99%

House – fair to good

Diet – up a half pound but that’s ok considering


This past weekend for us was Easter, the holiday that has vast religious implications that we semi-ignore.  I always feel a bit bad about that but I also don’t want to go to church 2x a year just for major holidays.  Honestly, none of the churches here really work for me and Lars just didn’t grow up with the habit and does not intend to make one.


That paragraph has been sticking in me for 2 days.  I can’t just say “happy easer!” because I feel like I do not totally disserve this holiday and I can’t skip it because we didn’t and this is as much about the record of my kids growing up as it is anything else.  I heard a stat that the largest religion in the US is non-practicing RC and so that puts me in good company (kinda).  I enjoyed growing up in my church but that church does not exist here…  In a way there are too many options and zero sense of community – I see the same with the fact that there are 7 elementary schools and you can pick any of them.  You can’t just bond with your neighbor because of the schools because there is a high likelihood they choose differently.


Anyway, I took a nap and I feel better about life in general.  Getting 5 or less hours of sleep a night is just not good for me.  I go to bed at midnight, I don’t need to be up until 8am that should be a solid 7, if not 8, but I get 5 because of constant interruption.  I’m not sure how to deal with that issue with this child (I dealt with it in each of the others but both were different).  That still does not change the fact that I have religious issues/issues with religion but being tired makes them worse so I’m glad I napped.  I am running short on typing time though and I didn’t post yesterday because I can’t post about post easter until I tackle easter….

So here is a list!

  1. we had friends stay over, they changed the dynamic of the weekend for the good
    1. one of those friends claimed a distinct love of washing dishes, she now has an open invite forever.
  2. We took the kids to a local egg hunt Saturday and it was great, Won a raffle and Zoe got a prize egg plus it was well run and fun for all.
  3. Lars cooked a fantastic rack of lamb, I baked a really pretty cake
  4. I made a very cool trio of easter baskets IMG_8384
  5. We hid a puzzle in the eggs and we know we lost an egg because the puzzle is 3 pieces short…
  6. We found a way to make an IPA good – add 3 beers to a pitcher, add the equivalent of 1 beer of water, add 3-4 tbs sugar and a ‘bunch’ of lemon juice.
  7. After the disaster of behavior on Friday they were very good Saturday and Sunday
  8. Ate peeps at 7am
  9. Did 3 loads of the dishwasher  over the 2 days and still had a full load Monday to take care of.
  10. Our red wine glasses are just a tiny bit too tall for the dishwasher

Soak before hand washing!

Yesterday I got the house back in line after the crazy weekend of big meals and house guests and we actually had 9 people over on Saturday too for our ‘normal’ game night.  It was fun and tiring and our kids will have a different growing up than I did but that’s ok.  They are surrounded by loving people and creative energy and we answer their questions about whatever with honesty including religious questions.  Niamh has a girl with a head scarf in school who does not celebrate ‘our’ holiday and I told her that  just like there are a dozens ways to add up to 10, there are dozens of ways to believe in god.  Maybe knowing that there is a lot of ways to be right will help her as much or more than as a firm grasp of the nuances of the religion she was born into.

And with that all I can say is Cheers!  Celebrate how and what you do!