Friday, February 26, 2010


Where's Craney?

Where's Daddy?
(Note: Michael was playing motel-room hide-and-seek with the kids--and it took them strangely long to see him there.)

Where am I?

Buried in slush. Playing Rummikub. Working hard. On a two-night vacation. Eating Trader Joe's chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds. Reading this book. Watching figure skating. Not sleeping. Cooking, of course:

Here's a recipe for one of those crazily addictive iceberg-wedge salads with blue cheese. Yum.

And one for soft pretzels, which are fun to make--and make a great and nutritious snack for kids, especially if you use some whole-grain flour.

But speaking of the two-night vacation: I networked in the hot tub with a couple of beautiful, amazing women, including Tara Keppler, who co-wrote this book: food for thoughtful parenting: 12 must-have lists for new parents & young families. It's such a lovely book--beautifully designed, clean, small, and full of the kind of compassionate wisdom that can turn your day around. Plus, Tara's own children are so incredibly kind and confident that you know something is going really well in that house; Birdy fell completely in love with them.

Tara gave me a copy to keep and a copy to give away. And so I'm going to do that right now, here. If you can, comment for me over at first (I really appreciate that), then come back here and write the best piece of parenting advice you've ever gotten. I'm going to draw randomly--but I thought that might make it more fun. I will pick a winner a week from now. Thank you for playing along, dear ones. xo

p.s. I'm going to add a few little extra top-secret things to the winning package.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Every time I go to update the blog, the cat has doubled in size again. Which means that I should update more regularly. Next time I write he will be the size of a large pony.

Meanwhile, recipes. I don't know what to say about these empanadas, except don't make them when you have people coming for dinner or you will have none left. There's my generous thought for the day.

This walnut-orange cake is delicious, and made with olive oil, which is an easy and wholesome way to bake a cake.

And this roast chicken is simply an excellent, basic roast chicken recipe. The skin becomes golden and crisp, and the meat is fragrant and juicy. Although I confess to being one of the only humans on the planet that likes dry chicken. I realize that it's more of a moral failing than a simple quirk.

I am thinking about Valentine's Day, which is a holiday that I love. Maybe because it's fun and pretty, with none of the make-good-memories-or-die pressure of the December holidays. Today I made Valentine's in Ben's classroom, and he was actually mildly embarrassed by my singing of Frank Sinatra songs to get the kids in a romantic mood. Only mildly, and only briefly, since he couldn't resist singing along. He was also mildly embarrassed by the giant book of stock art images I'd brought for the kids to cut up: acres of Renaissance-era nudity and medieval hell-type shenanigans. And, finally, he was mildly embarrassed when I spilled glue on my pants and said, "Oh, crappity crap." At least I didn't say "shit"! Until a minute later, when I *did* say it. Oh well. At least I didn't say "fuck"!