Another Man's Treasure

This past Friday, my in-laws arrived from Colorado. They planned to close on their new house in Kansas at noon. Unfortunately, the bank didn’t have all the paperwork processed, and the closing was delayed until Monday… and then until Tuesday. I started to head to town for food for our weekend guests, when my husband went to the freezer and pulled out that vat of chili... Read More

Pumpkin Muffins and the Power of Listening

This has been a busy week – no time for cooking adventures. I did make some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, though. A new friend made these when I went to her house to meet her for the first time recently. We sat on her comfortable sofas and had a refreshing polysyllabic conversation that did not involve her asking me to fill a sippy cup with milk. Not even once. (Click... Read More

Shrimp with Salsa Fresca

For years, I’ve been looking for THE perfect book to teach me to cook. I’ve assembled quite a collection of cookbooks in the process. Many of them have failed to inspire, and I was ready to decide that cooking is just one of those things that I’d have to buckle down and do, with or without inspiration. This past week, though, I may have found it – THE cookbook... Read More

Just Some Blog Business: A Year of Better Cooking

Fall is here! I’ve had a nice little break from the blog, unpacking more boxes and getting settled into our school routine. Has Fall brought a new rhythm to your days, or energy for doing something new? For the next year of blog posts, I plan to learn to cook better meals. My husband finally has a somewhat predictable schedule, for the first time in our marriage. Even the... Read More

Planting Fall Mums (While Cooking Stuffed Pasta Shells)


The last few days I’ve occasionally felt a slight chill in the air! Maybe I’m just imagining it. Either way, it seems to me like sufficient reason for planting fall mums. A couple evenings ago, I started up some stuffed pasta shells, in my new quest to have sit-down family dinners more often. I boiled the shells, browned the onion and ground beef, mixed a pack of cream... Read More

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches with Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Macaroons


In the middle of our hectic parties, traveling, and unpacking this month, the kids sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Last week I decided to ignore my mile-long to do list and spend some time baking cookies with my daughters. This oatmeal macaroon recipe has been in the family for ages. My mom made these cookies with her mom. I made them with my mom. Last week my daughters made... Read More

Easy Cheesy Egg McMuffins

green apple slices

Last week I made Easy, Cheesy, Sure-to-Please-Ye Egg McMuffins. In a déjà vu from my lemonade post, I got this recipe from another new friend, who posted it on Pinterest. The original recipe for the homemade Egg McMuffins is here. (I will not make the author take credit for the embellished title.) Start by cracking one egg into each of the greased cups of a muffin... Read More

Making Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade with Kids


This year my kids will be old enough for some of the activities that summertime allows. The thought of having soft green grass as a backdrop – in just a few more weeks! – makes me want even more to start blowing bubbles and collecting sand castle forms. This past week we had a little free time, plus eight lemons that had been sitting in my crisper drawer. The lemons... Read More

A Post-Weekend List


Below is a collection of very random thoughts. Bear with me. And thanks, as always, for stopping by to visit. 1. I am tired of having candy in the house. We started using it for rewards, and it has taken over like an uncontrollable monster. I think it was the cake pops that finally did me in this past week. From now on, I plan to use frozen berries as an alternative to candy rewards.... Read More

Cake Pops! Or, Why I Am "Calamitous Cook"

17blog cake-pops-finished

A couple months back, I saw a friend’s gorgeous pictures of cake balls on her facebook page. Then I started seeing cake balls and cake pops everywhere. Finally I tracked down the source to Bakerella’s site. The cake pop pictures are amazing, and they look so easy! So I picked up some popsicle sticks at Wal-Mart in hopes of giving this a try. Ever since then, my oldest... Read More