Thursday, November 8, 2018

Holiday-Worthy Mashed Potatoes

Well, it happened.

November is here. Some of you may already be planning your menu for your Thanksgiving dinner. Hell... Who am I kidding? Some of you may have even started Christmas shopping! To those of you who fall into one or both of those camps... I salute you.

Me? I have started neither.

Although I don't know where we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving this year, I do know that I won't be cooking the meal. And Christmas shopping? I've been hesitant to start because we've been looking for a new house closer to my job. We'll likely be moving before Christmas... so it makes more sense to wait a little longer to start shopping for gifts.

But I digress.

If I needed to plan a Thanksgiving menu, then I'd plan something like this one. But I'd make one significant change -- I'd add my famous mashed potatoes. Since I was planning on making sweet potatoes, I decided to skip the mashed potatoes. An instant regret because their absence was all I could think about as we ate.

My mother would always have both kinds of potatoes on her Thanksgiving table... with plenty of gravy available. And not having the regular mashed potatoes made me miss her even more. Especially since I owe my famous "recipe" to her. I say "recipe" because she hardly ever cooked with measurements. She was one of the first people to tell me to trust my instincts in the kitchen and to "taste as you go".

I've wanted to share my recipe for mashed potatoes for a long time, and it's taken a while for me to get it to a shareable state. Lots of testing went into this to make sure my proportions of ingredients were accurate. After all, I didn't want to do my mother a disservice by screwing up the recipe.

Are you willing to try a new recipe for mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving? Then do me the honor of giving this one a shot.

PS. Keep reading for additional Thanksgiving meal ideas!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

25 Books for a New Big Brother or Sister

Let me be very clear.

This is NOT a pregnancy announcement. I repeat... This is NOT a pregnancy announcement.

Like most blog posts I write, though, I wanted to share this list of books to read when a new baby is on the way a long time ago. You know... when I was still pregnant with Jonathan... and well before my unexpected hospital stay ahead of his early arrival.

Caroline developed a love for books and reading at a very early age. So it made sense for us to turn to books to help her understand that our family was growing. But she wasn't yet two when we started talking to her about the new baby. Because of that, we had to make sure we weren't relying on books that were over her head.

Target to the rescue!

While out on one of our many Target runs, Stephen and I found an endearing interactive book about a little girl who was waiting... and waiting... and waiting... for their new sibling to arrive. We read the book to Caroline as often as she wanted, guaranteeing her lots of one-on-one cuddle time. But the lift-the-flap format also allowed her to explore the book on her own.

That book helped Caroline get excited by the idea of having a baby brother to love. When Jonathan came home from the hospital, she wanted to read the book to him. And now, she loves telling him how she was just like the little girl in the book and that she couldn't wait to meet him.

Caroline's transition from only child to big sister wasn't without incident, though. As one would expect, there were some definite moments of sibling rivalry that we had to contend with. (There still are.) But the books we read to her about becoming a big sister certainly helped make things easier.

Are you looking for ways to help your little one get used to the idea of having a new baby in the house? Then check out this list of books for a new big brother or sister!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

And That's Okay (Quick-and-Easy Pesto Recipe)

This blog post is brought to you by a missed flight connection and five hours of "free time" in the airport.

Quick-and-Easy Pesto | Taste As You Go

I have fallen into a pitiful pattern. I pump some life back into this blog for a few weeks and then fall off almost completely for months. During the periods of silence, fleeting thoughts of blogging enter my mind... but they never go anywhere. Instead, my shame builds... then anger... then disappointment... then resignation.

But then I jolt back into gear and reset my goal of blogging more often.

This process -- my method, if you will -- also involves coming to an understanding with myself. The pressure to write more often? It's all self-inflicted. The shame I feel for not writing more often? Completely unfounded. The anger for failing to meet my goals? Unnecessary. The resignation? Way too dramatic.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

How To: Make Apple Prune Purée for Babies

Feeding your baby a blend of apples and prunes is a great way to teach them about flavor combinations. The natural sweetness of the fruit is especially pleasing to the young palate... And the prunes help keep things moving along.

Feeding your baby a blend of apples and prunes is a great way to teach them about flavor combinations. The natural sweetness of the fruit is especially pleasing to the young palate... And the prunes help keep things moving along.

My emotions are all over the place. We're less than a week away from our move and I'm feeling very nostalgic. Plus Facebook has been reminding me about some poignant memories and important milestones... including Caroline's adventures with solids foods.