Animal Crackers in my Alphabet Soup

My mother, Babyman's Nana, loves to throw theme parties.  Whether she is having her next-door neighbor over to celebrate their dogs' birthdays (last year's theme: Go Dog, Go!, inspired by one of Babyman's favorite books) or staging a holiday-themed Jeopardy match for me and my sister on Christmas morning, there's always an excuse to celebrate. When I was growing up, a trusty standby for these types of events was shaped food.  What is shaped food, you may wonder?  Well, it's heart-shaped meatloaf on Valentine's Day, or bunny-rabbit shaped pasta over Easter weekend, and so on and so ... [READ MORE]

The “Capital – T” Twos

There are certain inevitable questions in one's life.  When you have been dating someone a long time, everyone you know will ask "Do you think you're going to get married?"  Once you marry said individual, everyone (and particularly your parents) starts asking "When do you think you'll try to start having kids?"  And once you have said kids, and said kids pass the 24-month mark, everyone (including strangers in the elevator) will ask "How are the Terrible Twos going so far?"  Um, awesome, thanks.  Hence the term Terrible Twos. Who came up with this term?  I, for one, don't like it.  Babyman ... [READ MORE]

He’s Got Your Number

The other morning I was sitting in the rocking chair in Babyman's room, eating a bowl of cereal while he played with blocks.  Eventually (as is the ritual), he clambered up into my lap and said "C'I have some twiggies, Mommy, please?"  (He calls it twigs because, well, that's what it's called -- Trader Joe's Twigs, Flakes, and Clusters.  Which is appetizing, no?  But anyway.)  So I gave him a spoonful, not noticing that there was the tiniest little chunk of strawberry embedded between the flakes.  Moments later, Babyman made that face that triggers the old "palm under the mouth" reflex from ... [READ MORE]

The Trouble with Peanuts

My favorite columnist in Time is a fellow named Joel Stein, with whom I became enamored largely because his "lovely wife Cassandra" was pregnant roughly at the same time as I was, and I felt we were bonding over his satirical take on impending parenthood.  So now Joel and I are navigating the wild world of child-rearing together and I am always excited when his son (Laszlo, if you can believe it) shows up in his column. Well, it appears poor Laszlo has been afflicted with a nut allergy. (It is worth noting that this revelation has caused Mr. Stein to recant an article he wrote last year ... [READ MORE]

The New Meaning of Dinner

This morning at the gym I was watching one of those WalMart commercials for back to school and there was this child on a bus looking back at his mom and she was waving goodbye, and I started weeping.  At the gym.  This is true, if pathetic.  I don't even shop at WalMart.  (I'm a Target gal, myself.) How does this shameless elliptical trainer display of emotion relate to cooking?  Well, I suppose it doesn't, but we are all adjusting to the "new normal" of mommy working full-time, which means that, like most dual-income families (I imagine) the time we have together during the work week is ... [READ MORE]


As it turns out, the Easy Lunchboxes website is less about food and more about packaging.  Which is interesting at this particular moment in time because Babyman has just graduated to the Twos' classroom at his preschool.  Lunchbox containers are a big deal in the Twos' room, as the core of the Twos' curriculum is self-sufficiency.  At lunchtime, that means no more plastic tray with a friendly teacher spooning out portions of chicken, pasta, or applesauce.  Nope, in the Twos' room, the teacher will simply put all of Babyman's various baggies and containers in front of him and let him have at ... [READ MORE]

On Vacation: Let it Be

Our little family is enjoying our annual sojourn at Lake Tahoe, a blissful summer week of sun and water and outdoor grilling.  My husband and I have been making this pilgrimage for about five years - since well before Babyman came along - and our ritual is to plan a special dinner for every night we are here, resulting in the copious consumption of grilled fare, salad, and wine for nine straight days.  This year, for the first time, Babyman is what my dad refers to as a "fully-formed humanoid" and therefore an unwitting participant in the food fest. If you have been to Tahoe, then you know ... [READ MORE]