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]

Containment

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]

The Lunchbox Mother Lode

So this morning at 5:55 I was standing in the kitchen, bleary-eyed after a ten-day vacation, and facing one of those strange, post-vacation fridges containing an assortment of "foods that keep" like sundried tomatoes in oil, peanut butter, and a sealed container of Precious ricotta.  Babyman's lunch bux stood empty on the counter and I was at a loss. The pantry yielded black beans, dried fruit, and some frozen banana-sweet potato pancakes which I spread with the ricotta cheese and pumpkin butter - it was the lunchbox equivalent of my fridge.  As I resolved to hit the grocery store on my way ... [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]

On Packing a Lunch

Lest my more loyal readers fear that I am wholly fixated on Babyman's vegetable consumption, take heart: I am also pretty obsessed with lunchbox packing (and shoes, but that's for another blog I suppose). What is it about lunchboxes?  At the preschool level, at least, it means someone else (i.e., Babyman's wonderful teacher) has a window into the weird world of his particular tastes.  I mean, with all the friends and activities and distractions at school, it's not exactly an ideal place to test-drive new recipes.  But if I loaded his lunchbox with his favorites, it would look something like ... [READ MORE]

What’s Up, Doc?

This is the dichotomy of the (now) full-time working mommy: by day, triumph consists of finally landing somewhere that allows some measure of work-life balance and also holds the (possible) promise of affording one's young child a world-class education in a fabulous but expensive city; by night, triumph consists of...carrots. Yes, Babyman consumed a carrot -- two, in fact! -- by which I mean he not only tasted said root veg but actually chewed and swallowed it.  Enjoyed it, even, chewing for several minutes with careful contemplation of the crunching sound and the chunky texture.  And there ... [READ MORE]

Chicken Stickin’

I'm making Jamie Oliver's Perfect Roast Chicken this evening (a shout out to my husband for his terrific balcony summer herb garden!) and contemplating leftovers.  I am starting a full-time job later this week for the first time in two years, and the prospect of making five lunches a week--every morning--is daunting.  I proposed that I ought to memorize Amanda Grant's beautiful book on lunchboxes for kids.  My husband suggested simply that I might be more strategic about cooking in advance.  He is something of an expert in efficiency, and on this count, he's right. That said, even writing ... [READ MORE]