A Childhood Milestone

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Once upon a time, Esme had two loose teeth.  Despite what all the other five and six year olds on the block were saying, she didn't think this was cool.  

Wiggly teeth?  Ewww. 

So, Esme left her teeth alone and the new teeth started to grow in behind them.  When Mom saw this, she didn't think this was cool.  

Extra teeth?  Ewww.  She scheduled a trip to the dentist.

A trip to the dentist?  Esme did not like this.  There was wailing and moaning, screaming and groaning.  So Grandma made a Tooth Fairy Doll to accompany Esme to the big bad dentist.

The doll worked some magic and Esme felt better about losing two teeth.

Well, kind of.

With the help of some laughing gas, a little Mom comfort, and a team of brave dental hygienists, Esme got rid of those two extra wiggly teeth. 

Now, she thinks of the experience fondly.  Yes, that time she was really brave.  Really, it was no big deal, she says.

The tooth fairy compensated her accordingly.   The End.

Now, where is the parenting fairy that makes me feel better about having a kid, that I know was just a tiny milky bundle yesterday, old enough to be toothless?

How do you acknowledge your children's growing-up milestones?  I feel like they are so special and I'd love some memory-making suggestions.

Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe + A Giveaway

Monday, February 20, 2012

For me, February is the most difficult Winter month.  Spring is in sight, just weeks away, but the weather is still cold and blustery and Winter trudges on, and on, and on.  These days, too cold and too dreary, demand all the best comfort foods.

My favorite comfort food, beloved since childhood, is a bowl of hot and creamy tomato soup.  In fact, the only thing better than a big bowl of homemade tomato soup is tomato soup paired with a grilled cheese sandwich.  I am, however, all grown up now (or something like that), so I dress up my grilled cheese with turkey, portabello mushrooms, and sun dried tomatoes and I call it a Panini.  But as I was eating my comfort food lunch this afternoon, I couldn't help but recall all those childhood days that I warmed my heart over a bowl of tomato soup and a simple melty Kraft Singles grilled cheese sandwich.

This Homemade Tomato Soup combines all of the creamy warmth I remember from childhood with a simple but sophisticated blend of flavors that more than satisfy my adult comfort food requirements. This recipe, adapted from my favorite cookbook Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair, is a family favorite at our house. Not only is it delicious, but it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare!  Pair it with a grilled cheese panini and you have a quick dinner or lunch that everyone, kids and adults, will love.

Homemade Tomato Soup

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Cherry Cream Dessert

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I thought about sharing this Cherry Dessert recipe on Valentine's Day, but I was too busy eating it.  A single girl has to find some way to survive the holiday, right?  The cherries really helped.

It wasn't really a lonely heart pushing me into the kitchen on Tuesday though.  No, I was motivated by a long standing family tradition. I have been enjoying this simple dessert for almost as many Valentine's Days as I can remember.  But it's so good, that I don't really need a holiday just to put it on the menu, which is why I made it again today - um, happy Thursday?

Want to have a happy Thursday too?  This dessert is a pretty good reason to celebrate.  A family friend once won a Betty Crocker award for this dessert, and when you try it I'm sure you'll agree it's a first place recipe.  Enjoy!

Cherry Cream Dessert

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Valentine Yarn Ornaments Tutorial

Friday, February 10, 2012

The girls and I caught the craft bug this week.  I think it's the Valentine holiday that gets my fingers itching for construction paper and glitter glue - childhood programming I suppose.  So we've been dreaming up sticky, sparkly projects and these Valentine Yarn Ornaments were the most fun!

I don't know about you, but our house is going to be a veritable Valentine Factory this weekend.  I think we'll try to fit in a few more of these yarn ornaments just because the entire family had so much fun making them together.  We'll probably also squeeze in a few too many Valentine candies too, because there are no rules about that sort of thing when there's a holiday involved, right?

Here is the easy tutorial, with helpful pictures, so your family can enjoy some fun ornaments too!  XOXO

Valentine Yarn Ornaments Tutorial

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Buffalo Celery Sticks

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I do my best to eat healthy.  For me, healthy means eating meat sparingly and knowing where it came from and how it was raised, using whole grains, eating local and organic, and cooking from scratch.   My food ideals, however, are a more recent phenomenon largely encouraged by my foray into motherhood.   In college, I was all about the french fries. 

I spent my entire college career eating out - some good food, some crap food.  Some of my favorite memories involve a lot of Buffalo Hot Wings.  I can remember making many late night treks on foot from the dorms down the big hill, without any thoughts of how hard it was going to be climbing back up that excessively big hill, to get our fill of hot wings before the only pizza shop in town closed.  Before attempting the hike home, we'd sit on the curb and eat the very hottest hot wings until our tongues were numb.  

Ah, the good ol' buffalo wing days. 

These days I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to incorporate more spinach into our meals.  Not that I have a problem with some hot wings every now and then, but let's be honest, it's not quite the same.  I'm the only one in this house that would enjoy hot wings and late night curbside eating is best done with company.  So, I came up with a Mom-Version of my favorite midnight college snack, Buffalo Celery Sticks. 

They are quick, easy, and a little more healthy than your favorite wings.  Surprisingly, they do a darn good job of satisfying my spicy buffalo cravings.  I thank Martha Stewart for the inspiration, my kids for preventing me from heading to Dominoes at 10 pm, and my dear friend Lauren for accompanying me down that big hill all those years ago.  

Buffalo Celery Sticks


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