Time to pull the shades and hunker down

Gonna kick it off with a couple of uncharacteristically nice, straightforward Father's Day pictures because the world is pretty bad? But baked chocolate French toast is good.

Great job on the fathering this year, Dan 👋🏻👋🏻

Anyway, I had two cavities filled yesterday morning because I chew multiple pieces of Super Bubble every day like an unsupervised child, so it seemed like soup was in order for dinner last night.

Chilled Red Pepper and Carrot Soup with Yogurt except my version is not chilled because I did not give myself enough time to follow this recipe as written I just like hot soup, okay?

I also added croutons? Which defeated the purpose of the soup, kinda? Always cooking against my best interests.

Anyway, today is the longest day of what has already been kind of a long year. We're embracing it. Or barring our teeth at it, hard to say.


The performing arts elementary school is paying off in spades

My recent strategy for meal planning has been: open the Rachael Ray magazine to the middle and pick a couple of recipes from that page. Let's see how it worked out!

First, Summer Spaghetti with Zucchini and Mint. This was quick and easy and pretty good, although I object to the recipe insisting that an "unexpected herb" like mint is preferable to basil. Basil is already perfect, that's why we have put it with pasta forever, Rachael. A recipe isn't better just because you made it taste slightly weird!

However, I have a ton of mint in my garden and no basil, so, 8/10

Next, Ricotta Omelet Soufflé. It was a pain and it came out ugly but I'll give it this: it caused my children to happily eat several spears of asparagus as an alternative to eating any more of the soufflé than necessary.

Also, Anna's long, low "wooooooooooooooow" of dismay was kind of entertaining.

Dinner and a show, 6/10

Anyway, I have tasked the oldest with teaching the youngest to read some sight words before kindergarten starts while I read the Washington Post, everyone cross your fingers for me.


Life is short and sometimes promotional items are worthwhile

Guys...I had a pretty fun weekend.

I mean, did the very highly touted 30th anniversary reunion of Designing Women end up being "Annie Potts over Skype" instead? Yes.

Hey girl

And am I going to be a little salty about that for a while? Sure. I had a couple of hours of righteous fury worthy of Julia Sugarbaker herself. But the world is a rougher place than it was the last time the ATX Festival caused me grief, and I am an older, more tired person, and I found that it was easier this round to lean into the many top tier comedians and free food and weird abundance of promotional fanny packs than to linger for too long on what might have been.

 Quick lightning round of complimentary meals: MTV vs. Hulu!

MTV had a breakfast taco buffet with pupusas, Mexican pastries, fresh fruit, and churro bites.

Churro bites, I said.

There was also unlimited coffee and hibiscus tea and extremely decadent chocolate milk and mimosas and if I were still a champagne-drinking lady I would have made up the entire cost of my festival badge right on the spot. As it was, I think I got about halfway there. 10/10, really great showing from MTV, and I didn't even deduct any points for the fact that you guys sent me away with a hangover kit in a fanny pack.

Again, this is one of multiple fanny packs this weekend bestowed upon me

There is a "selfie light" in there, for when you want to record your hangover for posterity but in flattering light

Hulu had a badgeholder's lounge which occasionally offered a little buffet of some type throughout the weekend. The food was not as good as the MTV brunch, but it was more frequent, and there was also a decent chance you would be sitting near Ron Livingston as you ate it. Hypothetically.

7/10 where are my churro bites.

Finally, people representing the television show Younger kept trying to hand me popsicles on the street. I waited until Day 3 when they were too exhausted to keep demanding that people follow them on Twitter in exchange, because my social media loyalty cannot be bought and sold, Younger.

5/10 they were just okay.

I realize when I look over my pictures from the weekend that the people I was most excited about seeing include Paul F. Tompkins, Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, Jason Mantzoukas, Scott Auckerman, Kulap Vilaysack, Karen Kilgariff, and Guy Branum. In other words, I absolutely went to this television festival...for the podcasters.


Anyway, one of two cats is happy to have me home and I am happy to be had...home.


Bravely I press on

Believe it or not, I am already knee-deep in this year's ATX Television Festival, yes that one, I know, I know, I know I was boycotting it after the Gilmore Girls thing and I did for one full year but then they announced a Designing Women reunion and EVERYONE WAS GOING TO BE THERE so I bought a badge against my better judgment because DESIGNING WOMEN and hey guess whether the Designing Women reunion is actually happening? ***SPOILER ALERT***

It is not

So I'm not sure why this festival has been engineered specifically to cause me pain, seems like a lot of work, but here I am and I'm making the best of it, to wit:

Staying healthy by insisting there be green plant matter on top of my hot dogs, and

watching Adam Scott make *extremely Adam Scott faces* while Craig Robinson is talking.


It's important to give them chores

When I realized that the May and June issues of Rachael Ray Every Day each contained recipes for things that are not pizza but are pretending to be pizza, I knew that I must make them both.

Frittata Pizza with Broccoli Rabe. I thought the ricotta mixed into the eggs gave this a nice texture, although Anna spent the entire meal trying to find the right word to describe said texture that would convey how abhorrent she found it. Looks kind of like pizza? Only gets one pan dirty. 6/10.

Chicken Paillard "Pizzette" with Smoked Mozzarella and Pepperoni. As far as meat covered in cheese covered in meat goes, this was...okay. It did look more like actual pizza, which went a long way in enhancing my disappointment that it was not. 3/10

Pretty sure both children will eye suspiciously anything even remotely pizzaesque for some time going forward.

Ivy, meanwhile, is truly living her best life this summer. I knew I was wise to put her in charge of the Rainbow Marshmallow, Homemade Ice Cream, and Park Donuts division.


And the livin' is wheezy

It's our first day of summer vacation! We're...uh...doing our best to enjoy it.

To be fair, it was important to bookend being sick on the first day of second grade with being sick on the last day of second grade. Only the gooey middle of second grade attendance for us!

Actually, the high today is only 88 degrees, I didn't have to hustle any children onto a school bus this morning, I haven't read a single bit of news since yesterday's rose ceremony grotesquerie, I'm tossing waffle and yogurt sandwiches on the table with abandon, and our most recent library haul is deliriously ambitious. It's the one good day of summer!

ALSO, I just got the June issue of Rachael Ray and I spy at least one potential abomination and one specific dare that I am ready to engage with.

So, enjoy this moment, or at least try to enjoy me enjoying this moment? Until it dissipates sometime early next week, or possibly later this afternoon. At which point I promise I will attempt to convert it into the perverse joy of torturing myself with summertime recipes.


I expect to see this life hack all over Pinterest soon

It's pretty rare that I grace you with an original recipe here on this ol' blog, but today's your lucky day!

Hummus, Cheese, and Tomato Sandwiches

Prep time: 2 hours
  • a poorly-stocked weekend refrigerator
  • a 7-year-old who responds with predictable literalness to being teased "Oh, I thought you were making dinner?"
  • combine above ingredients, as listed
  • wait

  • relax, you've earned it!