Just replace the melted cheese with Bibb lettuce

I decided to embrace minimalism regarding Easter dinner this past weekend, which meant heating up a pre-sliced ham and mashing whatever combination of potatoes were already in the pantry. I know I Martha'd it right up last year, but Martha and I are kind of on the outs and also her Easter menu this time around consisted of Russian pastries (?) and legitimate effort.

So I consulted Rachael instead, as you do. She told me to put eggs on a salad and I was like "Say no more."

She also did not try to sell this as "guilt free queso" or whatever the hell 

I figured I could also make dessert out of existing pantry items if I put my mind to it, and I was right. It did require making a cake out of oatmeal, though. Tasted just like breakfast!

Very authentic

Here is another angle of my lack of hair, for Swistle:

Thank you for your interest, I also find my head pretty interesting

Here is the aftermath of Anna's first 5k:

Here is her sister, who wisely stayed on the floor instead:


On a lighter, whipped-cream-topped note

Happy International Waffle Day, everyone! 

Oh no, did you forget about International Waffle Day? Don't you subscribe to waiting room classic Highlights for Children, which mentioned it in the March issue, and didn't you set a calendar alarm for Waffle Day Eve to remind you of the impending festivities? Hmm. Well, at least read the Wikipedia entry for Waffle Day, which is both delightfully direct ("Waffles are typically eaten on this day") and terrifying in its implication that today begins the nine-month countdown to Christmas. Also ignore the part where it says we celebrate waffles in the U.S. on March 24th, don't be so provincial, we are all people of the world here.

I also made Martha's Herbed Spaghetti With Tomatoes and White Beans because I don't hold grudges and also had already made a shopping list.

Good thing I went forward with it, because it was by far the most enthusiastically received dinner in recent memory:

The excitement is off the charts

Ivy is also doing fine.

Thanks for asking


I think we all knew that Martha would cause me to snap eventually

So what happened was this: I received my April issue of Martha Stewart Living, noted that the cover recipe looked easy and spinach-ish, and was all set to dive in when I got super mega hung-up on the little blurb about the dish.

Guilt-free pizza! It's not just an appealing use of flatbread, it's guilt-free pizza! GUILT-FREE, LADIES. I realize that this phrase is ubiquitous, that books and shows and magazines everywhere have taken up the Lord's work of reminding women in particular that eating should create guilt in your soul because what if you accidentally exceeded the small amount of physical space allotted to you? CAN YOU IMAGINE THE HORROR? The guilt of it all? Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above organic ornamental kale at Whole Foods. She looketh well into the ways of her diet, and eateth not the bread and tomato sauce and cheese of idleness.

And I don't know why this particular asinine condescension was the asinine condescension that broke the camel's back, but HERE WE ARE.

Here are some things about which I feel guilty: the amount of water I use; the amount of food I waste; the amount of trash I produce; the advanced age I had to reach before recognizing my privilege; the fact that I have never earned an income commensurate with my education level; the frequency with which I am willing to offer my children anything they want if they will just stop touching me and go away; the fact that I let a 10-class yoga pass expire with seven classes left on it; my status as a Grade A shirker of unpleasant tasks; a lot of things I said/did in my 20s; a lot of things I have said/done in my 30s; the amount of time I spend watching people organize their drawers on YouTube; the amount of time I spend looking in the mirror; the pathological degree to which I am incapable of keeping in touch with anyone unless they put forth all the effort; the intensity of my introversion; the amount of money I spend on Topo Chico and fancy tea; the fact that I have had so many advantages in life yet anxiously fritter away the vast majority of my time.

Here is a thing about which I do not feel guilty: eating pizza.

All of which is to say, yogurt and spinach on top of flatbread is definitely not pizza.

But it's pretty hilarious to insist to your children that it is.


Nature Girl

I'm camping! Right this minute! Straight up blogging outside just like Thoreau. Which means 1) I have already spent 90% of my allocated blogging energy figuring out how to do it from my phone, and 2) you might want to go ahead and lower any hopes you have re: today's content. Let's start with St. Patrick's Day dinner:

It doesn't look like much, but it sure had that authentic Emerald Aisle flavor, provided I am correct in assuming that the Emerald Aisle is comprised entirely of salt.

The rest of our camping trip has just been a series of situations wherein Anna had everything totally under control.

...for the most part



Hoo boy, the day after Pi Day is a rough one, am I right guys? So hard to get back to the daily grind. I hope you at least made the most of your festivities, I know I did:

Fancy out-of-town pizza, for happiness.

I even consulted...that cookbook. You know. That one. Because there is a recipe for Pi Pie! Which is the one thing that actually seemed worth doing. LET'S INVESTIGATE.

Hmm. It looks pretty good.

Now, on the pain-in-the-ass scale, I'm giving this recipe a lot of leeway because pies are a natural pain-in-the-ass and that is not to be avoided. Of course, this one does call for every apple piece inside the pie to be a number cut-out, presumably in order to delight everyone who cuts into it and discovers an edible treasure trove of numerals. But that part doesn't add...THAT much effort. As long as your primary workforce for this task isn't aged four and six or anything.

Plus, after about two hours of torture this fun project you will be left with an unfathomable pile of non-number-shaped apple scraps. And that's...great! Now you have a moral imperative to spend another hour making homemade apple sauce! Neat.


This extra day of your life step is totally worth it in the end though, because look how amazing all the numbers are in the finished product:

Well, that angle isn't really...here, try this.

Hmm, no, maybe if we...

Probably at some point in the eating process you will naturally tear the entire top crust off, right? And THERE IS YOUR REWARD:

An 8! Or an R? Or a snowman.

Another triumph from The Internet's Most Popular Baking Show™.

Hey, I also cut all my hair off in a FIT OF PIQUE slow culmination of months of progressively more insistent dithering about cutting all my hair off.

That's just how I roll.

Anyway, I hope you all are enjoying great weather, food, and friends like we are!

Spring Break, can't beat it


How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Over-Salt Everything

 This week's food theme was Eating Well March 2016: Or, Things That Look Better Than They Taste.

Chicken Tacos with Tangerine-Lime Crema. So beautiful! So...kind of orange-tasting, ish, I guess.

Gruyere, Asparagus, and Pea Baked Pasta. Why can't I taste the gruyere, whyyyyyyyyyyyy.

Honestly, I don't even want to talk about this guy.

In summary, at least none of the recipes called for popcorn as a topping.

Have a couple of quick entries for the "Moooooooooooom take a picture of the thing I'm holding while I look away" album.

And one for the "four-year-old front yard rain tantrum, for Reasons" book.


My efforts are, as always, entirely worthwhile

Anna worked pretty hard this weekend, putting in some community service hours:

And lending a hand with the family business:

So I thought I would reward her by making something fun and kid-friendly from the Family Fun magazine I was gently mocking last week. What kid doesn't want (Pop)corn Chowder? POPCORN. On top of your DINNER.


Let's gauge the level of Family Fun created!

I actually do believe that coming up with 75 different ways to phrase "This is gross and I hate it" was kind of fun for Anna. 6/10 Family Funs.


The week that was (possible, probably)

This week we had two sick days, an early release, and the first significant re-stocking of candles since the holidays, so all of the recipes I followed were of the "Recommended Heating Instructions" variety. As such, why don't we see what nice things I could have made out of the March/April issue of Eating Well had this week been a different sort of week.

Open-Face Egg Salad Sandwich. Yum! So seasonal! So containing of eggs! Would have been a great weeknight selection.

Garlic, Sausage, and Kale Naan Pizza. My children would have picked a lot of things off of this, had I made it. But I think we all would have ended up with a balanced enough meal. And hooray for any recipe that leads off with "garlic," am I right?

Roast Pork, Asparagus, & Cherry Tomato Bowl. Look at all this good stuff in one bowl. Nice choice, Alternate Universe Erica!

And wouldn't you know it, in the Week That Wasn't I had juuuuuuust enough time to squeeze in this Tangerine Upside-Down Cake. Guys, this was 100% worth the fictional amount of time I spent on it.

And while we're on a roll, instead of looking at pictures of my children slumped across the couch, let's see what Family Fun magazine proposed for our activities.

Make homemade marshmallows! Definitely. Why just drink hot chocolate when you can also do a lot of work:

And homemade chocolate syrup as well, I mean, I think that goes without saying:

Deter art supply thieves by surrounding your colored pencils with a vicious yarn-monster:

Play God:

Do a lot of complicated things to instill in your children a belief in leprechauns, no matter how terrifying leprechauns are when you think about it:

Uh...get kind of high and hang out on the sidewalk, I guess? :

MAN. That was such a great hypothetical week, you guys. I hope all the stuff you didn't get done this week was just as satisfying.