Summer Activities For Campless Children

Too hot for cooking, so while I continue to arrange bread/cheese/fruit into various patterns on the plate in an attempt to make it seem like different meals, please enjoy the following recommendations for keeping young ones from climbing directly into the television and/or whining each other to death.

Library book reading/triumphant bench-standing

Critical playground assessment 




Put on your matching candy cane pants and hide in the sweet, cool confines of the IKEA children's section--but know that the sun is still out there, and it's waiting for you


(Very bad very American take) But how will this affect my Beef and Dairy?

Predictably, I stayed up faaaaaaaar too late last night tightening my World Events anxiety spiral, so now I'm just going to gulp at my coffee like it is scotch and I am a brooding television anti-hero and...what are the instructions, again? "Carry on?" (Bursts into freaked-out tears.)

I could not face Martha this week because tbh she's been coming on a little strong.

This is some unrelenting pressure, Martha

So instead we have Rachael Ray vs. Not Eating Dinner, I Guess

Ratatouille Polenta Bowl

Cauliflower-Gruyere Flatbreads

Winner: Rachael, people who enjoy British dystopian fiction but wish it would come true

And here's Anna in an Agent P mask, enjoying her summer or possibly preparing for The Purge.


Chill out nature I am trying to sleep

Hope all my cool dads out there had a good Father's Day, and that someone made you pudding or similar.

Pudding with layers and some of the layers are cookies mm hmm oh yes.

And I hope everyone took advantage of yesterday's rare strawberry solstice to do your *checks almanac* marrying or your crabbing and clamming or your dancing naked around ancient Druid stone formations (implied). Or if you are like me and feel personally attacked by an excess of brightness, I hope that your window blinds and beleaguered eyelids were in good working order.

Ways in which I could actually bring myself to celebrate the onslaught advent of summer: 

1) Putting fresh tomatoes from my parents' garden on top of tostadas.

The End



It's the staff of life, you know

It's hot, which means I only want to eat things on top of bread. I mean, I am also breathing and awake, which means I only want to eat things on top of bread.

Battle Things On Top of Bread: Rachael v. Martha

Curry in a Hurry Tuna Salad

Grilled Pepper and Red Onion Pizzas

The tuna salad was too sweet. The grilled pizza was too much of a reality check regarding how little I want to grill outside when it is 100 degrees in the afternoon. Winner: this bread bowl of soup that Anna went to town on yesterday.

For the record, I fully supported her efforts to eat as much bread as possible without destroying the structural integrity of the vessel.

Alright, that's all I've got. Have a weekend, guys.


I made us comfort food

Hey kids. As usual, I do not have any wisdom, nor do I have any particularly unique way of expressing grief or anger or helplessness, so if you came here looking for any of those things you are out of luck. What I DO have to offer, and what you might more reasonably expect after six years of this blog, are nachos and cake.

Martha vs. Rachael: Battle of The Recipe That Most Appealed To Me From Each Publication

Life is, uh, [profound/sad/hopeful/dejected adjective of choice], so I just picked the most thoroughly appealing dishes I could find in order to get through Monday:

Black Bean Nachos with Tomato-Tomatillo Salad

Vanilla Sheet Cake with Lemon-Cream Cheese Frosting

Winner: me.

Here are some pictures of a beautifully empty Central Market, for relaxation purposes. If I could just have these constantly projected as a slide show on my living room wall I think it would reduce my anxiety significantly.

Here is a six-year-old who doesn't yet realize how [adjective] the world is and just really enjoys cream cheese frosting and the fact that Hamilton won a lot of Tony awards.

And I'm just going to leave these here for you:



And if Lin's sonnet made you cry because you are a human with functioning tear ducts, here is a video of me on my Tuesday jog to lighten things up a little bit:



Let's be the beasts

A quick check-in this morning because I have to get ready for the television festival this afternoon (I know the festival and I were not on good terms at the end of last year, but never fear--I am not attending as a fan, but rather as a candle-slinging capitalist, totally fine, totally fine). I did make one Rachael Ray dish this week, but she isn't going head-to-head with Martha, only head-to-head with "stopping at Whataburger on the way home from a friend's house." Which is actually pretty stiff competition!

Farmers' Market Lasagna. Con: so many forever-taking layers. Pro: none of them are mushrooms. Con: the top one became a hardened, inedible shell. Pro: reminded me of the protective layer of ice in Mother, and Albert Brooks makes me happy.

Extra pro: underneath it did not taste like an orange foot.

Winner: Rachael, with an assist from Albert.

Anyway, I no longer need suggestions for fun summer tunes, because Anna has penned the best one possible in this and all worlds.

Let's just be the best/ and rock it out!/ oh yeh, yeh, let's be the best/ come on/  let's/ be/ the/ beeeeeeaaaaasts!


Which trade, though

So listen, I want to open this post with an authentic, un-doctored picture from this month's Every Day with Rachael Ray because I'm afraid if I just described it to you it would sound like something that came to me in a fever dream and I would lose credibility as an intrepid explorer of surprisingly-popular monthly magazines.


Obviously this recipe is not a complicated one, it's all right there in that terrifying word jumble above, but you may find yourself hung up on the step where you are looking at two perfectly good, unmixed ingredients and wondering what you're doing with your life.

These feelings are normal

Press onward. Set it on the table as though it is food. Do not apologize to your family. Never apologize.

If all goes well, your reward will be thoughtful chewing, some quizzical looks, and a silent but deep-running distrust of you in your position as Emperor of the Kitchen. Take it in! Ahhhhh, summertime.

Also, good news, Rachael fact-checked the Guatemalan insanity pepper episode of the Simpsons and concluded that eating peppers will not in fact send you on a vision quest, thanks for that Rachael.


Anyway, I know I joke a lot about "child approval ratings" and such, but the fact is it's really important to find something wholesome and nutritious for young children, lest you raise some raggedy Dorito-butter monsters. My advice is to experiment with different colors and textures until you find something that clicks with your particular youngling.

Pictured: Ivy, with the Hummingbird Nectar that will sustain her throughout the hot season


*blog inexplicably goes quiet until August 23rd*

Hey guys! I'm not sure if you were aware, but it is currently the following: 1) June; 2) National Donut Day; 3) the first day of summer vacation for my children. I'm so excited about one of those!

After my May approach of "here family, I put some crackers and ketchup in a trough for you" I decided to tack hard the other direction and pit Martha against Rachael in a BATTLE OF THE SALADS. They are so so confused right now.

Martha: Barbecued-Chicken Salad. Martha uses the word "barbecue" in that weird Yankee way that just means "grilled." So this is a grilled chicken salad with grilled corn and it is fine and summery if you're into that sort of thing.

It's fine, I don't judge you

Rachael: Roasted Chickpea Salad with Pita Chips. It looks exactly the same as the other salad, but somehow it is better.

I wonder how worried my children are that all of June is going to be stuff sprinkled on romaine 

Winner: Rachael, because I really like tahini and roasted chickpeas and also I have very specific Texan ideas about the word "barbecue."

Anyway, it's summer now and everything is 100% great it's all activity books and pancakes and posing with hearts and apples.

This is definitely going to keep up for the next 81 days so stay tuned for more of the same and absolutely zero rapid slide into boredom and bickering and seasonal despair!