Why is it still July that can't be right

I hope you're ready for an absolute onslaught of summertime foods this morning because I really threw myself into this Martha Stewart Living and I have the constant low-grade irritation to prove it.

Zucchini Frittata. I thought I had accidentally turned this into scrambled eggs but it held together and was good. Even better as leftovers. 7/10 did not increase hatred of season

Creamy Horchata Pops. YAY FOR CINNAMON IN HOT WEATHER. I've become obsessed with traditionally winter-y tastes and smells because that's what happens to me in the dog days, so this scratched that itch for me. Also, the leftover horchata combined with iced coffee was a revelation. 15/10 almost convinced me season is okay

Lemon-Spice Ice Cream Sandwiches. Guys, it's A LOT easier to just buy ice cream sandwiches, which are already good. 5/10 reminded me that everything about season is harder than necessary 

Corn Vichyssoise. Tastes like corn. Left bits of fresh corn/strings all over my kitchen. Has a weird shadows in this picture that makes it seem like it is puffing up like a soufflé. 4/10 wish it were a soufflé

Ivy has determined that if you stand perfectly, perfectly still the heat can't find you.

I was going to joke that it's probably heat-seeking but then I got kind of sad about it being lonely, these conventions have really done a number on me


It's the opposite of killing your darlings

I decided to give the "IN LOVE WITH SUMMER" Martha Stewart issue a shot even thought it is the most offensive cover since...a few months ago. Who writes these things? I could see if we were "embracing" summer, because people embrace things like "change" and "flaws" and "their own thudding mortality" all the time, so summer works in that category. "HUG YOUR BAD THINGS." Hang on, I'm going to get a Sharpie and fix it.

Anyway, I made this Hake Cod Burger because I don't understand what hake is and I won't respond to it.

You come for the seasonal whining but you stay for the rickety joke construction

Honestly, that plate of food is probably someone who was in love with summer would eat, so we're off to a start, I guess.

SUMMER ACTIVITIES CORNER If you squint at this picture, the iPad looks kind of like a water gun.

We're trying, okay?


The week in lessons

I did it, guys! I made dinner out of the July issue of Eating Well for three nights in a row and still managed to eat disturbingly few vegetables. The key is believing in yourself.

Hawaiian Steak Fajitas with Grilled Pineapple Salsa. What I learned from this recipe: I need to clean my grill pan more thoroughly because that pineapple tasted like old burnt stuff.

Honey-Roasted Cherry and Ricotta Tartine. What I learned from this recipe: you can honestly serve anything you want for dinner no matter how obviously it is in fact a decadent breakfast and you will not be arrested.

Tomato, Watermelon, & Avocado Salad. What I learned from this recipe: my children are TERRIFIED of black sesame seeds. 

What I learned from not really providing any entertainment for my ragged summer children: they will make their own fun! Said fun might be crafting hominids out of dill pickles, but that could be a useful life skill in the dystopian future, I dunno.

His name is Mr. Pickle

Or maybe they will decide to pose for all pictures with their eyes closed because they think they are cuter that way and then when you ask them to please try one with open eyes they will force you to agree with their premise. Also fun!


All good things

First of all, I highly recommend this Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding from the King Arthur Flour website. I feel like bread pudding is a really underrated dessert, and I have just now decided to embark on a campaign to raise its profile by personally making and eating as much of it as possible.

I am a public servant at heart.

May I also recommend having a child who accepts dark chocolate bread pudding as her seventh birthday cake? 

The key is to traumatize them early. #longcon

Bonus points if said child reacts to having been forgotten by the tooth fairy by drily asking you to please leave her a note the next night.

Two nights in a row.


With blogging it's more like 2% typing 98% begging

They did it! My people turned their ages! The older of my people was granted his pick of any recipe in any cookbook and decided on Diana Kennedy's The Essential Cuisines of Mexico. This is a very good, very intense cookbook that reminded me why I do not often take on ambitious cooking projects anymore, because it is 10% cooking and 90% begging, BEGGING children to please leave me alone for just like three minutes, please, I need...just... let's say 45 seconds of focused attention or I am going to suffer total mental collapse girls seriously if you value your mother at all you will stop saying her name at 8-second intervals I can't stress this enough.

Anyway, I made both the Carne Con Chile Verde and the Budín de Elote but I also grumbled about it a little bit because I am a terrible gift-giver.

The younger of my people got a dozen donuts. She was not consulted.

She's seven!

Still not as tall as a wildebeest.


I'm worried about what all the wild Rattatas are doing to my property value

Hey guys, I'm sorry that I'm incapable of just not putting a post up when I clearly have no capacity to put a post up, but I hold a superstitious conviction that failing to report on a Tuesday or Friday will result in my somehow becoming untethered from the earth, anyhow, here is a non-maudlin picture of my children by the ocean as an apology.

Having said that, I did consider taking the rest of the summer off so that I could devote one hundred percent of my time to agonizing over whether my allyship is too self-centered or my feminism is intersectional enough. But then I thought, "Without the blog I would have no one with whom to share this slightly terrifying pickle and brisket face wherein the brisket is, I believe, supposed to be a mustache." So here we are.


 Besides, I have other very important interactions to report:

And ALSO, most importantly, it is Birthday Week here at the house. I gave Anna free rein over yesterday's dinner, so she picked a soup-centered lunch from the Better Home and Gardens New Junior Cookbook:

I also gave her access to the five chocolate-themed cookbooks that we own and she picked...the first recipe from the first book.

I'm concerned/excited that her plan is to methodically work through every page of every book.



But it is Friday and here I am

Hey guys, I don't have a lot of words today except that the world is a very, very big place and I still believe it is mostly full of people who want it to be a good one.

Everybody take care of yourselves and try not to get dragged under.


Freedom from responsible dietary choices is the hallmark of democracy

Good morning, patriots! Yesterday I ate the same thing I eat every Independence Day, which is two hot dogs and a Coke that was hecho en Mexico.

I have accepted that I can love America and still also kind of love Mexico.

And we went to a parade! I think it's important to get out and support our local community groups.

I did not say we would support them uncritically.

Finally, we celebrated our liberty by creating art around the house.

"Mom, take a Snapchat of this and write 'IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!'"


This also means that 2016 is half over, because OOOF

We made it to July! Independence Day is traditionally the point at which I manage to briefly convince myself that summer is half over, even though in reality it is more like 10% once you factor in weighted temperatures/ennui. But it gives me a nice little burst of delusional energy regardless, enough to power through one last proper Martha v. Rachael June battle. To the barbecue sauces!

This was not especially exciting or nutritious, but it WAS very easy and worked out to like $2/serving.

This was good, but I thought the flavor of the mango got a little lost. Also the guy at HEB teased me for only buying one habanero pepper because Texan grocers are hardcore.

Winner: all of us, because summer is half over, haven't you heard?

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys the holiday weekend. Don't blow off any fingers. May your chores be ignored and your impulsive self-haircuts be expressive.