corn dog mini muffins and sautéed green beans with garlic

Corndog mini muffins

IS IT ME OR ARE CORN DOGS having a moment? I’ve seen tons of ideas all over Pinterest, including this gorgeous batch of fried mini dogs from Food Glorious Food, and decided to give it a whirl. The results were mixed: one-year-old Estelle liked them, nearly three-year-old Phoebe wasn’t thrilled. And so it goes…  


Cookie Recipe Makeover: Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps

Chocolate snowcaps on

GETTING INTO THE SPIRIT OF both Christmas and New Year’s (and least where resolutions are concerned) me and my team of mini-bakers set out to makeover a cookie recipe from the master, Martha Stewart. As you may or may not know, I used to work at MSLO. Not as a cookie expert, but rather a… 

Read More »


Toddler-friendly Asian noodles with vegetables

Easy Asian noodles with vegetables

IF I’VE LEARNED ONE THING SO FAR, it’s this: figure out what works and do more of it. We’re all about spin-offs here, and this dinner is the Laverne & Shirley of pasta. We know Phoebe devours spaghetti with red sauce, white sauce, cheese, or really any topping. Today’s challenge: introducing Asian flavors. It sounds… 

Read More »


Oatmeal-raspberry mini muffins

WE’RE GOING FOR COMFORT FOOD. Both babies have nearly gotten over their colds and Phoebe’s pink eye is basically behind us but there are still lingering coughs at night, sometimes waking up the whole household. My own scratchy throat isn’t helping but it was this exchange with the two-year old that pushed me into yesterday’s… 

Read More »


Broccoli & cheese pasta cups

broccoli and cheese pasta cup featured

WE TRIED IT AGAIN. The pasta cups are back and this time, just as I threatenedpromised, I added broccoli and ricotta cheese, trying for a bit of a quiche flavor. Speaking of flavor, I also added herbs, fresh parsley and basil. I thought they’d look festive and pack a bit of punch too. Also, the… 

Read More »


Chocolate scones with peanut butter

Chocolate scones

TOAST. TOAST WITH JAM. TOAST with peanut butter.  This is how most mornings begin at our house, with a request for the same thing. Every day. Toast. In the past it’s been oatmeal which I admit is a gooier task to prepare and certainly to clean up. But really, how much can a piece of… 

Read More »


Straccetti, arugula salad with sizzling strips of steak and Parmesan cheese


THIS IS A CLASSIC ITALIAN MEAL, so naturally I’d never heard of it. That was before I moved to Rome and discovered that Italian food is more than pasta, tomatoes and cheese. (But they do that very well.) One of my favorite summer meals has turned out to be a version of the Big Salad… 

Read More »


Italian style pasta & cheese cups

Pasta cups ingredients

A PORTABLE LUNCH DOESN’T GET MUCH BETTER than this. With a play date coming up, Phoebe and I set out to make lunch for her and a play pal but there were strings attached. It had to withstand a trip across Rome via stroller. That’s where this new recipe came in. Continuing on my Sneaky… 

Read More »


Pesto shrimp pasta

Pesto Shrimp Pasta

I WAS EXHAUSTED. It turns out that having a toddler and a baby (plus a husband, house and job) is tiring. I just needed a quick dinner but it had to be healthy. We’d been relying too heavily on pizza around here, being Rome you can imagine how often this possibility comes up, and I was craving something more fresh. That’s when I saw these giant shrimp at the store. Sold!


Spinach berry brownie cups

Brownies with frosting

WE GOT LOCKED OUT. It’s happened before. Back when I was pregnant with Phoebe, my mom came to visit from Washington state. Something about the key in that door just wouldn’t work. It didn’t turn no matter who tried. I tried. My mom tried. Then we called Paul at work. He came home and tried…. 

Read More »


a garden birthday party with low sugar “dirt cups”: happy 2nd birthday phoebe!


THE DIRT CUPS WERE a process. For Phoebe’s second birthday I set out to create a garden party in Villa Ada, Rome’s largest park. And the star of the show, other than the birthday girl’s pretty fabulous tutu, was the “dirt cups”, aka, brownies and pudding mixed together in tiny terra cotta pots with worms,… 

Read More »


Apple cream cheese mini-muffins

apple cream cheese mini-muffins,

FINALLY, A BAKED GOOD that Phoebe likes! And not a moment too soon. We started a play group this week and I’d been told ahead of time to bring a “healthy snack”. I wasn’t sure how the group would go but I knew this for sure: the last thing we needed was a lousy snack… 

Read More »