1. I'd really like a better laptop right now.

2. M***** f***** is the word you'd most often hear me say if I stubbed my toe (sorry, it's true, but you'd have to really listen).

3. Possession is just that, a possession.

4. I know someone who needs a shower; Captain Jack Sparrow!

5. Marshmallows and fire go together like recalled peanut butter and jelly.

6. Cook, eat, clean, sleep and on and on.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending a few hours in our next house while it is being inspected, tomorrow my plans include what else, grocery shopping and Sunday, I want to cook, sleep, and cook!


This story will make you cry, for the parents and the kid.


This is a recipe that I've made a number of times but that I'd kind of forgotten about.  Carrot Halva is dish that is so cozy and nourishing that you think it could almost be considered "nursery food", as my good friend Nigella Lawson calls kid food.  I like this as a dessert or a quick breakfast.  Even though it's made with carrots, they don't ever really soften enough to make it mushy.  It has a texture more like a small cooked grain or pasta like couscous.  Traditionally carrot halva (or halwa) is spiced with only cardamon.  I, however, like to spice mine with the works, including cinnamon, clove, and allspice.

Here's my almost recipe.  Great for using up gobs of carrots.

1 pound of carrots, grated (I grate mine as fine as my food processor will chop 'em)
6 tablespoons butter (Ghee, if you've got it)
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
(Some cooks advocate substituting sweetened condensed milk for the milk and sugar.)

Any combination of the following spices, ground or whole.  I'd try a 1/2-1 teaspoon of each (ground) to start off with.


 1/2 cup blanched almonds, but pistachios or cashews would be gorgeous too.  You might freshen these up by microwaving them on a plate for 1 minute.

1/3 cup dried cranberries, cherries or sultanas (cherries or cranberries are gorgeous)

Melt the butter in a heavy pan on the stove or in a crock pot set on high.  Add the carrots, salt and spices.  Stir to combine and cook until the carrots take on a burnished, gorgeous color.  Add the milk and cook on the stove top for 40 minutes, 1-2 hours in a crock pot on high, more if it's on low.  Add the sugar, nuts and dried fruit. Cook for 10 minutes longer (more if it's in a crock pot).  Taste and adjust sugar and spices to your liking.  I've heard of serving this warm with ice cream.


1. Enough with the complaining about the weather already (I'll try to quit whining too).

2. Moving causes me to be conflicted.

3. I've been craving warmth and sunlight.

4. My son Sam makes me laugh.

5. I wish I could go to someplace, any place, warm next week.

6. A depressed friend has been on my mind lately.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to playing games with my boy-ohs, tomorrow my plans include cooking and cooking and Sunday, I want to go to church already!


I call this a Winter Steak because in the summer I always cook my steaks on the grill.  I like grilling, but am not about to do it when it's 3 degrees outside.  (FYI, there are two steaks in the photo, or else that was one weird steer).

So, how to do a Winter Steak.  I recommend choosing a thick steak, otherwise you might just as well cook this on top of the stove, in which case it would be panfried.  Doesn't sound as good as a Winter Steak, does it?

First, remove your steak from the chill chest and allow it to warm up a bit.  I hear this is a good thing to do.  Heat a cast iron pan over high heat for 3-5 minutes and set your oven to 400 degrees.  While you wait. rub one side of the steak with olive oil and sprinkle it generously with kosher salt, pushing the salt in so that it sticks.  You can sprinkle other steak seasonings on it, but not herbs.  I use Montreal Steak Seasoning or a cajun/creole/whatever seasoning one would use for blackening.  Next throw your steak in the pan and do not for one second think of moving it.  Oil and season the other side.  Flip the steak after a few minutes (oh, make sure your hood vent is on) and throw the pan, steak and all, into a hot oven. 

Now here is where you really have to do some thinking.  How done do you want your steak?  Medium rare?  Me too.  So check your steak after about 4 minutes.  Touch it carefully.  It should feel pretty soft.  Remove it from the oven when it feels right.  Remove the steak to a serving platter and cover with foil.  For God's sake, do not cut into this steak for at least 5 minutes.  Gild the lily with a bit of olive oil, crumbled bleu cheese, balsamic vinegar.... what have you.

Oh, and check out how my grill looks today.



Gentle Readers, I am certain that if you are reading this blog (all three of you) it is very likely that you are someone who cares about me or who at a minimum knows me.  Let me introduce you to our (fingers crossed) new house!  We are moving across town and could not be happier.  If you don't have a magnifying glass handy and would like to see larger images of our house, click on the picture.  I know it's a bit fussy and Victorian-looking right now, but rest assured 4 boys and my lack of decorating talent will take care of that straight away. 



Paragraph.I don't know what to call this other than a snow swag.  I really think that's what it looks like.  I found this hanging on my backyard fence this afternoon.  In the past 4 days we've received about 18 inches of snow.  Because there has been no wind we've had some pretty interesting and high piles of snow forming.  Beautiful, but enough already.


My sweetheart of a husband brought this litle number home for me today.  It's a Steve Madden (love the shoes) iPod wallet.  I love it because it's red and it will make it really easy to find my iPod in my ginormous purse.  Also, my last iPod (may she rest in peace) had some really cool High School Musical bling on her that made her really special and easy to recognize.  This nifty little wallet will hlep this new iPod wiggle its way into my heart.  Thanks, Dave.


1. It's January; it's cold and snowy.  Get over it (and learn how to drive in it).

2. Organization is what I crave most right now.

3. Cork and wine go together like Dave and Gail (sick, I know).

4. Kale and chorizo soup is so nourishing.

5. Let us dare to leave George (age 2) unattended on the potty.

6. This house is no longer going to be my home.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to vegging, tomorrow my plans include making enchiladas and Sunday, I want to pack like I'm moving in six weeks!


I made this for dinner last night.  Truly, it couldn't be easier.  Yes, it's a spin off of the Pork Chops with Gnocchi I made last week.  This recipe's adapted from Emeril.  He served it with spaetzle, which would be fabulous.

1 ham steak

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup half and half

2 tablespoons whole grain or deli style mustard

Maple syrup


Brown the ham steak in butter, 2-3 minutes each side.  Remove to a plate.  Deglaze the pan with the half and half, scraping up the yummy bits off the bottom (those bits are called fond, for the uninitiated).  Add the mustard, pepper and a splash of maple syrple.  Serve the sauce with the ham steak and mashed potatoes.