Archive for April, 2010

April 30 – May 2: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

LennyMud ceramic collage tile

Ceramic collage tile by LennyMud, $10 on Etsy -- see it at the Brooklyn Lyceum.

First up this weekend: Sex…. A study says women are sexually happier before they become moms — yeah, I bet! Not exactly a shocker. But here are some tips on making time for sex from women who make it a priority. — Moms in Babeland

And then there’s also….

Continue reading ‘April 30 – May 2: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas’

Colorful Letterpress Napkin Rings: Too Cute!

letterpress napkin rings from dinner-ware

I can’t write an “I Love My…” post about these because I don’t actually own them — yet. But I did just place my special order.

Spotted these adorable ceramic letterpress napkin rings at local Park Slope shop HomeBody Boutique the other day and had to have them. We use cloth napkins at mealtime (a tiny green-living nod to the BAZILLIONS of paper towels we go through) and I loved the idea of seeing all of our first name letters represented in a cute, colorful way around the dining room table. The kids are really into name and letter recognition right now and something about the idea of having them felt both fun and sweet.

One potential problem: They’re porcelain. And the frequency with which items fall from our dining room table is high. I mentioned my concern to Kate, the friendly shop owner, and she confided that, while of course there are no guarantees, she had dropped one TWICE while putting them out on display the day before and there was no breakage or chipping.

Good enough for me.

Kate had the full alphabet represented in her store, but our family needs two “m’s,” thus the special order. And she’s happy to order for you, too.

The napkin rings are made by New York City artist Gail Garciasee them and more of her work at dinner-ware.com. You can order on the site or call up Kate here in Brooklyn — they’re $12 apiece.

They’d look pretty on your dining room table, too, don’t you think?

I Love My Hipstamatic for iPhone App!

Magnolia on stairs, using Hipstmatic

We have a digital camera we love, but I have to say, now that I have an iPhone (how did I live without one before?), I use it ALL the time to snap pictures of the kids. Here’s a little app that makes it even more fun: Hipstamatic.

Gotta give a shout-out to two parties that tipped me off on this one — first, my friend Katherine, who I noticed was posting these fun, retro-looking shots on Facebook and, second, to the uber-cool moms at Cool Mom Picks.

Hipstamatic is a photography app that uses a filter to make your pictures look like they were taken with one of those old plastic toy cameras — shots are clear, surprising, and vividly colorful. Choose your lens, film, and flash and mix them up for different effects.

Purchase Hipstamatic at the iTunes store. It’s $1.99; extra lenses and flashes available for a bit more if you want additional options to play around with.

Happy shooting!

lilacs with Hipstamatic

sunny day with Hipstamatic

Family Weekly Menu: April 25-May 1

Fettucine with Peas, Asparagus and Pancetta

Fettucine with Peas, Asparagus and Pancetta, from Bon Appétit

I was inspired by three thoughts while planning the weekly menu.

First, my friend Kim asked why we always cook two different meals each night. It’s true we have a two-prong approach to dinner. The kids eat at about 6 pm. We sit down with them, and discuss the day. They hit the sack about 7:30. Then, it’s momma-time. We make our own dinner, have grown-up talk (everything we couldn’t s-p-e-l-l out in front of the kids). So I decided to challenge myself this week, and try to serve both groups the same meal (almost every night), even if still at different hours.

Second, this week the publishing house I work for was in negotiations to buy the Smitten Kitchen cookbook.** So I spent some bonus time (yay) perusing the web site, thinking of recipes I might like to try (witness the Lime Yogurt Cake & Blackberry Sauce earlier in the week).

Third, in the promised attempt to get all Alice Waters on you, I’m trying to make recipes that showcase what is in season now. Cauliflower is grossly under represented on our menus and every food mag has featured it of late, so we’re giving it a try. Asparagus, lamb, and peas all make appearances as well.

So, without further ado:

Sunday: Baked Salmon with Leeks & Dill (recipe here, courtesy of The City Cook), White Bean Puree and Green Beans

Monday: Pasta with some sort of combo of: Asparagus, Goat Cheese, Lemon and/or Chives (and possibly pancetta)  – This is a cross between something I saw on Smitten Kitchen (recipe here) and the May cover recipe of Bon Appétit. Not sure which way I’m going just yet but know it will be good!

Tuesday: Cauliflower Soup, Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing (both from Smitten Kitchen) and a side of greens (probably broccoli) for the kids. We’ll try the Caesar with the kids, but doubt they’ll be into it.

Wednesday: Lamb Kebabs on the Grill, with Tzatziki (a fabulous savory condiment made of yogurt and cucumbers and garlic; ah, Greece), Toasted Pita and Grilled Zucchini. This is a combo recipe-adapted from both Smitten Kitchen (her version here) and Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa – her recipe here).

Thursday: Burritos with Chipotle Grilled Red Pepper, Scallion, Red Onion, Mushrooms and Black Beans

Kids: Burgers and Grilled Vegetables (okay I caved on this one)

Friday: Grilled Lemon Chicken (a Barefoot stand-by) and Broccolini

Saturday: Pizza night

So perhaps a bit ambitious for a weekly menu (in fact, Melisa just asked how much of this she’ll be cooking), but I’m feeling inspired!

** P.S. — We did buy the Smitten Kitchen cookbook! More on that exciting news to come.

April 23 – 25: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

Choice in Clinton Hill.

Iced coffee and lemon-ginger muffin happiness at Choice in Clinton Hill.

Love to cook, love to go in search of new places to eat. Here’s a weekend round-up of sites to inspire you to do both with the fam.

Continue reading ‘April 23 – 25: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas’

Recipe of the Week: An Easy Everyday Cake

Lime Yogurt Cake, via Smitten Kitchen

Lime Yogurt Cake

I saw this cake over at Smitten Kitchen yesterday and knew in an instant I’d be making it when I got home from work. Of course, SK only has one small child (still don’t know how she does all that cooking), and I came home to the end-of-the-day fray: both kids eating dinner, all of us trying to absorb everyone’s day. Questions, constant questions. Mommy can I help? (Yes, no, wait!). In our tiny (but at least open) kitchen, while Melisa is cleaning up the remnants of dinner and trying to have some semblance of adult conversation with me.

Sort of a typical, overly-optimistic (but charming?) “this will be a breeze!” miscalculation on my part to shoe-horn a cake-baking party into the evening.

Continue reading ‘Recipe of the Week: An Easy Everyday Cake’

Girls Are Not Chicks: A Cool Coloring Book for Girls

Girls Are Not Chicks coloring book

Girls Are Not Chicks coloring book, $10 at Reach & Teach

Love this quirky coloring book with a ‘tude — it’s a fun (and welcome) departure from the pervasiveness of princess- and Barbie-world. Some sample text that accompanies the illustrations in Girls Are Not Chicks?

Continue reading ‘Girls Are Not Chicks: A Cool Coloring Book for Girls’

Family Weekly Menu: April 18-24th

Cherry Blossoms

Spring is Here!

Wow, it’s been a few weeks since I actually planned our weekly menu, mostly due to travel and entertaining getting in the way. Things are calming down a bit with the guests (canine and human) back at their own homes, and with us settling into ours. So while others are stalking the farmer’s market for ramps and artichokes, I am just happy to get back into the swing of things and a regular week.

Continue reading ‘Family Weekly Menu: April 18-24th’

April 16 – 18: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

Breakfast at Tom's Restaurant

Weekend breakfast at Tom's Restaurant in Prospect Heights.

Yo, mama — weekend fun at the Y at the Park Slope Armory, great local food shops, yummy pies, a free Saturday arts activity, where to get your Earth Day groove on, and more. Check it out!

Continue reading ‘April 16 – 18: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas’

I Love My Salt-Water Sandals!

Saltwater Sandals

Magnolia actually had a pair of Salt-Water Sandals first, but I’ve glommed onto her style. They’ve been a popular children’s summer sandal since the 1940s and now come in women’s sizes, too. Here’s why I like them.

  • They have a retro look and come in every color under the sun — lime green, shiny yellow and fuschia, red, navy, white, fun metallics, and more.
  • They’re comfy — I have two pairs and there was no break-in period for either of them. They rocked from day one.
  • They’re extremely affordable — around $38 a pair.

Browse colors and styles and find online and local retailers here, or order a pair for your little girl from the tea clothing company.

Saltwater Sandals


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