Archive for May, 2011

Weekly Menu, May 29-June 4


Hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Summer has officially arrived in New York, with sunny days, and the traditional uptick in temperature; seems like just yesterday it was 60 degrees, now it’s 90.  This transition is accompanied, per usual, by my seasonal musing on why we didn’t put in central A.C. while we had a chance. Alas. Part of the weekend’s festivities include wrestling the window units back in place.  Real feel is 100 tomorrow! I might be taking a dip in the kiddie pool.

Still, can’t complain after the winter we had.

Even Spidey didn't know what to do.

All to say that grilling season is now in full swing. Anything not to turn on the oven. See below.

Weekly Menu:

Sunday:  Dinner out, yippee! Momofuku Ssam Bar with Scott & Katie and then…Bob Schneider at the Bowery Ballroom! His new album, as you know, has been swirling in my head for a month.

Monday: Toby’s graduation party! How can he be out of college? Seems like he was just ten yesterday. Looking forward to Coca-Cola Ham

Tuesday: Grilled Fish Tacos and Cilantro Slaw

Wednesday: Spaghetti with Pecorino & Pepper with some sort of salad

Thursday: Grilled Shrimp Quesadillas with Homemade Tomato Avocado Salsa

Friday: Was going to grill a rack of lamb, but have you noticed lamb is $28/lb? So, instead…Greek Grilled Chicken with Yogurt Mint Sauce and Grilled Corn

Saturday: Trying Gwynnie’s Grilled Halibut with Mango Avocado Salsa from the June Bon App

Photo by Matt Jones for Bon Appetit

Here’s to SUMMER!


Memorial Day Weekend, 2011: Governors Island, Baby!

Governors Island

Didn’t make it to Governors Island with your family last summer? Well, GET ON IT this year, people — it opens for the season this weekend!

Bike-riding, picnics, art, crafts for the kids, mini-golf, hammocks, giant swings, special events (there’s a Family Festival on tomorrow), a castle, fishing, and more. Major fun in the sun. Plus a ferry ride over and back!

Get the detailed scoop on everything to do from Mommy Poppins.

See you there!

A Reality-Check via Babble: Stay-at-Home vs. Working Parents

Be Brave

Parenting: A tough job.

I read a funny Babble post last week on the differences between the daily lives of stay-at-home and working parents — and let’s just say it struck a chord (for others, too, judging by the number of comments). Chrissy and I have had a few, ahem, conversations recently about how different our days are and how, honestly, sometimes it’s difficult to relate to and truly appreciate what the other has had to deal with.

Heather Rigby, who wrote the post, is feeling the same with her husband — so she came up with a list of questions to “help him and other office-bound parents gauge how (cough, cough) similar their days are to ours.”

Here are some of my favorites….

* When you walked into work this morning and pleasantly greeted your co-worker Jim, was his first reaction to scream “NO! WANT JASON!” followed by an office supply being thrown at you?

* Do you have to lock yourself in the supply closet or bathroom on a regular basis in order to make phone calls?

* Did you finish a complete thought at any time during the day?

* Have you had to come to an associate’s aid because she fell off her desk after trying to climb on top of it using a rolling chair?

* When you reached for the report a co-worker was handing you, did he snatch it away at the last second and scream “MINE!” while shoving you backwards?

* While you are using the restroom, do various co-workers come in the stall and ask you to settle a disagreement or open a packet of fruit snacks?

And to those, I’d add a few questions of my own….

* Did a co-worker or your boss call you a poopy or a baby today when you did something they didn’t like?

* Did the person in the office next door stick his tongue out at you as he walked by?

* Did you have to let a colleague play with your iPhone for a few minutes so you could get something done, but then need to beg him: “Hold it with both hands! Please don’t drop it!”?

* Did you have to remind anyone in a meeting not to stick their fingers up their nose?

* Did you have to break up an argument over the red crayon?

* Did you find yourself finishing the half-eaten bits of a co-worker’s lunch or snack instead of getting your own?

* Were you at any point inadvertently spit on while a co-worker made loud farting noises?

No, I didn’t think so. (P.S., honey — I know you *did* have to deal with a whole long list of stresses that I did not. Endless meetings, crazies on the commute, and more. I’ve been on the other side, too, and being a working parent is also hard — I get that. Bottom line: Being a parent is hard.)

But, seriously…. I do get extra points for wiping butts and snotty noses, right?


8 Surprising Things About Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

New York Magazine on Why Parents Hate Parenting

Chipotle-Spiked Hummus & Avocado Sandwich: A Quick & Easy At-Home Lunch

Currently Obsessed with…. Seeing Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, at The Met

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen / Ensemble, VOSS, spring/summer 2001 / photo via The Met

Looking for inspiration. Looking for beauty. Looking to get in out of the rain.

Think seeing the Alexander McQueen exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (on now through July 31st) will accomplish all of the above. Don’t you?

(FYI, I hear there’s a wait to get in — go early and, better yet, on a weekday, if you can. The museum opens at 9:30 am daily; closed Mondays. The exhibition is free with museum admission.)

Weekly Menu, May 22-28 – Uncommon Women & Others

Saturday, I woke my family early (how’s 5:30 a.m. for you?), chugged a mug of coffee, and bundled everyone off to my 20th year college reunion at Mount Holyoke.

I applied to Mount Holyoke at the suggestion of my guidance counselor. I didn’t want to go to a women’s college because I went to a girl’s high school for three years and I felt it was time to enter the mainstream and mix in with the other 49%. Still, I applied, got in, and once I visited I was hooked.

I loved it. There’s something about going to a school that’s single sex; it strips all the noise out of your academic life. And it’s fun. Yes, before I ever saw Sex and the City, my girlfriends and I were out on the town(s), having the time of our lives, and coming home at night (or up at brunch) to laugh over it all.

Graduation day, 1991

My best friends are the women I met while I was there.

It’s funny; Melisa and I saw Bridesmaids today (hilarious, go now), and despite being crazy-raunchy it gets everything right about women’s friendships. The women I met at college are still getting me through my day-to-day. Some I talk to once a week, some I Skype with, some I keep up with via Facebook. Some I see every couple years and it’s like no time has passed whatsoever.

We drove back to my parents’ house* Saturday afternoon and I immediately started combing through old photos from college. I found a number that I have to keep off-line in order to protect the innocent (dad: “exactly how much did you drink in college?” me: “ummmm, alot.”). The best pix must be in an album in my attic.

20 years later!

Sure, we look different. We’re 20 years older, we’re probably only a little wiser, but still striving to be “uncommon women.”

Four years at Mount Holyoke, and I hadn’t realized that the concept of an “uncommon woman,” popularized by the wonderful MHC alum and playwright Wendy Wasserstein, one that resonates throughout your years at the College, came first from a man. Richard Gettell, President of the College in the 50’s, described her as:

“The uncommon woman is the person who is different from most in that she rises above mediocrity, leads rather than goes along with the crowd, forms her own opinions rather than accepts others’ uncritically, but has her opinions well-grounded on information and thought, not on hasty judgment or prejudice. Who is superior intellectually and morally, but doesn’t rub it in in the presence of others. She is a person who has a zest for life, a drive to accomplish great things, and a sense of responsibility to others. Who is never satisfied with the shoddy, and who is always striving for improvement. She is the person who knows how to think and enjoys doing so, whose curiosity is never-ending and whose horizons are without limit, whatever her future life, whether as a custodian of our highest culture, a molder of the next generation, or an active participant in the busy world’s affairs.”

He added that becoming an uncommon woman was the work of a lifetime, something he hoped that four years at Mount Holyoke would begin.

Every month, I get the Quarterly magazine, and read the class notes. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes. The earliest class notes are all obituaries, but oh, what these women have left behind. They were doctors, lawyers, teachers, philosophers. They were trailblazers. Explorers, in the world and the workplace. They were mothers. Philanthropists. And I’m sure a whole lot more that wouldn’t be printed in a polite publication. They are inspiring.

I can only hope to live up to the legacy of the Mount Holyoke women who came before me. And that I can convince my daughter to go as well.

Class of 2028

Weekly Menu:

The weather is forecasted to be rainy all week. Boo!

Sunday: What says love like Shrimp and Soba? Uh, nothing, to my mind.

Monday: We have some very ripe avocados, so I think it’s all about quesadillas or a (you guessed it) burrito.

Tuesday: Orecciette with Roast Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, Crispy Bacon and Spinach

Wednesday: Busy evening. Looks like Rotisserie Chicken and Kale Salad(see last week: we get a bit obsessive)

Thursday: Collapse! Order out.

Friday: Halibut Steamed in Foil with Julienned Vegetables

Saturday: Gotta be steak! It’s Memorial Day weekend after all! Let the summer begin!

May your days be rain free and full of friends…

*THANK YOU M&D for: food, sleep, babysitting. XOXO

May 21 & 22: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas

Red Hook Lobster Pound

Photo via Red Hook Lobster Pound

We’re away this weekend, but if we weren’t, here’s what we’d be doing:

* ABTKids — The American Ballet Theater is hosting a special Saturday event featuring highlights from its spring season, plus a special appearance by Angelina Ballerina. At an hour long, this seems the perfect way to introduce little kids to the talented dancers at Lincoln Center. M. would LOVE it. via The New York Times

* Post ballet, come back to Brooklyn and spend a few quality afternoon hours at Smorgasburg, the fab new food-fest from The Brooklyn Fleasters. How excited am I that they’re launching this weekly event? VERY. There will be 100+ food vendors there, including the Red Hook Lobster Pound, (that’s one of their divine lobster rolls pictured above), Pizza Moto, Country Boys Tacos, Porchetta, and many more, both known and new. On the menu: fresh oysters, dumplings, ice pops, doughnuts, hello-summer-lobster-rolls, pork sandwiches, fish tacos, pupusas, hamburgers, sausages, sesame noodles, salads, and a whole slew of other delish stuff. Something to please every hungry member of your fam. Plus NYC chefs, Greenmarket farmers, and many manner of food purveyors selling yummy-ness to take home. Good times all around. And…. One of my favorite tot-spots, Moomah, will be conducting weekly kids-craft activities to divert the little ones while you and your partner take turns browsing and sampling.

Heck, yeah.

Happy weekend!

Mulan and Jasmine Take Manhattan

After months of having gone mysteriously MIA in our house, Disney Princesses Mulan and Jasmine have been rediscovered and joyfully reunited with BFF’s Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, Pocahontas, and the rest of Magnolia‘s crazy cast of tiny roving characters.

Cause for celebration — the girls are back in town!

Magnolia seemed to know intuitively that they needed to start putting themselves back out there again, so she let them accompany her to an exciting day of Pre-K this week. But they’d been inadvertently lost a long, long time…. They needed bigger adventures.

When they randomly turned up yesterday in my purse on my way into Manhattan, it was all, “Let’s party!”

Plenty of room on the subway when you’re only 3 and 1/2 inches tall….

Mulan and Jasmine

First, they took a moment to admire the pretty church on the corner of 5th Avenue and 12th Street…. Manhattan‘s so great, isn’t it, girl?

Mulan and Jasmine

Then they found a kindred spirit in a shop window….

Mulan and Jasmine

Next, they considered a drop-in spin class at Equinox….

Mulan and Jasmine

But they quickly came to their senses and made a beeline for lunch at Cafe Cluny instead. Two iced teas, please, and make it snappy!

Mulan and Jasmine

After lunch, they caught a movie at the Quad…. Aww, this takes me back, Jas — you?

Mulan and Jasmine

Later, they picked up some continuing ed catalogs at The New School…. You know you can’t just kick back with princess status, honey! Girlfriend’s got to EVOLVE.

Mulan and Jasmine

Then they strolled over to the Union Square Greenmarket to admire the spring bounty….

Mulan and Jasmine

Time for an afternoon treat sold by a cute farmer’s market boy! It’s been waaaaaayyy too long….

Mulan and Jasmine

Daaamn…. Back to Brooklyn so soon.

Mulan and Jasmine

These streets will make you feel brand new

Big lights will inspire you, let’s hear it for New York!

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