Category Archives: Holidays

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide
I don't know about you, but I seem to struggle with holiday gifts. I try desperately not to get caught up in a gift-buying frenzy at the mall, and try to avoid Pinterest for my inevitable feelings of inadequacy.  I cringe at the idea of getting someone a gift just for the sake of marking it off my list.  In an ideal world, I prefer for my gifts to be meaningful. Or educational.  Or edible... If you find yourself in a similar boat, here are some of the gifts that I recommend.  Some will fill...

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Cook & Learn: Jewish High Holidays

Cook & Learn: Jewish High Holidays
I'll start this post with a little disclaimer.  I am Jewish.  Culturally Jewish, at least.  I don't go to temple very often, but I always feel a sense of family and camaraderie when I am with members of my tribe.   When I was a child, I used to attend Sunday school, and then when I got older, I went to Monday night school leading up to my confirmation.  I went on an amazing 6-week long trip to Israel when I was 16, and to this day, I still cherish those memories.  When college came along,...

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Challah, Our New Family Tradition

Challah, Our New Family Tradition
It has been said that when I put my mind to something, I resemble a dog on a bone (figuratively, I hope!). I ponder, I mull, I research, and of course, I turn to social media for advice. About a week before our son was due home from residential treatment, I wanted to come up with some new ways for us to spend time together and to develop traditions in the kitchen. He is a major holiday lover, so I decided that there wouldn't be anything better than a weekly celebration that would bring our family...

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Halloween Celebrations – Pumpkins on Pikes

Halloween Celebrations – Pumpkins on Pikes
I bet you don't think about farms when you consider Halloween.  I certainly didn't.  At least until recently. About 6 months ago, our family joined a sustainable meat CSA with Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma.  You might remember that until last year, I hadn't eaten meat for nearly 25 years.  But I began to eat it again conservatively from farmers that produce happy animals and care for the land.  We are very fortunate that such a farm exists so close to our home.  Visitors get to take a tour...

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
Our family couldn't have finished 2011 on a better note. [caption id="attachment_5329" align="aligncenter" width="574" caption="Family trip to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador: our family, a marine iguana, baby sea lion and swallowtail gull"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_5330" align="aligncenter" width="645" caption="Me with a sea lion, a red footed booby, a waved albatros and a Sally Lightfoot crab"][/caption] Happy new year to you and your family. May it bring you delicious food, wonderful...

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You Say Tomato and I Say….Tomatillo

You Say Tomato and I Say….Tomatillo
With Cinco De Mayo right around the corner, I got the culinary urge to try something new in the kitchen with the kiddos.  We have been visiting our local Mexican grocery store almost every week lately,  and the last time we were there, I picked up a bag of tomatillos. No, I didn't spell tomatoes wrong.  I meant to say tomatillos.  You would pronounce that toe-mah-tee-ohs, in case you were wondering.  They are also known as husk tomatoes, jamberries, husk cherries, Mexican tomatoes or ground...

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Virtual Picnic for the Planet: Happy Earth Day (...

Virtual Picnic for the Planet: Happy Earth Day (& Kale Chips)
Some people think about the Earth every day.  But the rest of us need reminders every now and again.  And that's where Earth Day comes in.  It's like one of those Hallmark holidays like Valentine's day - something that is part of our culture and gets a lot of attention.  But hey - that's okay.  We should be thinking about how we impact this place we call home. To celebrate, I am part of a Virtual Picnic for the planet.  Of course, my picnic food of choice is Kale Chips.  You have heard me...

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Dyeing Eggs Naturally

Dyeing Eggs Naturally
[caption id="attachment_4465" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Our own natural colors for dyeing eggs[/caption] Every spring, our kids ask if they can dye some hard boiled eggs for the holidays. We celebrate Passover instead of Easter - but we don't see this activity as a religious one - merely a seasonal (edible!) activity that we can do together.  For the past two years, instead of purchasing kits full of artificial chemicals, we opted to go the natural route. By using natural ingredients...

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Black Olive Pesto Dip – Deliciously Organic

Black Olive Pesto Dip – Deliciously Organic
I hope this admission doesn't make you think poorly of me.  But I am not a big football fan.  The only time that I really enjoy watching the game is when there are lots of people around and the event is stocked with good snacks.  As a child, I looked forward to the weekends when my dad had his friends over to watch the game...but only because of the bowls filled with chips, salsa and guacamole. Not much has changed since then, except that I like a wider variety of snacks!  And since the Superbowl...

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5-Year Old Cooking Birthday Party - Olivia Style...

5-Year Old Cooking Birthday Party – Olivia Style
[caption id="attachment_3799" align="aligncenter" width="222" caption="Olivia. The pig."][/caption] This is Olivia, the pig.  Not to be confused with Olivia, the girl.  The one who invited me to cook with her friends at her 5th birthday party. I couldn't resist the challenge.  Well, the challenges.  You know, it's not the easiest thing to wrangle 25 excited 5-year olds and persuade them all to cook at the same time.  Or to come up with a kid and family pleasing menu that was fun, fancy...

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