Wishing You Moments of Captured Time for the New Year

Since writing my last post, I’ve been pondering the evolution of holiday traditions. How they started. Why we continue some and not others. New traditions that spring up and are adopted…Shelf Elf…or not. I choose “not.” What occurred to me is that many of our traditions started out of scarcity. Feasts were thrown around holidays […]

I Was Caught. My “Simplify the Holidays” Secret is Out.

Two days before Thanksgiving, I’m standing in the check out line of one of my favorite grocery stores thinking, “I sure hope no one sees me here.” I’m about halfway finished unloading my cart and mid-way through a turn from the cart back to the conveyor belt, when I catch the eye of this darling […]

Carrie Goes Undercover with Roasted Squash Soup

Roasted Squash Soup

I’m not gonna lie. Squash tends to be “chick food” in our house along with her sisters risotto, quiche, and salads containing nuts, avocados and crumbled Gorgonzola. The green stuff…broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts…I can get the male members of this family to eat but, unless it’s in a pumpkin pie, they turn their noses up […]

A Pear in a Harry and David Tree….Just for You

A Pear in a Harry and David Tree

I think it was his description of the frost air settling at the bottom of the pear orchard that was the final hook for me. How, when this happens, they steal silently from their homes in the pre-dawn hours to coddle the trees. They start up the modern day windmills to diffuse the cold air […]

In Celebration of Three Years…a Gift for Each One of You

Apple Garland

    When I think about it now, it seems silly that I was nervous. That my heart was racing. That my stomach was fluttering. But three years ago, I had never done this before. I had never put anything I’d written out into the World Wide Web. And I didn’t know whether those little […]

Hearty Breakfast Cupcakes

Hearty Breakfast Cupcakes

Here’s the thing about feeding families….it’s filled with good intentions and constant marketing. We all intend to feed our families healthy food. We all intend to cook more at home. We don’t intend to feed them take-out pizza three nights in a row, but sometimes that happens. We’re busy. They’re busy. No one has much […]

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas, Anyone? Anyone?

My summer office is closed up. I made it through the first full week of kids back in school coupled with their activities. And this past weekend, I was beat. So very, very tired. Before the weekend even started I let my daughter know, “I will only ‘drop you off and pick you up’ one […]

What We Pass Along

I remember Mr. Burke’s small, perfectly formed, all-caps script he used to write the date and reminders above each song. I remember that he was rather tall without much hair and that he lived with his mother. And I remember, that in the din of the small lamp in our living room, he taught me […]

My Summer Office

Summer Office

I realize this seems a bit…hmm, strange…but when I was a child I liked to weed. Actually, I relished it. The same was true for deadheading my grandmother’s azalea bushes. Sure, the 25 cents an hour she paid me to do it was nice, but that wasn’t my sole motivation. I treasured the rhythmic motion […]

A Quick Jaunt through Boston, Connecticut, and NYC

Quick Note: Portlanders, I’m taking the Knife Skills class at Williams Sonoma on NW 23rd, Tuesday, July 24,  from 6-8p. Would love some pals to join me. More info at bottom of post.   Our family spent a few weeks on the East Coast in late June early July. Instead of me writing about our […]

The Girl in the Time Capsule is an 1859 Cover Girl

    In Mrs. Biddle’s second grade class, I spent my weekly sharing time talking about my horses, Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry. When pressed for more information about these horses, I would say that they lived in North Carolina (where I did have cousins) with my two older sisters (which I did not have but […]

The Bonne Femme Cookbook – A Gift for One of You

    I have a book fetish. I am never without a book that I’m reading. I keep books stacked on, under, and around my nightstand. On every shelf and corner of my office. Stuffed in closets, armoires, drawers. Piled in the kitchen next to the phone. Downloaded by the dozen on my Kindle. In […]

Don’t Know Much but I Do Know that Mushrooms and Asparagus Together are Delightful

  For a few years now, I have been attending various food blogging conferences. I usually return home brimming with inspiration and loaded down with lots of free Scharffen Berger chocolate. A week or so ago, I attended my third BlogHerFood conference up in Seattle. There wasn’t any free chocolate (Scharffen Berger wasn’t a sponsor […]

A Strawberry Rhubarb Pie to Hold onto the Noise

I skidded down the steep gravel trail, anxious to enter the canopy of trees – my virtual dome of silence. I needed a break from the noise that comes with the chaos of my life. I jogged over the bridge and ran up the stairs. Deep breath. I had arrived. I slowed my gait and […]

A Battle of Iron Nerves

Yes, yes, it’s been one of those weeks. Sick kids who passed their petri dish viruses on to me. A kids’ sports schedule with no relief in sight. And, of course, the end-of-the-school-year festivities. All of which have combined to render me almost useless for any kind of productive activity. So, while I don’t have […]

Something Lovely to Look At….

  Love, whose month is ever May, Spied a blossom passing fair, Playing in the wanton air. – Shakespeare   My lovely Cecile Brunner…the ole gal finally made it up the trellis.   Currently, I may or may not be involved in a project that brings to mind the St. Pauli Girl. I wish I […]

Sometimes It’s Not About the Plan

When I asked Molly O’Neill if I should rent a car for my trip to Santa Fe in April to attend her Food Writer’s Retreat, she replied, “Nah, we have plenty of cars.” When I asked how I should get from the Albuquerque airport to Santa Fe, Molly said, “You can ride in with my […]

Serendipity? Hard Work? Or a Little of Both?

  About three years ago, at what felt like the exact moment the publishing world imploded, a new magazine showed up on shelves here in Oregon: 1859 Oregon’s Magazine. I was immediately smitten and have been a faithful reader ever since. I love that they cover our whole state. I’m inspired by their stories about […]

A Little Diddy to Say Thanks….

My guy after his Lacrosse game. He was so wiped he didn’t even make it past the couch before he was asleep. Shhh….those of you who know him, don’t tell him I put this pic up.   I feel full of gratitude. Many of you emailed me or called me or sent “get well soon” […]

A Few Thoughts on Food Followed by Chicken Sausages with Tomatoes and Shallots

Sausages with tomatoes and shallots

I suppose the acronym FLOSS can be used to describe my thoughts on food. I suppose I could also be labeled as energetic and sleep-deprived, frazzled and bossy, presbyopic and middle-aged, but why…why must we label everything? I can’t think of a greater need as a human being than to eat. Okay, well, maybe drink. […]

Seeking Sunlight

Sun streaming through cherry blossoms

    My twelve-year-old, inherited it all – the allergies, the sensitive stomach, the asthma. And somehow, it just doesn’t seem fair. He’s my athlete. My sporty-guy. The one who will stand out in the rain shooting baskets for hours while the rest of us stay dry inside. The one who will use the twenty […]

Am I Doing it Right???

Ribolllita

My sixth-grader is hard on himself. When I sit down to help him with his homework, the first thing out of his mouth is, “I don’t know if I did it right.” When I start to read aloud a rough-draft essay of his, he’ll cry out, “Oh, stop reading. It’s total crap.” A few days […]

A Peek Back Twenty Years Ago

Last week, February 15th to be exact, Dave and I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary. I spent the afternoon watching our wedding video. I wanted to watch it before everyone got home so I would be able to better anticipate the parts I could fast forward through…the parts I thought the kids would lose interest […]

Perhaps the Best Brownies I Have Ever Had

  I go through phases. For months, I will dutifully write-out my weekly meal plan, go to the grocery store once a week, and proceed to make dinner according to the schedule. I will have flipped through my favorite cookbooks, blogs, and magazines and found new, inspiring recipes to create for my family. I will […]

My Own Made-Up Mantra

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. -T.S. Eliot I was recently in a discussion with a friend about a group of women she admires. She shared with me how they all have full-time jobs outside […]