At our house, Christmas is all about the kids. Crazy colored lights, stockings stuffed with treats, milk and cookies left out for Santa…and wrapping paper everywhere! Truth be told, my husband and I are the two biggest kids in the family—we absolutely love seeing the holiday through our children’s eyes.
But moving into the new year, the two of us are definitely ready for a little adult time. Every year after the holidays are over, we make it a priority to enjoy a few kid-free evenings with friends. We regroup, relax and remember what it means to be a grownup. So whether we’re hosting a dinner party or just gathering for cocktails and appetizers, the mood—and the menu—gets a little more sophisticated.
This year, as I shimmy into my sequined black dress, I’m going to outfit one of my favorite snacks—popcorn—in a black sesame mustard blend that is equally stylish. Not only do the sesame seeds add drama to my presentation, they also deliver a distinctive earthy, nutty flavor that perks up the palate. That’s why they’ve gone from being a trendy garnish to a staple in fine restaurants and kitchens everywhere. (more…)
Maybe it was the eggnog, but Santa seems to have dropped a few extra pounds in my stocking this year. I thought I’d been so vigilant…just a nibble of peppermint bark here, a swoop into the cheesy dip there. A cookie or two. Then maybe a few more…okay, so maybe I indulged a little. But the holidays come just once a year, right?
Nevertheless, it’s January…and my jeans are more than a little snug. I suppose I could join the rest of the New Year’s resolvers and hustle off to the gym to sign up. The problem is, I already go to the gym—a lot. And yes, I do cardio and strength training, both of which I kept up during November and December. While exercise is great for boosting metabolism and staying healthy, it’s clearly not enough. The trainers at have told me over and over: losing weight is mostly about what I put in my mouth. (more…)
With the dark days of winter upon us, I’m always thinking of creative things to do with my son once I get him home from school. Sadly, I no longer have the glorious sunshine and nearby park to while away the hours until dinnertime. Now we take the small time outside that we have playing to full capacity, until darkness forces us indoors. And when homework is done and dinner prep is underway, I’ve been seeking his assistance in the kitchen.
He genuinely enjoys being in the kitchen. I think that like many kids, he feels he’s entering adult territory. He also knows that good things come from this place, where a little imagination can spark a tasty meal, snack or dessert. (more…)
As an official popcorn mom people often ask me, “What’s the best way to make popcorn?” The answer is simple. I usually respond, “Whatever works best for you!”
There are a variety of ways to make popcorn, and luckily all of them are user-friendly. Microwave popcorn could not be more convenient (my son’s favorite); hot air and electric poppers work beautifully (my husband’s favorite). And then there’s the tried-and-true stovetop method, my personal favorite. I suggest you master all three methods and then you’ll never be far from a bowl of fresh popcorn! (more…)