My tender hearted little fella…..

Ryan is now 9 and will be 10 in a couple of months.  I wrote this post in 2010 and I do not know why I didn’t post it.  At any rate, I often find myself thinking about things that my little one said or did a few years ago and I sure miss those days.  Albeit a dated post,  I thought I’d post it anyway.

March, 2010.
Ryan has such a tender heart, he’s incredibly sensitive.  He’s been asking many questions about dying….do you go to heaven?  Do you come back?  We were driving home from the grocery store the other day and he said to me, “Mom, no one in our family is going to die, right?”  Carefully I replied “everyone dies, but not for a long, long time.”  He just had the saddest look on his face and I tried to reassure him that it wouldn’t be until we were very, very old.  He then began to sob saying, “I don’t want anyone in my family to get old..”  He cried the whole way home.  How sweet is that?  Sometimes I can’t believe his capacity to understand such grown up things.

As a 4 1/2 year old, he continues to ask the same questions, repeatedly.  I now tell him what he wants to hear, I can’t bear to see his heart breaking.  His heart is so pure and sweet, he’ll know soon enough the realities of the world.

Oh geeze, I’m feeling sooooo sappy today!

Squeeze your kids, they won’t want to be squeezed so much when they’re older.


Christmas Cookie Baking At Home…..

Hello everyone-

I’ve been completely MIA!  What a fantastic month so far, I couldn’t be happier.  I catered several parties and now I’m in total baking mode.

Tonight, I bake for my family.  In my kitchen with snow on the way!   I’ll be making people cookies, aka gingerbread.  It’s just not the same to bring them home from my kitchen already done.  It’s been a family tradition since the beginning with Jack and Chris, Ryan too.  While the house smells of fresh baked cookies, they help me with the decorating.  The biggest challenge was keeping them from licking their fingers.  Seems like yesterday.

I’ll be making plenty of kringle and many different kinds of cookies for Christmas Eve, and pies for Christmas day.  My favorite kringle flavor?  Blueberry.  I am making a fresh filling with the blueberries we picked in Michigan last August.  YUM!

My favorite pie?  Toasted coconut cream.  Hello!  Here’s what Esther and I discussed while waiting for our boys to come out of school today….for the crust,  mini chocolate chips, coconut and graham crackers?  I do not believe I’ve ever seen or heard of such a crust for pie.  Of course, I will use fresh REAL whipped cream and I’ll make homemade pastry cream.  It’ll be topped with toasted coconut. Yowza!

I hope you enjoy your time in the kitchen making your treasured family recipes!

Enjoy these few days before Christmas, I know I will!


Missing My Kitchen…..

Hello everyone-

Since I’ve been working in my commercial kitchen, I’ve hardly cooked at home.   You see, I bring dinners home that I’ve prepared for my clients so that I don’t have to cook again when I get home.  Makes total sense, yet…..

I am missing my kitchen.  I do not have a high tech or large kitchen, but it was designed so that every square inch was utilized.  Organized and perfect.  Sure, my stove is old, the cabinets are dark and clearly worn and the sink is porcelain.  It’s where I’ve cooked, a whole lot, over the past 10 years.  It’s served me very well and I’m missing it.  I did, however, make Sunday dinner tonight and it felt good.

I made a quick tomato garlic pasta, a family fav.  So easy.  We grilled a few italian sausages and I warmed some frozen peas.  Delicious.  Reminds me of when I first married Joe and we’d have simple dinners such as this one.  I miss my big boys being younger.  Loved that time with them.  Funny, I started feeling nostalgic when I realized that I may not have fresh garlic.  WHAT? I can’t recall a time in the past 10 years when I’ve been out of garlic!  Fortunately when I went to the bottom of my vegetable bin, I found 3 heads, whew!

I guess I need to follow my own advice about having pantry items on hand, right??

Have a great week!



Friends After School…..

Big second graders.  What could be more fun than a beautiful Friday afternoon after school enjoying a treat with one of your best buddies?  Absolutely nothing!

I asked the boys what they’d like for a snack and in perfect unison they said “cookies!”  Fortunately I had a lump of cookie dough in my refrigerator!  Always good to have on hand along with a bag of plain milk chocolate M & Ms.  Anything with those bright little candies are better, right?  They scream happy!

In 15 minutes I baked off a couple of dozen World’s Best Sugar Cookies.  I pressed M & Ms into the top of them right out of the oven.  Wa-la, happy boys!

I’m hoping to be the house the kids want to go to because there’s always good food!

Have a nice weekend!



Happy Mother’s Day!

Special Edition
May, 2012 – Issue 2
A Mother’s Love
Did you ever think about how many amazing metaphors include the word “mother?”
We speak of Mother Earth and Mother Nature (no more easily fooled than our own Moms);
Mother Church and Motherhouse (both capture our hearts and spirits);
motherboard and mothership (one holds the crucial components of a system,
the other cradles smaller vessels that operate independently from it);
mother tongue and mother lode (our first language and an abundant, rich source).
The list goes on and on. It seems when we are grasping to express that which
holds together and nurtures, “mother” is our go-to word.
And no wonder. Mothers carry us for nine months in their bodies,
and for the rest of our lives in their hearts. While babies, we see them as mirrors,
learning who we are by gazing into their faces. As we grow older, we turn our
faces towards the world, eager for the independence that is only made possible
leaning on their love. A mother’s love is made of sacrifice and generosity,
gentleness and a steadying hand. Some mothers come to us biologically or
through adoption. Others are met over the course of a lifetime as teachers,
colleagues, partners and friends. In the best of worlds, it is our biological,
spiritual and “soul friend” mothers who teach us our most critical lessons about love.
How blessed is that?
This weekend, we remember all biological and adopted mothers, especially our own.
We thank God for all women in our lives who taught us critical
lessons and offered us the love that shaped us.
To each of them…
Happy Mother’s Day!
Prayer God our Creator, we pray:
for new mothers, coming to terms with new responsibility;
for expectant mothers, wondering and waiting;
for those who are tired, stressed or depressed;
for those who struggle to balance the tasks of work and family;
for those who are unable to feed their children due to poverty;
for those whose children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities;
for those who have children they do not want;
for those who raise children on their own;
for those who have lost a child;
for those who care for the children of others;
for those whose children have left home;
and for those whose desire to be a mother has not been fulfilled.
Bless all mothers, that their love may be deep and tender,
and that they may lead their children to know and do what is good,
living not for themselves alone, but for God and for others.
(Author Unknown)
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Snow Frolicking And A Pizza ShortCut!

Finally,  serious snow!  We have a small hill across the street, perfect for joyful sledding!
Ryan very much reminds me of Chris when he was 7.  He will go down the biggest hill for the first time head first!

Joe joined in the fun!  I, of course, did not wear my snow pants and just intended on taking pictures.  I went down the hill several times to the point where my boot cut jeans were completely frozen into bells at the bottom!  It was then time for hot chocolate and pizza.

Here’s a dinner shortcut I really enjoy.  I buy the take and bake pizzas, you know the ones that are refrigerated not frozen.  You can get them in most any grocery store, Sam’s Club or Costco.  I don’t buy the meat or veggie pizzas as the toppings aren’t the quality I’d prefer.  I then add my own fresh chopped mushrooms, small diced peppers and onions.  I have a meat pizza guy in the house so on one I’ll add some crumbled bacon or spicy chicken sausage.   I’ll toss a quick salad together and dinner!

I’m thinking soon we’ll make homemade pizza dough/pizza.  This is fun because you can make individual pizzas made to everyone’s personal taste.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Food is Love…..

Hello Everyone-

I haven’t posted in a bit and for that I apologize.  Life has been a bit tricky of late.  (excuse the Halloween pun)

It seems that more and more people I love are having health issues.  Serious health issues.  I just lost my best friend, who I am going to write a tribute to in a few days.  I need time for the perfect words as she was so very special to me.

One message I’d like to share with you this beautiful fall morning is to take care of the people you love.  If you have a sick friend, neighbor or family member, show them love through the love and care you put into a delicious comforting dinner or your “go to” baked good.   I have always believed that cooking for a loved one whether they’re sick or well is the truest expression of love.  When I just don’t know what to do for someone and want to help, I cook.

The food I most want when I don’t feel well or am in distress is  chicken noodle soup.  So simple.  So comforting.  So healing.  So versatile.  You can make it any which way you please.  There are no rules.  I empty out my bits of frozen vegetables from my freezer and any veggie or rice/pasta leftovers in my refrigerator right into the pot.  I get this from my Mother, she always made the best soups out of leftovers in the frige.   Warm fuzzies.

I just went through my soup posts and realized I’ve never posted a recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup.  I’ll be sharing that one next.

Have a blessed day.


Post “Parent” Depression????

My big 1st grader!

Is there such a thing as post parent depression?  If not, here’s my take on it….

When you have your first child, you don’t really realize just how much your life will change until you experience it for yourself.  I feel very fortunate that I was able to stay home with Ryan.  Of course, this created a few challenges for me.  I really missed being out in the world.  I missed “lunching” with friends and staying on top of all the fashion trends working and simply being an adult.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a single thing, but this made me feel at times a little down.

When Ryan turned 3, I thought it time for pre school.  Kids could go 5 days a week, three (M,W,F), or two, (T,TH).  I opted for the two days a week, I just couldn’t do a day more!  I remember feeling sad when I left him there the first day.  There too was the end of the year party for pre school.  I was sad because the next step in our educational journey would be Pre-K.

Do you get where I’m going with this?  Pre-K, Kindergarten, and now 1st grade.  Our Jack is off at school, major change in our house, and now Ryan, gone all day! 

This morning when I dropped Ry off for his first day of 1st grade, my friend Sarah’s boy was starting kindergarten.  She got a little teary and I was feeling a little guilty because I didn’t feel a pang of sadness….until I went on my walk.

I set out on my walk, like most days in high gear.  It wasn’t until I came across the largest bee looking insect I’d ever seen!  I thought, boy, Ryan would love to see this!  Suddenly my mind was flooded with memories of walking my little boy to pre school, calling me “Mama”, (he still does:-) asking me for a “toochie” (this meant cookie).   I then was trying to remember exactly how he looked when he was much younger…I was a mess!  Emotional power walking.  I wonder if you earn more Weight Watcher’s Points when your crying and exercising????

I packed Ry’s first lunch of many today.  Reflection is good.  Time goes too quickly.  Enjoy the chaos that comes with kids, we’ll miss it when it’s gone.

Have a great evening!