The other night, as my kids and I were driving home, we saw a huge golden moon peaking out between two mountains just north of where we live. It was a hint of the promise of fall.
I love when the weather finally lets go of the shackling heat and and lets in wind and rain and changing leaves. I made this savory bruschetta as a little celebration of my favorite season.
Oh, and just a quick announcement, random.org chose one of my favorite people from high school to win the food mill and baby cookbook. So a toast to Molly, too, and to her two little boys! (Did you see that? I used to, two, and too, all in the same sentence! My second grader would be impressed.)
Today I thought I’d interview my kids on the best way to use the phone. Though they are pretty good with some phone manners, they need reminding every so often. And since the best to learn something is to teach it, I thought it would be fun to help them master their telephone skills by having them tell me what they should do. (I suppose this is a little more like just quizzing them, rather than their teaching me, but whatever. You get the idea)
When you call someone, and they say hello, what is the first thing you say?
“Hi, this is [name], may I please speak to [whoever the kid I want to play with is]?
When the person on the other line wants to talk to mommy, or someone else, what is a good thing to say before you pass the phone?
“One moment, please.”
What should you say if you need to put the phone down and ask me a question?
“One moment, please. (If you’re talking to someone fancy like the queen of England)”
My kids often ask me if I am going to ever have another baby. I tell them it would be a little difficult right now, considering I am not married. They usually don’t press the issue, or ask too many questions on the subject—thank goodness!
I am in a phase right now, though, where most of my friends are either pregnant again, or have young babies. Some of them have been asking for good baby food recipes, so today I picked some peaches from the tree in my yard and made some baby food out of them.
Recently, the people at Oxo Good Grips asked me if I wanted to review some of their products. I had had my eye on their food mill for ages, and I asked them if they would send me one, and an extra for one of my readers. They did, and I have been using mine for some time now, for everything from homemade popsicles, to desserts soup, to mashed potatoes. I can’t tell you how much I love it. It’s a fantastic product.
My favorite feature is that it has three separate disks, so you can change them out according to how finely you want your food processed.
For this giveaway, I will be sending one lucky reader the amazing food mill and a copy of the book Organically Raised by Annie Daulter. If you would like to enter, please write a comments in the comments section, and confess if you have ever sampled your baby’s baby food, and if so, what your favorite flavor is. Mine is the pear puree. I will accept entries until Thursday night at midnight! So good luck!
And while we’re on the subject of all things baby, I want you all to check out my friend’s etsy site. She makes these incredible handmade bags and little tooth fairy pillows. So if you’re looking for something cute to give a little person in your life, be sure to order something from her. Everything Emily makes is so perfect, right down to the minute details. She is an artist.
Homemade baby food is so easy to make—it really is. All you need is fresh (ideally organic) fruit or vegetables, a stove, and a blender.
Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook is, hands down, my favorite baking cookbook. I stare at those pictures over and over, just wishing I didn’t care if I get fat.
Each recipe is gorgeous. I am often tempted to do a Julie & Julia thing and just do every recipe from cover to cover.
This pear cake is an adaptation of a pear Bundt cake she makes in the book. Mine is slightly more simplified, and to make it more for a bake sale, there is enough batter to make four small loaves (That’s enough to keep one yourself!).
This is moist, dense, and very pear-tasting. I hope you like it as much as I did.
Or, if you don’t want to donate these to a school bake sale, might I suggest a new title: Valrhona Chunk Cookies. Oh yeah, that’s right. When I made these today, I made half of the dough with regular chocolate chips for the culinarily uninformed, and the other half of the dough with chunks and slivers of Valrhona chocolate. Lucky for the kids, I’m on a diet, so there may actually be some left after school.
Speaking of diets, bakes sale week always kills me. And as if these recipes aren’t enough, I made these cute little lemon bundt cakes on babble.com today (yesterday? two days ago? It’s late). So be sure to click over and check them out.
But I digress. I need to confess something to the Sophistimom readers before I go any further:
I am chocolate chip cookie challenged.
Remember those chocolate chip cookies I did ages and ages ago? Well, I used to make them all the time, and they always worked out perfectly. Then, out of nowhere, they started baking up flat as pancakes. I don’t know what I did, other than I may have switched from superfine sugar back then, to regular granulated now. I have no idea, though.
Anyway, I don’t like my chocolate chip cookies as flat as pancakes. I know some people do, but I’m not one of them.
But then a few months ago, I was babysitting my friend’s kids. While I was there, she left out a big bag of chocolate chip cookies (that was probably a big mistake on her part—I didn’t leave many behind). They were little, round, and chewy. They weren’t even crispy on the outside. They were so good, that I have been meaning to get the recipe from her since that day back in February.
Today, she gave it to me. And, since I am chocolate chip cookie challenged, I regret to say this is not my own recipe. I didn’t even tweak it. Not one bit. (Okay, maybe a bit, but only to let you know to use pure vanilla instead of the crappy kind, or to tell you how many chocolate chips to put in.)
And now I have the most delicious chocolate chip cookies I could ever want.
My four-year-old says these cookies are like the flowers on Percy Jackson, all I needed to do was make them pink.
They would be really cute for a bake sale, don’t you think? I got my inspiration from Donna Hay on these. Her version were with lemon, but I made mine with lime.
I can’t believe this is the third year I’ve done this. Can you? This is always my favorite week on Sophistimom. The kids are back in school, the weather is starting to cool down (for some of us), and I think people tend to come inside and blog a little more.
You know how when you see a great idea, and you wish it had been your own? That’s how I feel now about Martha Stewart’s latest issue of Everyday Food. They have this great article on bake sale treats, and each one is a homemade version of a grocery store snack or cookie, like pop tarts, those Little Debbie oatmeal cream sandwich cookies, and my favorite of all: Malomars. Ooh, I love those things. There was this brief time I could get them in Colorado Springs, but then they stopped shipping them because all the chocolate cracked from the marshmallows expanding at high altitude. That was like torture. They carried them for about a week and then yanked them out of the stores again. I mean, who cares if the chocolate is cracked? Really!
Anyway, I sort of wish I had thought of their idea over at Everyday Food, but since I didn’t, I will be coming up with my own treats all week. I have no idea what I’ll post, but I hope you love them.