Dear Libby,

(new house + new school + new friends + new teachers) / x = 365

I know that math equation makes no real sense regardless of whether you’re using old math or that crazy new math you kids have these days. My point is that the last year brought so much change to your world that I get tired just thinking about it. Thankfully you have loads more energy than your tiredolemomma does.

For you, I’m betting the highlight of the year was eating ice cream (gelato) everyday for ten days in Italy. Here’s what I will always remember….your decision that Medusa’s severed head was a perfectly appropriate Halloween costume for a 1st grader (thanks Ufuzzi); your ability to start the school year as the new kid….not just the new kid but the new Libby because of course there was a Libby there the year before….and end it like you had known everybody forever; the pride I feel seeing your confidence grow…not that it was ever a question but damn if your light doesn’t shine brighter each year.

You amaze me every single day, dear girl. Shine on you crazy diamond.




libby 6th bday collage

Happy Birthday Libby.

I hope you will always remember waking up to a room full of balloons and ice cream cake for breakfast on this day.  My birthday wish for you is that you embrace every new adventure the year ahead brings.  I can’t wait to see what you do with the next 365 days.



Jicama Salad

jicama salad

This moving business is getting really real y’all.  Last week our appraisal came back….no corrections required…which should keep us on track to settle in a few weeks.  And just today I got a request to show the house we are currently renting…the one that we have to keep paying rent on until either a new tenant signs a new lease or our lease expires…in December.

Needless to say, the crazy is about to go into overdrive to get the rental in its best possible shape to show.

Did I also mention that our A/C at the rental is kaput…and we are midway through the first really awful heat spell of the season?  I’m hoping the property managers expedite getting that issue resolved pronto even if it has nothing to do with our comfort and everything to do with them wanting to get a new tenant.

I’ve come to believe that the rental was a baby step that The Mistah and I needed to take.  A time out of sorts.  Time to re calibrate our notion of what we needed vs what we wanted (off street parking = need; roof top deck = want) and what we were willing to pay for something that checked all of our need boxes.  Time to be in the reality of paying a higher housing cost and seeing that we can accommodate it.  Time, as my counselor pointed out, for our whole family to have this new beginning together after the deployment.

So, I’m going to embrace the next few weeks as a time to usher in a new season….if. it. freaking. kills. me.

Jicama Salad

Adapted From Magnolia Table

BAH Note: To make this super easy to execute, I buy jicama already sliced at Trader Joe’s.  While I’m there I might also pick up some of their frozen quesadillas to go with the salad….dinner is done.

  • 1 pound jicama peeled and sliced into planks (see note above)
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (smoked or sweet)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 avocado, diced

Combine the jicama, lime zest and juice, paprika, and salt in bowl. Just before serving, add the avocado and give everything a gentle, quick stir.

{printable recipe}

Chocolate Nut Butter Bites

nut butter bites

Miss Libby is at an age where she like to be in the middle of whatever I’m doing.  Unless she is able to watch cartoons.  If cartoons are an option, then there’s no question that they win every time.

Having a “helper” in the kitchen is easier now that we have a bigger kitchen but it’s still an exercise in patience for me.  While I love pulling Libby into the process of taking a bunch of different ingredients and turning them into a finished product, I get twitchy watching anybody in my kitchen doing things differently than I would.  I do a lot of tongue biting and counting to ten and, in the end, everything (usually) comes out fine.

So far her involvement is limited to mixing, stirring, pressing the button on the food processor, cracking eggs, and scooping dough.  And to keep the voice in my head from throwing a hissy fit over the way her things look, I “sometimes” prep/shape/scoop most of the recipe and then let her have her way with the rest.  See that tray of nut butter bites in the background behind Libby?  I did those before handing the scoop over to Little Miss.  Her results were…shall we say….less consistent than mine.  And. That’s. Ok. Especially when my helper that day is Snow White.

Now if only she could do that trick where the animals come and make the house all tidy.  Then maybe I could sit and watch cartoons with her instead of doing dishes.

Chocolate Nut Butter Bites

Adapted from Love and Lemons

BAH Note:  I was tempted to omit the flaxseed because I had such a struggle finding it in a store.  Glad that I didn’t since is acts as a binder (in lieu of egg) and allows this to be a completely no bake recipe.  Do yourself a favor and just double the recipe below from the get go.

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup nut butter of choice (I use cashew butter)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 3 pitted Medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Toast the oats on the stovetop over low heat until they begin to smell nutty.

Combine the flaxseed and water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken.

Pulse the nut butter, agave nectar/maple syrup, dates, coconut oil, and salt in a food processor until combined.  Add the thickened flaxseed and process until smooth.

Add the oats and coconut and pulse until evenly combined.  Add the chocolate chips and process until the mixture begins to pull away from the side of the food processor into a chocolatey ball.

Use a small ice cream scooper to portion the mixture into individual bites onto a sheet pan lined with parchment.  Place in the fridge to chill before transferring to an airtight container and storing in the freezer.

{printable recipe}

Random Recipes You Need

to post graphic

I’ve been digging around the junk drawer that is my draft folder.  In a concerted effort to clear out the mental clutter, I’m posting this drafts ‘as is’….

This is the final installment of my draft folder clean out.  These are recipes I’ve made and hope to make again.  But like the random bits of life that accumulate at the back of the junk drawer….fuzz, dental floss, gift cards, subway tokens, and floppy disks….it is all getting cleaned up in one fell swoop.

 Chocolate Coconut Pound Cake via bonappetit.com

Quick Pickled Cucumbers from foodinjars.com

Roasted Tomato and Bread Soup by alexandracooks.com

Salt and Pepper Roasted Chicken Breast a la taylortakesataste.com

Short Rib Ragu from the pages of finecooking.com

Dorie’s Cardamom Brown Sugar Snickerdoodles as seen on doriegreenspan.com



libby 2015Three years.  In a blink of an eye.  Everyday my heart gets a little bigger taking in all that you are.

You are sassy, and funny, and sort of a bossypants.  You are fearless and you are vulnerable.  You are a do it yourselfer and a helper.  You are quiet and kind.  And you are big and loud.

You look for the ladybugs and bees.  You still chase the cat.  You stop to touch the piano keys at school every day.  You love to splash but hate getting your face wet.

You have been up high on mountain tops and down below in caves.  And you love to go round and round and round on the carousel.

You are the reason I am a momma….you are my sunshine.

Butter Broasted Carrots


They aren’t exactly braised.  They aren’t exactly roasted.  They’re somewhere in between…they’re broasted.  And they are exactly how I’m cooking up six pounds of carrots this weekend.  I know that sounds like a whole hell of a lot but between a carrot loving toddler, the base for a carrot soup, and a pot luck contribution, I think it might not be enough.

Butter Broasted Carrots

Adapted from Cooking Light, Pick Fresh

BAH Note:  I’m a wimp when it comes to high heat roasting.  It always ends up badly for me.  If you are braver than I am, try using Cooking Light’s recommended temp of 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Me, I take a lower and slower approach.

  • 2 to 3 cups roughly chopped carrots
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Combine the carrots, butter, olive oil, and salt on the baking sheet and toss to fully coat the carrots.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the carrots reach your desired tenderness.

{printable recipe}