The Family Of Foodies

When our kids come home from college for a visit, suddenly our kitchen is bursting with the smell of my freshly baked banana bread with raisins and chocolate chips, soon afterwards dark chocolate brownies are left to cool waiting for me to slather on the thick, creamy dark chocolate frosting.

Their dad and I have both gone to the supermarket to stock up on their favorite foods, they could stay four weeks, even though they are only here for four days or is it one day? It doesn’t matter. We pack the leftovers so the kids can take them to share with their friends.

 

I stood in the freezer section getting frost bite while choosing six quarts of ice cream, all different flavors.  We have Ben and Jerry’s Coffee, Coffee Buzz, Graeter’s Black Cherry Chip,

 

Graeter's

Graeter’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Black Raspberry Chip, and Chocolate, Chocolate Chip. We also have Mango Sorbet, Blood Orange Sorbet and Haagen Daas’ Pistachio ice cream (which to me, is a great disappointment, vanilla with a couple of shelled pistachio nuts in it. I won’t buy it again.) Any suggestions of another brand of pistachio ice cream?

 

 

 

 

 

We have rainbow cookies, molasses cookies.

 

 

amaretto cookies, and of course, Double Stuffed “Oreos.”(Thank you, Nabisco)

 

We don’t live like this all the time, believe me, we only stock up when our college kids come home to visit. Our daughter’s description of the ideal break is: “watching, (streaming episodes) of her favorite television shows on her computer and eating her home-cooked favorite foods and I quote.” Isn’t that what coming home is all about?”

My husband made a delicious eggplant parmegian/ parmesan, I made guacamole, and a tomato, mozzarella, olive oil, basil salad, we had

 

English: Guacamole in a bowl. Photograph taken...

 

chips, pizza, huge salads, creative salads with lettuce and arugula, cranberries, goat cheese, string beans, grapes, and cucumbers (and anything else I found) with no meat (for our daughter “the vegetarian.”) Yes, she DOES get plenty of protein, she never liked meat and never ate it as a baby. I’m anticipating the questions that will follow…

BOTH of my grown-up children came home a day early as a surprise and I consider myself deeply blessed. I am truly grateful to be able to have one night together with my whole family, where we eat will be up to them, with our approval, and bound by price range and affordability.

Tonight, we will eat leftovers with no complaints and if there are complaints, that’s okay, the only other option is…no other option. I do regret how lenient we were with our children when they were small. I felt like a short order cook, a grilled cheese for one, spaghetti with meatballs for the other….the things you learn in hindsight.


We all make mistakes as parents but if that’s the worst mistake we made then I think we did pretty well. We have super nice, polite kind, kids, independent, loving, street smart and compassionate. What more could a mother and a father want? NOTHING.

Are they perfect?  No.  Are we? Heck no. Do we wish they would change certain things?  Sometimes. No, I am NOT going to argue with you about this!! (you- know -who) I know that they wish the same for us. We’re a family, we all need to work together. Every single one of us needs to learn how to compromise and accept not always being right. Accepting someone’s difference is harder than deciding to disagree. Respect another person’s position without judgment. Try.

What would you rather be, a very old friend asked me thirty years ago, right or at peace?

My answer thirty years ago was” right,” I changed my answer in the years to come. The kids will learn that, in time. Or, they won’t. That is entirely up to them. It took me a long time to see it, peace wins for me now, every single time.

We all grow-up, we make mistakes, we fall down, we get up and we fall down again. Children, like adults, learn, from their mistakes. Let them make them.

When our kids went back to school a few days ago my husband and I went right back to eating very simple meals. Scrambled eggs with cheese and toast, pasta with meat sauce, home-made pea soup, chunky with carrots, ham, spices and a salad and french bread. A roasted chicken, rice and freshly cut vegetables with a yogurt dill sauce. After dinner, we often go upstairs, lie on our bed, watch our television set with a small (ok, medium) bowl of ice cream in our hands (with rainbow-colored sprinkles for me) to watch the Jimmy Fallon show from the night before. A simpler life, quieter, we accept what we have, what we can’t change and that’s okay. Love what you have today, understand and accept that you will see your children less, yesterday is gone and we don’t know what the future will bring.

Enjoy the moment. Be Thankful. Breathe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Craving Cheeseburgers, Part 2: My Love Affair With Dessert

When we last spoke in “Craving All Cheeseburgers” my husband and I really DID go out for the delicious, juicy cheeseburger and I kept my promise (to you) to look at the dessert menu. Did you think I would disappointed you, my friends? Of course not.

On the dessert menu: Creme Brulé, Ice Cream, Sorbet, flourless chocolate cake (No other pastries) and a special Banana-Chocolate bread pudding. That definitely interested my husband, since he loves bananas and chocolate. I was trying to be nice, so I said I would share it with him. I had my doubts.

Big Mistake.

It tasted like the banana bread that I bake except much drier.  I

Monique's Banana & Raisin Cake

Monique’s Banana & Raisin Cake (Photo credit: Great British Chefs)

make banana bread several ways. Plain, with raisins. Plain with chocolate chips and lastly banana bread with both chocolate chips and raisins.

I’m a huge fan of raisins, so give me an oatmeal raisin cookie and I’m in heaven. I will eat chocolate chip cookies but I prefer oatmeal raisin, I might have to try to make them this week. I’m an oddball I know, I like molasses cookies and cinnamon cookies ginger cookies and vanilla cookies, that’s why my nickname, years ago, was “Vanilla Girl.” I like chocolate too as a pre-dessert, dark chocolate I consider medicinal in a heart healthy kind of way.

The bread pudding was too hard to resemble anything pudding like. It had the consistency of a very dry sponge.  My husband ate some of it and we

Description unavailable

Description unavailable (Photo credit: rob.knight)

brought the rest home which is still sitting in our over crowded refrigerator. I scrounged around our cabinet and came up with some cinnamon cookies and a (large) spoon of Nutella for my dessert. Not bad at all.

Tonight, I am looking forward to the Greek diner’s rice pudding that my mother lovingly bought me after we shared the best tuna sandwich in the world. There are only a few places that are known to us for tuna approved edibility.

Our main course tonight will probably be scrambled eggs and English muffins but as long as I am happy with my dessert nothing else matters. I have to put raisins in the rice pudding now, before I forget.

Rice pudding bowl

Rice pudding bowl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t told anyone this but I just ordered home-baked molasses cookies on-line and I am waiting for them to arrive any day now. (They were expensive.)

My friend Judith really does eat dessert first when she is home, I need the anticipation. I have a Pre-D and then a  real-D. Same kind of concept mine just has a base of protein.

Tomato, TomAto.

PS Those were the best cookies I have EVER had. Worth every dollar. They also come in a “Snickerdoodle” variety which the company says is the Molasses cookies with raisins. Does anyone know? I looked up Snickerdoodles and there are many versions.

Please help.

That is going straight on my birthday list. I’m drooling.

Cookies? Check. Ice Cream? Check. Impulse Items? Check.

WELCOME HOME

 

I haven’t had the energy to go grocery shopping (something I hold near and dear to my heart) since early Spring. I’ve had all my illnesses flare up at the same time: Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Syncopy, Fainting and Crashing, No Energy etc. For me? A tragic loss. For the supermarket? A major deficit. I’m not joking (as most of my readers will tell you) I LOVE FOOD, good food, strange food, NEW food and products. I will always look at every item on the shelves to see if I can spot any new items. I always can and I always buy them. I have no idea what the photo below is showing but that is a product I would definitely buy and eat, wouldn’t you?

Fastelavnsboller

Fastelavnsboller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband came along for this trip just to see if I could physically make it but once we were in the store I shot out with my carriage grinning wickedly. I don’t need a list nor do I want one. This is my home. I look at every item in every aisle and I know what I need, want or have to have for that week.

I knew it was a mistake NOT to go into marketing after I graduated college. I am the one to pick out the next new product, the new sensation, the new flavor, I’m a marketer’s taste test dream. Is it too late? I am at my prime, have your people twitter my people.

My mom says I have been like this since I’ve been five years old. I haven’t outgrown it and am proud to say my children, have inherited this hobby too. Even now, in their twenties, they love to go shopping with their mom.

For a while when I was younger (no, I’m not kidding) my then boyfriend, now husband, watched a show called Supermarket Sweep. We watched the original show every single night when it first came on. We toyed with the idea of getting married in a supermarket but somehow never went through with it; I regret that.

Stew Leonard’s is a great place to shop and fun too. I bet they would help if we could talk my (un) romantic husband into the idea. Right near the mooing cow! Don’t get me too excited, please.

Stew Leonard's

Stew Leonard’s (Photo credit: JeepersMedia)

Anyway, I bought: (New Product) lemon ice cream with mashed lemon cookies inside,huge, soft oatmeal raisin cookies (new brand) some new kind of skinny-ish popcorn for when you need something slightly salty but not fatty while you are watching a movie at home.

 

Also, I am now taking a new medication for my fainting spells, the fancy name is Syncopy also: Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Narrow Angled Glaucoma, Eppiglottitis, IBS,  and others. I now have to have breakfast. I bought apple, blueberry and strawberry breakfast bars. This is the first time in all my life that I have eaten breakfast, my mom will be so pleased.

Usually, it’s just that steaming cup of coffee in my white Starbucks mug with half and half and one sweetener. I look forward to the smell and the first sip every single morning.

After that, I just go on with the boring details of my day. If I don’t feel the need to nap, I feel it is a personal triumph. Then our dinner conversation begins around 4pm. What shall we cook?  It doesn’t really matter, last night we had hot dogs, baked beans, and broccoli, the night before pizza but they are all precursors to the most important part of any meal: dessert. The lemon ice cream dessert:

Lemon

I dipped my spoon, my little spoon, into that new lemon ice cream, slowly, tasted a small bite, let it linger on my tongue and swallowed slowly, making sure I had a cookie bite with the ice cream. I was hoping for a dance sensation in my mouth or as my husband and I used to say “I hope it dances.” Did it? Oh yes. After half a cup of delicious lemon ice cream with bits of lemon cookies, I have found a new love. It’s so nice to be in love again, I feel tingly all over.

 

My OTHER Stomach

DID ANYONE SAY DESSERT ???

Peeps, work with me here, I am telling you a very big secret. Not many know about this but it is a very easy concept. Forget about anything, anyone else has told you, especially your doctors. They don’t teach THIS in medical school because they don’t even know about it. But, I do and I know it well. I have taught my family and they went on and taught their most trusted friends. Be careful with this most amazing gift. I am telling it to you because of my deep love for my readers.

Most people apparently feel that they have one stomach. Most medical people would agree but I beg to differ. Growing up with a Viennese father and a German/French mother we never had dessert. Dessert in our home was jello or social tea biscuits or those pressed, break your teeth hard raisin or prune bars that I haven’t seen since the sixties. My father would make up things called “concoctions”  for himself with bananas, ice milk (sherbert?) applesauce, sprinkles, canned fruit, yogurt and whatever else he could find. Example something like below but much higher:

"Dessert pour une personne"

“Dessert pour une personne” (Photo credit: Maxime FORT)

When I became a mother, things changed. I didn’t want my kids to have to go to other people’s houses and search/sneak through their closets and take delicious snacks ( like I did.) No, I wanted to be the provider of the snacks. In fact, my friend Debbie’s son, Michael,  called me “The Cookie Lady,” a name I wore with great pride.

In my house sweets were NOT banned but limits were set. Some of my children’s friends would come here with an organic apple and then gorge themselves full of Oreos or Chocolate Chip cookies. I didn’t judge AND there was always fruit on the table along with the cookies. I gave them choices…

In short, when you are full with a meal you can always have dessert. Always. There is a different pouch for that: The Dessert Stomach. It is there for a good reason, because in my family now, there is always room for dessert. Always.

No matter how full you are, no matter if you think you can’t eat another bite, just rest for a minute, look at the dessert menu and order. As soon as your dessert comes, your dessert stomach is happy to oblige. In our family we have 2 chocolate lovers and two

cupcakes

cupcakes (Photo credit: stu_spivack)

vanilla lovers, although I can go both ways.

We always we end up buying one dessert ( or two) and sharing them. Dessert (or D as we call it) is love to a higher power.

So next time you order dessert, don’t feel guilty, you are not over eating, you are just trying to fill a bit of your Dessert Stomach. Don’t say it timidly, say it with confidence and power. Most of all, say it convincingly. I bet they have never heard  of the “Other Stomach” Theory.

Feel free to tell them.

PS this is not meant for after lunch ( I got into trouble that way) it is only for after dinner. Trust me on this.

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What Is Your Favorite Cookie? Plinky Prompt

COOKIES AND MILK
  • My Favorite Cookie
  • COOKIES ARE LOVE
    This is such a “ME” type of question. Having grown up as a child with only Social Tea Biscuits (we didn’t know other cookies existed until we had play dates with friends) and the occasional hard prune or raisin filled flat cookies, (I don’t remember what they are called but definitely can recall how they looked) things were different when I became a parent. We have had (okay, still have) Oreos, Chocolate Chip, and various other types of cookies in abundance at our house.
    My personal favorite (if I had to choose) would be soft oatmeal raisin cookies. There is nothing more comforting to me than those; anything that has raisins in them gets my vote. Runner up, soft, sugar cookies. Believe me, it’s not that I would say no to any cookie offered to me (Ginger Snaps are a distinct third) but I would have to say that having grown up on Social Tea Biscuits, (which are simple and fine) all other cookies ( uh-oh, forgot about Fig Newtons and Rainbow Cookies) are welcome in our house. When my son was 3 he had a friend named Michael and I was known to him as “The Cookie Lady.” I wore that honor with pride…..I still love cookies, especially when accompanied by a glass of cold milk.

What My Home Says About Me (A Plinky Prompt)

Brownies stacked on a plate.

Image via Wikipedia

Home SWEET Home

When my dad was alive he bought me a candle every Christmas. I still buy a candle when I see one that I love. We have a fireplace in the living room and on the mantel above it there are photographs of my husband and me, our two children and one of our dog.The house is cozy (real estate term for small) and “lived in” (a nicer word for a bit cluttered). There are books all over the house; books are my one addiction. The house smells like coffee in the morning, strong and rich. After meals, the house smells sweet like cookies and chocolate and vanilla. Right now I am going down to bake some chocolate chip brownies. Welcome to our home, please come and join us.

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