Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Owen's 1st Thanksgiving

As you are no doubt aware, Thanksgiving is pretty much only celebrated by Americans (unless you're Canadian, in which case you celebrate it in October). That means that in the UK there's no holiday for us this week, so we make our turkey on Saturday.

The first year we were here we didn't really celebrate. I think that was the first time in my life that I hadn't had Thanksgiving turkey, and I missed it so much I decided to take the plunge the next year and roast my own turkey (in a tiny oven) for the first time ever (not only had I never roasted a turkey before, I'd never even roasted a chicken, and the thought of handling a raw turkey...eew...). Luckily no one got food poisoning and most of it was eaten, so I guess I did alright.

I have since become a seasoned turkey (and chicken) roasting veteran and every year we invite our friends (American and otherwise) to a potluck-style Thanksgiving dinner. I'm responsible for the turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, all of which I'll be making more or less the same way I do every year sometime between now and Saturday afternoon. I'm always torn between trying one of the many awesome looking new recipes I've seen or being traditional. There are a few of our friends that would be very upset if I didn't make things the way I always have, so I've decided that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

We are always terrible about remembering to take photos (the one above was of Owen's first - I can't find any from last year), but since this is Claire's first Thanksgiving, I'm going to try to remember to get a few. And, I know it's a bit late for anyone needing recipes for this year, but I'm also going to try to take pictures of all the food I make and share some of my (I mean Food Network's, Epicurious, my mom's and Sean's mom's) secrets.

Friday, November 19, 2010

No more dummies!

So, Owen has now been 2 weeks without his dummy (pacifier to you Americans). Yes, I know that he's almost 3 years old and that we should have gotten rid of it AT LEAST a year ago. But, he loved it in a serious kind of way (you should have seen his eyes light up every night in between brushing teeth and story time when he exclaimed "it's dummy time!" and ran to the kitchen to get one), and it seemed like such a daunting task to rid him of it. We knew we needed to take the plunge with both a whole weekend ahead of us with nothing major planned and at a time when we hadn't just (or weren't about to) faced anything life-changing or disruptive (eg, new baby, travel). Somehow it took us until a few weeks ago to finally give it a go.

Turns out we probably made a bigger deal about it than necessary (typical of most parenting dilemmas I think, at least for us). We are most definitely not above bribery - he received several little "Cars" movie cars and a play mat that looks like Radiator Springs the night he agreed to first sleep without the dummy, then after one successful night (and a naptime) we went to the Disney store and he got to pick out another present (Cars themed again of course). The biggest problem was convincing him that he wasn't going to be getting presents EVERY time he slept without the dummy. Oh, and that he wasn't just giving it up for a night or two, but that there would never, ever be another dummy at bedtime or naptime either at home or at nursery (day care).

He has become what I would call a more "needy" kid at bedtime now - he needs us to lie down with him for a few minutes and cries sometimes for us to come to him and when we ask him why he needs one of us he says "because I just do". But, really it's not that bad, and after the first week, I'm not sure he ever mentioned the dummy at bedtime again.

I have to say, when I started writing this a few minutes ago, I was sure he was at the 3 weeks milestone, but according to my post on Facebook after the first night it's only been 2. Amazing how it's like he never had such dependence on it...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pardon me

I was looking for a cute photo of Owen and Claire to go with this post, but they're all on the camera right now and I'm too lazy to find the camera cord and download them. So, you'll have to have the story without any visuals. Sorry.
Owen burps and looks around slyly.
Owen: Pardon you Claire. 
Me: Why pardon Claire?
Owen: Because she burped.
Me: Uh, Owen I’m pretty sure that was you.

I think it's hilarious that he has figured out that something like this is funny. It boggles the mind, really. I guess he picked this up from one of the other kids at daycare, but who knows...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Leftover makeover

I suppose this isn't any more of a makeover of a leftover than it is an easy dish to make with a rotisserie chicken, but I seem to always make this when there's leftover roast (or grilled) chicken in the fridge, so there you go.

Basically, this is a Waldorf salad with chicken and some dried fruit added. Although I made it with leftover grilled chicken in the pictures here, it's a great fall meal with leftover roast chicken (I make mine more or less like this Ina Garten recipe, but don't add the carrot, onion and fennel to the bottom of the roasting pan and usually just make roasted vegetables separately). I've never tried this on Owen, but if you're planning to make it for toddlers, be careful about the nuts, as they can be a choking hazard. Slivered almonds would probably be OK, but I'd steer clear of big chunks of walnuts or pecans!

This is pretty good for something that takes all of about 5 minutes to throw together. It's even better with oven-baked sweet potato fries sprinkled with smoked paprika (my new favorite spice - yum). Since these photos came from a summer version, back when I didn't want to turn the oven on, we had it with broccoli slaw (I make it with half broccoli and half cauliflower) and tomato/cucumber salad, which is simply sliced or chopped cucumber, tomato and red onion dressed with equal amounts of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar and some salt and pepper.

Not sure this is the most appetizing photo, but I promise it tastes good!
"Waldorf" chicken salad 

Leftover chicken – grilled, roasted, whatever. In this case I used the meat from 1 thigh and 2 legs
1 small apple, diced (I used a Gala)
2 stalks celery, chopped
Handful raisins (about 1/4 c), or golden raisins, or dried cranberries – any dried fruit really
Handful chopped nuts (also about 1/4 c), this time I used flaked almonds, but I usually use walnuts. Pecans would also be nice, but they're (sadly) harder to come by in London 

Mayo, about 1/4 c for this amount of “stuff”
Plain yogurt, also about 1/4 c
Wholegrain mustard, about 2 teaspoons (but depends on how “mustardy” you want it)
Salt and pepper to taste
Few leaves of fresh thyme, optional (I often add this when I have some left from my roast chicken); parsley would be good too I'm sure

Mix salad ingredients together in a bowl. Just throw all the dressing ingredients on top and mix well - no sense in dirtying another bowl in my opinion! Add a bit more mayo or yogurt if it seems too dry. Serve on (or with) bread of your choosing. I typically use pita, but that's just me.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blackberry lime galette

This is woefully out of date, and I don't even have any pictures of it, but it goes with my last food-related post, so I just wanted to finish it up and be done with it. For what it's worth, I'm sure this galette could easily be made more seasonal - apple and orange anyone?

When I made the tomato and goat's cheese tart I figured there was a chance I’d have leftover tart dough, so bought berries to be prepared. I chose blackberries simply because they were on sale and looked nice. I'd love to say I picked them myself or even that they came from our Farmers' Market, but no, these were straight from Tesco. Oh well. I was trying to figure out what I could add to them to give the pie that something extra and saw a lime in the fridge. I was sure I’d seen that combination somewhere. Sure enough, I had but not in a pie. According to Google, blackberries seem to go well with lime in a pie situation, but most use them on top of a key lime pie/lime tart sort of thing, or part of cheesecake. I figured there was nothing to lose by trying a bit of lime zest and juice with the berries, and sure enough I was right.

Blackberry lime galette
I used another blackberry galette recipe for guidance on amounts of sugar and cornstarch, and the dough as already mentioned was from the David Lebovitz tomato and goat's cheese tart recipe.

Leftover tart dough (this was about 11-12 inches in diameter when rolled out)
Just under 1 1/2 cups blackberries
Zest of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/4 lime
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar (I like mine quit tart; if you’re into sweeter things, go for more)
2 teaspoons cornstarch (I read a few things on using cornstarch vs flour for thickening, and got the sense that, when it comes to pies cornstarch is better. If you prefer flour, supposedly you need to use twice as much.)
milk (or egg wash; I really hate wasting an egg for this purpose though)
Raw/demerara sugar (about 1/2 Tablespoon)

Roll out your dough so that it's roughly 1/8-1/4 inch thick. You're going for rustic, so no need to make a perfect circle. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a Silpat mat (or if you don't have one, I am sure parchment or just spraying the sheet with cooking spray would be fine). Gently mix blackberries, lime juice and zest, 1 1/2 T sugar and cornstarch and pile onto the middle of the dough, leaving about a 1 inch border. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling, brush exposed dough with milk (or egg wash) and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake at 175 C (350 F) for about 30 min, or until the crust is golden.

Word of warning: steamed lime juice is apparently bad on the eyes – be careful when opening the oven the first time!!

What's going on

For those of you dying to know what I've been up to, and why I haven't posted anything recently, let's just say that having two kids under 3 is exhausting. And I've still got Owen in daycare 3 days a week! I don't know how full-time stay-at-home moms do it.

Anyway, here are a few pictures to show you what we've been doing lately.
Pureeing, and more pureeing...

...because this baby LOVES to eat!

 And just a few more for fun...

I have another now completely unseasonal food post 99.9% ready. Look for it sometime later today or tomorrow.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lights out!

The other day, Owen says to me out of the blue when we were talking about going to the park, "When we leave we need to turn the lights off."

Huh. Good for him, and I guess he's paying more attention to our actions than I realize. The rest of our conversation went something like the following. Note: It's not all that easy to explain the concepts of energy/electricity and saving it to an almost-3-year-old!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A solid adventure

My Claire-Bear is 5 1/2 months now, and last week she got her first taste of "solid" food. She was sitting on my lap at dinner and kept lunging at my plate, which contained some roasted sweet potato. I figured sweet potato is a pretty traditional early food, so why not? I cut off the outside to get rid of the salt, pepper and oil, and let her have a go at it. Aside from my worries that she could get a piece off and choke on it, it seemed harmless enough. She loved it so much that we decided then and there to give her a bowl of baby rice cereal mixed with breastmilk, and she's been loving that for the past week. Tomorrow we're going to try carrots. Exciting adventures (and a lot more work for me) ahead!

I know the current guidelines say that you shouldn't give anything but breastmilk (or formula) for the first 6 months, so I was kind of on the fence about introducing any food "early". Interestingly, although they said the same thing two years ago when Owen was a baby, I was more or less asked by a health professional (our health visitor) "why haven't you started given him any solids yet?" when he was about 5 1/2 months. Claire was really just over 5 months, but she definitely seems to have all the signs that she's ready, and she's taken to the food really well, with one exception (**TMI baby poop discussion warning**): she hasn't managed to poop in nearly 2 weeks. This isn't really anything new for her, as she's gone ages without pooping previously, but of course I'm now worried that it was too early, rice wasn't the best first food, etc. etc. Anyway, we're off to the doctor this afternoon and will see what he says. Hopefully I don't get too much of a scolding for having already started her on solids.

A brief note if there is anyone out there reading this who hasn't weaned a baby yet and someday might. I really wanted to keep her to all breastmilk (no formula) for as long as possible, but I have found that baby rice does really weird things in breastmilk that it doesn't do in formula. Basically, it turns completely liquid, so that what starts out as a bowl of cereal with a good thickness for an infant turns into something so thin you can't spoon it. So you end up adding more and more cereal. I have no idea why breast milk does this and formula doesn't. Enzymes? Anyone happen to know the answer to this?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Home sweet home

Oh, right. I meant to tell everyone I was taking a bit of a holiday (a whole MONTH in good ol' Tejas). Thing is, I thought I'd be able to do some blogging from my parents' house in Texas, but it turns out that even with grandparents around, having both Owen and Claire all day every day is more work than it is having Claire at home by myself. Thank God for those 3 days a week Owen goes to nursery when we're in London! On top of that, my parents' internet went out a few days after we arrived and it took Verizon TEN DAYS to come out and fix it. They blamed all the new university students back in town, but I'm not buying it.

Anyway, we are back, but I'm not promising anything in the way of exciting content for a while (or ever, ha!). I have a thousand things that need doing here (sorry my internet friends, but having reliable hot water and a working clothes dryer, and buying winter coats for the kids - yes, already - are higher priority than you), and we're still fighting some residual jet lag or insomnia or something with Owen. Oh, and I'm pretty sure Claire isn't going to be a sleeping ball of cute much longer - this child has started demanding attention, and seriously wants to move. C'est la vie.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tomato and goat’s cheese tart

Today, a recipe because, well, it's been a while since I've done a food post, and this one just won't be the same once summer is over and in-season tomatoes are a distant memory. This also reminds me that I need to tell you about my patio "garden"; I'll try to do that soon.

I love quiches, but I also like the idea of a savory tart that doesn’t use 6-8 eggs and a cup of heavy cream on top of an ultra-buttery pastry. So, a couple of recent recipes have gone right to the top of my “to cook soon” list. The first skips the pastry but includes eggs; it uses thinly sliced potatoes as the crust. I’ve had a few issues with getting the baking time right on this (it took about 30 minutes more than the recipe said last time I made it) and with the potatoes burning on the edges, but once I get it right, I’ll try to remember to share my version with you.

The second has the pastry, but skips the eggs (ok, the pastry itself does include 1 egg and the filling does have a lot of cheese in it, but whatever, it’s healthy I’m sure…) It’s adapted from David Lebovitz, one of many food blogs I enjoy reading regularly.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

To bottle or not to bottle?

No, I'm not talking about formula vs breastfeeding; the bottle I'm talking about is one of water. Sometimes I just need to rant about things that drive me nuts. The most recent pet peeve I've been reminded of is bottled water, especially at restaurants. The event that got me thinking about this was our recent trip to Belgium, in which the restaurants there were serving bottled water for an average price of €6.50 (=$8.56 or £5.39) for 1 liter. Insane! Two flat out refused to serve us tap water when we asked. The funny part about all this is that, as I mentioned last time, we were there visiting my dad who is teaching a study abroad program called "Environmental soil and water," in which the students take a field trip to the local water treatment plant and learn all about what's actually in the tap water and what processes it goes through before reaching the public. Bottom line is they think it's fine.

Sure, I know when you're out and about and thirsty, a bottle of water can be an awesome thing. But there is no question in my mind that it's just not good for the environment. I Googled "bottled water environment" just to see what I could find, and although many internet sources of information are dubious, there seems to be pretty good agreement on this point. The most reputable looking article I found was here, author's bio here.

The disagreement comes in whether bottled water is "better" for you than plain old tap water. I think the answer is probably not, especially if you have a filtration system on the tap water, since apparently a lot of bottled water is just this - filtered tap water. Obviously this depends on where you are, but the impression I get is that tap water in the US is controlled by the EPA, whereas bottled water by the FDA, and apparently the EPA has higher standards. In addition, there seems to be concern over phthalates leaching from the plastic bottles into the water (not a problem if you buy glass, but glass bottles certainly aren't as prevalent as plastic and probably cost more). On the flip side, it may be that tap water has pharmaceutical and hormone contamination, which is also bad, and could have contaminants from pipes, especially if they are old. This article on Slate was quite interesting and seemed the most balanced thing I could find...

Anyway, it's certainly something to think about. Apparently if you live in the US you can learn about what's in your water from an EPA website. I had massive difficulties getting it to work, and not all information is stored online, but eventually I did find a couple from places I've lived previously. The information for the UK (or London area at least), is here. I'll leave you with what we do at home (for now, until I actually read the report for our area and figure out what it means). We have a Brita filter pitcher, and I change the filter (and wash the pitcher) regularly. If I'm going out, I try my best to take some of that water for in BPA-free reusable bottles and/or cups that I wash frequently. I'd prefer a filtration system on the tap itself, but, well, we live in a rented flat so that's not a possibility right now. And when we're at restaurants in London, I ask for tap water.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


As I hinted at yesterday, we'll be away for a few days visiting my dad in Belgium (he's teaching a study abroad class there). I'll try to come up with something fun to write about (beer? chocolate? how to survive 6 hour car trips with a toddler and a 3-month-old?) while there. Until then...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To-do list

I'm a big list person. To-do today lists; to-do someday lists; grocery lists; packing lists; to-cook lists; things I've cooked list; the list (ha!) goes on.

I plan to someday expand on my cooking-related lists, but today the list is more mundane. I wrote down a list this morning of all the things I need to do today and thought it would be funny to share with people. I don't do this every day, but sometimes it just helps me focus when time is short (we're going away for a few days tomorrow morning; more on that later too). I wish I had a scanner at home so you could see I'm not hiding something or making any of it up, but pinky-swear I am being totally honest.

Here it is (explanatory notes are in parentheses):
-marinate chicken (for dinner)
-raita (as in, make it. also for dinner)
-check pita (could be moldy, in which case we probably don't want to eat it for dinner)
-freeze milk (extra expressed milk I had for Claire)
-Owen's table (as in, clean it because there is definitely milk from breakfast souring on it's surface)
-water plants
-put away clothes in living room (laundry and Owen's old 6-9 month clothes I've been going through for Claire. Yes, she's only 3 months, but some 3-month clothes are already a bit small on her...)
-iron? (as in, only if I have time after doing everything else on the list, writing a blog post and surfing the internet, or if I really must take something with us this weekend that simply cannot be worn without ironing)
-Claire 3 month pic - facebook (she's 3 months today so I thought I'd post a pic or video)
-fingernails (as in, take off what's left of the polish that's already half-gone, and maybe repaint if time permits)
-exercise (I still have separated abs 3 months after Claire was born. I'm trying to do something about it, really I am, yet somehow I hardly ever find time to fit in my 15 minutes of exercises that are supposed to help them come back together.)
-Owen underwear (as in, buy him some with either Bob the Builder or Cars (the movie) on them so that I can convince him that underwear really are better than pull-ups)

Daddy said I could

Owen climbs up on a chair and is eying this clay pot we got in Morocco last year.

Owen: I want to play with this.
Me: No, better not.
Owen: Why?
Me: Because it’s breakable.
Owen: But daddy said I could.

Really? They can play this game already at 2 1/2?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Which 'wich?

There are a zillion sandwich recipes out there. Most of them are pretty silly. As Deb from Smitten Kitchen (my favorite food blog, as noted previously) once wrote, “…who needs a recipe for slapping things between two pieces of bread?”
Recently I’ve found myself in a sandwich rut. I'm home pretty much every day for lunch now, and sandwiches are my go-to thing. However, there's only so much ham/cheddar/mustard and tuna salad a person can eat. I started by at least adding lettuce and tomato to most sandwiches, and sometimes cucumber (especially with tuna) or even avocado. However, even that got boring after a while.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Car wash

We’ve just finished giving Claire her bath, and I’m getting her dressed in the kids’ room. Owen comes to me with a dripping wet Matchbox-type car.

Owen: Mommy, my car is wet.
Me: Is that because you put it in Claire’s tub?
Owen: No, it put itself there.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fro yo, yo.

I’m not sure when the frozen yogurt “craze” hit the US, but I just know I used to eat TCBY (apparently they go back to 1981) in my hometown when I was in like 5th grade. I guess it’s the whole Pinkberry thing in the US (which apparently started in 2005), but I have no idea why it took so long to catch on here. Two fro yo places have finally opened in our area in the last year, and they’ve been cropping up all over London in the last 2 or so. One apparent difference about the UK is that the shops I’ve tried have plain/natural yogurt, which is awesome. Even “original” Pinkberry has sugar as the second ingredient. Does plain fro yo exist in the US anywhere? If not, it should!

Anyway, if your kids aren’t old enough to figure out that chocolate yogurt is an option, or that you can get it topped with Oreos instead of fruit, this makes for a super-healthy snack - the small natural at Frae is I think 85 calories, fat free, organic and with all the protein/calcium of normal yogurt. And of course it’s good for adults too. I made the mistake of actually telling Owen it was yogurt, but like ice cream. He was kind of confused, but then he tasted it. Unfortunately the neighborhood gelato shop still has these places beat because they have a shelf of toys and books for kids. Oh well.

If you live in London and want to try British fro yo out, Frog is perfect if you’re on the go (it’s a really tiny shop with nowhere to sit except a small bench outside on the street) and Frae is probably better if you’re looking to eat-in, which is kind of essential when a 7-10 minute walk in 80 degree heat is standing between the shop and your dining room or the shop and your nearest park. Frae’s still small, but there are several tables, and conveniently they're all just at kid-height.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grilled s’mores, British style

Lessons learned: (1) Burned digestive biscuits (the closest thing we’ve got to a graham cracker in the UK unless you want to pay £6 ($9.15 at today's exchange rate, people) for a box of Honey Maids) don’t taste very good. Indirect heat is key. (2) While Cadbury’s is a superior substitute for Hershey’s (which you can apparently also purchase here at exorbitant prices), Sainsbury’s marshmallows (especially the pink ones that have raspberry flavoring) are far inferior to Jet-puffed. (3) You CAN roast a marshmallow indoors over your gas stove.

This was the first time Owen had ever experienced s'mores. He was begging for "just marshmallow" as we were trying to make them, but once he tried the whole gooey mess, he was asking for "s'more" for days. What kid wouldn't love this (in moderation, of course)?

I hate to put down a "recipe" for this, but I've been grilling things for a long time, and somehow never came up with the idea myself, so here it is...

Grilled (or indoor) s'mores
Adapted from a NY Times article by Mark Bittman: 101 Fast Recipes for Grilling, item number 99

Digestive biscuits (or graham crackers of course)
Chocolate bars (as I said, we used Cadbury’s milk chocolate, but I bet dark would be good too, and I suspect pretty much anything would be better than Hershey’s)

Grilled version: Put digestive biscuits on a piece of foil, top with chocolate and marshmallows and another cracker (if desired – we made our open-faced because digestives are just a bit thicker than grahams). Grill over low/indirect heat until the chocolate and marshmallow begin to melt; be careful to watch the bottom of your cookie so that it doesn’t burn!

Inside version: Place marshmallows on a metal skewer (or a wire coat-hanger if you’re feeling old school campfire-y; just please be sure it isn’t coated with plastic!). Roast on low heat over your gas stove burner. Assemble s’mores.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The kids' room

Personal family update:

Tonight is the first night that baby Claire (almost 12 weeks) will be sleeping in the same room with big brother Owen. She is just far too big for her little basket now, and I'm sure will be much more comfortable in her big crib. We've been prepping Owen on this for several weeks now, first setting up the crib and calling it the kids' room rather than Owen's room, then asking him how he would feel about Claire sleeping in the same room (wouldn't that be fun?), and finally having her sleep there during naptimes. Here's hoping this is a smooth transition - wish us luck!

Friday, July 16, 2010

When kids learn they can climb out of bed...

One thing I want to write about here is the often hilarious things my 2 1/2 year old (Owen) says. Without further ado, the first in a series I like to call "Mouths of babes".

I get an eerie feeling that someone is standing at the kitchen door. It's 9:15 pm, Sean (hubby) is at some work event or another and the kids are in bed asleep. Or are they? I turn to see Owen quietly standing outside the kitchen (his bedtime is around 8:15), and he scares the living daylights out of me, giving me a “Children of the Corn” sensation.

Me: Owen, why are you out of bed?

Owen: Because I’m are.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beat the heat

Let's get this party started with some food. I have an arsenal of recipes I like to make when it's just too hot to cook. Unfortunately, it is apparently next to impossible to forecast the weather in London more than about an hour in advance, so my attempts to plan cool recipes for hot days and vice versa keep being thwarted. In any case, my take on the classic Cobb salad was still tasty, even though it was only about 70 degrees the day I made it.

 Hmmm...looks like something from the lab...

I’m sure plenty of people would argue that my version isn’t a classic Cobb, but it still tastes awesome, so who cares. I made some small adaptations from a recipe I found on Smitten Kitchen, which, in case you don't already know, is just about the best food blog ever. (And her baby is just about the cutest baby ever, you know, except for my two.) I can assure you there will be many more Smitten shout-outs to come on this blog. The most significant changes were that I mixed up the lettuces I used, and I left out the chicken and the chives. Why? I intended to include some leftover grilled chicken, but we ate it all up the night before (in a recipe I like to call "Waldorf" chicken salad, which I may post later). I hate using iceberg lettuce and am not a huge watercress fan, hence the lettuce adaptations. As for the chives, I plain didn’t see it on the original ingredient list when I made my shopping list, so oh well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What's in a name?

It took me way longer than it should have to come up with a name for this blog. I'm still not sure I'm happy with this, but maybe it will grow on me.

I first thought about something about (not) being a super-mom or domestic goddess, but it turns out all those blog names/urls are pretty much all used up, and I couldn't be unoriginal, could I?

Then I considered my science roots, and thought I might go with something like "Multifunctional" because I have many different roles - mom, cook, cancer researcher/writer, etc. (for those of you who aren't in biology, the word multifunctional is used quite frequently, primarily to describe proteins that have more than one role or enzymatic function). For whatever reason, that just didn't do it for me.

So, I settled on this title - From Caviar to Green Bits. The idea is that the blog will be primarily about food and family/parenting (basically, my life these days), and the title covers both of those nicely, I think. The food part is pretty obvious, especially for those of you who have any experience with kids and their disdain for "green bits" in their food. I think this must be learned behavior, and I completely blame Owen's 4-year old friend Duncan for this. The funny thing is, Owen will quite happily eat platefuls of broccoli, but God forbid there is a little speck of green onion in his fishcake. Basically, I hope to talk about all aspects of food, ranging from those that are distinctly adult (e.g., caviar, which in case you're wondering, I don't like and actually have only eaten about twice in my life, but it sounded good) to those that are kid and/or baby friendly (i.e., no green bits, or at least well-disguised green bits). The idea that you even have to consider green bits, of course, is a parenting thing, so I hope it hints that that will be a part of the blog as well.

I've also got a few more things I plan to write about. More on those as and when they come up.

I hope you enjoy!

Third time's the charm, right?

Right. So, as noted in my old blog (which initially started out as something else before I re-branded it), I'm moving on to (hopefully) bigger and better things. Or something like that. This new blog will still cover lots of cooking-related stuff, but also my family, parenting fun, life in London and travel adventures.

I've got several posts done or in the works, so hopefully I can start off with a bang. No promises that I can keep it up, but I'll do my best.