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Quinoa

Quinoa with Butter, Almonds and Cranberries

Okay, so I am officially becoming my dad. I am usually in bed before 9 p.m. I have a Japanese car (with light-colored seats!) that gets good gas mileage. I’m an over buyer, especially as to milk and paper towels. I use my blinker like a Driver’s-Ed instructor. I can’t stand loud restaurants. And my […]

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Texas Chili

One Helluva Texas Chili Recipe

I’ve been a bad Texan. Yes, I own boots and a Stetson hat. But I don’t have my own chili recipe.  Oh the shame. My dear Texas, I want to make it up to you. Will this suffice? What if I told you that it was made with 12 ounces of Shiner Bock Black Lager? […]

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Easter Treats: Easter Bunny Marshmallow Pops

Easter Treats: Easter Bunny Marshmallow Pops

I love this TED Talk about art. It’s by Korean novelist Young-ha Kim. His premise is that, as children, we are all artists and have an innate desire to play. He says that, as we get older, this type of free play and creation is discouraged.  For example, he says that, as an adult, if you were […]

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Easter Treats: Rice Krispie Treat Nests with Candy Eggs

Easter Treats: Rice Krispie Treat Nests with Candy Eggs

I rarely know what day it is.  Probably because I don’t write checks very often or work a regular job.  And probably also because I have a three-month-old and three-year-old at home, neither of whom has any concept of time.  (Although I did get a laugh the other day when Jack, the three-year-old, told me […]

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Easy and Elegant Recipe for Pork Tenderloin

Easy and Elegant Recipe for Pork Tenderloin

Isn’t in funny how times change.  A decade ago, it was perfectly acceptable for Martha Stewart to provide a recipe that took multiple days to prepare.  Whereas, these days, Rachael Ray doesn’t even waste time on extraneous syllables! (EVOO, veg, sammy, delish.) I think I’m somewhere in the middle:  I love a recipe that looks […]

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Photograph Cupcake Toppers

Personalized Cupcake Toppers

I freaking love hosting parties.  Planning, shopping, preparing, cooking, baking.  I love it all.  And I especially love thinking of some little way to make the party “extra special” . . . like these personalized cupcake toppers. I made them for a couples wedding shower that we hosted not too long ago for our friends, […]

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Top Ten Super Bowl Party Food Ideas!

The Super Bowl is this Sunday!  What are you serving?  Here are my top ten ideas (from past posts) that would be fun for game day: Keep ’em Coming Crab Cakes:  My favorite party food EVER. Serve with remoulade sauce. Hummus with Veggies or Pita: Easy healthy dip.  Good for kids and vegetarians! Is-It-Hot-In-Here Stuffed […]

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High-Protein Lunch: Another Take on Tuna Salad

My friend Erica told me this about motherhood: “The days are long.  The years are short.” She is so right. For example: The day seems long when I’ve been awake since 5:30 in the morning and now it’s 5:30 in the evening and we are all hungry and sister is fussing and then, a bunny […]

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Roasted Beet Salad with Feta and Nuts

Some things are so divisive.  Politics.  Minivans.  Beets.  You either love ’em or you hate ’em. Or, you’re like me and just like ’em in small doses. To me, beets taste best roasted in the oven, and then tossed over a green salad with salty cheese, crunchy nuts, and a tart vinaigrette.  Do you have […]

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Pistachio-Crusted Cod

Pistachio-Crusted Cod

I am enjoying the cold weather.  I am.  It’s fun to bundle up in hats and gloves and puffy jackets and venture out with the stroller for a walk. But at the same time, I am already thinking about summer.  About my second-favorite place on earth: Port Aransas, Texas.  (Austin is my first favorite, if […]

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Oven Baked Chicken Tenders

Easy Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders

After a wonderfully hectic Christmas, John and I rang in the New Year with a double-date dinner at one of my favorite Austin restaurants, Fabi & Rosi.  Have you been?  If not, you must go.  The atmosphere is peaceful and romantic. The menu is European with strong German influences. (The owner, Wolfgang, is from Germany […]

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Easy and Amazing Beef Stew

Beef Stew: The Ultimate One-Pot Meal

If I write another cookbook, I think it will be called “Marie’s One Pot Meals.”  That’s what my life has come to lately, what with a new baby on my hip and a toddler running around. Now I understand why my mother (who raised four kids) has always been such a fan of what she […]

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Pulled Pork for Lazy People and Other Rainy Day Activities

Pulled Pork for Lazy People and Other Rainy Day Activities

Taking care of a toddler for a full day is a challenge.  And on rainy days, when we are confined to the indoors, it’s nearly impossible.  At least for me.  Usually this wouldn’t be a concern for us in Texas in July, but this week, surprisingly, the forecast is rain. When Jack and I run […]

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Best Ever Cilantro Lime Sauce (Good on Everything! And I Do Mean Everything!)

Best Ever Cilantro Lime Sauce (Good on Everything! And I Do Mean Everything!)

There is something about the warm weather that just screams fish tacos.  This is how I like mine: A warm corn tortilla filled with grilled fish, avocado, crunchy cabbage, grated cheese, a squeeze of lime, and several spoonfuls of creamy tangy sauce.  Add chopped tomatoes or pico de gallo if you wish. Now, there are […]

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Fish in Parchment With Pesto And Veggies

Fish in Parchment With Pesto And Veggies

Being a member of the Urban Roots CSA is both a blessing and a curse.  While I absolutely adore getting the big bag of home-grown veggies every other week, it’s often a bit of a challenge to use everything in the bag.  On the other hand, being forced to use different veggies on a regular […]

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Easy and Delicious Roast Chicken

Easy and Delicious Roast Chicken

My younger brother Matt makes a mean roast chicken.  He can cook it just perfectly — with crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. The thing about Matt, though, is that he is an “intuitive” cook.  Meaning: He doesn’t follow recipes, and certainly doesn’t write down his own creations.  So here’s what happened when I asked […]

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How to Dye Easter Eggs

How to Dye Easter Eggs

Growing up, we always dyed eggs to celebrate Easter.  One year, my younger brothers (Chris and Matt) decided to enter an egg-dying contest.  Armed with a big bowl of hard-boiled eggs, they dipped each one in every single color.  The result was a murky brown color … not at all what my mom had in […]

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Steakhouse-Style Creamed Spinach

Steakhouse-Style Creamed Spinach

We make creamed spinach every year on Thanksgiving.  I included a picture of the finished dish in an earlier post, and in response, sweet reader Monique asked me to post the recipe.  As Casey Kasem would say, “Well Monique, here it is.” In addition to serving creamed spinach on special occasions, I also love to serve it […]

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Two Questions Worth Answering

Two Questions Worth Answering

As a part-time stay-at-home mother of a toddler, two questions I often ask myself are: Well, what should we do today?; and Hmm, what should we have for dinner? (Other common questions include: What the h*** am I doing?, What’s that smell?, What’s in your mouth?, and Do you think anyone can tell that these […]

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Do You Ever Just Wake Up Annoyed?

Do You Ever Just Wake Up Annoyed?

I do.  Though, fortunately, not very often.  It did happen to me a few days ago, and it wasn’t pretty.  Literally everything — from the way-too-hot-for-this-time-of-year weather, to the dirt on the floor that somebody tracked in, to the pile of laundry in the hallway — was completely and utterly annoying.  And, what was even […]

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