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DIY Valentine's Day Gift Idea That Isn't LAME

DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Idea That Isn’t LAME

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I, for one, am so excited!  I’m hoping that John gets me either a diamond heart pendant from Kohl’s, or a new Lexus with a big red bow on it! Not. Sorry to say, but Valentine’s Day is overrated.  After John’s birthday and Christmas in December, and […]

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Cream Cheese Icing Frosting

Cream Cheese Icing and How to Pipe with Ziploc Bag

To finish my previous post on Red Velvet Cupcakes, here are instructions for making standard cream cheese icing.  I’ve also included some instructions about how to pipe icing onto the cupcakes using a Ziploc bag. Cream Cheese Icing ½ cup unsalted butter, softened 2 packages (8 ounces, each) cream cheese, softened 4 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 […]

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Admittedly Modern Red Velvet Cupcakes

Admittedly Modern Red Velvet Cupcakes

One of my favorite things about cooking is sharing recipes.  I love to hear that people out there in the world use my recipes to feed their families, celebrate birthdays, welcome neighbors, and entertain friends.  Even though it’s a small thing, just knowing that a recipe was useful to another human being makes my life […]

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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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Quick & Easy Homemade Pizza

Quick & Easy Homemade Pizza

At our house, especially on lazy Sunday evenings, we love to make homemade pizza. To keep it simple, we use a store-bought crust, usually the par-baked Herbed Pizza Crust from Whole Foods Market.  It has a wonderful flavor and costs only $1.99. Another great option is the frozen pizza dough that you can find in […]

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

What is your criteria for a good side dish? Easy? Nutritious? Affordable? Tasty? Kid-friendly?  For me, all of the above.  Lately, my favorite side dish that meets all of those requirements is spaghetti squash.  I love to bake it in the oven and then just toss the strands with parmesan and butter (recipe below).  So simple, […]

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Our Thanksgiving, In Pictures

Our Thanksgiving, In Pictures

The day before Thanksgiving: Pies cooling on the table.  So pretty. On Thanksgiving morning, John and Jack ran in the Turkey Trot. Then our cousins stopped by to visit and pick up a pie. The cooking on Thanksgiving is always a team effort … it’s more fun for everyone that way.  This year, Jack and […]

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How to Make an All-Butter Pie Crust

How to Make an All-Butter Pie Crust

The first thing my mom taught me to make was a homemade all-butter pie crust. When she first learned to make a crust, she used the tines of a fork to combine the flour, salt, sugar and butter. Later, following the advice of Julia Child, she upgraded to electric beaters, and that’s what she taught […]

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Adorable Gift Idea For Babies, Toddlers

Adorable Gift Idea For Babies, Toddlers

I did a little Christmas shopping at this year’s Holiday Collectibles Show in Austin, Texas.  What a wonderfully unique selection of products! My favorite booth was the Kandle Kidswear — a company started by Kim and Laura, two super creative stay-at-home moms in Austin.  They make and sell organic cotton onesies and children’s t-shirts with adorable […]

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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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Do You Believe In Karma?

Do You Believe In Karma?

In a previous post, I wrote about how I am in the process of soliciting corporate sponsors to fund my PBS cooking show.  With that post, I shared a little video about how that is going so far.  If you missed it, here’s a quick summary:  Basically, I left a lot of messages for some potentially […]

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Cooking Show - In the Making

Cooking Show – In the Making

In a previous post, I wrote about how KLRU, the PBS station here in Austin, has accepted my cooking show proposal … with the “minor” caveat that I have to secure underwriters for the show. Although I am a little daunted by that task, this past Thursday morning (while Jack was at school) seemed like […]

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Embrace the Craziness

Embrace the Craziness

My middle brother, Chris, joined me at the Taste of North Austin this past weekend.  He is working with me on my PBS show, so we thought it would be a good idea to film some practice reels when we have the chance … and well, ten back-to-back cooking demonstrations in one day seemed like […]

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How to Make a Jungle Diaper Cake

How to Make a Jungle Diaper Cake

Say what? Let me explain:  My sister-in-law, Jennifer (or as we call her, “Gigi”), is having a baby in a few months, and we are throwing a baby shower for her next weekend.  Gigi’s husband, Andrew, is a journalist and often writes about Africa.  To reflect this part of their lives, the baby shower is […]

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The Evanescence of Happiness

The Evanescence of Happiness

Today was one of those days … it was so good that I just want to soak up the past twelve hours, if I could, with every pore of my being.  No, it’s not that today was particularly eventful.  But it was meaningful to me. For one thing, it was Jack’s first day of preschool. […]

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The Small Things, Lest We Forget

The Small Things, Lest We Forget

Did I tell you that we’re living with my parents during the remodel? Whenever I mention this to friends, I always get one of two responses: (1) You must be SO looking forward to moving, or (2) You must be SO grateful that you don’t have to pay rent AND a mortgage. My response I […]

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What Are You Craving?  No, Really.

What Are You Craving? No, Really.

I’m ashamed to admit that when I was seven months pregnant, I craved cigarettes. It was early fall and the weather was turning cooler, and (sorry mom, if you’re reading this) nothing sounded better to me than sitting outside on our rooftop terrace and lighting up a smoke. Fortunately, the actual smell of burning tobacco–even […]

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