Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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Wednesday
Nov192014

What are you making for Thanksgiving?

We are just about a week away from the biggest eating holiday of the year (rivaled only in my family by Christmas Eve and summer barbecues...), and though we don't host, I never show up empty handed for either of the events that we attend. We will be having dinner at my in-laws and dessert at my aunt & uncle's house. It's a bit of traveling, but nice to be able to spend time with everyone on such a great occasion. As I'll need to shop and prep this weekend, I've been doing some serious recipe searching to get my creative juices flowing --->because, you know, I can't simply just follow a recipe that I found, need to make it my own #ihaveproblems.

Since we have 2 events and there are more main and side dishes than could ever possibly be eaten, I am trying to come up with some new ideas for dishes that will likely not be present at either Thanksgiving table. Here's what's on the brainstormed list:

 

Appetizers/Side Dishes:

Parker House rolls with compound butter (herb, honey cinnamon, cranberry...)

Maple glazed sweet potatoes (as pictured above; so amazing but not sure how they will reheat)

Baked brie with cranberry sauce & walnuts (via a nutritionist eats)

Warm honey fig dip with blue cheese & garlic pitas

My grandmother's cranberry sauce/mold

My cheese ball bites, but with some new flavors

 

Desserts:

Pie pops --->filled with an assortment of apple, cherry & pecan pie filling (currently the front runner)

Pumpkin s'mores cupcakes --->look amazeballs, but not sure how much work these would be...

Roasted butternut squash pie w/brown sugar marshmallow topping --->so interesting and beautiful

Apple cider cupcakes w/nutmeg frosting (these just scream cozy & warming)

Salted pretzel marshmallow blondies (maybe I'm just having a love affair with marshmallow)

 

So that's what I'm considering just from poking around online...I haven't even gotten to my cookbooks yet! Tonight, that is my couch-time mission!

 

What are you making for Thanksgiving? Do you find the same joy that I do in prepping for the holiday?

 

PS - Are you still doing the 27 Days of Thankfulness challenge? I am! I hope you'll share some of yours with me next week!

Tuesday
Nov182014

5 Things Parents Shouldn't Post on Social Media

Social media is such a beast, isn't it? It's actually something that I wish I could quit, but I'm certainly addicted and of course, feel the need to be active for the blog's sake. What and when to post on social media is something that I think about often and I've yet to really figure out how I feel about it, especially when it comes to posting about my daughter.

 

 

Social media etiquette and repercussions are still being figured out, and it extends beyond parenting. It's a way of life now. I blog and share a LOT of my life online with friends and family but also with strangers. I'm ok with that, but I am very cautious of what I share and don't share. I constantly question whether it's too much? Perhaps I shouldn't be showing any photos of my child? It's a matter of safety, of appropriateness and of plain ol' not wanting to be obnoxious. There may come a time when I decide to not share anything about my child/children. Kath Eats recently announced that she would no longer be posting on Baby KERF for the privacy of her son. And while I loved reading about Mazen and following their family milestones, I have to respect that a fellow mother is choosing this route.

And so when is the line of over sharing crossed? I'm sure there are many more instances to add to the list, but as I began thinking about it, there are 5 things that come to mind that I believe parents should not share on social media.


Photos of your child without clothes on.

I would think that this goes without saying, but it amazes me what I see on social media and other blogs. Little girls with no shirts on. Tiny hinies. Thought babies and kids are babies and kids...don't they deserve privacy too? Isn't it our job to protect their privacy at that level? I can't be alone in thinking this is mildly inappropriate. I wouldn't want random people seeing nude pics of my child and I don't think they want to see them either (because let's face it, not everyone who follows you on social media is actually a friend).

Photos of your child in the bathtub (below the neck).

Again, I've seen so many baby behinds in the bath tub on social media and blogs. It's just not something to be shared, regardless of the wrinkly, cuteness factor. And if we've learned anything about the internet, it's that what goes on the net, stays on the net. 

Toilet pics.

You know what I mean. You've been working hard on potty training and your child finally goes on the potty! Good for you! It's time to celebrate! But please resist the urge to snap a photo of said full potty and share it with your social network. Please? I don't want to see that. Talk about parental embarrassment when your child is old enough to realize you posted pictures or detailed status updates on this. Also, can we agree to extend this rule to dirty diapers or blowouts that have made their way onto hands or clothes? We know you're a rock star parent who doesn't mind a little poop running down their forearm. But no one else needs to see that. In fact, let's just agree to not post any pics of bodily fluids. Ever.

Photos of your child's school.

Just because you never know. Especially as a blogger, I try my best to not disclose where I live and certainly not where my daughter goes to daycare.

Gratuitous imagery or evidence that your child is a superstar.

We know your child is the greatest being to ever walk the planet...don't we all truly think that about our own kids (I think mine is too!)? People want to see photos and read updates, but there is a line between giving enough to satisfy and overloading people with tales of wonderment. 

 

So what do you think? Do you have a threshold for what you post on social media? Or do you post it all? Where do you think the line should fall? And, any other things that are missing from this list?

Monday
Nov172014

BLT Dip

I am such a dip person. I would happily substitute most meals for a great dip with chips or crackers on the side. It makes me think of lazy football Sundays of yore (I don't even remember what those are anymore), with a chill in the air and a day full of food and drink. Though those days are practically non-existent for us (or most parents, I would imagine), dip is always a good idea, no matter the occasion. 

November has been such a crazy busy month and in some ways, I think I will feel relief once Thanksgiving has come and gone. I hate (HATE) to rush life, waiting to 'get through' weeks or weekends, crossing events off the list and minds racing to what else needs to get done. I don't like this. I don't want to live life that way. But sometimes life gets so crazy, insanely busy that I long for some quiet time. While I don't expect that to happen until 2015 rolls around, I have to tell you that even if you don't have time in life, you have time for this dip.

 

Admittedly, I left this recipe until the last minute, which means that I squeezed it in this weekend between family events while staying at my parent's house. We ended up crowding around their kitchen island and really digging into this dip. I found the dip on Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen, my Secret Recipe Club assignment for November. I really love this blog and there were so many recipes that I would have loved to make if I had just a little more free time this month. Also, the photos are beautiful! Bobbi is truly an inspiration. I suggest you spend some time looking around at her incredible recipes like pumpkin cream cheese muffins and this summer berry galette. Yum.

But, I'm glad I chose this dip because it was just simple and good. I could see perfecting it even more over time and adding it to my dip repetoire (I'm really known for good dips 'round these parts). I even think it might be delicious made with cream cheese and served warm. A crazy notion? Possibly. But you can bet I'm going to give it a try!

 

BLT Dip

*Adapted from Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen

2 C sour cream

1 packet ranch dip mix

3 oz tomato paste

6 strips bacon, cooked and diced, divided

4 green onions, tops finely sliced, divided

In a mixing bowl, combine sour cream and dip mix. Add tomato paste and stir to combine.

Stir in 2/3 of the bacon and 2/3 of the green onion. Place into a serving bowl.

Garnish with remaining bacon and green onion. Chill and serve with your dippers of choice!

 

 

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Have a great Monday, I hope it's off to a wonderful (and delicious!) start!

 

Are you a dip eater? What are your favorites?