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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The Pantry


What I Ate: Possible Tapeworm Edition

Hi there! So I was really excited for this week's What I Ate Wednesday, until I got something of a stomach bug that started on Sunday evening. I had prepped lots of great food that I knew would make an awesome post, and yet I haven't actually eaten much of it :\

I'm still in that limbo place of not quite feeling sick enough to be home in bed, but feeling sick enough to not want to eat. Yesterday I was actually feeling a bit hungry, and so I documented my eats. I didn't actually eat all of the below, but I tried! And it didn't make me feel better or worse for wear. So not sure what that means, but since I'm flying out to Iowa tomorrow, here's hoping that I feel better by then! Also, just keepin' it real...the lighting on all of my photos was just terrible, so these are heavily filtered to make them look even semi appetizing. Enjoy!


Shocking, but I skipped my coffee today. Just not feeling it! I started the day with a diet ginger ale from the office fridge.


By lunch, I actually did feel a bit hungry. I had made this really delicious egg salad on Sunday for lunch for the week and I decided to give it a go. I put some atop a romaine heart and toasted sandwich thin.


Around 4pm, my stomach sort of felt ready for a little more food, so I had an apple, sliced up, and 1 tbsp of creamy peanut butter.


To add insult to injury, my commute home last night really blew. It's the only way to describe it. I'll spare you the details, but I was on Penelope pick up duty and ended up being late to get her. We rushed home in the icy, wintry mix. To perk up the evening, I let P sit on the island while I prepped dinner and we danced to some Motown classics on the Jambox.


For dinner, we shared some skillet chicken parm (no flour or breading and it was awesome!) and some veggie pasta topped with parmesean and skim ricotta cheese.

Honestly, I was so beat after not feeling well and my horrible ride home that after P went to sleep, I went straight to bed also. It felt so good! I'm still struggling a bit today with this virus or tape worm, or whatever it is, but at least I'm rested.

I hope you're having a great week! What are you eating this week?


PS: for lots more WIAW eats, see Peas & Crayons (the original!) and I Hate Running!



Eating Meals Together

When I grew up, we always ate dinner as a family. My mom always cooked and had dinner ready for when my dad arrived home from work. I always pictured my own family doing the same. Of course, like many things in life that I underestimate, weeknights don't always lend themselves to this.

I don't know about you, but this is something that I truly strive for and have little success with. It's no secret that Shaun and I really love food. And not only do we love eating it, but some of my favorite moments are when we are cooking together in the kitchen with an open bottle of wine and chatting about our day or the latest craze circling the Internet. This doesn't happen so much anymore. Often our dinners consist of Shaun prepping while I get some Penelope time and then hurrying to finish it all up so that we can eat right after Penelope goes to sleep.

It's not very glamorous and we certainly don't eat with Penelope on most evenings. I don't arrive home from work until almost 7, which just feels so late to only be starting her dinner. Because after her dinner, it's bath time, then milk & snuggle time, and then bedtime. That's a lot to squeeze into one hour. So usually, Shaun ends up feeding her when they arrive home from daycare around 6:15, and she's finishing up by the time I arrive home. I take over for bath and pre-bedtime duties. Then it's Mom and Dad's dinner time.

Now that she is getting a bit older, I want to make an effort for all of us to eat together. It's not always going to be realistic due to these truly sucky time constraints, but my goal is two week nights each week to start. This will mean having our food prepped in advance or eating leftovers, which I'm not opposed to, it will just require more planning. It's the only way to get dinner on the table quickly after work and still get Penelope into bed at her usual time. And as a bonus, Shaun and I get what feels like a longer night!

As Penelope grows, it's becoming increasingly important to lead by example. I want her to enjoy preparing food and then sharing that meal with the people she loves. Some of my favorite family memories are of us sitting around the kitchen table, and these memories continue to be made as we are adults.

This weekend, Penelope was enthralled by helping me make a French toast scramble. She peeled and broke up the banana, she watched amazed as I cracked the eggs. And she was so excited when I gave her a fork to help mix it all up. She watched as I cooked it on the stove top - I made sure to explain to her that only Mommy and Daddy do that part because it's very hot and dangerous - and then couldn't wait to sit down together to eat it all up. And she did!

So ultimately, this is a new weekly goal. Two dinners together each week. I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

Do you eat meals with your children? Or do your kids eat first while you and your spouse eat at ungodly hours after they've gone to sleep?


Also: additional tips for eating together, getting kids involved in the kitchen


Happy Friday!

Happy Friday friends!

I'm finally ready to declare that I'm so totally beyond over this cold weather. I usually try not to complain about cold weather because I'm such a hot weather hater, but enough is enough. The above photo was taken from my office over the Hudson River, which was almost completely frozen earlier this week. My co-workers and I were all going nuts over this truly amazing sunset which reflected its gorgeousness over the frozen river. I know that I've posted pictures of this view a lot, but this was too incredible not to share!

So what are your weekend plans? We are going to meet my best friend's new baby tomorrow and I cannot wait to snuggle her! Tonight we have big plans to catch up on Justified. Have you been watching this final season? It's really one of my favorite shows and I will be so so bummed when it is over. This season has also been particularly awesome, which is not something that most final seasons can claim. I don't know what I'm going to do when I can no longer get my Boyd OR Jax fix (see Sons of Anarchy final season also).

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Here are some links to keep you distracted today!


Have you seen the dress? What color do you see? I'm on team gold & white 4E.

What time do you put your kids to bed? This mom claims 7 is the perfect time. (Penelope's bedtime is 8!)

I made these truly amazing flourless black bean brownies last weekend. So so good.

A look at the mobile payment app, Venmo...do you use it? We use it all the time in the office to pay for lunch.

32 will they or won't they TV couples. I love this stuff so much.

Some good Mom advice.

This post about freezing time totally hit home.

This roasted vegetable lasagna. Yum.