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! 

Welcome to my world!

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The Teal Pumpkin Project


I think that one of every parent's greatest fears is that their children will have food allergies. It was for me, at least. From the moment Penelope began eating solid foods, I worried over everything she ate and whether or not she would have an allergic reaction. I even debated giving her peanut butter for the first time while parked outside the doctor's office. Though we've been fortunate in that she hasn't had any food reactions to a lot of those key allergic trigger foods (nuts, strawberries, wheat, eggs, dairy), I still worry sometimes when she tries something new or when she inadvertently eats a wasabi cracker and I spend the ride home from my aunt's house convinced that she might not be breathing in the back seat...

I imagine that for those parents and children who do suffer from food allergies, it is very stressful. It is difficult enough to worry about kids in everyday life, but to add food allergies to the list? That's a whole new layer of concern and cannot be easy for parents or their children.

This Halloween, there is a movement to offer non-food Halloween treats so that those children with food allergies can still enjoy the holiday without worry. It's called the Teal Pumpkin Project. To participate, people are encouraged to paint a teal pumpkin and leave on their doorstep, or hang a teal pumpkin sign to signify that the home offers non-food treats. 

I really love this idea. While I love chocolate and candy as much as anyone, especially on Halloween, the thought of any children being left out or parents fretting over their kids potentially consuming dangerous food or candy is really upsetting to me. I will happily participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween and plan to offer both candy and glow stick bracelets for our trick-or-treaters. Something tells me that kids will have just as much fun with the glow sticks as with any mini Snickers bar, and it will last a whole lot longer too. How fun will it be to wear the glow stick bracelets while continuing to trick or treat? Or to walk outside in the evening with the bracelets glowing? I know that Penelope is going to love this, and I bet that lots of other kids will too. 

I ordered these glow sticks, a tube of 100 pieces for under $10. You can't beat that, in my opinion! And most importantly, no child gets left out. For more information about the movement, for printable signs to hang on your door, and for even more ideas for non-food treats, check out FoodAllergy.org .

And for even more ideas, I absolutely LOVE this list from 100 Days of Real Food and also this updated one! So creative and I think kids would have so much fun with these items!

Will you participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project?

Do your kids, or any kids you know, have food allergies? How do you manage it in these types of situations?




Apple Pie French Toast



How was your weekend? Mine was really nice, but very busy and just went by a little too quickly. On Saturday, we were fortunate to attend an event at the Food Network Wine & Food Festival and I'll have a bunch of pics and a wrap up later this week! Meanwhile, today is one of my favorite days of the month...Secret Recipe Club reveal day!

For this month, I was assigned Get Off the Couch and Cook. Sashi started her blog to track her journey of eating less processed food. She cooks recipes that are simple and can be made in the same amount of time it takes to order and wait for a pizza. She has so many great recipes that I had a hard time picking just one! Since I still have apple fever, I went with her apple pie French toast because, well, apple pie French toast! 


This was a great fall recipe. It's an eggless French toast batter, which I really liked since it didn't risk having an eggy flavor or consistency. The compote came together very simply {although, I will admit that every time I make an apple recipe, I remember why I hate making apple recipes --->so much peeling and chopping!} and made the apartment smell like apple pie and fall and deliciousness all rolled into one. 



I made the apple pie compote/filling in advance, which really helped me get breakfast together on Sunday morning. The night before, I peeled and sliced the apples and cooked them down. Then I refrigerated the cooked mixture until the next morning, when I simply threw it back in a pan with a little butter and heated it up. For Penelope's portion, I cut up the finished toast and apples and tossed it all together in a bowl for her. She ate it right up! Mostly the sweet apples, but still ;)


Apple Pie French Toast

*Adapted from Get Off the Couch and Cook

For the apple pie filling:

3 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored & sliced

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 C sugar

1/4 C all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 C water

For the French toast:

Apple pie filling

1 C milk

1/4 C all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp cornstarch

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 Tbsp butter

Thick bread, such as white or wheat


To make the filling:

Toss the apple slices with the lemon juice and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Pour into a large sauce pan on the stovetop over medium heat and whisk in the water. The mixture will thicken quickly, so continue whisking until it begins to bubble. Add the apples and stir to coat.

Simmer the apples, stirring frequently, until the apples are condensed and tender. Remove from heat and let cool. If making the night before, let cool and pack into a storage container and refrigerate. On the day you want to eat your French toast, heat in a pan on the stovetop with a small pat of butter.


To make the French toast:

In a mixing bowl, whish together the milk, flour, cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Lightly dunk the bread in the milk mixture and coat both sides without soaking through. Cook on each side until browned. Top with the apple pie filling, dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.


Serve immediately. 


This was a really rich breakfast, but so nice for a special Sunday in the fall!

What is your favorite decadent breakfast?




Five Things Friday

{rainy leaves starting to turn}


Well, another October week down. Last weekend, we had planned to take Penelope pumpkin-picking, but the rain out on Saturday just had other plans. I'm struggling to find the time to squeeze this in before Halloween and so it might mean a farm stand pick up for 2014. This weekend, Shaun and I are attending a Food Network event (can't wait!) and then it's football Sunday at my aunt's house. I'm excited to find some goodies to bake up and bring, and you know if I do, I'll be sharing those with you! I hope you have a fantastic weekend!


{salted white chocolate candy corn popcorn; recipe coming next week!} 


{my favorite shirts for fall


{sometimes graffiti is pretty}


{recently dove into this; it's going to be a looong haul!}


these apple cider cupcakes with nutmeg frosting have moved to the top of my to-make list

baked goat cheese with roasted garlic & pull-apart baguette needs to be mine! perhaps for football sunday coming up?

apple love continues: filled apple pie cookies!

printing out a copy of these awesome 20 kitchen tips & tricks

these homemade jolly rancher vodkas are so beautiful!


my favorite, NPH, will host the oscars!

you will soon be able to watch all the things of friends on netflix

rolling stone ranks the 10 best episodes of the walking dead ---->gosh, i always forget how awesome this show is!

i'm obsessed with these artistic takes on classic movie posters...which ones would you choose?

real clowns are kinda pissed that american horror story: freak show is perpetuating clown fear. personally, i don't think that anyone needs assistance in thinking that clowns are scary.


love this idea for a family photo board book

these everyday struggles of 6-foot-something people had me cracking up --->because this is my husband's life.

looking for a couples costume for halloween

so many friends and family are having babies lately...here are 10 ways to help when a friend has a baby!

i can't wait to try some of these 16 ways to tie, tuck, roll and twist my clothes like a stylist


Also this:

Penelope & her friend Hunter on the playground earlier this week! We love fall!


What are you loving this week?