Monday, February 25, 2013

"Happy Purim! The most joyous holiday of the year!"

So says the book "Good Night Israel" that we have read to the Little One every night for the last week.  The book says good morning, good evening and good night to many different places and people in Israel, and touches on the Jewish holiday Purim, showing kids dressed up in funny costumes, making noise and having fun.

On the next page there is a picture of kids making hamantaschen, the triangle fruit filled cookies traditional to Purim.  On that page, the book asks, "Would you like to help make hamantaschen?"  And dear Little O, she always answers with a resounding "Yes!"

So you can imagine I was excited for Purim to come.  I told her how we would make hamantaschen.  I told her how we'd roll the dough, fill it with fruit, and bake it in the oven, a la the patty cake song.

I had the Jewish equivalent of visions of sugar-plums dancing in my head.

It didn't turn out quite like I planned.

The trauma began with my electric hand mixer,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This Week's (Big) Small Find: Closet Organizers

Photo courtesy of Maegan
A girl can never have enough closet space.  Especially if that girl lives in New York City.

Add a roommate/spouse/kid or two, and you're really faced with a closet conundrum.

It's ironic that in the land of chronic shoppers, those same folk have no place to put their samplesalefleamarketboutique finds.  Walk-in closets are a luxury for the few and the lucky, and the rest of us are faced with a bi-fold door or two of storage.

This week's (big) small find is something that everyone can use... closet organizers.  There are a gadzillion to choose from, and this post will just cover a few, but whatever kind you choose, you will definitely benefit from this home improvement.

elfa System at The Container Store:

The queen of closet organization, as far as many New Yorkers are concerned, is elfa.  The Container Store really knocked it out of the park with the flexibility and allure of this system.

There is an online tool that allows you to design a closet customized to your closet dimensions and your storage needs (like if you're a shoe hoarder, or have a lot of dresses, they account for that and will design accordingly).  The parts are attractive, practical and available in different finishes and colors.

Down side?  Price.  Big price.  Probably worth it though-- their systems are extremely durable.

elfa system at The Container Store

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Savory Beef and Vegetable Stew: slow cooker tested, toddler approved!

Back in December, when I shared my recipe for a kale and chicken meatball soup, I made the bold statement that I'd be making a lot of hearty and healthy winter stews this season.

Well, I'm ashamed to say that although I have been making stew after soup (still don't know the difference!), I haven't posted too many of them here because, frankly, they don't photograph well!  I've been really trying to take advantage of my slow cooker, and honestly although food that's been stewed together for hours tastes DIVINE...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Wake-Up Call For Your Slow Cooker: Caribbean Inspired Pulled Chicken

When I was pregnant with Little One, a friend told me that we HAD to take a "babymoon."  One last hurrah as a couple, in some relaxing locale, where we could enjoy each other and the peace and quiet before diapers and sleep training and playgrounds took over our lives.

So we booked a cheap package deal to the Caribbean and went, 6 month baby bump and all.

It was a great trip.  It was too cold to really swim very much, but we sipped virgin pina coladas and relaxed on the beach.  We took long walks, ate fresh fish and lots and lots of mango.