Mini Chipwich's


I am exhausted.  Like, beyond.  I spend all night in my 7 month-old's room, trying to coax and nurse her tiny, teething body back to sleep (because she's all, HELL NO to this sleep training rubbish).  I spend all day negotiating with my 2 year-old who is on a very productive hunger strike... have one ITSY BITSY bite of food to MAKE MOMMY HAPPY BECAUSE MOMMY IS SAD (it doesn't work).  As I type this, I have asked my 6 year-old to go potty and get dressed for school 17 TIMES and I've even threatened that our neighbor with his scary dog will have to drive him if he misses the bus.  I'm exhausted.  There used to be room in my brain to think about food.  Now, I'll realize it's 10am and I haven't eaten a thing yet and I'll drive my minivan into the wall of a Starbucks and buy every breakfast sandwich they have.  I'm sooooo tired.  But, then I'll read an article like this one, and I'll laugh and ugly cry simultaneously, and I'll remember... these are the days I'm going to miss.

(And then I chant that over and over again like a lunatic)

So, until my brain regains some sense of normalcy, all I have for you are these Mini Chipwich's I brought to a dinner party last night (because an "adult dessert" is waaaaay beyond my comprehension right now).  I used this recipe for a "cafe-style" cookie, made them as small as I could, flattened them prior to baking, smushed some vanilla ice cream in between the cooled cookies and rolled the sides in mini chocolate chips.  I may be brain dead, but they were delicious.  

Life Lately


Oh my gosh you guys, I haven't blogged in a long while.  I can't really point to an excuse, besides my three children.  You know, the baby who doesn't sleep and the toddler who doesn't eat and the big kid who just turned 6.  Every year I make a gigantic deal about his cake (as seen here) but I just didn't have it in me this time.  He was like, "mom can you make it half Skylanders and half Minecraft" and I was like, "no."  So instead I turned to another favorite of his at the moment, High School Musical (I know every song by heart).  East High's colors are red and white, so a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting made sense.  And then I made some chocolate piano keys with a piping bag on parchment paper to line half of the cake.  Easy peasy - go Wildcats!  (I'm an adult)

Easter fun with Rachael


I had a blast on the Rachael Ray Show today!  Sure, we made out with eggs and broke a few (okay, Rach broke a few), but it was so much fun to try out three crafty, Easter-inspired treats and crafts that we found online.  Check out the segment here.  And, if you ever come across something on the World Wide Web that makes you say, "SIRI-ously, can I really make that?" please send it my way!  

(Because I am Siri.) 

St. Patrick's Day Ideas

How were your weekends?  I spent mine eating green bagels and Red Velvet High School Musical Birthday Cake, but more on that later this week.  For now, here are some ideas for your Irish celebration tomorrow night, if you're having one.  It will be magically delicious!  

*And don't forget to watch The Rachael Ray Show today :)      

Andes Mint Chunk Cookies


Two things:  

First, my little man is almost six.  SIX!  I have been a mom for six years.  Which pretty much makes me an expert (even though I have no idea what I'm doing).  Jackson is pure joy, and I'm so lucky that he chose me to be his mama.  At school, they get to bring in birthday treats, and he chose these Andes Mint Chunk Cookies.  Good boy, right?  "Mama, I'm Irish, and we Irish like mint."  That's probably a gigantic stereotype, but who can argue with a 6 year-old choosing his birthday treat?!  So we made these cookies yesterday, and swapped chocolate chips for chopped up Andes Mints.  They are YUM.  

Second thing: I'm so happy to announce that I'll be back on the Rachael Ray Show this Monday, March 16th!  If you like to plan ahead for holidays when it comes to crafts and treats like me, because you have obsessive compulsive traits, again, like me, then you won't want to miss this show! Rachael and I are going to test out a few Easter ideas we found online that led us to say, "SIRIously, is that possible?!"  Oh puns, you're fun.  Things get a little messy, so please tune in to see :)

Also, Andes Mint Brownies here.

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies


Coconut.  Can't stop won't stop.  Found this recipe and made these cookies faster than you can put the lime in the coconut and shake it all up.  I also drizzled dark chocolate all over them because why not.  They are delicious!  AND, it's going to be 59 degrees here tomorrow!!!!!  I'm going to wander around my neighborhood in my swimsuit singing, "DOCTOR! Is there nothing I can take, I said, DOCTOR! To relieve this bellyache..."

Vanilla Snow Cream!


Is it snowing where you are?  Are you stuck at home with your kids because school was cancelled (again)?  STOP EVERYTHING YOU'RE DOING, go outside, scoop up some fresh (clean) snow and make Vanilla Snow Cream!  Ice cream made of snow!  It takes 3 ingredients!  You might not have sweetened condensed milk, in which case you might want to make a harrowing, 5 mph drive to your supermarket like I did, but it will be worth it.  Snow, vanilla extract and a can of sweetened condensed milk.  It's superb, I tell you, SUPERB!  Recipe here.  

Coconut Rice

While I sit here and watch the snow gently fall on top of all the other snow from all those other snow storms, I'm day dreaming of the sound of bongo drums, the smell of sunscreen and the taste of coconut.  "You put the lime in the co-co-nut and shake it all up."  I can't stop.  In fact, I'm going to make coconut cookies later on today, and the other night, I made this delicious sweet and savory Coconut Rice.  Go ahead and fill your house with this tropical flavor as well, because guess what?  This is the last snow storm of the season.  It's true.  Al Roker told Carson and Carson told me.

Coconut Rice
(Serves 4)

1 cup jasmine rice
2 cups coconut milk
1 T butter
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, bring rice, butter and coconut milk to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.  In the meantime, toast coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often to prevent burning.  Once rice is cooked, toss with coconut and peas.  Cover until peas have warmed, then serve!

There is no reason for this photo.    

Turks and Caicos


If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably know I was torturing you with photos from Turks and Caicos last week.  Don't hate me!  I'm back home now wearing multiple pajamas trying to entertain all of my kids because of school closings and delays.  I simply couldn't help myself last week!  That was our first, EVER, true family vacation and it, was, sublime (and I will continue to overuse commas to get, that, point, across).  I'd like to share some super professional (no) photos with you and talk about our culinary hits and misses (there weren't any).

The above photo was taken at a resort called Amanyara.  To be clear, we did not stay there, we just went to check it out.  It's an incredibly extravagant, remote, GORGEOUS spot... but Carson and I felt  like we had to whisper to each other the entire time we were there.  Amanyara means "peaceful place" and oh my god was it.  I felt like I was at a rehab facility for billionaires.  It was probably the most beautiful place I have ever seen... and we enjoyed our time there, baking in the sun, sipping on tequila and ice cold beer and snacking on spiced pistachio nuts.  Beam me back, please! 

One night, Carson and I snuck out for an adult dinner at a restaurant called Infiniti at the Grace Bay Club.  It was an incredible setting... dining in the open air and staring at the ocean.  We ate simply grilled red snapper and buttery lobster tail and the most perfect kale salad.  And of course, more tequila, along with their complimentary bar snacks which were spiced popcorn and curried plantain chips.  (I might spontaneously sob as I write this post...)  

My handsome dinner date:

One day we took a (expensive) taxi into town and walked around a shopping area they call the Salt Mills.  We found a place called Island Scoop and ate THE BEST coconut and salted caramel ice cream we've ever had.  Everything is made right in the shop, and there's even an outdoor playground for the kids.  I highly recommend you find this place if you're ever on the island.  

Do you know what conch is?  It's basically a sea snail that lives inside those glorious shells you see everywhere and it is VERY popular on the island.  To eat, I mean.  I am a big believer in the "when in Rome" frame of mind when traveling, so I was happy to try it.  And I enjoyed it!  Especially when it was deep fried, it tasted like calamari.  The Conch Shack (I'm sorry, "da" Conch Shack) is a very popular place for both tourists and locals, and it may have been our favorite night out.  The tables are set up right in the sand, and you watch a man pull in the conch straight off a small boat.  There is live music, awesome t-shirts for sale and the best rum punch I've ever tasted.  

One day for lunch we walked along the beach to a place called Somehwere Cafe.  I love that name, and I loved the man named Jermaine who worked there and called everything "LOVELY" in a deep, island accent.  I keep saying "the best I've ever had" in this post, but when it comes to the Pina Colada I drank at Somewhere... HANDS DOWN PEOPLE, UNREAL.  I'm sobbing again just thinking about it.  We also ate delicious nachos and pulled pork tacos, and we lied about our son's age so he could sit upstairs with us (I mean, what's the difference between 5 and 6?).      

Everyone talks about Coco Bistro.  The restaurant is so popular, they even sell reservations on Ebay!!   We were very lucky to get in, and other then my 6 month-old breaking a plate within seconds of being seated, we had an incredible meal.  Blackened mahi and curried shrimp and spicy caesar salad and a ridiculous tuna sashimi appetizer.  The restaurant is set in a palm tree nursery so even when you look up, you see a sliver of the moon between giant palm leaves.  It's stunning.  The green trees against a bright red building with white, twinkly lights everywhere makes it feel like tropical Christmas.  And don't forget to say hello to Coco, the cat that roams the premises.    

We stayed at the Gansevoort, and on the last night we ate dinner in our room from the restaurant Stelle.  It was quite the relaxing and delicious send-off, and here's what we ate...

Brown Butter Basted Lobster Tail   

Wagyu Beef Cheeks West Indian Curry

Pan Roasted Salmon

Soy Honey Cured Tuna

Shrimp Caesar (with BACON)

So there you have it.  I had never been to Turks and Caicos before this trip, and I fell in love with it.  The people are lovely, as Jermaine would say, and so peaceful.  The atmosphere is serene and the island is still relatively quaint and remote.  The food is authentic and delicious.  The trip from NY is quick and direct.  It's perfect, and I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to reconnect with my family in such a perfect place.   


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