Had to share! I was so excited to stay at The Parker this week. While we had eaten in one of the on-site restaurants last year, we had never spent the night or seen the inside of one of the rooms. Designed by one of my idols, Jonathan Adler, I knew it would be colorful, irreverent and completely unforgettable.
Poor Carol Channing. Growing up, I remember my father, on several occasions, getting so flustered by something - a letter, bill or message - that he'd then threaten to "frame it and hang it over the toilet in the hall bathroom". At no time is this more vivid for me than when we were sitting in a Paris restaurant, having eaten the WORST MEAL of all time, and then receiving an outrageous bill for it with our servers thanks scribbled on it in blue - "Hope you enjoyed your meal!" My dad sat there looking at this bill, half laughing, half crying, and promising to "frame it and hang it over the toilet in the hall bathroom". Over, and over again. I thought of that story every time I walked into this bathroom.
I brought some summer attire to wear while out *paroozing* the antique shops.
Above is the back of the in-room menu laid down on the upholstered bench at the end of our bed. I loved the illustration!
Hope you enjoyed!
Buttered Popcorn Cookies.
I was curious too. But for some reason, when I returned to The Smitten Kitchen's cookbook this morning, I expected to see *chocolate chips* in my list of ingredients.
Isn't that what I'd seen? Hadn't that been the appeal and cause for my return this week?
Apparently not. On closer inspection, those little brown spots in Deb's cookies/pictures turned out to be nothing more than the tops of cookies cooked to golden brown perfection. :(
And so I thought, "What the heck..." and "Who cares?!" and "I'm putting chocolate chips into my buttered popcorn cookies!"
I actually baked half the dough to exact instruction, and then baked the second half with 3/4 C of milk chocolate morsels folded in. Both were great, but the buttered popcorn cookies with chocolate were just that much more fun!
You can Google Smitten Kitchen's Buttered Popcorn Cookies recipe, but please don't forget to add 1-1/2 C of chocolate chips to your batter. ;)
Today I was the grateful wife of a man who had a (yawner of a) conference in Palm Springs. It was all very last minute, but I did take the opportunity to sleep in, relax and stroll mid-century furniture stores support him, rub his feet and keep him company at night.
We arrived late in the day yesterday and took breakfast this morning at Norma's, one of two restaurants at our hotel. I was in a retro-sort-of-heaven, mesmerized by lush gardens, pops of vibrant, warm colors and ridiculously good food. While we had to pass on the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata, for obvious reasons ($1000), we did manage to leave fulfilled. He had the egg white omelet with vegetables, I had the potato pancakes with cranberry apple sauce. We shared a fruit plate and a large pot of coffee while exchanging ideas on how we could revamp our house to mimic a Palm Springs oasis. :)
My Dearest Tiny Son,
Will you remember this day like I will?? How the earth gave hints of springtime with a welcoming blue sky, and a brisk air that carried us to the grocery store on bike? The way you helped me select ingredients in your miniature shopping cart or how we stopped to enjoy clementines while sitting on a stone wall at the street corner? Would you please try to not lose sight of your confidence or the way it gives you courage to do things like yell "Good morning to you!" to the cyclists flying by? Will you promise me to forever approach the making of cake with the same unabashed enthusiasm you did today??
Thank you for insisting on a chocolate layer cake, Bud! It was nothing less than THE perfect chocolate cake - wouldn't you agree? Remember this morning, how when we sat down on the floor with cake books (and coffee), in search of a recipe for tonight's dessert? How I passive-aggressively pushed for Deb Perelman's Chocolate Pudding Pie, and how you insisted on Tish Boyle's Sour Cream Chocolate Cake - the one so perfect, it made the cover of her book? And remember how I pouted about not getting my way, with that annoying, exaggerated, pushed-out lower-lip, and how you patiently watched my immature and manipulative tactics with complete and total empathy only to say - "It's OK, Mama. I still love you."
Ha! That must have been so hard for you to watch - and yet you handled yourself so well!
You are so, so good like that, Boo. You really do ask so little of us, and yet give so much: the hugs, the I Love You's, the offers to help, the I Love You's, your efforts to be big and independent so that Mommy and Daddy don't always have to work so hard.
Did I mention all the I Love You's?
You deserve whatever cake your heart desires on this Friday, and every one hereafter. It's the least I can do for you at the end of the week when you've probably initiated a dialogue of I Love You's for seven days straight.
PS - Your idea to put a candle in the half eaten cake and sing Welly a Happy Birthday song after his near-escape from his house (and our home) was adorable. Thank you for all you are, Sweet Boy.
I've still got my happy buzz going since I laid out my New Year's resolutions last week, and started checking off boxes. We sent out for food one night this week, and had to scramble with leftovers another, but I can't complain as all the eating was still fantastic. I find that as long as I'm committed and in the kitchen by 4:30, I'm able to get plates down and everyone eating by 5:30. Here's what we ate:SUNDAY NIGHT almost didn't happen. We were at a birthday party later than we would have guessed and I wasn't sure I could get something on table in time to get the kids down (early). But when we hit around the idea of just going to PF Chang's, or the like, I couldn't bring myself to do it and so we ran to the grocery store on our way home. House-made chicken-basil-pine nut sausage from the butcher (not a cheat), asparagus (lightly buttered and salted), and Ina's Creamy Parmesan Polenta. This meal took twenty minutes to prepare - "Only twenty minutes?!?" - and was delicious! Definitely doing this one again (and again, and again).
MONDAY NIGHT was Chicken Cutlets from one of my favorite blogs - Dinner: A Love Story. I hesitated with the bruscetta as tomatoes are just so out right now, but couldn't resist and so I salted the heck out of them, and tossed with some oo and basiI. After an hour of resting, they pretty much tasted like summertime. I actually made this for everyone before going out to dinner with some old friends, but did enjoy some before my exit. (I only mention this because we ate some of my leftovers from Monday night, on Tuesday night. Read on.) :-/
TUESDAY NIGHT was a partial bust only because I had planned to do tacos but Daddy had to work late and I wasn't able to get the last few ingredients. Instead we ate leftovers - Saturday night's Meatloaf with roasted cauliflower and butternut squash from my meal out the night before, also some leftover polenta. I can't complain.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT Sol Food delivered.
So I posted and started my New Year's resolutions five days ago. I've since had a week full of fulfilling promises to myself, and others, and am actually feeling really good in this moment - like, less broken than last year. ;) Every night this week I cooked a meal from scratch (#1), I've done so in a way that chips away at all the half-full bags/boxes/cans of food lining kitchen shelves (#3), and then finished the work week of by starting-up Fabulous Fridays again with Paula Deen's incredible Southwest Georgia Pound Cake (#2). (In addition, I've sold or given away something on Craigslist everyday - part of a very private NY resolution that I didn't dare put down on paper.)
Again, feeling really, really good.
To top-off all the goodness that comes with an early morning cake baking party, complimented by the calm of a well-organized morning routine with school kids (#5), I took Mr. Noodle and his not-so-really-under-the-weather-anymore big brother to Fairyland for some magic moments. Happy weekend!
Southwest Georgia Pound Cake (Paula Deen)
These are some pictures I snapped while visiting my friend, Stephanie, in Boulder last July. At the time, I was installing this project and she was eager to jump in and help me, which made the huge task more bearable. One night, I drove out to see her new home in Boulder before we took in dinner downtown.
Discovering pizza crust made from not much more than cauliflower and mozzarella cheese has been a total game changer for us. I'm proud to say I eat pizza again, and super proud of my kids for their whole-hearted dedication in helping us to demolish a tray of this at dinner time.
Here is the recipe I follow quadrupal to make a sheet of pizza.
The kids are back to school tomorrow and so it feels like the right time to get going on the resolutions. Here are mine:
1. Cook More. Ever since we moved I've been slacking. I can't quite figure out if it's that I'm busier now with work projects, or if it's that I just miss my old kitchen and garden and all that they inspired in me. Regardless, it's time to cook more.
2. Bring Back Fabulous Fridays. FF was an idea I had a while back where I wanted to cook a new dessert every Friday that would carry us through the weekend with smiles and sugar highs. I had dreams that my kids would be that much more excited to get out of school for the weekend, running home to see what surprise was waiting for them. I haven't done jack in like a year-and-a-half. Time to give it another shot.
3. Consult My Pantry More Often. I need to get better about meal planning by looking first at what I need to use up, before deciding what to make for dinner. My shelves are lined half-full bags of things like unsweetened coconut, herbs de Provence and raspberry vinaigrette, just to name a few. I threw out a bag of expired food products this week and it tore me up something awful. Enough is enough.
4. Play More Music in the House. This one is really important. I love music but simply forget to turn it on at home. Kids are naturally drawn to it, plus one of mine seems to have an extra special connection to it. I need to help him with that. There will be plenty of time for popular music in their futures, I plan to play everything else.
5. Establish Clear Rules and Responsibilities for Kids. Outlined, posted, monitored and rewarded. We got off to a good start with this in August but it all fell apart when the kids decided they weren't motivated by money anymore. Ha! Our kids need to start helping out more and I need some tools to help me get through the loud hours. I got some great ideas thanks to a good friend and we begin implementing tomorrow morning at 7AM. There is a whole post about all this coming in the near future. All good stuff!
Happy New Year! We wrapped up our 2012 quietly, and have been getting a slow start on 2013. One by one, we have been knocked-out by strep and so, for the most part, we've been cooped-up inside for two days. The good news is this lockdown has allowed me the opportunity to develop a fun and hassle-free way to get small kids excited about writing their thank you cards.
Yesterday afternoon, I decided to knock-out the task, but realized it might be a lot easier to just do one at a time. So every hour, on the hour, the set timer would alarm us that it was time to gather at the kitchen table. I would pick one family member and each child would write them a personal note. Low stress...it was just one! Easy to do and doing it in small batches allowed each child the energy to be thoughtful. Grandpa was first, Aunt J. was at noon, Nana at one, and so on and so on. By the end of the day, we had all our notes written, sealed and stamped. I can't believe how easy it all was. I can't believe we accomplished so much while being under the weather!
Well, hello there. I'm Jeanice - mother of three, wife of one, designer, perpetual nester, lover of all things food, home and garden, color obsessed modernist and family vacation enthusiast. Welcome to Suburban Homestead!
I launched this blog in the fall of 2010. Having closed my business earlier in the year to focus on family, I knew I needed a creative outlet. Our family had just weathered a big storm, and as we stood at the end of that wind tunnel, wrapped in a big, warm blanket of hope, I found myself relieved, happy, and inspired. Our mid-century home was complete, my garden was in full production, and so I decided I would begin to document all the family moments I was so grateful for, for my kids, and for us.
For the first year and a half, I felt this blog was truly about a suburban homestead. No, you couldn't say we were living off the land, but I was having the time of my life planting, growing and cooking for our family. We lived outside San Francisco in a California ranch home (that was also my childhood home); we had a southern facing garden that continually produced bumper crops with little to no effort; we had chickens and happy kids that loved to get dirty; and we had a kitchen that made cooking and baking a dream. I learned canning (jamming) and became temporarily obsessed with it. I powered on with my no. 1 parental mission to raise non-picky eaters who aren't scared to try new foods (it's an ongoing process). I fine-tuned some details around the house and documented the efforts. Then a friend asked me to help her with her house, and then another. Pretty soon, I found myself working several interior-design projects and writing about them when I could. The blog began to suffer a little neglect with so much going on, but I had zero complaints - all was good!
Then something happened - something that was not supposed to happen: Daddy suggested we move off the hill and onto the flats.
I said: You're dead to me.
He said: Whoa-whoa... what if the new house needed work and you got a project out of it?
I said: Really?!? I'll start packing!
And so it goes... We moved quickly, falling for the first home we saw, another one-story ranch home. We moved in the spring of 2012 and while we took our time getting to know our new house, and brainstorming what future improvements we'd like to make, I held off on starting a garden that first summer. I was a tad embarrassed to have a blog called Suburban Homestead when I only managed to squeeze a couple tomatoes out of some mis-placed vines, and the abundance of apples harvested was all due to the work of the previous owner. But I'm feeling a bit more "on it" now. Adventures in raised-bed growing will be on the blog roll starting Spring 2013, and I think the family is eager to get chickens again.
So there you go, a little back story on us and how we got here. Thanks for stopping by and joining the party!
Posted on 01/01/2013 at 09:26 AM | Permalink
| | | | |