Last year when we toured the preschool that we eventually chose for Nick, the only thing that I didn’t care for was their snacks.  The school provided a snack each day, but it rotated between animal crackers, fish crackers, vanilla wafers, etc.

Nick gets his share of junk food, but I really didn’t want him to be excited for school because he was getting a processed snack every day.

Over the summer, a new director was hired and the next thing we knew, parents were asked to help by providing healthy snacks for the class.

Of course, I am in love with this idea.  Today was our first turn.  We brought in sliced cherry type tomatoes from our garden.  It’s cool that Nick got to pick them and then take them to share with his class.


He reported back that some kids liked them and others didn’t.  But that’s ok, at least kids are going to get exposed to many different snacks this year.

I’ll have to think of some other good ideas moving forward.  There’s 14 kids in the class, so we’ll have to bring snack in a little more than once a month.

 Posted by at 4:00 PM

We did a little shopping at Whole Foods before picking up our share today.  I’m so glad that the store remodel is complete.  Everything seems like it’s in its place.  Now, we just need to learn where those places are.

Here’s what we received today:


Bok choy, lettuce


Apples, slicing tomatoes


Hot peppers, red onions


Bell peppers, red Russian kale


I’m going out of town on Thursday and won’t return until Sunday night.  So, I’ll be prepping items for the freezer or cooking them for the family to eat while I am gone.

I now have two heads of bok choy.  I’m going to sauté them with garlic, onion and sesame oil for Stephen.  The lettuce will get eaten in salad.  The apples have been popular in oatmeal and for snacking.  The tomatoes are going straight to the freezer with the romas that I picked from our garden today.  I’ll be making a batch of sauce for canning before our lamb comes in from the butcher at the beginning of October.

I have no desire to deal with the hot peppers, so I am sending them to work with Stephen in hopes that someone there will put them to good use.  I wish we had a swap table at Whole Foods where you could take and item and leave and item.  One of our other CSAs used to do that and it was great.

I’ll chop and freeze any pepper and onion left before I leave on my trip.  I’m just going to blanch the kale for later use in soup.  We have plenty of greens out in the fridge already.

Lately, I feel like I’m preserving more than we’re eating, but some weeks are just like that.


Tonight, I attended a cooking demo and tasting class offered through Fresh Fork Market.  The class was held in the basement section of Market Street Brewery.  I had never been there before and I am clearly not a west-sider, but I made it there and back.

Parker Bosley shared his infamous wisdom with regard to beets, parsnips, roast, potatoes, braising greens, and much more.


Parker is a legend in the Cleveland area.  Honestly, I had never heard of him until recently.  He’s really amazing and so personable.  It’s a joy to watch him cook.


We watched and heard about different preparations, heard great stories and tasted wonderful food.


We left with a booklet full of recipes that has me ready for the fall and winter bounty that our local farmers have to offer.

I’m most excited to make the Lyonnaise potatoes and parsnip puree.  I can’t wait until the Thanksgiving class.


Stephen and I have been married for 6 years.  We had a great wedding with perfect weather.  We’ve had many adventures and travels.  We have 2 beautiful children.  Life is great.  I can’t imagine sharing it with anyone else. I love you Stephen.  I can’t wait to see what other adventures are in store for us.







 Posted by at 8:54 PM

Before I had kids, I worked for the National Inventors Hall of Fame.  Specially, I worked the Camp Invention program.

It’s been almost 5 years since I worked full time for camp.  Now, I am busy raising my own little campers.  Many days we have craft sticks, boxes, paper, markers, tape, scissors, glue, paper bags and more out in our house as the kids experiment and create.


Recently, Nick started wanting to build more “real” things from his designs.  Some safety goggles were in order.  Sally and Nick were both excited when they arrived.

Most of our toys are used as part of creations.  They are rarely used for their intended purpose.

It’s awesome. It’s messy. It’s fun. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Stephen and I had a date night this evening.  We attended a lecture at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History about bicycling by Jeff Mapes.  After the lecture, Clyde opened the observatory.  It’s always fun to see the sky through the 113 year old telescope.

After we finished up at the museum, we decided to try Sweetie Fry.  Many other bloggers that I read have talked about this restaurant.  They serve ice cream and fries.  It’s a strange combination.  Stephen got CHOC RASP MARM.  It was chocolate ice cream with a raspberry marmalade swirl.  I ordered the shoestring sweet potato fries with honey mustard dipping sauce.  I thought the fries were good.  They were cooked to order, so they were very hot.  I will say that they were very salty.  I would definitely order them without salt next time.

The place was fairly full of high school students.  There were a few college and other folks represented too.

I’m not sure we’d go back on a regular basis.  We really like Mitchell’s and find ourselves there the most often for ice cream.  Fries are such a treat, we really don’t have them often at all.

It was fun to have a night out.  It’s hard to believe we’re almost to our 6 year anniversary.  So much has happened since we met.  That’s a story for another day.


We have plans tomorrow evening, so we picked up our CSA in Beachwood today.  There was quite a line when we arrived, but it moved quickly.

I love the colors this week!


Here’s what we were expecting:

  • 1 bunch golden beets
  • Approx. 2.5 lbs. San Marzano Roma Tomatoes
  • Either heirloom tomatoes or 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 pint yummy pepper mix (all sweet peppers)
  • 1 lb. Berkshire bacon
  • 1/2 lb. mixed baby greens (chard, kale, arugula, mizuna, and more)
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1 quarter peck Gala apples
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 8 oz. grass-fed smoked cheddar cheese
  • 1 half pint of either Pappy’s pepper butter (like a sweet and tangy homemade mustard) or 1 half pint of Pappy’s Candied Jalapeños (semi-hot jalapeños in a honey syrup)
  • A handful of colored peppers (red long peppers probably early week and purple peppers later week)

I’m not sure what happened, but we ended up with eggs and spaghetti squash.  We didn’t get broccoli.  I can see the switch with broccoli and squash – but eggs?  We also got lettuce, but I think that was a deliberate attempt at BLT ingredients.

I have two spaghetti squashes.  I’m thinking about making it Italian style and serving it like spaghetti.  I think everyone in the house will eat it like that (especially with cheese on it).  The head of cabbage is pretty small.  I think I’ll keep it a few days and then make some of my coleslaw.


We’ll be eating apples in our oatmeal.  Also, I ordered a new dehydrator and I’m anxious to try fruit rolls, so some puree might be in order.  These are really good paste tomatoes, so they’ll end up in sauce at some point.  For now, the freezer will be their home, along with the heirloom tomatoes.  We have an over abundance of tomatoes this year, but we aren’t getting them all at once, so it’s harder to make and can sauce.


The Pappy’s Pepper Butter is medium hot.  I’m not a fan of hot things, but I’m determined to try this and a few other things that are on our shelf soon.  My goal is to eat from our house as much as possible.


Delicious bacon never goes to waste around here.  I didn’t get it in the freezer right away, so it’s thawing in the fridge.  We’ll probably have it on Saturday or Sunday.  I wasn’t expecting eggs and we have an overabundance.  I’m going to gift a dozen to my mom since she’s helping with the kids tomorrow.


I don’t think I’ve ever tried this cheese, but there are very few that I don’t like.  All of the peppers this week should be sweet (not hot!) and I’m happy about that.


We also got some mixed greens.  This batch looks pretty good to me, so I’m going to have a big salad for lunch tomorrow.  I’ve gotten away from lunch salads and need to get back to them since they are delicious.


We still have some beets from the other week, so I am going cook all of them all of them tonight or tomorrow.  I’ll probably make a big batch of Harvard beets since we haven’t had them for a while.  The lettuce looks very tasty and will be good in salads or maybe a BLT.


There’s 7 weeks left and I’m already getting sad that the season will be ending soon.  It’s a good think there’s a winter program starting sometime in November.


Over the Labor Day holiday, we traveled to Michigan for an end of the summer family trip.  While we were there, we had dinner with my cousin, Ed and his beautiful fiancé.  It was so nice to meet Julia.  We made her a welcome to the family care package with some of her favorite foods and it was fun.


The kids had a great time with them as well.


Stephen and I split two dishes, although one dish would have been plenty.  We had the macaroni and cheese con pantalones.   It was a bit spicy and extremely delicious.  We also split a tasty sandwich called the Bueno Vista Social Club.  I liked that their menu had a huge variety of items.

Their menu can be found at the website.

One of the definite highlights was their root beer menu.  They have 28 different root beers.  It was really fun.  I had only had a couple of them before.  I ended up choosing the Dang Butterscotch Root Beer.  It really tasted just like those butterscotch hard candies.


The kids each received a kid’s menu along with a full 24 count box of crayons to help entertain them at the table.  We didn’t let them keep the crayons, but we were impressed with the huge box of colors.  It was such an improvement over the typical 4 color boxes.

We had a great evening out.  I can’t wait to see Ed and Julia at Thanksgiving.


Two crabby kids and I picked up our CSA today.  Nick just started preschool and has a shortened schedule for the first few days.  Nick’s so excited that he’s exhausted and Sally didn’t have a nap.  It was a rough day.  Surprising, our pick up was smooth, but I knew better than to shop for anything at Whole Foods today.

Here’s what we received:


apples, green beans


bell peppers, onions


cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes


yellow squash, bok choy


leaf lettuce


I’m so happy to see apples.  We love apples in our house and I’ve been waiting for them to start showing up.  Most of the local PYO is sparse this year.  We’ll be enjoying them in oatmeal this week.  The green beans will be a side dish for a meal tomorrow or Thursday.

I’m done with tomatoes, peppers and onions.  We planted a community garden this year and our tomatoes are out of control – and I don’t like tomatoes.  Actually, we’re ok on peppers since I didn’t pick them this year.  We’ll be chopping and freezing them along with the onions.  I love having local ones available throughout the winter.  I’m mostly just freezing tomatoes right now.  We have tons of sauce and I’m not sure what we’ll need next.  I did make some great enchilada sauce this week.  I don’t think I’ll ever buy store bought again.

One lonely squash will just get eaten in a stir fry with the bok choy and maybe some garlic and onion.  Bok choy isn’t my favorite, but luckily Stephen likes the Asian flavors.

We’ll use the lettuce in salad.  We might even have BLTs this week with some local bacon.  I think everyone would like them as long as we hold the T for Sally and I.

I’m hoping for fewer tomatoes next week.


Nick started preschool today.  He’s four and a half and will have one year of preschool before kindergarten.  Nick’s been counting down the days until preschool for weeks.  He has been super excited to start.  He’s really super excited to not have to take naps, since he’ll be in school from 12-3PM.  He’s also very interested in snack time.


I took a few obligatory photos outside of the school.


Today, he went for an hour and a half, tomorrow is 2 hrs. and then on Wednesday, he’ll go the full 3 hours.  There’s no separation anxiety with him.  He’s very used to being away from me for a few hours at a time.  I think Sally will have the bigger adjustment.  Today, she had a play date since siblings weren’t supposed to come.  Hopefully, she’ll be in a good routine to nap while he’s at school by the end of the week.

 Posted by at 11:01 PM