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live from the hammock district down on third



Published: 2018-01-22T13:35:00-05:00

 



Ezra's Cookbook

2018-01-22T13:35:00-05:00

In other Cookin' With Zah news (assuming you are not sick of Cookin' With Zah news, because I am not, will not, can not, ever get sick of Cookin' With Zah news), he's putting together his own cookbook of original recipes. Fully illustrated, too. He's taking it VERY seriously. He's got several dozen pages in a binder, and adds new ones whenever imagination strikes. That's not to say that the original recipes are...workable, quite yet. Or even fully legible. Ezra inherited both Jason's terrible handwriting and his cavalier, improvisational approach to cooking/baking. Just eyeball the flour, it'll be fine! Don't have an egg? Use cheese! Lid fell off the cinnamon jar? Today I present the judges with Cinnamon French Toast pan-fried in cinnamon butter and topped with a blackened cinnamon crust, please enjoy. Most of his ideas have SOME basis in reality -- he wants to bake a sweet potato pie, I can find a recipe for a sweet potato pie -- but then he chafes a bit when it's clear that we're not 100% really following his concept for a sweet potato pie. So I'm always torn between letting him experiment a little...while trying to guide him towards a...



Play With Your Food

2018-01-18T13:51:02-05:00

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. Here's a little secret about kids "helping" in the kitchen: It's not always all that helpful. At least, not at first. There are a lot of spills. A lot of messes. Ingredients hit the floor. An egg gets pulverized against the rim of a bowl. A simmering pot has been stirred a bit too vigorously and now there's chili all over the wall. It can be maddeningly slow, and frustratingly imperfect. An onion takes 20 minutes to dice. Ten minutes to peel an avocado. Four tries to get the aluminum on the baking sheet without ripping it. They forget to set the timer and wander away from the rice right at the wrong moment. You set them up prepping an ingredient and don't notice until it's too late that they've gone ahead and eaten most of it. There might be some accidents along the way. Someone might forget that a burner is on, or learn the hard way that boiling water splashes outward if you toss potatoes in too quickly. (Just last night someone knocked a chef's knife onto the floor, where it barely missed falling blade down onto my bare foot.) Watch...



Surfacing

2018-01-16T12:07:24-05:00

Last week, Jason and I decided to have an impromptu mid-week date night. This in and of itself was somewhat significant, as I haven't been too keen on things like "leaving the house" and "putting on pants" for the last few months. We went to one of our favorite restaurants (alas, no House of Cards cast and crew this time). I picked a half-order of tortellini to start and the braised short rib as an entree. They were both great. Exceptionally great. I couldn't stop talking about how great it all was. "I am really enjoying this meal," I said at one point, mid-delicious bites. Then I froze. I put my fork down. I looked at Jason and repeated, with a bit of dazed wonder: I am enjoying this meal. *** During my first appointment with the psychiatrist, she asked me what I liked to do for fun. Any hobbies, activities I particularly enjoyed? I stared at her as my mind drew a blank. ...Fun? ...En-joyed? What even were those words? "I liked going to restaurants," I finally came up with. "Eating out, trying new foods. Cooking and baking with my kids, having people over and entertaining." She smiled and...



Priorities, People

2018-01-10T13:43:31-05:00

This post is sponsored by LOLA. I recently got a new credit card (the swipe-y strip got damaged and was no longer reliably swiping, and I was sick of being that person at the cash register being all, "no, really, it'll work, just swipe it like 10 more times a little slower no faster okay maybe try harder?") and of course the first order of business was to update all my various online subscription boxes and services so I wouldn't miss a critical shipment of like, razor blades or hot sauce. But seriously, I am genuinely hooked on the subscription box concept and would like even more of my life to arrive neatly packed on my doorstep, on a regular basis that I no longer have to put any thought into. SUBSCRIPTION BOX IDEAS: Sweatpants of the Month Club All the Hair Ties You Lost Last Month Magical Restock Service Your Kid's Teacher Probably Needs More Antibacterial Wipes and Glue Sticks So Let Us Just Mail Her Some Every Four Weeks Yes Your Children Ate All That Cereal Already Club A box containing a curated, monthly collection of Target impulse buys (January's box theme is "Dish Detergent" and contains nail...



The Three Wise Hams

2018-01-09T12:40:23-05:00

This week has been a messy bitch of early school closings, delayed school openings, and our first kid semi-down for the count with a cold. I believe making it illness-free until January is a family best, though, so go us! It shall now ping-pong around our household for the next week and a half, with at least two of us getting stuck with a persistent dry cough until April. IT IS OUR WAY. Also our way. Best not to question it. In other photos-in-search-of-a-blog-post news, Jason recently got the chance to take Ezra (and Hobbes, natch) to his very first Ravens game. (I've called dibs on everybody's first Broadway musical; Jason claimed all the sportsball and Monster Truck Jams.) The weather wasn't great but they stuck it out for the full game -- it helped that our team actually won, but really the key to holding Ezra's interest in any live sporting event is to simply keep feeding him. (It also helps to have seats with views of the cheerleaders, apparently.) Thumbs-up and bunny ears to some quality Dadding, right there. Ezra had a blast. Ike felt a little left out -- the tickets were free from a friend who...



Um. Brr.

2018-01-05T11:46:53-05:00

It's currently 11 degrees outside (-1 with windchill), but apparently that's downright balmy compared to what a lot of ya'll are currently dealing with, as we're at least not digging ourselves out from piles of snow and/or frozen iguanas. We're mostly just piling on the layers*, gathering around the fireplace, and basking in the warming glow of some good ol' fashioned Fire and Fury, along allllll the schadenfreude-y popcorn our doomed planet currently has to offer. Here we are preparing to make the one block trek up to the bus stop. We made it as far as our driveway before I was like, fuck this bullshit, get in the car, we're driving. Sorry again, planet. *This includes a heavy layer of warm-body-seeking cats and dogs** at all times. **This weather justifies the purchase of some absolutely ridiculous pet sweaters Y/N?



A Start of Some Kind

2018-01-03T12:15:54-05:00

I was really, really hoping my first post of 2018 would be non-Sad-Ghost depression related, but seeing how we're three days in and I shall be leaving the house for the very first time today since New Year's Eve* simply to get my meds adjusted, I guess I should just break the seal already. *The highlight of the evening was me bailing on a party several hours early because I forgot how to human. You know that feeling when you're trying to make small talk with a stranger and suddenly can't remember what kind of facial expression is appropriate for the words coming out of their mouth? So you focus too much on what your face is doing and completely miss that they've asked you a question until they're just staring at you in confusion while you smile at them all psycho-Joker-style? Or when the whole room is laughing about something and you're consumed with panic because what if you try to laugh and start crying instead? No? Just me? Okay. **But a Lyft arrived like one minute after my brain officially NOPED out and they didn't charge surge pricing! I came home and watched cooking shows all night instead...



The Morning After

2017-12-26T11:17:57-05:00

Merry Day-After Christmas! Please enjoy this random assortment of child-like, hammy joy. (We take our PJ game very seriously around here, if you couldn't tell.) Our dining room is now Lego assembly central, while Ezra put his MasterChef Junior Breakfast Cooking Set to good use this morning and made French toast with a side of burning the house down, as he decided to get started without 1) waiting for me to wake up or 2) actually reading the enclosed recipe card. Be safe out there, kids.