Here’s where I spent about 8 hours yesterday…
He’s from Mars.
28 Sep 2013 2 Comments
Here’s where I spent about 8 hours yesterday…
He’s from Mars.
17 Sep 2013 1 Comment
09 Sep 2013 5 Comments
in I need to tell you about this right now Tags: Bakery, candy bar, chocolate fountain, food, Friendship, Glaser's Bakery, humor, Life, New York City, old neighborhood, parenting, Photography, teens, The Big Apple, Tourist, travel
Despite a rocky start – we had a great weekend. My son’s team won their first soccer game of the season (8-1) and the weather was beautiful. We had promised to take one of my daughter’s friends to NYC – her very first visit, and Saturday was the day.
They had a blast – and I had a blast watching them have a blast.
Although they let me take a ton of pictures during the day – the only ones I’m permitted to show are the following:
We started our day here. Now, you’re probably thinking that you’ve never seen this in the top NYC destinations list…well it should be. This is Glaser’s Bake Shop. On the upper east side of Manhattan – called Old Yorkville. Over a 100 years old, owned by the same family that started it and still going strong. It’s an important focal point in our tour of the city, it’s also an important focal point in my family’s life. My husband and most of his family (including me!) worked at Glaser’s at one point or another. Herb, one of the two brothers that now runs it, is one of my husband’s dearest friends. A father figure that has been in his life for decades. He’s also my daughter’s Godfather. This is also where our little family got it’s start. Our very first apartment in NYC was on the third floor of the bakery building. We were married while living there – we had our baby there, who’s now 8 feet tall and showing her pal all the sites of her old neighborhood. We wouldn’t know what to do without Uncle Herbie.
So that was stop one. We loaded up on Herb’s famous black and white cookies and off we went.
And since our sweet tooth was raging after Glaser’s – we headed right to Dylan’s Candy Bar (check!). The only place where I’ll let my kids eat from a chocolate fountain. Which, generally, I think are really gross. I imagine buckets of cheap, melted chocolate being used over and over again. Yuck. But the last time we were here, I spoke to the woman who ran the fountain – and she said they throw out the unused “liquid” and if they see anyone’s finger/hand/hair/body part touch the chocolate – it’s over. They shut it down. Is this true? I dunno. But I liked her attempt. So I was ok with the girls partaking. I passed on it. Communal dipping fountains are just not my thing. No matter what the nice lady says.
We hopped on a subway (check!) and headed downtown.
We landed right in the middle of a street fair.
From there we walked to Washington Square Park (check!) and then to Union Square (check!)- who needs America’s Got Talent, these performers were much better.
The girls – “ummm…do you smell that….”
Me – “incense! That’s incense! Let’s keep walking…”
Then my daughter’s pal said,”I’ve never been in a taxi.”
We fixed that. We made her flag the cabbie down (stealing it from an angry young hipster to boot!).
(that’s a slurpie in their hands, and per Mayor Bloomberg, it’s a small)
We ended the day in Times Square (check!). By then the girls were tired, hungry and worn-out. Success! I took some touristy shots – but they liked their selfie the best.
These two beauties are even prettier on the inside.
04 Sep 2013 1 Comment
Last night my daughter came home from school and plopped on the couch.
She’s still getting back into the swing of high school hours. As am I.
She smiled big and said,” guess what happened today?”
Here’s why I love these moments: a) it means she’s going to share something with me…actually TELL me something – verbally! And b) it’s probably something positive since bad news is delivered via text (it’s written in the 14-year-old code of behavior).
Back to her story. She found $20 on the stairs at school yesterday morning. So, she tells me matter-of-factly, she took the money to the office and gave it to the receptionist. The nice lady told her to stop by at the end of the day – if no one had claimed the money – it was hers. At this point in the story, she whipped out the bill and smiled big.
“That was so nice of you to bring it to the office” I said, to which she replied,” it could have been someone’s lunch money and I really felt bad for them.”
Small story, I know. But it made me feel so good.
Let me tell you a secret. When I look at my daughter, here’s the face I still see….
and this one
This will help you understand why I wanted to cry and sob tears of joy when she told me this story. And it wasn’t that I was so shocked by her wanting to give the money back or do the right thing – that’s pretty normal for her. It was that she knew how easy it could have been to shove the money in her pocket and never say a word – and she didn’t.
I told her she was a true humanitarian. She didn’t need to see proof of suffering to do the right thing – she did it because there was only one right thing to do.
Then she rolled her eyes and went up to her room.
27 Aug 2013 2 Comments
in I need to tell you about this right now Tags: comedy of errors, homework projects, humor, Lessons, Life, Music, night homework, Photography, Piano, piano teacher, Russian, School, Teacher, Teaching, thick accent, tunnel vision
Two years ago my husband found an old-school, Russian piano teacher. He did this how he does everything. Complete tunnel vision until objective is achieved. There’s no giving up in parenting! The first year was a comedy of errors full of Three’s Company type of misunderstandings due to her very thick accent (which my son calls her volume). I’d sit in the other room and hear a lot of, “Svweetee..vould you try zat again?” “what? oh. try it again? ok.” …..”zank you” “what? oh. you’re welcome”. She’s like the nicer, gentler, Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle.
It’s gotten better. But every summer we take a couple of months off. To give the kids a break. To give Tatyana a break. And let’s be honest, to give me a break. But summer is officially over when she walks in at 6pm on a Tuesday night. Homework, projects, parent-teacher meetings all follow quickly after.
I snuck in the room tonight and recorded the below. This is what I will hear from 6pm to 7pm every Tuesday until next June. Help me.
23 Aug 2013 Leave a Comment
This is also what “I’m 9 years old and don’t have a care in the world” looks like.
This is also what “Going to the town pool at 6:30pm after a rain storm” looks like.
You know I could go on. I have, like, 10 more of these things in me. But I won’t. Happy Friday.
14 Aug 2013 3 Comments
in Cooking! Tags: bastardized version, childhood, cooking, Dinner, Eggplant, food, Growing up, Heritage, How-to, Indian, Italian, Photography, Recipe, Tradition, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Vegetarian cooking, Vegetarian food
Growing up, in my very Indian family, the only “American” food that was cooked in our house was spaghetti (which was strangely made on Saturday mornings) and a dish that we called – eggplant. No, not eggplant parm. I didn’t know what parmesan cheese was until my first year in college (also never had cream cheese, sour cream or mustard until then). This is an entirely different thing. A bastardized version of caponata. I’m pretty sure my mother has never heard/seen/eaten anything called caponata.
I don’t know who came up with the recipe. I’m not sure how it all got started – but I do know that in my family and in my cousin’s families – this is what you get when they say,”we’re having eggplant for dinner”.
I make it now for my little tribe too. I’ve changed a few details. All the veggies in this dish were fried when my mom made it (and still makes it). I don’t fry anything – not because I’m so super healthy – but because I’m really bad at frying. Things burn. Stoves are covered in oil. I stink like burnt oil for hours – it’s not good. So I do a little saute/steam method. It works. I still use a bit of oil – but I use olive oil instead of the corn oil my mom uses to this day. I tried to talk her into canola once but it was a lost cause. Who am I to judge?
Here’s all you need. Please note: do not buy expensive sauce or make your own marinara or something. You need Ragu. Or some other cheap jarred sauce. Trust me. And don’t go trying to add fresh basil – hold yourself back. Pretend like this is the 80s and we haven’t all been watching The Food Network obsessively.
Olive oil, eggplant, peppers (red, green, yellow – whateva), sauce, cheese (again use what you have, cheddar, mozzarella, etc).
First chop up your very pretty peppers and onion in a hearty julienne and throw them into a non-stick pan with about a tablespoon of oil. Cover and saute/steam for about 10 minutes until both are cooked through and soft.
While the onions and peppers do their thing, cut the eggplant(s) in half and then in thick slices. Then think about the fact that literally nothing on earth smells better than onions and peppers cooking. I hear you all screaming at the computer now,”bacon does!”, “cookies baking do!”, “a baby’s head smells better!”. Calm down.
Once the onions and peppers are done, pour them into a medium-sized pan. Add another tablespoon of oil, cover and cook the eggplant. I like to do this in batches. In the end you’ll use 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil to cook all the eggplant.
I’ve tried doing the above steps in different ways through the years. In a crockpot. Roasted in the oven. Grilled. I like this way the best. Once the eggplant is done – add to your assembly pan. Don’t worry if there are still firm pieces – it’ll spend a ton of time in the oven and cook through.
Add the bottle of sauce, stir, cover with foil and put into a 350 degree oven for atleast an hour and a half.
Use this time to work, mother, wife, clean the house, clean the car, or…if you’re me, have a cup of coffee and a piece of last night’s dessert (raspberry cobbler).
After about an hour and 1/2 – check your dish. Does it look like this? If yes, it’s done!
Add the cheese. I ended up using half cheddar/half colby jack. It’ll go back in the oven for about 5 minutes and then, done!
Like a caponata – eat this with some good, crusty bread. Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.
Now, if you come of my mother’s house and she says we’re having eggplant for dinner, you’ll be ready.
12 Jul 2013 Leave a Comment
24 Jun 2013 Leave a Comment
It isn’t just a Madonna song anymore.
It’s what this blog is doing. Or more importantly – not doing.
Just a mini break.
A short rest.
A small respite.
You get the picture. (Incase you didn’t I included photos)
Just trying to make you jealous.
Just a little bit.
Later suckers… With your jobs and responsibilities and what not.
I can’t relate. Not for 2 more days.
18 Jun 2013 Leave a Comment
in I need to tell you about this right now Tags: all the rage, children, crossfit, Family, health, healthy-living, home, humor, Kids, Life, mental-health, Photography, Planking, stove top, Working Out
Looks like someone’s been taking (blurry) pictures with my camera.
This is called planking I think. 20/20 did a report on how it’s all the rage. Do you still watch 20/20? I do, even though I don’t think it’s called that anymore. Apparently you are supposed to snap shots of yourself planking in all kinds of different places.
It looks like excercise to me.
Here’s what my two lunatics were up to – not sure where my husband and I were, but I’m sure we weren’t planking, ahem.
Please note – there are photos below with my kid’s faces on a stove top. No children were harmed in this silliness. Please don’t call anybody.
UPDATE: my son told me this morning, after I’d written the post, that planking is OVER. This was last year and they do not do it anymore. Just so ya know.