Category Archives: dinner

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce


I love stories.  That’s probably why I majored in English and decided to teach stories for a living.  For one, it’s what binds us as humans.  It creates a collective experience, a shared understanding.  While I could list off numerous favorite stories, my absolute favorite are the ones that involve my family.

Growing up, one set of grandparents lived about 20 minutes away, and every time we got together, stories of the past were what was told around the dinner table.  My sisters and I especially wanted to hear stories about our dad.  The good, the bad, everything.  Our dad was our hero, and anything we could find out about him was funny and fascinating.


Usually at Thanksgiving or Christmas, and if extended family was in town, my grandpa would pull out the large projector screen,  and all of us would cram in the living room to see pictures on the slide projector.  It was somehow comforting to hear the hum of the machine, and the loud click as the wheel moved to the next slide.  These pictures made the stories told come alive.  We’d laugh at what my grandparents and aunts and uncles wore during the 50s and 60s (because, face it, when you’re 10, it’s hilarious to see what “old” people wore).  My dad would say things like, “Who’s that stud in the picture?”  And my aunts would give their delightful and infectious squeal about some embarrassing photo, muttering “Oh my!” and shaking their heads.  It made family stories that much more delightful. Continue reading


Filed under dinner, pasta

Farmers’ Market Quiche


One of our favorite things to do on Saturdays (besides eating a big, homemade breakfast and letting the kids stay in their pjs–see this post) is to go downtown to the Farmers’ Market.  I love being able to get fresh produce for the week and the kids love being able to pick what they want for lunch, after looking at all the food vendors.


After shopping, we grab our lunch and sit down to eat, listening to the music by local musicians.  Being a musician myself, it’s fun to point out the various instruments to the kids.

Matthew said he wants to take harmonica lessons, that is, after he learns to play cello and air “cutar.” (Guitar apparently is a hard word to say–either that or he really misunderstood how I pronounce it.)

Unfortunately, my kids are picky eaters, but as they grow, and are introduced to more varieties of foods, they are getting better.  This is one dinner they really like.  Matthew said, “Double thumbs up, Mom,” which I think is kid-code for a really good meal, and Grace said, “Save the recipe.  I am glad you made it this time without squash.” Haha, the mouth of kids!


Cherry heirloom tomatoes and fresh corn work best in this recipe, but you can use frozen corn and roma or beefsteak tomatoes if you’re in a pinch.  The Ricotta and Parmesan cheese add a nice balance to the egg and vegetable mixture, as it doesn’t feel too heavy or too egg-y. Continue reading

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Filed under dinner, life

Transportation Birthday Party

My son turned 2 about a month ago, and when I was planning his party, I told myself I was going to go easy.  Nothing too time-consuming, just keep it simple.  I kept telling myself this because last year, for his 1st birthday, I spent a lot of time planning and making food, invitations, etc.  You can see it all here.  Plus, with being pregnant, I have begun to lose my energy.  Being pregnant the first time around was way easier than the second!  Toddlers wear you out.

But in the end, it was worth it.  Seeing the look on Matthew’s face when his party was all about trucks, trains, and cars made me happy.  And celebrating with family and friends made it worth the while.  I found cute invitations from this Etsy shop, and everything was based off it.

For appetizers, I had veggies and dip, along with salsa and chips.  For the “main course,” I made pasta salad, using the wheel-shaped pasta.  (What is the official name of it?)

I also made egg salad sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and had them in the shapes of cars.  I found this really cute car cookie cutter and cut out bread using the cutter. Continue reading


Filed under Chilled Desserts, cookies, dinner, misc.

Lasagna Soup

I know that spring is not officially until next week, but with these past four days filled with cold temperatures, wind, and incessant rain, it is not a sign of spring to come–it’s a sign that winter is still here.  We even had snow Tuesday morning, which is really uncommon in the Pacific Northwest in March.  I have been standing next to various heaters in our house and using electric blankets to stay warm.  For whatever reason, I just can’t keep the house warm enough.  So my last resort was to make some comforting, warm-to-the-bones soup.  My 20-month-old son even ate it; that is, only when I could get him away from his trucks.

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Filed under dinner, soup

Red Curry with Vegetables

My 15-month-old son went trick-or-treating for the first time Monday night.  He went as a dinosaur, or Puff the Magic Dragon, as my husband called him.

My mom made a cute little trick-or-treat bag to carry all of his loot, and we went to about 8 houses with some friends.  While he had a fun time walking around (he just learned to walk) and meeting new people, I knew that all the candy he got was not all going to him.

In fact, I’ve only given him tiny bits of each little package we’ve opened.  But I still I can’t help feeling a little guilty that Eric and I are eating candy that was originally intended for someone else. Continue reading

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Filed under dinner