What time do you put your kids to bed? My cousin, Shannon, once told me, “there’s summer bedtime and then there’s winter bedtime.” This could not be more true.
In the summer, Brian and I are carefree parents…8 or 9 o’clock to put them down, usually whatever goes. But come winter, we get a little crazy about sleep…7:30 or 8 o’clock is as late as it gets. And if we don’t get them to bed on time in the winter, I blame myself for every tantrum the next day. Apparently during the summer, I’m much easier on myself. Is this a universal thing, or do you keep the same bedtime for your kids no matter if there’s a lot to do vs. nothing to do?
In related news, have you heard Samuel L. Jackson read Go the F**k to Sleep? My mom sent me this one. I am not sure what is funnier, my mom’s humor or Samuel L.’s reading.
ps- Who are those young people in the photo?
I am such a sucker for Valentine’s Day. So much to love! Have a wonderful day, friends!
Our family is about to get bigger! Not our little family (please!), but our family at large. Conor and Ashley are having a little boy and he will be making his debut this month! Katie, Pat, and I hosted a shower a couple of weeks back–it was such a wonderful day celebrating the parents-to-be! (We are ready for you little fella! Valentine’s Day might be nice.)
The question I get asked most is what to serve at showers. Here’s what I recommend (it’s all about: the soup, salad, and sandwich):
I’m reading Dinner: A Love Story, the book; and have been working my way through the recipes, but none as easy and delicious as the kale, white bean, and sausage stew. I think one of my last recipes on CKT was an adaptation from the DALS blog. But alas, when you find a good recipe, you want to share it, even if that shows that your are maybe, perhaps, a little consumed with one, singular, blog.
Other things I’m really into right now are hooded sweatshirts (never met one I didn’t like), Mindy Kaling (serious girl crush…do people still use that term?), and Team Mandy (we have babies the same age and as a result lead parallel lives).
But, back to the soup. It is so easy to throw together–you must have high quality ingredients though (as is such in life). The quality of the Italian sausage is of the utmost importance; I purchased mine at Standard Market. The beauty of this soup is that it is very forgiving. Use what you have around, as long as you have the white beans, kale, and sausage, you will be good to go. Have some crusty dinner bread on hand and you have one bona fide family-friendly meal that everyone might just become obsessed with.
I have been dairy free for three weeks. George had signs of a dairy intolerance (not sleeping, crazy diapers, constant congestion, etc.), so since I am still nursing our doctor recommended I cut out all dairy as a first step (contrary to popular belief, this does not include eggs–hello mayonnaise!). I had to go cold turkey and let me tell you it has been an adjustment. It’s not necessarily hard, more just something I could not get through my head. Everything usually gets salt, pepper, and parmesan in my world (right, Kathryn?). And I make cookies for a living. And, how do you not not even nibble on the goat cheese cheesecake served at the shower you hosted? It’s a lot to remember. I am not particularly great at restraint…especially when it comes to food.
I also feel so unnecessarily shy having to tell waiters that I have a dairy allergy. Or having dinner at a neighbor’s house becomes a bit awkward when you call ahead with your food restrictions.
Thankfully my cousin, Monica, gave me some great dairy free ideas. Coconut milk ice cream anyone?! We are finally seeing improvements for George! A lifetime of dairy takes a full 14 days to produce a normal baby diaper. We are still working on the sleep. Baby steps.
Have you ever tried a cleanse, diet, or do you have a food allergy?
ps- remember this?
George–our adorable, social, easy-going little man does not sleep through the night. I am sorry if the title mislead you. We are in the trenches. I knew the post wouldn’t have done as well with: I’ve been awake since Christmas.
Every night we put him to bed and are so optimistic. “Yep, tonight’s the night…tonight’s the night he is going to sleep for 12 hours straight.” Then we go to bed, only to be awoken hours later by George. Is he hungry? Is he gassy? Is it a tooth? Should we let him cry it out? After three soul-crushing rounds of this, we are delusional and wonder if life will go on like this forever.
We did find out that he most likely has a milk intolerance which could be the cause of the constant waking. He and I have been dairy free for two weeks and he is improving. So, starting tomorrow, it’s no more funny business. Brian and I are going into battle–it’s time to cry. it. out.
How did you get your kids to sleep?
Happy New Year, friends! I hope your year is off to a great start! We had a wonderful break and Christmas and are ready to start living it up in 2014.
But–we live outside of Chicago, so for us, the start of the new year has meant a lot of time inside (A LOT). First it was the snow (2 feet!) and now it’s the cold (-17 temp). The windchill is suppose to feel like -45. Are you kidding me?! I’m a get-out-of-the-house-kind-of-gal, so this is driving me a bit crazy, but we are surviving (thank goodness for a kid who loves art projects and dance sessions).
I’m all about the snow and can deal with the cold, however not when it’s too cold to step foot outside. I was actually enjoying the multiple shovel sessions this past weekend…hoping it would take care of the remaining baby weight. And pulling Nora around in the sled is my idea of a perfect afternoon. But, school was cancelled again today due to more low temps. What are we to do? 165 days till summer. Lord help us!
Did you hear? CKT has a new Cookie of the Month Club…here for all your last minute gift needs! Available in 3, 6, or 12 month subscriptions! Send us an email to give the gift of cookies this year.
We had a little holiday get-together at our house this year–Brian was in charge of the music and drinks while I headed up the food and decor. He’s great at finding music–old and new. So without further ado, here are my top picks from his party playlist.
B’s Party Playlist (it’s a little bit R&B, a little bit Motown, with a touch of 80s)
Tightrope by Janelle Monae
Closer than This by St. Lucia
Pack Up by Eliza Doolittle
Vivrant Thing by Q Tip
Give me Just a Little More Time by Chairman of the Board
The Wire by Haim
When it was Wrong by The California Honeydrops
Love that Girl by Raphael Saadiq
Rich Girl by Hall & Oates
Invisible Gurls Genesis vs. Katy Perry Chambaland Mashup
Happy by Pharrell Williams (you must watch this video–so great!)
The Seed by The Roots
I come to you today with the world’s best pizza dough recipe. This may seem intense, but it’s true. I have tried about 10 different pizza dough recipes to find the perfect crust. This one leads the pack by far–and not only is it my favorite, but it’s the easiest (bonus!).
I like a crust that is thin and a little airy but also crispy. I guess I’m more of a NY girl (sorry, Lou). This recipe is from Jim Lahey. Remember him? Our no-knead bread guy. He’s a genius.
This recipe is in a serious weekly rotation at our house. We sometimes make it really simple–tomato sauce and cheese (the quattro formaggio from Trader Joe’s), and sometimes do it up with sautéed mushrooms, pesto, or roasted tomatoes. Either way we always make a big hearty salad (usually with dried MI cherries and walnuts) and plow through the pizza pretty handily. Since this dough makes enough for two pizzas, it looks like that’s where we are headed. I always tell Brian, we eat enough for a family of four. To which he responds with: “we are a family of four.”
No-Knead Pizza Dough
makes enough for 2 crusts
Adapted from: Jim Lahey author of My Pizza
3 3/4 cups flour
1 packet active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 cup room-temperature water
Mix all of the dry ingredients and then incorporate the water with a wooden spoon (or your hand). The dough will need to be worked a little to make sure all of the flour gets incorporated (try and get it so it’s a little tacky). Form into a dough ball and place in a new clean bowl–cover with a towel and let it rest for about 2 hours (or doubled in size). Cut the dough into two equal portions. (You can save one dough by freezing it in a plastic baggie).
Make a flat circle and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. You can also stretch it with your hands very gently once it’s on the baking sheet. (brush the exposed crust with olive oil) ** If the dough seems hard to roll out, let rest for 2-5 minutes and start over.
Cook with toppings in a 500 F oven for 13-17 mins (or until desired crust texture).
(when using the frozen dough, make sure it has come to room temp completely before trying to roll it out)