Month: January 2016

A Day in the Life

Owen had left for work. Breakfast had been made, and put away. My oldest son was dressed, groomed and sent to school. Diapers had been changed. The little ones were settled in front of Disney Junior. It was a good time to steal a moment for myself.

“What is that?” I asked myself, staring into the bathroom sink. All I could see against the peach porcelain bowl was little flecks of white and brown. “Is that toilet paper? Oh my gosh, is that poop?” My four year old daughter had been the last one to use the bathroom. “Naomi, come here!” I yelled across the house. “Naomi, did you put your poopy toilet paper in the sink?”



“I was trying to rinse it off.”

“Why?” I asked again.

“I don’t have an answer for that.” she said. That’s her new go-to line.

“Okay, we don’t put our dirty toilet paper in the sink. It’s very yucky. After we are done, we flush it all down the toilet… Let’s get you cleaned up.” I took her to the kitchen sink to wash her up. After I felt she was sanitized, I headed back to the sanctioned off bathroom. As I was cleaning up the sink (with slight disgust mind you), I found myself in the rare position of thanking God that I actually saw the poop-stained shreds of toilet paper. At least I knew that I needed to disinfect the bathroom, and scrub Naomi. Then I had the terrifying thought of “what happens that I don’t know about?” …which I quickly dismissed… Because there are some things I’m better off not dwelling on.

Not in the too long future, I was attempting to give my three year old a dose of antibiotic medicine. He and my husband had recently taken a week-night trip to urgent care. Mostly because my husband had been miserable with what turned out to be a pretty severe sinus infection. My son, wasn’t in as bad shape so the prescription wasn’t necessary at the time, just a back-up in case his condition worsened. We had been giving him saline solution drops in his nose, and some cough medicine before bed. But now his mucus was darkening. Just to let you know Elijah, my three year old, has an uncanny self-imposed gag reflex. He can actually get himself to puking before he has ever even taken a bite of something he thinks is going to taste gross. The remedy to this usually is to have a drink of water on stand-by and have him well prepped ahead of time.

“It doesn’t taste bad. Stop that. You have water right here. It’s going to be fine. It’s going to make you feel better. Stop doing that. You haven’t even tasted it yet. It might taste good!” Medicine attempt failed. Puke everywhere. After a brief pause of disbelief, I say “That’s it. Everyone upstairs! I’m throwing you all in the tub!”

“Mom, you can’t th-wo kids.” he said.

“You’re right Elijah. I didn’t mean I was going to really throw you. I just mean I’m giving you all a bath.” The baby too, all three of them. Just on principle.

And it wasn’t even lunch time yet.

Biscuits & Gravy

I love a hearty breakfast, weekend or weekday. Anyone who knows me can attest to that. You know that line on Gone With the Wind when Scarlett says something to the effect of “Ashley told me he likes a girl with a healthy appetite.” And Mammy says “What gentlemen says and what they thinks is two different things.” I don’t know why that reminds me of me eating breakfast. It really has nothing to do with biscuits and gravy. But the amount of them I can put down in the morning is impressive. Or is it that it just feels that way when you’re finished? Regardless, I love that feeling. Comfort food at it’s finest. They’re so good! Don’t judge me.

As organic as possible:

1 pound Spicy ground pork breakfast Sausage (*you can do any ground breakfast sausage)

3 Tbsp flour

2 1/2 – 3 cups milk divided (whole or 2%)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp granulated garlic

1/2 tsp granulated onion

8-10 Biscuits, baked to golden perfection (homemade or store bought)

In a large skillet, brown the sausage. If you didn’t use spicy sausage (which is highly recommended), I suggest adding a few red pepper flakes. I just love how the heat cuts through the gravy and gives it a little depth. When the meat is browned, there should be a little fat left in the skillet. Add the flour and let it cook a couple minutes. Pour in about 1 cup of the milk, stirring gently until it starts to thicken, add about 1 1/2 cups more. Add the salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and granulated onion. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your preference. (Side note: I usually add more black pepper because I like to see the flecks on the top. It’s totally a childhood thing.)

If you find the gravy is too thick for your liking add another 1/2 cup of milk. If it’s not thick enough add a teaspoon of flour… gravy can be so forgiving.

Here’s where it gets personal. I have another childhood habit of tearing my biscuit into pieces and spooning the gravy on the top. Some people keep their biscuits whole and spoon the gravy on like snow on a mountain.  Owen likes to cut his biscuit in half (horizontally) and place the gravy on both halves. As far as I’m concerned there is no right or wrong way (or amount 😉 ). Just enjoy yourself one of life’s simple pleasures.

Loving Lately ❤️

Loving Lately: The Treadmill

So, my first Thursday “Loving Lately” rendition of the year is not as much “loving” as it is “lately”. However, I’m trying to make some better choices. It really has nothing to do with the new year or any resolutions. Inadvertently, it has plenty to do with the holidays. I know the math is very simple, if you take in (eat) more calories than you burn you hang on to the excess. Thankfully the opposite is also true… So that’s what I’m going for. Actually, I saw this little quote recently on Facebook that said “I ran my first 10K this morning! I’m just kidding. I’m on my third donut.” That’s my kind of funny. My instinct says do not let that be my kind of reality. TBD…

Ringing in the New Year & the Winner

I’d love to say that it’s a tradition of mine to ring in the new year with glitz & glam, song & noise, friends & fun…

That would be a bold faced lie.

In fact, it seems like for the past few years I was pregnant or up most of the night feeding an infant, so sleep was more valued than celebration… and I’ve slept right through most of them.

But not this year!

This year we feasted on food from around the world!


This year we blew into noise makers and lit off sparklers!


As 2016 rolled in, I hugged my loved ones and said “Happy New Year!”

…And it was a lot of fun!


(I get it, no promises on the future, but I get it!)
To commemorate the New Year on my blog, I started with a cookbook giveaway that celebrates family and food! (Seems befitting) I entered the number of comments on and it selected #22. Congratulations Dave, you are the winner of Return to Sunday Dinner! (And Dave, aka dad, thank you for your support of my blog.) I look forward to checking out the Spam Cookbook, (a delicacy of Hawaii). Please contact me via email to claim your prize! 🎉

And thanks to Ryan French for many of my New Year’s photos!



The Chef’s Egg Rolls

Can I just reiterate that I love having a chef in my family? This time she gifts us little brown packages of fried Asian awesomeness! One of the best things about homemade is that you get to pick and choose your favorite flavors. And I’m not sure I could get enough water chestnuts, ginger, cabbage, carrots, garlic, soy sauce, etc. wrapped in a crispy egg roll wrapper. In fact, I’m pretty sure I can’t.

Makes about 35 egg rolls
So you will need 30-40 egg roll wrappers depending on how you fill them

4 cans sliced Water chestnuts (drained)
1 10 ounce bag shredded Carrots
4-5 Tbsp chopped Garlic
3-4 Tbsp chopped Ginger
1/4 cup Soy sauce

Stir fry in vegetable oil about 3 mins.
Set aside this mixture

In a stock pot place
10 cups shredded Cabbage (cole slaw is what I used)
2.5 cups Chicken broth (can use vegetable broth)
3/4 cup Soy sauce
3/4 cup reduced sodium Soy sauce
3 Tbs Sugar
Bring all ingredients to to a boil, reduce to simmer for 5 minutes then let cool for 10 mins

Strain cabbage and combine with shredded carrot mixture.

Make a paste with flour about 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup water mixed.

Lay the wrapper like a diamond with a corner pointing at you. Place about 3 Tbsp of filling into each egg roll wrapper, across the center (in a line between the two middle corners), then fold bottom corner over filling then both sides, then use finger to apply paste along the edge of top corner and roll the filled wrapper over the pasted corner. Press anything that didn’t seal down and it’s ready for frying.

Side note: I work in batches because egg roll wrappers dry out quickly (not as bad as wonton wrappers) so I make like seven at a time and fry because I can fit that many in my skillet

Fry in a pan with 3/4 inch of vegetable oil in pan, after first side is browned (about 1 minute) turn and brown other side.

Place finished egg rolls on paper towel. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. *Sadie suggests plum sauce 😉

New Year Cookbook Giveaway

I really can’t think of a better way to start the year than with a giveaway. I get really excited about them. I enter almost every giveaway I come across. I expect Publishers Clearing House to show up at my doorstep with a check any minute. I’ve also expressed my fondness for the cookbook, Return to Sunday Dinner, in the past. It was such a nice surprise when I came across it. I love the sentiment of slowing down and taking the time to enjoy a meal with your family and loved ones. The idea of working hard all week and taking the time to stop and celebrate life on at least a weekly basis is a notion I can appreciate. And then there are the recipes! The author, Russell Cronkhite, worked as the chef to the White House for many years and multiple administrations. His mastery of American cuisine is obvious, but his esteem for the history of the dishes and their diverse multicultural origins was insightful. It’s a winner and I am excited to give one away!

To enter, simply tell me the name of your favorite cookbook in the comment section of this post here or on Facebook (and please note that to not mess up the count, I will not be responding). Only 1 entry per person please. Entries accepted until 11:59 pm EST Monday, January 4, 2016.


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