Wednesday, May 25

Honey Rhubarb Blondies

I completely forgot to tell you all about my Mother's day a couple weeks ago... So I'm going to rewind here, and tell you all about it! *Disclaimer* I might swear a tad in the post. So warning you now... to prevent the emails about it later.

I always sort of dread Mother's Day, as I do my birthday. I feel like things are so forced. People you never talk to, wishing you nice things on Facebook. Husband giving you flowers and cards out of obligation. Kids shoving things at you, that they are sure to tell you THEY HAD TO MAKE, their teachers made them do it.

My Mother's Day morning started off like every other day of the week. Me getting coffee and breakfast ready for my husband and the kids. Packing the husband's lunch because he has to work on Sundays. Husband rushing out the door.... no, "Happy Mother's Day hun!" No card, no flowers, I'm not even sure he thanked me for his coffee....

After he rushed away, I had to rush and get the kids and myself ready, plus bake some treats for a get together at my sister in laws house. I'll admit, I was getting increasingly agitated as the morning went by. All I wanted to do was get a little break on Mother's Day. Meanwhile here I am rushing around as always, and getting ready to spend the day with HIS family.

Then my kids gave me their gifts that they made in school. They were all sweet, and my two youngest kids were excited to give them to me. I felt in those moments appreciated and loved. Then my oldest hands me a canning jar filled with little pieces of paper. He tells me that I am supposed to pull one out a day, and read it.

So I do just that, it read.... "I love you when you play Monopoly with me."

I melted. "Aww Buddy, I love it when we play monopoly too!" He replies with a major attitude in his voice, "Yeah, well you never actually play it with me, but I HAD to write SOMETHING. Mrs. Herrin made all of us make these."

That was soul crushing. I know he's a kid, kids have no idea how their words sound sometimes. So I don't blame him for saying that. But I won't lie, I went and locked myself in my room for a solid 15 minutes and cried. Because WHAT A FUCKING SHITTY MOTHER'S DAY!

I mean, I'm a terrible mom who never plays monopoly, right?!

Just when I could not feel any worse, my phone rings. It's my husband. I answer thinking he's going to be all like, "Hey Babycakes, Happy Mother's Day. I love you! Thanks for doing what you do." But no.... instead he says. "Hey, I forgot my work keys to lock up tonight. I need to you to drive them down to me"

I'm pretty sure I may have hung up on him.

I loaded the kids in to the my truck, drive 30 minutes out of my way, and bring his keys in to the dealership. I was about to drop them on his desk, and I barked at one of his sales people. "Tell Steve his keys are on his desk."

Poor sales guy looks at me, scared. "Happy Mothers Day! Can you wait a second? He wants to talk to you."

I almost replied, "Yeah thanks,  maybe you could tell your ass hole boss to wish me a Happy Mothers Day." But I did not, I held my tongue and tried to not act like that 16 year old tantrum thrower I wanted to be in that moment.

Steve finally walks out,  "Hey, I got you a new Tahoe. Happy Mothers Day!"

What the F.

So I got a new car for Mother's Day. How much of a spoiled brat do I sound like now?

It makes my life 100x easier (though I miss my High Country SO MUCH!) having 3 rows is a total game changer. Plus... rear entertainment with bluetooth headphones. Now the car rides to the lake and to Boston are silent! I also love him for  highlighting what a major jerk I was being. All day I moped around feeling sorry for myself. Meanwhile, that was ALL part of his plan.

He knows me so well!

Take notes husbands out there.....

While Steve may be good at surprises and planning and such. I am not. These bars for instance. They are the result of me just whipping things together with no plan at all.

Luckily it all worked out, and they are fabulous.

Honey Rhubarb Blondies
1 cup unsalted butter, browned
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp salt
1 tbs vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 large rhubarb stalk, sliced thin


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, or non stick baking spray.

In a mixing bowl mix browned butter, both sugars, honey, salt and vanilla together.

Whisk in eggs one at a time, until they are incorporated.

Fold in flour.

Spread blondie batter in the bottom of your baking pan.

Arranged sliced rhubarb over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are golden, and the center is set.

Best when enjoyed warm, drizzled with additional honey.

Friday, May 20

Curried Spring Onion and Pea Soup

Living in New Hampshire I have only a handful of options for my family's grocery shopping. I have always been envious of my friends in more urban areas, who have a Whole Foods Market everywhere they go. For my entire adult life, finding a grocery store that sells local and sustainable food and home products was incredibly difficult. Fresh produce is always the toughest in this area of the country. Our growing seasons are quite short and our selection is slim. Let alone finding a store that carries green cleaning products. 

Slowly but surely Whole Foods Market is expanding into northern New England, making this New Hampshire mom happy as can be. In the last 2 years they have opened 3 stores all with in driving distance from my home and my husband's office. I am officially spoiled and have all of my shopping done in one stop! 

At the beginning of the month, I was invited to attend a private tour of their newest New England location in Westford, MA, with a group of other bloggers from the Greater Boston area.  I was instantly impressed with the unique to them design of the store. Every Whole Foods Market has a different look and style based on their location. 

Wednesday, May 18

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

When Steve and I were teenagers, we loved the Olive Garden something fierce. Every special occasion, we celebrated together over all you can eat breadsticks and salad. 

Got an A- on your Of Mice and Men report? Lets go to the Olive Garden. 

Two week anniversary? Lets go to the Olive Garden. 

Ninth month Anniversary? Lets go to the Olive Garden. 

Got your license? Olive Garden. 

Friday, May 13

Peanut Butter and Hot Pepper Jelly Burgers

This year my youngest daughter started preschool 4 days a week, and she is gone for 2.5 hours each of those days. It is the weirdest thing having a quiet house during those hours. 9 years of caring for the kids full time,  this was completely foreign to me!

So my husband and I started a Thursday afternoon lunch ritual last fall while all 3 kids are at school. Each week we go out for food at a new to us restaurant, in and around Bedford and Manchester.

Tuesday, May 10

Fried Fiddleheads

I was very lucky to grow up in a small, well to do town at the foot of the White Mountains, surrounded by lakefront. Though my childhood home is no longer standing, I often drive up and bring the kids on a  drive around the dirt roads I grew up riding my bike on.

I think back to days and I am often in awe that I was allowed to do, like ride my bike without an adult, (without a helmet) miles down the country roads. Now that my oldest son is nine, he often battles me on boundaries and what he can or can not do alone. When I think back on those days in my childhood, I sometimes think maybe we have become too strict in parenting our children today? Maybe we don't give them enough freedom so they can learn and grow into responsible adults?

It's a debate I find myself having with my husband more and more as the kids age. We are entering a new stage in our parenting life, and I feel like I'm doing it blindly, and always second guessing my decisions.

Saturday, May 7

Chocolate Filled Brioche Rolls

You know that awesome little feature on Facebook that shows you what you were doing last year, the year before.... heck even what you were up to in 2006? I honestly find it completely obnoxious. At first I was like, "oh look! the kids were baaaabbbieeesss!"Now I look at the photos and I am like, "Oh man, I was really tiny in 2008." "Oh look, I didn't have gray hair in 2011!" Or, "wow, my living room was really clutter free back then!"  

 My cousin recently did her own Time Hop of sorts. She is an art teacher at a school in Indiana, and she is working on getting their old dark room back up and going. So while doing that, she decided to develop some black and white film she had shot a decade ago. To her surprise, and to mine. The photos she developed were of my wedding day.

Friday, May 6

Fudge Dipped Smoothie Pops

Every spring I start rummaging around my drawers and cupboards looking for all the pieces to my ice cream maker and popsicles molds. As the days warm up, my kids start to beg for cold treats like milk shakes, popsicles, ice cream and such. I take this opportunity to sneak something healthy in. Normally I just fill the popsicle molds with some greek yogurt, put a stick in the center and call it a pop. They honestly do not seem to know the difference.

When thinkThin approached me about developing a recipe with their high protein smoothie mix, I'll admit, I was hesitant. First off, I am normally not a huge smoothie fan, I also am not normally big on using mixes. But then I did my homework and looked into their ingredient list, and I was pleasantly surprised. It's made up of things like freeze dried fruit, chia seeds, flaxseed, whey protein and other wholesome ingredients. The mixes make smoothie making even easier, I don't have to deal with the prep of cutting my fruit and adding protein. It is all right there in the mix, ready to go. All you need to do is add some milk and ice.  Each of these strawberry raspberry smoothies contains an entire serving of fruit, 15 grams of protein, AND 5 grams of fiber. Not a shabby way to start of the day....