Yay! September’s here, which means my month of flying back and forth between the coasts is OVER! Don’t get me wrong—I had a wonderful time visiting new places, attending a couple of beautiful weddings, and catching up with friends. But there’s nothing better than sleeping in my own bed and waking up to see my kiddos in all their bed-headed glory—even if one of ‘em ain’t exactly a morning person.
Lil-O takes after his pop. The two of them hate getting out of bed. I hear this in stereo every morning: ”Aaaaah! Too bright! Close the shades! Close the shades!" (The other trait they share: Hair that refuses to cooperate.)
In contrast, Big-O is my Mini Me. He happily bounds out of bed as soon as the sun peeks above the horizon. And like me, he’ll pick up a book as soon as he rubs the sleep from his eyes. (We fight over cookbooks.)
On Labor Day, I woke up excited to finally get back into my kitchen and tinker with recipes all day. My first order of business was to make everyone a simple breakfast of eggs and fruit before marinating a batch of Damn Fine Chicken for dinner.
My plan was to throw the wings on the grill, so I left out the alliums because I didn’t want them to burn. (And to be perfectly honest, I was a little too lazy to chop ‘em up.)
It was a scorcher of a day, so I wasn’t in the mood for a hot lunch. After we returned from the Double-Os’ kung fu class, I cobbled together a fruity and refreshing Fig & Watermelon Salad with Honey Vanilla Cashews for our mid-day meal.
While tooling around in Pittsburgh, I craved a big salad every time we went out, but I never found one that fit the bill. Sometimes, you just need to create the one you’re looking for.
This salad called for Porkitos, some specially-roasted cashews…
…and a mess o’ fruit.
Ta-dah! (Recipe will be posted soon, I promise.)
A couple of us in the family—me and Lil-O—are feeling under the weather (my lack of sleep has prolonged my summer cold), so I put a big pot of Quick Pressure Cooker Bone Broth with frozen beef shanks, beef joints, and chicken feet on the stove.
I really need to make this a regular routine this fall and winter because my kiddos will happily guzzle mugs of broth—no cajoling or threats required.
While Lil-O sipped away at his mug of bone broth, I decided to make a batch of cookies. After all, my kids were enthralled by my description of the grain-free cookie table at Bill and Hayley’s wedding.
COOKIES?!? We want cookies, too!
I think the boys were shocked that I still know how to bake.
To be honest, I don’t bake very often—and when I do, I look to the experts. My two current favorite grain-free chocolate chip cookie recipes are by Danielle Walker and Simone Shifnadel. Both are pretty fantastic.
At dinnertime, I chopped up a late-summer Tomato and Basil Salad and roasted a tray of broccoli in the oven.
While the broccoli was roasting, I grabbed the marinated wings from the fridge…
…and tossed them on the hot grill.
I’m determined to overcome my apprehension about cooking over an open flame. When it comes to grilling, I’ve always relied on Henry, but with his busy work and travel schedule, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to master the grill and smoker myself. I’ve got a steep learning curve ahead, but I’m not gonna let a few burnt meals deter me.
I think I did okay on my first foray!
I’m sad that summer is ending, but on the bright side, autumn means hearty braises and stews. What are you looking forward to eating this fall?