Maisie is a garlic pasta addict- and ended up with linguine up her nose, which scared the shit out of us. #notatapeworm

all she wants to eat is carbonara or garlic pasta with clam sauce.

I made cereal and yogurt and fruit for breakie and she asked for “Passa!”

Here is a video of the child today:

So, we were on porch an hour ago with my parents and dad saw something coming out of her nose

Dad: “What’s that in her nose?!”

I went to investigate and ended up pulling out a 3 inch length of linguine… all the while we all were kinda freaking out.

It looked like a bloody tape worm!!


In Which I Attempt Marc Vetri’s “Most Famous Pasta Dish”: Pasta with Chicken Livers recipe

it looks nothing like the pic on the website, but that is my fault

it looks nothing like the pic on the website, but that is my fault

I have no idea who Marc Vetri is, nor had I ever heard of his “most famous pasta dish” before I found the recipe on Google. I *did* know about my cousin Rubeli in Italy’s famous chicken liver pasta dish, but didn’t have her recipe. Even my mom raved about it and she HATES liver.

That is how Marc Vetri’s recipe stumbled into my life. I am so glad that it did.

It was SUPER simple and I barely took liberties with the recipe, which is rare for me.  I added some squashed and minced garlic to the onion frying stage.  That’s IT.  I didn’t use quite as many sage leaves, because I am always highly suspicious of recipes with sage.  I think I picked 7 out of my garden instead of the 12.  I ALSO did not use any rigatoni, as I used all of boxes I had a few days ago.

My version had a mix of spiral pastas and shells, because I needed to use them up and thought I’d be the only one eating them.

I loved it- even if it wasn’t as pretty as the original.  Maisie loved it, too.

Maisie loves chicken livers

Maisie loves chicken livers

Marc Vetri’s Most Famous Pasta Dish: Pasta With Chicken Livers Recipe (with my tweaks)

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes Level of Difficulty: Easy Serving Size: 4
1 (14-ounce) box dried spiral and other shaped pastas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for sauce
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 garlic, squished and minced
7 fresh sage leaves
freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces chicken livers, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Drop in the pasta, quickly return to a boil, and cook until the pasta is tender yet firm, 8 to 9 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving the pasta water.
While the pasta boils, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Add the onions, garlic, and sage and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the chicken livers, cooking for 1 minute.
Add a splash of pasta water, scraping the pan bottom.
Add the drained pasta to the pan.
Toss with the 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and additional butter and/or pasta water as needed to make a creamy sauce.
Divide among warm pasta bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese to serve.


Today’s Experiment: Making Homemade Ricotta Cheese and a Little Ricotta History…

A friend posted a recipe for homemade ricotta cheese on her Facebook wall last night and raved about how easy it was, so I decided to try it myself.  I didn’t use the recipe she posted, because I didn’t have all the ingredients listed.

I used this recipe from Ina Garten instead and it turned out wonderfully. It was better than any store bought ricotta I’ve ever eaten.  It was one of the easiest ‘fancy’ recipes I’ve ever used.  I feel inspired to try out other cheese making techniques next.

Maisie enjoyed licking the excess cheese off the cheesecloth when I was finished.

I will be using it for a zucchini pasta recipe tomorrow.

Now, a little bit about the history of ricotta cheese from Clifford Wright’s website:

    Two of the earliest mentions or depictions of ricotta are related to Sicily. Professor Santi Correnti, chairman of the history department of the University of Catania and a preeminent historian of Sicily, writes that during the reign of the Sicilian king Frederick II, in the early thirteenth century, the king and his hunting party came across the hut of a dairy farmer making ricotta and, being ravenous, asked for some. Frederick pulled out his bread loaf, poured the hot ricotta and whey on top and advised his retinue thatcu’ non mancia ccu’ so’ cucchiaru lassa tutto ‘o zammataru (Those who don’t eat with a spoon will leave all their ricotta behind).

    The first depiction of the making of ricotta is an illustration in the medical treatise known as theTacuinum sanitatis (medieval health handbook), the Latin translation of the Arab physician Ibn Butlan’s eleventh century Taqwim al-sihha.

    Ortensio Lando in his Commentario delle piu notabili e mostruose cose d’Italia published in 1548 has his fictional traveler go to Val Calci, at some distance from Pisa, for the best ricotta in the world.

boiling the milk, cream, vinegar, and salt

straining the curds through moistened cheesecloth

after about a half hour, this is what it looked like.

Homemade ricotta! I can’t believe how incredibly easy it was! After this photo was snapped, I wrapped the entire thing in cling film.


Maisie tries sushi for the first time… and gets a porterhouse steak for dinner.

She tried sushi for the first time today for lunch.  I decided to go easy on her and only gave her some California rolls and some Inari.

Inarizushi was her FAVORITE.

The dinner menu tonight for her was as follows:

Porterhouse steak
Sauteed baby bella and oyster mushrooms in a garlic cream sauce
Basmati rice
Sliced local strawberries
Local sweet corn on the cob
a pouch of organic baby fruits and veg

I am cutting back on the gluten in this house starting this week. Red meat is going to be the next to go, very soon.


I’ve Given Birth To A 10 Month Old Foodie Who Demands Raw Green Onions, Persian Khoresht, And Crab Legs…


crab legs all over her little baby face and in her baby fist

Maisie is a foodie, I can already tell this now.  She has been demanding everything we eat since about 5 months.  So far, there is nothing she won’t eat (except juice and milk). She sneaks drinks of black coffee or tea out of my cup, if I am not looking.

Spicy curries, Persian kebab, Vietnamese pho?  NOM NOM NOM will be her answer.

home made pho for mommy

home made pho for mommy

Pho for Maisie

Pho for Maisie

“Hey, where’s my pho?!”


Garlic Okra Pickles?  MORE PLEASE!!

Crab legs?:  Don’t take her to an all-you-can-eat crab leg buffet, they WILL charge you!

Strawberries and raw green onions from the garden:  GOBBLES them up.


Unless it’s the odd organic veggie/fruit pouch or some baby cereal (rarely), she eats what we eat- in amounts that are astonishing.  She’s been clocking in between 25th-50th percentile for weight- and OFF THE CHARTS in height, consistently.

If I gave her avocado toast every morning, she'd be happy.

If I gave her avocado toast every morning, she’d be happy.

Today’s Breakfast Menu:

Eggs Scrambled with Dill
Sliced Tomatoes
Medjool Dates
Avocado Mashed w/Sriracha, S & P- on toast.
Water (because she seems to dislike juice and milk.  Getting her to drink her bottles is a chore)

Spaghetti, with a side of kale salad

Spaghetti, with a side of kale salad

I generally make enough to feed her, plus enough to throw on her table so she can ‘feed’ herself.  She is 10 months old, so her self-feeding skills are not quite spectacular, but our 3 Newfoundland dogs appreciate her technique.

Make no mistake- these are HER dogs.

Make no mistake- these are HER dogs.

Maisie with 2 outta 3 of our Newfoundlands

Maisie with 2 outta 3 of our Newfoundlands


I often wonder if she eats such a varied (and highly spiced) menu because that is what I ate during gestation and breast feeding.  I was RAW VEGAN and juicing prior to becoming pregnant (and during the first month).  I developed an insatiable craving for avocados straight away.  THAT led to a sudden and urgent need for chicken wings, which I despised pre-pregnancy.  Those chicken wings were the death knell to my healthy vegan lifestyle…

I feed her solids 3-4 times a day, not including her bottle feedings.  I am no longer breast feeding because I had issues with milk production due to an earlier breast lift and reduction years ago.

nomm... chicken...

oooh… chicken…

I am thankful that she has no food issues- I went through TWO picky eaters, my middle and youngest son.  My eldest boy was exactly like Maisie in terms of ‘foodiness’.  By the time he was two, Sam was leafing through magazines and asking me to cook him ‘magazine food’.

What IS a first for me is that she’s not overweight.  I thank my lucky stars that she did not seem to inherit my metabolism.


Restaurant Review:  Sandbar & Grille, St. Joseph,MI

 I am not much of a burger person, but Chef Kimmie Hanks at St. Joe’s Sandbar & Grille changed all that for me.

Today we sampled the Parthenon Burger, as described on their Facebook website:

“THE SANDBAR Proudly introduces The PARTHENON! A Greek Seasoned burger With a delectable blend of Feta, Kalamata Olive Aioli, Pickled Red Onions, Cucumber ribbons, Lettuce & Tomato on a Hand packed Burger”

It was delicious and far too much for me to eat in one go.  It was like biting into the juiciest, most delectable gyro ever.   Mine was served with their amazing sweet potato fries, which promptly were stolen by my almost-10 month old daughter, Maisie.

Maisie got her usual:  the Whiskey Gold chicken wings (the sauce is slightly spicy and made with Jack Daniels)- always a favorite- and the mac n cheese bites.

Every burger special we’ve tried here has been phenomenal, which says a ton for a non-burger lover like me!