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  1. Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn

    Last fall I received an email from Penguin publishers asking if I would like a copy of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, by Kathleen Flinn.  I love reading, so I jumped.  I read the book as soon as it arrived and really enjoyed it.

    Kathleen Flinn was going to be in San Francisco for part of her book tour…and then the date changed and I couldn’t go.  I was très disappointed!  Anyway…the point of this long rambling story is…I was going to write about the book after meeting Kathleen, but that never happened, then the holidays arrived and I lost all semblance of sanity, so I never told you about this little gem of a book.

    The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry (which refers to cutting onions, by the way) is an autobiographical account of Kathleen’s experience being laid off from her job and then pursuing her dream of attending Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris.  I loved the book for several reasons…it’s in Paris, the city that (after my trip last summer) is now my most favorite place on earth. I also ended up really enjoying the first-hand account of attending Le Cordon Bleu (which I wasn’t expecting to get so into).  Kathleen’s writing was engaging and genuine and there are recipes peppered throughout the book. It’s a very enjoyable read and would be a fun book club selection as well.

    You can get the book here. Or visit Kathleen’s blog here.  Bon Appetit!

  2. Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    pingg Giveaway Winners!

    It’s time to announce the TEN random winners from the pingg giveaway! Here goes!

    1. Kristen, “I love, love, love those cupcake invites! So cute!”
    2. Amy W., “This sounds like something fun and interesting”¦definitely a unique idea!”
    3. candice drew, “Yes, please!”
    4. Deborah, “Aw! I get to have some awesome parties in my sweet backyard this year so this will be lovely for planning! thanks!”
    5. Kelly, “I have TONS of parties coming up and could use the Invitation HELP!!”
    6. Darbie, “I would love a good excuse to have a party!”
    7. megan, “Cute invites. Pick me!”
    8. Hannah C., “I would love this! Thank you!!”
    9. Kristy, “I love pingg, too. So classy.”
    10. Stacey, who posted the most serendipitous comment…”Yippee!! I hope I get it! I’m always throwing parties and just today I went on your site to find the name of that invitation company”¦.sure enough”¦.pingg~ I’m planning my son’s 4th Bday party and haven’t had time to make homemade invites yet. Thanks!”

    Congatulations, ladies! If you are NOT a winner…remember online invitations at pingg are ALWAYS free, and beautiful.  And you can have some fun visiting all of the winners’ blogs today! 🙂

    If I have not converted ALL OF YOU to pingg by now, I don’t know what else to do!  Except beg…please use pingg for your online invitations. I hope never to see an ugly invitation in my email again! (It all boils down to what makes ME happy, right?)

    The 10 winners will receive an email with a unique code for 20 free printed invitations.  Congratulations!

  3. Monday, May 11, 2009

    Time’s almost up! Enter the pingg giveaway!

    You have a few more hours to enter the pingg giveaway…so click here and post a comment quick! You have until midnight, tonight (Monday, 5/11). Good luck!

  4. Sunday, May 10, 2009

    Week 120 Menu

    Happy Mother’s Day!  Cate made this beautiful paper flower for me. Isn’t it lovely?

    Nate took the girls into their room last night to do some Mother’s Day prep work. Cate emerged from the room GIDDY over their surprises for me.  It was one of those irresistibly wonderful mom moments.

    My dear friend Christy sent this great link from Real Simple…a list of questions to ask your mom. It’s a great article.  Read it and make your call to Mom today that much more meaningful.

    Do I really have to plan a menu? At least I’m not in charge of the food today!

    – Some yummy flavor of sausage, on the grill
    – Veggie of some sort
    – Zatarain’s Rice & Beans

    – Chicken Paninis


    – Attending a graduation party…congrats, Dr. Jake!

    – Leftovers

    – Eat out

    – I have no idea. I’m pleading “It’s Mother’s Day so I shouldn’t have to think.” I’ll come up with something later this week and use your menus for inspiration!

    I know, it’s Mother’s Day. If you’re a mom, get off the computer and come back tomorrow with your menu. That said, can’t wait to see all of your menus!

    Have a happy day everyone!

  5. Saturday, May 9, 2009

    The Alzheimer’s Project with Maria Shriver

    Yesterday I had the fortunate opportunity to participate in a conference call with my good friend Maria Shriver!

    Okay, that picture was from a book signing last year.  And I guess we’re not REALLY friends, but seriously, once you meet her you feel like you ARE best friends!  Anyway, yesterday I joined about 30 other fellow Silicon Valley Moms bloggers to hear Maria discuss her latest endeavor, The Alzheimer’s Project on HBO. The call was informative and inspiring, and I’m definitely interested in seeing the series.

    Maria’s father suffered from Alzheimer’s, so it is near and dear to her heart.  She wrote a book several years ago called What’s Happening to Grandpa? to help parents with talking to their children about Alzheimer’s.  Maria mentioned she’s wanted to do a special like this for years and sounded very excited to be a part of The Alzheimer’s Project.  The series will touch on the science of Alzheimer’s, the impact on those who have it as well as the caregivers, how to talk to children about Alzheimer’s, and more.

    If you are interested in seeing the special, it will be airing Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights on HBO.  You can also watch the films online, so if you don’t have HBO you won’t miss out! Visit this link to read more about the films and get more information on Alzheimer’s.

  6. Thursday, May 7, 2009

    Tortilla Soup Success!

    When I wrote about Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza last month, the response was huge.  Understandably, since it looked SO delicious. I knew the soup was tasty, but I had never actually made it myself. This week I finally tried out the recipe.

    It was really easy to make! SO simple.  And of course just as delicious as ever.  My kind of recipe! The tortilla strips were also a cinch to cook, but mine were NOT as tasty as Lindsay’s, so I’ve gotta ask her what EXACTLY she does there.  Anyway, just wanted you to know that not only is the recipe delicious, it’s quite simple, despite the fact it is classic Gourmet Lindsay.  Thanks again, Lindsay and Aaron!

  7. Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    “New” Favorite Method for Cooking Corn on the Cob…the Old Fashioned Way!

    I’ve been cooking corn on the cob in the microwave for years.  Wrap it in plastic wrap (or put on a plate covered with plastic), pop in the microwave for a few minutes and you’re done!  But I have to admit, cooking the corn in plastic in the microwave makes me a little nervous.  So, the other night with cobs of corn in hand, I got out my big pot and started boiling some water.

    I did a little research online and found this unbelievably SIMPLE method on Epicurious. Of course it takes longer than the microwave, but it was just as easy and the corn came out perfectly.  So, without further ado, my “new” favorite way to cook corn on the cob!


    "New" Favorite Method for Cooking Corn on the Cob...the Old Fashioned Way!
    Adapted from Epicurious
    Recipe type: Side Dish
    1. Bring pot of salted water to a boil (enough to cover the corn). Drop already husked corn into water. Cover pot, return to a boil, then turn off heat and keep the pot covered. Corn is ready in about 5 minutes. Voila! (You can keep additional ears of corn warm in the water for up to 10 minutes without it getting tough.)


  8. Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    Free Giveaway from pingg! TEN winners!

    This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!

    Remember pingg?  We all know I love them. In case you have not heard of pingg, it is a fantastic online invitation and event management website. With a focus on great design and advanced management features, pingg makes inviting online with style super easy.  I love their designs, which is saying a lot coming from a picky graphic designer like me.  Speaking of which, they also provide the option of uploading your own designs or photos, which I have used for many of my events.

    pingg is also the only online invitation company that offers a print feature.  That’s right, you can order prints of your online invitation and pingg will stamp and mail it to the guests you select from your list.  And it’s only $1.50 per card (plus postage)!  It’s perfect for friends and family who prefer more traditional invitations, but you still have the advantage of managing your event online.  Every printed invitation has a unique URL, so guests can reply online once they have received their invitation in the mail.

    Which leads us to today’s giveaway!

    TEN (yes, 10!) lucky readers will receive 20 FREE printed cards (a nearly $40 value)! Big thanks to pingg for such a great giveaway!!

    Leave a comment on this post by Midnight PT on Monday, May 11, 2009. 10 winners will be randomly-selected and announced on May 12.

    You don’t have to wait to win the giveaway to enjoy the benefits of pingg.  Online invitations are always free and can be sent to anyone via email, sms/text, the web, Twitter, and Facebook.

    I honestly think my favorite part of pingg is being able to use my own artwork and photographs.  I love this feature SO much.  And I’ve also used them to send “Save the Date”-type invites and e-cards, just by turning off the RSVP function.

    Good luck with the giveaway!  I’m jealous TEN of you will get FREE printed invitations.

    Click ‘more’ to read a little ‘more’ about pingg.
    (>> Find out more…)

  9. Sunday, May 3, 2009

    Week 119 Menu

    Recently, Nate and I drove by this large lake on the way to Half Moon Bay.

    That particular morning the air was beyond still.  The lake was serving more as a mirror for the sky than a body of water.  Neither of us had every seen so much water sit so quietly.  It was stunning.  Nate had the presence of mind to pull over so I could jump out and get a quick snapshot or two.  I’m so thankful he stopped because on our way home the glass was gone, the water returned to its ripply self.

    I know that has nothing to do with food, but I just had to share it with you!

    So, what shall we eat this week?  (Be sure to read Wednesday’s menu item!)

    Aaron & Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza!

    – Chicken Stir Fry

    – Chicken Paninis (Cate has been requesting these a ton lately…and not just the sandwich kind. Yesterday at Target she was BEGGING for a panini in the swimsuit department. No one-piece swimsuits for her, apparently. She particularly liked the string panini. We compromised with a tankini, which is most certainly not as delicious.)

    – Leftovers

    – Spaghetti
    – Salad

    – Eat out

    – Some yummy flavor of sausage, on the grill
    – Veggie of some sort
    – Zatarain’s Rice & Beans

    Please take a moment to post your menu for the week, no matter how fancy, simple, complex or incomplete!

    A few post-scripts: Thank you to all who have been linking to recipes in your weekly menus – it’s so helpful!  I’m sorry to those of you who don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, I keep tempting you with their delicious goods…but you really should consider moving.  And I love all the first-time menu posters – keep it coming!