Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible: Hubbie’s Cameo!

My husband is a morning radio host and he gets to do A LOT of cool things.  This week he was featured on Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible.  The show was in town to help renovate a local restaurant and they all stopped by my hubbie’s radio studio to talk about the experience.

He’s the cute one behind the microphone.

Giraffes and Ice Cream Cones

For our Friday night date night, the hubbie and I went to the zoo for their annual “Brew at the Zoo” charity event.  The highlight was (surprisingly) not all the free beer and food samples.  The highlight for me was some alone time with these tall guys and gals.

I love giraffes.  I love them because they are tall like me.  I think their skin color is breathtaking.  I was able to feed a giraffe but darn my camera phone.  The photo came out really blurry.  I need a new phone, but that’s a story for another day and a wish for Christmas.  But I did get this cool shot.  Check out her huge tongue!

On Saturday night we all went out for a family dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.  I was craving some avocado egg rolls.  And a glass of pinot.   The kids love the bread basket and they split the pasta dish from the kids menu.  (That was a tip from our waiter and he was right. It was an enormous portion.)  We walked over to the ice cream parlor for dessert. We ate our drippy cones outside on a bench while the sun was setting. 

Annabel was done first and opted to do a little light reading while she waited.

You gotta love Florida.   We’ll still be hanging outside in our T-shirts and shorts (and Hello Kitty skirt sets) for at least another month.  Happy October.


As part of last week’s family road trip, we stopped off at my sister’s gorgeous house in Maryland for two nights.

It’s really great because her kids and my kids are super close.  We love that they are cousins and friends too.  They run around and play and color and dance and swim and are mischievous together and it’s just the best.

The first night there we had a fun make-your-own mini pizza dinner. Then my sister said we are having S’MORES for dessert. 

“Um, when did you get a fire pit in your backyard, Sis?”

NOT NECESSARY.  All you need are three ingredients and a microwave.  Hey, this is my kind of dessert.

(I don’t cook. I bake.  A little.)

My sister said the s’mores were her daughter Maddie’s idea.  So here is the super simple recipe for:


* Take one graham cracker square

* Place two squares of Hershey’s Chocolate Bar on the graham cracker square

* Place four mini marshmallows on the chocolate

* Top with another graham cracker square

* Nuke in microwave for 20 seconds and enjoy!

The kids just loved them!

Don’t you just love the chocolate mouths?  And that’s Baby Luke having just the graham cracker. (Next year, Buddy.)

The adults loved them too.  They went great with our white wine and game of Balderdash that night.  Have you ever played this game?  It is downright addicting. 

Just like the s’mores.

Peppermint Mocha Intervention

I just saw this on John Mayer’s blog. He saw it on this website.


Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Sugar-Free Syrup, anyone?

Harmful Drinks in America


11. Worst Espresso Drink
Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream (venti, 20 fl oz)

660 calories
22 g fat (15 g saturated)
95 g sugars

Sugar Equivalent: 8½ scoops Edy’s Slow Churned Rich and Creamy Coffee Ice Cream

Hopefully this will dispel any lingering fragments of the “health halo” that still exists in coffee shops—that misguided belief that espresso-based beverages can’t do much damage. In this 20-ounce cup, Starbucks manages to pack in more calories and saturated fat than two slices of deep-dish sausage and pepperoni pizza from Domino’s. That makes it the equivalent of dinner and dessert disguised as a cup of coffee. If you want a treat, look to Starbucks’ supply of sugar-free syrups; if you want a caffeine buzz, stick to the regular joe, an Americano, or a cappuccino.

Drink This Instead!

Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Sugar-Free Syrup (grande, 16 fl oz)

260 calories
6 g fat (4 g saturated)
38 g sugars

The Crock Pot (or My Attempt To Cook A Meal)

I don’t cook.  My husband cooks.  Okay, my husband doesn’t just COOK,  he is a master chef in the kitchen.  He never follows recipes.  He can make anything he wants in 30 minutes or less and it is always DELICIOUS.  He also enjoys to cook.  So much so, that I never HAVE to cook. (He doesn’t really WANT me to cook, let’s be honest.)  But, once in awhile, I do attempt to cook.  And when I say “once in awhile,” I really mean “once a year.” On Father’s Day.  

Last Father’s Day, I made this rubbery baked chicken dish, which the hubbie happily ate.  This Father’s Day, I made a weird watery bow tie pasta dish, which he also happily ate.  Gotta love my husband.  He is the best.  But I really don’t know what I am doing wrong! I pick uncomplicated, five ingredient meals I find on the back of some box and just FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS.  (Okay, that’s probably why they taste so awful.)

Well, I decided to give cooking another go because I discovered… THE CROCKPOT.  Yes, I know.  The crockpot is not some new invention.  It’s been around FOREVER.  But I never thought of it before.  It’s perfect!  I just need to chop up a few ingredients, season a piece of meat, throw it all in the crock pot, and turn it on. I mean, who can mess that up??  (Don’t answer that.)

Today, I made crock pot pot roast.  And it wasn’t half bad.  It had red potatoes, carrots, celery and onion. I think it might need more salt and pepper next time, but the hubbie ate it and I don’t think that smile was TOO fake.  The kiddies ate it too! (Well, most of it).  I also really enjoyed it.  MAYBE I’ll make it again sometime.  Father’s Day is only 9 months away.

The crockpot.  Bought at Target for 16 bucks. Holla!

The crock pot. Bought it at Target for 16 bucks. Holla!

"Oh my gosh, I can actually EAT this! And it has TASTE!"

"Oh my gosh, I can actually EAT this! And it has TASTE!"

Notice Bean putting MUSTARD on the pot roast.  At least he's eating it.

Notice Bean putting MUSTARD on the pot roast. At least he's eating it.

Eating the carrots.  Baby steps.

Eating the carrots. Baby steps.

My Top Chef

My husband Mark is an AMAZING chef.  I say chef because “cook” just won’t do it.  I am very lucky because I don’t cook at all.  (I’m working on the baking part.)  And Mark really enjoys cooking.  AND he’s just so GOOD at it!   He makes awesome dinners for the four of us almost every night of the week. (We, of course, order pizza on Fridays and still go out once in awhile when Mommy feels like dealing with two kids under the age of three!)

Last night Mark made “Tom Colicchio’s Meatloaf.”  I found the recipe in this week’s PEOPLE magazine.  For those who don’t know, Tom Colicchio is the super hot judge on Bravo TV’s Top Chef.  Well, I think he’s super hot.  He actually looks a little like my husband, don’t you think?  (Okay, yes Baby, you are younger, thinner, and cuter, but there is still a slight resemblance.)


 I’ll post the meatloaf recipe below.  It was so YUMMY! (Just like Tom Colicchio – Ha!)  It was served with sweet corn on the cob, broccoli (Birds Eye Steamfresh – super easy and healthy!) and mashed pototoes.  Bean and Annabel LOVED it.  (I’m truly blessed with great eaters – oh no, just jinxed it!)

so pretty

so pretty

Tom Colicchio’s Meatloaf


1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 lbs. ground beef (85% lean)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 tbsp. dried oregano
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. ketchup


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in the oil until golden. Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic). Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. In a bowl, combine beef, eggs, onion, bread crumbs, oregano, mustard, salt and pepper. Form a loaf (approximately 7 x 5 x 3 in. in size) and place it in a roasting pan. Cover the loaf evenly with the ketchup. Bake loaf for about 1 hour, until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Remove and allow to rest slightly, then cut into 1/2-in. slices.