These days, my runs take place along the Hudson River. Provided Chris isn’t traveling for work, it goes like this.

I wake up to an insistent little girl’s “Mommy, get UP!” and put some oatmeal on the stove (or lately, rice pudding!), and brush my teeth and put on my running clothes. I take Meeks out to do his business and buy myself a shot of espresso at the little Cuban coffee hut downstairs. Then I drink it while doing a puzzle or something on the floor with Catherine. Once sufficiently awake, I give Catherine her breakfast and let Chris know I’m leaving, and what they do while I’m gone, is their business (but I’m pretty sure it involves Catherine watching Mickey Mouse on Chris’s mobile while he sneaks in a few more Zs and showers in relative peace).

Those runs are just about the only time these days that is all mine.  Chris works late often and Catherine doesn’t go to bed reliably at 8pm anymore (help, someone!?) and so by the time she’s in bed I’m right behind her.  And while she naps, I’m busily taking care of things like applying to preschools (don’t get me started on the process and the prohibitive costs of preschool in our neighborhood) or lately, applying for jobs here and there.  I’m having a very hard time finding time to write, let alone write when inspiration strikes – and it strikes daily – yes, I am almost bursting at the seams with inspiration but lack the help with childcare to do much about it.

But my runs. They’re mine and I cherish that time. It’s when I feel the most like myself.

Now I’ve got to cut in here and clarify something. Since I haven’t kept anyone up to date on my blog, and I realize that complaining the few times I pop in here can paint a false picture, you should know that life in New York is, in a word, beautiful. And motherhood, especially to a two-year old girl, is more than I deserve. Between the two, I’m so filled with gratitude on a daily basis. New York really is the most amazing city in the world. I believe that 100%. I never want to leave. And that my husband works so hard and has given me the opportunity to spend day after day exploring this city with my daughter in my arms or by my side – well, that’s something I don’t take lightly.  I just struggle with the one missing piece that I feel many mothers do – how to find time to pursue other passions. It’s hard.  I want to find the answer but I haven’t yet.  I hope it will come.

Anyway, back to the runs. If I haven’t lost you. I step out the door of our apartment building in the early mornings and run three blocks West, past construction sites and coffee shops, dog walkers and high-heeled professionals, cobblestone streets and yes some stinking bags of trash until the shadowy streets and fire-escaped brick buildings part and the sun comes bursting forth, reflected on the rippled water (that sounds a little dramatic but it really does appear like that). I have two Pandora stations and I alternate between them. One is called Mos Def. The other is called Counting Crows. I feel decidedly different depending on which one I’m listening to. When I listen to Mos Def and like tunes, I am a bit of a badass, just so you know. But my Counting Crows station, which plays a wide variety of emotionally charged and poetic songs from the 90s, is the best.  When I run to Counting Crows, I feel open.  I’m sure my running posture says so.  Eyes fixed on the Statue of Liberty, the breeze cold and sharp on my face, the water-smell of the river, and Adam Duritz and all his feelings, and I literally feel like I’m about to take off like one of the fat pigeons that won’t get out of my way until the last minute, except more graceful-like, much more graceful-like (of course).

I think while I run.  Often about Catherine and whether or not I’m being a good mom and what she needs more of or less of and what I can do with her to delight her or what new thing I can teach her or, on a bad day, how I can distract her.  I think about Chris, sometimes ruminating on some unjust thing he did, other times feeling very in love.  I think about myself, how free I feel in that moment, how starting today I’m not eating any sugar and surely I can make it until bedtime, this time, and how I want to be a writer but I don’t know when.

I come home reluctantly, with flushed cheeks and bursting with optimism. The time is too short, like this nap during which time I’ve shirked my other duties in order to write this blog post.

“Mommy petty. Mommy petty bond hair. Wike pincess.” Touches my unwashed hair which is still in the shape of the sweaty ponytail I’ve just removed. Then suddenly, “I gotta poop!” and jumps up and runs to the bathroom where I hear her shamelessly do just that. This time is too short, too.

Well, I wrote something. And that feels good. And when Catherine wakes up (any minute!) we’re going to make m&m cookies (her choice!) and that will feel good too. And as for not eating any sugar? There’s always tomorrow.

Because I always go back to food. :)

photoShell peas from the farmers market (shelled by yours truly while watching The Royal Tenenbaums with a big bowl perched upon my lap), freshly shucked corn on the cob (Catherine’s fav), green mac n cheese (a staple here), and biscuits (the only biscuit recipe I ever use, except I use all butter because I never have shortening – for shame!). I cook about 5 nights a week, but this was post-worthy because in all my years of cooking I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a meal I cooked as much as this one. It was really perfection, to me anyway. We had leftovers tonight but it just wasn’t the same.

Catherine loves corn on the cob. More than ANYTHING. To watch her eat it, you’d think she hadn’t eaten in days.

Almost-two is definitely an amazing age. It should be called The Wonderful Twos in my opinion.

So much has happened since I last blogged. Catherine has blossomed into a perfect almost-two-year old girl with big blue eyes and white blonde curls. We have moved to New York City. And, I have discovered this smoothie and haven’t looked back.

[Here is where you imagine I took the time to post a photograph of this pure grass-green smoothie in a tall glass on my white, sunlight-drenched breakfast table.]

Here’s a little exercise I did just for you.  Q: Can you describe this smoothie in a few words? A: Yes. Clean. Creamy. Refreshing. Filling. Light. Perfection.

Banana Parsley Smoothie

1 banana

1 big handful fresh parsley

chia and flax seeds

water and ice

Blend until smooth. Drink. Enjoy flavors like: subtly sweet and creamy from the banana, grassy and clean and fragrant from the parsley, substantial from the seeds, and cold and refreshing from the ice water. You’ll feel completely satisfied and it will hold you over for hours, yet has very few calories.

Tonight we had sandwiches, cut into the shape of stars.  They were grilled extra sharp white cheddar cheese sandwiches, with finely chopped spinach inside, all on “whole grain” bread bought at Target, because there was no time to get any really good bread from the farmers market, and this was the only imperfect part of the whole meal, though it was barely noticeable.  Because the sandwiches were stars only in shape; the true unintended star was the dip/soup.  Composed of sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, parsley, cooked chickpeas, and a little sea salt, pepper, and bay leaf – simmered in just enough water to cover – then, and this being key, pureed in the Christmas Vitamix (as it shall hereto forth be known, for obvious reasons) to the consistency of velvet, it was first dipped into, then devoured with a spoon – poor grilled cheese sandwiches cast aside (you got that, right? GRILLED CHEESE. CAST ASIDE!) in favor of orange velvet soup, by okay let’s be honest the TRUE, BIGGEST star of the table who has been on this earth only 18 months but knows a good dip/soup when she tastes one.

The moral of this star-studded story is that kids like to dip, and when we act on this knowledge we sometimes stumble upon something too good to share the stage.

I know it doesn’t look like much, but 18-month olds’ tummies just don’t lie.

P.S. You might want to know that this meal comes together in 20 minutes – if, and I repeat, IF, your husband helps out with the child.


When you become a mommy, you instantly love your baby more than yourself, or any other person or thing – or even any dream.  Yet while you gain a new identity – mommy – you also remain who you always were before you began changing diapers and sitting on the floor making a dolly talk for someone else’s entertainment – before you were wearing diapers and making a dolly talk for your own entertainment, even.  Me, I was born a writer.  Not a great one, but one who feels deeply, deeply called to write.

Now that I have a precious daughter who will always come first, I’ve finally understood that if I want to fulfill my own lifelong dream, I must consciously choose what comes second.  If I choose writing second, that means other things will have to wait.  Running, cooking, cleaning, corporate ladder climbing, shopping, showering, sleeping, relaxing, traveling, socializing, even time with my husband…it all has to come third, or else I will never, ever achieve my dream.  I decided I at least have to try.  Even if I am never published or no one likes my work, as long as I gave it a go and produce something I like, then I will have no regrets.

But let’s be real here – I am actually hoping to become famous.

I face obstacles.  I don’t even know what to write.  I’m tired of writing about food.  I mean, I love food, but don’t you think it’s become a little cliché?  What else is there to say about it?  Everyone’s talking about local, seasonal, organic, blah – as if it were their original idea!  They’ve described it in every term imaginable.  I guess it’s fine to still talk about food as it relates to real life, after all, I do love it, but I see myself talking about food in a much more down-to-earth way.  I don’t want to hear another word about plump, juicy, deeply red heirloom tomatoes with just the right balance of sweetness and acidity.  I want to read about the cherry tomato that Catherine bit into – then promptly spit out – so that its juice stained my t-shirt and its seeds stuck to her high chair tray as well as to places I’ve yet to discover them.  Oh, it wasn’t even a good tomato.  It was slightly shriveled, probably loaded with pesticides, and came from some hothouse in Florida.  No wonder she spit it out.

I could write about something really nice, a place I’d like to be.  Perhaps I could write about a girl who dwells in a little cottage on a rocky cliff overlooking the New England Atlantic.  Each morning, she sits at a wooden desk beside a window, and writes and writes over numerous cups of steaming earl gray.  When she can’t write anymore, she takes her dog out for a run on the beach below.  She picks up pastel-colored seashells along the way, then drops them clinking into a shallow crystal catch-all dish on the foyer table – where they look effortlessly charming.  At night, she chops vegetables for a simple soup and goes back to writing with a glass of red wine.  Other nights, she prepares a feast and invites friends over.  They sip brandy by the fire and converse long into the night.  Before she goes to bed, she braids her hair, puts on a pretty nightgown, and reads a little before dozing off, worry free, in a four-poster bed under a white down comforter.  I’m pretty sure she doesn’t own an iPhone or a Facebook account.

If this were my story, even with no brawny stranger to enter it, I guess it’d make me a romance novelist.  If it feels too perfect to be true, it lacks soul, and there’s absolutely no satisfaction in that – not for me.  Instead, maybe I’d write about a walk across the parking lot to Target at 7:59a.m.  It’s cold, dreary, and misting.  I’m carrying my 18-month old daughter on one hip.   Her face is crusted with boogers and oatmeal.  She’s wearing a pink beanie and a puffy jacket.  We’re going to get a cappuccino and stroll around under florescent lighting in search of q-tips and laundry detergent.  Getting these items back into our apartment will require two trips up the stairs, since we’ve also brought along a toy baby stroller bearing a white stuffed kitty.  By the time we make it back inside, I’ll have just enough energy to deposit the plastic Target bags on our foyer floor, and they, like the seashells in my dream, will also look effortless.  You wouldn’t know it, but these early morning walks with Catherine are the happiest part of my day.

Aside from the subject matter, yet to be determined, there’s something else to consider. Can I not care what you think?  Because in order to write well, I can’t. I’m not sure I’m capable of writing all the stupid things I need to write, in order to get to something halfway decent, with you watching.  Wait.  What is that you’re saying?  I’ve already written lots of stupid things here?  Oh, trust me, it gets way stupider.  Or then again, maybe it gets better.  In the past I’ve written with others’ perceived tastes cluttering up my mind, and the result is something that rings ever so slightly untrue.   So the reverse should be an improvement, right?   We’ll see.  I’m not sure if I should start an anonymous blog, keep a Word doc, or take my risks right here in front of God and everybody.

Do you know the feeling of having suddenly decided it’s worth it?  You just know.  That you’d rather be skinny than eat ice cream.  That you’d rather be alone forever, than stay in your current relationship.   That you’d rather be poor, than stay in your current job.  That you’d rather be happy than right.  That you’d rather be wrong than silent.  That you’d rather get lost than keep driving the same boring route every day.  That you have defined your priorities, and you know what to do.  It feels good, like steering a ship, one you’re qualified to steer, your ship.

What I’m doing tonight (actually writing) is important.  Even if it feels really small, it matters.

Speaking of really small things that matter.  Tonight, we all went out for tacos and margaritas at Pure.  Chris, Catherine, and I – plus our neighbor, the suave and svelte Dawud and his super fashionable novia Maria.  Chris and I sat back and let Dawud and Maria fuss with Catherine.  We were shameless and relieved.  We relaxed.  We sipped our margaritas.  We talked about grown-up things.

Speaking of small things that really, really matter.  We looked at Catherine, who was being particularly well-behaved.  She LOVES attention.  People.  To socialize.  So she ate her chips, her black beans, her rice, her fried fish, fished from Chris’s fish tacos.  Drank her water, tipped her head back, cocked it and smiled winningly at Dawud and Maria.

I talked to Maria, completely thirsty for girl talk.  I was so curious about her, and I couldn’t remember what exactly she did at her job and was scared to ask because I should know, but I really wanted to know everything about her.  I am starved for adult – and in particular female – conversation.

All in all, it was an amazing night out.  And we MUST make a habit of it!  I miss it, a lot!


I see this blog morphing into a Little Fingers Food blog.  Ha – I just came up with that name as I wrote that sentence.  I wonder if that means I should start a new blog?  Anyway, these days I’m all about creating food that’s 1) delicious 2) healthy 3) easy 4) adorable – in that order.  I guess it’d be kind of similar to Weelicious, except I’m not a 6-feet tall model who’s friends with Gwyneth Paltrow.  But I pretend to be friends with Gwyneth – does that count?


Anyway, this latest creation fits all of those categories perfectly. And it passed Catherine’s taste test – in fact, this might be the first time I’ve gotten her to eat eggs – so here we go. I’m going to provide the “recipe,” since it requires no measuring. I find writing down measurements really tedious.

Miniature wonton quiches

Preheat oven to 365 F.  Whisk 6 eggs and add S&P, cheese, caramelized onions, and any lightly-cooked veggie you like (I used broccoli).  Line an 8-muffin mini-muffin tray with store-bought wonton wrappers.  Fill each with egg mixture. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until egg mixture is firm.  Watch brunch guests look impressed, or your kids stuff their faces.



*I should note, if I attempted to come in from work on a weeknight and start steaming and chopping broccoli and caramelizing onions for these quiches, the battle would be half-lost.  Instead, the night before, after C went to bed, I took a few minutes to prep my veggies, making dinner the next night extra easy – an absolute necessity when I’m the only one home with a 1-year old on weeknights.


Has anyone else ever noticed that motherhood – well, at least the early years, since that’s all I can speak to – is filled with highs and lows that happen within seconds of each other?  One second your newborn is screaming her head off mercilessly in the backseat and you have to bite down on your hand to keep from screaming yourself.  The next you’re holding her, she’s sighing contented sighs between gulps of milk, and the two of you are happy, albeit on the side of the road.

Or like the other night, while I frantically sautéed some squash, one by one Catherine picked up her peas and released them from her outstretched hand to the floor, staring me down defiantly.  She banged her hands on the high chair tray.  She yelled at me impatiently.  If she’d had a whip she would have used it.  I don’t know what it is about crying and whining, but it’s got to be more effective than water torture.  She had me in tears.  And yet.  Moments later, she had her squash and was shoving it in her mouth appreciatively, all the while casting winning smiles in my direction.  And all was okay.  I made a drink and leaned against the counter, watching her fill her belly with good food.

Come to think of it, I guess it all depends on when Catherine decides to scream, and when she decides to stop.

Don’t think I don’t know how obsessive I sound 2 posts ago.  Gosh.  I’m fraught with anxiety.  Torn between audiences. But I’m not deleting the post, because I’ve got to let myself make mistakes on this blog.  Be honest about who I am, imperfections and all.  I’m going to write a lot of really, really bad stuff.

On another note – we’ve been eating lots of muffins around here.

Butternut squash muffins.  My favorite so far – truly delicious.

IMG_5693 IMG_5696 IMG_5710Blueberry coconut muffins.  These would be much better as pineapple coconut muffins…coconut muffins with chocolate chips?!

IMG_5774 IMG_5841Carrot muffins with dried pineapple.  Tasty but a bit dense – they were loaded with carrots so no wonder.

IMG_5851Fig bran muffins.  Good right out of the oven, but later, just okay.

IMG_5854 IMG_5855

Everyone loves kale chips. Except me.
IMG_5739They’re easy. They’re cute. They taste like fried kale. I’d rather have it steamed with tahini. Or a potato chip.


Chris liked them. Even Catherine liked them.

IMG_5751 IMG_5762I don’t think I’ll be making kale chips again soon.  On another note, have I mentioned I have a very silly, playful girl?



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