Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Packing muffins with a punch

retro muffin meme If your house is anything like ours is right now, your cooking revolves around the very finicky tastebuds and moods of a mini-dictator. Yes, he has adorable wispy curls and his gap-toothed smile makes you find new corners in your heart for jack-o-lanterns, but, man, he is stubborn at meal time. So we have to get really creative, by which I mean crafty and manipulative.

Besides playing around with tastes and textures, I thought it could be fun to make some bite size treats. And, wonder upon wonder, I found a fantastic, heavy-duty non-stick mini-muffin pan at Sur la Table. Yes, I love SLT, but I don't love having to pay $35 for a piece of kitchen equipment that's, let's face it, completely superfluous. It doesn't help that it's almost impossible not to feel like a pretentious ass just saying the store's name. South Park gets it right: 

But that store is like crack to a cooking addict. And so imagine my delight when I found the perfect pan in the clearance section for just over $10!

mini muffin tin
Ben used it to make some banana-yogurt muffins this weekend, and they turned out predictably adorable and bite-sized. The recipe is inspired by Chobani's greek yogurt recipe, but he just used regular whole milk yogurt since we have cartons of the stuff on hand for said picky child.


Banana-Yogurt Muffins

banana yogurt muffins
  • 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ½ t ground cinnamon
  • ¼ t salt
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 c packed light brown sugar
  • ½ c canola oil
  • 1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease your muffin tin, unless it's amazing and non-stick like the one above. Whisk the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, beat the rest of the ingredients with an electric mixer. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing on low until combined. Pour batter into the muffin cups and bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

These fared well with our 21 pound boss for about a day, and then he figured out what we'd been up to. This morning we chased him around with some muffin bits in hand, until we finally called them "bread" and he about-turned, snatched them up, and stuffed them in his mouth. Your guess is as good as mine.

Are All New Mothers Endowed Equally?

(this piece was originally published on, as a contribution to "Moms Get Real About Race in America: A Blog Carnival in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.") teen pregnancy
There could be a lot of reasons I see everything through a race lens. I have a biracial son, for instance, and I know I’m going to get questions about why a whole lot of folks who look like his mother seem to live differently than the folks who look like his father. I’m also a political scientist who focuses on race politics, so it’s my basically my job to see race everywhere.
Or maybe I see race everywhere because it really is everywhere. In the world of public policy, practically any issue you can think of can be challenged to demonstrate racial equity: education, healthcare, employment, climate change, you name it.  Racial disparities are real and impact the opportunities that children of color, for instance, have compared to their white counterparts.
After having my first child last year, I started working on a book that looks at the politics of pregnancy. For the first time I thought I’d not have to apply the race lens. I’m completely consumed in the world of restrictions and regulations on women’s bodies: Can you choose whether you have a doctor or midwife? Can you try for a vaginal birth after having a cesarean section? Can you eat salami? Can you continue your anti-depressants? I thought, if anything, the world of epidurals, midwives, and soft cheese wouldn’t trigger questions about equity.
Turns out I was wrong. As I read debates, pored over legislative history, and talked to dozens of friends and acquaintances who have been pregnant themselves, my race lens has followed me. I quickly saw I couldn’t escape it because a pregnant woman’s race can play an important part of her pregnancy— different races have different access to prenatal treatment, quality hospitals, and safety, for instance.
Yes, some people concern themselves with whether they can eat deli meats during pregnancy while others worry about being victims of violence. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ranking what I think to be valid concerns—trust me, as someone with cult-like affection for Potbelly’s, I am not judging and it most certainly was on my list of concerns. But what makes the latter group more troubling to me is that it is composed disproportionately of women of color.
Research on intimate partner violence (IPV), for instance, has shown that black women report higher rates during pregnancy (Hispanics report slightly lower rates, and enough research hasn’t been done on Asian or multiracial women).  It doesn’t seem to require a study to show that violence is decidedly bad on a pregnancy, but, yes, we have research on this too:  surprise, surprise, the majority of women who experience abuse experience it multiple times during pregnancy, and they are more likely not to receive prenatal care until the third trimester. There are odd details in there too, like most of the injuries occur to the head. And then race appears again—this time concerning white women, for whom the “frequency and severity of abuse and potential danger of homicide [is] appreciably worse.”
And then there were the rates of teen pregnancy that also differ by race and ethnicity. Here too, young women of color experience pregnancy at disproportionately high rates. See the chart below.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010.
Pregnancy at such a young age influences whether new mothers will stay in school and finish the education that will eventually offer better job opportunities at higher wages in the workforce. As any parent knows, being pregnant and then raising a child will certainly make finishing school at the same time feel impossible. And so we have the dropout rates that we have—when young women get pregnant, school supports are rare (though they are wonderful when they DO exist!) and new mothers end up dropping out. And this precipitates a cascade of negative effects: without a high school diploma, women become economically insecure members of the workforce.
I fortunately did not have to worry on either of these fronts during my pregnancy. I have the good fortune to be in a supportive, healthy relationship with my partner who believes that parenting is just as much a father’s responsibility (and joy!) as it is a mother’s. I am also, woefully, one of the overeducated—the ones who prove that the education-as-it-correlates-to-income curve is, in fact, curvilinear. At some point more education (like a Ph.D.) seems to reduce wages, as many of my underemployed friends will tell you.
But, particularly on the anniversary of the March on Washington, it is important for me as I reflect on the politics of pregnancy and parenthood to think about how all mothers are not endowed equally. When Dr. King described his ideal society, presumably he meant a world where women, of any race, were enabled to lead healthy pregnancies.
When my son asks us inevitable questions about race, my husband and I are going to be honest with him and talk about race and class and the continued segregation that makes these categories determine the level of opportunities available to children. It would be great if the rest of the country could try and do the same.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Union Market

Do you ever feel like you never have time to actually take advantage of where you live? In the district, it's common to hear transplants to the city who now call it home express regret that they don't take advantage of the Smithsonian's (free!) museum system. I'll be the first one to admit that it's fantastic to be able to walk down the street and through the National Zoo to see one ape or a couple of elephants and then beeline home without feeling like you need to get your money's worth. Seems like a no-brainer. DC does museums well--people travel across the country to see them, set among regal, marble monuments with waterfront views. 

The food scene, however, is less known and this is a shame. There are new young restauranteurs emerging throughout the city and some of them are committing to the renewal of district neighborhoods. At the heart of one such neighborhood is Union Market. 

union market

The Union Terminal Market opened in 1931, with airy indoor stalls for 700 vendors and remained open to the public six days a week. But in 1962, the district banned the outdoor sale of eggs and meat, so Union took some time, regrouped and eventually opened again in 1967 as a new indoor market. Unfortunately, merchants began to leave the area in the 1980s as this industrial space started to show wear and tear. 

But today Union Market is back and it's trying to be an engine of entrepreneurial spirit and economic growth. The bricks are no longer crumbling--they're painted! And the pipes are no longer rusty--they're shiny (or also painted--come to think, is there anything a nice thick coat of white paint can't make look all industrial-chic?)!

If you're local to DC, go here as soon as you can. There are delicious food vendors, not-too-tony brunch counters, farmers' market produce, and spacious halls were children can be children without annoying the dining crowds. 

union market map

Cordial will let you taste wine, 12-3pm on both Saturdays and Sundays. Free wine!


Food trucks will feed you outdoors.

food truck dc

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Why I'm glad I'm not a panda

The district is elated over the birth of its newest panda resident, a cub born yesterday to the National Zoo's female giant panda, Mei Xiang. This new cub reminds us of Mei Xiang's loss back in September, when she gave birth to a four ounce cub that died only six days later, due to underdeveloped lungs that led to lung problems. But this baby is looking healthy, so let's hope everything goes well.

I'm not going to pretend that I've ever known much about the animal kingdom, except learning far too late in life from my friend Robyn that you should avoid (not seek, as I thought) eye contact with animals that seem hostile. But the more I read about Mei Xiang's planned pregnancy, birth, and post-birth treatment, the horror grows.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Leftovers for life

Do you ever make a dish specifically to enjoy its leftovers for the next few days? I find myself doing this with roast chicken, which makes a wicked curried chicken salad that is perfect in this summer heat (recipe coming soon!). Curries are also better the longer they sit, allowing the spices and flavors to really seep into the meats and vegetables. But one of my favorite repurposings of leftovers has to be the frankie.


The frankie is my favorite street food from my childhood summers in Bombay. Right next to the McDonald's down the street from my grandparents' flat, there was a frankie stand. You would pay a guy a few rupees and he would give you a small coin that signaled either chicken, mutton or veggie to the man you handed it to through a small hole in the wall. A moment later a hand would emerge and give you the most delectable snack-- spicy (always mutton for me) filling wrapped up in a tawa-fried, egg-coated roti. My cousins and I would eat them on our walk back home along Linking Road, with juices running down our elbows, and quickly mop our faces before adults could figure out what we'd been up to.

I wasn't really allowed to have frankies. One, I was of a weak Western constitution, and two, well, did you hear about the hole in the wall? But it didn't really matter. I ate them so often that I figured after the first dozen or so, I'd beaten the odds.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

We should all Expect Better, and then ask some more questions

Yes, I know about Emily Oster's new book released today that questions conventional pregnancy wisdom.

Yes, I think her work is quality and that a social scientist's interpretation of the data around pregnancy restrictions and recommendations is much needed in our discourse about women's health.

Yes, I agree with a number of her conclusions--namely, that moderation is key.  One of my favorite lines is "It isn't that complicated: drink like a European adult, not a fraternity brother."  I think the most important conclusion that I share in common with Oster is that neither of us is actually making recommendations for other women's pregnancies--we both study, research and investigate common pregnancy do's and don'ts to navigate our own pregnancies and make our own decisions. In the end, though, readers should be left to their own decision-making mechanisms. In the case of my work, at least, I just hope they're armed with enough information to make a decision based on knowledge and not fear.

Yes, Joe Scarborough makes my head hurt:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Do I think Oster's work scooped my own project on the politics of pregnancy? No.

After a couple of weeks of indigestion, I calmed down and realized that the major do's and don'ts that Oster tackles in her work are typically about ingestion and exposure to a long list of substances traditionally banned from pregnant women's diets and lifestyles: alcohol, caffeine, raw milk cheese, hair dye, exercise, etc. She applies an economist's eyes to the randomized trials and peer-reviewed research out there on these topics and comes to her own conclusions about the restrictions that seem hysterical and those that seem reasonable and evidence-based. Applying reason to pregnancy? Kudos to her.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Considering child care

Alissa Quart has a piece in The New York Times today that looks at the financial burden, and often impossibility, of child care on American families. Given that one of my chapters tackles exactly this topic, it piqued my interest. Why would a book on the politics of pregnancy discuss post-birth child care? Because we put our son on a daycare waitlist five months into our pregnancy—twenty months later, our number (a pessimistic 35) has not budged.

If parents are lucky enough to gain admission for their children, Quart discusses the crushing costs. Citing research from University of Massachusetts at Amherst sociologist Joya Misra, she writes that the cost of center-based day care surpasses one year of tuition at a public college in thirty-five states, as well as DC. 

But it's not only the price tag that has parents in despair. Despite resounding evidence that investing in young children’s care reaps huge social benefits, the United States is currently suffering from a severe scarcity of decent day care facilities.  A survey conducted by the National Institute Child Health Development deemed only ten percent of facilities to be “high-care” nationwide and a recent cover story for The New Republic by Jonathan Cohn described the overall quality of day care in our country as “wildly uneven and barely monitored, and, at the lower end, Dickensian.” 

An expose like this, on the dismal state of American child care, surfaces once every year or so. In general, comparisons are made to other industrialized nations, where states invest heavily in quality child care facilities and parents are even offered tax incentives if they stay home to take care of their own children, given that it is considered to save the state a huge sum of money. 

Pamela Druckerman also discusses the American day care dilemma in her comparison between parenting in France and the United States, Bringing Up Bebe. As an American expat in Paris, she compares the quality of care that her first daughter receives from state run crèches with day care back home in the States. 

At least half of any crèche’s workers, Druckerman writes, must pass rigorous tests in reasoning, reading comprehension, math, human biology, and psychological reasoning. Another quarter must have degrees in health, leisure or social work.

But what really wins Druckerman over with her own daughter’s experience in the crèche is its dining experience. Again, the rumored four course meal: “a cold vegetable starter, a main dish with a side of grains or cooked vegetables, a different cheese each day; and a dessert of fresh fruit or fruit puree.” Lunch is prepared by an in-house cook from scratch each day. Soon Druckerman admits to thinking of her daughters’ caregivers as the “Rhodes Scholars of baby care.”

The first day cares were established during the Industrial Revolution in both countries, because women simply had no choice but to leave their homes and enter the workforce. Horror stories of children being tied to bedposts all day while their mothers worked in factories became so common that the crèche was established in France in the mid 1800s. News of this arrangement spread to States soon thereafter.  In France this child care system was seen as a state investment in helping create responsible new members of society, and enabled mothers to participate in the workforce with confidence that their children were in good hands. 

In the U.S., however, born more out of necessity and continued for dubious reasons such as “Americanizing” the children of immigrants, child care never developed as an institution that could help socialize children into well-adjusted, independent and developmentally advanced individuals, as it did in other industrialized nations.

We do ourselves a disservice if we just think that this set of circumstances that conspire to disproportionately punish women in the workforce are happenstance. American day care is so dismal because the state has long seen the care of children outside of the home as inferior to a mother’s care—the proper place for a woman is in the home, tending to her children’s needs, so significant state subsidies have been nearly unimaginable for the majority of our country’s history. 

Let's not even deign to discuss the wild possibility that a father might also be considered a parent. When the government collects data on parents and work life balance, for instance, the mother is termed the "designated parent" and the father is a "childcare arrangement." Yes, you read that right. 

How might things have evolved differently in this country had our government established an agency that oversaw child care facilities, similar to the Mother and Infant Protection service that the French state formed after World War II? What might it take to convince our state that child care is a responsible investment, given the huge social benefits to not only children, but their working parents and the economy as a whole? 

I'm not quite sure what my husband and I would have done had we not had an amazing network of family to care for Desmond while we both worked full time. He really hates bedposts. 

Coconut milk for the win

This past weekend, as I enjoyed an outdoor concert in the area, a very pregnant lady handed me a little piece of heaven: the SO Delicious mini ice cream sandwich made with coconut milk. It was part of a promotion to share the merits of a vegan lifestyle and they handed out some literature with the treats.

Replacing what can often be pretty unexciting and stale vanilla ice cream with a creamy coconut milk-based faux ice cream is a thought conceived in heaven. I could easily imagine a similar dessert on one of Tom Collichio's plates, but of course his dish's slices of "bread" would be made with chocolate unicorn tears.

so sandwich
My father takes a bite out of his third sandwich 

As I skimmed the pamphlets that Prego McPrego handed me, I thought about how many times, in the process of working on this book, vegetarian and vegan women I know have mentioned that they are worrying about their diets during pregnancy. Sure enough, the literature in my hands addressed this.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is cited three times saying "a well-planned vegan diet is safe for all stages of the life-cyle including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence..." I want to be on board with this, because, again, I like the idea of women having enough information to make intelligent decisions about how they will handle their pregnancies.

But a vegetarian diet is decidedly different from a vegan diet.

One common nutritional concern during pregnancy is vitamin B-12 (cobalamin), and it is most commonly found in what vegans call "flesh foods"--or meat products. Here is the top 10 list of foods highest in B12. Yeah, vegans can't have any of it. And why do we care so much about B12 in particular? Well, for adults it's a pretty great nutrient whose effects range from protecting us against certain types of cancer to potentially reducing depression.

But, for babies in utero, it's pretty crucial. B12 is associated with a lot of the crucial development they need. Neural tubes, for instance. So one of the main concerns with a vegan diet is that vegan mother might suffer from B12 deficiency. One of the most common symptoms of which, by they way, is fatigue and loss of balance--nothing an already pregnant woman needs more of.

The AND endorsement of a vegan diet refers to the American Dietetics Association's position paper on vegetarian diets. In this paper, the ADA actually says that vegan mothers will have special needs and draws an important distinction between vegetarian and vegan diets. A "well-planned diet" for a vegan would consist of foods different from vegetarian diets, namely in its use of "fortified soy and rice beverages, some breakfast cereals and meat analogs, or Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast [look for a post on this product in the future!]." Coconut milk beverages, to circle back to this elixir of the gods, can be enriched with B12 and a couple of cups can provide your daily nutritional requirement. Alternatively, a pregnant vegan would have to take a daily B12 supplement, not too different from the majority of pregnant women who take prenatal vitamins of some sort.

The position paper provides a pretty great summary of the research done on vegetarianism or veganism during pregnancy. Basically, vegetarians have it pretty easy--you can plan your diets to get enough B12, iron, folate and vitamin D. Vegans, however, have to be particularly diligent on getting the nutrients their baby needs. My take is that it is completely doable. Just do a little research, like the position paper in question.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A quick pickle

I grew up loving all kinds of pickles. The basic ones that came on our McDonalds hamburgers to the ones that were specially steeped with bulbs of garlic and sold on the Massachusetts coast to whale watching tourists. And my brother-in-law and sister-in-law in Charlotte passed on a "fresh" jar of pickled vegetables made by a chef-friend of theirs. They are dilly and delicious.

And then there were Indian pickles (achar). Mango is a popular kind, not only in Indian restaurants in the diaspora, but in Indian family kitchens as well.  While western pickles are mainly brined in an acetic acid like vinegar, Indian pickles are usually cooked with spices and packed with oil and salt (sometimes with an acetic or citric acid of some sort as well). They're then traditionally canned tightly and set in the direct sun for days.

In addition to the basic mango pickle, I love:


carrot pickle
photo courtesy of


garlic pickle
photo courtesy of

lime pickle
photo courtesy of

I also distinctly remember trips home to New Jersey from summers in India when my mother would (close your ears, customs' officials) sneak in some dried prawns (sukat). I fought and threw the teenagiest of tantrums to keep them out of my suitcase--I was convinced, due to the neurosis that comes from growing up in an era before Indian food was the trendy ethnic option it is these days, that it would transfer its pungent, borderline rotten odor onto all of my clothes.

But once we safely evaded the folks at the airport, friends would line up to get batches of what my mom made with it. There were pulaos, there were stir fries, and, yes, there were pickles.

photo courtesy of

But pickling takes time! It takes preparation and then fermentation, both of which require forethought. So when you want a nice Indian pickle to cut a curry, or you just want to have some with creamy yoghurt and rice (try it!), it's convenient to have some ready-made on hand. I'm lucky enough to have some ready-family-made, but there are some good options (my favorites are Mother's Recipe or Patak's) in the Indian sections of grocers now.

And then leave it to my mother, a true innovator in the kitchen, to introduce me to a quick pickle tonight. It's simple and relies on the pickle masala to provide the salty, spicy punch of an achar, but doesn't require the fermentation. The raw yellow onion adds nice texture and bite, while the ribboned spinach makes it quite an attractive slaw or relish even. In any case, it was delicious and went perfectly with a rich lamb curry.

Onion and Spinach Achar

  • some ribboned spinach
  • chopped yellow onion
  • finely minced garlic
  • achar masala, to taste
  • salt, to taste
Combine all ingredients. It's that simple. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Homemade fingerpaints

When it's uncomfortably hot outside, I try to find indoor activities for Desmond. Preferably activities on the less-destructive end of the spectrum, for the good of our sweet little cherub, but also our apartment's security deposit.

Fingerpainting seems like it would violate this guidance, but the highchair with a washable tray is a beautiful thing. So I set about looking for homemade fingerpaint recipes-- turns out cornstarch is handy to have around for more than thickening up the perpetually runny curry. With the simple addition of both hot and cold water, it turns into a surprisingly satisfying goopy substance that kids will love messing around.


Given that this substance alone looks disturbingly similar to Desmond's favorite food in the entire world: (yoghurt), I wanted to add some colors and encourage his inner Picasso to shine. But most artificial food coloring creeps me out, and for good reason. Food manufacturers in the U.S. are more lax about adding artificial dyes made from synthetic chemicals to many of our foods, and some of them are beloved to our picky mini-eaters. 

Kraft macaroni and cheese, for instance, has come under fire for using Yellow Dyes 5 and 6, coloring that requires a warning label in other countries. While the studies on these yellows and some other dyes  (particularly Blue 1 and Red 40) are inconclusive, some research links these substances to heightened levels of carcinogens and potential behavioral problems such as hyperactivity. 

So the research is inconclusive, but what bothers me most is that Kraft still refuses to take these dyes out of production in the States. England's version doesn't use 5 or 6, and similar products like Annie's or Back to Nature use natural dyes like carrots or paprika. And, shocker, Annie's matches that gross fake yellow pasta look down to a tee. 

Natural dyes it was, then! I rifled through my fridge and spice cabinet and came up with some colorful additives: 

Raspberries. I always keep some frozen raspberries around for summer snacks or teething episodes, so I knew the reddish hue was one to be reckoned with. Added a bit of boiling water to help the color seep out, and voila! 

Spinach, a great green.

And, speaking of yellows, anyone who has ever come within 10 feet of turmeric knows its power.  After actually stirring this one up, I thought better of giving it to my little painting prodigy because I didn't want his tray permanently yellow. Yes, it's possible to remove turmeric stains (a Hindu wedding  ritual called the haldi ceremony taught me this, after only something like twenty of my relatives got to smear turmeric paste all over my face and hands the day before my wedding. Why? To, ironically, make the bride beautiful and to protect her from evil spirits, who are notoriously Type A about messes it turns out.), but I wasn't feeling up to the scrubbing challenge. Maybe I'll use it to enhance my next batch of mac 'n cheese.

So, all in all, got some nice colors out of some basic foods and spices. Desmond loved it, but a word to the wise: this activity is NOT rug or carpet friendly. 


Fingerpaint recipe
*adapted from 
  • 1 cup of corn starch
  • 1/2 cup of cold water
  • ~ 2- 2.5 cups of boiling water
  • some food colouring

Mix the corn starch with the cold water and stir together. Pour in the boiling water and stir between each cup. Keep stirring for a bit until it turns into the desired goopy-ness. Separate into jars and add coloring.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Fresh Start

It’s been a busy couple of years—I got my doctorate, I found a job, I gave up a job, I found another job, I had a son, I quit a job, and now I’m looking for a new job. But I’m back!

In the spirit of new beginnings, I’m repurposing this blog as a place where I think about how to make sense of all the different pieces of my life right now: work (politics), food (recipes), family (kids and products), home (DC), dreams (travel), interests (feminism) and obsession (pregnancy). That last one probably takes a bit more explanation.

My pregnancy with my son Desmond blew me away. I had never exactly looked forward to being pregnant and I had a suspicion as to why. As soon as I became pregnant, it was confirmed. The pregnant 'condition' was one of neurosis, restrictions and warnings. There were a lot of decisions to be made, for sure, but it seemed like women were not in charge of their own pregnancies. I became sort of obsessed with researching the roots of debates—from debates over insurance restrictions that chose obstetricians over midwives, to what sort of deli meats I wasn’t allowed to order at Potbelly’s.

So I’m putting all that work into a book project called The Political Pregnancy.  I tell the story of my nine month pregnancy, discovering a new political debate each month. I look at food and drink restrictions, parental leave entitlements, and childcare preparations, amongst other debates. And I try to explain the politics behind why we are where we are right now. When a Senate candidate can call ‘rape pregnancies’ a gift from God (yeah, what a charmer, right?), there’s no way that everyone thinks a pregnancy should be only a woman’s business—it is political and it is up for public debate. And some people are batshit insane, so I uncover some crazy episodes.

But back to the blog. I’m going to post things here that interest me right now. I’ll continue to post recipes and discuss food. But now I’ll also post some products that I think are cool, places I'd be interested to visit, fun kid-related ideas, and stories I come across while writing my book. It’s basically going to be my head for the next long while. Welcome to the umpteenth narcissistic blog! 

And, I’m not going to lie: a lot of it is going to focus on food!

So, let’s toast to a fresh start.

A rosemary scented grapefruit cocktail
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 long sprigs rosemary
  • 4 cups fresh squeezed grapefruit juice*
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 2 oz Triple Sec
Photo courtesy of
1.     Make the rosemary syrup: In a small saucepan heat the sugar and water until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add rosemary, simmer for 5 minutes and turn off.
2.     Once cool, mix the rosemary syrup with juice, vodka and Triple Sec in a pitcher.
3.     Serve over ice with a rosemary “stirrer.”

*if using store-bought juice, which can be a little sweet, reduce sugar a bit.