Ring Master MomMarch 9, 20143 Comments

Best egg breakfast

I really want to call this the best breakfast ever, but let’s be honest – an iced coffee and sprinkle donut are my clear winners for first place. Let’s call it my second favorite breakfast or the best egg breakfast!


What you’ll need
hearty sourdough bread for toasting – my favorite is Acme Bread Company’s sour batard
1/4 avocado
dash of cumin
splash of lemon
1 egg
sprinkle of truffle salt
sprig of cilantro

I love cooking and as you might tell with my slightly ambiguous measurements above, create my own dishes from time to time! Nothing is perfectly measured, but it’s the cumin that brings everything together!

Slice up your sour batard, and toast while you fry or poach your egg. I enjoy a slightly runny egg with this dish since toasted sourdough is so hearty. Once the bread is done, scoop out the avocado and place it on your toast. Sprinkle cumin, and add lemon juice and egg once it’s finished cooking. I add truffle salt after cooking my egg, but you can do plain ol’ salt and pepper as you’re cooking if you’d like and finish with the cilantro.



Ring Master MomFebruary 26, 20144 Comments

St. Patrick’s day snack ideas

Holidays are a fun distraction for kids to try new things or make something slightly different. They’re not necessarily Irish, but they are a fun way to celebrate and don’t worry, we all eat our corned beef and cabbage on the 17th. I love these snack & meal ideas for St. Patrick’s Day and hope you do too!

First up is my rainbow pot of gold fruit plate. I’ve seen this everywhere with marshmallows for clouds. I wanted this plate to be as healthy as possible, so I changed up the clouds and made gold coins with the banana slices.

These totally rock because they’re easy and kids love em! I use a shamrock shaped cookie cutter with spinach wraps and arranged them on a cookie sheet. You can spread olive oil on for crispier “chips” or sprinkle sea salt as well.

Bake at 375 for about 4 minutes and serve with hummus or spinach dip!

Rainbow shamrocks made from Jell-o take a bit more time and patience. You’ll need as many flavors as you’d like – I used 6 for my rainbow. Follow the directions on the side of the box for making your Jell-O and pour each layer into the mold. You’ll have to do this many times, so be careful as you’re spooning the liquid in each mold. You’ll have leftovers unless you use several molds at once, and you can always place that into a large bowl to make a super huge pile of rainbow Jell-O! Here’s a side view of what 6 different flavors of Jell-O looks like!

I also used the same mold above to make shamrock cakes. This is super easy – follow instructions on whichever cake mix you buy or use. Food color and decorations optional and endless! I go for the obvious best choice of cake mix – Funfetti!

I had some extra mix leftover, so I made cookies!

It’s fun to spice up a milkshake with decorations! I used mint chocolate chip ice cream with a few splashes of milk topped with whipped cream and decorations! I made this last year, and think I’ll use vanilla ice cream with Thin Mints this year.

Kiwi shamrocks are a healthy and fun snack for little ones! I sliced a kiwi several times, and cut out several shamrock shapes.

Pot of Gold treats were for my former co-workers. I bought cauldrons at my local party store (located in their Halloween section) and filled them with Rolo candies and Twizzlers.

As you may know by now, we are big into holiday pasta! Cost Plus World Market is where I go to get holiday pasta with natural colors. I’ve linked below to where you can buy this online. This is lots of fun because you can always witch up veggies, chicken, fish, or sauces for lots of variety. I took this pic when Alice was one and a half. Barely a tooth, but loved little veggies! This year I’m excited to add things like broccoli or zucchini so that way I can share and it seems a bit more grown up!

Shamrock spinach pizza is a fun way to get kiddos to eat spinach with some cute decorations! I buy dough at Whole Foods along with any toppings that tickle my fancy that day along with spinach. Use shamrock cookie cutters to cut the shapes in the spinach and place on your pizza before you bake!

This snack idea was a surprise find when I was shopping. I just so happened to be without children at Safeway which meant I was in the ice cream aisle buying my favorite pint of Ben & Jerry’s! After I snagged that, I looked up to see green and white animal cookies! This happened last March and I’ve not seen these cookies again. I don’t know if it was a St. Patrick’s Day decoration, but I thought the colors were perfect for a special treat.

The last snack I have to share are my “I’m so lucky to have you as my friend” treat jars. I had a few pickle jars saved and wanted to do something with them. I also had some extra cupcake liners, so I taped those to the lids. I filled the jars with leftover Rolos and Skittles for an extra sweet treat.

Below are affiliate links to help you create your own St. Patrick’s Day snacking fun!


Ring Master MomNovember 30, 2013Leave a comment


One reason I love holidays is because it reminds me of being together with my family, making memories, reliving hilarious things we’ve done, and crafting and baking together. This was the first Thanksgiving I’ve not been around my Mom and it was tough on me. She’s in isolation now for her treatment and while we talk on the phone every day (okay okay, several times a day – sorry Mommy!!) it’s hard to not have her here in person to help chop, stir, read to the kids, etc. As James put it, the spark was not present on Thanksgiving dinner. She and my Dad shared Thanksgiving dinner together which must have been lovely and quiet. :)

We hosted dinner to my brother, sister in law, nephew along with a friend visiting them from China. My Auntie and cousin attended along with a friend of James’ from Australia who just moved here a week ago. I love sharing traditions with others, and it was great to explain Thanksgiving and share dinner with two new friends who hadn’t experienced it before.

I have to share this pic of Patrick from his preschool “dinner”

He’s descended from Myles Standish so to see him all dressed up like this was really special.

I am obsessed with flowers and wish I could have fresh blooms in every room every day. I try hard to always have something in the house, and was excited to order an arrangement from the local florist. I ask for a small one, and hello, anything but small. Just breathtaking!

I love the small touches like mini pinecones, the different textures, and colors. It is still so gorgeous sitting on our dinning room table.

For holidays or dinner parties, I always set the kids table with kraft paper and crayons. It’s a great way to get the kids to sit down right as I serve and I love what they create. I got some great white chocolate turkeys in NYC for favors, so the little ones also got a special treat in their bags.

The adults received these bags filled with tangerines and chocolate caramel treats.

This was the second year I made my veggie-turkey.

Appetizers included a giant cheese platter and goodies

along with some huge shrimp. I don’t know why but this is always the crowd fave and demolished the quickest.

I served lots of beer, wine, juice, and cranberry cocktails (and mocktails!) Love the frozen cranberries to keep the drinks cold!

James was in charge of the turkey and he’s chopping in this shot

This was by far the juiciest turkey we’ve ever eaten. We found a few recipes online, and then pulled from that. We cooked a 16 pound turkey upside down, tied with twine. Covered the top with a small amount of melted butter, lots of garlic, and fresh herbs at 450 for 30 minutes, then down to 350 until it had cooked through.

While James carved, I finished the gravy, stuffing, and brussel sprouts while the mashed potatoes got finished and the carrots were roasted.

I am not a fan of brussel spouts on their own and had to add bacon to make them edible. I sliced bacon, cooked it, and transferred the bacon to a plate. Then added shaved brussel sprouts to the bacon grease and cooked that on a high heat for several minutes and added the bacon. Too easy!

Little Marcus woke up right as we all sat down so James got to soothe him while Marina ate.

Games after dinner are a tradition, so the kids and I played a little CandyLand together.

I tried so hard to not nibble these little thighs and was unsuccessful. He’s sooo nibble-tastic!!

And I’m feeling very blessed to have my youngest cousin Ruthlyn cuddled up with my babies.

Although I was without my parents this Thanksgiving, there’s still so much to be thankful for and I hope we can all be together very soon. How was your Thanksgiving? Did you start any new traditions this year?


Ring Master MomOctober 31, 2013Leave a comment

Halloween Dinner

My kids were having more fun with making olives with eyes this year for Halloween lunches and dinners!!  I decided to cook spaghetti noodles with pesto, and add mozzerella balls and of course sliced olives for the eyes.  Here’s the finished product, and yes, they asked for more “eyes”

My husband and I had a similar dinner – I just cooked chicken on the side and added tomatoes and took out the olives.

Everyone was happy with one silly Halloween dinner!


Ring Master MomOctober 18, 2013Leave a comment

Halloween Dinner

I wanted to share a fun and very easy Halloween Dinner idea!

I sliced a few hot dogs into quarters lengthwise and boiled for a few minutes.  They look like spooky worms!  Added some boo chips, grapes, and milk for one simple and creepy meal.


Ring Master MomOctober 18, 2013Leave a comment

Halloween Party

As those who know me well know that I’m a big Halloween fan.  When James and I got married, we thought it would be fun to host a Halloween party each year.  We’ve done it every season – even when we were in Australia.  This year was great as the kids are getting a little older and into games and hanging out.

I didn’t get as many pictures as I wanted this year.  My Mom has been in the hospital for the past month (but out again, yay!) and I was finally able to see her for the first time the morning I threw the party.  I spent a few hours with her, then raced home to shop, cook, and decorate!!  I was thrilled to have been able to give my Mom a hug and catch up and was floating as I prepared for this party.  When my friends arrived, I spent a lot of time catching up with them and giving everyone updates that I did not get a chance to be the photographer as well.  I have a few shots, so I’ll share here along with details of what I didn’t get to shoot.

We have to start with the candy bar

I love a good candy bar at a party despite not enjoying it much myself.  I enjoy colors and themes and seeing what people pick out.

I had candy corn, candy pumpkins, giant malt balls, and a Halloween mix of fruit gummy bears.

Sugar cookies and a Fall M&M mix

Gingerbread cookies from Williams Sonoma, chocolate covered caramel and marshamellows.  Also some Autumn colored lollipos (love the black and white!) and some Halloween shaped sprinkle cookies

Halloween oreos, candy corn oreos, licorice, caramels, and my favorite – a giant licorice rat

Cupcakes and vintage toppers

I put the sugary stuff in the kitchen away from the regular food and make the kids ask their parents if they’re allowed to have any if/when they find the stash.  For games, I had a pin the tail game, Halloween twister, and a bean bag toss.  I also set up a craft corner on the small table with stickers, crayons, pipe cleaners, and paper.

I am big into paper straws for all my parties, and had fun putting a Halloween collection together for the milk and juice bar for the kids.

On the big food table I had a carrot jack-o-lantern

with clementine “pumpkins”

“Spider eggs”

Mummy pizzas, chili bar, and a 7 layer dip “graveyard”

And treat bags for the kids filled with glow in the dark bracelets, Halloween pencils, glow in the dark fangs, stickers, and silly glasses.

The fun part about throwing this party every year is trying to mix up what I’ll serve.  I think we’ve done Mummy pizzas every year for the fact that they’re simple to prepare and you can make a ton at once.  What are your favorite Halloween recipes or treats?


Ring Master MomOctober 17, 2013Leave a comment

Halloween pizza

Patrick and Alice really love holidays and fun food surprises as much as I do. Which is great because I’m always happy to mix it up for them.

We have an annual Halloween party and I’ve always served Mummy Pizzas because it’s easy to make ahead of time and can serve a lot. But since we were making individual pizzas the other night, I thought I’d change it up.

Spread pizza sauce over a small store bought crust. I used a ghost cookie cutter with mozzarella cheese and sliced a black olive in half to make the spiders’ bodies and another in several pieces to make the legs. Sprinkle with italian seasoning and you’re ready to bake at 450 for 8 minutes. Enjoy!


Ring Master MomSeptember 30, 20132 Comments

Back to school dinner

Patrick is only attending preschool right now for 2 mornings a week and there’s no real break between him going from the 3’s classroom to the 4’s.  Since he was gone to Australia for almost a month with James, I thought his return would be a great time to host a little back to school dinner to get him excited for his new classroom and teachers.

I decided to set the table with a few classic school decorations.  Opening the box of pencils immediately gave me anxiety as it reminded me of finals at college!

Both kiddos had their own place setting with a dry erase board and crayons

And I made homemade alphabet soup

Recipe to follow!!  I thought I had a scrap paper where I wrote a few notes and measurements, but something tells me that my little clean up monster Alice has thrown it in the garbage as she does with anything she thinks looks used/done with.

And an easy dessert with graham crackers and frosting

Does your family have any back to school traditions?




Ring Master MomSeptember 7, 2013Leave a comment

Homemade popsicles

Recipe for homemade popsicles

Favorite fruit/s
Greek yogurt

How detailed and scientific am I? Just grab your favorite stuff and let’s get started!

This is a crowd pleasing recipe because it’s just whatever you love, fast to make, and everyone loves a popsicle. I never add sugar or yogurt that contains fruit/sugar just because whatever fruit that you want to use that’s in season will be sweet enough. Combing through your local farmers’ market is a great place to get great deals for homemade popsicles.

For the frozen rainbow below, I used a fork to squish blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries in a bowl. I had a small amount of orange peach juice in my fridge so I added that to the mix for fun. I couldn’t even wait to eat this one and munched a few bites before I remembered to snap a pic.

These popsicles were perfect for the 4th of July for their colors. I used strawberries, raspberries, greek yogurt, and blackberries.

Here’s a link to the popsicle mold I use. It’s super easy to clean which is always a plus.

Enjoy these on a hot summer day with your friends and family!


Ring Master MomJuly 15, 2013Leave a comment

Bastille Day

Or La Fête Nationale is celebrated by the French every 14th of July.  I have relatives in France and have only been there to celebrate Bastille day once.  I was 12, and I remember a lot of eating and fireworks.

As my kids grow up, I think it’s important for them to know and understand the world around them.  We have a great book that lists every country, flag, and a few fun facts.  Since they’re still 2 and 3, they don’t comprehend everything I tell them, but it’s fun to find the country on our large map in our office and practice speaking a few words in that language.

Local produce and baguette, but the cheese and drinks were from France!

My Mom perfected her little veggies in our new ratatouille recipe we found

I made coq au vin for the first time.  Never had it before so I don’t know how it compares to other recipes.

And since a local bakery does macarons the best I’ve had outside of France, well, I had to pick a few up.