The day began with sourdough pancakes, warm, aubergine cardamom plums and hot, caramel-colored coffee in a fancy new black and white cup; the last of the Sugar Maple leaves had fallen – thousands scattered across the lawn in varying stages of decay. Today was the last day to rake, bag and mulch before the weather turned and the rain rolled in. It was a pretty day with sunshine and blue skies, yet chilly enough to wrap myself in a hoodie before saddling up the orange horse with four rubber wheels and circling the lawn one last time this season.



I have a ‘to-do’ list a mile long but here I sit in the semi-darkness as the sun begins to peek over the horizon; we’ve just returned from a week’s shoot in Italy with one day of semi-rest before we were staring down Monday morning. I’m grateful for the quietness in the house as it allows me to gather my thoughts and click out the words on my keyboard – no recipe today but a few of you have sent me notes of encouragement on the loss of our granddaughter Alice; the anniversary of her passing was yesterday and I just wanted to take a moment to say ‘thank you’ for remembering.

ankeny street Cookies family


Musical pairing – What a Fool Believes by The Doobie Brothers

I have a photograph that sits upstairs in my office where I see it every day; I think my sister and I must have been 7 and 5 maybe but it’s the only picture I have of us together as children. For years the picture was tucked away in a box somewhere, without a frame, looking forlorn and rag-tagged; it is torn and stained in places but I love that we are both dressed in matching outfits and laughing . . . and I especially love my sister’s eyes . . . how they ‘twinkle’ . . . pretty steel-blue-gray half-moons dancing on her cute little face and wavy dark-brown hair with little flipped-up ends; I still have my little skirt tucked away.

desserts family People Recipes


Musical pairing – If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d Have Baked A Cake by Eileen Barton

This post is a labor of love, and by that I mean that I count myself very fortunate to have married into one of the best families ever – and that includes my cousins on the Green side:  Liz, Brenda, David and Andrea.  We don’t see each other very often even though we live relatively close, but Facebook has kept us connected – which is how I ended up with this recipe and the memories that come with it.

family farmer's market Nature Our Garden People Places Recipes TRAVEL


Musical pairing – Meet Me in California by Plain White T’s

I’m baaaccckkkkk from a week in Santa Cruz with lots of crazy adventures like our forced march, hike through the Redwood forest (that’s us – the tiny group at the bottom left of that very big tree).  The climb took 4 + hours to complete – 4 miles hiking up 500 feet and back down again.  Believe me, there were times . . . oh who am I kidding . . . there were MANY, MANY times I wanted to quit but I persevered and made it . . . last into camp, but I was upright and no paramedics were called; a feat in-and-of-itself considering just how out of shape I am!

dinner family lunch People Recipes sides sides


Musical pairing – Hello, Goodbye by Glee Cast

Our niece, Avery, just graduated from High School as co-Salutatorian of her class and we headed over to Cincinnati to join in the festivities; it was quite the night – happiness, joy and tears – all roller-coastered into one evening.  How did that happen?  I married The Professor when Avery was just 5 years old; she was our flower girl who, after the ceremony declared, ‘I’ve waited my whole life to be a flower girl!’ Smile. I love that girl.  Her sister, Lydia, loves that girl.  All her family loves that girl.  A gifted writer, she’ll be attending Indiana University in Bloomington this fall – WOOT!

appetizers family Recipes


There’s a picture of my family that was taken at my sister’s home in Arizona, December 2000; it was the last Christmas we would have with my dad who died from cancer September 7th, 2001, just four days before 9/11.  It sits on my grandmother’s silverware chest – fitting because it belongs to my father’s mother and also because it sits in the dining room – the room where meals are shared at big family gatherings as well as small intimate dinners with friends.   And there is a full view into the kitchen – the place where, for me, I’m completely in the zone – happy, content, peaceful . . . at home.