main dish

Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Aioli

This year, the NHN family traveled to Tampa. It was the girls’ first time seeing the ocean, and while they marveled at its wonder, I marveled at a particular crab soup from a local restaurant, Frenchy’s. This soup was heaven on earth. To my dismay, Maddie felt the same and ate quite a bit of my soup that she insisted she was just sampling. I could have eaten a vat of that soup. When it came time for my turn to make our monthly dinner in September, I was still thinking about it. (more…)

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Lime Tortilla Strips

Daycare germs don’t often phase me anymore. Having been in the daycare system for six years now, I have a pretty tough immune system. This year, though, the back-to-school and daycare germs hit at the same time, leaving both Maddie and me suffering. It may have been 80 degrees outside, but we were in need of soup. (more…)

Fried Green Tomatoes

I am a bad gardener. It’s true. But I’ve never found that to be a good reason to give up on the dream of having homegrown food, so I begin the fated adventure over again each year in hopes of a better return. This year, I succeeded! It wasn’t the success of a seasoned gardener. I lost a few plants to overcrowding and for some reason couldn’t get cilantro to grow. I did, however, enjoy my favorite arugula salad with my own arugula, and there was a solid week that I packed salads for lunch with my own green leaf lettuce. (more…)

Grilled Cod with Garlic Lemon Butter and Lemon Asparagus Orzo

May was busy. Very busy. This one month held Riley’s preschool graduation, Maddie’s third birthday, a full weekend work event, and a family vacation. Phew. Not to mention it was the first full month of good weather and my parents’ newly built lake house. We didn’t slow down for much. The whole month seemed to take only a week to go by. As we got around to our June dinner at Lesley’s house last night, I was a bit surprised to realize that I hadn’t posted our May dinner yet! (more…)

Swedish Meatballs with Cashew Pesto Arugula Salad

There is one place on Earth that rivals Disney World for me. It can’t match the magic of the Magic Kingdom, but it brings joy to a grown-up’s heart, is filled with the scent of delectable Swedish cooking, and when you are able to show restraint, it’s less expensive than Disney. Have you guessed it yet? Yes, I can only be talking about one place: Ikea. The mecca of affordable furnishings and masters of maximizing small spaces. Who doesn’t enjoy perusing Pinterest-worthy room setups while wiping the remnants of a sticky cinnamon bun from your hand? It’s pure joy. (more…)