All posts filed under: General

A Very British “Mary Poppins” Birthday Party

Why stay home for your child’s birthday party when you can “journey” to 17 Cherry Tree Lane with a very magical Mary Poppins Tea Party? I began reading Mary Poppins to my daughter earlier this year and we soon found ourselves delighted by the adventures. It wasn’t long before Ava asked me if she could have a Mary Poppins themed birthday party. The more we read of the 1024 page story, the more ideas we got. Here are the highlights of my daughter’s Mary Poppins Birthday party. Set the Tone with Floating Invitations Mary Poppins is associated with unexpected, magical adventures. To set the tone, I made “floating” invitations a few weeks before the party. Make it a Costume Party Everyone loves an excuse to dress up! We invited Ava’s friends to wear a costume inspired by the movie, book, or tea parties in general. They did not disappoint! There were several Chimney Sweeps… An adorable Bert in red stripes… And, as is to be expected, several Mary Poppins! We assembled Ava’s costumes from items found at second hand shops, …

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Time to Show Off: What’s on Your Global Table?

  This week, as I was heaving this behemoth fish into the oven, I thought of you all. Specifically, I wondered what you have been cooking. Surely I’m not the only one going through groceries like a madwoman?! I’ve been doing some more recipe testing for my memoir COOKING MY WAY HOME (National Geographic, Oct 2014). There will be 29 recipes in the book, including this Fire-Roasted Fish from the Maldives. With chili peppers, onion, and curry leaves, it’s a flavor explosion! Just curious (since I’m feeling chatty) — have you ever roasted a whole fish? Why or why not? And, just because I couldn’t believe the size of this thing — anyone want to guess how many pounds this grouper is?     Even without the recipe testing, I still think I’d be cooking like crazy. After all, it’s cold outside. And there’s no better pairing for cold air than something hot from the oven. I care about you and this community: if you’re cooking, too, I want to hear about it! Leave a comment …

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Update: Picky Eater Syndrome

One of the reasons I started this project was to help my husband overcome his “picky eater syndrome.” Well, I thought it was about time I did some bragging on my husband. I’m happy to report that in just 4 meals he’s already come a long way. The first change happened about two weeks into the adventure. He stopped grunting “good” when I asked him how the food was. In fact, I haven’t really had to ask. He’ll just let me know. As someone who doesn’t like to beg for opinions, I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. On a related note, there’s nothing I love more than to eat a big meal and discuss the experience with friends. At our dinner parties we hash out the good, the bad, and the ugly.  My husband used to be really uncomfortable doing this (I suppose he was afraid of giving the “wrong answer”). Now that he realizes there’s no such thing as a wrong answer, he’s getting into the experience. Of course, I still have to remind him not to scrunch up his …

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