This past Saturday we decided to go check out the brand new food flea market Smorgasburg. By the time we got there around 11:30 there was already quite a crowd and we were all hungry. I wanted to walk through the whole thing before deciding what to buy but was overruled by a hot hungry family.



We started with rather intriguing teriyaki balls, and I loved watching them being made as we waited on line. From there the kids decided on Mexican so we got some tacos and quesadillas. Then they spotted the pasta and wanted to try that too. I chose bahn xeo (a vietnamese crepe served with a gorgeous pile of fresh herbs and lettuce - this was my favorite dish of the day) and vietnamese noodles with pork, for Adam and I to share. I saw many people eating things that looked equally delicious but only got up the nerve to ask if I could take a picture once...see the pulled pork with asian slaw in the grid above. There are tables set up but they were all full so we took our picnic blanket and found a nice patch of grass. After we polished off lunch we wanted to sample a few of the desserts: we tried the frozen banana dipped in chocolate and a choice of toppings, homemade popsicles and shaved ice (the rhubarb shave ice was deliciously refreshing), and ice cream from blue marble (a family favorite).


The market is located on a strip of waterfront that has been developed recently - there are grassy stretches and urban artifacts mixed in with the new construction and a great view of the city skyline. On our way in we noticed a playground that the kids were very excited by so we spent some time playing there before returning to the market to try out a craft project at the moomah table. My friend Andrea made it to the market earlier than we did and found things I did not even see during our visit...to hear about her favorites, and get a more grown up version of this experience, visit her stunning blog Hungry Ghost.



tortilla espanola


I love frittatas and make them often when I have left over grilled vegetables in the summer, but when I decide to start from scratch this is my very favorite. The potatoes make it filling and creamy and the sauteed onions add so much flavor. It is the season for beautiful little onions and ramps - I chose a bunch of purple spring onions but ramps, scallions, or any kind of onion can be substituted. The amounts used in this recipe filled an 11 inch cast iron skillet but you can easily make a smaller version that would feed 2-3 people in a 6 or 7 inch non-stick skillet. 



Tortilla Espanola

8-10 small yukon gold potatoes

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch purple spring onions, thinly sliced

coarse sea salt

10-12 eggs, lightly beaten


Heat oven to 400°.

Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook until just tender when a paring knife is inserted into the largest potato, about 10-15 minutes depending on size of potatoes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.


Use a paring knife to slip skin off potatoes and slice about 1/4 inch thick. 


Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or non-stick pan. Add onion and sautee until they start to soften. Add sliced potatoes, season with salt, and continue cooking until they are just barely beginning to brown. Add eggs and gently to submerge potatoes. Place pan in oven and cook until eggs are set, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Invert pan onto cutting board to unmold. Serve cut into wedges.


rustic strawberry rhubarb pie


Strawberry rhubarb pie is one of my favorites and the rhubarb season is upon us. I love the tartness of the rhubarb as well as the body it gives to the pie filling. I enjoy making pies of all sorts but I find rustic pies easier to make than traditional ones...you don't have to worry as you roll the crust about whether or not it is the exact right size for the pie plate, or whether the amount of filling is going to give the pie the perfect height, etc. I just roll the crust, place it on a sheetpan (lined with parchment paper or a silpat) and then pile the fruit in the center. Fold the crust up over the fruit, sealing up any holes around the sides by pinching the crust together. Brushing the crust with a lightly beaten egg or a little ice water and then sprinkling it with some coarse sugar gives it a nice crunchy crust.



Rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

1 recipe martha stewart pie crust

3 pints strawberries (1 1/2 quarts)

3 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup instant tapioca (can substitute flour)

Juice of half a lemon

1 egg, lightly beaten

Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling


Make the pie crust according to the recipe but do not divide it in two parts before chilling - just form one disk and chill for at least 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Cut the strawberries into halves, or quarters if they are quite large, and place in a bowl. Add chopped rhubarb, sugar, tapioca (or flour), and lemon juice and stir to combine. 

Roll out the pie crust until about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the crust to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Mound the fruit in the center of the crust and fold crust up over the sides of the fruit, leaving the center open.  

Brush crust with egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. 

Place in oven and bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.



hair doll


When my niece Lila was a toddler she was obsessed with twirling her mother's hair. It drove my sister crazy enough that she finally decided to cut her hair in an attempt to break the habit. She saved a lock of her hair and I used it to make Lila a doll. I kept the hair in a ponytail and dribbled some glue around the rubber band in an attempt to keep it together. I designed this simple doll using some remnant fabric I had, and sewed the ponytail into the side seam of the head. The brown hair around the face of the doll is just brown cotton fabric. Lila never really twirled the hair on this doll but it remains a cute reminder of what she was like as a much smaller girl.


rigatoni with turkey and creamy tomato sauce


When we lived in Manhattan one of our favorite places to go for a casual dinner was Bar Pitti, where Adam often ordered Rigatoni Pitti. When I discovered turkey at our local farmer's market I remembered that dish and was inspired to recreate it. Turkey sausage adds a bit more flavor but I find the recipe works well with ground turkey too.


1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 pound turkey sausage or ground turkey

1 tablespoon freshly chopped sage (or 1 teaspoon dried)

2 26 ounce boxes strained tomatoes

1 half pint heavy cream

1 pound rigatoni

1 bag frozen peas

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt.


Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add onion. Saute until translucent. Add turkey and cook stirring, until lightly browned. Add sage and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and cook until hot.


While sauce is simmering cook pasta, adding the peas 2 or 3 minutes before it is ready. Drain when pasta is al dente. Combine with sauce and serve.




Throughout our vacation one topic came up again and again: my kids need haircuts!! The boys love having long shaggy hair that they can hide behind but the adults all agree it is time for a trim. Every time haircuts come up Bea says the same thing: "I want a haircut!" When I ask, "How would you like it to be cut?" she replies, "Short. And curly, like Lila's!" Every time I have to explain that even if we cut her hair short, it will probably never be curly "like Lila's". She was very excited to try these curlers instead...although she did not have the patience to let her hair dry all the way so she still did not get the curls she is coveting.


beach treasure


I have always loved collecting shells and have bowls and jars of them scattered through the house. In an effort to scale back I often choose just one thing to collect on a trip: pieces of coral, sea urchins, fish bones, etc. On our trip this year we visited a shell museum that really inspired the children. It is run by a man in his nineties who has collected shells for his entire life. It is amazing to see thousands of shells, collected from around the world, but it is also inspiring to see how he displays them. Some in glass cases, others displayed in little boxes. It is also to fun to get a sense of how rare some appear to be, or how varied others may be. There was one huge case of scallop shells that were in a beautiful array of citrus colors.


After we left the museum the kids were even more committed to their own growing shell collections, and it was fun to see how it inspired them...Owen became a more careful editor while the others became interested in quantity.




honey custards


Every time we travel abroad I become obsessed with the nice little glass jars that yogurt and puddings are sold in. Not only does the yogurt seem to taste so much better, but the glasses are perfect for the kids to use at meals and are virtually indestructible. I no longer bring them home - I have collected more than I need. 



Custard is one of my dad's favorite foods so while we were away I made a batch using all the little cups we had gathered on the trip. You can bake the custards in any oven proof dish - small ramekins would be a close match for the glass dishes I have collected. You can also bake the entire recipe in a glass or ceramic pie plate but the cooking time will vary. 


Since we were away and had minimal ingredients in the pantry honey added flavor while simultaneously sweetening the custard so I did not have to buy a vanilla bean. Since being home I have made these again using maple syrup in place of the honey - use whichever flavor you prefer. 


Honey Custard

(makes about nine 4 ounce custards)

3 cups milk

1/3 cup honey

Dash ground cinnamon

4 eggs


Preheat oven to 350°. Place milk, honey, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and heat until warm and honey is dissolved. Place eggs in a medium bowl and whisk lightly. Stir in warm milk mixture while continuing to whisk eggs. Skim bubbles from surface of mixture.

Place custard cups in a baking dish that is about the same depth as the custard cups. Fill custard cups with custard and fill baking dish with boiling water about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the custard dishes. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until edges are starting to set but centers are still wiggly like jello. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Transfer custards to the refrigerator and chill several hours.



happy mother's day!


It is hard to believe that these photos were taken 9 years ago. Happy mother's day to all my mom friends, and especially my own mom...I love you!


playing under the trees


This enormous ficus tree was the centerpiece of our rental. It provided shade for all of us during the heat of the day and a tree house that occupied the kids for hours on end. It had a swing on one side, a zipline on the other, a pulley in the middle, and gigantic leaves that became fodder for many inventions.



The first invention was a boat that Oliver made by folding the ends up and securing them with toothpicks. The boat was fantastic looking but sank...that disappointed Oliver but he recovered quickly by tranforming it into a space ship! Sadly, I neglected to photograph that one but I did manage to get pictures of some of his other creations, many of which inspired the rest of the kids to join in the crafting. Among the projects were face masks, arm bands, and toothpick puppets.