The Little Potato

chop. roast. enjoy.

August 15, 2012 1

Toddlers and the funny things they do

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What I’ve noticed recently about Isaac is that, well, toddlers do the strangest things. They not only do strange things, they act strangely. They want to cuddle and kiss and are cute one minute, the next they are screaming their heads off. Then, they are dragging you by your pinky finger around the house as if they are on a mission. A mission for….what? I have no idea.  Then, they are sitting quietly in their room “reading” while you fill the dishwasher, water the wilting plants and throw in some laundry. And when I say, “they” I mean Isaac.

water in the bucket

Apparently, and this might not be unique to toddlers, they love to fill buckets with water immediately on arriving to the beach. And then they will promptly dump it out once they  settle back to their spot.

Again, by they, I mean Isaac.

over-watering the tomato plants

Speaking of water, toddlers like to water the same tomato plan over and over, just to make sure it’s not thirsty anymore.

"more, more!"

Toddlers need more water from the ocean once they dump out the first bucket of water they just got.

"you mean, the tomato plant doesn't need more water?"

Toddlers give you a confused look when you remind them that the tomato plant will die if you hydrate it any more.

he's sure he can fit in this

Toddlers (read: Isaac) try to get into wagons that are not meant to be squeezes into.

still watering the tomatoes

Toddlers don’t hear you the first or second time.

He needs a shoe horn

Toddlers are determined to get what they want.

time for the big guns

Toddlers finally get the picture about the tomato plants and move on to bigger and better things.

"see Mama, I fit just fine"

Toddlers believe they are always right.

of course, more water

And of course, toddlers need more water from the ocean after they continue to immediately dump out the previous bucket of water.

"it's not me that's strange, it's you!"

And of course toddlers often point right at the camera when you take a picture.

And by toddlers, I mean Isaac.

August 3, 2012 0

Summer Cuketail

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Hi Folks

It’s been a while and I thought I’d start putting in the effort to get this hobby back on track. I’ve been getting caught up with the stress of  being a full time working mom and getting into power struggles with a un-named toddler,  that I forgot to focus on a little “me” time. What better way to make a come back than by sitting back and taking a sip of a delicious summer cuketail.

Actually, the hubs came up with this yummy beverage and I want to share it with you. It’s perfect for sipping on a hot summer night, or a windy, rainy, rain forest type evening. Whichever kind of night you’re having…make this!

Slicing the limes

For this recipe you’ll need:

Limes, Mint, some raw organic sugar, Gin (we used Bombay Sapphire) and a fresh cucumber, preferably from your garden or a garden nearby.

Slice up a cuke and put two slices (about half a lime) into a mortar.  Add a tablespoon of sugar, 4 slices of cucumber (about 1/4 inch thick) and 8 sprigs of mint. Take your pestle and jam that stuff to bits. Put all your might into it!

muddle muddle muddle

Take a strainer and pour whatever liquid you’ve managed to squeeze out of the all the cuke-sugar-lime goodness into a a glass (about 9 oz sized glass). The “juice” will be a beautiful bright green!  Add a few ice cubes and 4 ounces of gin.

cold cuketail

Take a sip….you’re evening is complete. I’m telling you. Make this tonight.

January 31, 2012 0

home-made breakfast sausage patties

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We try to eat a lot of good protein for breakfast in our household.  Not just because we don’t eat toast, cereals and pastries for breakfast, but because it keeps us going strong until lunch time if we eat a good sized, protein packed meal in the morning.  Some of our favorite breakfast combinations are organic eggs in all forms, thick cut bacon and greens lightly dressed with oil and vinegar.  Recently, I came up with the idea to make our own breakfast sausage so we could take a break from bacon. I am a sucker for breakfast sausage patties, and it’s healthier and cheaper to make them yourself instead of buying them pre-packaged. Plus, they are easy to make! If you can make a meatball, you can make these.

You’ll need:

1pound of ground pork. We bought local pork shoulder and had the guy at the meat counter grind it for us nice and fresh

1 teaspoon of fresh sage finely chopped

1 teaspoon of paprika- I like the hot kind

1 teaspoon of fennel seeds

a good dash of salt and pepper

(You can also add some hot pepper flakes if you like your sausages a little more spicy. I think I will do this next time!)

Mix all the ingredients together. Form the mixture into small patties, I like them about 2-3 inches in diameter.

pre-fried sausages

At this point, you can fry up  some sausages and enjoy the yumminess that is pork. I wish I had a picture for you but we eat them so fast once they hit the plate. If you aren’t going to eat them right away, put them in a single layer in zip lock bags. Put one in the fridge and one in the freezer for later enjoyment.

January 29, 2012 0

snow day

By in baby, seasons, what's happening.

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This winter, in my opinion, has been kind of pathetic. No snow on Christmas, and barely any snow since! Poor Jeff hasn’t even had the chance to use his snow blower. I know for sure he’s deeply disappointed in that.  About as disappointed that he is he doesn’t get to sleep past 7:30am anymore.

Fortunately, I got my winter fix last weekend. As you can tell, I love winter. In fact I love all 4 seasons. I love the transition between them and the feeling that something new is on its way.

going for a walk

Isaac got a great sled for Christmas from his Nonni and Grampy.  He hadn’t even had the chance to use it, up until last weekend.

where's Isaac?

The kid was bundled head to toe in North Face. The wind was blowing and the snow was coming down!

cold waters

We took Isaac for a walk to the beach. It was low tide, but doesn’t the sand look like water, it’s so icy? I love the beach even in the winter.

runny in the snow

When we got back into the house, Isaac’s cheeks were as red as a ripe tomato.  His face was wet from the falling snow and his head was toasty and damp under his hat and hood. It reminded me of the days when I was a kid and would play in the snow for hours and hours on a bitter cold day, but I wouldn’t feel the cold one bit due to the excitement of the snow.

thawing out from the cold

I sure hope we get more snow days this winter!

January 17, 2012 2

happy birthday to my 1-year-old

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I can’t believe it, but Isaac turned 1 last week. Honestly, this has been the fastest year of my life. Jeff always makes fun of me for making statements like that, suggesting it’s silly that I would think time moves at different speeds at certain points in my life. But honestly, this year FLEW by at lightening speed. Was I not JUST posting about Christmas and the end of my pregnancy LAST year?  About the birth of my little guy, a tiny little nugget who did nothing but nurse and sleep? And now…my little guy fortunately still loves to sleep, but thankfully is done nursing and is…gasp….walking!

with Grampy

We celebrated Isaac’s birthday this weekend with family and a few close friends.  Isaac had a great time, thanks to his wonderful family who clearly adore him. Also thanks to the amazing food made for him by his amazing parents…heh.

carrot cake made by Pa

Our whole party menu was grain-free. Jeff made an incredible almond flour carrot cake that Isaac inhaled. Plus, this delectable cake was sweetened with maple syrup instead of regular sugar. In addition we had Isaac’s favorite chicken slow cooked in duck fat, roasted butternut squash in browned butter and thyme and swiss chard gratin. You know, a typical 1 year old’s party fair.

enjoying the attention

Happy Birthday to my little cutie. He obviously takes after his mama, as he eats as much as his parents but is in the 25% percentile for weight….where does it all go????

December 11, 2011 5

to wheat or not to wheat

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I think I’ve mentioned before that about 9 months ago Jeff started a diet called the Paleo diet. It’s not really a diet but more of a lifestyle. He felt it was important to lose weight and he was suffering from several health issues including chronic indigestion, extremely dry skin and allergies. After doing some research he discovered that eating Paleo is known to solve a lot of these problems and also help with the weight loss.

Now, 50+ pounds lighter and free of any of the ailments listed above, Jeff is feeling great. His diet is essentially grain-free and he eats small amounts of dairy. I’ve definitely cut way back on the gluten and wheat, and even though I was skeptical about the negative effects of wheat, on the day I do eat a wheat product I undeniably  notice I feel like falling asleep at my desk after.


In addition, Isaac has enjoyed an almost wheat free diet so far in his 11-months of life.  His favorite foods are omega-3 egg yolks fried in butter, pears, pureed cauliflower and chicken thighs-confit with rosemary and garlic.  He use to be into his puffs, but now that he’s discovered chicken thighs, local cod and turkey meatballs, he could care less about the puffs. He enjoys a cheese stick or an organic packet of veggie/fruit for a snack.  Isaac is, after all, 1/4 Italian so I am sure he will enjoy a piece of pasta or pizza once in a while in his life. But to be honest, I’m not sure he’d like it.

I, on the other hand, am 1/2 Italian and am not sure if I can live without pasta or pizza for the rest of my life. But, I have changed my diet quite a bit. And not for the weight loss reasons, but for the mere fact that I may just believe that Jeff is right about the poisons of wheat (see: Wheat Belly). I enjoy eating wheat and sugar filled products now, as a treat. I intend to enjoy my cookies at Christmas time and I plan on making cinnamon rolls Christmas morning, and even Jeff is looking forward to indulging.  It makes a walk into the world of wheat that much more special, like enjoying a bloody mary for breakfast on those special occasions; it’s just not something you do every day.

fun family times

So….our little semi-wheat free family will continue on with indulging in great, home-made whole foods which include lots of grass fed meats, fresh fish and veggies.  Throw in some yummy cheese and charcuterie , and I think we’ll all be pretty happy. Of course, the occasional sweet treat and Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwich doesn’t hurt.

November 1, 2011 3

happy fall

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I absolutely love this time of year. As soon as Halloween comes and goes, I immediately go into a mode of daily excitement for the coming holidays. I start to feel like a kid again; the anticipation of Thanksgiving dinner (and my mom’s stuffing with the Italian sausage) and the joyfulness of the Christmas season. I am already on the countdown for the Christmas music on the local radio stations.  I am gearing up for my holiday cookie baking; I usually make at least 7-10 kinds of cookies every year. I think last year, while I was almost 9 months pregnant, I baked more than I ever had! The point is, I have not lost my zeal for the holiday season and everything that comes along with it.  It’s here now just as strong as it was when I was a kid!

The fun thing is, now I have my own kid. And he better be ready for momma’s craziness excitement.

playing in the leaves

Isaac has been enjoying the fall season so far. He loves to play in the leaves and he also loves to eat them.  Did you know that leaves are not broken down in the body?  Yep…

at the pumpkin patch

A few weeks ago we went to Russel Orchards in Ipswich. They have some of the best cider donuts I have ever had! Fresh out of the frier, super hot and sweet. They don’t put cinnamon and sugar on them and they don’t even NEED it. That’s how good they are! So good that Jeff and I each ate two BEFORE we went to have our fried clams at Woodmans.  Isaac really enjoyed Russel Orchards because they had pumpkins to climb on and animals to see too.

look, who knew turkeys had such good balance?

So, the month of October was pretty fun.  I definitely lamed out on Halloween this year but I’ll make up for it big time next year, I promise.  And I promise to all the kids who trick or treated at our house only to find a small bowl of Almond Joys.

July 31, 2011 2

moving forward- um, almost.

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hi mum!

Isaac’s been very busy these days trying to be more mobile.

on all fours

He’s been trying so hard to crawl. Well, he crawls just fine but he hasn’t gotten the hang of actually crawling forward.

inching his way back

If we put the little man on the floor, in about 2 minutes he ends up about 10 feed BACK from where he started.  The poor guy cannot figure out how to move toward his toys!

i need that block!

The kid is ALL OVER his crib. One morning I came in to get him and did not see him and of course, I freaked out. When I moved in closer I noticed he was curled up in a ball in a corner, still snoozin.

I’m pretty sure one day soon he’ll figure it out. I try to encourage him to come after his toys, I give him plenty of tummy time and he’s up on his hands and knees all the time.  He just hasn’t figured out that specific coordination that will propel him forward.

cheeks to die for

I guess I should be glad he’s not moving around so much yet. Our place is so not child proofed and  having a techy husband means our house is like one big computer chord nightmare!

ps- click on the pictures to get an up close look at those cheeks!

July 25, 2011 1

what we’re eating this summer

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Since little Isaac has come along, things have been pretty hectic.  I haven’t been as anal about cleaning the house (i’ve only been very anal as oppose to very very anal), Jeff and I haven’t been going out to dinner at trendy restaurants in the city like we use to, and I spend most of my evenings doing laundry, making bottles, pumping and getting ready for the next day instead of staring at the TV or surfing the web. But, one thing we still make time for is cooking some fabulous meals.

Well, Jeff has been cooking some fabulous meals and I have been eating them.  I’ll make a yummy salad if I get the chance.

a weeknight appetizer

Since we don’t get to go out for oysters much anymore, Jeff taught himself how to shuck them himself at home. He picks some fresh ones up from Wholefoods once in a while and I get to slirp them down while he finishes making dinner.

Speaking of dinner, this is what we’ve been eating every Thursday night.

pre-grill chill

Jeff stops at the Salem Farmers Market every Thursday since his office is a few steps away. He buys lobsters from a local fisherman who has a stand at the market. They are fresh and sweet, caught that day. After Isaac goes to bed we get crackin’ and attack these beautiful crustaceans. I heart Lobster Thursday.  The lobsters you see above happen to have been enjoyed on Saturday, and thrown on the grill with some of this.

garlic lime cilantro butter

I actually had the chance to contribute to this meal and made this delicious butter sauce!

When Isaac was a newborn, I was sad about the fact that I didn’t have the time to cook as much as I did before he arrived. As you recall, I was the cook in the household before Isaac.  But when he was a newborn and had to be nursed ALL. THE. TIME., Jeff started making dinners. And it turns out, he’s a fabulous cook! Now that he’s eating Paleo he’s found and created some incredible recipes. Every single night in our house I am lucky enough to enjoy a gourmet meal.

But, Jeff and I are not the only ones enjoying some yummy food this summer. I HAVE had the time to cook for Isaac.

baby peaches

I took some organic peaches and cooked them down with cardamom and ginger. Isaac enjoyed them quite a bit. They were delicious so I can see why!

white sweet potatoes

green beans

The little guy has also enjoyed some sweet potatoes, green beans, peas (not so much), carrots with cumin, pears with vanilla and balsamic, avocado and banana.  This week I hope to make some blueberry sauce and apricot puree. The boy eats like a king!

June 22, 2011 10

approaching 6 months

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I cannot believe baby Isaac is almost 6 months old.  It feels like just yesterday he was a tiny delicate peanut; now he’s a hearty sausage! He’s so strong and growing so fast that he’s starting to look more like a little boy instead of a baby.  He just completed what I think was a few days of a growth spurt and during that time we discovered a teeny tiny tooth coming in on the bottom! (Not good for his nursing mumma, ouch).

playing upstairs with his cousin

We started some “solids” over the past week and so far we’ve only tried avocado. He seems to like a few teaspoon fulls but overall not particularly interested. He’s still interested in drinking tons and tons of mumma’s milk. Like, tons.

trying avocado

Isaac is NOT happy with his growing tooth and has been a big fussy lately. He wants to bite on anything he can get his hands on and that tooth is razor sharp! Still, even though he is feeling uncomfortable, he is sleeping great at night. We put him to bed around 7:30pm and he sleeps until about 4:30am. He drinks some milk around that time and then goes back to sleep until 7 or 8am. Mumma is long gone to work by then, so Pa gets him up and rough houses with him in the bed before his 8am bottle.


According to Pa, that’s what boys like to do.

Isaac is a big talker and a big squeeler. He likes to babble on and on and he also like to screech and scream, just for fun.

blueberry eyes

Oh! One of Isaac’s favorites activities is going to the meat market with Pa on Fridays. He likes to hang out in the sling while Pa buys a lot of meat.  I WISH I had a picture of that!

ps- thank you to Nana for taking the playtime pictures of Isaac, they’re wonderful!