I am home with four kids - two girls, two boys - ages 14, 6, 5 and 3 (and when I started this blog, just a little over two years ago, I had an infant, a 2yr old, 3yr old and 12yr old - feels like a lifetime ago, but it wasn't ;-). Until about four or five years ago, I worked in marketing. I have been and done many things - dancer, magazine "multi-tasker", advertising copywriter, gymnastics coach, resort town waitress, grad student, etc. Now my areas of expertise are different and diverse. I am savvy, efficient, patient and earthy (like it or not). I am a better cook, an Ok herb gardener, an impressive artist to my kids, an active and prolific photographer, a childrens' clothing stylist (in my head), a manager of all things "household" and a news enthusiast (from politics to celebrity). I am more cynical though less of a worrier / hypochondriac than I used to be. I am increasingly proud of what I do with kids, family and home, but I do still present myself as a "freelance writer".
So .... here is an easy and tasty pasta salad: Elbow or rotini or other small pasta - peas (I use organic flash frozen - and I like a lot in my salad - though you can customize :-) - thinly sliced baby or pickling cucumbers - thinly sliced mild white onion (I'm thinking even a shallot) - your favorite homemade vinaigrette or, for store-bought, I like Brianna's New American (has a balsamic taste) with maybe a splash of mustard - and if you're not doing low fat (and your dressing will have fat, but it is the very necessary "good fat" if you get or make one with an olive oil base), go ahead and shred some sharp cheddar or parmesan cheese over the top (after you have appropriately boiled, drained, mixed, etc. - of course). Very tasty.
AND - this may sound a little odd, but... in an interesting twist on Sundaes (and this really only works with chocolate ice cream - not yogurt - not vanilla, so....) - go ahead and scoop your chocolate ice cream - drizzle some Extra Virgin Olive Oil on top - sprinkle some sea salt - then another little drizzle of maple syrup - OR go without the syrup and simply enjoy the fruity olive oil and the salty chocolate goodness. A friend of mine in California frequents a sundae shop where this is a favorite. VERY good.
And.... I can't believe I haven't talked this up before, but.... 4C green tea mix is the best. Higher in sugar, of course, than tea you make yourself - but quick and easy (like the above treats), which is what I am ALL ABOUT this summer.
Quick question: Are you guys like me and... if your little ones don't finish their PB & J sandwiches at lunch, YOU end up eating them - dipping them in chicken noodle soup or something - on the run - when calories and fat "don't count"? Totally undermines my diet plan. I just had a similar mac and cheese conversation with my friend in food and neighbor with whom I consult on many of these important issues ;-). So... do you commit such diet faux pas? I need to know :-).