Triplets Means Three Babies in Six Minutes!

Happy 25th Birthday to three miracles!

Born at a little over 34 weeks, Baby A (Hannah) weighed only 2lbs 90z and stayed in the NICU for 6 1/2 weeks. Baby B (Teddy) weighed 4 lbs 12oz and had the shortest stay at 10 days. Baby C (Morgan) weighed in at 4 lbs 4 oz and came home on day 12. They were healthy and active and hungry and loud! They’ve kept us on our toes, in tears, and in stitches. They are wonderful, ambitious, smart, thoughtful, empathetic, inspiring and caring people, and I couldn’t be prouder of the young adults they’ve become. 

Love you to the moon and back!

Morgan and me.
Hannah, Teddy and me.
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Fall 2019 Bridal Trends, Published in Elegant Lifestyles Magazine

Yay! The September issue of New Jersey Hills Media Group’s Elegant Lifestyles Magazine is out. I wrote “Fall 2019 Bridal Trends.” Why bridal, you ask? Back in the day (before triplets-plus-one), in addition to working in the Bloomingdale’s Training Program as a buyer and manager, I wrote free-lance articles. One of my gigs? Attending bridal fashion shows in Manhattan and writing about them. So fun! Click here to access the New Jersey Hills Media Group website where a PDF of the magazine can be downloaded.

A little bit about the publisher.

Recorder Community Newspapers and New Jersey Hills Media Group are the hometown scribes, the keepers of history and the chronicle of shared experiences in more than 50 communities in northern central New Jersey.

Our 17 community newspapers and 15 online news sites circulate in New Jersey’s “wealth belt”: Somerset, Hunterdon, Morris and Essex counties. Our readers enjoy one of the highest household incomes in the state, and the nation!

Our total paid circulation is 50,954, with additional free circulation of 42,131.

Dedication: This post is dedicated to my mom who would have turned 78 tomorrow. She used to type up my “children’s books” when I was in elementary school and knew I loved to write. As an editor of The Baltimore Jewish Times, she was the first person to hire me to write, assigning me a variety of articles: first person, interviews, research. She was my first editor and a tough one at that. Think lots of red ink!

When I graduated college and moved to Manhattan, she hired me to cover events in Manhattan and write about them. From there, other magazines picked up my articles, and I was on my way. As I circled back to writing Kidlit, she was a reader and cheerleader. She’d say writing fiction was a whole other ball game. Regardless, she always listened and gave advice when it came to communicating with editors and agents.

Guess what Mom? I still need your advice…and a whole lot of cheerleading.

Light and Pillowy Gnocchi

Light and pillowy gnocchi from marthastewart.com

A week before I came home from work to a whole dinner (I’m still floored.), Hubby decided to buy a stand mixer. Hon, you know I love to bake, but had baked plenty of pies, cakes, cookies, etc. without one. So there it stood–a big, heavy appliance taking up precious real estate on the counter. I’m not complaining, just pointing out the facts. Hubby showed me the stand mixer’s features and excitedly said, “We can buy an attachment to make homemade pasta.”

Umm, no. 

Back to the delicious dinner Hubby whipped up. One of the things he made–which did not require use of the hand mixer–was gnocchi. I’m not usually a gnocchi fan, but Hubby’s was unexpectedly light and pillowy and yummy! He served to it with marinr

Here are the recipe from Martha Stewart.com  and video featuring Thomas Joseph that he used as guides. Happy cooking!

Light and Pillowy Gnocchi

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 pounds Idaho or russet potatoes
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beate
  • Coarse salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (review of the recipe wanted to know what the olive oil was used for, so I have to check with Hubby, ask him, and get back to you)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Place potatoes in a large stockpot. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer, about 40 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash potatoes using a potato ricer. Set aside on a baking sheet until completely cooled.
  2. On a cool, preferably marble, work surface, gather potatoes into a mound, forming a well in the center. In a small bowl, stir together eggs, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour mixture into well. Using both hands, work potatoes and egg mixture together, gradually adding 2 cups of flour. Scrape dough from work surface with a knife as necessary. This process should not take more than 10 minutes. The longer the dough is worked, the more flour it will require and the heavier the dough will become.
  3. Dust hands, dough, and work surface lightly with some of the remaining 1 cup flour. Cut dough into 6 equal portions. Using both hands, roll each piece of dough into a rope 1/2-inch thick. Continue dusting as long as dough feels sticky. Slice ropes at 1/2-inch intervals. Indent each piece with thumb, the tines of a fork, or the back of a semicircular grater to produce a ribbed effect.

    (I’m not sure why the Martha Stewart recipe ends here, but here’s what to do with the gnocchi.)

  4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until gnocchi have risen to the top; drain and serve.

Yield: serves 6

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Breast

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Breast

Imagine my surprise when I was about to leave work and Hubby texts, “Come home hungry. I’ve made a full dinner.” What?! For real?! Yay! He was inspired to made homemade gnocchi, a chicken dish, steamed string beans and a chocolate-flecked angel food cake. I was so impressed and, hon, I could get used to this! 

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Breast

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted (he used margarine instead)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
  2. Season chicken breast with salt, pepper, paprika and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl mix together butter (or margarine), Italian seasoning, parsley, and garlic. Set aside.
  4. In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  5. When the skillet is really hot add chicken breast. Sear until golden, about 1-2 minutes on each side.
  6. Pour garlic butter mixture over chicken breasts.
  7. Place skillet in oven and cook until cooked through, about 20-30 minutes or until chicken breasts get to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. (Tip: You can bake chicken breasts in any baking dish if you don’t have a cast iron skillet.)
  8. Remove from oven. Using a spoon, pour some of the butter sauce left in the skillet onto the chicken breasts before serving.

Source: Primaverkitchen.com

The Verdict’s In: The Rooster Can Crow!

Maurice the rooster with his owner, Corinne Fesseau, at her home on the southwestern island of Oléron, France. Photo Credit Kasia Strek for The New York Times

Good news for the rooster. Bad news for the neighbors.

Best quote ever! “This rooster was not being unbearable,” Mr. Papineau added. “He was just being himself.”

Hon, remember the trial of Maurice the Rooster? The judge made his decision!

  

PARIS — The most famous rooster in France can continue to crow.

So ruled a French judge on Thursday, rejecting a claim by neighbors on the southwestern island of Oléron that the fowl, named Maurice, was a nuisance and made too much noise.

The judge found that the rooster, being a rooster, had a right to crow in his rural habitat.

“Maurice has won his fight,” his lawyer, Julien Papineau, said after the court decision in the small coastal city of Rochefort. “The judge recalled that, where Maurice is singing, it is in nature. It is in a rural town.”

“This rooster was not being unbearable,” Mr. Papineau added. “He was just being himself.”

The court also awarded the rooster 1,000 euros, about $1,100, in damages — more than enough for a luxury redo of his simple green chicken coop, though the money will go to a fund for the families of those who have perished at sea, his lawyer said.

Maurice, a modest bird with magnificent plumage, did not let out a triumphant cackle at the news of his court victory in Rochefort. His celebrity has not gone to his head.

The rooster and his owner, Corinne Fesseau, had been sued by a retired couple, Jean-Louis Biron and Joëlle Andrieux, who have a vacation home in the area and claimed that Maurice’s crowing had made their holidays stressful.

The rooster’s case had been taken up by thousands of people across France as a symbol of rural values — eternal values in France — that they say are under threat.

Other neighbors staunchly defended the chicken, and the mayor passed an ordinance protecting his rights.

The judge’s decision was soundly based on French law, the lawyer said. In these “fights between neighbors, the nuisance has to be excessive, or permanent,” Mr. Papineau said.

The court found that neither was the case.

“This is a reaffirmation that people of bad faith don’t always win,” Mr. Papineau said, “and that we’ve got to accept nature’s sounds.”

Video from my post on Maurice the Rooster.

Cat and Mouse and Chipmunk

 

When I’m the cat and the cat’s the mouse!

The only time I can get Midnight in the house is when I play cat and mouse with him! One of the times (there have been several) he toyed with a fledgling, I left a door open, he wandered inside and blam! I shut the door, trapping him inside. This way, when I returned the baby bird to the brush under its nest, it had a fighting chance. Hon, don’t cry, “Poor Midnight” since the cat has a dog-free zone filled with a comfy bed, scratching post, a couch, and lots of cuddles and kisses. Now, if only Midnight would get the message…

Staring Contest

The staring contest between Lucy in Midnight is funny! I love the pics above, which show them concentrating, but with roles reversed. Lucy has accepted Midnight, chasing all other cats off the property. Isn’t that nice of her? Now, if only Midnight would get the message…

This has not been a good summer for small animals!

It seems like every few days, we come across a deceased bird or small animal! What the heck is going on?! I don’t think it’s all Midnight’s doing. I wrote this tribute to one of those sad creatures.

Chipmunk Eulogy

Chipmunk would no longer chat,

Scurry like an acrobatic,

Or stand on base or be at bat.

Sad to say, he was laid out flat,

Thin and gone and, oh no, splat!

I wiped a tear and tipped my hat

Checked my car.

Did I do that?

Couldn’t be.

I blame the cat!

Predator Poem

 

I haven’t posted about Midnight, our outdoor cat, in awhile (He refuses to come inside even when invited in!), but that doesn’t mean he isn’t up to his usual shenanigans: sitting on top of the grill and staring into the kitchen window to get our attention when he’s hungry, doing circle eights around Hubby’s ankles when Hubby’s grilling, howling at neighborhood bullies–ahem, I mean other cats–that want to eat his food, hiding under cars, making toys out of fledgling birds (future post–how to splint the broken leg of a bird!)…

…and hunting.

Midnight is so thankful that we greet him each day with food, water, and glad-to-see-you-chatter that he brought us a present. A dead squirrel! Wasn’t that thoughtful?

Squirrel Eulogy

This is an old tale

Of a new kitty

Gifting the people

Who feed him

And pet him

And love him

Treasure from the hunt,

Prowess on display.

Everyone thanks Midnight…

Except the squirrel.