How It’s Done Blog


Full Cappelletti (or Ravioli) Recipe from Motherlode

Full video and recipe for making my family’s not-so-secret cappelletti and ravioli.

That Perverse Pride We Take In Our Weird Families

This could end really well. Or—let’s be honest here—it could go really badly. Lily requested cheeseburgers for dinner tonight on this, a fantastic day for grilling, and cheeseburgers she shall have. And, she said, those french fries you make, by which she means the Yukon Golds in cold peanut oil from Cook’s Illustrated. But I stopped by the farmstand on the way home for the potatoes, and they are unquestionably not Yukon Gold, but some type of russet. And when […]

A Cake for the Cake-Hater

I’m really, really proud of myself. I made a birthday cake that even my cake-hating Rory, she of the licked-off-frosting on the $3 cupcakes, loved. I’ve noticed lots of kids are like that—they’re either cake kids or frosting kids. (Me, I was and still am a cake kid, so I do sympathize.) And I’ve noticed that our China-raised kids are often really not cake-eaters. So I’m pretty excited to share this: It’s the perfect cake for Rory. It combines three […]

A Perfect Afternoon; or, Why Activities Are Bad; or Spaghetti Zucchini Carbonara: Yum!

Did I say it was a perfect afternoon? It was a perfect afternoon. All children were successfully picked up after what must have been a successful day at school. Wyatt needed a few minutes of snuggling, which no other child objected to my granting. Music Teacher extraordinaire arrived, and music commenced. Homework was voluntarily embarked on. There was some bickering over the homework table, where the children without homework were doing mazes, loudly and competitively, because some children can do […]

Again I Make the Pasta!

I think we’re going to be eating this all summer long. It’s far, far easier than it looks. Yes, I make my own pasta noodles. It’s what takes it from good to insanely spectacular. Four eggs, about 2 1/4 cups of flour, in the mixer, then with the dough hook, then kneaded on the counter: Roll it out. I find it’s better to let the sheets of dough rest and dry a little (as in, five minutes, while rolling out […]

Rice Krispies Treats Before and After

Rice Krispies Before It was a forty minute drive to today’s party, a farewell to one of Sam’s hockey teammates whose family is moving to Wisconsin. The Big Question: How many Rice Krispie Treats (did I say Rice Krispie Treats? I meant, light, crunchy, sweet, salty, buttery, perfect Rice Krispie Treats) would make it? Rice Krispies After The worst part of this is that there was only one person in the car: Me.

My Only Good Example

I’ve just finished reading Anne Lamott’s Imperfect Birds, which, long and very absorbing story short, is about an AA mother, her newly druggy teen and her writerly second husband, and how the mom and stepdad wise up to their too-clever daughter. On the surface. Under that, it is, of course, about a lot of things, and not the least is how crushed the mother is by how late it is with her daughter. She’s been her mother, and not always […]

Fresh Tortilla Fajitas

Last night, in a lucky confluence of events, I unloaded my pasta machine from the basket I’d taken to Wyatt’s classroom (biannual pasta-making demonstration) at the same moment as I began contemplating mixing up tortilla dough—and a brilliant idea was born. Any good Texan knows that the only real tortillas are handmade tortillas, and that putting “handmade” on a baggie and then selling them in the grocery fridge section really does not count. I’ll eat those, but only under duress. […]

Mmm…chocolate snack mix

My newest recipe, meant to save me big bucks on Rex’s Road Crew Crunch, deeply delicious, stocked by our Co-op but, in my opinion, too chock full of peanuts, which I don’t like and end up throwing away: Ingredients 10 cups anything in the pantry that would taste good covered in chocolate 13 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped and then melted in the microwave (remember you have to stir it, it won’t lose it’s shape when it melts! Sea salt […]

It’s so fall

it’s the kind of day that would feel warm if it were sunny, but since it’s not, it ‘s got that whole damp and cold thing going. I’m even feeling kind of sorry for Sam’s long walk up the driveway when he gets off the school bus. He probably won’t even notice. So, the plan for the afternoon is to use the fruits (so to speak) of Saturday’s apple and raspberry picking to make turnovers. It occurs to me that […]

Easter Candy: Doling Out Sweets and Treats

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