On the days Mateo does not have summer camp, our kitchen table has become our mini home school. Yesterday, we learned about fractions through the making of some delicious granola. 


We also learned all about vowels and their short and long sounds. And to help us remember them, this blast from the past below certainly helped. (I felt 10 years old again!)

Mateo's Fractional Granola

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup raw honey (or brown sugar)

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. sea salt

5 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup hemp seeds

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Generous pinch of fresh grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Put coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, vanilla and salt into a small sauce pan over low heat until it has all dissolved together. Take pan off the heat. Mix in nutmeg.

Pour raw oats into a large bowl, then pour in syrup. Mix until well coated. Spread out and press onto a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, turning and mixing about halfway through. Remove from the oven, let it cool, and then enjoy. I like to eat mine with a sprinkle of shredded coconut on top with some soy milk, but that's just me. Mateo will go without the coconut, he says.


Over the weekend there was a memorial service in Palm Springs for my grandmother, who died June 4th, after a slow, quiet battle with Alzheimer's. I was so moved that all of us who memorialized her, mentioned how classy she was, how beautiful she was, how talented and lucky she was to have been able to live her dream of becoming an entertainer. How because of that, she was an inspiration to her family. Here are some of the words I spoke of:

For as long as I can remember, I thought CeCe was the most beautiful grandmother in the world. She was so glamourous that none of us–her children, or her grandchildren–called her anything but CeCe. It was always CeCe.

I consider myself so fortunate that I was able to spend so much time with her as a kid. Indeed she was a second mother to me. I remember pulling apart her closet doors and feeling the shapes of all the sequins and the billowy chiffons in my small fingers. I remember falling over trying to walk in her lucite heels. I remember the rhinestones that glittered like diamonds and her fancy rings. I remember watching her at nightclubs and drinking many Shirley Temples and falling asleep under the tables. 

In my last conversation with her–she had already had her first leg accident but Alzheimer's had not yet taken hold of her. I was asking her whether she missed traveling as much as she had, and she turned to me and said, "You, know I've lived the best possible life. I've lived my dream, I've traveled the world. I've done it," she said. "I've done it." It told me she was at peace.

And so in looking back at her told performance footage, I was reminded of her words and how lucky she was to have found and lived her life's passion. As you watch, notice her joy, and I think you'll agree–she did it. I miss you Ce. How sweet it was to have been loved by you.



Well, he made it through kindergarten. Quite an accomplishment in my eyes. New school, new friends, new teachers, new everything. I'm so proud of my boy and how well he navigated this new, and sometimes very overwhelming new world.  And while Mateo doesn't look too happy up there (too busy trying to look cool I think), I know inside he too felt that he was bridging over into something even better: first grade. But for now, it's on to summer and all of the freedom and exploration that follows in its wake.








Sunday was a day of total sweetness, as evidenced by the treats above. It all felt like an appropriate reflection of a man who fully embraces what I believe a true father should be.  While he strongly protects and guides his sons, he's also very tender and sweet at heart, and in turn they adore him and respect him. Each time I watch him do something like teach Mateo how to keep his eye on the ball, or prepare his tool box to teach a woodworking class to Nico and his friends, or connect each and every morning with their teachers to make sure they're successful at school, or make hilariously loud lion noises for the hundredth time in reading The Lion & The Mouse, and countless others, I am heartened.  It all makes me feel so very grateful to have him as my partner, and for him to be such the gift that he is to our children. Happy Father's Day my dear Matt, and to all the lovingly dedicated dads in the world. 

Brown Butter, Brown Rice Crispy Treats

1 stick best unsalted butter you can find

6 cups brown rice crispy cereal

1 7oz. bag of marshmallows (preferably the non-gelatin kind, usually found at healthy markets)

Maldon Salt (or other sea salt variety)

In case you need a refresher on how to make these (I did): Plop butter in a small sauce pan and melt over medium/high heat until the butter begins to brown, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not leave butter unattended during this process since it can easily scorch and you'll have dark bitter butter, instead of nutty brown butter. Take pan off the heat. Add marshmallows to the pan, and stir off heat, until they are fully melted and incorporated with the butter. Add in cereal and stir. Scoop out into a buttered, square cake pan and flatten to desired thickness. We liked ours to be about 1/2 an inch thick. Lightly sprinkle sea salt over the top. Let cool, cut and try your hardest not to eat the entire pan.

Buttermilk Doughnuts with Maple Glaze

(adapted from The L.A. Times)

For doughnuts:

4 1/4 cups (18 ounces) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, grated nutmeg and cinnamon.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs and egg yolk with the sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. In a large measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk and butter.

4. Alternately beat the dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture into the egg mixture, one-third at a time, until all of the ingredients are combined and a dough is formed. It will be soft and sticky.

5. With floured hands, remove the dough to a floured board and gently roll out until the dough is one-half inch thick. Using a doughnut cutter, or 2 biscuit cutters (a larger one measuring 3 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter, and a smaller one measuring about 1 inch in diameter), cut the dough into doughnuts, spacing the doughnuts as close as possible. Collect the scraps and roll out to form another batch of doughnuts (note that this batch may be a little tougher than the first as the dough has been worked).

6. Meanwhile, fill a deep fryer with oil, or a large pot to a depth of at least 3 inches, with oil, and heat to a temperature of 350 degrees.

7. Gently place the doughnuts in the oil, being careful not to crowd. Fry the doughnuts on each side until puffed and golden, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side.

8. Drain the donuts on a rack and cool slightly, then frost and decorate as desired.

For glaze:

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup maple syrup, preferably Grade B

1. In a small saucepan heated over medium-high heat, melt the butter and continue to cook until the butter browns, being careful not to burn . Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Place the powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Using the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat in the melted butter and browned bits along with the vanilla. Slowly beat in the maple syrup. When all of the ingredients are incorporated, briefly beat over high speed to remove any lumps. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed (bring back to room temperature and beat briefly before using).



Although I love it, I really try and stay away from cooking, ordering, eating too much pizza around here. We like to consider it a treat, which it usually is. And as with most things, it always tastes better when you've made it yourself. I found this recipe at The Smitten Kitchen, and tweaked it just a little bit. It didn't really need tweaking, but it's always fun to try and make something your own. The taste of this was fantastic–gooey, cheesy, savory, with that slightly grassy twang of asparagus. Served with a simple green salad and dinner was made.

Shaved Asparagus Pizza

adapted from The Smitten Kitchen

Makes 2 thin crust 12-inch pizzas

1 or two pies of your favorite pre-made pizza dough
1 pound asparagus
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano
1 pound mozzarella, shredded or cut into small cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Several grinds black pepper
1 small leek, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Preheat your oven to the hottest temperature it goes, or about 500 in most cases. If you use a pizza stone, have it in there.

With a vegetable peeler, thinly shave each asparagus stalk about an inch above the end of the stalk. Once I got to a point where the stalk was too thin to keep shaving, I just placed the whole piece in the bowl. Discard the tough ends. Toss peelings with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Roll or stretch out your pizza dough to a 12-inch round. Sprinkle pizza dough with Parmesan, then mozzarella. Pile asparagus on top and add the leeks, and Pecorino. Bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, or until edges are browned, the cheese is bubbly and the asparagus might be lightly charred. Remove from the oven and immediately, then slice and eat.


The weekend was mellow…except for when Nico decided to write his name for the first time. 





With only a week left of school, summer is officially here. In preparation for our many, many days at the beach to come, we decided to each make a bag that is suiting our mood at the moment. Mateo chose yellow and blue, Nico red and black, and me red and blue. Nico said he was going to put lots of cheese crackers in his bag. Mateo of course wants to stuff his with legos. I plan on bringing a book and maybe some chocolate. I can already envision smacking the sand out of the bottom at the end of the day, then re-stuffing them for another ocean adventure.










We had two grown-up days, just the two of us, amongst the hot red rocks. We sat in a vortex, absorbed the dry heat, came back twice for a Jamaican jerk pineapple tempeh burger, walked long into the desert, rested, and often enjoyed each other's company in silence. It was a quiet trip, other than waiting an hour and a half to taste the supposedly best pizza in the U.S. I was skeptical it would be worth it, but indeed it was. 



Little moments I hope to never forget, although I sometimes do. Here was Mateo, barely two, on the highway with his dad, singing his then favorite songs. Never mind that his dad was driving on the highway while filming his son. Always a treat to look back.

Where that little boy is now.








Abundant sun, outdoor concerts, first funnel cakes, mango smoothies, villages made sand. Summer…is officially here.