Saturday, February 15, 2014

Can we start again?

If you are reading this, then you must be my mom or sister. Hi Mom, Dayna, and Laura.

I've taken a considerable break from blogging. I'm concerned with putting myself out there while protecting the privacy of my children. I don't want future prom dates or college admissions offices to find my blog, where they will read tales about how long it took someone to graduate from diapers to underpants.

But I do want to chronicle these days for my kids and Jeremy and for myself. I do want to write things about being a mom who works in the nonprofit sector. Who lives on Chicago's North Shore. Who has an interfaith marriage. Who comes from and married into very loud, very loving families. Who easily harps on the bad stuff, even when the good stuff is overflowing. Who likes to cook. And entertain. Who sees recipes as both honoring the past and welcoming the future.

Yesterday was one of my favorite days - Valentine's Day. Simple interactions at school - a hello, a knowing smile over our kindergartners' heads shared with a fellow parent - mean so much to me. Quiet time at home by the fireplace next to Jeremy, reading a book instead of doing laundry, work email or the dishes. Treats in the mail sent thoughtfully by a friend and the kids' grandparents. Decorating sugar cookies with Jack, and a Valentine's Day playdate with Jossie and her new little girlfriends. This is the stuff that I cherish.

I've posted this recipe before, but among my friends, it's been officially branded as Mrs. Caruso's sugar cookies.

Mrs. Caruso's sugar cookies
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Mix together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar in a bowl and set aside. Mix powdered sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and almond extract in a stand mixer. Mix in flour mixture; do not overmix. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out cookie dough and cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 7-8 minutes until edges are slightly brown.

Makes 5 dozen 2-inch cookies.

Creamy decorator's icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons of half and half
2 or 3 drops of food coloring (optional)

Mix all ingredients together until smooth and of spreading consistency. Tint with food coloring if desired.

So we'll see where this goes. Maybe there will be more stock art and less photos of the kids. Thanks for sticking with me.


  1. Hey! I'm here too! It sounds like a wonderful new beginning. I'm with you. Looking forward to the next adventures! Love, abby

  2. I'm here as well! I've been regularly clicking over here, to see if you'd posted anything new. And yay, Valentine cookies. I've always loved your mom's sugar cookies, even though they have almond extract in them which I normally hate. I think it's because I associate them with good times.

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