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Blog Archives

The kind of place I want my home to be

The kids are alright

Happy birthday to one of the best people I know

On meat slicers and super cute kids

Bless me friends, for I have sinned

Empty nest, full heart

Happy birthday to a banged up Molly B

Empty nest, full belly

Our “Mexit” Party

The Biskupic family “Mexit” celebration mirrored Molly’s entrance into this old world.

Both happened on a steamy summer day, both involved the sweet support of family and friends, and both concluded with Molly’s relieved parents high-fiving and saying, “Well, thank God that went well.”

As they have through every important stage of her life, Molly’s siblings rallied for her high school graduation party. Charlie flew in from New York and spent the morning of the party lugging corn on the cob, configuring makeshift air conditioning units, and setting up tables and chairs.

Katherine and Cousin Lizzy drove up from Chicago with homemade baked goods and impressive kale salad making chops.

Vinnie and his girlfriend Danni drove in from Minneapolis, ran errands and headed up the take down crew.

Our friend Keith spent the whole day with us, designing the grilled corn station and manning our shared La Caja China, a grill box that deserves its own post some day.

Unsolicited, our next-door neighbors brought over really comfortable tables and chairs.

From George Arthur, our 11-week old neighbor, to Nai Chang, our 94-year old friend who still plays golf twice a week, the party turned out to be a celebration of gratitude for all the cool people we’ve all been lucky enough to know.

There was beloved family, who set aside busy lives and drove north for the celebration.

And neighbors.

And the elegant Wilmots, who first met Molly when she was a pre-school tag-a-long to Franklin Grade School.

And our theatre parent friends, some of the best people we know.

And my college roommate and her family.

And Connie the Cookie Lady.

And our octogenarian, ballroom dancing friend Janet.

And my grade school friend Carol, who lives down the street.

And Molly’s friends.

And their parents.

If I had a vote, of course I’d have voted against a Mexit…and a Vexit…and a Kexit…and a Chexit.

But, life moves on and, when it does, aren’t we all thrilled to sit back on a summer afternoon and recognize the cool support our fleeing chicks draft behind as they take those first tender steps?

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Connie the Cookie Lady joined us.

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And our 11-week neighbor George Arthur.

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We celebrated Croatia’s independence and Molly’s independence with cookies.

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Molly made a sheet pie.

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Lizzy brought a delicious blackberry butter cake.

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Molly whipped up a giant batch of watermelon lemonade.

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La Caja China deserves its own post.

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Photo credit to Catherine McKenzie for this next series of us jumping off the porch…

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Vinnie got air…

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But it also took him a little longer to land.

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Croatia!

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Representatives of the Biskupic family!

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Connie the Cookie Lady exits into the sunset.

Warm soufflés and the fine art of French flirting

I picked up some excellent tips on cooking and the fine art of French flirting during our recent trip to Paris.

The tres beaux Chef Erich taught me the former; my own two daughters taught me the latter.

It happened like this:

Katherine, who can whip up a perfect triple chocolate marshmallow cookie faster than you can say “oui!” took one look at our handsome instructor and forgot how to crack an egg.

“Kat-reen,” Chef Eric said. “You must hit the egg firmly on the table.”

“Like this?” Katherine, who had been successfully cracking eggs since the Bush administration (the George H.W. Bush administration), giggled a little.

I rolled my eyes and turned to Molly, my partner in sarcasm.

But, she was otherwise engaged.

“I’m trying to think of a whisking pun right now,” said Louie, a tall, precocious California teen-ager.

“Well, I’ve been whisking you had one,” a laughing Molly responded.

Mon Dieu! We’d only been in Paris a few short hours and already I hardly recognized my own kin.

I busied myself taking pictures while the two girls, the sweet teen, a mother/daughter duo from Pittsburgh and a Parisian couple helped Chef Erich whip up a cheese soufflé, a très délicieuse vinaigrette salad, and, best of all, a chocolate soufflé.

“Kat-reen will you help me serve dessert?”

“I’d be delighted, Chef Erich.”

Good. Lord.

I did pick up a few excellent soufflé cooking tips I’m happy to share.

1) Steam makes soufflés rise and crust traps the steam. That’s why you may want to add a layer of grated cheese to the top.

2) To avoid lumps, start whisking in the center of your bowl and work your way out.

3) Butter the ramekin in the direction you want your soufflé to rise.

4) Determine your whisk size based on the amount of air you want to add to your dish. Big speed equals big bubbles. Small speed equals little bubbles.

We all had a great time, ate some delicious food and shared a few laughs. We highly recommend La Cuisine, a cooking school located right on the banks of the Seine in Paris. And tell Chef Erich Kat-reen sent you.

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We were very excited to take our Parisian cooking class.

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Early on, I determined my most important task would be to digitally record the occasion.

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Molly, Louie and Chef Erich school the class in the fine art of whisking.

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“Kat-reen” forgot how to crack an egg.

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Fortunately, Chef Erich was there to guide her.

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Like this? she asked, having cracked a thousand eggs in her lifetime. Mon Dieu!

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Awwww. Look how they worked together!

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Our new friend from Pittsburgh has no idea what’s going on here between Chef Erich and Kat-reen and neither do I but this picture cracks me up.

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You can write your own caption to this picture. I’m very busy laughing.

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Voila!

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Not bad, am I right?

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The Souffle sisters.

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She scored the biggest chocolate souffle.

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I’m just sayin’ I had no trouble cracking, separating and whisking that egg. I may have to work on my flirting game though.