Sunday, November 15, 2009

sweet distraction


So it’s close to 9pm on Sunday night….the night before I go back to work.  It’s nerve wrecking and exciting all at once.  This weekend was spent cooking, cooking, and more cooking….plus lots of Lucas cuddle time in between.  I’m going to miss the lazy mornings in pj’s and the silly games Lucas and I are known to play.  It’s going to be weird handing him over to someone else but it’s an important step, and needs to be done.  He’ll be okay, right?? 

In order to take my mind off of the inevitable tomorrow, I decided to bake.  I really don’t like baking so this was a good distraction.  It got my mind off of everything and gave us a sweet treat for after dinner. 


The recipe is an adaptation of Martha Stewart’s Apple and Blackberry Pie.  Instead of making a full pie, I made individual cobblers.  The topping was crispy and crumbly, while the filling was sweet and tart from the berries.  It was a yummy distraction, especially with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.


I still can’t believe I’m back at work tomorrow. 

I hope I survive.

Monday, November 9, 2009

two peas in a pod

I don't know where the time has gone. It feels like just yesterday I was suffering through morning sickness and now here I am getting ready to put my little boy in daycare. It's a bitter sweet feeling. It's sad because I am going to miss spending all day with him, but I'm also a proud mama because I know that this will be a whole new chapter...he is going to love daycare - and I know they are going to love him there.

So, with this new chapter comes a whole new dynamic in our lives. Suddenly, I'm a working mom. I need to balance work with my responsibilities at home. How does everyone do it? I'm going back to work in about a week and I'm already stressing about what time I'll need to get the little guy up and running, how will I manage to make dinner every night, how will I juggle time with my son, how will we make the most of our short weekends, and the list goes on and on. BUT the good news is that I am up for the challenge!

One of the things on my to do list is to get organized about dinners. The last thing I want is to come home after a long day of work and slave in the kitchen, especially knowing that I will only have a small window of time to spend with Lucas. My strategy is to make simple yet healthy meals.  BUT in the meantime, I plan on cooking up a storm this week...sort of a way to relieve all my cooking desires.

Up first, a delicious Parmesan, Parsley, and Pea Risotto...


  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 bunch chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat chicken stock in a saucepan.
  2. In another medium saucepan, sauté the onions with the olive oil over medium high heat until softened.
  3. Add garlic and Arborio rice and stir until the grains are well coated with oil and slightly toasted, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add wine.
  5. Stir until the wine has been absorbed by the rice.
  6. Begin adding the heated stock, one ladle-full at a time, allowing it to be absorbed by the rice, before adding more.
  7. Continue adding stock, stirring frequently until the risotto is tender and creamy.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and add peas, parsley and cheese. Stir well.

This was really good and just a small amount was sufficient. I highly suggest this recipe because although risotto seems challenging, it is quite simple to make with everyday ingredients. Simple, yet elegant.

Welcome back….we hope you’ll join us on this new journey.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

7 months and counting...

Yes, we've been MIA. But for good reason. Lucas has been our center of attention since his birth. Although our culinary adventures have taken a back seat to making sure Lucas grows big, strong and healthy, Dina has been dedicated from month 6 to introducing fresh and healthy solids to get Lucas on the Miche Mâche bandwagon.

From black beans and avocado to matzah ball soup and hummus...Lucas has been devouring everything we put before him, which is leading us to believe he has inherited the foodie chromosome from his parents. We couldn't be prouder.

Although it will take some time for our little miracle child born 5 weeks early to catch up to his peers in size, he makes up for it in personality, attitude and determination. Lucas is almost crawling and progressing overall as well as any baby his age and our hearts swell to see what a happy boy he truly is.

So here's to happy times and keeping an eye on every single moment because they certainly move too quickly.

Monday, March 16, 2009

oh baby!

Lucas Miles Mandel. Born 2/11/2009 @ 4 lbs 12 oz.

Mom, dad and baby are all doing well. :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

pizza on the mind

Okay, so by now everyone has heard the news. The first 3 months were very hard...much harder then I anticipated. There was a lot of nausea, a lot of gaging, and tons of tiredness. Ironically, food has become an after thought for me. Suddenly, the thought of having a juicy steak or a grilled filet of salmon sounds very unappealing. One of the benefits of pregnancy though is my new love of pizza. Yes, I was one that never really enjoyed pizza that much...but now, it's all I want to eat.
So, with the cold weather approaching, we decided to have one last bbq...and what better to grill then pizza!

We got the grill smoking hot, and then placed the rolled dough on the hot grates.

After a generous lather of fresh tomato sauce, we topped our pizza with some of our favorite toppings. Since the pizza cooks at a fast rate, we precooked most of our toppings -- onions, mushrooms, shrimps, peppers, etc. Some toppings we left on raw, such as fresh tomatoes, basil, and olives.

Once the toppings heated through, we topped the pizza with either parmesan or fontina cheese.

This pizza was delicious. Smokey from the grill, crispy, thin, and salty from the was just wonderful. I highly recommend making pizza on the grill, but I must warn you that you can't use a heavy hand for the toppings since it is such a light pizza. Less is more!
The dough was a perfect combo of chewy and crisp. It was more like a thin crust pizza since that is what we prefer.

Pizza Dough Recipe

4 1/2 cups Flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups water, ice cold
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting

Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. By hand stir in the oil and the cold water until the flour is all absorbed. Add the herbs. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. Add a touch of water or flour to reach the desired effect. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky.

Transfer the dough to a floured countertop. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and mold each into a ball. Rub each ball with olive oil and slip into plastic sandwich bags. Refrigerator overnight.

When you are ready to make pizza (anytime in the next few days), remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before making the pizza. Keep them covered so they don't dry out.

Uncover or unwrap the dough balls and dust them with flour. Working one at a time, gently press a dough round into a disk wide enough that you can bring it up onto your knuckles to thin out - you should be able to pull each round out to 12-inches or so. If the dough is being fussy and keeps springing back, let it rest for another 15-20 minutes.

Bake until the crust is crisp and nicely colored.

Makes six 6-ounce pizza crusts.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

baby fever!

As you've surely noticed, we've been no-shows on Miche Mâche for a while now. Seems that Dina's tiredness and lack of vigor has been due to a new (little) development. That's right! We're expecting a new addition to the family. ☺

No news yet on the gender...but we're definitely going to find out as we're big on planning.

So, life gets hectic and updating the blog unfortunately takes a back seat for a little while. We hope to come back with renewed passion as things settle down. Thanks to all of you for your continued readership and loyalty and hoping things have been as joyous for you as it has been for us.

Cheers (with a glass of milk)!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

a farmer's market snack

That, my friends, was a perfect little shared lunch that we had at the farmer's market. It was a smoked Italian sausage in a crusty, chewy bun. The topping was a marinated eggplant pickle. It was delicious!

There is nothing better then walking around the market, snacking on tasty little things, and picking up produce for dinner that night. If you haven't been to your local market yet this summer, please go support your local farmers and enjoy a tasty snack or two.

On an unrelated note, I wanted to take this opportunity to post a follow up to last week's mango topic. I found this post that captured the mango's (and mango merchants) of India and I wanted to share it with all of you. His photo's are beautiful and I hope you'll take a moment to check them out.