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Mary Helen
Austin, TX
I can Haas Avocado?
Interests: Comfort food, healthy cooking, and ethnic cuisines are my obsessions. As a cook, writer, and culinary instructor these worlds collide in my kitchen on a daily basis.
Recent Activity
Hi Shrie, Scott and I were actually talking about this the other day and wondering whether or not it would be an affordable solution for us. Id love to get the contact info for your dog walker. Thanks!
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2014 on My Dog is a Jerk at Mary Makes Babies
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I was a little nervous about the whole thing. What if I dropped him? What if I slipped? What if my nudity somehow traumatized him? These were my fears as I filled up the tub, but as soon as his little feet touched the water they were erased. His face... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
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Last week the folks over at Ulysses Press hooked me up with a copy of Mason Jar Salads and More: 50 Layered Lunches to Grab and Go . At first glance, I thought the concept was a little silly. I mean, do we really need to put EVERYTHING in mason jars? But when I read the introduction it made me stop for a moment and consider Juliana's reasoning. It actually makes perfect sense to pack salads ahead of time in glass jars. First off, salads in jars are visually appealing - which really helps boost morale when you are looking at a whole week of salads for lunch. (We all know that we'd really rather be looking at five giant sandwiches - at least I would.) Packing the ingredients tightly, and in a thoughtful order, helps keep the ingredients fresh and crisp, a challenge for salads made ahead of time. Jar salads also provide a clever solution for the problem of portable dressing. Rather than carrying around an extra container or stashing a bottle of dressing at the office, you can layer the dressing into the jar on the very bottom where it won't soggy up the greens. So, after... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2014 at Mary Makes Dinner
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I've been invited to participate in the Fit Foodie 5k Race Weekend this September here in Austin. Of course, for me it will be a bit more like the Slightly Chubby Foodie 5k Walk. While I did my best to keep fit during my pregnancy with loads of walking and swimming, it's been well over a year since the last time I attempted to jog. But even as a imperfectly fit foodie, this race is pretty appealing. First of all, it's short! I can walk the whole thing, and if the temperature is right, I'll push a stroller to legitimize my slothful pace. There's also a cocktail party the night before and a mini food-fest at the finish line! On top of all that, there will be chef demos, fitness demos, boot camp, and yoga! It's a whole weekend of eating, drinking, and working off the fun. The Fit Foodie Run also benefits a great cause. 10% of tickets sales go to City of Hope, a leading research center for cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. Here's a rundown of the weekend's events: Friday September 12 Light Up The Night VIP Cocktail Party Saturday, Septermber 13 Fit Foodie 5K Love... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2014 at Mary Makes Dinner
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The Diagnosis After almost three months of drama it has finally been established that little Charlie-Boy had not just one tongue tie - but two! That means that the frenulum (that little flap of skin that holds your lip and tongue to your mouth) is too short for him to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
Haha! Why YES I AM a graphic designer.
I have a feeling that dairy would be most people's first choice, especially with all the great resources out there right now for living gluten-free. I often feel like a weird foodie for not getting more excited about cheese. My Dad is a huge cheese lover - the stinkier the better - but I tend to adore the bread more than the butter. But then the two are so symbiotic! What's bread without butter - or pizza without cheese?
Please do! It might just convert you to a kale zealot.
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2014 on Sweet & Savory Kale Salad at Mary Makes Dinner
Their salad was definitely an inspiration. I've seen a few variations of this around town.
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2014 on Sweet & Savory Kale Salad at Mary Makes Dinner
Thanks for the link, Tracy! That looks yummy.
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2014 on Everything's Peaches n' Cream at Mary Makes Dinner
Thanks, Skye! The overripe banana trick works for pretty much any banana-based dessert. Oh, the possibilities!
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2014 on Banana Pudding Ice Cream at Mary Makes Dinner
Someone has got to crack the gluten-free cookie code one of these days! In the meantime, might I suggest eating this in a gluten-free sugar cone? That's probably the next best thing!
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2014 on Banana Pudding Ice Cream at Mary Makes Dinner
Thanks!! I was pretty proud of this one!
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2014 on Banana Pudding Ice Cream at Mary Makes Dinner
Hi Essie. The cookies will soften a bit in the ice cream, but the texture is still a nice treat when you come across a bite of cookie. The Cool Whip will start to melt as soon as it comes out of the freezer so it's important to work quickly while you are layering and packing the ice cream up. I hope that helps! If you make a batch, please let me know how it comes out. I'd love to hear your experience and maybe even see a photo if you take one!
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2014 on Banana Pudding Ice Cream at Mary Makes Dinner
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During the past few weeks of being on a gluten and dairy free diet I've been asked several times which is harder to give up. Considering that I can't eat a proper pizza either way, I have a hard time answering with any enthusiasm. When pressed, I'll admit that I do have a preference. If dairy and gluten were both dangling over a cliff and I could only save one... The thing is I'm not really that big of a cheese eater. Apart from pizza and ice cream, I could definitely live without dairy. It would be really nice to eat a sandwich though, or some spaghetti, or a plate full of dumplings. While I haven't found any substitutions for bread, I have found something to satisfy my ice cream cravings. NadaMoo sent me a couple of free pints on National Ice Cream Day - which just so happened to land at the end of my first week on this diet. By that time I was already pretty broken up over the prospect of an ice creamless Summer, so while it wasn't exactly Jeni's, it did hit the spot. Thanks, NadaMoo! The Chocolate Almond Chip is my jam. I even... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2014 at Mary Makes Dinner
What is it with dudes and sectionals? Scott also wants the most enormous couch possible and even laments our living room for being too small.
Toggle Commented Aug 18, 2014 on Holy Shit. I'm a Grown-Up at Mary Makes Babies
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Free Dog! Ten year old collie-mix, great at waking up babies, snubbing cats, barking at thin air, and being a jerk. Would prefer to live with a single, unemployed person with no other friends, pets, or family. Obsessive types A-OK. Home should be located in the middle of nowhere, far... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
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Charlie discovered splashing tonight! At first I thought he had slapped the water by accident. The surprised look on his face sure made it seem that way. Then when he kicked his legs I thought he must be getting upset. Tub time wasn't always his favorite thing. But no, the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
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Who has the best kale salad in Austin? This is a debate that I never would have expected myself to weigh in on. Kale is one of those vegetables that people love to love - maybe too much. While I can get down with kale now and again, I'm always a little suspicious of those who purport to LOVE kale. Kale is your favorite? Really? I mean, it's OK and everything, but compared to pizza, kale is practically inedible. Besides, it's kind of bitter, and hopelessly chewy. If anything, kale is an underdog in the world of greenery. Roast it or toast it, and I'll chomp it down. Smash it and thrash it, and I'll drink it up - but kale salad? Yeah, never been a big fan. That is, until I tasted The Soup Peddler's Kneel Before Kale Salad. So sweet! So tender! So enjoyable! Maybe I do love kale salad after all? I must, because here I am sharing this recipe with you - a recipe for a salad that I just can't stop eating. Sweet & Savory Kale Salad Makes about four 1-cup servings Ingredients 3 cups raw kale 1/3 cup pepitas (or sunflower seeds) 1/3 cup... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at Mary Makes Dinner
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Well, peaches sans cream, really. I'm on my second week being gluten and dairy free, and while it's really not so bad, I do miss a few things. For example, I could sure go for some peach cobbler topped with a fat scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's peach season, after all. A couple weeks back Scott Bobleo and I took Charlie on his first road trip, venturing out to Fredericksburg, Texas in search of peaches. Peach season in Texas is pretty spectacular. Imagine bushels upon bushels of of extra sweet and tart peaches, bursting with juice, and tasting like you probably imagined peaches should taste as a child. They are really that good, and one of the many reasons I may never move out of this state. I'm a sucker for bargain bins, so when we spotted a 1/4 bushel box of slightly malformed peaches for $16.00 I lost my senses and snatched the thing up. Never mind that I barely have time to shower lately. Now I had to find time to peel and cook 1/4 bushel of quickly ripening peaches. I do love a good challenge. With Scott's help we managed to peel and pit the entire... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2014 at Mary Makes Dinner
Thanks! He is a sneaky lil' devil, but we're getting there!
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2014 on Jinxed at Mary Makes Babies
It's crazy, right?! Good hunting, my friend!
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2014 on Holy Shit. I'm a Grown-Up at Mary Makes Babies
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Charlie met Sophie the other day. I dangled the little rubber giraffe in front of him, and he locked eyes with her funny little face. Charlie let out a squeal of delight before bursting into a huge grin. Then he did something new. He reached out and wrapped his little... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
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Baby Boy got his first round of shots yesterday. It proved to be a harrowing experience for everone involved. One thing about having a baby that doesn't cry all that much - when they do let it rip it can really pull on your heart strings. He went beyond his... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
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I've got some good news for you, and some bad. The good news is that I'm sharing a formula today for the greatest banana flavored ice cream on God's green earth. The bad news is that this recipe involves a process that takes about three days to complete. So while you now have the power to create mind-bendingly good banana ice cream, you'll have to wait three days to eat it. <insert sad trombone sounds. waah waaaaaah.> The key to giving this ice cream the most intense banana flavor possible is freezing and thawing overly ripe bananas. When you freeze a ripe banana it almost ferments, transforming into a caramelized goopy banana slop - chuck full of concentrated banana goodness. I learned this little nugget of genius from Christina Tosi of Momokuku Milk Bar during an episode of PBS's The Mind of a Chef. In the episode titled "Rotten", Tosi uses frozen overripe bananas to make an epic cream pie. Starting a batch of ice cream two days in advance might seem a little extreme, but trust me on this one. If you are thinking of skipping the rotten banana bit, don't even try it. (I'm watching you.) This recipe... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2014 at Mary Makes Dinner