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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
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Disclosure: I was given a free copy of Texas on the Table to review from University Press, but I wasn't paid for this post or obligated to share it with you. My opinions are all my own. I read a lot of cookbooks. It's one of my favorite things to do, and recently a few publishers started sending me copies of books to check out - which for a book-nerd like myself is really pretty thrilling. I've probably received about a dozen books this year, but only a few really stood out. Texas on the Table is one of those few. It's a massive book, and packed with gorgeous photos. The book shares stories from Texas chefs and food producers, adding a rich background to each of the amazing recipes within. Most of the recipes aren't everyday fare, but they tend to focus on fresh whole ingredients, which is nice. These are the kinds of meals you might make for a holiday - or when you feel like spending a few hours in the kitchen fixing up something really special. Being short on time lately my choices for recipe testing from this book were a bit limited. There were so... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Mary Makes Dinner
Generally speaking, I'm not one for self-doubt in the face of adversity. For the most part I've always just done my own thing regardless of what my friends or the rest of the world thought. At times it was lonely to be such a weirdo, but I was born a... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Mary Makes Babies
I thought for sure my chunk would be the same way! He is enjoying food a little more now that we are trying the whole baby led weaning thing, but he's still not very enthusiastic. I think he'd rather play than be stuck in his high chair, so we just keep his "meals" short for now. Before I know it I'm sure he'll be packing away the food.
Toggle Commented Dec 12, 2014 on CC vs. Solid Food - Round One at Mary Makes Babies
Hi Jennifer. He mostly sleeps in his crib - which is still in our bedroom. On desperate occasions he lands in bed with me (often for his last sleep of the night when he wakes at 4am or later.) we have also tried letting him nap on our bed since he seems more content there. Trouble is no matter where he naps it never lasts long. That is unless I let him nap in my arms! Sigh.
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Scott and I marathoned episodes of Parks and Rec during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. During the episode where Chris tried to pick up parenting advice from Ron Swanson I remember thinking "what's a ferber?". Having mostly avoided reading about parenting methods up to that point (well, up... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
Thanks for telling me I'm cool. Take THAT, haters. Ha ha. Anyway, yeah I figure he's got to learn to like at least some of this stuff sooner or later. I've found that even as an adult I have to try certain things over and over before I discover a preparation that I like. Brussels Sprouts, for example, never did it for me until I had them blackened with teriyaki and jalapeno. Go figure.
Toggle Commented Dec 11, 2014 on CC vs. Solid Food - Round One at Mary Makes Babies
Good way to look at it! I try to remember that I'm fortunate to be able to decide when I want to stop nursing as so many mamas have their bodies decide for them. I've always wanted to get to 18 months, but now that I'm living it I'm not so sure.
Toggle Commented Dec 11, 2014 on My Bittersweet Milky Shackles at Mary Makes Babies
Lately I've been feeling a little trapped. For the most part I love nursing CC. The warmth, the closeness, the sheer snuggliness of it all melts my heart. Breastfeeding feels like this wonderful nurturing thing and I kind of adore it. Other times it feels like my life force is... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
I know I say this a lot, but I can't believe he's six months old. I feel like the last three months just disappeared completely. Last time I checked he was all tiny and fragile and wrinkly. Now he's a bruiser! I love the way this little guy explores his... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
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The past month has been incredibly busy. I spent five full days with my book's amazing photographer, Kimberly Davis, shooting photos of recipes, processes, and ingredients. It's really incredible how much work goes into a single professional shot. After working with Kimberly I felt really good about my decision to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at Mary Makes Pretty
It's a rotten, stinking shame that most commercially produced bath and body products contain toxic chemicals. I wish that I could click my heels together three times and wake up in a world where a girl could shop without worrying about carcinogens and neurotoxins. Alas, that world is just a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2014 at Mary Makes Pretty
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I've been missing my blog lately. So often I get a thought in my head and instead of letting it worm itself out through a quick post it lingers - trapped in my brain like a cat stuck inside a bedroom. I go about my daily work, taking care of the baby, working on edits for the book, testing recipes, writing for The Natural Beauty Workshop, and all the while I can feel it - a pair of furry little paws thumping away at the door. Let me out. Let me out! LET ME OUT! So I decided to take a little break from my break and write a blog post (or three). Today's subject? Gratitude. Turkey Day is coming and it's one of my all time favorite holidays. It's going to be a little hectic this year with thirteen guests and one time-challenged host, but I'm sure it will all work out. I've asked my family to go heavy on the contributions so that Scott Bobleo and I can keep our end of the deal as simple as possible. We're making a turkey with all the trimmings but leaving sides, desserts, drinks, and hours d'ourves in the hands of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2014 at Mary Makes Dinner
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Disclosure: I was invited to the R3 Prevention Summit as a brand ambassador. I'm not being paid for this post, but I recieved free admission to the summit and to related VIP events. My opinions are my own. There are a lot of different opinions out there on how your... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
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"Then let amorous kisses dwell On our lips, begin and tell A Thousand, and a Hundred, score An Hundred, and a Thousand more..." - Out of Cattalus, Richard Shaw I kiss him constantly. (I just can't resist nuzzling his soft little cheeks.) This morning when I scooped him up in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
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Well, folks. It's time to throw in the towel - at least for a few weeks - as I work on finishing up the manuscript for my book. (In case you haven't heard, I'm writing a freaking book!) Life is just a touch TOO busy between work, book-writing, and baby, so I'm taking a little break. I'll be back with new recipes and updates on the state of my culinary world just as soon as I'm able to get my head above water. In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram where I share (or maybe overshare) bits of my daily life. I have a pretty serious crush on Instagram, by the way. It's like blogging, only miniaturized. Think of it as my fun-size blog. If you'd like to stay in the know as far as the book is concerned, I would LOVE for you too sign up for my book's mailing list. I'll be sending out newsletters on pre-orders, workshops, and maybe even a book tour. See you later, alligators. Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2014 at Mary Makes Dinner
So it finally happened. I went outside my front door half topless. I didn't realize until I came in and sat down after taking the trash out that I had never rearranged myself after CC's last nursing session. Whoops. At least I don't think anyone saw me. Speaking of motherhood, I heard a pretty inspiring story recently about motherhood (and life beyond) from Troy Ball, the founder of Asheville Distilling Company. Troy has three boys, two of which have special needs. She ended up putting her personal career ambitions on hold to care for her kids for over a decade. Then she stumbled upon Moonshine. Curiosity and that old ambition cropped up and propelled her into the world of craft distilling. I was invited to a media tasting where I got to sample two varieties of Troy and Sons Moonshine as well as their Blonde Whiskey. Everything is made in small batches using heirloom grains. The spirits were tasty, and it was nice to hear from a woman who has found success and independence after a decade of full-time motherhood. I sometimes wish I had put my own career on hold so that I could focus just on CC, but... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2014 at Mary Makes Dinner
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Disclosure: The giveaway below is sponsored by World Vision, a Christian charity. World Vision provided me with a set of spoons to photograph and keep and is supplying the second set to be given away. I'm on a diet right now - a strict diet, and I have a lot of feelings about that. Rather than prattle on and on, I'll sum it all up via haiku. Nutrient dense food A bottomless appetite I would kill for pie Are you feeling me? I know you get it. I'm dreaming of pizza, but instead I'm eating this kale salad here. Yeah I know, another kale salad. I promise to branch out to other greens as soon as this baby stops sleeping on my chest six hours a day. Until then, kale. Lemon Cashew Ceasar Salad with Roasted Squash Makes about four servings Ingredients 1 bunch of organic kale (because I think organic kale tastes better) 1 acorn squash, sliced and seeded 1 tablespoon cooking oil/fat (I used bacon fat because paleo - but any fat or oil will do) 1/2 cup cashews (either raw or roasted will do fine) 1/4 cup almond oil (or another healthy fat - virgin olive would... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2014 at Mary Makes Dinner
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Did you have cutesy names for your bodily functions? I'd forgotten that I had until my Dad asked CC if he made a foof. Foof! It's all coming back to me now. The word "fart" was vulgur, and we got scolded for using it, but "foof" was A-Ok. We also... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
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Disclosure: I was given $50 worth of credit to Instacart in exchange for sharing my experience using the service through this post. My opinions are my own, and I've done my best to lay it all out for better or worse. Grocery shopping has never been a favorite chore for me, but after CC was born it became even more of a hassle. Anyone who has ever had to take a small child out into the world knows that it can be a ridiculously involved process. First you have to time the whole thing just right so that baby is well-fed and at just the right point between naps. Then you have to get a fresh diaper on him, get him into the car seat, on the road and into the store before that window closes. If the timing is off, you end up being that parent that everyone just loves - the one with a wailing infant in the checkout line While there's no shame in being that parent (we've all been there) it's no picnic either. Wouldn't it be great if you could just avoid going to the store completely? Thanks to grocery delivery services, like Instacart, you... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2014 at Mary Makes Dinner
As mamas, we need certain things - like breaks, support, encouragement, and sometimes even forgiveness. It seems to me that us women have a tendency to expect these things to come from other people in our lives. Often rightfully so. In a perfect world our partners, for example, would be... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
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Disclosure: I've been invited to attend the R3 Prevention Summit and related VIP events for free as a brand ambassador. I was not otherwise paid to write this post. My opinions are, as always, my own. I recently met Jessica Chia, the beauty editor for Prevention Magazine at the R3... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at Mary Makes Pretty
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I'm hard at work on my very first print book! Between babies, work, and blogging, I've been just about as busy as one little bee could, well, be! Not that I'm complaining. The inert workaholic within me is getting some kind of sick pleasure out of all this activity -... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2014 at Mary Makes Pretty
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Lately dinner at home has been a simple affair. Between taking care of CB, keeping up with my blogs, holding down a full-time job, and writing a book, I don't have a whole lot of time leftover to cook. Scott Bobleo has stepped up to the plate, staking his claim in our kitchen by making dinner several nights a week. Sharing my kitchen with my husband is a whole other adventure that I have plenty of feelings about, but I'll get into that another time. Most nights dinner consists of a protein, prepared simply in a pan or oven accompanied by a veggie, and maybe brown rice or sweet potato. Every now and then, I still get the opportunity to take my time in the kitchen and whip up something really special. The last time my parents came to visit I took advantage of their enthusiasm for holding CB, and made up a massive plate of stir-fried noodles with grilled chicken, pickled veggies, and fresh herbs. By the way, the rice noodles in this recipe are gluten-free, so if you also use tamari in the sauce you have an entirely gluten-free dish. Sweet! You can also feel free to swap... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2014 at Mary Makes Dinner
Tell Ryan hes welcome. Hehe.
Tell Ryan he's welcome. Hehe.