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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
Psst. Have you heard? Crush-ins are so last season. The cool people are totally over them. Ice cream lovers in-the-know have developed a taste for frozen desserts with more unique characteristics. With the cupcake fad long dead, and a doughnut obsession well underway, will gourmet ice cream be the next national craze? One can only hope. Image courtesy of Ice Cream Social So where can sweet-toothed Austinites get in on a scoop of upscale ice cream? There are actually a number of gourmet creameries vying for position as the town's top banana. Gourmet flavors, crazy sundaes, and overloaded waffle cones abound. Here are a few places to check out if you are ready to take a leisurely stroll on the wild side. Dolce Neve, South First and Annie Street 1713 S 1st street | Hours: Mon - Fri 11am - 10pm & Sat - Sun 11am - 12am The pistachio gelato at Dolve Neve is currently my favorite frozen dessert in Austin - and I don't expect to find another anytime soon. Somehow, some way, it tastes even more like a pistachio than a pistachio. If you haven't had it yet you are wasting precious time. Life after this stuff... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Mary Makes Good
CC can't really seem to figure out which side of the banana is the business end. Sometimes he enjoys mashing the fruit into his gummy little mouth, but most times he just like gnawing on the end. This gives you a brief glimpse into the messy life of a baby learning to eat solid food. It's sticky. It's slimy, and it's far-reaching. As if the sheer squalor of it all weren't enough to deal with, I am also racked with anxiety over where that banana has been. Bananas come from the tropics - so does malaria... and posion spiders. MY BABY!!!! (Plus there is the whole pesticide thing.) It didn't take long for me to determine that some kind of produce washing solution was in order. We really should be washing all of our produce more thoroughly anyway (at least according to this) so it was about time I made up a batch. I started out by sticking some orange peels in a jar of vinegar. I'd been seeing other people doing this lately and it looked... wait for it... appealing. Ba ha ha ha ha. But really, there is something really attractive to me about orange peels floating in... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Mary Makes Good
I really have a thing for orange colored foods. Sweet potatoes, carrot juice, nacho cheese... Whether you are talking about health food or junk food the color orange is usually a sure-fire sign that I'll like it. That's one reason why I make soup from root veggies so often. Besides my natural affinity to warm colored vegetables I find these soups to be stupid easy to make and extremely versatile when it comes to flavoring. I've made about a zillion variation on the basic pureed veggie and stock combo. I've added curry spices, cheese and broccoli, and even miso. It seems like every time I turn around I'm making an orange colored soup. This soup is a little extra vibrant thanks to some fresh turmeric. Turmeric not only adds a bright, sunny flavor to this soup, but is also valued for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. Between an ongoing lack of sleep and hours spent everyday hunched over a tiny little person I have my fair share of aches and pains. Add to that discomfort my battle with Austin's dreaded Cedar Fever and you've pretty much sussed out my motivation for making a batch of turmeric soup. I'm inflamed, baby, and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2015 at Mary Makes Good
Recently CC had a major developmental leap, making him much more aware and interactive. This makes him extra fun during the day. He laughs at everything, plays little baby games with us, and even claps his hands (sort of) to show us when he's enjoying himself. It's really wild to watch him discover his world. Just the other day he found his shadow. Talk about magical moments of babyhood. I just about melted as he started waving his little arms and reaching out toward his sillhouette. At night his new powers of observation are a little less fun. Remember how I talked about us having issues with sleep? Well, it won't come as a surprise to any of the fellow parents out there that our saga has continued. I mentioned that our first goal was to break him of the whole falling asleep while eating habit. Well, the good news is that it worked! CC rarely passes out mid-suck anymore. The bad news is that he has replaced nursing to sleep with wigging out to sleep. He now spends the last twenty minutes of wakefulness climbing my head, pulling my hair, and trying to gouge out my eyes. It's like... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2015 at Mary Makes Good
After the many indulgences of the holiday season (and there WERE many) I've been trying to make an effort to get back on the path to losing weight. So, salads. Salads were the key to my staying healthy during pregnancy, so turning to them once more seems wise - not to mention tasty. I find a good salad to be extremely satisfying. It can hit all the right spots: sweet, salty, crunchy, fatty, hearty... Of course, you can't just throw some lettuce in a bowl. A proper entree salad needs something more. Lydia over at The Salad Diaries has got the right idea. If you need a little salad inspiration head over to her blog or follow her on Instagram. I started following her a while back and find her passion for salad to be infectious - just what I need after a season spent letting my bad habits run amok. Anyway, THIS salad is a good one. I used a store-bought poppyseed dressing because homemade vinnaigrettes are not really part of my post-baby life at the moment. It's sad when you can't spare two minutes to whip up a salad dressing but there it is. Shit is getting real... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at Mary Makes Good
Howdy readers. I have some news! You may or may not know it, but I actually have three blogs going under the Mary Makes brand. The first was Mary Makes Dinner, then came Mary Makes Pretty, and finally Mary Makes Babies. That's a lot of blogs! I'm about to pull... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2015 at Mary Makes Pretty
Howdy readers. I have some news! You may or may not know it, but I actually have three blogs going under the Mary Makes brand. The first was Mary Makes Dinner, then came Mary Makes Pretty, and finally Mary Makes Babies. That's a lot of blogs! I'm about to pull... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2015 at Mary Makes Babies
I'm about to make some pretty mega changes to ye olde blog - or should I say blogs. You may or may not know it, but I actually have three blogs going under the Mary Makes brand. The first was Mary Makes Dinner, then came Mary Makes Pretty, and finally Mary Makes Babies. That's a lot of blogs! I'm about to pull a presto-chango move and tie them all together in one brand new blog behemouth called Mary Makes Good. You may have already noticed (if you pay attention to this kind of thing) that I've been changing my social media handles to Mary Makes Good for a while now. Apart from Facebook (which I'm having trouble changing) you'll see everything of mine transition to that name soon - if it hasn't already. If you are having trouble finding me where you usually do, look for @MaryMakesGood. So what does this massive blog merger mean for my posts? Well, it means that instead of being split up into three different blogs they will all live here under one roof in one big bonanza of over-sharing. I'll be going on about everything from blueberries to babies to decopauge from now on,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2015 at Mary Makes Good
This holiday season was kind of a crapshoot for me when it came to DIY. It seems like every recipe or handicraft I tried went wildly wrong on my first attempt, so I found myself having to go back and try things over and over to get them right. I'm not really the most patient person, so when my first batch of coconut macaroons came out of the oven with puddles of condensed milk leaking from the bottoms I was ready to chuck them out the window. But then Scott came over and popped one into his mouth, declaring them fit for eating. Still slightly annoyed and utterly baffled by my macaroon mishap I went ahead with the rest of my recipe - drizzling dark chocolate over the sweet sticky nests of coconut. Then I sprinkled chopped almonds, sea salt, and cayenne powder over them and was pleased to see that despite their gooey beginnings the cookies had actually become quite pretty. Of course I still have to solve the mysterious melting issue before sharing a macaroon recipe with you all. For now, I'm going to point you toward my friend Rachelle's recipe over at Blinded by the Bite instead.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2015 at Mary Makes Good
It's funny that I worry so much when I really believe that there's no "right" way to do things anyway. I guess it's just such a huge responsibility and I love him so much I have a fear of failing him. So many feels!
Hi Rosalie, Thanks for sharing you experience with the girls. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in suffering through their tears. I am hoping we can find another way to get him to sleep, but so far it's not looking good so we'll probably end up having to sleep train him after all. I just don't know if I'll ever be ready. It's good to hear things are better on the other side though. Do they go down now without crying?
Thanks! It's amazing how being a mom can feel so natural one moment and so impossible the next!
He's trying to bite off my nipples! Whoever decided to give babies teeth before giving them self-control really wasn't considering the well being of mama-kind. I'm looking at YOU, deities. You've got some splaining to do. Who is this voracious barracuda and what happened to my sweet little pooky? Six... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at Mary Makes Babies
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 Dec 16, 2014 at Mary Makes Good
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 Dec 16, 2014 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.
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
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
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 Good