Everyone says it’s a terrible idea to grocery shop while hungry, but nobody talks about what a bad idea it is to stop at the chain drug store on the corner at the end of a long week with two tired kids in tow.  I guess people are more worried about being tempted by a bag of chips than ending up with — oh, I don’t know — a new bottle of moisturizer, some back-up shave foam for Papa, new toothbrushes for the family, nail polish, and (I almost forgot why we came here!) some children’s toothpaste. Read More


When small children are involved, there is a very fine line between breakfast and dessert.

Chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast?  With syrup AND whipped cream? Yes! That is obviously ok!

Chocolate cake for breakfast? Of course not — are you nuts?!

We allow hot chocolate barely visible beneath a pile of whipped cream;  things covered in powdered sugar; and “oatmeal” is a bowl containing equal parts brown sugar, oatmeal, and butter.

Nontheless . . . a few days ago, in the middle of the morning rush, when I was slicing some blondies I made for a PTA bake sale (yes, everything in that phrase is true! I really did that!), and Kishmish asked to have one with her oatmeal, I was like, “Are you kidding me?! You can’t have these for breakfast!”  She must be so confused.

So in the interest of blurring the lines between reasonable breakfast and indulgent dessert, here’s a Saturday morning breakfast we’ve been having the past few weekends.  It cooks up pretty quickly, and the girls can pick at it all morning; Ankur and I get to have what’s left for a later-morning breakfast.  I imagine this would make a great weekday morning breakfast, too — particularly since you can put it together ahead of time and pop in the oven in the morning — but I’ve never actually tried that.

We have had this crisp with milk/soy milk, with whipped cream (fast becoming a breakfast staple, much to my shame), and plain. I try to keep the sugar/maple syrup to a minimum and to incorporate some flax meal. . . this is, after all, breakfast.

What are the compromises you have made in the name of getting your family to eat breakfast?

Breakfast Apple Crisp

This makes enough for about 4 people to share at breakfast.

For the fruit:

  • 3-4 medium-large apples
  • juice of 1 lime (or lemon) (or lime/lemon juice from a bottle)
  • 1/2 cup each of walnuts and raisins (both are optional)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (less, if you are using super-sweet apples or raisins)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder (you can also add a litle nutmeg)

For the topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (optional)
  • 4 Tbsp butter or margarine (more will make it even better!)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or buttermilk

Mix together the apples, juice, nuts/raisins, syrup and cinnamon.  Put it in a small baking dish. (I use this odd-size oval pan from Ikea.)

Mix together the oats, flour, and flax meal. Cut in some butter — I use my hands. The topping is a little dry, so add a little maple syrup or buttermilk, just enough to bring it together a bit. Don’t make it into a drippy dough.


Add the topping and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, until the fruit is soft and bubbling, and the topping is slightly brown.

Kishmish and Pista are going to turn 6 in December.  Over the past years, I have learned enough to provide advice on dealing with all the pains and fevers and bleeding and sleepless nights that come with various benign childhood illness. Having a child who is suddenly ill with a fever or a cough or an allergic reaction to bedbug bites is just terrible and makes a parent question his/her existence, but let me tell you — the experience of having a child not acutely ill with an as-yet-undiagnosed but extremely irritating abdominal pain?  That takes it to a different level.

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