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I woke up with a wretched cold today, which, after my healthy-eating and hand-washing regimen, makes me feel sort of like a … failure. Ah, well. We all get sick. I couldn’t let the cold get me down because I had a lot of work to do over the weekend. Writing, yes, and a big (and top secret) project for Glamour, which I hope to be able to tell you more about in the weeks/months ahead. I’ll just say that this, er, top-secret project had me doing lots of cooking. And, as fate would have it, one of the items on my list was to make a divine batch of feel-better chicken soup! I also made a swoon-worthy plum cobbler that I wish you could try right now (you’d need a fainting couch–it’s that good). Because the recipes are under wraps, I’ll just share a few photos of my cooking extravaganza, how about that?



Years from now, I want to remember this moment--morning snack time with Carson, my 2 year old--because it won't be long before he's too old/too big/too busy/too cool to sit down and have a a little quiet time and a snack with his mama (sniffle, sniffle). So, here's proof that we have a standing 10 a.m. date with two little plates of yummies. Me: Crusty bread with sunflower butter and apple slices (which, also happens to be one of my favorite breakfasts). Him: Bread and edamame hummus (his all-time favorite).



We made these tasty (and quasi-healthy!) cookies today. Loved them! I'm too tired (big yawn!) to post the recipe, but you can find it on my Glamour.com blog, here. Only one thing: I added cinnamon, used wheat germ instead of flax (didn't have any) and grated the apples. Oh, I added chocolate chips, too. OK, so yes, I basically changed everything. P.S. They were really good.



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I must confess, the entire time I was making this lovely little stuffed spinach pizza pie, I was singing that song by Dean Martin to myself–you know, the one where he’s crooning “when the moon meets your eye,”–or is it “the sky?”–“like a big pizza pie, that’s amore…” I always butcher song lyrics.

Anyway, fun in the kitchen tonight! My mom (aka “Nana”) was here today, and after I finished writing, I got to do some cooking (my favorite). Ever since I found a friend’s famous stuffed spinach pie recipe in a box, I’ve been dying to make it. It’s so fun because you make it in a cast iron skillet! The recipe, and photos …



This afternoon, I grated up the last of the zucchinis from my in-laws' Pendleton vegetable garden and made this tasty treat. The house smelled so lovely and delicious while it was baking and the best part was watching my husband and 2 year old, Carson, devour it. There's still a slice or two left, and I've hidden it away for a midnight snack.



My friend Kathy sent me this photo of the amazing carrots her kids, Akemi (8) and Kai (6) grew in their garden this summer. Akemi's been gardening for several years now--since she was just 5 years old. In 2006, I wrote about her adorable story for The Seattle PI: She started a garden in hopes of selling her produce to raise money for the local hunger relief agency Northwest Harvest. Several years later, she's still gardening. Her mom tells me that she's raised $317 this summer to donate. I expect big things from this kiddo in the years to come (first female--Japanese American--president?! Maybe!). For now, I'm admiring her giving, curious spirit and her amazing carrots. P.S. Garden lovers, here's the seed blend that produced these amazing veggies.



I normally share healthy cooking ideas--especially on my Glamour.com blog, Vitamin G, but sometimes life calls for things like sugar cookies, you know? I recently tested out some pretty sugar cookie variations for a article which you can look for in a future issue of Glamour magazine. My favorite sugar cookie? These cute pansy cookies that are so elegant (and easy!)! All you do is press a freshly picked pansy flower on the dough before baking--dust with sugar if you want, but I like them plain. P.S. I'm getting a new camera. I can't stand the way mine is working these days. Any suggestions for a great "prosumer" SLR that happens to do really well with portraits and food photos?



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We invited some of next-door and across-the-street neighbors over for a little casual fall soiree last weekend and had a ton of fun out on our deck with our newly installed mega outdoor heater (you know, the ones that restaurants have on the patios–love this thing!). In summary of the party: Jazz. Kids laughing and mingling. Babies playing. Wine. Appetizer munching. Crisp, but not cold (thanks to the heater), fall breeze blowing. Pumpkin gazing. Tons of fun. More photos…