Lucky Pot of Gold St. Patrick’s Day Cookies

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If you’re looking for an easy way to whip up a special dessert for St. Patrick’s Day next week – making these Lucky Pot of Gold cookies is how! My Z asks to bake cookies for every holiday no matter what we’re celebrating, like I’m going to have to buy a tree-shaped cookie cutter for Arbor Day. Sometimes we make Rice Krispie treats instead (examples for Valentine’s Day and Easter) but this time I decided to jazz up a classic and add some M&Ms to our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. But the trick here is to make your cookies into┬áLucky Pot of Gold cookies by decorating most of the cookies in green M&Ms and just a couple with yellow M&Ms. Whoever picks the one with the yellow M&Ms gets the luck! Cute, right? Easy, yes!

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I made the recipe as written (using chocolate chunks instead of chips, though) and then added the M&Ms to the top of the scooped cookie dough before baking to make the colors obvious. You could mix the M&Ms into the batter if you want a more discrete look for finding the Lucky Pot of Gold (yellow M&M) cookie, just take out enough batter for 2 or 3 cookies before mixing in the green M&Ms and use that to mix with the yellow M&Ms.

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Good luck picking your cookie and enjoy!

PS. A great DIY t-shirt idea and free printable to make your own iron-on St. Patrick’s Day shirt!

09/52

9-52-MWe both love Tuesdays when Z is at school and we go to baby bootcamp just the 2 of us.

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Despite being sick Tuesday night, she had such a great week, this smile says it all.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

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At a little seafood restaurant in Newport, RI called Scales & Shells they serve the very best ever shrimp fra diavolo – technically it’s seafood fra diavolo (with lobster tail) for 2 and it is just phenomenal. You get tons of fish but it’s the sauce that you remember, it’s the best with just a touch of spice and they serve it over linguini. It’s the type of dish that you find yourself thinking about weeks later remembering just how good it was. In fact, a man I used to work with told me he and his wife used to get in the mood for Scales & Shell’s fra diavolo and make the round-trip hour-plus drive for dinner to satisfy their very specific craving, it’s that good.

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Fra diavolo is a tricky recipe to make at home to get the right flavors – spice, tomato, fishy flavor (in a good way) and is usually best to order out. However, I recently bought an issue of America’s Test Kitchen with the top recipes of 2015 and they shared the shrimp fra diavolo recipe from Cooks Illustrated. It was the first (of many) recipes we’ve tried and it’s a good one. The recipe is slightly complicated and laborious (cooking the shrimp shells in the tomatoes to add a deeper flavor, for example) but it so worth it. We served our shrimp fra diavolo with crusty bread as the recipe recommended and it was certainly a meal to remember. Let me know if you try it!

What TV Shows Are You Watching?

With the release of season 3 of House of Cards last Friday and given how often the subject of “what are you watching” comes up, I decided it was high time to do a post on TV. Since having children, my husband and I don’t go out nearly as much as we used to (and when we do go out to dinner with the kids we’re home promptly by 7pm) which means Friday and Saturday evenings are made after the kids are in bed with a little wine and a little TV-binge-watching. We’re lucky that there are SO many options now – more than the hour-drama and 1/2-hour comedy that used to be TV’s standard. I am always recommended all these shows I’ve never even heard of to add to our list and it’s always fun to find a friend who is watching or has watched your current TV-obsession so you can compare notes, theories, and disbelief’s in recent plot twists.We absolutely watch(ed) all the big ones (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, Downton Abbey, Girls, we even just binge-watched and are now caught up on the Walking Dead) but there are a few off-beat series we’ve watched recently that I thought I’d share in case you’re looking for your next TV show to watch.

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The Fall starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan (of 50 Shades of Grey fame). The show is set in Belfast and tells the tale of a serial killer and the detective charged with capturing him. It was definitely binge-watch worthy as you’re simultaneously watching the serial killer move through his family life and latest obsessions while the detectives investigate and chase him. A must watch and after this you won’t believe that the same actor plays Christian Grey, he is very good in this.

Transparent with Jeffrey Tambor as a closeted transgender father who finally comes out to his adult children. The sometimes funny show is based in LA and centers around the (mostly dysfunctional) lives of Tambor and his adult children. It’s a great modern twist on family.

We just finished watching the 8-episode mini-series The Honourable Woman with Maggie Gyllenhaal and it was fantastic – most episodes were so intense with action I felt like I was watching a movie. The plot is slightly complicated for me to summarize here but basically the series is about an English family arms business with the goal to create better relationships between Israelis and Palestinians. The company is lead by Gyllenhaal who took over for her brother after he inherited the company when their father was murdered. As the series progresses more and more secrets arise and the plot thickens (as they say…) with wild twists and turns. This is a good one.

There is no excuse not to watch The Americans with Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, on every Wednesday at 10pm on FX, which most people get through their cable subscription. The plotline is basic – 2 Russian spies living a seemingly normal suburban American life with 2 children, all the while spying on the American government and reporting back to their motherland. It’s fast-paced, action-packed, and pretty risque at times. And if I can’t convince you, this article will.

What have you been watching lately?

A Winter Weekend

We are quite lucky to be able to head up north to the White Mountains in the winter, which we did this past weekend! It was a good one (minus the over-excited, under-slept toddler, ugh) so I thought I’d share some of my favorite moments.

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We skied Saturday in the most perfect conditions we’ve had all season – warm (30 degrees!), tons of snow, and the kiddos in the nursery for most of the day. My sister and brother-in-law had the genius idea to go to a sit-down lunch in the middle of the day too, which is always a treat when your sans-kids. Can you see my husband on the trail impatiently waiting for me while I took this photo? Ha!

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The next day we decided to take Z skating again in the most scenic little free ice skating rink in North Conway, I always love views of the iconic train station. She lasted about 10 minutes this time!

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We capped off our little weekend with one of our favorite brunches in the area at the White Mountain Hotel and Resort at Hale’s Location – kids under 5 eat free! The views are amazing overlooking the valley and Cranmore Mountain.

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Even M enjoyed the brunch and tried (and loved – despite the face) cantaloupe for the first time.

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Any brunch with a live pianist is ok in my book…

How was your weekend?