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St. Patty’s Day Round-up

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Parenthood has a way of constantly making you feel brand new. I mean, I’ve got three kids. We’ve been doing this whole parenting thing for almost five years now and in some ways, we feel like old hands at it. We know our kids and have a good enough understanding of child development to know what to anticipate as our children work through the daily challenges and joys of childhood. Our hearts pound with pride as they take those first steps, say that first sweet word, and cut that first little tooth. And we hold our breaths with anxiety when one of our little ones is not well. But, for the most part, we know what to expect and we know how to react.

And then something completely unexpected happens. Rationally, I know that parenthood is full of unexpected surprises, but sometimes they just sneak up on you. Like when I glanced over at my almost five-year-old and noticed that one of his bottom teeth was loose. And I panicked. Panicked as if blood were pouring from his ears. It’s just a loose tooth; a normal part of being a kid. But I never saw it coming. Not yet, at least.

So, I did what any mildly irrational parent would do and called the dentist to make an emergency appointment. Somebody do something! My kid has a slightly wiggly tooth! Of course, the trip to the dentist confirmed that it is totally normally for my little guy to have wiggly teeth. His adult teeth are just working their way up. Adult teeth??? But, he’s my baby! Guess it’s almost time for me to put on some tooth fairy wings.

And now we’re just waiting for that first tooth to come out. I stopped by the bank today and picked up a handful of gold dollar coins to leave under his pillow when the time comes. The tooth fairy always left me silver dollars, which I collected like treasure. But since the gold dollar coins are the best I can find, they’ll do the trick. In fact, I suspect the gold coins may be even more intriguing to my little men for their likeness to pirate treasure and a leprechaun’s pot of gold.

Speaking of leprechauns, we’re all very excited for St. Patty’s Day around here. My sister and brother-in-law will be visiting for the weekend and we’ll be spending the day with friends. To celebrate our bursting Irish spirit, I made a batch of my World’s Simplest Fudgey BrowniesThen, I spread a thick layer of dark chocolate frosting on top and decorated with a handful of Lucky Charms marshmallows. They definitely brought some smiles to my rowdy bunch of leprechauns, though I suspect they’ll be disappointed to discover the marshmallow shortage in their snack cereal.

If you’re looking for some other ideas for St. Patty’s Day fare, check out these previously posted Gourmand Mom recipes:

Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage

Grasshopper Pie

Irish Soda Bread

Reuben Quesadillas

Corned Beef and Cabbage Egg Rolls

Classic Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

Guinness-Braised Beef

Low-Carb Cottage Pie

Split Pea Soup with Ham


Father’s Day Breakfast in Bed: Strawberry Stuffed French Toast and Bacon

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Are there ways of knowing whether a man will make a good father? Some sort of definitive predictors? Perhaps a checklist or a DNA test? If there were such a thing, what characteristics would they test for? What factors determine whether a man will become a great father?

My husband and I met in college. We certainly weren’t thinking of kids at the time. We were just kids ourselves. Some of our earliest memories involve pitching hot dogs out of his dorm room window to watch them explode. Our attraction had more to do with each other’s beer pong skills than it did with future parenting abilities. Could I have known at the time that he would someday make at great dad? At what point in our relationship did it start mattering? Could I have been certain, even as we said our wedding vows, that he’d be as excellent a father as he was a husband?

I’m not sure it’s possible to be absolutely positive that someone will make a good dad before they actually are one. Parenthood is such a life-changing experience.  It requires more of you than you’ve ever given; parts of you that you may not have known were there. Fourteen years ago, I couldn’t have known whether my husband would make a good father. But over the years, we got to know and love each other. We grew and matured together. And, in the way that he treated me, I came to know a good man; a selfless, considerate, gentle, and kind man.

So, I suspected. In fact, I would have bet money on it. But, it wasn’t until I saw the look on his face, in the moment our first son was born, that I knew for sure. He was a father and a dad all at once, in that instant. And, as I recovered from the birth and a debilitating spinal headache, he cared for our newborn baby with apparent ease. When I was nervous and uncertain, he was a natural; calm and confident. And, since those very first moments in the hospital, he has been a loving, selfless, and devoted father to our boys. The good man, who has loved me for all of these years, turned out to be the most wonderful father.

Did I luck out or were there clues in those early days? Probably a little bit of both. Come to think of it, it probably won’t be too long before he’s hanging out the window with our kids, throwing hot dogs onto the pavement, as they all laugh along. I’ll probably join in.

So, this morning we celebrated my husband, the wonderful father, with breakfast in bed. If I were cooking for my own amazing father this morning, there’d be corned beef hash, an egg over-easy, and well-done rye toast on the menu; a man after my own heart or more likely, I after his! (Love you, Daddy!!) But, my husband’s more of a strawberry-stuffed french toast kind of guy with applewood-smoked bacon on the side.

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast


  • 8 slices Challah Bread
  • 1 package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 8-10 Strawberries, sliced
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Cream
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Butter, for pan
  • Powdered Sugar, for garnish
  • Maple Syrup


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a baking sheet in the oven. In a bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto each slice of bread. Place sliced strawberries on four of the slices.  Use the other four slices of bread to create cream cheese-strawberry sandwiches. In a small baking dish, beat together eggs, cream, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon.  In a pan, heat a little butter. One at a time, dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, so that it lightly coats both pieces of bread. Cook in the pan, flipping once until both sides are lightly browned.  Then, place it on the baking sheet in the oven.  Repeat until each sandwich has been cooked.  Allow the sandwiches to cook for 5-10 minutes in the oven to ensure that they are fully cooked.  The cream cheese will be melty and the strawberries slightly softened. Cut each sandwich into two pieces and sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.

Serves 4

Happy Father’s Day to my husband, my Daddy, and all of the wonderful fathers out there!

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