Recipe: Foil Fish

Now that we’re getting close to summer-time this one is bound to be a hit with you and your BBQ.  It was submitted by Mama N from Austin TX!!!    “The kids love “undoing” the package ;).”

Foil Fish


  • Fish filets (“I get the individually vacu-packed tilapia from Costco”)
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • lemon slices
  • spices (basil, etc.)


Take the fish  and put the filet in a piece of tinfoil with a some butter and olive oil and lemon slices on top with basil (or really whatever you feel like putting on top) and then just grilling it in its little “packet” for about 7 min.

Prep time:  5 min

Cook time:  7 min (starting with frozen filets)

March 16: Fish

Friday! Home with ALL kids (Big Bro’s school was closed today) AND my mom! It was a great day.


  • All kids were excited for a “home day” — all of them together. We kept the same wake up routine and got everyone dressed and ready to go. I decided to take everyone to a science museum and acquarium today. It was awesome. We went through a rainforest, looked at macaws, frolicked with butterflies, looked at trees, went up a circular ramp, and stuck together/watched out for each other. We also went to check out a HUGE acquarium, were dazzled by the jellyfish, and had snacks by the huge tank looking at all of the fish. We had fun interacting with a penguin and also running around and chasing each other. The kids were so great, everyone basically stuck together and looked out for each other. Twin Husky was wandering a couple of times but did not seem scared or upset – Big Bro and Red were both excellent big siblings. Big Bro also had fun being in charge of the umbrella since it was still raining non-stop today.
  • We went to lunch afterwards and the kids ate well. All were well behaved and enjoying themselves.
  • At home the younger ones took a LONG nap while Big Bro sat with me and lounged in front of TV, talking about moose, polar bears, etc. He got a bit cranky with me and I asked him to go away for some quiet time. He lashed out at me by throwing toys around. He lost his bike privilege for Monday and I helped him put the toys back in their bins.
  • We had a feast for dinner. Salmon, to keep with the “fish” theme. Twin Husky was shoving food in his face, Twin Crazy was eating well with a spoon, Red kept getting more helpings… only Big Bro was “off” tonight….
  • Afterwards the kids had fun playing lillipads with pillows, and running around with each other.
  • On our way upstairs, I heard Red screaming. I get into their room and she is naked and Big Bro is puking rice onto the floor. Now I get why he didn’t want to eat and was a bit cranky this afternoon. I made sure he was OK, then addressed Red. Poor naked Red. I washed her down and she calmed down. I cleaned up the mess in the room. I’m actually amazed at how quickly everything went back to normal. Big Bro was not even that upset about anything and just took it easy. I still read to them and talked with them and Red just said that Big Bro was sick. She was not upset or anything. I was pleasantly surprised.
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    Tomorrow is Saturday and I would normally be pumped about it, with my Mom here and everything, but the ex is here too, which makes things very weird. Hopefully he will find a way to entertain himself solo tomorrow so me and Mom can enjoy our last full day together with the kids.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    Recipe: F-ing good Baked Fish

    We had an amazing dinner tonight. All kids except for one (Twin Husky was too busy throwing a toy snake in the air) had such a good dinner that their bellies were sticking out all over the place. I don’t know if it was REALLY that good, or if it was the wine I was drinking. In any event, here it goes:


    • fresh fish (I used salmon)
    • 1 lemon
    • olive oil
    • dried dill
    • sea salt


    • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
    • Put fish in baking dish (I used a clear glass one)
    • Drizzle with olive oil
    • Sprinkle with dill and sea salt
    • Squeeze the lemon juice on top — I actually had quite a bit of lemon juice in the pan
    • Cover with foil and bake about 15-20 minutes depending upon thickness of fish

    Prep time: 5 min
    Cook time: 15 – 20 minutes

    F!!! It was so f-ing good!!!

    February 23: Getting things done

    Today is a lovely, sunny Thursday and Twin Crazy and Twin Husky are napping. This gives me time now to recap the day so far –

    Highlights of the Morning:

    • All kids got up at about the same time this AM. I changed Twin Crazy and Twin Husky requested Daddy. Red was having problems picking out her clothes so I went in to help her. I gave all the kids their good morning kisses, with the exception of Twin Husky who didn’t want a kiss from me just yet, and also Big Bro, who would only let me kiss him through his blanket.
    • Big Bro was reading a book to Twin Crazy. He knows that she loves dogs and this one was about a puppy. He was so cute with her, “reading” the pages and talking about the pictures and asking her questions.
    • Kids ate well; mixture of cereal, bagels, oatmeal.
    • I brought down four piles of clothes today, including the Twins since they were staying home with me today.
    • Big Bro was reminded that he had bad behavior the night before and had his bike riding privledges revoked. He was pissed. He refused to get dressed. So I had to manipulate him a bit to get him going…. playing games, tickling him, etc. He ran upstairs and got upset when the other siblings came in to watch him. He even hid under a bed. He needed some alone time since he was upset about the bikes so I shoooooed everyone out, said that he needed some privacy, and together (alone) me and Big Bro got him dressed. That was the extent on my alone time with him today.
    • I gathered diapers and snacks for the Twins, took out Big Bro’s car seat from the van, and we dropped off Red. No real problems, except for clinginess. Twin Husky mentioned that Red was crying on the way out. The little ones noticed all of the stars hanging from the ceiling and were mesmerized for a bit.
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    The Day:

    • Twin Crazy, Twin Husky and I were headed to the city. My office is moving and there were extra filing cabinets and a swivel chair that they didn’t need so I headed in to pick them up. Twin Crazy and Twin Husky helped me pick out a swivel chair, and then had fun riding in it together. I had a colleague help me load the filing cabinets and the twins were busy being rolled around in the purple chair the whole time, on both trips. They had fun. Twin Crazy even made the connection between the city and the ferry rides – when we ride the ferry from home the boat goes into the city so people can work…. I couldn’t believe she made the connection and she was busy talking about it and how people were working and how Daddy takes the ferry. So cute. So smart.
    • Afterwards were were at home and put our shoes and jackets away on our hooks. Twin Crazy was super, super proud of herself for doing it by herself and she helped Twin Husky out with his shoes.
    • I cleaned up a bit and we played. They were too quiet so I went to investigate and there they were in my room playing with my decorative beads. I knew they were up to something. Then they came outside and were tumbling and counting. Twin Husky got all the way to “7” by himself without skipping any numbers.
    • Lunchtime – ground meat, pasta, papaya, black beans. There was food thrown all over the place.
    • I couldn’t help but look at work emails and respond to a few that were client-related.
    • Post-lunch puzzles. Twin Husky gets really into it. He spreads his body out and puts his face right down where the pieces are to put them together. He gets really intense about it. There was some fighting here and there so I decided they were ready for bed.
    • I’m now going to unload the filing cabinets and get to some other projects I need to start….also need to start thinking about dinner…
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    The Rest of the Day:

  • I finished printing out baby pictures of the kids for a framed wall collage I have been meaning to finish. Now all I need to do is put some hooks on the frames and get them up. I’m excited.
  • The kids woke up, and we went to Costco. They were so cute. Twin Crazy kept saying “costco, costco” in her own way. We kept talking about what we needed there (bread, fish, bagels, cream cheese) and it is so cute how both of them knew the list, and would add to it if I forgot to say something. While at Costco, Twin Crazy tried EVERYTHING offered to her in terms of sample food…. new england clam chowder, crackers, roasted chicken, noodle soup…. so cute. so adventurous. so hungry…..
  • We then picked up Red, and then picked up Big Bro.
  • I cooked an amazing diner of baked salmon, edamame, cucumber, and rice. We had sliced pears for dessert. The kids ate so much.
  • Twin Husky was busy throwing around a toy snake. I should have repremanded him but he was having so much fun and it was hysterical. I took so many pictures but many missed the snake in mid-air. I caught a few though that crack me up.
  • After dinner we did puzzles and started to work on the picture project and frame the photographs of the kids.
  • I had Big Bro and Red for bedtime tonight. We read a lot. They were fine – easy. It makes a difference when their bellies are full. I’m listening to them now, hearing some activity but at least no crying…
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    I had a great day today. It was fun with the kids, I got things accomplished around the house, scored two file cabinets and a chair, started and almost completed a photo project. I’m looking forward to calling it a night and doing it again tomorrow –

    Til tomorrow,
    – Mama K

    Recipe: The trick to a good marinade; Mojo Marinade

    I was going through an old Bon Appetit magazine on a recent flight and I came across a great series on marinades – essentially including a number of great marinade ideas that you can use to marinade meat in for 3+ hours or overnight, while reserving 2/3 of the creation as a sauce after the meat is grilled.

    I thought this would be a great combination with the Mama K Flat Meat recipe.   Also, most of these marinades can be mixed in the evening and you can marinade your meat overnight (the recipe below calls for an eight hour marinade, so it may be possible to mix the marinade the night before but don’t put in your meat until the AM).  So I thought this would be great for working mamas.

    I’m going to give you the formula below, and a sample marinade to follow.   I will follow up with a series of other marinade recipes over the next several weeks.  Enjoy!!


    Essentially, the article says that all good marinades are built upon the same general formula:

    + Acid (citrus juice, vinegar, or wine tenderizes and focuses the flavors)

    + Salt (Kosher salt – or soy or fish sauce – allows seasonings to penetrate)

    + Alliums (garlic, shallots, or onions are a must for a muscular marinade)

    + Sugars and & Syrups (Used judiciously, sweetness balances all the flavors)

    + Chiles (where there’s smoke there should be fire)

    + Herbs (fresh, summery herbs – like cilantro, oregano, and basil – work better than dried)


    Mojo Marinade

    Makes about 2.5 cups, enough to marinade 2 lb. of pork (tenderloin, shoulder, or bone-in-chops) or fish (firm, white-fleshed fish such as sea bass; shrimp or scallops).


    • 1.5 cups fresh orange juice
    • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 cup fresh oregano, coarsely chopped
    • 1/3 cup corn or vegetable oil
    • 10 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 jalapenos, sliced into rounds
    • 1.5 tsp. kosher salt


    • Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until salt is dissolved.
    • Reserve 2/3 cup marinade for sauce.  Put pork or seafood in a glass, stainless-steel, or ceramic dish.  Toss with remaining marinade and cover.
    • Chill for 3 – 8 hours.
    • Remove pork or seafood from marinade, pat dry and grill.

    source:  Bon Appetite, July 2011

    Random Thought: Adding animals to the mix – should we get a pet?

    After writing my post about my “Need To Nurture”, I’m wondering how other families approach the topic of pets. We are juggling so much right now with four little kids ages 5 and under, but I would imagine that we may not be “pet free” indefinitely.   According to the American Veterinary Medical Association 2007, pets are found in almost 68% of households with children under the age of six, and more than 74% of households with children over the age of six.  I believe the value that pets can bring to a family and the sense of responsibility they can offer to children — but I shudder at the thought of ANOTHER mouth to feed and being to care for.

    So I have some questions for the group:

    There are obviously many benefits that pets give children – and I’ve always been a big believer in pets and had a series of them growing up.   But the thought now with four kids 5 and under with a pet just scares me; it’s just not right.   I think any big animal (dog) would need to be cared for by kids maybe 10 years or older…. younger kids may fare better with a hamster.  I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences!

    Thanks for participating –

    – Mama K

    Retrospectives: Pets and my need to nurture

    Yes, I have four kids now. Did I EVER think I was going to have so many kids? No. Was I particularly good with kids growing up or even as an adult? Absolutely not. I never was good as a babysitter. And I never really ever wanted to hold my friends’ babies when they became mothers. I just wasn’t into the “baby” thing. I guess I thought I would break them.

    But that doesn’t mean that I was uncaring – in fact, just the opposite.   From a very early age as a child, I have always had an undeniable urge to care for things. So don’t think babies… think animals.  Just to give you a GLIMPSE of how insane I was (am) about dogs and puppies, I was a complete sucker for ANY puppy walking down the street – even when I was living in NYC. Yes, I would get on the sidewalk and play with strangers’ puppies on the urinated streets of NYC. In fact, one night at about 1 AM I was waiting for a bus on the upper West Side with my boyfriend. Along came a stranger with a cute little lab puppy. I was immediately on the sidewalk playing with the puppy, rubbing his belly, scuffing his ears, wrestling with it, and talking to its owner — “what’s his name? How old? oh my goodness how cute this puppy is!!!” Over and over and over I was rolling around on the sidewalk with this puppy and loving life. Then the bus came, and I heard my boyfriend say, “Thank you very much….” to the man. When we got on the bus I asked him why he acted like that and he said, “Do you know who the f&%* that was? That was Conan f*^%*&%ing O’Brien!!!!” So there I was talking with Conan O’Brien for about at least 2-5 minutes playing with his puppy and I never even looked up at him or even noticed who he was. Maybe that’s why he stayed so long because I honestly did not give Conan the time of day…. just his puppy. So, that’s how crazy I am about animals.

    My childhood was filled with little hairballs and fecal matter –some were official pets, some were orphaned wildlife. Some were saved because of my care, and some were lost because of my carelessness. But they were special to me and it’s because of my experiences with them that helped to build the kind of mother that I now am.

    • My first pet was a sorry excuse for a dog — a “peek-a-poo”. I didn’t like him. He was ugly and smelled bad. We “gave” him to my grandmother and she claimed he ran away. To this day I don’t know the truth behind that story.
    • We looked after guinea pig from school for a summer when I was about 8. He was missing a foot. He was cute and cuddly.   But I had to give him back to the school when summer was over.
    • We then progressed to a series of hamsters. “Rocky Balboa” was our first (I grew up in Philly) and lasted for 3 years which is actually a long time in hamster years. There were many times when I would forget to latch his cage but he always managed to come back… except once…. the poor thing made it to the basement but I guess drowned in the sump pump.
    • We also tried fish — Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. I think they died pretty quickly.
    • I adopted a baby wild rabbit from our backyard.  What a terrible idea. We had no idea what to feed it. After several days being trapped in a shoebox, the poor fuzzy guy died. I remember we had a funeral for it in our backyard. What a shame. I’m not proud of that story.
    • I once saved a nest of baby robin birds – there was a huge summer storm and their nest had collapsed outside of our door. I grabbed s shoe box and swept them up. We had to feed them a concoction of soft dog food, wheat germ (i think) and some other stuff by toothpick every several hours. I did this even throughout the night — I set my alarm and everything. It was such a strange feeling to lift that shoe box top up and to have these baby birds opening up their beaks real wide and chirping for me and my toothpick. I really felt like their mommy bird. After 3 days the birds flew away – I was so proud, but a bit empty inside.
    • When I was about 10 years old, I’ll never forget the day when my dad came through the door with this LITTLE puppy cocker spaniel, SOOOOOOO cute, with her little face and droopy ears hanging. She started running and jumping all over the place and then quickly pooped on our living room (white) carpet. We named her Lady (Lady and the Tramp) but then her nickname quickly turned to Aldo for no clear reason. She was beautiful.  We loved her. We teased her. She became a solid member of our family. She wasn’t that bright. We over-fed her and she became heavy. She lived to be about 15 years old (I think she started to small bad too towards the end). I heard of her death when I was at work — and was surprised by my reaction – I was sad, but I did not cry. I don’t think I ever cried over her because she lead a very long life and we were good to her. She was loved. I didn’t see her too much towards the end since I was living on my own in NYC so I hope she didn’t feel too lonely. I do feel bad about that.


    Aldo, a cocker spaniel who was part of our family

    Aldo, a cocker spaniel who was part of our family


    • We had a rabbit once that overlapped with Aldo. It was a lopped eared bunny and was beige, with hanging hears, so the rabbit actually looked like Aldo’s twin. This rabbit was great. He actually would hop over to me for attention and love. I would give him a bath which was totally unneccessary but again, I had a need to nurture. This rabbit did not last long – about 6 months — he was put outside one summer day and we thought he would enjoy it and had lots of water – but I guess the sun was too strong for him and he had a heat stroke or something. His name was Cupid.  I’m not thrilled about that story either.

      Cupid, a mini-lop rabbit who loved to give and get affection

      Cupid, a mini-lop rabbit who loved to give and get affection


    • I went back to fish when I went to college; it was very pretty and very colorful with hanging, flowing fins and a tail. I took him/her home on Thanksgiving break and was planning on giving him extra fish flakes for the holiday but he didn’t seem right after the car ride to mom’s house. I think he got tossed around too much with my driving. He wound up down the toilet before the turkey even came out of the oven.
    • When I moved to the West coast by myself I got lonely and decided to get TWO mini-lop rabbits — Lenny Kravitz and Sarah McLachlan.  I got two so they could bond while I was away traveling for work. I had them “fixed” so that the pair would not propagate. My experience with them was terrible. Instead of bonding with me, they bonded with each other and rejected me. So I had to deal with rabbits that hated me but still clean up after their hair, their poop, and they smelled terrible. When I started to date Hubby and then moved in with him, the rabbits made their exit. I interviewed several people until I found the right home for them.

    Despite not being all that great with kids while I was growing up, having experiences with pets groomed an inner need to nurture – to care for another being, to be responsible for that being, and to say goodbye.  I guess some could say that these experiences got me started on a much bigger (and longer) road to the challenge and joys of REAL children.   But honestly nothing could prepare me for the real thing, let alone four of them!!!

    When I was younger and thought about what my life would be like with kids, I always assumed that a dog would be part of that story…. but what a change of heart I’ve had. It is so much easier for me to say, “No more dogs!  I have enough mouths to feed!!”  Imagine my reaction when Big Bro innocently said just the other day, “Mommy, when are we going to get a dog for a pet?”   Of course I’m at some point going to give in to HIS “need to nurture”…. Uggggh.    But maybe we can start with a goldfish or something.

    So, I guess the moral of the story is 1) listen and cultivate to that need to nurture; and 2) people’s attitudes change!   Any advice from moms who have been there with their kids??!?!??!

    Thanks for listening –

    – Mama K

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