Smoky Breakfast Sandwich | @thefauxmartha

“Mama, is it the weekend yet?” She starts asking on Tuesday. The withdrawals from having everyone together two days prior hits. “Mama, when will daddy be home?” “After work, Hal,” I repeat. At three years old, she knows the value of weekends—when dad’s home indefinitely, when everyone’s home together. She’s always her happiest then. Me too.  Read more

Slow-cooked Beef and Plantain Arepas | @thefauxmartha

This recipe came about because of a food truck turned tiny restaurant in Minneapolis—Hola Arepa. When we go out to dinner, it’s the only place I ever want to go. Kev likes a little more variety in his life. But I’m a minimalist. So I go on repeat with Steph and Lindsay because they feel the same way. I order an El Diablo cocktail followed by the Shredded Beef and Plantain Arepa. Every single time.  Read more

Cozy Modern Fireplace | @thefauxmartha

In the last month of construction, we nixed the fireplace in the living room to stay on budget. So the room, the first room you see when you walk into the house, looked like an afterthought. Or maybe it looked more like no thought. The picture above doesn’t do our random assortment of furniture justice, as we had already started clearing stuff out when I got this shot. But that TV stand, the one I rolled home from the alleys of Chicago, was the biggest eyesore. Maybe because I painted it bright light blue when we moved to Connecticut. Read more

Toddler Cakes + KitchenAid Mini Giveaway | @thefauxmartha

She climbs the big tall ladder at the park by herself now. And dresses herself as soon as she wakes up. Always in a dress, mostly pink. She insists on closing every door we encounter. I wince at the shut and pray no tiny fingers are hurt in the crossfire. She sneaks sips of my black coffee and talks about how she can drink wine with me when she’s older. She’s in the thick of every dinner conversation, takes flaky salt on her avocado slices, and steals all my cookbooks and baking supplies off to her own kitchen. (See giveaway below.) Read more

Peppery White Wine Pasta | @thefauxmartha

It’s strange how relationships go. When you first start dating, it works because it’s easy and spontaneous. And if it’s anything but, you end things real fast. Eight years into marriage—three of those years with a tiny human—it works because we work at it and because we add a weekly event to the calendar. “Hang out.” And in the event notes: “No iPhones allowed.” We’re officially old not young. Read more

Italian Cream Cake | @thefauxmartha

I’ve written this post before in different words. Around the very same subject—cake. Making cake is a religious experience for me. Why, I’m not exactly sure. But it takes me to a place in my mind that dinner can never touch. It reminds me that we’re more alike than we think. Which is really important when things feel mostly polarized. Read more

Walking Bánh Mì | @thefauxmartha

I’m going to rename this blog Mel’s Food Truck. Because most of our dinners are composed as if they were just grabbed from the window of a food truck. You know the kind. Familiar with a modern flair. Casual but flavorful. Saucy with ten thousand toppings. We have a new item on our food truck dinner menu—a Walking Bánh Mì.  Read more

Sleep-In School Lunches | @thefauxmartha

Early alarm clocks. Bedhead. Breakfast at the kitchen counter. Spilled milk. Last-minute lunch box packing. Excited giggles. Anxious bellies. Shoes on the wrong feet. Scurrying out the door. First day tears. Back to school cheers. It’s that time again. Let’s keep packed lunches simple, and sleep-in a snooze longer. Read more