Lemon Rosemary Chicken Bake

Recipes May 15, 2013

8 or so chicken legs
1 lemon, sliced
1 pound of potatoes, cut into large chunks
10 or more cloves of garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
coarse sea salt & pepper
1 glass of dry white wine

Put chicken legs into a baking dish and add the potatoes, lemon and garlic cloves. Drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper, and toss until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Pour in a glass of white wine. Bake at 400 F for 40 minutes until tender, fragrant and beautifully browned.

Tip: For softer potatoes, boil chunks for 6ish minutes before baking. To give chicken a browner color in the end, pan sear the legs for 3 minutes on each side before baking.

serves 4

The Intergenerational Self

Table Talk April 26, 2013

THE DO YOU KNOW SCALE, a measure developed by  D R .  M A R S H A L L   D U K E   and  D R .  R O B Y N   F I V U S H  of Emory University, is comprised of 20 questions seeking knowledge about family history. Children who score high on the DYK scale are associated with higher levels of self-esteem, an internal locus of control, better family functioning, lower levels of anxiety, fewer behavioral problems, and better chances for good outcomes if faced with educational or emotional/behavioral difficulties. The following questions test knowledge of things that children could not possibly have learned first hand but from others through stories, writings or other indirect resources.

  1. Do you know how your parents met? Y/N
  2. Do you know where your mother grew up? Y/N
  3. Do you know where your father grew up? Y/N
  4. Do you know where some of your grandparents grew up? Y/N
  5. Do you know where some of your grandparents met? Y/N
  6. Do you know where your parents were married? Y/N
  7. Do you know what went on when you were being born? Y/N
  8. Do you know the source of your name? Y/N
  9. Do you know some things about what happened when your brothers or sisters were being  born? Y/N
  10. Do you know which person in your family you look most like? Y/N
  11. Do you know which person in the family you act most like? Y/N
  12. Do you know some of the illnesses and injuries that your parents experienced when they were younger? Y/N
  13. Do you know some of the lessons that your parents learned from good or bad experiences? Y/N
  14. Do you know some things that happened to your mom or dad when they were in school? Y/N
  15. Do you know the national background of your family (such as English, German, Russian, etc)? Y/N
  16. Do you know some of the jobs that your parents had when they were young? Y/N
  17. Do you know some awards that your parents received when they were young? Y/N
  18. Do you know the names of the schools that your mom went to? Y/N
  19. Do you know the names of the schools that your dad went to? Y/N
  20. Do you know about a relative whose face “froze” in a grumpy position because he or she did not smile enough? Y/N More often than not, stories are told in order to teach a lesson or help with physical or emotional hurt. The accuracy of the stories are not critical. In fact, there are often disagreements among family members about what really happened! These disagreements then become part of the family narrative.

NOTE Good outcomes are not produced simply by knowing the answers to the questions above: “If simply knowing family history could make for better states of well-being, some might propose (confusing correlation with causation) that we simply teach children various facts about their families and they will become stronger. Clearly, this approach would not work! Rather, it is our belief that knowledge of family history reflects certain processes that exist in families whose members know their histories. One such process is the communication of family information across generations; important questions about this process would include “Who is passing this information?” and “When is this information transmitted?” In our study of family stories at the Emory University Family Narratives Project funded by the Sloan Foundation, we found that family stories seem to be transferred by mothers and grandmothers more often than not and that the information was typically passed during family dinners, family vacations, family holidays, and the like. Other data indicated that these very same regular family dinners, yearly vacations, and holiday celebrations occur more frequently in families that have high levels of cohesiveness and that they contribute to the development of a strong sense of what we have called the intergenerational self.  It is this intergenerational self and the personal strength and moral guidance that seem to derive from it that are associated with increased resilience, better adjustment, and improved chances of good clinical and educational outcomes.”  (Duke, M.P., Lazarus, A., & Fivush, R.  (2008).  Knowledge of family history as a clinically useful index of psychological well-being and prognosis: A brief report.  Psychotherapy Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45, 268-272.)

Getting To Know You Games

  • I REMEBER WHEN… Everyone completes the sentence. Decide whether the sentence will be something about yourself, or something about another person at the table.
  • MY SPECIAL TALENT IS Here’s a way to reveal something you’re good at that no one else knows about.
  • PET PEEVES AND IDIOSYNCRASIES You can start by debating the subtle difference between the two, for pet peeves and idiosyncrasies are very different although they are commonly confused. To play, ask each person to name a pet peeve and one of their idiosyncrasies. For advanced (thick-skinned) players only, another version of this game would be to name one another’s idiosyncrasies and pet peeves.
  • LIMITATIONS AND VIRTUES First, provide an explanation of what a limitation is and what a virtue is. Then the self-reflection begins. Insightful!

BIG WORDS {you should know}
Pet Peeve is a noun. An annoyance.
Idiosyncrasy is a noun. Any personal peculiarity or mannerism.

{A static list of games that you and your’s can play to expand minds, build vocabularies, and keep conversation flowing at the dinner table can be found here. This page also links to several common prayers and quotes to stir up gratitude and find new ways to give thanks and appreciate life’s gifts.}

Like this? You may also like “Family Dinners.”


Quick Hollandaise Sauce

Recipes March 30, 2013

Over cooked asparagus or green beans, and with Eggs Benedict, this quick Hollandaise is just right.

4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
pinch cayenne pepper
kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter

Combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and blend until frothy. Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbling (do not let it brown). With the blender running, remove the center cap from the lid and add the hot butter in a thin stream, blending until thickened. If the sauce is too thick, add warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve the desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Note: The eggs in this recipe are not cooked.

Tip: To keep the sauce warm for up to 20 minutes, transfer it to a small heatproof pitcher and cover the surface of the sauce directly with plastic wrap. Set in a saucepan with 2 inches of barely simmering water until ready to serve.

serves 6

Table Talk

Table Talk March 6, 2013

Because, it’s an art form, and not everyone is a spoken creative. This is a wonderful parenting tool, a hospitable resource and a pleasure! Listen, learn, share, grow, and connect.

When I took time to consider the daily tradition of family dinner, I was amused by another’s suggestion to include talking topics at the table; inspired prompts to encourage conversation and sharing among family and friends. Impressed by the idea that regular meals and regular discussion can have a strong nurturing effect, I put together material for me and mine to chew on. Dedicated to informing and positively inspiring my own personal audience, I thought others might benefit from the links below to questions and games that aim to expand minds, build vocabularies, and keep conversation flowing at the table. I’ve also included a list of several common prayers and quotes to stir up gratitude and find new ways to give thanks and appreciate life’s gifts.

“The dining room, in fact, is the truest form of a living room. It’s where we grow, are nourished, and connect with one another.”  – N A T H A N   W I L L I A M S  {Founder of Kinfolk}




Interested in reading more about the benefits of regular dinners together and regular discussion? See my post on “Family Dinners.”