you should try these

Grown Up Tater-Tots

Serves 2 to 3
1 pound small potatoes, like baby Yukon Golds or fingerlings
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Italian parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Thoroughly scrub the potatoes and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until they are tender enough to pierce with a fork, but not browned. Let the potatoes rest for 10 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle.

Turn the oven up to 450°F. Using the bottom of a plate, a sturdy rocks glass, or measuring cup, smash the potatoes with firm, downward pressure. Squish each potato to about 3/4-inch thick. They will crack and split, but they should, for the most part, stay in one piece.

Brush or drizzle generously with olive oil, sprinkle with minced garlic, and place back in the oven. Bake until crispy and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley, and try not to eat the whole pan by yourself.

of course would come up with grown-up tater tots

quit fighting

Dear Ask Mom, How can I win a fight? I fight with my friends and everyone else.
Maybe you need to figure out why you’re fighting with everyone, and if they are your friends why are you fighting with them? Maybe you’re fighting because it’s really important to you to win something. Playing a game and winning or running a race and winning are good things.  Take the high road and don’t worry about winning a fight.

keep trying

Dear Mom- I’m good at making conversation one-on-one, but I’m terrible at talking to people that I don’t know at a party or in a group. What should I do to get better at it?
Hold a glass of something so that you’ll have something to do with your hands. That will help you feel less nervous. Don’t try to be part of a big group, go up to someone who’s alone and ask who they know at the party or where they work. If you’re not comfortable doing that ask the host who they think that you would like to meet and ask for an introduction. Even if it isn’t a great success, never turn down an invitation…

be kind

Dear Ask Mom, how do I end a friendship?
Once you’ve ended it don’t count on getting back together, so make sure that you really want it to be over. If there’s something bothering you or a problem try to work it out. It’s not your job to change your friend and you don’t have to agree on everything so don’t analyze everything that you think is wrong with her. If you absolutely have to get out of the friendship don’t pick your friend apart just say that you need some time alone.

Not a bossy boss

Dear Mom, I’m in charge of a few people at work and I’m afraid I won’t be a good administrator. I need advice. 
Work together and make sure everyone feels comfortable talking to you. Hire people with good judgment, good values and then trust them. You don’t have to always be the smartest one even though you’re the boss.

chocolate moon cake


Chocolate Moon Cake

Serves 8 to 10.

10 ounces (290 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
7 ounces (200 grams) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into pieces

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 (2-gram) container Empress Pearl Dust, in Ultrasuper Pearl

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust it with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. If you suspect your springform pan isn’t 100% water-tight, wrap the outside with aluminum foil, making sure it goes all the way up to the outer rim.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or microwave), stirring occasionally, until smooth. Stir in the almond extract. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and cover the top of the pan snugly with a sheet of foil. Put the springform pan into a larger baking pan, such as a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to the baking pan to come about halfway up to the outside of the cake pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

You’ll know the cake is done when it feels just set. If you gently touch the center, your finger should come away clean.

Lift the cake pan from the water bath and remove the foil. Let cake cool completely on a cooling rack.

When the cake is completely cool, brush on the Pearl Dust with a clean fingertip. You will need a fraction of the 2-gram container.

Serve thin wedges of this very rich cake at room temperature, with creme anglaise, ice cream, or whipped cream.

Storage: Can be wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

 another thekitchn recipe, that’s too good not to try


good choices

Ask Mom- It is so hard for me to make decisions. I thought that it might get better as I get older, but it hasn’t gotten much better. What can I do so that I get better at making decisions?
It’s probably not about being good at making decisions, it’s probably more about you not trusting yourself. You make decisions all day and I’m sure that most of them are good decisions. When you make a bad decision it’s probably something fixable, so don’t worry so much about it, just fix it. Trust yourself more and don’t worry so much about making decisions, don’t go over and over the decisions that you made.

enough said

Dear Mom, I never know what to say to someone who has had something bad happen to them. I usually say nothing or I say the wrong thing. What’s the right thing to say?
Just say, “I’ll be thinking of you”. Usually that’s enough because most people will drop it after that, if they don’t want to talk about it. For other people they will follow it up with details if they want to talk about it. Let them decide how much they want to say.

please stand

Dear Ask Mom: I go to meetings and I am introduced to people all the time. If I am sitting down when someone enters the room should I stand up to meet them?
Yes, but not because it’s something required by old standards of etiquette. If you’re sitting down you may be in an awkward position to shake hands or say hello if the person is standing and you’re sitting. Standing eye to eye is always best. It’s also a way to show respect and that you have excellent manners which is always good!

how’s everything?

Dear Mom, I have run into someone a few times that I don’t know well, but I know her well enough to stop and say hi. I know that she was very sick a while ago, but she is better now. I don’t know if I should ask her how she is feeling or not. What should I do?
Do what you would want her to do if the situation was reversed. It’s always fine to ask how someone is feeling without going into details. If you don’t say anything it may seem like you aren’t interested.