Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

three-ingredient peanut butter cookies

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March 31st, 2014 · Print Print

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People sometimes forget this, but five years ago, when I started Sugarlaws, it began as a food blog.

I was in a long-distance relationship (Chad spent a year working in San Antonio while I was still in New York), fresh out of school, and for the first time in my life, I decided to actually learn to cook.

And it was wonderful. My Saturday mornings would start off with a trip to the farmer’s market, where I’d take inspiration from whatever was in season. December in Manhattan meant apples and local goat cheese and rendering duck fat, spring brought ramps and sunchokes and dragonfruit. I made my own sourdough starter and piped éclairs, baked cakes from scratch and finished them off with scoops of homemade ice cream.

I became, after many months of effort, a pretty darn good cook.

And then… life started getting in the way. Chad moved back to New York, and we got engaged and moved in together. I went from a 9-to-5 job to an “Oh, it’s Saturday? Nice try, but we need this research memo in two hours” kind of job. We got married, I added fashion, beauty and lifestyle posts to this blog, I wrote three novels, we moved to Texas, and then moved again into this house, I started my own law practice, got pregnant, and then some.

Things just… changed. It wasn’t any one of those things on its own, but the fact is: my life is different now than it was five years ago.

In some ways, I have a hard time accepting that. Part of me wishes this post would conclude with, “so, I’m going to make more of an effort and go back to mastering french techniques and tackling recipes that challenge me and make me a better cook.”

But… I have to face facts. That is very unlikely to happen.

Who knows? Maybe having a newborn will make me whip out my old pâte à choux techniques, revive my long-dead starter, and custom order duck legs from the farmer’s market to create a jar of that beautiful, golden fat.

But, from what I gather about newborns… probably not.

And if there’s anything I’ve learned in the last five years, it’s this:

When your life changes, you can either work yourself into exhaustion trying to keep everything exactly the way it used to be… or you can go with it.

Maybe I’ll never pipe another homemade éclair. But that doesn’t mean I won’t spend many more Saturdays in our kitchen, whipping up creations for my little family (dogs included). Maybe they won’t be as fancy or as complicated as they could be in a world where I had infinite hours each day. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be delicious, and homemade, and very much appreciated.

So even if it’s as simple as combining three ingredients in our pantry into these sweet little treats, I will still be cooking and baking as much as I can.

And, for now: that’s enough for me.

(Also: I do not do justice to these cookies by rambling about life changes. They. Are. Awesome. And you probably have all three of these ingredients right now, so basically have no choice but to make them.)

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Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg

DIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together the sugar, peanut butter and egg until smooth. Roll cookies into small balls using about 1 tbsp of dough per ball, then press gently onto a baking sheet lined with Silipat or parchment paper. (These cookies do not spread, so you can place them close together!)

Bake for 9 minutes and then remove them from the oven and use a fork to create the criss-cross pattern on top of each cookie. Let them cool for 1-2 minutes on the tray before placing the cookies on a wire rack to finish cooling.

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→ CommentsTags: desserts · food








little leopard

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March 28th, 2014 · Print Print

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I’ve gotten so many questions about maternity clothes, and my short answer is:

At the beginning, I was crazy excited to buy them.  I was just so happy to be pregnant and excited about the way my body was going to change, and my first thought was immediately to scour the internet for the cutest, chic-est, most stylish maternity clothes I could find.

And then… the novelty of buying them wore off.  And I got more and more pregnant, and started to realize: I’m buying “eh” clothes for a body that’s only going to need them for three more months. 

And that’s when I posted this Instagram photo (some of you may remember it)!  Because I realized that I was way better off looking for looser cuts from the non-maternity section of my closet (clothes that I love and wear all the time) than I was buying things I didn’t love just because they had the word “Maternity” on the label. 

In the end, I bought five pairs of jeans, two tops, three dresses, and a belly band I used once.  (Literally, once.  Some people love them, I did not.) And that was too much.  I could easily have made due with one or two pairs of jeans, but I was trying to figure out what shape and style I liked the most and obviously I needed pink and white ones too (never mind that I was pregnant in the middle of winter).  The tops, also, were pretty unnecessary for me — but I’m short and I know taller girls have more trouble with the length of tops as their bellies grow.

And in the end, I’m happy that I came to my senses.  Take this dress: I bought it at eight months pregnant, it’s not a maternity dress, and yet it totally works and I love it to death.  It’s an ASOS leopard print skater dress — basically, exactly what I wore pre-pregnancy and exactly what I plan to go back to wearing after this baby arrives. 

It’s something that will stay in my closet long after this baby gets here, and that I’ll probably pull out for dinners and events a year or two from now.  It has enough stretch to keep everything covered, but it’s also just my style.  When I put on this dress, I feel easy and comfortable and fun — I feel like myself

Which, when your body has been taken over by a little bowling-ball-sized alien, is a pretty wonderful feeling to have.

ASOS leopard smock dress, Miu Miu bag (old, similar here), Alex and Ani bracelets.

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→ CommentsTags: baby · style








Baby Bump: 34 Weeks!

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March 26th, 2014 · Print Print

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I have to say, I feel pretty enormous at this point! 

The last few weeks have definitely grown more and more uncomfortable, and at this point, I am seriously looking forward to this baby’s arrival for many reasons.  And one reason on the top of that list is so that he will stop kicking me in the lungs.

I know, I know.  It’s a good problem to have — a little discomfort in exchange for a healthy baby who’s nearly full term and generally has been a pleasure to carry around for the last eight months.  I remind myself of that every day.

And then his foot gets wedged into the gap between my ribs and my lung, and … ouch

Still, though, I’m very grateful that we’ve gotten as far as we have — for some reason, I’ve been very concerned about preterm labor, and each passing week has given me more and more relief.  And now that we’re almost at the finish line, I’m trying to remind myself to slow down, to savor these last few weeks of pre-baby life, and not to rush into things moving forward. 

Because (and this is a little scary to think about) despite all the kicks to the lungs, back pain and heartburn, the fact remains: He is infinitely easier to take care of right now than he will be in a few weeks.  Right now, he’s warm and happy and fed, all the time, without me lifting a finger.  If I want to run to the grocery store or the post office, I don’t need a car seat or a stroller or a diaper bag. 

In a few weeks, that won’t be true.  But right now, at least for a little bit longer, it is.  And I’m trying to remind myself to enjoy it while I still can!

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How far along? 34 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss: 22.5 pounds (Weight gain has definitely slowed down in the third trimester, although I think I’ll be between 25 and 30 lbs total by the end.)

Maternity clothes? There are about four things in my closet that I still fit into, although not all of them are maternity.

Stretch marks? Still no!  As the end gets near and the baby gets bigger, I’m using Earth Mama Angel Baby stretch mark oil almost every night!  Best $12 I’ve spent so far — I’m still on my first bottle!

Symptoms: Back pain, heartburn, general discomfort in my body. 

Sleep: This is somewhat new: I know wake up to pee about every 2-3 hours all night.  It used to be once or twice, and now it’s more like 4-5 times over the course of the night.

Best moment this week: A fabulous dinner with the team from Escada when they were in Houston!

Worst moment of the week: I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around all the impending changes in our lives, and sometimes I let it stress me out more than I should.

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Miss Anything? Champagne!  I generally haven’t missed alcohol much during the last eight months (I’ve had a sip or two on occasion, after the first trimester) but lately, now that spring is rolling in, I would really love a glass of champagne every once in a while!  (Not long to wait now though!)

Movement: Still quite a bit, although it’s getting much more cramped for him as the weeks go on.

Food cravings: Peanut butter (straight from the jar with a spoon), sugary cereal, chocolate.  (Instagram can vouch for this one!)

Anything making you queasy or sick: I’m getting some queasiness that feels a little like morning sickness lately, but I gather that can happen towards the end.  I’m thinking about taking B6 supplements for the last few weeks if it continues.

Have you started to show yet: I am *definitely* very visibly pregnant at this point.

Labor Signs: I’ve had a few moments where I’ve worried I was potentially going into labor, but they’ve all passed and my doctor isn’t worried about so far. 

Belly Button in or out? In! (I seriously can’t believe it!)

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Totally honestly… moody, lately, a lot of the time.  I’m trying to enjoy these last few weeks, but I’m also getting impatient with the physical discomfort and the stress of not knowing what life with a baby is going to be like. 

Looking forward to: Hitting 37 weeks so I can start eating pineapple and going for long walks!  Just kidding… mostly…

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