Hey Laura, how can I afford to eat in Brooklyn, NY?

My friend, Ben, just moved to Brooklyn and is experiencing NYC sticker shock at the price of groceries. Ben is cooking for two “vegetarian-types” on a budget. Not only does he need to find cheap sources for quality food, he needs some recipes for the daily come-home-from-work-and-make-supper-every-day grind. He’s asked about what kind of staples (like beans) can be made easily from scratch to avoid the higher price of canned convenience.

I’ve been working on this post for a while now, and it’s started to get too unwieldy. I’m just going to toss it out there as a starting point for Ben, because at this point, he needs the information more than he needs it to be perfectly presented.


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Hey Laura, do you have a mouthwatering flank steak recipe?

Anonymous writes:

Hey Laura, I want to impress my man with some meaty home cooking. Do you have a fantastic recipe that is relatively easy and inexpensive?

Oh, you are in luck, Anonymous! I just discovered the best recipe for making the most tender, flavorful flank steak strips you’ve ever feasted upon. I accidentally didn’t follow the recipe (what else is new?) and it turned out fine, so I’ll write down my adaptation here.

And, because I have a bad habit of not reading a recipe all the way through before I begin, only to find out there’s some crazy time constraint I didn’t know about that threatens to ruin my cooking plan…

First, note this! You need to start this at least 3-4 hours in...

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Hey Laura, how do I preserve my fresh garden herbs?

Kristina writes:

I have gobs of fresh basil and parsley still going strong in my herb garden. But the weather is cooling down, and it won’t be long before I have to pick all of it, or lose it to frost. What’s the best way to preserve herbs so that I can use them in winter?

Lucky you and your abundance of basil! My favorite way to preserve basil is in the form of pesto, which freezes very nicely in ice cub trays.

Alternatively, you can just freeze an herb (whole leaves or chopped in ice cube trays), either by itself or immersed in olive oil (I did that with rosemary and it is a great soup starter)! Once they are frozen, take the blocks out and store them in a bag or jar in the freezer....Continue reading

Snippets: Treat “pink-eye” conjunctivitis without antibiotics

School has started, Fall has fallen, and it’s time to start preparing for the onslaught of annoying little illnesses that get passed around so easily. Pink-eye is one of the most popular, right?

I’m suuuuper susceptible to conjunctivitis. I had a raging, double-eye case of it when I was about 12 (after a week of sleep-away horse camp with no running water), and ever since, my body has leapt upon every chance to re-experience that hell. Any time my immune system is compromised, I have to be on the guard for a big flare up.

I’m also not a fan of antibiotics, as you know. The drops used to treat pink-eye are pretty benign, but why bother getting a prescription when you can use an extremely...

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A Moment in the Life with my 2e Child

I wrote this initially as an email to a friend - a play-by-play of what was happening in the kitchen as my eldest daughter (our 2e child) was attempting to make herself a snack. This whole episode probably took 45 minutes. A task that typically takes less than a minute.

Right now, I’m at my desk looking into the kitchen and I’m working with Sophia through the steps of making Banana Pudding.

[Basically: mash a banana up with peanut butter.]

She is having a really hard time with it. She is already in nearly-freakout mode this morning (I think triggered by disappointment over what she got for breakfast, and possibly a drop in blood sugar before she got calories into her; she’s...

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Hey Laura, what are some great iPad apps for kids?

Harmony writes:

Amazing friends recently gifted us with a new-to-us iPad.  We are leaving for a cross-country trip in a few days, and I would love to load it with some child-friendly activities.  Do you have any apps that you would recommend?

Oh, yes! We have some beloved iPad apps to recommend. I’m pretty picky about what my kids spend their screen time on, so here are my picks. I hope readers chime in with their own; we are always looking for more goodies.

There aren’t many free apps on my list. That’s because most free apps come with annoying ads or in-game payment opportunities. Both really bad if you are giving your kids screen time so you can have kid-free time. You don’t want them...

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Introducing HWL Version Two, The Beta!

Hi Wonderful HWL Readers,

Leslie here, otherwise known as “The Husband” around these parts. Laura and I have been working on a new design because we love you. Also we hated the old one something fierce.

The new design is a “beta” which is a web nerd way of saying stuff’s probably broke. When you find such stuff, please leave a comment to this post and tell us about it.

Here is some stuff that is missing but will be added over time.

  1. Search!
  2. Archives!
  3. New comment system, maybe, if we can find anything better than Disqus, we’re totally open for suggestions, go!
  4. Things!

So, aside from hating the old design, what’s the big deal?

We know a lot of you read this site on your iPhone or...

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