Orphan Christmas

First Annual Holiday Note to Self: Each year, you try to have a lower-key Christmas. You try to lessen your waste footprint and do only the things that are meaningful. But it mounts. You think you can get off easy after the note to the friends and family, “Hey, I love you madly. But I am laying low this season …

Vanessa McGradyOrphan Christmas

A half-assed Thanksgiving

Here’s my recipe for super easy cranberry sauce, posted by the amazing Angie over at Half-Assed Kitchen. You will never reach for a can of the red stuff again!

Vanessa McGradyA half-assed Thanksgiving

My past has caught up with me

For more than 20 years, I worked as a freelance writer. I covered all kinds of things — schools, health, quirky country folk, crime, politics, oysters, food and art. I was very busy and very comfortable. And then I moved to California. And I was daunted at the prospect of finding new stories from a place where I couldn’t even …

Vanessa McGradyMy past has caught up with me

The Sound of Love

The first time I ever tried making jam was in the spring after my dad died. I’d spent the winter getting his house ready. Painting. No less than five garage sales, plus a free-for-all at the end. Getting the floors finished and the mice gone. Screaming in the middle of the night as a bat whipped around the small room …

Vanessa McGradyThe Sound of Love

Following Bliss

So this low-carb thing? There really isn’t that much FUN low-carb food. Almonds? Eh. I’m sure I’ve poisoned myself by now. I’ve eaten so much cheese the cows are on strike. And nobody would argue that cauliflower — even braised in butter and hot sauce, liberally peppered and salted — could be considered delightful in any way. And that is …

Vanessa McGradyFollowing Bliss

Carbo Deloading

Is a low-carb diet any kind of living for someone who’s 40licious? Especially when her father was co-author of the Pritikin Program for Diet & Exercise, which advocates no fat, no protein and high complex carbs? If it means that dinner is half a bag of almonds, two glasses of wine, and The Office and 30 Rock, well then yes. …

Vanessa McGradyCarbo Deloading