MIA: Mom is Away

Written by Role Mommy contributor, Danielle Feigenbaum
A few months ago I received a wedding invitation from a close family friend. The wedding was going to be in Florida. I am a big fan of the destination wedding, but with two kids and financial restraints, it’s not always easy to swing it. I really wanted to go. I wanted to spend time with my parents, celebrate with a friend who is like a brother to me, but most of all – I wanted to get AWAY.
I love my kids and my husband and blah blah, but let’s be real… we ALL need a mom-time-out in order to keep our sanity and recharge our batteries. It used to be taboo to be honest about wanting to get the hell out of dodge (I still don’t think my mom gets it – she would never have left us or my dad for any period of time). First, I spoke to my husband about it… he was all for me going, totally supportive, he rocks! Next I found reasonable flights and used points to fly from NY to Miami. I booked my room at the hotel where the wedding was going to take place since they had a good wedding rate. I organized play dates and help with the kids Friday after school and then my hubby was on duty for the weekend. Have I mentioned that my husband rocks? I was all set.
At the kid’s school pick up last week, when I told my mom friends I was going to Miami for a wedding, by MYSELF, they couldn’t believe it. I’m pretty sure any of them would have traded places with me.
So last Friday I went to the airport and breezed through security (it’s just so much easier without the kids and all the stuff!) Boarded the plane, took a deep breath, sat back and relaxed. It was an amazing feeling. You all know how the story goes… from morning till night you are on a schedule… getting kids up, lunches packed, off to school, cleaning up, work, errands, endless array of after school activities, carpools, play dates, homework, cook dinner, laundry… I’m tired. I’m not looking for sympathy here, I understand that this is life and I love my life – but arriving at the gorgeous Viceroy Hotel in Miami, I was happy to escape my life for a couple of days.
IMG_20131004_163936.jpg I loved the hotel, my room was amazing (I think the bathroom was bigger than my bedroom at home) and the pool was fantastic. I had nobody to look after but myself and it was lovely. I spent time just lying on the bed watching mindless television, had a blast at the beach BBQ rehearsal dinner (yes, I will have a margarita, thank you). On Saturday I was able to have a leisurely lunch with my college roommate who lives in Florida and I haven’t seen in almost four years. Then it was a tough afternoon relaxing by the pool. Getting ready for the wedding slowly without anyone pulling on me or calling out “mom mom mom mom” was also a treat! The wedding was a blast and I was so happy I was able to make the trip down to celebrate with my old friend and get a little R & R in at the same time.
Of course Monday morning came too fast and life went back to normal, but I was ready to take on whatever came my way. I highly recommend you take a parent-time-out when you can. If you can escape for a day or a weekend by yourself, with some friends or your spouse, do it. You will love every minute and appreciate the quiet, but you will also be so excited to get home to your little rug rats and squeeze them tight.

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Fennel Potato Soup

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We may try to do our best to eat vegetables in season but what happens when we run out of interesting ideas? That’s what google is for! I had a bunch of fennel from my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture ) Box and when I looked on line for interesting recipes, I found a fennel soup that incorporated a bunch of other vegetables I had in the house. I took short cuts for the broth and voila! Enjoy this Fall soup that will be sure to please (I ate it for three days straight for lunch).
Roasted Fennel Potato Soup:

One very large bulb of fennel, chopped, including stems (fronds can go in the stock if you like)
3 large carrots, ends trimmed off and discarded, thinly sliced into quarter sized pieces
6 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
one quart (8 cups) chicken broth or vegetable broth if you like
olive oil for drizzling
1/2-1 tsp onion powder or more
1 tsp salt, more to taste
pepper to taste
Method:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
While the oven is heating, start steaming the peeled, chopped potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes or so on the stove top (test with a fork for doneness) and set aside to cool
Next, take a large baking sheet, cover with parchment paper and lay out all the chopped fennel and carrots on it
Drizzle the fennel and carrots with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and roast for about 20 minutes until tender
Remove from the oven and set aside
Now, in a large pot, heat up the broth with the washed fronds of the fennel and when it starts to bubble, add in all the roasted and steamed vegetables and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes
With a hand blender or a food processor, puree the soup until creamy
Serve hot with some crusty bread. Yum!
For more great recipes, visit http://takebackthekitchen.com/