What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

I think I turned a weird age/life corner this year. It’s that corner around which you suddenly say things like, “I’ve never needed a vacation so badly,” or, “This vacation could not come soon enough!” But seriously, though.

Every year my extended family reunites for a week in early August on Cape Cod. It’s my happy place, and it would not feel like summer to me without it. But this year, since I was thinking and saying things like, “I’ve never needed a vacation so badly,” I knew I needed more than just to dip my toes in the Atlantic. So I unplugged. Almost entirely. And it was so wonderful. 

Whereas you know I’m usually one to snap photos of what I see and eat wherever I go, I left my phone behind and off most of the time. Here and there I took it out when I couldn’t resist, but overall, I checked no email, scanned no Facebook or Instagram, and instead rode a bike around town, slept on the beach, and savored the rest and recuperation a week out of our normal life provides. And now that’s how I’m going to try to vacation forever, because I can’t remember feeling so refreshed, as I do right now.

Here are a few shots I could not resist taking… how do you handle technology on your vacations?

Matzah Crunch

In honor of the first night of Passover, I’m skipping my usual Meatless Monday post in favor of this delicious treat that I weirdly only ever remember to make at Passover every year, even though it’s super easy and not holiday specific. You make it Passover-friendly by using a matzah base, but if you don’t celebrate Passover or don’t have a handy box of matzah around (what?? you don’t have a box of matzah in your pantry?? HA!), saltines are the other option and they are totally equivalent. Making this always reminds me of big family holiday gatherings. This was my cousin’s and my sweet contribution and I loved making it with her, and now I love passing that onto my kiddo.

My Tiny Sous Chef and I made this over the weekend to have ready to enjoy this week as a treat. Very few easy ingredients, and endless options as far as toppings. And it’s basically candy, so, yeah. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEEDmatzahcrunch9
* matzah (or saltine) crackers
* 1C brown sugar
* 1/2C butter
* 1C semisweet chocolate chips
* toppings of your choice (For this recipe, we used: rainbow sprinkles; blue crystal sprinkles; walnut pieces; and yellow raisins. Other good ideas: sea salt (!); candied ginger; nothing (because, chocolate and caramel, hello); other nuts; dried cranberries; etc.; etc.; etc.)

Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, and then spray lightly with a nonstick spray. Then build a single layer of the matzah. You will need to break the matzah up to fit, which is fine. Set aside.


In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt together the sugar and butter, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil or just about – about 3 minutes or so. Keep stirring for another 3 minutes or so, again, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and bubbles — but be careful that it doesn’t burn! — and turns a beautiful caramel color.


Remove from heat and immediately pour the caramel over the matzah, using a spatula to spread it over the pan into a single layer. Bake 10 minutes (checking occasionally to make sure it’s not burning).


Remove from the oven and immediately spread the chocolate chips over the hot pan and spread over the caramel. Let it stand a few minutes, allowing the heat to begin melting the chocolate chips, then spread the melty chocolate into a single layer over the caramel.

Sprinkle immediately with toppings and refrigerate to allow to set, at least 30 minutes.

Break into pieces and store in an air-tight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, if you can make it last that long!