3 Recipes for End-of-School Craziness

I’m not going to deliver my annual monologue on how heaviness and happiness so uniquely join forces in June. Moving on, moving up, stepping up, growing up, graduating, saying goodbye again and again, you know the drill. In fact, I think I’ve come to appreciate the amped up end-of-the-school-year craziness (I laughed out loud at this parent’s lament) because it is so much easier for me to focus on busy work than emotional work, if you know what I’m saying. I’m like the mom version of Dory: Just keep swimming….just keep moving, just keep moving…cooking, working, moving. (P.S. OMG: TWO DAYS TIL DORY!) To that end: Three recipes that might help you get to the finish line.

This is the first year that my 14-year-old has started to stay up later than me studying. It’s also her first year taking Regents — New York’s standardized tests — which happen tomorrow and Friday. There’s not much I can do to help her in terms of Earth Science and Algebra, but I can make sure she gets a healthy breakfast before the test tomorrow. When I asked her what she wanted, this is what she requested: Smashed Avocado on Whole Wheat Toast with Sea Salt and Cherry Tomatoes. I think I’ll have the same. (Related: Breakfast-of-Champions options.)

2.  PARTY GO-TO: Last-Minute Yogurt CakeLet me guess: Baseball season is over, and there’s a party. Piano recital is on Sunday…and there’s a party. The kindergarteners are “stepping up” to first grade…and there’s a party! Hey, listen. I wrote the book on celebrating — literally — but even I’ll concede, it’s a lot! My advice: Sign up for beverage duty for as many as you can, and bake this easy, delicious yogurt cake if another parent was quicker and smarter than you were.

3. EASY MIDWEEK DINNER: Honey-Butter Shrimp (Shown Up Top)
Because when don’t we need a new easy weeknight dinner in the arsenal? This is basically a riff on the grilled sweet-and-spicy version, but I modified it for two reasons: 1) I didn’t feel like breaking out the grill 2) Personal market research shows that identifying something as “Honey Butter” Shrimp yields higher consumption rates than any recipe with the word “Spicy” in it. Don’t forget to drizzle the sauce on top. I served this family-style at the table with crusty bread and asparagus.

3 tablespoons honey
1-2 teaspoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined, and dried thoroughly
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt

In a small bowl, mix together the honey and Sriracha. Add butter and olive oil to a large deep-sided skillet set over medium heat. As soon as butter has melted, add shrimp to the pan and turn heat to medium-high. Wait about one minute before tossing. Cook another minute until shrimp is almost cooked through, then drizzle in honey-Sriracha sauce, tossing until it gets slightly thick and coats the shrimp. Scrape everything onto a platter — making sure you drizzle all the juices on top — and shower with pepper and sea salt.

Congratulations to all the graduates out there!

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Wow! End of school! We are a full month into summer down here in the South – school was out before Memorial Day. That said, these are great ideas to get us through the rigors of summer travel baseball season, so we are grateful just the same! And of course we’ll be BACK to school in mid-August while you are still summering, so I suppose it all evens out but it’s amazing how different our worlds feel right now…


Yummmm. My little guy is only 1 but man…all the parties. I’m gonna need a nap to prepare for them all.


Question: what is the proper etiquette for eating tail-on shrimp at the table? i feel like a meanie for telling my kid to use his fork b/c it’s kinda hard to wriggle off that tail. yet, watching his fingers go for it grosses me out. what’s a mother to do?


French Yogurt Cake has become a favorite recently. It started with a comment to a cake recipe posted at Cup of Jo and led to me finding recipes from Clotilde Dusoulier, Dorie Greenspan and Molly Wizenberg plus others. It’s so simple and there are so many possibilities for variation. Orange is one of my favorites and I want to try a Meyer lemon version.

The shrimp look very good and I’m finally going to try avocado toast. Thanks for the inspiration!


Thank goodness for this. I’m thawing shrimp right now quickly so we can have this. I’ve decided I Can’t anymore with Fridays. For some reason, M-Thurs are not that bad for me, but Friday – forget it, I’m not motivated. This is great– quick and low-energy friendly and not pasta or chicken-again. Thanks a million!