A Gift for Every Mom on the Block (and Pie Crust Cookies)

Would you believe that I have been a mom for 7 years and until recently I have never read a parenting book. The last book I picked up that had anything to do with parenting was What to Expect When Your Expecting. Trust me… it is not that I think I have all the answers. I know I don’t. I know I am not a perfect parent and that reading up on some parenting books would probably do me some good. My problem is, I know so many people who read parenting books and then that book becomes bible to them. “This author says you should let infants cry it out… don’t feed that baby until four hours have passed or you will spoil him.” “If you don’t give your child choices, they will have poor self esteem. You should really practice Love & Logic with him.”

I guess I would say I parent mostly based on my instincts. I rely a lot on advice from other moms, blogs and my own family. I know a lot of people who do read the parenting books and they waste no time at all in passing on the information to me :) One of the biggest reasons I have avoided parenting books is because I always had the feeling that I would question my own parenting instincts after reading one. I did not want to feel extra guilty about the job I was doing as a parent simply because someone else did not agree with how I did something.

Recently, Naomi of Rock-n-Tot, Tracing Handprints and Being Savvy Cleveland stopped by my blog and commented on my post about Jacob, Parenting With a Heavy Heart. That day, I took a look at her blog and was intrigued by a parenting book she had reviewed on her site titled “Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box.”  You may remember back to the beginning of the school year when I realized the day of that I forgot my daughters 1st day of preschool. How about when we had the lovely situation where Kelly completely undid her car seat while driving down the interstate and my day ended in being puked on. Another gem.. the day I locked both girls in the car at the grocery store parking lot? Those were all days where I lost the Mother of the Year award (and the reason I started investing in a therapy fund for them for their adult years). Those parenting moments where you feel so guilty and so inept to be a parent and just know in your heart of hearts that you are the only mom in the world who would have this experience with their kids.

Parenting these days seems to be done in extreme measures. If your child hasn’t already had 3 years of soccer under their belt by the time they are 7, good luck finding a team that will take them. Mom’s are shuttling kids each and every day after school to this extra curricular activity or that. Birthday parties… oh don’t get me started on the birthday parties. Gone are the days of a simple cake and ice cream party, here are the days of traveling petting zoos, tot makeovers and live bands. It has all gotten to be a bit rediculous to see the pressure moms have on them to keep up with each other and to be “perfect”.

Enter Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box by Ann Dunnewold, Ph.D. This book needs to be in the hands of every mother on planet earth. Give it away at baby showers. Have a neighborhood book club featuring this book. Do something, please, so that mom’s all over the world can realize that there is no need to be a perfect parent. From the back cover, “Follow your gut, not your guilt. Connect with instead of compete with other mothers. Curb your need to overprotect, overperfect, or overproduce.”

Parenting books aren’t my thing, but if they were all as real as this one, I think I’d be singing a different tune. Namoi graciously sent me an extra copy to give to one of my readers. If you don’t win a copy, be certain to pick up a copy at your local library or head to your neighborhood bookstore and pick one up. It is an attitude shifting book that every mom needs to read! To win, please leave a comment on this post telling me what the best piece of parenting/marriage/life advice was you have ever received. All comments must have a valid email address. Deadline to enter is Tuesday, December 9th midnight CST.

And, since this is a cooking blog, I am adding a “recipe” if you can call it that for one of my kids favorite and simple treats. If I don’t have enough left over pie crust when making a pie to make them these cookies, I’m in big trouble with them!

Pie Crust Cookies

Use this pie crust recipe or your favorite pie crust recipe… it works either way!

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 teaspoon lemon juice or cider vinegar

5 to 6 tablespoons ice water

3 tablespoons sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Place flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl or a food processor bowl. Mix thoroughly. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add lemon juice or vinegar and enough ice water to make a dough that just clings together. Cover dough with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll dough our on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth to 1/8-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake in the center of the oven for 9-11 minutes, until golden. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Updated 12/10/2008 – And the winner is…. Stephanie from Fun Foods on a Budget. Congratulations, Stephanie!

Stay Connected

Subscribe to receive news, updates, and exclusive content from Dine & Dish.

Facebook      Twitter      Pinterest       RSS


  1. Laura says

    I’ve always loved your posts on parenting, and random family life. Thank you for sharing with us, especially some of your more difficult moments.

    The best advice I was given, is after my husband and I got engaged, someone told us to not make any wedding plans or even talk about the wedding for at least a month. Just enjoy being engaged. I loved our engagement month and try to follow this through in other areas too. When we found out we were pregnant, we didn’t tell people right away. Not because we were worried or it’s the thing to do, but we wanted to stop, not make any baby plans, not answer a bunch of questions, etc, but instead to just enjoy it. It’s sometimes hard not to react right away and start ‘doing’. But when you can remember to stop and celebrate the moment, it’s time very well spent.

  2. says

    Extreme parenting produces extreme children ~ and doesn’t that sound scary?! :)

    I’m actually here to comment on the pie crust cookies, which I love! I think this is a terrific way to use up leftover pie crust. Or make enough crust for a double crust pie even if you only need one, and that way you have extra dough without much extra work. Your cookies are so pretty!

    Sandy Ss last blog post..TWD: Linzer Sables

  3. says

    Had to come find out what the book was! :-) Hmm. Advice? I think the best thing I ever got wasn’t advice at all. It was simply affirmation from my grandmother who was my best friend and will forever hold that title. I would tell her things about myself, my struggles with becoming me over the years and she would simply say, “Monica, you got it honest.” I was born the way I was and it’s perfectly OK. No need to apologize for being you. And that is what I carry with me as I deal with all people today – my husband and children too. They are who they are. My children are at least 75% born as a certain type of person and 25% conditioned to be a certain way. But they got it honest and it’s my job to not judge them according to my innate personality.

    Monica Denniss last blog post..Make New Friends, But Keep The Old

  4. Satu says

    The best parenting advice I received was when I had my first child. As a new mother, I was reading everything I could find, so nothing would be overlooked, that I would make no mistakes. Ha! And someone said to me, relax, there is no wrong. And there is no perfect. There is only a good reason to have a laugh, or give a hug. And nine times out of ten, when I start thinking to myself “wrong”–like driving to school in my bathrobe–I remind myself that there is no wrong, laugh, and go searching for the car keys.

  5. says

    I’ve also got “What to expect when you are expecting”. I couldn’t finish it as my baby came a little bit early. So, I totally agree with you that you need to focus on your instinct on parenting. Especially when you have a new-born that you don’t have time to read at all.

  6. says


    I hope you don’t mind my posting a comment. I’m not a mom, but reading your post today really gave me even more of an appreciation for what moms go through every day. Love your blog and can’t wait to try the pie crust cookies. My mom & I were just looking for some new holiday cookie recipes and I think we might have just found one.


  7. says

    I did something similar with some leftover pie crust with the mincemeat pie. I cut them into strips, brushed them with some melted butter and sprinkled a bit of brown sugar on top. I wanted to use cinnamon but my husband is not a fan :(

    Mrs. Ls last blog post..American Chop Suey

  8. Julie says

    The best advice I got was that everyone will give you advice and you don’t have to follow any of it. Just listen, nod and do what you feel is right.

  9. says

    I like the sound of this book! It’s almost paralyzing, all the conflicting advice that’s out there. I find that I just have to take a deep breath and do what I believe is best for my child and keep her needs at the forefront. And I also try not to judge others who make different decisions for their kids. I’ve got to think there’s more than one “right” way to parent!

    PaniniKathys last blog post..SALE ALERT! Williams-Sonoma Sale on Breville Panini Grill

  10. Cindy McC says

    Mine is still pretty basic but the best advice I got when I was getting married was Never go to bed mad. That has been great because we just work it out and know that it won’t keep going and going.

  11. Jennifer says

    The best advice I ever got was that it won’t kill the baby to let him cry while you take deep breaths and count to twenty. It’s hard to do, but sanity saving at time.

  12. Carrie Gowans says

    The best piece of parenting/marriage/life advice I ever received was from other parents and it was not to loose your cool over a small event. You should look at a week instead of one day. For example, look at what your child eats in one week rather than only on Monday. He/she may not be getting the daily recommendations of each food group but they catch up at the end of the week. Same goes for the amount of crafts you do with your child, watching a DVD, how much house work you get done. Some days just don’t amount to a lot but most weeks compare to a marathon!

  13. says

    Just relax! Not everything is the huge, big, pressurized deal that people make it out to be. Be practical and don’t worry about what other people think. Chances are they are worried about what you think too…

    katies last blog post..I love Birthdays!

  14. kathryn says

    I had just eaten the first pie crust cookie right off the cookie sheet and grabbed my tea and headed into read email. I opened up Dine & Dish and there you were: pie crust cookies.
    A wonderful childhood memory — when my mom made pie, she always made cinnamon pie crust cookies for us. Delicious!

  15. says

    Friends of mine with kids have said that being frantic makes your kids frantic, makes life frantic, makes you frantic, so chill. They won’t miss the toys you didn’t buy, they won’t regret not being on three different teams every summer, they won’t hold their lack of special classes against you…unless you continue to talk about it.

    And I only recently found your site, but I’m loving it. Thanks so much.

  16. says

    I am so scared to even start reading parenting books because it seems like everyone thinks that their way is THE way. I think I’ll be more like you and follow my instincts and advice of family & friends. But this book does sound like a true winner!

    Deborahs last blog post..Baby Shower Cupcakes

  17. says

    Reading parenting books do just make you question how you’re doing things and add to the big bag of guilt that comes with being a parent… That is unless you learn to let go and realise that if you’re even at all worried about how you’re parenting you’re probably doing an okay job. Or at least that’s what I hope or should I feel guilty that I’m not doing a phd in parenting… It’s a minefield… I wish children came with their own individual training manual… then nobody would need parenting books. Go with your own instincts…
    Sorry, essay over.

    Amandas last blog post..The Cabbage Soup Diet & Chocolate Bread Pudding

  18. says

    I completely agree with you regarding parenting books. I don’t believe there is one magic bullet for every kid. I think it is more about each child as an individual. Even though my second child is only 8 months old, I definitely am parenting him different than I did my first. I trust my gut and my instincts.

    Two pieces of advice I truly have taken to heart are 1) never miss an opportunity to say “I love you” and 2) does your face light up when they walk into a room?

    Another Amandas last blog post..What Sam Has Been Doing all Weekend


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *