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Carolyn Ossorio
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Carolyn Ossorio has a can-do attitude that is infectious and endearing. She writes about cookin’ and day trippin’ in her bi-weekly column for the Renton Reporter as well as regularly blogs for the Huffington Post about how to live a simple life in the city with four children.

Carolyn also is at work writing a “cooking with kids” cookbook that features recipes contributed by celebrity chefs Tom Douglas and Mario Batali. A portion of the proceeds will benefit a local food bank.

You can find out more about Carolyn Ossorio on her website,
You can also find Carolyn on facebook.

Books by Carolyn Ossorio:
Soap for Hippies

Entries by Carolyn Ossorio

What a Simple Gift Taught Me About Motherhood -- and Myself

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 5:44 PM

I peel apples. Today it's juicy, sweet, Pink Ladies. I also enjoy Braeburn, Honey crisp, Granny Smith. Of course, Gravenstein's are the best, but have the shortest growing season. As I peel, my seven-month-old sits gurgling in his highchair.

People say having kids changes you. I have five, so...

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The Twinkie Defense

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2013 | 5:38 PM

The other day this popped onto my Facebook screen with the message:
JUST got this package from FED EX.

"SURPRISE!" Screamed the wife.

Was I surprised that the demise of the iconic Twinkie had caused my...

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There's Something About Molly

(3) Comments | Posted July 20, 2012 | 11:22 AM


I have this vivid memory of watching Andy Rooney as a kid on 60 Minutes making homemade vanilla ice cream with his grandson. He poured heavy cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract into an...

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Cooking With Chef Tom

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2012 | 6:22 PM

The blade came into view like a version of Excalibur -- forged by an Avalonian elf and blessed with dragon's breath -- as the Chef's knife easily sliced through the flesh of the slippery rainbow trout skin.

The Palace Kitchen was our Camelot.

And Chef Tom Douglas was our culinary king.

Apologies up front for all the fantastical allusions... I'm waist deep in George R.R Martin's Game of Thrones HBO series while simultaneously reading the first book in the series.

It was an early Tuesday morning and the popular Palace Kitchen restaurant in downtown Seattle was empty. Inside chairs were still upside down on their tables and the place was filled with the kind of quiet that greets you when visiting a school that's out of session.


But inside the kitchen was alive.

The massive stainless steel grill emanated heat. And standing in front of those was Chef Tom wearing a smile and his signature fluffy hair pleasantly fluffed.

My eight-year-old daughter Amelia lugged over the rainbow trout. Still packed on ice since the night before when she and Sophie her eleven-year-old sister had caught the behemoth at our local trout farm for this kid-friendly feast.

"Do you know how much this fish weighs?" Chef Tom asked the girls hoisting our catch to the cutting board.

"Seven and a half pounds!" Sophie trumpeted as if we were the only kings in the castle (and in fact we were, aside from Chef Tom, his lovely assistant Jessica and a couple of camera men who were filming the segment for a cooking-with-kids web series.

Chef Tom demonstrated how to pluck "pin bones" from the trout.

"Your turn." Chef Tom says offering Sophie Excalibur.

At times Sophie can be shy, but when it comes to the kitchen there is no fear--and she takes hold of the knife as easily as young King Arthur pulls the sword from the stone--it is her destiny.

Every month Chef Tom Douglas is named "Top" something or other. Top Chef, Top Restaurateur. And this month he was named number one most influential Seattle people by a popular Seattle magazine... Howard Schulz CEO of Starbucks was listed as number two.

Watching Chef Tom teach the girls how to cook it's easy to understand his popularity: Gregarious, easy going...he's like a fun uncle who just happens to be famous and believes in the importance of cooking with kids as a fun way to get them engaged in a life long relationship with healthy food as "comfort" food.

Everybody has heard the term "comfort food." Craving food that makes us feel comforted when we eat it.

Advertisers have long exploited sociological research that unconscious impulses established at a young age through learning and emotion are often what drive us. The stronger the emotion, the more clearly an experience is learned.

According to one of my favorite books, The Culture Code by Dr. Clotaire Rapaille about why "we humans do what we do."

"The combination of the experience and its accompanying emotion create something known widely (and coined as such by Konrad Lorenz) as an imprint. Once an imprint occurs, it strongly conditions our thought processes and shapes our future actions. Each imprint helps make us more of who we are. The combination of these imprints defines us."

Cooking with kids is important to me because many of my most memorable personal imprints came after my parents divorced. When I was with my mom (a former vegan) I had a lot of happy memories eating healthy food. When I was with my dad for summers (a Wonderbread-and-bologna kind-of-guy) I have happy memories eating Twinkies and processed food all while watching movies like Rocky.

I believe those experiences left a "food imprint" on me that has left me confused about healthy eating and "comfort" food my whole life.

I watch Sophie methodically slices the trout into fillets as Amelia wears a beaming smile filled with a shy pride as Chef Tom compliments her on the coring and slicing of two Pink Lady apples.

"The potatoes are from Prosser Farm," Chef Tom says referring to his garden as we cut the imperfectly perfect Yukon Gold potatoes.

Amelia opens up the oven hatch and carefully slides a few skinny apple wood logs onto the flame. Chef Tom scratches at the grill grates with a long brush.

Brushed with olive oil and daintily dusted with salt and pepper the Rainbow trout fillets, Romaine Hearts, slices of Yukon Gold potatoes and Pink Lady apples are lined up over the flame.

The restaurant is infused with the flavors of our meal. Sweetness from the apples as the natural sugars bubble to the surface, the savory grilled Rainbow trout tastes like something Huckleberry Finn might catch and cook next to an open flame beside the easy flowing Mississippi.

"That trout didn't stand a chance," Chef Tom teases as we all look down at our cleaned plates.

He's right...that trout didn't stand a chance.

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Moms Are Powerful

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2012 | 10:54 AM

As a journalist mom I enjoy interviewing interesting entrepreneurs and companies that are passionate about kids and community. King Arthur Flour is one such company.

Over the past six months I've been on an extended interview with King Arthur Flour -- our email strings could circumnavigate the earth.


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Dinosaur Kale

(1) Comments | Posted December 23, 2011 | 10:04 AM

"Are you looking for a garden?" A Marco Polo style cry echoed across the school field.
"Are you looking for a writer with four kids?" I hollered back in kind.

The woman walking toward me was...

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L'art Pour L'art: Daytrippin' at World Famous

(0) Comments | Posted November 28, 2011 | 12:52 PM

Through my open car window, my girls and I were taking in the sights and sounds of the Capitol Hill neighborhood of downtown Seattle.

We live in the 'burbs so the advertisement of a local band alongside the image of a pin-up girl in tiger swag stapled to a...

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MADVENTURES With Caspar BabyPants

(0) Comments | Posted October 31, 2011 | 12:51 PM

Last Saturday night I went to a Chris Ballew concert. The next morning I experienced déjà vu as the previous night's tunes were on continuous play in my head. But instead of the intimate 1995 show I attended at Seattle's Crocodile Café with Chris performing from The Presidents of the...

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Homogenized Shomogenized?

(4) Comments | Posted October 11, 2011 | 5:52 PM

"HEY, YOU GUYS!" I shout Rita Moreno style above the clanking bottles at the bottom of my sagging grocery bag. "Chocolate milk from Twin Brook Creamery!"


The quaint glass pints with the image of Bessy...

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Chewing the Fat With Chef Tom Douglas

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2011 | 4:38 PM

2011-09-09-tom_and_girls.pngThe kids and I chop the potent onion and garlic we picked up at the local Farmer's Market.

There is definitely a difference between mass produced and local produce -- like wild from tame. The cilantro...

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Kids and Native American Art

(1) Comments | Posted September 16, 2011 | 6:27 PM

"Mommy, I'm hungr--" Patrick's cry for ice cream was cut short by the slow, steady drum beat. Seagulls circle around Pier 57 in downtown Seattle.

Patrick scoots down on his knees transfixed. I watch my 4-year-old boy squirm his body toward the steel barrier trying to get his neck between...

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Mr. Rogers and Top Pot Doughnuts

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2011 | 11:55 AM

"So let's make the most of this beautiful day, since we're together, we might as well say -- " I pause for effect as we cruise past the Seattle Space Needle.

"Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?"


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My 4-Year-Old Wanted to Learn How to Cook, But I Was a Stranger to the Kitchen

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2011 | 2:29 PM

Growing up I got the sense that the kitchen was the last place my mom wanted to be, or imagined her daughters to end up.

We were called "latch-key" kids in the eighties when "women who worked were having children and didn't want to be stay-at-home mothers." Or at...

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