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Archive for March, 2008

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Woo Hoo Spring

creamsicles.jpgCherry blossoms just sneaked right up on us, didn’t they? I should have known it was coming when we stopped having to wear jackets over the last couple of weeks. I love this weather, even when it’s raining. The flowering trees are blooming and look great and I fully anticipate that my eyes will start itching within 24 to 48 hours. Last week I ordered some popsicle molds from Amazon. We made some popsicles this morning from some Stoneyfield yo baby yogurt drinks we had. The yo baby line tastes so good and is organic but is completely laden with sugar. I thought using them this way was a good way to turn them into a treat instead of just part of Chase’s diet. As an aside, I prefer to make her yogurt by combining plain yogurt with whole ripe fruit and pureeing it with the immersion blender. We poured the yogurt into the molds, put the lid on and added sticks. After sampling the first batch we learned that you shouldn’t ram the sticks down to the bottoms of the molds because you won’t have enough stick left to hold onto if you do. They tasted great, just like a creamsicle of sorts. I think this will be a great tool for summertime treats. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Just Use a Gun Next Time

So I have a few minutes to do a real post but am still not really feeling it.  I am so over school these days.  It’s causing me to feel pretty agitated on a fairly regular basis.  Today in my last class the girl beside me was chewing gum.  I hate chewing gum on principle but she wasn’t just chewing it, she was snap, popping, cracking it.  I almost lost it.  It’s just not right blowing and popping gum bubbles in class, it’s just not right.  So when I was leaving class I looked over my shoulder, didn’t see the girl, and mentioned to the woman who sits on the other side of her that I can’t stand the gum chewing.  She responded with something I didn’t hear and then when I looked up the girl was right there.  She very well may have heard what I said.  I’m not worried so much about whether I hurt her feelings as that now she’ll retaliate with more gum chewing.  I couldn’t handle that. Read the rest of this entry »

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Monday, March 24th, 2008

Recipe Tried: Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies

chocolate-sugar-cookies.JPGOur first recipe from Martha’s new book was a success. I didn’t have a hand in its preparation however, only the taste testing. This recipe gets my vote. Ben and I are always fighting over what to have for dessert. He likes chocolatey things and I don’t. I like fruit desserts and he doesn’t. This cookies bridges the gap pretty nicely. It doesn’t fall into the traps of the usual suspects that I don’t like for dessert that are too rich, goopy, heavy handed with the chocolate or god forbid involving ice cream (unless it’s homemade I suppose). I was really happy with how these turned out and even happier that Ben found the dutch process cocoa even though the regular cocoa was at the front of the cabinet. I am very impressed by his performance.

You can find the recipe for these cookies on her site. We used our regular little cookie scoop and cut the baking time down to ten minutes which seemed about right. We baked them in the toaster oven which is how we usually bake up cookies. Just enough to eat in one sitting at a time. We got a little quarter sheet pan and tiny silpat just for this purpose and it works perfectly. I don’t know how I survived for so long with a tiny little toaster oven. I’ll never go back.

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Monday, March 24th, 2008

All Good Things Must Come to an End

So how was your holiday weekend?  I can’t believe that break is over.  I only got about half of my paper finished.  I wish I had more time but that goes without saying.  Easter was pretty uneventful.  We took Chase to an Easter egg hunt organized by a new non-profit in the city dedicated to improving the quality of life for families living downtown.  Our neighborhood is just shy of being considered downtown but whatever.  The weather was craptastic with all kinds of precipitation falling form the sky but she had fun with the Easter bunny and Patterson Park had a lot of ducks on the pond.  We arrived late and left early so Chase didn’t actually do any egg-hunting.  We were all fine with that I think because of the weather and Chase did an Easter egg hunt at Whole Foods on Friday.  She was pretty excited when she found two pink eggs in the dairy case.  I hid some eggs around the house for her to find on Sunday.  She found the last one this morning.  I didn’t even have to fill them with anything the thrill of the hunt was enough.

I have a sore throat and am feeling pretty run down.  It makes it a little tricky to remember all of the things I wanted to write about.  Maybe a nap will improve my situation.

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Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Happy Easter

Hey Ma, look, a giant bunny!?

hey-ma.JPGa-giant-bunny.JPG

From the DBFA Easter egg hunt today at Patterson Park

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Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Playgroup 3/19/08

Spring break is something that I can really get behind. You really only need a few days to fall completely into a routine of doing a whole lot of not much. I’ve been stalking Craig’s List for outdoor play equipment and finally scored a couple of things today. A little slide and a little playhouse type thing that promise at least a few minutes of distraction for Chase. She loves to be outside all of a sudden. It seems that these days the only activity that she’s really interested in is walking. Walking and running and climbing and jumping. Every trip to the kitchen involves poking at the door and saying that that that. We’re still working hard to get the yard in shape. We’re hoping to spend a lot more time out there this summer than we did last year. Grass helps.

Since we were already out we ran some errands. What I want to know is how come I can’t get Chase to eat anything but raisins but if an old lady in a hairnet hands her some tortellini in a paper cup she scarfs it down without a second thought? Basically her lunch consisted of tortellini, a sausage patty, a chicken nugget, and a madeleine. She was tremendously happy. I splurged and bought the new Martha Stewart cookie book. She’s been plugging it on her show deeming this week ‘cookie week.’ Cookie week indeed, her tactics work. The book is glossy and makes you want to try all the recipes. I ran right downstairs to dig some butter out of the deep freezer. I have the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Book too and some spelt flour but now that has to wait.

Tonight’s Top Chef offers a prime example of why I could never audition for the show. The challenge is to cook a meal from a limited number of ingredients from the farmer’s market. The contestants have 30 minutes to shop. The Australian guy starts freaking out about time getting all antsy in line. When he finally gets to the front of the line he tells the vendor, who may or may not be a little slow, that he needs some mizuna and please hurry (which he repeats many times). He pays, asks for a receipt and runs off. The possibly slow vendor looks at a coworker and says… he left his bag… I almost died, that is sadly so me. The best part? Before leaving the market he realizes that something is amiss, the greens are missing but has absolutely NO idea where it might be. So sad.

To cap off our busy day we took a neighbor up on an invitation to a playgroup. Chase had a great time and I got some pretty good candids of the kiddies and their moms. The cherry on top is that Chase happily ate all her dinner and collapsed exhausted at bedtime with no complaints. Life without school is so much less stressful and so much more wonderful. Progress on the paper has unfortunately stalled.

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Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

A New Project

I’m still making slow progress on my paper. It’s late though and at some point you just can’t go on anymore so I decided to get some things together for another project. I cut fabric for this project a while ago but never got around to working on it.

The pattern Butterick 4865. I bought it a while back during one of the big pattern sales thinking that view D was something cute to throw on for a walk around the block or whatever. It appeared sometime later in Threads magazine and they gave it a very favorable review. Of course view D was the most difficult of all the views but hopefully I have enough skills to pull it off. I was thinking K.I.S.S. when I picked this one up and brought it home so I decided to make it out of some simple charcoal fleece. I figure I can just whiz it together without the need for seam finishing etc. Details are not my fortee recently. I have it pinned and hanging over my chair, I’ll start putting it together tomorrow when I run out of steam. Right now I’m off to embark on season 6 part I of The Sopranos.

Here are some pictures from our little playdate at the park today.

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Monday, March 17th, 2008

Ever So Slowly

bobs-shoes.JPGWorking on my paper that is. I really think that I *know* enough to just write it without belaboring the research phase any more but I always hesitate at this point. Hopefully I can pull something together tomorrow. I’ll read the rest of my articles tonight, call it quits on the research and start writing tomorrow. The picture is called Bob’s Shoes. Who’s Bob? Why that’s me. Bob, also sometimes called Bop, Boppa or sometimes just plain old Dad.

We went took a little trip to the store today to buy some fruit. Nothing special but they had some guy dressed up as a leprechaun. Poor guy, must have drawn the short stick. Chase was like, mommy, what’s wrong with that weird green man? She wouldn’t say hi to him but kept leaning around me to see where he was going. She probably would have liked him more if he was handing out fruit leather. I was looking at the Sigg bottles and thinking about getting her one for her water and ditching all the sippy cups. I have to think about it until our next trip. She really wants to drink from a cup without any lid, really really wants to. It’s the only way I can get her to drink any milk. So I don’t know if she’ll be interested in the bottle or not. I don’t know, maybe it’s worth a look at Klean Kanteen too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Stand to the Right!

stand-to-the-right.JPGYou know what I’m talking about. It’s 8:45am and you’re at L’Enfant Plaza trying to make it to work on time. You hear the train pull into the station on the upper platform but you’re standing behind a gaggle of tourists who are, inevitably, lost. You’ll make your train though, cause the woman, in her pantyhose and sneakers… oh, she’s on top of the situation. She’s standing at the bottom of the escalator yelling ‘stand on the right’ to make the morning just a little easier on all of us. She’s wearing sneakers because, as Chase has learned in the last week or so, they make you faster, smarter and stronger. It’s so simple really, even a baby gets it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Plain and Simple Chocolate Cupcakes

chocolate-cupcakes.JPGDon’t you love blog kismet? I bookmarked this recipe just a couple of days ago. Lo and behold tonight after dinner Ben was whining about needing some moist chocolate cake to chase down his supper. These cupcakes really delivered in spite of being thrown together in about 5 minutes flat from the most rag-tag bunch of ingredients that you can imagine. I didn’t have time to wait for butter to defrost and come up to temp so I used some odds and ends from the fridge. A little stump of plugra supplemented with some whipped butter that we use for buttering a piece of baguette. I subbed buttermilk for regular milk to finish off a carton I had bought for making muffins. For good measure I threw in a lone egg from a carton that was evidently left behind when a new one was started. Then I proceeded to not actually measure anything. That is to say, I measured all of the dry ingredients, even the fractions of cups, with the one cup measure. Last but not least I used a vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract. So, yeah, I might as well not have used the recipe at all but it provided a good jumping off point.

The one thing that you must heed from the original recipe is to only fill the cups 2/3 of the way full. If you don’t they will sink in the center and that’s kind of sad even though they will still taste great. To gild the lily, I dug a container of precious vanilla buttercream out of the freezer. Soooo good… and it made the cupcakes really decadent.

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