October 25, 2012

Another Ordinary Day, Transformed

I feel like I got major mommy points last night. What started out as any other kind of day filled with laundry, cooking, cleaning up after the cooking, whining children, and sneaking in a teensy nap, I decided to forgo the normal dinner/nighttime/bedtime routine with the kids and switch it up a bit while I still could.

It all started with a Groupon that was expiring.

I bought a Groupon months ago to a fabulous cafe and bakery in town. Of course I forgot about it until last Friday. It was only valid Mon-Thurs, so I thought to use it for my good friend's birthday, which was also yesterday. When I contacted Valerie about wanting to have some birthday fun that day, she told me her husband had beat me to the plan-making. Back to square one.

I didn't want to spend the whole value ($14) on "just food", especially $10 worth of kids' meals. Their food is great, but my sweet tooth has been working overtime. So lunch was out, especially since I have fabulous leftover options in my fridge at all times. Ted couldn't join me until his work was over, but I knew if I took the kids to get pastries and cookies, they wouldn't touch any dinner.

What started out as a problem turned into making a fabulous pot of Lentil Sausage Soup and slicing and buttering some homemade Dilly Bread (mom's recipe), picking up Daddy and going to the park for a nighttime picnic. The cold weather hit hard yesterday, so I packed ski jackets and hats and our fuzzy waterproof picnic blanket to make sure we were comfy. We found a well-lit pavilion with grassy spots all around, and there we sat, bundled up for winter weather holding warm bowls of steamy, savory soup and sopping up the broth with homemade herb bread. I had a moment of pure content. Then we packed it all up and went to Gourmandise to try to choose from the wide variety of gorgeous, tasty treats. Our waitress was a joy, kids were gleeful, and I got a dense chocolate raspberry brownie that I will try to duplicate soon. The best part? Our whole Groupon was spent on SUGAR!!

And just in time. It snowed while we were sleeping. I can do a 40-degree picnic, but not a 30-degree one. :)

July 1, 2012

Tell me how you really feel

I thought I would include yet another amusing conversation in our household tonight. Ted graduated from law school and is now working on his bar prep for SOOO many hours a day. I took the kids to my brother's house this afternoon so he could wallow in technicalities all by himself. It was a fabulous visit with my bro and his 3 teenage kids, with fabulous food to go with. I was recounting parts of the day with Ted tonight and this exchange took place, nothing more, nothing less. Me: Jessica (my almost 17-year old niece) wants to be a lawyer. Ted: Did you discourage her? Me: No. She was excited about it, so I told her how many areas there were and to go for it. Ted: Be careful. She could sue you for negligence.

April 21, 2012

On the cooling rack: Cake fit for the Oscars

Yes, yes, I know it's been a while. Let's just chalk it up to "issues".

Some friends of mine in the movie-making business hold an annual Oscar-watching party akin to most people's Super Bowls. There is commentary (always a riot), yelling ("get off the stage! No one wants to listen to you!"), and a most divine spread of food. Ohhhhhh, the food. While Jeff gets his jollies with friends in front of the TV, Jana is in the kitchen making dish after dish of gourmet goodness. I asked what I could bring and this was the conversation:

Jana: Well, you could either bring syrups and cream for the Italian soda machine, or you could make a dessert. But don't go all out - it's not a big deal. Don't stress over it at all.
Me: Oh, yeah right. I know you all too well, Miss Jana. What are you making for dinner?
Jana: Just 5 different kinds of gourmet pizzas - probably around 20 of them.
Me: Uh huh, well, I'll make a dessert, of course.
Jana: Seriously, don't stress over it.
Me: Ok, I'll just make a pan of brownies from a mix. But since it's the Oscars maybe I'll make TWO pans.

I decided to bring this instead:

Did you see the stage show by Cirque du Soleil?? I need to get my fat butt to Vegas!

The Cooling Rack

Baked goods are only half the story...