Monday, May 18, 2009

B Flies a Kite

This morning, about 6:45, B asked me for a kite.  NOw, since I am enamored with my kid, I give her almost anything she wants.  Since Target wasn't opened, and I wasn't showered, I made a kite out of straws, a plastic bag, some yarn, and some curling ribbon.

We took it out around 7:15 and it flew!  Not as well as I would have liked, but it wasn't very windy.  Still, it was fun.  B and I took turns running across the yard to get the kite to fly.

We went out again this afternoon.  It was cloudy and the wind was just right.  It flew oh, so well.

B, doing some fancy maneuvers.

The kite in the air.

B, running through the yard.

The plastic bag I used says "Reduce and Recycle."
Am I green or what?

Friday, May 15, 2009

I Made Reusable Snack Bags!

I have mentioned the reusable snack bags MamaMade sells on Etsy.  I was going to order some, but she has a two week lead time.  So, I decided to try and make them myself.  I found some PUL waterproof fabric at Celtic Clothes and ordered a yard.  It took me awhile to give it a try, but try I did.  

The first attempt, was BAD. The second, not so bad.

I used Velcro as a closure.

Nice upside down photo.

It wasn't too hard.  It would be better if I was a better seamstress.  I am not happy with the inside lining at the bottom.  I need to work on it.  If any one wants my directions, let me know.  I cannot wait to try it and make some more.  I want to make the sandwich bag a bit bigger and I want to make a snack size bag.  I used a paper template, but I think I am going to make a sturdier one out of cardboard.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mediterranean Pasta with Artichokes, Olives, and Tomatoes

Mike and I made Mediterranean Pasta with Artichokes, Olives and Tomatoes for dinner last night.  We make this dish in the spring and summer.   B loves it almost as much as I do.  She loves olives! 

The recipe is from Body and Soul Magazine.

Mediterranean Pasta with Artichokes, Olives, and Tomatoes


Serves 4

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti **
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion , thinly sliced, lengthwise
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and quartered lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes , halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more serving
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn


    1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Return pasta to pot.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, cook, stirring occasionally until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes.
    3. Stir in artichokes and cook until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add olives and half of the tomatoes; cook until tomatoes start to break down, 1 to 2 minutes. Add pasta to skillet. Stir in remaining tomatoes, oil, cheese, and basil. Thin with reserved pasta water if necessary to coat the spaghetti. Serve with additional cheese.

** I use quinoa pasta. It pairs nicely with the rest of the ingredients.  Also, good for me gluten free.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nutty Cinnamon Coffee Cake

This is a great recipe.  I made it for my Mom for Mother's Day.

2 TBSP AP Flour
2 TBSP Unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cups walnuts (or pecans), toasted

2 1/2 cup AP Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
16 TBSP butter, meted and cooled

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 TBSP whole milk (I used 1/2 and 1/2)
1 tsp vanilla

Process flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and nuts in food processor until finely ground.  Transfer to a bowl and wipe out food processor ( I didn't do this.)

Adjust oven rack to the middle and preheat oven to 325.  Grease and flour a 12 cup non-stick bundt pan.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl.  In food processor, blend sugar, eggs, sour cream and vanilla until smooth, about 1 minute.   With machine running, slowly pour in butter until incorporated, then add flour mixture and pulse until just combined.

Pour half of batter into pan and top with streusel mixture.  Cover with remaining batter, using spatula to smooth.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  50 to 60 minutes (mine took a little over an hour).  Cool cake in pan 20 minutes.

While cake is cooling, whisk powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Turn cake onto a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet.  Pour glaze over warm cake.  Cool completely, at least 2 hours.  Can be stored at room temp covered for 2 days).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

B's Fancy New Shoes

B and I hit Target last Wednesday.  She caught a glimpse of these shoes and had to have them.

This is the first time she wore the shoes.  
We originally had jeans under the dress.

A close-up.  They are a little big.  She wore them
to dinner that night and to a party 
Saturday afternoon.

I should probably look for a good pair of shoes that look like these sparkly ones.    These rub a little and I can't imagine they are very supportive.  But B likes them, I guess that it what matters.  

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Fire Truck Visits James Street

Yesterday, we had some excitement here on James Street.  B and I were in the basement (Mike was at his niece's communion) doing laundry, when she came up to me and told me "it's stuck."  I look at her and she had a potty seat stuck around her neck.  I tried to get it off, but it wouldn't budge.  So I took her upstairs and tried again.  No luck.  By now she was crying, "don't take it off, leave it on."  The seat was getting stuck at her ears and I guess it hurt.  

I asked B if she wanted Markus (out knight in shining armour neighbor) to try to get it off. She said yes, and next door we went.  Markus gets cudos for not laughing by the way.  He tried with no luck.  He then suggested that we rub some oil on her ears.  No luck.  Then some soap.  No luck.  At this point poor B was hysterical.  "Leave it on! Leave it on!' B said.  

Markus and I made the decision to call the fire department.  I gave them a call, explained the situation, and they were here in about 10 minutes.  The weren't sure what to do, but they figured it out.  

And I got photos of it all.  I will bring them out when B brings that first boyfriend home or on her wedding day.  

The fire truck.

B with the seat over her neck.

Nick and Kevin, the fire guys.  They used a knife
to cut through the foam, a screwdriver to take off the 
green handle and clippers to cut through the plastic seat.

Operation Remove Potty Seat.

Yes, I am very thankful to all the supporting cast of our little drama.  The fireman were very nice, and Markus was helpful, calm and took pictures.  And I. too, was calm.  OK, I laughed, but I tried to cover my face so B wouldn't see.  I mean, come on, it is funny.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I Made Bread!

We don't go through a lot of bread.  Maybe a loaf a week, but I hate the plastic bag that holds the bread.  As I vowed on Earth Day,  am reducing my packaging.  Making bread is the answer.  And surprising easy.  And the results were very tasty!

The recipe is from Cook's Illustrated.  It is the Multigrain Bread, using a 7 grain cereal mix as the base along with all-purpose and stone ground whole wheat flour.   I would post the recipe, but Cook's Illustrated is a subscription site and I am not sure if posting it is legal.  But if contacted, I may be able to give you my slightly altered version.

I usually buy Rudi's 7 grain bread, this is
very close in taste and texture.

This bread has sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds 
and is rolled in oats.  

I am truly surprised how well this bread came out.  The recipe makes 2 loaves, so I froze one.  I hope I can turn this into a bi-weekly habit.

New Arrivals at Crewcuts

Last week J. Crew added some new items to their Crewcuts line.  I am not sure what B really needs for summer but her are some things I would love to get her.

in shadow.

J. Crew shows this skirt with a t-shirt.  So cute.  I wonder if B would wear it?

B needs another bathing suit.  I bought one from Boden and it's huge on her.

I definitely have to get this tee for B.  She is currently into mermaids and fish.

There are many other crewcut items I want.  But I need a plan, so I have  little outfits that go together.  Of course it may not matter what I buy, B likes to wear what she wants.  

I should also mention there is free shipping on all crewcuts order.  Yeah!