29 May 2018

w e d n e s d a y

Summer is here... with a vengeance.  I just want to hole up at home with the AC on full blast.  It's been scorching, SCORCHING out there.  That said, I've been seeing gorgeous, clear blue skies.  No film of smog to obscure the skyline, just beautiful clarity. 

We took the kids to watch Kooza.  It was, like all Cirque du Soleil shows, amazing!  We got lucky and somehow got upgraded to seats only three rows from the stage, so we got an awesome view of the acts.  Despite how hot it was that day (thank goodness, there was AC inside the tent!), we were all happy to be out and have caught the show.

What have you been up to lately?

23 May 2018

Basil Love

I love basil.  I always have a few pots around, so that I have fresh basil on hand whenever I need it.  Earlier this year, Z wanted to earn the Planter badge (for Cub Scouts), so we cut off a stalk from one of the plants and immersed it in water for it to grow roots.  Once the roots came in, she transplanted that to a pot with soil.  It's now thriving and we've since harvested from it at least four times.  Because of the warmer (hot, really!) weather now, the basil plants are loving it.  I've since propagated four more baby basil.   Below are part of our "harvest" from a couple weeks ago...

What are some of your favorite herbs?

14 May 2018

Lemon Shrimp Pasta

Weekend activities are paring down and the kids are back to cooking again.  Z made this beautifully delicious lemon shrimp pasta (adapted from this recipe) for lunch last Saturday.  We didn't have arugula, so she used baby spinach instead.   It's light and fresh and just so yummy. Go try it.  It's very easy; Z did the entire dish by herself!

08 May 2018

My kids these days are so into online gaming, watching YouTube videos... basically constantly glued to their electronic gadgets, that it pleases me immensely to see them go back to 'basics' and play a game of chess!  I'm happy to let them have their electronic fun, as long as there are breaks and that they balance out by engaging in non-electronic stuff, like board games, going for some outdoor fun, reading, drawing (even when inspiration is drawn from Pinterest!)... basically anything non-electronic.

01 May 2018

Mint Choc Chip

Do you have a favorite ice cream flavor or a favorite cake frosting?  I do!  I love salted caramel.  I think it's the best thing ever!  If salted caramel is one of the ice cream flavors, I don't even bother looking at other flavors; I have to have salted caramel.  That said, I also love mint choc chip.  For cake frosting, though, mint choc chip trumps salted caramel, in my book.  It's less sweet and has a light, fresh flavor --just feels less sinful overall.

My daughter requested for a mint choc chip birthday cake this year.  I'd never attempted one before, but figured it shouldn't be that difficult.  I managed to find a Swiss meringue buttercream recipe for mint chocolate chip and it was divine!  Divine because it was light and right and just...fresh.  (Side note: If you've ever tried Swiss meringue buttercream, you won't ever want to go back to regular buttercream ever. Trust me on this.)  Instead of regular chocolates, I added Andes Mints instead and that absolutely enhances the mint chocolate-ness of the frosting. I added some fresh mint leaves from our plant and some pastel chocolate 'rocks' to finish off.
I've since realized that not everyone likes mint or even mint chocolate.  Do you like mint chocolate chip as a flavor in anything?  

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