Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Photo by Karen at French Skinny

The backyard is.....a disaster. During the winter, the bamboo took over and was devouring us. So we hired some guys to dig it up. Bamboo is crazy hard to get rid of. Anyway, that opened up a can of worms. After the bamboo was gone we realized the chain link fence behind it was falling down. We asked our friends and family to come over and help us remove the eyesore chain link. My part in this was to keep everyone hydrated and stay out of the way.
Once the fence was gone, our backyard merged with 2 other neighbors backyards. Which meant we had a pool for a week. Funny thing, when the walls came down we got to know our neighbors. Our neighbor with a pool, Harry, has rescued 3 dogs, a cat and a bird. He's invited us to come swim in the pool whenever we want. We've invited him over for a Tiki Party, when the backyard is done.
We have a lovely redwood fence now but I kind of miss the neighbors, dogs and pool.
Hubby has plans to completely change the landscape of the backyard. Move trees, bushes, take out railroad ties, fountains......everything. His inspiration? He wants our son to have enough room for a slip n slide. Yes, that's right, a slip n slide. This makes me laugh and love him a million times more than ever before.
He's going to incorporate an herb garden and pepper garden for me. I'm so excited! It's funny, the things that excite me these days.
Today I went to Trader Joe's and bought some herb starter plants. I'm going to keep them in the kitchen until the garden is ready.
I've had mint water all day today. No sugar needed. I just crushed some fresh mint, added water and voila!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Hubby's Manzano Burger

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

Thank you to all the men and women, past and present, in the military.
Because of you, I am free.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Joyeux Dimanche - Lingerie

There's Sexy Lingerie

All photos borrowed from the internet. All photos have been Hubby approved. He suggests the cheap lingerie. Quality doesn't really matter. *Ahem*

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Red onions, tomatoes, feta cheese, olive oil, red wine vinegar, freshly ground black pepper and a slice of fresh bread.

I've been craving this combo for some reason. I've never put these things together before but it's delicious. Hubby wants it again tomorrow morning.

Shaboom is in route to yet another exotic location which is why she hasn't posted in awhile. I think she'll be back next week. I talked with her for just a second, before she left, and told her I was having a very Shaboomy kind of day. Hubby had brought me breakfast in bed. Although, unlike Shaboom, I had clothes on.

Have a wonderful Saturday.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wake up

"Mom, wake up."
"Mom, it's time to fight bad guys."
"Oh Mom, you are my golden angel face."
"Thanks Buddy."
"Here comes a water bomb!"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Serrano Pepper

Last night Hubby and I went through the same script we've been having for years.

"I'm hungry."
"Me too."
"What do you want to do for dinner?"
"Have it."
"I could make pasta....."

(Then Hubby threw me for a loop.)

"How about pasta in a white sauce with a serrano pepper?"
"I could.....I guess. Seeds or no seeds?"

Wow. Hubby is hardcore when it comes to hot peppers.
I didn't think this would turn out very good. It just didn't sound right. But I'll try anything once.
I didn't have time to look up a recipe so I just went to work.

I started the water for the pasta. In a saucepan, I melted some butter, added olive oil, cut up a really big serrano pepper and put it in the butter to start cooking. Then I added chopped green onions, garlic salt, black pepper, cream and parmesan cheese.
I cooked the pasta, put it back in the pan, poured the sauce over it, dished it into a bowl and added a little more parmesan.

It was delicious!
Hubby named the dish Serrano-biata.

Warning: Serrano Peppers are feaking hot! Tread carefully. I would try them without the seeds first. And always wash your hands after cutting them.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Important things?

I had a million important things to do this weekend.
But instead I played with feathers.

Ate cookies that looked like flowers,

And indulged in many baked goods.

Here's to the unimportant things in life.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Smacksy's on The Talk, on CBS today!
Check your local listing!
We love Smacksy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

More Time Cooking

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris, France:

SexySultry doesn't like to cook. Touching food (other than bread) grosses her out. So when we get together, I tend to try to find fun things for us to eat.

I got inspired by the nice weather and made a shrimp salad on avocado.

Artichoke hearts in a garlic sauce.

And pasta with homemade bolognese sauce.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gotham City Cake! Pow!

The Cake!

Mom, I know what cake I want you to make.

Great. What is it?

A Batman cake.


I'm not finished..... Arctic Batman and Robin are on the ocean going towards Gotham City. But the ocean is frozen over so now it's snow. The Penguin, The Riddler and The Joker have taken over. The Riddler is climbing up a building, trying to get to a satellite that turns things into swords........ Can you make that?

......Ummmmm yeah?

The scene was set. I just had to make it happen........with cake.

The first thing I did was sketch the idea I had in my head.
It was so much better in my head.

I started researching fondant. I could make fondant or use pre made fondant. I was not supposed to refrigerate fondant, but then again it might be okay and even preferable to refrigerate fondant.


The trip to Jane's Cakes was very helpful. Tom started asking me questions about my cake and figured it would feed about 150 people.
I only had about 40 people coming, so I reconfigured.

I went to sleep about 11:00PM completely relaxed and ready to go for the next day.

3:00AM- Wake up. Start thinking about the cake.

3:30AM- Get up. Turn on computer. Start researching buttercream frosting.

4:00AM- Decide that buttercream frosting might be a little dicey. It calls for raw egg yolks and since I wont be refrigerating the cake (per the warning about the fondant) I decide to just buy some ready made frosting.

5:00AM- Still awake. Thinking about the cake......and not sleeping.

6:00AM- Still awake. Thinking about the cake....... wondering if my kid will actually remember this when he's older.

7:00AM- 4 and I go to the store for cake/party supplies.

8:45AM- Return home. Put everything away. Make second pot of coffee.

9:30AM- Get out recipe for cake. Turn on oven. Realize I forgot one ingredient. Turn off oven. Get back in car. Go to store.

10:00AM- Arrive home with missing ingredient. Realize I'm now 2 hours behind self imposed schedule. Nervous stomach.

10:30AM- Finally start baking.

2:30PM- Margaux comes over, finds me in a bit of a stupor. Decides to move this cake train along. She calls Jessie to come over. Jessie is VERY proficient at baking, yet has never worked with fondant.

3:30PM- Margaux comes over with base for cake. Jessie comes over and starts dirty icing everything. (Insert your own joke here. It's too easy.)

We break open the pre made white fondant. Start kneading it. Roll it out and slap that sucker on the sheet of Rice Krispies Treats I bought pre made.
Now we're having fun.

At some point Jessie had to leave.

Margaux is working like a maniac. I'm trying to enjoy the process. Margaux tells me we have no time for that.

I'm dirty icing, she's kneading. I'm kneading, we're slapping on fondant. It's all a blur.

Margaux used to flip houses for a living. She likes to measure things.

All the time. I'm pretty sure that's important but I haven't slept much.

5:30PM- We finally have our base. I order Thai Food. We devour Thai Food.

7:00PM- Continue to decorate cake.

9:30PM- Margaux goes home.

10:00PM- Stare mindlessly at cake. Decide it needs a clock, The Penguin needs an umbrella. Doesn't The Penguin carry an umbrella? There needs to be a Gotham City sign. Start to do the math on how long I've been awake.

11:00PM- Go to bed. Sleep.

5:45AM- 4 wakes, walks into living room, sees cake for the first time. I hear "AWESOME!"

I smile and realize it's all been worth it.

The Beach Pebbles are actually edible. Inside you find chocolate.

Hubby made the spotlight.

I want to thank Margaux for helping me make this cake structurally sound and keeping me focused.

Thanks to Jessie for her baking knowledge, kneading that fondant and a lot of dirty icing.

Thanks to Hubby for making the spotlight, not taking any credit (even though it was due) and his sweet words at the end of the day:)

Thanks to 4, who will now be referred to as 5, for his amazing imagination.

Next day: "Mommy! I'm done pooping! Come in here!"

There is blue poop in the toilet. Slightly alarmed, I decide that I can either feel guilty for the amount of food coloring that went into the pre made fondant or come to the conclusion that one can not really be a super hero unless one poops bright blue.

Guess which one I chose?

Now I'm going to pass out for a few days.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Barefoot in the Kitchen

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris, France:

I've been making a lot of quinoa meals these days. Today, I friend up onions, garlic and pancetta in some salted butter.

Then I added zucchini.

Then I added herbs de Provence, pimente d'espelette and pepper to the mix before adding it to the quinoa which I had boiled in a meat stock.

If I would've had fresh tomatoes on hand, I would have added them too.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jane's Cakes And Chocolates

4 is turning 5. This means there's a crazy cake coming.

Smacksy told me about Jane's in Montrose.

I could have wandered around for hours.

They make beautiful cakes.

Adorable cakes.

I asked if they had Orange Blossom Water.

Of course they did.

A wall full of cookie cutters!

I asked Tom Samaha to help me figure out how to make the crazy cake 4 had requested.

He was amazing. I reconfigured everything thanks to his suggestions.
Thanks Tom!

I love this store.

Next stop.

The Cake!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

French Dessert

French Dessert
Photo by Karen at French Skinny

When we first started the French Skinny Experiment, it was clear that Shaboom ate what was in season. I always wanted to do this.......but my life was so chaotic I never got around to it. Slowly over the last year this habit has changed. For all of us.

Today, 4 begged me to get a watermelon. Not a fruit roll up or some sugary cereal. Watermelon! I pretended to let him "talk" me into it. "Okay." I said after his passionate plea.

I cut it up. Hubby and 4 ate 3 pieces each. I took some over to the neighbors who ate every piece on the plate.

I had 2 pieces myself.

There's still half a watermelon left. Pretty good for a 5 dollar investment.

I feel good about my family's choices, 4 feels like he got away with something and my neighbors think I'm the June Cleaver of desserts.

Win, win, win, win, win.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

A few days ago, 4 handed me this and said "Here Mom, it's for your Happy Mother's Day."
I was caught off guard.
I read the poem that he glued onto my Mother's Day heart and started to well up. The chicken scratch coloring, the imperfect letters, all the more beautiful because he did it himself.
"Mom, someone helped me with the red heart. But I colored it in."
I couldn't talk.
Looking around the room, I felt sure the other 13 moms would be searching for their kleenex. We would all bond and have tea afterwards.
Instead they were smiling and ushering their kids outside.
Wait.....isn't this a moment? Is no one else's heart breaking?
Then 4 cut into my thoughts with, "Look on the back, I drew a picture of us. And I made you this frame."

Obviously this is a drawing of us. (I have very large feet and people have said I'm all legs.)
The frame is a keeper.
I was ushering my child out of the room now because I didn't want to make a scene. My heart was tight. I just have to make it to the car. Why is everyone in my way?
"Mommy, did I make you cry?"
"But in a good way, right?"
"In a very, very good way."


To my beautiful Momma, I want to thank you for being the most wonderful Mom anyone could ask for.
Thank you for your love that surrounds me like a favorite sweater.
Thank you for making every new baby in our life the perfect blanket.
Thank you for knitting afghans to keep cancer patients warm while they sit in cold rooms getting chemo.
Thank you for knitting little caps for premies in the hospital.
Thank you for handing me a stack of romance novels when life gets tough.
Thank you for sending me home with fresh herbs, tomatoes and lavender every time I visit.
Thank you for your generosity, honesty, patience and love.
Thank you for being a Momma Bear when needed.
You are amazing.
I am so proud to have you as my Mom.

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Grapefruit Love

Grapefruit Love
Photo by Karen at French Skinny

Confession: I have never, ever liked grapefruit.

I've been on every diet A-Z except the grapefruit diet because I knew I could never stay on it.

Having 2 grapefruit trees in the backyard growing up did nothing to cultivate grapefruit love.

My sister would throw salt on her grapefruit and devour it.

My dad would add grapefruit to his marinade. Which I loved but never on it's own.

Until 2 days ago.

My neighbor has a grapefruit tree and gave me a bag full. I used 2 for the marinade the other day then yesterday I walked into the kitchen and found Hubby eating half a grapefruit.

Why would he do this?

He said he loves grapefruit.

What is this crazy talk?

One only likes grapefruit if you're on a diet........

And then I tasted one.


I ate a whole grapefruit for breakfast.

Last night I dreamt of a juicy grapefruit.

I'm not kidding.

I love grapefruit.

Thank goodness I never did the grapefruit diet. It would have ruined the grapefruit experience forever.

Sweet juicy dreams.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Lovely Day

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris, France:

Good morning!!

I had a lovely day. First, I ate mozzarella and tomato in the gardens of the Louvre. I had a mango with ginger ice cream directly afterwards.

I sat in the sun and enjoyed the view for a few hours. There were cute little dogs running around and the nearby dog park, lots of Boy and Girl Scouts visiting the museum and people sprawled out on blankets everywhere.

Next, I went off to spend the rest of the afternoon the the gardens of Palais Royale. When it started to rain, I sought refuge in a nearby café.

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