Saturday, November 26, 2011

Candy Pretzel bits

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I've seen versions of this on pinterest a few times and thought it would make a great project for T to do. I had T and my niece made them together. This is possibly the easily "cookie" that comes out of my kitchen. Get pretzels (square or circle ones) and line them on a baking sheet. Top each of the pretzel with a Kisses candy (we used cookies and cream here). Put the tray in the oven at about 230F for 4-5 minutes. Finally, push a M&M on each while the Kisses are still soft. That's it! I think we'll do it again and give them out for T's preschool class for the holidays.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Only Light

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We took a quick weekend trip to Seattle last weekend. This is one of my favorite picture from the trip. It also reminded me to write down this little note.

Miss T designated us to do certain things for her. Chris somehow is the designated person to turn on lights for her when it gets dark in her room. Now, whenever T wants the light to be turn on, she calls out for her "only light" to do the job. =)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kale Chips

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(Sorry for the blurry picture.)

I've seen kale chips 'recipe' for a while now but have never gotten around to make them. Chris and I already enjoys kale (cooked, not raw though) so while the idea is interesting, there was no reason to try it either. Last week I got a beautiful bunch of kale from my CSA box and I know I've got to eat it today or they'll be wilted by tomorrow. Kale chips seemed like a good idea to snack away a bunch of kale. (I have a little too much food in my fridge right now.) A little time consuming to make with all the trays needed, but not complicated at all. Just clean and dry the leaves really well. Tear them into pieces (no stalk!) Toss with a little olive oil and salt. Place in single layer on baking sheet. Bake at 325F for about 15 minutes. The best part, the 4 years old who eats most vegetables except for green leaves loves them! That is reason enough to make them again.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Watermelon radish

Watermelon radish

I signed up for a farmshare CSA program a couple of months ago. I've tried a few different produce delivery service over the years and was never impressed since all the ones that actually delivers to where I live are more like a producer distributor rather than something more local. The quality and the variety of produces were not too impressive either. I kept looking though because I think it would be fun for Miss T to try some new food and save me a trip to the farmer's market every other week. Capay Valley Farmshare seems to be meeting my needs so far. While they don't deliver to my house, they do deliver to where Chris works. I do have to pick it up at his office on my way home, the box would slow him down a bit on his commute home on a bicycle. We got these watermelon radishes a few weeks back and I was surprised to learn that its origin trace back to China. The Chinese name is 心里美, "beauty in the heart". I ended up trying to make pickles with them since I'm not a huge fan of raw radishes. The pickles were okay, but my refrigerator smells like rotten food. (Miss T thought it looked very pretty but has no interest in eating it since she thinks it smells like garbage.) I may just have cook it like a daikon next time instead or something.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Backyard

backyard - finished

Since I kinda forgot that I had a blog for a while, I didn't get to post the finished picture of the backyard. This was back when the work was just done, still looking all nice and neat. If I were to show you a picture of it now, there would be more weeds around. We are in process of trying to hire a gardener to keep up with the maintenance. We are not good at it and there are way too much work to do between the front and back yards.

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This is the top part of our backyard. I asked for the landscaper to leave me some space to play with. This was what I started the beginning of the summer. Now I have a lot of weeds, a lemon tree, and a blueberry bush. I think when I finally get that gardner, that person will have to help me out of what to do. I didn't mind having some space to play with, but this is actually way too big. I'm thinking of maybe using half as a flower garden. The other half would be a combination of fruit tree/bush and vegetables/herbs. But, right now, wish me luck in finding a gardener soon!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

white chocolate cranberry scones

Lesson learned here: low fat scones = cake. It's not horrible, but it's definitely not a scone! I'll leave the baking back to Chris...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

White Chocolate Covered Cookie Pops

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Miss T is at the stage where she's asking to do a project or help out with something all the time. For Halloween, I thought it would be fun to make white chocolate covered cookies pops to share with her friends at school. I was buying the cookies for that monster brownie/cookie bar thing anyways. All we needed to do was to melt a couple bags of white chocolate chips and dip the cookies in. T got the job of ensuring all cookies get the correct amount of sprinkles on each. It was definitely a quick and fun project to do.

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The only change I'll make next time was to use powder coloring instead of the gel stuff. I tried to color half of the batch to orange and the little gel was changing the consistence of the white chocolate too much. They ended up a light peach instead.

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Something to keep in mind for next time. I think we'll make them again for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie and Oreo brownies

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Anybody else addicted to Pinterest? I've been saving clippings on my computer for years but Pinterest made it so much easier. I've been seeing versions of this pinned by so many people that I developed a strong urge to make it. The problem, of course, is that I really don't eat much sweets. Especially not one with a chocolate chip cookie bottom, oreos in the middle and top off with brownie! I finally decided to make it to bring to work on Halloween. You can eat as much sweets as you want on Halloween, right? I used Joe-Joe's from Trader Joe's instead of oreos and made brownie from scratch. I did end up keeping all the edges, I like the crunchy edges and the middle part already filled the tray. It was a hit at work, but definitely plan on serving small pieces as they are very, very rich. Now that I got this recipe out of my system, I'm off to find something else that I just have to make!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

I don't think I've ever been this busy or had this much to do for Halloween. I think Miss T is taking over my life! Wait, I supposed that's what happened when you have a child.

We started off with a trip to the pumpkin patch earlier in the month. We missed out going with our friends, so I took her to Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm near my work. It was Columbus Day so she had no school and wanted to stop by my office to visit my coworkers. The farm was pretty nice, didn't get to ride the little train since it only runs on weekend. But lucky us, we also missed the rain that came down after we left. We even got a bit of sun (hence all the pictures of Miss T with lines as eyes!)

She had to go put her face in every cut outs there. I love this one where she was yawning like a cat.
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Look, she's this tall now!
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She, of course, tried to pick the biggest pumpkin she could find. Not very successful at picking it up though.
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My favorite picture of the day...
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Now we moved on the the next activity for the month. As part of the musical theatre company group at her dance school, she was encouraged to participate in the haunted house during the Halloween carnival. Being that she's only 4, she was not expected to actually be inside the haunted house to scare people. So her job was to walk around the courtyard inviting people to go in the haunted house. We did a little practice run the week before so she knows what to expect. She thought the idea of scaring people was fun, but she does not want to see pictures of herself. I guess she's scared of herself?

Practice run
How's that for going from a cute picture of her to the other extreme?

At the day of the carnival/haunted house, she actually did go up to a few strangers and asked them to go visit her haunted house. We were pretty impressed that she got over her shyness, especially since the two other older girls with her were too shy to talk to anybody the whole time.

Finally, we got to the actual day of Halloween. Being that Halloween was on a Monday this year, she couldn't hang out with her cousins in the East Bay and stay up late. The Halloween parade at preschool was actually on Halloween though. Her official 2011 Halloween costume is...

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Violet from The Incredibles!!

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Oh no! Her secret identity is revealed!

She tried to convinced me to be Elastic Girl, but umm... me and that tight outfit? Not so much going to happen. After a few years of break, I decided to carve pumpkins for her this year. I must be really out of practice because before I could finish all three pumpkins, I stab my finger with one of the wood carving tool so that put an end to any more carving! Maybe it would be best of I limit myself to those "safer" pumpkin carving kits for kids.

Here are the two unfinished pumpkins.
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(I don't now where she's learning to pose for pictures...)

I'm somewhat relieved that Halloween is over. It was hectic at times, but totally worth it to see how much she enjoyed it. We had to keep reminding ourselves that this pure excitement for things will only last a few more years. So in the end, any and all efforts are worth it. Now, on to November!