Thursday, August 27, 2015

Birthdays and Bugles!

Yesterday I was feeling much better. Sarah Leah had slept over so we hung out with her until she had to leave. Then about half an hour later Ayala came over to play for a couple of hours. Then when 5:30pm rolled around Buzz and I made our way out to the park. The weather was absolutely beautiful. 

Buzz and I were also pretty productive. We cooked up a jumbo batch of potato kugel that should get us through Shabbat and the chagim, and we baked a double batch of chocolate-chip-cookie-sticks to stock up the freezer stash.
This morning breakfast was seasoned home fries with scrambled eggs. Then Aruchat Eser (mid-morning snack) was brought to us by S&S. Jumbo chocolate chip pancakes with some HDL boosting butter and maple syrup! Deeeeliciousness!!!

Our big project today was baking Phil's super-awesome birthday cake! A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine had a 'house moving sale' and I snagged an awesome 10-cup Nordicware bundt pan shaped like a castle! I saved it specifically for this birthday occasion and it was SO worth the wait!
I totally tweaked up our usual yellow cake recipe. I added extra vanilla, and used Pareve cream in place of fruit juice, and cut back the sugar (3/4 golden + 3/4 demerara) by about half a cup. My next sneaky step was to pour off about 1/3 of the batter and stir into it some cocoa powder and chocolate syrup. Then I layered it into the pan and prayed. A lot.

I'm not gonna lie. I was suuuuper anxious about the prospect of flipping the cake out of the pan. Thank G-d - I was relieved, surprised, and thrilled when the cake popped right out of the pan with absolutely no issues! Ohmygoodness! SO much excitement! Buzz and I did a happy dance and shrieked for a bit while we sat around the table and watched it cool.
We opted to serve the cake with just some whipped cream on the side to keep the sweetness level to a minimum. About half the cake got eaten, so I'd say it was a good call. Buzz was just happy to lick the beaters after whipping up the cream.

Finally it was present time! Phil was not expecting the surprise that Freddie and I had thought up for her. For weeks she tried to puzzle out what it was - but we definitely got her good. Below is her reaction when she realized what it was...(she was laughing a whole lot.)
Finally completing the set of storybooks. Presents to grace her bookshelves for years to come.

Then sadly, it was time for us to do our usual 'dash' to get Buzz into bed since he was crashing. We had a blast though! Please invite us back again soon...
Tomorrow LOTS of cleaning and cooking to do. Papa is coming over for shabbos and Buzz is VERY excited. He spent the day telling me how Papa and Puppy are going to play together alllll day on Shabbat. It was pretty adorable. I'm curious to see whether he actually shares his puppy - since he doesn't always let me hold puppy. I guess we shall see!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Party Dance Machine Dibble!

The FamBily came Home. It was VERY exciting. We got lots of presents and ate a yummy dinner and ran around like crazy people. Then for Shabbos we went and slept at The FamBily House - just to be close(r) to them. Buzz was SO happy to sleep there - I can hardly wait til he wants to sleep there without us! Hehe, sneaky, right? Shabbos was nice. The food was delicious. A&A joined us for both of the meals. Then we lazed about all afternoon.
Sunday was quiet and relatively boring after all the excitement of the weekend. Back to the grind, nothing much else to report.

Yesterday I woke up at 3:15am feeling quite under the weather. As my temperature hit the 100F mark I resigned myself to staying home alone rather than attending a Cousin's wedding. Buzz drove me crazy all day long - he insists on only watching Blue's Clues and it needs to be on ALL day long. I didn't really feel well enough to argue or to entertain him in any other fashion.
Thus morning kicked off a little late (since the boys only got home at a little before 11). Fever almost gone (just another degree and a half to kick back to my own version of 'normal'). I made some fries for breakfast and forced myself to mix up a batch of muffins to replenish the depleted freezer stash. Not sure how much more will get accomplished today - probably not too much at all. But at least keeping the kid alive is considered an accomplishment.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Give that Mouse a Cookie!

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday pictures. We went to Shufersol and we went to Osher Ad. We bought groceries for Shabbos and we tried to stock up the basics at The FamBily House in anticipation of their return tomorrow evening.
Buzz and I baked FF carrot kugel, and FF potato knishes. We also baked a batch of very tasty FF chocolate chip muffins with a new brand of Almond milk that's actually relatively affordable. Come to think of it maybe I'll bake a batch for The Fambily for tomorrow night.
We washed a whole lot of dishes today. Both sinks were clear. Then of course we made dinner and ate... So now there are more dishes to do in the morning. It happens. But it sure was fun while it lasted.
This morning Buzz was going a little stir-crazy in the house. I offered to take him out on a walk to the grocery store and for a slice of pizza. The funny kid was very excited, but he insisted that he take his bimba (riding toy) out for a spin. The heat hit us as we left the building. We made it to the park, we made it up the snake path to the top of the park, Buzz insisted on swinging on the swings. (I was worried that the seat would be too hot but surprisingly it wasn't - which made the kid very happy.) 35 minutes at the park, and Buzz adamantly opted to return home. Not even the allure of pizza could convince him to go out again. He insisted, 'when Abba gets home we will go out with the car.' He's a smart kid.
Tomorrow is 'clean The FamBily House' and 'Cook The FamBily Dinner' and 'prep aaaallll the Shabbat food' day. I can already tell that it's going to be exhausting. At least I'll be in air conditioning with no reason to go outside! We are REALLY excited for The FamBily to come Home!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday - a little late...

As you can tell from our photos, we've turned 'kitchen-time' into a daily activity. I'm not complaining because, well, it gives us something to do. However, it's really complicating my whole 'empty the freezer' effort. The good news is that the kitchen freezer is only half-full, which means that my efforts are making a dent.
Today we power washed out the drawers from our spare freezer - since they'd been sitting (unplugged and) empty for a while. While we were out there with water we cleaned the mirpeset. Yes, we had to do it again because (as usual) we had a layer of cigarette ash kindly sprinkled by deeelightful neighbors from somewhere up above.

We straightened up the dining room table and swept the floor. We also waited for our delivery of groceries to arrive and then put everything away. Yay for more moving boxes! I can't wait!
In case you were wondering, I let Buzz choose the colors for today's meringue project. He's been obsessed with colors and mixing colors lately. (And of course he insists on watching his latest favorite episode of Blue's Clues daily. The song 'colors everywhere' has also become his personal theme song. Since I've heard it so many times in the last week and a half I've also caught myself randomly humming it. I cannot wait for gan to start again!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sigalit Indeed!

Friday kicked off with a trip to BIG where we looked at paint colors and prices, bought some colorful circle stickers for Buzz, and stocked up on most of the pertinent pans required for my high-holiday baking.

Back at home I pulled food out of the freezer, cooked up a pot of yellow rice pilaf, and roasted a couple of turkey wings for Z. Friday night was nice and quiet. Buzz conked out on the early side, which was very nice.

Shabbos day dragged on as summer Saturdays are wont to do. We filled up the hours with a lot of reading, a whole bunch of board games, and a very enjoyable visit with S&S.
This morning we went out to run errands. Our first stop was at the 'gan registration' office. We were informed that all of the ganim are very full - but - that there was one free slot available at a gan in Sheinfeld! We said, 'yes please!' and quickly had Buzz switched over to that gan. It's a pretty good location, and means that we might be seeing S&S a whole lot more and The FamBily a whole lot less during the week. I would complain that there are no busses to get me there - but let's be honest - I didn't realize that I could take a bus this year until somewhere in the middle of June. It'll be just fine. And at least I have my Tula to make the going easier on rainy-stormy days.
Back at home, Buzz and I commenced our summer vacation routine. We painted, we colored, played with water on the mirpeset and in the bathtub, and of course we baked some yummy stuff. Today's treat was inspired by a recipe that I noticed on S&S's fridge yesterday. A glance at the ingredients told me that it was familiar, and when I noticed Freddie's name at the top corner of the page everything just clicked. Anyway, a few months ago I bought some glucose syrup to use in place of honey and had yet to make an attempt. Today we jumped right in and baked up a batch of amazingly delicious granola bars! Buzz got to choose the mix-ins. He went a little overboard but his excitement was so great that I couldn't say no - two different size chocolate chips, finely chopped walnuts, craisins, and rainbow sprinkles. (Have I mentioned how much it amuses me that he wants rainbow sprinkles in EVERYTHING?! I have no idea where he could possibly have learned that funfetti everything is perfectly acceptable... Hehe, whoops.)
We got 36 bars out of the batch, but closer to 20 made it into the freezer. I'm not gonna lie - they're quite delicious.

Tomorrow is another day. And I'm already wondering what fun things we will find to fill the time. I'm thinking carrot muffins or loaves - just to get a jumpstart on Shabbos. What can I say, I like to be prepared.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

'Eating the fish!'

Early morning wakeup, watercolors first thing on the itinerary (paint your face and the table and the floor.) Next up breakfast!
It seemed like a 3 'flavor' pancake sort of day. I found a brand new buttermilk pancake recipe that worked amazingly with Barley flour.

1 1/2 cups barley flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons canola oil

Whisk together dry ingredients. Whisk together eat ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. (Batter should be slightly lumpy.)
Adapted from: Just a Taste (http://www.justataste.com/light-and-fluffy-buttermilk-pancakes-recipe/#comment-1787002)
We cleaned and wasted time. Buzz got a bath and then got dressed up just like his Sababi. It was pretty cute. Then Z came home and the boys went out to adventure at IKEA and Givat Shmuel for some birthday party fun.
I stayed home - presumably to relax (after an exhausting week of one-on-one time with Buzz.) I actually had big plans to cook parts of shabbos and catch up on some tv - but then the power went out for three hours. Thankfully (as Freddie pointed out) it was still daytime, so I curled up with a book and read. A whole bunch.

I guess I'll deal with Shabbat prep tomorrow. At least I swept the floor today. That's one abominable chore crossed off the list. Lucky Z.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Colors Colors Everywhere

We are plodding along...
We haven't gotten out much since Sunday at The FamBily House. It's been hot and I've been lazy.
Yesterday evening we did do a quick run to The FamBily House just to check on all the furballs and the state of things. I even remembered to check the mail.
Today Buzz and I baked muffins. We've also been painting with watercolors. 
I find myself washing a lot of dishes, but the house just never gets straightened up.
At least tonight I actually made dinner. We had been subsisting on Shabbat leftovers and some chicken soup from the freezer. Z shaped the pies, that's why there's no crust. Apparently he is not a crust-person.
Tomorrow. Thursday? Again? How?! Oy. Time to start thinking about Shabbaos already.

We need more potatoes. I guess we'll have to go out tomorrow.

1 week and 1 day until The FamBily returns.

I'm counting down.

Seriously.