Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Thirteen 9/30/2010

Yowza!  It's been awhile since I last wrote.  Not enough time right now.  I thought it might be a summer thing, but really it's LIFE!  Oh, well.  I'm hoping to get back on a regular schedule soon.  Either way, this week's thirteen includes links to other blogs/websites and recipes.  Enjoy!

1.  My son started school!  He's had a few rough days sprinkled in with a couple of okay days and topped with one great day.  I was hoping that it would start out well, but so far it's been bumpy.  We're looking into a few new things for this school year and hopefully it will make the difference.

2.  My daughter is continuing gymnastics.  For some reason she's the only one in her class so it's like she's getting personal training.  She's the only one from her summer class that is continuing on and she's doing very well.

3.  As an adieu to summer vacation for our son we ate at the restaurant of his choice.  He chose The Proud Bird for the airplanes and helicopter located outside the restaurant and also for the huge bowl of m&ms at the dessert table (it was a brunch buffet).  My son was excited that his uncle came with us.  He wanted to show his uncle the retired airplanes and the food!

4.  I took a look at the magazines I subscribe to and noticed that they fall into the categories of either food, family or fitness.  I used to subscribe to a Christian magazine which would have obviously been in the faith category, but sadly it was discontinued.  Anyway, one of the magazines I read is Real Simple.  The editors of the now defunct Cookie magazine came out with a cookbook Time for Dinner: Strategies, Inspiration, and Recipes for Family Meals Every Night of the Week and in the Real Simple Family edition a few recipes were included.  I'm not sure if they're from the book, but I made two of them.  I made Dinner Pancakes and then Sausage and Apple Kebabs.  The Dinner Pancakes were okay.  A little dry and bland and I think I would have preferred to take those sauteed vegetables and made savory crepes with them instead, just as easy especially with pre-made crepes.  My daughter thought the colorful diced up veggies were m&ms though (influenced by big brother)!  She was not happy when she took a bite and realized what it was.  Hee hee.   The Sausage and Apple Kebabs, on the other hand, were a hit!  You can't go wrong with real Maple Syrup!

5.  Last summer (and part of this summer) I wanted to make EVERYTHING s'mores.  S'mores cupcakes, s'mores cake, gourmet s'mores.  Anything I could have made s'mores I was in the kitchen playing around trying to make.  This summer got away from me so I didn't have much time to experiment, BUT I am soooo going to make these Baked Apples!  I kinda wish I had some s'mores ingredients right now.  I know I have apples.  I know I have chocolate and graham crackers.  Hey, Honey, wanna go get some marshmallows after you read this?

6.  My sister made the cutest cupcakes (she loves to bake more than I do).  I had to post pictures of them:

Cute, right?  She's got skills!

7.  Speaking of family, check out this video by my cousin.  Cool and fun:  I can't embed it, so you'll just have to click on the link, turn up the volume and get your groove on.

8.  We had the chance to hit up The Manila Machine, a Filipino food truck.  What caught my eye was the Spam Slider.  I didn't get to have it because we did not come prepared and only had enough moolah for the Ube Cupcakes.  If you're an Ube lover, you'll love these.  I loved the frosting with a hint of coconut.  Wanna see?

With wrapper
See how deliciously purple they are?  That's Ube man!  Anyway, they were moist and yummy.  I'm going to harass and ask them to hang in our 'hood in the morning so that I can enjoy their Pan de Sal French Toast.  There are no convenient Filipino restaurants near us.  I must MAKE them come to me!

9.  My new favorite snack:  Hits the spot when I'm craving something crunchy and bold and NOT a salad (which is rare because I'm always on the hunt for a good salad....gotta balance out that cupcake addiction).  It's a "sometimes treat"!  Like this afternoon while I had 30 minutes of peace and quiet while my son was with his playgroup and my daughter was napping.  *sigh*  They taste like a much better version of Cheetos.  No weird artificial cheese flavor and they're much healthier.

10.  In my last Thursday Thirteen I wrote about the conversion of our daughter's crib to a toddler bed.  The first week was great...until she discovered that she could get in and out anytime she wants!  Oh, my goodness.  I think I get a good night's rest about once a month, only because I'm so exhausted I can't help but crash.  But, here's the sweetest thing that makes me forget the lack of sleep.  One morning this week she woke up just as her dad was getting ready to work, which wasn't too early so that was probably the one night I actually got some sleep.  Anyway, I was pretty knocked out but I could feel my husband put her in our bed next to me.  She was sitting there for a couple of minutes; I think she was waiting for me to say something, then she leaned over, kissed me on my cheek and said, "I love you, mommy." then laid her head next to mine.  Oh, my melting heart!

11.  My daughter, reading.  You'll have to turn up the volume to hear her.

12.  My husband went to our son's Open House at school (thank you, Love).  He saw that our son's homework chart was the only one with all his stars for completing his homework everyday so far since school started.  I'm very proud of him!  I have to say, despite all his struggling, he will do his homework with little complaining.  All because he wants to make me happy.

13.  As I finish writing this I'm watching my daughter chase around one of those Zhu Zhu Pets.  She got the one named Roxie (it's white and black with a pink mowhawk).  I've been thinking about getting them a hamster or bunny as a first pet.  I told her Roxie stays on the floor.  She's putting it on the table to watch it nose dive off of it.  I think we'll wait a bit longer on the new pet.

That's a wrap!  Have a wonderful and blessed weekend.  See good things, eat good things and do good things.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday Thirteen 9/09/2010

School is almost in session.  Where did the summer go?  Our bank account says we did a lot, but all I can recall is driving the kids around to all their classes and activities!  They had fun though.  In this particular blog I'm also listing a few things that happened when we went to Lawry's for dinner.  We've been there many times before but this time was different.  So different, I had to write about it.  Let's get to it:

1.  The staff at Lawry's remembered us, by name.  They especially remembered my son, which is the case at most places we frequent.  The dining room manager and one of the carvers came to our table to greet us and welcome us back.  The dining room manager told my son that he was going to come up with a little treat for him.  In our two prior visits our son received a chef's hat, carver's medal and a vest which was part of their old uniform and then a plate of huge chocolate covered strawberries on the house another time.

2.  I think I'll be running a Half Marathon in October.  I've started ramping up my miles, which has been easy since I'm always running.  Last week I ran a total of 22 miles, with 8 miles being my long run.

3.  The Surf 'n Turf special we had at Lawry's was only supposed to come with an 8 oz portion of prime rib but since our carver knew us, my hubby got a 16 oz. cut and I got a 20 oz cut (because I'm pretty, lol).  Then, my kids were supposed to split one kid entree since my baby girl only eats a little but they both got their own plates with their own servings of prime rib, and sides.  Needless to say, we had PLENTY of leftovers.

4.  I made a version of Charlotte Russe.  This one I got from a magazine.  It was good.  The recipe isn't quite right.  The waiting times are off and the measurements when working with the gelatin aren't accurate either.  It did not affect the taste.  It mostly affected the aesthetics.  It did not look exactly like the picture next to the recipe and the 5 or 6 reviews of the recipe are bad...all complaining about the same issues I had.  I wish I had seen the online reviews prior to starting the process.  I could have tweaked it.  It tasted wonderful.  Looked okay.  We all enjoyed it.  You won't see a picture of the luscious chocolate filling, since that was the part that got messed up, but here ya go:

5.  Our carver at Lawry's presented both our kids with chef's hats and medals.  They looked like they were ready to push the meat cart around which, by the way, we learned can weigh up to 800 pounds when fully loaded.  No wonder those carver guys are always on the beefy side!  Anyway, both kids loved the gifts and the attention.

6.  We got a personal tour of the entire kitchen at Lawry's after our meal, including their refrigerators and the wine cellar.  We even saw a vat of mashed potatoes being made.  2 gallons of full fat milk!  OMG!

7. I got new running shoes.  Finally!  I walked into the family owned running shoe store a few months ago and the owner mentioned the fact that it had been "some time" since I had purchased my shoes and that I was overdue for new ones.  He was right.  I especially noticed it when, after an 8 mile run, my legs felt very fatigued, which I usually don't have a problem with.  My shoes were no longer giving me feedback and I felt like I was literally "thumping" along.  Thump, thump, thump whenever my foot hit the pavement.  Not good.  But, when I hopped on the treadmill in the store and tried out my new shoes, it felt really good!  They didn't have pink ones so I got stuck with these:
Brooks Women's Ravenna Running Shoe,Sun Orange/Winter Poppy/Silver/White,9 B(M) US
Got them on Sunday and they now have 10 miles on them.
8.   No matter how long we've been in L.A. we continue to find new places to eat. We recently discovered an awesome Peruvian restaurant.  I'm not sure if it's traditional, but how can you go wrong with vegetables and chicken sauteed with tasty seasonings, mixed with french fries (yes, you read that right, french fries) and then served over rice.  Not the healthiest choice, but worth the extra few miles I have to run!

9.  Speaking of food, we went to the Gaffey Street Diner featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  Okay, let me be honest, we've been there three times.  The first time, I had pumpkin pancakes.  Oh, there was a party in my tummy!  Pumpkin pancakes are my favorite and for them to have it during the summer made it even better.  I've had their banana pancakes and apple pancakes.  Both melt in your mouth delicious.  This last time we went my brother was with us.  He enjoyed every bite of the huge omelet special they have on their menu.  If you're ever in San Pedro, perhaps on your way to or back from a cruise or just happen to be in the area, make a stop there.  Right now, they're only open for breakfast and lunch because they close the restaurant during dinner hours for remodeling.  Oh, and make sure to look at the specials on the board.  That's where I found my pumpkin pancakes.

10. Remember how in #3 I said that both my kids got their own full kid portions of prime rib instead of having to split one? Well, we weren't even charged for it. Not a dime.

11.  We're really behind on our movie list, which is just as long as my book list!  Anyway, we recently used our local Redbox.  It was slim pickin's both because it was a holiday weekend and my brother had already seen a number of the movies that were available.  He and my husband decided on The Book of Eli which none of us had ever seen and I have to say I LOVED IT!  Not at all what I was expecting.  I rarely purchase movies, but I'm adding that one and The Blind Side to our mostly kid movie collection.

12.  We converted my our daughter's crib to a toddler bed on the 28th.  Now, she can get in and out of her bed anytime she wants.  Yipee!  Sort of.  It's not so cute when it's 2:00 a.m. and she's running down the hall yelling, "Help  Help!' because she can't find her binky.  I didn't know I could leap out of bed so high and fast!  Well, actually I did know, because I've done it many times before when my son used to scream bloody murder at the sound of a siren.  Now, it's helicopters.  *sigh*

Fisher-Price The Sing-A-Ma-Jigs - Pink13.  My new favorite toy.  We bought our daughter two of them, the pink one and red one.  They make me laugh.  Try one.  You can either annoy someone with it or get all of them and make a choir (which I'm going to do just for the hell of it).  Thanks to  my sisters for letting me know about them, even though I first thought they were possessed.

That's all.  Have a great weekend.