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it started with a fish…

and is now a mini zoo.

We have 5 pets. FIVE. I know that may not seem like a lot to some people, especially compared to the folks who are featured on Pet Hoarders, but it is. It all started simply enough with a beta fish. Who died and was replaced with our zen like aquatic friend, aka Rainbow, currently taking up residence on an end table.

Last April we decided we needed a more interactive pet. Preferably one that we could take with us on car trips and walks. We went to a local shelter and fell in love with a black and white fur ball. Izy. I thought all was good and balanced as far as our pet quota went.

Evidently I was mistaken.

Because for Christmas Isaac received a frog habitat. And really, what kind of mom would I be if I just left it empty, collecting dust in the corner of his room. So off we went to the pet store in search of a frog. We were now the proud new owners of a Green Tree frog. How very exciting. And once a week, we become the owners of a dozen store bought crickets. Feeding time is the highlight of McBoingBoing’s life. Its the only time he moves from his plastic tree stump.

Next enters the sweet lovable Lucy. Yup. Another dog. What? How did that happen? Because folks, I am sucker. A co-worker came home to find a pregnant stray at her house,and decided to keep her. Two weeks later,

7 puppies.

5 puppies had found good homes, she was keeping one, so that left the sad, lonely, soft, adorable Lucy. I agreed to meet with her, to see if she would be a good fit for our family. Really? Who was I kidding. It was a puppy. What wouldn’t fit? We now had dog number 2. Surely NOW everything was balanced, even slightly off balance. We had enough pets.

And then the Easter Bunny brought a hamster.

I know what your all thinking, this could have been prevented, for obvious reasons. But there was a reason, a good reason for pet number 5. I think I had been asked at least 100 times this year if we could get a hamster. My response was always the same, NO!  (Well, sometimes, I said maybe and used the “rodent card” as leverage to get things I wanted) The reason I thought it would be brilliant for EB to leave a furry friend, is this. About a month ago, a sassy little 9 year old (who shall remain anonymous) decided to tell my 4 year old that the Easter Bunny and Santa were not real, and that his father and I are liars. This brought my son to tears and for days he brought it up, asking me if I was sure they were real. He was crushed. (I was angry at the 9 year old).  And then I had a crazy brilliant idea. If on Easter morning, there was a hamster in Isaac’s basket, his faith would be restored. (He is 4, I want him to believe for as long as possible in this world where kids grow up WAY to fast) It worked. It was magical. He said “He is real, he is real”. And Elie the hamster fits right in with our family.

The one down side to all these critters is cleaning their poop, cages, and fish bowl. This past weekend after the “other half of WE” said “You know, the animals need to have their cages and bowl cleaned, and Lucy could use a bath”, I spent a good part of my morning doing just that. Because if I had left it up to him, I would have done it anyway. (he means well). I seriously considered scrubbing the frog’s lair with my man’s toothbrush. But instead, left all the dog poop for him to pick up.

 
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Posted by on pmpThu, 05 May 2011 12:04:14 +000004Thursday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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the good, the bad and the eggy…

It’s that time of year. The grass is finally green again, trees are budding, flowers are starting to bloom. Spring is in the air. But what is that smell?

Ah yes, boiled eggs.

It is said that in medieval Europe, beautifully decorated eggs were given as gifts. I am guessing that back then, the smell blended in and no one took offense. Why this tradition started, I have no idea, but its something few of us can avoid during this vibrantly fragrant time of year.

(Yes this is all going somewhere).

Today we dyed eggs. I like to think that I have done my part to carry on the Easter funk tradition.

For most people, this may not seem like a big deal. And really it’s not. But in my house most projects turn into major events.

As a mother I have learned to take art projects of any kind done with my children, in stride. I am a bit of an control freak idealist when it comes to crafty undertakings. Countless times I have taken over one of my children’s projects. But as I have fine tuned my parenting skills, I have learned to let go of my ideals and what I think the outcome should be. Who cares if craft eyes are glued on where the mouth should be,  if they mix all the finger paints and make brown soup over the beautiful flower they just painted or that a “portrait” they are so proud of looks more like Sigmund the Sea Monster then me.

I have learned that the less I fret over them, the more fun we all have. And the outcome? Beautiful works of art that I will treasure forever.

So when my 4-year-old Picasso wanted to dye eggs today, I knew I needed to step back and let him do it HIS way.

The results:

Beautiful aren’t they? And all I did was boil the eggs and open the packets of dye.

 
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Posted by on pmpWed, 20 Apr 2011 13:10:13 +000010Wednesday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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takes the cake…

This week was an extremely busy one. I had several cakes to make, as well as a million and two errands to run. The result: a messy house, and absolutely no creative blogging.

But I don’t feel that bad. It is staying successfully busy that makes me feel like I have accomplished something. So even though I did not get EVERYTHING done that I wanted and needed to, I can sit back on this gorgeous Sunday, and sip iced coffee and feel at peace with myself.

Cakes I made this week:

Baby Announcement Cake

 
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Posted by on pmpSun, 17 Apr 2011 15:04:14 +000004Sunday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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sunday, sunday…

I was going to make Irish Car Bomb cupcakes this weekend, but its already Sunday night (what? how did that happen) and I have produced nothing. I did not even cook dinner, AND the other half of “WE” even made brunch today! ( he did not leave anything behind in the oven, I checked)

So yes, I have been one lazy uncreative lady this weekend.

But the weekend was not a complete loss. While I did not make any treats, I did treat myself. I have been wanting new cake pans for about 80 years. So I bought some today. And the best part is, I found a 40% off coupon for them. Here is a link where you can find daily deals at Micheal’s : (they come in very handy if you find yourself at Michael’s as often as I do)

http://www.dealigg.com/story-Michaels-Coupons-Michaels-Coupon-Code

(If you bake, I highly recommend Wilton cake pans, as well as their other products.)

I will be making those cupcakes this week (I promise)

 
4 Comments

Posted by on pmpSun, 10 Apr 2011 20:56:30 +000056Sunday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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let’s bake something…

…..(my baking adventure with a 4 year old foodie)

This afternoon my little chef in the making wanted to bake “something”. I asked him what he wanted to make.

“Brownies”.

Isaac loves to bake and cook. And at 4 years old knows more culinary terms than some adults I know. He is not just satisfied with stirring when he is assisting me, he has to be an active participant in all aspects of whatever it is that we are creating.  I knew a boxed mix  would just not cut it. The last time we made those, he deemed them “boring” because there was “not enough stuff to add”.  Hmmm….an easy recipe that wont take forever and not make a giant mess. (I have things to do today) I knew just what to do. I searched the shelf of my  beloved Bon Appetit magazines.

I found a recipe I had not tried yet. It seemed easy enough and would not take THAT long. (and it didn’t, after I rescued the magazine from behind the couch, it slipped off the top. I almost had a panic attack. My couch weighs a million and three pounds. I may be many things, but super woman is not one of them. Thankfully the ends of the couch recline, and I was able to shimmy my arm just far enough to reach the mag. Crisis diverted)

I had my assistant go wash his hands, while I preheated the oven and gathered our ingredients. While he was washing up, he “accidentally” spilled all the hand soap down the drain and all over the counter. (at this point we are already running about 30 mins behind MY schedule).  I head to the bathroom to clean up soap (I know seems redundant doesn’t it) and then I smell something burning. Hmmm that is weird, I have not even put anything in there yet. I open the oven to investigate said smell. And what do I find? A sheet pan with remnants of chicken from last night. (ugh I should have known) You see, my husband has a horrible habit of leaving things in the oven when he is done with them. (does anyone else have this problem) I often turn on the oven only to be met with a awful charred smell moments later. SO ANNOYING.(but to give him credit, he usually cleans the kitchen every night after dinner, even though he almost always forgets that small detail).

Ok…back to the recipe.

We finally got our brownies underway.

COCOA BROWNIES with BROWNED BUTTER

This recipe is from the February 2011 issue.  Alice Medrich who is a chocolate expert (what a wonderful thing to be an expert at!) created this recipe. I left out the nuts called for in this recipe. If you prefer nuts the original recipe calls for 1 cup of walnut pieces.

Ingredients:

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces (I actually did not do this, I put them in the pan as is, minus wrapper of course)

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons water

2 large eggs

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (make sure there is nothing in the oven). Line 8×8 baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2 inch overhang. (give or take. I think i had way more then 2 inches of overhang). Coat foil with nonstick spray.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 mins.

waiting patiently for butter to brown

FINALLY

browned butter

Remove from heat, pour into medium bowl. Immediately add sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla and salt. Stir to blend.

Let cool 5 minutes. Add eggs to mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny:

add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes (honestly we did not count how many strokes we made)

Transfer to prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean. (a few moist crumbs attached) about 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut and devour!

These are amazing. My new favorite brownie.  Even though it took longer then I wanted, so worth it! I got to spend quality time with one of my guys, and he had a blast. Nothing boring about these brownies!!!

And there is definitely NOTHING boring about this guy!!!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on pmpFri, 08 Apr 2011 15:33:53 +000033Friday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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