Thursday, February 28, 2013

Laugh of the Day

I just received a card in the mail today. Totally made my day and had me laughing aloud to myself. And anyone who knows me, knows why this is appropriate.. After all, my first email address was bagladie72. : ) Thanks Anne!

On the inside:
I'm glad we understand each other.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mini Snow Vacay

Last weekend, our family went to Big Bear to play in the snow. This was the first time for both girls and they had been counting down the days. We had some friends who invited us to stay in their "cabin." It was perfect! Four adults and 5 little girls, ages 3-7. One big play date!

This was home for 3 days : )
Trails and trails of snow from behind the house.
And every deck (I think there were about 3)
had this snowy view.

Ready to hit the slopes with Dad!

And ready to taste the snow with Mommy ; )

Kalista and Quincy Pearl playing while the 
big kids went skiing.
 Our little friend : )
 Mommy fun!

Girl power!
(Kalista, Sophia, Amelyse, Waverly, Quincy)
 Our 2D snowman!
Amelyse and Sophia
(They will be starting kindergarten together)
The Halls
The Wongs

My favorite guy : )

 Cheers to our first family snow trip!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Shrimp Potstickers

So excited to share these super cute Valentine's potstickers I made for the dinner club I partake in monthly. Since Valentine's day fell during the usual week of our dinner club, it was postponed to the following week but with the love day theme in mind.

I thought it would be cute to make potstickers in the shape of hearts. Potstickers are so easy to make. You can make any type of filling. I decided to go with a shrimp filling. But you could use chicken, pork, vegetable, or even a combination.

I adapted my recipe from Martha Stewart. I basically just used this recipe as a guide, but definitely adjusted the cooking times since my potstickers were smaller and therefore didn't need the full cooking time. Remember, nothing needs to be exact!

Here is what I had for my filling:
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
one large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Finely chopped cilantro, about a tablespoon
1/2 grated carrot
Freshly grated ginger, about 1/2 teaspoon
1 small shallot, minced
2 scallions, finely chopped

Other items you will need:
Fresh wonton skins (can be round or square)
Heart shaped cookie cutter that will fit your skins
Pastry brush and water

Puree shrimp, egg white, sesame oil, and soy sauce in a food processor until smooth and pasty. Transfer to mixing bowl and combine cilantro, carrot, ginger, shallot, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper.

Take wonton skin and place 1/2 teaspoon of filling in the center. Brush water around the skin and place another skin on top. Carefully press out air while sealing. Take a heart shaped cookie cutter and press. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and cover with plastic as you make the rest.

On medium high, heat tablespoon of oil in large pan and add about 1/2 of your hearts. Cook for a couple of minutes and give the pan a shake. Add just enough water to barely cover hearts, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium and cook for another 3 minutes.

Serve warm with favorite dipping sauce!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Food Love

After we left Santa Monica, we stopped by The Grove, another favorite of mine. I just love the outdoor vibe. It is a retail shoppers happy place. But, since we were with the kids, I didn't get my hopes up for leisurely window browsing or purchasing. And that was perfectly fine, this time ; )

However, there was one place I wanted to pop in to: UMAMI BURGER! I have heard so much about this place, so naturally I had to taste for myself.

Their Truffle Beet Salad was so yummy! I also polished off their Port & Stilton Burger (see pic below). I think I'd polish anything off with carmelized onions. David had their Manly Burger (a cheeseburger with smoked salt onions strings and BACON lardons). Their sweet potato fries had a little cinnamon kick and their tempura battered onions rings were so light.

And just when you think you can't possibly eat anymore . . . 
Guess again!
How could we leave without indulging a little more.

Monday, February 18, 2013

California Love

On Saturday, we took a little day trip out of Santa Barbara. Not that the weather wasn't nice that day, but it's always fun getting out of town. And luckily, fun is just less than 2 hours away.

Yes, we are lucky to have "winter" days like these:
I love Malibu : )

And the kids . . . well they love:
Santa Monica : )

Sophia loves the ferris wheel

Kalista was thrilled to ride solo!
So was Mommy ; )

It was a sugar rush day : )

Hope you had a fun and fabulous weekend too!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sophia's Big Accomplishment

We are so excited for Sophia! She's been working hard and it's paid off : )

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Krispies

Ah . . . take me back to my childhood, please! I loved Rice Krispie Treats when I was a kid. Oh, who are we kidding. I still love them. We don't make them very often in our house for a couple of reasons. First, they are very sweet and not the most healthy of snacks. Second, I am pretty sure I would eat the entire pan by myself. In. One. Sitting. : )

Do you remember how to make these sweet treats? If not let me refresh your memory; no need to call Mom. ; )
3 T butter
4 cups of miniature marshmallows
6 cups of Rice Krispies

Melt butter in large pot (I used my Le Creuset because it makes clean-up so easy)
Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Take off the heat and mix in cereal.
Spread evenly in 9x13x2 baking dish. I believe the original recipe says to use wax paper to help smooth out the mix. But I find wet hands are the best!
*For our special Valentine's treats, I added a few drops of Wilton Rose coloring.

Find some cute helpers and start cutting!
Tip: It's easier to cut out shapes if you dip your cutter in hot water. 
It also helps release the treat too.

 Don't forget to take turns. Oy!

And here you go!

 Now, don't you dare waste these precious scraps of goodness!

Roll 'em up and put 'em on a stick!
Instant Rice Krispie Pops without the extra sugar glue.
Happy Valentine's to All!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Salt Dough Hearts - A Valentine's DIY

This will be Kalista's first time handing out Valentines to friends at school. With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to make her first time super special. And since the school is asking us not to bring candy, this project is perfect.

Like all projects, you need inspiration! My inspiration came from my love for Modge Podge and my sweet friend, Marina, over at Yummy Mummy Kitchen. Did you know she has a book coming out in April? You can pre-order on Amazon!

What you need:
2 cups of flour
1 cup table salt
3/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 200 F. Mix together in a bowl and then knead like you would dough. You may need to add more water or flour depending on the texture. You want the dough nice and smooth. Roll dough out on floured surface and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Place on baking pan and bake for 20 minutes; flip once after 10 minutes. Let cool.

*I baked mine for about 30 minutes. I rolled my dough out a little thicker than usual because I wanted to make sure my fluted heart edges would show nicely.

Grab your Modge Podge, glitter, and any kid who is willing to make your kitchen look like a glitter war zone and let 'em have at it. Pour yourself a glass of wine too. ; )

 Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Proud Moment

Being parents is one of the most challenging jobs David and I have ever had. But it has also been the most rewarding. And a message, like the one below, is a great reminder that we are doing things right.
Sophia, we are so very proud of you!
Keep up the great work!