Isolating Photos

One would think with not being able to really leave the house that blogging time would be plentiful. However, turns out that is not the case. Can’t explain it. Some days are crazy busy, some are super lazy, sometimes great food comes out of the kitchen and sometimes we eat Amy’s frozen entrees….balance.

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Art days.

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Shayne’s ninth birthday and an AMAZING cake her mama made!

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Fun with the phone apps.

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Lazy days.

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Easter fun!

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Delicious food, homemade and store bought.

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Good books, good wine and school work.

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NINE

The baby who made me a mom turned 9 years old. I am not sure how that is even possible.

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She asked for a Spirit Riding Free cake with blue layers and Funfetti layers. This cake was not my best work but she seemed happy with it.

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Her wishes for a hoverboard and plenty of other gifts were granted.

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After her self isolation party, the girls rotated between splashing, building and riding.

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It’s a hard go right now for our kids having birthdays during these times. We just do our best to make it the best we can for them.

I can’t believe my baby is nine. I love you K bear!

 

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Puff Pastry Sausage Rolls

Ever since I had my first meat pasty in London, my radar for a British meat pie is always on. This is an easy recipe that sort of has a pasty vibe, perfect for a party or pot luck, when those days are allowed again.

*recipe is from Epicurious

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INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds good pork sausage

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 (17-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 eggs beaten

DIRECTIONS

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl mix together the sausage, basil, oregano, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste until all the seasonings are well distributed throughout.

Roll out all the puff pastry into one large rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Put the wide side of the rectangle to your left. Form the sausage meat into a log about 1 inch thick and long enough to fit the width of the pastry. Lay this log along the whole edge. Roll the pastry around the sausage, brush with beaten eggs at the join, and cut so that the pastry has just enough room to slightly overlap. Repeat the process with the remaining sausage meat and pastry. Line up all the sausage rolls making sure the seam on each is at the bottom and not showing. Brush the tops with the eggs and cut the sausage rolls into either 1 1/2-or 3-inch logs.

*serve with your favorite mustard or an aioli or nothing, they are good on their own.

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Learning Curve

Every day we get up, drink coffee and shower. Every morning the girls have breakfast, get dressed, make their beds and head to their spot for a daily zoom meeting. Every day I do my best to get it all done; work, school, keep the children alive. The girls get in their academics, some creative art, physical activity, and we manage to fit in plenty of fun game time. We are amazing. At the end of the day we are wiped and stressed about not only how it all got done, but how are we going to do it again and again without going mad? Am I doing enough? Shit, they haven’t had vegetables in days…It’s okay that they’ve had breakfast for all three meals, right? They haven’t gone outside in two days because f*ck! it hasn’t stopped raining.

These are how the days go. There is crying and laughing, wine and sugar but we get it done and we get up and do it again, because moms are amazing!

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We squeezed in a field trip to Mount Laguna. Such a fun day!

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fullsizeoutput_b69We even brought snow home for a Kinder science experiment. Averi and I read the book “The Snowy Day” and the next day we went outside to see what happened to the snow we brought home; A built in lesson plan.

GoNoodle is a life saver.

I can really tell a difference between the days they get a good amount of physical activity and the days they don’t. They all show their hands at bedtime.

They also love the time we set aside to create. Whether it’s coloring, cooking or painting, I think it’s the only time of day that they are quiet.

Quiet is good!

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I think if you asked them what their favorite part of the day was, they would all say family game time. We have found a few new favorites. Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is a lot of fun, (it’s meant for 8 years and older but Averi has gotten the hang of it, she just won’t win anytime soon.) We all love UNO, and the girls new favorite is, The Floor is Lava. They love this game,  I haven’t won yet so it’s not my favorite.

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There are some tears and a lot of “whyyyyyyys?”

As frustrating as it is being on, every.single.minute.of.the.day. They really love having us at their fingertips all day long.

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Well, most of the time.

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Goat Cheese and Arugula Pizza with Spicy Honey

This recipe is what everyone needs during this self isolation era. I can promise you that however you are getting your groceries, the goat cheese and arugula are not what’s flying off of the shelves. However, the flour and yeast is so hopefully you already have that stocked in your pantry or you can find pre-made pizza dough; luckily I did.

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Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup marinara sauce

4 ounces goat cheese

1 1/2 cups freshly grated cheese (mozzarella or a blend)

4 cups baby arugula greens

 

Spicy Honey

 

1/2 cup honey

1 jalapeño pepper thinly sliced 

 

Directions

Prep the dough and let it rise.
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Drizzle a couple of tablespoons olive oil into a 9×13 cake pan or dish.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it a few times until silky, using a sprinkle of extra flour if needed. Place the dough in the pan and press it out towards the edges. Once it’s in the pan and as close to the edges as it will get, cover it and let it rise again for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 550 degrees F.
To assemble the pizza, press the dough down in the pan with your fingertips and remove any large air bubbles. Spread the sauce on the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. Add on about 1/2 of the goat cheese and top with the grated cheeses.
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Bake the pizza for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly and the crust around the edges is golden. Toss the arugula with the tablespoon of olive oil. Remove the pizza and drizzle it with a few tablespoons of the spicy honey.
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Top it with the arugula. Add the remaining crumbled goat cheese, don’t forget the jalapeno slices!
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Sit back and enjoy!

Photos from Before the End

Doesn’t it feel like yesterday was last week? Days. Are. So. Long and it’s an uphill road.

Before the world closed.

Kaili got 100% on her math test, huge accomplishment. For those of you who have been around from the beginning know she had a traumatic birth with a possible a brain injury (Post is here if you’re new). Aside from some struggling in certain areas, she’s thriving. She has had the same teacher three out of her four years in school and it’s been amazing because we love her and she loves Kaili, what more can you ask for?  Unfortunately her teacher is moving away this summer and it breaks my heart to think she might not get to see her in school again.

Sobbing

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Moving on….

We went to the Santa Anita track for a Handicap beer and cider festival. The first thing that came to my mind was that if this was happening in Del Mar, it would be so crowded. It was nice to enjoy betting and drinking without the massive lines. This was the luckiest I have been at the track in a long time and to my knowledge, no horses were injured.

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A photographer came up to us and mentioned  Shawna’s newly purchased Las Vegas sunnies. He said that the reflection was incredible and asked if he could take pictures of the horses through her sunglasses. “Of course I will be your muse”, she replied.

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I made a Caprese board which really is all we need in these trying times.

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My last store run I saw Brie AND Burrata, tomatoes and basil… but there wasn’t any French bread, people are doing it wrong.

This little guy was found out front and all I kept seeing was Franklin the turtles’ best friend Snail.

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snail

 

Remember that show?

One day on the way to pick up the girls from school. This was in the car behind us.

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No thank you. Do not stop, don’t look them in the eye.

And then the beginning of the end started. The weekend called for all of the home fun,  puzzles, scavenger hunts and board games and, and, and…

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I think it’s safe to say the kiddos aren’t heading back to school anytime soon. Since we are in this together I am going to share a couple of  links that have activities for them. Aren’t we lucky with what we have available at our fingertips these days? Imagine going through all this with solely a land line.

At Home Activities

Bouncy Ball Science Experiment

Having available resources helped me tremendously while I was on pregnancy bed rest and I know they will help me through this. Let’s all stay together through these turbulent times.

 

 

 

 

Sequestered Lemon Curd and Cream Cheese Pastry

How is everyone holding up in our new reality? I won’t lie, I have cabin fever and it’s only been a week. But to keep my spirits up, I will hang out in the kitchen more and experiment with new recipes.

Our lemon tree is finally having its moment.

I see lemon martinis, in the near future.

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Since all of the time is on my side, I decided to turn a a few of them into a non-alcoholic curd.

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I used this recipe from Epicurious and you guys, it’s so good. Perfect balance of sweet and sour with the butter coating the palate at the end. So good.

Now what? I had newly made curd and puff pastry in the freezer, after a few searches I came across this;  a cream cheese and lemon puff pastry braid.

This was a pretty easy recipe and now that I have a slight grip on how to braid pastry, (it’s a lot harder than hair) I think Kaili will be able to take the lead next time.

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The curd was starting to spill out and I wasn’t happy with my pastry talents but…..it all turned out just fine in the end.

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Not sure how many servings this is supposed to be; but turns out it’s two….two totally worth the macros servings.

Birthdays

To celebrate the February birthday’s in our family we all went to Little Italy for dinner. Although the food wasn’t anything to rave about, the company was well worth it. The best part of Italian food is that we know we can order the girls pizza and skip the dramatics. You guys, they are getting older, when does their pickiness go away?

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Later that night Kaili started to deteriorate and ended up with a bad cold. It has now hit the entire house, besides me; takes a bow while simultaneously knocks on wood. 

A week or so later we headed to Vegas. While we were waiting to check in, we saw Jesus, probably.

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We hit the arts district where we had an incredible lunch at Esthers Kitchen.

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So good in fact, that we went back once more before we left.

Once my brother flew in, we hit the town. Music, food, dancing and all the fun that we have there.

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The next day we decided to hit up Frankie’s Tiki’s Lounge before heading to the strip.

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We were almost committed to riding on the high roller, but then beer pong caught our eye.

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On the way back to the hotel, we saw the most amazing rainbow.

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With that we headed to a casino to test our luck. Some of us were luckier than others. We met some nice folks, crazy characters and spent the rest of the night singing and dancing.

A great birthday month in the books.

My Favorite Valentines

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We had a low-key at home Valentine’s day.  After taking the girls for lunch at the park, we went home to give them their goodies of love.

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Once they were all sugared up, we sent them outside to disturb the neighbors. For dinner I made Chrissy Teigens’ meatloaf.  I am in no way a fan of loafed meat and it took bottles of ketchup and bbq sauce for me to eat it as a child. This recipe combines ground beef and spicy sausage which is the real winner on the dish. Just try it, it’s good. We also had potato puree, green beans and chocolate lava cakes for the ending. Pictures are now in your imagination because I didn’t pause to take any.

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We finished the night eating chocolate on the couch as our favorite shows played. I hope you all had a wonderful love day. I know I did!

 

January Wrap up

Everyone was saying how long January seemed, but to me, February came out of nowhere. On January 10th, Averi turned 5 and a half. On the girls half birthday they get to choose what/were they want to eat for dinner. Averi chose Chuck E Cheese, last year it was Islands for mac n cheese, so she is par for course of her dining choices. For someone who can go all day with her shoes on the wrong feet she sure is picky about her food intake.

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The girls have also been getting better on skates. We are trying to urge them outside after homework to practice their skating so the next time we go to the rink, they will be more independent.

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I took advantage of San Diego restaurant week (SDRW) and although each year I am less and less impressed with the choices, I was pleasantly surprised this time. Brian and I went to WaterBar in Pacific Beach for lunch and the view wasn’t the only thing that was sumptuous.

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The fish sandwich I had was truly deliciously messy. Our waiter said that the chef put the sandwich solely on the restaurant week menu but I would purposely go back there just for that sandwich.

Shawna and I also took advantage of the SDRW and had another spectacular meal. You guys, these are so far and few between for me that it’s worth writing about. There was crispy pork belly in a brown sugar maple glaze served with a fuji apple salad. We had crispy octopus with salsa verde and the absolute best dish of the night was the pan seared scallops with coconut black rice in a Thai red curry sauce. This dish was so incredible that I went ahead and tried to make it at home a week later.

Please disregard my awful plating and, imagine how good this was. You guys, so good!

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We also made whole roasted fish bathed in garlic, olive oil, jalapeños and lemons.

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I fed us for a week with this crustless mushroom and spinach frittata.

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The Santa Ana winds stopped for a visit and gave us a couple of 80 degree days. We all took advantage of the warm sunshine.

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And last but not least my baby lost her first tooth.

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Now it’s February and we marching towards more birthdays! Can’t wait to share the fun that is in store!