Race You

Last week I found myself at home instead of teaching a cooking class. That lead me to cook in my free time, obviously. Although I don’t have much photo proof to show you, I did indeed make some delicious food.
Pavlovas with lemon curd, scallops with an herb chili oil, esquites (Mexican street corn salad) and crab cakes with a remoulade.

The crab cake recipe that I use (Andrew Zimmern) is the only one I need, ever. Super simple ingredients, not loaded with filler, it lets the crab shine. It’s delish!

Shawna and I hit the Del Mar races. I had some luck on my side… finally.


It was a fun day. The weather perfect, the views even better.

Our weather has been a consistent 77-80 degrees with humidity. Leaving us craving water in all forms.

We went to Mission Bay and the Plunge at Mission beach and then back to the bay. Seeking refuge in bodies of water.

I think it’s almost time for an adult poolside day. One where I’m not lugging snacks, chairs, boogie boards, water bottles and everything else that comes along with children. More like a good book and an adult beverage!

Baking with Kids

The second session of my cooking class was International baking. I had 4 girls, all 8 years old (it can’t get much better than that).

We started off the first week making Venezuelan Alfajores sandwich cookies, Albanian cornbread with feta and green onion. Indian Nankhatai cookies and South African Karringmelkbesuits.

Since they were only 8, they were more about the creating, than the outcome. So I would invite them to use their creativity, after we completed the recipe.

This is one of the girls hand made cookie.

Each of the girls reminded me of our Aves, she would have loved being in this class.

I decided to start each day with a different approach, than I did with my cooking class.

I would find a book on video that had a story about a country that we were going to “visit” or a food that resembled one we would be making. They loved it.

And if you don’t know about StoryLine Online, and you have kids, you have to check it out!

The next week we made Egyptian butter cookies and Lithuanian sour cream pockets.

The sour cream pocket recipe did not work, something was off…

But who cares.

Next, we made mango cupcakes, and stuffed Georgian cheese breads.

I was really excited about this next recipe.

Mongolian sesame flat-bread crackers with a cream cheese spread.

But somewhere along the way, the soy sauce was heavy handed in the spread and it was too salty…inedible

But I will make that again.

We also made a really good cheese pizza.

And a not so good Romanian Easter bread.

The last day of class, I asked them to make something from the ingredients that we had left. Chopped style. They put so much heart into it. But…

You guys, this raised my blood pressure.

I just can’t with chaos.

But, they did so great.

They all used cocoa powder and chocolate chips.

Most of it wasn’t edible.

But that wasn’t the point. The point was to give them the freedom to create, with no boundaries.

I was very lucky to have that group of girls, It was such a great experience .

When it Hurts!

Kaili does this thing, a few minutes after I put her to bed she  hollers for me. Something she knows not to do unless she is being kidnapped, okay that is harsh but something seriously has to be wrong. She knows this, but still does it. I know, she’s 4!  Anyway, she hollers and I come literally running so Averi doesn’t wake up. “Kaili, what’s wrong?” “I had a bad dream!” I then explain the situation and once she agrees that she wasn’t actually asleep, I slowly back out of the room praying to a God I don’t believe in that she falls asleep, pronto!

These daily occurrences and often nuisances to a mom who is solo half of the time are frustrating. But then something happens and you snap back into mama bear mode, where nothing matters but that child of yours.

Yesterday when I went to pick K up from school, the usually loud chatty classroom was empty, or so I thought. Kaili was sitting on her teachers lap with tears in her eyes and an ice pack on her hand. My mind instantly filled with dread, please don’t let anything be broken. “No, if it was that bad they would have called me!!” <—that all went through my head in 2 seconds.

Turns out she got her finger slammed in the bathroom door. She was being brave until she saw me, then it all let loose. Poor thing was in pain and there was nothing I can do, and that my friends, BLOWS!

You know how it goes because we have all had something slammed in the door, right? Throbbing and aching and it plain sucks. She laid on the couch with some ice for about an hour, I didn’t forget the Advil!


I asked her if she thought she could go swimming, she said ” yes, I just won’t use my finger!” And that is problem solving 101. She was up off the couch and back to her normal, overly curious self.


I took this picture about an hour or two after, it actually looks worse now. But she hasn’t complained about it! She is my fierce, strong and lively kid and I hope that never changes!

And I need a manicure!

“Uh Oh”

Averi has left fear in the dust and decided to start walking. Granted, she isn’t in any hurry when she is on her feet. She knows her speed lies in her crawl, but she will get there soon. Yesterday she just popped up on her own and went for it. I don’t know if this is why her nights have been a wreck, or if it’s the teeth coming in, or both, but it sucks and I hope it ends soon. On with it, here is a little video of  Miss twinkle toes.

She is also saying “uh oh” throughout the day and even in the middle of the night. I went in to her room at some ungodly hour the other night and she was sitting in her crib, “uh oh, uh oh” she says. Her pacifier was on the ground. Luckily, I didn’t hear from her again until the sun was up. She will purposely drop things so she can say her favorite words, I must admit, it’s cute.

It’s been a week without bottles, well almost all bottles. I didn’t rid the nighttime bottle for two reasons. One; I didn’t want to just cut them all out cold turkey. She was still taking about 4 or 5 bottles a day, I thought it would be plain mean to stop them altogether. Two; the bedtime bottle was more for comfort and since she is my last baby forever, I selfishly didn’t want to give up that 10 minutes of cuddle time with her…not yet. How did it go? Fine. She was a lot more hungry after that so she eats and eats, the girl can put away food. Her schedule looks somewhat like this:

6-6:30 Wake up

7:00 Breakfast

9/10:00-naps for an hour to an hour and a half


11:30/12 lunch

2:00 nap…sometimes 😦

3:00 snack

5:15 dinner


6:15/6:30 bottle and bed

This is during the week, when we are busy on weekends naps are pushed later or the afternoon nap is skipped altogether. She is pretty go with the flow, luckily.


Kaili, that girl is sumpthin’ else. She is saying things like “turn it up, that song is my jam” The kid just goes and goes, doesn’t nap, doesn’t drop and when everyone else’s kids are  passing out in cars she just keeps chugging along. Even after an early wake up, school, the park, and swimming, she will lay in bed for a good half hour before she drifts away. Please tell me, how do I make her tired?



Red Paint In The Hair

Now that I am feeling better and Kaili is pretty close to 100 % I have been spending some time going through some of my preschool lessons. Since Kaili will be a “toddler” soon I am going to start incorporating more “learning” into our weeks. Anyhow, I came across this poem. I gave this out every year at the beginning of school to parents and I wanted to share it with you. It’s a good reminder to always send your child to school in clothes that can get dirty, even on picture day.

Red paint in the hair? Blue paint on the jeans? Sand in the shoes? Peanut butter on a favorite shirt? White socks that look brown? Sleeves a bit damp?


worked with a friend

solved a problem

created a masterpiece

negotiated a difference

learned a new skill

had a great time

developed new language skills


feel lonely

become bored

do a repetitive task that is babyish

do worksheets that are too easy

do sit down work that is discouraging


paid good money for those clothes

will have trouble getting the red paint out

are concerned the caregiver isn’t paying enough attention to your child

YOUR CAREGIVER PROBABLY…. was aware of your child’s special needs and interests

spent time planning a challenging activity for the children

encouraged the children to try new things

was worried you might be concerned

Young children really learn when they are actively involved in play…not when someone is talking to them. There is a difference between “messy” and “lack of care.”

Your caregiver made sure your child was fed, warm, offered new skills and planned messy fun things to do because that’s how your children learn! Send your child in clothes that can get dirty! Keep extra clothes at the site for the times when the child gets really messy. But remember, your children need time to be kids. ~~~Author Unknown~~~