Strawberry Ice Cream

On November 29, 2009, in Yummy Goodness, by Wendy

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar, divided
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup sugar in a mixing bowl, set aside in fridge for 1 hour.

In large mixing bowl beat eggs until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add 3/4 cups sugar, mixing well. Stir in milk and vanilla and mix well.

Add strawberries with juice and mix well. Gently stir in whipping cream just until combined.

Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.

I made this th other day using some strawberries I had in the freezer. This recipe was very easy to follow and the results came out pretty good. I’m sure it would have been great if I had some fresh strawberries during their season.

Source: Recipe Zaar


Izzy loves wearing dresses

On November 29, 2009, in Kid, by Wendy

Dress up

My coworker from the Toronto office, Ruby, brought this lovely little dress for Isadora when she came to town a couple of weeks ago. When I first put the dress on Izzy, she got so excited. She kept patting herself, and then started running from one side of the room to the other, screaming, laughing and twirling. This kid LOVES dresses. Ruby has a great fashion sense. She also brought Izzy this adorable blue dress when she visited over summer. Here’s Izzy just when she was starting to walk full time at Chris and Tina’s Wedding Reception.


A wish list for Isadora

On November 27, 2009, in Helpful Hints, Kid, by Wendy

I’ve been getting requests for Christmas present ideas for Izzy. So here goes…

  1. Anything that is meaningful to you and you would like to share with our daughter. Perhaps your favorite childhood book, toy or game.
  2. Your time. Come over and play with her, read books, take her for a walk or to the park. It is important that she build a relationship with you beyond a quick visit and a present drop. This isn’t a veiled attempt to sucker you in to babysitting. Well, maybe just a little. 😉
  3. Money for college. We’ll accept cash, checks, savings bonds or you can contribute to her 529 savings plan (ask me for details).
  4. Various and sundry items available through Amazon. I realize there’s a lot of stuff on here, but I wanted to allow for variety in both types of items and price points, while keeping it focused to the types of toys and books we feel comfortable with her having. We certainly don’t expect everyone to buy all of these things for Izzy, nor would we want you too. We want Izzy to grow up knowing that Christmas is a time to hang out with family and friends, make great food, build upon traditions and fill the house with laughter and memories.
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I’ll never make it as a Top Chef contestant

On November 27, 2009, in Family, Friends, Kid, by Wendy

Yesterday was a big cooking day. Thanksgiving will do that to a person. I wasn’t even making a big meal, just breakfast for us and a side dish and dessert to take to a potluck later in the afternoon.

The day started off great! I made a double batch of Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal–one without nuts for the girls and one with nuts for us. It was delicious! I cleaned up the kitchen, and packed Izzy up for a trip to the neighborhood park and we headed out for an hour or so.

Izzy had a great time playing on the slides and swing. We had a snack of cheese sticks and I noticed she was getting a little sleepy. I popped her into the stroller and we headed home. We’d only gotten as far as one block before she fell asleep. I texted Mitch and asked him to prep her from for transition. It went seamlessly. (Thank you for a two hour nap!)

Off to the kitchen to make side dish and dessert.

I decided to make Creamy Pumpkin Pasta for my side dish to take to the Thanksgiving potluck at Cafe Royale. I was feeling ambitious, so I also decided to make an Apple Gingerbread Upside Down Cake since I happened to have all the ingredients on hand. In fact, I made a double batch so I could take another one over to Chuck and Mo’s when I stopped by their place for a second round of dessert. Herein, lies where everything goes slightly awry.

I started with the Apple Gingerbread Upside Down Cake. Everything was going well, but I was a little worried about the timing for baking. Despite living in this apartment for over a year, I’m still discovering the nuances of cooking with my beautiful vintage Wedgewood stove. The heat is really inconsistent, so baking is always a crap shoot. The recipe calls for 45-50 minutes at 325 degrees. Yeah, that didn’t work out so well. I had to put it in 30 minutes longer. In the meantime, I’ve started the Creamy Pumpkin Pasta recipe.

All at once, Izzy wakes up from her nap and is screaming bloody murder, the phone is ringing, Mitch is hollering about something, the timer went off for the cakes and I’m about to burn the turkey sausage. I’m on the verge of losing my cool at this point. Oh, wait, I think I did lose my cool. I’m pretty sure I started hollering back at Mitch over the cacophony of our screaming child. Oh yeah, and we’re already 25 minutes late to dinner.

Suddenly, there was peace. Mitch hung up the phone, Izzy stopped screaming, I stopped cursing the interruptions. I didn’t burn the turkey sausage, but momentarily forgot that the timer went off for the cakes. And then I smelled them. GAH! I pulled them out right away and noticed that one of the cakes (on the bottom shelf) came out perfect and the other cake (on the top shelf) came out burnt. Bummer.

We got packed up and headed out to the Cafe, and then I realized I forgot to make the whipped cream. Double bummer. Now what am I going to do with all that heavy cream? Make ice cream of course!

We got to the party in one piece (luckily we only had to travel as far as across the street) and in good spirits. The pasta and cake were the hit of the party, if I don’t say so myself. Those recipes will definitely make repeat appearances.

Oh, and the burnt cake? We started nibbling on it last night. It’s that good.

The party was a lot of fun. It was a great evening surrounded by wonderful friends. I’m truly blessed to have this life.

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Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake

On November 27, 2009, in Yummy Goodness, by Wendy

4 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing pan
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
4 apples (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges

1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup dark molasses
1/3 cup honey
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Very softly whipped cream

Make the topping: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 10-inch cake pan. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, four minutes, then swirl in salt. Remove from heat and pour into the bottom of your cake pan. Make circles of overlapping apple slices on top of the caramel. Chop any remaining slices and place them in the gaps.

Make the batter: Using a mixer, blend 1/2 cup butter and the sugar on medium-low speed. Increase the speed to high and cream until light and fluffy.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, molasses, honey and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Alternate mixing the flour and molasses mixtures into the butter mixture, adding the next once the last has been incorporated.

Pour the batter into the pan. Bake at least 45 to 50 minutes (thanks to commenter klp for reminding me this took a bit longer) or until a wooden tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a platter (one that will catch spills, unlike what you see in the pictures above).

Serve warm or cool with very softly whipped cream.

Adapted from Karen Bates at the Philo Apple Farm via the New York Times

Serves 12

Source: smitten kitchen

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The end of diapers is in site

On November 26, 2009, in Kid, by Wendy

It may be a long way off still, but I think we’re on the right track!

Mitch bought Izzy a cute little potty from Ikea several months ago. I thought the introduction might be a bit premature, so we put it away a few days later.

A couple of weeks ago, Izzy began showing interest in bathroom activities so we pulled it back out. Every night before bath time we encouraged her to sit on it. Oftentimes she was still dressed. A few times, striped down to only her diaper. Then we had a run where we tried to get her to sit on it when she was nekkid, and she completely melted down. I was thinking maybe we’re introducing it too early still and considered putting it away again.

On Tuesday, we got Izzy’s bath started as usual, but this time I didn’t bother telling her to sit on the potty. I didn’t want another freak out on my hands. To my surprise, Izzy asked to sit on it! When she did, I filled a small Tuperware container with warm water from the bath, and stuck her foot in it. She thought that was the funniest thing! It also did the trick. The warm water got her going and she went pee in the potty. Success!

However, when I took the Tuperware filled with water away, she freaked out, and was unable to bask in the glory of potty success. She got so mad at me for taking her container of water away. I had a rough time getting her in the tub because she kept thrashing about as toddlers are wont to do.

Keeping my fingers crossed we’ll have frequent repeat performances (sans freak outs, of course).


A story about a brave little girl

On November 20, 2009, in Kid, by Wendy

We took Izzy to her 18 month check up yesterday. She waited patiently with us in the lobby–the office was running about 10 minutes late. We read Dr. Seuss and flipped through a book filled with photos of children’s mouths filled with rotten teeth. When her name was called, she hopped off her chair and followed the nurse to her room. Izzy waved and said hi to all she passed along the way.

We stripped her down and waited a little longer in the exam room. I put her socks on her hands, and she thinks it is hilarious–and it buts me more time because it keeps her distracted for a while.

The doctor finally came in and greeted us. Izzy put on her best show, pointing out nose, eyes, ears, neck, etc. Dr. Goldstein started her exam and explained evrything she was going to do to Izzy before she started, and she was curious about all of it.

Everything checked out great except there is some plaque build up on her teeth (we had a bit of foreshadowing on that one with the tooth book!). She gave us some tips on how to brush her teeth better so we’ll start that up right away.

It was time for the dreaded vaccines. We got set up with me holding izzy on my lap and grasping her hands. We told her she was going to get shots and feel a little pinch. She watched as she was pricked with needles three time. That kid is amazing, not a flinch nor whimper nor whine. She got a cheese stick and Scooby Doo bandaids; we dressed her and that was that.

I’ve been reading a book called Courdoroy Goes to the Doctor over the last year. We read it much more frequently as her appointments approach and I think that helps. She was such a brave little girl. It was amazing because during our entire visit the kids in every other exam room were screaming bloody murder. That didn’t seem bother her one bit.

She’s still over 90th percentile for height, weight and head circumfrence. My little giant monster baby weighs in at 27 lbs 4 ozs and is 33 inches tall.


Finds and Farewells

On November 13, 2009, in Kid, Miscellany, by Wendy

ATTENTION: All Parents, Soon To Be Parents, People without kids, but have friends who are Parents!

GGMG and Sports Basement are hosting Finds and Farewells, a first annual sale of gently used maternity, baby and kids (0-5) clothing and toys.

Saturday, November 14th
Members Only Hours: 8 – 10 a.m.
Open to Public: 10 – 2 p….m.


BTW: I will have a table set up and selling my wares. Stop by and say hi. If you mention you saw my blog posting, I’ll give you 25% off anything you buy from me.

I think we’ll also be giving away 10% off coupons for Sports Basement too.


I have a whole bunch of stuff to choose from that is suitable for 0-18 months. Most items are in excellent used to mint condition. Clothes are in good to excellent used condition. There are even quite a few things that are new, without tags. I washed everything, but Izzy outgrew some items before she ever had a chance to wear them. I inspected everything last night and all clothing should be free from stains or tears.



On November 12, 2009, in Kitties, by Wendy

I just realized that the kitties haven’t been featured in a while. Yes, we still love them every bit as much as we did before Isadora arrived. Yes, they still play a very prominent role in our lives. In fact, they both love hanging out with Izzy while she plays in her room. We also take a ton of photos of them, but I just haven’t posted any lately.

Here’s the adorable Kirby

Kirby Loaf

Murky with Still Life

Murky with Still Life


Mom and daughter adventure

On November 7, 2009, in Kid, by Wendy

We slept in a little today, and that was really nice. There’s nothing like lounging in bed until 8:00 a.m., except maybe lounging in bed until 9:00 a.m. Izzy and I got ready and I packed us a lunch and we headed north to the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito.

When we arrived, the parking lot was already packed, so I had to park near Travis Marina. No big whoop, plus there was an amazing view.

Golden Gate Bridge

Izzy reached the terrible two’s six months early. My little Taurus child is willful, headstrong and independent. She didn’t want to get in the stroller, but we parked so far away. If she didn’t ride, she’d be too tired to enjoy the museum once we got there. After a strategically placed knee and elbow, I managed to get her strapped in to the stroller and we were off with just a few more tears streaming down her face.

We went to the counter to pay our fees to get in and I mentioned that it was our first time there. The young woman behind the counter lit up and exclaimed that we certainly must go to the Tot Spot. She went on to explain there was an outdoor play area as well as an indoor play area. We had to be sure to take our shoes off when we got inside. That’s pretty standard protocol for indoor play spaces for kids that we visit, such as the Bright Horizons, JCC or Academy of Sciences.

Once we made it to Tot Spot, the staff person attending the site explained the play area–outside wooded area with climbing structures, play stream filled with water, and two-room indoor play area. She also remarked that I must remove shoes once inside. I figured we should start inside because if Izzy got one look at that play stream, we’d be stuck there all day.

Once inside, I see a sign that says, “Please remove your shoes” and a cubby shelf filled with shoes. Izzy was clambering to get in, but I managed to wrestle her shoes off and kick mine off before she ran amok.

There were lots of fun things to do, but I think Izzy was a bit overwhelmed by it all since it was her first visit, and she’s still a little under the weather. One room had a little padded stage area, lots of puppets, a cave and another climbing type structure. The floor had various spots of different textures and surfaces for walking on. There were little bumble bee and lady bug costumes to wear. All in all lots of fun stuff.

Here’s Izzy with a stuffed quail that she enjoyed playing with.

Izzy and the Quail

In the other room, there were three water bed, lily-pad things. I though Izzy would really enjoy playing on them since they were similar to a bounce house, but not quite as rowdy.

Izzy and the Pond

I was wrong.

Totally not in to it. Maybe next time.

As we’re hanging out in the water bed pond room, Izzy was busy finding other things to do. I spot a woman walking around in her shoes and putting her feet up on the padded climbing structures calling for her kids who have absolutely no interest in acknowledging her. I approach her and say, “Not sure if you noticed, but there is a sign in front that says, ‘Please remove your shoes.'” I’m expecting a “Sorry, didn’t see that, I’ll take them off. ” What I got was (and in the shrillest voice), “I removed my shoes, I removed my shoes!”

I must have given her one of my famous WTF looks looks because I’m thinking in what bizarro universe does this woman live in where removing your shoes actually means walking all over clean surfaces while wearing your shoes because the next thing I know, she’s yelling at me, “I’m just trying to get my kids out of here. I already had my shoes off once. You’ve got a lot of balls approaching me like that.” I corrected her and calmly stated, “you know what takes balls? Your blatant disregard for common courtesy that the other 30 shoeless people in this room managed to honor.” Damn, that felt good. I like it when I’m fast on my feet like that. Must have been because I was not hampered by shoes at the time. Her response? “Thanks for policing me.” Mine: “You’re welcome.”

Really? That takes balls? Approaching someone and pointing out a sign they may have missed because that person is currently doing the exact opposite of what it said? I’ve got a different interpretation of It Takes Balls.

It takes balls to not think of your own convenience over the rights and protections of others. It takes balls to be kind and compassionate to all living creatures. It takes balls to set a good example for your children.

It takes an asshole to think you are somehow so GD special that common courtesy and rules don’t apply to you or your rotten kids. It takes an asshole to be so self absorbed that only your personal convenience is what matters. She’s probably the kind of person who runs red lights and rolls through stop signs because she just doesn’t have time to wait. I really, really dislike people who act so entitled. It’s no wonder her kids were doing their very own version of F-U mom, we’re not doing what you requested of us. The assholes didn’t fall too far from the tree.

Do you think she would have treated me like that if I had a Bay Area Discover Museum name tag on and said the same thing to her? Yeah, I thought so. Probably.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the preciousness of my daughter, because that is what you are really here for. Either that or pictures of my cats.

I took Izzy out to the stream, and as I expected, she loved it.

Izzy and the Stream

After the stream, we sat down together had a little lunch.


Despite the look on her face, she really did enjoy what I packed: turkey, cheddar cheese, strawberry yogurt, carrots, butternut squash, zucchini and cantaloupe. She’s a great eater! I am not cursed with a picky eater…yet. I hear it comes a little later.

Wendy and Isadora

We went to another hall where kids can conduct little experiments. Izzy was having a blast with the scale and moving bits of wood back and forth. I love her thinking face, and I think I captured it really well in these shots.

Izzy and the scale

Izzy and the experiment

There was more to see and do, but we’ll have to catch up next time we’re there. Izzy was starting to run out of steam, so we packed up and headed home. She had a nice little snooze in the car, and we had a successful transfer to her crib once we made it back home. She’s awake now, so I’m off to do some more fun stuff with my kid. Toodles.