Tuesday, August 19, 2014

FroYo Reward

Because she was the only one that got two stickers in her Ballet class, due to following instructions right away! (it's rare. Every student gets one at the end of class; I've never seen a student NOT get one. But TWO? Ooo la la. ^_^)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Kurt Chang

Kurt! What can I say about this guy? I've known him since he was a little middle schooler, quite possibly shorter than I am, and now, he's graduated from OTIS, and official artist, starting out to live a life and career that utilizes his passion in art.

He's done some amazing things - check them out at his blog: http://www.kurtchangart.blogspot.com/

Kurt made this sketch of the girls based on a picture I posted; of course, I've commissioned him now to make a finalized version of it - I want it on a giant canvas to hang between the girls' room. ^_^ It is ADORABLE.  And yes, he can do art for you. Contact him. Do it. Tell him you know me. =)

He came over for dinner and to catch up with us, and of course, to see Aiva and Penelope, whom he's known since they were born. "Uncle Kurt" gave Aiva a few drawing tips, and drew some of their favorite characters for them in a quick 5 minutes. The pictures are up in the girls' rooms! =D

Happy Birthday Shelton! =)

Another year older. ^_^

Friday, August 15, 2014

Excavating Nature

Presenting their findings of mini pinecones, leaves, rocks and other random stuff to add into the fairy garden...


Watermelon Juice

Watermelon Juice is SO easy to make, and so refreshing!

It's easy. Get a watermelon - make sure it's ripe, or give it time to ripe.

Get the juice out of it, and use a sieve or mesh to remove any pulp there might be there. You can do this manually, or use a juicer (my in-law has a Jack Lalanne Power Juicer which expedites the whole process SO MUCH FASTER. I used to do this by hand. Took forever, and got less juice than with a juicer) to get all the juice out.

For each watermelon you juice, you'll need the juice from 1-2 limes, depending on how you like it to taste.

That's it. And it is Penny-safe. =)

You'll need to shake/tip the juice if you leave it in the fridge, before service, as it will settle, but it's refreshing and delicious during the summer time heat, and all pretty healthy, as you need no sugar in this thing.

And I'm thinking this would make GREAT watermelon popsicles as well!

Yeh-Yeh and the Penelobeast

He gives her food - not just nutritious stuff, but everything else. Thus, she loves him particularly, hee hee. =) He had to skip the last round of chemo, as his blood count was too low for him to continue. He will start again in a few weeks, so continue to pray for strength in his body.

Meanwhile, though he has days where his stomach doesn't agree with him in any way whatsoever, he still has days where he's uppity, extra talkative, and ready to go out to shop, eat, play and party on, which we are thankful for. =)


Mah-Mah & The Girls

It's nice living with Shelton's mom - she's very meticulous about everything, and loves to spend time with her grandchildren. Even if Penny does get a bit bossy with her, hahahaha, or when Aiva and Penny fight over toys.

She spends her time making thick rice porridge for Penny, so that even if we serve food that she can't eat due to allergies, she always has that available in the refrigerator, nutrient rich, stewed in with meats and/or veggies so that she gets good food into her tummy. And she will read to Aiva, who adores books. And of course, she does a lot of cleaning up after them when we're not around, hee hee. 

Mah-Mah guiding Aiva on how to color things with different colors, hee hee...
Oh, and all three of them love watching babies on YouTube, hahahahahahahahahaha...^_^

Roasting Carrots

Roasting root vegetables are so simple to make, and it always yields beautiful, succulently sweet veggies! Carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, beets...and even non-root veggies, such as tomatoes (it makes the insides SO SOFT AND WONDERFUL!), eggplants and zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower, when the outside is slighly browned with a light crispy layer, it's makes me eat my vegetables much more happily!

Using baby carrots, by the way, can work too. Only did you know that they aren't really "baby" carrots? Sorry, but real young, baby carrots are actually much, much cuter than the baby carrots they sell in a bag and I think they taste better too. ^_~

The easiest way too roast them is to steam them a little, followed by regular roasting, so that the insides get nicely tender and soft as well. Here's a basic roasting recipe for carrots, which apply to most other vegetables; you may want to adjust the time based on what type of vegetables you are using, taking into consideration how hard they usually are, how big the pieces are, and so on. Cutting your pieces so that they are close in size helps make everything roast more evenly, so you may want to do that too. I also included a steam-roasted cumin flavored recipe that I like from Food52, in which the carrots come out a bit more moist.

Roasted Carrots
  • 1.5 pounds of carrots. You peel or not peel (personal preference), but wash them well, and cut crosswise if desired to even out the sizes. Cut off leaves from the carrot top.
  • Olive Oil or Melted Butter (butter is fragrant! But Penny is allergic to butter, so we just use oil here)
  • Salt (I like kosher salt)
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Toss the carrots with all the ingredients well. Add extra spices if you like - think chile or cumin, like I'll mention in another recipe below, or a bit of curry powder, minced garlic, or anything you want. This can vary depending on whatever vegetable you're using as well. Or just keep it simple like I'm doing here, and it's just as wonderful!
  3. Arrange carrots in an even layer in your baking pan. I generally like to line with parchment, for easy clean-up and so that things don't get stuck onto anything else.
  4. Cover the pan tightly with foil.
  5. Bake 15 minutes, and then remove the foil. Return to roast for approximately 30-35 minutes, rotating and flipping carrots about twice during the cooking time. You want both sides browned a bit. ^_^
  6. Season more if needed and serve! 
Steam Roasted Carrots with Cumin from Food52
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • Flaky sea salt or kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon of cumin, ground
  • 3/4 teaspoon of coriander, ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon of red chile flakes
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • Approximately 30 young carrots (scrubbed, unpeeled, leaves cut off), about 1 pound.
  •  1/4 Cup of water (sometimes I add 1/2 Cup instead if it doesn't feel like it's enough)
  • handful of small, delicate cilantro sprigs
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Stir together the garlic, cumin, coriander, chile, and olive oil. Toss with the carrots, and season with salt.
  3. Add 1 layer of carrots on a shallow baking pan.  Pour water into one corner and then tip the pan to evenly distribute the water without messing with the seasoning that's on the carrots already. 
  4. Cover with foil and steam-roast for 25 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil. Roast for another 25-30 minutes until the carrots are browned and soft.
  6. Serve warm.