Friday, February 20, 2009


I picked up two of these DynoBytes sandwich cutters at QFC a couple weeks ago (one to add to Gavino's birthday package too) and these little dinos have been a hit in Madeline's lunches. She requested only dino sammies both days of this short school week.

The cutter is very easy to use, and makes a neat sandwich whether you cut the bread first and add toppings (I just do one slice when I want one dino sammie), or if you make a sandwich first and then do the cutting (which sort of "seals" the edges of both sandwiches along the cut).

Overall, I like this little gadget, and at $2.50 each at the grocery store, it was well worth the investment.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Day Off...

Friday this week, we have the "day off" for packing a lunch since there's a big Valentine's party at school (including pizza and other healthy - and sweet - snacks).

They're also reading Pinkalicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann this week, and we decorated cupcakes today (just like in the book). After we did ours, Madeline wanted to know about the extra mini cupcakes I made (to use up the batter, really...) to see if we could decorate more, and I encouraged the idea of sharing with her classmates. She thought that sounded great. So, I e-mailed her teacher to ask about treat-bringing protocol. She thought book-inspired treats would be fabulous, so tomorrow the afternoon preschoolers are going to get a fun treat (one day before the big treat-filled party day).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rainbows, Hearts & Crayons...

... all-in-one! Rainbow-colored, heart-shaped crayons. Fun to make. Quick & easy. And... they clean out the crayon bucket!

Put broken, peeled, crayons into silicone mini-muffin pan (and mix up the color variations) Melt at 250-degrees F for about 10 minutes. Take out and allow to cool/harden for about 20-30 minutes. Then, pop out of their molds and amaze all the wee folk you know! Ooooh... Ahhh!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Inspiration by Jerrie...

"When you look at a cupcake, you've got to smile." - Anne Byrn
Luckily, there were already un-frosted cupcakes in the kitchen, leftover buttercream from Gavino's birthday cake in the fridge, and Mads' collection of new sprinkles on hand when we saw Jerrie's cupcake post. Phew!

Can you guess which cupcake was mine, and which were Joel's??

Thanks for the quote and the inspiration, Jerrie!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Happy 4th Birthday to Gavino!! Now, I know I say this every year, but it always surprises me when G is another year older. I can so clearly remember dancing around his living room with him at 9-months old, singing to him to try to get him down for his nap (M, being younger, was usually already out). Now he's in preschool, and wishing for a T-Rex cake... So, here it is! Not exactly what I was going for (a little buck-toothed froggy looking...), but next time I'll carve the head a little better. Hopefully, it looks enough like a T-Rex to warrant G's sparkly-eyed smile and excellent chuckle (seriously, he has the best chuckle ever).

Both of the kids had fun helping — E supervised the carving (and sampling), and M helped with decorating. It's a rainbow-sprinkle banana cake with lemon-vanilla buttercream and the body is four layers, filled with fresh raspberries. And, we found an excellent T-Rex birthday card to go with his gift, that Mad "signed" herself!

Friday, February 6, 2009

K is for Kumquat...

and Kiwi, D is for Dinosaur, A is for Apple, and G is for Goldfish... Madeline had a hand in making her lunches again this week and as always, had big fun with choosing which items went in the box!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Feast for Whistle Pig Day!

Because my friend Margo was coming over tonight, and she is a lover of all things Gaelic (especially Irish), I went with the more Gaelic menu for our first Lá Fhéile Bríde (St. Brigid's Day) Imbolc/Midwinter, (also Groundhog - or Whistle Pig - Day) celebration. I had both asparagus (which I simply roasted on a cookie sheet, drizzled with EVOO, seasoned with S&P at 450-degrees for about 10 mins), and strawberries (which we chopped, added a bit of sugar, vanilla, and a splash of fig-infused white balsamic vinegar to, and served with bakery angel food cake, and sweetened whipped cream - spiced with 1/4 tsp. Chinese Five Spice).
And, along with a bakery-bought deliciously crusty baguette, I served a brand-new made up recipe...

Jameson Irish Stew

1 medium shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 cups of baby carrots, chopped
7 (or more to taste) peeled and chopped yellow potatoes
1/2 tsp. sea salt and 1/4 -1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
All cooked in EVOO (2 Tbs) until onions are caramelized

De-glaze pan with one carton of beef broth, stir and add in one package of lamb stew meat (about 1 pound - yes, raw). Turn the heat up to boil, and add about 2 cups hot water. Simmer, uncovered, until potatoes and carrots are tender and lamb is cooked (and broth thickened)... about 45 mins to an hour... (honestly not sure since I was gabbing too much).

Add two shots of Jameson Irish Whiskey to finish, and let it bubble for about 5 minutes more to cook off a little of the whiskey. Unbelievably delicious!!


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