Monday, August 23, 2010

Basil Ice Cream

Basil Ice Cream. Serious.

Oh Lordy. So, I am unable to waste anything these days. The basil plant got out of hand in July so I jarred up some pesto for our nearest & dearest. It got out of hand again this weekend & I can't eat pesto due to the size of my ass (large), so I did the next best thing: basil ice cream. I know that basil ice cream doesn't sound much less ass-embiggening than pesto, but I say if I'ma get fat, it won't be due to Goddamn pesto. Bring on the heavy cream, bitches.

Anyway. Basil ice cream is seriously a revelation. In the same way, I guess, that green tea ice cream is a revelation. If you like herby/tea-sy flavors in your sweets. Which I do. Dash, not so much. But he's four, what the hell does he know?

Ok, Here:

Basil Ice Cream

1-2 c. basil leaves
2 c. whole milk
½ cup sugar
4 egg yolks
½ cup heavy cream

Simmer the basil leaves, 1/4 c. of the sugar & the milk in a small saucepan. Remove from heat & allow to steep for 30 minutes (kinda crush up the leaves with a wooden spoon while you're at it).

Meanwhile, beat the 4 egg yolks & remaining 1/4 c. sugar in another bowl until pale & creamy.

Slowly strain the milk/basil mixture into the egg mixture & stir to combine.

Pour everything back into the saucepan & simmer/stir until custardy.

Remove from heat & stir in the heavy cream.

Allow to cool.

Strain mixture into your ice cream maker & go have a glass of wine.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Two Things

Two important things to remember about Dash at four (and a half, if you ask him) :

1. He will only dance if he is wearing pants. Which is horrible in the Summer because he is nearly always wearing shorts & he is moved to dance to Every. Single. Song. that comes on the tv or radio. I'm now trained to run to his room for a pair of sweats when I hear the opening chords of anything. Because otherwise, the kid will literally start to dance, glance down & say, "oh, shorts." and then proceed to SIT HIS ASS BACK DOWN. It's heartbreaking.

2. He's super tic-y, this kid. We're not worried because they're all transient & his mom is a nutbag, too. But the current tic is too good not to make note of: he started tracing shapes with his head (imagine a kid looking at the tv--or anything, really--and just moving his head in all different directions to "trace" an object with his nose or chin or something). I have this compulsion, too (mine also involves counting of lines and the everlasting quest to reach a multiple of 10. see above in re: nutbag), so I told him about using your forefinger & thumb to trace whatever shapes you need without drawing attention to yourself. He hasn't mastered the more subtle maneuver, but he is now "tracing" on the table with these huge, magnificent gestures. It is awesome to watch.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Things About Me Like You Care

The ever-delightful Erin over at Luck & Bliss has tagged me to answer some questions about me! Squee!

1. Is there anything you feel nekkid without? (aside from clothes!) Sunglasses! If you look at my Flickr you'll notice that there are nearly zero pictures of me w/o them. So LA, dahlink.

2. Books, magazines, games, comics, pieces of art that made you who you are today? I actually named a few books that shaped me here, so let's do art. Because I grew up in a one-bedroom apartment with my mom, we spent most of our days at parks and museums, I've always felt at home around art. The first painting that actually made me cry was Rothko's White Center. The first painter that I felt a real kinship with was Jackson Pollock. The first artist to make me laugh was Red Grooms.

3. Monkey or Robot? Which would you rather have? Robot. Duh.

4. Food you make when the poop hits the fan? Do you cook/eat for comfort? Oh lordy do I ever. Food is my absolute go-to for when I'm sad or mad or meh. The thing I want more than anything when I have the sads is vareneky with sour cream, but since my horrible father (who I love deeply but is the only one of us who can make them) has moved to Oregon, I must make do with soup. Any kind, as long as it's piping hot & home made. Oh! And a soft boiled egg, thick toast with butter & a hot mug of Earl Grey tea. And! Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt & champagne. I'll stop here, but rest assured, there's more. Much, much more.

5. How did you meet your sweetie? Is it romantic? (Will I need a tissue?... no really, I cry at everything). No, sister you certainly will not. Not romantic in the least. But it turned romantic right quick & that's all that matters, right?

6. Do you have a life plan, or do you just sort of truck along? I truck. I've always been a trucker. My only non-negotiable was to have a child. And I did. So I'm good.

7. Would friends of the teenage you recognize the current you? Would you still get along? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Sorry, teenage me is laughing at both of us.

8. Could you show me something pretty? Please? Can. Not. Decide. Here are four:

Reflecting pool

I think I'm supposed to tag & come up with questions of my own. And I will, for sure. Just not today. Because there is wine that is calling me, weeping softly that it feels so alone. Wants some company. Only a cruel bitch would say no.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Crazy Gene

How I know that he is, in fact, related to me, too.

By request: mop slippers. Just like his mama's.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Oh, Summer

I know that (technically) Summer still has a good month left, but it just feels like it's time to start saying goodbye. So, to send it off in style we had a little party. Pretend to be surprised.

Bye, Summer 2009
My beautiful friends Jen & Tom saw that I had added "make ice cream" to my life list. So do you know what they did? They bought me an ice cream maker & an ice cream cookbook for my birthday. That, my friends, is how to be awesome. I made chocolate & key lime pie flavors. It was pretty serious.

Bye, Summer 2009
We also made Ina's Tequila Lime Chicken, (sans the tequila because I am still just delusional enough to believe that children will eat anything other than hot dogs at a bbq).

Bye, Summer 2009
AND! Gazpacho! With 100% Engel-grown tomatoes!

Bye, Summer 2009
Dash shaved the cucumbers.

Bye, Summer 2009
After some swimming & splashing, Dash changed into his urchin threads & did a little adventuring with his pals.

Bye, Summer 2009
And the adults ate & chatted & laughed well into the evening. A fitting send off, I think, for an incredible Summer.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sir Knight

Dash & I were inspired by all of the medieval & knightly awesomeness at Legoland last weekend. Not inspired enough to drop $25 on some crappy polyester knight costume, but inspired enough to come home & make our own. Once you factor in materials & my time, these probably cost about $150 each. So. You know.

Haughty little fucker

Lion version

Dash had an assfull of these after day two, so I gave up on trying to get him to model them. Here's the dragon version. I used the peacock fabric I had left over from the Viking pillow for the crest.


In conclusion

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lizeggo Lizand

Legoland August 2010

Legoland August 2010
Nobody loves a bad guy the way the Engels love a bad guy. (Seriously, there was a Rebel Pilot 10 feet away & I'm pretty sure Josh & Dash flipped him off as they walked past to embrace Boba Fett).

Legoland August 2010
Win's namesake

Legoland August 2010
Be warned: Dash will fuck you up if you come at him with a sword.

Legoland August 2010
But he's not too much of a bad ass to do a little Vogueing on the back of a mechanical horse.

Legoland August 2010
No joke, the kid won his own Spongebob on the first try, totally schooling the three teenagers that had been trying for, like, 15 minutes. Look how happy Josh is!

Legoland August 2010
This time we actually knew to bring trunks for the water play area.

As far as I'm concerned, the water area is worth the price of admission alone.

Legoland August 2010
If only because you can do stuff like this to them (watch the bucket at the top left).

Legoland August 2010

Legoland August 2010

Legoland August 2010

Legoland August 2010

Legoland August 2010
Then, after the water, there was some of this.

Legoland August 2010
And some of this (FYI, I was waiting for Josh & Dash to finish a ride when I took this picture. Of myself. Wearing a pirate hat. Saying, "aaargh.")

Legoland August 2010
Some of this.

Legoland August 2010
And this.

Legoland August 2010
And this.

Legoland August 2010
And then, Dash spoke for all of us when, before we were out of the parking lot, he did this.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Last Hurrah

We hit up San Diego (why don't we just marry it if we love it so much?) yet again for our last "fercation," as Dash calls it, of the Summer. Ostensibly we were there to watch Josh dominate in his second full triathlon, but since Dash & I aren't above co-opting all of Josh's endeavors for our own amusement, we made it mostly about us.

Oceanside, August 2010
We got there in the afternoon on Friday & headed over to the Oceanside Harbor. The harbor was a bust (super picturesque from afar, but kind of a dump up close), but the beach was nearby & the sand was glittery & there was a rock jetty to climb, so we made our own fun.

Oceanside, August 2010
And, why yes, he is wearing his Thor costume again. Because he is awesome.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Tri Tri Again

Yup. He did another one. I can not even begin to imagine how swimming in the fucking OCEAN, then getting on a bike for 20 miles & then running for no reason other than to run (I have a strict, "only when being chased" policy my own self) is anyone's idea of a good time. But hey--at least it's not hookers & eight-balls.

Triathlon Part the Second!
If Josh ever doubts our love & dedication, he should remind himself that we dragged our asses out of bed at 5:30am on a Saturday to watch him compete in this madness. Also: Port-A-Potties.

Triathlon Part the Second!
Josh is in there, somewhere.

Triathlon Part the Second!
At the last triathlon I was so sadly unprepared it was embarrassing. I literally had one sticky, old lollipop in my purse to keep Dash amused for three hours. This time I came prepared. Picnic blanket, dvd player, books, card games, paper for coloring, snacks & drinks. Know what I didn't bring? Jackets. At 6am. At the beach. Luckily, we were able to put Josh's swag shirt into service. Dash was cool with it.

Triathlon Part the Second!
There's a lot of waiting around at these things, so we took this opportunity to work on Dash's writing skillz. His Aunty showed us how to practice rhyming words, trying to get him to recognize patterns. He wasn't that into it at first--until we hit upon bribing him with Skittles. Parenting win! (Shut up)

Triathlon Part the Second!
Here they are all lined up to start the swim. See that giant white wave? They had to swim past that. See that ambulance in the foreground? That says to me, "Hey, Sane Person, how about you head back to the hotel for donuts & tv?" Know what it says to Josh & his ilk? Nothing! They just jumped right in the water! Like crazy people! Because they are crazy!

Triathlon Part the Second!>
Here he comes!

Triathlon Part the Second!
There he went!

Triathlon Part the Second!
Dash & I killed some time between events by wandering around the base.

Triathlon Part the Second!
And procuring the world's coolest, most elaborate balloon creature.

Triathlon Part the Second!
And now we're starting the run! He's laughing because he just dumped water all over his head & busted Dash up. He also hasn't realized yet that he's going to be running for the next 40 minutes. Without being chased.

Triathlon Part the Second!
Moments away from the finish line. Not so smiley now, are we?

Triathlon Part the Second!
Dash ran the last 50 yards with his dad to cross the finish line. Right?

Triathlon Part the Second!
Number One is right! We joke, but seriously--we couldn't be prouder of you, Zaz. You are an inspiration every day.