Monday, April 29, 2013

The Weekend

Dash got the game ball for catching a fly ball and starting a triple play. Do I sound like I know what any of those words mean?

Liz: Honey, have you seen my sandals?  Josh: Aren't you wearing them?
Liz: Honey, have you seen my sandals?
Josh: Aren't you wearing them?

This is what woke me up this morning.
This woke me up on Sunday morning.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Love is Sweet

This weekend we were invited to the home of one of my oldest & dearest friends and his new bride for dinner. Since this was our first time visiting their home, and since they're newlyweds, I wanted to make them a little host/wedding gift. Nothing big, just a small token. Here's what I came up with.

Painted ice cream bowls
I bought a couple of plain white bowls as Cost Plus & painted a bear couple on them. The Mr. wears a beret.

And the Mrs. wears a fez.

I painted little hearts on the bottoms of the bowls.

A happy little surprise for when they finish their ice cream or granola or whatever.

And because I wanted them to have something to go in the bowls, I made a couple of ice cream flavors. The chai was my favorite (do you like my fake tea ring stain on the label? I was pretty impressed with myself when I came up with that).

But I think everyone else like Nutella the best. 

I also threw in some pretty engraved spoons & an ice cream scoop. 

I hope their lives together are as sweet & rich as the ice cream!

Chai Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup loose chai tea
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt


In a medium sauce pan, combine the heavy cream, milk, 1/3 cup sugar, tea, vanilla and salt, and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Stir, dissolving the sugar, and bring the cream mixture to about 175 degrees. Turn off the heat, cover, and allow the cream steep for about half an hour (taste it occasionally to make sure you're happy with the strength).

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl, and slowly add the sugar, whisking until the eggs turn light and thick. When the cream finishes steeping, ladle 1 cup of the hot cream in a drizzle into the eggs while whisking to temper. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and gently cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly for about 8-10 minutes. You will know the custard is ready when you can coat the back of your spoon and run your finger down, leaving a line.
Prepare an ice bath. Strain the mixture into the prepared bowl of the ice bath. Let the ice cream custard cool for 1 hour in the ice bath, stirring periodically. The ice cream may then be churned immediately or you can cover it and leave it in the refrigerator overnight and churn the next day.
Pour the custard into the chilled bowl of your ice cream maker and churn. Pack in an airtight container and freeze for a day or so to firm.

(Super-Easy) Nutella Ice Cream
3/4 cup Nutella
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food process and process until smooth.  

Chill mixture in refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Once ice cream base is thoroughly chilled, pour the base into the chilled bowl of your ice cream maker and churn. Pack in an airtight container and freeze for a day or so to firm.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tangle & Fuss Pepperfrost

One of Dash's sweet friends told him this weekend that if he left a note in the backyard asking for a fairy, one might appear. Well.

This morning, while Josh and I were still asleep, Dash ran downstairs to check to see if any fairies had come to visit, and found this tiny note under his picnic table.

He unrolled the scroll to find this sweet letter from his fairy, Tangle Pepperfrost, and her brother, Fuss.

It was all wrapped up with a teeny token with a "T" for Tangle inscribed on one side...

and a "D" for Dash on the other.

Words can not describe how insane with glee and anticipation I am to see how this new correspondence develops.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Living with Dudes

Dash & I thought we were being pretty heeee-larious when we bought these crispy worm snacks from the Kidspace gift shop for Josh. 

And then he started eating them. With his mouth. That I kiss.

Living with dudes
Aaaand, then Dash started eating them. That'll teach me to try and be funny.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


First water balloon fight of 2013:

water balloon

Angels in the Outfield

It's baseball season once again in the Engel household. I have proof:

A boy & his coach

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Open House

We visited Dash's classroom for Open House last week and saw this posted on the wall:


Open house

I just can't even.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Let's Ride

This weekend, the three of us participated in our first ever organized bike event--the Santa Clarita Century Family Ride (6 miles). I think Dash has a new jam.

Before the race started, Dash was pretty worked up. I think he was nervous that we'd be separated or that we'd get lost. Josh assured him that it would all be ok.

I think I've mentioned that I'm a fairly new bike rider (I didn't really learn to ride until three years ago.) So I'm a bit unsteady and can't let go of either handlebar to even scratch my nose without falling over--I learned this the hard way. Josh, however, can take backwards family portraits on his phone.

Despite the fact that he was riding a BMX bike, this was his first race, and he'd only ever ridden this distance a couple of times in his life, Dash finished second! He was pretty pissed he didn't get first, but it'll give him something to aspire to.

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Monday, April 01, 2013


Sometimes I wonder if Josh & I delight a little too much in fucking with Dash. And then I think, "nah."

I had all sorts of stuff planned for April Fool's Day this year, but between Easter being the day before and the fact that he's on Spring break all week, we ended up having to edit a couple of things out. Next year, though, Dash. Next year you'd better watch your ass.

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My first step was to buy a can of these oranges at Trader Joe's. I actually wanted fruit cocktail, but I needed a small can with a pull top and this is all I could find.

Once I got them home, I opened the bottom of the can with one of those safety can openers that actually remove the entire lip of the can, leaving no sharp edges. Then I emptied, cleaned and dried the can and the bottom that I had removed.

Then I placed a scrap of paper reading "April Fool's!" face down in the can (so once it's opened correctly, it'll be face up), and filled the can about half way with chocolate covered peanut butter preztels. Then, to keep the new contents of the can from rattling while he opened it, I stuffed a couple of paper towels into the bottom.

All that was left was a little hot glue action around the bottom lid...

and a few taps with a plastic mallet to get it all back into place good and tight. 

Since I think we can all agree that finding chocolate in a can of oranges isn't the worst thing that can happen to a body, I decided to go in a little more disgusting direction for the second prank. As he was getting the can open, I was getting his breakfast toast ready.

April Fools!
And by "toast" I mean roach-infested filth-bread. (Actually, I just printed a roach image onto clear label paper, cut it out & stuck it onto the plate.) It's kinda easy to tell that it's just a sticker in this picture, but it was pretty convincing in real life.

And, for our grand finale, purple food coloring on his toothbrush. I can't tell if he's more angry about the food coloring or that Josh was photographing him while he was brushing his teeth, but either way, I'm calling this April Fool's a success.

The Bunny

Do you want to play a game?
The Bunny didn't hide eggs at our house for Dash this year, because he knew we'd be spending the morning hunting eggs at Dash's cousins' house. So instead, he came up with a different kind of hunt.

Easter basket hunt
The Bunny came up with a series of clues--hidden in plastic eggs--for Dash to follow, that would eventually lead him to his Easter basket. The first clue (look inside where your Mommy cooks dinner) led him to another egg inside the oven. That egg's clue (look under your favorite place to sit) led him to look under his favorite armchair. And so on. (I was pretty sure that "look where you get clean" would stump him, since he goes so long between showers he forgets what they're for, but he eventually figured it out).

Eight clues later, he finally found his basket inside the clothes dryer.

After digging through his basket at home and getting good and sugared up, we headed over to our cousins' house in the pursuit of more chocolate. That's Autumn & her bunny, Spots. Because BUNNY!

Here's Josh's bunny impression. Good luck going to sleep tonight. (If you think I'm not framing this picture for my nightstand then you just don't know me at all).

Eventually the children were loosed upon a backyard filled with about 200 eggs. Because I'm not the only insane person in our family. Aunt Rain also has a touch of the "if some is good then more is better" affliction.

Here they are with their hauls.

Spots & Fang the Ferocious both hope you had a wonderful Easter, too.