After months of sun deprivation, of course we were ecstatic to know that we would be having a sun-filled weekend. We went to the zoo on Saturday. While we love the Woodland Park Zoo, we were just there few months ago, so we decided to visit Point Defiance Zoo. Yes, it’s quite a drive to Tacoma from where we live. But it’s worth the trip. What I love about this zoo is, the animals are more active and easier to spot.
The kids were well-behaved, no one complained about being tired or hungry or sleepy or bored. That classifies as a good day. We saw all the animals (except the red wolf), soaked up all the sunshine and went home happy.
He loves the sandbox, telling me how it feels like sugar. My reaction? “He better NOT put it in his mouth“.
The next day (Sunday), we made a cake that will remind us of our trip to the zoo. We practically toss things into the mixing bowl, without any recipe. But we did jot down the measuring of the ingredients, in case we want to make it again next time. Lucky for us, it did turn out well. The butter reminds us of the bright, yellow sun. Brown sugar resembles the sand in the sandbox. And the chocolate.. uh.. let’s not elaborate.
I’ve been feeling down lately, due to the weather and delay in schooling. I try not to whine about it, but sadly, I have to wait until next year to go back to school. While I’m disappointed, our decision is the best for our family. Talking about, isn’t it spring already? Why does the fall/winter weather linger around, I do not know. Whenever the weather is icky, I feel icky too. I’m much happier during summer time.
We, human, have no control over Mother Nature. If only we could prevent natural disaster, if only we could change the weather. Sadly, we can’t. Don’t be discouraged. One thing we can control is ourselves. So to cheer us up in this gloomy weather, and trying to cope with news of natural disaster, something as simple as chocolate shortbread bars could help. I won’t say that it’ll cure our heartaches or make us forget all calamities. But it does help. It makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Most of my girl friends’ weakness is always desserts. When choosing snacks, sweets will always be the number one choice. As much as I love chocolate, I find myself craving for salty, savory snacks almost every day. Sometimes the snacking urge is so sudden, I need a quick fix. Opening a bag of chips isn’t it.
The other day, my son and I were reading the dimsum book, with beautiful illustration that never fails to whet our appetite. We stopped at the scallion pancakes recipe. Last time we had it, it was about 3 months ago. He wanted it, I wanted it. The decision was made, “scallion pancakes for brunch!”, we cheered. Beside being so delicious, it is fun to make, too! These puffy golden pillows would make a great appetizer. Cut into smaller wedges and serve with toothpicks if you’re feeling fancy.
Between March and April, we’ve been to IKEA for copious amount of time. With each visit, my 4-yr-old son would ask for their $1.25 cinnamon bun. He loves it so much, sometimes waking up, the first thing he asks is “did you make cinnamon bun today?”
He loves helping me in the kitchen, but the only thing he helps me with from start to finish is cinnamon bun. When making other treats, halfway through, he’ll announce that he’s bored and would rather do something else. Eminently, when it comes to this puffy sweet bun, he waits for the dough to rise, even reminds me to check on it every 30 minutes. Roll the dough up with his tiny hands and tell me whether I cut them too thick or too thin. He wants to make sure it comes out perfect. While he prefers savory food, dark chocolate and anything-cinnamon-flavored top his favorite snack list.
We’ve been using the recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and he loves it so. “It’s better than IKEA’s cinnamon bun”, he says.
As a child, my favorite snack is Nutella filled Ritz. Both items were pretty expensive back where I was raised. I remember, I couldn’t have much, trying to make a 13oz jar of Nutella and 1 box of Ritz last for 6 months to a year.
Last time I had Nutella was 15 years ago. Upon browsing through Lindsey’s blog, her obsession with Nutella poked my curiosity. I mean, I’ve had Nutella on Ritz crackers but never on anything else. Let alone using it to make something entirely different. I was about to make Nutella candy bars, but the boy has eaten all of the graham crackers. So at 10pm last night, I made Lora’s chocolate Nutella peanut butter fudge and it was oh so good!
The problem with this fudge is, consuming one isn’t enough. It’s pretty hard to control myself at this point. When I was cutting them into smaller squares, I found myself “accidentally” ate 2 of them. Oh well, good thing I’ve started exercising again. 😛 The boy loves it too (he loves anything chocolate-y). He even promised me without any enforcement from me, “I’m going to brush my teeth again, Mommy”.
You can check out the recipe at Lora’s blog, Cake Duchess! I follow her recipe word by word, except that I opted out the sea salt (don’t have it) and used kosher salt instead.
I think I need to be careful, fudge could make me pudge… More pudge than I already am.
After weeks of being busy doing homework and school-related stuff, last weekend my husband finally had spare time to spend quality time with me. Our idea of quality time? Sausage making. Amid the hum of the stand mixer, we talked. We were catching up. Nowadays, juggling with two kids (me) and pursuing his master degree plus working full-time (him), it’s hard to chat without interruption of a 4-yr-old wanting attention. Or a 3-month-old needing her milk. Or a homework needed to be done.
We talked about our goals, those we’ve achieved and those we’re planning to achieve. Talking about future trip to Indonesia to visit my parents. And planning the summer (I want to go whale watching!). We talked about the kids, movies, everything under the sun.
Some days are better than the others. Sunshine in Seattle is so rare, sometimes I forget that it’s even existed. It was sunny on Wednesday and I needed to go to the library. Against my better judgment, I decided to walk there. Put the baby in the baby carrier and strap her on me, get the boy ready and off we go.
As forgetful as I am, I’ve never forgotten to bring along my backpack (in case I see interesting books at library I want to check out). But this time I forgot to. Walking there wasn’t as bad as walking back. I had to carry 3 heavy books and hold the boy’s hands. Told him to hold on to my sweater, but he stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and read his book! Cute but dangerous.
Once we got home, we were exhausted but yet, we had fun. After being unable to walk, thanks to Mr. Weather, it was a great change of scenery. Usually we only got to see stuff from behind the car’s windshield, today we got to feel the breeze on our face (without the wet sensation caused by the rain).
Other than being infamous for loving rice, my son also loves chocolate. The if-I-don’t-hide-my-chocolate-somewhere-he’ll-gnaw-on-it kinda love. He requested a “chocolatey snack” after the walk. And I was too.. tired to make anything. Added with a teaspoon of laziness, I almost declined his request.
But I remember the Swallow Globe agar-agar powder my mom brought with her last September. She brought me the red, original and the chocolate one. So I boiled the chocolate agar-agar, pour into a souffle mold to let cool, drenched in thick chocolate milk (pretty much chocolate syrup diluted in a bit of condensed milk) and topped with toasted chocolate chips.
Triple chocolate treats on nice sunny day, our day couldn’t get any better.