Saturday, September 26, 2009
BTW, in this video he plays a guitar but sings "I'm a drummer, drummer, drummer!"
Grandpa Ron, this one is for you!
The next morning we didn't have to get on the road for a few hours. So we decided to drive around. That's when Chris saw a sign for the Antietam Battlefield. Don't ask me what it is with my hubby and battlefields.So we drove through a lovely town of Boonesboro to the battlefield. Little did we know, it was the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. We drove and walked around the battlefield for a little while, climbed the observation tour, then checked out the bivouac re-enactment.
On the way back from NY a week later we stopped at the same hotel. Unfortunately, they didn't have a concert that day. So instead we drove to Sharpsburg to check out the Heritage Festival (more drums) and then - Boonesboro for lunch (local pizza and ice-cream) and a little walk-around.So all in all, it was a very pleasant drive that felt like a mini-vacation. We used to dread going to NY, but now we actually look forward to the next opportunity.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
By now we've accumulated quite a stash of art supplies - chalk, markers, crayons, paints (all washable), play dough and play dough tools, paint brushes and stamps, pipe cleaners, foam stickers, regular stickers, papers, Wikki Stix and other odds and ends. Plus some books for inspiration for me and coloring books for Mr. M.
Next, the bedroom part of this room:
For now, all we have are the rings and a 7-rung rope ladder. Both are from IKEA (we actually had to buy 2 rope ladders and combine into one since a single rope ladder only has 4 rungs). What we hope to add later on are rock-climbing holds on one wall and a wooden vertical ladder on the other one.
Next stop is the reading corner.
I thought about adding a train table, but decided against it as it would take too much space. Plus it's not very versatile, in my opinion. A simple rug (from IKEA) serves the purpose. Plus Mr. M prefers floor-level play space.
And now, the mystery door to the left of the Mega Blocks... It's actually a walk-in closet.
Wow! - some say - a walk-in closet for a 2-year old, isn't it a bit too much? Not at all! Especially considering a very odd configuration that basically allows to use only 1 short wall for shelves. But we're making the most of this little space. It also helps that Drummer Boy doesn't have too many clothes.
So the room is mostly finished. I'd love to add some art work and a few finishing touches. A monkey gym will be expanded in the nearest future. But I'm not in a big hurry to get a finished product here. After all, this room is meant to grow and change along with its owner.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
when things turn from bad to worse -
my toddler is throwing a tantrum, my hubby is late from work, my cat ate too much grass outside and looks like he's going to choke -
when I'm completely and utterly exhausted to flip through cookbooks and take-out sounds as bad as it looks -
I take the pastry out and set it on the counter.
Then I retreat into my protective shell for about an hour (that's how long the pastry'll take to thaw).
Next I turn on my imagination and let recepies' stack take a short vacation from being thumbed through.
I chop and slice and mix and add a spice or two (or four) and some cheese.
The oven is preheated to 400 degrees (Farenheit).
I get back into my protective shell for a short 30-minute wait.
And then, as I take this beautiful pastry - savory or sweet or both - out of the oven, things miraculously change somehow.
My toddler is on his best behavior, my hubby is back from work and even my silly cat gives an appreciative "meow".
I love this flaky goodness - Puff Pastry!Now is a good time for those recepies, don't you think? Well, last week I was running out of dinner ideas, time, and energy all at once. Besides, my fridge was nearly empty. I thought about making another pasta dinner. Well, I can live on pasta for weeks since there are so many yummy ways to serve it (more on this some other time). But my hubby thinks that 2 pasta dinners a week is plenty enough...
Anyway, I remembered that I had a package of Puff Pastry in the freezer with 2 puff pastry sheets in it. That'd be enough for a main course and a desert - perfect! So here's what I did:
Puff Pastry Savory Tart
I topped a sheet of puff pastry with thinly sliced purple onion, home-grown cherry tomatoes and basil, and fresh corn (sliced off the cob, of course). I sprinkled it with some leftover heavy cream and crumbled goat cheese.
Puff Pastry Desert Tart
I had a few tablespoons of ricotta cheese in the fridge (another stample I absolutely love) which I mixed with the remaining heavy cream, and a dash of cinnamon. I spread the mixture evenly on the puff pastry sheet. I then arranged the toppings - sliced grapes, fresh figs (not something we have regularly, but they were on sale), and chopped plums. I then drizzled some honey over the tart.
It took both tarts approximately 25 minutes in 400 degree oven. And they looked, smelled and tasted GRRRREAT! Needless to say, my toddler loved the idea of a "pizza" and a pie for dinner!
So I had to make some substitutions:
- Instead of scrap wood for scarecrow's frame, we used dry branches and twigs from trees that my hubby cut months ago and that still litter our backyard.
- We didn't have any paper to shred to use as stuffing and I couldn't think of any other convenient stuffing material, so we skipped this step.
- And as fun and freaky as it would've been to use Drummer Boy's photo for the face, we had to make do without it.