Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My current obsessions

It's so nice that Collin's taken over the blog, since I was obviously doing a terrible job of it.  Our posting styles speak volumes about our general approach to life: I edit my pictures and write lengthy, detailed posts, which results in far fewer and inconsistent posts that are much more detailed.  Collin on the other hand, just throws the pictures on as they are (often taken from his phone instead of the fancy camera, which has seen far less use these days) and writes summaries of our week - but he actually gets it done.  I'm just glad he balances me out, both in this blog and in general.

But on to my random and rare contribution: my current obsessions!  Here's what's taken over the scary place that is my brain these days:

1.  The Flour, Too cookbook.  Joanne Chang, a U.S.-born Taiwanese raised in much the same manner I was.  She has a degree in Applied Mathematics from Harvard, worked as a management consultant for two years, then decided to quit the world of finance and dive headlong into the world of pastries.  Her Boston-based bakery is wildly successful, and her two cookbooks are equally so.  I also have her first book, Flour, but I find myself going back to her second one the most, which includes both savory as well as sweet recipes.  I've made more recipes from this book than I have from any other cookbook I own and am eager to make even more.  Which leads me to my next obsession...

2. Baking!  I mean, I've always loved to bake, but this pregnancy has me baking like my life depends on it.  It's a need, a compulsion.  I blame the baby.  She wants sweets!  Cakes! Doughnuts! Muffins! Scones! Pies! Brioche! Cookies! Savories are also acceptable. Hot pockets (homemade, of course)! Focaccia! Pot pie!  If it's baked in the oven, I'm for it! I'm a little embarrassed and shocked at the obscene amount of butter I've gone through in the past few months.  Each night as Collin or I tackle the mountain of dishes I've created I swear off the baking for good, then the next morning I see a picture or read a description of something and suddenly I have to make it for myself.  Just last night I had to seriously talk myself out of running to the store to buy ingredients to make chopped liver and onions (you know, because it's Passover season and I fancy myself Jewish this week).  Never mind that I don't actually like liver and onions, but the baby might...

3. Gardening!  I know that I'll be huge and somewhat out of commission with a new baby right during the peak harvesting season, but that hasn't stopped me from going crazy over buying new seeds and planting this year's garden.  Poor Collin has to build 5 new garden boxes to accommodate my madness this year.  It'll be worth it when we're positively rolling in juicy heirloom tomatoes, peas, corn (please work this year!), delightfully sweet and crispy French breakfast radishes, more salad than Bugs Bunny can shake a carrot stick at (those too!), and perfectly ripe strawberries - just to name a few.  At least, that's the hope.  Gardening is a funny beast - the triumphant high of a successful crop and the bitter disappointment of a failed one provide me with a wacky roller coaster of food-linked emotions through the summer. 

I guess it comes as no surprise that all my obsessions are food-related.  On an unrelated note, I have no pregnancy photos to share at this moment.  ;)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weekly Digest, March 29, 2015

This past week was pretty typical.  Most of our afternoons were spent working in the backyard getting things ready to plant.  This week our order of plants arrived - raspberries, blackberries, honeyberries, an almond tree and an apricot tree.  We had a lot of work to do and I have no pictures to show for it. 

On Friday Maxine felt like making a fancy dinner.  We had beet salad with this fancy vinaigrette along with grapes, apples, baguettes and four fun cheeses (Merlot Bellavita, Saint Angel Brie, Taleggio, and Spanish Blue).  It was great!

The other day Ellie was asking to cuddle.  Isaac was lying on the couch so I told her to go cuddle with Isaac.  For a few minutes cuteness ensued.  Then they both got tired of it.

This morning the kids spent a while playing out in the backyard.   Nothing big, just some cut pics.

Today for our Sunday nature hike we just walked the Jordan River trail starting down by Utah Lake in Saratoga Springs.  Really it was just nice having a place a few minutes away.  It turned out to be a fantastic outing - the path was perfect for biking and at the beginning of the path there is a runway dedicated to remote-controlled model airplanes.  It was amazing!

This was the plane flying when we first arrived.  It kind of blew our minds when we saw it land - that thing was huge.  

Fun video of a plane taking off from the runway.  The boys were begging us to make this our next family hobby.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Weekly Digest, March 22, 2015

This week was Collin's first week at "InContact" up in Midvale.  It's a pretty nice company to work for and is pretty laid back.

On Monday the 16th we all met up at Sheena's house to celebrate Birthdays.  Maxine made this Fauxtess CupCake.  It was dang good.

Every year Maxine makes her own birthday cake.  Last year she made two cheesecakes that were kind of a bust but this year she made the world's greatest cheesecake.  It was perfect in every possible way.  It was a white chocolate and raspberry swirl with Oreo crust.

Maxine's Birthday was Thursday March 19th.  We went on a date to "Takashi" in downtown Salt Lake for sushi.  It was one of the best meals we've had in the nine years that we've been together.  And that's saying a lot.

Takashi is notorious for its super-long lines but we went early and were really lucky and only a few tables were full when we arrived.  So the waiter was very doting and patient with us.  It was the best sushi since Japan.  Our favorites were the Sablefish, Spanish mackerel, and Uni.  Our least favorite was the ceviche roll but everything else was pretty much perfect.  And even that was great but I think rolls aren't really our thing as much.

On Friday I took the kids to the library and they all grabbed a book and ran to the couch to read.  I thought it was a very sweet picture:

 Yesterday (March 21st) we went to Jump On It, one of our kids' favorite places in the world.  It's usually reserved for their birthdays but occasionally we just go on a whim.

 Yesterday we also went to RC Willey so Maxine could get a Birthday BBQ grill. It's lovely:

Maxine also got a Birthday refrigerator:

The boys were very happy to get the grill's box and made a bus:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Weekly Digest, March 15, 2015

On Tuesday Maxine made a tuxedo cake for our neighbor Amy's Birthday.  It was perfect.

Ellie on March 9th - hair finally long enough to be put up!

March 12 - our radishes are starting to sprout.

Last night to celebrate "Pi Day" we went to the Dolman's for a pie party.  Maxine made a "salted honey pie" which has been making the rounds on a lot of food blogs lately.  It was really strong but really good (if you scraped a little of the salt off the top).

In the Dolman's backyard there is a very steep grassy hill and there are lots of sleds.  All the kids at the party spent most of the time sledding down the hill on bare grass.  That's right, the hill is so steep you can sled down on the grass.  Sammy couldn't go to sleep last night without first drawing this:

Today we took a nice Sunday nature hike up to "Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir".  The website said it's an easy hike and suitable for children.  Turns out it was an extremely difficult hike for children.  It was only a half mile but going up took around 45 minutes and coming down took about a half hour.  I ended up having to carry Elinor almost the entire way down and for much of the way up.  There were a couple of flat stretches like this one so we took the opportunity to grab a picture.  Maxine being 5 months pregnant handled it like a champ and was able to help Sammy on the way down.

But it was very much worth the effort.  The reservoir was lovely and the kids had fun throwing rocks in the water and feeding the ducks and geese.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Weekly Digest, March 8th, 2014

On March 3rd we found out that we're having a girl (see last post).  We have lots of name ideas but still haven't settled upon our favorite.  Before Elinor was born Isaac wanted to name her "Vanillia" so it'll be interesting to see what gems the kids come up with this time.

On March 7th Maxine and Elinor went to see "Disney on Ice."  Ellie LOVED it!!!

 After Disney on Ice we found some fruit trees at Costco - we got a cherry and an apple.  Both semi-dwarf.  Whenever there's yard work to be done the kids always beg to help out but since we only have one large shovel they had to make do with small hand shovels.  By this point the holes were done but Ellie and Isaac were having too much fun so they just kept on digging right up until the trees were planted.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It's a...


Isaac was thrilled, Sammy was annoyed, and Elinor was too busy trying to crack the password on my iPad to respond. 

We, of course, are thrilled that Ellie gets a little sister to boss around. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Resolutions, 2015 edition

1. Gain (then lose) about 30 lbs.
2. Get a new wardrobe.
3. Participate in a miracle.
4. Take more pictures of my kids. Let's start with this one, arriving mid-July: