Tag: food and drink

harry potter birthday potter take 2

harry potter birthday potter take 2

2007-06-20 273 when our girl turned 5 we celebrated with a harry potter birthday party. we had so much fun...maybe one day we will revisit that! but for today i want to share the fun that we had on friday celebrating her 8th birthday.

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it all began this year with a formal request for attendance. we had fun making these personalized invitations this is all i can share given each invitation had the guests name "engraved" on it...they were so sweet though.

6-26-2010 n 028we made this newspaper bunting thanks to the marvelous mayamade for her creativity again!

6-26-2010 n 022 many of the attendees are huge potter fans...we did have a few that do not live and breathe potter so i wanted to make sure that we had robes (in this case capes) my quick and affordable solution was to purchase some inexpensive black felt and i cut it into pieces that were about 25x35 and about 5 inches down on the long side i sewed a 14 inch black gross grain ribbon on each side to use as a tie. they were so quick (even for me) and they worked great. they were actually much cooler for the girls than the robes.

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hermione granger was practicing her flying before the guests arrived.

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my husband and i enjoy harry potter as much as my daughter. we came up with some fun activities. of course they took a very small fraction of the time we thought that they would and also a very small fraction of the time that it took us to put it together. all three of us have been talking about what we could do for weeks now, here is what made it to the day.

we decided to do a treasure hunt using port-keys to move you from one clue to the next!

6-26-2010 n 040 this boot was the first port-key. my husband wrote great poems for them so that they could find each of the port-keys

6-26-2010 n 095my daughter told us today that they didn't really pay much attention to the poems...they just wanted to find the next port-key. sometimes the honesty is appreciated...sometimes not!

6-26-2010 n 122 the final clue led them to this suitcase. inside they found the makings for wands from mr.ollivander!
6-26-2010 n 128they found the wands that my husband and i carefully prepared for them to personalize with colored tape and ribbons...once the wand had chosen them of course.6-26-2010 n 003
all the wood was found in our yard and my husband cut them down to size. they were all carefully labeled with the type of wood and the core ingredient, the length of each wand was also included.

6-26-2010 n 152this new wand looks so much more authentic than that plastic wand. 6-26-2010 n 173 we also had potions making husband was the very stern professor severus snape. we used different types of juice and unusual berries and coconut for the ingredients. our secret ingredient was pop rocks to add at the end for a little magic! most of the potions were very tasty. i can't say that the girls drank many of them but i did. they were really more interested in concocting. too bad they missed out on some very powerful magic. my husband printed out the names of all the potions that were discussed in the books so that they could name them.6-26-2010 n 176 my husband also showed them what happened when they put baking soda and vinegar together.

6-26-2010 n 035 we also held an herbology class where the kids took interesting looking succulent plants and cacti and replanted them in clay pots. my husband labeled each of the plant with a name and definition of a plant from the book, as the kids replanted i read each of the descriptions and we did a few trivia questions about the herbs from the books.
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we found some bertie botts every flavor beans the girls had fun trying some really gross tasting jelly beans~gravy, fish, cheese, sausage, onion and banana. i was just given a'd they do that? it really tastes like pizza in a really gross sweet way. ewwww! they spared us earwax, vomit and buggers this time (we have had all of these before-really gross).

we had some of the yummy jelly bellies too.

6-26-2010 n 026 i made these parchment sewn bags again thanks to another great idea from mayamade. when she posted this i thought oh my, i can use this in so many ways. thank you maya i love these.
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i made these bags to put chocolate frogs that i made from a mold. (i found a better mold that i will have a link to on the sidebar) and harry potter collecting cards in to give to the girls. i always loved the idea of the chocolate frog from the book how it would jump away.6-26-2010 n 014

hermione had a great day! thanks for all who shared it with us.

happy summer solstice!

happy summer solstice!

how can it be the summer solstice already? happy day to you! 6-18-2010 n 010 well i really want to finish my posts on squam but i have been working on so many exciting things away from my computer that i will get back to that soon when i have a little more time to give my continued squam review the time that it deserves...this week i'm going to spend sharing pictures images of what we have been doing this spring that i hope will be carried over into the summer. please feel free to share links of what you have been doing. 5-31-2010 n 313 6-11-2010 n 019

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chunky monkey smoothie

chunky monkey smoothie

Chunky monkey smoothie
i will edit the photo next time i make this smoothie. i took a photo from sometime back and can't find it.

i had a smoothie similar to this a few months ago when i was feeling a little dizzy after yoga. i didn't think that it was going to be one of those things that i couldn't stop craving but it is. i've been working on this post for a while. i was trying to perfect the ratios so that i could share.

the original was pretty simple - peanut butter, a few bananas, ice and chocolate soy milk. i am trying to kill some of the sugar in the chocolate soy milk. but this is a quick recipe that will work for many of you.

here is my modification

2 medium organic bananas

2 tablespoons of navitas naturals cacao powder or 2 tablespoon of green and blacks unsweetened cocoa

1-2 tablespoons of yummy local honey

2 tablespoon regular organic peanut butter or all natural peanut butter & company dark chocolate dreams (peanut butter with dark chocolate) depending on how chocolaty you would like

a few hands full of ice you can add more if it's not cold enough.

westsoy plus plain organic soy milk-unsweetened (i look at my box of soy milk now and it says less sugar, i don't know if i had one that had no sugar now?) to cover all the ingredients, more if it will not blend

this recipe is enough for 4 people.

now this recipe is not low-fat or low in sugar but it is a nice boost in the afternoon and now that it is getting warmer, it is also cool and tasty!

it seems that others have been experiencing the same banana nut craving because i have seen at least 4 other posts on this as i have been working on mine. i haven't had a chance to try them yet, but i will share two that are very pretty and i think will be really popular for little ones.

one is for peanut butter cups from the marvelous maya at her blog mayamade.

the other is for banana butterflies from the brilliant betz at her blog betz white.

i've mentioned that i'm reading animal vegetable miracle by barbara kingsolver and bananas are at the top of her list for foods that are not for us to be eating given where we live and all the energy it takes to get them here. i'm sorry to be encouraging them now. i promise to find a local seasonal food to share very soon.


easter and the next

easter and the next

we had a beautiful day here yesterday. our sweet made a basket for us giving up some of her candy and some of her things she thought we'd enjoy. love her so much!

her favorite gift she found in her basket was her "young naturalist's notebook" from hearth song. this is out of print but is really a wonderful tool to encourage exploration and participation with nature.

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we were invited out for two easter dinners. it's so great to drive with the windows open again!

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we had some leftover asparagus, unbelievable but true. so this morning i made a poached egg and warmed up the asparagus in a little melted butter and fresh lemon juice. it was so delicious that we had it again for dinner with a glass of vegetable juice. we ate out on the new porch. lovely evening before a week of rain expected.

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beautiful day - easter prep

beautiful day - easter prep

4-3-2010 n 015 we had a beautiful day here today, tried to spend most of it outside.
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our girl received her easter package from her grandparents today. she sat right down to sort through it and jar it all up by candy type.

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we made our friday pizza tonight.

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we colored eggs and tried a new recipe that i came across on the kitchn it's for chinese tea eggs the kitchn forwarded me to this recipe on umami. the kitchn had another link to for chinese tea eggs that looked good too.

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we completed this recipe tonight. i'll let you know how they taste tomorrow, they're supposed to have a bit of a custardy flavor to them. they look really pretty.

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wonderful 1st spring weekend

wonderful 1st spring weekend

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thursday night we took the kids to dinner and belly dancing

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friday night we had my aunt over for homemade pizza friday and played some high stakes euchre check out the sweet breast cancer playing cards by bicycle.

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we had beautiful weather here which was so excited especially since rain was predicted.

my daughter and her friend were out most of the day playing harry potter making potions and casting spells.

later they went to an egg hunt to celebrate the spring equinox, that is going to have its own post.

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i was trilled to work in the yard. after the construction here last year we did not have much chance to work in the yard. we had some grass seed sprayed, but as you can see we are going to need more seed this year. we did have the whole back yard regraded last summer and a french drain installed so we don't have our typical lake in the back yet.

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i'm on a search for good non-gmo popcorn. i found this amish grown red and blue popcorn. i thought it was really tasty a bit firmer popped (which i really like) and fewer hulls to get stuck in your teeth and throat. the yellow is the jarred non-gmo that you can find at the grocery store.

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this is a shot of saturday evening a new egg laying bunny, guiness and harry potter 7.

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here's my girl coloring and listening to harry potter while keeping warm on the floor vent, it was cooler here today. let's just say most of sunday was devoted to harry potter 7...we're so close to the end, in the last 100 pages.
another beautiful day, new soup and homemade pretzels

another beautiful day, new soup and homemade pretzels

another beautiful day here. outdoor play in the sunshine...what could be better? handing off the tax return!!! something to celebrate.

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another new soup, i can't wait to have these last two soups in the height of the summer with all the wonderful fresh local green veggies. i am hoping to start eating in season beginning this summer. i've been reading barbara kingsolver's book animal, vegetable miracle again. i started it about 3 years ago when we moved i lost the book. i took the book on cd out of the library last month and i just love it, her family is so inspiring. i think this book should be required reading for anyone who eats!

this recipe is adapted from multi-bean medley created by the american institute for cancer research they have some nice recipes there. i have changed this recipe a bit, it only called for 1 cup of broth but i wanted it to be more like a soup so i added about 5 cups of broth and modified a few other things.

multi-bean medley soup

1/2 pound of any type of green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise

1 pound bag frozen shelled edamame

2 tsp olive oil

5 green onions, sliced thin you can take it pretty far into the green

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

fresh rosemary sprigs to taste (i would have loved this but my love does not love rosemary)

1 can of small white beans, rinsed and drained

1 carrot, diced

1 celery rib, diced

5 cups of veggie or chicken broth (we were thinking this might be good with miso broth)

freshly ground pepper to taste

fresh parsley to garnish

we also added some sriracha sauce because we seem to put that in all of our brothy soups.

~bring 2 medium pots of salted water to a boil. add the green beans to one and edamame to the other. cook until they are just tender. drain and drop in an ice bath until they are cool then drain again. set aside.

~in your favorite soup pot, heat olive oil, add onions, garlic, bay leaf and rosemary. cook over low heat stirring until the onion is soft about 5 minutes.

~add white beans, carrots, celery and stock. bring to a simmer and cook, covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

~add green beans and edamame and simmer uncovered until heated through.

~season to taste with pepper, discard bay leaf and rosemary sprigs. finish with parsley.

honest pretzels by mollie katzen we have been wanting to make these for a while and today was the day!

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this has many steps and takes a while. as with all recipes it takes me 3 times as long as the recipe calls for. i did have some trouble with the dough it seemed very sticky. i tried to knead it and it just stuck to my hands so i tossed it back into the kitchen aid and just added a little more flour and let it run for a few minutes. i did not get the full zen experience of kneading by hand nor did i get the anxiety of the dough sticking to my hands and not getting to where i needed it to be.

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here is a little a note to those who have not made homemade dough before.

i had an a-ha! moment the other day when i was listening to animal, vegetable, miracle they were talking about making bread in the kitchen aid. i am just starting to learn to make bread at home and all the recipes say to mix the ingredients in a food processor, my food processor groans when i do this. so of course the power house kitchen aid with the dough beater (a-ha!) that must be what that dough beater is for! well this is great but i am sure that most have already figured this out.

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well the pretzels were pretty tasty. i think that we had a little too much water in the pot and it did not stay hot enough. next time we'll use a little less water and our widest soup pot.

my daughter told me "they were pretty good for a first try" i guess they were since she had three and probably would have had 6 if we did not stop her.

we tried a few rolled out in cinnamon and sugar instead of flour and then topped with cinnamon and sugar...pretty tasty.

we tried one with fresh shredded parmesan cheese...we were sorry that we only had one of those.

we served them with local mustard and yummy local honey.

as with most of mollie katzen's recipes...another success.

sunlight and new soup for dinner

sunlight and new soup for dinner

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how exciting to have sun tonight at dinner, i love daylight savings in the evening. even more exciting since our kitchen has southwestern exposure and lots of windows now! please forgive this photo, you will get the idea though.

it looks like it might be sunny the next few days and incredibly i do believe that the regrading that was done when we did the addition may keep what is usually lake branch out of our back yard this spring. we may even get some more grass seed down this week.

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i found a few new soup recipes to try. my sweets really prefer broth based soups. tonight's was surprisingly a huge hit. the recipe is modified from the american medical association diabetes cookbook

red lentil soup

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 shallot minced

2 cloves of garlic minced

2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

5 cups chicken or veggie broth

3/4 cup dry red lentils

bunch of escarole chopped (any hearty bitter green will do)

non-fat plain yogurt to finish

chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

cayenne and black pepper to taste

-heat oil, add garlic and onion, cook gently until soft. add curry powder and cardamom, stir and cover for about 1 minute.

-add broth and lentils. bring to a boil. lower heat and simmer uncovered until lentils are soft. about 20 minutes.

-add escarole, stir and cook until greens are tender. serve with a dollop of yogurt and fresh cilantro. finish with a little cayenne pepper and black pepper.


spring is coming but what about the snow?

spring is coming but what about the snow?

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we've been having much warmer weather the last 2 days but we still have all of this snow. it's actually been really nice because it is so pretty and it is melting off the streets and sidewalks so it's a little easier to travel and it's nice to play outside because it's not so bitter cold and virtually no wind.

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i won't be fooled to think that we are done with winter yet, we usually get at least one more storm in march, but w'e'll enjoy it for what it's.

sweet pea is not taking any chances she's going to get at least one more helping of snow.

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this time she's not going to try some magical concoction. she went right for the hot maple syrup.

hope that you are enjoying the weather that you are experiencing.

hunkered down

hunkered down

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we have been hunkered down since thursday night. lots of snow and no real reason to leave the house.

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yesterday morning we made maya's yummy popover's. we made them today too. i have a feeling there is going to be a request tomorrow too.

helen decided that she didn't want maple syrup on her snow today. she thought that she would make chocolate ice cream instead.

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we spent most of the weekend reading harry potter and the half blood prince. we finished tonight. movie tomorrow.

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tonight as we finished harry potter my sweet girl and i worked on completing some beads that we started for our martin luther king day in event. we actually were able to get so many done in a short time, we are getting really fast at them. we have had so much practice now. i wish that i had kept track of how many bracelets that we have made and sold to raise funds for making strides against breast cancer. i think that it has been 2 or 3 years now. hoping to get some out on etsy soon.

here are some photos from our snowstorm earlier in the weekend.

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