Santa will thank you

23 12 2007

Karen recently got a cookbook revolving around chocolate and coffee. Sometimes they’re together, sometimes they’re showcased separately. Flipping through the book there was one recipe in particular that caught my eye. It seemed as though the book would fall open to the page of its own accord. And it does now, since I’ve spent so much time drooling over the picture. It was called “White Hot Chocolate” and I was instantly hooked. Karen was unconvinced because white chocolate isn’t real chocolate, but I said “I’m making it, do you want some or not?”  She did.

So I got the idea, wouldn’t Santa like this? It’d keep him warm for his wintry trek, and it’s got a splash of liquor to keep his cheeks rosy. So go ahead, make Santa happy and ditch the milk for something more interesting. This is what he really wants.

I love this mug

I made this with skim milk, but I can imagine it’s ten times better with whole milk. Good idea, I think I’ll go make some more.

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Ben:1, Dad:0

16 12 2007

Benjamin’s therapy sessions don’t always go as planned. Sometimes Ben doesn’t like what’s going on so he tries to sleep to escape it, which means we have to try something new to keep his attention. His therapists aren’t big softies like Dad, though, he doesn’t get away with much with them. But sometimes he’s already asleep when his therapists get here. This is due to Dad’s lack of a meaningful schedule for him. It’s always interesting to see which technique works to wake him up each time.

Last week Ben had Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy back to back. That’s a lot of work for one little guy. And it was also probably my fault. Ten minutes or so into OT Ben decided it was nap time. So we tried lots of different things that didn’t work. That’s when I brought out the big guns: the black beans. Yes, we’ve been using dried beans and rice as sensory therapy lately, but even that didn’t work.

you can’t wake me up you can’t

Usually it’s the grabbing of his arm that bothers him the most, but he generally likes the beans a lot less than the rice. And yes, that means that one of my strategies to wake him up was to annoy him. Tell me you haven’t done it. Besides, it didn’t work. We continued trying different things and he eventually woke up when he was good and ready.





Where did I put those receipts?

13 12 2007

Isaac goes to a Catholic school. Since we’re not Catholic his religion classes are often very enlightening, especially through the eyes of a seven-year-old. Apparently one day early this week they were introduced to the differences between “wants” and “needs.” This lesson came complete with an in-class activity:

give all my presents to daddy

What an opportune time to have such an activity! I noticed that he crossed out “Toys” five times on the worksheet. “So Isaac, that means you don’t need toys? If only I’d known sooner! Maybe we should include this paper with your letter to Santa!” Isaac didn’t think it was such a good idea.





Playing in the snow

10 12 2007

Do you know how long it takes to get a kid ready to go play in the snow? Last year Jonathan spent a total of 10 minutes outside playing in the snow. We’d spend 10 minutes getting him into his snow pants, snow boots, coat, hat, gloves, and scarf, and he’d be out there until about the count of three. He didn’t like the cold, the wind, the snow falling on his face, nothing. So this year the question was how long Jonathan would stay outside and play. Isaac almost answered that question quickly. As soon as Jonathan stepped outside into the yard Isaac dumped a shovel full of snow on his head. I hadn’t even gotten my camera out yet, and I was furious. Imagine what a great picture that would have been. I told Isaac and Jonathan not to throw snowballs at each other (Jonathan’s no good at it), but to throw snow at my car instead. I’ve had better ideas.

poor innocent car never hurt nobody

I then got out the sled. After Isaac went down the “hill” a couple times Jonathan said he wanted to try. Isaac held the sled still while he got on and then gave him a shove to get him going.

ready, I won’t push too hard honest

While I was outside taking pictures of those two I found my morning newspaper in the yard.

no tip for you

For some reason Isaac kept picking up snow and eating it. We have dogs in our neighborhood, so I told them to only eat snow that’s falling from the sky. Here’s Isaac trying his best.

after sledding

Through all of this, Ben stayed warm and comfy inside, wondering what had gotten into his brothers today.

staying warm thank you





In praise of soup

5 12 2007

This is what Pennsylvania looks like this week:

global warming is a good thing

That’s Fahrenheit folks, not Celsius. So what’s the cure for all this cold and snow? A plane ticket to Trinidad? Probably, but soup is cheaper.

good soup yum yum

There is nothing on earth that warms you up like soup, so to all you prospective visitors from the Caribbean be warned. I’m a soup nut.

Luckily Karen had suggested Italian wedding soup this past weekend and we had all the ingredients on hand. That way I didn’t have to leave the house and go to the store. Lots of accidents out there. In the past we’ve built a Frankenstein soup using these two recipes:

Wedding soup from Food Network Kitchens
Wedding soup from Giada

This time I used Giada’s recipe straight up. Except for one thing. She said to grate the onion. Onions are wet and slippery and I like my fingers thank you. I diced it as small as my knife would make it. Wedding soup is pretty easy once the meatballs are made. I made them kind of big this time, it was tough to judge at the beginning how big they would turn out. And some of them fell apart in the soup. Who knows, maybe that’s supposed to happen. I’ll keep thinking that way.

don’t tell me they don’t look good.  I don’t want to hear it.

Neither recipe called for acine de pepe, but we put some in anyway. We like it. Karen dumped in about a cup. And it turns out that a cup of acine de pepe is approximately 12 billion little pasta balls.

Soup was good and Karen was pleasantly surprised to see it already making when she came home.





Do buffaloes have wings?

2 12 2007

The local grocery store sold Karen a rancid chicken on Saturday. It was a seven pounder destined for the table of a family in our church, so while Karen set about making the other preparations I returned the offending bird and got a replacement chicken:

what a blog post this will make…

Did you catch it? Look at the picture again. Yes, friends, that’s not a chicken. It was right next to the Purdue broilers, but that is most definitely a breast of turkey. Karen said “That’s not a chicken!” To this I replied “What?! Of course it’s a chicken!” After cursing I went back a second time and got a real chicken. It probably would have been easier to raise my own at this point. I suppose this raises the question of how I can cook a chicken if I don’t know what one looks like.

Suddenly I have something in common with Jessica Simpson…