Thursday, June 26, 2008

silky fun

Little man loves tossing the laundry as I sort it into piles. Back and forth, back and forth--but how stimulating can that be with a bunch of white tee-shirts and sheets? And it isn't a game that can travel to the park very well. So I found him some beautiful playsilks from Beneath The Rowan Tree on etsy.

Playsilks are a basic ingredient for children’s imaginative play. Silks can be used to create elaborate costumes, build forts, create landscapes and water for boats and animals, and much more.

Friday, June 20, 2008

my biggest letdown (and only negative product review)

Chic meals, world music playing in the background, a hip mom and dad taking turns serenading baby--the marketing images sell a wonderfully stylish babyhood. Sadly the Nano lives up to none of its aspirational potential. I find myself attacking it with soap, Oxyclean, non-chlorine bleach all to no avail. It sits like a swamp monster, hulking and stinking in the corner of my dining room. None of the parts detach, leaving me innumerable crevices caked with gunk. Every time I lift Little Man out I curse the day I purchased this garbage trap.

Oh Nano, you fooled me with your long, lean legs and your compact profile. Little did I know we would spend eternity locked in battle, me armed with a toothbrush and you with never ending filth.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

building castles in the sky

Around here we are always on the lookout for great sandbox toys. Little hands go straight for the sensory balls and the toddlers all love digging. No one seems to have much use for the sifter though. It always sits, forgotten in some corner, until my boo decides it would make a good drum.

I love this building set for older kids. The bricks let you make walls as tall and long as you want. I can see this being one of those toys that you have to remind daddy to give back to the little ones.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

picky picky peas

My little guy has been a terrible grump lately when it comes to eating. I made this lovely meal of pumpkin tortellini, steamed broccoli and chicken sausage only to have 2/3 of it end up on the floor. I suppose it is karma for swearing that I would never give in to a picky eater. Boo will eat spicy samosas and all of the baby ravioli he can get his paws on but won't touch green beans or spinach. So I was thrilled when I found this sneaky vegetable delivery system:

Eat Your Greens Puffet from Peas of Mind.

This is a great quick option for any time when you cannot deal with the interminable "What's for dinner?" It is also wonderfully inspirational. Take a basic cheese soufflé and toss in any minced meat or vegetables.

Classic Cheese Soufflé

2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup whole milk
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg
4 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites
1 cup coarsely grated cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. Butter 6 muffin cups. Coat bottoms and sides with Parmesan cheese.

Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture begins to foam and loses raw taste, about 3 minutes (do not allow mixture to brown). Remove saucepan from heat; let stand 1 minute. Pour in milk, whisking until smooth. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in paprika, salt, and nutmeg. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking to blend after each addition. Scrape soufflé base into large bowl. Cool to lukewarm.

While the base is cooling beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into lukewarm or room temperature soufflé base to lighten. Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions while gradually sprinkling in cheese. Transfer batter to prepared dish.

Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375F. Bake until soufflé is puffed and golden brown on top and center moves only slightly when dish is shaken gently, about 15 minutes.

What better way to kick off a new blog than with a popsicle party? It's hot hot hot here and the official start of summer is just two days away. I love these Tovolo molds--chic enough for the adults but with a base to catch the kids' spills. Since they are available at Bed Bath & Beyond you can have instant frozen treat gratification.

Add some pureed watermelon, a splash of milk, a dash of sugar and you have the makings of a perfect summer day.