Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cheddar & Pie

This is going to be a picture heavy post. I'll catch you up on what we've been so with for the last week and a half.
I guess we can kick it all off with saying that I've been in a 24-hour cold-rise pizza dough swing. So we have been eating a whole lot of pizza. Saturday night is prime time for a fresh pie, but a weeknight will do if company flakes last minute.
As usual, I've spent many hours at The FamBily House. I've been kept company by Frankie on any number of these occasions. She really liked when I worked on my hookrug there. She wasn't sure what to attack first - the bazillion tiny yarns or the hook that twitches in my hands.
Buzz's ever expanding vocabulary is quite the marvel. Today he showed off s knowledge of colors by correctly identifying green, blue, and red crayons. Of course, he refused an encore - so nobody believes me. But I'll get it on video next time. I hope.
Speaking of Buzz - he's been quite the helpful chappie, especially on Fridays. He has taken 'floor washing' as a chore and he also enjoys ripping paper towels (neatly into the box that we store them in.)
Last shabbos I got a little over inventive with the decorations on one of the Beef Wellingtons. Z was highly amused, but he still hasn't eaten the one with an alien trying to break free from the inside.  I wonder what he thinks I put in it. Oh well, he'll get hungry for lunch one of these days and he'll be forced to eat it.
Like I said, we have been eating a lot of pizza. At least we do it right, ambience and wine and whatnot.
We officially have THE pink official building permit for our house!!! How exciting is that?! We can start building as soon as we find someone to do the heavy lifting - well, and get approved for a mortgage. So more paperwork - but we've got three years until the permit expires - so plenty of time.
Akiva and Emunah and their 6-week old son joined us for dinner on Tuesday night. It was a lot of fun. We hadn't had a meal with them in a long time. Buzz was relatively well behaved and the food came out amazingly (pesto chicken, garlic rice, green beans & peas, chocolate crackle cookies for dessert.) All in all - quite the success.
Now I'm crazy busy trying to get things organized for Z's birthday shabbos. His birthday is technically tomorrow - but his old school friends will be joining us for shabbos lunch for a birthday brunch and that should be really exciting. We're doing bagels and spreads, quiches as a hot main, slow-roasted-tomato pasta salad, and tossed salad. Dessert so far is chocolate crackle cookies and a chocolate babka. I may leave the babka in the freezer and bake up a Boston cream pie for the birthday boy even though he claims to not want a cake.
The photo above was decidedly the saddest moment of my day. (Even worse than spilling gross stuff all over my bed and being forced to change all of the sheets and wash all of the blankets... And worse than the fact that when I went to move the first load of laundry into the dryer the handle of the dryer broke off in my hand (don't worry, I've figured out how to use two screwdrivers and exert a tiny amount of pressure in two spots to get the door to open...) 

The photo above was an adorable little tree that Buzz made in gan for Tu Be'Shvat. Sadly when he put it down and wandered off to play - the dog saw it and thought, 'Oooh, a chew toy! I love these things!' And went to town on it. Buzz was SO upset when he realized what had happened.

Luckily The FamBily House is equipped with all sorts of arts-N-crafts materials. And we remedied the situation by making not one, but TWO new fruit trees. (Please excuse my artistic-ly impaired looking fruits. I'm not so good with the freehand...) Thankfully Buzz was pleased with the finished product and agreed to toss the remnants of the original project.
Z eventually showed up and on our way home we stopped off at the grocery store for the last few things that we will need for shabbos. I let him buy himself some meat and make burgers for the boys for dinner. He also broke-down the chicken for shabbos and turned the breasts into delicious pan-fried fillets for me. 
All in all Z seemed pretty pleased with his pre-b-day dinner. He sure put a lot of effort into making it look fancy. 

Now all that's left to do is some random prep for cooking tomorrow (I just have to make quiches, roast garlic, and bake the cake - since the soup is in the freezer, chicken is marinating, bagels are good to go, and Z even washed the lettuce already.)
Tomorrow morning the landlord is coming with his technician to find out why our air-conditioning unit refuses to work. We tried to use the heat but we keep getting error messages. It's strange - since it worked fine all summer, the filters are clean, and there's no reason it shouldn't work.

I'd like for the house to be clean by the time they get here. I'm not sure whether that's even doable since they're coming at 8:30/9am... Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sweet Lemony Dreams!

On Thursday it rained. A lot. I decided to be productive in the morning and kept busy baking 2-dozen chocolate chip muffins. I also did a whole lot of cleaning. Then I went a little crazy and walked to gan pickup.

Pickup was funny because all of the other parents offered me a ride to the destination of my choice. I thanked them all profusely and insisted that Buzz and I would be perfectly fine walking the three minutes downhill to The FamBily House. With Buzz on my back wearing his rainproof dinosaur poncho, my raincoat on backwards to keep all the bags dry, and an umbrella held aloft by a super-excited Buzz we set out. Less than five minutes later we were safe and sound at The FamBily House.
Friday morning kicked off early. Buzz was eager to get to gan since he was excited to bake challah and be 'shabbat abba' of the week. I got to work baking desserts and cooking up a fancy red-wine reduction to serve over the meat we had planned for dinner. A&A joined us for dinner which was really nice. 
The food at both meals turned out exceptionally delicious. For dinner we had crystal clear golden chicken soup (check out how clear it was before I cooked it up with the veggies and it got its dark golden glow). The main course was pan seared medallions of beef filet, served with the red wine reduction, green beans, and crispy roasted potatoes (which I parboiled then painstakingly seasoned without turning them to mush). Lunch was super-simple but sometimes that is perfection. I had perfectly roasted a whole chicken, served it up with Jasmine rice cooked in a 'squidge' of onion oil for a hint of flavor, and baby green peas.
After lunch we dilly-dallied around the house for a while. Then we bundled up and made our way over to The FamBily House. Buzz was ecstatic to see Abi and Ebi - because (evidently) Uncles are a neverending source of attention and chocolate!

After Havdalah Yo'Abba gave us a lift back home. On Friday I was sneaky and mixed up some cold-rise pizza dough - so tonight it was ready to party. Sarah Leah was supposed to come over but plans are always fluid when it comes to Motzash and public transportation - so she wasn't able to make it to us. Which just means more pizza for Z - and I don't hear him complaining. 
Tomorrow is a whole new week. I have a ton of organizing that a I've been putting off and I think the time has come to tackle at least one or two of the things from my list. Tonight I actually (finally) did some filing/paperwork which had been piling up for the last 4 months. 

I desperately need to organize the remainder of the photos from both of my cameras so that I can print for the 'second half' of 2014. And the bookcases in the living room are a disaster.

Hopefully I'll manage to get something useful done tomorrow! I hope!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Eeeeb & Abi!!!

Photo recap of the last two weeks:
We've been keeping very busy. Cooking, cleaning, experimenting. 
Last week we enjoyed(?) our first extreme winter storm. It snowed in places around the country but we got no furries in The Sun House. The temperatures did sink down to freezing and it rained for days and days on end.
Cold weather didn't keep us from leaving the house though. We visited the local bakery and stocked up on junk food for our weekend with Dibble.
Buzz is adding words to his vocabulary at lightning speed. Granted, they're all Hebrew, but they're words and that's progress. This week alone he's been very excited about 'limonim & alim' (lemons & leaves). Today he told us all about his 'lachmanya' (roll) and insisted that we give him a sheet of 'madbekot' (stickers) for arts&crafts.
We are moving ahead on the house. Today we went window shopping - literally! Well, sort of. We met with the window people to confirm what we want the windows to look like and how many we need. Now we have an official list to send out in order to get proposals for the work. Yay!
We stopped off at IKEA on the way home. It was on the way and dinner time so it just seemed to make sense. We picked up some more bag clips and a new bridge for the train tracks too. Buzz was happy - we let him choose dessert...