Sunday, April 02, 2017

Cherry Blossoms with Dan, Elise, and Henry!

Ben and I went to the cherry blossom trees again this afternoon, this time to meet some very special guests! Cousin Dan was in town with Elise and Henry!

It was nice and warm. Perfect cherry blossom weather.

There were a lot of people there enjoying the blossoms.


Elise, Henry, and Cousin Dan! I was so happy that they came for a visit. This was my first time meeting Henry! Dan had never been to the cherry blossoms before, so that was exciting.

Hi, Henry!

Henry was VERY energetic so Dan kept coming up with assignments for him. A popular one was "Go pick up sticks!"

When he started to get bored of that, we upgraded it to "build a little bridge on the tree out of the sticks!"



Brother and sister.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Yesterday was Ben's birthday! Tonight the family gathered at Gran Ranchero for a birthday party! I spent the afternoon making a massive cake. This is about three quarters of the way done:

At one point, I took a break from making the cake to see if Felix, who was chilling in the backyard, might want to come inside. I opened the door to the breezeway to find him just sitting like this, patiently waiting for me to peek out and see if he felt like coming in. He is SO SWEET. This is how he always asks to be let in. He just sits there patiently, waiting for you to notice that he's ready.

The final layer! This is a chocolate cake with peanut butter cream cheese frosting, coated with chocolate-peanut butter ganache. The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen. I gave up trying to do the beautiful ganache drops and just smeared it all over. We planned to gather back at our house after dinner to have cake!

At Gran Ranchero! Dad and Ben!

Dad, me, and Ben with Amina and Aya.

Ben, Rachid, and the kids!

Group photo!

Cheryl and Aya.

Mom and dad dancing!

Dad asked Rod to come and play live music during the party. It was really special!

Mmm, quesadilla!

Back to our house for cake! Ben was REALLY EXCITED about his cake.

Make a wish!

Look at that massive cake! It was delicious.

Mmm! Happy birthday, Ben!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cherry Trees!

Ben, Felix and I went to see the cherry trees this evening! They're really starting to bloom!

Felix and Ben.



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Cooking Club Game Night

Yumi is house sitting this spring, and she hosted a game night party at her house! The challenge was to create a dish that represents a game. She invited extra guests, too! Look at the beautiful view!

Shot glass chess!

Nancy made ParCHEESY fondue. MMM!

Valerie made shortbread dominoes. So cute!

Yumi did Connect Four! She made a bunch of different round appetizers, and had toothpicks for us to use to spear four things in a row. Fun!

Curried seared bay scallops and marinated hearts of palm.

Quick pickled cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese balls with fresh herbs and lemon peel.

Tater tots with jalepeno and onion.

Connect 4!

Summer made Operation Dim Sum. She made potstickers, and using chopsticks, you had to try to get them out of the eyes of this face and dip them into the mouth hole where delicious dipping sauce awaited. Without touching the edges with your chopsticks, of course. Or you would get ZAPPED!


Go, Nancy!

I made Scrabble soup! AKA Olive Garden minestrone recipe with alphabet pasta.

Then it was time for games! We opted for euchre. Haha, Ben and Summer had to cram onto the tiniest love seat. No touching!



Shot glass chess! That's beer inside the glasses.

That was a unique and fun episode of cooking club. Thanks for hosting, Yumi!