Monday, July 9, 2012

Make this: kid's mud pie.

For Finn's seventh birthday, he really wanted a mud pie. (even though I didn't even realize he knew what that was ?!?)
Since traditional mud pie features coffee ice cream, I improvised and made ice cream pie with a dirt cake top for maximum silliness. It turned out fantastic.

You'll need:
2 kinds of ice cream (I used chocolate & vanilla)
One package of Oreos (I used Trader Joes, because that's how we roll)
1/4 cup of Butter
Jar of Carmel Sauce (the Trader Joes caramel is fantastic)
Jar of Fudge sauce
Salted peanuts & chocolate chips. 
Whipped Topping
Food coloring
Chocolate Almonds & sesame sticks for rocks and twigs.
Gummy worms
A couple of days.

Step 1: The bottom
-Preheat oven to 350°F.
-Place 30 Oreos in the Cuisinart. Try to get Oreos to a consistent crumby mush. Pour in melted butter and blend until well combined.
-Pat wet crumbs all over and up sides of pie dish, making an even surface.
-Bake crust for 8-10 minutes.  Cool before filling.

 Step 2: The Layers
-Scoop soften ice cream into cooled crust. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and freeze for a few hours.
-Carefully spoon on room temperature fudge and stick back in the freezer for a few more hours, covered with plastic wrap.
-Scoop another softened ice cream layer onto the pie.
-The caramel sauce I had was a little runny, so I used salted peanuts and chocolate chips to weigh is down.  I put in back in the freezer for a few more hours, tightly wrapped, of course.

Step 3: The Top
- I tinted softened whipped topping with brown food coloring gel. I spread if on the frozen pie and topped with lots of dirt flair: crumpled cookie crumbs, sesame sticks, gummy worms and a few different kinds of chocolate almonds than looked like pebbles.
-After I covered the finished pie with wrap, I left it in the freezer until birthday time, which was about 24 hours. It was very well received and very delicious.

Friday, July 6, 2012

4th traditions.

Go America!

Wednesday marked the 10th anniversary of my sister & brother-in-laws annual "I love the USA barbecue and bike parade'. We have been there every year (except 2009, when we attempted to stay Cardiff local, but it didn't feel right)

It has turned into quite a tradition. I even attended 3 day post c-section and with a very tiny Finn back in 2005. There was also the year that my great uncle died early in the morning of the 4th in 2010. It felt nice to spend the day with my family. The bike parade is not nearly as competitive as it once was!

The party has really grown. In the beginning there were very few kids, and we would ride to the beach to watch the fireworks. Now, there are more kids than grownups and the we parade in the street. It's one of my favorite days of the year, I mean who doesn't love hot dogs?

Thanks, once again, to Jeff and Agatha for a great party! Maybe next year my dream of a blocked off street will be fulfilled!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

seven reasons why I love leucadia with six photos.

Leucadia is my hometown. My parents still live in the little house where I grew up.

This weekend, Leucadia hosted 'Summer Fun on the 101' a free family-friendly music festival. We were lucky enough to have some friends in town from San Pedro. So we convinced them to come with us, along with our 5 kids (we were watching my neice and nephew this weekend) packed a picnic and headed over.

It was a very fun and friendly afternoon & reinforced ALL the reasons why I love Leucadia...

1. Good free music and a beer garden. The bands varied all day. We showed up in late afternoon and watched an ukelele group, a crusty old surf band, another surf band, great tunes from the Donkeys and the never-disappointing Mattson 2.  We left as they were setting up  the surf movie.

2. Leucadia has friendly bums! Apparently local bum-type drinker, Grant, showed up early Saturday to help set up, then spent the rest of the day celebrating in the bar. After he took a little rest on the stage during a Tower 7's set, he passed out on some sunny grass next to the stage. Reminded me of the bums of my youth!

3. That good old ''Keep Leucadia Funky" movement is still alive. A funky little family showed up in their pajamas. Papa Bear decided to dress up the look with a sportcoat. But they really landed in my heart when they sat down and pulled out a 1/2 gallon of ice cream & spoons out of their cooler.

4. The locally famous ukelele group, Tropical Breeze, featured some pretty lovely hula dancers. They were part perfect aloha hands, part Grateful Dead spinners. And for one song, a male ukelele player, set down his instrument to dance with the ladies. He had some sweet moves.

5. Local artist Harry Daily! Harry rallied the dancing kids by playfully stealing their beach balls. And after Devlin told him that she really liked his art, he generously gave her a print. She was pumped.

6. To keep the good vibes going, they threw some event t-shirts into the crowd (or rewarded for good dancing). T-shirts generously donated by the thrift store and then screen-printed with the event logo. The MC kept reminding everyone that they may want to wash before wearing. So rad.

7. All of Leucadia's friendly neighbors were out and about. While I caught up with my pal from Kindergarten and her family, my mom spotted and chatted up my dad's junior high buddy. Later we bumped into an old next door neighbor. It felt like a reunion in all the right ways. I spent time with some people I grew up with and lots of people I love.

I can't wait until next year. Oh, and did I mention that the event was solar powered?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

summer 2012: a tart start

oh hello friends.
I am officially the worst blogger ever. I am not trying to quit, but life is busy. The end of the year activities were chaotic. Tim went to LA. Malley had a birthday. I cleaned out the garage and hosted a yard sale. Just life.


This summer is promising to be the best summer to date. The kids are a little older and more mature. They shower independently. They can fix themselves breakfast. They can carry their own boogie board at the beach (well most of the time!)

All this new found freedom has allowed me to spend more time planning fun things for the kids. I am all about creating happy memories for these three little ragamuffins.

So last Sunday evening, after some time at the beach, I decided to create a 'tree-to-plate' experience.  My neighbor, Christy's trees are having a very fruitful summer: her plum, apricot and peach trees are going crazy. She calls them the magic trees, and after all our grapefruit and orange sharing this spring, she is happy to share the wealth.

I sent the kids over with Tim to pick the most perfect purple plums off the tree, after finding a rustic plum galette recipe on Pinterest.

 We all worked together to make our dessert. It felt very special. The kids were all proud and enthusiastic.  After our yummy dinner, I served the plum galette.

It was the most tart bizarre tasting dessert ever. It tasted bitter and rough on the tongue. I don't know if it was the plums (which taste divine not cooked) or the cooks, or what, but I do not recommend trying this recipe. I will never forget the silence of all five of us trying to choke it down.

I am hoping to redeem myself soon. Peach pie, anyone?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I had a dream/ happiness along the way.

Last night, I had a strange dream.

In the dream I went to Disneyland. Surprisingly, I wasn't with my kids or husband but a dear and calming friend.

So, back to dreamland....the drive up was slow and there was lot of traffic. Once we we entered the park, I realized I had the wrong shoes on. So, I calmly decided to drive back home and get different shoes. A four hour round trip. This all seems very normal in my dream.

When I awoke this morning, I decided maybe I had this dream to remind myself that most of the time, its not the destination but the perseverance in getting there.

I can apply this to all aspects of 36 year old me. In my parenting, wife-ness, decorator, sisterhood, as a daughter, career lady, blogger, cook, volunteer and community member.

And sometimes I feel defeated in the journey, that I am on the brink of failure most of the time. But I need to remember that I am getting somewhere - changing and growing and maturing - and I need to enjoy it.

And I am sorry I have been so absent. I have lots to say, but no time to say it. Here's to more to come.

And happiness along the way.

Monday, April 30, 2012

lemonade stand success.

Well, I just deleted this blog post, while trying to make a spell correction on my phone. opps.  So I am going to do my best to summarize what I had written.

The lemonade stand was a total success. The kids had a great time. A big shout out to all those near and dear who stopped by to sip and nibble. Each kid walked away with $20.25, which is pretty much a HUGE deal to my kids. There has been endless discussions on how and where they are spending their hard earned cash.

It was beyond kind of Bethany and Tere to let us set up in front of their shop. If you haven't already, you must check out their shop! Full of amazing handmade stuff and since their shop is situated between UNIV and Rean, there are usually quite a few cute boys around.

Recipe for success:

(lemon ice cubes, lots of sampling, fresh squeezed goodness, money holding hip pack)
(rad handmade sign, homemade cookies, pennant flags and cute tablecloth, a cute dog)
All the customers raved about the lemonade and the homemade cookies, made by Tere at m.o.m and yours truly. 

The kids can hardly wait until the next one.

Friday, April 27, 2012

lemonade stand, why not!?!

This weekend downtown Encinitas turns into the Encinitas Street fair! (A family favorite). Lots of booths with cool things and some other things too.

My kids are very excited to be setting up a lemonade stand. Bethany and Tere of M.O.M were kind enough to encourage their entrepreneurial spirit and let them set up right in front of the shop!!

We spent yesterday afternoon picking the prettiest lemons off the neighbor tree and today will be making the lemonade.

If you have a chance, please stop by and have a glass! Finn and Malley want to pool the monies and hope to raise enough money for a new Wii game. Devlin thinks they should split the money equally along the three (so she can save it!)

Let's just hope its sunny and that the streets are crowded with thirsty people.

The Ott Kids Lemonade Stand
Saturday 12-2
Sunday 11:30-1:30

in front of M.O.M
1055 so. coast hwy 101, Encinitas, ca. 92024

I hope to see you there! 
(fantastic lemon photos courtesy of Bethany)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

my birthday skate date.

On Sunday I turned 36. Which makes me feel so old, to even say the number out loud is like chewing butter-less toast. Hard to swallow.

My birthday fell on a Sunday this year, so I thought I would mark this occasion with an evening skate date with friends. I was planning on a much larger crew, but things change. The ladies that did rally all had a great time. I have never giggled to much in my life.

(I love that you can see both me and maja's hands that had to come together to take this photo in all our sunnies)

Most of these photos were snapped with my iPhone, which was tricky since my phone was also plugged into my handy Nixon TPS (travel party speaker) which was tucked inside my Nixon hip pack. (true story!) So I apologize if they are a bit wonky.

What a group of beautiful ladies! And fancy skaters too. We ended the evening with pizza and beer. Such perfection.

I highly recommend you get yourself some skates and come join us. And a big thank you to Laura, Agatha, Maja, Vanessa and my mom, Joanie, for joining me.

Monday, April 16, 2012

roast some nuts.

I highly recommend you roast some nuts. It's pretty quick and easy, and very tasty. These tasty almonds would be great for a party or for the snack drawer. This was my first time roasting my own nuts (versus buying them) and I am convinced this is the way to go.

I found the recipe after some internet searches and then merging a few recipes and adding a few tweaks.

Rosemary Roasted Almonds

  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary (picked from my herb garden!)
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • a few shakes of ground pepper
  • 2 cups raw almonds. 
  • Mix it all in a bowl and spread single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 325. They come out a little shiny, but it works out. Allow to cool to room temperature. So easy!

 Since I was bringing these tasty morsels to a party, I packaged them up pretty. And then proceeded to eat quite a few handfuls while I waited for my ride. (thanks Nicole for picking me up!)


Friday, April 6, 2012

{four.for.friday} bunnies & rabbits.

Easter is finally here. Roll out the chocolate and jelly beans. Hunt for eggs and enjoy all that fantastic family fun!

happy weekending y'all! Mine is already off to a super start, I won $10 at bunco last night. whew-hew!

Friday, March 30, 2012

{four.for.friday} time for spring & yardening.

Ahhh, spring time: my total favorite. Time to freshen up the yard, plant some tomatoes and clean the bbq. Maybe I am such a big spring fan because my birthday happens to be in spring? Regardless, it's nice to keep the doors open and listen to the birds chirp.

I am hoping our weekend is filled with yardening and cleaning out the cobwebs and dead plants. Maybe I shouldn't admit how neglected the yard gets, but boy does it.


Monday, March 26, 2012

mammoth trip.

 I am back home after a long and wonderful weekend in Mammoth. I am lucky that my husband works at Nixon, and that spouses were invited to Nixon family snow weekend.

The trip filled my soul.

Was it seeing freshly falling snow? The amount of Blue Moon I consumed? Making snow angels? Being up in the mountains? Trying something new? All those St. Germain cocktails? The Wii dancing? The sense of community? Feeling 26? The wives of the design department meeting? Acting 26? All the tattoo sharing? The snowballs thrown? Stalking David Duchovny (yes, he was staying at the same hotel)? All the giggling?

Maybe just a combination of all of the above. But what a memorable trip. Nixon really does employ some of the most beautiful people, on the inside and out.

And yes, I missed my kids like mad. And am glad to be home. But a weekend in the snow sure feels like magic. (there was even a full on rainbow sighted on the rainy bus ride home)

Friday, March 16, 2012

{four.for.friday} green with envy.

It's Friday and we're celebrating green for St Patrick's Day! Having three kids with Irish names, kind of puts the pressure on for this holiday. We have plans for green pancakes and a big family Irish dinner. And maybe a little pot of gold treasure hunting.

This past week as been a fun one, including a very well deserved night out with some nice ladies. Hopefully a new monthly tradition.

 (top left & clockwise: colorblock tote, crocheted pillow, dipped cutting board, time teller watch)

happy weekending, have fun and be safe. I hope everyone finds what they're looking for and feels lucky.

Monday, March 12, 2012

high on pie: crack pie

My crack pies were a hit, or that was the word around m•o•m yesterday.

But after combining a very late Saturday night and a lost hour (due to daylight savings) I was a very grumpy baker Sunday morning. I was impressed that I actually made successful pies. Let's be honest, I really had to rally.

Crack Pie:
I found this crack pie recipe online, in a LA times article from 2010.

Cookie for crust
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 cup rolled oats
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated.
5. With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.
6. Spread the mixture onto a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to the touch on a rack. Crumble the cooled cookie to use in the crust.

Crumbled cookie for crust
1/4 cup  butter
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture clumped between your fingers should hold together). Divide the crust between 2 (10-inch) pie tins. Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon milk powder
1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
2 prepared crusts
Powdered sugar, garnish
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder. Whisk in the melted butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla.
3. Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air.
4. Divide the filling evenly between the 2 prepared pie shells.
5. Bake the pies, one at a time, for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown (similar to a pecan pie), about 10 minutes. Remove the pies and cool on a rack.
6. Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

pi = 3.14159265...

Today was Pie day at m•o•m. A great sunny day for all us math nerds and pastry enthusiasts to relax sip, chew and enjoy.

Yes, I realize the 'real' pie day is Wednesday, March 14, but hanging out on a Sunday is way more fun.

Another super successful, fun, sugar filled event.  I feel so lucky to be have met these ladies {Bethany & Tere} and this little community of nice people that come to these events.

{the shop's new sign, pie crumbs, D gets pinned, extra points for perfectly-brewed tasty coffee}

{shaker lemon pie, Come on in, banana creme, cute top in the shop}

{baked apple pie, ice bin equals car fun, blueberry galette, Lil's pinning}

There were dozens of pies! dozens! While, I did not try them all - I did try quite a few. And they were all quite tasty. Every time I turned around there was another piece of pastry perfection being placed on the table.

My favorite was the baked apple pie...the sugared crust was wonderful, I wish I knew the baker.
Tim's favorite was Bianca's sweet potato pie. Perfection!
Devlin's favorite was a 3 way tie,  Karin's banana creme bites & grandma's coconut crust blueberry pie and Vanessa's Ladybug pie.
Finn's favorite was his mama's crack pie. I will post the recipe tomorrow! (what a kid, right?!?!)
Malley's favorite was the peanut butter and chocolate pie made by Brooklyn.  yum!

I am already excited for next year. But it will be hard to top Pie day 2012...perfect weather, old and new friends and a very long hopscotch.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

you can pickle that & other home projects.

I will be the first to admit, that I am one of those who continue to tweek, redo, and diy all decor aspects of our home. I am always getting ideas, moving things, shopping...our home just evolves over time.

My husband thinks I am crazy.

Anyway,  I picked up a wood sunburst mirror at Homegoods. The price was great, but the it was finished with a solid very dark stain. After some Internet research, I sanded it and then applied an apple cider vinegar and steel wool mixture. The results are impressive. I think you all would be stunned by the transformation, had I taken a before picture (which I didn't).

Our beloved little dog, Banner, sleeps in a crate at night. I was over staring at it all the time, so I convinced Tim to knock out a shelf out of a kitchen cupboard and now Banner has a secret hid-a-way. And YES, the cupboard doors stay open when he is inside. And looking at this photo, I think I need to add a pretty mural in the back for him to look at.

Add lastly, I was able to hit a few estate sales early Friday morning with my mom. The sales were great fun and I came home with some treasures including this very Golden Girls chair. But what can I say, it was love at first sight. Hoping to paint and reupholster it this weekend.

happy soup weather.

Friday, March 2, 2012

{four.for.friday} it's back.

I guess I can't give up something I enjoy so much. Really four for Friday is a remedy for my big case of the wants. These little squares of beauty is almost like retail therapy. And yes, I usually do end up purchasing a lot of the four for Friday items. So it keeps me organized and focused.

And I know some of you were sad that it disappeared, so I am trying to please! Life is calming down again, at least this week. 

(clockwise from top right: lemlem scarf, Old navy feather dress, West Elm croqueted pillow and new Toms ballet flats)

I hope you all have a super fun weekend! Its supposed to be a beautiful one!