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?