This Easter week and a half have been so busy! I finally got around to starting a post. It’s been filled with lots of good food, lots of Easter eggs (some smashed…will get to that), and lots of fun.
About a week ago, I went to a new to me restaurant. It was one that specialized in rustic Italian food, but with a modern, farm-to-table-esque atmosphere. We sat almost in the kitchen.
There was focaccia bread and olive oil.
I ordered a side of polenta, which was creamy with mascarpone, mint, and hazelnuts, and chives. Serious comfort food.
I almost licked the bowl. I’m serious. You can ask my friends. It was heavenly.
My friend and I shared the Diavolo Pizza (house pepperoni, Italian long peppers, oregano, and ricotta salata).
Spicy and salty on an earthy crust.
The next day, we had another playdate. This one goes down in the record books. It was a public library showing of “Frozen”, which we had not seen yet. When we first got there, we played while we waited. There were two hamsters that they boys loved looking at, especially Bigs, since he’d learned about mice earlier in the week.
Then a boatload of kids showed up. There were about 25 kids from various schools and playdates, in addition to our playdate. My boys were good (as long as I was feeding them) for about a half hour. Then things went downhill, as they say. Smalls came up to me and pointed to his bum bum, saying, “Wet!!”. I have no idea how that even happened. I still don’t know if it was pee. I didn’t have a change of shorts, so he rocked his mystery-liquid-soaked shorts. Then he fell off of an adult-sized chair and got a goose-egg on his forehead. And then things were just over. No more “Frozen”. No more library.
We left. Sometimes, you have to know when to fold. That was a folding moment.
We “Let it go”, as Elsa (?? or Anna??) sang.
We walked to a little cafe where we picked up lunch and smoothies. My friend and I shared this:
The top left is a carrot chicken salad, which was delicious. I loved the addition of carrots. We also had hummus and cukes, falafel with a yogurt dipping sauce, and the most delicious tabbouleh I’d tasted, and some warm pita. That made wet pants and goose-eggs worth it.
The kids ended up having so much more fun at the park than at the movie.
There is this great, big, old tree in this park that looks downright magical. The boys loved hanging on it and climbing it.
There was also lots of mud. Mud which must have looked delicious to my Smalls. He can’t resist putting everything in his mouth. This kid.
He actually ENJOYED his first mud pie! I asked him to stick his tongue out so I could see the extent of his dirtiness. It went way back into his throat. He’ll do it again for sure.
This park is also right by a train station (and the Farmer’s Market we go to).
My boys LOVE a train. They watched as it pulled into the station, as people disembarked, embarked, and as it left the station, waving the whole time. Choo Choooooooo!
Dinner was ham! Always a good-eating night in our house.
I glazed it with cherry preserves and served it with marshmallow-covered sweet potatoes and corn.
The next morning was a volunteer day at our church. We packed backpacks for girls who had just been rescued from the Human Trafficking Circuit. I love having my kids learn to serve others.
That night, we took them to the grand opening of a new gelati/ice cream shop that opened right by our house. We love this place and used to travel 25 minutes to get to it. Now it’s only five. Yippee!
The boys shared a sugar free sour apple and tangerine mixed with vanilla soft serve, my husband got pina colada, and I got salted caramel and raspberry mixed with vanilla soft serve. Yum yum.
Then the boys played in the yard until bedtime. Smalls is really good at doing somersaults. Bigs is too now, but he wasn’t as much so when he was Small’s age. So Smalls does them everywhere – concrete, grass, whatever. That’s probably why he has a black eye right now, poor fella. I’d prefer him to do it on grass.
On Sunday, after church, I made a one-bowl chocolate cake for my Mom group the next day. It was easy to put together and delicious! I’ve used this recipe before and it always comes together this easily.
I had to add my trademark sprinkles, of course. 🙂
Fudgy, dense, moist chocolate cake with a rich, cocoa-y, fluffy, chocolate buttercream.
Here is the recipe:
It was a hit with my church group. I brought only two teeny pieces left. And it fed a lot – it was a 9×13 pan.
On Tuesday morning, my wonderful neighbor brought me some Jewish pastries from a local bakery.
She got me three different kinds of hamentashen – raspberry, apricot, and prune. All three were delicious, but one flavor stood out to me. The raspberry was incredible! She also gave me a cream cheese roll and a nut bun. All delicious! Food gifts are the best!
That was a nice treat after taking my boys to their first swim lessons of the season (and Smalls first ever swim lesson). They are four times a week for about six weeks.
Tuesday night, my husband had a doctor’s appointment after work. It also happened to be Family Night at Chik-Fil-A…with goats. And bunnies. And ducks. And chickens and roosters, too. And an egg hunt! Yes please! Anything to get me from dinner time to bath time, when I’m by myself with the kids, I’ll do!
This brings me to the Easter egg hunt. Smalls and Bigs were the only ones in the hunt area at that exact moment. Each kid was allowed to pick up 10 eggs. Well. Smalls stomped (with gusto) on about 14. Not a gentle tap of the shoe, but like a ground-shaking sort of stomp. The type that breaks eggs. At least he wasn’t doing that to the animals. I should be thankful.
He continued the stomping habit when Bigs brought some hard boiled eggs he’d dyed at school. I had his little basket on the hood of my truck and the wind knocked it over and everything fell out and Smalls zeroed in on the eggs stomping them to their sad demise.
On Wednesday, we met one of my oldest friends at a “fancy” mall in between each of our houses. She also came bearing a food gift:
Sesame balls (if you know me at all, you know my obsession!), shrimp chips, some rice candy, Pockey, and Hello Panda treats! All from my favorite Asian grocery!
Food gifts are the best! Did I already say that? 😉
For me, the best kind of Easter basket is the one filled with giant sesame balls.
If you’ve not tried a sesame ball, I encourage…implore you to try one. And then let me know if you like them!
For lunch, I had a salad from a vegetarian Mediterranean place.
Loads of veggies, lettuce, spinach, beets, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cous cous, cabbage, garlic, and cilantro. My kind of salad!
Thursday, after swim lessons and dropping Bigs off at school, I made treats for his class. His wonderful teacher asked me to make something Easter-y. I love love being asked to make stuff!
I decided to go with gluten-free rice krispie treats, shaped to look like little Easter baskets.
Bigs has a friend in his class who is gluten free so I work closely with her Mom to make sure all the ingredients are free of anything that could cause a reaction. It’s so fun to have a challenge! And a plus is that my husband can eat and leftover treats I make (when also made dairy free).
I made GF rice krispie treats and formed them into cupcake wrappers (Peeps!!) in a cupcake tin. I made a little dip in the center to hold little treats. While those were setting up, I dyed some shredded coconut green to act as the grass.
I added the “grass” and then some GF jelly beans. They came out so cute! But I knew what would make them even better….
Don’t Peeps always make stuff better? I’ve found that most people have very strong feelings about Peeps. They either cannot stand them or they are obsessed. I’m obviously in the obsessed camp.
They were a hit. Mostly. I’d say with confidence that most of the kids thought the coconut was not a good addition to the dessert, as a whole. Sometimes I get too fancy for kids. 🙂 It was a lot of fun making them though!!
For dinner on Thursday, I made steak and homemade macaroni and cheese (husband got brown rice). The macaroni sauce (a basic roux sauce with cheddar added) was extra creamy.
I served fresh watermelon and pineapple with it. Smalls ate none of it, Bigs ate all of it. It’s always a toss up! I thought it was good.
The boys played in the yard until bedtime again.
Loving on the neighbor’s dogs
Whew. We are all caught up. I hope you all are having a blessed Holy Friday. Bigs and I have been discussing Jesus and his painful death a lot. He knows that Jesus went through all of that to save us and to give us eternal hope. I hope you know that too.