The food part of this blog has moved to I'll see all you foodies over there!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Nice Family Outing

We saw a Hugh Howser episode where he talked about Oak Glen, a small apple orchards town, and we decided it'll be fun to take the kids. About 45 miles from our house, really close to Cherry Valley where we went cherry picking a couples years ago.

The first place we went was Snow-Line Orchards. They were known for their cider donuts, so that made it a must stop place for us. They also had raspberry picking, so that was an added bonus. The kids really like u-pick places, so they were pretty excited.

Their famous chestnut tree, the oldest in the state of CA. It is believed to be planted around the turn of the 20th century...

The kids (and my) first time seeing a chestnut tree, although it didn't seem to phase them that much...(just another tree...)

Abby probably ate more than she actually picked...

We went to Los Rio Rancho for apple picking. Unfortunately, there were only two varieties available to pick, Granny Smith and Rome. I was hoping to be able to pick apples we can't buy at the stores...

Their first apple picking experience...

Unfortunately, with apple picking, not much eating goes on eat one and you're full...

Apples, apples, pie, apple coffee cake, apple turnovers, apple muffins, apple danishes, apple crisps, what else can I make...?

Friday, September 28, 2007


Sage went through a transformation this year. He is really starting to enjoy sports. He joined a soccer team, even though none of his friends did. At first, he wasn't enjoying it as much, but being one of the older kids on the team, he's doing well and is starting to feel more confident. He talks about sports with excitement. He has started collecting sports cards, reads sports books, and even will sit and watch sports on TV. He also plays with boys outside his comfort circle, if they are playing sports. I bet he would rather play catch, than play with his gameboy. The shy little boy is breaking out of his shell...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Times Are Changin'...

Saw a commercial last night for a digital camera for little kids. Man, I wish that was around when I was a kid. It's cool how younger children can have access to creative mediums nowadays, but at the same time scary that they are submerged in technology at such a young age. Besides, who has $70 to spend on a 4-yr-old?

Homemade Gummi Candy Attempt #1

David's been digging the Shot Blocks from Clif Bars, so I thought I'd make an attempt to try to make them. Looked up Homemade Gummi Bears online and came across a easy recipe, a good place to start. They actually came out pretty good. Shot Blocks contain brown rice syrup, among other things vegan & organic, I bet I can incorporate it in somehow to raise the caloric value. One shot block is 100 calories (he eats about 3 per ride), my entire batch was about 350 calories, so he'd have to eat all of it! It'll be fun to make different flavors, green apple would taste really good. Mmmm. Also thinking about investing in some molds, so I can make little gummi bears :)

For those of who'd like to try this at home, here's the recipe. Tweak to your liking.

3 1/2 T (or 7 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
3 oz. box Jello
1/2 c. water

Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Mix thoroughly till it resembles Play-doh (may take a few minutes.) Cook on LOW heat till it is completely melted. Pour into molds or dishes, and put in freezer for 10 minutes.

Whola! Homemade gummies! I put mine in miniature muffin cups and pyrex dishes, then cut them into strips after they solidified. Tried cookie cutters, but didn't quite work. You can dust them with superfine sugar so they don't stick to each other, but I'm sure they won't be around that long! I wonder if I can make it out of 100% fruit juice so it'll be healthier for the kids...

This was how much I got out of one batch (minus a few samplers), the plate is 10".

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Hard Realities of Life

Our hamster, Ami, died today. She had Wet Tail. They say most hamsters die within 24 hrs after the physical symptoms show. The vet said she could be treated with antibiotics, but with no guarantees. Even if she did recover, it will affect her later in life and she would never be the same again. So we put her down. It was really hard, especially for the kids. I have never seen them cry so hard. It was heartbreaking, but taught a valuable life lesson. Life is precious. Nothing is forever, so enjoy it while you can.

Ami, you will be missed dearly. It was short but sweet.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Can't Beat the Smell of Fresh Baked Bread

I have tried to bake bread in the past, and somehow remembered it being a long, tedious process (with the results being just ok), so I had been avoiding it, but somehow got myself to give it another try. They came out better, and was a little less work than I remembered, so I have been baking a little more often. Bread is one of those things that we eat frequently, and is kind of pricey in terms of how much it actually costs to make it. And how often can we eat freshly baked bread? (My kids are going to get spoiled!) Today, I made bagels, french bread, and rolls. Next on my list is cinnamon rolls, scones, and lemon curd. Mmmm...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Climbers Trail

Here's a new trail for us. Another route to Suicide, but shorter. They say it's two miles roundtrip, but definitely not easy. Although this is a trail for those who want to rockclimb Suicide, it definitely is a trail that makes you climb. Started off on a dirt trail, which turned into small boulders, and then walking up the side of the mountain wherever we could. David was hopping around like a billy goat, the caffeine from his morning coffee defintely kicked in. "Liquid Gold, better than Cocaine." He wore his bright red Euro-beret so he was easy to spot.

Such a "zen" picture. The tree could of been over a little bit. It is blocking the view of Tahquitz.
Billy goat David

I wrapped my camera on a branch and set it on self-timer. David thought it was an accident waiting to happen, but all ended well.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Isn't it still summer?, it was cold today. Stayed in the 40s most of the day, hit low 50s in the afternoon. One week ago we were all wearing t-shirts and shorts, now we're wearing jackets. We even burned some wood for warmth. I really hope this isn't a sign of how our winter is going to be.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Picture Day

Today is Picture Day at the kids' school. I hope they come out cute. Usually Emi's picture comes out alright, but the other two have yet to take a nice one. Hopefully this'll be the year. I remember as a kid how I dreaded picture day, and how all my pictures had this weird fake smile. So I can't really blame them if their picture looks funny. At least we'll have a good laugh...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Four Months Later...

Four months ago I tried making my own homemade miso. Just a few simples ingredients: soybeans, koji (fermentation agent), and salt. The four months resting/fermentation period seemed long at the beginning, but in no time it was finished. Tastes a little different than the store-bought kind. My mom said its the "homemade" taste. Maybe this is how it's really supposed to taste, like how real ketchup tastes different than Heinz... Nice to know there are no preservatives and extra **** in there. Pure and simple, how life's supposed to be.

No Turning Back Now

After talking about it for a while, we finally did it. We got a silk screen machine and on our way to starting our own business. There were a few cruicial things we overlooked, but hopefully we'll have a solution within a month and be on our way to be entrepreneurs. We're all really excited, there are some design ideas floating around in our heads already. Pretty soon the kids will be designing their own shirts. How cool would that be?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Made an attempt to make pretzels like the ones they sell at the mall. They came out pretty close. Made 12 pretzels for under a buck. The kids really liked them, and told me I would never have to buy mall pretzels again!

Edible Gold

David's mom has a friend in Denver who sends us Matsutake mushrooms. They are said to be the king of all mushrooms because of their great aroma and flavor. They are very expensive in Japan, they can cost as much as $30 for a quarter pound, the 'perfect' ones can go for hundreds. They grow in the red pine forests, and are considered "fall food." Since we would never pay for such a mushroom, it is a treat every fall when she sends us some.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Japanese people become champions in the weirdest places. Apparently he won last year too and is the reigning champ. Who knew there was a competition for such a thing.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Laughter Yoga

Laugh your way to better health...ha ha ha ha