Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dorie Greenspan may be my new best friend... at least her chewy blondies are.

If you are on some crazy meticulous diet, that is totally working for you 
{I'm super proud of you btw} 
this post is not for you.
AND if you're a rebel and decide to peek anyway do not scroll passed the recipe where I have hidden the ooey gooey food porn.  You have been warned.

 In times of frustration, stress, feeling excessively trapped, or you know, being totally freaked out because my companion fell on his face.... out of a tree *ahem* cooking and baking always seem to tone down the ginormous-ness of my situation. So, today (Hilary's surgery day) I'm finally getting around to making the blondies that were supposed to be our dessert on fall out of a tree spaghetti taco night. I went with a recipe that seemed unanimously agreed upon by the internets and it's peoples as a chewy blondie.

Chewy, Chunky Blondies
(from Dorie Greenspan “Baking: From My Home to Yours” p.109)
and blogs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 1 cup store-bought chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips or Heath Toffee Bits (no toffee bit here)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (though I'm sure it would have been awesome I also left this out)
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and put it on a baking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until well incorporated. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chips, nuts and coconut. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and use the spatula to even the top as best you can.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean. The blondies should pull away from the sides of the pan a little and the top should be a nice honey brown. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for about 15 minutes before turning the blondies out onto another rack. Invert onto a rack and cool the blondies to room temperature right side up.
Cut into 32 bars, each roughly 2-1/4 x 1-1/2 inches.

I use parchment paper so that I can easily lift blondies {and such} out. 

Ori is always quick to steal the bowl and whisk attachment..

and then my kitchen turned blue...

There that's better...
except for the fact I'm out of milk.
such is life.
{anyone who would like to donate to help our family with Hilary's aftercare can do so by clicking the PayPal donate button at the top left. Thank You!}

Monday, November 22, 2010

Because sometimes the tree doesn't want to be hugged...

Or hug back for that matter.

If you haven't already heard, Hilary fell from a tree Friday night and landed on his face. He likes to correct the fact that he fell by saying "I didn't fall... the branch broke -- and then the rest of them broke". Not being a tree climber myself I don't understand the need for distinction but I'm sure it has something to do with tree climber pride.

Of course, very few people fall 20 ft, break every branch on the way down, land on their face and end up without injury - and this event was no exception. He suffered injuries to his ribs as well as complex facial fractures, and a compression fracture in the lumbar section of his spine. 

We are still uncertain when he will be released from the hospital -- I know they are still trying to find a specialist to repair the bones in his face, and that tomorrow he meets with his physical therapist for his first go at walking since the accident (and I get to be there thanks to some lovely friends and family!).

 I have added a PayPal donation button to my blog (it's over there in the top right hand corner) for anyone who would like to donate to our family. We are lucky enough to have insurance which; as far as I currently know, will cover all the hospital costs -- but there will be several extra costs when he is released that will be difficult or not possible for us to cover; especially with the loss of his income. Feel free to pass it on, any amount helps.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Car Shoes

Ori and I have been on the journey to much less boob for well over a month now. I'd be lying if I didn't say he hasn't been a bit reluctant to the process, but he also has had some really awesome moments. Once - just once {EVER} - since this process began he actually came to me to just sit in my lap and cuddle so he could fall asleep. It was awesome to feel like something more than the booby - the milk servant to a very pushy, alpha male complex-ified midget. He asks for boob; I offer him food instead. The only feedings he refuses to give up are those after he wakes up. We've gotten into a great routine for bed time and for awhile he would either not cry at all or cry for just a few minutes after I told him good night and closed the door, but something switched in his baby brain and now he cries until he settles. We were really ready to move on to the next stage in our relationship - the one were mommy is there for love and comfort with her shirt on - so most of the time the crying doesn't get to me. I know he's just making a lot of noise and getting his energy out. But then there are nights like last night - when he took a late nap and isn't quite as tired as he should be, but it's nearly 12 and he shouldn't be up that late (bedtime is 9), and he's running around super fast and happy in nothing but car shoes... then it pulls on my heart a bit. Oh the cuteness! The urge to just go and get him can be a bit nagging, but I just think about all the awesome times we have now; the ones were he just comes to me to get a hug or snuggle w/ me while I play video games or whatever it is I'm doing;  so many awesome times when I get to be a person worthy of his affection and not just a juice box... and that really makes it worth it.

Friday, August 20, 2010


That's Bob in there. :)
Once upon a time there was a girl who wrote constantly.
Anything was game when the impulse hit: napkins, restaurant menus, receipts, appendages, other people's appendages... you get the point. Out of this seemingly as necessary as breathing desire to write, an obvious addiction was born - notebooks.
I loved them as much as some women love shoes.
A crisp, new, funky, unique notebook would make me squeal like a 5 year old on Christmas morning.

How I loved them.
There was, however, a problem with my love.
I have this ridiculous OCD thing where if one letter is even in the most minuscule way "wrong" I have to rip out the page and start all over again - regardless of how far I had gotten - that page was officially ruined. So many trees must have died in vain because of my ridiculousness. I tried for a long time to switch to typing but at the time (you know the way back time where everyone only had one family aka shared desktop pc) I didn't have a computer or typewriter available to me when the urge struck and quite frankly typing really didn't feel like my soul flowing through my fingers. Much like one's sword, my pen was an extension of myself; my outlet to emote, to express, to stay introverted. The funny thing is now I would be lost without my laptop... shiny, shiny, laptop.... my PRECIOUS...


But alas, it has been damaged, and must be repaired... I must learn to let go.. but *gasp* I just started writing again! Is everything for naught?
Okay, so maybe it's a little dramatic...
and I really don't want to be sans laptop when Dexter premiers; so I digress.
 For months I've been contemplating buying a few small notebooks to carry with me for when my muse strikes, weighing my desire to save trees with my desire to re-flourish my gift, but for some reason it just didn't happen - that is until the other day. Perhaps inspired by school supply shopping and the notion of new beginnings or maybe a little jealous that I couldn't pick out a Tinkerbell pencil case;  I left the store with two shiny new (recycled and banana papered) notebooks and a fresh pack of the best pens ever.
And so in a few days I'll be packing up my precious and turning back to my old dear... first love - the notebook to blog and write ideas throughout the day then I'll steal H's laptop to post later in the day or in the a.m. to post. You know, when he gets to sleep and I don't. Yeah, sometimes that makes me a little bitter. I never get to sleep. Never. 
But I suppose that is another post for another day.


Thursday, August 19, 2010


I have been {and am} going through ginormous process lately. Mostly lots of thinking and sorting things out silently, with God and myself. There are times when being a mom just really isn't enough for me, there is still that annoying screaming voice urging me that I was really meant to do something so much greater, accomplish something, have great adventures. I'm sure that those mommies that were seriously geared towards being mommies their whole lives would try to reassure me that having children and leading them in the right way really is a great accomplishment (and I'm sure I'd agree, some of the time), but that notion just doesn't make me feel any less trapped, or any less guilty for feeling trapped by these awesome little people that I adore more than anything else. There is this constant feeling that I'm simultaneously failing them as well as failing myself - you know my other self that pre-children or even single-child-having self that teenagers thought was cool, but especially that five year old self that was bound to be a journalist/photographer/world traveler/ Columbia graduate that hung out at coffee shops performing acoustic numbers and obviously questionable poetry. She is the one that I feel so many people owe an explanation to... why wasn't she nurtured? why weren't those dreams supported and lifted up? Recently there have been a lot of very strong emotions swimming around on her behalf - but really when it comes down to it - at this point - I'm the only one that can rectify... or rather change the obvious outcome of what has become her future. Months ago I stumbled upon a homeschooling blog (or maybe she stumbled upon me first) where I found the most "lightbulb" of a quote : "It is never too late to become what you might have been." It really was exactly what I needed to here and since then I've been trying to find a way to implement it, to change and start moving in the "right" direction. Apparently, the real first step was not merely just deciding to change or realizing I had a problem - if you will, it has been sorting things out {a life time of things and feelings, disappointments, and bad and or seemingly forced choices, ect.} and de-cluttering.

...and send my laptop in to get fixed. 
Hello my name is Dani and I'm addicted to the internet.

*Note* My "lightbulb" quote is usually accredited to George Eliot but apparently it's worded numerous ways and it's origin is quite fuzzy.

Friday, July 2, 2010

perhaps we're a little more connected than I thought...

So it has been decided.
Like, really decided.
Sure, I've been talking about it and playing with the idea, randomly tweeting... and thinking about exactly where my convictions lie.
And even after all that I wasn't quite sure - but I was going forward with it - leaping blindly as I often do. So I started my day out searching for blogs, Vegetarian foodie blogs - good ones, hopefully some that avoided meat substitutes - because that's just stupid. I found a few hand fulls and told myself to come back to it later to sort out some sort of menu before I go shopping tomorrow.
The initial plan was to close the laptop and then start cleaning - you know because I've been trying hard to be a grown up and was thus distracted by the lovely internet. I did eventually get to my housework, of course H also came home much earlier than he should have and it is still not finished, but my ability to be a good grown up or at the very least good house winch is not the focus of this post so I'll get to it. So as H was buzzing about trying to find food because he was "starving", which is believable because he's 6 foot and weighs as much as a girl (seriously I need to feed him lard), I let him know that we'd be going mostly vegetarian because food cost is ridiculous. To which he responded,
"I was thinking about that."
Yes. He is super vague - all. the. time. Despite the fact he is a genius it kind of stops at the math... language and communication seem to escape him.
So I inquire "being vegetarian, food cost... the global economy?"
"Yeah" he says.
"Being vegetarian?" I say.
*heh* If H was a normal person this is where I'd gush that it was cool that even though I hadn't talked to him about it and even though I feel so disconnected from him on such a regular basis that we were still connected and communicating in some awesome sub-conscious telepathic way. But he's not that guy - you know the one that writes poetry, plays an instrument.. or even has long hair - so consider your selves gushed to.
And just like that it was decided.
yeah. tah-dah... or something like that.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

the best present - ever.

I am ecstatic to report that mother nature was simply holding out on me so that she, the dear that she she is, could deliver the best present possible to me on Mother's Day. Oh yeah, that's right! The physical reassurance that I am not a Mommy to the fourth power... at least not this month, and that? I'll take.
In fact, I may even buy a cake, hang streamers, and invite the entire freaking neighborhood. Because this my friends? Is something worth celebrating. Poor Aunt Flo gets such a bad rap... but if more ladies considered the alternative...
well, let's just say I wouldn't be the only one whistling "If I knew you were comin' I'd a baked a cake."


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