We went to the splash park again yesterday (we are trying to go as much as possible before it gets too cold!), this time with all the kids from our ward. And their moms, of course. We took the bus downtown together. Here are all the cuties (besides baby Claire, who is too small to sit on a bench):
Yesterday was a very long day, so I'm glad we got to spend some of it with friends. Glenn didn't get to see Violet all day, and when he got home at 7:20, I had to leave for my meeting that started at 7:30, so we finally got to see each other at about 8:30. Anyway, I'm excited for this weekend when we can spend some time as a family!
(Hallelujah! Violet just went down for a nap this morning! She has been taking only her afternoon nap for about two weeks now, so this is a rare gift.)
I tried another recipe from Enchanted Broccoli Forest and was met with success! Annie, my SIL, also has the book, and recommended the Pesto Lasagna to me. We love lasagna around here, but have been making our same old lasagna a little too often lately. It is delicious, but we were ready to try something new.
This lasagna is a white lasagna (meaning no tomato sauce). The filling is made up of lots of ricotta cheese, spinach, onions, zucchini, tons of pesto, and sunflower seeds. You just alternate layers of noodles and filling and then top with mozzarella cheese. Behold:
I wish I could recommend this to you with absolutely no reservations, but while Violet and I loved this from the very first bite, Glenn was not crazy about it. However, when he took a piece for lunch the next day, he reported that it was much better, and he liked it as much as our other lasagna.
Also, on an unrelated note, this little goofball can find her nose when you ask now:
You may remember that I haven't had much success cooking tofu in the past. My last attempt was edible, but not great. However, I have read in a few places recently how good tofu is for kids, because it is so healthy, inexpensive, and kids actually tend to like it. So I decided to try again, this time armed with another recipe from my favorite cookbook of the moment, Enchanted Broccoli Forest.
The author specifically says that the Tofu-Nut Balls (I know, a horrible name) are a hit with kids, and they looked pretty delicious to me too. I made them this morning and we had them for lunch. And guess who loved and chowed down on them (besides me)? Violet! So Mollie Katzen was right. At least my kid seems to like tofu.
I wish I'd taken a more appetizing picture, but here is what I've got:
(Violet was not happy that I took a break from shoveling food into her mouth to take the picture)
You can serve these with tomato sauce over pasta, which I think would be great, but for lunch today I just rolled them around in BBQ sauce, and Violet didn't complain.
They were great because they seriously had the texture of a turkey meatball. They are basically a mixture of mashed tofu, barley, and ground walnuts. It made a bunch, so now I have some in the freezer for another meal sometime!
I was feeling yucky this morning, and so for the first time ever, I turned on a cartoon to entertain Violet:
And as soon as she saw Dora on tv, she searched through her toys until she found her Dora mermaid. They watched together for about three seconds until Violet lost interest and made me play with her, even though she KNEW I felt yucky. :)
I wish, so much, that I'd gotten closer to take a better picture than this:
Yesterday evening, we walked onto campus to watch the USC quidditch team practice! Glenn read the official rule book beforehand so we'd know what was going on. There are a few rules that are different than in the Harry Potter books, and also brooms don't actually fly. So that makes it a little different. The funniest thing was that they actually hold a broom between their legs as they run around. It is actually an important part of the game, because it forced them to catch and pass the quaffle one-handed. The broom also causes some pretty gruesome injuries for the men. We saw one while we there...
Happy weekend to you all! I am just now getting around to posting about what we did last weekend!
Our ward swim party was at the bishop's AMAZING house in Beverly Hills, and we had so much fun. We love our ward, and there are a few new people since the school year just started, and it was fun to get to know them! I was seriously tired from my soccer game earlier in the afternoon, so I didn't swim, but Violet and Glenn had a good time in the pool!
Well, I think Violet might officially be down to one nap a day. She has seriously been fighting her morning nap for a couple of weeks, and then yesterday I never could get her to take it, so we went swimming with some friends and Violet only took her afternoon nap. So today I planned our day around her only taking one nap, and it seems to be working! She is sleeping right now, and I just finished eating lunch in peace :).
To fill up our longer-than-usual morning, we went to the Natural History Museum with some of our friends from our ward!
(baby Claire was there too, but she is too little to sit on the alligator. Or is it a crocodile?)
Violet had a great time, but definitely started to act tired around 11:30. On our walk back to the bus stop, she fell asleep in her stroller! She hasn't fallen asleep anywhere but her crib in months.
So of course I had to take a picture to document it :)
You know I love cookbooks, right? Glenn teases me whenever he thinks I'm reading in bed, and he finds that I'm really "just reading a cookbook", which sounds super boring to him. Anyway, by favorite cookbooks of the moment are Molly Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook and its sequel The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.
In The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, instead of a recipe for quiche, there is a "quiche formula". Basically there are three parts to the formula besides the crust: the cheese, the veggies, and the egg mixture. Anyway, I have made a couple quiches using the formula, and they have both turned out great!
Last night we had a roasted tomato-sausage-rosemary quiche:
They just opened a fountain in a park downtown for kids to play in, so we went on Friday! A couple of my friends who also have little girls came too, and the girls had so much fun! I was sure that Violet was going to be scared and just make me hold her the whole time, but as soon as her feet touched the water, she was off and running! I was so glad she liked it, and I plan on taking her back many times before the summer is over!
(This is the only shot I could get of all three girls together. They were moving too fast! Julia is about a year older than Violet and Eleanor, and the two little ones basically followed around behind Julia the whole time.)
By the way, calling our space out front the "front yard" is a bit of a stretch.
We spend quite a bit of time in the front yard these days because it is so much cooler outside than it is in our apartment. There is an old couple who lives a couple of apartments down who loves Violet, and give her presents when she runs by. Yesterday they gave her a couple of packs of these cookies:
and she loves them! As you probably know, it is a struggle to get Violet to eat much of anything, so I was so happy when she chowed down on these. They are oat-sesame "crackers" and I think they are pretty healthy, but all the nutrition info is in Chinese(?) characters. The point is, we only have two crackers left and I would really love to buy more, but I have no idea where to get them.
The other thing that happened out here recently is that Violet found this leaf:
which quickly became a necklace:
And now I can't convince her to come back inside. I'm actually blogging on the front step.
We had the greatest day yesterday! It was wonderful to have Glenn home with us. Violet even slept through the night to celebrate :)
In the morning, we headed to Manhattan Beach and we met our friends from the ward there. Here is the story: Myka swims races in the ocean. Like 4 mile races and she wins these races! I want to do a triathalon at the end of October that Myka is also interested in. And the swim for that triathalon is in the ocean. Myka offered to give me some pointers about ocean swimming.
I was a little nervous, but once we got out there, it was surprisingly natural. I got a couple of gulps of sea water when I didn't see a wave coming, but other than that it went great. Glenn was nice enough to take some pictures from the shore:
(our heads are two little dots in the top left corner!)
Then, to make the day even better, we dropped off Violet in the afternoon at our friends' house and went to the Dodgers' game! It was beautiful weather, our tickets were free, and my Dodger Dog only cost a dollar and we have no idea why! We had a great time. However, we had to leave after the eighth inning to get Violet and we were down by one. Then, in the bottom of the 9th, the Dodgers got a solo home run and the game went into extra innings! We watched the end of the game on TV at home, and LA won. It was too bad we missed the exciting end of the game, but it was still a great date.
A couple of months ago, Glenn and I decided to start a tradition of having pizza on Friday. Admittedly, more often than not we have had frozen pizza or takeout, but I have also made a few homemade pizzas. Normally, I am dismissive of pizza recipes; like I need help thinking of things to put on a pizza??
However, I bookmarked this recipe from a blog a couple of weeks ago. Here's the thing: It is a vegan pizza. With a "vegan cheeze sauce". Which I know sounds really scary, but the pictures looked so delicious! So I told Glenn the sauce was a "roasted tomato-cashew pesto", which is basically true, so it wouldn't freak him out, and we both loved it! The sauce was delicious, but for me, the real stars were the balsamic roasted tomatoes.
(It looks weirder in this picture than it did in real life. And oh yeah, we added parmesan cheese, because we aren't actually vegans and cheese is delicious.)
(This is more what it looked like)
It has been really warm in our apartment the last few days, so we ate our pizza on the front step! By the way, Violet loved this pizza too :)