New favorite dinner

I wanted to share our new favorite dinner night. Chuck has been working noon to 9PM for the past couple weeks which means I have to make dinner and put the kids to bed. This would not be too bad if after I picked them up I got us all home before 6PM, but alas this can not be. All of this has resulted in a lot of fast or make ahead dinners. So last week, after a very hard day at work I was not in the mood to really cook and was out of bread and I came up with the idea of doing experimental noodle night.

I cooked up some noodles and a jar of alfredo sauce, opened a can of tuna, a jar of capers, a jar of artichoke hearts, cut up cherry tomatoes, some smoked cheddar cheese, added some leftover vegetable mix and there you have it. I told the girls to try each thing with the noodles and see which one was the best. They loved it and had a ton of fun tasting each thing with the noodles. P’s favorite was capers (which shocked me because she hates pickles) and p’s favorite was the cherry tomatoes. I loved mixing everything together expect for the tuna. The tuna would have been great if it was fresh and not canned. The girls are now asking for it all the time and also asking if we can add different things to try with noodles next time. I called my mom and told her about the dinner and she has now requested that we do it on her next dinner night at our house. So this Wednesday night we are going to try it with broccoli, asparagus, bacon, shrimp, spinach and Gouda. I can’t wait to find out what the favorites will be this week.


Sorry the picture came out very blurry and I had only taken the one to show Chuck what I was talking about. Please tell me in the comments what you think would be good to add for the next experimental noodle night.

Another Dr. Who cake

I am sorry to say that I have not yet watched even one Dr Who episode. But many of our friends are big fans of the series, and a couple of them are on the list of people who I try to make a birthday cake for every year. Last year for this wonderful girl I made a game controller cake. This year she requested anything Dr. Who. After some time I remembered that she had dressed as a Dalek for Halloween last year, and decided to give that a try.

I started out with the round topsy turvy cake pans that I own but had not used for anything yet. I did pound cake on the bottom and chocolate on the top to have the best of both worlds.

IMG_20150702_171428IMG_20150703_084546 IMG_20150703_085714

For color, I used the spray gold glitter. I then used sugar paper, molding fondant, and a little bit of brushed on glitter. For the appendages I used a very small kids whisk and 2 dowels with aluminum foil and fondant.

IMG_20150703_094913 IMG_20150703_095953IMG_20150703_102857 IMG_20150703_102900 IMG_20150703_102904

It was not perfect. It should have been taller, and I could have found a better way to do the vents; but everyone knew what it was on sight and the birthday girl really seemed to love it. Plus I think it was done in the true BBC way, which is, “hmmmm… what do I have around here that I can use to make this?”.

When it came time to sing I decided that it needed a hat, which I really think made the cake.


International Day Arizona

We picked to do Arizona because Chris and Misti were going there for vacation. I get asked often why we do states as well as countries, and the answer is that many states are as big or bigger than some countries. Plus each state has it’s own culture, traditions, and food. It seems like some even have their own language.

Since they had just gotten back from Arizona, Misti gave me ideas on what to make for food and they brought some yummy prickly pear jelly and tea for us to try.


We also had raw prickly pear, tomatillo quesadillas, Native American Fry bread, black bean and corn salad, and corn cake.

IMG_20150620_130256  IMG_20150620_130230 IMG_20150620_123248IMG_20150620_130227 IMG_20150620_130225 IMG_20150620_130741

p really liked the raw prickly pear but not so much the tomatillo. She let each person have a piece of prickly pear, and then she finished off the plate.

IMG_20150620_114440 IMG_20150620_114450

I know –  “Where is the meat?!” –  well don’t worry; we made up for it with dinner. We ordered carry out from Mission BBQ, meaning the food all day was amazing.

We colored flags.

IMG_20150627_152903 IMG_20150627_152911 IMG_20150627_152926 IMG_20150627_152935 IMG_20150627_152943 IMG_20150627_152949

Chris and Misti shared lots of pictures from their trip and even had some great stories to share. They took some beautiful pictures. We learned a few things about the insects and animal life in Arizona, and that a favorite quote is that mountain is not as close as you think it is. One of the things they told us about was a tour they went on that was down in a canyon. P was able to relate it to the cavern tour we had gone though earlier in the week.

Our next International day will be in July and it will be France. If you have a recipe, picture, or story please share.


International Day Jordan

Every international day we all learn something new. With Jordan both Chuck and I were very surprised and happy to find out that though the years Jordan has compromised a lot to try and keep the peace in that area of the world. This was something that neither of us had known and it was wonderful to learn.

Their culture demands a level of of hospitality I don’t believe we could handle. We read about tribes that require 3 days of hosting someone as a guest before you can even start to talk business. Having lived my whole life in the USA, I could most likely not coupe with that. We just run on a way too fast pace.

We enjoyed a lovely lunch of Jordanian Mansaf, Fatayer Jibneh, falafel, hummus (we did not make the hummus) and Kanafeh for desert.

IMG_20150419_074427 IMG_20150419_132303 IMG_20150419_132306 IMG_20150419_132309 IMG_20150419_134007 IMG_20150419_134010

We colored flags.

IMG_20150620_191209 IMG_20150620_191156 IMG_20150620_191149 IMG_20150620_191144 IMG_20150620_191125

Google maps was not a big help but we did find a lot of pictures that people had taken of Jordan and we read a bunch of facts and listened to some interesting music. All and all it was very nice for us as well as the kids to learn new things.

International Day Brazil

I could just write this up and act like it has not been months since we posted, but we all know that is not true. Its been months and tons of things have happened, and I could come up with lots of reasons why we have not posted but that does not change it. So here is the post on International Day Brazil, and maybe we will write up the rest of it soon.

First, we were able to do something a little different for Brazil. We are lucky enough to be friends with a wonderful couple that spends a lot of time with the wife’s family in Brazil. We sent them a message about what foods would be good to make for a typical meal, and they were a great resource.

We started off with lots of fresh fruit for a light breakfast.

IMG_20150301_115216Chris and Misti showed up just in time for coloring flags after dress up of course.

IMG_20150302_183720 IMG_20150302_183731 IMG_20150302_183609 IMG_20150302_183650 IMG_20150302_183700 IMG_20150302_183710

IMG_20150301_115208Poor Shari broke her arm but she still manged to help out.

IMG_20150301_115751 Lunch was amazing, Fruit, cheese bread ( pão de queijo), Crispy potato salad (salpicao) with the chicken on the side of course, and a very yummy Brazilian Lemonade. We tried to make brigadeiro but we failed They tasted good but were way too sticky, and what we really did was make a very large sticky mess.

The rest of the day was spent driving the streets on Google, learning a few fact about Brazil and looking at some very cool pictures of the rain forest and beaches.

IMG_20150301_182535For dinner we made Picadnho’ A Brasiliera with black beans and rice. One cool thing about this dinner is that Chuck had eaten black beans as a kid and had never liked them, but he loved this meal. Since International day Brazil we have added them to our usual meals.

The following International day was Jordan and hopefully I will write in up this week or next but don’t hold me too that since both P’s and my Birthday are this week. Wish me luck.

Menu for International day Brazil

I know this is very last minute but these thing happen. Tomorrow is International Day Brazil and the following is what we are going to eat if all goes well.


cuscuz, and Bolo de Laranja


Salpicao(chicken on the side), Brazilian Lemonade, pão de queijo, Coxinha, and brigadeiro


I wanted to eat at one of the Brazilian restaurants around but they all cost way to much. So I think we will just enjoy leftovers from the day and some fresh fruit.


International Day Japan

This day got a bit delayed due to p being sick, but was well worth the wait. We started off the day with P and I making a Japanese breakfast of Miso soup, sweet spinach, rice, and tamagoyaki. We got the recipes from Japanese cooking 101  and all of the food was wonderful.


Then the P’s spent some time teaching Shari how to make rubber band bracelets. Not really Japanese, but they had a ton of fun.

IMG_20150201_113927[1] IMG_20150201_113923[1]

After lessons – back to Japan. We all colored flags and learned some cool facts about some of the things that make Japan unique. Some of the more interesting things were that they eat more fish then any other country in the world, that it is made up of 6,852 islands, and that they have a holiday called children’s day on May 5th which is for sons and one on March 3rd for girls.

IMG_20150201_165920[1] IMG_20150201_165902[1] IMG_20150201_122550[1] IMG_20150201_122535[1] IMG_20150201_122509[1] IMG_20150201_122459[1]

We then all sat down for an amazing meal of Rice balls in a couple different flavors, Kabocha no Fukumeni and Roasted and marinated pork in a Yuan sauce.

IMG_20150201_133303[1] IMG_20150201_135119[1]

Chuck then took us riding though some streets in Tokyo using Google maps to see how the Japanese roads and cars look. We did side track for a bit looking at things they put in vending machines in Japan. It is amazing how many things they sell out of them. Besides sodas and candy, theirs have floral arrangements, french fries, clothes, toys, magazines,… and some things I did not show the kids.

Since many advances in robotics happen in Japan, we watched a couple videos about Asimo. P was very impressed and we both agreed that we would love to have one around the house. Asimo is near P’s height, so we talked about why that is a good size to be. Someone that size can reach almost anything, and has many places to hide.

We then enjoyed watching a few Japanese fairy tales on Amazon. We watched The Boy who Drew Cats and Peachboy. We found a series called The Little Travelers, and one of their episodes is from their time in Japan . I think this was a good touch and the kids seemed to really learn a lot from the show. I hope we can tie some more of their episodes into our future days.

We also decided that next month we will be doing Brazil. See you then.


International Day Poland: June 17, 2012

I decided that since we delayed International day Japan for a couple weeks I would write up a post about our second ever International day, which we did on Father’s Day 2012. Because it was Father’s Day, Chuck got to pick which country, and of course he picked Poland. He grew up in Pittsburgh and so ate a lot of their food. I, on the other hand, grew up eating more Asian style food, meaning Chuck got to introduce me to a lot of the Polish foods over the years. I now love many of these very much, and they are very common meals in our house.

Because this was only our second International day, we were still forming what these days were and how to execute them. Because it was Father’s Day and we had family that wanted to see us, we decided to do the cooking and the coloring parts at my grandmother’s house, letting more of the family join in. We then listened to music and drove the streets on Google maps later when we got home.

Flag coloring came first and we also did some flowers from Poland. P had dressed up in her chief outfit, so that she could run the kitchen.

P pol coloring pol flags

For the menu, we had apple cranberry kompat, cucumber salad, perogies, cheese babka, and of course curried chickpeas. Yeah – I know you all read that and went “…curried chickpeas?!?!?” My cousin made it up at home and brought it to share, and it was very good.

pol applepol cupoldrinkpolpol whole

It was great working on all the food as a group. We had a ton of fun messing around.

pol sandpol branpol rampol meal

Everyone even pitched in to clean up afterwards.

pol clean uppol little

and the kids slept the whole way home.

pol homepol drive

Once home, Chuck and P played with Google maps and talked about the different cars and buildings they saw in Poland.

pol lastpol warsaw pol warsaw street

All in all, it was a wonderful day, a ton of fun, and we learned a bit as well. It turned out much better than the first and insured that we would continue these days.