Posts Tagged 'friends'

Chicken Fight at the Blue Angels!

sara chicken fightdiana chicken fight

Here we are: me on Zach’s shoulders and the Boogedy atop Diana a few weekends ago at the Blue Angels Air Show!

The air stunts were awesome and amazing and superlative, but my camera was no good at capturing them. If you want to see great shots, try this facebook link for the Key West Naval Air Station. The views of the Keys from their planes are the best!

After watching the show, the Boogedy and I jumped on the bungee trampolines. Back flips! Double back flips! This was great fun. Then I got off and realized I was a little dehydrated, overheated, had craned my neck to the sky for the last hour, and hadn’t done any situps in…um, forever.  My head and abs were so sore.

sara jumparoo

The kid figured out how to do flips immediately and had a blast. HE never complained about any pains at all.

archo jumparoo

Bad at Finishing

This has been a slow year for me, creatively, with lots of stalled projects and unfinished business. Today, though, I am showing off two things just completed, and only with the help of others!

One year ago I saw my Aunt Lois, who came to Salt Lake City for my dad’s memorial service. I don’t get to see Lois very often, but when I do, I am always impressed by the way her engineering mind interprets and deconstructs art. She has taught me many new skills over the years.

Lois, like many women in our family, cannot bear to have idle hands, so she brought with her the ingredients and tools for assembling these soft, 3D fabric magic cubes. I flipped for them, and marveled at how she figured it out. I later looked up a model, so that I could understand it more fully. Instructions for building one made from wooden blocks can be found here. She gave me an assembled cube with bright fabrics pinned to the foam blocks, and all I had to do was stitch up the seams.  I am embarrassed at how long it took me to finish, but my kid and all visitors are delighted with the finished product! Thanks Aunt Lois!


Two years ago, I went into a tiny yarn shop in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. It was near closing time and I rushed to choose the best yarn in the place. I bought an expensive skein of Tilli Thomas Flurries named Chocolate Cherry, a supersoft deep brown merino with bright cherry red beads, with the intention of making a purse. I visited a fabric shop in Panama City Beach and purchased a red-on-crimson koi print for lining and a chocolate brown zipper. I knitted a rectangle, coaxed all the beads to the knit side, watched a youtube video on making lined wallets, sewed the zipper to the lining (incorrectly), and …. stopped. There is sat, in the quilt shop plastic bag for two years. My mind could not fathom what I’d done wrong or how to fix it.

A few days ago I showed it to my new friend Daniela, who knew how to fix it, and was willing to pick out the stitches for me. I took the dog for a walk, had an epiphany about how it should have been sewn, and came home to a completed purse!


Finally, here is a new embroidered purse my mom made for me! Perfectly timed, too, since I just wore out my everyday purse while camping. It’s still unfinished; my mom only secured one end of the strap, so that I could adjust it to my size and sew it in. I’ll finish in the next day or two, because I need it!

Paint Your Own Mugs

A few weekends ago I went to Honest Works for Paint Your Own Pottery Day. I squirted out a bit of every teal, turquoise, aqua, and green that they had and made a stripey mug and a dotty mug.

The Boogedy painted his tile very quickly, and I had to really rush to get my two mugs finished before he broke anything in the studio while horsing around with his friends. I love the insides of these mugs!

I attempted a maker’s mark on the bottom with my initials and a snail.

Afterward, I took a deep breath and took the Boogedy and his friend S. to the dog beach to relax and swim. These boys crack me up!



Pinkish Pasta

My friend Paige and I got together last week at her house to make fresh beet pasta (recipe from Martha Stewart).

The beet puree was gorgeous, though if I did it again I would use the juicer to make pulp that is finer and drier.

The dough was pretty. The baby was TRYING to be helpful. We wore old clothes so we wouldn’t get stained.

But in the end the dough was too soft, stretchy, and sticky and we used a bunch of flour to keep them from reforming into a mass.

I thought the noodles looked like hookworms.

Neither of us took pictures of them cooked up. I thought they were UGLY when cooked, having changed from Sunset Violet to something like this reddish pinkish brownish bag . A whole lot of work for something vaguely unappealing.

Birthday Dishes and Linens

My birthday was last weekend and I invited some friends over for a grownup dinner party. Really, I wanted the excuse to show off the dishes I bought and the napkins I made to go with them.

Miss P brought citronella candles and I set out the bug spray and I didn’t even get bitten (a nice b-day gift of itself). I made pototo lima bean soup and whole wheat rolls. C&D brought a quiche and P&T brought grilled veggies. Everything was so good, and I counted myself really lucky to have such great friends!

I made the birthday cake, just my usual chocolate cake from a mix, but I used some cake-decorating resources to frost it nicely (turquoise with white polka dots). It was my 36th birthday, and I didn’t have enough candles, so I made an 8-bit binary code. I also served soan papdi, a box of which I have been saving since my trip to Salt Lake. Soan Papdi is so sweet that you have to wash it down with birthday cake.

I had spent the week leading up to my birthday sewing napkins. It was surprising how many turquoise/orange/red fabrics I had, and I bought some others at the shop on my street corner (yes, I live practically next door to a quilt shop!).

Plus my old napkin rings went fabulously:

In uploading these photos, I was reminded of another dinner party almost exactly two years ago, where I also showed off new dishes, and where I OUTDID myself on food. See Indian Feast.



Fishy Adventures

Yesterday I made homemade goldfish crackers with my friend Paige. I saw the recipe at Smitten Kitchen and took a few days debating whether to order the (frivolously expensive) cookie cutter. But I’m a sucker for cookie cutters, and all things tiny, so it was pretty much inevitable.

Paige mixed and I rolled and cut. She drew all their little faces.

Which mostly disappeared because of melting cheese.

The grownups thought these were delicious. Our children both turned their noses up at them, and the Boogedy even referred to them as “so garbagey”.  He pointed out that these are not real goldfish crackers. I just had to laugh.

In Key West, several of the local tourist attractions have a “locals get in free day” once a month. So on March 6th we went to the aquarium and I spotted this giant fish just sitting there agape. Tiny fishes swam in and out of his mouth. I was fascinated because I could see straight through his gills. I have never gone fishing, cooked a whole fish, or dissected a fish, and I didn’t realize this is how gills work.

Across the street from the aquarium is the Shipwreck Museum, which we’re planning to go to next month. I love walking past it because they’re always playing sea chanties like The Mermaid, by my favorite band Great Big Sea.

Today was a beach day… Zach rode with us on his lunch hour. The Boogedy ran around and around the huge peace sign, which is visible on Google Earth, by the way.

And he balanced on the coconuts.

Sunberry Frozen Yogurt

Here is a rather terrible photo of a delicious dessert I had this weekend.

sunberry dessert (Small)

Sunberry frozen yogurt garnished with ground cherries (all berries home grown)and black sesame seeds.  Without the benefit of an ice-cream maker, this was made using the tried-and-true method of a baggie full of yogurt inside a big bag of ice and salt. We loved this all-natural purple color… but the flash turned the ground cherries yellow gold, and they were really the best shade of chartreuse!!

A friend made this for me on Saturday night after a delicious meal of homemade Som Tam with roasted peanuts (my friends used green tomatoes instead of papaya, since we’re in a temperate zone!), peanut-oil-fried tofu with sea salt, and coconut rice.

Indian Feast!

Last night we had our lovely friends Cindy and Xander over and I made (from scratch!) a spread of yummy Indian dishes.


feast-friends (Small)

I used all nice bowls and glasses and even my serving dishes came out of the china hutch!

Napkin Rings:

feast-napkin rings (Small)


feast-biryani (Small)

The biryani recipe comes from my co-worker, who is from Hyderabad.

Naan and Coriander Chicken:

feast-naan and chicken (Small)

The meat dish features crushed coriander seeds as well as pureed fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), along with other spices and yogurt. I made fresh naan dough, but ended up shallow-frying in butter because I couldn’t bear heating the oven to 500 degrees on a hot July night. The texture was lovely! Both of these recipes come from the VahChef, Sanjay Thumma, my favorite  chef at YouTube. I’ve made so many of his recipes, and they are always delicious!

Potato Masala with Panch Phoron and Coconut:

feast-potato masala (Small)

This potato masala recipe was inspired by a recipe for garlic mashed potatoes, from Modern Spice by Monica Bhide. All her recipes sound good!

Condiments served alongside:


I also put out hot chili paste and yogurt. The tamarind dip is also from the VahChef.

Afterward, there was fragrant espresso brewed fresh by Cindy and Xander, various teas, and a small dish of fennel seeds. Featuring a new teaset that I got for my birthday last week:

feast-tea (Small)

Cindy brought yummy eclairs from the Beau Brummel bakery, which were gobbled up before I remembered to take a photo.

Cindy also opened a little present from me, a new mug that called my name and whispered “for Cindy!” in my ear.

feast-mug wrapped (Small)

feast-mug (Small)

The last shot of the evening was this pic of the Boogedy, pouring his own herbal tea and cream back and forth from pitcher to cup. This happened over and over! He drank 5 mini cups of Sleepytime Tea and still took 45 minutes to get to sleep after the excitement of visitors.

feast-tea-boogedy (Small)

I’ve found that you can control the beautiful place setting all you want, but your kid will invariably smear potato masala all over his face and after you download your photos, you’ll realize he was wearing a dopey tie-dyed shirt and no pants.

Hoorary for friends who appreciate your cooking!

Snakes and Frogs Birthday

The Boogedy’s 2nd birthday was actually in February, but the house was in shambles under construction, so we opted to wait and hold the party once the house was decent again. It was part birthday, part grand re-opening of the house party. The theme was snakes and frogs, inspired by this great hat I made for the Boogedy and a cute froggy invitation we sent to everyone.

Here is the awesome coral snake I made using two chocolate bundt cakes and cream cheese frosting. This was ideal for our family, most of whom do not care much for frosting. The dark sections are unfrosted. This snake is enjoying his frog dinner.


We played a great balloon stomping game where everyone tied a small balloon to their ankle and took off their shoes. Then, they tried to pop everyone else’s balloon while keeping their own balloon safe. The last person to remain unpopped is the winner. This was really fun, but the little kids in attendance were a bit overwhelmed.


Then, we played pin the fly on the frog, using a frog face modeled on the invitation we’d sent out and using hand-drawn flies.



We had visited the wine store the day before and picked out wines based on their labels (the wine specialists on-site do not approve of picking wine by our criteria). Here were some of the possibilities:



We couldn’t find any with snakes on the label! Lots of bicycles and kangaroos. Lots of estates and abstract color blocks. Lots of hoofed animals. But no snakes. So we went with the Nathanson Creek because they had white and red wines for a good price.

We put out some decorations:


And I made a baked potato bar with lots and lots of toppings. About halfway through the evening, Zach lit a bonfire in the backyard firepit and sent someone to the store for s’mores fixins. The weather was just right for sitting outside at night, just nippy enough to appreciate a fire.

It was the nicest (and biggest) party we’ve ever held, and the Boogedy received so many adorable presents. Thanks everybody!!

Spring Picnic

Zach and I took Mosca and the Boogedy to our friend’s house last night, ostensibly to take a walk with them and their dog. Once there, though, I completely lost my steam.

Shea took charge and decided we would have a picnic instead. I had packed a few snacks for the walk, in case my little boy got hungry. Paul was making a Mediterranean feast, so I added my stash to the fare. We packed our blanket and walked out to the back of their property, which  sits on the Jordan River.


We unfolded this great feast, honestly the best meal I’ve had in ages. Shea and Paul order fantastic fair-trade olive oil from Palestine, and this entire meal was flavored with that yummy liquid gold.


We took turns taking the Boogedy to the river bank to throw rocks and sticks for the dogs. Here is Mosca, intently trying to figure out if that is a plastic bag stuck on a log or a duck swimming in the middle of the river.  (Plastic bag, unfortunately for him and for the river).