Flyin’ High

50 degrees + Friday after school + swings = jumping contest!

Jumping

Jumping

The girls were a little skeptical about being caught jumping off…  Jumping

Jumping

but Brian didn’t disappoint!

Jumping

We pictured ourselves looking much cooler than this:

Jumping

Jumping

Honestly, I wanted to look like this:

Jumping

Jumping

 

Let them eat cereal!

I knew going into the week it was going to be crazy busy, so in discussing this Brian said dinners needed to be kept super simple. Somehow this morphed into, “well, let’s just have cereal for dinner all week!”

We don’t eat a ton of cereal. We have nothing against it, but 2/3 of the kids won’t even use milk and just eat it dry. That’s weird. They get to keep a box of “sugar cereal” around for Lord’s Day Breakfast (we want Sundays to be set apart, and one way is that they get whatever they want for breakfast on the Sabbath!), but just aren’t huge cereal eaters. Which honestly made this project that much more fun!

So we loaded everyone up to go pick out 2 cereals per person! (I started to make the “NOT ALL SUGAR CEREAL!” rule, but Brian, aka the fun parent, patiently reminded me to just go with it and keep it fun. So, sugar here we come!)

Brian tried to keep variety in his!

Cereal galore!!

This boy cracks. me. up.

Ninja Box Turtles

Well. Laura has abandoned us for California again. It’s gonna be 90 degrees while she is there. The first time she left us we made a music video to Summer Girl, the second time it was robots dancing to Beastie Boys, this time they wanted to make Ninja Turtles and since there was no school today we went ahead and made that our afternoon project. Here are the results.

 

Ninja Turltles

Ninja Turltles

Ninja Turltles

Just leave me a note

I find notes a lot.

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This one was after I told Brian his snack was grapes and walnuts.

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I honestly have no idea why I got this one. I’m a little concerned though cause that’s the light switch. Which actually is pretty accurate: if the light’s on then some little person was in there and it needs to be cleaned. (How come they can’t remember to wash their toothpaste down the drain?!)a

The kids were trying to read this one and Beckham said “You are the orange?” Sadie Piper guessed, “You are the plum?” Becks still trying, “You are the orange with a stem?” (it’s supposed to be a bomb, but in their defense, it does look more like a fruit!)

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This was a text one day when the kids were being a handful and Brian left to run an errands. You have to sing it to the Taylor Swift tune!

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The new Junie B

No, we didn’t get a new cat (yet?). I mean this is like the Junie B books.

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This book is hilarious and has us all wondering how the author knows so much about Berkley. From the first page we were like, YES, look, it’s a picture of OUR family!!

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See??

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This little girl likes to talk and ask questions too!

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And she wants to stay in her winter night gown. Berkley LIVES in her fleece footies YEAR ROUND!

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We laughed the whole way through this book and were so excited to see a second one!!

Jan 2016

Boo was totally loving seeing the similarities (Dory likes to pretend to be a dog too…and her family won’t play fetch with her either!) and dressed in her nightgown (inside out of course) and made Dory’s imaginary friend out of paper and also a banana (it’s how she calls Nubbers).

Dec 2015

Anyone with a youngest child that’s weirder than the rest will LOVE this book!

 

 

New York gets it right; shocking, huh!?

Growing up I literally thought calling someone a “Yankee” was a way to insult them. To be fair, my dad was born and raised in New York (he left at 18 and stayed in Texas the rest of his life!) so I was taught that by a Yankee. But any other Texan would agree with him in their assessment of New York/New England: “Why live there when you can live in Texas?”

So you can imagine my hesitation to bake cookies with the title “NEW YORK TIME’S Chocolate Chip Cookies.” But then again, New York Times is legit, and the journalism major in me couldn’t deny that. So I made them. Then I made them again and again. Now I have dough portioned out and frozen in our freezer at all times. Brian and I may bake them after kids go to sleep on special nights.

Let’s be honest: we have it down to a science.

I pull out the dough to a cookie sheet and top them with salt, sounds odd but it’s the best part!

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but not just any salt, it has to be this kind in our house:

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Got this from my brother Scott who didn’t look at the quantity he was purchasing and apparently has salt to last until 2030 now. Also, side story: this salt looks like fancy sugar when is in a cute bowl and put next to the coffee machine at his house. I added big ol’ spoonful of this stuff to my coffee one morning. Who keeps fancy salt by the coffee maker?!?

Then I start the oven. Brian puts the milk in cups (it’s best in stemless wine glasses!) and in the freezer to get extra cold. After they bake exactly 13 minutes they need to sit on the cookie sheet and cool for a few minutes to set. Then we have a “draft.”

Jan 2016

We each get a napkin and one of us goes first and chooses a cookie, then the other one gets to pick one while the first person sweats it out hoping the second person won’t pick their next draft pick. Person one picks again and the person two gets the last one. Do we really care which cookie we get? No. Can you tell a difference when you eat it? No. We are just nerds like that and it’s our favorite part!

Jan 2016

These are best out of the oven, I honestly can’t attest to how they are totally cooled (hence why we keep the dough frozen and ready to bake in small batches) and I use a different recipe for cookies we aren’t eating right away (these or these). But for hot cookies, these can’t be beat!

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Probably the biggest secret to these? Letting the dough sit in the fridge for a few days before cooking. We have baked them the day I made the dough or even the next, and they are good, just not addicting. Three days is the sweet spot.

Here’s the “Yankee” recipe. It’s picky. But so am I, I’m gonna make these calories worth it!

THE NEW YORK TIMES CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

 INGREDIENTS: 

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8½ ounces) cake flour (yes, buy cake flour. You will make these again and use it all up!)
1 & 2/3 cups (8½ ounces) bread flour (this one can be subbed with all-purpose)
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1¼ cups (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 & 1/3 cups (20 ounces) dark chocolate chips, at least 60% cacao content (I prefer closer to 15 oz. And I usually do 10 oz dark and 5 oz semi-sweet)
Sea salt, for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS:

1. Sift together the cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and set aside.

2. Cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until very light, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then add the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.

3. Press plastic wrap against the dough and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, up to 72 hours. (The longer the better! After 3 days, I scoop them and freeze the dough in balls ready to bake.)

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

4. Scoop dough, roll into a rough ball and place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 12-13 min. Let sit for a few minutes on the baking sheet to set.