Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We play a game...

I scream. He screams. It's a blast.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Meet Ethan

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Coconut Macaroons (a.k.a. Lauren's Favorites)

These took 5 minutes this morning and they're so pretty. You can dip the tops in melted chocolate or drizzle over the tops . . .

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or two teaspoons. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Whoopie Pies

Check this out.

1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1.5 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 cup milk
1 t. vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa

Filling: 1 cup crisco, 1 cup sugar, 1.5 cups Marshamallow Fluff, 1 t. vanilla

Bake at 425 for 7-8 minutes.

P.S. There are some members of my family who beg for double cream filling...

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Zion Ponderosa Ranch...

A couple of nights in Utah . . . the million dollar home we stayed in was awesome, but the highlight was our Friday and Saturday activities. Check out the paintball aftermath here . . .

Dave shoots many clay pigeons.

90-minute ATV excursion.

Patti jumps off the zipline platform (125 feet!)

And Dave follows...

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The Zion "cabin"

Four master suites, gourmet kitchen, floor to ceiling windows in the great room, surround sound, upstairs loft. . . and I actually saw a family of wild turkeys walking on the side of the house. Beautiful place ...

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Zion lodge

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Friday, September 5, 2008

The walk to the beach...

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Morning glories...

The front of the beach house greenery Friday morning. It took me days to confirm these really are morning glories. Garden of Eden green everywhere.

Although deep down I feel like I was made to live in the desert, I have to admit California is a stunning state. The drive to the gym is down Pacific Coast Highway and it is breathtaking. All week I've studied all the local places along the road. This morning I woke up and said, "Would you like me to go to that little shop and get you some donuts?" In less than ten seconds the answer came. So my GPS and I made our way down toward Dana Point . . . and I started to think about what the drive is like at home to the local donut shop. Enough said.

I finished novel number six this morning, much to the dismay of my spouse. He claims to have only read ten pages and, although this is an exaggeration for emphasis, it's not like a book about a programming language can even be compared to what I'm reading. The harsh reality of this . . . I'm married to man who reads textbooks for fun.

I need to confess one of the books I read is a tween novel recommended to me by every Young Woman in my Ward (most claiming it's their favorite book in a recent 'getting to know you poll' I administered). The pop culture fanatic in me insisted I read it because it's almost a 'need to know' situation. I am satisfied now. Another book was a very quick read, maybe half a day. The author's name I cannot speak and I admit I read it only because I am crazy about Richard Gere and Diane Lane together. I'm appropriately embarrassed and please don't judge. Additionally, I do not recommend the book. The other four books have kept me in a state of bliss this week. Sleepy bliss.

Our time is short here so we're off to the beach - one programming language textbook and one last novel. There is no stress when you're staring at the ocean.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cafe Zoolu

Last night we finally got into Cafe Zoolu, a tiny 35-seat locals place known for their swordfish. It's a chef-owned hole in the wall that gets great reviews (Zagat-rated). . . except everytime we come here we can't get a reservation. Last night we were in.

Appetizer of Panko Crusted Calamari with Asian slaw. It was fabulous.

And now, my Cioppino...

Look at this piece of swordfish...

The Mayor of Laguna Beach made friends with the owner and we have a reservation to go back tonight, although not at the coveted bar seats. Definitely my new favorite place to eat in Laguna.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Today's surf...

Out of control riptides with an undertow that felt like it could drag you away. Too intense for boogie boards . . .

Again, nobody on the beach. We didn't leave until after 5 p.m. Life is good, as they say.

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A perfect Tuesday...

After a perfect deserted beach day we meandered downtown to Salerno for a delicious 'clams in red sauce' kind of dinner that reminded us of home. Why we still refer to Boston as home (after all this time) made for great dinner conversation.

We made our way north on Pacific Coast Highway toward Newport Beach and took a slight detour into the famous Sprinkles to peruse the cupcakes. Another business that does not allow pictures (move over Whole Foods). YES, we ATE the cupcakes, despite the fact that we were full of heavy red-sauced southern Italian food. Were they ever good.

Off to Balboa Island to the Lido Theatre. This cinema is an historic landmark and easily could be the coolest theatre I've ever been in, actually on par with the Harvard Square Theatre. No air conditioning, just lots of very high ceiling fans circulating cool beach air. We saw Bottle Shock - a perfect movie for that setting.

I am off to start my day at the gym because, apparently, you cannot eat your weight in pistachio nuts and feel good about wearing a bathing suit. Or have gelato every night. Go figure.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Post Labor Day beach crowd...

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Laguna Habits...

Sun is out, the beach is desolate, traffic gone . . . Labor Day is behind us and I am headed to the beach.

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Monday, September 1, 2008


1/2 lb. pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped pepper
2 medium tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 t. dried basil
1/2 t. dried thyme
1.5 cups shredded mozarella cheese

1 beaten egg

Mix and fill pizza dough like turnovers. Bush with egg and bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes.

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"Time You Enjoy Wasting is Not Time Wasted"

Thank you, T.S. Eliot. That quote could easily be prefaced with "At the beach..."

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