Archive for the ‘Henry’ Category

Winter Fun

March 3, 2012

We haven’t had much of a winter (NO COMPLAINTS), but I do savor the wackiness of indoor play in wintertime!

 

 

And then, since we haven’t had winter weather, the outdoor stuff continues as well. We’ve been tracking Sunny the Seal, a harbor seal hanging out off the coast of Stonington boro, and while we wait, plenty of winter beachcombing is available!

Tiny seal head–Sunny was feeling shy.

Experimenting with a new photoshop script for collage-ing for the new blog coming next month. (Finally!) Sorry for all the weird sizes!

That’s Sunny on the rock. (The one without the blue hoodie and sneaks!)

(Thanks for tipping us off to our seal friend, Chelle!)

Ten on Ten: August 2011

August 10, 2011

I’ve been mourning a bit the lack of kid posts here on this blog, the one that started as their electronic baby book. But until I have a new blog to debut (this fall–we had to take a breather during wedding season!), I’ve been posting client work here, and today it feels great to return to my roots and post a series of personal photos.

The inspiration for this came from a great group of women photographers. One of them—who takes the most heartstoppingly gorgeous photos of her brood—suggested this project and I am so grateful to her!

So here’s the plan: one day a month, I document life around me by taking ten photos, one roughly every hour.

On the tenth day of the month, each of us posts our ten photos, and you can follow around the circle of eight of us if you like.

Today I’m linking to Carrie of Carrie Hill Photography, and you will absolutely adore the soulful moments she captured.

So, without further buildup, my Ten on Ten for August 2011.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

On the date I chose for my ten on ten, we had the boys’ best girlfriends over for a sleepover the night before.

I came downstairs on a rainy Sunday morning to find the four of them quietly giggling, drawing and reading. We all needed a rainy day to take a break on this beautiful summer!

The dreaded Augmentin. Will showed me his finger one day last week saying, “Mom, I think I sprained my wrist.” A small, swollen cut, oozing with pus at the tip of his finger was enhanced by a faint red line trailing up into his arm.

A quick trip to the pediatrician resulted in powerful and awful-tasting doses of this goop. He’s almost done. (Culture revealed strep group A infection. Thank goodness for modern medicine!)

Sorry the photo is so small, but it features “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” playing on my MacBook. Will, Henry, and their overnight guests Olivia and Gabby are all gaga for Harry. You wouldn’t believe how quiet four children can be when they are listening to Harry Potter audio book reader Jim Dale.

“Mom! Watch! I am blowing air into my ears!”

The rain still falling, this crew took every toy in the house, spread them out on blankets, couches and chairs in the living room, and had a sale.

Books were “20:50” each, camping gear was $1.50 a piece or $30 for all five pieces and the game of Perfection was $80. Legos and Playmobil had their own price points, and some, of course, were spesl.

Henry has had enough of the rain by now.

Finally! The rain stops. Naturally, my two and their neighbor decide to wash rocks to celebrate.

An hour later I found them over at the neighbor’s house, washing their bikes and singing one stanza from Katy Perry’s “Fireworks” OVER AND OVER.

Hydrangeas in bloom.

Pool time! Made extra special to have a swim with visiting cousin Justin, pictured on right.

After staying up til nearly 10 on the sleepover, these toes and the five-year-old body attached to it were out cold. Good night!

Lego Love

March 9, 2011

In case I EVER forget what it is like to have two Lego-loving boys in the house. You know, in 1,000 years when the last one is finally picked up and not embedded in the bottom of my feet.

Remind me about this photo and how this is just a scene from everyday life.

In Reruns: Christmas Cookies and Peppermint Bark!

December 14, 2010

A flurry of messages on Facebook last night about Christmas cookies left me thinking, wow, time to make something for that cookie party on Friday night and time to make peppermint bark for the nursery school teachers and….well, here we are. Start your ovens! From Dec. 14, 2007….

I just peeked at my stats, assuming you had ALL LEFT ME for good after not posting all week, but surprise, you have been here checking for something new every day. Your faith in me is touching, if undeserved. At least I left you with something good to look at all week.

But anyway. It’s just that I’ve been doing all this freelance work for Santa this week, and he is an absolute BEAR on the deadlines, so my blogging life suffered a bit. But I make it up to you with not one but TWO recipes today, both diligently tested at my house in the last 24 hours.

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Mine is only dark chocolate this year. Because I’m simplifying.

Peppermint Bark

You do know you don’t have to buy this only at Williams-Sonoma for $20 a tin or Trader Joe’s for slightly less, right? Because you can make it in your own kitchen, and you get to use your favorite kind of chocolate, too.

This recipe is infinitely adaptable (white chocolate! dark chocolate! layers! peppermint extract! or nooo!), but here are the basic ratios:

Crushed candy canes, to yield one cup

One pound chocolate (I like bittersweet or sometimes I layer dark and white)

(A word about chocolate: Callebaut, Valhrona are excellent choices for this confection and sold in big chunks at places like Whole Foods, but not to worry— you can also use grocery store chocolate chips like Ghiradelli or packaged squares like Bakers. Just stay away from the milk chocolate. Because that is wrong.)

1/2 teaspoon peppermint flavoring, optional

Place candy canes in a plastic bag and smash away into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, and stir constantly. Combine candy cane chunks/dust with chocolate, but save some of the biggest chunks to press into the top after you pour it out.

Add peppermint flavoring at this point, if desired. Chocolate will separate a little at this point, but just keep stirring.

Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet (with edges, to contain the river of chocolate) lined with parchment or waxed paper, add big chunks of candy cane on top and place in a cold spot for 45 minutes or until firm. (Don’t use your Silpat liner here, as I learned—your bark will be etched with the Silpat pattern.) Remove from cookie sheet and shatter into cookie-sized pieces.

Supposedly this will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, but I wouldn’t know. (Plus, if you put it in the fridge, it will get that unsightly white cocoa “bloom”—just eat it, for God’s sake, or give it away.)

I promise to add the cookie recipe later today, but Santa is cracking the whip right now.

Like you were going to make cookies before breakfast anyway.

See you later—it’s good to be back!

And, since we live in the age of TIVO and instant gratification, you get the cookie post too, even though last year you had to wait for it.

For the love of Christmas cookies

So, I love Christmas cookies. LOVE them. And I plan to enjoy them wholeheartedly this year, because last year? Was Christmas with no egg, no dairy and no soy. And while my family came through with AMAZING substitutions (email me if you need help in that department), I still will be enjoying a healthy, if you will, dose of butterfat this year.

But anyway, that is where you come in, dear readers. I want your cookie recipes.

Please post a favorite Christmas cookie recipe in the comments, or on your site and post the link or if you scavenged it from out there in the interwebs, then share the love and post a link to that. PLEASE.

Consider it your little Christmas present to Hank & Willie, and think of the amazing cookie resource we can create. Bakers of cookies like Granny Annie’s Bourbon Balls, Jayne’s Toffee and Shannon’s Rum Balls, I’m talking to you.

Because I NEED those recipes this year.

Here’s a few on my list:

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Photo by Smitten Kitchen

Homemade Oreos from Smitten Kitchen. I’ve had the exquisite priveledge of enjoying these baked by TWO Hank & Willie readers, Clink and Lorraine. Send ‘em along if you want me to taste YOUR version. I’m a very appreciative audience.

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Photo by Milk & Cookies

Double Chocolate Cookies, originally by Martha, as adapted over at the delicious food blog, Milk & Cookies. I agree with the adaptation, because I don’t find much call for milk chocolate in my life.

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Peppermint Checkerboards by Julie, via Cookies Unlimited.

Peppermint Checkerboards, as seen in Cookies Unlimited. Version here made by Julie at A Little Pregnant who says, “I modified Malgieri’s vanilla sablé recipe by replacing half of the vanilla with peppermint extract, and then dyeing the holy Christmas shit out of half of the dough.”

And then finally, the mother lode of Christmas cookies, here at Food Blogga — a collection of Christmas cookies from readers around the world, updated daily. You even have a chance to win a dessert cookbook, Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard. So AFTER you post your recipe here, head over to Christmas Cookies Around the World to post yours and enter to win this yummy-looking cookbook. Mmmm….

Here’s what I’m entering over there:

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(Recipe and illustration by Susan Branch, Christmas from the Heart of Home)

I’ve been making these delicious, easy butter cookies for YEARS, and if you make no other cookie, make this one. It can be anything—twist this dough into candy canes, roll it out (chill it mercilessly first) and use your cookie cutters, put it in a pastry bag and squirt it through a # 2 star tip, or roll it all into one giant snake, roll it in sprinkles or mini chips or coconut and slice and bake into perfect rounds….you get the idea. The dough does need to be really well chilled to work with, though. All that butter, you know.

Annie Hall’s Butter Cookies

2 cups unsalted butter, slightly softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 egg yolks

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350. With an electric mixer, even the hand-held kind, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and vanilla, mix well. Suft flour and salt together and beat into butter mixture until well mixed.

When ready to bake use an ungreased cookie sheet (I use my Silpat liners, but not required.) and place cookies about one inch apart. Bake for about ten minutes, but do not brown them. Remove cookies from cookie sheet while still warm and cool on sheets of waxed paper.

And as my aunt pointed out last year, when you make these, you have extra egg white, so then you make THESE:

Surprise Meringues

2 egg whites (clearly, you WILL have to double the recipe after making those butter cookies.)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
1 6-oz pkg chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sugar

Beat egg whites, salt, cream of tartar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually, beating until peaks are stiff. Fold in chocolate and nuts. Cover cookie sheet with plain brown paper or parchment paper. Drop mixture on by rounded teaspoon. Bake in slow (300F) oven about 25 min. Makes about 2 dozen, cool before removing from paper.

Or you make these, provided by Christina last year:
Christina’s Mom’s Coconut Macaroons

3 eggs white
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
8 oz coconut

Whip eggs, salt and vanilla until peaks form. Slowly add sugar while continuing to beat until stiff. Gently fold in the coconut. Drop by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet covered with brown paper/parchment paper. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes; cool before removing from paper. and then ENJOY!

Get thee to a kitchen and start baking, folks! But not before you post what you’re baking here.

Tomorrow? Shannon’s Rum Balls. You won’t want to miss them!

How to charm me

October 11, 2010

Henry, the King of Non-sequitors,  just came downstairs, twenty minutes past bedtime, to ask the following:

“Dad, what is it like when you are dead?”

“Do you come back from being dead?”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I will put my kid up against ANYONE else’s kid for the world title in bedtime stalling.

ANYONE.

 

 

 

 

 

Seaweed never goes out of style

October 2, 2010

Goofballs.

Cape Cod, Sept., 2010

How to charm me

September 28, 2010

Excuse me while I write down this conversation IMMEDIATELY. It was this evening at the dinner table between me and Henry, age four.

Henry: When is my birthday this year?

Me: It’s in June.

Henry: Again? When is it going to be in winter?

Me: Never, your birthday is always in June, every year.

Henry, completely surprised: How you know?

Launched!

September 15, 2010

Henry, first day this fall at his familiar nursery school. He loves it, but he’s never one to embrace change, especially A) in the morning and B) if it means leaving his Legos and Playmobil.

Here he’s saying he’d really rather go inside and take a nap. Because he’s really tired.  And that his belly hurts. And that maybe we should go tomorrow, instead.

But when I dropped him off, I got a kiss and a smile. He’ll do just fine.

We’ve been full of firsts for what feels like weeks now–first day of first grade, first day of montessori school and now, first day of the last year of nursery school. We adore our neighborhood nursery school, and can hardly believe we are beginning our fourth (and final) year with a child there.  It feels good to have everyone launched, and I think it will be a fantastic year.

“And I can take a nap, right upstairs, with my lambie and my softie, and maybe I will just go to school later, okay, mom?”


“Oh, well, guess we’re here. See you later, mom!”

Cape Cod Cuties

August 18, 2010

More Shay and Matt coming, I promise! But as a brief intermission, we hit the beach(es) of Cape Cod last month with a quick visit with Maria, Tommy and Grace, and later on with Suey, Lulu and family. Grace turned seven months when we were there, and Tommy got his first silly bands, so it seemed like a fine reason to take out the camera.

(Click on any image to see it larger!)

We interrupt your summer to post…

August 3, 2010

A little adventure on Cape Cod last week resulted in more iphone photos than real photos, but I just loved this one.

More to come.

Hope you are also going crabbing barefoot on a regular basis. Safely.

Baby love, times two

April 23, 2010

Jack (left) and Caroline (right). Born at 33 1/2 weeks, photographed at home at 40 weeks gestation.

Squeezed for time, yet not wanting to make this family wait even one more minute for these photos, I’m scanning through images to show them the ONE that will represent our shoot as a sneak peek, and I think well, THIS must be it.

Or this one.

Then I keep looking, and I think, THIS must be the one, the one that shows how happy their parents are to have these two home.

…and how much they were anticipated, cherished and loved so long before they arrived.

And then I found this one, which would make the most stoic person ANYWHERE spring a tear or two, and realized I couldn’t possibly limit this sneak peek to just one.

So I didn’t.

Caroline and Jack and their parents shared the same two NICUs that we did nearly four years ago, and we are in full agreement about the amazing teams our babies had, and how grateful we will always be for their expert and loving  care.

And how glad we were to take those babies home.

Congratulation, Erika and Bill! They are delightful!

xo,

Anna

Super boys

April 22, 2010

Kids around here (like Will and his visiting friend) can jump pretty high….

higher than a HOUSE, even.

This kept them occupied FOREVER!  They just love the instant gratification of digital cameras. They kept checking their progress to see how high they could fly.

Then they enjoyed the soft green grass, you know, when you get tired of jumping.

All except for my little Icarus, Henry, who was too busy building.  He spent the better part of the afternoon constructing a “flying machine” out of a plastic costume belt, a wooden toy road sign, a piece of our new wood flooring and nearly all of my Scotch tape.


Then he took it for one glorious test spin before it fell apart.

And then we welcomed our long-gone neighbors home from their ash-cloud-extended visit to England. Fresh off the plane, jumping off the rock seemed like a fine idea.

All in all, a very good spring day.