Monday, February 27, 2012

Pin the tail

My friend Nanette has loved Pinterest for a while now and I admit - it took me a while to get on the bandwagon. My main problem with it was that sure, people would pin things but they'd never follow through to the person's website to read the whole post or even attempt the project that they were pinning. As someone who gets pinned a lot for recipes, I found that annoying.

But I can see the fun in finding new things and wanting to do projects in the future. Well Nanette has a solution for that.
She decided to tackle a 'pin' a week and post the results each Monday calling the project: Pinteractive! She also extended the invitation for anyone who wants to participate, even offering up a badge for your blog. Great idea!

Go to Nanette's blog to read up on the project and get the free badge. Also check out the results of the first few weeks.Link

Feel free to follow me on Pinterest, be forewarned it's mostly Star Wars and pictures of ice cream parties. http://pinterest.com/justjennrecipes/

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm all lost in the supermarket, I can no longer shop happily

Went to the market today. O.G. decided that checkout was the best time to scream that we probably had counterfeit money in our hands.

I think we're done shopping for the week.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

I Like Big Bundts

The Busy Beaver Button Company is hosting their 1st Annual Golden Button award and they emailed me to say that my design was nominated for the People's Choice Award!


This button is near and dear to my baking heart because I made these for the Food Librarian's annual 30 bundt cakes in 30 days aka I Like Big Bundts! Whoever participated by making a bundt cake along with her on National Bundt Day was mailed this limited edition button. It was for bakers only...who like Big Bundts!!

It's awesome to be nominated and the button with the most votes wins! Please go here to vote for #7 "I Like Big Bundts" from now until Feb 23!

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Milo & Olive

When baking bloggers go out to brunch, you can be sure the food is fabulous and the pastry case is stocked. And so it was when our Baking Posse went out to eat at Milo & Olive.

Milo & Olive is yet another amazing restaurant from the team from Rustic Canyon and Huckleberry. While they serve lunch and dinner - it was breakfast we were after.

The space is intimate but inviting. Read: it's small, yo. Be prepared to wait for a seat and if you don't like strangers - get used to it. All the seating is at rustic communal tables but you get a front row seat to the chefs bustling in the kitchen. As you sit and enjoy your meal you can watch new items come out of the kitchen and into the bakery case. It's mouthwatering.

Intended to just be a bakery, they opened up the place to seats and thank goodness - the food is fantastic. Seeing as how we are baking bloggers we HAD to try a few things from the pastry case...

Yes, this is how I order. If I'm ordering several items from a bakery case (which...I'm doing way too often) I always use my phone to 'write' things down, it makes it easier on the cashier/waiter. Then I just hand them my phone...
...that's the waiter looking at the order on my phone. This meal just got so meta.

We ordered a Sweet Cream Brioche, Apple Strudel, a Lemon Pound Cake (this was the favorite of our group) and of course I can't go anywhere without trying a donut and the Spicy Cake Donut was in fact quite cakey and covered with delicious cinnamon and sugar.

On top of all of this we left with a loaf of cheese bread, chocolate croissants and I grabbed a slice of freshly baked Lemon Meringue Pie. Do we like baked goods? Yeah, you could say that.

And that was just the pastries.

We also ordered Baked Farm Eggs which were tomato-y and good enough...had we only ordered that. But no. We ordered the Cheesy Eggs on Super Cheesy Toast.

These eggs, these eggs were life changing. Perfectly cooked soft scrambled eggs on the most amazing toast EVER- bread made in house of course - topped with a healthy serving of
Parmigiano Reggiano. To die for. I'd go back for these again and again.

The food was fantastic and the company was even better. Pleasing food bloggers isn't easy but we all agreed that Milo & Olive is one of our new favorite places. I will definitely be back because the dinner menu sounds amazing.

Milo & Olive
2723 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Oh little girl, there are times when I feel, I'd rather not be, the one behind the wheel

When I was a kid I had images of a dsytopian future - not of being repressed but the landscape of it all. Movies like Bladerunner and The Fifth Element made me dream of soaring towers and flying freeways. I'm sure those images are what made me decide to go to architecture school.

That dream almost came true with the construction of the 105 freeway, with it's 110 interchange soaring 130 feet above the ground. But that was it. After the completion of the freeway there were no more tall buildings, no more soaring interchanges. Where's my jetpack that I was promised??

So when the Metropolis II exhibit opened at LACMA it took me back to my childhood. A chaotic world all in toy form with soaring towers and crowded interchanges.

If you have kids that love cars and trains and all moving vehicles - this is the exhibit for you. And even if you don't have kids, as an adult you will be astounded by the detail and intricacy that went into this exhibit.

You can view the exhibit from two tiers - ground level puts you in the middle of it all but viewed from the top you can really see how elaborate and extremely functional it becomes.

1200 custom designed cars were made to circulate through the tiny city.

One worker stands in the middle to flip the switch on the hour to start the exhibit. Without fail the crowd oohs and aahs when the cars start their descent into the fake city.

Not that anyone loves traffic - but this is surely what my car looks like parked on the 405.

The place was packed with both kids and adults, marveling at the beauty of chaos.

The best thing about LACMA is their commitment to kids. In schools the arts are getting cut left and right, so on the weekends I try to make it a priority to incorporate some sort of artistic/design/cultural activity.

NextGen at LACMA is the nation's only free youth membership program. And when the kids sign up they get a free adult ticket to the museum for the day!

Not only do you get to see the permanent collection but special exhibits as well! NextGen is a fantastic way to get kids interested in the arts and promote the amazing collections in LACMA. With a price like free you can't go wrong.

**Keep in mind Metropolis II at LACMA only runs at certain times:
Fridays: 12:30–1:30 pm; 2:30–3:30 pm; 4:30–5:30 pm; 6:30–7:30 pm
Weekends: 11:30 am–12:30 pm; 1:30–2:30 pm; 3:30–4:30 pm; 5:30–6:30 pm

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Monday, February 13, 2012

I ain't got nothing but love babe, eight days a week

People often ask how I meal plan. I usually start by 'shopping' in my own pantry and seeing what ingredients I have or need to use up. Then I coupon like crazy and go to the market(s) in order to try to stock up for two weeks worth of meals. In between I might buy something I forgot or go to the farmer's market.

I plan by the week. Usually three meals that I'm going to make for sure, leaving the rest of the days open to leftovers or possibly going out. There are always at least two or three vegetarian meals. They are more cost effective, healthier and usually my kids don't notice or mind.

A major help is writing things down. Did you know Martha Stewart has a line of home office products at Staples? Man, is it dangerous. Planning things out is so much nicer when things are pretty.

I saw that she had a removable weekly planner - not only can you dry erase on it but it won't gum up whatever surface you stick it to. Perfect! I'm sure it's supposed to be used for life planning but I immediately thought it'd be great to keep track of my weekly cooking.

I also bought some small velcro fasteners and a dry erase pen. The pen is retractable so there's no losing/looking/fooling with pen caps, you know what I'm sayin'? We're busy people, we don't have time for pen caps!!

Then stuck one side to the pen and the other to the fridge.

That way I'm never rummaging through drawers looking for it. (My pet peeve.)

This whole set up makes weekly meal planning easy, inspiring and changeable. Off to start on dinner...

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

diy Valentines!


Ever since I first made these a few years ago people always ask about them. The one year I had to make 75 I was dying. This year it's only 50. Only. Yeesh.

They are a fun and easy way to make Valentine's Day special!
I got the packs of pencils in the dollar section of Target and printed out internet images of Star Wars and Batman - our two favorite things in this household.

Then cut two openings to slide in a pencil or a lollipop, whatever your little valentine desires!

*People have been asking for printables of these so here's a pdf, have fun!

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Force choke

The Kid's homework.

"Use the word choke in a sentence."

That's my boy.

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Monday, February 06, 2012

She's crafty

When we go to birthday parties I like to buy gifts for kids that they can use. Clothes they'll outgrow. Toys - who knows what they like? But art supplies you can always use for fun and school work. I like to make them special by personalizing them.

I go to the store and pick up small things that can be used in various projects like beads, glue, colored pencils...

Then I take off the original packaging and put them into new plastic bags.

I print out labels with the kid's name on them...

and then cut them out and staple them to the bags like new.

Then I put it all in a little pencil box. It's like having your own personal art supply store! It's a nice way to personalize a gift and encourage the kids to get creative!

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