Monday, October 31, 2011

Hope...


You all had a safe and happy Halloween!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Creepy Treats...


Ok, so theses aren't so creepy...it's just the name.  You might see this and say, "Rocky Road" -ummm, really not creepy.  But our family knows this splendid treat as "Fish Brains"...which is MUCH more creepy!  These are so easy and amazingly delicious, we thought we would share.

FISH BRAINS
(makes an 8x8 pan- you decide how many servings that is!)

20 oz chocolate (we use 1/2 bittersweet and half milk)
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup mini marshmallows

Prepare your pan by lining with wax paper on the bottom and up the sides, then spray with canola oil.  Set aside.

You can either use a double broiler to melt the chocolate, or melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well between each time period.  Either way, watch that you don't burn your chocolate- that would be a DRAG!

Pour half of your melted chocolate into pan, spread marshmallows and walnuts evenly across, then pour remaining chocolate over evenly.  Let sit at room temperature for two hours (or, if you're impatient to eat it like we were, stick in the refrigerator for an hour) until firm.  Pull candy out of pan by wax paper, and cut into whatever size pieces you deem appropriate. :)

Enjoy your delicious fish brains!  And one more creepy thing to leave you with...

The eight-eyed toothless wonder!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Punkins with Pumpkins



Last year at this time, we took a field trip to Pete's Pumpkin Patch, a local, family-owned pumpkin patch.  It was so much fun, and I totally forgot my camera! :(  LAME.  Not this year!  This time, I was armed and ready...

We got up early and got there a bit before we were supposed to.  Last year it got hot pretty quickly, and I wanted to get pictures (and let them climb "The Hill") before the rest of the group (and the heat!) got there. 


I wish you could tell how steep this hill is, but it is quite the hike to the top.  Once you make it up there, it rewards you with an amazing view of the area- all the way to the ocean!  I wasn't about to hike it this year, not with an eight month ripe punkin of my own to tote up and down.  So while they burned off some energy,  I got to enjoy all the beautiful pumpkins that Pete's has to offer. 

Just one side of their stand...

Love the veriegated patterns!

Definitely came home with one of these!

Halloween Elephant, anyone?
It took a while for them to hike all the way up, but they made it back just in time for the presentation...

Wait for us!!!

How pumpkins grow

Gooey insides
AND...the hayride around the property...

ALL ABOARD!

Look at all those pumpkins!

A sweet treat to finish it off...compliments of Rocket Fizz! YAY!
Now...to pick our pumpkins....

Littlest punkin is done with pictures!
And go through (or OVER) the hay bale maze...


And say a wacky goodbye to a friend...


All of this fun before 11:30am!  Pete's, we will be back next year- thanks for the fun!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Solvang in Pictures


Early in the summer we took a trip up to Solvang.  Solvang is a little jewel of a place, tucked away in the Santa Ynez Valley.  I used to think it was just a fun little Danish tourist town, but there is a rich history in Solvang.  It is an authentic Danish community, with many people still speaking Dutch.  This year they are celebrating their 100th Anniversary, and have had many special events. 

Right before you enter Solvang, there is Mission Santa Ines, which is the 19th out of 21 California missions established between 1769-1823.  We took a tour of the inside, and of the beautiful grounds.  It is still a functioning parish, and we were treated to beautiful singing while we were looking in the chapel (they were practicing- we weren't disturbing service!).






It was a very beautiful place to stroll and look, and the kids were fascinated by the old things they had on display inside.  Isabel was horrified when we were outside and she realized she was walking through an actual cemetery with tombstones- it was kinda funny. :)

Next, we headed a few blocks into Solvang, where we hit up a super-cool toy store, had some dinner, walked it off, and finished at an old fashioned ice- cream parlor.  I was too full to try the chocolates, but they hand make chocolates there, and it smelled amazing!





It was a good day!  Definitely will be back to try some pastries... :)