A Dinosaur Tiramisu

I’m partial to a dusting of cocoa powder on top of my otherwise chocolate-less Tiramisu, but it makes it hard to decorate with party themes. A few years ago I came up with a solution:

Paper stencils!

1)¬†Make your Tiramisu. This year Arc asked if I could make orange dinosaurs. I figured whipped cream is white, it’s as good a food coloring canvas as any, right?

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2) Find line art online of whatever it is you want to put on your Tiramisu. Or draw your own, if you like. I managed numbers my first go at this whole method. Details are not your friend, so keep it simple (I tried to keep the dinosaurs’ teeth. It didn’t work.). Also, measure. My triceratops ended up being 1/8″ too long to fit!


3) Cut out your art. If you want to try some 3-D effects on your 2-D surface (like I attempted on last year’s train), be aware that it doubles or triples the time investment between cutting and arranging.


4) Arrange your cut stencils on the whipped cream. Don’t press down any more than you have to.

5) Dust with cocoa powder.

6) Remove stencils carefully with a toothpick or knife. Use a toothpick to smooth out any areas that need it. (On hindsight, making the T-rex stencil into two parts would have made getting it up easier.)


This post is brought to you by Arc, who wanted Tiramisu two birthdays in a row. Strawberry roses just don’t cut it for him. ūüėõ


Catching Up

Life, yo.



Arc loves The 5 Little Monkeys book. He reads it aloud regularly.

The kids get a “Word of the Day.” By the end of the day they need to be able to tell me what it means, use it in their own sentence, and have it copied on paper x number of times (number varies by child). So far decadent has been one of the more popular words.


Pokado taught the Princess how to ride the tricycle, but then realized the little one can’t reach the pedals. They made it work.

Then there was the night the kids translated “go to bed” into “let’s get out Mom’s shoes and have a shoe party!”


Two weekends ago we drove to Palouse Falls again, because everything is in flood stage right now and just wow, right? We got there to discover everyone else in the world had the same idea. 20 minutes and no parking later, we had to turn around without seeing much and head right back out.


At which point we drove out past Colfax to look at the river, which had gone down enough to re-open the shore-side road.


It was a new area for me, and I got caught up in the neat looking rocks. (This area doesn’t have much, people. But it’s got rocks.)

It wasn’t Palouse Falls, but it was still incredible and pretty. We’ll try the falls again soon.



Arc turned 4 today! We celebrated yesterday with tiramisu (his favorite). With dinosaurs. Because everything is better with dinosaurs to a little boy.

Cabbage Roll Soup


This is a placeholder photo until I can take a better one that does the soup justice. Or just click on the link. It looks amazing there.

I’ve never had cabbage rolls, so I can’t say anything about how true-to-flavor the soup is, but yanno, I don’t need to have cabbage rolls to know this soup is really good.

I used this recipe with the following alterations:

– no pork, because I didn’t have it (it was delicious with just beef)

– half green cabbage, half purple cabbage, because it’s what I had

– 2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes pulsed in the blender a few times (instead of diced tomatoes, which I didn’t have)

– dried herbs instead of fresh (as a general rule, 1 Tablespoon fresh = 1 teaspoon dried)

It seems like a very adaptable recipe, and one pot to boot! Plus all the kids liked it, which makes it even better in my book.

Random Bits


I love these pencils. There are too many in the set to share all of them, but these are a few of my favorites.

Edited to add: They are by U Brands and are available on Amazon. (Not an affiliate link, wasn’t paid to share. I just like these.)

This is what practicing piano looks like these days. As you can see, I don’t get much practicing done. Or dusting.


Guess who finally got back to work!


It’s amazing what a hat can do for the bottom of a tool bag. Pokado named it Woody.

And, just when I thought the snow might be done…


Trapping a Song

LK has been up to stuff recently.


Like building a box trap for an elusive mouse. (We caught the mouse, but not in his trap, much to his disappointment.)

He regularly plinks at the piano, usually some tale involving a capture and a rescue, with a big battle leading up to an escape. I’ve been hearing the same phrases for a while now, and the other day I found him writing it down.


I checked his work, and his notes are correct. He still needs to learn the proper way to notate simultaneous notes on music manuscript, but it’s all there. He used his violin music as a reference. I was kind of proud.

Unrelated note:¬†I wrote a short thing! ‘Tis my first go at flash fiction on a time limit. Apologies to Chihuahua lovers and vegans. It’s not personal,¬†honest.

Cuisinart Blade Recall

Anyone who uses a Cuisinart food processor may want to look into the blade recall.

I filled out the form weeks ago even though my blade was undamaged and am still waiting for my replacement. Just in the last week, my blade developed small cracks around two rivets, and I don’t feel I can safely use it anymore.

I receive the occasional update from Cuisinart assuring me they haven’t forgotten me and my new blade is coming soon. Until then I’m back to processing by hand!

Walk, Run

I looked out the sunny window and thought, “Second day in a row of wonderful sun! We need to go for a walk.”

Then I looked out a different window (the one from which I can see approaching weather) and saw Big Dark Swirling Clouds. But I have a decent eye for this sort of thing and thought, “Meh, we can make it easy.”

At our furthest point out, I realized I’d misjudged the storm’s speed. So we picked it up a notch. I told Arc he had to ride in the stroller, because we weren’t going to beat the storm if he walked. I told LK to stop scaring his younger siblings with his “the storm is coming!!!!” drama. I don’t like drama. The Princess likes it even less and ordered LK to stay Far Away from the stroller.

One street away from home, I couldn’t help it. I had to take a couple pictures. Sprinkles fell lightly but regularly, and the wind announced the arrival of The Edge.


“Um, Mom? Can you please stop taking pictures so we can finish walking home? Now?” Said all my kids.

And, actually, we ran the last little way, because I couldn’t see anything beyond the solid wall of rain headed for us. Which is bad.tmp_9843-wp_20170216_15_16_31_pro-1925008265

The kids sprinted down the driveway, I hauled the double stroller onto the deck he-woman style, and 30 seconds later we were all safe inside.


Just in time.