Wednesday, September 29, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: When geeks breed

When geeks breed
This was the scene at a recent going away party for friends of ours. The parents were in groups talking about tech, while the kids lived it. I confess that our own little geek was part of the fray, out of the frame, but doing exactly the same thing!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Easy, healthy pumpkin pancakes

pumpkin pancakes

One of my pet peeves is unnecessary sugar in foods, especially kids foods (I'm looking at you, pumpkin pancake mixes!). At the same time, I understand the struggle to get something into your kid in the morning, and still get them to school on time.

I love this because it is low/no sugar, had loads of beta carotene, and is quick and easy enough for school days. The trick is that I make a batch of these pancakes on a weekend and freeze them. On school days I just pop one in the toaster. Ours get an extra protein boost because I mix about a tablespoon of tahini with less than a teaspoon of maple syrup and have Anna dip strips of pancake into it.

Note: this is really more of a hack than a recipe, because I don't make my pancakes from scratch (I use Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake Mix). Also, I don't measure, so I can't tell you exact amounts. If you're uncomfortable with winging the measurements, email me or leave a comment and I'll measure next weekend!

Pumpkin Pancakes
Makes about 8 Anna-sized pancakes
  • Mix about 1 c. Multigrain Pancake Mix with about .5 c. pumpkin puree (not pie filling).
  • Add about 3 shakes of cinnamon and 1 of nutmeg.
  • Stir.
  • Add milk to desired consistency (I like the pancakes to be a bit thick, so my batter is fairly thick).
  • Add about 1 t canola or vegetable oil.
  • Stir some more.
  • Cook on a nonstick skillet.

As you're cooking the first pancakes, the batter left in the bowl will thicken. Just add in a little bit more milk to get your consistency back where you want it. And remember that this recipe is very forgiving, so you can always add a little more dry mix if it's too thin, more milk if it's too thick.

To Freeze
After they've cooled, I place individual pancakes in sandwich-size, wax paper bags. I fold down the top of each bag and then place all bags in a Ziploc Freezer Bag.

Hope that helps. Let me know if you try this out!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New York

Window box

I'm back from an amazing, whirlwind, information-packed four days on the East coast. I spent two days with my paternal grandfather's family in Philadelphia, and two with my paternal grandmother's family in New York.

The amount of information I gathered, both factual and anecdotal, was incredible. My next task is to start transcribing, scanning, and incorporating it into my existing research. As I do that, I'll continue to post here on my progress.

The downside to such a quick trip is that there wasn't much time for sightseeing. I did have a free morning and afternoon in New York, and I managed to take in the Matisse show at MoMA, lunch at One Lucky Duck (an overpriced but yummy raw café), and some shopping at Loehman's. I snapped these photos along the way.

Rooftop view from the living room



Window display with reflections

Apple store

Traffic cop

City rat

Window box 2

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fact-finding mission

Joe and Clara Millman
Joe and Clara Millman, my paternal great-grandparents.

When my dad died, I inherited a box of old photos and documents, many of which were unlabeled. My grandfather's and grandmother's family photos were tossed together, unsorted, in a big (classically Steven) jumble.

One thing led to another, and somehow over the past few months I've become pretty obsessed with piecing together my family history. The various online resources, of which is the mothership, make this remarkably easy. What they can't do, however, is tell me who's in the pictures. For that, I need to go to my dad's family, which thankfully I still have in Pennsylvania and New York.

So I'm off on a solo-adventure (my first since Anna was born)! I'll be flying out on a red-eye late Wednesday night for four full days of genealogy geekery. I'm going to interview my 94-year-old great aunt (my grandfather's sister) in Philly, and my grandmother's 84-year-old first cousin in New York. And I'll have the chance to do the same with my mom's side of the family in October. I'm super excited for all of this.

I can't recommend enough that you take the time to interview older relatives if you've got them (Go, do it now!). I feel like I'm doing this just in the nick of time. Because of this trip, this information will be available to Anna if/when she ever becomes interested. Otherwise much of it would be lost forever.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Penguins can’t breathe under water


Somehow summer is over and kindergarden has begun. There are so many things I intended to write about, photos and recipes and stories to share. Where did the time go? Oh yes, sewing and crafting, camps galore, travel to California (I will post some of those pics), learning to read (Anna), getting sucked in to the massive addiction that is (me), and so on.

Anna started her kindergarden year yesterday. Because she attends a Montessori school, kindergarden is not a big change for her. She is in her third and final year in the same classroom, with the same teachers, and many of the same students. Although much is familiar, the work she does each year changes dramatically. She came home yesterday and announced that she was writing a report on frogs. Today she began one on penguins.

I can't wait to see what she's doing next week!