COFFEE AND A PEN

Happy Saturday morning! Welcome to another week of Coffee and a Pen. I've decided to change up the format a bit and include a triptych for each day as a visual reminder of what was going on throughout the week.

This week has been a challenging one to say the least and tonight we will be picking up Papa from the airport. Late tonight. So, I still have lots to do, most of which will not get done. Grocery shopping might just have to wait until tomorrow morning when I can sneak out of the house alone and come back with most of the week's groceries before the rest of the family wakes up - which, I'm suspecting, will not be until I return. If you have more than one child, you'll know exactly what I mean. Every day is a Calgon moment - yes, take me away!

Last Saturday morning, the kids and I fed the squirrels, listened to Duran Duran’s “All You Need Is Now” during breakfast, and got ready to go to a birthday party for Saffi’s classmate which was held at a gymnastics place not too far from our house. The kids had a lot of fun running around, swinging on the rope swing into a pile of rectangular foam pieces, and jumping on the trampolines. Since I noticed that Saffi expressed such a great interest in gymnastics (and since it took me back to when I used to be in gymnastics), I signed her up the following Monday.  Before we left for the party, Saffi took great care to make a card, complete with flower cutouts, and even wrapped the present all by herself.

The rest of the day was spent photographing Abate Fetel pears which are still firm and sitting on the counter. I'm thinking of making this pear tart today - if I have the time. I had purchased this white rum a few weeks back for a recipe that called for white rum. In the meantime, I had forgotten where I'd seen the recipe until earlier this week when I realized that the tart recipe could have been the one. I'm still thinking there was another cake recipe that called for white rum, and hopefully I'll find it. The day also involved cleaning the pollen from the flagstone patio so that we could eat Sunday breakfast outside.

In the evening, I came across this photographer as mentioned by Simon Le Bon.

Sunday started late, with my developing a new pancake recipe - Banana Coconut Almond Pancakes. I wanted to use the coconut flour I purchased a few days earlier and also wanted to use lime and almond flour, in addition to whole wheat pastry flour. Two of the three kids liked it - the middle one didn't. The reason I don't make pancakes too often is my aversion to the lingering smell of fried oil and most things fried - which also means I'm not a fan of doughnuts, fries, or any kind of fast food. So, I'm thinking of converting the recipe into a baked cake and see how that turns out.

I spent the rest of my Sunday afternoon in the warm Texas sun, raking the endless leaves in our tiny backyard while the children played. It's amazing how much mess one tree can make. Speaking of messes...I had only a few diapers left and decided that I was not buying anymore for Sagey. It was the second start of potting training (we started last year before Summer - then did not continue). After the kids went to bed, I did happen to spend a few minutes online and discovered another new blog.  It was this cake that caught my attention.

Monday morning was a blur as I gathered the children in time for a quick breakfast before heading to school. After dropping the girls off at school, Sagey and I went to babyGap so that he could pick out some new underwear - an incentive for him to lose his dependence on diapers. He will be 3 in May and will start school in August, which means it's time for him to use the potty on a regular basis - without the constantly screaming. His choice was underwear with sharks and other sea creatures.

When we got home, I spent some time searching for more inspiring links. The first one that I came across was for a writing challenge. It will be interesting to be "forced" to write on a daily basis. Then I came across this wonderfully researched post on mixing methods for perfecting your desserts. Russell has some amazing desserts on his site that I cannot wait to try! I also came across two delicious dessert recipes: Lemon Poppy Seed Layer Cake and Pots de Creme .

Spring is here, which means that new fruits and vegetables are the highlight of this season. Artichokes are one of them and this recipe takes full advantage of them.

Then Bea posted a link to an article on bilingual study and the benefits of being bilingual. I'm glad we're teaching our children three languages.

After school, Saffi had her first (free) gymnastics class and I sat upstairs in the waiting area (where we had birthday cake this past Saturday) watching her first stretch before she moved over to the balance beam and uneven bars. I admit I was a bit afraid for her on the beams (there were four different heights) - particularly the tallest one. I still remember the time in high school when I was attempting a cartwheel on the balance beam and my hand missed the beam. The next thing I remember was lying on the floor laughing hysterically and listening to people asking me if I was alright. I did not end up staying in the hospital nor did I get a cast, as the injury would have required a body cast. I simply got a sling and was told not to move my arm. Admitedly, my daughter is starting much younger than I ever did, but as a parent I still worry. I am very much looking forward to seeing her progress over the new few months. Her sister is already asking when she can go. After we returned home, the kids played outside in the warm afternoon sun and we enjoyed a delicious strawberry banana smoothie - a much healthier alternative to ice cream.

Tuesday found me wanting to stay in bed. However, I managed to get Saffi to school. Seena doesn't go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so she stayed home with Sagey and they slept for most of the morning after we returned home. I searched for some inspiration and came across several noteworthy links. The first two were dessert (yes, I love making desserts) recipes: Apricot Cake and Lemon Sandwich Cookies. I then found a great savory potato cake recipe for dinner and a link to the first edible cookbook as designed by Germans. Two new blogs were also discovered - The Kitchen Inc and Kinfolk. I love the beautiful video on Kinfolk's Manifesto section.

The rest of the day, after picking up Saffi from school, was spent lying in bed and waiting for the day to be over and the next to start.

Wednesday...still not feeling great and was tempted to keep the kids home as I was simply too tired and still under the weather. Speaking of weather, we had a light rain and the overall mood was gloomy - something I tend to like.

I came across "Project Lunch Box" and this great cake recipe as well as an interesting post on copycats in the world of food blogging and a stirring discussion brought about by this post asking whether food blogging is on its way out.

The afternoon brought about a little ray of kindness from a stranger.

Thursday, I thought about a question raised by Jon. The question he posed on Twitter was, "If you died tomorrow, would any of your readers give a damn?". My response was, "Probably not. Then again, I'd be dead so I wouldn't have to worry about it. As long as my family had something to look back on." I was referring to my blog where I write about things that happen in my life and not for the sake of blog hits or comments. In my eyes, it is a living journal - a way for my children to see what was going on during a certain time in our lives.

We tend to forget many of the little things that happen on a day-to-day basis. Thus, keeping a journal online along with photographs is a great way for us to look back and realize all that we experienced, even if at times it seems that we did nothing at all.

to be continued...