This explains a lot about my relationship with cheese

I also used an app called Foodie to take the picture, because Mental Floss told me that Foodie is an app that exists. Does it...does it look more like food? Do I look more like a foodie? Vote now!

Even better news, I found this healthy-eating instructional booklet from elementary school so now I can finally get my nutritional house in order:

Oh, I am ready Pinocchio. I am SO ready.

Ivy has embarked on a photographic series entitled "Observe My Snack While I Avert My Gaze."


Egg and avocado toast, is what we should say this post is about

Hey guys, I just wanted to show you the egg and avocado toast I had this morning because I like you and I want you to be happy.

Also as a pre-apology for subjecting you to the mess I made of Rachael Ray's Italian Slab Pie last night. Turns out you shouldn't substitute phyllo dough for puff pastry just because that's what you already have in the freezer and you also shouldn't get distracted while it is in the oven and forget to monitor its transformation from "potentially edible collection of ingredients" to "creepy old grimoire in the back of the shop."

Contains: ricotta, sausage, ancient incantations.

It's actually strangely beautiful if you just give in to its charms.


Anyway, yep, this is what I presented to my family for their evening nourishment.

"I know you had a long, hard Monday, family, please enjoy this book of unspeakable magiks."

Anyway, I hope the girls filled up because we have given up on the idea of winter occurring in Central Texas this year and that means it's time to get to yard-working.

Finish with those leaves and there's an extra helping of necronomicon for the both of you!


It's a whole cookie-based system

Happy Friday, guys! We got this! Statistics indicate that at least one or two non-terrible things will happen to all of us today!

Fun fact: I also had a picture of a unicorn Ivy smiling excitedly and Blogger absolutely refused to upload it. I tried twice. I think they assumed I was attempting to commit fraud of some type.

Now that we are 19/29ths of the way through February, I have begun consulting the February stack of Magazines That Just Show Up At My House. First, Rachael Ray's Three-Cheese Pasta With Brussels Sprouts & Sage Breadcrumbs. I liked this, but it was not well-received by the sub-four-feet-tall set in this household.

I tried to break it down as essentially crackers and cheese, but I think my sales pitch was lacking emotional honesty.

Second, Martha's cover recipe this month is pretzels and you know if Martha says "Make pretzels" I'm gonna say "How salty?"

I'm pretty sure I didn't let the dough rise enough because these were less "pillowy," more "mattressy," but they still tasted like pretzels and we ate them. Right. Up.

Yesterday was Superhero Day at school so I dressed Anna as Marlo Thomas a Powerpuff Girl.

I also made cookies, but only so that I could continue my tradition of giving the girls a project that involved unwrapping an absurd amount of candy.




Yes, the pig is eating the burger

First of all, Yay HAMLET! Yay HAMLET 4ever.

Second: one of the best things about February is the parade of dinner-theme-friendly holidays, at least in years when I am on my game with that sort of thing. This year my approach can best be described as "Oh shoot, is that tomorrow?"

Oh shoot, Lunar New Year? Um, Chinese Chicken Salad.

Oh shoot, Mardi Gras. Are there beans in the pantry?

Oh shoot, Valentines Day. I guess I could...have Dan make heart-shaped waffles?

AND order a heart-shaped pizza! There we go.

Fortunately, lack of enthusiasm isn't something that children can intuitively pick up on or possibly inherit and have nestled deep deep within their marrow.

In even worse news, I have started attempting to use Snapchat and this is the least terrifying thing that has emerged.


SSFL braves the line

Regan, the SSFL member voted Most Likely To Keep Her Ear To The Ground, heard a rumor that the infamous Franklin BBQ line was at its shortest on Ash Wednesdays. Obviously it was up to us to  heathen our way down to 11th street and find out for sure.

If you aren't from Austin/familiar with the cult of Franklin's, you might not be impressed when I tell you that we moseyed in at the late late hour of 8:30 am and were very near the front of the line. That's only 2 1/2 hours before opening!

Insanity! In the opposite way than it sounds!

The problem/advantage of a wait like that, particularly when you can smell the smoky brisket the entire time, is that by the time you get to this point:

...whatever order you had been formulating in your head instantly becomes "five of everything, and also three pies."

The giddiness is so real at this stage that a magical gnome is necessary to guide you through the rest of the process.

I didn't actually get five of everything. Just of most things. And I made sure to order a side of slaw to balance out my plate.

We sat at a table right next to the line and I have never in my life known the sharp stares of envy the way I knew them from those still waiting for the gnome to gently take their hand.

Their longing could not pierce the comfortable haze of smoke and fat with which I had surrounded myself, however.

Clean plate club.

The number one question about Franklin BBQ is: is it worth the wait? I don't know! It's really delicious, and I happened to be there on a pleasant morning with coffee and a friend to talk to and everyone was in a good mood and the Franklin people were very nice and accommodating. So it was worth it for me, that day. I will say, the brisket gets so much love that it might not seem obvious that the turkey is a must-try in this context, but that's only because you haven't seen them pull it out of the vat of melted butter where it lives. The turkey is a must-try. I will also say, I would rather wait three hours for a plate of Franklin's barbecue than spend ten minutes walking down Sixth Street with a box of Voodoo Doughnuts. So there you go!

In other news, teeth are just continually jumping out of this child's head.

She also dropped her newly lost tooth in the grass 0.5 seconds after I took this picture.


She'll be so happy to discover the bag of lard in her lunchbox


Like I said...


(Note: if you recognized that as a Hamilton reference despite the total lack of thematic or syllabic connection, congratulations, you also have a problem.)

Guys, any day can be Mardi Gras Pancake Day as long as you still have sprinkles leftover from the crazy rock cupcakes you made that time. Just a little tip from me to you. I personally went with Banana Bread Pancakes this morning based on my exacting recipe standard of "only requires ingredients I have on hand."

If you really want to do Fat Tuesday right, though, might I suggest employing a charmingly literal six-year-old to demand things such as "DOES ORANGE JUICE EVEN HAVE FAT IN IT?"


Outside of today's fat and fat-related activities, we have been hard at work around here.

Getting our Valentines greetings addressed.

Getting our March calendar in order.


Just like eating actual rocks

Back to Nerdy Nummies, in the hopes that I can quickly overwhelm the children with impractical confections to the point that they never ask for them again. It's the 2016 YouTube version of making them smoke an entire pack of cigarettes, always seemed like sound logic to me, don't know what could go wrong. Geode cupcakes it is!

Having made the #1 good decision to embark on this culinary undertaking, I quickly made good decision #2: save about $5 by making my own fondant. I may have failed to account for the fact that having really, inescapably messy hands causes me mild panic.

I would have paid $50 to immediately blink out of this situation.

But look! Fondant occurred!

Ivy was on board from the beginning.

Which is why I made her do the chocolate batch.

The next step was pouring colored simple syrup into the fondant molds so that the geode crystals could form. I made sure to add a note so that the rest of the household could rest assured that I had accomplished something with my day.

I could not finish the laundry, I was very busy.

The recipe says to give them "at least 12 hours." I gave them about 40 and they had 1/10 as many crystals as the ones in the pictures. This made me re-think a lot of my life choices.

I could not finish the laundry, I was contemplating some things.

The most exciting aspect of this project was asking the girls to unwrap about 100 pieces of candy without eating any of them. But they did it!

...as far as I know.

Anyway, disappointing crystal generation aside, they looked pretty good:

Keep looking, I spent like three days on these things:

HOWEVER, being covered in large chunks of Jolly Ranchers renders them basically impossible to eat.

She no longer has any baby teeth.

As opposed to the Unicorn Poop Cookies, which tasted like sweetened craft paste yet the girls pestered me for nonstop until they were gone, several of these cupcakes have sat unmolested on the counter for almost a week now.


Readying Phase Two.