Sunday, August 28, 2011

Iris's Birthday Party!

I was really excited when I saw that Iris's birthday was going to be while she was here because I've been wanting to have a birthday party, but it seems silly to do a lot of hubbub for babies who don't care and won't remember.

We invited the JV/Varsity volleyball team with this fun little origami invitation we rigged up.
It's supposed to be a bag or a purse.

I printed the invitation in Disney-esque font (she chose it).  I don't own photoshop, so that address blurring is the best I could do...

We put little suckers (or lollipops, if you ask Jay...) inside.

Iris is a big chocolate lover, so I, of course, did a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  The Frog, of course, wanted to help put in the candles.

Iris's favorite color is purple, so we decorated with purple!

I just thought our present turned out cute, so I wanted to take a picture.  I just love wrapping presents! :)  I got a really great deal on a mini video camera and I thought Iris might be able to use it to capture some things she wants to remember while she's here.

The girls looking through a scrapbook Iris put together to show us about her home, family, and school.  I think the girls liked learning more about Iris- she is quite timid with her English and they also don't get to chat much at practice.
After cake and presents, Iris showed the girls some music videos from her favorite music group and now I think they're going to start a fanclub :D See for yourself.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peach's First Birthday!

Happy Birthday Peach!!  1 is such a unique and awesome number to be!  I wish all kids could be old enough to understand and appreciate it before it's over.
 As you can see, my awesome "1 hat" that I made for The Frog was not well received.  (There's a reason I don't make her wear headbands anymore...)
 I made her a "1" pancake in honor of her big day and she quickly found a way to get even with me forcing her to wear the hat.
 Look at that face.  You can see she means business.

That night we had an extra-special meal (which I did not document with photos) because one of my best buddies from Stanford just happend to move to Provo last week and also just happened to share a birthday with Peach!  I just had to invite he and he husband and baby-to-be to join in the celebration.
 Here is Peach's cake.  You can't tell, but moments ago she was wailing and crying and as soon as we started singing "Happy Birthday" she instantly quieted and was totally into it.
Her first dainty taste.

Is this okay with everyone that I'm doing this?

The Frog of course had to get in on the action.

Not bad.  I'm proud of her for showing some restraint. :)

I of course had to make another cake for LRH (and the rest of us).  The Frog so graciously offered to help put in the candles.

This picture makes it look like she was really into opening presents, but The Frog ended up taking over in all cases.

and some presents she never touched while wrapped...

I helped LRH move into her kitchen last Saturday and she lamented about not having a good pancake pan.  I bought a large one and haven't used this one since (even though it works great) so I passed it on. :)

Iris's First Day of School

I was so excited to finally take a first day of school photo for one of my "kids".  Iris was good to humor me :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Homemade Japanese Dinner #2

I convinced Iris to make us a Japanese dinner the night before her first day of school (mostly since I know she'll be too busy once school starts... at least until volleyball season is over).  This time on the menu was Miso Soup (again, but this time with better instructions), sticky rice (obviously) and tempura.  

First the Miso:
sorry it's sideways!

I cut these cubes.  They are a bit bigger than when Iris did it.  Next time I'll do 6x5x2 instead of 5x4x2.

Shiitake mushrooms.  Last time we used enoki, but they were all out.

Bean sprouts.  The ones at the asian market had more developed beans at the end that offered a bit more nuttiness than the bean sprouts I'm used to.  I really liked it!

Green onion added at the very end.  I cut it with scissors right into the pot.

Miso Paste.  We got this at the Asian Market.

First boil the mushrooms for a bit.

Then add a handful of bean sprouts.  Let boil awhile, then the tofu.  I didn't keep track of exact times because it doesn't seem to matter too much.  I would say prepare the mushrooms, put them in.  Wash the bean sprouts, put them in.  Cut the tofu, put it in, etc.

She put in about 3 spoonfuls like this of Miso Paste.   The green onions go in almost right before serving.
 Now for the tempura.
She was looking for shrimp to bread, and the Asian Market already had some breaded!  Next time I'll just get the shrimp, though, so she can show me how to do the breading as well.

I decided awhile ago to give up on eggplant, because I've never made something with it that I liked.  Well, perhaps I gave up too early :)

Green pepper.  Isn't that weird?  I don't think I've even eaten green pepper as the main veggie before, it seem to always play in the orchestra for my meals.

This is the batter- about 3 cups flour, two eggs, and then add enough cold water to get it about the consistency of pancake batter. (but not lumpy like pancake batter)

Trying to show the consistency with horrible photography skills.

Coating the eggplant.

This electric skillet was filled with about an inch of vegetable oil and heated to about 350 F.  She started the shrimp first.

Then added the eggplant.  You can see how beautiful the shrimp looks now.

The finished goods.  And MAN were they good :)

This is some kind of sauce that you dilute with water to dip the tempura in.  It's called  "tsuyu".   This is what she put on the fried tofu last time too.

We also dipped the tempura and shrimp in a mixture of soy sauce and  mayo.  I had to laugh because it reminded me of Utah's famous "fry sauce" :) (ketchup and mayo, for all you non-Utahns)

The Frog approved.

We also picked up some of these to try- Iris likes them...

and so does Peach.
Thanks Iris for a delicious meal!  Hopefully this was enough info for some of you to try it for yourself :)