Coronado Snapshot

DaddyO has been giving me some much needed time off in the afternoons and I sure do love getting pictures like this of the fun he is having with the kids. He took them running on Coronado beach. The result of a couple hours of play was two sleeping kids when he returned. A double blessing!

Waffles Avia Style

One of the benefits of being on the East Coast for the last years was creating some unforgettable moments with the grandparents. One of those was the waffle breakfast at Avia and PopPop's house. Avia could not get away with making anything else for them. As we ventured to the West Coast there is no doubt that the connection remains, waffles = Avia and PopPop's.

made by avia
On request, Avia supplied DaddyO with a waffle iron to continue the tradition. The kids were bouncing with joy when they saw the familiar silver shine of a waffle iron in the box. That night they had no problem falling asleep because they knew in the morning they were not just getting waffles, they were getting AVIA's waffles. It took a little to explain that Avia was not coming to visit, but they were excited to try DaddyO's version. The recipe is below, with a few of Avia's tweaks to make them even more healthy.

  Avia's Wonderful Waffles

1 1/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup ground oatmeal (good old Quakers, processed down to a meal consistency with the flax seed, I have even used a pouch of instant with strawberry flavoring in a pinch)
1/4 cup flax seed (measured before grinding)
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt

I usually mix the dry ingredients well and then split dry ingredients into two batches. Here are the wet ingredients for 1/2 of the dry ingredients. Of course, if you are having friends over, double the wet and mix a big one (as CJ would say.)

2 beaten eggs
2 1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup oil

Combine eggs, milk and oil; add to dry ingredients just before baking. Mix with a whisk, but just so the dry ingredients are incorporated. No need to beat them together (you will develop the gluten) unless you want thicker bread like waffles. This is a thin batter. Bake in preheated waffle iron. Makes 10 waffles. 

They woke up Saturday morning to the batter mixed and the iron hot.

With the kids at his side DaddyO started making the waffles.

They were delicious and quickly disappeared.

And you guessed it, they woke on Sunday morning asking for Avia's waffles once again. This time they helped make the batter.

We will have to keep it a weekend tradition.

Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Picking

Ever since we flipped the calendar to October pumpkins have been our minds. Every time we look up it the kids point at the pictures from our pumpkin picking excursion last year. We couldn't miss a year!

Bates Nut Farm came with good recommendations. We drove an hour north which made a nice Sunday drive through the mountains. We were greeted by a long line of cars all going to the same place we were. Luckily the farm was prepared for the mass of people and our afternoon was enjoyable.

We enjoyed lunch from a food truck.


Saw their animals.

And of course picked out some pumpkins.

It was not a pumpkin patch per say, just a large field filled with pumpkins of all sizes. We told EJ that she had to be able to pick up the one she wanted to bring home.

DaddyO did give her a little help though in picking her favorite one up.

It has been a fun season of fall activities. I'm interested to see how many we will be able to continue while overseas and how many new ones we pick up!

Taste of Japan

We were transported to a garden in Japan for a few hours Saturday afternoon.  We have tried to stay away from sushi, ramen, and other favorite Japanese foods as much as possible here in Cali and enjoy Cuisine of California. For some reason a fish tacos just doesn't have the same appeal to me as a dragon roll but I'm trying.

koi watching
When I saw the "Taste of Japan" food festival being held at the Japanese Friendship Garden I knew it would give me the Asian food fix I needed.

 We weren't disappointed with our Yakisoba (fried ramen noodles) and takoyaki (ball shaped seafood snack).

Then it was a walk through the garden with friends.

We will be stationed in Japan together so I look forward to many more outings together!

The kids finished up the afternoon with some autumn crafts.



Two Minute Puzzle

The kids love puzzles. The inevitable result is a playroom strewn with puzzle pieces, but I'm okay with that. EJ will sit on the floor and work her way through most of the puzzles and I get to finish the rest.

CJ will go into his cabinet and pull out his puzzles on his own. His absolute favorite is the M&D Vehicle Sound Puzzle. He recently completed it in two minutes flat.

He will be on to EJ's puzzles soon:)

Julian Apple Picking

In order for a town to be famous for its apple pie you know there has to a sweet supply of apples nearby. We passed orchard after orchard on our drive out of Julian and decided to stop at Calico Ranch.

We didn't let line of cars parked outside the parking lot dissuade us. I heard that their apples were delicious, and at $10/ bag (no per person charge) they were a great deal.

We found out apples ripened early in CA this year so we were at the tail end of the season. There were still apples to be picked, it was just a stretch to reach them

DaddyO's height came in handy.

 They picked apple after sweet apple to put in the bag.

CJ couldn't wait to bite into his.

Along with a trips to the pumpkin patch and collecting colored leaves (a little difficult in Cali), apple picking will just have to become an autumn family tradition.

Ever since the last apple was eaten EJ has been asking when we will be heading up to Julian again to pick more apples.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

The two things we have learned from experimenting with Vietnamese food at home is:
 1. Leave Pho to the experts. It is not worth the time or effort when you can get a perfectly delicious bowl for under $5.
2. Summer rolls are a different story. A short amount of time and list of ingredientsa produces delicous results.

Our family is keen on making food that requires us getting our hands a little "dirty"this recipe does just that.

First DaddyO gathers the ingredients for the peanut sauce.

He has adapted the recipe throughout the years and the resatuarnt version just does not cut it for me anymore.

Then we gather the fillings.

Do any necessary chopping.

 And compose the rolls.


With the number of rolls we can eat, making them at home is a significant savings and brings a smiles to our faces.

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