In January, Ava and I got a membership at the San Diego Zoo / San Diego Safari Park. So far, we have twice gone to the Safari Park, including yesterday. Ava is the perfect age and loves to see all the animals. We haven’t gone to the zoo yet but I think we will in the next couple of weeks. We got a Curator’s Club membership, which means I can bring any adult guest any time I go – it’s great. So yesterday my sister Caroline came. We only stayed for about 3 hours, but went on the Tiger Trail, visited the bats, watched the cheetahs, and enjoyed the Africa Tram. Can’t wait to go back soon.
Ava was gone for a few days in Oklahoma for the Thanksgiving holiday, and I missed her so much!! I had some time to do a little Christmas decorating, and while I was at Lowes shopping around, I saw an inflatable “Olaf” snowman from Frozen, our favorite movie. I knew she would just love
it him, so I brought him home. When Ava got out of the car, she spotted the deflated snowman and immediately had to investigate. I went and plugged in his little fan, and whipped out my phone to capture the magic. She was so excited!
Today, I was supposed to fly solo for the third time. I was excited to use my new GoPro! But due to 10 knot winds, it got postponed. So Caroline and Ava and I had fun decorating Easter Eggs. We used a dye kit called the PAAS “Volcanic Eggsplosion” and melted down crayons on top of the freshly boiled (still hot) eggs. After the melted crayons cooled we dyed them the traditional way using the dye kit and vinegar. It was a lot of fun and the eggs came out great! In the video (sped up) you can see how quickly the wax melted. We used tongs to transfer them from the boiling water. Always use caution when handing hot eggs.
I consistently make pancakes for Ava in the mornings, at least several times a week. It doesn’t take long to make them, but I love those 10-15 minutes that I take to make her a healthy and yummy breakfast. I put her in her high chair, turn on the stovetop to medium heat, and get out everything I need. Usually I listen to music on my Sonos, or watch the Today Show, and have either coffee from my Keurig or an energy drink.
I am a loyal fan of Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse pancake mix. I first discovered it long before Ava in 2012, when I took a crepes class at Sur La Table in Carlsbad. One of the students asked the instructor if she recommended a particular pancake recipe, and I remember the instructor immediately saying she recommended Stonewall Kitchen, that it was “better than scratch.” I remember her also emphasizing the importance of using real butter and whole milk (or buttermilk). No nonfat milk or margarine. Intrigued and curious, I bought the mix that day. She also recommended a slotted fish spatula, which I also bought and absolutely love. I use it all the time, not just for pancakes, but for everything.
In my quest for pancake perfection I’ve tried a lot of a lot of pancake mixes, from fancy stuff like Archer Farms Red Velvet Pancake Mix to Aunt Jemima. and one thing I really like about the Stonewall Kitchen is that it uses actual ingredients, like eggs, milk, and butter. If you get one of those mixes that you “just add water” it tastes like you just added water, in my opinion. By now I have the Stonewall Kitchen recipe memorized. I use one cup of mix, ¾ cup milk, one tablespoon melted butter, and one egg. I whip it up with a fork, and pour it on my griddle. Once bubbles start to form, I flip them over with my fish spatula and they come out perfect, pretty much every time. I love them, Ava loves them, and if there are extra, the dogs love them too.
To make things even easier, I use subscribe and save on Amazon so my products are delivered monthly, with free shipping. I don’t even have to think about it, they just show up. Do you have a favorite pancake recipe? I’d love to hear about it if you do!
I am big fan of capturing videos of Ava. I look back at videos I took just a few months ago, and it’s amazing to see how much she’s grown and changed. Yesterday, Ava turned 14 months old. My little one is so tall, she’s already wearing size 2T from Carters. I know it’s not even Thanksgiving, and it may be too early for lights and trees, but once Halloween rolls around, it’s never too early for Christmas jammies (or red Starbucks cups). Here’s a quick video I shot this morning of Ava playing with a baby wipe.