Sunday, October 17, 2010

awesome kids stuff in L.A.

As I join the ranks of SAHMs and find myself scrambling for stuff to do I think I'm gonna keep a running post of the interesting places we're going (mostly on the Westside) in case anyone's looking for inspiration...

Best places to go in the rain:
Petersen Automotive Museum, 3rd floor for kids
Noah's Ark at the Skirball Cultural Center
Bowling at Bay Shore Lanes in Santa Monica
(The Santa Monica aquarium beneath the Pier doesn't make the cut since it's tiny, cute, but tiny. And won't waste more than 20 mins for a kid Ben's age.)

Fun, free way to kill a couple of hours: The observatory deck at the Santa Monica Airport. They let you get within spitting distance of the planes. Definitely best for slightly older kids who won't freak at the noise.

Best place to get non-lame and affordable toddler clothes:
Zara on the Third St. Promenade

Best farmer's market for pony rides and celebrity sightings:
Sundays on Main Street in Santa Monica. (And if you must know, Tobey Maguire & fam, Dermot Mulroney & fam and Natasha McElhone, which was a tragic sighting since we saw her there the same day her husband died in London.)
I'm adding the Brentwood Country Mart to the list because Alyson Hannigan and her child were there recently checking out the Sunday petting zoo/pony rides!

Best old-timey neighborhood ice cream place that will remind you of your childhood:
Sweet Rose Creamery at the Brentwood Country Mart

Best trick-or-treating neighborhoods:
24th - 26th Street in Brentwood, north of Montana
The canals in Venice

Best park/playground you'd never find without knowing it was there:
Aidan's Place on Sepulveda just south of Wilshire (hidden behind the Westwood Tennis Center).

(Originally posted October 14th, 2010)

Monday, October 11, 2010

spaghetti's come to this?!

The NY Times just ran a story on spaghetti tacos as a trend among kids in the States. Literally, pasta sandwiched between a taco shell. It started on some tween show called iCarly and caught on to the point that parents and kids across the country are making them. My immediate reaction is, "I will NEVER make a spaghetti taco." It just sounds gross. But judging by all the parenting vows I've made and broken since B. was born (that kid can play me like a fiddle in the kitchen--who am I kidding, basically anywhere) I have a horrible feeling spaghetti tacos or whatever is trendy 10 years from now will be inevitable. Blergh.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

yummy apple muffins!

Another rainy day meant we had to stay home but it gave me the chance to make these apple muffins (originally from Bon Appetit). They're so good and so easy compared to other muffin recipes. I even let B. help and make a huge mess--since I'm working to get over the whole Martha Stewart perfection thing before I give the kid a complex :)

Apple Muffins
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (plus a pinch of whatever else you've got in the pantry: allspice, ginger or nutmeg)
1 peeled and grated apple

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put liners in muffin cups. Whisk together butter, brown sugar, milk, egg and vanilla until well mixed. Measure out the dry ingredients and stir gently with the milk mixture. Fold in the grated apple. Divide batter between the muffin cups (makes about 10-12) and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Monday, October 4, 2010

all this time on my hands

Things I meant to make this week but ran out of time while caring for an 18-month-old boy and juggling a freelance career: beet salad, stuffed zucchini, roasted carrots, chicken kabobs, tzaziki, apple muffins and something with the seven bunches of fresh herbs that are currently wilting in my vegetable crisper.

But since it's raining today, and I have no idea what to do for fun in L.A. when you can't go outdoors, we'll probably end up making apple muffins after B. wakes up from his nap. Stay tuned...