Welcome to Heidi's blog......Tales of life in Portland with my baby, Hank.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hazelnut filled snickerdoodle cookies

Tis' baking season!  Today I made a recipe I'd been wanting to try for a while, one I got from the Rachel Ray magazine.  Who doesn't love sandwich cookies?  But they are time-consuming.  These took me several hours, because you have to make the cookies, plus a filling.  And hazelnuts are awesome, but they take forever to get the skins off (and you never get it all off).

My brother, Christian, loves snickerdoodles, and since we were celebrating his birthday tonight (dinner at a great local restaurant called Fonda Rosa) I figured I'd make him some. 

They turned out really good (from what I hear from Christian and Julian, I don't have a big sweet tooth so I haven't had one yet).  Hazelnuts are definitely my favorite nut, so you can't go wrong with these cookies.

You can just never get all the hazelnut skins off. 

Here's the hazelnut filling.  All done in the food processor, just hazelnuts, butter & powdered sugar.  I added some Nutella to make it more creamy (it was grainy from the nuts).

Ready to mix it all up!

Here's the towers o' cookies. 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

A punk rock trip to the zoo

We hadn't been to the Oregon Zoo in years. We'd been wanting to go all summer, and never got around to it (although we got close, getting there about 5 minutes after it closed about a month or so ago). Our friend Yumi organized a zoo trip a few weeks ago, and it was so much fun. Now that the rain is here I'm really glad we made the most of the end of the summer.
Here we are!

Nice giraffe head support!

Tim, Teresa, and Julian with Hank

We got to the bat house just in time for a feeding frenzy!

The cougars were sleeping right behind Hank.

Our friend Grant holding his little girl, Miyu.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Our trip to New York City!

Julian and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary a few weeks ago, which coincided well with planning a trip somewhere.  We'd talked about going back to NYC for a really long time.  We had spent our honeymoon there, and had each been there once since then (me with my sister, and him with his band), but had never been back together.  So this seemed like a good time to go, and this time we'd have a baby, so we knew it would be a little different type of trip (no Broadway shows, or bars, but we're not really bar people anyway).

We were a little freaked out about this trip - we'd never flown with Hank before, not to mention having a baby out and about all day (no idea how naps would fit in).  Oh, and there was managing the subway with a stroller. 

But Hank was awesome on the plane, and got loads of attention.  And the subway was no problem at all - I managed Hank, and Julian managed the stroller.  It all worked out so well that we feel brave now, and are going to Sedona, AZ, and the Grand Canyon in less than a week for our last vacation of the year.  The only bad thing that happened was that Hank got a 102 degree fever for the first two days we were there - thank goodness for drugs.

In NYC stayed at the Larchmont Hotel, the same place we stayed on our honeymoon.  It's only $149/night, so you know you're giving up some amenities.  We had a sink in our room, but there was only a shared toilet and separate shower stall down the hall.  But it's in an AWESOME, beautiful, Greenwich Village location.  We could walk to tons of stuff, and even walked to the Empire State Building and beyond one day. 

This time we wanted to do a stuff that we'd never done before, but had to do some stuff again, too.

Here's some pics from our river cruise, which was so cool.

Some cool buildings on the Brooklyn side.
Housing projects along the river.
Awesome view of the Statue of Liberty.
Here are some pics from Central Park.
In Central Park, you can see Belvedere Castle way in the background.
Having a good time walking through Central Park.

Here we are, trying to navigate the subway.

The Guggenheim Museum (not that great).

Getting some breakfast.
Here we are in Brooklyn.

Someone was very grumpy this day.

We got some pizza from the famous Grimaldi's.
And walked back to Manhatten across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Here we are at Chelsea Market - famous foodie place with tons of food shops & restaurants.
We got to walk to Obscura, where the tv show "Oddities" is filmed.
Another pic at Obscura.  Check out the two-headed calf in between us.

Hank's favorite thing on this trip - Ibuprofen!
Hank really liked to practice walking.

The Belgian fry shop we discovered 10 years ago was still there.

The Naked Cowboy was still in Times Square.
Here's the pics from the awesome Times Square Toys R' Us.

Life-size Lego Hulk!
Hank liked my Spidey mask.
Huge Jurassic Park dinosaur.  Very cool.  And it moved and made monster noises.

Insane Ferris Wheel inside the store!

We wanted Elmo, but the other two crowded in so they could demand tips.

The Flat Iron Building
Here's pics from the top of the Empire State Building.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hank's Very Hungry Caterpillar 1st Birthday

I can't believe we've all survived the first year!  It's definitely something to celebrate.  There were times (early on) that I thought we'd never make it.  But mostly this first year has really flown by, especially after I returned to work (when he was 3.5 months old).  It's been a blur.  Hank's not sleeping through the night yet, that's the biggest thing we're looking forward to some day.  But he's a very competent crawler (and nearly walker), and is a very smart little guy.  He's picking up on the sign language we've been teaching him, but I can't wait until he's talking!

So, back to his birthday party....I decided on A Very Hungry Caterpillar theme mainly because it's just a really cute book.  Eric Carle's artwork is so amazing.  I couldn't resist buying Hank the Very Hungry Caterpillar bedding from Pottery Barn Kids a few months ago - it's just too dang cute.

Here's a picture of the invitation:

One of the most time consuming parts of the party-planning was making his cake.  I made a chocolate cake with vanilla bean buttercream.  I made the frosting a few days ahead of time, and was so glad I did, because it took me 2 hours!  But boy, was it worth it - yum!  Not too sweet.  Very rich. 

My sister, Emily, helped me decorate the cake.  I had taken the day before his party off work, but Julian ended up working a 15-hour day.  So I was lucky my sister could help me, because I wouldn't have been able to get it all done without her.  Julian had planned on making some cool fondant decorations, but since he wasn't able to Em just rolled it out and I put a bunch of polka dots around the cake (a nod to the book).

Hank after he ate some pink fondant that my sister gave him.

All decorated!

I bought this fondant decoration off Etsy.
I wanted to make a banner, because I'd made one for my sister, Anne's, baby shower and had fun with it.  I made this one below, and hung it across our front stoop.

I also wanted to do something with felt, because I never have.  So I made this tablecloth below with the felt Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I never did get a shot of the table with all the food, darn it. 

The party was a picnic theme.  The menu was: 4 different kinds of sandwiches from East Side Deli, homemade pesto pasta salad, a fresh fruit salad, chips, and pickles.  Plus my sister brought some brie, crackers, and olives. 

Julian's Mom, Edith, with Hank.

My good friend, Hayley, holding her daughter, Elsa, and me, holding my new nephew, Lucas.

Our little friend, Oliver.

Me and Hank blowing out the one candle.

My niece, Scarlett, who has to get (nearly) naked at every opportunity.

Cake-cutting time!

My brother, JK, "helping" Hank eat some birthday cake.  My niece, Skylar (JK's daughter), is on the right.

Hank got the idea, and does not need a fork.

Hank opening up some presents.

Our little friend, Adeline.

JK giving Hank a ride.

Hank got to try his first sucker.

Right before bed, playing with his balloons.