Posts Tagged ‘Queens NY’

We can’t help but be a little envious of friends who live in the city AND have a back yard (a rare thing in these parts.) Thankfully they invite us over to enjoy some of the more creative things they do with that blank wall out back. When they pulled out the projector and fussed with the focus until – voila! – we got to enjoy some Bugs Bunny (AND ‘Seas of Life’ from Planet Earth) viewing at dusk:

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Another princess party; why do these fascinate me? Aside from the fact that I had my son first (and got thoroughly involved in his interests like ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ and cars) … and now all this ‘girl stuff’ feels NEW to me, perhaps? As if I’m adjusting to a whole new set of criteria to be aware of?

Or maybe I’m amazed at how Zoe and her girlfriends have an innate ability to coordinate princess outfits already?

I guess I’ve never really been a very ‘girlie’ girl growing up (or maybe my mom would disagree?) If I was, it didn’t really ever carry over to my parties and I don’t know that I ever enjoyed dressing like a princess. But Zoe seems to tolerate itchy fabrics and tripping on miles of tule better than I do.

I couldn’t help but but feel like an anthropologist watching the party-goers live in a princess-world for hours. But all my analysis aside, this party was just too cute NOT to share. With a ‘pin the kiss on the frog’ game, castle, crown-making and all (and those Zulily Fairy cupcakes and bags, amazing!)















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While at the NY Hall of Science we saw the Tony Hawk Rad Science show on the science of skateboarding. Kids got to learn about balance and gravity while playing with interactive exhibits. Of course Ezra loved the video games most, and his friend Nael wore his ‘pillow case cape’ in case he needed any extra ‘air’ while exploring — meanwhile Zoe was obsessed with ramps!









Zoe inspects the ramps

Zoe inspects the ramps

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We went to a children’s ‘Lunch Hour’ event at the main branch of the New York Public Library. Cookie Monster acted as sous chef to celebrity chef Rocco Dispirito – a chef from around our neighborhood (Queens) which made him particularly fun to blog about after being out of town for a few weeks. (As it turns out, Cookie Monster and Sesame Street characters hail from Queens as well.) Kids got to play with hand-out sticker books and coloring books until Cookie Monster arrived to toss most of the ingredients around the stage. Meanwhile Rocco dazzled parents with his white bean chocolate chip cookies. Yeah you heard right – he replaces flour (and gluten, and dairy and tons of sugar) with much healthier ingredients. And I’m telling you – the chocolate chip white bean cookies are TO DIE FOR. In the end you have a cookie that is 45-70 calories instead of the standard 200-400 calories for an average chocolate chip cookie. AND it’s still chewy and yummy. Good for parents and – with most the processed stuff out – good for kids too.

Get the recipe here (below the photos) or check out the library’s website, and happy baking!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 12 large cookies, 74 calories each)
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup canned white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons agave nectar
3 large egg whites
4 packets (about 4 grams) powdered stevia, such as SweetLeaf
1/4 cup puffed millet cereal, such as Arrowhead Mills
1/4 cup mini chocolate chunks
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine vanilla, cocoa, cannellini beans, and agave, and blend the mixture until smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl halfway through blending.

3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whip attachment, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually beat in the stevia. Continue to beat the whites until they are creamy and nearly stiff. Add one-third of the egg-white mixture to the cocoa-bean mixture in the food processor. Blend to combine, about 30 seconds. In 2 batches, fold the lightened cocoa mixture into the egg whites until they are almost fully combined. Add the millet to the batter. Fold batter until the millet is evenly dispersed and cocoa mixture is completely incorporated.

4. Drop mounded spoonfuls of batter onto the prepared sheets. Spread butter out to form cookies about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and turbinado sugar on top of the cookies.

5. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the pans one turn halfway through baking. Using a metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

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We spent Wednesday night staying up past the kids’ bedtimes. Socrates Sculpture Park had their annual Summer Solstice Celebration, complete with a silent disco and LOTS of stations where kids could create things from recycled materials. If you look just beneath the 3rd and 4th bubble (from the left) you will see a ‘blue flower sculpture’ just in front of the tree. That’s Ezra’s masterpiece – made of blue plastic bags and book ends. We stayed up waiting for the sun to go down … it wasn’t until 9 p.m. that it started to get a wee bit dark. The kids were exhausted and slept like ya do when it’s summer, and you’ve been outdoors all day long. Bring it on!

This delicious instagram (of Ezra, Mia, Zoe and Lea) is by Ina Seow:

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