Tired Jodie

today we went to the science museum. they had lots of hands on stuff for kids to do. the girls had a great time! i think jodie got worn out because she fell asleep on the bus on the way home. it's been a long time since she's done that.

Trafalgar Square

so yesterday after having pancakes the girls and i took the bus to the the national portrait gallery in trafalgar square. i think we lasted about 45 minutes in the gallery. andi really got into it and wanted to know the names of all the people in the portraits and was pointing out people who were wearing glasses and people who weren't. jodie on the other hand was not very interested, but was a good sport about walking around. afterwards we made our way to trafalgar square which they both LOVED! there are two huge water fountains in the square and they love fountains. i think they could have stayed there all day if they weren't hungry. we finally went to get some lunch and then we came back after lunch for one more look at the fountains before finally making our way over to starbucks in leicester square for some hot chocolate.


Pancake Day

today is pancake day here in the uk. pancake day is the day before lent starts. the girls and i got up this morning and made pancakes. dan even got up early to eat them with us. they were yummy. we even found maple syrup at the grocery store. here's the recipe i used...

...recipe for buttermilk pancakes from Joy of Cooking
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In another bowl whisk the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.

Heat griddle over medium heat. Lightly butter the griddle. Spoon the batter onto the griddle. When the top of the pancakes are speckled with bubbles it is usually ready to flip.


Half Term Week

the girls are off school this week. it is half term. they get a one week break in the middle of each term. it is nice not to have to get and make the school run every morning, but i am trying to think of things to do with them all week. it's a bit of a challenge since it's still cold out and so far it looks like it's going to be cloudy and rainy. we might have to hit a museum or two. so today we went to oxford circus (on the c2 bus) this morning and did a bit of shopping with dan. he needed some new trousers. then the girls and i had lunch at mcdonalds, three chicken nugget happy meals. we came home and i gave each of the girls a haircut, which they desperately needed. and i think i managed to do a decent job. after the haircut we made a trip to the library while dan went to the gym for a bit (the library and gym are in the same building). then we came home for dinner. now all i have to do is think of something to do tomorrow.


Camden Town Walk

andi's class is learning about camden town as part of a geography unit they are doing. yesterday i went with them on walk to see camden town. we took them to regent's park where they could play on the large playground there. the kids had a great time running around, swinging, sliding, and digging in the sand. on the way back to school some of the kids were pointing out a bus stop and reading what buses stopped there. "the c2 stops there! the c2!" the teacher asked them where the c2 went (i don't think he expected them to know). they immeadiately replied "oxford street!"


Happy Valentines Day!

the girls made valentine cookies yesterday. as usual they had a great time rolling the dough and cutting out the cookies and then decorating them. they took them to school today to share with their classes.



Tagliatell with Tricolor Peppers and Basil

we had this for dinner a couple of nights ago. it was yummy. thanks linda for the reccomendation. here's the recipe...

...recipe from Patricia Wells' Trattoria: Simple and Robust Fare Inspired by the Small Family Restaurants of Italy
2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
sea salt
12 ounces fresh tagliatelle
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
freshly grated parmesan cheeese

Core the peppers and remove the seeds and membranes. Slice thinly. Pour the oil into a covered deep 12-inch skillet. Place the sliced peppers and the crushed red pepper flakes in the skillet and toss with the oil; season with salt. Cook, covered, over very low heat for 40 minutes, stirring from time to time. The peppers should not burn or toughen. Be careful not to let the juices cook away.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain thoroughly.

Transfer the pasta to the skillet, off the heat, and toss to blend. Cover and let rest for 1-2 minutes. Serve with chopped basil and parmesan cheese.