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CARAMEL CORN

we typically do a movie night every friday.  we like to make a big production of it with popcorn + treats + a new or favorite movie.  one of our favorite treats is caramel popcorn.  this recipe is really good.  i know it might sound s little strange with the cinnamon bears and walnuts but i promise its amazing!  give it a try.

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mix together in a large bowl

 

3 bags cooked popcorn

3 c. mini marshmallow

1  1/2 c. cinnamon bears, cut in small pieces (sometimes i leave them whole)

2 c. chopped walnuts

 

on the stove combine

2 sticks butter

1 1/3 c. sugar

1/2 c. karo syrup

boil for 3 minutes then add

1 tsp. vanilla

pour sauce over mixture and stir quickly

 

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ELLE TURNS 5

elle was a hard baby. she had acid reflux + torticollis + she threw up all the time.  she would stay up all night and scream.  she hated eating.  she had different therapies for all her different issues.  she never left my hip.  when i was pregnant with jack i would joke he better be easy because i’d been through it all with elle.  we all know how that turned out.  she was an easy baby in comparison to jack but extremely difficult compared to your average baby.  i was with her so much, she would never let someone babysit her, that she became my best buddy and still is.  we have very similar personalities and we get along so well.  she’s happy all the time, loving, silly, kind and genuinely a good person.  she wants the best for everyone.  she lets things roll off her back.  elle is an old soul.  i asked her what she wants to do for her birthday and she said “I want to go in grandma marie and grandpa jacks car and get candy.”  jack and marie are our neighbors behind us.  we’ve adopted them as grandparents and they treat my kids so good.  elle’s just that easy, candy with the neighbors.  no fuss.  i hope we always have a close relationship.  i hope she always knows how much i love her and how much fun + laughter she brings into our family.  love you so bad elle.

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THIN CRUST PIZZA

grimaldi’s is one of our favorite pizza places.  the crust is thin the sauce is simple and the cheese is fresh.  everything about their pizza is delicious.  this is another one of those places we went to 11 years ago when we lived in phoenix.  their scottsdale location was 10 minutes from our house.  grimaldis started in brooklyn.  i havent actually eaten at the one in dumbo.  when we walked by the line was so long and i thought not worth waiting when ive got one back home 5 minutes away.  ivan is really really good at recreating recipes.  his grandma’s even better.  leave it up to him to put together a recipe that i think tastes identical to grimaldis.  the kids love to get involved with dinner prep and this recipe is perfect for just that.

grimaldis pizza

ingredients:

1 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1 c. cold water
1 tsp. salt
3 c. flour (king arthur)
1 package fresh mozzarella thinly sliced
1/2 c. crushed tomatoes (i prefer pomi or cento brand)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6 leaves fresh basil
place yeast into warm water, let stand for 5 minutes.  add salt and cold water then stir in flour a cup at a time. knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth usually takes around 10 minutes. cut into two pieces and form into a ball.  place dough in a sealed container and place in refrigerator over night.  do not skip this part.  the dough will rise so make sure you leave room to grow.

remove dough and sprinkle with flour and stretch until it is around 12-15 inches (the thinner the better).

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preheat the oven to 550 F. place the dough on a pizza stone that has been dusted with flour.  add sauce + slices of mozzarella.  sprinkle black pepper and oregano, place basil leaves on the pizza and drizzle with olive oil.  we like to add pepperonis, you can add whatever toppings you like.  bake in oven for 5-7 minutes (the oven will be very hot so it cooks very quickly) or until crust is brown. enjoy.

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Grimaldis pizza

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WASHINGTON D.C.

for christmas my sister and i got a trip to d.c. from our husbands.  i was so excited, i’ve wanted to go for a while now and ivan was never very interested so this was a perfect girls trip.  we both hadn’t been so of course i got to work on researching everything from where to stay + what to do and where to eat.  i had heard the food is really good and i have to say it was everything i imagined and more.  the city itself is charming and old.  the architecture is beautiful.  i love an old city.  i love the history of an old city.  i also love a walking city.  which d.c. definitely is.  we only took the metro one time and that was to get to eastern market, which ended up being the farthest place we went to and we ended up walking back.  we stayed in dupont circle.  it seemed pretty centrally located but i think if i went back i’d stay in georgetown.  georgetown has a lot of restaurants + shopping and is such a cute area.

 

we left friday morning and the flight took around 3 1/2 hours.  not too bad except the time difference puts d.c. 3 hours ahead of us so we lost a lot of our day.  we checked into our hotel and ended up grabbing sweetgreen for dinner.  i really liked sweetgreen.  the salad was really good and the portions were big.  the cherry blossoms were in full bloom and absolutely stunning!  they dont last long so i feel very lucky we got to see them in all their glory.

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the next morning we went to founding farmers.  it was one of my favorite breakfasts.  they told us the wait would be an hour but it only ended up being 20 minutes or so.  this is when we realized everywhere in d.c. takes reservations.  very different for home where no one takes reservations.  my sister and i split the pancakes and farmer breakfast.  the eggs + bacon + hash brows were some of the best.  i highly recommend this place.  we walked down to the white house and the national mall.  we saw the washington monument and abraham lincoln.  we walked over to arlington.  the size of arlington national cemetery is massive.  its quiet and peaceful.  very beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time.  the weather was beautiful and the cherry blossom are stunning.  we walked to georgetown, which i absolutely fell in love with.  we went to baked and wired, a cupcake place with rave reviews, but the line was so long we left.  then we came back and the line was still long but we waited and i’m so glad we did.  the best cupcake far better than georgetown cupcakes.  for dinner we had the best falafel at amsterdam falafel.  they have tons of toppings and the shop is really fun.

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sunday morning we took the metro down to eastern market.  an outdoor market known for their blueberry buck pancakes.  we waited in another line for breakfast.  i think this was by far the longest line, we waited probably an 1+.  the blue bucks were worth it.  we walked around the smithsonian.  the museums were a lot of fun. we ended up eating indian food for dinner and having an early night.  all that walking is exhausting.

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monday morning we went to old ebbitt grill near the treasury.  we didn’t make it in time for breakfast so we ended up having lunch and getting the kids gifts.  a giant penny no less.  we walked by the white house again, which was blocked off by security this time and they made us keep our distance from the gates.  we walked back over to georgetown grabbed another cupcake and did a little shopping.

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i had so much fun.  its always nice to get away.  even though i was hesitant to go.  i hate leaving my family.  the night before i left i told ivan don’t ever do this to me again.  ha!  i was only joking babe.  send me on another trip just give me a year and i think ill be ready to leave again.  d.c. is great and i think everyone needs to visit once in their lifetime.  i’d love to bring my kids when they are a little older and can appreciate all d.c. has to offer.

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