The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Posts Tagged ‘sweet’

Letting go

of a balloon, that is, is a sad event in the life of a kid. But besides getting clocked in the head by a swing every child needs to experience this cruel (not to mention eco-unfriendly) rite of passage.

Lookit how happy she was before she let go?

Yesterday M told me she wanted a haircut and that she wanted it cut to look like her Aunt Charlotte’s and/or cousin Lydia’s. Since Lydia and Charlotte have totally different (both very stylish) cuts, we met in the middle. It was hard to believe that a little girl would WANT a haircut but Maddie has her own style and a strong sense of fashion so I wasn’t about to stand in her way.

We set out for the salon.

BEFORE (with a side pony)

This salon is so adorable. Let me interrupt myself to apologize for boring most of you with this post about my daughter’s first haircut. Nobody hates hearing about cliche parent experiences like this more than I do but gosh dang it, for some reason these little kids make even common everyday experiences fun!

Anyway, The Yellow Balloon has been in SM for ages.

I actually saw the salon from the car, pulled over & called. They told me to come right in! It was so totally friendly inside, well, actually kid-friendly inside.

Our stylist, Denise, was so sweet. She let M sit on my lap which I doubt made it easy.

M really enjoyed looking at herself. And the cookies they gave her. And the Cinderella flashlight. The tattoo & the lollipop. Oh, and she also enjoyed the haircut.

She took a quick ride in the car (which the owner insisted on paying for).

And we left!

She accidentally let go of the balloon later in the park and wept bitterly as we watched it shrink to a tiny dot. I understood how she felt as I watched them cut her baby hair off and sweep it away into a dustpan.

The Yellow Balloon
1328 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403

M 9:30AM-6PM
T, W & F: 9:30AM-7PM
TH: 9:30AM-8PM
SU: 10AM-5:30PM

Lemon Pound Cake

This is a really simple one to keep in your back pocket! You probably already have all the ingredients. Make sure you have 2-3 lemons though.

You need:

1/2 c butter, melted
1 c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c milk
1/3 c lemon juice
1/4 c sugar

This is a 2 bowl endeavor which isn’t bad.

Preheat oven to 325.

1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and butter.

2. Add eggs and lemon juice. Mix.

3. Add salt, flour & baking powder. Mix. (Normally I whisk together dry ingredients in a separate bowl but I didn’t do it this time and it came out perfect!)

4. Add milk and mix till just combined.

5. Fill well-greased loaf pan with batter and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown.

6. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 c lemon juice and 1/4 c sugar. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the top of the cake. Drizzle the lemon juice/sugar mixture over the top of the cake.


Lemon Pound Cake
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4-6

A quick & simple pound cake. Yummy with a cup of coffee or for dessert.
  • ½ c butter, melted
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ c milk
  • ⅓ c lemon juice
  • ¼ c sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 c sugar and butter, eggs & 1 TBSP lemon juice.
  3. Add salt, flour & baking powder and mix.
  4. Add milk and mix.
  5. Pour batter into well-greased loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown.
  7. In a small bowl combine ⅓ c lemon juice with ¼ c sugar.
  8. Poke holes in top of cake with a toothpick and drizzle lemon juice/sugar mixture on top.


Homemade Microwave Popcorn – 3 Ways

London. 1994. I was sleeping on someone’s floor that summer. We decided to go see “Reservoir Dogs” at the cinema. (Yes, I called it “cinema” to get you in the frame of mind.) I ordered popcorn. Crammed a large fistful into my maw. What the WHAAAAT??? Sweet? It was sweet. AND savory. Mmmmmmm…like an adult’s Cracker Jack.

People were smoking cigarettes in there. The good old days!

Last week, a new friend was telling me how to make microwave popcorn in a brown paper bag. (Thanks, Kristy!) I remembered seeing something about it on Pinterest so I decided to give it a whirl.

Today I got a hankering for the sweet version so I looked up some recipes. Most of them called for what most Santa Monica moms consider the devil of all sugars: corn syrup (which makes a mean pecan pie) but I thought I could find something more “natural.” It came out real nice. REAL nice!

Btw: if you’re interested, here’s what’s in Pop Secret, Premium Popcorn:

    INGREDIENTS: Popcorn, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Salt, Modified Cornstarch, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavor & Artificial Flavor, Lactic Acid, Monosodium Glutamate, Color (Yellow 5 Lake & Yellow 6 Lake), Nonfat Milk, Freshness Preserved by Propyl Gallate.
  • That isn’t sooooooo bad. But check out this one!

    INGREDIENTS: Popcorn Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popping Corn, Palm Oil, Salt, Freshness Preserved with TBHQ and Citric Acid. Pouch Ranch Seasoning, [Buttermilk, Salt, Tomato Powder, Monosodium Glutamate, Cornstarch, Sugar, Whey, Sodium Diacetate, Onion Powder, Citric Acid, Garlic Powder, Spices, Cheddar Cheese (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Lactic Acid, Natural Flavor and Artificial Flavors, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Canola Oil, Artificial Color (Including Titanium Dioxide, FD&C Red 40, FD&C Blue 2 and FD&C Yellow 5) Maltodextrin, Disodium Phosphate, Less Than (2%) Silicon Dioxide Added as an Anticaking Agent], Buttermilk Powder, Salt, Onion Powder, Natural Flavoring, Modified Cornstarch, Tomato Powder, Citric Acid, Spice and Herb, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Spice and Coloring, Artificial Color, FD&C Blue 1, FD&C Red 40.
  • [from

    1/4 c popcorn kernels
    1 TBSP olive oil
    salt to taste (1 pinch up to 1/4 tsp)
    brown paper bag (OR a vented lid which can be laid across a micro safe bowl – prolly more eco friendly)

    First I’ll show you how to make the straight up kind, then I’ll share a couple of variations.

    Combine kernels, olive oil & salt in a small bowl.

    Unceremoniously DUMP into a brown paper bag (or your bowl – incidentally, I plan on using a bowl with a vented lid as soon as I GET a vented lid.) But hey, I had a package of brown paper bags from 2009 – when I was teaching 6th grade.

    Some recipes advised STAPLING the bag. Listen, I used to bus tables at The Old Heidelberg in Naples, FL and will never forget the sparks that flew when I put a wicker bread basket with staples in the micro. Nor the ass-chewing I got from the cooks.

    I folded my bag.

    Unsure of how long to microwave it, I pushed the “POPCORN” button.

    Then, b/c I missed the heavenly trill of the smoke detectors, I pushed it again.

    Dad-blame it!!

    So I tried it again. This time I just pushed the popcorn button once. When I heard the popping slow down, it happened to turn off. I suggest you stand right by your microwave and when the popping slows down, turn it off since all microwaves tend to have different POWER.

    The second time it came out perfect! I added a little salt.

    Now for the flavors.

    1. SPICY. Add a tsp of spice rub to the kernel/oil/salt mixture. I used Tony Chachere’s spice rub.


    2. HERB/PARMESAN. Add a few sprigs of fresh herbs to the kernel/oil/salt mixture. I used rosemary & thyme.

    Make sure the herbs are coated in oil so they don’t burn. You can also mix them in the oil/kernel concoction for about 5 minutes prior to nuking so they can infuse the oil.

    Sprinkle fresh parmesan on top of the popped corn. YUM!
    (I forgot to take a picture of that.)

    3. SWEET. This is my favorite. Add 1-2 tsp of maple syrup to the kernel/oil/salt mixture. You still need the salt!

    Because of the sugar it seems to burn but it might be just caramelizing. Just pay extra attention to cooking time.

    It looks burnt but it’s not!


    Macro feature really can’t make my fingers/nails look dirty enough!


    Homemade Microwave Popcorn – 3 Ways
    Recipe type: Snack
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 

    Serves: 2

    Quick & easy snack. Sooooo much healthier than the store bought microwave popcorn!
    • ¼ c popcorn kernels
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 pinch salt (you can always add more later)
    • brown paper bag OR microwave safe bowl with vented lid (lid can be bought separately)
    • creole spices
    • sprigs of fresh herbs
    • fresh parmesan cheese
    • 1-2 tsp maple syrup

    1. In a small bowl, combine popcorn kernels, olive oil & salt.
    2. Pour mixture into a brown paper bag.
    3. Fold bag several times.
    4. Microwave using “Popcorn” button. If you don’t have that button, try 2 minutes on HIGH but be ready to shut it off when the popping slows down!

    To add flavors: 1. SPICY: add spices directly to bowl of oil/kernels/salt. Continue as you did with the plain. 2. HERBS: add sprigs of fresh herbs to the bowl of oil/kernels/salt. Allow to infuse for 5 minutes. Continue as you did with the plain. 3. SWEET: add 1-2 tsp of maple syrup to the bowl of oil/kernel/salt. Continue as you did with the plain.


    Finally, the one con to making popcorn this way: there tend to be a lot more unpopped kernels than you’d get in the pre-made microwave popcorn bag. I’ve yet to find a solution to this problem but am interested in hearing if anyone out there has?

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