Teens, Toddlers, Child Protective Services, Sushi, and Grand Marnier. (seriously)


This week has been C r A z  Y  I tell ya!  

Shopping for school clothes, cleaning out closets, finding the perfect backpack, arguing about hem lengths, repairing little holes and sewing on buttons, darning socks (j/j), and haircuts.  Whew!  But at least I’m not setting up a college dorm-yet.

What made it all worth it was dinner out with grownups at the end of the week…. 

Sushi at Blue Fish. 'Dragon' or was it 'Spider'? I know it's not 'Rainbow'.

Coming together with our closest friends and swapping stories…the best!  We have teens that are all about the same age, excluding their four year old that might as well be 19.  She’s called The CEO for future reference.

It’s a lovely thing in life to have sounding boards in other parents. The reoccurring theme in our conversations for the last few years has been, ‘are we crazy to think…’ .  It goes something like this:

“Are we crazy to think that the earbuds should completely come out of the ears while a parent is speaking?”

“Is it crazy to think that Child Protective Services might show up if there are two teenagers strung up by their toenails in the front yard…or should we do one at a time?”

“Would it be horrible if we paid them to move out?” 

“How much are you feeding your teens? So, they don’t tape worms then?”

“Is it wrong to fine a kid $1 every time he/she rolls her eyes?”

“Are you on blood pressure medicines yet?”

We are convinced that a night out with other grownups is good for the health of our children. We get a chance to complain, use other kids as barometers for ‘normal’ and otherwise crappy or fabulous behavior, and find new uses for belts, switches, and wooden spoons. (again,j/j)

Fortunately, after the gripe session is over, the rest of the night is spent bragging and congratulating….amazing creativity, chivalrous surprises, magnanimous mini-men, profound wisdom, and academic accomplishments.  

When they were little we swapped stories about time-outs and temper tantrums in restaurants, but especially the precious moments a camera could never catch, the hilarity of potty training-always my favorite, and all the ‘firsts’… first tooth, first belly laugh, first emergency room visit.  Now, our stories are about the price of blue jeans, college choices, driving lessons, and effective punishments for the ones we love more than life itself.

There is nothing better than having  friends that were there when you brought children into the world and will be there when those children bring their children into the world. Blessings Blessing Blessings!


And in honor of said friend whose 43rd birthday was Friday – hence sushi night-  and knowing that little pieces of fish art were in our evening’s forecast, I made little pieces of chocolate art for him…. aka, truffles!

This is a pretty quick recipe, excluding chill time.



  • 8 oz (or 1  & 1/3 c. or 1/2)  pound bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • zest of 1 washed orange
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier
  • 1 teaspoon of good vanilla extract

Truffle Garnishes:

  •  shredded coconut
  •  cocoa powder
  •  chopped or ground pistachios
  • chopped or ground almonds

Heat  cream in a small pan til it starts to bubble along the edges. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until very smooth.

Whisk in the Grand Marnier, orange zest, and vanilla. Transfer mixture out of pan to bowl. Refrigerate for an hour and then freeze for 30 minutes or until the chocolate mixture has hardened.

Scoop up a fat  tablespoon of the mixture and quickly roll it onto a ball in your palms or on the counter.  Dip them in the garnishes. Place into mini paper cupcake cups laid out on a baking sheet and re-stiffen in refrigerator for another hour or so. Remove from the fridge 15 minutes before enjoying!

I bought the sushi like container for 30 cents from the grocery deli.

Here is how the gift was presented…sushi style!


And after standing in the kitchen rolling out tiny little truffles, here’s a little ditty that helps to use up all that Grand Marnier, and that pairs quite nicely with the truffles I might add. 🙂

Caffe L’Orange:

  • 1 1/2 cup brewed, cooled coffee
  • 1/4  c. Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 c. Baileys (or St. Brendans)
  • 4 orange slices….(from the orange you just zested)

Combine coffee, orange liqueur, coffee liquor and ice cubes into a shaker. Shake. Strain contents into 2 glasses. Squeeze the juice of one orange slice into each glass and garnish with the other. ChEErS! Good job!

If you have kiddos in school, or like me, are in school yourself, I hope it’s a great school year!..no tears, little stress, more knowledge, and new friends.  And remember- the drink in the photo above looks like regular coffee…..the PTA will never know…shh.



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Filed under Food, mUsings, Teens

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