If you follow me on any social media, then you'll know we just got back from a trip. And I can't wait to fill y'all in on that next week. But first, it reminded me that in the hustle and bustle of wrapping up last year (seriously it's nonstop holiday time beginning the second day of October!) I haven't even filled you in on our last family trip.
I don't think I've spoken much about how Thatboy and I first started dating, but the short story of it is that we met at college- UCLA. And it's been a loooooooooong time since we've been back. And our kids have never been there. So we decided to take advantage of a long weekend (for Thatkid and Thatboy) and head up for an LA weekend.
Through some amazing Priceline shopping, I managed to score us a great rate at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena. So our first day had us checking in to our luxury hotel, that was once the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel.
The main building was originally constructed in 1907, as the Hotel Wentworth. Further stories and that central tower were added when it was purchased by Henry Huntington in 1911. In 1989, the building was demolished and reconstructed to make it more Earthquake safe.
Our first day there was still a workday for me. So Thatboy took the boys to the nearby children's museum, while I stayed behind and worked.
The next day we explored Pasadena. I have an office in the area, but I rarely get far beyond the restaurants that are a few streets away from our building. I feel like we walked miles and miles, which seems funny, since Pasadena is not a huge area!
We had big plans for the evening, so we stopped and grabbed sandwiches at a store that just happened to specialize in ice cream floats.
After "lunch" it was back to the hotel for naps and pool time. Which is when we found out the Langham Huntington does a S'mores Happy Hour for the kids.
And a Happy Hour Happy Hour for the adults, where they handed us free cocktails to drink - probably as penance for sugaring our children up.
And then it was back to the room to get ready for our big evening plans - the UCLA football game!
The boys were super excited, and Thatboy had gotten us great seats, close to the field which definitely helped keep our kids focused.
Look at that face of concentration. Actually, he's probably looking at the television screens waiting for the bear to come out and roar.
We left shortly after half-time, and before we had even left the stadium parking lot....
The next day, with the children all hopped up on a UCLA win, we took them to the campus itself.
We gave them a little tour as we met with our family photographer for some family pictures, then took them into Westwood to show them where mom and dad used to hang out.
Of course, you can't go to Westwood without a stop at Diddy Riese. It's even a draw for that other school who make the trek across the city for some of those cookies. Thatbaby and I stuck with the regular cookies, but Thatboy and Thatkid went big - ice cream cookie sandwiches.
The whole weekend definitely sold Thatkid. He's ready to apply tomorrow and follow in the footsteps of his parents. Football and ice cream? College sounds like heaven.
The secret behind Diddy Riese isn't really a secret - it's just a really good cookie. And the ice cream sandwiches are good because....they're on really good cookies. It seems too simple to be true, but it is. You can make any ice cream sandwich exceptional by using exceptional cookies as your base. These margarita cookies fit that description perfectly. A classic sugar cookie, with added lime and salt. And whether you like your margaritas on the rocks, frozen, with our without salt, you've got to admit those flavors are just meant for each other. You can use any ice cream you'd like in the center after that - but might as well keep that citrus rolling with sherbet - orange, lemon, lime, they all work really well.
Margarita Ice-Cream Sandwiches (From Cooking Light)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
5 tsp grated lime rind
Juice of 1 lime
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
2 cups sherbet, softened
- Place butter and sugar in an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add an egg, 1 Tbsp rind, and lime juice. Beat 2 minutes or until well combined.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined.
- Divide dough into 2 equal portions, shape each into 6-inch log and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350. Cut each log into 16 slices and place 1 inch apart on silpat lined baking sheets.
- Sprinkle with 2 tsp rind, turbinado sugar, and sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on pan and then cool completely on wire rack.
- Place ice cream and sherbet in a bowl and fold together.
- Scoop 1/4 cup ice cream mixture onto bottom of 1 cookie, top with 1 cookie.
- Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and freeze for 4 hours.