Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Au Revoir

On the very pages of this here blog, I first wrote about wanting to go to France. I am so excited to say that dh and I are leaving on a jet plane tonight for 10 days - 7 in Paris and 3 touring the Burgundy region. We have a ton of fabulous plans, mostly revolving around eating, shopping and walking. This week is the 3 year anniversary of first discovering that lump in my breast, kicking off many life-changing events. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate life and living and friendship and adventure.

I can count on 3 fingers how many vacations I've taken in my life (not including study abroad but including the honeymoon). I've worked practically full time since I was 16. I can't wait to finally understand and appreciate this leisure thing. I am already planning the next two vacations I take with Jed, but probably as soon as I land in Paris, I'll add another to the list.
Au Revoir! xoxox

Friday, March 20, 2009

spring has sprung

I was informed last night that this “winter” has been a cold one for Southern California. I had to resist the urge to laugh out loud because seriously? It’s been pretty much the same for months and months. A little colder, a few more grey days here and there, but for the most part, sunny and warm with flowers continously in bloom. While I love that I can play outside all year long, I do miss that feeling you get at the start of spring that only comes from enduring the long cold months of winter. As a shout out to all of you east coasters on this official first day of spring, here's a sneak peek of what's right around the corner for you.

Happy Spring Solstice and don't forget to get your water ice!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lessons Learned

A week ago, Jessica posted about a comfort dish - Cabbage with Hot Sauce from Orangette. Jess even added an egg for EXTRA comfort. girl's known for loving her eggs - in fact, both of my co-ABBers profess their love for eggs. I feel eh about eggs and usually only cook with them when baking. But, we had a purple cabbage from the CSA and CSA cabbages usually get tossed out with the trash a month after the share, and jed was out with his 5th grade girlfriend so I was cooking for myself. I wanted something simple and quick. And comforting.

I am in major need of some comfort food. I don't know what it is, but ever since the time change, i have been so tired - all i want to do is come home from work and lay on the couch for a long time. I have been late waking up every day for the past few weeks. Maybe its the weather or busyness at work or vacation excitement or the economy when in doubt, blame everything on the economy. ***(I promise that i'm not preggers.)

So, instead of going to the gym, I decided to try Jess' recipe. After all, I love and trust rach and jess and if they love cabbage and eggs, i should try it.
Lesson Learned #1 - Trust your Instincts

In fairness, I altered the original recipe a little.
  1. As mentioned, I used a purple cabbage
  2. I added sesame oil
  3. Instead of frying an egg, I scrabble eggs with the siracha and mixed it in. Hoping for a pad thai style egg but didn't get it. The eggs stayed mushy.
Lesson Learned #2 - Follow a recipe the first time

The meal wasn't bad. But I don't think I cooked the cabbage enough - it was still crunchy, although spicy and sesamey and hot and delicious. The good news is that my second helping was much better - the cabbage was softer and the flavors better combined.

The bad news is that the combination of the mushy eggs and purple cabbage looked like puke after drinking too much red wine chased by massive amounts of bread. Sorry for being graphic and gross, but i was almost sick. Food doesn't usually gross me out, but seriously, it looked like vomit. I threw the rest out.

Notice that despite my severe aversion to the looks of the dish, i still had 2 servings.
Lesson Learned #3 - food is very visually linked. I know - duh - but i never realized it so fully until tonight.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yeast Whisperer

I discovered that i love baking bread, after trying it for the first time last week. Bread is my new medium. Even though my first attempts were not overly delicious, I am creative and I have so much room for improvement.
This was my inspiration, from the Feb '09 issue of Gourmet. YUM these look delicious!

For the first month or so i looked through the article, I was intimidated by the 5.5 hour prep time. Who has that kind of time (apparently I do).

I started small, after receiving spelt flour in the CSA a few weeks ago. I was encouraged by dh using her flour to bake the bread recipe that came with the share. Once I felt confident that baking bread was something I could do, I gave it a shot. Using her recommended adjustments, I made yummy honey wheat bread. I felt ready to take my bread baking to the next level.

Jed used the last of our Williams Sonoma wedding gift certificates and bought a rolling pin, a muffin tin and a loaf pan (sounds like the start of a bad joke a slaughter would tell at 3am). The rolls were good. Not great and no where near what I imagined based on those Gourmet photos. But the great thing about these rolls is the opportunity to be creative. They weren't hard and I had a great time trying.

I imagine future batches flavored with cheeses, fresh herbs, olives, nuts, sweet and savory. I'm excited to try something new and to trust that my instincts may or may not be as good as the recommended recipe. Besides, as Jed said, ingredients cost a few dollars. For that price, I can afford to experiment.

Have you gone mad?!

I have not gone mad but I am loving me some March Madness. Just so you know, this will be probably be the one and only post of mine discussing sports. Don't get me wrong I consider myself to be quite the sporty spice and I love sporting events, mostly for the people watching, chit chatting and Miller Lite. But I really don't know shit about Basketball or at least enough to discuss in length. I know tall dudes from all over the globe come to the good ol' US of A to play and some people blog about said players. But what I do know is that I have submitted two different brackets in hopes of turning my 15 American dollars into much much more aka winning. I won the pool last year with Kansas winning the final and I chose Kansas because while in Americorps I had the grand opportunity of living in the Sunflower state for a month. This year I have Louisville going all the way. Why Louisville you ask? Einey meeney miney moe! HA! My fingers are crossed and I can't wait for the games to begin!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

comfort food

When I think of comfort food I think of creamy mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, my Oma's carrot cake, and lately, cabbage with hot sauce. I know, it's totally weird, and a lot of people don't even like cabbage, that it brings up memories of funky smells and watery soup, but if you are like me, and happen to love cabbage, then have I got a recipe for you. Even if you don't like cabbage, give this a shot, because it might change your mind. This recipe, which comes from Molly at Orangette, has fast become a staple for me on those nights when I want something comforting and delish, but don't have the time or energy to make anything involving more than 5 or 10 minutes of my time. A minute spent chopping up the cabbage, a quick toss in the wok with a couple of ingredients, a fried egg (yolk kept soft and runny thankyouverymuch) thrown on top, and dinner is on done. It really couldn't be easier or faster.

½ head green cabbage, quartered and sliced into ¼-inch-thick ribbons
Canola oil, or another oil with a similarly high smoke point
¼ tsp. to 1 tsp. sambal oelek, or siracha to taste
Soy sauce, to taste
Salt, to taste (optional)

Place a wok over high heat. Let it heat thoroughly; it should even smell hot. Working quickly, pour in a glug of oil and then immediately add the cabbage. Stir briefly to coat with oil, and then leave it alone for a minute or so, to allow the vegetables to begin to take on some color. Then add sambal oelek or siracha to taste, and stir again. (If you have a hood over your stove, turn on the fan! The hot sauce gives off spicy fumes.) Continue to cook until the vegetables are browned in spots and wilted. It won’t take long. Then add a glug of soy sauce, and stir well again. Taste, and season with more soy sauce or salt as needed.

Serve hot or warm.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Technology Rocks, or 3D Movies are Awesome

Last night, Sayeh and Sam invited Jed and I to an advance screening of Monsters vs. Aliens. in 3D. Which was awesome. It amazes me that people are creative enough and that the technology exists to make movies like this. As dorky as it sounds, i'm really excited to see this computer based entertainment evolution unfold. What will be next?
I've never watched a movie in 3D and despite some early technical difficulties, I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed with the film. Fun for the whole family. Besides, as Jed said, soon TV will be 3D, so we might as well get used to it now.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sewing Update

So. I sewed, just like I said I would. L00k how cute the pattern is. I think the illustrations look like me. or do the clothes just look like everything I own? No matter because the process didn't go exactly as planned.

Turns out, when making an item of clothing from a pattern, one has to have a solid, working knowledge of accurate measurements. As opposed, to say, just being told that a size 10 would be right.Note to everyone: a size 10 in patterns = clothes that wouldn't fit KB, my tiniest friend. Live and learn. I cut a rad scarf out of the left over fabric. On to the next project!
ps, how cute is lois??