Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Moving soon

If anyone was wondering why my blog is named "Butty Glirl" it's because it was a nickname for my daughter, when she was little she used to pronounce "butt" as "Butty" and girl a "glirl" and we used to tell her to shake her "butty!"

Alas I am going to move this blog and name it something else, I got statcounter and it showed that a significant number of people come to this blog after doing a websearch on the words "big butty" which is kind of... blech. I don't know if they are looking for big butts or something about the sandwich, but in any case I don't want to be confused with big butts. New post as soon as I find a new home!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Costco Finds

Some people love Target - I love Costco! I always find things that I wouldn't find at regular supermarkets. Maybe it's the samples! They sucker me into buying stuff. We went to Costco yesterday with the intention of only buying toilet paper, eggs, milk and bread but instead came out $387 lighter. Some of the extras that caught my fancy:
  • Sip-Ahh straws - straws that have flavor beads inside the straw so when you sip your milk through it, your milk is flavored. I got these for the kids and they seem to like it for its novelty. It comes in Strawberry, Chocolate, Banana and Cookies and Cream.
  • Philly Swirl Swirl Popperz and Ice Cream Cupcakes - though they're no Chocolate Green Tea Cupcakes ala Jenn, they were pretty good and fit the bill.
  • A big hunking bag of Everybody's Nuts Salt & Pepper Pistachios - good stuff, lots of flavor in a little nut. And you know how you hate unopened pistachios? Everybody's Nuts' pistachios are wide wide open and if you find one that is closed, you can mail it in and I think they will send you a free bag of pistachios. I found 3 so far but they're not 100% closed, but they're not 100% open either.
  • A Brita water filter/pitcher - we used to have bottled water delivered to us, then we started buying bottled water from Costco because it was cheaper, now to be more environmentally conscious, we ditched the plastic bottles for Brita's water filter.
  • MaraNatha Almond Butter - another attempt to eat a "little" healthier, Almond Butter is higher in protein and fiber and lower on sugar than peanut butter (or so I've been told). Not only that, Costco sold a big jar of it for a little over $6 or $7 which is such a good deal compared to what you would pay for at Whole Foods for a teeny jar.

Lots of people love Costco too.. though it appears more people profess their love for Target on the internet more.

PMS Chocolate

Charles Chocolates offers a "PMS" chocolate subscription starting out at $75 for 3 months up to $300 for the entire year. I will readily admit that once a month I tear through the cupboards, visit bakeries, order cookies online and even go on a baking rampage to satisfy whatever craving I have at the moment. The chocolate subscription works out to be $25 a month (which is what I usually spend when I go on PMS binges) but I would have to hide the chocolate from the family. It drives me nuts when they eat my special expensive chocolate because they wouldn't be able to tell it from a Hershey's bar!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Food Weekend

My weekend was full of food. On Saturday we went to Sunset Magazine's Celebration Weekend in Menlo Park (thanks for the tickets Joyce!). We met Joyce and her family there and first on the agenda was to watch Chef Alicia Jenish from Out the Door demonstrate how to make Spring Rolls. (Too bad they didn't pass out samples). It looked really easy to make and I am now inspired to make my own mayonnaise! We brought the kids along and they enjoyed the Land O'Lakes Decorate-Your-Own-Cupcake booth.

Land O'Lakes Cupcake

Q obviously enjoyed the


Sunday I dragged my daughter to the Newark Farmer's Market and picked up a carrot cake cupcake from The Tao of Cakes. (No picture because I ate it!) I also picked up a bunch of fruits, veggies and herbs so now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with half a flat of strawberries.

Cooking for a family of 5 has its issues - it's rare that I can make one dish that everyone will enjoy. My daughter A loves shrimp but my son X refuses to eat it. X likes steak but I'm trying to cut down red meat to 1-2 times a week. I want to eat healthy but no one else "appreciates" vegetables as much as I do. Hence, my role as a short order cook. I made
miso-glazed salmon for the adults,

Miso Salmon

Spam musubi for the two big kids,

Spam Musubi

and deconstructed Spam musubi for little Q (he has a hard time eating stacked foods like sandwiches and musubi - eating via fork and spoon is much better). I also had to make two types of musubi - one entirely wrapped in nori, and the other sans nori (A doesn't like nori). This is the first time I made Spam musubi - I totally forgot I had a musubi mold that was included in a Costco pack of Spam I picked up over a year ago.

Spam Musubi Mold

I checked Spam's
website to see if they sell it online but it's nowhere to be found. I did find a post about it on someone's blog though! Looks like I lucked out - plus this mold fits a Spam slice perfectly!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Boredom + Craving = Baking

Carrot Cake Cupcake

I was bored and craved carrot cake after I read a Yelp! review of a farmer's market vendor that sells carrot cakes. The picture alone made me drool. (I'm going to get some this weekend!) So I made Barefoot Contessa's Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting - it was something that I had most of the ingredients on hand already. It's nice to get back into the baking swing of things. Cupcakes were good, not too sweet, and moist. I omitted raisins and nuts because A) I hate raisins, and B) my daughter refuses to eat anything with nuts even though she's never had them.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Scallops Provencal

I made Barefoot Contessa's Scallops Provencal from her Barefoot in Paris cookbook and it was a hit. I made it with a side of Herbed Basmati Rice and I think I'll never make plain ol' jasmine rice again! The only alteration I made was for the rice, I used flat leaf parsley instead of curly leaf - I had to get flatleaf for the scallops so I didn't want to buy both kinds.

I highly recommend these recipes - they use simple ingredients but the meal is elegant. Even my 7 year old daughter gobbled it up - it went so fast I didn't have time to take pictures. I'm sure you can substitute shrimp for the scallops and get similar results.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thanks Uncle Sam!

We were planning to go to Hawaii the first week of August for our family vacation but airfare for a family of 5 is on the expensive side these days, especially since the cheapest airfare I can find is around $600-800 (multiply by 5!!!) Instead of Hawaii, we 're going to blow our stimulus check on a family vacation to Disneyland. We booked our trip through Southwest Vacations and opted to stay at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. We were debating whether to splurge on the Grand CA hotel or save a little money and stay off site with a larger room/suite. Thanks Jenn & Joyce for the advice - as you can see I took it - we went for convenience and the overall "Disney" experience that I'm sure the kids will appreciate. We're excited - this will be our first time staying at the Grand CA hotel and we didn't tell the kids anything about this planned trip. We're going the day after school gets out (June 19-22) and we're just going to pack up the family and take our flight, and we're never going to tell the kids where we're going, they'll just have to figure it out themselves. We didn't rent a car, still debating whether we need one since our plan is to stay onsite the entire time. If anyone has any travel tips for Disneyland please feel free to comment or email me.