Saturday, December 31, 2005
I've decided that it will be one of my goals to make every single recipe in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. So along with the "Cakes for the Year" goal - I'll be posting everytime I make something from the cookbook. Maybe I should start a bake along blog... something to think about.
My first conquest was the Black and White Cookies. Today I made the French Almond Macaroons - it was actually my second attempt. The first time I made them, I burned them. I didn't read correctly - 300 degrees vs. my interpreted 350 degrees! THEN on top of that I ran out of time to make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream so I just washed it - but today I made a lemon variation of French Almond Macaroons and it was perfect because I made use of all the egg yolks using Alton Brown's Lemon Curd recipe which I added to the buttercream... no left over yolks or whites! The cookies even LOOK like the real macaroons I buy at the bakery.
I left my trusty D70 camera at a relative's house so I'll post pictures later!
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Stop swearing. To help with this resolution, we are going to implement a swear jar. Each offense (word) will cost $1.
I swear like a sailor so I'm going to pick up a 2 gallon jar at the Container Store. And because my swearing affects the kids the most, they are going to benefit from it - every month they'll get to spend the swear jar proceeds however they want (assuming there are any funds in it.)
Monday, December 26, 2005
I have two new addictions: the Daiy Jigsaw and Sudoku puzzles at Shockwave. My day doesn't feel complete unless I do both of them. I'm afraid of when I go back to work - I won't be able to do any work until I complete the two.
Speaking of addictions - my 3 month old son got a Baby Einstein DVD for Christmas. I don't know what it is about them but he was totally mesmerized by it. They don't make much sense to me - I suppose if I ever did drugs they would the type of thing you could trip off of while high.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Memoirs was good - I think I would have enjoyed it more had I not read the book first. It's hard for me to enjoy a storyline when I already know what's going to happen, yet this happens to me a lot because I read a ton of books. I read an article about the brouhaha over casting Chinese actresses for the Japanese roles of geishas - but I was a bit thrown off with the movie being filmed in English. I don't mind subtitles - in fact I live by them - I watch EVERYTHING (except the news or talk shows) with captions or subtitles. My household is so noisy that captions allow me to read what I can't hear when the kids are screaming their heads off.
Anyway - the movie did keep with the book's storyline as much as it could. There's a lot of detail in the book that wasn't included in the movie - had they included all the details, it would've been a 4 hour movie. I think they did the best they could - Ken Watanabe was a good choice as the Chairman, I liked him in The Last Samurai. Gong Li is beautiful, though not as hateful as I imagined Hatsumomo to be. Zhang Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh were both good in the movie as well - Michelle Yeoh was a good pick as the older "sister" Mameha.
I have a lot of movies that I want to see but I don't have the time. Plus with movies turning over to DVD so quickly - it's no biggie... Wedding Crashers comes out on DVD in a few weeks! My list of "want to see" movies:
- Fun with Dick and Jane
- The Family Stone
- King Kong
- The Gay Cowboy Movie
- Rumor Has It
- Pride and Prejudice (I'll have to watch this on another girls day out or on DVD... ain't no way the hubby will sit and watch this.)
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
My kids' dentist office has the best magazines of any medical office I've ever been in... Food & Wine, Gourmet, Martha Stewart Living... not the usual 5 year old Good Housekeeping and Women's Day. I actually travel 30 miles out of my way to take my kids to this dentist, who happened to be my dentist when I was little.
The dental office gave me a handout on a study about xylitol and how mothers who chew gum sweetend with xylitol are less likely to transmit cavity-causing bacteria to their children (tested on pregnant women). They also gave me a sample of SparX candy that has 100% pure xylitol. Apparently xylitol is good for you and reduces tooth decay... I love having a good reason to eat candy! You can find xylitol in some sugar free gum or candy such as SparX, Spry, Trident, and Carefree Koolerz gum.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Normally I wouldn't be in such a rush to lose the pregnancy flab - it took 9 months to gain, so it can take 9 months to lose - but I'm in my sister's wedding in March (Hawaii!) so I have a bit of motivation. My choice of bridesmaid dress and my daughter's flower girl dress are pictured above. I'm already at my pre-pregnancy weight but definitely not at my pre-pregnancy body. Let's just say there's lots of loose fluff where the "baby house" used to be. I'd like to get back to my "pre-marriage" body... but I don't think I can get there without some Nip/Tuck action. (Speaking of which, the season finale is tomorrow! I'm so anxious to find out who the Carver is, and I'll be pissed if it's some lame storyline that doesn't make sense.)
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
I finally got around to making Martha Stewart's version of Black and White cookies. The cookies came out light and airy, a bit cake-like, and very very good with the frosting. The only complaint I have is that the recipe instructions were not specific enough when it came to shaping the cookies I'm a left brain person, everything is black and white (no pun intended) to me so I follow instructions concisely. The instructions were to "use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop dough 3 inches apart onto prepared sheets" WHICH I DID, but the cookies came out all misshapen. With the second tray I handrolled the cookies into balls so that they would have a perfect circle shape but they had too much of a dome. With the third tray I shaped them into balls then flattened them into disks (the third batch is pictured above). The icing was GOOD. I'm not a fan of royal icing because it's just sugar with no other texture to it - but Martha's icing is a mixture of heavy cream (probably why it's so good) and powdered sugar so there's a creaminess to it.
Next on my to do baking list: French Almond Macaroons (just for Joyce!)
Friday, December 16, 2005
February - Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake
March - Cardamom Streusel Coffee Cake
April - Spring Show Almond Petit Fours (I'm looking forward to these)
May - Teatime Coconut Layer Cake
June - Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Scrolled Tuiles
July - Berry Pound Cakes with Whipped Cream Ribbons
August - Peaches and Cream Ice Cream Cake
September - "Bake Sale Cookie" Cupcakes
October - Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake
November - Apple Pie Cake and "Pumpkin Pie" Cheesecake
December - Snow-Capped Fruitcake (I hate fruitcake, but I'll make this nonetheless)
My family is going to be all caked out.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
This year me and the hubby decided to take each other to watch Cirque du Soleil's Corteo for Christmas instead of buying each other Christmas gifts. I was able to get 5th row tickets for next week and we're taking the kids too. It should be fun, the kids enjoyed the last Cirque show we took them to (Varekai). I still haven't seen the ultimate Cirque show - "O" but I'm feeling a Vegas trip this year so maybe I'll finally cross that off my list!
Monday, December 12, 2005
This is a $58 plate of food. I took my daughter to the Ritz Carlton's annual "Teddy Bear Tea" on Sunday. She ate two bites of the tuna sandwich roll then proceeded to eat the three pieces of gummy candy and the bowl of marshmallows served with her hot cocoa... and that's it. I should've eaten the rest of her food but it was a tea and I had to appear dainty. The entertainment provided by Binky the Elf was fun - he put on a "Christmas in Vegas" theme show and it kind of reminded me of Jack's show (Jack 2000) from Will and Grace.
Friday, December 09, 2005
My cousin turned me on to a "knitting/yarn" store in San Jose called Commuknity. They have TONS of the "good" yarn -- so much that I was overwhelmed and browsed for over an hour, looking at all the yarn and books. They even have a "Moms Club" every Wednesday - since I'm on my last month of leave, I might stop in once while I still have the chance. I'm attempting to have a homemade Christmas this year, so I'm crocheting hats and knitting scarves for my nieces and nephews... and I just realized that the colors of yarn I bought look like Spumoni.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
I saw this toaster in a magazine and thought it was pretty cool. The Back To Basics Egg & Muffin toaster can toast your bread, cook your eggs (poached or hard boiled) and warm up your pre-cooked meat (bacon, sausage) all at the same time. I'm tempted to get one, but I have the feeling that the novelty of it will wear off and we'll be stuck with another gadget in the garage.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
I picked up Cookie Magazine at my pediatrician's office this week - it's a new magazine for parents (moms) and it's like a Lucky magazine for kids/parents. I just looked up their media kit and they describe Cookie as "the new upscale lifestyle magazine for sophisticated parents." The layoutwas appealing (probably because the Editor in Chief came from Real Simple magazine) and you can sneak a peek at their first issue online. They have a special for subscriptions, give one gift subscription get one free - (I got you one Joyce!) The only thing I don't like is that they only have 6 issues in a one year subscription.
Monday, November 28, 2005
I own a pair of Uggs. Yes I know they're terribly trendy and ugly but it's nice not having to fuss with socks or laces when I am in a rush trying to get the kids out the door to school. Plus they keep your feet warm and cozy. To my defense, I've wanted them since 2002 a little before the Uggs craze, but once everything got crazy with Uggs I held off because 1.) I didn't want to get caught up in it, 2.) I don't believe in paying more than the retail price for things (eBay), and 3.) I bought them during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale (everything is justified when it's on sale) but now I see they're on sale for $89.90 (but only the pink ones).
Sunday, November 27, 2005
I didn't participate in Black Friday shopping, I wanted to, but I didn't think I could muster enough energy and courage to go to Target at 6 AM with 3 kids in tow since the hubby had to work that day.
I did, however, use my 50% off coupon at Borders to buy Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. I drooled over all the pictures so they told me I had buy it.
Using the Lucky Magazine "YES!" flags, I let my 5 year old daughter flag all the things she wanted to bake together... our first project? Black and white cookies! After that, I want to make French Almond Macaroons which I LOVE. I first tried them when my sister brought some back from Laduree in Paris and have been hooked on them ever since. Expensive little cookies though... Miette sells them for $1.50 each but I always buy them anyway... one in each flavor, which amounted to $9.00 for 6 tiny cookies - the hubby was not understanding of that. He prefers Chips Ahoy which you can get 2 for $5.00.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Diet update - I lost 6 lbs since starting my diet last week but damn it if my sister's fiancee didn't introduce me to eggnog and Vernor's Ginger Soda. He's from Michigan and apparently Vernor's is a "thing" over there since it's made in Detroit. Then he introduced my kids to Boston Coolers - so ask me why our fridge is stocked with Vernor's, eggnog, and ice cream?!
My husband discovered eggnog a few years ago and he used to down quarts of the stuff until I told him that eggnog was fattening. Since then if I ever ask him if he wants eggnog, he says, "No.. I don't like it anyway." HA! Liar! So every year I do something called "The Eggnog Experiment" where I buy a half gallon of eggnog and leave it in the fridge... magically the eggnog disappears. Sometimes I do the same with a dozen of Krispy Kremes, aka "The Krispy Kreme Experiment." Yes, I'm wicked.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Do I allow my son to remain youthful and innocent by believing in Santa and risk him looking "uncool" in front of his friends and classmates? I can picture it now, "HA HA! X still believes in Santa!!! Don't you know he's not real?!? DUH!" And even though that is just minor teasing, I don't want to subject him to any of that if I can help it.
Plus, I should mention that the above Eric also taught the word "hump" to my son who then used it in an email exchange with a female classmate who first teased him by writing, "You kissed Stacy." His retort? "You humped Antonio." And yes, the girl's mother told me about the email. We both log on to our kids' email accounts to check on what they do, and the "hump email" happened after I took a few weeks off of snooping. (I got bored with the incessant exchanges of Yahoo smiley faces.) We both laughed about it after we talked to our kids who told us they didn't even know what "hump" meant, but not after I explained to the mother that we don't use the word "hump" at home and figured they learned it from classmates. I didn't want her going around thinking that I run around the house yelling at my husband to hump me.
The above Eric is also into brand name clothing such as Phat Farm, Sean John, Ecko, NBA/NFL jerseys, etc. My son doesn't care about the Target/Costco/Old Navy clothes I buy for him so I'm dreading the day he asks me for a Kobe Bryant jersey - to which I'll have to tell him, "I'll get you a Baron Davis or Jason Richardson jersey instead." I ain't raising no Lakers fans in this house!
I got out of the Santa Claus dilemma by explaining to my son that while Santa Claus isn't real, he's based on a real person: St. Nicolas - this was met with some understanding since we send him to Catholic school. I told him that he could still write a letter to Santa for fun and we'd mail it off with his sister's letter.
His response: "Can I just email him? It's faster."
My response: "As long as you don't use the word 'hump.'"
While my older son may be losing his innocence, my 2 1/2 month old son laughed and giggled for the very first time today with nothing but innocence in his eyes and the sweet smell of baby breath in his mouth.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
1. Boys are easier to deal with. The girl in our family has mood swings, tempermental outbursts.. she cries a whole lot more, and she can turn the crying off and on as if on cue. The boys are just... chill.
2. Girls are easier to potty train. My daughter practically potty trained herself, we didn't really push it with her. Plus I grew up with two sisters (no brothers), so imagine my shock and disgust when I realized that boys miss the toilet sometimes. I spent hours scrubbing all over and behind the toilet trying to clean that up.
3. Baby boys have projectile pee. My 2 month old pees on me at least twice a week. Around here we say, "AAAAH!!! He pulled an R Kelly on me!"
4. Girls are much more affectionate. I get "huggies" and "kissies" from my 5 year old daughter on a daily basis. My 9 year old son however, doesn't hug and kiss as readily as my daughter but he does sometimes ask for a hug... but in a very nonchalant, cool way.
5. Girls are "smarter." Or they say, "more mature" -- I guess boys never really catch up to us. ha!
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Highlights? Seeing the very gorgeous Johnnie Morton warm up before the game. My favorite QB getting his Hall of Fame ring during halftime. The Niners scoring their first TD in 13 quarters. NOT falling off the diet wagon by eating the "fabulous frybread" - (ok fine, I couldn't find the damn frybread stall!) And seeing my head coach crush Mike Nolan in the flesh - he's a handsome guy!
I posted some pics at Flickr.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Tomorrow, I'm taking the hubby to the 49er game (it was MY idea to go so that means I'M taking HIM.) They kind of suck this year so tickets were readily available. We're both Niner fans but we've never been to a game so this will be our first. Is it pathetic that the first thing I did was look up the concession stands? I'm feeling some clam chowder in a breadbowl and "fabulous frybread" which I know both are not South Beach Diet friendly. BAH! We lucked out though - tomorrow during halftime Steve Young is receiving his Hall of Fame ring so I get to see my favorite quarterback. Next sports outing is to see the Warriors who are actually doing pretty good this year - the game I'm holding out for is the Timberwolves because I'm inexplicably drawn to Kevin Garnett.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I'm not going to be one of those psycho no carb eaters. Everything in moderation. I love food too much to give anything up completely. Though yesterday I went without my usual sugar dose and I had the worst headache... my body was screaming for some refined sugar in the form of cake, cookies, candy or TWINKIES, but I resisted and tried to trick my body into thinking it was getting sugar by drinking a caffeine free diet coke and a sugar free fudgesicle. (It didn't work.)
Saturday, November 12, 2005
With 10 more lbs. to go to my pre-pregnancy weight I did the unthinkable. I ordered a bunch of carbs from my favorite shortbread shop Big Island Candies. They used to make Peanut Butter shortbread but discontinued it a couple of years ago - now my usual order consists of:
Peanut Butter bite size cookies
Macadamia Nut Crunchies - chocolate with macadamia nuts and potato chips, sounds weird but it's good. I like the mixture of sweet and salty
and the Macadamia Corn Crunch - caramel popcorn with pineapple, coconut and mac nuts.
I once ordered the Da Kine chocolate covered cuttlefish, and after trying one I remembered that I don't even like cuttlefish. I'm a sucker for unusual and complex tastes and will try almost anything once.
After my cookie/candy binge, I'm going to go on the South Beach diet.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
"God knows they're squinters."
Kitchen Confidential is back next week with Michael Vartan in a guest role. I can't wait to see it! Whenever Michael Vartan busted out his French language skills on Alias I got all giddy so I can't wait to see him play a womanizing French chef on KC because the accent is going to be on. There is a full never before aired episode of Kitchen Confidential on myspace.com and it's hilarious.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Sunday: My all time favorite show Grey's Anatomy (For the record, I KNEW McDreamy would pick Addison over Meredith, just for the simple reason that the unrequited love and tension between McDreamy and Meredith would be a good storyline that can last throughout the season.)
Monday: FOX night with Arrested Development and Prison Break (Wentworth Miller is a beautiful man.) Ooh and Kitchen Confidential returns next week!
Tuesday: I watch House but TiVo The Office. Nip/Tuck is my absolute Tuesday must see. (I think Dr. Quentin Costas is the carver)
Wednesday: ABC night with Freddie (Yes, it's a little corny, but Brian Austin Green dressed as a Rocky Horror Picture Show transvestite sold me) and Lost
Thursday: Alias (I hope to God Michael Vartan comes back in a regular role, or I'm going to be pissed), CSI and ER
Friday: Nothing on, usually it's TiVo catch up time for me
Saturday: Nothing. Hopefully I am out and about doing something productive rather than watching TV!
Thank God I don't have HBO otherwise I'd never leave the couch.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
"We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like."
To me, this is the truest statement I've ever come across. It got me thinking. Why do we want nice things? Why do (most) girls want big diamond rings? I think the fact that girls automatically show their rings once they announce their engagement is interesting. Why do men want nice cars? Do you think they'd be happy driving around in a Ferrari or BMW without ever showing it to their friends? And don't we get more satisfaction in showing these things to people who aren't really friends?
I'm not saying all of us do this. I actually don't consider myself part of the group above... well, at least not a hard core practitioner. I have proof.
I don't have a diamond engagement ring. I had a very small one before, and the diamond fell off! My husband and I got married at a very young age. We were both still in school, working part time and we bought rings that fell in our budget at the time, and they cost about $700 for the set, so you can imagine how big the diamond was (if it was a real diamond) and we still wear the same rings to this day. My husband always asks if I want to "upgrade" my rings, but I always decline. I love my "poor man" wedding ring. It reminds me of the days when we were young and naive and in love and all we wanted was to get married... damn what the rings looked like.
I'm not saying I'm an angel. I did secretly enjoy seeing my fellow soccer mommy friends squirm with jealousy when I showed them my new car. (A Ferrari it ain't, but you gotta love that DVD player that keeps the kids entertained for a few hours!)
Friday, November 04, 2005
"True love is hard to find. Sometimes you think you have true love, then you catch the early flight home from San Diego and a couple of nude people jump out of your bathroom blindfolded like a goddamn magic show ready to double team your girlfriend....."
"Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time."
"Once it hits your lips... It's so good!"
and of course... "We're going streaking!!!!!!!"
Thursday, November 03, 2005
I replied, "Yes."
And she said, "Are you a US citizen?"
"Do you have proof?"
"Yes, my birth certificate. I was born in Guam."
"Guam is not part of the US."
"Actually, I believe it is. I was born on a US Naval Base in Guam. My father is in the Navy."
"Just because you were born on a Naval Base doesn't mean you are a US citizen."
"Actually I believe it does."
Needless to say, I didn't want the job anymore.
Sometimes these "Crash" moments are funny. Take my sister's experience for example, when she was working at a retail store, a customer asked her, "When did you get here?"
"About 10 o'clock this morning."
"No, when did you get HERE to the US? You speak English very well."
"Uh..... I was born and raised in California."
Monday, October 31, 2005
Me? I cannot stand drinking cold beverages out of mugs, nor can I stand watching people who do so. Mugs are for hot beverages, glasses are for cold beverages. It's like eating pizza in a bowl. Eating cereal on a plate. Drinking hot coffee in a glass. You get the idea.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Thanks to my off hours channel surfing, I've made the following discoveries:
1. There is a Girls Gone Wild Island in which Girls Gone Wild participate in the Girls Gone Wild Games. They do say that girls who play sports have better self esteem... though I'm not sure slithering across a large oiled tube while wearing a bikini counts as sport.
2. "Adult Swim" on Cartoon Network! I can't wait for The Boondocks to start on 11/6.
3. FoodNetwork signs off at 5:00 AM for "paid programming" - very disappointing.
Friday, October 21, 2005
- GSW - gun shot wound
- MVA - motor vehicle accident
- DNR - do not resuscitate
- AMA - against medical advice
- You give compazine when a patient is nauseous
- CT scan and CAT scan are the same things
- PE - pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs, this is what Lucy died of)
- MI - myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- Central Line - an IV that goes to one of the major veins close to the heart, usually given (in "ER") when they can't get an IV into the arm; I think only Doctors can put in a central line
- Basic tests to order are a CBC, Chem7, lytes and pulse ox
- If a patient is not breathing well on their own, they'll need to be intubated (but they'll need to be unconscious first)
- Exlap - exploratory laparotomy surgery, usually performed when they don't know exactly what is wrong and they "explore" via surgery to find out
- And ER's never had a hotter doctor than Doug Ross (But Grey's Anatomy Dr. McDreamy is a nice substitution