Thursday, November 27, 2008


When I was a kid, Mom would want us to say everything we were thankful for before we ate dinner. This was my least favorite part about Thanksgiving. I would plead to get out of it, but Mom held her ground. So I would always say something lame like I'm thankful the Cowboys are losing or attempt to go first to use the perennial favorite I'm thankful for our health.
But I'm learning the merits of expressing gratitude. So here is what I am thankful for this year in no particular order.

Tai, my beloved husband. I'm so thankful that I have him in my life. He calms me, makes me laugh, and supports me through everything. I'd be lost without him.

My dad. He was a trooper through the wedding. Despite the loss of my mother he tried to make our Houston trip as painless as possible. He's a tremendous source of inspiration to me.

My brother. I'd been estranged from my brother for several years before my wedding. I sent an invite to him on lark hoping that he hadn't moved. He did but the invite got forwarded. He sent us a gift and started talking to me and Dad again. Tai got to meet him when we were in Houston. I'm so glad to have my big brother back!

My friends. The awesomest ladies in the world. I'm so grateful to have found friends that I can rely on. I really needed them through the wedding and then when Mom passed. I didn't need to test their friendship, but it certainly held up!

This blog and those I've met through it. I never thought I would make friends and be inspired by total strangers. Thank you for making me keep coming back for more.

Have a great day everyone. Enjoy the food, family and friendship!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I'm not an accident prone person. I don't stumble and fall frequently. I've yet to break a bone (knock on wood). I rarely fall and injure myself. The only place I'm accident prone is in the kitchen. At least once a night Tai will hear me say ow! I usually burn, cut, or otherwise injure myself during the cooking process. This week I grated my finger on the zester! My beloved husband keeps the band aids close since I frequently need them!
Tai thinks this is sign that I rather not be cooking. So far from the truth. Usually my mind wanders and I forget what I'm doing or I forget that I just took that pan out of the oven. Sometimes I think I'm Claire and that don't need my mitt to get that pan out of the oven. Often times I'll remember in time. Others I'm not so lucky. I've never seriously injured myself in the kitchen. Never required stitches or anything but I go through a lot of band aids :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chocolate, Chocolate everwhere

Here are few things that me and my friends made at baking day over the weekend. I love baking day. Sitting around, making goodies, and talking. Here are some things that we made.
Kris made these chocolate covered mice. These are adorable and great to make with kids or for them. I made these love Chocolate covered Shortbread logs or as I called them poo logs :) Very easy to make. I made the shortbread one night and just dipped them in chocolate the next day. Jen made these rum balls. I don't know what recipe she used since it's one her mom used, but here are some recipes.
There are of course more things that we made, but I don't have pictures of everything yet so there will be another post with those later.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tai Approved

Every year my friends and I get together and make dessert ie the Holiday Baking Day. It's annual event which I'm so happy about. We all make cookies, pies, candies, brownies, dessert items and split them. The goal is for everyone to walk away with a variety of treats.
When I asked Tai what he wanted me to make he only had one request-chewy lemon cookies. Tai loves lemon and by putting it on most things he will eat it. But I had no lemon cookie recipe and even worse my cookies rarely turn out chewy. I like cookies crispy. So I set out to find one and found the aptly named Chewy Lemon Cookie.
The recipe is so easy. I would have never, ever thought of using cake mix. But they are lemon-y and as Tai says yummy.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Right now, when I'm cooking dinner, I have to walk over to my computer to see what to do next. It's not too bad but when I'm up to my elbows in dough or have greasy hands the last thing I want to do is touch my computer. This little device holds 2500 recipes and has a user friendly (iPhone type) interface. I would add one to my wish list but it's a little pricy for a one trick pony.

watchingOk, I was so looking forward to Twilight. I'm addicted to the books. I loved Twilight the book. Twilight the movie was terrible. I laughed through most of the movie and it wasn't a comedy. I didn't think I was going to the girl playing Bella but she was the best part. I almost walked out when the actor playing Jacob walked on. Not what I had envisioned at all! Most of the movie was like that. I cannot recommend this movie unless you are in love with the actor playing Edward. I would say wait for DVD.

I've been listening to Pandora for a while now. I love it since it learns what songs I like and which I don't. Tai wasn't a fan at first. But now he listens to his own station too. I recently discovered that I could link it to my facebook page. Double score!

In an attempt to make cheesy foods that Tai can eat I've been trying goat cheese specially goat mozzerella. It's a little gamey on it's own but delicious shredded into a pasta. I also bought goat cheddar which also worked. Look for recipes with these cheeses in them soon.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Remember how I said I didn't collect anything? Well I guess I lied. I collect menorahs. I didn't think about them since I just put them out during Hanukkah. I was cleaning out the holiday shelf and found 2 of my 5 menorahs. The rest are at Dad's, so I'll have to bring them over before the first day of Hanukkah. Plus I have to figure out where to put them. This is why my collection is in boxes. No room.
But ever year since I started really celebrating Hanukkah I buy another menorah. So which one will I buy this year?
I like this traditional menorah. I like the clean lines and the fact that it doesn't look like any other one I have.
Or how about this one to commemorate our wedding? It's a little campy for me, but it would make me smile each time I pulled it out.
Or this oil one would be very traditional. I don't know though. It could get messy.
I'm ambivalent on this one. I like how it looks like art and not a menorah. But I want a menorah to be a menorah. I really don't like the $200 price tag!
Honestly I tend to wait til after Hanukkah and buy one on sale. When I get the whole collection in one spot, I'll show what I've got.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

John McCain Makes Some Good Ribs

Say what you will (silently to yourself, not in the comments please) about the man's politics but he has a decent rib recipe. I saw his rib recipe on Year of Crockpotting a couple of weeks ago and saved it. We love ribs so I decided to give it a try.The meat was tender and falling off the bone. The lemon flavor was a little spotty. The ribs that were on the bottom of the pot were more lemony than the ones at the top. So if I made it again I would add more lemon.
And look Crash Hot Potatoes! I made them again. I left in the water a little too long (oops) so they were a lot softer than last time. But still just as yummy as the last time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sharing Some Blog Love

You might have noticed that I've been changing up my blogrolls. I trimmed the wedding list and added food, just regular folks, and blogs that give me reasons to shop.
I wanted to highlight a couple of the blogs I think you should check out.

Eat Make Read-I stumbled across this blog a few weeks ago. I'm planning on making these pretzels soon.
Oven Love-Natalie took a little break but she's back. Great recipes with a you can make this tonight kind of mindset. I saved these Smoky-Spicy Tamale Pies for one day.
Soy and Pepper-I have no idea how I stumbled on this little gem. She makes a lot of yummy food. I must have saved a dozen other recipes. Look for me to be linking to her site frequently.
Erin Cooks-check out her recent visit to Seattle. She loves Top Pot donuts now and attempted her hand at making her own.

I'm always looking for more great blogs. If you have a recommendation let me know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lost Wedding Post

I was on the bus, listening to my iPod when I realized I never blogged about the music we used in our wedding. Our musical choices were important to us and a secret before the wedding. Which is why I never talked about them before the wedding. I don't know why I didn't blog about this sooner.
Tai's entrance with his mom

Tai had the hardest time choosing a song. Jeff sat with him the night before the wedding and helped him choose a song. I threatened to use either the Indiana Jones theme or Darth Vader's march if he didn't choose a song.
The groomsmen choose this song:

I had no idea they used this song. I had to ask Tai since I didn't hear it at all. I was off to the side with Dad, probably talking.
The bridesmaid and me and Dad walked down the aisle to this

I choose this song several months before the wedding and kept it a secret from most everyone. Yeah, no here comes the bride for me.
Our recessional song was

I really love the lyrics to this song. It's hopeful and true. Our future is unwritten.
Ok, so now you know :0

Monday, November 17, 2008

So Good I Forget To Take Pictures

I made Ree's Hot Crash Potatoes and Martha's Spicy Apricot Glazed Chicken the other night. I've had that chicken recipe for a while but I'm only allowed to make chicken once a week. Tai's not a fan of chicken so I limit how many times I make it.
With the chicken I substituted raspberry jam for apricot because that's what I had. I also put more red pepper flakes than the recipe called for making it a little on the spicy side.
And with the potatoes I added a little bit of goat cheddar to the tops of them once they were cooked. Yum! Both these recipes are keepers.
The chicken takes no time at all so I started the potatoes earlier and let them cool while the chicken finished up. But I think the whole meal took less than an hour to make which is awesome for a weeknight.
Look for pictures of those eventually. I know I'll be making both of them again.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yummy Pumpkin Bread

Whole Foods was having a good sale on organic pumpkin puree, so I bought a couple of cans. It's too early to make pumpkin pie. I'll be sick of it if I make some now, so I decided to make pumpkin bread. Just cause I didn't want pie didn't mean I didn't want some yummy pumpkin. Using this recipe, I made this yummy bread.I left out the nuts since I didn't have any and I used pumpkin pie spice instead of all those different spices. It came out moist and just pumpkin-y enough.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Musical Events of My Life

So I went to Music Outfitters and typed in the year I was born, the year I graduated from high school and the year I graduated from college for this very silly post. I'll bold the ones I liked and italicize the ones I didn't like. The others I have no feelings towards.

Top 10 from the year I was born:
1. Silly Love Songs, Paul McCartney and Wings
2. Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Elton John and Kiki Dee
3. Disco Lady, Johnnie Taylor
4. December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night), Four Seasons
5. Play That Funky Music, Wild Cherry
6. Kiss And Say Goodbye, Manhattans
7. Love Machine (Part 1), The Miracles
8. 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, Paul Simon
9. Love Is Alive, Gary Wright
10. A Fifth Of Beethoven, Walter Murphy and The Big Apple Band

Top 10 from the year I graduated high school:
1. The Sign, Ace Of Base
2. I Swear, All-4-One
3. I'll Make Love To You, Boyz II Men
4. The Power Of Love, Celine Dion
5. Hero, Mariah Carey
6. Stay (I Missed You), Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories
7. Breathe Again, Toni Braxton
8. All For Love, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting
9. All That She Wants, Ace Of Base
10. Don't Turn Around, Ace Of Base

Top 10 from the year I graduated college:
1. Too Close, Next
2. The Boy Is Mine, Brandy and Monica
3. You're Still The One, Shania Twain
4. Truly Madly Deeply, Savage Garden
5. How Do I Live, LeAnn Rimes
6. Together Again, Janet
7. All My Life, K-Ci and JoJo
8. Candle In The Wind 1997, Elton John
9. Nice and Slow, Usher
10. I Don't Want To Wait, Paula Cole

Was Ace of Base really that popular in 1994? I don't remember. I remember them but I didn't think 3 of their songs deserved the top 10.
I don't even think I know Too Close by Next. That song was not popular at my college so I never heard it.
It's fun to look at old songs and see what songs I'd forgotten about.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nervous Nelly

Ever since I was a little kid I was a nervous person. I clearly remember freaking out in 1st grade and insisting on going home. That happened several times til I just stopped one day. In fact being nervous has kind of weaved its way throughout my life. I can remember times that being nervous has stopped me from being with friends, trying new things, going to Disneyland (just for one day, I was able to go the next). My nervousness comes and goes. Sometimes I can't seem to get out from under it and sometimes I'm just not nervous.
I handled the nervousness by ignoring it for years. My dad thought I should see someone for it when I was a kid but my mom thought I would grow out of it. When I got older it was just something that I couldn't help like blushing. I figured that I was just this way and there was no point in trying to change it.
After I met Tai, right before we got engaged, I started having horrible panic attacks, worse than before. I wasn't sure what to do. I had trouble going to work, seeing friends, leaving the house in general. I knew I didn't want to be a shut in, so I had to figure something out. I went to therapy, found a good counselor, and started taking meds. I still get nervous. I had two little panic attacks on our wedding day. I thought it was going to be worse so I prepared a list of things that might go wrong for Marta. Thankfully she never needed it.
So why am I telling you all this? Part of it is this is who I am. This blog is about me and my life so I don't want to hide behind partial anonymity. Also I'm hoping that this will help others. I know there are other people who feel similarly and don't seek help, thinking that this how they are supposed live their life.
I have an anxiety disorder and I'm on the road to making it better. I do not want to take the meds for my whole life but they made sense for me to take now. In a few months I'm going to work on getting off them. But until then I'm less afraid to try things. Fewer things make me nervous. And when I get nervous I just deal with it.
I'm a little nervous posting this. So please be nice. I'm happy to answer any questions.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Squash Obession Continues

Look I made this butternut squash soup! Super easy. I did add some butter to make it slightly creamier. Tai really liked it but I really made it for Dad since he had oral surgery. Hopefully he likes it too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Aw, Shucks!

Rachel gave this award last week!It's my first award. I'm thrilled!
The Uber Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:
  • inspire you
  • make you smile and laugh
  • give you amazing information
  • are a great read
  • have an amazing design
The rules of this award are:
  • Put the logo on your blog or post
  • Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
  • Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog
  • Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.
So I award this award to...

Linda at Little Miss Planner
Cindy of PooBou
Holly of Peace Is Upstream
Tiffany of AllThatBlooms
Daisy's Favorite Things

Thanks, Rachel. I'll treasure this award forever. Especially since you took time a week before your wedding to award it!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008



Muffin Tin by honeylin
My last muffin pan died last weekend. I thought silicone would be pretty durable. Sadly no. Perhaps I bought cheap silcone and might have more luck with another brand. Or is time to move back to metal?

Tai loves mac & cheese despite his lactose intolerance. We gave this one a try and I really like it. It's whole wheat pasta so I feel a little better about it. But it's very creamy. My only complaint is that it doesn't seem to make a whole lot. It probably makes enough for 2 reasonable people!

I've been wanting to buy cute rain boots forever! I could never find a pair in my size until this week. I bought these adorable rain boots at Nordstrom Rack! $25! What a deal.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I <3 Forever 21

I really do love Forever 21. I can't fit into any of their clothes, but I love their accessories. It's the prefect place to go and find the latest thing without blowing a lot of money. Marta and I recently went to the Forever 21 near us and found a plethora of wonderful accessories:

Forver 21 jewlery by honeylin
None of these pieces is over $10. I love buying one or two cute things and using them for a season or two. The right necklace or bracelet can enliven last season's sweater. It really helps me change up my wardrobe for cheap!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ree's Baked Acorn Squash

If you don't read The Pioneer Woman Cooks, head over there and check it out. I love Ree and she has some damn good looking food.
I bought acorn squash before I left for Vancouver so I had to make them when I got home. I followed Ree's instructions pretty closely.
Very yummy. I did have to cook mine a little longer than Ree did-about 20 minutes longer. A nice breakfast treat!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Weakness

When it comes to food I love good food, but my weakness is bread. And not just any bread, french bread especially from Top Foods.All soft in the inside and all crunchy on the outside. I can't seem to leave the parking lot without tearing off a bite! How did I get a picture of a whole one? I bought two. So freaking yummy!
What's your food weakness?

Monday, November 3, 2008


Get your minds out of the gutter, people!
I recently signed up for Swaptree. I liked that you could swap books, movies, CDs, and games. I'd seen other sites where you just swapped books which is a little limiting.
I recently completed my first trade. I swapped this:And got this:
It's free to list and swap. The only thing you pay for is shipping. I sent the book with 3 day shipping for about $2. You only have to trade for things you want. I'm looking movies that I want to add to our collection and games that I'm wanting to play. Check it out!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Marta, Ashley, and I headed to Vancouver to see Madonna. I had never seen Madonna before so this was definitely one of those things I always wanted to do!
We took the train to Vancouver Thursday morning. I would definitely recommend taking the train. It took about 3 hours to get there and the train was nice. Plus there lots of room on the train to stretch out. But 3 hours is my limit on a train though.
We stayed in the Yaletown district of Vancouver thanks to Marta's folks timeshare. We got there about lunch time and ate at Glowbal.
The food was really good here. I would definitely recommended it.
Then we went in search of a treat. We found Chocolatl and bought truffles.
Ashley ate her Dulce de leche before I could take a picture! My lavender truffle is on the left. On Ashley's plate the carmel truffle on the top and the cinnamon truffle underneth. Some yummy truffles.
Then we went back to the hotel to rest and get ready for the evening. First, me and Ashley.Me and Marta.
And since everyone and their mother in Vancouver recommended Milestones for dinner we went. We decided that the hotels must of gotten some kickback from Milestones since all the hotel employees recommended it. I wasn't impressed with the place.
And now the reason we were in Vancouver-Madonna! Here's the stage from our seats:
We were pretty far up but still had a great view. She sang a lot of her older stuff-You Loved Me, Like A Virgin, Hung Up, Ray of Light-but she did them slightly differently than the orginal. I would have preferred the orginal versions but hey, it's Madonna. She put on a very visually pleasing show. I was incredibly glad to see her finally after all these years.
Overall we had a great time. I loved our little getaway. I can't wait for Tai to get his passport so we can go to Vancouver!