Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Happy New Year!
I'm kind of glad to see 2008 end. It was one roller coaster ride. I'm hoping that 2009 is a little more calm and filled with happier things.
Tonight we are headed over to our friend's house for some celebrating and food. I talk alot about food on here but never about drinks. I do love a good drink and many of you will imbibe some tonight. But what will you consume? Here a few recipes to wet your whistle.
Even though Christmas is over the Merry Christmas sounds delicious. Or how about a Christmas Cosmopolitan? Frozen margaritas are always popular at our parties. This is a similar recipe to what our friend, Michelle, makes. Or her husband, Greg, has started making these Washington Apple Martinis recently. I'm not sure if he use Crown Royale though. I do like some of these concoctions but I'm pretty happy with a glass of Bushmills.
Whatever your plan is, please stay safe. Have a plan on how to get home safely. I definitely want to see all of you in 2009!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Yummy Soup at the Little Hot Pot
Monday, December 29, 2008
How Sweet It Is!
I know like the baker's sugar cause it blends and melts better but not the best to use in a scrub. Tai doesn't like sugar cause of all the calories. We drink several cups of iced tea and coffee a day here so that does add up.
So he brought:
My mom had used this stuff when I was kid. I don't like the way it tastes. Too chemically for me. So I bought:
I like that it doesn't have a chemical taste (to me) and it sweetens things perfectly for me.
But we are just ingesting more chemicals when there are purer alternatives out there. So we also have:
Excuse the almost empty bear. Time for a new one. I do like honey but it's messy and difficult to add the right quantity. It tends to work better in hot beverages than cold and adds a yummy taste to hot tea, not coffee. So we bought:
Again excuse the almost empty bottle here. Some friends of mine had recommended this for us and my dad (since he's a diabetic). I really like it but the cons are similar to honey. I do like it for cooking. It does blend a little better in cold liquids so I use it in my iced tea sometimes.
But then I found this on a recent grocery trip:But I was disappointed. Not sweet enough. I had to add 4 packets to my iced tea to make it sweet enough for me. I didn't like that. Tai didn't like it at all. So I'll have to think of creative ways to use up what I have. Perhaps this simple syrup might work best.
So what about you? Do you have a favorite sweetner? Is sugar your standby or honey? Can you recommend something for our sweet teeth?
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Warning: I seem to a be a gloomy gus about the holidays this year. Sorry! Feel free to ignore me!
Unless the weather breaks we'll be spending Christmas at home. We usually go to our friend's house for Christmas but if the weather stays bad we'll be at home, eating pizza:) It's a sad Christmas because we didn't buy any gifts. We were supposed to go last weekend but nope the weather was terrible. We'll be hitting the after Christmas sales to buy our gifts to each other. It's ok since we'll be together, celebrating our first married Christmas.
But I hope you all have wonderful holidays. I'm going to take a long weekend off from blogging perhaps I'll have some fun things to talk about next week.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
But I did venture out yesterday and took some lovely pictures of the beautiful snow.This is the corner by our apartment. So is this. I just love how winter wonderland it looks there.
The guys from the Indian buffet near our house were hard at work on this snowman. They graciously let me snap a picture!
On my walk I wound up under these trees and caught this picture. Tai didn't think it looked real.
So we'll be stuck at home for the next few days. The weather doesn't seem to be warming up so we'll be here, where it's warm and safe!
Monday, December 22, 2008
41 before 40
1. Get a passport
2. See the Grand Canyon
3. Visit the town my maternal grandmother was born in
4. Take Tai to my alma mater
5. Visit the Louvre
6. Drive across the country
7. Partake in a Japanese Tea Ceremony (preferably with my mother in law or in Japan)
8. Visit Ireland
9. Go on a cruise
10. See the Northern Lights
11. Go on a safari in the Serengeti
12. Go to MoMa
13. Eat sushi in Japan
14. Go to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame
15. Go to DisneyWorld
16. Go to Australia
17. Attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans
18. Walk along the Great Wall of China
19. Stay in a luxury suite in Vegas
20. Go to Hawaii
21. Complete the 1001 books list
22. Get my Master's
23. Bake and decorate a cake
24. Learn how to swing dance-really swing dance
25. Buy a house
26. Get out of debt
27. Ride a Harley
28. Get a tattoo!
29. Make a will
30. Maintain contact with my brother
31. Plan a kick ass 40th birthday for Tai
32. Learn to sew
33. Get my own web domain
34. Host a dinner party
35. Meet my father in law and Tai's brothers and sisters
36. Drive a convertible
37. Win big in Vegas
38. Finish embroidering the pillow I started 8 years ago
39. Bowl a perfect game irl not on the Wii
40. Learn enough HTML to customize my blog
41. Ride a mechanical bull
Damn that was daunting! It was difficult to complete the whole list. I don't think it's something you should do in one sitting like I did. Tai thinks some of those are a stretch but still possible. All of these are things I've never done before but have wanted to do. I think it will be fun to work on completing these. I'll of course give my progress periodical.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
readingI don't remember where I read a recommendation for this book but I put it on my to be read list. It's a great book. I highly recommend it for those who like chick lit but want something a little more thought provoking (just a little).
Tai got me to use Grooveshark. I still like Pandora better but it works well to build these widgets. So here are a few of my favorite holiday songs!
Friday, December 19, 2008
All About Tai
1. He’s sitting in front of the TV: what is on the screen? MMA fighting(UFC) Correct
2. You’re out to eat. What kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Blue Cheese Correct
3. What is one food he doesn’t like? He doesn’t like beans or potatoes too much. He says "Fake Cheese. I'm starting to like beans and I like french fries so I like potatoes."
4. You go out to the bar. What does he order? A Daiquiri He says "Rum & Coke. But a strawberry margarita is always good."
5. Where did he go to high school? In North Hollywood Correct
6. What size shoe does he wear? 7.5 or 8.Correct
7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Hmm, he doesn’t really collect anything. But I would think those little flying planes would be cool. He says "Comic books". Duh, I say!
8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Roast beef on pita with hummus "Italian Sub" So far off!
9. What would the Husband eat every day if he could? Sushi Correct
10. What is his favorite cereal? Corn Pops or Fruity Pebbles He says "Peanut Butter Captain Crunch"
11. What would he never wear? He doesn’t like collared shirts "Never wear? Your clothes."
12. What is his favorite sports team? He roots for the Seattle teams but I wouldn’t call them his favorites. He doesn't have a favorite team. He hardly watches sports. "Dodgers or Lakers"
13. Who is his best friend? Brian (and Jeff and Jamie and Carlo) Correct
14. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do? Doubt myself, slouch, be stubborn Correct
15. How many states has he lived in? 2-Washington & California Correct
16. What is his heritage? Half Japanese, Half Caucasian Correct
17. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind? Chocolate Correct
18. Did he play sports in high school? He swam and wrestled. Correct
19. What could he spend hours doing? Gaming! Correct
He says that I know him pretty well. I did a good job!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Do More With Stuff You Already Have
Salt-As you know, I'm a huge fan of salt. I use sea salt to scrub my cast iron pans clean. I mix enough salt to cover the bottom of the pan and dishwashing liquid and scub with a towel. Works really well on getting stuck on food off. But did you know you can kill poison ivy with it? Or clean your bathroom with it?
Sugar-I don't buy expensive bath scrubs. I take a handful of sugar and mix it with my body wash. It works just as well as the stuff over the counter. I can even use it on my face (mixed with cetaphil instead of body wash). Did you know you can start a fire with sugar?
Coffee filters-I often use these as serving bowls for popcorn and Tai uses them to clean his glasses. But what about using them to absorb odors?
Listerine-We have half a bottle of this stuff cause I can't stand it. It burns and makes my eyes water. I prefer Act. But now I can use it as deodorant?
Ziploc bags-I love Ziploc or Glad bags, all the same to me. My friend Jen taught me to make cookies in them. She adds all the ingredients and then mixes it in the bag. The resulting dough can be shaped into a log for easy cutting. She's so smart. But how about using them to make sure your packages arrive intact?
So what about you? What are those everyday items that you use for their non-intended purpose?
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I Puffy Heart Free Stuff
Here's what arrived:
I was really surprised to find this bag full of goodies!
Aside from the cheese:
There was this Mango Chutney.And Carr's Crackers to go with it all!
I'm quite pleased with the brie log. It's just like the regular brie but in a more convenient shape. I have not tried the chutney, so I will report back when I do.
As you can see, I don't accept advertising on my blog. I think of you guys as my friends so I wouldn't accept money to tell you how much I like something. Now, if I get more free goodies, I'll definitely let you guys know and let you know how I liked them.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Beef Stroganoff Again!
Here's what it looked like for me:
Cindy thinks her mom got this out a magazine so if it looks familiar to you, that's why. Tai and I liked it. I would cut back on the chicken broth because it was slightly too runny for me. And I added mushrooms cause Tai loves them. But a great weeknight meal. Thanks, Cindy!
Monday, December 15, 2008
First of all, here are the deets:
1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
So, I tag:
Friday, December 12, 2008
So I've been doing my stress relieving activity more than normal. And yes I can share this one with you! I turn on my favorite songs and dance around the living room.I dance like no one is watching because no one is watching. Tai's usually at the gym when I do this. I crank my favorites and dance my pants off.
My current favorites are:
I can recommend both of these for stress relieving dancing. It's fun to be silly. It certainly helps me!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Gift Ideas Under $30
Or how about an LED flashlight? At work we keep talking about emergency preparedness. It's always good to have a couple of flashlights around in case of a power outage.
Or a sushi kit? We have a couple of people who have multiple food allergies. It makes it difficult for them to get out to restaurants where they can eat safely.
Whatever we wind up getting we're going to make sure we get something we want too. Just in case ;)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Plus size wedding dresses
Photos found here. Definitely very flattering. Especially the top left one. And I don't like sleeves on dresses. I wish I would have seen this when I planning my wedding. It's nice to have another option.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Carne Asada and Homemade Tortillas
And what are those pathetic discs on the side? Homemade tortillas I whipped up almost as an afterthought. We buy tortillas but sometimes we don't use them before they go bad. I found this super simple tortilla recipe and gave it a try. Tai was a litte skeptical, but deemed them ok. I will definately try to make them again.
Monday, December 8, 2008
So let me thank those who direct people to my little site:
Cindy, Sabrina, Jenna, Daisy's Favorite Things, the ladies at Elizabeth Anne Designs, GlamourThis, Rachel, A Bride In the Making, Manolo For The Brides, Tara, Jennifer, Darci, Tiffany, Tina, Dream Weddings On A Budget, Erica, FatFree Vegan, Don't Be That Bride, Laura, Confessions of A Foodie Bride, Weddingbee, Jessy, Jules, and Erin.
Top 10 Searches to find me were:
Pinks Wedding Dress
Must Take Wedding Photos
My favorites though are:
"dance grade 8 shuffle"-was someone looking for ideas on how?
"brown match red bridesmaid gown"-huh? looking for brown to match a red bridesmaid gown?
"bangs poof one"-WTF?
"Preppy tattooed" -if you find this show me.
"is finesse shampoo gluten free"-Idk. I did a little, quick research and you can't absorb gluten through your skin so if you are a celiac I think shampoo is safe.
So here's to another 300 and beyond. Hope you stick around for the journey!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
As an early holiday gift Tai bought me this heated mattress pad. I tend to get cold and I like to have the heat on but Tai likes it to be a little cold at night. This mattress pad has dual controls so I can be warm and Tai can stay chilly.
I'm not a fan of white wine. I prefer red so I never white on hand when I'm making a dish. So I found these as a perfect solution. I don't have to waste an entire bottle on a 1/4 of cup.
We watched this last night. One of the best graphic novel movies I've ever seen. It felt like a comic book. We were able to rent in blu-ray since we now have a PS3. Such a gorgeous picture! I want to be Angelia Jolie. She's superbad ass in this movie.
wantingI saw these in the LL Bean catalog. I definitely think they'd come in handy during the icy season. Might help me not fall. Anyone have these?
Friday, December 5, 2008
Tastes Better Than It Looks
It's not a lot too look at. Kind of a giant white blob but it was yummy. Tai loves mushrooms so he definitely liked this dish. And yes I made it with real sour cream. Tai's been taking some acidophilus pills that have really helped his lactose intolerance. I made those yummy brussel sprouts again. They are a hit!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
What was the last book you bought?
Name a book you have read MORE than once
Gone With the Wind, Scarlett, House of Mirth
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Read my review here.
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
I usually read books by author's that I've read before. Or if an author I like writes a foreword or recommends the book. I also love book recommendations from friends.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I usually read fiction but sometimes I pick up non-fiction.
What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
A gripping plot. I love a book I can't put down.
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Lilly Bart (House of Mirth)- such a tragic character. One reason I read the book over and over again.
Scarlett O'Hara (Gone With The Wind, Scarlett)-I loved her as a young girl. I wanted to move to Atlanta and become a debutante.
Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
Breaking Dawn. I finished it last week.
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
Yup. Sometimes it's just not going to work.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tai loves ramen. In LA there are ramen shops everywhere. Here not so much. The Uwajimaya near our house serves ramen. Not bad as good as Samurai Noodle but not too bad. But I wanted to learn to make ramen at home so we can have it when ever we want.
After a couple of failed attempts I decided that I would have to get some help. I found these at Uwajimaya:Here's Tai's:
Made with the miso. I added roasted pork (that I made the night before), a hard boiled egg, green onions and nori. This one is mine:
I made mine with tofu, a hard boiled egg, and green onion. The broth is right on. I will definitely be buying this again. The thing I love about ramen is that's very customizable.
Oh, this stuff is nothing like Top Ramen. It's so much better. The miso broth is like fish soup and the tonkotsu is a pork broth. As you can see it's not clearish like the top ramen. It's meaty like a meal. I do keep the Top Ramen on hand though. Tai likes to make soups and will use that as a base. I like the noodles so I use them in soups.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
There are tons of books on the list I've always wanted to read but never got around to it. This list will definitely force to read them! I've put the first book on hold. I'm starting at the bottom with Aesop's Fables. I'll keep you informed on my progress.
Monday, December 1, 2008
I've had this painting for over year and I just put it up the other day. I was hemming and hawing about where to put it but I decided that the bedroom was fine. I can always move it later if need be. I have 2 other walls in the bedroom that need something too. I'll be keeping my eye out for something for over the bed and the wall opposite. I'm no good at finding things and I probably need Tai to help me. Unfortunately he doesn't have a lot interest in the little things. But I want things to look nice and homey.
We have a pile of boxes and other "homeless" crap that I'd love to get rid of so I can put another bookshelf up. But I'm slowly running out of room since there's only so much space and my intent is to declutter not clutter. I want to get some stuff put away so I can pull out the holiday decorations and not make it look worse!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
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
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
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
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
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.