Monday, June 30, 2008

To infinity and beyond

The point of our two day Disneyland excursion (minus the ER visit) was to see the new Toy Story Ride. I have friends that work for Disney that said it was fantastic. Usually I stay far and clear from new rides until the frenzy dies down, but since we had a hotel room, I had a plan. Get to the park exactly when it opened avoid the lines. A great plan - to a point. DisneyLAND opened at 8am - California (where Toy Story is) opened at 10. Lame. I stuck to the plan anyway, and got the kids into the park exactly at 8am, and you know what? TOTAL SUCCESS. No lines for an hour straight. We walked onto everything with no wait at all AND had a good breakfast.Eventually we headed to California where we did wait an hour for Toy Story - I'm almost sure this is what killed me and landed me in the ER. It was so damn hot that day, and I was just exhausted. In any case I told the kids that "Disneyland made mommy sick, and we're never coming back." I was the only one laughing, but hey, I thought it was funny.
The technology for this new ride is amazing, it truly is 4D, believe it or not. They've also implemented new actions into this Mr. Potato Head greeter, who can see and talk to you - but that's not the amazing thing, he can actually pull off his body parts (ears) and put them back in...when it works. Of course it broke right when we were standing there, but to see these things finally in action after reading about them for so long, is was amazing. Love them or not, Disneyland is always at the forefront of technology.

Readers always write to me and ask me for ideas on surviving Disneyland, since I go there so often. I've actually compiled a full list, and usually just email it to them when asked. I should probably post it someday. Sadly, our stay-cation is over. Except for the dying and all, it was a lovely weekend. Today I went to the doctor to follow up my ER visit. The diagnosis?

"I don't know what's wrong, I don't have radar glasses."
"You know women's bodies, WHO KNOWS."
"Maybe you should poop."
"Come back when it happens again."

Ok, the doctor didn't have the best bedside manner, but still. If I wake up tomorrow it will be a miracle.

More Disneyland stay-cation pics, here.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vacation have to get away

Stay-cation. It's the 'it' term of the moment and something I've been doing for years anyway, that is taking vacation, locally. What with the gas and airline prices the way they are, there's no where to go...but home, anyway. My mom had a hotel in Anaheim for a convention, which means two things, Disneyland and a free babysitter.

The first night we didn't even go into the park. The kids were none the wiser. Well, that's not true, but I assured them that we'd go in early the next morning, so we just hung around Downtown Disney, enjoyed the music, had dinner and ate treats of course. What's vacation without treats?
Personally, I just enjoyed just standing in front of the candy makers window and watching the magic happen. I could stand there for hours watching them work. Mmm. Caramel.
Back to the hotel, kids in bed and then back out to the movies. This is vacation, baby! I have always had a love of the Hulk, but I didn't know if I would love a $14 movie's worth of him. It turned out to be very good, just well done all around. I'm not a snob about movies, I just want to be entertained. And I was. But with all movies like that I wondered, 'Who's going to clean all that up? Who's going to rebuild the city??' The important questions.
Speaking of rebuilding, the kids wanted to see Wall-E earlier in the day. Er. It was good, no really. Robots. Space. I love that crap. The boys were over it about 40 mins in, but I forced them to stick it out because I still haven't seen the end of Ratatouille dammit, so I need to finish something. It was visually stunning but I felt like...it was way preachy. I get it. We're fat. We destroy everything that is good. GOT IT. Through most of the movie the kids were all, 'I WAN MY HOT DOG. Let's go home.' Course now that it's over they can't stop talking about how great it was. Maybe they mean the hot dog.

As with most of my vacation stories, this one too ends in tragedy, as I ended up in the ER today, once again. Sigh. My body won't give up until it puts me out of my misery. But that's another story for another day. Tomorrow, more on the whole POINT of the stay-cation in the first place...

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Wanna have you near me, I wanna have you hear me sayin', no one needs you more than I need you

I love shopping at Farmer's markets, the best of the season is always on display.
I know we are spoiled out here, when I go to the east coast it always amazes me how the fruit is so...terrible. If only they could walk our market aisles and see the colors and textures are of truly fresh produce. It always inspires me. I just pick up and item and then come up with a plan.

I've been working downtown a lot lately. Too much if you ask my gas tank. Recently I went to the Thursday Farmer's Market at City Hall. They had some really good food there but I already had lunch plans (blog post on that to follow) so I just went through and bought whatever caught my eye. Cinnamon roasted almonds of course. An olive roll. And then I saw berries. Really ripe strawberries, blueberries and...yellow raspberries. WHAT. I have to say I don't see those that often. Very rare stuff here, folks. They were softer than a regular raspberry, sweeter. I knew had to have them so I bought a three tray and hoofed it to my very expensive $16 parking. I was only there 20 minutes, a-holes. Stupid downtown parking.

The whole time I was at my meeting and driving home all I could think about was what to do with the berries. Hm. Trifle? Done. Parfait? More done. So of course, cupcakes. But not in the regular, chopping up the berries sort of way. These were so pretty, I couldn't part with them.

So I made some lemon cupcakes, pushed the biggest of the yellow raspberries in the center and baked them. Like a little filled treat, but without oozy filling. Then I thought a white chocolate frosting would punch up the citrus. And OF COURSE, the little yellow raspberry sitting on top would make it all the prettier.

And that's how inspiration works. Sweet, sweet, tasty inspiration.

Lemon Yellow Raspberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate frosting, recipe.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

'Cuz they be all up in my business like a Wendy interview, but this is private, between you and I

Things may have done with under prescription medication for the death virus:

I may have yelled out loud:
STOP STARING AT ME DORA THE EXPLORER OR I WILL CUT YOU. Look at her eyes. Look at them.



I may have bought:
$100 worth of bras online at Victoria's Secret. It didn't buy much.



I may have promised:
the kids a trip to the donut store. I don't remember this, but the Kid aka 'elephant that never forgets' swears it to be so to the point that he started crying hysterically about it. Ok, jesus, let's get donuts then.



I may have listened:
to an ass ton of Mariah Carey. Not on cds. On the radio. She's on every damn station. I keep changing it, she's always there. But how can you go wrong with someone who casts Kenneth from 30Rock in her videos?

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Follow me, don't follow me, I've got my spine,
I've got my orange crush

With sickness comes boredeom and a little sadness. I am trying to stave that off by thinking happy thoughts. What pops into your head when you think happy thoughts? For me, with the heat, it's ice cream.

Next week is Fourth of July. How that came up so quick I have no idea, but it means my Uncle's annual party and my making of the much looked forward to Watermelon Ice Cream bombe. I love bombes, that little surprise in the middle and melding of flavors, so fun. Also, they kind of go along with my theme o' the month, that is, inside out.

Seeing as how I am home alone and bored all day, I made little mini single serving bombes for the kids to have when they got home. I took some ramekins, lined them with plastic wrap, put a layer of orange sherbet, then stuffed that with vanilla.

They fit in the palm of your hand they are so small, and the combo? SO GOOD. A little 50/50 bar, if you will. The kids were thrilled and happy to see the vanilla surprise in the middle. It was great for this hot summer day and lifted my spirits immensely. Nothing like ice cream to make the world a better place. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts...

50/50 mini bombes how-to, here.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Play with your food

Three posts in one day? I must be doped up. Or at home bored. Whatever.

In any case, my world famous (ha) Burger Bites are a finalist in the 'sweets' category of the Fun Food Contest. Scroll to the bottom and vote for me so I can win some stuff. I need something good. And yes, I am playing sympathy sick card. >cough. hack.< Sigh.

If you want the recipe it's all yours! Burger Bites recipe, here.

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The highest of highs, the lowest of lows
I'll come driving, I'll come driving fast as wheels can turn

The worst day of my life is coming. July 1st. That's when Los Angeles goes HANDS FREE. Which means you cannot drive and talk on the phone. Well, you can, but you have to use a hands free headset. I do a lot in my car. I am always running to the city for plan check, or going to a jobsite. If I'm not doing that I'm running around for the kids, which is why my gas tank is emptying my wallet.

I do most of my work calls and business in the car. I'm not saying it's safe, I'm saying that's how I live. I hate those headset thingies - probably because I wear giant sunglasses and it never fits quite right. Maybe I need Spock ears. I can't stand speakerphones either. Talking out loud takes just as much effort as holding the phone, they should just ban everything all together. Oddly enough, texting is not banned. LAME DASH OH.

Things I also do in the car - eat. I usually eat one meal a day and that's dinner, but if I can squeeze in lunch that's great, but sometimes, I know it's dangerous, it's on the road. I have an elaborate set up in the middle island of my car that allows me to eat almost anything. I bet I could do a nicely set table featuring a steak dinner, heh.

Here is a picture of my lunch the other day, chicken taquitos, while driving myself to the doctor. Dangerous, yes, but at least I got some food - this ended up being my only meal of the day.

One of my contractors was drinking a bottled water, started choking and ran his truck into a pole. They should look into banning bottled water too. Joking, folks. So go ahead, ban talking in the car. But if you start banning 'yelling at your kids to stop kicking my chair and stop screaming I'M A DINOSAUR RARR', then lock me up. Cause that's just never gonna stop.

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To the extreme I rock the mic like a vandal

I can't get sick like a normal human. No, I do things to the EXTREME. I am the Mountain Dew of sickness. It's all or nothing, baby. And so, I finally went to the doctor, with what I thought was pink eye, turns out I have...Walking Pneumonia. Alright, simmer down, let's all relax. No need to get hysterical.

I feel eh, but with these bajillion pills they've given me I am supposedly on the road to wellness starting now. We'll see. My body doesn't take good news well, it would rather see me dead first. The only thing that I'm worried about is that I shared food with the kids this weekend. The last thing I need is them sick too. While I make them wash their hands 100 times a day, sick or no sick, I am still very upset and worried.

Before I knew I was full blown sick, I took the kids shoe shopping. The Kid's feet never grew so I didn't have to buy new shoes for a whole year, but the Baby - last month he asked for Spiderman shoes, I happily bought them thinking they'd last forever. Cut to today and he's outgrown them already. So off we went to buy new shoes, a little comfier plus I added half a size. We are Southern Californians after all, so we headed to the Vans store. These are very cute on him and in the store he 'stomped like a dinosaur' to try them out. At least one of us is healthy, meanwhile I feel like I'm about to be extinct. Blergh.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Beautiful, bemuse-ed, bellicose butcher.

I was watching the GOD AWFUL Next Food Network Star the other day (that Indian chick should have been gone a long ass time ago. Period.) and I saw the Neely's at the tasting table. I like their show, cause I love Southern cooking. Is it just me, or does the wife seem REALLY enthusiastic? Almost...Rachael Ray I want to stab myself in the eye with a spatula enthusiastic, but not. It kinda scares me, but I'm willing to let it go. Still, I wouldn't mind cooking all day with the Neelys, the food looks fab.

So I was in the market in the meat aisle, steaks were $30. Uh. No thanks. Then I saw tri tip. I love tri tip, but if you overcook it, you are so screwed. At $13 for 6 steaks, I gave it a shot. I grilled the steaks and got very lucky - since I hate the meat thermometer thing - I am more of a meat by instinct kinda cook - the tri tip came out PERFECTLY. Not overcooked, not over done. It's all about the 'resting,' baby.
I mixed up a marinade that I thought would 'sink in' well. I think I got it right on the first shot, luckily I wrote it down, because sometimes I make stuff and can't remember how I got to the final product. I want to try it out on chicken or pork chops - if it wasn't so damn hot outside, I would.

The Baby (aka: healthy carnivore) ate two servings and wanted three. The Kid (aka: sickly fruitiarian) even ate it as well! Note the secret ingredient - root beer, per the usual.

Marinated Tri Tip recipe

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Let it flow - let yourself go, slow and low - that is the tempo

This heat sucks. I had tons of things I wanetd the kids to do this weekend, but we did none of them. It was just to hot to move. It is also migraine weather if you ask me - if I am in the heat/sun too long, ferget it. I'm down for the count. Which is why I always have Posh Spice sized sunglasses on at all times. Yes, sometimes indoors.

Friday we all went to O.G.'s choice for dinner, Benihana. Hello. We are probably the only asians in the known universe that frequent that place. Our family loves it. It's insanely kitschy, and not real Japanese food, but nothing tastes quite as good as hot food right off the grill. The kids just wanted to see an onion volcano and get drunk.
That's orange juice, suckas. The next morning my brother hosted his weekly poker party. Who the hell times a poker party every Saturday morning at 10am?? My brother that's who. We just went for the waffles. He makes the best waffles, hands down. Screw you Belgium.

Before we headed over, I made some mini cupcakes and some garlic roasted potatoes (all before 8am because I wanted to beat the heat). After breakfast I was figured they were going to play poker on his kitchen table so I moved the kids to the living room and...he pulled off the top of the table to reveal a full scale poker table! WHAT. How did I not know that was there?
So this whole weekend I did NOTHING and wouldn't you know it - my sickness has increased ten fold, as now I have THE PINK EYE. Or maybe I just burst my eyeball from coughing. Whatever it is, my body is my enemy. Not to mention, this heat is really pissing me off. I hope this week goes a bit better. My one eyeball and I are optimistic.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

No shirt, no shoes...NO DICE!

World's smallest Vans.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Attention kmart stalkers

Despite being sick, I have been busy. Big surprise. I have two shows coming up in July - first up, I will be at the very first Handmade Brigade hosted at...a Tall Mouse store. What. I know - but this ain't your mother's Tall Mouse, this is an indie show. And Nina who is hosting it - has great taste and is super fab, so it should be great. If you are around the O.C. area on July 12, stop and say hello.

Up next on my SoCal Tour 2008 is the San Diego Comic Con. I have been wanting to do this for years, but I wanted my books to be complete and I wanted my kids to be older. Now - done and done. It will be Thursday the 24th to Sunday the 27th. Come on by, my goal is to have some sweet treats for those that reveal themselves as friendly non-stabby blog readers.

Other than that, I have new cards in the shop - these are part of the collection that sold at Target. If you never caught them when they were in the store, now you can buy them online. I have only released 4 for now - more to come later. Don't worry. I'm sorry. Getting married. Having a baby.

And just for the heck of it, from now through the end of July, any purchase gets a free mini pack of 'Happy Birthday, Cupcake!' tags. So start shopping! I'll see you when I see you.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

This is my ninth sick day this semester. If I go for ten, I'm probably gonna have to barf up a lung.

I am sick. Scratch that. I have the death virus. In the past 24 hours I've had 4 nosebleeds just from coughing. I have my own personal little Outbreak Monkey - aka the Kid, to thank. Meanwhile he seems to be doing fine, the virus must mutate when it hits people over 40 inches tall.

There's nothing worse than a summer cold. At least in the winter you can curl up with a blankie and some hot chocolate. But in the summer? All you can do is sweat. Especially in this heat. Lord, do I hate sweating. I have a client who wants to install a steam sauna and I'm like - WHY. Unless I am exercising I see no reason to sweat. Ugh. The heat.

In a weird fit I went through my closet and threw out half of my shoes. When I got pregnant I went up to a size 8. Then for two years down to a size 7. Now I am back to a size 6.5. What the heck. If anyone wants some barely worn size 7s they are all yours. I'm sure it's the combination heat/death virus that is causing me not to think straight. I wonder what else I threw out. I better check on the kid's birth certificates, tout de suite.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

You can't stop my heart from turning inside out, try and stop my world from turning inside out

I don't know why I got it in my head that I wanted to take an ice cream sandwich and turn it inside out. Sorta. I make these neapolitan cookies during the holidays, they are usually part of a BIG gift box set of assorted cookies that I send out as gifts. They are nice and buttery and good on their own, but they are so pretty I thought I'd stuff 'em with ice cream and see how that tasted. Damn good, is the answer. I'm sure they could stand to be half the size, but I wanted to make them LONG like regular ice cream sandwiches. And they freeze nicely too.

Maybe this is a part of my new Kris Kross phase and I will try and inside out all kinds of stuff. Or just wear my pants backwards to work. Whatever.

Inside Out Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

It all started with a mouse.

When the kids are bad or not cooperating, I threaten to make them 'squid pizza' for dinner. I have no idea why this upsets them so much, but the though of being forced to eat that makes them straighten up right quick. Only recently did I realize that they probably REALLY eat that in places like Japan. Gross.

So when I told them that we were really, honest and truly having 'RAT PIZZAS' for dinner, the Baby nearly had a meltdown. He was disgusted. This recipe was 'inspired' by the ratatouille cookbook. They have a recipe for 'rat pizzas' in there but it's lame because it looks awful and uses an english muffin. Screw that. I am going to real mouse-like qualities and flava, baby. And I call them 'mousey pizzas', which for some reason the Baby had no problem with.

I used my same old tortilla pizza recipe, I just sliced the tortillas into pizza shapes beforehand, and then, well, made them look like mousies. The end.

And for some reason, the kids ATE IT UP. Usually they eat one (the Baby) or half (the Kid) a slice. Today they each ate three slices. Unbelievable. Apparently mouse pizza IS delicious. Someone should tell Papa John.

Mousey Pizza recipe
Tortilla Pizza recipe

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dinner, you ate it, there is none left..
It was salty, with butter and it was def.

The Kid and I woke up this weekend, kinda illin' - a little queasy, lots o' coughing. But I promised a day of fun - so after some cough medicine, we seemed good to go. I didn't want the Baby to be bored all day on our account. The Kid has been drawing like crazy every chance he gets, so I thought we'd go to a place where he could express his artistic talent. (Meaning: a place with paint and drop cloths that does not involve my living room getting jacked up.)

We headed to PLAY in the Fairfax District. It's a great little place where kids can play with toys, learn music, and paint. I told the Kid that we had to wear old clothes cause we were going to get dirty. He said, "OH. This is not...like an ordinary day." Ha. He hates spilling (like me) where the Baby revels in it. The kids had fun painting and using the chalk wall. While we played with chalk making animals and trees, some other random kid came up and...drew our animals urinating. What the...I thought it was rude that child's mom didn't tell her to back on up since we were playing first. I hate that. Stupid parents don't know how to corral their kids. That don't fly with me, my kids have manners or they go home.

By an odd coincidence my mom and O.G. were at LACMA down the street, viewing the Chicano Art exhibit, so we met them at the Grove/Farmer's Market for lunch. See the old lady in the chicano shirt buying tacos? Yeah, that's O.G.
The Market was nice cause we all got to choose what we wanted to eat. The Kid got a belgian waffle, the Baby a French bistro sandwich, me - potato taquitos. We walked around the market until the Kid became queasy and vomited into the bushes. FO' REAL. Ugh. While it was a day of art and good food, it's all fun and games until someone barfs, I guess.

More pics, here.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

teeny

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Jive turkey

The weather in SoCal has never been more perfect. The kids and I are writing down all the things we can do this weekend.

The sun and cool breeze makes me want to grill. This old standby recipe is always a favorite - Turkey Burgers with chopped bacon. Sure it's healthy, it's turkey! But let's just go ahead and cancel that out by chopping bacon and mixing it into the meat. If you are one of those peeps who is scared of turkey because you think it's dry, don't worry, I put plenty of tips in the recipe to take care of that problem.
The boys said they want to have fun. Have bacon. And eat ice cream. A weekend of fun, bacon and even ice cream? Sounds like a good weekend to me. Or possibly and invitation to heart attack city. Either or.

Turkey Burgers with chopped bacon recipe

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Utensils down, hands up.

Top Chef had a great finale last night, my only gripe is the way they screwed with our minds making us think that horrible Lisa would win. Horrible Lisa who said this last week about bloggers: "I don't want to know what people who can't even afford to eat in my restaurant, let alone know how to cook, have to say about me." Screw you Lisa. I'm sure your workplace is proud of the PR you're doing for them.

This is not a cooking blog, or a foodie blog, I don't know what it is except a disposal for what's in my brain at the time. Still, I get TONS of questions via email. Lately a bunch of them have been landing in my spam folder because Yahoo Mail is lame. Apparently Yahoo Mail thinks I am too stupid to decipher between a cooking question and whether or not I want my penis enlarged. Maybe I want both Yahoo Mail, did you ever think of that? Anyway, here are some recent questions I've received, luckily none have to do with penis enlargement:

"How do I get chi chi dango (mochi) to be REALLY fruity flavored?"
Fruit syrup gives mochi tons o flavor. Surfas has some - course that's here in Los Angeles. I'm sure that if you go to candy supply or a kitchen supply store, you should be good to go.

"Where did you get those cool cupcake liners?"
Again, locally - Surfas now carries them, but I can always get them online at www.fancyflours.com - and just your luck free shipping, today and tomorrow only! Whee! Buy it all up! (code: shippingfree)

"Do you have a good, standard, white cake recipe?"
I get asked this a lot - my recipe is standard, and I even went and looked around to see if there was a better one, but turns out mine is pretty much like everyone else's but if you still want it - you got it. It's pretty standard, but great if you ever want to do substitutions. I recently made green tea cupcakes with it as a base, but I have yet to blog about it. I've got a lot of recipes I don't have time to blog, I guess I better get on it. In any case, here's the white cake recipe.

Regarding the 'cookies 'n' cream cupcakes:
"What size electric mixer do you have? I did the weird butter/milk mixture and it sprayed all over my counter. The butter didn’t blend into the milk at all, rather it stuck to the paddle–what on earth did I do wrong?"
I have a standard (small, if you ask me) size Kitchenaid. You didn't do anything wrong. That recipe is jacked up, its backasswardsness is crazy. However, I just turned the mixer on low and stopped it every few seconds (annoying) and scraped down the bowl. Continually. It was a pain, but in the end the payoff is the most wonderful fluffy cupcakes ever.

If you have questions, I'd be happy to give 'em a go. Comment below or email me if you are afraid of public speaking. Like I said, I'm no expert, but when The Baking Mafia get together, we ask each other lots of questions too. It's nice to have a sounding board sometimes.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Good evening Pasadena!!

I used to live up in Pasadena, it's just the greatest area, really. So much to do, things in walking (yes, walking!) distance. Culture, restaurants, food...and 100+ degree weather. Yep, that was the killer and what made me skip town and move to the beach. I rarely get back up there, (and after a 45 min freeway crawl, I remember why) but one of my very good friends happens to be skipping town too. Except she is moving far far away.

I'm exceptionally sad, not that we saw each other as much as we used to, it's just that there is no easy way to plan a visit now. It's just too far. I will also miss her house, a historic home, that was just filled with character and detail, not to mention the best Halloween trick or treating that San Marino has to offer.

The 'goodbye L.A.' dinner was filled with close friends, lots o kids, and ice cream. Man, the ice cream. They will miss is when they move away. Because Fosselmann's Cappuccino ice cream and Raspberry sorbet are the most wonderful things in the known universe.

I told them that they'll miss the ice cream more than us. Yes. It's THAT GOOD.

That gorgeous hot pink+brown combo palette is killing me. I better go design some stuff while I'm inspired.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

It's not easy being green.

Cleaning out the pantry gives me a lot of inspiration. I found some matcha I wanted to use up - powdered green tea - that I use when I make green tea ice cream. It reminded me of when I went to Nobu restaurant in Hawaii, the meal was fabulous, and I was stuffed. I will ALWAYS look at a dessert menu, but at most Japanese restaurants, the desserts aren't impressive. You may get a selection of mochi ice cream that they charge you $8 for, but why pay that much when I have the inventor of mochi ice cream in my own backyard?

At Nobu, it was different. The desserts were...stunning. Not only in how they looked but the taste was extraordinary. Their most popular dessert is the 'bento box'. Served in a laquered box, a flourless chocolate cake and a scoop of green tea ice cream. It sounded great but the combinations of tastes, I wasn't sure. It turned out to be the most amazing pairing ever - the two things went so well.

Remembering this, I attempted to repeat this flavor combination. It was the cake+creamy ice cream that made it work. So I thought, that's it! I'll make ice cream cupcakes! I was supposed to participate in this challenge anyway - but the Computer Meltdown of 2008 ruined that plan.

I used a vegan cocoa cake recipe - 1. so that the Kid could eat it and 2. I figured a cake without butter wouldn't freeze as 'hard'. I popped the cupcakes in the freezer to firm up, then scooped the green tea ice cream on top, then finished it off by icing chocolate frosting OVER the ice cream. The result made a beautiful cross section when you cut into it. And the flavor? Just what I was looking for.

While ice cream cupcakes are fun and delicious, they are also a royal pain in the ass and start melting IMMEDIATELY. I don't think I'll be making them anytime soon unless it's for a VERY special occasion. Which reminds me. The Baby's birthday is coming up...in November. Maybe I better start planning now. Yikes. Remember last year?? Maybe I can keep with the green theme, after all the Baby did tell me that HE is the 'CREDIBLE HULK." You can believe him folks, he's credible.

Chocolate & Green Tea Ice cream cupcakes recipe

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Summer is here.

Friday, June 06, 2008

It's understanding that makes it possible for people like us tolerate a person like yourself.

I should have known that the dinner wasn't going to go well when Hilary punched me in the face as soon as I got there. To be fair, she's tall and I am at punching height. Plus I probably had it coming. It really was a taste of things to come, though. I have been wanting to go to Fraiche for some time now, and when The Baking Mafia called up and said that was place of choice for dinner, I was all for it.

Culver City is the new black, if you didn't know. What used to be a small sleepy town filled with movie studios and studio people, now great restaurants are starting to line the block and it's becoming a 'destination.' Fraiche is just one of the many 'it' restaurants right now. When we sat down, the menu looked great. Our waitress came over, and upon seeing that Nanette was pregnant, proceeded to complain about the fact that Nanette...WASN'T drinking. Because according to the waitress, "Rules are stupid." And she plans to drink, eat sushi and eat raw beef when she gets pregnant. O...kay. Gotcha. She reminded me of those crazed mommy bloggers that I hate, that's what her spewing sounded like anyway, but I kept quiet. I just wanted to eat.

On to the meal. We were all set to order when...the waitress said that we could not order 'just pasta' that we had to have an entree too. Er. Sure we kinda believed her when she said the portions were small, but still. I was feeling bullied. Not to mention, my part-time job doesn't pay enough for me to be spending a lot on dinners, plus I don't eat much. So Jami and I split a tortelli pasta (supposed appetizer) and entree - a pork chop.

The tortelli was AMAZING. It had a brown butter sauce and the filling was perfect. And the waitress was right. It wasn't big, but still. At least now I couldn't wait for the entree. When it finally did come, I stuck my fork in the pork chop and...blood came out. I don't know about you, but I prefer my pork without a side of trichinosis, thanks. Jami politely said that 'the meat was a little pink.' The waitress protested. Jami said, 'well, we'd like it cooked a bit more anywa...' when the waitress said, "CAN I FINISH? I am explaining why it's pink." Ridiculous. Apparently it was cooked 'sous-vide' style - any Top Chef devotee will tell you that this is contestant Richard's forte. I will tell you this. I've cooked a lot of meat in my time I don't give a f*ck, sous-vide or not, there was blood coming out of that pig.

The waitress refused to recook our food so I simply told her flat out, "I'M NOT EATING IT." I mean, isn't the customer always right? Even if they're not, don't I have a right to NOT eat raw meat? Plus I'd had enough of her opinionated ass. The pork came back, still pink, but by then I had lost my appetite. I didn't want to be vomiting up uncooked pork all night, or whatever else she decided to do to it back there.

I was so sickened by the waitress' attitude that I skipped dessert - which I never do. I will never be going back to Fraiche again, which is sad for the loss of that really good tortelli. If I Yelped, which I don't, I would not give it high marks.

When I got home I ate these:...blondies that Hilary made. Surprisingly, they weren't as sweet as they looked, honest! They were just PERFECT. I ate them all. It made for a better dinner than earlier in the evening. And on the plus side, the blondies didn't give me attitude.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Padma was like CASA MOTHERF*CKERS, boo ya! Fatness!

I'm planning a party. A spectacular one. I'm sure you can figure out what kind. Stay tuned.



I clocked in 42 hours this week. Worst part-time job ever.



I am very upset about Top Chef. However, I hope that they give Andrew his own show, cause that guy is comedy gold. When he said he had a 'culinary boner' I didn't know whether to laugh or be scared. (This post title is another Andrew gem.)



Ok, seriously. I filled my gas tank, and at $4.41 a gallon, this is what you get:

As if on cue, the Kid goes, "Mommy. You should buy a smaller car. You are making the earth dirty." Well it ain't cheap to be so dirty.



Free Donut Day tomorrow! Get your hot glazed fat on!!



Obsessively, I vacuum everyday and scrub my kitchen on my hands and knees THREE times a day. Nanette told her husband this, who thinks it's absurd - so he went so far as to find me a Roomba on the internet, on the cheap. However, does anyone have one? How good does it work? I really really want one. Not only because it's a robot, but it's a robot that will clean my floors. But mostly because it's a robot.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"How did it happen that four such smart women have nothing to talk about but boyfriends? It's like seventh grade with bank accounts."

Yes, I was one of the millions of women who saw Sex in the City this weekend. I watched the series, and anytime you invest time in a show, it's nice to see it wrapped up. And it was. It was really well done. The problem is, I obviously wasn't that invested, as I did not dress up in heels and get my hair did, nor could I even remember the main characters...names. DHAHAH Sad.

I realized that my main reason for watching the show was...the city. I have a undying love for New York. I have great memories of that place. Staying in a mouse infested apartment in Brooklyn, going to Tavern on the Green for O.G.'s 80th birthday, taking a weekend bachelorette party there, all things that come rushing back every time I visit.I have been there many times, for work and pleasure, and what I love is that you can walk everywhere - something I'd NEVER do at home, even at $4 a gallon for gas.

My favorite place to go is Soho. It's much more packed than it used to be, but still a great place to spend the day. Whenever I go a stationery designer friend of mine always says, "You went to Kate's, right?" More of a demand, than a question. Yes, Kate's Paperie for stationery, and the Dean and Deluca flagship store for the foodie in me. Yep.Speaking of food. Everyone lines up for Magnolia cupcakes, which are great, but I would rather hike it on up to the east side and get one from the Buttercup Bakeshop. Wow are they good. Then there's late night hot dogs at Gray's Papaya, bagels at H&H, my favorite little hard to get to market - Zabars (which just got a big write up), hot nuts off a steamy cart at night, and as my friend Mike will tell you, the Shake Shack IS worth the wait. Just SOME of the food places to eat, it's hard to hit up everything in one trip. But I refuse to leave that town unless I've eaten a black and white cookie. I don't even care where it's from, I just can't leave without one.Quite obviously my version of the show would be Food and the City - but there are tons of other places to go too - mostly to walk off all that eating. I always like to spend time at my favorite museums, the Met, the Guggenheim, and my absolute favorite, MOMA. The city is FILLED with architecture, shops, parks - little day trips can be planned for every section of the city. And watching the movie made me miss it so.

There is a big difference between L.A. and New York, and while I call one town my home, the other is always in my heart. In any case, the movie was a good wrap up to the show, and no, I don't think it was 'estrogen filled' or 'about a bunch of whores' like the internet-ers are all incensed about. I thought it was a great ending - a perfect wrap up of characters, for people who enjoyed the show. Then again, I love heels.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Phoebe:She got the recipe from her grandmother, Nestlé Toulouse.
Monica:Nestle Toll House?
Phoebe:Americans always butcher the French language.

Once again I am hitting up the old Ratatouille cookbook for blog inspiration. This here is a real, not very 'kid' recipe. In fact it's GREAT for an adult dinner party. It is the only recipe written in the book by one Mr. Thomas Keller. Thomas Keller, cooking advisor to the film, best chef in the country, owner of the reknown The French Laundry. That Thomas Keller.
The recipe calls for THREE STICKS OF BUTTER. I think even Paula Deen would be like "OH HELLZ NO." It's a lot. But you don't...feel it, honest! Obviously this is not an 'eat everyday' kinda recipe, but it makes for a great special dessert. This recipe is fantastic. Simple, but rich and fulfilling. Outstanding with a side of homemade ice cream.

I used my new liners rather than follow the recipe, and they turned out even better if you ask me.I've had the pleasure of tasting Thomas Keller's food, and yes, it is that fantastic. This recipe is just as amazing. I know, you're sick of hearing about the Ratatouille cookbook. Don't worry folks, just one more post and I'm done pimping it, seriously. I get no money for it, but I keep saying, buy this book. Your kids and your tummy will thank you.

Thomas Keller's Chocolate Bouchons.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away,
on my way to where the air is sweet

When I was pregnant there were "Mommy and Me" movies. Theatres would open early for moms and kids - babies even, to see movies with the lights partially on and the sound down a bit. So that moms could watch the new releases and be there with their kids. Any human in their right mind found the concept annoying, except for stay at home moms who wanted to get out of the house. I looked forward to it.

Now my kids are grown a little and can actually sit and watch a 'real' movie. Enter, the Bridge - Cinema de Lux. The Bridge is a pretty awesome theater - second only to my favorite Arclight in Hollywood. There is premium seating, director's halls, and at night, a bar.
But on the weekend, there is no bar. There are barely even people. The Bridge hosts Saturday morning movies for kids at just $3.50 a pop. Not bad. I took the kids to see "Elmo and the dinosaurs." It was a big deal. There was popcorn and lemonade and everything. The Baby was riveted. He ADORES Elmo (remember the Elmo/Wolverine birthday party - right.) He loved everything about the theater, the movie and especially the food. The Kid? Eh. He was far too advanced for it, but he stayed for the popcorn. So there we were. Watching Elmo. On the big screen. For an hour. (It was an hour too long if you ask me.)

Here's the thing. I don't like Elmo. I know, everyone does, but me. I'm a hater. A hater who is old skool. I liked 'DA Street' when it was Elmo-less. When Big Bird was pegged as a delusional freak with mental illness who saw images of a supposed 'Snuffleupagus.' I'm sure he saw Jesus in the potato chips he bought at Mr. Hooper's store too. Silly bird. Lay off the pipe. But no, it's a new day, and Snuffleupagus is in fact real, and Elmo is the star. Phooey. I'd rather watch The Electric Company.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

No bull.

This weekend I went to BEA, Book Expo America - with Jodi. It was a lot of fun, and quite inspiring. I met up with two blogger friends I've 'known' for quite some time - first, Jen from Quarter Life Crisis. Despite having to work the show, we had a lovely chat. It was nice to be able to talk face face to face with someone whose life you have read about, and who has read about yours. It felt very comfortable. Hopefully we can get together again when we can go out and have a proper chat, away from work.Then I visited John and Bully over at the Norton booth. Bully believes Comics Oughta Be Fun, and I think he's right. Bully was soft and cute and reminded me of the Kid's HaHa. Since I was meeting Bully I made up some treats. What every little stuffed bull would want, cookies 'n' cream cupcakes, with chocolate sour cream frosting and...

...his own little face right there on the cupcake. As with a lot of my baked good ideas, I did little sketches first, then worked it out. I think they turned out pretty well. The kids got into it and made Bullys of their own, well - the Kid did, the Baby just jammed the ball of fondant in his mouth. D'oh. So much for creativity.

It was nice to up with friends, maybe next time we can spend more time together, and hopefully they enjoyed their cupcakes.Cookies 'n' Cream cupcakes
Chocolate sour cream frosting
Fondant Bullys

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