Friday, October 31, 2008

Pimptastic

I put some promo postcards together for holiday sales, and I even did one for the recipes website, Man, was I shocked at all the cupcakes I've made - just this year alone. I mean, I know I bake a lot, but damn. Why didn't you people tell me to stop? Let me know if anyone wants a postcard.

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Are you crying? Allergies? Did Darryl touch you?

Why do I feel like...this show is slowly killing me? I still love to watch it every week, but afterwards I just feel a sense of EH. Maybe it's all the doom and gloom. I had high hopes for Michael and Holly. That's gone obviously. Pam is killing that relationship. So really, I feel like something's missing, story-wise. It just made me sad. wah wah wah.

HOWEVER. There are moments of pure joy, that being Creed as the Joker. That guy should get an Emmy. Ha. Speaking of Emmys, this particular episode was directed by a friend of Jodi's, the same friend who was kind enough to give us a tour of the set, lo those many years ago. He did a great job.

The episode itself, was great, mostly due to Ed Helms aka Andy. That guy is the best. It makes me wish he was in the Office spin off - especially since Aziz Ansari is the star, and man does that guy crack me up. Andy's insane allegiance to his alma mater? Yeah, that's not so funny. Cause...I'm like that. D'oh.

I don't know why this show is getting me down. But maybe I need to give it a goodbye hug like Holly gave Michael. Man that was sad.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

In the chill of night, at the scene of a crime
Like a streak of light, he arrives just in time.


Halloween's not tomorrow. Nope. I refuse to believe it. After all, how are you supposed to go trick or treating when it's hot enough to wear shorts and a tank top? Nevertheless, holiday food has to be made. So I baked up some Vegan Chocobats the other night. What exactly would a vegan bat eat, anyway? A lactose intolerant mouse? I dunno.

But there are more to these bats than what you see. Their lives do not start and stop at cookie-dom. Nope, I have big plans for these orthodontically challenged bad boys. Just you wait and see.

In other oddity news O.G. keeps buying crap. No, seriously, cheap crap toys for the kids. While it is appreciated I often wonder if she has seriously lost it. She never thinks these things through and buys things that you throw (danger), shoot (more danger) or are freakish. Such as the latest crap toy is a mini Spider-man who grows to 600 TIMES his size when put in water. Note: it says 'choking hazard NOT for children under 3'. Rules, schmules, I guess. It is suggested that he be dropped into a bottle. So I put this thing in - which takes TEN days by the way, hell, my vacuum still isn't fixed but apparently I can grow my own Spider-man in the same amount of time.And ten days later? I've got a crazy f*ed up science experiment on my counter.How'd you like running into that in the middle of the night when you're going to get some water?? As if I don't already have a stalker giraffe problem, now I've got these things.

Now look, it grew, great wonderful, big deal. But the damn things CAN'T COME OUT. Don't you think the trash man is going to be like WTF kind of freak experiments are you doing embalming miniature Spider-men in milk bottles? I'm just going to leave them on the street. I'm sure the neighbors will be thrilled.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Woody: YOU! ARE! A! TOYYYYY! You're not the real Buzz Lightyear! You're - you are an action figure!

When I sit around here in my mansion and clap my hands for the maid to come pick up my used kleenex, I think to myself, man, life is hard. While none of that is true, it is true that life is hard, especially since neat freak me does not have maid, and currently, not even a vacuum. The vacuum suddenly broke and it at the repair shop - what was supposed to take 10 days has stretched well beyond that and I am pretty ticked off. I normally vacuum 3 times a day. In the morning before work, when I get home from work and then before the kids go to bed. Told you, neat freak.

Without a vacuum I have been directing my OCD cleanliness efforts elsewhere. Recently the Kid saw a stuffed giraffe at the store. Usually my kids don't ask for things, but he would not let this one go. We even went home and he kept talking about how he wanted it. I told him that if he wanted it he'd have to throw out a toy in it's place. He picked up my Henry and said, "Do you still want this?" HELLO. I've had that for 30+ years, Henry is to me as HaHa is to the Kid. Throw out your own toy, sucka!

So he went through his stuff again, and we ended up doing a FULL house cleaning. I now have EIGHT bags for Goodwill. It's crazy. And yes, the Kid threw out more than his share of toys.

In the end we went back to the store and he got his giraffe. At 30" tall and $20, it wasn't a bad deal, really. But the thing is so tall and it has this weird quizzical expression it sort of...freaks me out. Especially when I am trying to watch tv, and it's just...staring at me.

Maybe he's keeping his eye on me, knowing that I am the Queen of throwing out toys and replacing them with new ones. He better mind his biz. If I see that sneaky giraffe at the end of my bed in the middle of the night peeking at me, it's on like Donkey Kong. That thing is outta here.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Elaine: A bird ran into my giant freak-head...the one that sits atop my disproportionately puny body. I'm a walking candy apple!

I haven't bought a pumpkin yet. I know. For shame. I have no inspiration, but after watching Food Network Challenge Outrageous Pumpkins, I felt like I should make a career change just so I can add 'professional pumpkin carver' to my business cards. I think that'd be awesome at jobsite meetings.

I feel like I need to do SOMETHING to get into the fall mood. Well, the fact that it's 95 degrees out here, has made it really hard. So Jen at the fabulous Indie Fixx asked me for a Fall, Autumn-y recipe. Anything I wanted but something that felt like the season. When I think of Fall I think of comfort and sweetness.

I immediately thought of caramel apples and how I could turn that, well, into a cupcake of course! I had seen this somewhere else, but whenever I look at recipes I know what is or is not going to work for my palate and also I want to make the recipe as easy to follow as possible.

It came out pretty well, I gave them all away and everyone had rave reviews, so that's a good sign. The stick, which is completely useless of course, is what gives it the cute factor overload. I think I pretty much hit Fall, right on the mark. Now if the weather would get below 90 degrees we could get this party started.
Guest blog on Indie Fixx
Caramel Apple Cupcakes, recipe

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Monday, October 27, 2008

I am the eggman, they are the eggmen. I am the walrus

Some people really hate eggplant. I don't get it, then again I inexplicably hate bananas, so go on haters. Eggplants are really verstile, you can make them many different ways, AND there are so many varieties. Who knew?
At a recent trip to the Farmer's Market there was a table filled with them, labeled: "American eggplant. Japanese eggplant. Chinese eggplant. Italian eggplant." I opted for the Italian, because I had a hankering for some eggplant parmigiana. I figured it'd be a good way to introduce eggplant to the kids, and really, who wouldn't try anything covered in cheese?

I decided that instead of regular singular pieces of eggplant parm, I'd layer it in a small casserole. Damn do I love me some Le Crueset. Have I told you how much I love it? Too much. There is a Le Creuset outlet at the Citadel, and I do my best to stay away for fear of losing my life savings.
This small 16oz dish proved to be the perfect size for two eggplants. The kids actually tried it and liked it, which was great. I try to introduce new foods whenever I can. I find that showing them the item at the market, then the process of getting it to the table, makes them a lot more interested in the food.

I think the Kid was disappointed that there was no 'egg' in the eggplant. He also keeps asking me why they are called 'ham'burgers, when there is no ham. What can I say, language is stupid. Just wait til he finds out there no 'apple' in a pineapple.

Baked Eggplant Parmigiana
recipe.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

No windows. And no doors.

We went to Disneyland last week, big surprise, but this time it was for Disney's Halloween Trick or Treat. California Adventure is shut down from 6:30pm to 10:30pm for ticketed guests only, so are some of the rides and concessions, but there is still plenty to do and see. While the $37 price tag may stop people - this year in particular, I really felt like it was it was worth it. Then again, I got an annual passholder discount and the Baby was free, so.

It's almost like a giant private party, there are no lines for the rides, especially the 'E' ticket rides, so it's great for adults. Halloween is not like it used to be. It's not like the old days where you can just saunter up to your creepy neighbor's house and ask for candy. Nope. Now there are organized safe environments. It's sad, but what are you gonna do. One of my neighbors beats his dog and swears at his girlfriend, so I don't feel like the kids need a Kit Kat from him anyway.

Of course there's candy here, what's Halloween without candy? There are 'treat stations' set up throughout the park, yeah, it's not like going door to door, but it fun to find them and get some loot. The kids enjoy it, and it's good candy too. They also gave away boxes of raisins, apples and dried fruit. Which I saw a bunch of people...give back. HA!

We stopped at one station and the guy said to the Kid, 'You are so cute! Let me give you the GOOD stuff, all chocolates!' I just about died when I saw the Kid's face. Since he's allergic to chocolate he looked like someone had punched him in the gut. It was hilarious. I told him some kids are happy to get chocolate, don't sweat it. Obviously I am going to eat it, man this holiday is going to make me fat.It was a long night, with lots of - UGH - walking, but the kids had so much fun. Sadly, I didn't really let them dress up (plenty of other people did) because there's some wicked heat wave going on right now in SoCal, and it was about 95 degrees all the way up to 8 at night. Odd. The kids got so much candy I came home and weighed it and they had picked up...SIX POUNDS. Damn, that's a lot of candy.

More Disney Trick or Treat photos, here.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Drink me

Does anyone else notice this problem with the lids at Starbucks? Everytime I try to put a straw in my iced coffee, it's a nightmare. What the heck? I'm glad it's not just me!

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Sweeter than candy on a stick, huckleberry, cherry or lime

The Kid made this. Thank goodness they are free. Who the heck was he going to charge, the Baby??

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It squeaks when you bang it. That's what she said.

~spoilers~
Man, that picture makes me laugh.

Compared to last week's episode this one felt much more light, stupid and fun. Just the way I like the Office.

I just about died when Michael introduced Springsteen by playing 'The Heart of Rock and Roll'. More importantly, HOLY CRAP ROY. Yikes. I am well aware that I am being set up for a heartbreaker at the end of this season, I'm guessing, more than usual.

I was disappointed to see that Angela did, well - nothing. I wanted something to come out of that, and I don't mean next week, I mean now. I am incredibly impatient.

As fun as this episode was to watch, my attention was elsewhere. You see, 30 Rock is premiering next week, and well...I can't wait. No. Seriously. I can't. So I...watched it.

I have to say, as much as I adore my Directv, I don't entirely trust it. I always feel like it's a best friend waiting to stab me in the back. Sure it will work 98% of the time, but ask it to tape the season opener of Top Chef and suddenly it stops working, the finicky beyotch. Maybe it's because I toy with it's emotions. Use it against the kids. When they ask to watch Diego and the Dinosaurs for the 100th time, I coyly say, "OH NO. Directv deleted it! Guess we'll have to watch Barefoot Contessa..." to which the kids scream in agony and cry, "NO MOMMY, NOT COOKING AGAIN!"

Wait. What was I talking about? OH. Right. Yeah so as not to get into a battle with my Directv, I watched the season premiere of 30 Rock, already. It's here if you want it.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Captain Kirk: I've already got a female to worry about. Her name is the Enterprise.

What do you bring when you visit the parents of a newborn? The only logical thing would be something from...William Shatner.

I had seen the post on cookiemadness for William Shatner's cappuccino chip muffins and I couldn't believe it, but yes, the recipe was his. It turns out this is the PERFECT recipe for new parents.

I know from experience, late night feedings not only applied to the baby, but I'd often get hungry as well. These muffins would be easy to grab and go...do your business. Being up that late meant that I was also tired. The cappuccino in this sucker should at least help a new mom keep her eyes open for a 2am feeding.

As far as the Shatner part, well, I remember being up in the early morn and there wasn't much on tv but classic Trek and that was fine with me. So, see? It's one big circle of life, these muffins.

Coffee. Shatner. Breasts. I think I just upped my google rankings.

William Shatner's Cappuccino Chip Muffin recipe, here.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Get up off me back. Save your heart attack.

Wednesday is the worst day of the week. Hump day - also the lamest nickname. It's an extremely long day for me, and the kids get pretty restless too. So I always try to do something 'fun' on Wednesday evenings.

One Wednesday we did CRAFTS. Not really, but that's what I told them. In fact, I just utilized my in-house-child-labor to put together the treat bags for the kid's school friends. The Kid has pinpoint precision and a knack for organizing. So, while the Kid knocked out 28 of the 30 bags, the Baby did a lowly 2. Someone fire that lazy bastard.I got all the stuff at Target of course, and it averaged out to be about 50 cents a bag. Not bad. So ended another 'Fun Wednesday: Crafts edition', or as the Baby said, "I JES MADE A CRAP!" Um. I hope not.

Treat bag contents, here.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dwight:In the old days, the women would bear many children, and if there weren't enough grains or vegetables, they would eat the weakest of the brood.

Kids are annoying. Let me clarify - I took the Kid to a birthday party this weekend, all the children there, he knew from school. When we drove home the Kid said, "Ricky talked to me today!!" I didn't know what he meant exactly, then he went on to say, "Ricky NEVER talks to me...ever. He has his own friends." God, that's depressing. Even at 4 years old there are cliques. It made my sad little heart turn to ice and break, thinking that someone wouldn't want to be friends with my kid.

Then the Baby comes home from school to tell me that he 'hates his hair' and he wishes his hair was 'cut like Andy's, cause his looks better.' What the. I told him, 'F*ck Andy, and his hair. Someday Andy is going to knock over a liquor store in Encino and no one will give a f*ck about Andy's nice hair.' No, I didn't say that, but, you know. Now I've got a 2 year old with peer pressure.

It's only going to get tougher as they grow up.
sigh. Kids are annoying.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Baby's hungry and the money's all gone

As a kid I remember going to Taco Bell. Shocking yes, because just driving by one nowadays makes my stomach turn, frankly. And their new super hot I will burn your colon lining Volcano Taco seems like it was invented to punish humans.

But in the 80s, we ate there - and my brother LOVED their 'dessert' called Cinnamon Crispanas. Way to go bastardizing the Spanish language for the sake of sweets. Anyway, those things were fried to hell, and covered in cinnamon and sugar. Delish of course.

I wanted to get the same effect, without the disgusting-ness. And of course I wanted to involve the kids. Having them participate in cooking not only keeps them busy, but lets them feel like they are 'helping'.

The only difference is, I baked them. WAAAAYY healthier than deep frying. The kids were happy with their sweet little crisps, and I gotta say, it gave those 1980s crispanas a run for their money. Next up, the kids and I attempt the Volcano Taco....HELL. NO.Sweet Cinnamon Crisps recipe

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Phoebe: Come on Ross, you're a paleontologist, dig a little deeper.

It has become apparent that the Baby's dino fascination is not a phase. There are dinos all over the house, he talks about them all day, he ONLY wants to wear his dino underwear (I have two pairs - seriously, where do I get more?) and pretends he is a dino all day long. It's freakin' dino-tastic around here.

I even spent the big bucks and took him to Staples Center to see "Walking with the Dinosaurs." I thought the kids would be frightened, but they were enthralled. It was wonderfully done and there was a huge amount of learnin' involved.

On our recent Pasadena trip, I made sure that the highlight of the day was to go to The Dinosaur Farm. A toy store in South Pasadena, it has a bunch of toys, but the big deal is that it has a whole dino room in the front. It's amazing. No wonder it was voted best toy store. It's a rather large space and they do a great job of displaying the toys and have a wide assortment of items for kids of all ages. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful too, that will make me a repeat customer every time.The Baby was in awe.We stayed there over an hour. My plan was to buy him one big dino of his choice, but he didn't really choose one. I am lucky in that my kids are not the kind who beg, plead, throw tantrums if they don't get something as they leave a toy store. His favorites are the 'long necks' and so he ended up with a Camarasauras. At least that's what he told me it was, and when I looked at the tag and he was correct! Quick, someone buy me a 'MY CHILD IS A GENIUS' bumper sticker.

When I told him that 'long necks' ate "leaves - like salad," he was disgusted. He decided he'd much rather be a T-Rex. That's a meateater for you.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

The politics of dancing

This election is important.

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I was going to talk to Holly about her hygiene. She smells like old tomatoes. And dirt.

~spoilers~
I don't know if it's just me, but it took FOREVER for Friday to get here. Man. What a long week. So when I sat down to finally watch the show tonight, I was already beat, and the episode didn't really help either. It kind of depressed me. Jan is just so horrible. It was hard to watch.

On par with the the episode, today I actually held a newborn, and I forgot how teeny tiny they really are. What a nice life to be able to just sleep all day. My kids seem so big now, like they were never that small. Today the Kid said he was so tired from playing outside, he just wanted to go home. Good lord, life just gets harder as you get older. Running around in a circle drinking juice can be exhausting, apparently.

When Angela dressed the baby up in the vegetable cornucopia, THEN I cracked up. That was classic. I had forgotten about her love for babies that are dressed up. While the JAM Jim+Pam storyline is really depressing me, Michael and Holly makes for a nice change to the show.

I have decided to watch more tv. Not a normal goal, I know. But I don't watch that much, and what I've realized is, watching tv is the only time when I do absolutely...nothing. You have no idea what that means. I am ALWAYS doing something. If I have 30 minutes I try and bake. Or draw. When I read I start doing other things as well. But when I watch tv I just sit there. It's what I need. My stress levels are so high, I'll take whatever I can get. Any suggestions for loading my tivo would be helpful. Even if it's crap tv, that's probably the best stuff anyway.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Edina: I mean, you've given up drinking before.
Patsy: Worst eight hours of my life.

I do my best to remember all the things that my friends like so that someday I can surprise them with gifts. Like the carrot cake cookies, the pumpkin hamster cupcakes, etc.

My memory bank tells me this. Paul like Ovaltine, Godzilla and balls. Potato balls from Porto's that is. While I can't mail out potato balls, I can do something tricky with Ovaltine. Since this birthday gift had to be mailed, I couldn't do cupcakes, but I thought brownies would be sturdy enough to handle the trip.

I have never had Ovaltine. I get that it's a malted milk type thing, but that never appealed to me either. I assume it's like Horlicks, which is another malted milk product. It's weird cause love malt balls, but never felt the need to have it in a drink.

Since I've baked with malt before, I thought I'd just approach this the same way. I doctored up a brownie recipe, and added some Ovaltine. If you ask me, there wasn't much Ovaltine taste, but for a brownie, I'd say it worked out fine. I bet it'd taste GREAT with a tall glass of...Ovaltine. Just ask Godzilla.Ovaltine Brownies recipe, here.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lane Myer: She only speaks French, Roy. She doesn't speak imbecile.

I need to take a break from these birthday posts to tell you, I'm not an idiot. I realize that this may come as a shock to some of you, but it's true.

I followed Martha Stewart's advice (pimping) and finally looked through that stupid 'Valupak' trash mail that comes in the mail. There are valuable usable coupons inside! Whatever, Martha. So I took a look and saw an ad for duct cleaning, and realized I hadn't cleaned my ducts in...8 years. Gross, I know, but I rarely use my heater since this is Southern California, after all, it can only get so cold.

Plus I saw that Flipping Out when Jeff Lewis opened up the duct work and there was rat feces just blowing in the baby's room. That scared the crap out of me. So I went ahead and scheduled a with coupon $45 duct cleaning. No biggie, right?

First sign I was in trouble, the guy rescheduled the day. Fine. Second sign? They called me at noon to say they were down the street, hello - my appointment wasn't until 3pm. Ugh. So I raced home from work to let them in. Then when the guy got here he proceeded to hit on me - I have no time for that crap, just clean my ducts, and I don't mean literally.

They hooked up some sort of machine that supposedly vacuums out the crap. Of course, they turn out to be total con artists, sitting me down and telling me things are SO wrong. And that it will cost me $1800 to fix, and it had to be done. He showed me the dirt. I've seen worse. He said my ducts were in bad shape. They aren't. Then he drew a diagram. I don't need a diagram to tell me that I am being scammed. I lay out ductwork with engineers everyday, I know how air systems and plenums work. They would not take no for an answer. THEN he started saying weird crap like, 'So you live here alone? You have kids, can I see their pictures?" That's it. Get out.

I basically paid them $40 to get the hell out and had to shove them out the door. Moral of the story - Martha Stewart owes me $40.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rhymes with orange.

Baked goods for birthday gifts continues...

Fact. The earth is round. Jodi loves hamsters. So it was kind of a no brainer when it came to these cupcakes. She makes cute little hammies (as the Kid calls them) in balls.

She also loves orange. And pumpkin. Luckily right now the season is perfect for such things. I made a batch of my pumpkin cupcakes, which she declared the 'best ever,' (positive feedback is what keeps me going here, folks) but I think she was just high on pumpkin. I added a dollop of the chocolate spreads that I bought for the kids to top it off, much like the Snoopy cupcakes.

I busted out the fondant only to realize that I had very little left. So I improvised and made just a few hamsters and spelled out her name with the rest. Since she has a Hamtaro hat - apparently she just turned 12 - I thought Hamtaro would look great in fondant.

Man, I thought this would be a cinch. The Kid and I drew pictures of him for days to get the hang of it, but in fondant form, it just didn't work out quite right. However it was close enough for her to recognize the character when she opened the box. Whew.

I tried to convince the Kid that these hamster cupcakes were in fact HAMSTER FLAVORED. He didn't fall for it.
Fondant Hamtaro how to, here.
*note: This how-to kind of sucks. I made these at 4 in the morning cause I couldn't sleep, but it was still dark out so there was no light for quality photos. Still, I think you get the gist of it.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

What's up doc?

So many people I know have birthdays this month. I like to bake for gifts, so this week I am posting all the stuff I've made for October birthdays...

I rarely leave the house at night, it's just not feasible. Getting someone to watch the kids is one thing, but at night I do so much: crafts, baking, laundry, watching crap tv, it's the only time when I'm alone and can get things done. But it was Nina's birthday last week and made extra effort to try and get down there because, as she says, I'm a unicorn. I'm rarely seen and never around.

The party was at the Hotel Figueroa downtown. I pass this building on a weekly basis, but the signage and storefront always screamed porn hotel to me. Not so. They completely redid the thing in a Moroccan theme, and it's pretty fantastic. It's straight Casablanca up in there. Lovely. Nothing to do with porn, what a shocker.

I know she likes Carrot Cake, but I always find it weird to bring a cake to a party. Also I was on cupcake overload from the past few things that I've made so I thought, what about carrot cake...cookies? I had seen Martha Stewart's version, but I didn't quite like the ingredients, so I did something similar.

I have to say, the reason I don't like carrot cake is the cream cheese frosting, which I KNOW is the main draw for people when they think of it. I realize it's not carrot cake without the cream cheese, but that is on my 'I'd rather barf' list. That being said, it wasn't my birthday, so I stuck to tradition and came up with something that gets all the flavors to come together in a handy little sandwich.

It was nice to get out and maybe I will think about leaving the house at night a little more often... Eh. Probably not. I'm fine with my unicorn status.

Carrot Cake cookies recipe

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Well we all shine on , like the moon and the stars and the sun

Pasadena is one of my favorite places. I used to live there - I loved the restaurants and the culture, a lot of my friends lived in historic craftsman homes, there was just so much to do. However, I did not love the 100+ weather, so I hightailed it out of there. I have been wanting to go back for some time. Too bad I refuse to go anywhere where it's over 73 degrees. I'll wait until the fall, thanks.

Since October is here, my 'Adventure in Pasadena' for the kids, can finally come true. It's not your traditional, go to the flea market, hang out in Old Town kinda Pasadena trip, no I had a specific things in mind. I took my mom with me because there was no way I could wrangle two kids on my own all the way out there and not lose my mind.

I am a huge fan of conceptual/performance art. It can be freaky and weird, but I find the creativity very inspiring. Love her or hate her, Yoko Ono's message of peace is important, especially these days. Currently she has an installation out on One Colorado called 'Wish Trees for Pasadena'. She took these crape myrtle trees, and people can write their 'wishes' on pieces of paper and tie them to a tree. I'm glad I waited for cooler weather, because now the trees are almost full of wishes.There are of course, superficial ones, "I wish for more money," "I wish for the Dodgers to win the series". But there are some that are heartbreaking. "I wish my mother would get help," "I wish John loved me more." It's honestly quite stunning.

It was important to me that the boys saw this. I want them to experience art in everyday life. They told me their wishes and I wrote them down. At 4 and 2 years old, you never know what to expect, the Kid's first thought was "I wish I had more cheese." Ok, ew. But I can't help but laugh when I think of strangers who visit the Wish Trees and stumble upon the Baby's wish: "I wish dinosaurs ruled the earth." I hope your wish comes true, Baby.
More of my Wish Tree pictures here
More Wish Tree info on video

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

fog kissed valleys

Friday, October 10, 2008

A very merry unbirthday to you

Mother's Cookies is closing down, so no more pink and white Circus Animal cookies. I never liked them that much but my brother loved them.

I proclaim next week Birthday Baking Week. Not my birthday. No, it just seems to me that lots of people have birthdays in October, and so I've been baking a lot of birthday presents. Jodi says that this is because October is 40 weeks after January, so lots of people have been gettin' it on in the New Year. Gross. I don't want to think about people's parents doin' it.

In any case, I've been baking a lot of birthday sweets as gifts. So next week I'll post them each day. That's the plan anyway. Unless I get distracted by something shiny and post about shoes or something. It's a toss up around here.

My plan this weekend is to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Obviously it has chocolate in it so the Kid won't be eating it. I guess I'll just have to eat them all in hiding over the kitchen sink at midnight. Good lord, HIS allergies make me feel like I have an eating disorder. Well someone has to take the chocolate bullet, and I'm all over it.

These are SO good for this nice cold, winter-y fall weather. See what I did there? I WISHED it therefore it will be so. Go away heat. I'm over you.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins
recipe

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It's about this guy named Dumbledore Calrissian...

Oh man. That episode hit a little to close to home for me. I get emails all day about things were are and are not allowed to do at work. When Jim busted out the stopwatch I just about died. There's a certain amount of personal freedom that makes people want work harder, I think. We recently got an office lecture about the fact that we are not 'paid to go to the bathroom.' So whenever I travel to go to meetings I just tell the secretary that when people call for me, just tell them that 'I'm in the bathroom. Yes, for an hour.' No matter how many times I tell her to do that she never does. Huh. Go figure.

Yes, morale is bad in the office, and while my bake-a-thon did smooth things over for a day, things are back to 'normal.' That is not a good thing, as the girl next to me can attest, as I heard her crying yesterday.

Yeah, yeah, I am the idiot since I am still there. But I have one big pet peeve. Yes, only one. And it's not that we can't go to the bathroom, or talk out loud, or use the internet, or use the exits, (we got a memo on all of those things, no joke) no my one big problem is that they don't provide Kleenex. You have no idea how this can affect your life. You don't realize how lucky you are to be able to go to a supply closet and get a new box whenever you want. You don't realize that your co-workers are stealing individual tissues of your very own personal Kleenex box that you bought on sale at Target to specially put next to your monitor and you chose pink cause you thought it'd make you happy when in reality the color doesn't matter...yeah. No, you forget such things when Kleenex is at your disposal willy nilly.

Today I ran out. I reached into the box and there was...nothing. I'm not kidding, I panicked something crazy. Life without Kleenex is not a life worth living. How else am I going to blow my nose, or maniacally wipe down my keyboard, or clean up the blood when I cut my finger with an xacto? I can go without food and water, but Kleenex, forget it.

I guess...this wasn't much of an Office recap, as it was a recap of my office. Sad. What can I say except seeing Dwight pee into a bottle made me sick yet...thirsty for soda...

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm handsome either way. You know you like it that I'm singing to you.

Tonight some dude came to my door with - I kid you not - a chocolate cake in one hand, and pink roses in another. 'Sorry, wrong house.' Is this like the worst joke ever? I wanted cake, dammit.

This heat is killing me. That fall weather that I fell in love with last week? Lasted one freakin' day. Sad. O.G. keeps telling me, 'Old people die in this kind of heat you know." She is a liar who lies because everytime I go to her house, there she is. Alive.
(disclaimer: That's a joke. If you don't get my sense of humor and think that I want old people die, then why are you reading this blog? Wait. Why am I putting a disclaimer? Screw you humorless bastards.)

I have SO many things planned for the kids this weekend, but this heat could ruin all of it. Who wants to be outside with cranky children? Not me. I hope the heat dies down, otherwise I will have to stay home and go on a baking marathon. Which sounds something like a killing spree, only sweeter.

This has nothing to do with the horrible heat, or with baking, or with some a-hole denying me cake, but it is AWESOME. A-ha is one of my favorite bands, I'm not afraid to admit. I can listen to Hunting High and Low backwards and forwards all day long. So when I started watching this video - 'Take on me -LITERAL version.' I died laughing. Wait for the subtitles to kick in. Man, this was one random post.



via danielhonigman.com

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Good grief.

I <3 Snoopy. Disney is number one in our house, but Snoopy has been in my heart for years. Hello 1976, nice dress.

I have been getting a lot of emails about fondant. People are understandably scared of it. It's like staring at a blank canvas. I didn't touch it for years, but it's actually a lot of fun and very forgiving. If it doesn't work out, just ball it up and start over. No tears.

Snoopy is a great place to start, simple colors, just black and white. It's more free form than my Curious George cupcakes, for these I just molded the fondant til I got what I was looking for, shape-wise. Very similar to the fondant Bullys that I did.

For the actual cupcake I made pumpkin cupcakes. An ode to my cousin's love for pumpkin pie, and just lightly topped them with the chocolate spreads that I got the other day. I was told that these cupcakes were the 'best I've ever made', but I think that person was lightheaded and biased from pumpkin overload.

I have been dying to go to Knott's Berry Farm to scope out the Snoopy goods, but mostly, I want some fried chicken. Everytime I mention it, complaints. The kids just want to ride rides. O.G. thinks two hours to wait for fried chicken is stupid. I don't blame her, but come on. FRIED. CHICKEN. Anyway, I'm sick of hearing it from them plus the Halloween haunt scares the bejezzus out of me, so I decided to just not go at all. For now, I'll just have to make do with these cupcakes.

Fondant Snoopy, how to
Pumpkin Cupcakes

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Monday, October 06, 2008

When the dog bites.
When the bee stings.
When I'm feeling sad.

So, I decided to throw a birthday party. This is what happens when I am bored. Seriously. My cousin's birthday is Columbus Day, and she always feels jipped. Maybe she hates the New World, who knows. So this year I decided to throw her a huge party. Huge meaning my family came over and I planned it in a week. Oh well. Here's part of the invite:I put together a list of all her favorite foods. I have to say, the list was horrifying. Seriously, sit down and write a list of everything you love, it's kinda gross. My goal was to get or make or incorporate every one of her favorite things.

Ginger Beef
Bacon
Kim Chee
Funyuns
Chikin in a Biskit (crackers)
Beef Jerky
Yokan
Pumpkin Pie
White Chocolate

Gross, right? So I made Ginger Beef, which came out nothing like her favorite meal, but damn it was good. Then I took the kim chee and made kim chee pizza, which you remember, won my family's 'Pizza Taste Test', screw you Papa Johns! p.s. I don't like kim chee so I didn't touch that pizza but everyone else was thrilled.

But the hit - was dessert. Chocolate Covered BACON ice cream. I took a Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar, chopped it up and threw it into my ice cream maker. It wasn't bad, I gotta say. The chocolate bacon by itself, kinda disgusting, but in the ice cream, everyone seemed to love it. Go figure. I'm sure if Columbus were alive he'd be wanting some kim chee pizza.

Kim Chee Pizza recipe
Chocolate Covered Bacon Ice Cream

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Jim: The bat, I mean, I know I felt it bite me, but look. There's no mark. I feel so... tingly... so strangely powerful...



This weekend in L.A. it actually felt cold, cold enough to wear our seasonal uniform of a tank top and scarf, ha suckas!

Therefore, Halloween can't be too far away. Someone asked for a rundown of Halloween treats that I've made in the past. Knock yourself out.


Gingerbread Halloween Mansions



Go here for the 2003 version, here for the 2006 version.





Halloween Back from the Grave Cupcakes




Mini Caramel Apples
Butterscotch Apples





Dirt Cake



Vegan GingerBAT Cookies

Vegan ChocoBAT Cookies
Bat Ice Cream Sandwiches



Oh, I forgot! If you are doing a 'very Target' Halloween, Domo cupcakes are probably in order...



Domo Kun Cupcakes

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