Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks.

I love to give things away. It makes me happy. So here's my big THANKSgiving giveaway. Start your shopping early by not spending any money, but instead winning a gift from me. I won't tell your friends that you're a cheap bastard, don't worry.

The prize is just a few of my FAVORITE baking gadgets:Mario Batali Measuring Prep Spoons, they are awesome and take up little drawer space. I use them every day.

Cup-a-cake holder+bottle o' sprinkles
- who doesn't want to a take a cupcake with them...on a trip?

Martha Stewart mini Cutting Board. Tiny things? MY FAVE. And ALL things Martha Stewart, of course.

Plus even more!

You can also win:

Stationery. Yes, what I make. What? Free is free.

Two winners! Your luck just doubled, sucka. I bought these things with my own hard earned money, as a thank you for reading all these years, or if you just started reading, well - long time readers who've never won anything will probably kick your a$. In any case, I hand picked these things just for you.

From now until Sunday leave a comment in this post. Yes, I won't be back til Sunday, I am currently still deathly ill getting over being sick (don't tell my family as they are all coming over today) so if I even make it to Sunday, then I'll send out the prize. I am also still mulling over the whole Black Friday thing. What do you think? Worth it? Probably not.

In any case, tell me what you come here to read about. Do I know you in real life? What are your hopes and dreams? Why you decided to cut your hair like that that one time? Etc. Just let me know that you're lurking about and you might win a prize.

Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Edina: I DON'T WANT MORE CHOICE, I JUST WANT NICER THINGS .

Get ready, get set, start shopping! While the holiday sales are crazy nuts right now, wouldn't it be nice to sit your butt in front of your computer and buy quality goods in the comfort of your home? Sounds better than fighting the crowd for the last pair of toddler Uggs. UGHS is right.

Here is a list of things that I adore and are all made by artists who just happen to be friends of mine. Yep. I'm pimping peeps.



Ben Walker - shirt $20/artwork $30+







I sat next to Ben Walker for 4 days at SDCC and I'm telling you, seeing a bear with a gun NEVER gets old. His art is stunning. Western. Modern. With a twist of dark humor. I bought two prints and hung them in the guest bathroom - why the guest bathroom? Because everyone goes in there and I wanted it to be seen by one and all.

My pick: The bear with a gun t-shirt of course. Just $20 for pure genius. Hell, even Wil Wheaton owns one.



Snarkydork - hammies $8-$10



Did your kids drag you to go see Bolt? Oh good lord, then you know all about the hamster in the ball. My kids love these things, they treat them just like real pets. The reason I love them? They are not real pets. No poop to clean. No feeding involved, but yes, it is still possible that you might vaccuum them up if you're not careful. The kids like the regular ones, but me - I like the punk one.

My pick: Pom pom hammies $8



Lil Sprinkles - Custom dolls $16-$37


These two sisters are the nicest gals ever. They've recently just jumped into this business and I can tell they are going to be BIG. It's one thing to make stuff, it's another to do it WELL. These dolls are incredibly well crafted and have great detail, something that I am very particular about. I have bought many of these as gifts, the small rag dolls are my favorite. They make fantastic gifts and the Sisters will even embroider initials on the doll for free. Now that's custom.
My pick: Rag dolls $17.50



justJENN designs - custom stationery $6- $12

Yeah, yeah, it's my own stuff - but did you really think I was going to pimp someone else's stationery? Ninja, please. My kids need to go to college.
Anything custom is a GREAT gift because it shows that you're really thinking about someone. Well, unless you've spelled their name wrong. That's your problem. Personalized Circus notepads are just $6!! Custom gift sets include a 40 page notepad and 8 cards+envelopes. Or just get them a sh*tlist and be done with it.
My pick: Modern Gift Set $12 also FREE SHIPPING until Monday!



Paul Horn - custom avatar $50


This is pretty cool. Paul is a FABULOUS artist and a great friend. He does outstanding work and will do a custom avatar - sent digitally to you. His likenesses are amazing and I think this would make a fun 'surprise' gift for someone. Print it out! Iron it on a pillowcase and scare you spouse! The fun is endless! Or you can just pick up his very own comic books CoolJerk, also a great gift. Just don't ask him to draw Bigfoot for you. He won't even do that for free.
My pick: Custom avatar $50


Conduct Happiness - tees $24


I've known these guys for a few years now, known is relative in the internet world, but I always go and have a nice visit with them every year at SDCC. I also buy a TON of their stuff. It's so freakin' cute and makes for GREAT gifts for kids. The minute the Kid was potty trained he was in a Pea Standing Up tee. I love their new shirt: "Broccoli give you gas." Cause it totally does.
My pick: Pea in the pool tote $5

So there you have it. Some really great stuff to think about for holiday gifts, designed by some of my favorite people. Tell 'em I sent you.

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving...and a contest!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Raiders of the lost ark.

My kids are museum veterans. I try to take them to as many different types as possible and here in L.A. we have a diverse number at our fingertips. Many of the museums are multi-cultural which I think is important for kids to learn about at a young age.

The Skirball is a Jewish Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The Noah's Ark exhibition had been going on for some time, and I've been dying to take the kids there, but just couldn't seem to fit it in. Finally they announced that the 8000 sq ft. exhibit was permanent, and that is a fantastic thing for me schedule wise.Once we finally got there, it did not disappoint. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the art, the interactivity and just the sheer freedom it gave the kids - was everything that I always hope for in a museum visit.

It teaches kids about creative recycling, but more than that, I felt like it taught them how to connect, build and interact. The animals were stunning, and the incredible thoughtfulness that went into this exhibition was fabulous. There was a climbing section, and art section, a science section, it was all inclusive.And since the visits are timed, well, you still have to deal with other people's annoying children, but not all at once. And that is a good thing, speaking as a mother of my very own annoying children. However I stand by the fact that my kids are way more well behaved than others, since some parents seem to just let their awful kids loose on the rest of us. Don't make me go off on a rant about that. My children are NOT allowed to act terrible in public, they know that I'll take them straight home, I ain't playin'.

It's an amazing exhibit that I highly recommend - even if you don't have kids. Also the grounds of the Skirball are just beautiful. O.G. thought we were going to the Screwball Museum. What the heck? What kind of museum would that be exactly, an ode to the Three Stooges?

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Give 'em the bird.

My mom has decided to go against her well known and well followed turkey brine recipe and try something new from the L.A. Times. I'm banking on my family rioting, led by my brother throwing the table over and declaring it the worst Thanksgiving ever. But. You know. We take our turkey seriously around here.

Still, not everyone in the family loves turkey. Well, just three people, really. O.G. hates turkey. Anything with wings really. Does that mean she hates airplanes? Hm. I'm lucky if I can get the Kid to eat any meat at all. Meanwhile I asked the Baby what he wanted for Thanksgiving and he said POKE. (Meaning pork of course, he's not keen on enunciation.) "Please mommy, I wan poke."

Ever since the Baby got out of diapers, I realized it's saved me about $30+ a month. That's a ton of cash considering he was in diapers for 2.5 years. Still, I feel broke and I'm wondering where the money that I used to spend on diapers, is going...? Then I realized. Pork. The Baby loves pork. He cannot get enough. He even does a POKE DANCE just in case you aren't sure how much he really loves the stuff.

If you are like me and have family members who hate birds - I hate birds but I don't mind eating them - then this recipe might be good for your holiday meal, Sweet Spiced Pork Loin. It only takes 20 minutes and the little porkers in your life will be satisfied. But ask them to do a POKE DANCE for you first to make them work for their meal.Sweet Spiced Pork Loin recipe

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Clipper Nation

I try to take my kids to EVERY cultural opportunity that this city has to offer. I know I keep saying it, but there is so much to do in Los Angeles, I don't know how you can stay home. To live here and not take full advantage is just a sad missed opportunity.

So when Premium Seat Clippers tickets fell into my hands for free, off we went to experience sports in the big arena. The only thing better than premium seats is a private box, but those cost a year's salary+. The level is decked out like a hotel with private card keys to get to your fully furnished rooms.
Premium seats are just under those private boxes, they have the same great view and you get your own waiter to bring you food. Pretty amazing, although I've never utilized that option. I like to go stand in line and see all the food pass in front of me so I can see it with my own two eyes. This particular day they had caramel apples. YUM.
The kids weren't really interested in the game, of course. That is until they saw their own faces on the jumbo tron. The Baby was dancing like there was no tomorrow (Clippers games have their own DJ during time outs) and like all fools, when we saw ourselves on the screen we stopped and pointed and stared. Lame. The Baby starting screaming "DID YOU SEE ME? DID YOU SEE ME UP THERE??" Pretty hilarious.

Once the sugar high of the arena food wore off, the kids got restless fast. I took them down to the Laker store, which for our game was a Clippers store, which they were turning over to a Kings store, since there was a hockey game that very night after our game. It's all very complicated but 4 Los Angeles professional teams share the Staples Center, and their coordination of it all is pretty outstanding.
As per the usual - right as we were about to go back to our seats the Baby announced (loudly) in the store that he had to POOP. Great. So off we went to the bathrooms. Not a big deal until the Kid announced that he too had to POOP. Good lord. It was a fight for the toilet. Let me tell you, coordinating two pooping kids in a public bathroom stall is no easy task. Especially when the Baby is yelling, "MOMMY I SEE YO PEANUTS." (His word for penis, if you remember.)

It's hard to tell the kids to hold it when really, when you gotta go, you gotta go. Luckily it all worked out - but I ended up spending so much time with the dual poopers that when we finally got out and washed hands and all that jazz...the game was over. People were streaming out to their cars...we had missed most of the game.

All in all the kids had a good time and if you took anything away from this, let it be that the Staples Center has wonderfully large, clean, excellent bathrooms. Also, if you are next to a kid yelling about his peanuts, it's us. Hi. Nice to meet you.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

KOST 103 has started their annual tradition of playing Christmas music, starting now, all day every day. While it's enjoyable...it's not even Thanksgiving but more than that...IT WAS 79 MOTHERF*ING DEGREES TODAY.

I forcibly put my kids in ski hats and long sleeves and made them go outside to play. Yes they will get heatstroke, but it's the season dammit, make some faux snowballs out of those hot rocks over there.

sigh.

Anyway. It's too hot to think. So I will give you a recipe. Green Tea ice cream. It's not for everyone, but it's fresh, light and just right...for summer. Merry Christmas. I hope Santa brings me an air conditioner.

Green Tea Ice Cream recipe, here.

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I once framed a raccoon for opening a Christmas present.

I have had a toothache for three days. I went to the dentist for an emergency appt this morning and he said, "Um...I don't think it's your teeth...I think you're just stressed out." What.

He referred me to a surgeon just in case. Good lord.

~spoilers...?~

Ok first of all, there's no way I'm living in a house with a clown painting on the wall. Ever. No way. Ever.

Never.

Secondly Caprese salad is fantastic. Caprese sandwiches are even better, on a baguette, so YUM. I know that some people like Toby's character...but I don't. He just bothers me. Is it the whin-i-ness? His overall sadness? Who knows. Maybe I am like Michael Scott? Oh no. Anyway, Toby's annoying. But now he's back. Also annoying, dirty microwaves.

I'm kind of shocked Pam was down with the house, but what I wouldn't give for my own art studio too, damn.

As for the other show...I like 30 Rock. I like Steve Martin. But this just didn't come together for me. This show is crazy with guest stars lately, still, it wasn't as bad as Jennifer Aniston last week. However any show without Jenna, always shines a little brighter for me.

Also, why was Alec Baldwin so fat, and Steve Martin so red, and Liz Lemon so skinny? Is it just my HDtv? I kinda long for the days when I couldn't see everyone's pores, thanks.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Saffie: I take it you want a chocolate croissant then?
Eddie: "Pain au chocolat", we call it in this house, darling.

Dude, I am not feeling well. I am trying deseperately to get over something, I don't know what, but I am trying to avoid what looks to be the flu. So I'm going to make this short and...sweeeeet. Haha.There are certain things I WON'T make. That is, things that are my favorite. Lemon Meringue Pie macarons, chocolate croissants, etc. It may seem contrary, but I'd rather buy something that I love than attempt it myself. I just figure I'd rather pay a professional baker to get the real stuff. So when I saw these 'make at home' chocolate croissants at Trader Joe's I thought, 'Well this is going to be crap.' Yes even in silent conversations, I have a potty mouth.
The cashier said, "No, you'll love these, they are the BEST." Hm. Fine. I took them home and it says to leave them out on a baking sheet ALL NIGHT. Do these people not realize the complete and total food bacteria phobia I have? Yet I don't use a papertowel to open restroom doors. Huh. I'm an enigma.It was kind of super amazing how they puffed up overnight. I put them in the oven for just 30 mins and they came out golden and flaky and perfect. But how did they taste?
Well. I don't have a picture of the insides because...I ate them all. Not all in one sitting don't be crazy. All in one day. sigh. Now that's crazy. One reason I won't make croissants is because I KNOW how much butter goes into it, andit's disgusting. Sure I'll eat it - but I don't want to be a part of it. These were FANTASTIC, for only $3.99! Like a little butter dream. What I imagine Paula Deen's bedding to be made out of...

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Suckers write me checks and then they bounce - see I'm the long leaner, victor the cleaner, I'm the illest motherf*ker from here to Gardena

I am having a BIG giveaway next week for loyal readers, so stay tuned. Yes you have to sit through boring kid stories and recipes til then, but you will be rewarded. Also don't forget - free shipping for just one more week.

O.G. is pretty sharp. There's no foolin' her. Usually. But she totally got scammed a few weeks ago, and it was pretty sad.

She got a phone call from her 'credit card company' (yeah right) who said that she had a false charge - someone had supposedly charged airline tickets to her card. Oh the horror! Therefore she MUST give them her card number for verification AND (of course) her CCV number.

Right there is the key. The CCV number. Any astute online shopper (ok, maybe I'm addicted) knows that you never give that away, ever ever. Especially over the phone to a random caller who calls your house. However O.G. does not know about online shopping - hell the woman still writes checks at the grocery store. Yes, she is that annoying woman that takes two hours when you just want to buy Funyuns and coffee ice cream and go home and watch Top Chef, and why does that old woman need to sign her signature so perfectly and who even uses a ballpoint pen anymore, anyway? So. Yeah.

But the woman on the phone was VERY good. She said her name was Mary, she was a manager in the Florida headquarters and gave her contact number and and everything and said all the key words that would make an old woman trust her. And like that...O.G. was out $400. So sad. Still she was suspicious and the next day she called her credit card company - you know, just in case - and what do you know - there was no woman named Mary. No Florida office even. Not only that they had charged on her card, all over the eastern seaboard. Sigh.

She was very luckily that the credit card reimbursed her. They also told her that in these 'hard economic times' their scams are WAY up, and that people are getting much sneakier about it. Poor O.G. She was always the one warning me about scams, but now that she is older, more hard of hearing, I feel like she is more of a target than she realizes.

When she got the reimbursement she said, "I got free money, let's go to dinner!" Uh, hello, that is not free money, it's YOUR MONEY. That someone STOLE. Whatever, I'm not passing up a free dinner.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dream of better lives the kind which never hate, dropped in the state of imaginary grace

The Kid loves grilled cheese. Obviously - because there's no meat in it whatsoever. The Baby won't touch the stuff. So when I heard that there was a grilled cheese sandwich restaurant...well, I had to try it out.

Lately Los Angeles has been jumping on the one hit wonder restaurant bandwagon, that is - a store that specializes in one thing. I don't know how stores like that can survive here, in New York, where it's more popular, I can see it. But here, eh. So I always try and go to these things tout de suite, for fear that they will close down before I get my chance.

Meltdown is in downtown Culver City, an area which is THE place for great restaurants right now. I took the kids on a Saturday, after a quick run to Surfas of course, which is down the way. The Kid ordered - what else - grilled cheese 'junior sized'. I got the Italian Deli, which the Baby ate most of since he found out there was meat in it.

The sandwiches were REALLY good. And sitting outside on a warm November day was lovely. Yes, I realize it's snowing elsewhere, but this is how we roll out here. The best thing? Homemade pickles. I am a sucker for pickles/cucumbers and these things were YUM. The kids ate up everything. p.s. they had Mexican Coke. Awesome. I'm all over that. Or as Jodi says, "Yay for drinking lead."My one issue with this place is the hours, they are few and far between. Perhaps being open for a limited time during the day works for them, but for the schedule that I've got my kids on, it's hard to work out.

It wasn't really a destination restaurant, but if I was strolling the neighborhood, I'd definitely stop by again. They also have 'sweet melt' sandwiches - aka PB&J - as well as soup. You know, for those cold winter days...seeing as how next week is Thanksgiving and we are wearing shorts here in L.A.? I don't see those cold days coming...

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Monday, November 17, 2008

And the tenderness I feel, will send the dark underneath, will I follow?

As with all my craft shows I make Burger Bites to take with me and hand out to friends who visit the booth. I always run out, no matter how many I make. I individually wrap all of them for your protection. I mean, for freshness.

Today, I opened up my MSL magazine to see a holiday ad from Nestle and whaddya know? Not only did Nestle rip off my burger cookies but also Bakerella's cheesecake pop idea. Granted they changed the recipes up, but you get the gist of where it came from. Nice job Nestle. Obviously someone who works for them has been trolling the web.
*Added: Point modified here- I found it interesting that all the recipes in the ad were recent things that have been popular on the internet. There. How's that for clarification?

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... as long as you give credit. If I don't come up with the idea myself, I try my best to give props to the people that inspired me. For instance, I love the book:Hello, Cupcake! I use it all the time for great cupcake inspiration and ideas. The minute I saw their 'Corn on the Cob' cupcake, I just KNEW I had to make them for sko_G's birthday because he loves him some corn, and I thought they'd be hilarious. They turned out fantastic, just like the book said they would! The Starburst as butter, plus black and white sanding sugar for salt and pepper added just the right touch.Point is, inspiration is everywhere. Felt Club was fabulous because you got to see so many crafters with great - and maybe similar - ideas all in one room. There is always some overlap, creative types tend to think alike - but there is room for everyone, crafting/baking shouldn't be a competition but a collaboration.

But yeah, if you blatantly rip me off without credit - yes, I will call you a dick on the internet.'Corn on the Cob' cupcakes how to - here.

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First rule of Felt Club

Yesterday was Felt Club - this year it was my one and only craft show of the season, and it was amazing, fun, and exhausting. Jenny did a great job putting the whole thing together - this was the biggest ever! I've been before as a shopper, but this was my first year as a vendor. The promotion was fantastic. It was crazy crowded, I heard some people waited over an hour just to get in.

I did really well - considering the economy and the crazy fires in L.A., I wasn't sure what to expect, if anyone would show up at all, let alone buy. But I am extremely happy and sales were fantastic. I had a lot of fun seeing old friends and making lots of new ones. Almost all my cookies were gone by the end of the day - since I had 50+ of them and only handed them out to people that I knew, that is a damn lot of cookies. Er, people.

I also gave away over 300+ postcards. I still have more, email me your address if you want one. After all, now over 300 Angelenos have one, as does Martha Stewart. Ha - hilarious.

The highlight of the day was also what is sure to give me the title: Best Mother in the World. I met the one and only DJ Lance Rock of Yo Gabba Gabba fame. He was just the nicest ever, and even came and bought a bunch of robot cards from my booth. Since the kids only see him on tv, when I told them that I met AND talked to him they were like...'Whaaa...?"

It was a great day - it felt like the holidays where all your good friends and family are in one place and everyone is in a festive happy mood. But with spandex entertainment. Here's to next year!

Blurry and dark pics here.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Only one group dares to challenge this intergalactic threat...

I hate Italian delis. When I say hate I mean hate with all the love in my heart. I could spend hours upon hours, going up and down the aisles, finding different ingredients, creating recipes in my head. It's like Disneyland for cooks up in there.

There are tons of great Italian delis in L.A. but one that I visit often is Bay Cities because of the spectacular sandwiches. Of course when you order anything, there is always a wait - which is always dangerous. For my wallet. As I wandered the aisles my eyes popped out of my head as my worlds collided when I saw this on the shelf:
Yes. A limited edition Justice League NUTELLA jar with my fave....FLASH. What. I actually grabbed it and looked around as if I had found a lost treasure that someone was going to steal from me. I am retarded.

It is the cutest thing on earth. I should probably use the jar for pens or something but I can't bring myself to open it. So for now, poor poor Flash is stuck in a hazelnutty prison. Sorry, buddy.

Here's an oldie but a goodie - Super....friends?

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Egg salad sandwich? Could you have picked something stinkier to take on a plane? Do you have a bag of baby poop in there too?

~spoilers~
Well that was one satisfying Office. Not...the Canada part so much. But the stuff IN the office? Classic.

Now Holly is supposed to come back, but I still don't get how that is all going to work. And what is Ryan's job now that Pam is back? And YAY, Pam is back! That scene at the car was about the sweetest thing ever, back to when they first kissed. Ah, smiles.

As for 30 Rock I thought Jennifer Aniston was kind of annoying, but it was cool to see the cast of Night Court back. That cracked me up.

Another thing that's back? TOP CHEF. And in my favorite of all places, New York City!! I can't quite pick out the winner just yet, but there are some crazy ass people on there. Who do you think is gonna take it? One of the Euros? Cause they are already annoying enough to make it to the final four I'm sure. I'll tell you what, the girl that was UNFAMILIAR WITH ITALIAN FOOD? Who the hell...? What the...? Padma should have stabbed her with a fork. Indian food, maybe. Russian food, ok. But not knowing how to cook Italian, good lord.

Also, with Martha Stewart (my hero) and Foo Fighters as guest judges, this show is now my number one on Tivo. Bring it Top Chef. Bring. It. On.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Buddy: It's just like Santa's workshop! Except it smells like mushrooms... and everyone looks like they wanna hurt me...

I don't know how to break the news to you, but the holidays are upon us. I know, don't cry, but it's time to start thinking about holiday shopping. This weekend I will be at Felt Club, an indie craft show downtown at the Shrine. It's going to be BIG and you can get all of your holiday shopping done!

For you Yo Gabba Gabba fans out there, DJ Lance Rock will be dj-ing, although not in costume. Dammit. So come by and say hi, again - stalkers no stabby - and if all goes well I should have cookies with me, we'll see.

You know how I love to personalize things, I think the kids get a kick out of seeing their names. So for the Baby's party favors, I got a mini bucket and used stickers for their names, put a couple of mini dinos in there (who doesn't need more of those), and an itty bitty water gun. I also threw in a pack of crayons and made up some personalized Busy Bee notepads.
I know, the notepads aren't very fall, but remember it's been about 80 degrees around here so I felt like drawing grass and bees for some reason.

If you like the look of these they are for sale in the shop, $6 ain't bad for a personalized notepad - however...with free shipping it's even better! From now through November 30th free shipping on all your purchases. If you are too tired like me, get your shopping done now, without even leaving your house! Even better, just have it shipped directly to the recipient so you don't even have to see your friends and family AT ALL. Ah, the holidays.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kudos my hero leaving all the best
You know my hero, the one that’s on

You know on 30 Rock when Liz Lemon smells Oprah's hair and just wants to be in her presence? Yeah...that's how I am about Martha Stewart. Not in a stalker-y way, but I adore her. We both do crafts. We both make cupcakes. We've both been in prison. Wait.

I respect someone who has built an empire on clean sheets and homemade pie. That's amazing. And so, on Monday, a dream was fulfilled and I got to meet...the woman herself.She was in town to promote and sign her new book Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook. Which quite honestly, is a great book for learning basic cooking techniques with wonderful step by step pictures, much like Everyday Food magazine. Coolbeans and I headed over there early and we were near the front of the line. Which is stupid since other people had been waiting since 3am. Suckas. The line QUICKLY filled in and in no time there were hundreds behind us.

The wait was quick despite the crazy, I mean CRAYZAY fans in line. The funniest part was when we were joking about what would be on her rider of what she MUST have at the signing. Just as we were talking about it, the store manager came up frantic because someone had moved the chair at the table. Apparently they had bought the chair especially for her, she had specified that it had to be made of 'hard wood.' Hilarious.The store was really disorganized but it worked in our favor and in the end, we wound up being FIRST in line. I was cracking up. I have good luck, I told you. Before we knew it, she had arrived. The papparazzi went nuts. It was surreal that she was right there, standing just 5 feet in front of us. You know how some people look nothing like how they do on tv? There's no mistaking that this was indeed the one and only Martha Stewart. She walks talks, is exactly like she is on tv.
When Coolbeans stepped up, it was complete chaos and the bookstore staff got even more crazed and were bending the books to get them signed quicker. Right then Martha reprimanded the staff for thrashing the books and then gave Cool Beans the 'can you believe these people?' eyeroll. Yay for a very Martha moment.

Things were crazy disorganized like I said, which probably drove her nuts, I know it drove me crazy - and I ended up standing in front of her much longer than I had expected. We had a decent conversation, I told her how I cooked for my kids and even had the nerve to show her my cupcakes postcard (email me your address and you'll get one). Yes, I had the balls to show the Queen of all 'Good Things' my stuff, but I took a chance and she actually said they were cute and she asked if she could keep the postcard! HELL YES. Even if it ends up in the trash can, it was nice of her to ask. It totally made my day. I was thrilled that I got to talk to her and finally meet her in person. Yay for good things.

More pics, here.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Tracy: I do not want to disappoint our Japanese public, especially Godzilla. Hahaha! I'm just kidding, I know he doesn't care what humans do.

"A Godzilla cake, huh?" Is how I answered the Baby's request. Did that mean a cake in the shape of Godzilla? Stocking up on green food coloring? Whatever, I had scary visions of being featured on cake wrecks, which would be all bad.

Then I thought, well, what if I took a Godzilla doll...but had him surrounded by a city of...cake? Genius! Well, not really, but I thought maybe all those years of building architectural models might be able to help me out. I am much more comfortable building buildings than large fire breathing monsters.
Like my day job, I started out by drawing up a plan to get an idea of the shape I wanted, the size, etc. Then, like the Peter Pan cake from the Kid's birthday - structure wise, I made up two batches of solid cake, stacked and frosted, then set about to building. The form came about quickly, bringing it to life was another story.I wanted to keep it cartoony and not so realistic. Chocolate fondant made all the buildings the same color, then I dyed some gray and yellow to just quickly get some variance in the building details themselves.

In the middle of it I was like, why the hell did I agree to do this? Especially since the idea was to NOT do so much work. Ah, the things you will do for the love of your child. Stupid things.At the end of it all, the Baby looked at it and said, "YAY. WHEN DUZ HE SMASH IT ALL?" Oh. I realized that I had just built an architectural model. Not so much "Godzilla destroys the city" as "Godzilla goes out for a leisurely stroll to see the sights." Too bad. I figured once the cake was eaten, then it'd look like there was some damage done. I just couldn't bring myself to build a bad structural building.

In the end, the Baby got his wish, and the city was destroyed - not by Godzilla, but by hungry party guests. Still, I'm pretty sure that Godzilla got to vent his frustrations a little too. Cake - better than anger management. Godzilla cake how-to, here.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

I was dreamin' when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray

Well the Baby's party went off without a hitch. Everyone was full. All the kids were happy. And my house is filled with even MORE dinos than before. There were only FOUR other kids there, but damn the sound level was driving me insane. I am worried because the Kid has asked for a school party for his birthday (as opposed to our family parties) meaning he wants to invite all his classmates, which means 20+ kids. Uh...please. No.

On the menu - meat. The Baby is a carnivore, pure and simple. If this was the Kid's party it'd probably be a vegetarian buffet, but you know. Here's what I made:

BBQ ribs
Root Beer Pulled Pork
Chicken Chili
Fried Chicken Salad
O.G.'s famous Gulliver's corn
Fruit Salad
Spam Musubi
Mini Sweet Cornbread muffins
chips+veggies+dipI seemed to forgot to tell myself that I invited less people this year, and the food was way over the top. But I think everyone liked it, a lot of it was gone by the end of the day. Better to have too much, if you ask me.

As opposed to my other parties, the approach to this one was: minimal 'day of the party' work for me. I planned it so that I didn't have to do a lot of prep - the chili was quick, the ribs were in the oven for 3 hours, and the pulled pork was in the crock pot all day. I didn't even feel like making cupcakes so...I left it to the kids:I made a bunch of cupcakes, and let them go at it with the decor. I bought those horrible pre-made icing writers from the store, I am anti-those usually, but I knew it'd be easy and great for the kids. Compromise, people. That plus the sprinkles that I put in the spice rack, and they went nuts. It was fun to see.

While I did everything to free up my time and give me minimal stress, what did I do with all that saved time? Well, an over the top birthday cake of course...

For ALL the recipes, go here!

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