Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm an artist, honey, you'll see me sometimes, making crazy pictures out of music and rhymes

I always kid my Uncle that he will only frequent mom and pop stores. It's like unless they yell out his name like "Norm" from Cheers, he doesn't want to give them his business. While I joke about it, I understand it. In this day and age there is nothing to help the little guy get by in these economic times except for the faithfulness of their customers.

Raw Materials is an independently owned art store downtown, and I always try and go there for supplies if I'm in the area. I've written about them before, and am so glad that there are business owners taking part in downtown revitalization. The Kid's interest in art continues to grow, as does the junk that comes along with it. I've been trying to start building his own stash of art supplies because he is always pilfering mine. I knew I needed to get him an art bin, stat.While I was there, I picked up yet another sketch book for myself, and a bunch of pens. I always seem to lose pens. At work I always go to put a pen behind my ear and there is already one there. It's like I'm Grace from Ferris Bueller. I am pen crazy.

I also saw that they had canvas on sale at 50% off. I thought for a few bucks, I'd have a great art project on my hands with the kids. When I got home, I set up the canvas and let the kids have at it. While it didn't go quite as planned, it was my fault because they wanted to use watercolors on the canvas, which frankly, I was all for. I am down with giving the Kid acrylics or even gouache, but to be fair - the Baby wanted to participate too, and hellz no am I going to have that mess on my hands.
Still, the kids took to it right away. The Kid spent hours on his canvas, grabbing pens, stamps, every medium you can think of to cover his "masterpiece" as he called it. I think I'm going to buy him a few more so that we can try out different things. For just $3 a piece it was a good investment in creativity.

If the Kid is the next Van Gogh, then the Baby is probably the next Banksy. For god's sakes he came home from school the other day with ink all over his back. What. How do you even do that? It's like he got tagged by a gang in a bad neighborhood. Looks like my next shopping trip I'll have to pick up cans of spray paint and extra bail money.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just another day in the week, waiting for an opportunity to step in front of me, maybe I'm losing my mind searching for another place in another time

It's been one of those weeks. The kind where I was close to quitting my job, shutting down the blogs, breaking up with friends and abandoning my children. So far none of that has happened, but don't worry, the week isn't over yet.

Meanwhile, I also had cooking plans for Pancake Day. For Fat Tuesday. For Obese Wednesday. Ok, maybe not that one. But still. None of that happened because I have the world's most stressful job next to being a brain surgeon. Except they save lives and I just draw.

The only thing I did get done on my to do list this week was to watch the "Hey where's Fabio?" show. Which I have now declared the worst show on earth because the person that won was LAME-DASH-OH. The whole episode just made me angry. Grr. The real Top Chef? Richard Blais of course.

And in the midst of it all, something weird happened. The Baby was asked to be on not one, but two tv shows this week. Complete with going to a studio, catering, green room, the whole bit. He was on set...
...while I sat back in the dark and watched the chaos. He was approached to do these things, believe me I did not go out looking for these opportunities. Maybe I really will have to quit my job now, but to become a stage mom and make sure that he doesn't go the Britney Spears route and shave his head and get crunk. Life is weird. This week, anyway.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hey donkey. Say hello to your mother for me.

Jenn: "They are making a new Star Trek movie, but in their younger years."
: "Like Muppet Babies?"


I love my mom. I keep telling her I will kill her if she turns into O.G. because I can't deal with two crazies. My mom's birthday is this Sunday. Last year was the big 6-0 with surprise party at Ciudad. This year I am making dinner at home for the whole family, a big dinner. I won't say my plan, because I suspect my mom still reads this blog despite the fact that I told her not to because it annoyed me to hear, "Did you go to lately??" (wink wink nudge nudge) Uh, yes dammit, how ever did you know the very specific details of this trip? Ugh.

When I was a kid I hated my mom's cooking. I just thought it was blah. I knew there were better things to make for dinner, so for all my complaining, my mother - typical librarian - took me to the library and told me to look through the cookbooks. I would sit there forever poring over the different recipes putting together ideas and menus.My mom's favorite of all things are cinnamon rolls. It is the one thing I have shied away from making all these years because I HATE working with yeast. Something about the smell makes me just, yuck. But I have so many bread books, I'll have to overcome it someday. When I saw Ina Garten take her cinnamon roll recipe, but break it down to just using pre-frozen puff pastry, I was in awe at how stupid I was to not think of it first.

It wasn't perfect, so I altered the recipe some, but it was still that delicious smell, the crunch, the butter, absolutely wonderful. This recipe is a hint of what's to come for my mom's birthday dinner party. Mom, if you are reading this, which you shouldn't be - it's your birthday dinner on Sunday. See you at 5.

Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls recipe

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Imagine how it goes, I believe in sweet surrender

So I get this grand idea. I notice that within a 2 mile radius in Beverly Hills there are 6 bakeries that I really want to go to. What are the chances right? So I call up my accomplice and laid out this idea to hit all 6 in one fell swoop. Because she is pregnant, she is down with idea.

We start off the day early on Beverly south of Wilshire at Paulette Macarons. It's gorgeous in there. White. Minimal. Just how I like it. And the bold macaron colors really offset the clean lines of the space.

Packaging always gets me and they have nicely designed things here, but it's not about the containers, it's about the sweets. And these French macarons are FANTASTIC. You can really taste the flavors and they have just the right 'bite.' We could have spent all day there but we were only at our first stop. Time to move on.
Moving on, we headed north up Beverly to Fritteli's for L.A.'s best donut. Wouldn't you know it, the economic crunch has gone too far and this place is no longer. Fitting that an article about the closure was published the DAY we do this thing. Lame. Will someone get a stimulus plan for donuts, dammit?

Walking one block north on Beverly at little Santa Monica is Fulfilled. Now as any avid food blog reader can tell you - this place has been written up big time. It is a twist on the traditional Japanese street food, imagawayaki - red bean in a pancake, basically. But having grown up with the real thing in J-Town, well - I was skeptical.Wow was I amazed. Cooked to order, there are a variety of options on the menu, chocolate immediately catches your eye of course, but really, anything with mochi is not much of a hard sell for me.

You could get savory or sweet, and me the lover of all things sweet actually preferred the savory - the feta+spinach+tomato combo. The batter was lighter than the traditional imagawayakis, and really complimented all the fillings.The owner, Susumu was there, and he was very friendly and we had a nice conversation about how his business is growing, all while we watched him flip the little cakes. That's where all the entertainment is.

We ate A LOT of them. And even went back for more later in the day, but let's move on. Moving west on little SaMo we stopped at Crumbs, but were too full (slightly disgusted?) at the sight of those larger than life cupcakes.

So we headed west even more until we hit Sprinkles. After waiting for 30+ minutes (yes, there is ALWAYS a line) we were finally ready to eat again.

As a designer, the packaging is always a selling point for me. If you take care in how the food tastes, please take care in how it looks too. You will win over your clients every time. That being said, the only cupcake I really adore at Sprinkles is the milk chocolate. But I bought an array to take home to the kids. No chocolate for the Kid, of course.

Turning and heading south on Canon we were headed towards Boule, and wouldn't you know it - also shut down. That was fine though, we were stuffed. While we only hit 4 bakeries and didn't even eat at all of them, it was enough. The walking definitely helped.It was nice to be able to spend time in these little places, rather than just pick up and go. I am thinking of doing this again in other parts of city, because there are so many other great places to check out. Hell, I should charge for tours of people to come with me, but who would mindlessly want to follow around two women obsessed with pastries, around the city? We'd be like a revival of The Two Fat Ladies except she is pregnant while I have no excuse. ~sigh. Oh well, at least one of us would get to ride in a sidecar.

More pictures, here.

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You may be eliminated.

The Oscars are a big deal in this town. It's like a national holiday. At O.G.'s house, even more so. I do believe she saw every nominated movie AND even some of the short documentaries. The woman loves the movies. We went over to her house for dinner - not really for an Oscar party so much - just to eat southern BBQ - because that's all we eat in our family. I knew that the kids would be too noisy and disrupt the viewing of the show, so we didn't stay long. Me, I'm more of a tv gal. To find a babysitter to go out and pay $14 for a movie that may or may not be good, eh - I'll stay home.

Sunday night was also the second episode of the Amazing Race. Like Michael Scott, I do not invest brain space in remembering these people's names yet, so I have to use word association. Team Asian. Team Midget. Team Deaf. All the rest are catagorized under Boobs or Annoying. My cousin REALLY wants to go on the Amazing Race. She'd never ask me to be her partner, I wouldn't want to anyway. The whole thing is running. Why do they put teams on who can't run?? I hate running. If a monster was chasing me down the street I'd just go, "F*ck it monster, you win. I'm not running."

I tried to convince O.G. to be her partner. I think she was more interested in eating her ribs.

Jenn: I think you should go on The Amazing Race. It doesn't matter if you are 80.
: What is that?

: You run around the worls and fight with your family members. Here - let's practice me yelling at you - RUN GODDAMIT, RUN!

: Is that part of it?

: YES.

: Hm.

: Let me strap a 100 pound piece of cheese to your back and you run to the street corner.

.: (wisely, changing the subject) I am going to buy Benjamin Button when it comes out on dvd.

: Come on, you can do this!

I think my cousin's dreams of being on The Amazing Race are not meant to be.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

A three hour tour.

At the Farmer's Market the Kid always sees people walking around drinking out of these coconuts like it's freakin' Gilligan's Island or something. He kept begging me and begging me to get one. The real thrill is watching the guy open it, with giant machette chops right in yo face. Finally one day I gave in because the Kid does like fruit an awful lot, so what the heck. So I coughed up the $4 and wouldn't you know - he hated it.

It's basically just coconut flavored water, but still. I certainly wasn't going to drink it since it I am not a fan of coconut, no way no how. I figured the human eating machine aka the Baby, would be our garbage disposal and take care of it. Even he wouldn't touch it. I brought the thing home in hopes of making something with it, but Yuck.

Also at the market I saw some brocollini and almost fainted. Anything -ini or -ette, I will buy in a heartbeat. Gotta love the mini. I love brocollini because it's more tender than regular broccoli and also doesn't have that...smell. Do you know the smell I mean? Anyway, I cooked them up with a little bit of lemon zest and it was fabulous.I am always more than willing to spend money on broccoli. It's the Kid's favorite veggie - he eats the tops, the Baby eats the bottoms. Incredibly convenient and worthy of my hard earned cash. As for the coconut debacle - now I will have to take that $4 out of Kid's college fund to punish him. When you don't graduate college Kid, you can blame the coconut.

Lemon Pepper Broccolini, recipe

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

I say come on Mike D, let's flash some dough

Bored kids. Nothing is worse on a rainy day. Except for...bored me.

After watching the kids play with play doh the other day, rolling and cutting all those colorful pieces of dough, I thought it would be fun to make cookies. I love cut out cookies...if it's just me doing the work, but the kids want to help of course, and the mess that comes with icing, decorating, well - it just gets on my last nerve. Yes, I am completely anal about cleaning, we all know this.

So I thought, why not dye the dough, and nix the icing? Brilliant plan. I made a basic cookie dough (Martha Stewart's cookie book page 241) and then separated the dough and dyed each portion. Gel dyes are the best because they have strong colors and don't water down anything. The result was fabulous - bright bold colors, the only down side was that I had to wash the bowl in between a color changes.
The dough was easy to work with and baked up so delicious that it didn't need icing anyway. The kids had blast - the Baby went for dinos of course and the Kid got creative with trucks and trains. I must admit, I really got into it myself:

I was quite proud of my cookies until the Kid saw my fire truck and became Super Critic because I "didn't have a hose or a ladder," so he had to school me and make one better than mine. Geez man, I didn't realize I was in a design competition WITH A 5 YEAR OLD. Meanwhile, after about two cookies, the Baby realized that he didn't even have to participate, if he just waited long enough he'd get to eat them anyway. Sheesh. If only he'd use these mental powers for good instead of evil. Overall the kids had a great time and I'm already planning to do this again on the next rainy day.

Dyed Cookie Dough how-to, here

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

White lines, visions dreams of passion

When I was reading about Darlene's caketasting adventures, I noticed that they tried a white velvet cake. I have never eaten anything but red velvet and the idea of white intrigued me. I altered my red velvet recipe a bit and played with some of the ingredient amounts. I got a very light, VERY tasty cake that had the kids begging for more. Yay, you always want that.

Instead of making a typical red velvet frosting (that uses flour) or even a cream cheese (blech, disgusting), did I mention I hate cream cheese? - I made a mascarpone frosting. Er, also, it's all I had in my fridge. It was lightweight and creamy, a perfect compliment to the cake. I sprinkled them with teeny edible pearls for a little sparkle.I'm glad to see that Darlene put her caketasting notepad to good use. Hooray! (Man, that Paul is one hard to please mofo.)

White Velvet Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting recipe

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Space invaders

Does anyone still watch Jon and Kate + 8? The show feels different now that they've moved to a big house, then again, maybe it's just that the kids are growing up.

The one where she tells the kids that they will never ever set foot in the parent's new bedroom was hilarious. I'm sure some people were appalled, but I feel the same way she does - my house is small and kids always find themselves, well...everywhere. I love my kids but they should not be sleeping in my bed or running in and out of my bedroom. Nope. Drives me nuts. Because all I want is just 5 minutes to myself. Please god, just 5 minutes of silence, that's all I ask. Even the toilet is not sacred around here. ~sighThat little bit of sancuary is all I want because the kids own the rest of the house. Especially on days like today which is full of on/off rainstorms, we are just stuck here. I hate being trapped in the house, HATE IT. So on days like this we have to make the most of it. The Kid built a few 'houses' in the living room, it's like shanty town u.s.a in here, and we picnicked, again, in the living room.
The good thing was, it gave me the opportunity to use my new DOUBLE musubi maker. Awesome. I had seen it online and begged my SiL to bring me one. I make so many that I'd been using two this whole time, now I'm doubl-y fast, yeah baby!By the way, all food tastes better on a pirate ship plate. Hopefully tomorrow the rain will let up, and we'll be back walking on the beach where we belong. Until then, I'll be hiding in my closet, which I'll set up like a Panic Room, a la Jodi Foster.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

How about a magic trick? I'm gonna make this pencil disappear.

Target is sponsoring free family days at different museums all throughout the country, every month. This weekend it was Target Free Family Saturday at the Japanese American Museum. Anything free is right up there on my list of things to do with the kids. The theme was anime and superheroes - although it didn't really play throughout the museum - the workshop activities for the kids were awesome.
My kids were totally engaged, they made masks and capes all provided with drawing materials from the museum. The Kid being the artiste was really into it and made a Batman cape. You know it's a Batman cape because it says so, by the way.

The Kid and the Baby ran around the place never taking off their homemade costumes. The Kid seemed to find a new kind of self confidence as well, I think the idea of a dual identity suits his shy nature. The museum staff were so enamored with their crazy antics that everytime I turned around they were taking pictures of the kids. Yikes. So much for anonymity.

They also learned how to make origami frogs, which let me tell you - was slightly complicated. There are two things I hate: sushi and origami. I realize that I am the worst Asian ever but seriously with the folding I'm annoyed. The Kid did his with almost no help from me (thank god) and you could even make the little froggies jump at the end. Pretty cool.
All in all it was a great FREE day of actitivites for the kids which didn't stop when they got home. The Kid checked out my Batman dvd and fashioned a set of 'horns' to finish off his mask, then set to work making utility belts for the both of them, out of paper. Meanwhile the Baby practiced jumping off the couch and not wearing pants, because 'That's what Robin does'. Hm.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

One day to come to together to release the pressure

Is Valentine's Day always on President's weekend? I can't remember. Seems like a whole lotta holiday. It's just the beginning of 3 days off and I'm already exhausted. I've packed the weekend with activities - trying to tire the kids out and I think it's backfiring on me.

Today I ate this:mmm. Best noodles in the city. And I got yet another FREE ROOT BEER FLOAT!! Can you believe it??

I don't know why people don't like Valentine's Day. I don't think it has to be for couples only, on that day I usually give a lot of gifts to family and friends. Yeah, people say it's shouldn't be just about one day, but are you really nice and loving to people the rest of the year anyway? Not so much. Then again, maybe I just love red and pink. I know one thing, I'm hitting Target tomorrow to make up for not getting chocolate today. Chocolate tastes better at 50% off anyway. Ha!

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Babe, I love you so, and I want you to know. That I, I'm gonna miss your love, the minute you walk out that door. Please don't go.

I am featured on today on Mogul Baby! And again it's FREE stuff, a gift certificate! I always try for free things. You should too. Then again I have a Lucky Baby.

As far as babies, just so you know I am NOT having anymore. But try telling that to the kids as we were getting ready for school this morning:

The Baby: "Mommy, you are going to have a baby."
: "That is definitely not true."

The Baby
: "Then you will have three babies!"

: "Nope. If I have a baby then I'll have to give one of you back. But who will it be?? Hm..."

The Baby
: (quickly) "THE KID."

The Kid
: "NOOOOO!!!!"

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So far our ideal party consists of beer, fights to the death, cupcakes, blood pudding...

If I had to choose between tv watching or napping for my birthday I think I'd pick napping too. At least until Celebrity Apprentice starts, yeah! Blergh.

I am still totally planning on making an 'IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY.' sign for the kid's upcoming birthdays. At least it will be funny to me and that's all that matters.

I kinda liked that Jim and Pam werent' together this episode, it was nice to see Michael and Pam's co-worker relationship from a different angle. However, I didn't really care for the cat storyline, and hey - I like cats, but ew.

It is amazing how they make that office so realistic. I mean, duh - I know the magic of television and all, but every freakin' detail, it's pretty amazing. It gives me chills, bad, sick chills because our office phones ring like that and the last thing I want to think about when I'm at home, is work. I am still on the hunt for a well-paying career that involves me sitting on my couch and watching Oprah.

Speaking of careers, I wonder what my kids will be when they grow up. Today the Kid and the Baby were playing Batman and Robin and arguing over who got to be...Robin. I asked them why and they said, "Because Robin doesn't wear pants." Uh. Ok. (They were watching my 1970s Superfriends dvd.) I don't want to know if this is going to affect their job decisions when they get older. "Does the job involve wearing pants? WELL FORGET IT."


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dwight Schrute: Nothing stresses me out. Except having to seek the approval of my inferiors.

Excuse me while I ramble. I worked 12 hours today and my brain is complete mush. In the afternoon I saw the nightmare coming and had to scramble to find a babysitter for the night. Thank god my cousin was available or I would have been really screwed. I told the Kid that I had an emergency at work and he said, "WAS THERE A FIRE?" Yikes. I need to choose my words more carefully.

I came home, put up my feet and watched Top Chef - which really should be renamed the Fabio show. When he leaves I will cry. In my bunky bed. It was awesome to see Jacques Pepin on tonight's show, it definitely shows you that Top Chef really is about the cooking. Not like those other shows - rhymes with Hell's Bitchen. What would you have for your last meal? I know I'd have taquitos with homemade guacamole. There. Dead.

It's been a stressful week, thus all the baking posts, and here's one more. I made these earlier in the week. The Baby wanted cookies, cinnamon sugar cookies to be exact, so I took the dough and shaped it into little hearts. Shaping them into hearts was very calming. Good for my stress levels. Like yoga, but fattening.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How did you know - 'cause I never told - you found out, I've got a crush on you.

Day 3 - more with pretzels. I could do a whole damn tv show about pretzels and what you can do with them. Refrigerator magnets! Scoop your cat litter! Crush them up and fill a pillow case! I haven't tired of them yet, but don't worry I have tired of writing about them.

I was watching Food Network the other day and caught that Food Network Star show winner Aaron McCargo Jr.'s show Big Daddy's House (Worst named show ever). It was pretty good! I usually stick to the big ladies, Barefoot Contessa. Paula Deen. Giada. (her head is big.) But as I watched his show I got more and more into it and he definitely makes food that is do-able for the home cook. That's a must.

On this ep he was doing a Valentine's dinner for his mom, and and both of them teared up at the end. Sweet, but good lord. That's why I can't have a tv show, I'd just be crying the whole time over nothing cause I'm such a sap. 'I burnt this toast, WAH.' Anyway, he made chocolate covered strawberries. BO-RING. Until I saw him crush up some pretzels and sprinkle them on top and I was all WHAT WHAT?Hadn't thought of that one. It sounded...good. I mean, chocolate covered pretzels. Put 'em on strawberries. What's the diff? So I tried it. Again I took melted chocolate - it's like I'm Lucy in the chocolate factory this week - dipped the strawberries, and then crushed up some of my ginormous bag of pretzels.

Wouldn't you know was FANTASTIC. Wow. Good thing that dude won that show just so he could show me how to sprinkle pretzels on a strawberry. Best. Thing. Ever. My mom doesn't eat strawberries so she is S.O.L. I guess she can cry about it while I just eat these myself.

In case you wanted to know where this post title came from - this song will now be stuck in your head all day. You're welcome.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

If you can grab a circle in your hands and twist it, that's an eight

Aaaand...pretzel week continues. My kids aren't allowed to eat chips, so while in the snack aisle at Target the Baby wanted pretzels. He never asks for them, so I thought that was weird. I indulged his whim, but they only had a giant a$$ Costco sized bag for some reason. Target, you confuse me.Now what the heck am I gonna do with a giant one pound bag of pretzels? I know the Baby is training to be a competitive eater, but come on. Also it somehow seems that I decided not to make any cupcakes this Valentine's Day, (thus yesterday's chocolate pretzel cookies) so maybe I'm on a pretzel kick too.

I had leftover chocolate, so I dipped the real pretzels and then covered them in the CUTEST SPRINKLES EVER. Quinns, to be exact. That's what shaped sprinkles are called, quinns. I went to Surfas with NO intention of buying sprinkles, but they had all new Valentine's Day stuff out and dammit, I could not resist. These are the most itty bitty-est things you've ever seen. I will def be rolling some cupcakes in them but for now, they look pretty good on the pretzels.I packaged my v-day pretzels up in boxes (also from Target) and they are ready to give the kid's teachers. I also packed up a box for O.G. but I guarantee that I will get a call about there being too much pretzel in her chocolate.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Take me by my little hand and go like this

The kids have been asking to bake with me, so I said they could each pick a cookie and that we'd spend the day together making whatever they chose. A dangerous idea on my part. I let them thumb through the Martha Stewart cookie book - it works for them because all the pictures of the cookies are lined up in a row - i.e. no reading necessary.

The Baby looked and looked and decided that pretzel cookies were the way to go. These aren't pretzels, they are chocolate cookie dough, made to look like pretzels and then covered in a large crystal sugar made to look like salt. Interesting. I think he chose it because he loves chocolate - and he's more of salt eater than a sugar eater.
The recipe was good, but plain. I altered it to give it a little more sumthin' sumthin' and then dipped the back of them in chocolate to really make them stand out. Worked out much better than the original recipe. I shaped some of them into hearts to give out to the kid's teachers.

Turns out the day we decide to make the cookies the Baby was badder than bad, and on time-out for - oh, about 80% of the day. ~sigh~ I ended up making all the cookies and the Kid finished them off. The Baby got to eat them after he got out of time out...but hey...maybe that was his plan all along! DAMMIT I'VE BEEN DUPED!Chocolate Pretzel Cookies, recipe


Sunday, February 08, 2009

We like the cars, the cars that go boom,
We're Tigre, and Bunny and we like the boom.

There's too much to do in this town...but not when it's raining. The Kid hates being wet, the Baby loves it. Figures. Trying to keep one dry so he doesn't freak and keep one from diving headfirst into puddles is no easy task. It was, however, the best opportunity ever to bust out the rainboots again. The kids love stomping in puddles and as long as they are correctly equipped, I'm down with that.

As far as the rest of this rainy weekend, I had to think up fun things for the kids to do INSIDE. Just so they settle down and so that I can get things done, I put on a dvd and let them do 'movie night'.I know it's cold and rainy but the heater is on big time in my house - good lord, not looking forward to my electric bill. And one thing the kids love is frozen Lemonade. I thought it'd be a nice treat with the popcorn, and I figured I could make my own at home pretty easily.

TJ's lemonade is delish - I just let the kids each pour in a glass into the ice cream maker and 10 mins later slushy FROZEN LEMONADE. That is some good stuff. I didn't want to share it with them, quite frankly. Then again, I could make a Cherry Coke Slushee for myself while they are busy watching Cars...

Slushies! How to, here.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Have a conversation on the telephone

All this rain makes me long for sunny days.
New Order+Baywatch. What.


We're off like a herd of turtles.

With the Storm of the Century, (or whatever b.s. name the news has decided to place upon this rainstorm,) there is no outside fun to be had. Therefore it's just more spring cleaning for me. Cleaning out the closet I found lots of never used kid's gifts like this little girls Paul Frank CUPCAKE dress:So cute, but I have Pirate Boys - and the girl I bought it for is too big now. ~sniff. They grow up so fast. I put a TON more stuff up on ebay, all brand new. Whew. I feel my closets being emptied! Thank goodness.

Also, Valentine's Day is just a week away. Sales have been great and Indie Fixx surprised me with a lovely link! For February - buy any Valentine's Day card from now through the 14th and get a set of SIX 'Love/XO' cards free! Free is good.

I guess we'll be doing lots of indoor stuff for the next couple of days. Weird, considering I was just at the beach yesterday.

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Oh man. Seriously, I think this was the best Office episode yet. I only say that because my Directv didn't tape the END of the one hour Super Bowl special. UGH. Thanks a lot.

Dwight doing the party planning was too much. The half blown balloons had me rolling and that quite obviously, was the best birthday sign ever. I agree that balloon colors should match the carpet. And the Karen angle was one I didn't see coming either.

While none of the pictures from this episode were up on the website, I did find a deleted scene from last week that mentions...Girl Scout Cookies:

I have a longstanding issue with Girl Scout Cookies because I can never find any. I work in a childless office, save for me (plus I have boys) - so there is no parent pimping to be had. Also I feel weird approaching the tables set out in front of the supermarket because I don't shop at supermarkets, (usually just Trader Joe's where solicitation is not allowed) and therefore I'd just be some freak driving up to a supermarket, buying cookies and leaving. Like that's not creepy. It just seems wrong to sell out there, don't ask me why. Probably because I was once a Girl Scout myself, and I worked REALLY hard selling those things - on the phone or door to door, by myself. I realize that you can no longer do things like that, but now where do I get my cookies??

Every year I want some and I can usually only find one box of Thin Mints if I am lucky. But Dwight's quote made me laugh out loud: "I think it's kind of dangerous to teach young girls self esteem and leadership skills." Also when he yells at Phyllis - classic.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Andy: We're getting married at Schrute Farms. I've seen 12 venues, lost 8 deposits, and seen Angela naked zero times. I'm not losing another deposit.

The internet is a funny thing. You can keep up with your friend's lives even if they are miles away. I read about people stuck in snow, while I'm sitting on the beach. About what people are having for dinner while I'm just rolling out of bed.

Granted, she doesn't liveI've been reading about Darlene's cake tasting adventures for a while and I am so jealous. I love cake. I've never had a cake tasting but maybe I will do one now. The baker will ask, "Are you getting married?" And I'll say, "Nope, I'm getting fat."

I'm sure eating all that cake is not as fun as it seems. Maybe it should be more like a wine tasting and there should be a bucket - like a slot machine one - where you spit the cake into it after you've tasted it. Ew.

I nearly spat myself, when I saw that Darlene was using my sh*tlist pad to take notes at all her cake tastings. Cracked me up. I'm sure the bakers were like, what the...!? So I thought I'd streamline things a bit for her and I made her a little cake tasting notepad.It has all the important info you need, name of the bakery, delivery time, deposit cost, etc. However the MOST important part is whether or not you really really like the cake...
Hopefully she'll get a kick out of it and it'll be useful for her. Quite obviously, I have no life if I just sit around making cake notepads for people that didn't even ask for them. But forget all that, I gotta go. I have to set up a fake wedding so that I can get to tasting some cake. Is there a pie tasting too? Sign me up.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Buddy: What about Santa's cookies? I suppose parents eat those too?

I make a lot of Burger Bites. Scratch that, I make a TON of Burger Bites. Especially when I have a craft show or an event, then I tend to make double and triple batches to give out to people as a 'thanks for stopping by'.

Of course the selling point on these things is the perfectly shaped 'bun' which is a nice looking Nilla Wafer. As you can imagine I end up with a ton of crappy looking wafers that just ain't gonna cut it. I've made mini ice cream sandwiches out of them too, but basically the broken cookies just never get used.

So finally, I stood staring at my pantry and figured I could crush them up and put them in...cupcakes! Why not? Then they don't have to look so perfect, in fact they'd be smashed to smithereens. Stress relief - table of one?
Very moist and they kept their 'nilla-ness. How lame do I feel not saying vanilla? My friend would complain that she didn't have a nickname. I was like, your name is Amy how the hell are you going to shorten that? Anyway, of course, I made them MINI. The most popular recipe that uses Nilla wafers is banana pudding, even though I loathe bananas, I do love how this looks. A mini Nilla wafer cupcake, with whipped cream frosting and a slice of banana. Too cute. And now I am Nilla wafer free! Well, until I make more Burger Bites, anyway...

Nilla Wafer Mini Cupcakes recipe


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Feeling lucky, punk?

Ok seriously. I'm taking this Baby to Vegas to work the tables and no one can stop me. If you remember back when he pulled the magic red gumball at the diner, which garnered me a much needed root beer float - well, he's done it again.

The SiL and I took the kids out to dinner and I was telling her the story of the Baby's good luck. We laughed at how funny it'd be if it happened again. So I handed the Baby a quarter, said "Get Momma a root beer float" and OUT CAME A RED GUMBALL. The hell? She and I were cracking up - how is that possible?

We ate dinner and said..."What if..." So once again, I handed the kids quarters and boom goes the dynamite - the Kid gets a red gumball! WHAT! Then the Baby puts his in, RED GUMBALL AGAIN. This is insane. What started out as a nice stroke of luck was turning into some sort of weird voodoo freeforall. I checked to make sure I wasn't on Candid Camera and went to the counter to pick up my THREE root beer float coupons. The waitress just laughed but I stuffed the coupons in my purse and plotted how I was going take the Baby to Vegas and use my crafting skillz to forge a 21 year old i.d. for the 3 foot tall baby.

I know you're all jealous and wish you had your own good luck baby.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Mushroom shirt with a mushroom belt, you've got to COORDINATE!

The question that I get asked more than anything via email or comments is, "Where did you get those plates??" The answer is : Fishs Eddy in New York City.

Located near the Flatiron, it is quite simply the most wonderful store in the universe. For plate freaks like me, that is. While I am a huge fan of large white ceramic, once in a while fun whimsical plates are just what I need, especially when I want to serve baked goods, or just lighten my spirits.
Walking into the store, every nook and cranny is filled with the most wonderful designs of glassware and plates as far as the eye can see. It's hard for me not to spend hours and hours in here.

As you would imagine, to lug back large ceramic plates and glasses through the airport is not ideal...though I've done it. However, I have bought from their online store and had it shipped. Oh yes, I was worried that glass would never make it across country. But I was wrong - they have an amazing wrapping system and items arrive completely intact, it's wonderful. And addictive. With quality like that you just want more...and more...

Whenever I have parties/showers to plan, I always use plates as my inspiration - for themes or what I'm going to serve. I am planning a shower in a few months...this could be dangerous.

Little Red Riding Hood glass.
Memo tray.
Woodgrain Squirrel platter.
Guest Check tray.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Building a better burger

What - it's February? What - there is a football game today? I have no idea what's going on. This was another weird weekend. While I didn't sleep for 30 hours like last weekend, this time the Baby's pink eye got better, however he contracted some disease and ended up sick and vomiting. Good lord. I haven't dealt with kid-puke since they were infants thank god, so this was no picnic.

Speaking of puke I watched a lot of foodnetwork and saw Paula Deen deep fry a lasagna. I wanted to throw up in my mouth a little. I went to go find the video of it to show you but found this instead. This video is quite possibly the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I know they are going to revoke my Paula Deen fan club membership but seriously - this is disgusting. Hello heart attack.

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