Sunday, May 31, 2009

If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it .

Wagner's 'The Ring' is an opera institution, and right now they are doing a Ring series at the L.A. Opera. Our opera season pass gave us the opportunity to see Die Walkure. Even those not familiar with opera will know the music of the Ride of the Valkyries - think of any tv or movie scene that involves planes or bombing. However this interpretation of Wagner was...modern. REAL modern. As a lover of modern art, I have to say it was a bit too much. Placido Domingo was in a blue half monster suit and the Valkyries looked like members of the KISS Army. Too much.Before the opera I always take my mom to lunch. Usually somewhere we've never been before. This time we stayed close to downtown and went to the Chado Tea Room. Most people know Chado from the celebrity laden 3rd St. location, but this new outpost is located right inside the Japanese American Museum.
It's small but comfortable, and looks out onto an open patio. Since the museum is rarely open anymore, they even have their own street entrance, which is convenient. My mom went for the full tea, which I am glad I didn't get. I've been to a lot of teas, and I have to say, I didn't care for this one. The sandwiches were good, but I am definitely a sweets kinda gal and these were just EH.

Since this was located inside a Japanese museum I think they should have played that up a bit more with the menu. Added special Japanese tea 'sets' or sweets - considering the close proximity to Little Tokyo. But who cares. I brought my OWN dessert and pulled a pink mochi straight out of my purse to drink with my tea. Classy.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

On this episode of CRIBS...

The Baby is no longer a baby. No - sad to say, he's a big boy now. Now 3 years old, he can walk and talk and say things like "I was good boy today. I didn't hit anyone." Oh hello, suddenly he's Ice Cube, and didn't have to use his AK, today was a good day! What the? NOT hitting people is normal, hell-child.

He's right though, despite some rough patches, overall he has been a good boy lately. And now that he is older, he also knows the difference between his brother's big boy bed, and his janky convertible baby crib, that is really fooling no one, it's still a crib. So he's been asking desperately for a big boy bed of his own, with one stipulation - it HAD to be a Buzz Lightyear bed. Sheesh!

First of all Buzz Lightyear is so two thousand and late, I can't even find sheets like that. However! A quick investigation into my fabric stash and what do you know - I must have thought ahead 'cause apparently I bought 3 yards of Buzz fabric like 5 years ago. Imagine that. It's like Star Trek Spock of the future came back and told me "Buy that fabric. No. Stop arguing. Just trust me."
So to appease the Baby I sewed a blanket and pillow case out of the found fabric. It's good enough, and should tide him over until the big boy bed comes. At least he didn't ask for a HULK room, it'd be an all out punching-fest then.

**Like clockwork, after my Buzz Lightyear post - Disney released the trailer for Toy Story 3 today. I guess I will get those sheets after all. Click here to see it, the site's interactive (move your mouse around), which is pretty awesome.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rootin' Tootin'

Well, I don't qualify to enter this year's Ice Cream Cupcake Roundup (you have til Sunday!!), since I am one of the prize suppliers, but that didn't stop me from making some!

So for our family gathering last week, I thought a great combo would be root beer float cupcakes. I used Baked's recipe for Root Beer Bundt Cake, BUT made them into cupcakes.

Then I topped them some homemade root beer sherbet and some whipped cream...and put them on a boat. Float. On a boat. I'm hilarious. (not really.)
Since the cake was so heavy, the very flavorful root beer sherbet was just what was needed to make the perfect ice cream cupcake combo.

People seemed to like it, but as you know - my family loves root beer so much, we are even BURIED with it.

Root Beer Ice Cream Float Cupcakes

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

He wants a shoehorn, the kind with teeth

So, the Kid had a tooth out. He put it under his pillow - then went to sleep. The next morning he came running into my room and said, "MOMMY! The Tooth Fairy...forgot my tooth." I sat right up. Son of a biatch.

Then the guilt gets worse. He says, "I think it was my fault for putting the tooth in a box. She is so small she couldn't lift the lid." I agreed it was most likely his fault and that he should try again. Heh.Hey, look. The Tooth Fairy? She's busy. Tired. She was probably doing laundry, washing dishes, making cinnamon rolls, filling stationery orders...I mean. I'm assuming. ~ahem.

The next day he tried again - this time, tooth OUT of the box. Lo and behold - the Tooth Fairy came. And out of complete and total guilt she left him a big prize, a golden Sacagawea dollar. I knew he had found it when I heard screams of delight at 6am. Now he is obsessed with getting all of his teeth out so that he can get more 'golden coins'. I've created a monster. A small toothless monster.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Last thing I recall I was in the air, I woke up on the street, crawling with my strawberry burns

So I saw this Martha Stewart recipe for 'strawberry bread' - the base of it sounded great especially since I hit the strawberry motherload recently.

But - the recipe needed that little, somethin' somethin'...which is mochi, of course. Lately I've been cooking a lot with mochi - don't ask me why. I must have had a great influence on the internetz because I have now been blamed for inciting the Mochiko Shortage of '09, since apparently a lot of the Japanese markets have run out! Don't blame me. I'm sure people are just stocking up for their earthquake preparedness kit.

So I adjusted the original recipe...a lot. So much so that it doesn't seem like 'bread' to me, it's more like a loaf cake which OF COURSE, I turned into cupcakes, what else?? As always, everything tastes better with Hello Kitty cupcake liners...Strawberry Mochi Cupcakes, recipe

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Will I see you tonight, on a downtown train? Every night, every night its just the same, on a downtown train

The Disney Christmas Carol train rolled into town, so you know we just had to go. Los Angeles was the first stop on a national tour to promote the Jim Carrey movie, A Christmas Carol. It was in all the papers, all the blogs - so you know the crowd was going to be thick. When we got there we were told it'd be a 2-1/2 hour wait.

Well, it didn't look that bad to me, and we were all the way there, it's kind of like - no turning back now...er. Anyway, there were circus performers, carollers and fake snow to entertain us, it was very Christmas-y. Which is all very weird in May.

Once on the train you moved from car to car, and it was a giant promo for the movie. Costumes, behind the scenes, interactivity -The entire thing is CGI, similar to the technology for Polar Express. That movie freaks me out, but mostly because it's too much Tom Hanks, probably. Now the technology is heightened and they showed how the actors and models come together. There were large displays of foamcore/strathmore models, just like I used to make in school. It was neat to see that as the base for the entire set design.All in all it was a 1-1/2 hour wait. Was it worth it? Probably not, but it was really informative which was good, because honestly, I'd have no desire to see this movie otherwise. But when I got off the train, now I kind of can't wait for the movie to come out! And - the kids had a really good time. You can catch the train in your city soon.

More - Disney's A Christmas Carol Train pics, here.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Driving me nuts

My donut cupcakes were featured on Amazon.com Daily, Cakespy AND Cupcakes Take the Cake. Wow! People sure love donuts!

While I bake a lot - there are times when I'd just rather buy something. Let me just say that it takes a lot for me to buy processed store bought cookies. I saw these Nutter Butters, a small pack, on the shelf for just 99 cents. So on a whim, I grabbed them. I opened them up to see that:...they were not in the shape of a peanut AT. ALL. What. What good is a Nutter Butter unless it is in a peanut form? If Mr. Peanut was not shaped like a peanut how could we trust him? That being said, if he didn't have a monocle and a hat why would we believe anything he said - ever?? I need to ration out my peanut indulgences while the kids are at school and the fact that these cookies are not shaped like peanuts ticks me off. Why am I going insane over peanut cookies? I DON'T KNOW EITHER.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

In case you need a recipe for a party this weekend, the Watermelon Ice Cream Bombe never fails.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Sweet escape

No, I am not starting a catering business - thanks for the emails. Some good friends of mine asked to taste some of my cupcakes. While I don't usually hold an open tasting at my house on the regular, I just happened to be already making 100+, so I happily obliged/went overboard and made 7 different kinds...

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oh, how I hate the Colonel...

Today's secret meeting of the billionaires was not like the Super Friends as ABCnews suggested. Nope. It was more like this:

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Notorious P.I.G.

When I give the kids a bath every night, we talk about our day and what we did. Today it seems we were all about pigs. It wasn't planned to be that way, I just noticed it.

We started off the day reading this book, Little Oink. It's from the creators of Little Pea, another one of our favorite books.


Then the Kid asked me to draw him a pig but it HAD to hold an umbrella. And I HAD to do it in crayon. (not a very forgiving medium.) I swear this kid is going to be an art director. He's so specific about what he wants whenever we do art together. God forbid I do it wrong, then he wants me to start over. Sheesh!
Then I made carnitas. Ok, sorry, I don't know how this post went from cute pigs to dead pigs, but you know. Anyway, this is my version of carnitas in a slow cooker. I just can't bring myself to cook in lard the traditional way, but still these turned out pretty ok. Carnitas recipe, here.

And finally, I designed a bunch of new buttons to sell at upcoming shows in July. One of them was - what else:
Sort of pig related. TASTY PIG, related. Bacon Love button, just $1

After this day of pigs, here's to hoping I don't get the swine flu.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Take me on a trip, I’d like to go some day. Take me to New York, I’d love to see LA.

My mom had the day off so she and I went to the downtown Central Library. I was surprised at how crowded the library was on a weekday morning. I wondered aloud what everyone was doing there and my mom said, "They are all here to look for jobs and porn." Damn. I guess I'm doing it wrong and should allocate some of my day time to porn lookin'.
We weren't there for jobs or porn, right now the library is having an exhibit on the sketches of architect Richard Neutra.

What I have always loved about Neutra's work are his clean lines, and integration into the Los Angeles landscape. His homes 'feel' like Los Angeles to me. The odd thing is that his early sketches reflect none of that. There is color, heavy tones - almost a thoughtful but heavy hand with the sketching.The exhibit is much bigger than I thought it'd be - but thank goodness - because you really get to sense the progression of this design aesthetic from his younger days to his actual buildings.
As I walked through the gallery I had to laugh. At my very first job at an architecture firm there were no computers. Everything was done by hand. It was a very old skool apprentice-like job. I remember drawing for work and school, spending late nights sketching historic building, drawing axon after axon, building foundation sections - hundreds upon hundreds, thinking...WHY. I was young and naive and didn't understand how important it would be for me later - to take in every piece of knowledge. Only now looking back, am I grateful for all those long hours I was 'forced' to hand draw details.

The exhibit is thorough and rich with Neutra's design sense. You can't help but walk away and feel the influence he's had on the city and vice versa. It makes me want to go out and appreciate Los Angeles even more.
Just outside the Central Library is Cafe Pinot. Joachim Spichal practically owns this town, but this is one of his very first restaurants. Back in the day when I worked downtown all of us in the office were new architecture school grads, and we went here a lot. At the time I could only afford fries for lunch. I miss that taste of those Pinot fries. Now that I am older and wiser, and can afford soup too. Ha! Movin' on up to the East Side, Weezy! Corn Chowder from Pinot is divine, in case you are wondering. My mom and I had a lovely lunch on the patio under warm 78 degree skies. Man, I love this town.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

...don't want none unless you got buns, hon'.

I was looking at the wall of pictures at the kids' school. There were kids playing, learning, the usual. I noticed the Baby was in every picture. He saw me looking at them and proudly came up to me and said, "Look at deez pictures. Here I am scratchin' my butt." Yes. Indeed he was.

And here's where I segue into buns. Get it? When I visited Tartine in San Francisco, I'm pretty sure I found perfection. It came in the shape of a so called 'morning bun' and right then I decided nothing could come close.

I found the recipe online, but realized that I was in no mood to make croissant dough. So I did the next best thing and tried to improvise. I took the Barefoot Contessa idea of using puff pastry as a shortcut.

What I got, was next to amazing. Sure it didn't have that same doughy bun taste, but the flavor - WOW. Only after reading the recipe did I figure out that yes, it was the orange zest that made that Tartine bun so flavorful and fragrant. These had the same quality, albeit with a little extra crunch.

I made these twice and could not stop eating them. Didn't even share. Not even with the little butt scratcher.

Morning buns recipe

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

When I saw my friend LilSprinkles went to a strawberry farm, I just about died. Then when I saw it was just beyond the Orange Curtain in Irvine, I doubled died. It was so close - I just had to take the kids.

Tanaka Farms is a real working 30 acre farm, right in the heart of Irvine. They give daily tours and it's great for kids (and adults) who have no idea how fruits and vegetables are grown and harvested.It was even better than I could have imagined. An all organic farm, the tour really gives you an in depth look into small farming and you quickly realize the benefits of FRESH food. Most fruits and veggies that you buy in the market take a month to get there. Those things are MONTH old. Ew. On this tour (where you are pulled by a tractor, no less) you get to taste EVERYTHING picked right off the farm. We tasted fresh celery, bok choy, cilantro, Maui onions, carrots, snap peas and of course, strawberries.

When they let you off the tour you get to run amok in the fields, picking and eating whatever you want. It's craziness. And if you don't like it, or want it - you just toss it right back, because it will turn into compost.This was the Baby's favorite of all of our mini weekend trips. He just sat in the field, eating away. Not only was it all you can eat food, but you could litter. Meanwhile the Kid had a very hard time walking in dirt and insisted that we find water to wash the strawberries before we ate them. Poor little city boy.

Although it was a far drive, it was so worth it. The kids learned a lot and had a lot of fun, and of course I was happy to get organic produce. They have a watermelon picking tour in the summer, but I can just imagine the Kid getting a hernia trying to lift those suckers. Hello, ER. Or the Baby head butting every watermelon to make his own farm buffet. Hm. I think we'll wait for the fall tours...

More pictures of the Tanaka Strawberry Farm tour, here.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Earfquake!!

I'll say it again. Generally earthquakes don't bother me, with the exception of the possibility of dying in my car a la Lois Lane, buried in her car with dirt in her mouth, in Superman the movie.

Well there was a huge earthquake over here and we felt it particularly strong, because crap was flying off my shelves, cabinets and drawers opening... Ridiculous. Now I have to clean this junk up! But at least we are alive.

I haven't felt one this strong in years, and of course since we are skooled from elementary school in L.A. that you must take cover, we stood in the doorway and waited for aftershocks. The Kid was panic city, as expected. The Baby, who will not be told what to do EVER, took off and wandered the hallways while the Kid yelled "YOU'RE GOING TO DIE!" Lordy.

Hopefully there are no aftershocks, but I hear O.G. is planning to go to bed fully clothed just in case. HAW. I'd shake her bed for entertainment just to see if she's wearing a full on outfit with a purse and shoes and all.

Luckily all my shelves are earthquake strapped. Now I just need to strap that Baby down...

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Girls, y'all got one, a night that's special everywhere, from New York to Hollywood, it's ladies night and girl the feeling's good

Last week Nanette and I went to an event for 'influential bloggers'. I do not consider myself an influential blogger but I will happily show up for anyone giving me free lattes.

The event was sponsored by the Got Milk? campaign (that's: Toma Leche?) and it was an evening of dj music, free manicures, lattes, hair consultations and desserts from MILK. Er...I spent most of my time standing by the desserts. And eating them.I did get my free hair consultation though, from celebrity hairstylist to the stars Robert Ramos. He was just the nicest most personable guy - and knowing he probably charges hundreds for a cut, I couldn't wait for him to tell me how I should change my hair. When my turn was up he said, "Wow, your hair is perfect! Don't change a thing." Ok. That was pretty nice since I was feeling particularly hag-tastic that day, but still, my goal is to grow it out, so I asked him for a few tips and things.

Like all good L.A. events we got free gift bags filled with swag, but the best part of the night - Nanette won a $125 gift certificate to his salon! See my good luck? If I don't win, those around me win! It rubs off! (Don't rub me.)

After that, we headed to Umami Burger for dinner. This place has been all over the food blogs about being the bestest and brightest burger in town. And I have to say - they were right. The burger was really tasty - just...pure, for lack of a better word. The Portugese bread bun is what really seals the deal if you ask me. We didn't get to try the 'Truffle Burger', which is supposed to be awesome.
People have complained about the sides, and yeah - the fries were EH to me, but the tempura onion rings were fantastic. Unlike a typical heavy, breaded onion ring, these were light, not oily and delicious. The desserts there are provided by the much hyped and wonderfully named - Cake Monkey, but I was just too full. All those free treats from earlier in the evening did me in.

If you are a fan of the Father's Office burger, the Counter burger, or heck - In & Out, you must try this place. I'm not a burger fan really, but it was so tasty, I will be back for more.

All in all it was a good girl's night out away from our kids. Still - after all those free lattes and a tasty Mexican Coke (my weakness) I was up til about 2am. BUZZIN'.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

A light Saturday dinner

After a long day out and lots of snacking, this is our dinner.

Calabrese Salume + water crackers
mini carrots
fresh farm strawberries (that we hand picked ourselves) w/powdered sugar

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Friday, May 15, 2009

How that horse became a doctor, I don't know.

When we found out the Kid was having surgery, the boys were ecstatic. Why? Because they got to have pudding. I know. My kids are weird. It's like loving funerals for the mochi...um.

Anyway, I made chocolate for the Baby (who was not having surgery but insisted on food) and white chocolate for the Kid. I also made a 'mini' shot for me - just because this picture made me laugh:


The Office finale was great! Very happy with that ender. And I saw a bunch of familiar faces in that company picnic volleyball crowd - wow! I love that the characters don't even have to say what's going on, you just feel it...and know. That's what makes the show so fun to watch. Can't wait til next season!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

You say tomato, I say to-mah-toe

Reason #581 why I need a job. I spent the day carving carrots into race cars. Ok, so it only took like, 10 minutes, still. I no longer build buildings, now I make carrot sculpture. Life is funny.
When the Kid and I were both sick I let him go on the computer to play some games on Disney.com. There was a section for Charlie and Lola, the animated British series shown here on the Disney Channel. My kids love Charlie and Lola, with much prodding from me, because I like it too. I'm pretty sure it's for girls, but most kids can relate. Reliable older brother, troublesome younger sibling. Hey...wait a minute...

The stories section was really cute because it not only read the story outloud (i.e. I could keep sleeping) but it was interactive and you could choose what happened in the story. This one was taken from one of our favorite books about picky eaters, "I will never, not ever eat a tomato." The kid's adore reading this book, and in the online version, the carrots turn into little race cars.So...I made some race cars. With an olive steering wheel. And radish wheels. It didn't take long but I did search the grocery aisles looking for the right sized items. sigh. My life. Anyway I also printed and cut itty bitty tiny Charlies and Lolas to drive the cars.

I love the way Charlie and Lola is 'drawn' and the show is fun and relatable to kids with siblings. However, the Baby has taken to pronouncing everything like them - with a British accent. Now he asks for toe-mah-toes. I've got a mini Henry Higgins on my hands.

Carrot Race Car how-to, here.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Michael: OK, I burned my foot very badly on my Foreman Grill and I now need someone to come and bring me into work.

Ok. I'm sure you've heard of Moffles, who hasn't right? Half Muppet, half...waffle? No? Hm. Maybe I got that wrong. Actually moffles are big in Japan, with crazy mochi lovin' Americans trying to recreate it. Fact is, just throw mochi on a waffle iron and call it a day. Anyone can do that. Still, check out how happy this Asian kid is, eatin' his moffles. That could be my happy moffle eatin' Asian Kid.





OH SNAP. Did that dude just put chocolate in that moffle?? "A meal with the convenience of snack food"?? Someone buy me this thing, asap.

But frankly, we eat so much mochi every New Year, I figured I should come up with something a little better, and a little different. So I made up some waffle batter but changed the ingredients to add some mochiko. What I got was a crispy waffle with a mochi chew, not too far off the weirdness path and perfect for brunch. But what makes it the best waffle in the world is my waffle maker:Of course. Who can resist Hello Kitty waffles? Damn, it doesn't matter what you put in there - I could put asparagus waffles in there and people would scream "AHHH THE CUTENESS. WHY DOES MY PEE STINK?" Or something.

Anyway, they turned out great. And cute. I tested them out for Mother's Day, and everyone seemed to like them, so I will be making them again soon.

Mochi Waffles (moffles) recipe, here.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Buddy: "You smell like beef and cheese, you don't smell like Santa. "

The week of the funeral our family spent everyday at O.G.'s house. That's a lot of family time. One of those days my cousin was telling us a story and she used "air quotes". As if O.G. had never seen anyone do that before, she started doing it...for no reason. "Jenny, can you get some some "water"." Ugh. Believe me, it's even more annoying than it sounds.

I only bring this up because I went to the market with the Kid the other day and they were doling out samples. I thought it was noodles, but NO, they were "noodles." Ya, dig? They were noodles made out of tofu. Now unless you have a severe allergy to pasta I don't know why the hell you would ever EVER eat noodles made out of tofu, but you know my little vegetarian - he took to it right away. He ate like I've never seen him eat before. So I bought a pack, and at just 99 cents, it wasn't a bad trial investment.

There weren't any recipe directions except to 'rinse and parboil to get rid of the natural scent.' Yeah. What they really mean is wash off the stank, because the "noodles" did NOT smell pleasant. In the end I made up a quick noodle soup and totally kicked the Vegan out of it by adding lots of pork, which in turn added lots of flavor. The vegetarian Kid even ate the pork and the carnivore Baby even ate the noodles. That's teamwork right there.

Would I buy these "noodles" again? Most likely NOT. But I will make the soup again with regular pasta. Since my "kids" really "enjoyed" eating "it". See how annoying that is? Freakin' airquotes.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Lips like sugar, sugar kisses

For someone who LOVES coffee, I actually don't drink it that much. I usually like it in cakes, ice cream - I just love the smell and flavor. With one exception. If there is a donut in the hizzouse, I need coffee with it. Therefore, Coffee + Donuts Cupcakes were inevitable.

Everyday I open my cabinets and there's my Mini Donut Maker staring at me. I haven't used it in about a year and I thought this was the perfect project. I made a strong coffee cupcake, with a coffee frosting, and then commandeered the kids to help out with the donut decorating.The donuts for the picture were mine - because frankly, the kid's were...heavily sprinkled. Imagine - entire bottles of sprinkles...everywhere. Ugh. But they had fun and I always want them to help out. Good thing I have tons of sprinkles close by.

I have been working on these cupcakes for a long time, and luckily, they came out just as I had hoped. For this recipe, I spent a lot of time dreaming about them, tweaking the recipe, and sketching out the idea. Yes, I have a sketchbook of food ideas, no I am not a crazy hobo.

I do think pastry on pastry is a bit over the top - I feel like I've just made the turducken of desserts. Still, you can't deny the cuteness. Also MMM, coffee.

Coffee + Donuts Cupcakes

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Mother's Day


If I had known we were going to take pictures I would have probably dressed fancier.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Cafe Disco is dead. But I can still hear the music in my head.

I kinda want to go to Cafe Disco. I want coffee. I want to dance.

Mother's day is coming! I repeat, Mother's Day is coming! Eh. No one cares. Usually I send brownies to O.G. every Mother's Day - her fave, Fat Witch Brownies. Whenever I go to New York I always try to pick some up because, well - she demands it. One time, ONE, I didn't get a chance to go there and pick some up - she wouldn't let it go. I'm busy dammit! Now, I make it a point to get there, no matter what. My last trip I walked two blocks in the snow (no joke) to get her some.

Of course when I brought them home she said, "You didn't have to bring me anything..." Jigga, please. I'm not falling for that one, crazy. Sadly, being jobless means no money to mail order her some brownies, so the Old Lady is out of luck. So I used this as an opportunity to try out a new recipe.I have heard so much about Baked and haven't had the chance to visit, so I thought I'd do what the rest of the internet is doing and test the waters with the free recipe. Brownies - every recipe is pretty similar, it's the combination and ingredients that make the difference. When I was making them I thought, what's so different about this...but I have to tell you, they were so damn good it was all I could do to not eat the whole pan myself.

I changed the recipe a bit but only because - like most of my baking endeavors - I decided to make these late at night and I could only work with the ingredients I had on hand. It didn't matter. They were fantastic.

Now O.G. is has been swayed. She LOVED these. Have I just made my life worse? Now instead of just going online and shipping her brownies I am now the on call brownie maker? Yikes. As it is I am already the on call gravestone designer. I am in my EIGHTH revision as we speak. OH. Idea! I should make her final tombstone mock up out of brownies and wrap it up for her Mother's Day gift. You may think it's morbid, but I know this woman - she'd be thrilled.

Baked brownies recipe, here.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

I can't think - think about this crazy day

This has been a WEEK. You know what I mean? And it's only Thursday. Kill me. First, the Kid was supposed to have surgery. Without going into it, it got all the way to them gassing him to make him relax when things suddenly went wrong and the surgery was cancelled. Thankfully, he's fine now - but it's been rescheduled, so it ain't over yet.

Later while playing, he poked himself in the eye and got a possible corneal abrasion. By 8 at night it was red and irritated. I was not in the mood to sit by myself with two kids in the ER for hours just to find out it was nothing. So I made him wear...a pirate eyepatch. Luckily we have plenty of those lying around. Turns out it was nothing. Yay for motherly instinct. (Or not caring enough. Either or.) Dodged the ER on that one.
Then the Kid went to Kindergarten orientation. There was a reception afterwards and he ate a cookie. He said, "This tastes funny." I looked at it super closely and it looked like peanuts. Needless to say I freaked. But...nothing happened. The nuts were small, but I tasted it and it seems like it was a cashew, and not a peanut. Still, I gave him Benadryl just in case. Now I'm confused. And a little migraine-y at this point.

While I dodged the ER earlier in the week, last night, I was not so lucky. In the middle of the night the Baby complained of a headache. Then revealed he had fallen and hit his head at school. What came next was an endless stream of vomit. First sign of possible head trauma. Since the Kid was sound asleep I had to call my mom to come watch him, while I rushed the Baby to the ER. There...were the sickest mofos you've ever seen. If there ever was a case study for swine flu, that waiting room would be it. EVERYONE had vomit bags and masks. So gross.

The Baby spewed and spewed. Everyone gave us the stink eye so we went outside. The Baby kept passing out, so the nurses assured me that due to his condition he was listed as 'urgent'. Turns out urgent means after four hours you still don't get seen. By 3am, I had had enough, and the Baby was tired. There was no way I could keep him awake so I made the decision that if he was going to die, it would be at home. Away from Flu-ville.This morning - he woke up. Honestly, I wasn't sure that he would. That's how bad things were. A trip to the pediatrician this morning told me that he most likely had a mild concussion. But since he uses his head as a hammer most of the time, who's to say that this won't happen again.

The kids think all this hanging out at home is a fun vacation. Without the blood and vomit, sure...great vacation. ~sigh~ I need a hole. A hole to climb into. Preferably with all you can eat coffee ice cream, all day spa massages and free Kate Spade purses. Must. Find. That. Hole.

Needless to say, there was A LOT of baking this week to relieve stress. Recipes to come.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I got a secret and I cant explain, all the time, Ive waited for this day
All along I was never in doubt, I always knew it would never get out

I walked into the kitchen to see this on the breakfast table:

Hm. Ok. Batman stopped by and didn't even say hello? Rude. Kinda like Santa Claus. Yet he left his name in magnets. Interesting...

I think Batman knows my secrets. I've been doing things while the kids are in school. Secret things. Throwing away their toys, for one. (one a day) But don't tell anyone. No, the real secret is, I've been cooking more and more with peanut butter.

It's scary to do when the kids are around, so during the day - when there's no danger of them sneaking a bite - I get to experiment with it. I got these MINI (~love~) Peanut Butter Cups from Trader Joe's. Too cute for words. They taste fantastic, however I thought they'd taste EVEN MORE fantastic baked into a muffin. Oh man. That was the best idea ever.I took my basic muffin recipe and just added these where you might put chocolate chips or any other add-in. (They are around the size of chocolate chips) They were so good and melty, the perfect combo of flavors, especially when you eat one fresh out of the oven.

I'm certain Batman knows what I'm up to. Just in case, I won't throw out that utility belt. He might tell on me.

Peanut Butter Cup Muffins recipe

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Dusty Bottoms: Do you have anything here besides Mexican food?

So O.G. and I were driving through East L.A. Sounds like the set up for a gangsta movie about an old lady cop and a young recruit? Not so much. We found ourselves there after picking out gravestones. Planning your own death makes you famished. Since it was lunch time, we both knew one thing. Tacos.
Many years ago my GREAT-grandmother lived in Boyle Heights. It wasn't like it was now. It was a little livelier, a little safer. Just a little. East L.A. used to have a big Japanese American community. That was about 40 years ago, before the gangs moved in. Boyle Heights is small, but there are close to 60 different gangs in that tiny area. Hard to believe.

I remember going there as a kid, probably around 7 years old, and the one thing seared into my memory was going out for tacos to El Tepeyac. El Tepeyac is still a working restaurant, in the same place where it stood 30 or so years ago.
They are known for having the 'Best burrito in L.A.' - they are gargantuan things, you don't have a fighting chance against. They are known for their Hollenbeck burrito, named after the Hollenbeck Police station which patrols the neighborhood, but their most famous is the Manuel Special, a FIVE POUND burrito almost impossible to eat.

But on this day everyone in front of me was ordering taquitos. EVERYONE. How could I go wrong? As usual O.G. tried to get me to order something else (read: eat half HER food) but I stuck to my guns and I'm glad I did. The guacamole was near perfection, and that is the most important thing to me. The taquitos were almost too full of meat, you could have probably made 4 taquitos out of those two, and the rice and beans taste just like homemade. O.G. got her tacos and she was happy.
Boyle Heights isn't the world's safest place, but the food - man, it's still as good as I remember. O.G. and I plan to go back soon. Maybe our movie wouldn't be so 'buddy cop' but more Friday starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. Or not.

Here is the episode of Man v. Food where you can see how the 'Manuel Special' is made.

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