Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Alternative Exercise

Lately I've been spending time doing wii boxing as an alternative to a work out dvd. I really get into the boxing. My heart rate gets up and I get totally winded. Afterwards I'm exhausted. The next day my shoulders and neck are really sore. Also, my elbow hurts like crazy. I have wii elbow! Today my alternative exercise was raking the front lawn. It was a great work out, but it aggravated the wii elbow. I think I'm going to have to go back to the dvds and give my elbow a rest! Who knew I'd have video game related injuries?!? hahah. At least I'm burnin' calories.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


After finding out that Starbucks and CM pay 8$ an hour I decided to get back to trading. Nothing like the thought of minimum wage and cranky customers to motivate me to make trading work. So far, things are going really well. I've exceeded my daily goal every day for the last two weeks. I've almost hit my goal for the month, and there are still 2 1/2 weeks of trading left. I like being able to sit around in my pjs until 3pm every day. I like being able to take breaks and get stuff done around the house whenever I want. Although, it's kind of stressful to be taking a piss when the alert alarms start ding ding dinging....
Like any other job, I have to get up and do it every day. The success will be in the persistence and constancy. I still don't like losing, but I'm trying to get the lesson into my head that sometimes it's better to cut an run than wait it out....that's what got me into so much trouble this summer. I have to have patience and a plan. I have to remember not to get greedy (like Martin Prince). I need to think about those cranky customers (or patients) and be happy with every positive trade. Man, it hurts to lose money, but I can't win every time. I just have to win more than I lose.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Porno Monkey Slut Cake Steak

So, last night before bed ross was bored. He typed in porno monkey slut cake steak into the search bar of the browser. Something like thirteen thousand entries came up. We clicked on one.....It was a long read, but it was so funny. I found the words porno, slut, and steak, and i think cake, but we didn't see monkey. See if you can find it. It's worth a good laugh. See how many other animals you can find in the post...there are plenty.
for a good laugh click:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Last week I decided to try and make Ribollita. Its a Tuscan bread soup that I had when we were there last month. It was one of the best things I had while we were there. I think my attempt turned out pretty good. Tejal liked it, and she has had the real thing. I will make it again soon cause it's really tasty and warms you up when its cold out.


1 1/8 c. dried cannellini beans (210g, I used navy beans)
1 1/4 lb. black or savoy cabbage (I used red)
extra virgin olive oil
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 small can diced tomatoes
3 celery stalks, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
8 cups water
2 cubes vegetable bullion
salt and pepper
6 slices coarse country bread
garlic butter

1. In a bowl cover beans with water and soak for 12 hours.
2. Drain beans and set aside
3. Discard hard stalks from cabbage, slice leaves coarsely and set aside.
4. In a large pot over medium heat warm 3 Tbl. olive oil.
5. Add onion and fry until translucent, about 5 minutes.
6. Add tomatoes, celery and carrots.
7. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
8. Pour in the water.
9. Add the cabbage, beans, thyme and vegetable bullion (cut up).
10. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I didn't add any and it was good).
11. Bring soup to a boil, stirring occasionally.
12. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for about two hours.
13. Meanwhile (towards the end) toast the bread and spread garlic butter over. (I made garlic butter by toasting fresh garlic on the stove and then mashing it into a stick of butter).
14. When beans are fully cooked slip bread into the soup.
15. Let soup stand and cool completely.
16. Before serving return soup to a boil.
17. Ladle into bowls and serve.

I did take a photo, if I can manage to get it off the camera I'll upload it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Before and After

Ross learned how to knit at Lisa Diane's New Year's party and I got into it too (he said I had to get my own needles and quit playing with his). I'm not thrilled about the price of yarn and had read about yarn recycling on the Internet. I found a knitting pattern that I wanted to try and it required like 9 skeins of yarn or something. I decided to try and find a sweater to recycle. This is a Banana Republic 100% wool sweater that I bought at Goodwill for 3.99 + tax. I took this photo 1/29/2007. Ross thought that the recycling was a dumb idea, but he sure had fun unravelling the sweater. Bailey thought it was a game and wanted to play too.

As we unravelled the sweater I wound it up into balls, which I then wound into hanks. The yarn was kind of kinky and had to be washed. When wet it looked like ramen noodles. I hung the hanks up in the guest room to dry. It looked and smelled a little funny.

When they were all dry I wound them up into balls again. I weighed the yarn and got just over 600 grams. A lot of yarn is sold in 50 gram balls for about 5 dollars a ball (conservatively speaking), so I figured I'd gotten a pretty good deal. I got all the yarn ready in just a few days. The worst part was going from the dry hanks back to balls. We had one hank that we worked on for at least an hour because it got knotted up. Rolling it into balls in the first place (instead of just hanks) seemed like a waste, so on the next sweater I just wrapped the yarn into hanks.

So I think sometime In February I started using the yarn to make a shawl. I modified the pattern. Instead of just regular stockinette stitch I decided to try seed stitch. Also, I decided to start with the longest row (410 stitches) and decrease instead of starting with two stitches and increasing. I worked on the shawl off and on throughout the Spring. At some point it got shoved in the closet and I didn't touch it for quite a while. I think in September or October I was determined to get to the 100 row mark. I figured it would really be downhill from there. I took the shawl to Italy with us and knitted on the plane and on the train. I got quite a bit done. I was even envisioning finishing it by the end of November because I could knit on the plane to El Paso for Thanksgiving. I didn't knit again until that trip (I was too busy baking). When I got home I had something like 170 rows completed. The rest was a breeze and I finished it yesterday. I just washed it and it's lying flat on the bed to dry. Its huge! It's also nice and soft. I think its not a bad transformation, and I think 4 dollars was a deal!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Desert Snow

We had a good time over the Thanksgiving weekend. When we got to El Paso it was around 80 degrees. By Saturday it was snowing! It was really neat to see the snow on the rock lawns, palm trees, and sage bushes. It seemed like there was more snow up on Westwind. Everything was coated with a thick layer by Saturday night. We were supposed to come back to DFW on Saturday afternoon, but the power went out at the airport and our flight was cancelled. It was a good thing that we got on one of the earlier flights on Sunday, cause the power went out again Sunday just after we left and flights were delayed about 3 hours. We went shopping downtown on Friday. That was just a good walk. I only spent 3 dollars. We didn't do too much shopping. Mostly, it was laying around the house and eating. The ususal. I think I ate half a sweet potato pie all by myself. We came home to dessert party left overs and Tejal gave us some pound cake. It's so hard not to eat it all, but I'm managing. Now if i could only manage to work out....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dessert Party 2007

Well, I think that this year's dessert party was a success. We had 13 home made desserts, and I think that 12 of them were good. The yellow cake with chocolate fosting was popular, as was the mint cake. I actually think the mint cake was my favorite. I just couldn't wait to give Ross his birthday present, so I had everyone sing Happy Birthday to him and I gave him the wii. He was really surprised. After the party we played wii with Tejal and Tim. It was a good party and at the end I was exhausted. The next day I just layed around. Its been a week and I still haven't recovered. It's been go go go since we left for Italy. Maybe in the Spring we will have a ghetto dessert party that will actually happen....we'll see. At least that won't be nearly as exhausting cause i'll only have to make one or two desserts....and ghetto desserts are easy by definition.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Italy 2007

Where do I start? Our flight over was totally full. I was uncomfortable, but managed to sleep while Ross watched the Mr. Bean movie. Ha! The Frankfurt airport is F-ed up. We had to go through passport control and then through security again even though we had a connecting flight.....confusing and strange. And along the way (the whole trip) we met some very unfriendly and rude Germans. We got to Florence just fine and wandered around a while looking for the hotel. Ross was so good about navigating last time. This time his instincts were all wrong, and I had to continually check the map. Our fancy hotel: Well, the first three nights we stayed in a 4 star hotel. Now, here is where I'm going to bitch. The room we were in goes for like 330 euro a night! We were there on a package deal that included a free night (which we didn't use), a welcome drink, and 2 free tickets to a museum in town (we had four choices). First of all, we didn't get our welcome drink. Second, while walking down the hall ross opened a window--it smelled like a sewer. Luckily when we opened the window in our room it didn't smell bad, but later on it smelled like sewer in the hallways without opening the window. Third complaint, the shower door seal was ripped and created a lake on the bathroom floor. Its not like they didn't know that there was a problem--they cleaned it up. Fourth complaint--although we chose a museum and told them when we wanted to go they did not get us tickets (as they said they would). They told us to just go and that they would reimburse us. The whole point of a concierge is so that you don't have to stand in line. When we walked to the museum there were two huge for the tickets and the other to get in. I said screw it. I wasn't going to stand in line for hours in the shade. Fifth complaint--the bathroom was very nice, but it took a whole hour to fill the tub. And we didn't really fill it up. A whole hour! Basically there was no water pressure. Lastly, the towel warmer didn't work! At least the breakfast there was really good. I got to have yoghurt every day--without the added sugar or HFCS. It was my kind of breakfast food...pastries and jam and cheese.

Florence: We had a good time in Florence. We walked a round A LOT. It was crouded because apparently it was a holiday weekend. The street vendors were everywhere. It was kind of annoying. It was fun to watch them pack up and run when they saw the cops. We generally just wandered around. And of course we ate. We didn't have as much gelato as I thought we would. It was kinda cold. We had a really good meal at some small place the night before we left. The potatoes were divine. We considered ordering another plate. We ate a lot of pizza for lunch. We found a good bakery that had pizza too. It was worth fighting the crowds to get our pizza (12,46 euro/kilo). I got to have pizza with eggplant and mushrooms. We did make a couple of purchases before heading up to the lake. Ross bought an awesome leather sportscoat at the leather school behind Santa Croce. I bought a watercolor painting of poppies from an artist in front of Pitti Palace. It was 14 euro. I practically threw the money at her and ran. It was a good deal. We also went to the Medici chapel (again). It was under renovation, so not as nice as before, but I guess in the future it will be nicer. And as always--relics of Saints are creepy.

Bellagio on Lake Como: We had a little trouble getting train tickets to Como. Apparently it was because it was a holiday weekend. We hussled our asses from the fancy hotel to the train station just to wait and wait and wait. The train to Milan was delayed. I had a little meltdown because we were going to miss our connecting train. I eventually managed to trade in our ticket for another...and we got on our very late train. Because the train was late we missed the last afternoon ferry to Bellagio. I wanted to ride the hydrofoil. We had to wait 4 hours for the next one. It was a holiday, a weekend, and the off we had to wait. So, anyways, we walked around Como for a while. It was dark when we finally got on the ferry. Bellagio was nice, but nearly everything was closed. The town is a lot of steps, but nothing we're not used to. It looked like the gardens at one of the villas were beautiful, but we just had to look from the locked gate. The gardens, along with just about everything else in town, were closed. Dinner the first night was pretty good. I think I had beef stew. Tasty. Lunch the second day was exceptional. The pasta I had was awesome. Fresh buckwheat pasta with local veggies and local cheese. Ross liked the lasagna and also enjoyed his anchovy pizza. That night I had a cheese course instead of dessert. I liked it. It came with honey and some sort of jam...I think it was fig. There was only one cheese I didn't like. Some sort of local soft cheese. It was too strong. I'm getting hungry thinking about all this food! We left Bellagio on the bus and the trip back to Florence was a lot better than the trip there. We had a direct train from Como back to Florence. I did some knitting and some napping.

Our hotel in Bellagio: A small family run hotel. Breakfast was good. No tub, but plenty of water pressure--and the towel warmer worked. Ross had fun playing with the french doors/windows (and me). We also had an electric shade over the window in the ceiling that he liked to play with. We watched some Italian TV. Strange.
Last day in Florence: Well, we got back to Florence at like 2:30 pm. That gave us the rest of the day for shopping and stuff. Well, first we had to check into our hotel. That was a bit of a fiasco. The owner (that we knew) sold the place about a month ago to a bunch of idiots. We finally checked in. We went to the duomo and for at least the 5th time tromped up the stairs to get to the top. It was the least crowded we'd ever seen it, and we were able to take our time going up. The switched the up and down routes and that was a little disorienting. I am used to holding the center pole with my right hand on the way up. This time the center pole was on the left. With very few people going up/down it was quite pleasant. We took a few pictures on the way up and in between the layers of the duomo. Even at the top there were'nt very many folks, and despite the clouds the view was great. We got all of our gift shopping done and walked around a lot more...I did the duomo steps and all that walking in boots! Our hotel room faced the street, so it was really noisy, but we went to bed early so we could get up for the 5:30 am bus.

Trip back: We managed to get to the airport on time. Ross got his tax refund stamped by customs and we checked in. Through security and onto the plane to Frankfurt. I was so tired I passed out while we were delayed on the runway and slept for almost the entire flight. This time in Frankfurt it was downstairs....down a hall...then back up the stairs. F-ed up. The plane started boarding an hour before departure. More rude Germans. Ross bought some gummies in the airport. (Then he ate too many on the plane and got the gollywobs.) The plane wasn't totally booked, and I was a bit more comfortable. I was able to sleep a bit. Man, it was more and more and more food. Snacks, drinks, and meals. We watched 3 episodes of Rome on Ross's archos while I knitted. We got home at a decent hour. Had a short nap, then had some dinner. We went to bed early, and I think we're back on track with the time already.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Last night we went for Chipolte and then went to see Balls of Fury. First of all, the dollar theater isn't a dollar anymore. I know, it hasn't been for a long time, but now its up to two dollars on the weekends. I don't think Balls of Fury was worth two dollars. Funny, in parts, all of which were shown in the previews. The main character was just fat and gross and had nappy hair like mine. The love interest was disgustingly skinny and of course they hook up in the end. What is it with the nasty fat guys hooking up with the skinny cute girls? Anyways, War with Jet Li and Jason Statham is playing. Maybe we'll go see that before vacation. I sure as hell won't go see the Mr. Bean movie.....

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Its gotten really chilly this week. I'm not sure if its the cold or if she's feeling sick, but Bailey has been crawling all over me the last couple of days. I had to take a picture because it's so rare. I'm starting to get excited about our trip to Italy and also our dessert party. I sent out invitations today and took another look at the dessert list. I should probably come up with a schedule before we leave for vacation. I have to coordinate when I'm going to make 12 desserts! Nothing else exciting going on here. I'm trying to get back on the wagon before our trip. I never gain weight in Italy. I'll walk enough there to burn off all the gelato and pizza. Oh, gelato. I can't wait.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pumpkin Carving

Well, there was a good turnout for the pumpkin carving, despite some of our regulars not showing. Joey helped me tremendously and we had all the food ready just in time. Chicken tikka masala and wild rice made up our orange and black vittles. We also had samosas, naan, chips and queso. After eating we all washed our pumpkins and then got to cleaning out the guts.

I decided not to actually carve my pumpkin and instead tried the scraping technique. I took my time and ended up being the last one done! Margo did two pumpkins before I had finished my first! Everyone's pumpkins turned out great. It was nice to spend some time outside and the weather was awesome. During the actual carving we started drinking. When I went to get out the bottle of George T. Stagg to celebrate that I had finally finished my pumpkin I knocked over a berries and cream Dr. Pepper can. Damn thing exploded. I think I caught most of the spray on my shirt and jeans. Anyways, I had my bourbon, and everything was all better.

When we were all done we all chomped on caramel apples. I needed something to soak up the alcohol. That caramel is really really tasty. I'm not a caramel fan, but man, that stuff is good. This year it turned out a just right, not runny like last year. We took plenty of photos of the pumpkins, and everyone's looked great.

At the end Tejal and Tim stayed a while. After watching Lazy Sunday I said "I want cupcakes" just like I do every time I see Lazy Sunday. Tim says "Okay, let's make cupcakes!" and we did! We watched some Venture Brothers and after a few failed attemts at setting up American Idol and Tekken Tag on the PS2 we ended up playing Rayman Raving Rabbids. Oh, we laughed so hard! Ross fell asleep on the loveseat. Poor little guy was all worn out.

It was a great day and I'm so glad everyone came. Now its time to make some vacation and Dessert party plans. Everyone was asking about the dessert party, and I think we'll have it before Thanksgiving.

State Fair

Tejal, Ross and I went to the fair last week to try out some of the new fried foods. We got there right at 1 pm, just in time to see the human cannonball. That was just odd, but I'm glad we saw it. Ross took great pictures of the guy flying out of the cannon. After the cannonball we tried the fried guacamole. Wow. It was really good. The batter was crispy and spicy. The filling was warm and tasty. Expensive, but worth it, besides--fair food is always pricey. After the guac we wandered around looking for the belgian waffle stand. After seeing it on TV I just had to have one. It was really crispy, and tasted like an ice cream cone. I had it topped with whipped cream, strawberries, and powdered sugar. I made quite a mess of myself while eating it. After the food we wandered around and saw the car show, butter sculpture, all the normal stuff. Oh, we had a free ice cream cone, and the free part made it taste even better.
Then we went to my favorite part, the baby animals! Oh, there were all the same animals as last year, but still, they were so cute. The baby kangaroo was a little disturbing. We actually got to see it poke it's head out of the pouch, and then climb out. It looked like a chihuahua. It had a little trouble getting out of the pouch and was just standing there with its head still stuck in the pouch. Everyone cringed when it started clawing at the pouch. When it finally came all the way out it was like an alien dog. Skinny and awkward.
We had more fried food. Fried sweet potato pie was just like a fried empanada. Not very special. On the way out Ross and Tejal tried the fried cookie dough. Ross liked it. Tejal wasn't that impressed. The funny part was that we only had 10 tickets, not 12, so the guy let us have it without the silly packaging. He even gave us an extra fried cookie dough ball. Ross was pumped with sugar and became extra crazy. The three hours of walking around in the sun wore me out and afterwards I was super tired. We topped of the day with some food at Cafe Medi, but skipped their awesome tiramisu as we were sugar overloaded.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lamb Korma

Ross loves his lamb, and I decided to give in and make some this week. Man, looking at this blog you'd think that all we eat is cake (I love cake.) and Indian food. Saturday we're having Indian food again--Chicken Tikka Masala. I picked it cause it's orange, and we are having a pumpkin carving party. I buy the boneless leg of lamb at Costco. I cut it up into little pieces and used a third for this recipe and put the rest in two ziplock bags for later. I'll make lamb stew Sunday.

Lamb Korma

2 pounds lamb or beef if you prefer
6 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. comino
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. tumeric
1/2 c. sour cream or plain yoghurt

3 c. sliced onion
2 Tbl. oil
2 Tbl. butter
2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
dash of cardamom
2 tsp. minced ginger
2 tsp. minced garlic

1/4 tsp. ground fennel
1/4 c. coconut milk
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. water
1 tsp. fresh lemon (or lime) juice

1. Mix spices and sour cream. Stir in meat and marinate at least 30 minutes.
2. Fry onions in oil and butter until soft.
3. Add remaining spices and fry 1-2 minutes.
4. Cook meat with onions and spices until meat is browned.
5. Add fennel,coconut milk, salt and water.
6. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer.
7. Simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water if gravy becomes too thick.
8. Stir in lemon juice, add salt to taste.

This is the basic recipe. I can't remember where I got it. I rarely use a full two pounds of meat or 3 full cups of onions (I just cut up one or two onions).....but I always use the full amount of spices. It turned out all right last night. If you use chicken you don't have to cook it the full 45 mins, but for lamb and beef you need to so that the meat becomes tender. The onion naan added just the right amount of saltiness, and the samosas that I found in the freezer were the super spicy ones. I'll be having leftovers for lunch.

4 Day Weekend

4 Day Weekend is the name of the comedy/improvisation group that we went to see on Friday. It was pretty funny. I think the funniest line was that Montessori is an old latin word meaning "no black kids in this school." To boot, the guy was singing the line. I love to make up words to songs. They were pretty good at that, until it came to the word ostomy. I mean, some medical student must have put that word in the bin. Poor guys didn't know what it meant. The audience was mostly engineers. I'm not sure if they knew what it meant either....At the end they figured it out...
There were two times when audience members were singled out (that doesn't count all the times they made fun of people for text messaging, or getting up during the show--that was funny.) The second guy they singled out was being a real jerk. Well, in the end they made so much fun of him that they were laughing themselves (actually, the guys laughed uncontrollably at their own jokes...not endearing.) The audience was cheering on the mockery of the jerk. It was great.
It was a funny show, and the fact that we got free tickets (courtesy the sound and lighting guy) made it even better. It's not something I'd go to every weekend though. Once a year maybe.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I keep forgetting to post about this dvd that we rented last weekend. It was unexpectly really good. I wasn't too hopeful. The last foreign action film I picked out turned out terribly. We only watched the first ten minutes it was so bad. Anyways, the name of the film is Nomad the Warrior. A pretty good story. Good action. Tonight we are going to a comedy club. I haven't been to a comedy club since Austin. No update on the Gin book. I have no idea where it is! It might be in the back of the car. I should check. I've been reading my issues of Bon Apetit instead. Well, I'd better get back to that pizza dough.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yellow Cake, Take 2

I searched for another yellow cake recipe to try, even though the last blunder was my doing, and didn't have much to do with the recipe. This time the cake has a more refined texture and is more like a store bought pound cake (but not quite as heavy.) The batter was tasty, pretty rich, with all those eggs. I think next time I will add a little more milk. Maybe it would be better if I used whole milk, but I always have skim in the house...

Yellow Cake Second Take

1 c butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 c. sugar
9 egg yolks
3/4 c. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. cake flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Grease and flour two cake pans. (I also put parchment paper in the bottom, but I don't think it's really necessary.)
3. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt.
4. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Beat in yolks one at a time.
6. Mix in vanilla.
7. Add the milk and flour mixture alternatively in thirds, beating after each addtion. (Here I sifted in the flour, to get an extra sift in.)
8. Mix until just incorporated.
9. Pour batter into pans.
10. Cook for 25-30 mins. (I'm not sure how long I cooked it, the timer went off and I didn't hear it.)

I put some cream cheese frosting in between the layers, just to have something to separate them. I think this is a good recipe. I think I'll just be tweaking it from now on...I'll try adding more milk first. My dad said that yellow cakes can be colored with saffron tea, but this cake is yellow enough I think.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Saag Paneer

You have probably noticed by now that I don't really measure when I cook. I'll try to give measurements for this one. I bought onion naan at the indian store and I always buy paneer there in the frozen section. The paneer I buy is already cut and toasted, so that saves me some time.

Saag Paneer

3 9oz bags of prewashed spinach
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
1 Tbl. oil
2 tsp. tumeric
2 Tbl. coriander
1 Tbl. comino
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 c. yoghurt (I love cascade fresh)
1 lb. paneer, cut into cubes and toasted
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook spinach in large covered pot over high heat with about 1/4 c. water until completely wilted (about 7 minutes).
2. While spinach is cooking dice onion and garlic and saute with oil over medium high heat until browned.
3. Add spices to onion mix and saute another 2 minutes.
4. When spinach is cooked puree in food processor until smooth.
5. Add spinach to onion mix.
6. Stir in yoghurt.
7. Add paneer cubes.
8. Simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occaisonally until spinach darkens.
9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
10. Serve with naan and samosa.

If the mixture is too thick, add a little more yoghurt or some milk. I added some half and half today just because I had some. I added salt at the table because I forgot to add it when cooking. The onion naan was tasty, and the samosas were somehow better than last time (came out of the same bag.)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Bran Muffins

I wanted muffins for breakfast this weekend, but I wanted something other than the flax muffins. I found a recipe online and modified it. My modifications worked much better than my "changes" to the yellow cake recipe. I found another yellow cake recipe. Maybe I'll try it next week.

Ginger Oat Bran Muffins

1 c. all purpose flower
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. oat bran
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/3 c. brown sugar
3 Tbl. flax meal
1 Tbl. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. molasses
2 c. buttermilk
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter muffin tins.
3. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients.
4. Stir in molasses, buttermilk and egg.
5. Spoon batter into muffin pans to fill to 2/3.
6. Bake for 20 mins.

This recipe amazingly made a full 24 muffins. I made half of the muffins with chocolate chips and the other half with raisins. I ate one right out of the oven with butter on top. Milk. Yummy.

Smoked Cheese Pizza

With leftover smoked provolone from the mac and cheese and some smoked mozzerella we made smoked cheese pizza tonight. I thawed some pizza dough and rolled it out while Ross shredded the cheese. We used 4 cheese pasta sauce and turkey pepperoni. Ross loaded so much cheese on the pizza that it melted and overflowed in the oven. It was very tasty. The cheese was just browned and very yummy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mac Redeemed

I mixed some leftover chili with the dried up mac and cheese. It made a really tasty chili mac. So I guess the overcooked smoked mac and cheese was salvaged. I need to work out today, so I can have some Roadhouse Tea. And lots of Logan's rolls. Oooh yeah.

Smoky Comfort Food

Inspired by a recipe in bon apetit and a hankering for mac and cheese I decided to make a smoked mac and cheese. I used smoked provolone, smoked cheddar, smoked gouda, and sharp cheddar. Again, yesterday I was upset and distracted. It looked great going into the oven, looked terrible coming out. I cooked it too long and it jut became mac and cheese grains. It was creamy when I put it in....I'll try it again next week, and just cook it for like 15 mins or something. This week we are going to try smoked pizza. Hopefully that will turn out better than yesterdays adventures.

Smoked Mac and Cheese

smoked provolone
smoked edam
smoked cheddar
sharp cheddar

noodles (I use barilla plus)

1. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions. Drain.
2. Preheat oven to 350.
3. Shred or finely slice about half a cup of each cheese.
4. In a small saucepan melt 3 tablespoons butter.
5. Add 2 spoonfulls of flour to butter.
6. Whisk flour and butter over medium heat until flour is browned.
7. While whisking furiously, add milk (about a cup and a half to two cups).
8. Over medium heat keep whisking as you add the cheeses, one at a time whisking after each addition until cheese is melted.
9. Pour pasta into oven safe baking dish. (I just used a cast iron pan)
10. Pour cheese sauce over the pasta.
11. Stir to coat.
12. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 mins. Just to brown the top.

(non)Joy of Cooking Yellow Cake

I had a little mishap yesterday trying to cook the yellow cake. I was upset, in a hurry, and distracted. When I read the recipe I decided to change the order that the ingredients are mixed together. Unfortunately I added flour first instead of sugar, and so I couldn't really cream the butter and sugar. The batter was lumpy, so I beat it for a long time. The result was a cake that is both a little sticky and crumbly. I had two layers of plain yellow cake, and wasn't planning on making frosting. I decided to make some whipped cream and put it between the two layers. A little sugar, a lot of brandy, and a lot of whipping later I had a filler. It's a little strong. I'm going to attempt the cake again. Maybe I should follow the recipe. I'll definitely pay more attention to flour vs. sugar. At least I got the right amounts in, even if I did add them in the wrong order.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Madam Geneva

On the trip to NYC I did start reading the Gin book that I bought a while ago. It's the history of gin in England. I really like it. Apparently most of England was sloshed throughout the 1700s. It's very fascinating to me. They make gin manufacturing sound so easy and appealing. It really makes me want to make my own gin. I think at some point I'll set up a still so I can compound gin myself. In the meantime I'll have a few gin and tonics and try to finish the book. Tomorrow I'm going to embark into yellow cake territory. I'll post the results.

Monday, September 24, 2007


The other day I had a ten minute conversation about corn with my grandma. I didn't expound on my view about the corn conspiracy. I did learn that she got corn 5 for a dollar and used some to make calabacitas. I haven't had calabacitas in a long time and decided to make some today. I put extra chili powder to try and burn out this virus I picked up yesterday.


1 large onion--chopped
4-5 chopped garlic cloves
2 pounds meat cut into small pieces (I usually use beef)
2 pounds calabacitas, chopped (green squash or use zucchini)
1-2 cans of corn
1 can tomato sauce
chili powder
comino (cumin)
salt and pepper

1. Saute onion until softened.
2. Add garlic.
3. Brown meat with garlic and onion.
4. Cover meat with water and bring to boil.
5. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 mins.
6. Add more water, corn, tomato sauce and chopped calabacitas.
7. Spice up the soup with some chili powder, comino, and salt and pepper to taste.
8. Boil soup another 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.

That's it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Flax Muffins

I managed to do almost all of the things on my to do list today. That included making some flax muffins. The muffins are easy to make (despite the long list of ingredients) and make a good "healthy" snack. I suppose they are healthy if you don't top them with a bunch of butter or cream cheese like I do. This isn't my recipe, I got it off the back of the flax bag. You could add raisins or chocolate chips I suppose. I never peel the apples or carrots, there's no reason to really. I don't measure out the spices, and sometimes add allspice or ground cloves. Today I used buttermilk and they turned out fine.....well, the mixture was a little dry, so I added some more milk. Then when putting the first few spoonfulls into the muffin tins I decided to double check the recipe. I was afraid I'd missed some wet ingredient. No, I'd missed the sugar. Its amazing how much better the batter looked and tasted with the sugar. Good thing I realized my mistake before baking the whole batch.

Flax Muffins--yields 22

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. flaxseed meal
3/4 c. bran cereal or oat bran
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 c. shredded carrots
2 shredded apples
3/4 c. milk
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter muffin tins (don't use paper liners.)
3. Mix together dry ingredients.
4. Stir in shredded carrots and apples.
5. Combine milk, eggs and vanilla.
6. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients.
7. Stir until moistened.
8. DO NOT overmix.
9. Fill muffin cups 3/4 cups full.
10. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
11. Allow to cool, then remove from tins.
12. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Home Made Pizza

This losing weight thing isn't going so well. Yesterday I made pizza for dinner and had to fight the urge to eat more than my two allotted slices. The crust turned out really well this time. I left it a little sticky, so it was more fluffy than usual.

Pizza Crust
2 packages active dry yeast (16 g)
2 c. warm water
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbl. olive oil
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour

1. Proof yeast with water and sugar 10 minutes.
2. Stir in salt and oil.
3. Add flour, mixing after addition of each cup. Add up to 1 c. extra flour if dough is too sticky.
4. Kneed dough for 2-3 minutes.
5. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
6. Punch down dough and divide into thirds.
7. Roll dough out into round for pizza.

I make this pretty easy by doing it in the kitchen aid mixer with a dough hook. The extra dough can be frozen for future use ... defrost at room temp. The dough doesn't keep in the will continue to rise.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add whatever pizza sauce and toppings you'd like. Last night we used garlic/onion pasta sauce, oregano, turkey pepperoni, and lots of mozzerella cheese. Cook the pizza about 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and starts to brown. Yum.

Slipping Away

Yesterday I couldn't remember the meaning of epistaxis. Nosebleed. I did always get criticized for not using the big words. Now that I never use them, I'm losing them. I suppose I'm forgetting things I don't need, things I learned for no reason really. Oh well.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Pimm's Cup

If I wasn't tea totalling until NYC, I'd be loopy on Pimm's Cups and Gin and Tonics. These are my two preferred drinks, and super for hot summer days.

Pimm's Cup


Ginger ale

Pimm's Cup

English cucumber wedges

Orange slice

Lime slices

Pour the ginger ale and Pimm's over ice into a glass at a ratio of 3:1 (unless you like it 1:1 like I do). Add a wedge of cucumber, an orange slice an 1 or 2 lime slices. Stir gently. Enjoy.

I bought a book about gin a few weeks ago, but haven't opened it. I'll take a look at it, and maybe read it on the plane and let you know if it's any good.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

America's Test Kitchen In My Kitchen

Last weekend while laying on the couch I caught the tail end of America's Test Kitchen on PBS. They were handing out slices of chocolate cake. I love cake. I want cake. So I decided to find the recipe and try it out myself. So, yesterday I made old fashioned chocolate cake. It wasn't too difficult. The chocolate for the cake didn't exactly melt into creaminess. Since it was just unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder and a little water it formed a kind of paste. I cooked the cake layers for 25 minutes (the recipe says 25-30 mins), but it was still liquid. After another 7 minutes, it was fudgy. So I left it in another 7 minutes. I think that was a little too long. The cake is slightly dry and didn't want to come out of the pans. There were chocolate cake crumbs all over the kitchen. The icing was a little more tricky. Man, there's a whole pound of chocolate and a stick of butter in the frosting! I thought the icing had a funny aftertaste, but it got better after regfrigeration. As you can see half of the cake is already gone. I lost the photos of the whole cake....something might be wrong with my memory card. Anyways, I don't think the cake turned out in my kitchen the way it did in America's Test Kitchen, but it's definitely edible.
I was trying to bake because I haven't baked in a long time. I'm not sure I like cooking and baking. I get mad when things don't turn out perfectly. I just made do when the cake disintegrated (I glued it with icing), and things turned to seem out all right. I'm not sure what I'll bake up next, but I think I might like the chocolate frosting on a yellow cake. That's saying a lot, because I'm not a frosting fan. If I try something next week maybe I'll make it something a little less sinful ... I'm trying to lose weight before my trip to NYC.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Shredded Chicken Salad

This is good to eat cold or room temp on these hot summer days.
2 chicken breasts
1.5 lbs green beans--fresh or frozen
olive oil
2 limes
secret sauce
shredded parmesan cheese

1. Boil 2 chicken breasts until fully cooked.
2. Shred chicken. (I use two forks when the chicken is hot)
3. If using fresh green beans, clean and cut them.
4. Steam green beans until just tender, but still crunchy.
5. Rinse green beans in cold water to arrest cooking.
6. In a large bowl mix green beans with shredded chicken.
7. Add juice from 2 limes and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
8. Add secret sauce and shredded parmesan cheese to taste.
9. Mix all together really well.
10. Enjoy.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Well, time flies. There isn't much food related on this food blog. The last two weeks have been filled with crises, drama, laziness, excuses, break-downs, and blow-ups. I'm going to try to put some more recipes up this week. This weekend I downloaded a bunch of funny songs, so I'll post one of them up.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Something Accomplished

This week I did manage to finish sewing a tunic shirt. The collar isn't exactly right, and the hole for my head is a little small, but it is wearable. This morning I also got up early and cleaned up the back room. Whoohoo. With the leftovers from the shirt I plan to make a little dress. I'll post that up when I'm done.

Friday, August 3, 2007


I'm in a mood. Cranky. I should be cleaning house. I've got a headache. I finally got a ticket to NYC, now trying to find a hotel . . . Dreading the next week. Flipping channels between my soap, Maury, and a campy period-piece episode of Magnum P.I. Wishing i could just blink or wiggle my nose and this place would be sparkling clean. Calgon, take me away.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

One Year

Wow. A lot can happen in one year. Or just about nothing. One year ago I left Maryland to come back to Texas. I don't feel like I've gotten much of anything accomplished. Last August I spent the entire month deep cleaning the house. I spent this June remodelling the back bathroom. I don't feel as though I've done much of anything else. I've had nightmares lately where strangers yell at me and tell me that I'm lazy and didn't try hard enough, that I should be a doctor and there are no excuses. I feel like a very expensive medical dictionary, and over the past year I'm sure i would have learned a ton, but instead i have forgotten a bunch. Twice i couldn't remember the word lipoma. Yesterday I couldn't remember that the HIV test is the ELISA test (i did remember that Western Blot is the confirmation test). Somehow though, I did remember that Chapter 25 is the HIV chapter in my micro book. Odd. I feel extremely guilty for not working and not doing more at home. In short, I guess I do feel lazy. Some of my classmates will be full fledged doctors in less than a year....and where will I be? What will I have done? I can't imagine it will be anything as impressive as that.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Common Courtesy

I guess I just have really high expectations. If I do something nice for someone I expect acknowledgement and a Thank You. I know half the time the person didn't ask me to do what I did, but that doesn't preclude a Thank You does it? I'm not looking for a medal, or a billboard, just a phone call or an email. A simple "Hey Kat, I got the stuff you sent. Thanks." Last summer I sent a friend some cds. Later I received a hand-written note and some cds in exchange. That was exceptional. Most people can't even seem to say thank you.
This week my aunt didn't give more than an hour's notice when it came to picking up my grandma at the airport. I've heard of other people doing this. "Hey, I'm at the airport, pick me up." What the %@#&!!!!
People won't even hold the door open anymore. They open it just a crack and slink through, so that even if you are only two steps behind them, when you get to the door, its already closed again.
I guess all I can do is my part. I'll continue to hand write thank you notes, and hold the door open. I mean, come on, its common courtesy.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Last Week's Knitting Project

Last week I decided to make some beer bottle cozies for a friend of mine as a housewarming gift. The first one (blue) I knit mainly while watching Roadhouse. The second one I knit while watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. They went pretty fast and I was pleased with how they turned out. I really like the elasticky yarn that they are made of. I've been wearing the blue test swatch around as a wrist band....ha! It's too bad that the yarn store didn't have a better selection of colors. I'm thinking of making myself a cozie for a pint bottle. You know, anything to avoid my big project.....

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Funny Talk

Kat: "She doesn't understand."
Ross: "What doesn't she understand?"
Kat: "Well, it's not that she doesn't understand, its that she doesn't agree with me."
Ross: "Oooooh, I see."

Sunday Dinner

Well, today I managed to do a good workout, despite my soreness. This afternoon I wasted some of my life watching Jeepers Creepers. Wow. Bad movie--but what else is on TV on a Sunday afternoon? Now I've started dinner. Tonight's dinner is Chicken Tikka Masala. This recipe is adapted from one I found online. I usually serve it with some naan and brown bismati rice, but tonight we will have naan and some zuccchini.

Chicken Tikka Masala

1 c. yoghurt
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tbl. minced fresh ginger
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces

4 skewers

1 tbl. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalepeno pepper, finely sliced (i remove the seeds first)
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. paprika
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 c. 1/2 and 1/2

1. In a large bowl combine yogurt, lemon juice (i always use lime), and spices. Stir in chicken and referigerate for one hour.
2. Preheat grill to high.
3. Thread chicken onto skewers. Don't squish chicken too close together, or it will take longer to cook. Discard marinade. Grill about 5 minutes each side.
4. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for one minute. Season with cumin and paprika. Stir in tomato sauce and 1/2 and 1/2. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens. Add grilled chicken and simmer another 10 minutes.

I usually start the sauce about the same time we start the grill to heat. That way the sauce has a while to cook and then when the meat is ready you just throw it in the sauce and cook it for a few more minutes.

We also managed to get to the library today, where I loaded up on stuff to read (from the picture book section of course.) I also picked up a knitting book. I have a knitting project that I need to work on, but I keep avoiding it.
Oh boy, Double Impact with Jean Claude Van Damme is on!!!!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Called Out

I went to yoga with Tiffany yesterday. I was expecting a pansy class, being that it was at 24 hour fitness and only 60 mins long. Tiffany told me it was hard, but she isn't exactly one to judge. The class was actually decent, and pretty tough. Tiffany sat out 1/3 or so of the class, and I'm not sure how hard she tried on the poses she did do. I was soaking wet, I don't think she broke a sweat. Being that I'm so competitive I was really pushing myself (I know, this isn't very yoga of me, and he even said it wasn't a competition, but I wanted to prove to Tiffany that I could do it.)
I was recently lamenting that that whenever bridge to wheel comes up in yoga I cop out and sit there in bridge. That's kind of sad to me, cause when I was a kid backbend from standing or laying down was my favorite move.
So, the teacher was cool, and the workout was good, and towards the end we did bridge. When he said to pop it up into wheel I laughed (just like I laughed when he said high push up-low push up-high push up again-low push up--I'm not being tricked into doing push-ups, it's my least favorite exercise.) Get this, the teacher walks right over to me, looks me in the face and says "Wheel? You know what I'm talking about right?" I offered the excuse that my head is really sensitive--which is code for "I'm copping out."
I need to work on wheel so next time I don't half-ass and get called out.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Just so you know the Song Stuck In My Head is a link so you can download it if you want (MP3). You have to wait 45 seconds or something for the download to start, but it's free.

Crazy Talk

This week I got an email from Mens Health with the subject line that read "Sculpt fat into muscle." You CANNOT turn fat into muscle. I suppose I should file that under crazy talk (along with money isn't paper (it's fabric cause it's made of cotton), athiest jews, bisexuals, lose weight in 8 minutes a day) and as crazy talk I should ignore it. It's just more annoying coming from Mens Health than some informercial with Chuck Norris or something. Of course the email didn't actually say anything about turning fat into muscle--because that is complete bunk. It was just a line to get you to read the email. No sense in getting riled up. It's crazy talk.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What's For Dinner?

On Sundays I like to make a big meal. What I mean is something that will provide a lot of left overs for lunch Monday and Tuesday. This Sunday I was going to make Chili, but after the movies . . . we saw Ratatouille (a rat in the kitchen, i can deal, a swarm of rats .... DISGUSTING) I didn't feel like cooking so we went out and ate honkey chinese (a little disappointing). So yesterday I went shopping and made chili, so I'll have it for lunch today, and tomorrow. It makes at least 6 servings. I'll probably freeze whatever is left after lunch tomorrow. There's only so much chili I can eat.


olive oil
green onions (just cause i had them in the house yesterday)
ground beef or turkey (i used two lbs. yesterday)
cayenne pepper
menudo spice
chili powder
black pepper
secret sauce
crushed tomatoes (the big can)
stout (i use half a pint or less, and then drink a small glass of stout with dinner)
canned beans (black and red kidney, rinsed)
ground flax seed (i usually add this for the omegas, but forgot yesterday)

shredded cheese
sour creme or yogurt

1. Chop the onions and garlic and saute with olive oil in large pot.
2. Add ground meat and brown.
3. Add spices.
4. When meat is fully cooked add crushed tomatoes, stout, beans and flax seed.
5. Stir and bring to boil.
6. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 mins.
7. I like mine with cheese and sour creme on top. Crackers on the side.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Piercing Photo

Austin, TX