Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Three Cup Eggplant

I really like Taiwanese 3 cup chicken. I have also had the same dish made with eggplant. Oh, so yummy. The garlic turns into irresistible candy. The first time I tried to make this I threw everything in the pot and cooked it for 30 minutes. It tasted great, but the eggplant turned into total mush. It looked nasty. This time it turned out much better. Also, I got to use the eggplant from my mini-garden!

Three Cup Eggplant

15 garlic cloves, crushed or cut into slivers
10 slices of ginger
1/3 c. sesame oil (I just use enough to coat the bottom of my pot)
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. rice wine
3 Tbl. sugar
2 lb. Japanese eggplant
one large bunch of Thai basil

1. Heat oil in a large pot.
2. Add garlic and ginger to pot and saute for a few minutes.
3. Add soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar to the pot and stir to dissolve sugar.
4. After bringing mixture to a boil reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
5. While sauce is cooking, cut eggplant into bite size pieces and remove basil leaves from stalks.
6. Add eggplant to pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, until eggplant is softened.
7. Stir basil into pot and cook another two minutes.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sun Tea

When it stopped raining every day Ross decided he would like to make sun tea at work. I bought him this jug and a box of 100 tea bags so that he could have something other than water to drink at work. On the weekends Ross brings the jug home and we make sun tea on the balcony.

Ross forgot the jug today and I made some black/mint tea at home. I was thinking of making milk tea tonight, and boiling up some boba, but I'm just too lazy. Instead I'm having milk and cookies.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cat Sling

On laundry day Bailey likes to curl up on or even in the warm laundry right after it comes out of the dryer. Whatever she curls up on doesn't get folded for a while cause she's just too cute to shove over. Well this week she decided to curl up into the corner of the fitted sheet. I didn't fix the bed for a while.

I can't believe our little girl turned 10 earlier this month. She's as kitten-like as the day we got her. She dashes across the back of the couch as fast as ever and loudly complains about the humming birds if they hang out too long on the feeder.

I love my little girl and hope she's around for another ten years, and another 10 after that.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Visiting the Lusters

I headed down to Germantown this week to spend some time with the Lusters. I was super excited about going to the pool. The weather was perfect and we all had fun in the water. I need to figure out the community pool policy in our neighborhood so I can go hang out there when the sun is shining.

I have to admit I wish our area was more like Germantown. They have ethnic grocery stores and restaurants of every kind. I was able to get paneer, Korean bakery bread, and even some boba so that I can make milk tea with boba at home. I visited the library with the girls, and it was amazing! (Our library's self check out system is still cooler.)

The girls wore me out (including Valerie, who took me to bootcamp last night). I came home today passed out for a couple of hours. Now I'm ready for some ice cream!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gin and Tonic Gelatin Mold

I checked out Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess from the library a while back. Almost all of the baking recipes require self rising flour. I'm not sure why, but I refuse to buy the stuff. I've tried to substitute for it, and it has never worked. I was really attracted to a recipe for a gin and tonic gelatin mold. I've tried to make gelatin molds before, and it hasn't ever worked out. Man, I made a huge mess in the kitchen yesterday trying to make this one. The recipe calls for leaf gelatin, and they don't sell that at WW. It gives the equivalency in powder, but I don't think it was right. The recipe also had an outright contradiction. It said to use a 4 cup mold, but to make 6 cups of liquid. If I ever try making this again I'm going to use a lot more gelatin. I tried it a little while ago. Wow. Tastes just like a gin and tonic (I guess I shouldn't be surprised--that's what's in it). It is STRONG, and I like it. Of course I made it with lime instead of lemon. There is one more recipe in the book that I might try. It doesn't require gelatin or self-rising flour, so maybe I can make it without screwing it up.

This Year's New Shoes

I bought two new pairs of shoes recently (to celebrate breaking 140). I bought the Steve Maddens that Evelyn had fun walking around in, and this pair of Michael Kors stacked heels. The stacked heels were a little expensive. I wavered back and forth about whether to buy them. They started talking to me saying "Kat, I'm cute, I'm sexy. You know you want me. You bought long length jeans just so that you could wear me." With these shoes on I'm taller than Ross. He loves them. The first time I wore them I got an instant blister. I think I've fixed that problem. This photo doesn't look as great as last year's against our red walls. Oh well, the shoes are just as great.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Addiction Swapping

Well, swapping Yahoo Answers for the knitting needles didn't exactly work. I haven't been back to Yahoo Answers, but instead of knitting I've been spending a whole lot of time playing Letter Rip on miniclip.com.
I wanted to knit something really small last week and couldn't even remember how to cast on stitches! I figured it out, and made what I wanted to make (although I think I might have to make another one).
This week I noticed I haven't been watching Netflix movies online as much as I was when we first subscribed. So the new plan is to watch a movie in the afternoon and work on knitting my shorts while I watch. I suppose I won't be watching the foreign films--the subtitles will be too distracting, but I have plenty of other things on my instant cue to watch. Let's see how this plan goes.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hunting Wabbits

This bunny was actually really small, and oh so cute.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Evelyn Graduates

My mom and I went down to Germantown yesterday. Mom stayed home with Julia while Valerie and I went to Evelyn's preschool graduation. Evelyn and her class received diplomas and sang songs.
Evelyn loved my new shoes and she wore them around the house for a while. I think the shoes were twice as long as her feet!
We went and ate Japanese to celebrate Evelyn's graduation. I think the funniest thing yesterday was when Evelyn asked if we could listen to Linkin Park on the way to the restaurant. Evelyn wasn't happy about going to eat Japanese, but she totally changed her tune when she got to eat her udon noodles with rubber banded chop sticks.

With Some Help

While my mom was here (she just left today) she straightened my hair. It is hard to believe how long it is. I even gain a couple of inches between the blow dry and the flat iron. Long straight hair is different and fun. I always hate having to wash it and go back curly.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pennsylvania Deutsch Country Excursion

Yesterday we took a little drive to check out Lancaster County, PA. We checked out a farmer's market in Lancaster and another in Bird in Hand. We went to a lot of little shops. We ended up buying mostly food stuffs (no surprise there). Let's see, we bought: a spanakopita, a tyropita, a sticky rice ball, blackberry jam, cookies, whoopie pies, home made root beer, ice cream, 2 faceless dolls, some postcards, and some books. I never would have thought I'd like a whoopie pie. Fluffy frosting between two mini cakes. Well, make those cakes pumpkin cakes and you've got my vote.

We saw plenty of horses and buggies. I like the way the horses prance along. The other cool thing we saw was Amish folk on scooters. After lunch I saw two of the cutest kids I've ever seen.
From a distance I thought they were puppies. They were very friendly and super soft. I just couldn't get over how adorable they were.

We also saw plenty of quilts. Only one shop had the traditional solid color quilts. A few shops had heirloom quilts (one solid piece of material, in off white). Whenever I mention the Q word Ross retorts with the D word. I told him buying a quilt would be cheaper than a divorce. He says I can only use that excuse once, so I'll have to choose my quilt carefully.

Next time we go up there I'm going to have to stop for some raw milk.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Elvis and the Sugarcanes

Last night I went to Wolf Trap to see Elvis. He sang songs from his new album and some of his older hits. All the songs (even the old ones) were country/blue grass songs. It is always so interesting to hear his songs sung in a different way. I missed Steve Nieve (piano), but I enjoyed the dobro, fiddle, mandolin, double bass, and accordion. All of the instruments were distinguishable and melded nicely. It was nice not to have any particular one drown out the others.

I Felt the Chill (cowritten with Loretta Lynn) and the country rendition of Alison almost had me in tears. It was a great show (as always), and I can't wait to see him again.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Other Things About Maryland

I've noticed a few other things lately.

1. I see a lot of Florida license plates here. I just think that's odd.

2. I witness many cigarette butts being tossed out of car windows. Ross and I were wondering if people just smoke more here. I did a little research. Smoking rates for Texas and Maryland overall are similar, but the rates inside Baltimore city are higher. So do people just litter more here? I think they do. Maybe the Don't Mess With Texas slogan really works. I do think we take more pride in our state. The intersections here are littered with tons of cigarette butts and other trash. Oh well. I'll keep doing my part by picking up trash when I hike.

3. Parking lots here are a pain in the ass. Lots to different establishments are often not connected, so if you turn in too early or too late you can't just drive through the parking lot (yes, I would park and walk, but what about when I need to gas up my car?!). Also, they don't like to put entrances on the main road here. A lot of parking lots here have only one or two entrances/exits. Oh, sometimes they like to have one that's an entrance only and one that's an exit only. Plenty of times I've driven in circles trying to get out of a parking lot.

4. I don't like Wally World, but I do enjoy the drive there and back. The street we live on has a 25 mph speed limit, so it is a leisurely drive to the main road while I keep a look out for bunnies in the grass along side the street. On the way back I see lily pads in a bit of standing water on the side of the road. That's the only time I've ever seen them in a totally natural environment. Seeing the bunnies and lily pads just makes my day. When I lived in Baltimore catching a glimpse of a certain portrait through the window on of a house Park Avenue or seeing the posh wooden staircase in a mansion on Monument Street gave me the same feeling. Sorta like bread smell in Fort Worth I guess.

Monday, June 8, 2009

More Griping

So, I know a couple of people who have children with conditions that are affected by the foods that they eat. The foods that the kids have to give up are always foods that they like and convenience foods. Because the children aren't deathly allergic to the foods the parents still feed them to their children. I think that is insane. Eating the foods has immediate and long term effects on the children and parents, but it is just easier to order a cheese pizza or let them eat unhealthy foods at a restaurant than to tell them no. One mother actually said she doesn't want to sacrifice (I hate that word) convenience foods and tell her other children that they can't eat those foods either. She doesn't want to have to cook or prepare lunches, so her child, and the whole family really, will suffer.
I don't know why I care. It just seems wrong. I have a medical condition that is affected by the foods that I eat. Do I still eat foods that make me sick? Sometimes, but I'm an adult. I know the consequences. Kids don't know, they don't understand, parents are supposed to help them. It isn't easy, but people teach their children that they can't eat certain things. Kids who are allergic to peanuts learn that they can't eat everything. Children learn what is and isn't kosher. So, why not teach your children what foods make them sick (even if they can't see the sickness)? Ugh.
I'm not going to have kids, so I'll just take care of myself. Time to go make shortcake.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Yoga on the Rocks

This is the crossed-arm leg balance that we did in class last week. I'm balancing on my left foot there.
I decided to try astavakrasana on the peak of the rocks. It doesn't look as cool as I wanted it to.
I also did this in class this past week. I didn't think I could do this pose, but I tried it, and well, I guess I can.
This is headstand with full lotus. Ross didn't like the idea of me doing this one on the rocks. I really wanted to, but it wasn't the best idea. 

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rocks Park Excursion

For a change of pace we headed to Rocks State Park today. I wanted to check it out because it has an outcropping that people rock climb on. We headed straight to the area, called the King and Queen's seat (I have no idea why, it doesn't look anything like seats to me). I scrambled around on the really large rocks and we took a few pictures. Okay, this photo doesn't show it, but this mushroom was rather large. It was just calling out to me saying "I'll make a great mushroom burger!"  I resisted it. We didn't see as many critters as we usually do hiking, but we did see a really large bird of prey.  It got really close, but we didn't get the camera out in time to take a photo. It was buzzardy-looking. I am more interested in birds of prey than song birds.

Someone pointed out a snake between a couple of the boulders and Ross got a good photo of it. After playing around on the rocks we hiked the white trail loop (about 2.25 miles). I have to say, the trails were very well labeled, especially at the intersections (which isn't the case at Susquehanna). The whole area was different from Susquehanna. It was really rocky in spots, and the rocks were covered in moss. We saw a lot of moss, and at least 3 different kinds.

It was a pretty good hike. Maybe next time we will check out the Falls Branch area of the park, which is further North.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Our library here is kind of cool. It has that self check out machine, wii games, is very large and looks great from the outside (and the inside too I guess). I do have gripes about a few things:

1. They have 4-5 copies of each book in the children's story (easy) book section. I'd rather they had 2 of each book and had more selection.

2. They are on the Dewey Decimal system.

3. They have way too many different sections of books. They have a section for easy books, cardboard books, concept books, youth books, young adult books, and adult books (and there are more). These sections are even further broken down. Then they have different sections for all different kinds of new books. Graphic novels can be found in 4 different sections of the library! It is annoying! This is why I read Maus II before Maus I--I couldn't find Maus I. I must admit that one of the librarians was very helpful today and helped Ross find a book. It is just frustrating that they don't have all the books on one topic in one section. 

4. Their definition of non-fiction is interesting. I spotted Star Wars books in the youth non-fiction section. I've always found it interesting that some story books and fairy tale books are in the non-fiction section.  What makes one book about Baba Yaga a fiction/easy/picture book and one non-fiction? It's the same freaking story!

Oh Yeah, Baby!

This morning I weighed in at 140. How did I celebrate? With Chick Fil-A and a trip to the dairy. Ross got a black cherry milk shake and I got chocolate cake batter and peanut butter ice cream. I really wanted to try that combo. There wasn't really anyone there when we got there, but all of a sudden the place was swarmed with lots of people and small children so we picked up our quart of cake batter ice cream and left.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hot Yoga

I went to yoga in Towson today. The carpet still creeps me out. It was a standing yoga class for about an hour we then did some hip openers and finished with a couple of inversions. The class wasn't as crowded today. I had to really resist my OCD compulsion to correct the person next to me. If we had mirrors I could focus on correcting myself. Anyway, today we did more new things. I enjoyed a squatting balance and walking down the wall into a backbend. I didn't walk back up the wall during class, but after class I gave it a try and I could do it. Now that we have (a knock off) gorilla pod I might try taking some pictures of myself so that I can post them. I'd like to post a photo of headstand with full lotus and that squatting balance. It was fun. I'm thinking of trying a different class at a different location next week. I think the midtown location is carpet-free and I'll be going South of B-more in the afternoon anyway.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Angels and Demons

I borrowed Angels and Demons from Troy and finished reading it this week. It was just okay. I know everyone raves about it, but I thought it was just meh. There were just little things throughout the book that bugged me. The one thing the book did do was make me want to visit Italy again. I haven't been to Vatican City in a long time.

On Track

After last week's laziness I'm aiming for 500 minutes of exercise this week.  I'm right on track after hiking a little over two hours today. I think I am learning the trails and I managed to stay on course today.

I hear and see a lot of birds on the trail. I don't know a thing about birds. I'm not really that interested. I hear a woodpecker most days I go hiking, and it reminds me of Fort Worth. We had a woodpecker in the birch behind the house. I'm more interested in the different kinds of mushrooms I see. Maybe it is the food potential! 

I took a couple of different trail spurs today just to see what they were like.  One had a barn along side it and another couple of buildings. The hay field that I walked through a couple weeks ago has since been mowed.

The best part about today's hike was the smell. The honeysuckle is in full bloom and I love it. I'm sure the honeysuckle in Texas has already bloomed.  I miss Texas, but I'm sure going to miss these hikes when we go back.
I keep seeing these berries all over the park.  They look kind of like strawberries, but close up they are spikey.  Strange.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I'm not sure why, but I've decided that the plural of waffle is waffle-ah. I'm having fun with the new waffle maker and I've made several different kind of waffles. When Tejal was here I made triple ginger waffles. I added ginger powder, fresh ground ginger, and minced candied ginger to the basic recipe. They were tasty with butter and honey.
This past weekend I made double cherry waffles.  I added chopped up dried tart cherries to the basic mix and made a cherry topping. I added brown sugar and Disarrono to some tart cherries with juice and cooked it for a while.  I thickened up the sauce with a little corn starch and topped off the waffle with a little whipped cream--from a can!  Ha!
The June issue of bon appetit has a recipe for blueberry shortcake with lemon and thyme biscuits. The picture makes it look so scrumptious.  I really want to try this recipe, and cherries are on sale, so I might make it with fresh cherries.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Susquehanna with the Lusters

We had a great weekend.  On Saturday we cleaned house and then just chilled out all day long. On Sunday the Lusters came over for lunch and then we headed to Susquehanna State Park for a hike. Ross, Troy, Valerie and Evelyn checked out the mill while Julia and I checkout out the river.  We then hiked the green trail.  Evelyn did a great job hiking.  I managed to sneak up behind Ross and scare him toward the end of the hike.  Good times.
Evelyn got a piggy back ride from Ross.
Julia took a nap for a while.  She looked like she was going to fall out of her carrier.
Oh, of course we went to the dairy after our hike.  How could I forget!  Everyone, including Julia, had yummy ice cream.  We drove back from the dairy with the top down and finally got a photo of us girls in the car.  Julia did not actually ride with us.  And poor Evelyn barely fits in the back seat!

Check out more great photos on Valerie's blog post.