Wednesday, June 30, 2010

what's the deal with... spray?

Lots of the recipes I have call for it, but I don't have it. It's been at least half-a-year since I've had any. We use the oil painting method here at La Casa B -- I put a bit of vegetable oil in a teacup and I let Pic use the pastry brush to coat whatever we're coating. Are there times this is going to be something I regret? Is cooking spray really necessary? I don't have a can handy, as I said, so I can't check the label, but what's in it anyhow?

Thanks much for your insights!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

rustic buns

Because I have about twelve million recipes saved for trying out, I am hoping to make it through at least one new recipe a week here. It's a small goal, I know, but I'm better with small amounts of changes at a time.

A couple of weeks ago now, Catherine Newman posted a recipe for hamburger buns. I had turkey burgers on the menu the Friday before last, so the recipe was posted at a perfect time for me. I can't remember what we ended up eating for dinner that Friday night, but it wasn't turkey burgers (especially as I hadn't bought turkey yet, at that point). We finally made the hamburger buns on Wednesday. Pic and I got them started. It ended up being something of a seven-hour process, which sounds ridiculously daunting but most of that time involved completely ignoring the dough while we made bird feeders, played on the computer, walked to the store and went to the pool.

Pic with the dough. It puffed up wonderfully. (We let dough rise in my bedroom, where it's warm, hence carrying it around the condo.)

Cardo helped with the end of the process. I made him mark the divisions in the dough. (I always like to rely on him for this kind of thing as I have issues with space relations.) He handed me gobs of dough which I 'shaped' into bun shapes (hey, we formed the burgers, too, so everything was all nice and irregularly shaped). Pic kept my hands floured. We all participated in the painting on of milk and sprinkling on of sesame seeds. Then came the baking in my kitchen nemesis: Il Fornaio (the oven). Ah, well, make do, right? Cardo assured me that the buns cooked through, and he was right.

It took a couple more days to get around to the burgers. We had a very late-night dinner, but it was certainly tasty. Pic and I had walked to the store and I felt like making mashed potatoes, so I got some waxy yellow potatoes. Dinner: herb-and-citrus turkey burgers with mozzarella, spinach and avocado with a side of mashed potatoes. I should say I'm not sure how mashed potatoes are made. I cubed and boiled the potatoes. When they were soft, I added some milk, vegetable broth, salt and pepper and mashed it all up with a big fork. Worked for me.

I ate one of these for dinner and one for breakfast the next morning.

We'll definitely be making our own hamburger buns from here on out. And, once again, I profess my love for Catherine Newman's writing and recipes!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

some like it hot...

...and others do not. I'm not a fan of the heat. I know that people in Vegas and other such hot places are probably scoffing at my complaining about 93 degrees, but here I am doing it. It's hot out there and it's hot in here (the thermostat is reading 86 degrees in my home). Whaa, whaa. (That's mean being whiny. Really. I have no idea how to spell whining noises.)

So, what are we going to do? After today, which is a day to lounge around home and melt into the furniture, we'll be visiting the pool often. We'll also be hanging out at the library very often during the hot hours of the day. (If only the library were still open seven days a week.) During the earlier and later hours of the day, we'll be outdoors.

What more? What are you all doing to keep cool this summer. (I know, some of you are probably thinking, "Turning on the air conditioning," but we're avoiding that while we can. We'll see how long we last.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

pants schmants!

Cardo and I had the pleasure of two long walks today. During our first walk, we saw a very pregnant woman standing in front of her house talking to a man. She was wearing a largish, white t-shirt and a pair of underwear. I can't remember what he was wearing. Just after our second walk, as we were heading over to pick up Pic, we saw a couple of women walking along the side of the street. One was wearing a pretty large, light-colored t-shirt and a pair of black underwear. The other woman was in a large t-shirt and shorts.

And Cardo is embarrassed when I walk around our own home in just a t-shirt and underwear. Silly man.


I'm guessing it was underwear these women had covering their fannies. Swimsuit bottoms? Shorts shorter even than those worn by the young female volleyball players who are back in town? I'm going with panties.

Friday, June 25, 2010

date night!

-- drop off Pic (who is very eager to see us off)

-- eat possibly authentic Mexican food (I haven't yet heard the verdict from then authentic Mexican)

-- scenic drive through quiet neighborhoods

-- looong walk (including an ogle or two at a house I'm currently drooling over)

-- Ben & Jerry's and a movie (The Informant!, our first Red Box experience -- at least if we don't like the movie, it's only cost us $1 and pants aren't required in our home theatre)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

'father's day' food

For Father's Day, Pic chose to take Cardo out for breakfast. This is a bit funny because Cardo is the only one here who earns a paycheck, so he essentially took us all out for breakfast. Ah, well.

Cardo loves breakfast. He likes what I consider to be standard breakfast foods: eggs, sausage, pancakes, bacon, diced and seasoned potatoes. He'll eat oatmeal or cold cereal, although not often. He ate a lot of these after his heart trouble. He really enjoys juevos rancheros, if he can find a place that makes it the way he likes it (he doesn't make this at home). Cardo enjoys eating breakfast out, probably because I don't eat most of the above cooked breakfast foods and, therefore, I don't make them.

Pic, like Cardo, enjoys a good hot breakfast. She likes her papi to make her an egg and bacon. Maybe toast. She loves rolled oats -- she hasn't taken a liking to steel cut oats yet. She'll just as soon eat a handful of grapes or a banana or a handful or crackers for breakfast, though.

If we're dining at home, I'll most likely either have a fruit-and-greens smoothie or a bowl Koala Crisp for breakfast. I go on long kicks when it comes to breakfast. At one point, it was a slice of peanut butter toast and applesauce for every breakfast. When I was a few years older than Pic, my grammie made us eggs and bacon for breakfast what seemed like every day.

I'm not one for most breakfast foods nowadays. If we're out, I'll order a sandwich. If the lunch menu isn't available, I'll be hoping there's some oatmeal. I love breads, so I also enjoy some sourdough toast or a good muffin or a good scone.

Recently, we were out of town and needed to find a breakfast place. Someone recommended a place down the street. Every breakfast (of the four listed on the regular menu) included eggs. No thanks. I noticed a small placard listing the specials and I grudgingly ordered pancakes with strawberries. The pancakes were like soft, squishy sponges. I couldn't finish my breakfast.

So (geez, am I longwinded!), I decided we'd make a special breakfast for Cardo for Father's Day. However, we hadn't shopped in a ridiculously long time and Pic chose a meal out. A couple of days later, though, we all made cornmeal pancakes with poached spring berries* for dinner. Cooking in our home always becomes a big production. We could totally skip the whole sitting down to eat together by the time we've spent all evening cooking the meal together. It's definitely fun, though.

These pancakes? Pic almost literally gobbled hers up. She didn't even wait for us to join her at the table. She preferred the pancakes senza berries. Cardo and I both had two servings each. And, Pic actually ate two pancakes. These were heartier and much tastier than those foam pancakes I last ate. We'll most likely be making these day.


* This is a recipe from my Cooking Light 2001 cookbook. I can't find it to link it online, though.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

menu planning

Yes, I am still menu planning. I'm a week-and-a-half in right now. Go me...or something. I'm nothing if not a work in progress. (Okay, so that's not true. I'm plenty of things, one of which is definitely a work in progress. There, that's better.)

Last Thursday (yes, I'm behind), I made a completely simple dish that I fully plan on making again. From my Cooking Light 2001 cookbook (I buy these at Goodwill, so I always end up with older editions), I chose the Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Couscous Salad. It came together quickly and I didn't skip the shallots (although my eyes were burning something terrible as I was mincing them). I love, love, love the smell of fresh basil. For me, it's a very summery smell. I could just eat Caprese salad all of the time, except I've never made my own and I'm certainly not going to be eating out all of the time. I was tempted to add some balsamic vinegar to this, but I like to stick to the original recipe for food the first time I try it*. Maybe next time.

I had leftovers of this for dinner the other night (I only meal plan for four or five days a week) and it was good cold. I do prefer it freshly-made, though.

I have other meals I'll have to eventually catch up on in this space. Buon appetito!


* Actually, now that I look at the recipe, I remember I did make one change: I cooked my couscous in vegetable broth. I was afraid it'd be tasteless otherwise.


P.S. Is anyone else having a weird Blogger issue when posting pictures? I no longer see a preview of my pictures, so I just close the window that would show the preview and trust that the pictures have been added. So far, this hasn't really been a problem, it's just weird.

ww: pollen*


* I suppose I should acknowledge that my Wordless Wednesdays are never actually wordless. :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

a little night music

"Dispatch playing 'The General' on The Late Show" (I just heard this on an episode of Humans Being, although the version there isn't so speedy.)

currently reading...

* Parenting Beyond Belief -- I'm having a hard time with this one. I've long questioned whether I feel I belong in an organized religion and I've never really felt I've belonged in one, but I'm not sure that I'm 'beyond belief.' Although I'm not sure I believe in a god, I find I'm having a hard time reading some of the contributors so easily assert that Science holds the Truth and that there is no God (I added the capitals for emphasis). I think I personally have to at least accept that there might be at least one god. And, I cannot believe that science holds all the answers because it provides us with evidence (see: 'Good and Bad Reasons for Believing' by Richard Dawkins, in this book and A Devil's Chaplain). I wonder what all this means about me?

* Voluntary Simplicity, revised edition -- I read about this book in The Story of Stuff. I've figured out that I've been on this long, slow-going path to voluntary simplicity, or enoughism, for a bit now. I have a long way to go. This is an interesting read so far (about a third of the way in), but it's kind of preaching to the converted (or whatever that phrase is). Actually, I don't feel that it's preachy, I just feel that I'm reading about my life as I'm already living and envisioning it.

* Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages -- I'm not zipping through this as quickly as I thought I would, but I'm definitely interested. I once took History of the English Language and I was fascinated. This book, obviously not about English, is making me want to go back to school and learn more about languages themselves. Might I have another lifetime to be a linguist? Hmm.

A line that will stick with me from this last book: '...modern English is the Wal-Mart of languages: convenient, huge, hard to avoid, superficially friendly, and devouring all rivals in its eagerness to expand'(56).

* Green Eggs and Ham -- Pic and I are loving reading this. It has us giggling every time. It took us a long time to embrace Dr Seuss (Theo LeSieg, Theodore Geisel, Ted), but I think he's here to stay.

* The Lorax -- Or, as Pic was calling it when she requested this book last night, The Lormax? (she knew it wasn't quite right, hence the question mark). I never read this when I was younger. I love this book. There are so many discussion opportunities presented. I'm glad Pic enjoys this book as well.


I am *really* hoping to finish the first three books before they're due back at the library. I'm tired of not finishing books and giving up on them. Although, I have to say, I had no trouble finishing (once again) the Harry Potters late last month/early this month. :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

'who are the people in your neighborhood?'

Yesterday, as I mentioned, Pic and I went on one of our epic treks (we left home, had some adventures, faced some obstacles (maybe), returned home...). The main purpose of our walk was, unsurprisingly if you know me, food-related. As I was skimming through the most recent issue of the Reno News and Review, I saw a small add for the 5th St. Bakehouse. Anything bakery-related catches my eye. I was especially pleased to know that this place is within walking distance for us.

We found this small place with relative ease (I really, really don't have a sense of general geography, or something). The moment we walked in, we were greeted. I'm pretty jaded when it comes to customer/guest service. I'm entirely too used to being ignored or stared at. I really dislike having to initiate conversation when I enter a place of business. This, I believe, comes from my own experience in retail work and restaurant work. I learned that you needed to make sure people were greeted, cordially, in a matter of seconds. Anyhow...

Pic, being very personable, started talking with the chef. We were offered a sample of their homemade sorbet and Pic tried the strawberry lemonade sorbet. She ended up having this, along with a side order or mixed fruit and some greens from my salad. The breakfast and lunch menu is really pretty small: two items, I think, for breakfast, and four for lunch. None of the menu items are suitable for vegetarians, either, as everything includes meat. A couple of notes, though: in addition to the egg dishes and sandwiches, the bakehouse has scones, brownies, cheesecake, cookies, buns and more. There was something that looked like a strawberry shortcake parfait in the case with the mixed fruit. I didn't ask about that, though. The other note: I'm pretty sure that if I wanted just a tomato, mushroom, greens, cheese sandwich, they'd make it for me.

At first, I wasn't sure that I'd want anything from the menu. I'm not much of a meat eater. Also, I'm not a fan of spicy. And, I don't like the taste of eggs (I like eggs baked into things and I even like egg drop soup, but I don't like eggy-tasting things). That left me with either getting a baked good or sorbet or fruit, like Pic. I was really hungry, though, so I figured I'd try something new. I went for the chuck roast sandwich. The sandwich comes with caramelized onions, and I'm also not a fan of onions that aren't green. I've been trying to acquire a taste for onions lately, in an effort to incorporate a wider variety of fruits and vegetables into my life. After discussing the onion issue with the server, R, I opted to have the sauteed mushrooms and onions put on the side of my plate. I ended up eating them on the sandwich anyway and it was a really good sandwich. So good. My sandwich came with a small mixed greens salad. As we were leaving, our server offered Pic another sample of sorbet -- this time the mango. It was a generous sample. (I was offered samples also, but I was pretty full after my sandwich, salad and some of Pic's fruit.)

Pic and I decided that we'd definitely be back. She wanted to bring Papi today, so we did. I had the same sandwich, everything prepared together this time. I probably won't be eating any more red meat for a while, as I don't eat much of it on a regular basis, but I now have an alternative for burgers, which never seems to satisfy me. I'll be having chicken tomorrow, as a friend is generously making a Greek chicken salad that sounds delicious (chicken, feta, tomatoes, onions...I'm not sure what else, we'll see) and sharing with us. Then, I'll be back to beans and such for a few days.

Cardo also enjoyed today's lunch and we'll all be back again. The bakehouse opened just under two months ago. I hope they do well. The people who work there are just awesome. I hope that level of service and friendliness never lapses.

The bakehouse also offer a variety of coffee drinks and they have free wi-fi, so if you're a coffee sipper and/or a mobile 'net surfer, you can hang out there with your coffee and blogs.

Next up (which really means 'eventually'), we are going to try Pierino's, a little Italian restaurant/pizzeria near the bakehouse.

Any other local recommendations for us?

middle-of-the-night tea and a walkabout

Pic and I had a truly fantastic day today. We really needed that after yesterday, which was not-so-fantastic. I was in a mood yesterday. Let's just leave it at that. You can guess which kind of mood. I finally explained to Pic that my mood was all about me and not at all about her.

So, today, we spent a good chunk of the day outside. We walked to a new, little local place (which I will write about later) and then we walked to the park. We visited with an acquaintance there and Pic and I played together for about an hour before Cardo came to join us. (Actually, we played for about an hour and then she and a boy at the park played together. I ended up sitting on a play structure ladder, enjoying watching Pic play with someone else.)

The three of us walked a bit. We ended up downtown, where we were able to watch part of the Tour de Nez. We didn't see much of it, but it was nice to be there. We also saw a band playing. They looked about high school-aged. I'm talking brass band here, not rock band or something. We listened to one instrumental song (I can call it that, right?) and then we listened to the band play while a great singer belted out "On the Street Where You Live." We got something to drink at Java Jungle and then walked for about another hour. (When Cardo came, he brought the wagon, so Pic didn't walk as long as I did. She's great about walking, but she is only five and I don't expect her to walk as much as I do.)

As we were walking downtown, I was telling Cardo about our day. I told him that we barely walked today and I followed that with "It took us about sixty-five minutes to get the restaurant and then another thirty or so to get to the park." He was cracking up. "Barely!?" he kept repeating. I see what he means, but it really did feel like barely. Perhaps I've found my calling. Now if only I could find a way to generate some income from it. I kid...perhaps.

That's all swell, but what about this tea? About a week-and-a-half ago, I was talking to Poke about tea lattes. She has some awesome tea places to go to in her town and I'm always jealous of that. (Not that I have been to a tea place here since she took me to High Societea when I was pregnant with Pic. I need to work on that.) So, we were talking about tea lattes. Then we got to iced tea lattes (which I guess are only "tea lattes" in the sense that latte is milk in Italian. I don't think there's any foam on an iced tea latte. I could be wrong. And, I'm thinking "latte" indicates there'll be foam on your coffee? I don't drink coffee, so I'm not fluent in the jargon.) She told me a place they go uses some kind of vanilla powder in their iced tea lattes, so I thought I'd try my hand at this. I bought some vanilla protein powder in the bulk foods section of the store -- this is the only vanilla powder I could think of -- and I went from there.

I heated four ounces of milk and four ounces of water together. I put the protein powder in this mix so it'd dissolve. Meanwhile, I also made an eightish-ounce mug of Celestial Seasonings Sleepy Time tea, using two tea bags (I have a couple hundred bags of tea I'm trying to use up so I can finally permanently switch over to loose leaf, which I can buy in bulk at the Coop). When everything was hot and ready, I mixed it all together. I left it on the counter to cool a bit. I divided this between two glasses and added ice to one (I put the other in the refrigerator to drink the next day, as it was already somewhere around one-thirty in the morning when my tea was ready). The results: eh. I'd really like to have someone else make me an iced tea latte. I just want to know if it's something I'd ever really like. Hmm. I couldn't quite finish the second glass. Ah, well.

Now. It is once again late. I need to shuffle off to bed. G'night.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

oh pizza, welcome back!

Actually, we recently had two other kinds of pizza. Some, from zpizza (mmm!). I ate the Tuscan Mushroom sans caramelized onions. Cardo had a chicken sausage and arugula pizza rustica. We also ordered the dip 'n' sticks, although we never eat the marinara.

About a week ago, I picked up a couple of individual frozen pizzas from the grocery store. Frozen pizza used to be a frequent indulgence for us. It's been probably over a year now since that's been true, but we really like pizza and we rarely order takeout.

Our other option is me making pizza. And, I'll be honest, I've been so entirely lazy about this lately. I keep saying that I'll make pizza and I keep not doing it. However, today, I actually got around to it. And, duh, it's so easy for me to make. I know that not everyone has the time to make the dough and wait for it to rise and then put the pizza together and then bake it, but, well, I have all kinds of time.

Tonight, I just had pizza on the menu, nothing specific. (And, oh yes, the menu is back. It's amazing to me how easily we stray from this and also how easy it is to get back to writing and following a weekly menu. We'll see if I'm still doing it next week.) In the fridge, we had zucchini and spinach. I had a tomato on the counter (I was sad we only had one tomato, though).

I made the dough (and was incredibly excited to see that it actually rose because I'm always paranoid that my yeast will be dead or something). While that was rising, I shredded the mozzarella, sliced and seasoned the zucchini (half a huge zucchini with about a teaspoon of olive oil, some kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper...this is always how I prepare my zucchini), and chopped the spinach and tomato. When the dough was ready, I floured my baking sheet and kind of spread/stretched out the dough on it. I brushed the top with olive oil and then added the cheese, tomato, spinach and squash, in that order. (I was afraid the zucchini somehow wouldn't cook well, so I sliced it really thin and I made sure it was the top layer.) When the pizza finished cooking, we grated some parmesan over the top. was tasty! Holy gracious, it was good. I ate the two pieces pictured, plus another piece right after that. It's sitting on the stovetop waiting to tempt me later on.

As always (as if I make pizza every other night or something), I used a pizza dough recipe from a Moosewood cookbook calzone recipe. I can't remember which Moosewood book it's from. I don't have the book (alas!), I had checked it out from the library and written down the recipe. Eventually, I'll remember to try adding herbs to the dough. Oh, and I meant to sprinkle cornmeal on the dough after I brushed on the olive oil, but I forgot. Maybe next time. Tonight's pizza really didn't need anything more, though.

ww: when pic has the camera

from the mouth of the babe...

...Amelia Bedelia-style

On our way out to ride our bicycles:

Me: You need to bring a light jacket, just in case.

Pic: You mean a jacket that lights up?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

blog sprint: mental wanderings

Today's One Minute Writer: Write about one thing you'd prefer to be doing at this moment, instead of what you're doing now. Also write about one thing you're glad you're not doing at this moment.

Actually, there isn't something I'd rather be doing right now. It's quiet here. Ah, peace. I'm listening to an episode of Humans Being, and, after that, I'll be reading.

Were I not doing this, were I actually doing something I don't enjoy, I'd like to be (prepare to be shocked)...walking! Yes, it's dark and getting chilly. It's probably as windy as it was when Pic and I were out earlier. However, I really, really enjoy my walks.

What am I glad I'm not doing at this moment? Um, so many things. There are many, many things I don't like to do. Dusting (actually I never dust). Doing many of the jobs I've done in my life (I've only really loathed one, and it barely lasted, so I'd make do if I had to). Watching pointless television (I'm good at this when we actually have satellite...I've been a bit off TV, though, for a good while now, though). This really could be a seemingly infinite list and I've already used more than one minute.

Hope you're able to do something you enjoy today.

Monday, June 14, 2010

off the catwalk

Pic just asked me, "Can I wear these everywhere I go?" I told her, "Of course, if that's what you want." We'll be running errands shortly, so we'll see if she keeps them on.

(I know the picture is somewhat blurry. There are little alligators along the edge of the goggles.)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

blog sprint: celebrating

Today's One Minute Writer: What can you celebrate today?

A quiet life.

-- reading

-- swimming

-- shooting hoops (or, rather, lobbing the ball in the general direction of the hoop and chasing after it as it rolls into the dirt and grass)

-- a late-evening walk

All time spent with family.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

curiosity fed the cat

We are pet-sitting for some friends. Among their pets is a young, male cat. We'll call him Comet. Yesterday, when we came in to feed the pets, I picked up Comet and cradled him in my arms as if he were a newborn baby. He stretched his neck and brought his nose close to mine. Not satisfied with this, he reached up his paws and kind of held my face in his paws so he could really explore this new face near his.

Today, Pic and I watched as Comet chased a ball, attacked a feathered toy and dug around in a box. He wanted to know whence every sound came. He wanted to know what was hanging on the wall (and he almost knocked a couple of family portraits off the wall, which caused me a moment of panic). He wanted to follow us around and sniff us. As we were leaving, I told Pic that Comet was really curious, just like her.

Then, I started thinking of those phrases like "child-like curiosity" and "child-like wonder." I thought how sad it was for those kinds of phrases to be child-centered. It's as if we're expected to follow the "don't ask, just accept" rule as we age. I feel sad that the wonder seems to fade as we learn and "know" more.

I've always asked a lot of questions. Plenty of people have pointed this out to me. However, I also simply pass over so much. I know it's kind of rampantly commonplace, but having a young child in my life has definitely helped me to slow down and notice more again and to ask more questions again. We might not always come up with answers to all of our questions, but it's been fantastic going through life with my eyes wide open.

Pic definitely asks a lot of questions also. She wants to know why things, people and animals are named what they are. She wants to know what every word means. She wants to know what the ants do when they return to the holes in the sidewalks. She wants to know about the oil spill and how the wildlife is getting on in this ongoing disaster.

Not only does she want answers, she wants to stop and notice every flower and insect and dog on our walks...and she wants me to notice them, too.

Her curiosity and wonder are great (both vast and wonderful) and I hope she retains both always. And, I hope to be right there, asking questions also.

Friday, June 11, 2010

please advise: what's new?

Sometimes, I just want to put a question out here in the ether. So, here's something I've been thinking about lately: Where do you all turn for your news?

I've been very secluded lately. I get most of my information from NPR (either online or actually on the radio). But, really, I want to know some other reliable sources for daily news. Suggestions very warmly welcomed.

(Oh, I also read Time when I can check it out from the library. I'm not a fan of Newsweek. Just in case either of those were going to be suggestions.)

Grazie mille!

"Newsies: Once and For All"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

car picnic

It's been, well, windy here. All the time. If only we had a wind turbine. (Come visit us one day, when we have our own home. It'll be fun.)

So, we have continued our family walks (because my family likes to keep me sane), but we haven't been having too many picnics in the park. We've been eating in the front seat of the car before we head out. I'm still not too keen on making elaborate meals, but I was craving a good quinoa bowl the other day. We also had chocolate-zucchini cupcakes (have I mentioned, recently, how much I love Catherine Newman's writing and recipes?...well, I do).

Pic actually helped me make the cupcakes and cake from beginning to end, this time. Usually, she's happy to help at the beginning and then she wanders off, returning when it's time to lick the egg beater.* The cake was a birthday treat for a friend my age. Some of the cupcakes were a birthday treat for a friend who is reaching her late eighties. The rest of the cupcakes stayed here.

(I was much too hungry to play around with the camera. And, although I carry my camera around with me very often, we're not on great terms right now. Ah, well.)


* It took me a sadly long time to find an egg beater and I'm not really in love with the somewhat flimsy one we finally found. I bought it at a grocery store. I have been looking at thrift shops. We really need to start getting out to yard sales. (Do you hear me Weather? We need you to behave in a pleasant fashion for those yard sales, please.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

ww: first blush

Monday, June 7, 2010

do the truffle shuffle

I usually bypass those "news" items that display on my homepage, but how could I pass up a bit of news about The Goonies?

After having skimmed through the beginning, which discusses a cast reunion in Astoria, I reached the part about what comes next for the characters. A sequel. I'm not sure how they're going to manage that. I always like the idea of following characters and/or a story I enjoy a bit more, but I'm not really on board with this. This movie just belongs to the eighties and it seems a sequel now would just fall flat.

However, oddly, I'm all for seeing what I believe would be the absolute silliness of a Goonies musical. Would it be something like Rocky Horror, with fans coming dressed as their favorite characters, participating in the action? Yeah, I guess not. That wouldn't work as people'd first have to have time to see the musical several times, at least, to become that familiar with it.

Thinking along those lines, though, I think they should play stuff like this at the drive-in, in addition to recently released films.


I couldn't embed this, but here's a link: "And then I made a noise like this..."

Sunday, June 6, 2010

'however long i stay'

I was in the grocery store last night when The Cure's "Lovesong" came on. Suddenly, I was back in high school. I was fifteen, hanging out with one of those forced-on-me "friends" (an exchange student who was living with one of my parents' friends...I think). We were staying at one of her friend's houses for the night. The other girl's boyfriend came over to pick us up and drive us to a windy hilltop overlooking the valley. My "friend" and I walked around in the dirt while her friend and her friend's boyfriend "practiced" having sex (this is what they said they were doing) because she was on her period (not, however, because there were two other, uninvolved, people there). We finally went back to the girl's house. I don't remember if there were adults there or not.

I spent the whole night wanting to just go home, resenting that I was expected to entertain this person with whom I had exactly nothing in common. I don't think about this experience much now, but the song triggered the memory. I'm sorry the song is connected to that night, and that short period in my life, for me.

"the cure love song"

Saturday, June 5, 2010

eating simply

I have had about, oh, zero desire to cook or bake in the last few days. I haven't really had much interest in food at all. I despise phases like this. I hope to come out of it soon. I'll have to thumb through my bookmarked cookbook pages and the many, many, many recipes I have saved on the computer. Inspiration...I'm here waiting.

In the meantime, I started today off pretty simply:

My smoothie this morning was spectacularly purple; my camera was not up to capturing the vibrant hue. Ah, well. Today's smoothie: banana, strawberries, cherries, blackberries, spinach, dark chocolate chips, ice.

This bread is the "You Could Call This Sandwich Bread" from Beauty That Moves*. It was so incredibly simple to put together. I love mixing together the foamy yeast mixture with the dry ingredients, kneading the ingredients together until they form a wonderfully smooth lump of dough.

I only had one oven problem with this: my oven cooks everything too quickly. I have an oven thermometer, but that doesn't help (in fact, it often reports the oven at about twenty-five degrees lower than the temperature the dial seems to be pointing at). Uh, this just came to me...perhaps it has something to do with our altitude. I have never once, in the ten-plus years I've lived here, had to adjust a recipe for altitude, but I might need to start. How exactly does that work again? For now, I'll just cook things at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time. (With this bread, the top was browning alarmingly rapidly well before the bread should have been ready.

Anyhow, the bread is tasty. As soon as I get another needle for my sewing machine (one day), I'll be making a bread bag. I hate to put my bread in a plastic zippered bag because it gets weirdly soft. I threw my piece in the oven, under the broiler, today, so it was nice and warm and crispy.

Does anyone else have any go-to, simple, everyday-type bread recipes to share? I think I'll have to find a bread cookbook at the library on my next visit. I'd like to have a few different regular recipes at hand. (I also make Amanda's WHO Bread, but, perhaps because of the cinnamon and oatmeal, I feel like it's not so much a sandwich bread...although it could be...hmm.**)


* The linked post includes a recipe for homemade chocolate sauce!

** I don't own a bread machine (as if I have room for anything else), so I make the non-bread-machine version of this. There is also a bread-machine version, if you have the necessary equipment.

Friday, June 4, 2010


...only takes you so far on a blog.

I felt like I was so full of words last month. Then, this month? Not so much. I know it's only the fourth day of this month, but I really feel like I'm just in a quiet place. I'm not sure how that'll manifest itself in this space.

The weather is finally (thought not today, ha) turning into the warm sunshiny weather of late spring. I just want to be outside. Yesterday, I spent a good chunk of the day driving around, running errands, which was not ideal. This week and next, Cardo is working himself ragged. Also not ideal.

After a ridiculous hiatus during the month of May, I've returned to my pilates practice. I started out slowly with one routine last night. While I have absolutely no trouble getting in a decent or long walk most days, I struggle with my indoor exercise. I'm working on it.

A couple of nights ago, I found a Gaiam Yoga Fitness Kids video at Savers. Pic is always interested in at least starting my yoga or pilates routines with me, so I figured it'd be good to have a kid-centered video in our collection. We tried that out this afternoon. First off, we need another mat. Definitely. The video was okay. It presents a series of poses, but there isn't any transition between the poses. And, it's noisy. I was going to complain about that, but, of course, I was forgetting about audience (how I managed that, I don't know). For Pic, this is a pretty good video. I'd like if there was a bit more time and explanation getting into a few of the poses, but at least I'm here to help with that.

This is Pic's rendition of turtle pose. This is the part where you lift your head and say, "Hellloooo," by the way. Those are some chatty turtles. (This was after our practice, but I couldn't very well take a picture during. Yes, that is what she wore during our practice. You should have seen her yesterday, right Ms B?)

So, now we're off for a walk. I need to pick up a few groceries, some sunscreen for my break-out prone face, and, possibly, a planner.

I hope you're all able to enjoy at least a few moments of quiet each day.