Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm gonna be ...

... an aunt!

to a baby girl!
though of course, I'd have to wait until she's born.
nonetheless, I am excited.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What's in YOUR Kitchen?

Take a look at this article on the "gadget graveyard" and tell me what your "gadget graveyard" consists of! I'll tell you mine, and I'll categorize them as similarly to the article as possible.

Wok Accessories
... or rather, the wok itself. See, my apartment has one, but no one uses it. Needless to say, we don't have any wok accessories. I do have steaming accessories to use in big pots, but I use those. The least used (but still used) pot accessory would be the strainer and steamer add-on's to the stock pot.

An Inexplicable Plastic Thing
Indeed, I have one! Or two, really. I have microwave plastic contraptions for either "boiling" eggs or poaching them. I still use the one for hard boiled eggs because it gets the eggs just perfect, whereas the other one is now useless because I now know how to poach eggs by hand in a pot ... and it's better.

Various Coffee Makers
Okay, the coffee maker at home isn't mine, but nevertheless, I don't think we have replaced the glass plunge pot yet. Also, at work I have a french coffee press and 2/3's of a bag left of coarse ground coffee. Maybe I should just bring it home since I'm more likely to drink coffee on Saturday mornings than I am to drink it at work. (Caffeine makes me sleepy.)

The Random Culinary Souvenir
Oh gaw, yes! I got two things while I was in France: a petite madeleine pan, and a garlic ... "scraper"? I'll explain that one later. For now, the madeleine pan. It's not bad! I've used it once, but the molds are so TINY that I baked only one batch when it would've taken me about 5 times to get through the rest of the "dough." I also had to run out to go somewhere, so next time I'll use it when I have more time.

Some Really Bad Kitchen Knives
It's really just the cleaver, I think. It's not mine, otherwise I would replace it (IF I actually have a use for one). The rest ain't too bad--at least a few of the knives are pretty sharp and reliable. However, I'm pretty tough on my equipment in general and will probably have to get the knives sharpened sometime soon. (Not the same as honing.)

Garlic Tools
Okay, now onto the darn little garlic "paste-r" thing. I'm not sure if you can imagine it, but it's a small card with ridges so that you can "scrape" the garlic until it becomes paste like. However, it doesn't really work. Sucks.

And the rest ...
  • Juliene peeler: I've used it once or twice, but I really want to use it more often. Come summer, I'll be adding strips of carrot and jicama to salads! Hopefully.
  • Slow cooker: I've used it only once, and my roommate who actually owns it has probably used it for a total of 2-3 times. However! I now have liquid smoke on hand, am on the hunt for Hawaiian red salt, and will one day make Kalua pig.
  • Strawberry huller and melon baller: Another thing that will hopefully get more use when summer rolls around. What is July 4th without a watermelon rind basket, full of melon balls??
  • Mortar and pestle: I thought I would use this more often for herb rubs and crushing garlic into a paste. However, I usually just mince the herb really really finely instead since I'm cutting it anyway, and I haven't needed to use garlic paste yet. Hm.
  • Yolk separater: We all know how to use the shell to separate yolks, and who wants one more thing to wash?
So, what non-basic kitchen gadgets DO we use fairly often? So far, it's been the cake holder, pastry blender (doubles as a masher), and silicone mixing bowls (love those). As for something that has arisen from the "graveyard"? The immersion blender. Yummm ... more of Michael Bras' mushroom soup!

So ... what's yours?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ham and cheese sandwich done up fancy

For lunch today, two sets of:
  • a slice of country bread (whatever that means)
  • toasted
  • buttered
  • with sliced romano
  • and prosciutto
  • then topped with crumbled goat cheese.
Not the most expensive or fanciest of ingredients (e.g. foie gras and caviar ahahah), but better than deli ham and Kraft cheese on Wonder bread! I think this is one way of treating myself after yesterday's (successful) presentation. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spoiled by produce

I've been going to Russo's consistently ever since I made my first visit. Some items are really well priced, though most things aren't, but nevertheless I couldn't help going because the produce is just that good. Perfect tomatoes, perfect herb packages, perfect pears, and especially perfect garlic! (My roommate recently bought a package of 4-5 bunches, but they were all dried out and sprouting.) Let's not forget to mention the variety of chili peppers and the availability of fresh black trumpet mushrooms.

So, last night was another one of those nights where I tried to make too many things at once:
Well, all of these are actually pretty simple to make. (Just a lot of washing and chopping.) I think I was especially excited that the mushroom soup was so simple, even though it's from a revered French chef. Execution was super easy--the end result was essentially what you see from the recipe page--and the taste left me craving for more. I still have bread and cream left, so maybe I'll just get more mushrooms ...

Anyway, I have a presentation in 20 minutes, and I'm super nervous. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gotta love lists

Yah yah, this ain't a real post, but I like lists. Even better, I like lists that remind me of things I've been lucky enough to do in the past.

(and yes Emily, I stole from you!)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch (does cooking count? :P)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (does Wii Sports count??)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt (I don't remember ... we sat there for a while, so I guess so?)
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (does fast food count?)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (do short films count?)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (kinda ... it was for class, but we earned money.)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (almost, but not quite. I put together a couple squares for a bigger quilt.)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (what counts? does pulling her away from the tracks when she didn't know a train was coming count?)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (though it depends on your definition of famous.)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee (or rather, bitten by a yellow jacket 'cause I stepped on it ...)
100. Rode an elephant

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gin and Robitussin

I have this little joke that alcohol and Robitussin are interchangeable ever since my dad gave me Robitussin (a cough was keeping me up at night) and said that I might as well have alc. A friend and I also once wrote a song (at 10pm on a beach nonetheless) called "Gin and Robitussin." The first couple of lines go:

Hey dear, will you buy me some gin?
'cause I'm getting really tired of Robitussin.

(It's funnier in person, I swear, and even better when you don't know the words yet.)

Anyway, last night I took the last teaspoon of Robitussin left in the bottle (a usual dose is 2 teaspoons), and was woken up perpetually by a cough or two. I ended up taking a cough drop and falling asleep with it still in my mouth ... stuck next to a tooth. That's probably not too good for tooth health, but it sorta helped with the cough. It was annoying!

I called in late to work since I didn't sleep well, I picked up an even bigger bottle of Robitussin on the way to work, and I have an afternoon appointment to get checked out by a doctor. I've been sick for over a week, so I figure it's about time I got it checked out. The last time I did this, though, I had mono and found out 2 weeks late. I wonder what it is this time ... strep? bronchitis?? Hahah, probably not, but with my luck, who knows.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk"

If any of you know Rufus Wainwright, then you probably know his song about addictions and cravings (as mentioned in the title). If you don't know him, then I say you should check out this (eccentric) crooner.

Anyway, the point of the post is ...

I'm addicted to breve latte's. Also, thanks to my roommate, I know to order it extra hot at Starbucks. Now my standard drink is a tall/grande extra hot breve latte. (I would add "no foam" as well, but I hear that's really hard to do with half and half.)

But I really gotta stop ordering breve lattes for two reasons:
  • It's terribly fatty. And the numbers in the link are for a 12oz!!
  • It costs more.
I told Alvin that I really gotta stop ordering breve latte's because I've seen a change in tummy size since I started drinking them; however, I just discovered that the Panera near work won't charge extra for half & half!!! That's a total of $3.14 including tax for a cup equivalent to SBUX's grande, but is around the same cost as a tall.

I guess that tummy of mine will just have to compromise size for TASTE 'cause I can't give up this drink just yet!

In other news, I've been sick with a cold for the past week. It kind of explains why I haven't felt like posting. Besides, why would you want to hear me talk about being sick when you're probably sick yourself? Anyway, I haven't had much to say until today ... because I found out that I have a small case of pink eye. Eek? My coworker thinks I should go home, but I've taken off too much time from work to take any more off.

Another find of the day: my Rhapsody account is online! I just found out a couple days ago that my Rhapsody software has erased everything from my personal library, and I was slightly horrified. However, today I see that my entire library is accessible from the Rhapsody website! This means that I can use my Rhapsody account without installing the offline software, which I think is fantastic.

Also, the BCNC fundraising banquet was this past Friday, and I believe it went well! It feels good to see rich people throw their hands in the air to increase the bid on live auction items. Why? Because I like to believe that they really want to support the Chinatown community, enough to spend over a thousand Washington's without hesitation for something that doesn't normally cost that much.

(Oh, if you didn't know, I volunteer for BCNC by participating on the marketing committee. I love it because it's a great way to use my college degree for a non-profit, and at the same time, I gain marketing experience and learn from experienced marketers on the committee.)

Wow ... that was a super long post. I find it so hard to write on just ONE topic!