Sunday, March 27, 2011

Makin' Whoopie

I had begged G for the better part of the month of March for the recipe for his Key Lime Pie. I figured it would be perfect for this month's pie because it was fresh and best of all 'St. Patrick's Day' green. He attempted to give it to me over the phone this weekend but I was completely ignoring him when he was, I may have been preoccupied with nonsense internet browsing.... I missed the recipe. It being the 27th, I was running out of time. I had plans to bake at my mum's house today and then I realized that the item I was testing in the kitchen today would conveniently fit in with my need for a pie this month. This month's pie....whoopie pies! Petite whoopie pies to be exact.
For those that aren't sure what a whoopie pie is, it is more of a cake sandwich. It is typically chocolate cake with marshmallow filling. I chose to make the typical whoopie pie today and had wanted to experiment with other flavors today as well but ran out of ingredients and lost track of time.
Mum, grandma and I made sure to test them out and they were excellent. Although a whoopie pie is very much like a cupcake, I think I might have enjoyed them more because there was more cake and less frosting. Just to be sure, mum and I had one (ok, maybe two...) more and this time paired it with a cuppa (cup of tea, English style).
I think I am officially, chocolate wasted.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Date Night: Bowling and Wings

(Uh oh...doesn't look good...)
When I got home from work on Wednesday I was fully prepared to slip into my fuzzy pajamas and hunker down to watch a the latest from Redbox (tonight's selection, Due Date). I walked in the door and the Mr. had other plans.
Every Tuesday night, the Mr. and four of his friends, play in a bowling league. At first he was doing fantastic. He would come home afterwards and brag about his score and each week he seemed to be besting his score from the week prior. Lately though, it has been like pulling teeth to solicit more than a grunt from him after he bowls. His game was obviously not going all that great.
Wednesday night, he thought it would be a good idea to get some practice in and off to the bowling alley we went.
I am not particularly fond of bowling so he compromised and took me out to dinner first. For Christmas, we had been given a gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings and decided to try it out. It was the first time we had been to that restaurant and I have to wasn't the greatest of experiences. The waitress ignored us half the night, they didn't have the Boca burger I ordered (that was offered on the menu) and replaced it with a bean burger that I wasn't too fond of, and the fire alarm was pulled in the middle of our dinner by some mischievous patrons. The Mr. liked the food alright (he especially liked the hot sauce for the wings), but overall wasn't impressed either. I will give them this...they had bar trivia on the television and had these super cool interactive devices to play with. As we walked out of the restaurant  I strutted  by the big television that projected my name as the big winner that round. I was beaming. I supposed it wasn't all that bad....
After 9:00 on Wednesdays at McHenry Bowl, shoe rental is only a dollar and each game is only $1.50. The Mr. talked me into four games. It took a little bit to get warmed up (the Stella, or two, helped things along) and by the end of the second game I had mercilessly beaten my dear husband.
Read em and weep....
(ending with a score of; The Mrs., 100, The Mr., 87)
He tells me that he was only practicing certain tricks this round and wasn't trying for a big score. I hate to admit it, but I fully believe him. But shhhhh...don't you dare let him know. 
Not all that romantic (you better believe he owes me big time), but still lots of fun for a random weeknight.
Oh, and don't ruin Due Date for me...I still haven't had the chance to sit down to watch it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sensing Sunday: March 13, 2011

(Ski Day at Bear Valley Mountain
What I am:
Hearing: I am absolutely in LOVE with Adele's new album '21'. Her song 'Someone Like You' gives me chills and I have had it on repeat all week long.

Seeing: The pictures that 'Camo' took today of our ski day.

Smelling: The faintest whiff of Clean: Shower Fresh. I spritzed my hairbrush with it and ran it through my hair this morning. I like to wear perfume this way because I love to wear perfume but try not to make it overwhelming to others who are sensitive to it.

Tasting: My biggest indulgences today, Cadbury Mini Eggs and Fat Tire Amber Ale. Just not at the same time.

Feeling: Tired but not nearly as exhausted as I thought I would be. This weekend has been go go go since the moment I left work. First the nine hour marathon cake making session that produced this:
(oh yeah, I TOTALLY made this...jealous?)
Then onto the domestic duties of cleaning the house and doing the laundry. I attempted my long run at the gym  on Saturday but only made it about a third of the way through before I felt a huge wave of nausea (my body forcing me to take it down a notch I suppose). Onto today where I spent the day dominating the intermediate runs at Bear Vally Mountain. I had so much fun today and it made me realize two things. 
1. I am not nearly as exhausted or sore as I thought I would be and I attribute that directly to my training for the half marathon. 
2. I miss skiing. Before today I hadn't been in about 8 years and was fearful to make my way back to the mountain. So glad I did. I miss skiing with better skiers than myself...they always pushed me to go harder and  do better. If I go back, I am going to need that push. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011


(Japantown, San Francisco)
A couple of weeks ago, I got the wild hair to make another trip to San Francisco. The weather had been terrible in the valley and I was just itching to get away. I called my brother and as luck would have it, he had a rare Sunday off. The Mr. and I got an early start and made our way into my favorite city.
I love being a tourist in this town. I love it because every trip you can be a different type of tourist. I have loitered around the Marina with the Pup and the Mr. pretending to be one of the hoity toity. I have taken shots with a drag queen in the Castro with G by my side. I have cruised around the dilapidated buildings and taken in the reverse view of the city on Treasure Island. I have been the only female on a deep sea fishing boat and caught the biggest salmon of the day on rough waters right outside the San Francisco Bay (My proudest moment that day? Making sure that I didn't lose my breakfast burrito in front of all the guys...that and my fish of course!). The list really does go on and on and on....
This trip we trekked over to Japantown.
I had forever been wanting to make my way to Soko Hardware. I had heard fantastic stories of teapots, chopsticks, rice cookers and all things Japanese. This was the main purpose of my wanting to go to Japantown. We arrived and the very first place we stopped at was Soko Hardware...only to be completely and utterly disappointed to find out that the place is closed on Sundays. Arg! I was almost set to turn around, get in the car, and drive all the way home. I stuck it out and we made our way to the Japan Center. It was early and many of the indoor shops were still closed. I couldn't control myself when we passed by Andersen's Bakery. I was starving! The Mr. wanted to keep exploring and wasn't quite ready for breakfast yet, but lucky for me my brother is cut from the same cloth and will always stop for something sweet with me. We decided to be thrifty and agreed to split a pastry and we each had a cup of coffee. We split the cream cheese and walnut brioche and it really hit the spot. We leisurely ate our snack and did some serious people watching. Everyone was in costume, everyone was a walking anime character. No, there wasn't a parade. No, there wasn't a festival. This was just their normal Sunday garb. More power to them. Only in San Francisco will you be able to find a place where, if you want to stroll around in costume and do some casual Sunday can. As my brother and I sat, the Mr. continued to explore the shops around us. After we ate we joined him and headed to the second level. We passed a crepe counter and I wished I hadn't already had my breakfast. The Mr. decided that he wanted a crepe and ordered a savory one of ham and cheese. It looked great and the art of making the crepe was even more impressive to watch.
After we had exhausted Japantown, we decided to make our way to Chinatown.
The Mr. and I had been here on one of our last trips but as we walked through the gates I quickly realized that this trip was going to be different. We had walked right into the middle of the Chinese New Year celebrations. The streets were packed with people, vendors and a wash of bright colors. The brightest being of course red. It is the year of the rabbit and everywhere you look you can see it. It was amazing. I tried to call my dad to have him meet us there because I knew he was in town. I knew this because; number one, he told me he was going to be there with my stepmom, the nieces, and his pup Sam... and number two, he was driving right in front of us when we were making our way down Lombard to pick up my brother. What are the odds of that?? I was driving and the Mr. says 'Why is this old man driving so slow?' I took a closer look and replied 'That old man is my dad!' Small world.
I wasn't able to reach him, and after hitting up a couple of the shops (where I scored a teapot on clearance for only $1.99!), we decided that it was getting close to lunch. The Mr. had done some research and found what he thought would be the perfect place to get some oysters on the half shell. We started for the Waterbar on Embarcadero, right beneath the expanse of the Bay Bridge. Everything on the menu looked appealing and interesting. It was hard for me to settle on what I wanted. I ultimately decided on the grilled cheese with a black truffle spread and cauliflower soup. I knew I would be sampling some of the oysters that the Mr. would be ordering so I paired it with the drink special, a Moscow Mule. My brother ended up with a somewhat deconstructed cerviche and the Mr. had a spicy tuna sandwich with sweet potato crisps. Looking around the Waterbar, I had a sense of deja vu even though I had never been there before. Then it dawned on me why the place seemed so was featured on the Real Housewives of Orange County when the housewives took a 'girl's trip' to San Francisco. It is the one where they had one of their many explosive arguments. Luckily the joint was way classier than it appeared on TV. Our last stop was the Ferry Building where I was able to make sure to get my obligatory macaron from Miette (ok, ok, my obligatory handful of macarons).
At this point we were all tired and getting a little cranky. We hopped on Muni to make it easier on us to get to the car. We dropped my brother off at his apartment in the woods and the Mr. and I were on our way home.
Another fantastic trip to my favorite city by the bay.
(Andersen's Bakery)


The Waterbar
...this was the last of the picture that day because, of cousre, this is the point where the battery died. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Etsy Art

(Portrait of Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso
When I was younger, I became somewhat obsessed with F. Scott Fitzgerald (as I have explained HERE). I tried to get my hands on anything he wrote and when I did, I devoured it. When I had exhausted his works and it still didn't satisfy my hunger for all things 'Jazz Age' I moved on to anything that was written about him. I discovered that Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald spent quite a bit of time in Gertrude Stein's salon in Paris. Gertrude Stein entertained the bohemian expats of the early 1900s. Picasso, Hemingway, Cezanne, Fitzgerald...they were all there, whiling their days away discussing art, literature, food,
There is a photo of old Gertie's salon and rows upon rows of original artwork race up the wall to the ceiling. I forever wanted to live in that room. 
Now that I am a tad bit older, I think it might be time to invest in some artwork myself. With the invention of the internet, it is almost too easy to find art that strikes a cord. 
Below are some of my current favorites: 
(Sitting Together, Leah Giberson)

(Pool Diving, Cathie Carlson)

(November, Clare Elsaesser)

(Poolside, Samantha French

(San Francisco, Matte Stephens)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sensing Sunday: March 6, 2010

(Paris Breakfast by Carol Gillott)
What I am:

Hearing: 'New Slang'-The Shins. Has been stuck in my head for two days and I don't remember hearing it lately. When I found this video of it over Garden State, it started to make sense to me.
Seeing: Getting ready to start my lil French movie marathon. Marie Antoinette, Moulin Rouge and Chocolat. Thinking of watching them in chronological order. Or maybe in reverse chronological order?

Smelling: My French Cassis candle from Cost Plus World Market.

Tasting: Nothing, yet. Thinking of making some madeleines and a pot of Cafe Du Monde coffee to go with my flicks. I am saving making the beignets for Tuesday.

Feeling: I have been somewhat out of it lately (hence my Garden State reference). It has been a very stressful week and I haven't felt at all like myself. I am forcing myself to enjoy the time off of work that I have and doing things that make me happy. Today I am escaping to Paris via French movies and French food.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Life Is Too Short...

(Life's too short for the wrong job on pandaeraser)
...for the wrong job.
My good friend/cousin Andrea posted a series of ads on her tumblr feed. The message came across loud and clear in the most creative way.
It did get me thinking though...
True, life IS too short for the wrong job but how, in today's economy, do you realize this and change your direction in life?
Thoughts anyone?

PS. Yes, I am aware that I am missing my last 'Picture This'. I haven't found an appropriate photo yet.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Picture This: Day 29

(The Master of Puppets by Chiara Fersini)
Day 29:
A picture of something that makes you angry. 
I have been a little overwhelmed lately. For the past couple of years I have been trying to construct a new perfect world for myself over and over. Just when I think I have it all, something happens and I don't. I have too many balls in the air and it is a struggle to try to keep them all up. Having to give up a certain amount of control is what is making me angry right now. I try to take on the world's problems and each time I do, it seems that 20 more get thrown in my direction. I take it all on with a smile, each time convincing myself I can do it. Each time suppressing my increasing frustration. I end up like a pressure cooker and at some point it has to all some to a boil.
I am bitter and angry this week. I am angry that I can't control certain aspects of my life.
I am aware that the only person that I am hurting is myself. I am aware that in the grand scheme of life, what is going on right now in mine will only be a minuscule blip in my lifetime.
In order to get past my anger, I have to be able to let go. I struggle with that.
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