Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Crinkly Goodness

Last weekend I baked cookies! It was for the annual Bungalow Heaven Neighborhood Tour which is held on the last Sunday of every April. I had to make at least 3 dozen cookies, to be served at the reception area where guests check-in for the tour.

I decided on these Chocolate Crinkle cookies because they looked so good and I've never baked them before. Also, the ingredient list was short and the directions were easy. My kind of recipe!

I  yielded just over 3 dozen cookies using this recipe from Allrecipes. I used my handy dandy size 40 scoop which is about 1 and 3/4 tablespoonful. The recipe itself said it yields 70 cookies but I'm pretty sure this is if you only scoop out 1 teaspoonful of dough to form into a ball. Big or small, this cookie was very chocolatey, light, and slightly chewy. Perfect with a glass of ice cold milk.

Little Lessons On Life

Have you ever encountered a rude person in public? How did you react? Were you rude back or did you keep your cool?

Last Sunday evening I was walking the boys, Finn and Tate.  We were at our favorite walking spot, the campus of Cal Tech University. Usually we walk early in the morning but this time we decided to do an early evening walk to take advantage of the late daylight hours.

As we were going on our way I saw a man on a skateboard in the empty parking lot. Well, the boys go nuts when they see anyone on a skateboard or roller skates. I probably should have walked the other way but for some reason, I didn't and walked towards this guy. As we were walking through the parking lot the boys were pulling me so hard and turning me around and made walking quite difficult for me.  Then the guy on the skateboard stops and says something to the effect of, "I'm going to stop riding until you pass through". Hmm, that's nice. "Thanks", I say.  Then he says, "But it's highly irresponsible of you to take your dogs out when it's clear you have no control over them!" Um, what?
I just look at this creep (uh, guy), and ask him how he could judge my "irresponsibility" in the 2 minutes that he's even seen me with my dogs? Also, please mind your own (f-ing) business!

By the time we crossed the parking lot I was fuming. I was also thinking of all the things I "should have" said to him. You know how all of that comes to mind afterwards?  So, I took the opportunity to make myself visible to him again and politely gave him the finger. That made me feel a little better.

Since Sunday however, I still find myself thinking about this Ass%#!* and all the things I would have loved to say to him.  But in reality, by getting myself worked up about this stupid stranger, I'm really hurting myself. So today I wanted to share some quotes that help me to work through what I call "Interactions with the stupid people of the world", and to LET GO because trully, this guy and anyone else who is rude, obnoxious and being an ASS, is not worth it. Hear that, idiot-on-the-skateboard? I'm kicking you to the curb and pressing the delete button on ya!

Here are some quotes I'm meditating on:

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding but only in disclosing what is on his mind. Proverbs 18:2

Be kind to unkind people; they need it the most! Buddhism

How people treat you is their Karma; how you react is yours. Unknown

Do not speak in the ears of a fool for he will despise the wisdom of your words. Proverbs 23:9

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt

If you have any more to share, please do, I would love to hear them!

Friday, March 13, 2015

A little break

If it seems like I haven't posted much lately, it's because I haven't. I've been on vacation in Maui and just flew back home very late last night.

Maui was spectacular.  Simply gorgeous and yes, quite relaxing.  There's still a fine mixture of purity and rawness on the island of Maui, despite the Costco and the Krispy Kreme that greets you as you exit the airport.  Wherever I looked, I was either taking in the views of the Pacific ocean or the lush mountains.

I hope I'll be able to keep the "aloha spirit" with me for a little while longer even though I'm back home in LA.  So far, so good.  Mahalo.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday's Bulldog

My little men.

Pasta Carbonara for a winter's day

Today I felt like making something creamy, indulgent, and delicious.  That description right there describes Pasta Carbonara to a tee.  The recipe I used is from How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.

I loved the simplicity of Pasta Carbonara.  In literally minutes, you can whip up a truly elegant and satisfying Italian meal.

1 pound linguine or other long pasta
1 tablespoon EVOO
4 oz minced bacon
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
Sea salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan sauté the olive oil and bacon until the bacon is crispy.
Boil a large pot of salted water; add the linguine to the water and cook the spaghetti until al dente, about 8-9 minutes.
While spaghetti is boiling, mix the parmesan cheese and the eggs in a large bowl.

After the spaghetti is cooked, drain in a colander and then immediately add the spaghetti to the parmesan-egg mixture.  Combine well.  Add the bacon and the leftover grease to the spaghetti mixture.  Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.  Eat immediately and enjoy!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Real Women Do Eat Quiche!

Do you eat quiche?  Quiche is not something I eat on a regular basis much less make myself, but I was looking for a make ahead brunch recipe and came across this one for Crustless Zucchini and Basil Mini Quiches.

These turned out delicious and was a very simple recipe to put together.  What I like about this recipe is that the quiche is made in a mini cupcake tin which makes the quiche easy to transport for a breakfast or brunch pot luck, plus you can make these the night before and freeze.  All you need to do is pop them in the oven when you're ready to serve them.

Crustless Zucchini and Basil Mini-Quiches
Makes 48 pieces; adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Oil, for the pan
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 small zucchini, grated
1/4 cup grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, finely chopped
Heat oven to 450°F.
Prepare Batter: Put the cornstarch in a medium bowl. Whisking steadily, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the milk, mixing until quite smooth. Whisk in the whole eggs and egg yolks, mixing again until smooth, then gradually whisk in the rest of the milk, the cream, salt, and nutmeg. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to one day. If using the next day, be sure to re-whisk.
Prepare Zucchini Mixture: In a nonstick pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add grated zucchini, and stir until just softened, another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Oil mini muffin tins well. Put a pinch grated cheese into each muffin cup, a teaspoon of zucchini mixture, and pinch of chopped fresh basil. Pour 1 tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup.
Bake until the quiches puff and start to turn golden, 15-18 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and then carefully run a paring knife around the rim of each muffin cup. Carefully lift each quiche out of its cup.
Mini quiches freeze very well. Let cool, then freeze in a single layer in a covered container. Reheat on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Sunday Bulldog

Because it's the night of the Oscar telecast, I'm sharing this award-winning picture of my boy Finn.  Well, okay, it really didn't win any awards officially, but it is one of my favorite pics of him.

Finn is feisty, and brave, and and can be quite naughty at times with his brother, but he's always a sweetheart when it comes to giving me cuddles.  I call him my little teddy bear because not a night goes by where he doesn't curl his little body very close to me as he sleeps. I love you, Finn.