Saturday, December 27, 2008

english scones

the finished scones. semi-sweet chocolate chip and craisins.
scones pre-bake with cream and sugar on top so that they'll be shiny. oooo shiny. craisin scones before cream/sugar cut the square into eight triangle shaped scones with a bench scraper.
shape dough into a square with the bench scraper.
mix dough lightly until just combined. don't over mix.
dump cream and eggs onto counter over the flour mixture
mix flour and stuff together on counter. get butter out of freezer/fridge. cut into pea sized pieces and mix with flour mixture. then mix in your choice of additive (usually choc chips, craisins, blueberries, cinnamon sugar balls (where can i get these? i love these!))
based loosely on this recipe (oh, martha)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

happy christmas!

i miss everyone i'm not currently with. especially you. you know who you are.
ps yes, i changed the picture...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

best foods 2008

i stole this idea from another food blog....

  • sushi from osaka. if you like sushi, this place is sushtastic! they have the best buffet ever! they also usually have papaya which is one of the best fruits ever.
  • steak from abuelo's (papas anyone?)
  • hummus from deliman's grill
  • taramasalata from various hoity toity stores (i love you whole foods!)
  • bubble tea and dumplings from pho bistro (sadly the one near me shut down)
  • blue buffalo for the beasts (grain-free)
  • steak something and garlic bread from salerno's
  • diet limeade from sonic (gotta work the happy hour!)
  • corn casserole and sweet potatoes from thanksgiving
  • pretzels (toot toot!)
  • judy's snicker cookies in pittsburgh
  • la duni (everything!)
  • eat zi’s
  • prawns from empress of china
  • Lobster chops (with scallops!) from … red lobster (hangs head)
  • Jelly coconuts (every year)
  • nick’s pizza
  • beef and lemongrass noodles in houston at "Pho Something"
  • wild wing cafĂ© in houston
  • marble slabbery
  • vegas buffets (I wish they had some here… 19 bucks for all that and soda and dessert? Sign me up!) prime rib, sea bass, alaskan king crab legs, lychee fruit, dessert … mmmmm
  • fajitas, guacamole and flan at my vovo’s party (not all at the same time)
  • buffalo burgers from central market
  • jager schnitzel and fries with gravy and cheese (!) from max's allegheny tavern in pittsburgh

Thursday, December 18, 2008

happy christmas

the infamous scones. here they are.... enjoy! these are on their way to jim jam. chocolate chip english scones. matt says, "why do they like them so much?" i don't know matt, i don't know.

Monday, December 15, 2008

pretty pretty pretzels

red pepper flakes and sea salt. classy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


we had an excellent thanksgiving (barring the dog trouble). we went to houston where we had cajun turkey and other wonderful things jane and robyn made. most notably the corn casserole (i've never had it before) and the sweet potato casserole. it was all good and everyone seemed to like my desserts. we ended up taking some pumpkin rolls and some carrot cake balls with us to houston. we had fun with robyn and mike's kids too... michaela (matt's 4 year-old niece) had a bit of a cold and an adorable cold accent. we were talking about halloween at one point, she was a princess pretty princess and she said nadja (matt's older niece) was a scary "manpower." i couldn't figure out what that meant and she insisted i was saying the wrong word over and over. i was in agreement but i couldn't think of what she was saying. i finally figured out she was saying vampire. and then i made her say "manpower" a few more times because it made me giggle. "wait you were a vampire and nadja was a princess?" "no! i was not a manpower!" (or mad cow depending on where your imagination took you). she also told me that nadja was six, i think she made this executive decision because she obviously doesn't have 12 fingers.

besides the delicious foods, we got to see a christmas carol and hang out with dafne (gotta find the silver lining). it was really fun and ended waaaay too quickly. jane sent us home with a turkey that i cooked the day after we got home because it was already defrosting on the way home. i made stuffing and gravy, above you can see an entire turkey two containers of gravy and two containers of stuffing. we've been eating leftovers all week and they are wonderful. i looooove turkey and gravy and stuffing!!! yay!

we came home saturday to my vovo's housewarming party slash katie's graduation party. my mother took care of all the dogs while we were away (thanks!) and had a very full house with my brother and his wife, tiffany, staying through the holiday (tiffany had to leave friday so we missed her). at the party we had fajitas from christina's, a lot of neighbors, and a lot of family (my dad was the bartender). we also got to play catch phrase with my brother, sister and her two friends. my team, jimmy, me and jon, won(of course!). matt's team with katie and tiffany brothers lost!!! neener neener! all in all the whole holiday was fun, fabulous and fast. we packed in as much as we could, thank goodness we were done with our colds!

Friday, December 5, 2008


so, dafne needed a scarf, her neck is all shaved because of the ouchies. and she's just so cute. i think the color really brings out her eyes. can you tell she hates it? after this picture, she climbed on my lap and stared at me, no doubt using her formidable mind powers and subtly whined until i removed the offending material. she doesn't mind when we're outside in the winterness surprisingly. at least her neck is small, i don' know how people make blankets!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


happy thanksgiving eervra-one! best holiday ever! and thanks to all of you! for being so great!
except you! you know who you are.

Monday, November 24, 2008

pumpkin rolls

so they're all done and ready. i used soooo many eggs. i took one to work and let me tell you, it was a hit. the secret is.... i replace a little bit of the sugar in the cake part with vanilla pudding. i bake two batches at a time with:
one whole can of pumpkin (which is a little more than called for)
1.5c four
1t baking powder
1t baking soda
0.5t salt
some ground cloves, ground cinnamon, a little ground ginger
6 eggs
a little less than the suggested 2c sugar
i don't add walnuts cuz gross
other than that it's all the same... tips:
use a lot of powdered sugar on the towels
keep the wax paper on the cake when you roll it (take off when the cake's cool)
since i do two at a time, i put both in the oven at the same time and rotate top to bottom back to front halfway through
leave some room for the icing to sckoosh to the edge
wait till cooled to cut anything.
you know how to make cream cheese icing... i go light on the sugar. and don't use weird butter substitutes or it won't set up correctly.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


i finished aaaall the rolls. i'm getting my pictures organized.... while you wait, here are some forks defying gravity (thanks to me).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

gearing up for thanksgiving. here, i think, is the final list. (although... matt did say, "i don't know, i guess." to some or many of my persistent questions.) i will be baking aaaalll weekend so don't call me. unless it's an emergency. 8 pumpkin logs/rolls (that's right!) 1 cherry pie 2 sets of cake balls (for some body's birthday... shh! don't tell jane!) 1 pecan pie 6ish batches of pretzels (we'll see)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

halibut and asparagus

fish=broiled and generously seasoned
asparagus=seasoned and sauteed

Monday, November 10, 2008

rice bowl

i made a bowl. ok, well i didn't make the bowl, but i did paint a tiny bird on the inside of a bowl that was, no doubt made by a small foreign child in a sweat shop and fashioned out of the souls of unicorns. i had a lot of fun making it and i'm glad to be finally reunited with it... finally, no thanks to somebody.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

cuban chicken and (cuban) broccoli

bamboo steamers are cool. i really love mine a lot. i got them when i made tamales a looong time ago. you can stack them really high with tons of things to steam. like vegetables and other stuff (tiny kittens?)
i've been getting organic free range chicken because of my chicken related guilt. those poor little chickens. i used the (cuban) marinade from the chicken (with shallots) on the broccoli, it had about half as much orange juice as lemon juice and lime juice and some other cool spices but mostly juice.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

pot roast with fall vegetables

i love fall. i love sweet potatoes. what's better on cool-ish fall day than pot roast with a chunk of bread? absolutely nothing at all. speaking of fall, thanksgiving is coming up (except for those sadly misguided canadians who already celebrated some sort of "thanksgiving" to the north of us). we're going to matt's mom jane's house to hang out with her and matt's sister robyn's family. we've gone for the past two (?) years to visit jane. so this year should be different and obviously fun. matt's already planning what we're taking to houston thanksgiving. we brought a few pies and pumpkin rolls last year. i think we're going for a berry pie, pumpkin rolls (yum), and i think pecan pie (which is like the easiest pie ever in the history of pies. so, fingers crossed). and then, we're coming back up here to spend saturday at my grandmother's house warming (pool) party. at the end of november. it's a spanish themed margarita party. hopefully there will be a mariachi band.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

soft pretzels

the recipe i found had me rest the dough overnight in a plastic container. then i rolled them out into looooong ropes. this part takes forever i think because this dough needs to be so chewy at the end. what i ended up doing was rolling one, resting, rolling another, resting and so forth. switching the ropes one at a time.
then you pretzel them and let them rise for thirty minutes on a greased cookie sheet. supposedly they double in size, i felt mine only rose a tiny bit.
now they get a bath in 4 cups boiling water mixed with 2 tablespoons baking soda for 10 seconds.
they look a little dimply after the bath. now they're back on the sheet to get brushed with...
egg wash. one egg and a little bit of water and my nifty silicone brush.
after the egg wash you can put anything you want on them. salt, pepper, sesame seeds (my next try), etc.
matt wanted lots of salt on his and ate them with yellow mustard. i used kosher salt, but i think it would be better with pretzel salt or compound salt (might be the same thing). when he was finished, matt said these might be his new favorite thing i cook, edging out coconut curry soup.
mine had kosher salt and pepper on them (according to matt he's never seen pepper on a pretzel. and obviously that sort of thing should not be allowed). i decided to go with a parmigiana cheese sauce to dip mine in. i'm not a fan of mustard at all.

Friday, October 31, 2008

jelly coconut part deux (the second part deux)

jelly coconut back again. so, found a new way to open my coconuts... seems a bit more elegant. i now use a big knife and a hammer to make a square from which i get my scrumptious jelly. i'm so classy. (i keep forgetting to bring one to work for shelly! durnit! remeeeeembeeeer). ps happy haloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the story (pizza egg rolls below)

kitten story as follows... 2 pm saturday becky takes the little dogs for a walkie. our usual saturday mid-day walk consists of walking down the fence that boarders our parking lot and the lovely post-office to the tree. now i don't know if you knew this, but, the post-office is not open all the time. in fact, it's not open a lot of the time and when it is open, there are seedy people sending packages full of who knows what (shady, shady packages).

so, it was 2 pm and the post-office was closed (you'll be glad to know this tidbit later on in the story). we were about to make it to the tree and we heard something. a small, tiny something making a small tiny sound. it was adorable and heart wrenchingly sad little noise that rips right into your brain. you need to find out how to make it stop.

i looked under the fence. no kitten. dafne helped by looking at the fence then whining. meew. listened for the sound. dafne furiously sniffed at one particular spot then helped when i tried to dig some grass clippings and dirt away from bottom of the fence. i reached under there and hoped that i might encounter a bit of fluff and not a pointy snake fang or something. this attempt was futile. i decided to take serious action. i got a stool.

there are no less than three fences between my apartment and the post-office, lest somebody try and steal the shady packages we went over earlier. a plastic fence on our side, a chain link fence with barbed wire on the top and a wooden fence facing the post-office. i climbed atop the stool which revealed a tiny screaming kitten in between two of the fences. the quandary was that it was between the chain link and the wooden fence. i think that the mother cat was moving the litter and was interrupted. the kittens, having no plan of their own, felt it would be a great idea to make their little way into the no man's land between chain link and wooden fence.

there was no way to get it without the help of postal workers. i had heard carts rolling along back there and hoped against hope that some kind soul would help me and help that tiny kitten (who is our future).

i trekked to the p-o which is apartment adjacent through the fence conveniently knocked down by industrious teenagers making their way to buildings of higher learning (LHS?). i went to the corner of the p-o where there is another fence which is an extension of chain link fence. "hellooo!" i said. "hellooo!" then a fine upstanding citizen came over to the fence to listen to my plight. i explained to him that there were tiny kittens in need of rescue. he, what a guy, said that he would clock out and see if anyone would help me.

a wonderful woman came out ten minutes later. she located the kittens, took one out of the fence (we realized there were actually two) and then put it back again (what?). she came back to the fence and asked if i wanted her to call animal control. i explained to her (again) that i the manager of cat hospital and would be willing to take the kittens with me. she said she would let me in and we could get them together because the other one was father back.

i went into the p-o, had to sign a visitor's list (hopefully, no letter bombs will be attributed to me (i have two kittens as an airtight alibi)). we proceeded to the back parking lot where the kittens were still meewing their little heads off. i may or may not have aided and or abetted slightly damaging government property (sorry old, falling apart wooden fence) to rescue said kittens.... they were angry and hungry and had to pee.

and that is the story of the kittens.

pizza egg rolls (egg rollz part deux)

yes, i did have leftover egg roll wraps! and i made something awesome... pizza egg rolls with pizza sauce dip. let's go back... let's see what happened to this roll to make it so yummilicious...
browning the other side of the rollz
browning the rollz
hot oil treatment begins.
all rolled up and nowhere to go.
stuffing = peperoni + mushrooms (cooked) + mozzarella + olives (black)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

look what i found!

superhero kitten (just starting his illustrious career saving his tiny sibling) and brown tabby kitten. btk is a lot calmer and was the first to actually getting my feeding device (kitten nipple and syringe). shk is a little more whiny, but how can you argue with that little face?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

philly cheesesteak egg rolls

well, i tried philly cheese steak egg rolls a la dee, a la i think... dave and buster's. they were delectable. i got the wraps at the super market (i know, right?) and they were very easy to work with from start to finish. i used a glue made of cornstarch and water to seal the edge. it says on the package to use a tablespoon of "stuff" inside, but i did way more. i surmise they were actually referring to dumpling wraps. the innards included finely sliced green pepper, onion, mushrooms, and scrumptious steaks. (i even got to use my mandolin, score!)i just ate them straight off the conveyor belt but matt dipped his in thousand island and heinz 57 sauce. ps i've been overusing the word delicious... i apologize