Friday, February 27, 2009

Quotable quotes:

"James, don't you think the girls here in LA are hotter than they were in the ivies?"

Younger boss, Yale grad.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cinnamon Palmiers

I was feeling fancy one afternoon, plus I had a leftover sheet of puff pastry in the freezer, so I decided that palmiers were the way to go. Esp since they are so easy peasy. And called elephant ears, so cute! I've made savory ones before, (honey mustard and prosciutto) but they were kind of fail fail. Anyhoo, inspired by the recipe on joythebaker, and all these pics I've been seeing lately of cinnamon buns, I made these.

Brought them to class, great success. Except NB was like 'why are they burn't?' and I was like 'they aren't fool, that's the cinnamon and sugar'. ANYWAY. I did get 'these are really good, where did you buy them?' That's pretty legit right?

Makes around 24 small pastries.

1 sheet of puff pastry
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

You'll probably have extra sugar.

Roll out the puff pastry sheet, using some of the white sugar instead of flour to stop it sticking. Mix the rest of the sugars and cinnamon together, and sprinkle generously onto the sheet. Roll the pastry in tightly from both sides. Wrap in cling film and fridge for half an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.

Take roll out and cut into 1/4 inch slices, place on tray. I sprinkled some extra sugar on top of each one. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on the sheet.


Technical Difficulties

Sorry for the long hiatus, for those who care. I had trojans. It was kind of fun because when I googled stuff whatever I clicked on would turn out to be an ad page, even wiki. But then I couldn't use email or facebook, and that was lame. So NB re-whatsitsed everything on my computer for me, and then I didn't have office, or flash, or PDF reader... whatever, it's all good now.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Hung Over At Work

Things I need to blog on:

-Vday weekend to Hearst Castle

-Cinnamon Palmiers

-Movies I've seen: Frost vs Nixon, Coraline, International (don't do it!), He's Just Not That Into You, ... there are more...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Looking through old pictures...

Am reminded that while their faces are very different, NB and the first BF (Maggothead, I am leaning towards...) are very close, physically. Which suits me just fine, especially since NB is slightly taller so I can wear heels and still be shorter.

Funny picture, because Maggothead (understand that this is not an insult so much as a reference to a time that maggots crawled on his head... Su and Sam will remember this...) was in the army and had sand in his ears and his lip was all banged up and his shoulder all scarred. And was wearing my pink aviators. It was our first real date, I guess, to Swensons at PS. When we were all hush hush secret secret. Heh. Oh, memories.

It's nice to be able to look at a photo and still be in love with the moment, even if not with the person.

Runners up:

At prom, where MH is looking more like gay stylist than potential boyfriend.

In boxers, my sunhat and white sunglasses. Cannot seem to find picture taken on same day where a bra replaces sunhat in some kind of bizarre Mickey Mouse parody.

In changing room at Tangs, trying on an incredibly tight pair of skinny jeans (him, not me).

Strangely, have two pictures featuring... 'Pen pen', as he affectionately named himself. Fear not, Nick, your number will always be higher. Also one of Sean Marc. (Sorry, lah, he does not need a code.) And a really great one of Dom being a nerd. And of course, tons with Su, Adelle and Sam.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Rainy Day Lentil Soup

It has been bizarrely cold in Los Angeles this past couple of weeks. Today it was rainy. Rain always puts me in the stewing mood, and I had 3/4 of a red onion, carrot and celery sticks left over from my weekend roadtrip with NB, and some parsley from a couple of weeks ago... and best of all, a bag of lentils in my cupboard from some time last semester when I was sure I would make a lentil soup but never did. So lentil soup had to happen. Inspired by Ina Garten but mostly just what I had in the kitchen.

Lentil Soup

Serves 6-8

(What I used)

3/4 red onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bag of dried lentils (1 lb... I hope you appreciate that I just dug through the trash to find that out)
2 carrots, diced
3 sticks of celery, sliced thinly
4 sticks of asparagus, sliced (kinda weird, but they were in the fridge...)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ground cumin seeds
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder (optional, obv, but as an Asian I feel the need to add chili to everything)
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 gallon hot water
1 tbsp fresh parsley
3 tbsp red wine
3 tbsp grated parmesan

If I had been shopping specifically for this, though, I would have also had:
More carrots / onion / celery
2 tbsp tomato paste / some fresh tomatoes, diced
Chicken stock in place of water

Rinse lentils and soak in hot water. Heat olive oil in soup pot (for lack of a better word...). Sautee garlic and onions until soft, 3-4 min. Add carrots and celery (and fresh tomatoes, if you have them), sautee until soft, another 7 minutes ish. Add seasoning minus 1/2 the parsley (and the tomato paste, if you're using that...). Stir in 2 tbsp red wine. Drain lentils, add to pot. Add asparagus. Add water / stock. Bring to a boil then simmer on low heat for an hour, stirring every... 10 min? Check the seasoning to make sure it's tasty.

Serve with chili flakes/parm/drizzle of red wine/drizzle of olive oil/parsley.

MmmmMMmmm nom nom noms. Easy peasy and makes the house smell great.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

D. Fanning - Stamp of approval

So you know who I used to think was a scary little witch child? Dakota Fanning.

But recently, she has been appearing all kinds of pretty and stylish. She and Emma Watson should hang out in like the cute-classy tween club. (As opposed to the cute-but-deathly-annoying-tween club, president: Miley, co-pres: T-Tay, Treasurer: Demi Lawhatsists). (It occurs to me that 'tween' is actually 'teen', because they were actual tweens when I was an actual teen... no longer...). I was about to write up on Coraline, but I have to wake up soon so I shouldn't. Push looks awful, but Camilla is in it, and I need to screen stalk her a bit, so I might see it anyway... And she is going to be in Twilight, probably, playing the devil witch child that she once was...

Back to it:

(stolen from justjared)

Really, adorable. You better be saying that with the french inflection. Pretty pretty pretty.

My Very Own Fan?!

Doodguysforsrs, I think I might have a real live reader. You know, someone who isn't Rona/Sonia/Nick/Alex/Su/Adelle/Bev/Drei. I have just knocked my readership into 9! Score.

I know it's lame to be so excited, but I got the first comment in like, 3 months, and it was from someone I am pretty sure I don't know. (Be prepared for some really detailed stuff about this stranger's life that might sound really creepy and stalkerish) I went to her blog, and she loves all the greats: Ben Barnes, Star Wars and Twilight. Um, except she likes Jacob and thinks Edward is ugly (?!). And while her review of Prince Caspian looks suspiciously familiar, judging by the fact that she has a science teacher and remembers summer camp, I am guessing that she is at the age where changing words in a sentence totally makes it not plagiarizing. And as Rona said, 'I still do that.' Indeed.

So here's lookin' at you, turtle_moose19. Please don't leave me. And if there is anyone else out there, leave a comment and I swear I'll blogstalk you back. It's what I live for.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Family Dinner - Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Puffs

Second weekly dinner was a success! We were missing Mels, but Rach's cousin took her place at the table. And this week I had co-pi/sous chef Rona.

I guess picture, as usual, lacks fab, but I assure you this is easy and well worth a try. The innards are easy to change around, if you want to make it vegetarian or would rather put something else in it.

Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Puffs with Cream Sauce

Makes 8 puffs

1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 leeks, washed and cut in 1/4 inch slices
1 pack sliced mushrooms
4 chicken breasts, cut into 1/3 inch cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter + some melted for greasing the sheet
1 tsp nutmeg
2 boxes/4 sheets of frozen puff pastry dough
2 tbsp ++ flour for dusting
8 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp parmesan
1 tbsp parsley
1 egg, beaten

For puffs:

Preheat oven to 400F.

Heat olive oil and butter. Sautee onions and garlic until tender, 3-4 min. Season with salt/pepper/nutmeg, 1/2 tbsp parsley. Add chicken, sautee. Add mushrooms and leeks, cook until tender. Add cream. Simmer for 1-2 min.

Roll thawed pastry into squares, then cut diagonally twice to make 4 triangles per sheet, dusting to stop them from sticking to each other.

Grease cookie sheets and lay half the triangles out (you'll probably need 2 sheets unless you have some kind of ENORMOUS sheet... maybe even 3... I used 2 next to each other and then the oven couldn't close properly). Spoon chicken/veg mixture onto the middle of the pastries, leaving 1/4 inch around the edge. Try not to get too much of the liquid oozing around the place, leave it in the pan for the sauce. Coat the edge with the egg mixture, then cover with the leftover triangles. Use a fork to press the sides together. Coat the tops with egg. Put tray in oven.

Bake for 20 min, until golden brown. Serve with parsley and cream sauce.

For cream sauce:

Simmer the cream mixture left in the pan (and it should be quite a bit...) with the parmesan, stirring, until of desired thickness. Yes, it is pure fat with fats, and it is delish, thanks.

Overheard in the Movie Theatre

Today in Coraline (3D), sitting next to a family:

Dad puts on 3D glasses.

Mom: *snigger* Look at Dad, he looks like a dork!

Child #1: What's a dork?

Mom: It's someone who's socially awkward?

Child #2: What's socially awkward?

Mom: Someone who isn't good with people.

Dad: Like your Uncle Bill.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Reasons for Being Broke

Have just discovered that every overdraft coverage transfer from my savings account to my checking account has cost me $10. And apparently that happened 13 times since the beginning of the school year. I never noticed, because I never check the 'savings' account, just 'checking'. $130. OMG. That is a reasonable amount of money that I didn't need to have wasted. I could have bought like 13 cocktails at the 9-0.

Another review:

"These are the best cookies I've ever tasted!" - Gabe from work.

Winner winner, chicken dinner. Or maybe a job.

Paella tips

I know you are probably bored of the paella talk already, but in case you haven't tried but are planning on it, here is something to consider:

I told my Daddy about making paella, and seeing as we bond over the most bizarre things, he also shared his war stories. His thoughts are that you either burn the paella or eat raw rice. Then he brought up the possibility of cooking it in a rice cooker. I told him I had done something similar but Asian in Home Ec back in the day, so he ventured to try it. He says it is pretty good, and also awesome that you don't have to stand there stirring. (Which you are not meant to do, according to paella lore. Risotto is to be stirred, paella is to be left alone. But I didn't mention this to him.)

So ya, there's your tip. Fry all the veg/meats up, stir in rice, put in rice cooker with stock and wine instead of water, leave to cook. No burns!

Rave Reviews - Chocolate Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't have pictures of these, but I thought I'd share anyway. And trick you with a stolen google pic of some chocolate chips.

As of late, I have been on a mini-mission to make good chocolate cookies. I make good chocolate chip cookies, because I cheat and use the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip packet. My roommates affectionately call these the 'salty cookies', because they aren't super sweet. But they love them.

Last weekend, I tried making a modified version of these, with white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and chopped pecans. I used her base recipe, took out the M&Ms and substituted with a cup of each chips and 3/4 cup of pecans.

The experiment was kind of a fail fail. The cookies were okay, but they weren't great or anything. They were a little dry and cakey. Plus the pecans were from my Costco spiced trail mix because I was too cheap to buy real nuts, so they made the cookies taste a little strange and peppery. I should have known not to trust a recipe with no salt and only one type of sugar.

It occurred to me last night that to 'chocolate' most recipes just involves substituting half a cup of flour for cocoa powder. Duh! Back to the Tollhouse recipe. Tried that, with 1 cup milk chips and 1 cup white chocolate. Success!

Here are the reviews:

"Oh my god, these are so good." - Shannon, the New Roommate.

"Your best yet!" - Adam, from Work

"These are by far my favorite." - Adam, from Work.

"These are really good." - Adam, from Work.

"Ngyrumsfds *mouthfull of cookie*, thanks." - James, from Work.

As you can see, Adam was a big fan. So yea, y'all should try that out, if you get all sweet toothy. They are really easy to make, especially with a KitchenAid. Heh. Product Placement. But not really, because they didn't pay me, I just want to show off that I have one.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


When did you get so adorable, Hermione?

From the Vs shoot, pic stolen from here.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Is smashing a spider with your 'Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media'.

Fist Weekly Family Dinner - Vegan Paella

Everyday at the co-op, 2 people are in charge of making vegan dinz for the whole house. When I first heard that, I was green with envy, looking at all these fun vegan recipes on tastespotting and stuff. Then I remembered: I have my own house of people to feed.

Thus began the new (actually, renewed) tradition of Sunday night dinners. This week, we had

Veggie (for Rach, which in this case is also Vegan) Paella.

You might remember I was a little obsessed with making the perfect paella after my Spanish Summer. I haven't revisited it in a while, but this time was by far the best.


(feeds 4-6, depending on how fat you are)

1 brown onion, diced
3 tomatoes, diced and deseeded
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red/yellow/orange bell pepper
6 stalks of asparagus, sliced
1 cup of peas (I used frozen)
1 cup of artichoke hearts
2 1/2 cups of medium grain rice
1 cup of white wine
5 cups of vegetable stock
2 tbsps of olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp saffron, crushed
salt & pepper, to season

Heat olive oil on med heat (I added a pinch of chili flakes for an extra kick). Sautee onions and garlic until the onions are transluscent, then add the tomatoes, and sautee together. Add paprika, and seasoning. Add bell peppers, more sauteeing. Add rice, artichokes, asparagus and peas, and stir them all together so the rice is evenly coated, then add wine, stir until it cooks off a bit. Season again. Add vegetable stock, then cover and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer for another 10 minutes so that the stock boils down.

Try a spoon of rice from the side to make sure it's cooked. If it is and the stock hasn't evaporated enough, try scraping the sides in to let the liquid run through the rice a bit more. Turn up the heat for the last minute to slightly burn the bottom of the rice. (Like bibimbop, the burnt rice is considered a delicacy. I failed at this part because I walked away to watch the end of the superbowl and the bottom ended up very black. But the rest of it was good!)


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