Friday, October 30, 2009

Stride Gum

Stride Gum.

Today I went shopping with my friend and I saw the cutest pair of boots, but I didn't buy it. Why? I don't have a job and I thought it was ridiculous to spend money on something I didn't need. Besides, my friend convinced me that it's only the beginning of winter so there are bound to be more boots coming out. Hopefully by then, I'll have a job.

Well, as soon as I got home, I sat in front of my computer looking for boots. I know...even though I said I wouldn't buy them, I still wanted to oogle at them. So sue me. I'm sitting at the computer feeling all mopey when suddenly the door bell rings. My dad goes to answer it and he comes back in with a package. He looks at me and says, "It's for you." I gave him my "huh?" look and asks, "Are you sure?" "Yes," and tosses me the box.

I'm questioning myself at my desk. "No, I don't remember ordering anything online. Wait, are you positive? Maybe you ordered something awhile back and you forgot...It can't be. I would know if I ordered something." I finally get the tape off the box and open it.

The Box of Doom.

I see nothing. Only a huge piece of crinkled paper. I yank the paper out and I see it.

Paper in my way.

I'm thinking, "holy shit, holy shit, oh my gosh, it's here!" It's a HUGE 12 pack of stride everlasting mint (aka nonstop mint) gum.


I gotta admit, I love presents on ordinary days. The big question: Exactly, how did I get the package? It all started...

A few weeks prior to June 6, 2009, I had submitted suggestions to Stride to rename their new gum flavor: nonstop mint. Before they could pick winners, there was a glitch in the system. On June 6, 2009, they decided to give all participants that had the same name as the winning names a 12-pack box of gum. In the email, they told me it would arrive to my house in 6-8 weeks. I never received a package so I assumed the deal was off.

4 months later, I received the prize and it was such a lovely surprise. Despite not getting my boots, it was an awesome day.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Simple Garlic Beet Salad

Beets on a bed of lettuce with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.

About a year ago when I was still in college, I saw fresh beets and decided that it was time to try cooking them. The cooking process was relatively easy. How easy? So easy that you just need to boil it for 45 minutes. Of course, you can bake beets too. My problem was that I didn't know how to flavor the beets. After some research on the internet, I decided on a garlic and olive oil dressing.

I found out the hard way that there's a side effect to eating too many beets. The next morning when I went to the bathroom, I peed a deep, dark shade of red. I went into panic mood thinking that I had internal bleeding. After hyperventilating for a moment, I realized that the red urine came from the beets. The red urine lasted for about 2 days.

Lesson of the day: Don't eat 3 whole beets by yourself or else you risk having red urine.

A few weeks ago, my mom came home with beets and asked me to make her some. I ate some, but in moderation.

Sliced beets.

Simple Beet Salad
Servings: Enough for a family of 5 as an appetizer

  • 4 beets (2.5 - 3 inch)
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1.5 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2.5 teaspoons of salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons of pepper
Note: My measurements are a guideline. Feel free to adjust to your taste.

  1. Wash beets and leave about 2 inches of stalk. Boil for about 45 minutes or until you can easily pierce a knife through the beets.
  2. Let the beets cool down. In the mean time, mince garlic.
  3. Cut the beets into strips. Lastly, mix the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and beets together.
  4. Let it chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How to Peel Garlic

Crushed Garlic.

You can easily peel a garlic's outer layer of skin by crushing it with a knife. Ta-da!

*I know, lame post....*

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Super Easy Unsweetened Applesauce

Applesauce with granola.

I remember when I was in elementary school, my mother would pack me Mott's Applesauce. On the days that I found it in my brown bag, I was on cloud 9. You have to understand, my usual lunch was plain and monotonous. Let me give you an example: wheat bread with a thin layer of mayonnaise and 1 slice of ham, and a banana. Tell me that's not torturous for a kid? That was my lunch everyday for 9 years of my life A.K.A. from kindergarten to 8th grade. In short, applesauce was a godsend even though it's baby food.

Compare the two.

I was inspired to make applesauce when I saw Every Food Fits' recipe. I didn't realize applesauce was so simple to make so I had to try it. I have attempted applesauce several times and it's been great. First time around, the applesauce was too chunky, because I didn't boil it long enough. By the fifth time, I have perfected a smooth textured applesauce.

Adapted from Every Food Fits

Serving size: half of the apples (Example: If you used 1 cup of apples, you'll get approximately 1/2 cup applesauce)

  • Apples (I used fuji.)
  • Water (I used a little less than 1/4 cup for 2 large apples and 2 small ones)
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  1. Peel the skins off the apples and cut the apples into small cubes.
  2. Put the apples into a pot, add water, and boil for 20-25 minutes on medium heat. You might have to boil it longer if the apples are still too firm.
  3. Mash the apples with a potato masher.
  4. Mix in cinnamon and serve either warm or at room temperature.

Note: The firmer the apples, the more texture the applesauce will have. The softer the apples, the smoother the applesauce.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Coffee "Cakey-Bread"

A crispy exterior with a moist interior.

I was inspired by The Pioneer Woman to bake this coffee cake. I followed her recipe exactly. With the cake baking in the oven, the coffee aroma wafted through the kitchen. I was salivating until the kitchen started to small like burnt coffee. It didn't make sense, because the cake had only been in the oven for 10 minutes. I stared at the oven for a moment, then I found the culprit! My mini-toaster oven was set on the toast setting instead of the bake setting. (Just to clarify, toast means the hot rods on the top of the oven heats up, and bake means the heat comes from the bottom).

As a result of setting the oven on toast, the coffee granules had started to burn. A crust had also developed. I quickly set the oven to bake in hopes of saving the burning cake. I went as far as putting foil on top of the cake, but I don't think that helped too much.

When the cake finished baking, a nice bread crust had developed on top of my soft moist cake. My heart dropped when I saw my sad creation. No words can describe this "cake." My dad had different ideas about my "cake." He took a bite, "Wow! This is good! I love the crust!" My mouth dropped in horror, "Cakes aren't suppose to have crusts," I uttered out.

Dad: No, no, no...this is perfect. Make this again with the crust.
Me: But...but that's not what a cake is. I made a mistake.
Dad: It's not a mistake. It's called inventing something new and you should try selling this. I'm serious. Call it Cakey-Bread. *grins*

My left eye twitched and I gave him a blank stare. Thought about it for a moment and I have to admit, my dad is right. What I created wasn't a failure. It's called creative liberty aka experimenting. In my case, I created something different from what I expected. Because of my "mistake," I baked a "Cakey-Bread" that tasted really good. Nothing can beat the texture of a crispy exterior with a soft and moist interior. A cake deserves a crust and I'm going to make that next time.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table

I recently borrowed A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg (aka Orangette) from the library. It was a wonderful read that kept me company for a couple of days.

The book is filled with recipes and stories about how food shaped her life. I remember laughing, crying, and smiling as I read the book. The recipes are easy to follow.

Before I read the book, I didn't think the book was worth purchasing, which is why I borrowed it. But now, I want a copy of my own.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tomato Corn Soup "wannabe"

Mmm...Warm Soup with Croutons.

This soup is deceptively easy. It appears to have fresh tomatoes, but it doesn't. Great ready for the ingredients: last night's chicken, canned corn, V8 juice, no sodium salsa from Trader Joe's, and week old bread. Now that I have listed the ingredients, it sounds pretty disgusting. I apologize dear readers for disclosing this secret. Please forgive me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bouchon, Las Vegas

Recently, I visited Vegas with the B/F and his friends. One of his friends picked all the places for our meals. His choices were awful. The restaurants were overpriced, had overcooked and overly seasoned dishes, and a whole slew of other horrible things that I can complain about, but I won't. Finally, on the last day that we would be in Vegas, we found Bouchon.

The sourdough waffles were to die for.

My BF enjoyed the Croque Madame.

A melon salad that was infused in some sort of herb.

Some real awesome cherry spread for the bread.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Little Skillet and Kingdom Cake

Who doesn't love a cheap place to grab lunch? Little Skillet opened awhile back and it caters to the lunch crowd so it closes by 3:30 PM. It's a small menu but the food is delicious and cheap. What more can a girl ask for?

Entrance and Order Window.

My favorite: Salads with fruits! It was a mixed greens salad with nectarines, blue cheese, and citrus dressing.

Chicken and Waffles with Syrup. The perfect combo.

The chicken and waffles were absolutely delicious. Chicken was hot, crispy, and not overly seasoned. The meat was moist and tender. The best part: it wasn't greasy at all! The waffles were toasty too! Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Lunch was awesome, but dessert was lacking. I recently heard about this cupcake stall that was at the farmer's market. Since the BF and I were near the market, we decided to drop by. We picked 2 mini-cupcakes: red velvet and chocolate. They look cute, huh? However, the taste did not live up to their appearance. Frosting was overly sweet and the cake was too sweet and crumbly.

Looks can be deceiving.


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