Friday, August 15, 2008

as tradition dictates...

...i always try to give a list of things i'd appreciate getting on my birthday (which will be here before i know it!)

deviation from the list is always fine of course, but for those who want a hint or three, i'm willing to oblige. here we go.

Books, Nonfiction:
- Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, by Jung Chang
- 100 Places Every Woman Should Go, by Stephanie Elizondo Griest
- A Walk Across America, by Peter Jenkins
- Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi
- Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt
- Walden Two, by B.F. Skinner
- Suburban Transformations, by Paul Lukez
- The Little Black Book of Style, by Nina Garcia

Books, Fiction:
- A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini
- comics comics comics - any daredevil written by Bendis except Underboss, volume 8, 9 or 10 of the sandman, any of buffy season 8, etc etc
- any Kurt Vonnegut except slaughterhouse, cats cradle, timequake, and welcome to the monkey house, jailbird

- Vegetable Harvest: Vegetables at the Center of the Plate, by Patricia Wells
- Canyon Ranch Cooks: More than 200 Delicious, Innovative Recipes from America's Leading Health Resort

- Animated movies: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Monsters Inc, Cars, The Prince of Egypt, Peter Pan, 101 Dalmations, The Sword in the Stone, Robin Hood, Fantasia, Little Mermaid, Lady and the Tramp, Ratotouille
- Buffy seasons 5 or 7
- Older favorites: The Breakfast Club, Breaking Away, Chicago, Ivanhoe (the Liz Taylor version), Mary Poppins, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Nine to Five, Pollyanna, The Secret of My Success, Sneakers
- Ballet DVDS: Romeo & Juliet (Nureyev/Fonteyn), Carmen (Baryshnikov/Jeanmarie), Don Quixote (Baryshnikov/Harvey)


- Villa-Lobos: Instrumental Et Orchestral Works, by Heitor Villa-Lobos
- Lost Highway Soundtrack
- Modern Guilt: Beck

Board/Card Games, Woo!:
- Settlers of Catan, Citadels, Puerto Rico, Scattergories, Apples to Apples, Catch Phrase, Cranium, Munchkin, Wise and Otherwise, Fluxx, Risk, Clue, Othello, Mastermind, Uno

Video Games: (system in parentheses)
- (Wii) - Wii Fit
- (Wii) - Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- (Nintendo DS) - Cooking Mama
- (PC) - Zeus Expansion: Poseidon

Other non-categorized stuff:
- Any other picture frames of assorted sizes
- Note cards (I love the website "Red Stamp")
- Ticket stub diary (
- Cake carrier
- Cordless drill
- Kitchen shears

Some random FYIs:

I just moved. My new living room is deep red and purple. My new office/dining room is green and brown. I am not a big yellow fan.

Some of my favorite etsy sellers are: esdesigns, Ling Glass, FireChickTick, Hapa, LiiLii, Nanda, LuxeDeluxe, stelladesigns, Tee Petals, and Claudine's Closet.

I don't need any more candles. Pretty much ever.

I would rather people not buy me clothes at the moment because I plan to be changing clothing sizes soon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One of the greats...

As breakup songs go I think Lily Allen's "Littlest Things" is a serious contender. A good listen even if you're not feelin' the breakup aspect of it.

"Littlest Things"

Sometimes I find myself sittin' back and reminiscing
Especially when I have to watch other people kissin'
And I remember when you started callin' me your mrs.
All the play fightin', all the flirtatious disses
I'd tell you sad stories about my childhood
I don't why I trusted you but I knew that I could
We'd spend the whole weekend lying in our own dirt
I was just so happy in your boxers and your t-shirt

Dreams, Dreams
Of when we had just started things
Dreams of you and me
It seems, It seems
That I can't shake those memories
I wonder if you have the same dreams too.

The littlest things that take me there
I know it sounds lame but its so true
I know its not right, but it seems unfair
That the things are reminding me of you
Sometimes I wish we could just pretend
Even if only for one weekend
So come on, Tell me
Is this the end?

Drinkin' tea in bed
Watching DVD's
When I discovered all your dirty grotty magazines
You take me out shopping and all we'd buy is trainers
As if we ever needed anything to entertain us
the first time that you introduced me to your friends
and you could tell I was nervous, so you held my hand
when I was feeling down, you made that face you do
There's no one in the world who could replace you

Dreams, Dreams
Of when we had just started things
Dreams of me and you
It seems, It seems
That I can't shake those memories
I wonder if you feel the same way too

The littlest things that take me there
I know it sounds lame but its so true
I know its not right, but it seems unfair
That the things reminding me of you
Sometimes I wish we could just pretend
Even if only for one weekend
So come on, Tell me
Is this the end?

Friday, June 6, 2008

some good lolz

more cat pictures

more cat pictures

more cat pictures

Thursday, June 5, 2008

where's my arm?

i still miss you, stack. i try not to, but i do.

losing a best friend is kind of like losing an arm...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

I probably won't be doing updates to this blog for a bit, as I am super busy with a new project. I am participating in a craftster swap, called the "Little Visitor Swap." The basic gist of it is that you trade stuffed animals with someone for 2 months, take their stuffed animal to see a bunch of neat places where you live and take pictures and stuff, and then at the end of the visit send them home with some souvenirs and a scrapbook of their adventure. I am also, however, keeping a blog for my LV. So run on over here and check it out!

Two MORE New Recipes - Both WWerized

Lemon Chive Sole with Baked Squash

Points: 4
Serves: 4


* 2 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
* 1 sprays olive oil cooking spray
* 1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste
* 1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
* 1 1/4 pound sole, four 5 oz fillets
* 1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth
* 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
* 1 Tbsp honey mustard
* 2 tsp cornstarch
* 1/2 tsp lemon zest
* 1 Tbsp chives, fresh, minced
* 4 cup sugar snap peas, steamed


* Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

* Place squash rounds on middle of baking sheet; coat with cooking spray and season to taste with salt and pepper.

* Season both sides of sole fillets with salt and pepper; place sole on top of squash. Bake until fish is fork-tender, about 15 minutes.

* Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together broth, lemon juice, mustard, cornstarch and lemon zest. Set pan over medium heat and simmer until sauce thickens, stirring frequently with a wire whisk, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chives.

* Transfer squash, sole and snap peas to individual plates and spoon lemon sauce over top of fish. Yields about 1 fillet, 1 cup of snap peas, 1/3 cup of squash and 2 tablespoons of sauce per serving.

Cranberry Pear Chicken

This is one of my ABSOLUTE favorites already, and I've only made it twice! But it's so good!!!!

Points: 4
Serves: 4


- 1.5 tbsps flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 2 tsps canola oil
- 1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, and chopped (I used anjou)
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 3/4 cup pear nectar (available in the supermarket - who knew?)
- 1/4 c. dried cranberries
- 2 tsps coarse grain mustard


1. Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a sheet of wax paper. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

2. Heat 1 1/2 tsps of the oil in a large skillet over med. high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

3. Add the remaining 1/2 tsp oil to the same skillet, then add the pear and scallions. Cook over medium high heat, stirring often, until the pear is golden, about 3-4 minutes. Add the pear nectar and cranberries. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce bubbles and thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the mustard, return the chicken to the skillet, and heat through, about 1 minute.

I served it with a side of steamed asparagus, lightly salted but otherwise plain. Yum yum yum!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


I have loved Jorge Luis Borges since I first set eyes upon his work in Spanish class my junior year of high school. I couldn't understand him nearly as well in those days, but I still loved his stories. I am currently rereading his collected short fictions in English, as translated by Andrew Huxley and published by Penguin. One of the things I love most about Borges is that he challenges me, but without making me feel stupid or ignorant, as so many writers tend to do. Whether or not it's intentional, writers are sometimes too intellectual for their own good and it creates an aversion in the reader. But not Borges. Rather, his stories are so compelling and the context so unique, I am eager to pull out my dictionary and look up both the meaning and the subtext of his words.

I shall give you a particularly awesome example from a story called "The Cruel Redeemer Lazarus Morell." The word is alluvium. (who's definition in this case is more complete than my usual standby cites the primary definition of alluvium in two parts: (1) a deposit of sand, mud, etc., formed by flowing water, and (2) the sedimentary matter deposited thus within recent times, esp. in the valleys of large rivers. However, in a subsequent definition, #5 of 6, it states "Sand, silt, clay, gravel, or other matter deposited by flowing water, as in a riverbed, floodplain, delta, or alluvial fan. Alluvium is generally considered a young deposit in terms of geologic time." The latter part of this will be praised for its relevance and cleverness in just a moment.

Now, in the case of "The Cruel Redeemer Lazarus Morell," Borges begins the story by introducing the peoples of the Mississippi River Delta during the height of slavery. Specifically with alluvium, describing the relationship of Christianity (which is crucial to Morell's character) and the slaves: "In the early nineteenth century (the period that interests us) the vast cotton plantations on the riverbanks were worked from sunup to sundown by Negro slaves...Onto an alluvium of beastlike hopefulness and African fear there had sifted the words of the Scripture; their faith, therefore, was Christian...The Mississippi served them as a magnificent image of the solid Jordan." I cannot stress enough how much I LOVE the use of the word alluvium here. It ties together everything that he is speaking to. Literally, the Mississippi Delta probably had its own alluvium, as alluvium often collects in a delta or floodplain. Metaphorically, the youngness of alluvium "in geological times" referring to the newness of Christianity to the slaves, and their own newness in America as a country. Then symbolically, almost as though in the way that alluvium is a natural substance, and force, that cannot be contained, so religion was forced (either culturally or literally) upon the slaves. And then of course I love it purely for it's rareness and unconventionality. The word is just so multi-faceted in its use, and it's amazing.

Borges, I love you!!!! :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Recipe and a Good Hair Day

I am having such a good hair day today! And those of you who know me well know that "good" and "my hair" almost never go in the same sentence! For pretty much my whole life. Maybe at some point in the future I'll post a hair retrospective. So anyway, I tried to take some pics in the bathroom mirror, and they came out ok, but I forgot I still had the outdoors white balance on, so they are REALLY yellow. Plus, while I may be having a good hair day, I am having a bad face week, and got a little overzealous with the poking, prodding, and popping yesterday. Dang. Anyway - pictures!



So now for the recipe!

Flounder Baked with Tomatoes

POINTS Value: 7
Servings: 2


* 8 oz cherry tomato(es)
* 1 small onion(s)
* 3 tsp olive oil
* 1 leaf bay leaf
* 1/8 tsp kosher salt
* 1/8 tsp black pepper
* 2 Tbsp Progresso Plain Breadcrumbs
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 2 fillet flounder fillet(s)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take out a casserole dish.

2. Combine the tomatoes, onion, 2 tsp oil, and the bay leaf (torn in half), salt and pepper, and toss. Distribute evenly along bottom of casserole pan.

3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes have started to collapse. Take the casserole out of the oven and turn on the broiler.

4. Combine breadcrumbs and cheese. Once the broiler is good and hot, lay the flounder on top of the tomatoes, strew with the cheese mixture, and drizzle with the remaining 1 tsp olive oil. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the crumbs are browned and the fish is bubbling a bit. Let sit for about 5 minutes for the fish to finish cooking before serving. Serve hot.



Thursday, March 13, 2008

Two New Recipes

I've been having a hard time on the program lately, and I decided that part of the problem was being in a rut with my food. I got comfortable with 10 or 15 recipes, knew how to shop to prepare those recipes, and ceased trying new ones. Then, being bored of eating the same food all the time, I strayed whenever out of the house. So I made a pact to try two new recipes per week for a month. Here's the product of that for this week. I had some coconut milk on hand, hence the eastern bent of these recipes:

Pumpkin Curry Chicken
Serves: 2
Points: 7

pumpkin curry chicken

1 tbsp red curry paste
2/3 c. canned pumpkin
1 tbsp fish sauce
8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 tsp unpacked brown sugar
6 leaves basil
1/2 c. coconut milk
2 tsp vegetable oil (I used Olive because it's healthier)
1/4 cup fat free chicken broth

1.) Boil coconut milk in a pan over medium heat until it starts to reduce.

2.) Separately, heat oil in a wok, add red curry paste, stir for 2-3 minutes until cooked. Add chicken, stir until meat is cooked.

3.) Add boiled coconut milk, chicken broth, and pumpkin. Simmer 2-4 minutes.

4.) Add fish sauce, sugar to taste. Add basil leaves. Simmer 1 more minute.

5.) Serve over steamed rice.

Vietnamese Curry Soup
Serves: 4
Points: 5


2 tsp olive oil
1 cup onions, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger root, chopped (I used powdered ginger, didn't have fresh on hand)
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp lemon zest
1 medium sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
8 medium cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
14 oz vegetable broth (I used chicken)
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp table salt
2 red potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
4 oz rotisserie chicken (pulled off one of those supermarket pre-made ones)
14 oz light coconut milk, canned
4 tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped

1.) Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in curry powder and lemon zest and cook 2 minutes, until curry is fragrant. Add pepper, carrots, and mushrooms and stir to combine. Add broth, water, bay leaves, and salt, and bring to a boil.

2.) Stir in potatoes and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Half way through the 10 minutes, add the chicken.

3.) Remove the bay leaves. Ladle soup into bowls and top each serving with 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro. Yields 1 1/2 cups per serving - generous!