Saturday, October 29, 2011

Maple Walnut Pumpkin Pie

As soon as Autumn comes around and canned pumpkin hits the shelves I start stocking up. You can't find it any other time of year. So the first shopping trip I saw pumpkin on the shelf I bought a few cans. Tonight I made a variation of traditional pumpkin pie. 

Instead of simple evaporated milk I used sweetened condensed milk. 
Instead of a traditional crust I used graham cracker crusts. 
And to top it off a brown sugar walnut crumble top. 


*               *               *


1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Walnut Topping:
1 (9 inch) Graham cracker pie crust or unbaked pie shell
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, cinnamon, maple flavoring, ginger, nutmeg and salt; mix well. Pour into pie shell.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F; continue baking 30 minutes.
In medium mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in nuts.

Remove pie from oven; top evenly with crumb mixture. Return to oven 10 minutes. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store covered in refrigerator.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Win a Cookbook!!

Alright there Food Fans! We're having a "Favorite Food Foto" contest on the facebook group "Leave me alone, I'm eating"

So here it is!!

All you have to do to win is:

1) Post a photograph of food to the wall of this event (click here to go to event wall). The photograph must be one you took but the food does not have to be home cooked.

2) Have friends and family "Like" the photo...strangers can like the photo too of course. :)

The person(s) with the MOST likes in exactly 1 week (ending November 1st)  will get a FREE copy of Pampered Chef's Season's Best (featuring chocolate)!! Thanks to Jason, our very own Papered Chef host!

So on your mark..... Get set.... Start Cooking and Photographing!!

*one photo per person

Born this Way

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Red Flag

**WARNING!! This blog contains
some language
(quotes from others) that may offend.
Proceed with caution**

Okay. So if you haven't been following (or you are a new reader) the saga of my life life you may want to read this blog, and this one...and then finally this one. (Oh and if you want a quick, humorous wrap up of my dating experiences check this entry out)

Now somehow, and perhaps its because I've felt like my head has been in a whirlwind the past month or so, I have failed to mention that a week after Mr. HK (who is now back in the USA and I supposed should now be called either Mr. SF....or as one of my bff's calls him "The Creature") contacted me guess who should reappear on my computer screen? 

Mr. CT of course.

Sent me an email saying his computer crashed, lost all his emails, and that's why he hasn't emailed/IMd me lately. Now, I'll give him that, I'll trust that this is why the emails stopped. However, I am keeping in the back of my mind the fact that a broken computer does not also mean a broken phone (when questioned about not calling there has yet to be an answer). Also, when I mentioned to Mr. CT that I felt like "runner up" - because I saw he had restarted up his online dating profile - his response was "well it DIDN'T work out with anyone else."

.... he just didn't get it. 

At this point, I'd been honest with "The Ex" about the fact I had been 'seeing' others while we were broken up and equally I wanted to be honest with Mr. CT. about the fact that "The Ex" and I were talking and exploring the possibility of mending fences. 

His response: "The China Guy!?"

Now, from there I explained that he was no longer living in Hong Kong and that "The Ex" was only 1/2 Chinese (when I first started talking with Mr. CT he was perplexed on me having been in a LDR with someone in China). Something about "the China guy" just didn't sit well with me. My bff in Seattle tried to convince me I was just over reacting. That because "The Ex" was now back I was trying to convince myself that there was something racist wrong with Mr. CT. 

So we (Mr. CT and I) continued to talk and be friends. Then earlier last week Mr CT and I were chatting. He asked "So how is the China Guy" So as a response I told him I didn't think he really wanted to know how he was doing and if he had another question he just needed to ask. (My thoughts were that he was hoping "The Ex" and I weren't doing well and the gates had reopened for him). After a few moments of silence Mr. CT has a moment of verbal diarrhea asking if I've ever met "the China man" face to face and how do I know he's not a "Negro"



Overwhelmed and shocked I ended our conversation (thankfully it was 5 o'clock and ending the conversation was fairly easy enough). I quickly sent my Seattle BFF a text message telling her what just happened and asking if I could start jumping to conclusions and see this as a "red flag"!! (of course she said 'yes')

Later on Mr. CT found me again online and apologized saying he didn't mean to offend me, he was just curious if I knew "The Ex" wasn't "white, black or whatever".....I replied that I wasn't offended by the intent of the question just his use of the term "Negro"... no response.Since then I have received a few (offline) messages telling me 'good morning' and 'evening'. 

At this point I don't see him talking his way out of this one. 
I don't see me believing anything he might say trying to. 

At this point I'm not sure if I need to tell him to just piss off point blank or to simply let this whole thing fade away into the cyber-sunset. Either way, Mr. CT's time is quickly running out. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011


So hopefully you are all familiar with The Bloggess? I have a huge blog-crush going on with her...hopefully if the obsession goes too far someone will stop me before she turns on me like Shatner turned on her.

Anyway, The Bloggess not only maintains her own (hilarious) blog but she also writes for Sexis and last week she wrote an article called A Boob By Any Other Name and I had to share it with my readers.

Now in the article she explains these are names that Twitter's hashtag #NicknamesForBreasts show. Some of my favorite are:

The old stand-bys:
The girls (My usual go-to name)

Fun to say*:
Chee Chees (that's what my family has always called boobs when you're a little girl)**

Weirdly poetic:
Devil’s Dumplings

Dirty pillows (A friend also used to refer to them as "Naughty Pillows")

Kind of brilliant:
The Golden Girl***
Bert and Ernie
Frick and Frack
Thelma and Louise (because those girls are always in trouble)

*I also heard a joke (or maybe read it somewhere on FB?) that was "I have bigger balls than any man I know. They're so big God had to put them on my chest to prevent chaffing" (<--one of the nicknames from twitter was calling breasts "testicles" and The Bloggess had a question mark next to it).

**In my family we also refer to them as "ma-guppies" (a reference to a M*A*S*H episode where a Korean refugee child keeps calling Klinger "Mamasan").

***I totally love the idea of calling boobs "The Golden Girls" until you then start thinking of them as old, wrinkly and saggy. But hell if they're as sassy and raunchy as Betty White...I'm all in!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Beauty DIY

So I know I'm not a "theme day" type blogger.
Nor have I been a big "fashion" type blogger.


I came across two fun fashion/beauty ideas today I just had to share.

The first is homemade pore strips!!

Because I am the first to admit I am addicted. It sounds gross I know but there is just something so addicting about pulling off that strip and seeing the disgusting-ness I've cleaned out of my pours.I plan on going home later tonight and giving this a try.

I had a friend (the one who originally posted the idea) tell me when she tried it "didn't find it to be setting up... but tried to make it more paste like and added baking soda... then it got flaky... so [she] did [her] whole face like a mask (very cool and refreshing) and kinda worked like a scrub in the shower feelin' smooth and not dried out"

The second is nail print art.  

It totally looks fun and funky - but I have to say I'm a little worried about what it might do to my recent manicure. Maybe I'll try it out on my sister! Haha. 

I love this type of beauty DIY and will definitely let you know how both of these turn out.

Top 10 National Dishes -- National Geographic

The National Geographic posted an article today about the Top 10 National Dishes

Here's their list.

1. Hamburger, USA (yea, I can see this being our "national dish")
2. Ackee and Saltfish, Jamaica (never had it)
3. Coo-Coo and Flying Fish, Barbados (never had it)
4. Bulgogi, Korea (have had Korean but not Bulgogi)
5. Kibbeh, Lebanon/Syria (again, never had it)
6. Goulash, Hungary (I have had goulash just not in Hungary)
7. Wiener Schnitzel, Austria (no, but I want to try it)
8. Pot-au-Feu, France (nope)
9. Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, England (Roast Beef - yes. Yorkshire pudding - no)
10. Irish Stew, Ireland (nope)

Man, I think I need to get sampling some national dishes don't you think?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Re"Mastering the Art of French Cooking"

While I'm totally excited that Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" will be one of the pieces ushering cookbooks into the digital world...but I can't help but still be a sucker for a food-splattered-dog-eared-hard-copy cookbook.

*                *                  *

By Julie Bosman

Clumsily splattering a cookbook with bacon grease is one thing. Doing it to an iPad is quite another.

That may explain why cookbooks have been late bloomers in the e-book revolution, lagging behind other categories, like fiction, that have been widely embraced in digital form.

Yet cookbooks have recently begun to show signs of strength in the digital book market, bolstered by publishers who are releasing e-book editions of new titles simultaneously with the print versions and converting older, classic cookbooks into digital form.

On Wednesday Alfred A. Knopf will release the e-book edition of one of the most famous cookbooks: “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” by Julia Child, immortalized in the best seller “Julie & Julia” and its film counterpart, starring Meryl Streep.

The introduction of “Mastering” to the e-book library is not just a testament to the book’s venerable status and enduring popularity, but also to the publishing industry’s willingness to embrace digital publishing with all its quirks, including, for cookbooks, shorthand measurements like “2 tbsp finely minced shallots,” which appear in smaller type.

While most novels and nonfiction books are easily converted into black-and-white e-books, which can be read on anything from an iPhone to a Nook to a Kindle, cookbooks are not so straightforward.

“Cookbooks often have incredibly complex layouts,” said Jennifer Olsen, the manager of digital production for the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. “They are very tricky to produce as e-books.”

Knopf first tried to convert “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” which Ms. Child wrote with Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck and released in print 50 years ago, into an e-book more than a year ago. At the time the technology was not available to replicate Ms. Child’s distinctive two-column format, which allowed the reader to see the ingredients alongside the corresponding instructions in the recipe, step by step, rather than the more conventional format of listing ingredients at the beginning.

Judith Jones, the recently retired editor at Knopf who acquired “Mastering” in 1961, was one of the people who objected, arguing that the publisher should abandon the effort until an e-book could faithfully reproduce the original.

When Knopf tried again this summer, the production staff had the entire book retyped by hand, since no electronic file of the book existed. The illustrations throughout the cookbook — tiny sketches of sauté pans and freshly julienned carrots — were scanned at a high resolution so they could be transferred to the e-book. And the publisher managed to recreate the two-column format, just like the original version of “Mastering.”

Other features are purely digital: live links allow readers to jump to other sections in the book, as when Ms. Child suggests that cooks preparing Potage Velouté aux Champignons should also read the recipe for Fluted Mushroom Caps. And readers who are unsure what a roux is can click on the word and gain access to a pop-up dictionary entry. (It’s a mixture of butter and flour.)

When Ms. Jones saw the new e-book edition, she was persuaded that it should be released.

“I suddenly saw the difference,” she said. “You really could almost improve on how you read the book.”

Some elements of the 752-page print edition, which has sold 2.5 million copies, have been lost in the digital version. The delicate font used in the book, announcing recipes like Fricassée de Poulet à l’Ancienne and Moules au Beurre d’Escargot, could not be reproduced in the e-book version.

And the book is better experienced on tablets than on dedicated e-readers. While it is possible to read it on a black-and-white Kindle or Nook, many of the design elements cannot be viewed on those devices.

Still, eager food writers have hailed the release as “a milestone of sorts,” as the blogger Cookbook Man noted this week. “Since Julia was a pioneer in bringing cooking to TV, it’s only fitting that her 1961 classic helps usher in the digital age of cookbooks,” he wrote.

At $19.99, the e-book version of “Mastering” is only a few dollars cheaper than the hardcover edition available on Amazon for $22.74. (The list price of the hardcover is $40.)

Paul Bogaards, a spokesman for Knopf, said the price was in line with some e-book editions of other Knopf cookbooks, like “Sunday Suppers at Lucques,” by Suzanne Goin ($19.99), and “The Mozza Cookbook,” by Nancy Silverton ($18.99). Shorter cookbooks in e-format can sell for as little as $12.99.

As publishers have produced more e-book editions of cookbooks and dozens of cookbook apps, the overall category has shown gains in e-book sales, according to industry data. Kelly Gallagher, the vice president for publishing services for Bowker, a research organization for the publishing industry, said that while cookbooks were still behind other categories, like romance and mystery, they had been bought in larger numbers throughout this year.

In the first quarter of 2011, about 6 percent of total cookbook sales were in digital format, Mr. Gallagher said. By the end of the second quarter, that number had jumped to 8.5 percent.

The number of published cookbooks, both print and electronic, have increased to 3,300 in 2010 from 2,643 in 2009, according to data from Bowker. Even higher sales of e-cookbooks are expected in the coming months, thanks to the proliferation of color tablets, most recently with the introduction last week of the Kindle Fire by Amazon.

Sarah Rotman Epps, a senior analyst for Forrester Research, said that Apple sold 28.7 million iPads worldwide through the quarter ending in July. She now estimates that the company has sold at least 33 million of the devices.

Edward Ash-Milby, the cookbook buyer for Barnes & Noble, said that the cookbooks that had seen strong sales in e-book have tended to be those with a more narrative structure.

But print sales are still strong, he added. “Cookbooks are a very strong category in our stores,” Mr. Ash-Milby said. “They’ve got a great future in print.”

Taking a Cue from Bridget Jones

"Will find nice, sensible boyfriend to go out with and not continue to form romantic attachments to any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuckwits or perverts... "

Mermaid or Whale?

French model Tara Lynn
A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

"Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.

They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. 

They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.

They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?

They would have no sex life and could not bear children.
Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.
And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I'd rather be a whale

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn't enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.

We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.

Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: "How amazing am I ?! "