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January 21, 2008

Fries, Juice, Sushi, Geeks, Freaks & Chocolate

the weekend started off with a BANG!

Drinks & fries with friends on Friday:

My new juicer was waiting for me the second I got home on friday night! Of course I tried it the second busted it free of the box! Nothing like making Apple, Carrot, Ginger & Celery Juice. *mmmmm*

I woke up the Saturday morning and made this lovely concoction of cucumbers, beets, carrots & celery:

this morning's juice

juicing the carrots first

bloody good

We went out to Sushi with a group of people for my friend Becky’s birthday on Saturday night. Happy B-day BDogg!

Sunday we went and saw Freaks & Geeks Speak! (in the city).

freaks & geeks! speak!

Good times…Good times…

And then on the way home we went to Bittersweet Chocolate Cafe on Fillmore. I crave their hot chocolate like you wouldn’t BELIEVE!

bittersweet, san francisco

Here’s Casey’s Spicy Hot Chocolate (nice and thick with such a good kick!)

casey drank a spicy hot chocolate

I got a Chai hot chocolate with a homemade marshmallow on top:

home-made marshallows

And then we walked around briefly because it was SOOO cold.

The sky was gorgeous last night:

thank you

the sky was beautiful today in SF

and then I saw Ryan’s name. Hope you are doing well Ryan.

hi ryan

And today, it’s Monday. I didn’t have to work today. So I’ve been running errands and catching up on all the stuff I have to do.

Happy Monday!

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January 18, 2008

Ina Garten’s Turkey Meatloaf

This Week’s Project Runway Dinner:

Turkey meatloaf, smashed fingerling potatoes & a green salad with balsamic dressing

turkey meatloaf, salad, smashed tators.

Turkey Meatloaf (adapted from a Barefoot Contessa recipe)

The recipe was for 8-10 people so I halved it accordingly for a 4 person dinner (with leftovers).

  • 2 1/2 lbs. ground turkey meat
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup of dry bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 3/4 cup ketchup

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium saute pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme until mixture is translucent (but not browned). This should take about 10-15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well with hands and shape the meat mixture into a rectangle on an ungreased sheet pan. Spread the ketchup evenly on top of the loaf. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F & the meatloaf is cooked through.

Ina recommends a pan of hot water to be under the loaf in the oven to prevent cracking. I took a walk on the wild side…and did not obey! There were no cracks in my loaf.

***We each had a thick slice…husband had two. There were about 5 pieces leftover. So this is an excellent dish to make on a Sunday/Monday night and eat for a few days as leftovers. ***

And for dessert…

cake!

Lemon Vanilla Cake with Blueberry Topping

-buy some of the Trader Joe’s vanilla cake mix. Follow the instructions on the bag and when you are mixing it all up add a heaping teaspoon of Lemon Extract in the mix. If you don’t have lemon extract but have a few lemons hanging around your house, finely grate some lemon peel in the batter.

After the cake has finished baking, pour a few cups of frozen blueberries in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes. The juices will start releasing from the blueberries. I added a tablespoon of Trader Joe’s ginger jelly spread and dumped that into the mix. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes and you will see that the berries have released most of their juice. I stirred for a bit and then added a few teaspoons of cornstarch to thicken up the sauce. The longer you keep it on the heat, the thicker your sauce becomes.
Let the cake cool for a bit and then load the blueberries on top.

I think it looks nice when there’s blueberry sauce dripping down the sides. Enticing? YES!

cake!

I topped them with Double Rainbow Vanilla Bean Ice Cream from TJs. It was delish!

blueberry vanilla lemon cake with vanilla bean gelato

And then when you have leftovers….pour yourself some coffee or tea the next morning and have yourself a slice. It will start your day off right!

breakfast

And then weep…because Kit is no longer on Project Runway…..sigh.

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January 17, 2008

Blueberry Scones

cutting in the butter

only had salted

i used frozen TJs blueberries

first time making scones

mmmmmm

goodmorning!

Blueberry Scones (recipe adapted from a Joy of Baking recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or regular if you feel the need)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter (cut into pieces) —I used salted cuz that’s all I had….
  • 1 cup blueberries (i used frozen ones from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. To prevent the bottom of the scones from over browning, place the prepared cookie sheet inside another cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Gently fold in the blueberries. In a small measuring cup combine the cream, beaten egg and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough or the scones will be tough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches round and about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into four pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream or milk. Top each scone with a heaping spoonful of cinnamon sugar for a nice crispy sugary crust.

Bake the scones until nicely browned, about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. These are best eaten the day they are made.

***These are great if you pop them open and spread butter on top. Extra points if you sprinkle more cinnamon sugar on the buttery parts. MMMM. ***

 

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January 15, 2008

Tuesdays work better for me

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am totally useless on Mondays.  I had every intention to post something yesterday but the lack of energy prevented me from doing so.  Why is it that I can’t sleep on Sunday nights? Is it the anticipation of a new week?  Is it because I over-do it with coffee on Sunday mornings?  I lay in bed imagining the list of things I have to do in my head.

So here’s the past few days….

I made a batch of whole-wheat blueberry scones (thanks to a flickr friend)

saturday breakfast

I had an affair with my french press maker- the husband was in on it too

i love you french press.  im a slave for you.

I got to see some baby bunnies

i want to squeeze you

and a few little chicks….

let's talk about chicks, man

I walked around Half Moon Bay with my sister-in-law & her friend

half moon bay

I read a little bit of the book Eat, Pray Love (need to finish it!!)

i read when i can

I got to see a teeny flower weather the cold yet sunny Sunday afternoon

won't you come home with me?

I ate a grilled eggplant sandwich that would have been wonderful if it wasn’t for MAYO

this sandwich was ruined with mayo

I went through 30+ magazines over the weekend and condensed all the good stuff into a binder…

organizing.....

And now it’s Tuesday and I’ve spent the past two hours researching juicers.

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January 10, 2008

Trader Joe’s Brownies

breakfast

I’m pleased to announce that Trader Joe’s Truffle Brownie Mix is kickass. There’s bits of chocolate chips in every bite!

I made a batch last night for our weekly Project Runway girls night and  they were a hit!  I ate two brownies before I even left my house.  *slaps wrist*  That’s why I brought a *plate* of them to my friend’s house…. No evidence of the ugly gouged corners.

Just follow the instructions (add 2 eggs and a stick of butter).  And then be a rebel like me and add an Andre-the-Giant sized handful of chopped pecans/walnuts/what-have you.   Do it. Do it.

And then save yourself a little corner piece to have with your morning coffee….because it was such a wonderful way to start a gloomy rainy today.  Imagine living in a world where brownies for breakfast was the norm…

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January 10, 2008

dear white, tacky- yet tasteful christmas tree-

i miss you.  you made my living room so cheerful and happy the past month or so.  now i am left with an empty space that is having an identity crisis.   if only it was OK to have christmas trees in january, february, march and april……

missing you….can’t wait to see you next year. will you be decorated in blues again?

xoxoxo

tracy

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January 7, 2008

note to self:

next year for the holidays, make it easy and plan a vacation soon after.

Someone remind me that next December- OK?

I had a case of the sniffles & a mild sore throat during Christmas time.  I did a REALLY good job of ignoring it.  I wouldn’t allow myself to be sick because I had so much to do.  So it wasn’t until the hangover of New Year’s day that my cold took the better of me.

I worked from home on Friday, which was wonderful because I could watch the storm outside and snuggle in my jammies while I crunched numbers. I also blasted the soundtrack to Juno which made it a better day. That night, we drove into the city and spent the evening with my parents eating at Jardiniere in SF.  The meal was fantastic.  So many wonderful flavors…great cheese and wine.  Happy Birthday Mom!

So I woke up Saturday hungover…and sicker.  I should have known better.  You should never drink when you aren’t feeling well to begin with.

Someone else please remind of that too.  Thanks.

So Saturday I slept…watched tv…stayed home most of the day.  But then I was starting to feel like a shut-in—So I invited my neighbor over for a quickie/impromptu late afternoon lunch:

cowgirl creamery pierce point

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