August 13, 2007

happy birthday e.g.

I made these cupcakes for my brother-in-law’s birthday (yes, he deserved the effort)

they are:

-vanilla cupcakes

-blueberry filling (i made with lemon juice, sugar & vanilla extract)

-lemon cream cheese frosting (added lemon oil & grated lemon peel to the frosting)

-topped with coconut flakes (not the original intention)

They tasted good, but I was having a *moment* in the kitchen. Too many air bubbles in the frosting made it spit out it weird motions. Little holes & pockets were on top of the less-than-perfect swirls. I picked the frosting off and re-did EVERY SINGLE ONE. It still happened in round two. Mix that with a time constraint & a list of errands to do before going over to their house!! YIKES!!!!! The perfectionist in me (only when it comes to cupcakes) FREAKED OUT. What am I gonna do???!!!! So I just piled the tops in coconut flakes. Disaster diverted. All is right in my household & we can now carry on all of our errands.

Although….. I think they prolly would have tasted better without the coconut. This was my first attempt at filling a cupcake. Things could have been a lot worse. Thank god I moved to the suburbs and started cooking & baking more. The Tracy from last year would have had no idea how to fix the situation (other than breaking down and buying *yikes* PRE-MADE desserts).

August 9, 2007

Southern Green Beans

Southern Green Beans:

– 1lb. small fresh green beans
-3/4 teaspoon of salt, divided
-1/2 stick of butter
-3 large handfuls of chopped pecans
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
-2 tablespoons of sugar

Cook green beans with 1/4 teaspoon of salt in boiling water for about 8 minutes. Drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet; add pecans, and saute until butter is lightly browned. Add sugar, turn up heat and make those pecans all carmelized & crunchy. Try not to burn! Remove nuts, add green beans to the pan so you can coat them in that buttery juice-add rest of salt & pepper. Put the beans on a plate, top with pecans. Dig in!

-This recipe came to me in my Farm Fresh to You shipment last week. I didn’t follow it exactly (when do i ever follow a recipe exactly?) But this version is what produced the lovely beans you see up above. Their recipe didn’t have you carmelize the nuts… I figured I might as well! And i liked the result! I think next time I’ll make extra pecans & put them on top of ice cream. delish. The dish will definitely be in the rotation.

August 6, 2007

wanted: perfect bag

I’m always on the hunt for the perfect bag. I’ve always loved the prints of Orla Kiely. I took this picture on the streets of New York once… but i have yet to find the corresponding bag. Can you imagine this print as a purse with green straps? I can….

I was looking at bunch Orla Kiely bags in person, but was disappointed that the openings did not expand enough šŸ™


i love this bag (i even have the same one in a different bird print). BUT it’s SOOO deep that it eats the contents and I can’t find anything. I’ve probably spent more than a half hour of my life looking for my keys in bags like these:

This bag is wonderful (such a delightful bargain from Target!). My only gripe is that dark denim rubs off onto this purse—making it look soooo dirrrrrrty. I’ve hand washed it twice. Not only did it fade this nice print, but the denim stain did not clear up. I don’t normally go for bags with short straps like these, but I fell in love with it and got used to it:

This is the bag I had in December. This is the contents. I love this bag. However, if I do not stuff it to the brim, the bag does not stand up on it’s own. It’s floppy and lacks structure. When I put it under my chair at a restaurant contents just spew out. Not good. This bag works well for gym use.

This is my current bag. I normally go for a lively colored bag because I wear black & white A LOT! I was shopping with a friend and found this at Crossroads in SF. It fufills my requirements…I feel so organized using it. I know where everything is!!! But a few days ago I looked down and the strap was about to break. grrrrr. Too good to be true! In the meantime, I just tied it into a knot and it still works….

Perhaps one day I could post all my purses…..but I’m not sure there’s enough space. I’m also afraid that my husband will find out and commit me.

To be my perfect purse you must:

-have a nice color/pattern (something totally funky/unique/bold)

-have lots of pockets inside & out (a huge plus if I find a pocket in you I didn’t know you had!)

-have an equally cute interior (this is a MUST, no EXCEPTIONS-although I’ve been known to let a few slip)

-have a space for my cellphone (although I will never use the right pocket)

-have comfortable handles/straps (as I will fill you to no end and I need something to support the weight)

-have some type of closure–be it zipper, snap, button,etc. (i feel insecure just letting your insides exposed to everyone)

-be able to hold my camera & a sweater (if not, what’s the point?)

-be OK with the fact that you could be replaced by a better, wonderful, perfect bag

Please only apply if you can meet the above criteria! I will not be suckered into buying you (well, who knows?). Life is just too short to carry around a crappy/less-than bag!

August 6, 2007

cookbook heaven


Donna Hay Cookbooks:

Off the Shelf: Cooking From the Pantry

The Instant Cook

Instant Entertaining

Other Cookbooks that I stare at at the library:

Jamie’s Italy

The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

Everyday Food: Great Food Fast

(i already subscribe to the magazine…but somehow I think I NEED this)

I always dream about subscribing to this magazine (i’m always looking for them in the bookstore…)

July 23, 2007

i am an errand machine

this weekend was busy! Lots of stuff to do…and I randomly got a case of the lazies and spent a few hours doing ABSOLUTELY nothing (well, laying on my bed staring at my backyard is SOMETHING- I suppose).

the productive activities included:

-trip to Daiso (found EXCELLENT hair thinner comb) Here’s part of my loot:

-spent the early part of saturday on a caffiene high- i drank an iced coffee after downing this one:

-container store trip (containers for craft room/travel) I made it out of there in record time!

-trip to hillsdale mall to meet up with a friend (got a cellphone dangle from the Sanrio store)

-i finally found a pair of shoes @ DSW to match my dress-it only took 3 months!:

-had lunch at Falafel’s Drive-In (gyros salad=yum!)

-made my special popcorn & had neighbors over to watch Uncle Buck. (i love that movie!)


-setup my tripod and took a picture of our dining room in progress:

-went out to breakfast at Stacks & had a *somewhat* healthy meal:

-dreamt of getting a new camera for my birthday….

-grilled veggies, while Casey DESTROYED two wasps nests in our backyard

-started the whole laundry process….

-watched John from Cincinnati (what the heck is going on with that show???!!!)

-the end.

July 23, 2007

pet peeve # 4520

there is nothing worse (to me anyway) than listening to someone clip their nails in public. gross.

July 20, 2007

indian food & san francisco

the week started off with a bang! I was given these wonderful See’s Candies- Apricot Delights from our neighbor. *thank you!* They were sweet, tart, soft & chewy. I’ll have to get some next time I cave and find myself in a See’s Candies shop.

then on wednesday day i hung out with a good friend. we had some Indian Food @ Naan N’ Curry in San Francisco. It’s the best Indian food ever. I’ve yet to find a place in the pennisula that is as good-but we’re always trying….

my favorites at naan n’ curry:

-chicken tikka masala
-palak paneer
-benghan bharta
-potato naan
-aloo ghobi

The Indian food coma set in- I walked around and saw some cool things:


market stand