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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ah Amaretto!

We have a LOT of Amaretto in the house.

And  by a LOT I mean two bottles, both gifted to us by dinner/cocktail party guests (well, the same guest but at two separate events...probably a year + apart).

The problem is, both Ed and I have no idea to do with the stuff.  Everyone tells us its great over ice as after dinner drink, but by that point in the night I've usually polished off a half a bottle of wine, and one more drink may push me into "drinking problem" (people whisper w/eyebrows raised) territory.

Therefore, I am open to Amaretto drink suggestions.

Last week, Ed came up w/a drink that kinda' tastes like Dr. Pepper - over ice, pour Amaretto, soda water, a splash of vodka, and 1 tablespoon of lime (to taste).  Delicious.

On an unrelated note, last week I tried out a chicken sausage, sweet onion, and fennel pizza recipe I found in Cooking Light.  It definitely wasn't the best pizza I ever ate (or made for that matter), but it sure was tasty, packed w/nutrients, and practically guilt free!

Check out the recipe:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More peanut-butter cookies and "Spa" food

There's a legitimate reason why I make so many peanut-buttery desserts.

About 5 months ago, Ed came home w/two Costco size jars of peanut butter (sigh...I really have no idea why he thought the two of us needed that much peanut butter).

I am now utterly conviced no matter how many desserts and meals we make with peanut butter - there is NO WAY we're ever going make it through our stock before it expires. 

But, hey - I've never been a quitter, so I might as well try.

On Sunday - try I did. In the hour between when Ed & the grand-boys left for the Harlem Globetrotters game and when I had to meet Maureen at the Big Picture for a Valentine's Day matinee, I whipped up a batch of peanut-butter oatmeal sandwich cookies.

They were a breeze to make, the filling turned out wonderfully (even though I substituted 2% milk for cream), and I was able to wrap up the whole project w/ enough time to text Ed, "there's a suprise for you and the boys on the counter," walk to the Big Picture, leisurely sip a glass of bubbly, and chat with Maureen before the movie started (you've got to love a theater that serves drinks).

If you want to check out the recipe, go to:

Anyhoo - the husband and I are currently on a "we have to put on bathing suits in a month" diet, which means we're trying to go a little lighter on dinner (no heavy sauces) and are only having one drink a night on weeknights (which is tougher than you'd think for wine drinkers like us).  I'm also trying to limit the cookie intake, which is tough since I just whipped up the cookies above (sigh, I am my own worst enemy).

The other night Ed whipped up a "spa" style dinner of pan seared salmon w/ steamed brocolli, asparagus, & radishes, on top of bed of fresh udon noodles.  A lime/soy/fish sauce finished the dish.  Yumm. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Trophy vs. Cupcake Royale

Yes, I'm a klutz.  I admit it.

On Thursday, I was so intent on not tripping while carrying a box of a dozen Trophy cupcakes (I was especially alert b/c of the Maureen cupcake smashing debacle of Sept 2009) that I not only tripped - I caught the heel of my shoe on my pant cuff and ripped it - and then 5 minutes later stepped in a hole - and then 2 minutes later tripped again.


I made Maureen so nervous she practically carried me the rest of the way to my office.

Well - just like in her incident, the cupcakes came out damaged but still delicious. (although - they were a bit less damaged than Maureen's, since she actually fell on top of a box of Cupcake Royale cupcakes).

Now here's the big question of this post (at least for the Seattlites): Trophy or Cupcake Royale?

Although I LOVE Cupcake Royale's coconut cupcake and they're readily available (you can get them at Metropolitan Market as well as their shops) - I really love the red velvet cupcakes at Trophy (yummy cream cheese frosting) as well as the variety of flavors (pb&j cupcake anyone?).

Therefore: it's Trophy for me!

Although...I will never turn my nose up at a cupcake, no matter where its from...just keep that in mind if you find yourself with one extra :)

The somewhat mangled Trophy cupcakes

Check out the Trophy Cupcake website @

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Monday!

Today was a great day!

"Why" do you ask?  Well...
(1) When I woke up it was sunny; (2) I didn't have to work; (3) Ed & I came one step closer to finalizing our April vacation plans (St. Bart's - yay!); (4) I went to Victoria's Secret and they actually had the colors and sizes I was looking for - which never happens - which led me to buying 9 new pairs of panties (double yay!); (5)  I went to Anthropologie to try on a blouse I've been lusting after...and it fit exactly like I imagined it would...and is now hanging in my closet; (6) For the first time in months I was able to shop at Sephora in the daylight, which is a good thing when you're buying makeup, even though I usually end up putting it on in the dark; (7) Ed made me chicken sukiyaki for dinner (yumm) even though he made himself steak (blech)

I got a couple products at Sephora that, according to the website, have a cult following.  Once I test them out for a couple days, I'll let you know what I think of said "cult".

Tarte Flush Cheek Stain

Christian DiorShow Mascara

My lovely anthropologie purchases (I now realize I've purchased 4 blue shirts in a row...I need to cut myself off)
Thick and Thin Blouse

On the Veranda Shell

Winding Road Tank

And last but not least, the chicken sukiyaki:

I think the broth - which was slightly smoky, salty, and full of mushroom flavor - made the dish.  Ed thinks it wouldn't have been the same without "dashi" - a fish flavored powder he scrounged up at Metropolitan Market.

If you're interested, check out the recipe at:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Leap Year

I know its sad to model your life after a movie.  I also know its even more pathetic if that movie is a mediocre romcom.  Unfortunately - sometimes I can't help myself.
A month or so ago fate (otherwise known as an incorrect movie schedule for New Moon in the Seattle Times) led me to watch, after some subtle manipulation of my friends, Leap Year.  It was a sterotypical romantic comedy with more than spectacular shots of the Irish countryside.  Lovely.

I'm embarassed to admit its the scenes of a cocktail party in Amy Adams (I can't rememeber her character's name) new NY penthouse that stuck with me after the movie ended, and not the breathtaking cliffs of Ireland.  Perfectly coiffed beautiful people mingled in their cocktail attire, ate appetizers, and made small talk.  I thought to myself, "Who has parties like that," and then I thought to myself, "I want to have a party like that!"

Hence - the Valentine's Day Eve-Eve cocktail party I threw on Friday.  The attendee's dusted off their cocktail attire, styled their hair, and came over for a night of revelry. 

Maybe we weren't as perfect as the beautiful people in Leap Year, but I know without a doubt we were way cooler than those fakers....maybe.

If you want to have your own fancy shindig - you may want to consider making mini crab cakes on endive leaves.  The recipe isn't perfect (I have no idea why they didn't separate the ingrediants for the crab cakes out from the sauce) but the product was a HIT.

1 lemon
8 oz crab meat
6 tbsp finely chopped fennel (divided)
1/4 cup finely chopped parsely (divided)
3 tbsp finely chopped shallot (divided)
1 tbsp dijon mustard (divided)
1/2 c sour cream
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp capers
3-4 heads belgian endive

1.  Prepare crab cakes: combine 1/2 tsp lemon zest w/ 2tsp lemon juice, crabmeat, 2 tbsp fennel, 2 tbsp parsley, 1 tbsp shallot, 1 tsp mustard, half of the sour cream, flour, and salt.  Mix gently.

Form into tiny 1tbsp size disks and brown on each side in a little vegetable oil.

2.  To make sauce: combine remaining fennel, parsely, shallot, mustard, sour cream, and capers in a small bowl.

Put a little sauce and a crab cake on each endive leaf.  Voila!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oh Jealousy

Everytime I go over to Lis and Bryan's place I get a little jealous.

While, the majority of the time, I'm perfectly content in the minimalist modern loft Ed and I decorated together - whenever I see Lis' Anthropologie be-decked home and lovely girly bath accessories...the green eyed monster rears its ugly head.

I want my home to be a shrine to Anthropologie too!!

I asked Lis her trick to getting Bryan to accept at the girliness - and she told me you have to introduce it little by little - and the bathroom is a good place to start.  So - yesterday I made a quick stop at Anthropologie and picked up a sculptural stainless steel soap dish (so feminine!) and the lovely bath items below ;)  I'm well on my way to an Anthropologie lifestyle!  Ed will never know what hit him.