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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Wish List (Updated 12/3)

In honor of Cyber-Monday, and b/c my husband has been requesting it, here is my Christmas wish list.

(note: these are just suggestions/helpful hints DEAR...feel free to surprise me)

1.    Barbour Badminton Jacket (find it here, size 6 please)

Nothing says "Northwest" like a warm waxed cotton (therefore waterproof) jacket.  This one has the potential to last me a lifetime.

2.    Apple Gift Card (find it at the Apple Store in U.Village)

Ever since the new MacBook Air came out, I've been lusting over it.  Now all I need is a GC to help off-set the $949 price tag (that's if I get the 11').

pic courtesy of Apple

3.    Lululemon: Energize Pants & Vinyasa Legwarmers (find them here and here or at Pacific Place, 6 in the pants)

(any color but this one please)

4.    iPhone 4

3yrs ago my husband bought me the original iPhone.  I've been using, and loving it, ever since - but I think it may be time to replace my reliable dinosaur (or so my sister, Christie, tells me).

pic courtesy of Apple

5.   Warm Foot Coverings

My husband seems to think I've reached my lifetime boot limit, which makes me smile a bit whenever I look at his over flowing shoe/boot collection (he claims boots w/laces, cowboy boots, etc. do not count towards his boot count).

Lately, I've been wanting a short/tough pair a boots (ala the JCrew motorcycle boots pictured below...although you can never go wrong with the Frye motorcycles).  I threw in a warm/fuzzy pair of slippers and a pair of cozy snow boots into my Polyvore set, just to mix it up a little.

6.  Bling Bling (update)
Inspired by my friend Leigh's wish list (see it here), I decided to add a little "bling bling" to my wish list.  Wishes don't have to be practical, right?


34" sterling silver & diamond chain (find it here)

 Diamond 14k 3 stone necklace (find it here)

High (yes please!!)

36" diamond station necklace (find it here)

7.  Amazon Gift Card

I need to support my book reading/Kindle habit somehow.

8.   M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm (find it here)

Would also make an excellent Valentine's Day present (hint, hint), since I haven't quite figured out my camera yet.

9.  The Dark Horse

Do people actually get cars for Christmas, like in the commercials?  And - do they arrive on your doorstep completely paid for, or are you expected to pick up the payment (what kind of sucky gift is that?)?

I wouldn't mind waking up on Christmas Day with one of these puppies (see below) sitting outside my building, with a big bow on it.  I obviously need a tiny/fast car to ease my entry and exit into our garage (our big/burly car, one of my victims, can attest to that).  Oh - and it needs to be automatic, since I have enough trouble driving on the rare occasions I do (maybe 3-4 times a year?), and a manual may just put me over the edge (literally)

Of course, it'd also have to come with a parking spot.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

If you were assigned dessert duty for Thanksgiving, or are just looking for a dessert that will amaze and seduce your friends/enemies, try out this recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake (find it here).

The final product is perfectly pumpkiny, spicy, and not too sweet.  Perfect with a big dollop of whipped cream (I added more after I took the pic above).

A couple of hints: let your ingredients come up to room temperature, which will prevent cracking, and put a pan of water on the rack below your cheesecake as it bakes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stir-Fried Noodles with Chanterelles

(photo by Imelda Villa)
The first time I had this utterly delicious dish, my husband (then my boyfriend) and I were having dinner at Monsoon up in Capitol Hill.

About a month or so later, F&W did an article on the restaurant and featured the recipe.  We, of course, had to try it out right away.

Now, this recipe for Stir-Fried Noodles with Chanterelles is one of the most requested in my household.  
I LOVE it when chanterelle season rolls around.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chicken Scarpariello

My bff, Lis, introduced me to the deliciously sweet/spicy peppadew, and I've been obsessed with the pickled peppers ever since.

Therefore, when my hubby saw peppadews featured in a Food & Wine recipe for Chicken Scarpariello, we knew we had to try it asap!

The verdict: even cooked, peppadews don't lose their wonderful spicy/sweet qualities.  Also - I had some of the chicken for dinner the next night, and I swear it tasted even better!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No soup for you! (Mulligatawny)

On the surface, Mulligatawny soup (the recipe we made was in a cookbook, but a similar one can be found here) appears to be a little odd and unappetizing.

Apples (a ton) + curry + chicken, in a soup?  Interesting.

It wasn't my first choice for dinner on Sunday night, but it's link to the "soup nazi" inspired Ed to give it a try.

I'm glad he did.

The soup was creamy, flavorful, and delicious.  The sweetness of the apples cooks out, leaving it with a turnip like sweetness, and the curry adds just enough spice to make the soup shine.

Give the recipe a try on a cool night.  You won't be sorry.

check out a clip of the "soup nazi" at:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale (for Women and Kids)

If you're an obsessive early Christmas shopper like myself or hate buying designer purses and shoes at full-price - head on over to your favorite Nordstrom or for the half-yearly sale.

See below for a few of my picks from the sale.


 (I love a purse you can wear cross-body)

(for the luxe lover on your shopping list, 50% off)
(40% off, I purchased in black)

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's all about the frosting

I personally think frosting is the most important part of a cupcake.  If the frosting is too grainy, sweet, or stale tasting...forget it!

I used a box cake mix for the Halloween cupcakes I made (pictured above), but I, of course, made the frosting from scratch.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 c butter, softened
1 package cream cheese, softened
1bx (1lb) powdered sugar

Instructions: with a mixer on medium to medium/high, cream the butter and cream cheese and then slowly add the powdered sugar.  I added a couple drops of food coloring to make the frosting orange.