Slick Rick in da house

Are you talking to me?

Did you hear me? I saaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiid, are you talking to me?


Food 9-1-1

I had dinner all planned out. I saw this killer recipe for sirloin stir fry inside one of (many) Rachel Ray magazines at my house. It's in the insert that has the 7 recipes for 7 days (if you know the pages). Anyhoot, me, Ryann and the baby went to the best grocery store in the world (I've ranted about this place before) to pick up all the ingredients. Once we left the store if was off to pay some bills and then home to start dinner.

Once we arrived at home, and started unloading bags I looked for the recipe.
*GULP* I had left it inside the shopping cart. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, however I was making stir fry that included abnormal ingredients (i.e. sun-dried tomatoes). What was I going to do?

After dropping Ryann off at her dad's house (after soccer practice) I headed home to cook. I remembered that it was only suppose to take 15 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes to cook this meal (or was it vice versa). I simply apologized to Clifton, in advance, and made sure there was some cereal to eat (in the event this turned out to be a disaster) and then began to create.

I did get a chance to glance over the recipe. The only thing I remembered was that I was suppose to use 3 tbsp of soy sauce, 1-2 cherry hot peppers and 1 cup of beef broth. In stir fry? Sheesh.

Here's what I did (sorry Rachel if I butchered this recipe's directions badly):

3 tbsp soy sauce
1 bunch of broccoli (use stem and heads)
2 habenero peppers
3 tbsp sun dried tomatoes (packaged in oil and garlic)
4-5 stems of scallions (cut into 1 in pieces)
1 1/2 lbs of sirloin
4 cloves garlic (diced)
1 cup of beef broth
Angel hair pasta (enough to feed 3-4 people)

Brown sirloin in large skillet with 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce. Drain and wipe skillet clean w/ paper towel. (brown 4 minutes each side) Set meat aside.

Meantime cook angel hair pasta per directions on package. Drain and set aside.

Saute broccoli, scallions, garlic in 1 tbsp of soy sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes total. Drain and wipe skillet clean w/ paper towel. Set veggies aside.

Cook sun-dried tomatoes and peppers in the garlic oil of the tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain 1/2 of juices.

Heat up broth in skill and left over juices from tomato/pepper mixture. Add sirloin. Cook for 4 minutes or until meat is tender. Drain all juices.
Add all ingredients together in skillet and mix together. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Plate pasta and top with stir fry.


I guess Clif enjoyed it...


Why didn't you tell me?

All this time I've been using that handy-dandy 'label' box at the bottom of all of my post to enter in "catchy" phrases to help me to remember what the hell I was blogging about. I just NOW figured out it is a way to help find a particular blog pertaining to a subject I write about mostly (i.e. food, family, etc.)


Now I have to go back and read through all of my past posts and correct.


I finished my first challenge (yay)

My first challenge was: TENDER POTATO BREAD

Well, the secret may be out already. My new group of friends; those crazy guys and gals that have won over my heart and my kitchen; a contributing factor to why I've been baking like a mad-woman lately is... ... THE DARING BAKERS.

I first started seeing the amazing creations that this group flooded Blogger with back in August. I innocently stumbled onto a page with the most amazing photographs of food. I think at that time the monthly challenge was cinnamon rolls and sticky buns. Oh.... I'm a sucker for sweet bread of any kind. Three months later I could hardly hold back my desire to want to be apart of this group.

As a November newbie I couludn't wait to participate in my first challenge. So much in fact that I think I finished up way back in the beginning of the month. Anyhoot, I'm truly excited at the level that my baking skills are about to increase too. Stay tuned for those amazing photographs of our monthly challenges. I'm off.

So, this was my second attempt at working with yeast (the first time being with those buns above). I don't think I can even begin to describe the stick-i-ness that this dough created. The closest thing I could compare it to is if you'd pop a whole pack of Big League Chew into your mouth; spit it out onto the counter and attempt to form some kind of pastry out of it.

4 hours later and sans 1 cup of the recommended 6 1/2 - 8 1/2 cups of flour. The recipe is below, given to us by our lovely Tanna. Thanks again for challenging my SKILLS! :)

Here are my rolls:

...and here is my loaf:

Tender Potato Bread
(from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid; who also wrote Hot Sour Salty Sweet)
Daring Bakers Challenge #13: November 2007

Host: Tanna (My Kitchen in Half Cups)
Post Date: Monday, November 26

Makes 1 large tender-crumbed pan loaf AND something more; one 10X15 inch crusty yet tender foccacia, 12 soft dinner rolls, or a small pan loaf

Allowed Modifications for Unleashing Your Daring Baker :

You must follow the recipe as written until you get to shaping the bread.
This bread must be savory and not sweet.
You must knead by hand (medical exception allowed)
You can not use a biga, sponge, or starter method.
Recipe ingredient exception allowed only if allergy or an ingredient not available or cost prohibitive in your region.
You may shape this dough anyway you would like: as a loaf, as rolls, as focaccia. You can braid it, twist it whatever.
You may season this bread in any way you see fit: maybe it becomes your turkey stuffing. Maybe you season some sandwich bread for great turkey sandwiches.
You can fill it if you think that will work for you. Think calzone or anything with a savory filling. Again however it must be savory and not sweet.

Suggested Toppings:

For Loaves and Rolls: melted butter (optional)

For Foccacia: olive oil, coarse salt, and rosemary leaves (optional; also see variation)

For Anchovy-Onion Focaccia: Instead of oil, salt, and rosemary, top with onions slow-cooked in olive oil or bacon fat, a scattering of chopped anchovy fillets, and flat-leafed parsley leaves.

Alternate fillings, seasons, shapes are up to you.

Some additional notes about this challenge, recipe and the dough:

If you are new to bread and already your whisks are shaking (or is that your boots), you may bake the bread (or one of it’s variations) just as written.

There are no pictures. I give you the recipe. I cannot give you a photo or drawing of the recipe because that part is yours. That being said there are lots of pictures of other bread recipes that will provide great ideas for you if you decide to unleash that aspect of this recipe.

Potatoes and potato water give this bread wonderful flavor and texture. The dough is very soft and moist and might feel a little scary if you’ve never handled soft dough before. But don’t worry: Leaving it on parchment or wax paper to proof and to bake makes it easy to handle.

Once baked, the crumb is tender and airy, with tiny soft pieces of potato in it and a fine flecking of whole wheat. The loaves have a fabulous crisp texture on the outside and a slightly flat-topped shape. They make great toast and tender yet strong sliced bread for sandwiches. The dinner rolls are soft and inviting, and the focaccia is memorable.

I have chosen this recipe because it gives directions for different ways of shaping the dough and provides oven times and temperatures for those variations.

Some Notes about Flour:
King Arthur Artisan Organic All-Purpose Flour is fairly new in the markets in the US now and is advertised to be best for making European-style hearth breads with a protein level of 11.3%

Conversion Chart for yeast:
1 oz/ 1 Tablespoon of fresh yeast = 0.4 oz/ 1.25 teaspoon active or instant dry yeast = 0.33 oz / 1 teaspoon instant or rapid rise (bread machine) yeast. Reference: Crust & Crumb by Peter Reinhart

Link to online conversion chart for converting recipes from Imperial to Metric: Cooking Conversion Online (http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/cooking)

Remember, being a Daring Baker is about trying new recipes, techniques and taking risks. It’s reaching just beyond your comfort zone.

This is a Daring Baker Challenge, not a contest and not a competition because at its heart and soul is support and sharing the how to of the baking we do.

Challenge Recipe:

Metric measurements are from the European edition. Thank you Linda (Linda.kovacevic.nl) from Make Life Sweeter


4 medium to large floury (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks.
Tanna Note: For the beginner bread baker I suggest no more than 8 ounces of potato; for the more advanced no more than 16 ounces. The variety of potatoes you might want to use would include Idaho, Russet & Yukon gold, there are others.

4 cups(950 ml) water, reserve cooking water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 ½ cups to 8 ½ cups (1 kg to 1350g) unbleached all-purpose
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour

Making the Dough (Directions will be for making by hand):

Put the potatoes and 4 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook, half covered, until the potatoes are very tender.

Drain the potatoes, SAVE THE POTATO WATER, and mash the potatoes well. Tanna Note: I have a food mill I will run my potatoes through to mash them.

Measure out 3 cups(750ml) of the reserved potato water. Add extra water if needed to make 3 cups. Place the water and mashed potatoes in the bowl you plan to mix the bread dough in. Let cool to lukewarm (70-80°F/21 - 29°C) – stir well before testing the temperature – it should feel barely warm to your hand. You should be able to submerge you hand in the mix and not be uncomfortable.

Add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.

Note about Adding Yeast: If using Active Dry Yeast or Fresh yeast, mix & stir yeast into cooled water and mashed potatoes & water and let stand 5 minutes. Then add 2 cups of flour to the yeast mix and allow to rest several minutes. If using Instant Dry Yeast, add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the softened butter; mix well. Add the 1 cup whole wheat flour, stir briefly.

Add 2 cups of the unbleached all-purpose flour and stir until all the flour has been incorporated.
Tanna Note: At this point you have used 4 cups of the possible 8 ½ cups suggested by the recipe.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough will be very sticky to begin with, but as it takes up more flour from the kneading surface, it will become easier to handle; use a dough scraper to keep your surface clean. The kneaded dough will still be very soft. Place the dough in a large clean bowl or your rising container of choice, cover with plastic wrap or lid, and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in volume.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently several minutes. It will be moist and a little sticky.

Forming the Bread:
Tanna Note: It is at this point you are requested to Unleash the Daring Baker within. The following is as the recipe is written. You are now free to follow as written or push it to a new level.

Divide the dough into 2 unequal pieces in a proportion of one-third and two-thirds (one will be twice as large as the other). Place the smaller piece to one side and cover loosely.

To shape the large loaf:
Butter a 9 x 5 x 2.5 inch loaf/bread pan. Flatten the larger piece of dough on the floured surface to an approximate 12 x 8 inch oval, then roll it up from a narrow end to form a loaf. Pinch the seam closed and gently place seam side down in the buttered pan. The dough should come about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 35 to 45 minutes, until puffy and almost doubled in volume.

To make a small loaf with the remainder:
Butter an 8x4X2 inch bread pan. Shape and proof the loaf the same way as the large loaf.

To make rolls:
Butter a 13 x 9 inch sheet cake pan or a shallow cake pan. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball under the palm of your floured hand and place on the baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between the balls. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 35 minutes, until puffy and almost doubled.

To make focaccia:
Flatten out the dough to a rectangle about 10 x 15 inches with your palms and fingertips. Tear off a piece of parchment paper or wax paper a little longer than the dough and dust it generously with flour. Transfer the focaccia to the paper. Brush the top of the dough generously with olive oil, sprinkle on a little coarse sea salt, as well as some rosemary leaves, if you wish and then finally dimple all over with your fingertips. Cover with plastic and let rise for 20 minutes.

Baking the bread(s):

Note about baking order: bake the flat-bread before you bake the loaf; bake the rolls at the same time as the loaf.

Note about Baking Temps: I believe that 450°F(230°C) is going to prove to be too hot for the either the large or small loaf of bread for the entire 40/50 minutes. I am going to put the loaves in at 450°(230°C) for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 375°F (190 °C) for the remaining time.

Note about cooling times: Let all the breads cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Rolls can be served warm or at room temperature.

For loaves and rolls:
Dust risen loaves and rolls with a little all-purpose flour or lightly brush the tops with a little melted butter or olive oil (the butter will give a golden/browned crust). Slash loaves crosswise two or three times with a razor blade or very sharp knife and immediately place on the stone, tiles or baking sheet in the oven. Place the rolls next to the loaf in the oven.

Bake rolls until golden, about 30 minutes. Bake the small loaf for about 40 minutes. Bake the large loaf for about 50 minutes.

Transfer the rolls to a rack when done to cool. When the loaf or loaves have baked for the specified time, remove from the pans and place back on the stone, tiles or baking sheet for another 5 to 10 minutes. The corners should be firm when pinched and the bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

For foccaia:
Place a baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles, if you have them, if not use a no edged baking/sheet (you want to be able to slide the shaped dough on the parchment paper onto the stone or baking sheet and an edge complicates things). Place the stone or cookie sheet on a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°F/230°C.

If making foccacia, just before baking, dimple the bread all over again with your fingertips. Leaving it on the paper, transfer to the hot baking stone, tiles or baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack (remove paper) and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Check out what the rest of our fabulous and fierce bakers are up to, the Daring Baker Blogroll.

Stress-free trip to S.D.

Since we didn't head down to San Diego for Thanksgiving, we knew that we needed to go hang out with the family at some point this weekend. We opted to go on Saturday so that there was no mad rush to get home on Sunday, and still prepare for work.

Again, we slept in late, slowly getting ready for the 2 hour trip. At about 2p we finally loaded up the car and started on our journey. I have to admit that the drive wasn't all that bad. Except for the part when we needed to pull over because I felt like I was going to blow junks (and NO, I'm not pregnant) and also when we were passing areas that were burned during last month's fire (including the area right next to the San Onofre NUCLEAR plant <---- that may not have been good).

It was nice hanging out for a few hours with our SD family. Playing with the kids and talking about everything from Patty's coyote scare, Sindhu's fear of mice, Prasadini and Mia's motherly advise to be quiet (while they watched "Annie"), why Cameron decided to hang out in the Cohiba lounge (auntie Maria's bedroom, sans cigar) and why Clif LIED to me about catching that doggone lizard.

It was a great visit. We were sorry that we couldn't see our buddies Lucy, Jaime and Rosalina. We still haven't seen Johnny, April and Riley (since earlier this year). We hope to see you all real soon.

size does MATTER!

Whoever started that crap about 'size does not matter' must have been on drugs. I mean, you've never heard of someone say, "Waiter, can you please put back that large lobster tail, and bring me the smallest one instead?" Or, "I'm sorry honey, this diamond ring you to me is way too large. Can you please give me a smaller one?" Even better, "Boss!? I think the raise that you gave to me was too big. Can you give me a smaller raise? I don't feel comfortable with this large amount."

Granted if you're on a diet, you may not pertake with that 2nd helping of cake. You may want to fit into that smaller dress size, and you want a smaller shoe size instead of looking like Big Foot in your size 11 shoe (I wear a 10 by the way). But when it comes down to most things that are worth having... ... you want the BIG STUFF! Bring on the big hotel rooms, flower bouquets and gifts under the Christmas tree.

Well, the same is true when it comes to televisions.

Clif and I decided to do a little bit of Green (or Black) Friday shopping. Oh, how we planned on getting up at 3am, but when the alarm went off WE went right back to sleep. Finally waking up at around 9am (ahh, the good life) we got dressed. I talked to my mom who was PISSED at not getting a laptop that she wanted and then we headed to the Circuit City in Rolling Hills. Our plans were to grab me a new d-camera. Nothing TOO fancy, I think Clif just wanted to finally shut me and stop my constant hints at wanting one. We arrived in the store and of course it was a mad house. Cruising past all of the hostile shoppers we decided to head over to the television section to 'take a peak.' What ended up catching our eyes was a 40" plasma for (hold your breath) $699. Of course this price was too good to be true because just as we saw the display sign, we heard the announcement that the "6 hour sale" was over (we also found out that they no longer had any of those sets left). *sigh*

We left out of CC and headed over to Kohl's. Our intent was to pick up some thermos for Clif, but after looking at the line (and the poor selection) we left the store.

Walking past CC again we had a sour taste in our mouth. Suddenly "a new television" was on our mind. We decided to go down the street to the BestBuy. Giving ourselves a time limit to find a parking space (anything more than 10 minutes and we were to abandon the idea) we pulled into the parking lot. 2 mintutes later we found a spot and were out of the car. After a few 'ooohs' and 'awwwws' (made by me only) at some of the selection of tubes, we came across an intelligent Magnolia rep who answered all of my husband's questions about 1 t.v. that caught our eyes. 5 sets were available when we first arrived; 0 were left after we grabbed ours and headed to the cashier.

T.V., mounting unit, new HD cable-ready box, HDMI cable and HD dvd player purchase followed, and I'm happy to say that WE HAVE A NEW TELE. :)
(did I say that I loved my husband? I do!)

Here's our latest toy:

(we even mounted it to the wall ourselves. Afterwards we had a Coke toast to our latest home improvement project)

I'm very Thankful!

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday (I hope you all did too). My hubbie and I decided to stay home this holiday and enjoy turkey day from the comfort of our own home. It felt great to wake up, have a great breakfast with my mom and all the kiddies and then relax for the rest of the day. Ryann and Raye headed over to their dad's house at around 2p; Clif, Chris and I took a little nap, and then our neighbor friends came over and we all had dinner together. They too decided not to do the usual holiday traveling and we all sat around stuffed our face.

Some friends visiting from the Bay Area also stopped by later on in the night for some good old Chappelle comedy. The requested skit of the evening was "I'm Rick James B--ch!"... when helped to end our evening on a great note.

Oh, did I forgot to mention that we watched Soul Plane. Yeah, I know... but it really is a funny movie after you've forced yourself to sit through it for the 3rd time.

I'm truly thankful for the health of my family and friends. I'm blessed to have so many wonderful people around me. :P)


How to defrost a turkey

OK, so if you're like me, you do not have 4-5 full days to defrost your bird in the refrigerator; nor do you have the room. I have learned a few ways to thaw out these suckers and wanted to spread my 'wealth of knowledge' to all who plan on preparing our 'gobble-gobble' friends this coming "Turkey Day."

*Warning* - this method is SERIOUSLY more labor intensive!!!

Place Mr. Turkey in a pot of cold water (or stop up your sink with cold water). Allow your bird to soak for 1/2 hour per pound (meaning a 25-pound turkey will thaw in half a day). IMPORTANT - Replace the water every half hour. Make sure that your turkey is in leak-proof packaging; turkey meat can absorb moisture and become watery.

There you have it... ... I just gave you more "labor" to do on your already labor-filled day.

Take care... and good eats.


USH the 3rd time!

Ok, so if anyone is keeping track, my family has gone to USH 3 times this year (so far). Our adventure began back in July/August when we had to spend damn near $300 to get in to this place. wtf? (is what we say each and every time we remember dropping that wad). Anyhoot, we've been pretty hell-bent on getting our money's worth from those season passes. The score is definitely turning in our favor. I think we have at least 2 more trips before this year is up. This time we decided to check out the 'Studio Tour' and 'Shrek 4D' Bring something to wipe off your glasses with, after seeing this show; you're in for a real treat :)

1st trip - $70/person
2nd trip - $35/person
3rd trip - $23.33/person

..at this rate USH will be paying us to go to the park. Now if only we could stop spending money when we get there.


Knock-Knock. Gracie, it's me!

I've been invited!
Yes, I have been invited to a 'virtual housewarming party' for my newest friend, Gracie. She has been blessed with a new home (I can only dream in this crazy housing market), and I'm all too happy to bring a dish.

My choice is an appetizer. I saw this recipe in EveryDay with RR and couldn't pass on it. I love Po-Ta-Toes and all things bite-sized! Appetizers are a great to eat, and easy to chat and mingle with. I love being able to walk around, hold a drink and talk to everyone. Since I'm the 'new kid on the block' in my sorority, I knew I had to bring something to mix-n-mingle.

4 red potatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. bacon
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 375.
Toss potato rounds w/olive oil and salt; arrange in single layer on a cookie sheet.
Bake 25 minutes; flip and bake another 10 minutes.
Cook bacon until crisp; crumble and set aside.
Stir cream cheese and sour cream together in medium bowl.
Arrange potato slices on a platter; dollup w/sour cream mixture, bacon and chives.
Serve warm!


The best (simple) cookie

So 'tis the season to be baking.
Everyone will be baking pies, cakes, cookies, etc. Every so often I like to bake the classic chocolate chip cookie because, well, it's still one of my favorites of all time.

Here's the recipe:


2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecans (optional)


Preheat the oven to 325; grease cookie sheets or line w/ parchment paper
Sift flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugars until creamy. Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla until light and creamy.
Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
Stir in chocolate chips with wooden spoon. Stir in nuts.
Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time about 3 inches apart.
Bake 15-17 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


GOT KIDS? (if you do, they'll love this recipe)

Dinner is served (Indian style)

I love my husband. He has opened up my eyes to so many different types of things, food being one of them. On any given night we can go for anything, not just the normal burger, fries and a coke.

Last night we decided on Indian. We revisited this place not too far from the kid's school, India's Tandoori. We picked up the food to go and were happy to find out that they deliver to our neck of the woods. The food was great and here are some of our recommendations:

- Samosas (they're huge and hearty)
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Matar Paneer
- Bhindi Bhaji (ask for 'spicy')
- Garlic Naan


How'd it happen?

This blog was suppose to be all about my family my daily life as mom, wife, daugter, friend, etc. It's turning more and more into a food blog. Could it be that I'm becoming a 'foodie?' Was I always one? Have I lived a sheltered life not able to talk, cook or write about all of the fab food in my life. Dunno, but I do know that I'm having WAY TOO MUCH FUN now.

So for those of you who were only expecting to see/read about what normally happens in my Fab life, be prepared to see what Fab treats I'm eagerly cooking up.


Marathon baking weekend

The inspiration for me going COMPLETELY INSANE this weekend in my baking was my husband's trip to both Temecula and TJ (yes, Tijuana) for a bachelor party weekend. To keep myself from being that insane wife on the 405/5 Fwy at 2am looking for a group of men that resembled my husband's friend, I chose to invite over a group of my friends to enjoy some of my baked goods.

Friday got started early with me baking some Perfectly Chocolate Cupcakes with 3 Muskateers and Milky Ways in the center. I froze some of the candies and crumbled them up on top for even more chocolate-ty goodness.

(the ladies in the office really appreciated these little babies)

Later that night I got up enough nerve to complete some past challenges issued by my new sorority/fraternity group of bakers. First up....
Bostini Cream Pie, here's the recipe.

Then, onto the Buttery Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cupcakes sans frosting (where I got the recipe was from here)

Salted Carmel Cheesecake (sans crust) followed the peanut buttery goodness. I served this dessert in a glass with apple slices to spoon out the goodness. YUM! I found this recipe here, but she found the recipe here...

This was it for Friday night. Thanks to the "Friday" crew for coming through and eating it all up! Special thanks to Kristen for bringing over the Chandon champagne.


After going to the San Pedro Girls Softball Turkey Tournament with my daughter (where her team kicked Bellflower's butt) on Saturday morning (she is North Torrance 10U #1). I came home and began doing a much needed cleaning up around the house. Chris took an extended nap, and I was free to clean and re-arrange all I wanted. Afterwards, I was all pumped up to bake up something even better than the night before for my next taste testers.

First up, Pumpkin spice cake w/ butterscotch walnut filling and brown sugar icing. I picked up this recipe from here, but she scored it from here...

While the cake was in the oven, I made the crust for the Milk Chocolate Carmel Tart I'd finish up this weekend with. The crust is made with hazelnuts (which I could ONLY find at Bristol Farms - thank goodness). You have to allow the crust to sit in the bowl overnight and then press it into the pan when you're ready to use it. Here is the recipe for this chocolate/caramel sensation.

(ontop of the that tart are carmel fragments that are suppose to be decoration. Mine seem to look like a damn not-so-happy face (I assure you this was not my intent).

All in all I think I had a pretty successful baking weekend. All that sampled were impressed and thankful.

On to my next challenge.



Am I the only one that gets blog-writer's block? I mean there are so many things that go on in my life, on a daily basis, that I could literally blog about anything (mostly things that you'd not be interested in) all day long.

My friend Nanner said it best that bloggers want to write about things that are interesting for all to read, not just a bunch of crap. I mean, what else makes a blog interesting. Aside from a cool layout, beautiful pictures and snazzy sidebars inforomation; the only reason people keep coming back to your page is to read your thoughts (or out of obligation).

Anyhoot, I'm still trying to be selective about waht I put on this page. I mean, I could literally fill up an entire page with my daily routine of property management, limo driving the kids to and from school/practice and tips on keeping my sanity while raising 3 kids.


I've been accepted.

Although I can't blog about my recent induction to a woman group of exceptional women, please know that I WILL be bloggin' (at the end of November) about my recent acheivement.

I know, I know. I hate it when people begin to tell me something and then don't. It really ruffles my feathers and I normally don't do it. Just believe that I TRULY want to tell you, but I can't. I'm sworn to secrecy until I prove myself worthy.

In the end it will all be worth it, I'll even have a cool new LOGO to post on my page... ... WOO HOO!

Can't wait.


Gosh darn it!

Clif had a Holiday Boo Bash celebartion at his job this past Tuesday. Co-workers were all to pitch in and bring a dessert treat to the 'shingdig' (the execs were springing for - wait for it - PIZZA).

We decided to make a carrot cake (w/ orange-colored, cream cheese frosting) and decorate it as a jack-o-latern.

Here's the cake (during the designing stage):

Here's what it looked like after I put it in the car; drove to Long Beach (from Torrance); sat in the car for a few minutes talking to Clif; watched daddy play with Chris during his short break... and then dropped it on the floor, of the Quest, right before handing it to Clif before he took it upstairs to share with his co-workers.

*&!%^/?$@# cake holding, tupperware dish)