Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Thankfulness

I am thankful for almost being 100% not sick...just a little residual breathing issues, but overall I feel good!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Thankfulness

While I am thankful that I was able to get the much coveted H1N1 shot, I am not happy that it has caused me to get sick!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday Thankfulness

I am thankful for knitting. I find the calm repetitive motion soothing and relaxing while engaging my mind at the same time when reading patterns. I love knitting!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Week Thankfulness

This past week I have been thankful for wonderful family, friends, good food, good wine, relaxing time with my hubby and pups, christmas decorations and being almost completely done with our Christmas shopping and it's only December 1st!!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Thankfulness

Today I am thankful for the fact that my husband and I are financially sound enough to cover unexpected financial woes. Thank you to my parents for teaching me to be a saver!

Weekend Thankfulness

I am thankful for having really great friends and family. They are truly great and support me in every way possible and making ever day better by being in my life.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Thankfulness

Today I am thankful for my job. A constantly changing and evolving creature, today it made me REALLY happy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Thankfulness

I am thankful for how a good nights sleep can change your outlook and perspective. Yesterday I was angry and upset with a co-worker, today I am still anoyed with said co-worker but I am rested and looking forward to a great day with people I love and enjoy.

Also, my blog is way under loved...must put camera in purse and constantly take pictures and post.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas Count Down Thankfulness Project

In the spirit of Christmas I am going to try something new, I am going to post one thing I am thankful for every day up to and including Christmas. Sometimes I get blue when things aren't exactly as I would like them and I'm hoping if I create a log of all the wonderful things in my life I'll concentrate on that instead of the negative.

Here goes, today I am thankful for: Choosing to eat healthy in the face of stress and emotions.

Normally I would reach for the chocolate as soon as I could, but today I found myself in the craft store (went to cheer myself up) and I was in the check out line and looked at the price of candy and was dumbfounded that they wanted $1.19 for a regular reeses. So, rather than walking to the cheapo wizzle (Walmart in non-ebonics) and getting some candy, I chose to go back to work and eat my healthy lunch! Yeah for me putting my health first and knowing that even though I am stressed I don't have to have a nice piece of chocolate becasue that only makes me feel better for a little while.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Awesome Road Stop

Saturday myself and a few friends ventured on down to the utterly disappointing fleet week in San Francisco. Although the Blue Angels were canceled due to fog and clouds we had a delightful time out on the bay and dropped anchor between Alcatraz and Pier 39. After a long day of boating, we stopped at The Dead Fish. Now if you are familiar with the bay area you know that you only stop in Martinez to either go to a board of adjustment for the Teamsters or to hit the last possible ATM for the Carquinez Bridge toll. Now, I have gone over the bridge a gazillion times and never once did I know that the place to the right of the bridge is considered a town of its own right. Who knew that when the sign said Crockett it actually meant a town and not a street? So anyway, the traffic was abysmal (as usual and to be expected) and we stopped for drinks and a couple of appetizers on our way home. We were delightfully surprised to see how wonderful the view was from their patio. We enjoyed a wonderful sunset that actually laid a nice light on the city of Vallejo (hard to believe I know). Aside from the beautiful location, our server left a lot to be desired and their kitchen was severely lacking in a few areas. The appetizers (asparagus with bleu cheese, deep fried artichoke hearts, calamari, garlic fries) were OK/good except that they brought us the asparagus (which I could have made easily at home) about 10-15 minutes before the others. And yes, if you are reading the ordered artichokes and thinking that it looks like a lot of fried carbs then you are correct, one of our friends is on the Atkins Diet and was using Saturday as a cheat day. Overall I would give The Dead Fish another shot, I wouldn't let this one mediocre experience ruin it for another time. So the long and short of it is that if you are in traffic and desperate need of a cocktail head on over to the Dead Fish and dine on a Bloody Shark or some other creative name for a normal cocktail.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Uber Good Chocolate Chip Cookies & Cameras

I know I'm old when I had to consult the user manual for my camera to learn how to put my camera in macro mode. Additionally, I had to call my mom and ask if I should look for "micro" or "macro," but to my defense photography has always been her thing and not mine.
But on to better things...I made Chocolate Chip Cookies last night! And boy were they (as usual) scrumpcious. In fact they were so scrumpcious, the one pictured the right was the last one left.
I had my first uber proud moment as a "baker" tonight at dinner. Hubby and I went to our favorite spot for sushi tonight and when the waitress asked if we wanted dinner, we graciously declined and I said, "nope, I made chocolate chip cookies last night and they are waiting for us." Then we went on to have a discussion about how she always burns them and I asked what type of oven she has and how long she cooked them for when she said that she has an electrical oven and she goes by smell. I proudly told her that 10 minutes is a good average time too cook them, however depending upon your batter if it is runny you'll want to shorten the cook time where as if it is thick you may want to cook them a touch longer.
Uber Good Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 C All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 C Butter
3/4 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp Madagascar Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
2 C Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in mixer. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt till well combined. Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Once combined, mix in chocolate chips. Bake for approximately 10 minutes on cookie sheets.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Damn I'm Clumsy

So I was extremely lazy today and decided not to make my lunch, but to purchase. And instead of dining at the homage de fake Mexican or to crappy greasy American (although fabulous for the hangover) I went to the Nugget. Now for those of you (and Dad I mean you because I think you are the only person that reads this or my 2 posts I should say) that don't have a Nugget Market, Nugget is a cross between Safeway and Whole Foods. It is a unique blend of the dying to be healthy trendy type and the frozen chicken wings and tatertots variety. So I ventured in to the faux barn where I perused the salads, as much as I want to want them I just can't bring myself to eat something for $5.00 that would have cost me maybe a buck to make at home. So I got my usual spicy tuna sushi rolls. I paid and settled in to the one of the outdoor tables in the lovely sunshine and began to eat and read, a fabulous combination that everyone should partake in daily. And then I struck, I moved my plastic carton closer to my book and the edge of the table so I would drip soy sauce all over me, when I moved and knocked 1/3 of my luch onto the icky-30-second-rule does not apply concrete and soy sauce all down my front. And now, like a badge of honor, I have to wear a streak of soy sauce all down my right side. It almost looks like I'm lactating soy sauce if I didn't know better.

I concluded my meal with a delightful Jasmine Green Honest Tea, 16 fluid ounces of anti-oxidant rich colored/flavored water capped with a rather insightful/motivating quote,

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi

Aside from being an activist and standing for silent protest and all sorts of other human rights issues, he made a good qote every now and then. Under normal circumstances I read these bottle cap qotes and just as quickly toss them into the recycle bin, however, today I think I'll keep this one. Maybe it's because I just started reading Julie & Julia the book, or shoot, it could just be that today is Tuesday, but today I will keep this bottle cap quote and put it up in my brand spankin' new cubicle.

Tonight, to further motivate myself toward my culinary expertise, I will clean (revolutionary I know). I have to clean from my mess I created this weekend in making a friends baby shower cake. Pictures to come or so I always say and never actually download them from the camera to put up for others to delight in...and so it continues another day another slave to the dollar.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Julie & Julia

What a sweet and charming movie. Julie and Julia chronicles the year Julie Powell spent making all 524 recipes in Julia Child's The Art of French Cooking cook book. It is a lovely story and made me think, how many other women out there find themselves in the same position? I know I have been there (several times) where you wake up and you can't do anything to motivate you to get up out of bed and get to work. Where work is the absolute last thing that you want to do and nothing about it is inspiring. It makes me think back to when I was a child and dreamed about growing up and the life that I would lead, somehow this is not what I dreamt about. I dreamt that I would change the world and make a difference that would impact millions of people. Yet today I find myself in a dark corner of my office building where I receive only 1-2 visitors per week (lonely co-workers hiding from their pathetic bosses or procrastinating on an uninspiring project). It is in this isolated corner office that over looks the parking lot next door that I find myself day in and day out dreaming about confectionery delights and different decorating techniques that I want to try and practice on my next creation. In my pursuit of being the best pastry chef that I can be, I wonder why I sometimes have no motivation to go and create joy in my life...What has the corporate world done to me? Today I find myself on the couch, typing away wanting to go try my hand at peanut butter cream frosting...mmmmmm but I am I create yummy or finish the pile of laundry that sits in front of me taunting my every move? Decisions. Today, laundry wins out before the sweets, but tomorrow who knows who will win the battle. In the words of Julia Child, "Bon Appetite!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sugar Obsession

So I have decided that I am going to make my secret desire public in the most public of public ways that we know in today's society. I am going to declare my inner most desire on the internet so it can live on in infamy forever...I want to make sweet music, not the sweet music that the 4 sopranos or Andrea Bocelli make, but the sweet music someone makes when they have tasted something so divine that they hmmmmrmmmm (sing) to themselves and then say, "Oh," upon finishing.

I want to make sweet music through non other than sweets!

I am a sugar addict, I have admitted it and I am proclaiming it here for the entire world to read delete. I love all things (for the most part) sweet. However, chocolate is by far my largest love. As a teenager, in the infinite wisdom that teenagers have, I proudly proclaimed, "that the way to my heart was through my stomach...with chocolate." And to this day it still rings true.

I recently decided (momentary lapse in judgement) that my sugar addiction was something bad, and something I needed to try REALLY, REALLY hard at stopping. I gave up all forms of sugar for an entire month. No moderation, cold turkey. My husband thought I was ludicrous and tried to preach the buddhist moderation philosophy. I countered him by comparing my addiction to alcoholism (shock and awe edited for brevity). Yes, I said it. "You wouldn't tell an alcoholic to have alcohol in moderation, why would you tell me to have sugar in moderation." I said it with the best of intentions, but alas I decided that sugar was too important to me.

I love it and I mean I love it (sugar, my husband too, but in a different way if you know what I mean) in the way that Lord Byron professes passion and love with a quill and an ink bottle. Sugar (chocolate) sings to me. It brings me great joy and I truely find inner peace with it in my life (I mean mouth), or more specifically when I am eating/making something with sugar!!!

I even love television shows about people who work with sugar and creat masterpieces of edible art. I have Ace of Cakes and Food Network Challenge on a constant DVR loop, if it was an old vhs it would have long ago "broke the tape" which plays out in my like a classic three stooges episode where they go to take the tape out of the vcr and they hand the tape off and just keep pulling an endless amount of "the ribbon" from the depths of the vcr.

2 years ago I took a Wilton Cake Decorating class at a local Michaels and I found my true inner calling. I have been decorating cakes for friends and family every now and then, but I truly enjoy it. I feel great pride and joy when someone raves about something I have made and when they too make music in their mouths.

This blog is going to be dedicated to my pursuit of becoming the best pastry chef that I can be, whether that is just for my friends and family or whether I become a professional has yet to be determined, but I am secretly hoping for the latter. Wish me luck!