Sunday, August 21, 2011


I actually curled my hair. Shocking I know.

It even lasted all evening. My sister in law Chrisie was right, dirty hair does make a difference.

Small hiking adventure

As I was looking for an Ace Hardware in my area I came across a beautiful park that I decided I would go check out some day. Well that day came last Wednesday. I decided that I would go hiking around this park (there are a few different trails ranging from 1-3.5 miles in length - thank you interwebs), find a quiet place to read and spend the morning there. I packed a camelback with a bottle of water, a muffin, my kindle and keys, phone, wallet and other such purse things. The sign gave me some important advice and heads up.
Notice that joggers yield to horses
I set out with the intention of walking/jogging the 3.5 mile trail but since none of the trail heads were clearly marked I just started walking. It turns out that there are a multitude of small trails all over the park. I just wandered around, taking the smaller paths whenever I felt like it. I found this cool mushroom.

Isn't that mushroom super cool? Anyways, about 10 minutes later I had to step aside for a horse! I'm glad I read the sign or I would have been unprepared. But for reals how often do you see horses while hiking in a park in the middle of the city? I ended up seeing that same horse and rider again later.  These are some cool pictures that I took:

I found a mossy, soft area that was relatively free of ferns so I sat and read for a while. It was lovely.

Isn't this a cool picture?

Delicious Dinners!

Having no job and no kids really leaves you with a lot of time on your hands. Which means that I actually make dinner every night. This is opposed to the the every two nights or so while I was working. We'll start with this one:

This is baked rainbow chard with feta cheese and Mediterranean style chicken. This is the recipe for the chard and Aaron cooked the chicken with some garlic, lemon juice, dried basil and I secretly added some mint. It was pretty yummy.

Tonight we were going to go over to another couple's house for dinner but the husband got sick we didn't. Which meant that I didn't have anything planned for dinner, and while I liked last night's dinner I didn't love it. Aaron suggested I make some white sauce to go with it. So I baked some fresh bread, see this post, cooked up some noodles and made some white sauce. Now usually white sauce includes heavy whipping cream but since it's not so good for you and I didn't have any I improvised. I sauteed some garlic in about 2 Tablespoons butter, added about 1/2 cup flour and cooked it for a few mins. Then I added 2 ish cups of 1% milk and simmered it for a while. Then I added about 4 oz of low fat cream cheese and a bunch of fresh ground pepper. It cooked down into a nice thick sauce. I added the chicken, chard and sauce to the noodles and served it with salad and fresh bread. Waaaaaaaay better than last night's dinner.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What is it? What is it? What is it?!?!?!

This came in the mail. Aaron wouldn't let me open it till he was home so it taunted me for hours.
When I finally get to open it there's another box.
And when I open that box there are a lot of packing peanuts.
AND THERE IS ANOTHER BOX!!!!!! When will I get to see what my present actually is?!?
Gasp! It's the baking stone I wanted! YAY!!! Now my bread will be even more delicious! Wait ... is that why Aaron got me this in the first place? Hmmmm. Oh well. I got a present!!

Sorry about the fuzzy pictures, I'm not good at waiting for it to focus :)

Artisan Bread in 5 min a day

So here is a more in depth post on bread. It's so easy.

Step 1: Mix all the ingredients together in big plastic bin with lid.
Step 2: Let it rise for about 2 hours
Step 3: Put it in the fridge
Step 4: Take some dough out and form a loaf
Step 5: Put it on a pizza peel ( I don't have one yet so I used a plate) that has been liberally dusted with cornmeal.
Step 6: Let rise 20-30 min on pizza peel

Step 7: Bake!

It's a little blurry because I pressed the button with my nose
Step 8: Eat with butter or dip into Balsamic vinegar

If you want to buy the book check it out at Amazon. Also their blog had video on how to bake baguettes on a gas grill so all you Arizonans can still try it without using the oven.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Bettijo introduced me to this bread making philosophy sometime ago but I never really caught on. But now that I am in a colder place where it's nice to turn on the oven I thought I'd give it a try. Aaron is the one who really liked the idea so again we went to Amazon and bought all the necessary items (if you just look for the book on Amazon it will suggest the other items).
Well here is the first batch.

As you can see Aaron decided to make his a bread bowl. I sliced some cheese on mine and broiled it. Sooooo gooooooood.

Waxing --WARNING -- May gross some people out

     So if you're brave enough to read this post, good for you! I've been waxing since10th grade when I grew my leg hair out for swim team then had my best friend's cousin who was in beauty school practice waxing on my legs. It was awesome. I've never been one to care overly much about my appearance which means that I would quite often go weeks without shaving anyways so waxing gave me a good reason to do so. After that initial experience I decided that I was capable of doing it myself. My wonderful mother supported me and bought me some knock-off Nads. That venture also being successful I decided to splurge and get the whole kit and caboodle. A warming pot was purchased as well as honey wax, muslin strips and all the sundry lotions recommended. Legs were waxed, underarms (polite word for arm pits), eyebrows even a few pesky toe hairs. Not all of this was done solely for me, my brother in law to prove that he was just as tough as I am requested a single strip be waxed off one of his legs. I complied but it just so happened to be the night before Geneva's wedding. There is a picture in my padre's wedding album :) Also rather inexplicably there was a boyfriend of mine that wanted his legs waxed. Yeah, that didn't work out.
      This history is all built up to me getting my first Brazilian. If you don't know a Brazilian is removing all the hair from your nether regions. All the hair. Well I guess some people leave patterns but I think that is just weird. A friend of my sister's recommended a place called European Wax Center. Greatest. Place. Ever. What? Why yes Brazilian waxes are under 30 bucks. And yes most other places charge 50-100 smackaroos. Check it out. Seriously. Right now. Go here and find a location near you. I could probably do an entire post on how much I love that place. Unfortunately the are not any in Seattle. Sigh. So on to the purpose of this post. I just cannot fork over 70(!) dollars to get my hooha waxed each month so I went to Amazon. Let me just say I loooooooove Amazon. Anyways I bought some hard wax and applicators then went to work. Don't worry the pictures are of my underarms I'm not that secure. So hard wax is different than strip wax because you don't use any strips you just wait for the wax to harden and pull it off. It's nice because it doesn't stick to your skin as much making it MUCH less painful.
Personally I love to see how much hair I get off but I won't show you that. This next picture is after just one application (of hard wax)
I probably should have done a before shot but I forgot. Just trust me it was bad. Overall I'm very pleased with the wax. It did just what I wanted. The stray pieces of wax came off easily and was very effective. If you're going to try just make sure that if you are using hard wax that you lay it on pretty thick other wise it just flakes off without pulling out the hair. I used this hard wax from Gigi but if you don't have a warmer get a microwavable version. Well what are you waiting for? Go try it! :)


So my dear sister in law Jenny came to visit us for a night while she and her friends were vacationing here in Seattle. We had all these grand plans to go see Harry Potter 7 part two at the IMAX but they were sold out and I didn't want to wait till the next one. So we wandered around for a bit and saw this:
Aaron and Jenny
It's some kind of cool sculpture thing. Oh and this picture was taken around 8pm. Look how light it is! Crazy. We also played with these things
Doesn't Aaron have a cute tush?

You whisper into this little metal circle and the person 10 yards (ish) away can hear you. Cool huh? We also went to the Redmond farmer's market but there are no pictures. Aaron did buy me some beautiful flowers, he is such a wonderful husband. That was pretty much all the cool stuff we did while Jenny was here. Oh and we played Kinect :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Homemade P.F. Chang's night!!

As you now know I like cooking when I have the time and energy to do so. I recently got a Costco membership, pretty much because we eat that much peanut butter, and impulse bought a big bag of green beans (they might have been string beans, I'm not sure). Well my friend Adrienne and I would order the crispy green beans whenever we went to PF Chang's with an order of extra sauce because that stuff is amazing. The second or third time we did this I asked the waiter if he would get the recipe for me. He said he would go ask the chef. The sweet guy came back with a list of ingredients and explained that that was all he could get for me. That little scrap of paper has been sitting in my recipe book for about a year. I finally decided to make some. But you can't just have crispy green beans for dinner so I made General Tso's chicken too.

Everything turned out perfectly too! I was so excited. I used these recipes I found online for the tempura and the General Tso's and really enjoyed them both. I did change the General Tso's a little. I added a bunch of garlic and ginger to the raw chicken and let it marinate for a little while before frying. The sauce wasn't quite spicy enough for me so I also added some crushed chili flakes and some extra chilies. I bought the dried chilies in the Mexican aisle of the grocery store for a buck and they made it very tasty. Warning about this recipe it makes A TON! It could easily feed 5-6 hungry adults.

Here is my recipe for the dipping sauce that I made up all my myself. It's not quite perfect but I can't remember what it tastes like exactly so feel free to change it up.

Crispy Green Bean Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce ( aka rooster sauce here's a funny comic)
1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar 
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon celery salt 

We definitely enjoyed it. I think that I might make the sauce again but just used grilled chicken instead of fried, my body wasn't very happy with me after all of that. If you try my dipping sauce recipe let me know what you think of it and how you changed it.