Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This week in TV: A recap

American Idol
Tuesday April 29: This was another weird show! The 5 remaining contestants sung Neil Diamond tunes, 2 each! The only person I am rooting for now is David C. David A. has a good voice but it seems to me like the songs he does, as Simon would say, are "themepark-ish" and usually they don't seem (to me) like they are songs that would ever be on the radio or be popular. And what was with Paula thinking Jason had already sung 2 songs, when EVERYONE had only done one song??? I am guessing it was because this show was so rushed since each did 2 songs.

Wednesday April 30: What is going on here, soo annoyed. Jason still on the show?? I understand Brooke getting booted, but come on, she is better than Jason. He cannot sing! Voters, you are officially retarded.

Top Chef
This week was all about quick, easy and cheap! None of which the chefs normally would do at a fancy schmancy restaurant. The guest judge this week was Oprah's personal chef, pretty interesting. The quickfire challenge was to create a dish in 15 minutes. I can't imagine having to come up with a dish on the spot in 15 mins. when you have know idea what ingredients are available to you. Antonia won that one and received immunity for the elimination round.
The elimination challenge was to create a healthy and cheap dinner for a family of 4, with a budget of $10! $10 is kind of pushing it when they have to shop at Whole Foods, but most of them came up with yummy meals. They also were given a sous chef to cook with - little kids! Each chef got a child to help them prepare their meal, they looked like they were having lots of fun. We ended up saying goodbye to Mark, the hobbit, this I'd rather see Lisa go. And Antonia won again!

The Office
I am soooo relieved by "Did I Stutter?"!!! The opening scene was classic, I LOVED it. Totally something Michael would do, and totally something that Jim would suggest. Perfect. "I can come back here, when I'm 100, and I can find that piece of cement and say "That's me. Look kids, your daddy left that face hole." Hah. Michael sure talks about kids a lot, he better start like now, his time is runnin' out! And, Pam's glasses did look ridiculous (ahem, I just thought about this, bu the remind me of a certain picture someone posted on their blog). Darryl's "fluffy fingers" comment, oh my; I wonder how many takes that took because that guy is a great actor.

This episode was chocked full of attitude. Stanley the manly...wooow...the comment he made about his wives - scary! Dwight buying and reselling Andy's car for more, that's just cruel. But I am really pissed off at Toby. Wtf?! Poor Jim. I really want Toby to stop being a grumpy/mean/awkward guy...but if you saw the title of the last episode...well, I"ll stop there! Who knows where that will go.

Can I just say that I am sad there's only TWO episodes left. We got totally jipped this season!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tequila Chicken

Recipe: Tequila Chicken

2 tablespoons canola or olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1/8 cup finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 dashes cayenne pepper (less than 1/8 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 pound (2 large half breasts) boneless skinless chicken breast; sliced
completely in half making 4 pieces
1-ounce tequila
4 ounces shredded Colby Jack cheese

Garnishes: Diced red onion, bell pepper, green pepper, green onion, cilantro leaves, salsa, sour cream, black olives, lemon or lime wedges.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl, place 2 tablespoons canola oil, all marinade ingredients, and chicken, and mix thoroughly.

In a large saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high to high heat. Place the coated chicken breasts in the hot pan and sear on one side until golden brown for about 1 minute. Turn and sear the other side for a few seconds more, and sizzle with the tequila.

Transfer seared chicken breasts to a lightly greased sheet pan and bake in oven for about 10 minutes until fully cooked.

Remove chicken from oven and top with your choice of garnishes (our choices were: sour cream, black olives, salsa, and lime wedges).

This was soo good. Our twist: cut some tortillas into thin strips and fry or bake them, place under the chicken. Don't forget to make some margaritas!!! Mmm.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Goodbye Fohawk, Talent, & Lonley

We all watch a bit (too much?) tv here and there, at least, and have our favorite shows. For us right now, our week of tv is Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights: American Idol, Top Chef, The Office. There's some other shows I catch but I HAVE to see these every week.

American Idol
This is the first season I actually watch it entirely through, and I really don't know many that watch it so I don't get to talk about all the people! I would usually just watch the pre-season casting shows to watch people makes fools of themselves, but this season I saw some really good, different people making it through. Plus they get to use instruments this season.

So far, I've mostly seen the "correct" people voted off. But nooo not this week. I'm now realizing that when there's only a handful of people left - it gets to be a popularity contest over talent. Ah the reality of "reality" tv. My favorites this season are: Michael Johns ("Australian guy"), Carly ("Irish girl"), and David Cook ("The rock-ish guy"). Michael got kicked off a while ago, he should have lasted longer imo, though I knew he wouldn't win or anything.

This week, 6 people were left, and they did music by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (he does broadway type music). So the show was weird because usually on AI they DO NOT want them do sound "broadway-like." Carly, Syesha, and David C. were the best; Brooke and Jason were not good. Carly and Syesha ended up in the bottom 2, and Carly was kicked off! So lame, this girl has the best voice on there. Grr, soooo mad this week!

Top Chef
I really don't know anyone else that watches this show either, but I like it! I'm obviously not a chef, but to see what some of these people come up with sometimes is hilarious. For example, one week they did a tailgate bbq at a football game, and one of the guys made this meal...ok, what? This is a football game, the people want burgers, ribs...bbq! What I like about the show is that it actually gives me ideas, and since they post all the recipes for every episode online, I can try out some of the stuff. Even though most of the time I have no idea what the fancy words mean :)

This week the chefs did desserts for the quickfire challenge (this is a short challenge and the winner wins immunity for the actual challenge). Watching this show I've learned that a majority of these chefs don't do desserts...they never make them and usually have no idea what they are doing. Which is funny, because I love baking. After this quickfire the chefs went to an improv. comedy show. At this show the actors had the audience scream out a number of sets of words: a color, an emotion and an edible item. These were the basis for what the teams of cooks had to prepare their elimination challenge dishes. All the stuff looked really good, but in the end they kicked off "miss lesbian-fohawk". Yes, there was an actual lesbian couple that made it this season (her "partner" was booted a few weeks ago). Ohhh, the drama.

The Office
Everyone watches ze Office, so no need for any blabbering :)

I loved the ending of last weeks show, so cute! But I hate to admit that this week's show was "meh" for me, in comparison to the rest of this season. I thought Michael and Dwight going to party with Ryan was funny and just way in character of them; I thought the rest of the DM team locking themselves in the parking lot was super funny idea and could have been a lot more funny like "The Fire" episode; I thought the Toby leaving was funny, but awkward (is he actually gone gone?). I laughed really hard when Ryan was excited to see Michael and Dwight, well he was obviously drunk and on drugs. Actually the whole Dwight, Michael, Ryan stuff was the good part of the show. So overall, I liked the NY part of the show but the rest of it wasn't too entertaining, for me.

I'll have to watch it a few more times, though, I was baking cookies so I didn't put my full attention to a few minutes of it. Any one else feel differently about this episode?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Good Eats - Part 2

We also made a really yummy Garlic Chicken pizza last week :) I started using a recipe...but ended up just winging it. One thing I've learned from cooking is changing recipes I find to adapt to what I like AND what ingredients I already have at home (trips to the store for one or two things is just annoying). Most you can change just fine to your liking :)

Garlic Chicken Pizza
1 pizza crust (make it, get it premade, doesn't matter)
1/4 cup pesto (you can make this too, if you dare)
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (you can also buy those prepackaged chicken breast strips)
1 can artichoke hearts
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped green onion
1 tomato, diced
1 Tbsp. basil
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
*I think we added another type of some sort of cheese we had

Place the chicken breast in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until no longer pink, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool slightly, then cut into strips.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place prepared pizza crust onto a pizza pan or other baking sheet, and the pesto on top using a spoon. Spread the cheeses evenly over the pesto. Arrange chicken and artichoke heart pieces on top. Top with garlic, tomato, onion, and basil.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until crust is browned and center is cooked through.

Good Eats - Part 1

Last week we made 2 really good meals that I wanted to share. The first is an eggplant parmesan recipe (adapted from this recipe), it's more healthy because in most eggplant parmesan recipes the eggplant is fried and here it is baked. I've never cooked or really even eaten much eggplant, but I went to the farmer's market recently and the eggplant was just pretty and purple so I bought one (only $1.50). So I found a good recipe to test it out with. Eggplant smells really yummy when you cut into it btw!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
1 medium-large eggplant (about 1 pound)
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
2 cups panko bread crumbs

½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon dried oregano

1 ½ cups tomato sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (fresh is better of course)

Heat oven to 425° F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and set it aside.

Slice the eggplant into ¼-½” thick slices – I probably had around 16-20 slices. Pour half of the olive oil, half of the salt, and half of the pepper into a large microwave-safe dish, and mix well to combine. Put half of the eggplant slices into the pie plate, rubbing each side of each slice well in the olive oil mixture. Cover the dish with a paper towel and microwave on high power for 2 minutes. Remove the cover and microwave on high power for 1 more minute. Carefully remove the cover and transfer the eggplant to a plate to cool (I put the plate in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the process). Repeat the process with the remaining eggplant slices.

Put the flour onto a plate. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat well. Put the panko, salt, basil, parsley, and oregano onto another plate and mix well to combine.

Dip an eggplant slice in the flour, making sure to coat both sides and the edges of the slice. Tap off any excess flour. Dip the floured slice in the beaten eggs and let any excess drip off. Put the coated slice on the seasoned panko and put a handful of the breadcrumbs on top of the slice. Press down on the slice to make sure the panko adheres. Roll the edges of the slice in the panko to fully coat it. Place the coated slice onto the foil-lined sheet. Repeat this process with all of the slices.

Bake the eggplant slices until the panko are browned on the edges and lightly golden on top, about 25 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 400° F. Let the eggplant slices cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then gently twist them to remove them from the foil.

Start layering in an 8"x8" baking dish: about 1/4 cup of tomato sauce, then some eggplant slices, then some cheese. Repeat the layering (sauce, eggplant, cheese) until everything is gone, you should have about 4 layers. Bake at 400° F until the cheese is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly, about 15 minutes. I topped mine with some more herbs when it was done baking.

Serve with salad, mmm.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This Took Forever

Welcome to the purse raid game (Morgan tagged me)! You're supposed to dump out your purse and show everyone what is in it. Well since I have no work to do at work, this is how I did it: searched for the things that are in my purse online. I did have to take just a couple pics with my cellphone (dangit, I forgot to add my phone to the picture!!). These are, of course, the actual items.

1. My checkbook is ugly, so this is what my checks look like!
2. 3 white pills...that I have no idea what are for! Oops.
3. Orbit Maui Melon Mint gum. First time I've tried it, it's okay.
4. Ice-Breakers Pomegranate Lemon-Aid mints. Wow these are the best mints ever!!! I have only seen them at Target so far.
5. A mini hand-sanitizer. Usually used after the gym or in lieu of washing.
6. Orange Cream lip gloss. This is the best lip gloss (clear) I have ever had. Did I mention it smells (and tastes) like heaven...or an orange creamcicle...same thing. I bought it at bath and body works, but they have different flavors now :(
7. Dwight Schrute pen.
8. My fossil wallet. Chris got it for me for x-mas, couldn't find it online!!!
9. My keys. They tell you that: I went to Alaska, I go to the gym, I go to PetCo, and I love penguins.

So I tag Mallory!!! What's in YOUR purse?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tasty Tip

Just a short and sweet post to share this article of The Ten Tastiest Food Photography Tips. I know there's a handful of us that like to post food pictures, so have fun!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Wow second post in a day! Apparently today is ASPCA Day, and they had to post this article in the newspaper. If you don't know already, I have a super soft spot for animals, especially the ones at the shelters and such. Though we didn't get our cats at the shelter (Kitty was free from the newspaper and Garbage was found on my aunt's friend's porch) I seriously want to adopt all the animals! I just feel so bad for them all and I really should volunteer there. I have seen a few articles in the paper, too, showing them euthanizing the animals and putting their bodies into trash cans...omg it just makes me so sad that people can do that! I know the SPCA doesn't do that but the County shelter does. I would totally be a vet too if I didn't have to do all the icky stuff, I'm sure a lot of animal lovers feel that way.

The Christmas before last my aunt gave $100 to each of us nieces and nephews and asked that we donate it or use it to buy something to give to a charity, as a gift to her. So I used mine to sponsor a kennel at the SPCA, which pays for the dogs that stay in it and to have food, meds, upkeep, etc. for the year.

Look at all the animals just at the SPCA. I only wish that I could have more animals and had a big backyard. So adopt your pets (or at least some of them!) and remember to spay and neuter!!! :)

This is Miss Kitty - took this last cute!!

And Garbage...he's well..el diablo! :)

Oh, how you've been missed...

This is my little cheesy ode to The Office. But come on it's not THAT cheesy! Thursday nights without The Office are just so sad. I mean, it used to be the only show I followed really and now that it's been gone for 5 months I've turned to American Idol, among others, to ease the pain. 5 months that we were supposed to have The Office every Thursday night...we got no Christmas episode, no preggy Angela, no Valentine's Day, no Jim and Pam (or JAM for some of you), no sad Dwight. Oh, so sad. And now we're going to have just a few more episodes then another what...3 months of no Office! Blasphemy I tell ya. So here's to you, Office cast, for coming back to complete our Thursday nights.

Friday, April 4, 2008


1. to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly: to crave sweets; to crave affection
2. to require; need: a problem craving prompt attention
3. to ask earnestly for (something); beg for
4. to ask (a person) earnestly for something or to do something

I was curious as to what things other people crave. Not just food, though that's what spurred my question, but I guess you could really crave lots of things. Probably a good percentage of the time when we think of craving something we do think of food; addicts crave whatever it is they are addicted to. I think what you crave, aside just from having a craving, depends on the mood you're in or the time of year even. I saw a commercial for a show and the guy was speaking on cravings (darn, miss it), and talking about it being a learned behavior. I can agree with that, it's probably mostly psychological. Searching the net for a few minutes, I mostly found articles about food cravings. Then there's lot of stuff on addictions, which is a bit different but they have a little in common. Addictions are habits, usually bad. I'd say a craving is just a part of an addiction; cravings aren't constant "you have to have it" all the time.

Some things I think I crave: most sweets (though nothing too sweet), cheese, acceptance, and money (unfortunately, haha). What do you crave? Is it a food or a feeling? An activity? Blogging? :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Stephanie tagged me a while ago, and I need to fill up some free time. Though I really only have one *new* person to tag, maybe people will like to read anyway! So here goes!

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules.
3) Share six non-important things / habits / quirks about yourself.
4) Tag three people

1. I always think I can find a better deal on something. Anything. You tell me a good deal, I’ll find a better one. Haha, okay that sounds conceited : ) I will try to find the better deal. My mom always calls me and asks me where she can find a cheaper this or that.

2. Some people may call me a music snob. A small FYI, I used to run (with some friends) a music website that posted news, interviews, photos, etc., on bands. We got to go to all these concerts for free and record labels would send me CD’s to review. Anywho, I used to listen to tons of bands. Now I pretty religiously listen to a small handful (I became picky I suppose) even though my iPod is loaded. But I still love music!

3. I hate clutter and messes. You would most likely not notice this if you walked into our apartment ;) I think being in a messy environment makes me easily annoyed, angry, frustrated, etc.

4. Chris and I tend to start singing a song…but change the words to make the song about cats, usually our cats. It’s really special, and by special I don’t mean romantic. Rap Cat, anyone?

5. I record and watch Dr. Phil every day. ‘Nuff said.

6. I have a system when it comes to doing the dishes. Different size plates/bowls have certain spots, plastic and glass wares even, I don’t like to have 2 glass cups touching (I’ll put a plastic cup in between), I try to put the same number of utensils in each compartment. I even unload the dishes in a certain order!!!

So my one and only person to tag is Mallory, feel special!