Sunday, February 27, 2011

What's for Dinner?

A blog about what we had for dinner!  If you want to see our cookbooks, check out the cookbook shelf link at the top my the blog

Monday:   Eggplant and Pepper Stoup with Indian Spices (Rachel Ray 365)

I love Indian food.  My husband does not.  Hence I rarely get to eat it.  I never cook Indian both because my husband dislikes it and it smells so strong.  I chose this because it was mild but I thought it might be good enough to hold me over.  Eh... it was okay.

Tuesday: Paprika Chicken From Cori's Kitchen.

Tuesday I did the round trip Palm Springs commute (ick) so I was exhausted when I got home.  Gavin helped me make paprika chicken recipe his sister gave us last year at our wedding shower.  It was pretty good and smelled amazing.  The sauce didn't thicken up how we wanted, but it was still good.

Wednesday: Sushi Date with Gavin at Sushi Plantation in Mission Viejo

I've written about Sushi plantation many times before.  No disappointment here!  (I also had Indian for lunch to make up for Monday, Gandhi Palace in Anaheim, pretty good.)

Thursday:  Olive Garden, Palm Springs.

The think about traveling for business is that I'm all about doing as much business as possible.  That means 10, 12, 14 hour days if I have any energy for it.  So when it's time to pack up and sleep I usually just pick a logo I recognize (and an easy to get into driveway) and eat.  Hence, Olive Garden.

Friday: Javier's, Newport Coast

I met up with some friends at Javier's.  I had a shrimp salad.  The dressing was good, but it wasn't really my type of place.  I also drank my first Corona Light.  Beer is weird.

Saturday: Sushi on Fire, Huntington Beach with  Jen.

I had a super weird Saturday that involved photographing clouds, several shopping spree, glow in the dark bracelets, throwing sand, and having dinner with Jen.  Can't really beat delicious food with an insightful, sympathetic, understanding friend.  And free sake, too. 

Sunday: Rosemary Chicken and sweet potatoes and baby broccoli aka, whatever was left over from last week  

I think it's a sign of my culinary growth that I'm no longer completely daunted by the idea of cooking something with out set ingredients and a cookbook.  (To be fair, I used to always cook like that, which is why I was then terrified to attempt it!)  I didn't hear any complaints about today's results.

Last weeks goal was to not skip any dinners.  Mission accomplish.  Lunch and breakfast didn't fare so well, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.  This is gonna be a tough week, so no promises.  But I'll try.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I chose this book because it won quite a few audiobook awards and I had no other leads for a good book at the moment.

I sometimes have issue when authors read their own books.  There are certainly a few advantages, for example you never have to wonder if the reader is accurately portraying the author's intent, but in my experience, readers are generally better are reading than writers.  Neil Gaiman did an amazing job.

I didn't immediately realize this was intended to be a children's book.  The story is that of a young boy who is adopted by the residents of an old cemetery after his family is killed.  It reminded me a little bit of Lois Lowry's book in style.

Because it was a children's book, it only lasted me one commute, but I'm considering checking out some of Gaiman's other works and a quick look at his Wikipedia entry tells me that could take quite some time. 

Also, in DESPERATE need of some book ideas.  My new commute means probably almost a book a week, so please suggest away.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What's for Dinner?

I am beginning to miss my routines.  This is an easy enough routine to recapture, so last Sunday, I sat down with my cookbooks, my whiteboard, and my mom (so it wasn't that easy, I may have needed some help).

Sunday: (should probably have gone in last weeks, but fits better with this week) Meatballs in Red Pepper Sauce

We love this dish.  I make it somewhat often and wanted to make it for my mommy.  

Monday: Saint Valentine's Day Dinner:  Winter Chicory Salad with Roquefort Cheese Dressing and Leek and Potato soup from Crate and Barrel Newlywed's Cookbook.

As I wrote about in Movie Date #2, this dinner was quite good.

Tuesday: Easiest Chicken and Biscuits from Slow Cooker Recipes

We've made this recipe lots of time as well. My mom and I had along drive, so Gavin got this ready for us. It photographs so terribly that I skipped it.

Wednesday:  Rooms service club sandwich from Doral Princess Resort, Palm Springs, CA

Club sandwiches are my go to room service order.  They seem to be most likely to be edible.  This one was nothing special, but certainly edible.  And hey! I remembered to eat dinner without anyone reminding me.

Thursday:  Forgot to eat

Okay, so maybe I shouldn't celebrate my Wednesday victory too much.

Friday: Bok Choy and noodle Soup, veggie version, Rachel Ray 365

Friday we made one of our favorite soups, but since our favorite vegetarian was here, we omitted the shrimp and seafood stock.  It's still an awesome soup.  I probably prefer it with shrimp, but I'd make it veggie again.

Saturday:Commerce Casino all you can eat crab legs.

Bad. Choice.

Sunday: French Fries and Wasabi Mayonnaise 

One of the places we ate at in the crown had amazing wasabi mayonnaise, so when I saw it at Trader Joe's while grocery shopping, I excited bought some fries for dinner!  Very good.  Although not very good for me I think.

Next week I'm aiming to skip zero dinners.  Wish me luck.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Movie Date 2 of 6.

Read about date 1 here.

Gavin aptly chose Saint Valentine's Day for Date 2.  And appropriately chose Gnomeo & Juliet.

Our date night started with my gift for Gavin ,'Champagne', and his gift for me, flowers.

I say 'champagne' because it wasn't.  It was Sam Adam's Infinium, a champagne like beer.  I successfully took up beer drinking in Australia, so thought this would be an awesome gift for Gavin.  I disagree with their opinion that this beer is champagne like.  It was darker than most of the beers I've tried so far and thicker, but it was pretty good. 

For dinner, we had a Winter Chicory Salad with Roquefort Cheese Dressing and Potato and Leek Soup.

It was amazing.  The cheese was incredible!  The dressing was super easy, just heavy cream, vinegar and the cheese tossed with the greens and apples.  The leak and potato soup was similar to the soup we made for Christmas Eve and pretty quick and simple.

I thought the movie would be packed.  I was wrong.  It's not really surprising I guess that a kids movie would be mostly empty on a holiday designed for couples.

The movie was adorable.  We choose to skip on 3D this time and I'm not sure what would have been gained watching this particular movie in 3D (except a headache in my case).  I probably wouldn't watch it again, but it was a perfect date night movie!

Can't wait to plan next month's date!

What's for Dinner? I dunno we'll figure it out as we go edition.

Last week I was jet-lagged, overwhelmed and exhausted.  Life is heavy sometimes.

So almost every night, dinner went something like this:

Open fridge, sigh at lack of food, close fridge.  Open pantry, sigh at lack of food options close pantry.  Decide I wasn't actually that hungry and wander away.

But on Monday Jen came over and that night, we cooked!

Jen wrote a beautiful description of the dish here.  So I'll just say: it was yummy.  And greatly appreciated as my only real meal of the week.

One night, I had top ramen.  Don't hate, without ramen I would have starved to death during college.

Pretty sure I forgot to eat dinner a few times when Gavin wasn't here.  Friday night I had dinner with some new friends in Santa Ana and then my mom came to visit Saturday (and made sure I didn't forget any more meals).  Next week will be basically back to my regularly scheduled programming, although my new work schedule will mean a little less cooking.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wedding Planning: My Bouquet

I'm having an "a" day.  That, as opposed to an "A" day.  In other words, I'm having a 'little a day'.  It's a bad day that's causes me to not capitalize my A at the end of my emails.  I thought maybe posting about one of my favorite things about my favorite day would cheer me up a bit, so here goes:

I've mentioned before that I didn't like a lot of the aspects of planning our wedding.  By far my favorite project was my bouquet.

I first saw the idea of a brooch bouquet at a wedding fair in Laguna Beach.  I was immediately hooked.  I adored the idea of a bouquet that would never die, but was also so excited about the ultra-personalization that would be possible!

I immediately set out to find brooches.  I started in my closet and found a few from clothes I had owned (I never throw away something shiny if I can avoid it!) or things that had been given to me.  I searched in antique stores, thrift stores and the internet.  I asked friends and family.  Eventually I ended up with exactly what I was looking for.

I first saw it at our tasting.  I was in love immediately, but couldn't give up the hunt!  Our florist was incredible and added the last few pieces only a few days before the wedding!
My bouquet at the Wedding Tasting
The day of the wedding, it was everything I hoped it would be.

Currently, the bouquet is in a vase in our living room.  I suspect someday it might end up on a high shelf or maybe even in a box, but I know that I will always cherish it for the special pieces in it that remind me of the people I love, the role it played in keeping me sane during wedding planning, and the part it played on our wedding day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Saint Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day. First, of course, to my Valentine; Gavin.  I love you.  I don't need a red heart on my calendar to remind me to tell you that, but I'll take the opportunity to tell the rest of the world. I LOVE THIS MAN.

And Happy Valentine's to you.  Awesome Alyssa made this and I'll share it as my Valentine's gift.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Gifts

I am making a huge play for aunt of the year again this year.  I couldn't think of a better way to start than with AWESOME Valentine's Day mailboxes!  Sticker personalized for each of my favorite nieces/nephews.

Don't worry, they aren't just adorably cute, they are also stuffed full of awesome candy and souvenirs from Australia.

I don't know any Pirate,smiley face, Tinkerbell, animal, crocodile loving child that wouldn't vote for Aunt Amy!  Happy Valentine's Day, kids!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Blog.

Happy Birthday, blog.

One year ago, I posted that this blog was not a diary.  This blog is still not a diary.  This blog is still an outlet for my creative genius endeavors. It's about what I had for dinner, and gingerbread mustaches, and the tomato monster.   From cooking, to running, to photography, to the wedding, this blog has seen most of what is beautiful in my life over the last year. 

But not all of life is beautiful, and not even all that has been beautiful in my life is in this blog. This blog is in no way a complete picture of my life, and never will be.  For that, you have to get to know me.  You have to meet me for drinks at the elephant bar, drive the Great Ocean Road with me, dance the night away at my wedding, hand me tissue after tissue as a bawl my eyes out, or be brave enough to face The Goo(Alternatively, if you are my future biographer, I would direct you to several other personal writing outlets, don't want to make this harder on you than it has to be! :p) 

In all seriousness, thank you to those of you who follow along this creative journey with me, and here's to another year.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What's for Dinner? Aussie Edition 2.0

So this is more than just dinner, and it's a bit long since I just added all the meals I had pictures of in Australia.  Plus, when you're in the wrong hemisphere, wrong season, wrong time zone, any meal can be dinner. 

Dinner made by Amy, Tacos!  It's hard to make Mexican food in Australia!


Peking Duck at Shark Fin

Korean BBQ.  Always best to get culturally specific food with an expert.

Cold noodles at Korean BBQ.  They looked a bit strange, but they tasted good.

"Entrees" and drinks in South Bank.  Spring Rolls, Broccoli, and Duck Dumplings

Banana Bread made by Alyssa and I (twice!)

Fish and Chips during our day trip to Phillips Island.

Indian food at the Crown food Court.  Very good, but secondary to my more awesome Indian food with Terrence on Lt Bourke Street.

Dim Sum!

White Fish from a tapas Restaurant in CBD 

We basically ordered everything on here, so this was easier than all of the photos! :)

Truth in Blogging.  I ate this.

FYI Americans: THIS is what Large, Medium, and Small SHOULD be.

Pumpkin Soup along the Great Ocean Road.

Veggie Risotto in St Kilda's Beach.  One of my best meals of the trip!

Nobu: Sashimi Taco's (salmon, whitefish, crab, and lobster)

Nobu: Wagyu Gyoza

Nobu: Tenderloin Dobon Yaki

Don't like this sign.  Penguins should not be what's for dinner, ever!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I'm coming home.

There's no place like home...

Leaving Only Footprints

Friday, February 4, 2011

Walking about Australia, Part 5

 Driving is faster than walking, but you're moving too fast to see much.