Monday, September 25, 2006

Yadda, yadda, yadda…

I’m still here, just not posting or getting around to people’s blogs too much because work is keeping me busy and there’s been a little personal upheaval that may cause some major changes in the next few months. Nothing bad, I just don’t want to elaborate right now since it’s the beginning stages and we have no idea how this will play out (could I be any more cryptic?) So all this will probably keep me from posting all that often for a bit. I do have some pictures to share so hopefully I’ll get around to posting those sometime this week.

I finished week one of the couch to 5 k running program and have week 2 downloaded and ready to go on my iPod. So far it’s been totally bearable, and I’m already starting to feel like I’m sort of accomplishing something. I still haven’t been able to do any lifting or my usual pilates or yoga classes due to the shoulder. This is taking much longer to heal than I anticipated.

Poor Dexter had a really inflamed ear and some other itchy sores on his belly, so he went to his dermatologist last week. He’s allergic to a bunch of stuff so I thought it might have something to do with the fall allergy season, but it turns out he had a fungal and bacterial infection in his ear and he had some flea bites, which he’s allergic to, so that explains the itchy red patches. We gave him some flea treatment and he’s got two pill prescriptions, ear drops, and ear wash that we have to administer in addition to his allergy shots. I stopped giving him the herbal anxiety relief supplements because they weren’t doing anything (as I expected they wouldn’t) so at least that’s one less thing. Man, talk about high maintenance. His ear and red spots are a lot better now and he should be all better within a couple weeks.

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Hope everyone had a good weekend, shana tova!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Celebrate, good times! Come on!

Last night we picked up our good friends Ben (aka Virginia Slim) and Tosha (aka TBone) from the airport. Sounds like they had an amazing time in Israel, and we’re glad they’re back safe. Welcome back and Mazel Tov to the newly enfianced happy couple!

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Sorry guys, I’m at work and don’t have access to all my photos. All I got is this cheesy picture of you with a novelty blow-up avocado. Mmmm, avocados…

Guess what I did this morning. No really, guess. OK, I’ll just tell you. I went running. Yeah, so what, big deal, right? Except I have always professed to be a hater of running, I just have never liked it. I always thought of it as right up there with doing algebra and licking toads as far as activities I’d rather not be involved with. I heard about the Couch-to-5K Running Plan some time ago and thought, if I ever attempt running again this seems like the way to go. I tend to throw myself into stuff and lose patience quickly if I’m not just brilliant at it immediately, thus most of my past running attempts burned out pretty much instantly. I recently came across these nifty podcasts designed to take you through the program, basically it’s music with a guy telling you when to run and when to walk – foolproof! With my bum shoulder keeping me out of my usual gym activities for a bit, I figured now is as good a time as any to conquer my biggest fitness foe – the running. So theoretically in 9 weeks I will be able to jog continuously for 30 min or 3 miles. I’ll let you know how that goes. I’m scarily optimistic about this.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Farmer's Market Friday

1 bunch spinach
1 bag green beans
1 bunch asparagus
2 red bell peppers
1 smooth green avocado (Looks like a Reed avocado, but I don’t remember what the sign said)
2 Haas avocados
5 Fuji apples (yay, fall apple season)
1 cluster cherry tomatoes
2 yellow peaches
1 white peach
1 white nectarine
Total: $15.45

I just realized I am going to have to miss the California Avocado Festival this year because I will be in WI for my sister’s wedding. Too bad they conflict, I got a whole lot of avocados and ate a lot of avocado stuff there last year. This was my personal stash.

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I looooooove avocados in case you didn’t know. Anyone who can make the drive should, it’s worth the trip.

I’m a little bummed about my shoulder today, I don’t think I’ll be going to pilates tomorrow. Guess I’ll just have to drink beer and watch the Badgers vs. San Diego State game and suck it up.

Enjoy the weekend everyone.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

File under “WTF!?!”

So I was out rollerblading with Dexter on the bike path near our apartment, just like I do ever day, and came across a man walking a GSD (that’s German Shepherd Dog to those of you outside the dog world). I’d seen this dog once the day before, and he let out a nasty bark when we passed by but that was it. Today the dog started acting up bit as we were about to pass so the man took him aside to he grass and let us pass. We met up with them again going to other direction and he heard us coming from behind, so he moved over to give us room again. Just after we passed something happed, and I’m not sure exactly what. All I know is I ended up on my ass and the shepherd was off his leash on top of my dog. It was pretty scary, and I have to say the guy was a little less than competent in retrieving his dog and getting him off us. He first thought to ask me if I was ok. Granted an “are you ok” is expected after something like that, but stopping the dog at large should probably be the first order of business. Probably. Cowering on the ground trying to pull my dog back to me and staring at this dog not really knowing what he was going to do, I was a bit in shock and a feeble “help” was about all I could manage. The guy took a hint and got his dog, explaining “he got off his leash”. Trying my best to stay calm I just answered “I can see that”. At that point I just asked him to give us some space so I could get up and get away. A concerned passerby checked to see if we were alright as well. Thankfully the other dog didn’t really want to kill me or Dexter, and no one is badly hurt. He was just putting on a big show of snarling and barking and Dexter got slobbered on pretty good. I did land pretty hard and my right bum cheek will probably get bruised, my right shoulder and wrist hurt a bit (probably be stiff by morning) and I have the tiniest bit of road rash on my wrist. Could have been a lot worse.

This is the second time in a week that out of control dogs have caused me to wipe out on my blades. The other incident involved a dog on an extendo leash (I fucking hate those things!) that cut us off so I had no choice but to do a face dive into the grass or I would have clotheslined it. That dude actually chuckled a bit after I stood up and checked out to be alright. Granted it was a pretty good face plant, I felt one of my blades fly up and hit me in the back, and I’m sure it was hilarious. But he could have had the decency to wait till I was out of ear shot before he started laughing. Asshat.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The irony is so thick, it’s getting hard to breathe…

So I’ve finally been invited to sit at the cool kids’ table and upgrade to this beta thing. Still not sure what it’s all about, but I look forward to playing around with it when I have the time.

Some of you may have seen this floating around the internet lately.

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No, you’re not reading that wrong. That is indeed an invitation to come to a political fundraiser and shoot a living symbol of peace in a canned hunt on the anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks. Not surprisingly PETA launched a campaign against this. Realizing their faux pas the Floyd campaign has moved the massacre of mourning doves to Oct., 4th. Phew, I feel so much better about that now! (Sarcasm and irony, oh happy day!) I went ahead and wrote a not-so-nice e-mail yesterday, feel free to do the same:, be sure to cc:;

And in other news:

Sydney - Australians are avenging the death of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin by killing stingrays, a friend of the wildlife documentary maker said Tuesday.

Ten stingrays have been found dead on Queensland beaches in the week since Irwin died after being jabbed in the heart by the venomous barb of the stingray he was filming.
*click for the whole article*

I don’t know what to say. People just piss me off sometimes.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Farmer’s Market Friday

I feel like I buy the same stuff at the market over and over again. I guess I know what I like, heh. If you all have any suggestions for excting produce items I should keep and eye out for let me know.

2 white nectarines
1 yellow nectarine
1 yellow peach
1 large globe eggplant
1 cantaloupe
2 lbs of broccoli florets for cheap! About $3 and they look super fresh and good too.
1 bunch asparagus
2 large cucumbers
5 lemons
2 haas avocados
1 basket jalapeno peppers
1 bag mixed bell peppers
Total $17.10

I almost never use a whole basket of jalapeno chilis before they go bad, so I find it works out nicely to half and seed them and stick them in the freezer. That way you always have jalapenos around on the odd occasion a recipe calls for them or you want to spice something up.

We’re going up to Neptune’s Net for a friend’s birthday celebration on Sunday. I’ll be packing a picnic to enjoy while everyone else eats deep-fried tref. While I’m not into the food you can’t beat the atmosphere and the beach right across the PCH allows dogs, so Dexter gets to come with.

Happy Friday y’all!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Cold Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Seitan

Tonight we welcome feature guest chef Jason to the program. Say "hi" Jason!

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Imagine my pleasant surprise when I came home from the gym to the smell of peanut sauce cooking. This recipe is from VwaV p. 165. It calls for udon noodles but we didn't have any so we used flat wide rice noodles instead, worked very well with the sauce. We didn't have any bean sprouts for garnish, we opted for yellow pepper instead of red, used chunky instead of smooth peanut butter in the sauce (I enjoy chunks of peanuts, so I actually recommend trying it if you do as well), otherwise this is pretty much the recipe as is in VwaV. We took this opportunity to break in our new cast iron skillet. I don't know why we never had one before, this seitan fried up so nice! Overall, this dish gets a big two thumbs up.

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All I did was chop the veggies and slice the seitan, the rest was all Jason's doing. A tip of the hat.

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I have this tub of miso sitting in my fridge from the miso gravy I made a while back. I thought I’d try my hand at making some soup. It ended up being really bland so I added salt and pepper but added too much. I think I can save the rest of it by adding some more water and miso whisked together, definitely needs work. Also I think the miso paste I’m using is very mild, I might like a variety with stronger flavor better.

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Yay, Friday once again! Enjoy your weekend y’all.

Final countdown

Today is officially one month to go till my sister’s wedding. I am a little bit stressed out because I have yet to make flight reservations or rental car for our side trip to Madison. Oh, and I have to buy a gift. And get my bridesmaid dress altered. I did however just make a reservation at the hotel we’ll be staying at after the reception, so that’s one down. They’ll even have shuttle service going from the reception to the hotel so no one has to worry about too much champagne + driving. Nice!

Also, I told myself that I was gonna lose another 10 lbs by the wedding. I was doing great until last weekend when I gained back the 4 pounds I lost over the previous month. Stupid beer. Well, 2 of them are flushed out already and hopefully I’ll be back where I started by the end of the week, but still. Losing weight is a bitch.

My cell phone went through the wash over the weekend, so I had to go get a replacement.
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI could have gotten a free phone since we renewed our contract for another 2 years (only extended the contract we already had by about 6 months, so whatever) but I wanted to get this nifty phone since it comes in pink : ) and it has an exterior display (that lights up pink!). It was still pretty cheap with the hefty discount.

Hope everyone is having a good week. I really need to get a bunch of stuff done this upcoming weekend, but hopefully there will also be sometime to relax and go to the beach while the gettin’ is still good.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


by Carrie™ of the House of Simon. Without further ado, 5 things I think everyone should eat before they die (provided they’re over 21 for #1…ahem):

1. Beer! I like lots and lots of kinds of beer, being from Wisconsin I am partial to many of the brews of my homeland. For cheap beer I like Pabst Blue Ribbon, or “pibbers” as we like to call them. I am also fond of their old ad slogan “PBR me ASAP”. Miller products are pretty good too if you’re drinking on a shoestring. For higher quality stuff, I love a Hefeweizen served with a lemon wedge, or really any of the wheat brews. Hoegaarden makes a delicate white Belgian beer that’s very refreshing, Fat Tire is another good Belgian one. Pyramid Hefeweizen is decent enough and pretty widely available.

My favorite microbreweries are New Glarus (that Spotted Cow is outta this world) and the Great Dane (Crop Circle Wheat and seasonal Pumpkin Ale are yummy!) The Dane was one of my favorite watering holes when I lived a mere 2 blocks away in college. Ah, the memories.
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You can get Leinenkugel’s (aka “Leinie’s”) in some states outside WI. I like the Red Lager and the Honey Weiss. I’ve been to houses where the dwellers had constructed furniture out of empty Leinie’s original lager cases, so multi-purpose.

OK, I think we’ve covered beer in some small part. Hmm, on to food you chew…

2. Pizza! I can’t help it, I just love it.

3. Fresh cherries. I will eat these till I turn purple during their brief season.
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4. Indian cuisine. I know that’s a class of food and not one food in particular, but the more Indian food I cook the more I realize how much I love it. Chana masala, curried potatoes, dal, naan, rice, veggies, I love my food drenched in spice and color!

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5. A good falafel sammich with all the fixings: tomatoes, cukes, chopped lettuce or spinach, olives, chips, hummus, maybe some tahina or tzatziki dressing. A good meal that sticks to your ribs.

It was hard to come up with just five, I really like food a lot! I like variety too, I would love to eat different foods every night if it wouldn’t be so expensive and time consuming.

I think everyone in all of the internets has done this already. If you haven’t, consider yourself tagged!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Falafel Follies

This weekend Jason and I tried to make the falafel recipe from VwaV. This is the second recipe for homemade falafel we’ve attempted recently, sadly both were complete disasters. As you can see it just completely dissolved in the oil and formed this lovely pile of grease crumbs. What a waste of time and food, I hate it when things turn out like that. I even had to do the processing in small batches in my tiny 2 cup capacity mini chopper, took forever.

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Jason waves his spatula in discontent.

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Plan B: Stuff pita with hummus and veggies, drink beer and forget the incident ever happened. Stick with the box mix from now on.

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This incident reinforced my need for a food processor, so we picked one up at Target. This is me with my new best friend.

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We decided to break it in by making an extra large batch of hummus. Life in my kitchen will never be the same again. Now if I only had a KitchenAid…

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I got these cute little Indian eggplants at the market last Friday so I decided to try out a new eggplant recipe. I ended up making Baingan Bharta, the following recipe is a modified version of this recipe

1 large eggplant or several smaller ones
1 T vegetable oil
1/4 t black mustard seeds
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 to 3 t fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Spices: 1 t cumin, ½ t coriander, ½ t turmeric, ½ t paprika, ½ t garam masala, seeds of 2 green cardamom pods ground in coffee grinder, ¼ t fennel seeds ground in coffee grinder
1 tomato, diced (I used a pretty orange heirloom tomato, helped give the final dish a pretty color)
1/2 cup plain soygurt (I used Silk brand)
2 to 3 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
½ to 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place eggplant on a baking sheet. Bake 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until tender. I used small eggplants and halved them before baking, they were very soft by 20 min. Remove from heat, cool, peel, and chop.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Mix in mustard seeds and onion. Cook and stir until onion is tender. I personally like to caramelize and char my onions a bit, takes some patience but I think it really adds nice flavor.

Mix ginger and garlic, spices, and tomato into the saucepan, and cook about 1 minute. Stir in soygurt. Mix in eggplant and jalapeno pepper, and season with salt. Cover, and cook 10 minutes over high heat. You might have to scrape the bottom of the pan to get some burnt bits loosened; I just say any burning in this dish adds more flavor. Remove cover, reduce heat to low, and continue cooking about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro to serve.

It was pretty much reduced to an eggplant mush, but it was very tasty. I ate it with some baked sweet potato.

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Some neighbors decided to welcome the new neighbors to the building on Saturday by having a cookout in the courtyard. Three units in the building have new tenants. Jason and I joined everybody when we returned from Maloney’s where we watched the Badgers win their first game of the season (Woooohoooo! 35 – 14, take that Bowling Green!) Everyone seems very cool and understanding about our dog. They all have dogs too so Dexter even gets some new playmates. There was apparently still some beer leftover after the party so we helped out with that last night, and we even got breakfast cooked for us this morning. It kind of feels like I’m living in a college dorm now or something, but with more dogs and no one is actually in college. No complaints from me anyway.
We went to the produce market up the street and I found these beautiful juicy golden raspberries for just $1.99! I don’t often buy fresh raspberries because they’re usually so expensive, so these were a sweet treat.

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Finally, here’s a little movie of Dexter and Sadie wrestling. They are so in love. :)

Hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday weekend!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Farmer’s Market Friday

I got lots this week. Good thing I’ve been working out, it was a lot of stuff to heft back to the office.

3 ears sweet corn
1 bunch baby carrots
5 Indian eggplant
2 large heirloom tomatoes
2 gigantic yellow peaches
3 nectarines
2 cantaloupe ($1 each, bargain!)
1 lb string beans
1 bag mixed bell peppers
1 bunch asparagus
2 bunches broccoli
Total: $18.75

Last night we helped our downers (the people who lived directly below us) pack up their moving van, they are now living in luxury in a condo twice the size of our apartment in Long Beach with a beach view from their balcony. They were very friendly and tolerant neighbors and I’m sad to see them go, especially since they were such good dog sitters and said our dog’s constant crying all day didn’t bother them. I doubt we can hope for as much from the new tenants. The apartment next to theirs was recently vacated as well, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that we get neighbors who don’t threaten to call the authorities over noise disturbances.

I have no real plans for the long weekend. A couple friends of ours just left for Israel where they will be for 3 weeks! So we are helping out by having their dog Sadie stay with us this weekend and checking in on their kitties and fishy. Other than that I’d like to get to the beach and maybe the gym a couple of times, and hopefully go over to Maloney's in Westwood to see the Badgers @ Bowling Green game tomorrow afternoon (season opener!), with lunch at Native Foods beforehand since it’s on the same block and all :)

Have a great holiday everyone! Going anywhere special?