Thursday, November 17, 2011

Glad that you FB?

My dear cousin has discovered her voice on Facebook.  It has been fun to see her family information and to get back in touch with someone I see at the minimum  only every 6-8 years.  As children we grew up close knit.  Our parents were close.  Her mother is my mother's niece.  Her father is my father's first cousin.  Our parents were raised together.  They are only about 4-5 years in age difference, so they were natural double daters.  When my parents eloped, her parents came with them.  Then they go got married very soon there after.  Since our grandmother's are sisters, when they were alive, we had many, many get together's.  When we found out that cousins were going to be there...we were ecstatic.  Play time was magical and you dreaded the moments when your parents said it was time to go.

So as life happens, time comes and people move, people die, feelings get hurt, jealousy comes and goes, and then just when you are about to think that you are going to write someone off...say, "see you in the eternities," along comes that miracle which is Facebook.  It is a marvel to get in touch with someone you never thought wanted anything more to do with you.  But then you realized they want to be your FB buddy.  They start sending you "So and so and answered a question about you " links.  They are new and don't know what they are doing.  Then they start posting the entire menu of what they are making for dinner every single day.  But that's ok, you are just happy to hear from them.

Then time passes, and your long lost cousin forwards everything she ever reads. She send's forwards that try to make you feel guilty for not copy and pasting your support for breast cancer, or veterans, or dog abuse etc.  It is hard when she sends forwards that say that you know who your real friends are if they paste this post to their page and leave it there for one hour.  Then she sends every cute little animal posing on a table, with a flower, humping a computer, or biting a tiny little chick in it's great big jaws along with a cute little slogan. saying when life bites you, bite back. or something retarded like that.

Then the cousin starts saying,  "Good morning my darlings...:   and, "Good night loves, that's it for me."  Then you think to yourself how it would be possible to limit your contact and the amount of posts from this cousin you receive without offending her.  Then you think  WHAT THE HELL, I am blogging about it and the whole  world will be reading about this soon and who gives a big darn crap?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Glad for this Girl

Today was Glamour day at Paul Mitchell School of Hair Design.  
I think my daughter pulled it off.  I don't know how 
she does it.  Now if we could only keep the 
blond cat hair off of her black clothing.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Glad for Cache

An easy find out by Utah Lake (note the GPS )
So about one week before I took my daughter off to school, I was up late one night watching KBYU and the annual fund raising drive.  I was sort of depressed because I was wondering what the heck I was going to do with myself with my youngest cub leaving the den.  Just as I was about to go to bed some really handsome geeky guy came on to KBYU tv to help with the fund raising drive.  The show this man was from was a show called Treasure Trackers.  It told about a world wide game called "Geocaching"  or others describe it as "high-tech-hide and seek".  I was intrigued.  I had known about Geocaching from watching an episode of my favorite crime drama ,"Law and Order: Criminal Intent"  episode Unblinking Eye.  (In fact, I am watching the episode as I write this.)  But, I didn't really pay attention to it then.  But the documentary on
KBYU was right what I needed at the time to soothe me during the sadness of my empty nest depression.

It showed a bunch of people from all walks of life who hunted with their GPS systems for caches that were hidden all over the world.  Caches that are hidden in plain sight! But- camouflaged from everyday folks.  Well what do you know, a game I can play anywhere in the world for free?  I am a really good seeker of things; I just seem have a gift for finding things.  Just ask my mom, I always used to know where she hid her crap.  So as I went to the website and I began to do my homework.  

  • First, I registered for free on the website.  
  • Second, I typed in my zip code
  • Third, I dropped my jaw at the sheer amount of caches just on the west side of  Provo.
  • Fourth, I went to get my first cache at the Walkers just around the corner from our house.

It has all been so much fun since that first cache.  I bought myself a really great GPS unit dedicated to geocaching.  All I have to do is log on to the website and then I download the caches I want to seek out.  Since August 10,  2011 I have found  over 40 caches and have hidden 13 of my own in various places all around the city.  This is an activity that I plan to stick with for many years. Some of the benefits are exercise, good company*my daughter Jordan loves it*, and learning so much about the areas I visit.  I cannot think of a better family activity.  I only wish I knew about this activity when we lived overseas.  I could have really logged some great caches then.  I guess I will just have to start over and go back to revisit those places again!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Really Glad to Pop.

Click the above link to learn more.

After my last visit to Nickel Diner in Los Angeles,  I was obsessed about my incredible poptart that I had for dessert.  I vowed to make them at home and soon.  When I saw that Williams-Sonoma had a press, and that Dave and I were venturing that way for dinner and movie, I took the opportunity to pick one up and have some fun with it.

I used the recipe that came with the packaging.
Basically a pie crust dough with 2 tablespoons of sugar added.  The fillings you can use are endless, but I used a simple mixed berry jam.
I rolled the crust 1/8 of an inch thick, and then cut them with the wider cutter. Then I added one tablespoon of jam to the middle

I spread the jam to within 1/2 inch of the edges.

And used an egg wash on the edges.  I placed the tops onto the poptart and used the smaller part of the kit to "Press" the edges together.  I could have used a fork, but then I wouldn't have the crimped edges, and it would have taken longer to fork all the edges.

I used the egg wash on the tops and then baked them for 30 minutes, rotating 1/2 way though the time.
I iced them, fast cause Dave was snooping around all hungry-like, so they are not the neatest looking things.  The ones at Nickel Diner had the royal icing and sprinkles on them, and it blew them out of the water!  I will do that next time.  I am also going to experiment with fillings. These turned out really good, and everyone loved them.  Everyone being Jordan and Dave.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Diary of a Sad Addiction

It all started when an acquaintance from church who is no longer even on my friends list (no idea where she lives now), sent me an invitation to cook and create fun recipes in my own cyber kitchen.  Wow! What 's not to love about that?  (However, I must say I thought I would really be creating real and usable recipes.)  But I joined none- the- less and thus began my downward spiral toward online gaming addiction.  I didn't use money, I didn't use drugs, but what i did use was my time.  Countless hours upon hours of used up time.

The Hook

You start out with this tiny little 3 stove kitchen and you have money that they give you like, a thousand dollars.  You cook burgers and guacamole, and even a fruit plate.  As you successfully cook the quantities needed you are magically gifted with more money, and you unlike more recipes that give you more money, and more unlocked recipes.  It is so fun!!!  You then simply begin to improve upon your little kitchen, and then you being to recruit other people.  You get your own family involved, they get hooked on the fun of the whole thing too.  Then the more your social network grows in the game, the more your rewards and the faster you advance in the game.  


 The addiction, I discovered in TIME magazine, is seriously and deliberately built into the game.  Zynga Corp, the people behind a big series of games for FaceBook, literally hires a psychologist who counsels the engineers on how to make the game addicting to the user.  They make it fun though.  You win all kinds of special prizes and privileges.  You make your friends happy, and they become real good buddies. You are one big happy family and you are tight with each other.  I was even the master of my husband and daughters kitchens.  I did their kitchens to further my own play.  And further it I did.  I was at the top of my friends list and around 100,000,000 it cafe coins.  You name it, I could buy it.  I was able to have so much game, that I was waiting for Cafe World to catch up with me..... A pretty heady feeling.  I appreciate that CW was in it for their own good.  They are in the business of making money.

The End
When my life revolved around the cyber kitchen, when I spent countless hours working on three horrid kitchens and groaning every-time I had to go through the endless steps of cooking, and listening to my family prod and encourage me to break the endless cycle of addiction, I decided to close it out cold turkey.  Ha, get the pun.  Ta ta Cafe World, may you never darken my computer screen again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Glad-man Gardens

 Add a hose and a man/child and what do you get?  A really nice garden and
 Dave and I built this stone porch, and added greenery and water, Dave has done most of the work.  Mother Nature has added the various touches here and there too.
 I like the stars and stripes whirly-gig.
 I love this pot.  I love the plants too.  Nice job Dave.
 There are nice surprises in every corner of our garden.
Here the creeping myrtle has taken over this section and it looks like my little pond is floating in it's own section of another green pond!

I seriously hope you will stop by and sit a spell and enjoy our garden with us.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Best Biscuits Ever

I love really good biscuits.  They are so easy to make, and it only takes about 6 ingredients.  There are as many recipes as there are bakers, and I like to pretend I am a Southerner sometimes, so I don't use a recipe unless I am shooting for a special biscuit.  This is one that I put in the oven with about 10 minutes prep. time, I doubled it in my head.  I must admit that it is loaded with fat, as most good biscuits are, hence the good color of the tops.
  • Cut in the shortening well.  I found a pastry blender at a second hand store for about $1.00.
  • I like Kosher salt.
  • Use a sharp round cutter. Not a glass (they won't raise as high because of the dullness of the glass.)  Williams Sonoma has a wonderful set of cutters for about $12.00.
  • When you cut the biscuit, go straight down with the cutter, or they might raise lopsided.
  • The biscuits should not touch each other.
  • The oven should be nice and hot.  425F.

My Basic recipe
 2 cups all purpose,unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting the counter, and your rolling pin.
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, fresh,  under 6 months old
1/2 cup heavy cream
ice water

Working in a medium bowl, cut the shortening into the flour, salt and baking powder until small pea size. Stir in the heavy cream and enough water for the dough to pull together when stirring, about 1/2-2/3 cup more.  Knead the dough in the bowl with one hand while holding onto the bowl with the other about 10 times.  Let the dough rest on a floured counter for as long as it takes for you to clean up the dishes.
Roll out the dough 3/4 inch thick.  Cut the biscuits with sharp cutter to your desired circumference, pressing straight down, DO NOT TWIST.  Place the biscuits on parchment paper and bake 425F. for approximately 20-22 minutes, until nice golden brown on top.

As you perfect your biscuit prowess, you will want to add herbs like sage or chives.  You can also make the Red Lobster biscuits with sharp cheddar and garlic butter on top.  I have also substituted 1 cup buttermilk, which will cut back on the fat, but they won't look as good.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Glad for Mexicans

I like any culture that celebrates with color.
Especially my own Mexican Heritage.

I also like the many statements that make us unique

And do I really need to mention my love for the guitar?

Look at the cute little huaraches!!

Click on this link to learn more about Olvera StreetOlvera Street is a fun place to visit when in Los Angeles.  I love the mercado like atmosphere of the shops and taquerias on the block.  Los Angeles was settled by Mexico, by Mexicans, and this is the place.  Los Angeles is full of Mexican-Americans, not Hispanics, but Mexican-Americans (or Americans of Mexican descent.)  Many of which have been Norte Americanos long before their European descended neighbors.
It is an old city,not however, as old as my ancestral home of Santa Fe, NM.

When I visit L.A. I like to get taquitos at Juanita's at Olvera Street.  They are made to order and served with a spicy hot Avocado sauce.  I drink it up! 
 It is this teeny tiny stall with about 8 tables.  

Olvera Street is easily reached from my daughters home in Pasadena, by taking the Metro Rail Gold Line to Union Station.  Go out the front door and across the street and you are there~

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What?!! An UnPrepared Kitchen??

So I came to Pasadena to rescue my poor, poor daughter. We rescued ourselves tonight after the big test in her BIOMEDICAL STATS class mid-term with a trip to COLDSTONE. Oh yeah!! I had the Gotta Have It Size Coffee Lovers; oh how I love the feel of that ice cream melting between my fingers!

So anyway.  All week poor Malaina has been stressed with a test.  Well she's a student, and education comes first, and cooking comes second.  We all know that a home cook has better control over their diet, than if they ate at fast food all the time, but poor Malaina had not been taking care of her own culinary needs.

Since she is my child I just assumed that such a talent was naturally and genetically inherited.  But no, we all have different talents don't we?  And some of us need to develop new talents with the help of others.  So with just a few gentle touches--Mother hen has taken care of  baby chick with about 50 dollars and some lamination.  I had to be careful not to purchase too much.  She has a tiny studio apartment, so space is of the essence.

 Balloon Whisk 20.00 (Kuhn Rikon)

 Pepper-mill and prep bowl for salt 16.00.
Two tiered kitchen stand 11.00.

I also put together several weeks worth of menus with page number references and grocery lists.  Some people actually need help like this.  It never occurred to me that a woman with Malaina's smarts would not know how to do this.  I am sure she is not the only one. 4.00 ( I must try to get a job as an occupational therapists aid, or a personal organizer).

Then I found a really great health book that holds the menus and fits ever so cleverly in her car so she can dash into the store.
Merry Christmas Malaina, there really is a Momma Claus.  It makes me feel good to be needed by my daughter.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Time is Statistics Time!

So Malaina has this nasty Biomedical Statistics test.  Ugh.  One of her goals is to go to the library to study.  It is supposed to help her with her concentration.  So off we go to the fabulous Pasadena Public Library. Built in 1927,  and designed by a famous Southern California architect named Myron Hunt, the interior is original complete with the cork flooring and oak furniture, and paneling.

 I really like the above photo.  Can you tell how busy I am?  I am actually taking up a seriously in demand electric plug and playing Cafe World and watching The Godfather at the same time.  And of course you cannot help but notice my beautiful man, Jon Bon Jovi, watching over me, keeping me safe from the lunatics who haunt the library on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Malaina is pretty busy on her Mac checking her FB status.  But seriously she is working on her real job, Statistics.  Ugh.

Tomorrow off to historic Old Town Pasadena...........

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Why do you think I am Glad????

(If you click on the above link, you will go to a really cool blog.  I think you might be interested in navigating yourself to this spot when you find yourself in Los Angeles.)

I didn't want to bother the other diners at the diner by using a flash here, so hence the grainy photos.  When this burger came to the table, I almost sent it back.  I had no idea how I would get my mouth around it, but I tasted an onion ring and kept the plate close by.  I have discovered that my mouth is plenty big enough to handle this burger.  (And as my friends know, plenty big enough to handle most any situation.)

I am glad because the food here was so yum, and affordable.

This is some sort of weird dessert that Malaina ordered.  When I go out to dinner, I always order a dessert that is different from my companion diner, then I can eat different desserts.

I ordered this homemade strawerry pop-tartI HAVE to find the recipe and create it at home,  it was delish!!! The chef nailed the icing, sprinkles and then topped it off with dehydrated strawberries

So Malaina's good friend Lisa knows L.A. like the back of her hand.  Every single neighborhood and just about every single restaurant, or diner, so thanks Lisa for carting us around!!!

Go to this restaurant if you:
  • don't mind a handsome/grungy tattooed, slightly stoned waiter.
  • a dark dingy homely street.
  • like good food.
  • want to hear scary people fighting with each other.
  • appreciate street musicians.  (We talked to a guy who played drums Miles Davis.)
  • enjoy a noisy, fun, interesting, vintage diner!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Glad for Fair Oaks Soda Fountain

If you don't want to put on 5 pounds, DO NOT READ THIS POST!!!!

As luck would have it, I happened into the charming little burg of South Pasadena.  It is just off the Gold Line Mission stop of the L.A. Metro system.  A town lost in the era of the early 20th century.  So lost that there is still a compound pharmacy and a real soda fountain in the town. Can anyone tell me if there is another place like this left in America?

A soda fountain with bar stools, girls in skirts and pumps, girls with bobbie socks, and a charming vintage tiled floor,

..and Soda Jerks behind the counter.

The city of South Pasadena is smart to keep its nearly 100 year old landmark intact.

I am smart to eat there.  My tuna on rye and my chocolate soda certainly filled me up to the brim of my throat.

This nice lady let me grab this photo of the banana split she was just about to share with her husband of 33 years.  She told me that they had moved away, but when they were in town, this was the first place they came.  I know I will be hitting this spot next week before I leave town.

The End, Fini, Fin, Adios.  until next week.