Thursday, June 30, 2011


So yesterday blogger wasn't working for me -- don't blame me!

Tonight, I got off work, went home, and changed into some more comfortable (aka less hot) clothes.  I then went to my friend's house, with another friend, and she made a DELICIOUS dinner.  Lots of watermelon, grapes and jicama, manicotti, salad, and garlic bread.  We also all tried Muscovado white wine for the first time (I mixed mine with some Sprite) and it was amazing.  Have you ever tried that kind of wine?

This weekend might be sparse on posts, but sure to be full of activities to write about next week.  I think Jake is coming down, and we are either hanging out in Boise a bit, or heading for a relaxing weekend in Garden Valley.

I am really tired and hoping I sleep better tonight than I have been lately...

Tomorrow for a birthday lunch at work, we get to go back to that restaurant I wrote about, Tucano's (the Brazilian all-you-can-eat place where they bring different meats around to your table).  It should be delicious and really fun with about fifteen of us!

I also am going to try and check out The Modern Bar and an improv comedy show after work, but you know things never turn out quite how I have them planned...

Last night we went to Shige Sushi Happy Hour and it was awesome!  Wednesday-Saturday, 5-7 pm they have dollar per plate sushi.  They come around on these cute little boats you see below.  I was SUPER full and it cost $4.24 and a $1 tip.  Such a great deal.  I would recommend only going with a few people because the area is pretty small.  We were at the "Express" part.  The nicer tables you see down below, out on the deck, are at the bar/lounge part.  I want to go back and try a saketini!

And here is a picture from the back door at the house in Garden Valley.  Can you guess why I like going there??

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Deviled Eggs

Well, eggs have been sitting in my fridge for awhile.

I hadn't realized how difficult it is for me to use a whole thing of eggs when I am not baking much.  I pretty much only use eggs to make a casserole or a dessert, and I haven't done much of either.  With the heat, casseroles aren't very appealing.  I might be using some of those eggs for a Fourth of July treat (tbd) but I wanted to get rid of some of them.

The perfect use? DEVILED EGGS! I love deviled eggs.  While I admit they do make a perfectly impractible lunch item, they are so delicious I couldn't pass it up.  However, if you have ever noticed, there are so many different deviled egg recipes out there.

I decided to go with the recipe from July 2011 Glamour, the one with Blake Lively on the front.  It is a feature of "The Ultimate Summer Comfort Food," prepard by the chefs from the new movie, The Help. The recipes together would make a pretty excellent dinner: fried chicken, deviled eggs, sweet tea, black eyed peas and spinach salad, with a pineapple upside down cake for dessert.  I do not like frying chicken, and I can't stomach putting two cups of sugar in a pitcher of tea, but I definitely want to try the salad and potentially make the cake, if the right event came along.

Anyway, the focus of this post: the deviled eggs.  This recipe makes twelve pieces and is by Lee Ann Flemming.

6 eggs
1/2 cup mayonaise
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp sweet pickle relish
pimento-stuff green olives, cut in half (I went without the olives; didn't feel like spending more money on something that fancy when normal eggs are just fine with me!)

1. Put the eggs in a single layer in a pot and add enough cold water to cover them.  Bring the water to a rapid boil over high heat (be careful if there are bits of food/liquid on your burner...high heat always makes mine smoke if the stuff doesn't have a chance to burn off slowly).  Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let stand fifteen minutes.  Drain the hot water and replace with cold water.  When the eggs are cool, peel, cut in half, and remove the yolks.  OBVIOUSLY save the egg whites!

2. Mash the yolks with a fork and add the mayo/relish/mustard.

3. Spoon the mixture into the egg whites and garnish with paprika and olives (again -- I didn't use olives).

So there you have it...a super simple recipe for a super delicious appetizer.  I didn't take pictures because I only did the dirty work tonight.  I hate peeling the eggs, so I did it tonight.  Tomorrow morning I'll put it together.

So now down to the nitty gritty.  What do you do to make your deviled eggs just right?

Tips around the internet include:
  • Use eggs that are near their expiration date - easier to peel (I just tried this and didn't find it true...)
  • Center the yolks in the egg by turning the eggs on their side in the refridgerator the night before you cook them
  • Use room temperature eggs (they cook one minute faster)
  • Cooking times that range from 15 to 20 minutes

Monday, June 27, 2011

#019 Best Way To Make Your House a Little Edgier

After the Saturday Market this weekend, but before Garden Valley, I finally had a chance to check out Great Gargoyles, rated #019 Best Way to Make Your House a Little Edgier.

According to their website, Great Gargoyles provides "gargoyles, dragons, skulls, and gnomes to the general public for great savings."  Their website is the United States leading importer of wholesale gargoyles, dragons and gnomes AND they ship anywhere in the US (with free shipping!). 

I have to say that I didn' find the website very helpful.  I think it is really confusing to sift through, and I was frustrated I couldn't find store hours listed anywhere.  This is really the kind of place you need to wander through.  Once you get to walk through the store and look at the actual items, it is ten times more amazing.  Also -- everything truly is reasonably priced.  I couldn't believe how cheap some of the stuff was.  A fifteen inch gargoyle (which is actually substantially sized) was only $15.

I found the store very difficult to find.  I was headed there from downtown Boise, and I drove past it once.  If you are trying to find it, it is located at 295 N. Orchard Street.  If you make it to Fred Meyer/Walgreens, you have gone about two or three blocks too far.

Once I discovered it, I realized not only do they sell gargoyles etc., but they also sell piercings and random electronic equipment.  There are signs posted all over about them struggling as a local store.  They must have started selling whatever other items could generate a decent margin. There are also signs all over along the lines of "you break it, you buy it."  This is one of those stores where there is a definite attitude, but I was surprised to find I didn't feel uncomfortable.  In fact, I was completely prepared to be uncomfortable.  Sorry Mom, but I already had a justification made up that my "Mom lovvvveed gargoyles" in case they could tell it wasn't my kind of place and asked me if I needed help with anything.  I know, weird.

I really wanted to buy a gargoyle and was trying to think where I could display it in my house.  I have all these super high shelves because of my vaulted ceilings, but I think only a really big gargoyle would look cool.  Thinking about it now, I could probably have gotten a cute seated one to put on the top of my bookshelf.

I wanted to make sure and get something, but didn't feel like spending much because I have been spending lots of money lately! And have a few road trips to spring for.  I have really been needing some fridge magnets, and I found these ones that I love.
I am a little confused about the price.  The website says $14.95 but I am pretty sure they were only $3.95 at the store...However, I thought I got overcharged by $4 and for some reason I didn't say anything (stupid I know) so maybe I had actually misread the price.  Confusing story short, I am fairly certain the store is WAY cheaper and maybe the prices are higher online to account for "free" shipping.

I also got this ashtray for my brother.

It might have been a little different, but you get the gist.  I thought it was $6, but it says $15 online, so you should totally make any of your purchases in-store!
I think these would look cute in the right kind of bathroom (there are toilet paper ones too).
The very best were towel holders like that but the creatures were gnomes.  They were actually really cute.

Therefore, if you are ever in Boise and looking for a way to make your house edgier, I would say Great Gargoyles is DEFINITELY a great option.  From the looks of it, it would be worth your time and money to wait and purchase in-store, rather than order online.  However, you have to admit the free shipping is a nice bonus.

On an entirely different note, I had to share this with you today.

This morning I remembered I had ran out of my caffeinated tea at work.  We have tea for free, but it is the normal Lipton-y kind, and I have a ton of delicious flavors at home, so I like to bring my own.  Most of my tea is loose-leaf, which makes it a pain in the ass to prepare in public spaces.  Therefore, I decided to bring the one box of bagged tea I had in the pantry.

Check it out! Yum, right?

If you can't tell where you should be looking, go down to almost the bottom.  Yep -- right there where it says "Best Before: Dec 2003."

I noticed this after I had drank one cup of the tea, and had just made a fresh new one.  I almost started gagging.  I was envisioning worms and ants in my tea bags and I swore all of a sudden the tea tasted awful.  I am fairly certain I was just imagining it, but omg, that was a nasty surprise.

It ended well -- I went to the store today and splurged on some Chai.  That will be MUCH better than tea that is at least 8 years old.  Too bad this tea didn't get better with age. I think it would be a delicacy.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Best Place to People Watch

So I spent most of the weekend in Garden Valley, and that is always a retreat from technology, hence the lack of blog posts.  However, before I went up there, I spent Saturday morning walking around downtown Boise, and I made sure to stop at Thomas Hammer, dubbed the "Best Place to People Watch."  I can't find it on the LivingSocial website right now, so I will insert it's number as soon as I figure it out.

Thomas Hammer is officially titled "Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters" and they are a small coffee chain that seems to be popular in Idaho and Eastern Washington.They only have nine stores -- five in Spokane, one in Cheney, one in Hayden, one in Post Falls, and one in Boise.  They are really cool because they try to promote lots of local events and get really involved in the community.  They are also kind of quirky.  For example, I am pretty sure their mascot is a chubby little sumo wrestler, and Tuesdays and Thursdays they have a "Hammer bike" that bikes fresh coffee beans to their store in downtown Spokane.  They also sell some SUPER cute merchandise.  My favorites are...

These mugs:

My kitchen is white and it can be difficult to find cute stuff in white.  Plus these mugs are really big, and they only cost $6.50 (which I think is reasonable for coffee shop merchandise)

I also love these travel cups
There are tons of colors and they are $9.95.

Next time I go to the Saturday Market, I might just splurge on Thomas Hammer gear instead of any of the usual market stuff. 

So, first I went to Thomas Hammer to check it out and grab a drink to appease me while I wandered the market.  It was a perfect day.  Just the right temperature for jeans and a tank top, with a breeze AND the warm sun. The coffee shop is located on the bottom left of this picture, at the bottom of the big brown and white building.

The first thing I noticed was the coffee shop had a pinball machine in the corner.  This was definitely not your usual, run of the mill coffee shop. 

While waiting in line, I perused the menu.  It was broken up into traditional house favorites, blended drinks, non-coffee drinks, and additions/substitutions.  One drink that sounded interested was the Fireball: chocolate with a splash of orange.  There was also a PBNJ that sounded awesome -- chunky peanut butter mixed with chocolate.  Finally, I was also intrigued by the Creamsicle, which was orange juice, vanilla and cream (available blended or not blended). 

They had snacks, and I was super excited to see they had a variety of oatmeals (three different flavors).  I loved the dishware, as it was white ceramic.  The interior of the coffee shop was also adorable.

I ended up going with what I was semi-familiar with, and decided to try a chai freeze.  I got a 16 ounce, and it was $4.15.  I definitely should have gotten a smaller size, as this was a LOT.  In fact, my chai was overflowing and he gave me about an extra half cup of the stuff, mounded on top.  That was a nice touch and made me feel spoiled.

The drink was tasty.  I think I would have preferred a normal chai better though.  Maybe I was extra thirsty or something, but I ran into the problem where the drink turns into little bits of ice and you can't suck it up into your straw. 

I do wish this coffee shop would take a cue from Starbucks and use people's names on their drink orders. It got a bit confusing because myself and two other people had ordered chai freezes (they must be popular) and it was hard to tell whose drink was what. 

Overall, Living Social was correct -- this is a fantastic place to people watch! While I was there, I saw fancy business people, hippies, a couple on a date, many families, and a few rocker people.  The coffehouse even has flyers advertising concerts (I couldn't tell if they were directly related or not). 

After getting my drink, I decided to delve into even more people watching, and I walked around the Saturday Market.  This time I was on the lookout for rhubarb and/or fresh ricotta cheese.  Once again I came away empty handed.  I did see one SUPER cute thing though.  This boy was at his family's stand, and had his own little booth, with a sign for "five cent ship drawings." AWWW!

I also had a sample of something called a stroopwaffle.  Have you ever tried it? Legend has it it was created when a baker had leftover crumbs, and he combined they together with syrup.  It looks like a waffle, but tastes like delicious, amazing caramel and syrup.  To eat it, you are supposed to place it over your warm coffee so the coffee can melt the waffle a bit and make it even more gooey and delicious. 

While wandering, I managed to find The Modern and The Linen Building, and made my way over (by car) to Great Gargoyles.  I got the cutest little things. I will post about those tomorrow.  Goodnight!

PS - if you feel like online shopping, the stand below is my consistent market favorite.  Their website is and I LOVE them!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Best way to cook salmon

So I swear the food and random clothing drivel will be put on hold for a few days after this as I adventure in Boise this weekend...but I have a few more recipes for you :) Also, just got news that hopefully my boyfriend will be spending part of next weekend in Boise with me, which would mean tons of new adventures (so hopefully that happens).

I mentioned other ways to cook salmon, but this new way is by far my favorite.  Warning: It is a little scary to do at first with the super high temperature.

I got the recipe from "Forever Young" by Nicholas Perricone, where I get most of my recipes for salmon and chicken.

You have to admit, the man does look pretty young.
The recipe is called "Salmon Fillets with Puy Lentils."  However, Perricone got the recipe from Williams-Sonoma New Healthy Kitchen: Main Dishes."  It was featured in at least two cookbooks, so that must mean it is pretty tasty.
Recipe serves 4:
1 and 1/2 cups Puy lentils
1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
two tablespoons minced shallots or yellow onions (you know I used onion)
4 skin on salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces each) [I only made two]
freshly ground pepper
1 cup arugula or mixed greens (use the arugula!)

So first, lets tackle the lentils side of the recipe.  The recipe calls for one and a half cups of puy lentils.  What the hell are puy lentils you ask?  They are "the best, most delicate lentils" and a peppery French green lentil.  They were originally grown in the volcanic soils of Puy in France, but now are also grown in North America and Italy.  Perricone says they are especially good in salads, because they remain firm after cooking and have a rich flavor.

I spent about two seconds looking for these lentils at my grocery store, and quickly decided the store did not carry them, so I used the lentils that are very cheap and still very delicious.  Lentils are great for you -- low in fat and high in protein and fiber (plus easy to cook).

To start, you are supposed to pick over the lentils, then rinse and drain them well.  I didn't bother to "pick over them" and they turned out fine. 

Then, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a saucepan over high heat.  Add the onion and lentils, and cook, stirring until the onions are translucent and the lentils glisten, about two minutes.  I don't think my lentils started to glisten, but they did start to burn...I would recommend medium high and stir the lentils a lot.

Then, add four cups water, with some salt. Bring it to a boil, reduce it to a simmer (medium low), and cover for for about thirty five minutes.

In the meantime, take your salmon fillets and rub some olive oil on them.  The recipe says a half tablespoon...I put more than that and it definitely freaked me out because the oven started smoking a bit, so I would totally recommend going on the lighter side with the olive oil.  Then, coat both sides with salt and pepper.  I rarely add salt to many things, but this is one time I would say add as much salt as you want -- lots of it!

Heat your oven to 500 degrees and put the salmon in a greased baking dish.  This is where I got nervous...I don't think I have ever cooked anything that high!

I cooked mine for fifteen minutes and kept checking on them because the temperature freaked me out a bit.  I would say if you start noticing the oil smoking a bit, turn the fan on high, and open the oven periodically so all the smoke doesn't come out at once and turn your smoke alarm on.

As you can see, I was taste testing :)

The final product - the most delicious salmon I have made so far! Next time I make it (after a Costco trip) I am going to try it with a marinade and baked in the oven...I am thinking something with a bit of orange juice.

On another note entirely, I have been watching 20/20 tonight, about criminals using internet dating sites to target victims.  It is pretty interesting and pretty sad.  I also go to one of the gossip websites it mentioned, so it was really interesting to see how a supposedly unbiased (or maybe they don't even bother to claim that) news source can clearly pick a side.  The saddest was the women and men who have been scammed on dating sites.  Hard to believe it happens though -- one lady sent 20 iPhones to a man and said it was because the government was holding his gold and diamonds (whatever that means).

Tomorrow? Birds of Prey, people watching at Thomas Hammer (maybe the saturday market), and seeing if the gargoyle store is open. EXCITED!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


It's about that time to get a new perfume.  Since about right before Spring break (March) I have been using DKNY Be Delicious - Juiced.  It was cool when I bought it because it was a new "remix" of the original, and I was the first person at Southcenter Sephora to buy the perfume.  Woohoo -- trendsetter!  I like to always get the smallest perfume, so I can change scents more frequently.  Rather than a signature scent, I like to try different ones for different periods of my life or different seasons (ex: New to college; summertime; first day at work, etc.). I also still have TONS of perfumes from highschool, which I don't think they are supposed to last that long...I do keep them in a cool dark place though, which I think it supposed to help.  However, I am a sucker for new perfumes and all the old ones remind me of specific time periods (you don't want to wear a perfume that reminds you of seventh grade when you just graduated college!).  Did you know perfume is supposedly the strongest connector to memory?

My most recent perfume basically smelled just like DKNY Be Delicious, which I used to use for a bit in high school.  The thing I don't love about this perfume is I feel like the smell doesn't last very long.  I love when ladies can walk by and you smell just a bit of their perfume.  I am pretty confident this perfume doesn't smell much at all (or maybe I am so used to it I have just been putting on waaaay too much and no one has said anything!).  I really do think it is too light in point: On Sunday I had just put some on, and my boyfriend said OMG You smell so good! What is that? And I had to ask him if he was serious, because I have been wearing that perfume for over three think it would be recognizable!  It was a nice, light, Spring-y scent though.

My friend Kyle told me it smelled like an eighth grader, ha, and I can totally tell where he is coming from.  He also told me my previous perfume (Gucci Guilty) smelled like a fancy old lady.  Kyle is actually usually pretty accurate.

Current perfume:
Maybe part of me just really loves the bottle?

It is described like this: Juicy New York apples take center stage, opening the fragrance with a medley of colorful, fresh fruits and a flirty dose of pear blossom. Bold and bright, its vivid floral heart includes notes of muguet flowers and white peony while crushed violet petals add a touch of vibrancy to the mix. At its heart, a sheer wave of cedar and creamy woods is followed by white amber, imparting a lasting, memorable wave of cool refreshment.

My perfume before that was Gucci Guilty:
This perfume had a much stronger, longer lasting smell.  The apple one is more a daytime one and this was definitely more a nighttime one.

It is described as a sheer, floral-oriental fragrance, it opens with a bright burst of citrus and a dangerous hint of black pepper. This arresting introduction gives way to full-throttle femininity as its heart pulses with fruity and floral notes. The fragrance dries down to a rich, ambery base with notes of patchouli. The overall effect is young, stylish, and eminently wearable—a daring edge of sexiness and sensuality that captures the essence of Gucci.

So now I need help...what should my next perfume be?  Lancome has a new line and I think I want to try one of them.  Here are the top contenders:

#1) De'Lorangerie
The fragrant composition is based on orange blossom created on citrusy-aromatic chords. Top notes carry the essence of the composition with skillfully accentuated accords of orange blossom absolute and citrusy zests. The heart intoxicates with aromas of orange blossom and white jasmine, while a soft and sophisticated base supports the theme of the edition with cedar and benzoin.


#2) d'Azur
This one is described as as fresh with floral and fruity accents. The notes include bergamot, lemon, rose, peony, ambrette seed and musk.

Both are based off the original 1969 o de Lancome.

So what do you think for summer?  Orange-y or a more general floral/fruity one?  Or, should I keep looking and broaden my horizons? I'll make the poll to this for a day or so...even if no one votes, I have to buy one soon!

Today for dinner I had grilled cheese and tomato soup.  It was delicious! I made the soup from an orangette recipe: Chickpea Tomato Soup with Rosemary.  The soup itself was satisfied me, who likes to make my own things and canned tomato soup "just won't do" (only half joking- ha!).  However, it didn't end up tasting like rosemary at all to me.  I think you would be just as good if you cracked a few cans of tomato soup, added some rosemary and garlic, and threw in a can of chickpeas.  Blending soup can be a bit of a pain sometimes.

I finally bought some bread today. I rarely ever buy bread, but you can't really have tomato soup without grilled cheese.  It's weird how those kind of pairings happen.  Why does peanut butter and jelly seem so natural and not something like peanut butter and relish? Why is relish normal when it's made from pickles but it would be weird if it were made from squash?  That sort of thing interests me.

As for the grilled cheese, I thought I would be able to use up some of the cheese my mom left.  NOPE it had gone bad :( Thankfully I had agonized over whether to buy two bags of mexican cheese at the store (one bag was for sure for the chicken tacos I am making this weekend) and ended up buying two.  I also scored FIVE GAME TICKETS for Albertsons!  I used some of the cheese to make the grilled cheese.  Here is the KEY.  I finally tried making the grilled cheese with mayo instead of butter.  Try it. It seriously works really of my finer grilled cheeses (still can't compare to Dad's though).

This weekend I am planning to make a big chicken taco dish...I am backwards.  I like to cook lots during the week when I am busy and then not cook at all on the weekends, when of course I have more time.  I think it is because cooking is an accomplishment, so it lets me feel like I did something on a busy weekday.  The weekends are already filled with other fun stuff, so I don't need to "accomplish" anything.

Now it is bed time soon...but first I would like to say, MTV, you are kicking ass tonight! First, if you ever feel like life isn't fair or your day sucks, see "True Life: I am allergic to everything."  It is terrible. Then, watch "True Life: I hate my roommates."  One of the main rommates are from North Idaho College aka NIC up in Coeur d'Alene! It was exciting to see Idaho repped on TV :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Dessert Debacle

Okay, I have talked about it, complained about it, raved about it...time to give you the down and dirty on the Blueberry Pavlova incident.

First, this recipe came from Cosmo July 2011, and it is important you know that it is from Gwenyth Paltrow's new cookbook.  She is known as a bit of a pretenious snob, so of course this recipe is complicated and fancy.  I should have realized that before I have it a try, but I didn't think about it.

For reference, the ingredients are:
4 large egg whites
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1 and 1/2 cup blueberries

I had eggs at home that I needed to use, which is what sparked my interested in this recipe (as well as a love for blueberries).  In a few days you will see me most likely make deviled eggs to use up the rest of those eggs!

So, this recipe began by heating the oven to 350*.  Not a problem.  I had that completely under control. You then combine the egg whites, vinegar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer  (or use a hand beater) until soft peaks form.

Behold, problem #1:
SHIT I dropped the yolk in.  I am normally pro at separating egg whites, so maybe that was a sign to stop. I dumped out the yolk to start again, and then I got egg shells in the mix! Also, note the only mixing bowl was in the dishwasher as a past salmon repository, and I had to use a stovetop pan (yes, I know, not good for nonstick).

I finally got the ingredients in, and started mixing it on high.  I have always wondered the proper amount of time to beat egg whites to get them "until soft peaks form."  I beat it for awhile and there were some bubbles.  I decided to go a little longer, and it got foamy. Hmm...I decided to go even longer and all of a sudden it morphed into this fluffly, foamy, amazing bowl of clouds.  If you think you are there, beat it longer.  You will know when the egg whites are ready.  It is AMAZING that an egg white can turn into something like that.

Then, you combine the 3/4 cups of sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl, and add to the egg whites in thirds, whisking in each addition completely.
Next problem? I was certain I had cornstarch at home.  Well, I already have these crazy fluffy egg whites and cornstarch was no where to be found.  I pondered other options, and yes, I did realize that cornstarch was likely a very important ingredient.  However, I decided to forge ahead anyway (don't do that).

After that, add the vanilla until stiff peaks form - no problemo.

Next problem? Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and put the meringue on it in 8 big spoonfuls.  Oh...parchment paper...which I DO NOT HAVE.  Stop here and learn from my mistakes.  Greasing a pan is not the same as parchment paper.  To make it worse, I had to use a pizza pan because I couldn't find a normal baking pan.  I should have learned the importance of parchment paper the first time I made that mistake -- the coconut macaroon incident of finals week (an entire two trays of macaroons in the garbage.  Tragic).

Important note: This "meringue" TASTES PHENOMENAL! Try not to eat it all from the spoon, as you put it onto the parchment paper.  It tastes like whipped, sweetened air.  Like taffy without the chewing and like clouds if they were edible.  Yum.

I tried to place them on the baking sheet, and the stuff was getting everywhere.
Then, you bake for 10 minutes, lower the heat to 200 degrees, and bake for an hour.

Here was an oh shit moment -- I need to read the entire recipe before making things, apparently.  It was already 9:30 and this stuff has to bake for a LONG time!  There were no other options, so in the oven it went.

During this time, while it was cooking, I kept reaching in and breaking off pieces to eat.  By the time it was done, it looked like this:

They look like biscuits, but they aren't.  They are crisp little flakes competely stuck to the pan. However, as you can see, I had already managed to eat two by the time they came out of the oven.

After they are done cooking, you are supposed to turn off the heat, and let them cool in the oven for an hour, propping it open with a wooden spoon.  Of course I have no wooden spoon, so I just left the door open and went to bed.  It was delightful waking up to the (ruined) desserts, because they are still completely tasty!

As for the sauce, you whip the cream with the remaining sugar.  In a small bowl, crush 1/2 cup of the blueberries with a potato masher or spoon to release their juice.  Fold these blueberries in, and use them for the meringues.  It doesn't look tasty.
But, it transformed me into a cat. I literally started scooping out creamed blueberries with my hands, making a little bowl with my fingers.  Imagine blueberries and cream, but better.  I actually started to drink OUT OF the bowl.  This stuff in AMAZING. So amazing, I even cried over spilt milk (haha).

So the point of this post...this recipe was a trainwreck from the start and it still turned into one of the best things I have ever ate.  I don't know what you should do about it.  Make it for yourself and see what happens? Learn from my mistakes?  Your best bet is probably not to make it at all -- I can't stop eating it and the sugar is hurting my stomach!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Salmon Round 2

So, if you haven't realized, I have been experimenting with ways to cook salmon lately.  I was terrified the first time I cooked it (just a week ago!) and now I feel like I have a handle on it, and it is even simpler to tinker around with than chicken.  It defrosts quickly in a bowl of warm water, which I love.  It also doesn't bleed as you prepare it, which makes it more appealing to me than a variety of other meats.  I don't like the blood taste of most meats -- nothing to do with animal rights, trust me.  Just a taste thing.  Once I think chicken tastes like blood I have a hard time eating it, and I never know what sparks the weird taste.

At first I wasn't a fan of the "fishy" taste, but I am getting better at finding ways to cook it that help get rid of it.  Today's recipe isn't my favorite.  I made a salmon today that is the best, so far, but I don't want to post that yet. Let's get you warmed up to the idea of salmon, so your dishes will only get better from here.

As a starting point for this meal, I had a big-sized container of nonfat, plain yogurt.  If you aren't familiar with that, it is essentially sour cream.  I also had a bit of Greek yogurt left, so I mixed the two together and was pleased with myself for using some stuff that was about to go bad.  I ended up with about a cup of yogurt.

At the store, I bought some dill and some green onions.  I used to never use dill, but now it is one of my favorite herbs.  I have found the more you try something, the better it starts to taste.

Anyway, I chopped up some of the dill, and about a third of the green onion bunch. To season, I added some salt and some WHITE PEPPER.  Stop here for a moment.  How do we all feel about white pepper?  I have used it twice now, and I can't help thinking it tastes and smells really weird.  I want to like it.  To be honest, my book on CD mentioned a mother-in-law who simply had to have white pepper, as an example of her pretentiousness.  It reminded me I had some and made me want to try it again :)  I don't think I like it! I know I just said the more you try something the better it gets, so I will have to give it another shot but...does anyone else have this same problem?  It tastes off in the way almost-sour milk tastes or slightly too-old lemons.  Something doesn't seem right. 

Anyway, I mixed all this up and put the salmon in a "baking dish."  I don't have any normal sized casserole dishes, so I have been using my trusty cake pan and it works just fine. I baked it at 350* for twenty five minutes.  Here was my big hurrah - I had just picked up parmesan FLAKES at the store, and was excited to use what I had left.  Yes, I did eat about half the container whilst cooking the salmon.  I put some (a lot) of flakes on top, and let it melt on top.

This salmon grew on me.  It wasn't an immediate favorite.  However, I started eating it and thinking a bit to myself..."oh man, I am being quite indulgent tonight, this is quite the meal..." and then I realized, "Holy cow, this stuff is all actually quite phenomenal for me."  So basically, it tasted like a rich meal with a cream sauce and cheese on top, but in reality, it was very healthy and perfectly filling.  It also made good leftovers.  The one thing it did not do well?  Photograph.

Tomorrow I will get to the failed (utterly) dessert I am continuing to chip off the pan and eat in bits and pieces.  It was a series of bad mistakes and, like I said, still the most delicious mistake ever. Maybe it didn't matter it turned out so poorly. I had about half of it eaten before it was even done cooking.

PS: One day left to decide whether my weekend adventures will involve what seems to be a close race between shopping for gargoyles or eating bread pudding. I'll put one more survey up tomorrow or Thursday morning to decide one more weekend activity! So far I am going to Birds of Prey and people watching from Thomas Hammer (something I think will work well during the Saturday market) as well as whatever else you decide!).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Coupons and Clothes

I got back from Moscow last night... On the drive there, I was kind of freaking out.  I decided to follow my GPS, and went through Fruitland, Weiser, Tamarack, etc.  As I started that way, I realized I wouldn't be going anywhere near McCall and I know there has never been a time when I have gone the Boise/Moscow route without going through McCall.  I ended up going the McCall way on the way back, and I was paranoid for no reason.  Both routes were essentially the same...I might keep doing a different one each way to switch it up a bit more.

The ride back was AMAZING, if six hour car rides can ever be amazing.  Basically, as good as it gets.  For snacks, I had raspberries, blueberries, baby carrots, and cinnamon apple chips.  My genius friend recommended I get a book on CD and O M G it changed my life.  I got a CD called "Heart of the Matter" by Emily Giffin.  I got off work later than I wanted to, so I wasn't willing to stop by the library on the way out of Boise.  Therefore, I ended up buying it for $15 in Moscow.  Hopefully in the future I will just pick it up at the Boise Library.

Anyway, this is the same author who wrote Something Borrowed.  I haven't seen the book, but loved the movie.  It was an extra cool surprise that a bunch of the same characters from the movie were mentioned in the book (but I wouldn't call it a sequel.  Just the same family).  Also, I expected the voices to be super cheesy, but the reader was Cynthia Nixon and she did an awesome job.  The only thing I didn't like was that the story was about infidelity in a relationship, and I got really into it and really pissed at the main characters for awhile.  I think it made time fly by though and there was a happy ending :) Thank goodness!

While in Moscow, I ate and drank like a queen courtesy of my lovely boyfriend.  I had an amazing thai shrimp salad at Smoky Mountain (and a $1 Rolling Rock...what a deal).  We went to the arcade, and I had soooo much fun.  We befriended this little boy Connor, and he was really fun to hang out with.  When we first ran into him, I asked him his name and he said, "Connor can call me Connor."  It made me laugh.

My boyfriend and I did pretty awesome on the games, especially for only spending $5.  I really want to take my dad there.  Our favorite games were A) where you roll the ball into strategic slots trying to get particular numbers and B) where you try to stop the moving light on a special section.  Overall I think we had almost 250 tickets.  I used 25 for a sweet blue ring, and then we bought three airheads for fifty tickets each.  We gave one to our new buddy, and gave our leftover tickes to some other little kids.  Yes, the airheads did turn our tongues blue!

Connor also got some invisible ink...he went to squirt some on my wrist and it EXPLODED all over me and my white sweater.  I tried to keep my cool...amazingly the ink actually did disappear in front of our eyes.  You couldn't even tell it was there.  However, I am a bit nervous to wash it.  Any tips?  My boyfriend got him back though because he beat him 7-3 in air hockey! haha.

We splurged and decided to be adventurous and got some Cotton Candy vodka at the liquor store.  Everyone started telling me it wouldn't mix well with anything, so I started to feel bad about my choice.  However, we mixed it with soda water and cherry vanilla pop, and it tasted pretty delicious!  There wasn't much of a nasty vodka aftertaste.

We had dinner at Sangria, and I got the Emerald Stir Fry with chicken.  It was great -- I loved the cilantro and red onions.  Also, Sangria cocktails are $7-$8 each. I couldn't decide which one I wanted, so I asked our waiter to pick one for me.  Thank goodness I did, because the bartender (someone I know) ended up hooking me up with a delicious cocktail he put together, with Kettle One vodka, for only $4!  Of course I had to have two at such a deal, and ended up stubbing my toe pretty badly getting up from the table.

Overall, Moscow was all I was hoping for and more.  We also watched a totally FUCKED UP movie -- Eden Lake.  Watch it if you want to throw up...Jake says the Human Centipede is worse (haven't seen it) but it was seriously pretty messed up.

Okay, back to Boise.

So, somehow the Loft site stopped freaking out and here is a picture of the dress I got last week:
Love the outfit the girl is wearing with it.  So adorable!
Today I had another coupon that was about to expire (this time for American Eagle).  This time the deal wasn't quite as good -$10 off a purchase of $40 or more.  However, I have decided I want to do better at taking advantage of coupons, and it is a good excuse to get some much-wanted new clothes. Of course, coupon catastrophe hit, and I couldn't find ANYTHING I liked! I went into the dressing room three separate, times, which I was starting to feel really awkward about.

I had originally been looking for cute Fourth of July clothes, and finally threw in the towel and decided to look for some clothes that would do double-duty as wearable to work.  This was more practical anyway, and something I would really appreciate while trying to get dressed in the morning.  I ended up getting two things.
In stormy blue, which is a really beautiful light is heathered looking too.
I also got these jeans, but i don't think they are AS dark as they look in the picture.
Both things together were only $40...not bad.

Tomorrow I will post about the yummy salmon I made for dinner, how I feel about white pepper, and my adventures making possibly the worst final product of a dessert but the most delicious thing ever in-process.  Seriously, it might ruin your life because you will want to eat it constantly, it was that good (while I was making it at least).

Saturday, June 18, 2011


These is a new survey, so make sure you decide what I should do. I PROMISE next weekend I already have Birds of Prey and people watching planned, so pick my third adventure to round out the weekend.

I also promised to post what I ended up buying at Loft.  First of all, it took me forever to decide on something.  It seems like whenever there is pressure to buy something (a coupon), I can never find anything I like.  Then, when I have NO coupons, everything seems amazing.  If you didn't catch on earlier,  I had a coupon for spend $50, get $25 off, but it expired on Sunday so I needed to spend it before I left town...PRESSURE!  There was no way I was going to let that coupon expire.

I went to Loft and the first thing I tried on was the animal-y beige shirt I had posted earlier.  Of course it fit awkwardly.  It was boxy and very weird.  I ended up going into the dressing room THREE TIMES and I was starting to freak out thatI wouldn't find anything I liked.

Finally, I found a dress I liked, which of course was $49.50, meaning I would have to buy something else.  I stumbled upon a T-shirt, and I really loved it.  I love Loft t-shirts in general.  OF COURSE I just looked for a picture of the dress and can't find it anywhere! I really wanted you to see it because I really like it.  It is a tank-style kind of dress, with a bit of a racerback.  The neckline doesn't go too low, and it is a navy blue with a tie-dye pattern (knee length).

Here is the shirt atleast.

It looks kind of weird tucked in, but it is just your basic t-shirt, made out of a nicer material.  It looks really great on.  I am going to wear it to work with a pair of black pants.

When I got up to pay, the dress was on sale, which freaked me out.  The coupon isn't applicable to sale items, and I was about to be real upset if I had to go find something else to qualify.  Thankfully, the dress sale was some special promotion that didn't invalidate the coupon, so the dress was on sale for $40.  My shirt was $30, and I got both together for $43.  Good deal if you ask me!  I know, I know...still not particularly cheap.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Well this is sort of creepy.  I have been complaining about my headache, and this just popped up as an ad:

Migraine Headache Clinic

Dr. Olsen is a migraine treatment specialist in Meridian, Idaho.

YIKES.  If you ever doubted the internet was watching you, there is proof :)

Anyway, if you know me, you know I *love* the grocery store.  In fact, I consider it one of my favorite places.  However, in Boise I don't like it quite as much.  It is difficult to find my favorite magazines, I can't find my favorite bottle of wine, and I am still learning where everything is.  I have also started bagging my own groceries (omg!) which is one reason I used to refuse to go to WinCo.  Not that I am too good for that, but I just couldn't handle the pressure of a bunch of people waiting for me to hurry up and bag.  At Albertson's, I actually do the self checkout and it is pretty fun!  I am starting to get used to it and it seems like that grocery store really encourages it, as they normally only have one checker.

Side note: I hate the produce selection at my Albertson's

So, I like grocery stores, I am getting used to mine, and to make it even better, Albertson's is having a McDonalds-esque Monopoly game.  I am pretty certain I won't win, but it makes it exciting to get my game tokens and check them out when I get home, and then tape them to my gameboard.  However, now I have so many that I keep getting duplicates, which is less exciting.  I also hate the $2 prizes.  You have to collect like five particular game tokens to win two dollars.  It kind of seems like a slap in the face.

Also, each game piece comes with a coupon.  You get a certain amount of game pieces depending on what you buy and how much you spend.  I usually get one or two.  The coupons are normally really lame and for things I would never buy (not to mention they are for a quarter off..not the best deal).

But, check out my most recent coupons!  I got them both at the same time, so I am convinced the checkers just get to give the special ones to the people they like the most (which yes, means I think they like me.  Haha).

TWO FRESH DONUTS! I actually do not like donuts and would never buy them on my own.  Okay, the issue is not I don't like them...I just don't like to eat them.  They are obviously not good for you and I try not to eat food like that very often.  It makes an especially awful breakfast.  But, there is no way I can let these go waste.  Depending on my day tomorrow, I might cash one of these babies in, or for sure when I get back from Moscow. I used to be a maple bar kind of girl, but I think I have migrated to loving jelly filled donuts (omg or bavarian cream!).  What kind of donut should I get??
I also bought these at the store.
I agonized over which ones to get, and to be honest, I have no idea why I ended up choosing these ones.  I always thought I was someone who was about a 6 on the how-spicy-I-like-my-food scale.  This week, I have learned I am more like a 3.  I wonder if something has changed?  I had soup at work and it was Minestrone, and it was too spicy for me to finish.  I got these pistachios and I HATE how spicy they are!  I have been picking them apart and avoiding the shell, but that is harder than you might think.  Ugh, completely the wrong decision.  Should have gone with sea salt and olive oil.

Wordless Wednesday Explained

Sorry I haven't been responding to comments much.  I promise I will once I get a chance and things calm down a bit.  I love comments -- they are the best so THANK YOU!

So back to Wednesday...after work I went down to Alive After Five and met some friends.  It was in downtown Boise at a place called "The Grove."  I parked for two hours and it only cost $2.50.  I am pretty certain I could have found free street parking, but it wasn't worth the effort.

Anyway, Alive After Five was PACKED with people!! It is a free outdoor concert with vendors, and the whole thing is a beer garden (for those with a bracelet).  I ended up getting there late after my very long Loft shopping trip (see post tomorrow), and we didn't stay super long.  However, it happens every Wednesday in the summer and I am looking forward to going again.

From there, we went to Pie Hole and I had Thai Chicken pizza.  I love the Thai peanut sauce at Pie Hole...but I do prefer the Thai Veggie.  It is always so hard for me to pick which flavor to get...all the specials sound amazing (some of the specials yesterday featured artichokes and feta and spinach and sundried tomatoes [not all together] do you pick??).  A slice of the speciality pizza is only $2.50.  Holy cow, it is hot in that tiny pizza place.  I would NOT want to work there (not to mention it is open til 4:00 am on weekends and 3:00 am on weekdays). 

From there, myself and some friends went to the apartment hot tub.  It was great to finally check it out, and I actually went swimming in the pool, which was surprisingly warm.  The hot tub was more like a warm bath but it was still comfortable...until we turned on the jets!  OMG we all started suffocating, which can't be a good sign.  Our throats were burning and our eyes were watering, so I think the jets are going to stay off...

All in all, it was another fun day that made me love Boise.  I am excited for next weekend: Birds of Prey, people watching downtown, and whatever other adventure you pick!

Thursday, June 16, 2011



My computer is being so slow right now and you are lucky there are even words here to read.  I was thisclose to throwing it across the room.  SO ANNOYING.  And if you were wondering, yes, I do still have that annoying sinus-y headache.  I don't think it was helping much with the patience issue!

So, as a caveat, I am headed to Moscow right after work tomorrow.  I think my friend might go with me, which will be nice.  If not, I might head to the library and pick up a book on CD.  My friend suggested it and it is actually a really great idea!  I filled up my car with gas and it only cost $40 which really isn't too bad.  It helped that my tank still had about a quarter of a tank in it.

I really wanted to pack tonight, but this headache is driving me crazy and makes me just want to sleep, so we will see what happens...I will only be gone for about two days, so I really don't need to pack much.  I always overpack!  It is hard to anticipate what in the world you might need.

Anyway, because I will be gone, I probably won't be posting anything until Sunday or Monday.  However, I am going to try and figure out this scheduling thing and I might be able to get some random tidbits to post to tide you over!  If the posts seem random, that will be why.

Today, I got off work pretty late (6:30 pm) and didn't want to spend forever at the grocery store.  I needed to get an envelope and some stamps, so I had to go, but didn't feel like wandering all over the place.  I also had eight unused salmon fillets in the freezer, so I decided this would be a good time to use them.  All I had to pick up at the store was a jar of minced ginger and soy sauce (which both will last for a very long time).

I have never, ever cooked fish before, that I can remember.  I was a little nervous and normally I would have googled what to do, but my headache was making me lazy and unmotivated.  I just decided to go for it and I went back and forth over how many fillets to make.  I didn't want to ruin them if things went wrong, but I also wanted enough food for dinner tonight and breakfast and lunch, as well as a snack before the trip tomorrow.  Yes, I do eat weird dinner foods for breakfast....all the time.  It helps me stay full for longer.

I finally decided on four.  These fillets come from Coscto and my mom and grandma turned me on to them.  They are awesome!  They come individually wrapped.  To defrost, I put them in a bowl of warm water, and kept replacing the water until they were defrosted.  Then, I sliced the plastic open with some kitchen scissors.
To make the sauce for the salmon to cook in, I mixed two tablespoons of soy sauce with two tablespoons of Chardonnay.  I had a cheap $4 bottle of wine and I always see "dry white wine" and have no idea what exactly that implies.  I decided to go the cheap route and just use what I had.  Chefs out there -- what does dry white wine even mean??  I also added a teaspoon of the ginger and a quarter teaspoon (heaped) of minced garlic.  If you mince you own garlic, go out and buy the giant thing of pre-minced garlic.  It has changed my life.  It makes garlic soooo much easier to use, it is inexpensive, and it still tastes delicious.

After making the sauce and cutting open the defrosted fish, I put them in  big frying pan and made sure I had a lid that fit!  I put the burner on a medium-low heat (about a 4) and put the fillets in, along with the sauce.  I made sure the sauce spread throughout the whole pan.  I have to admit -- it was pretty fun cooking the fish.  It looked like I just caught them!

I covered them with the lid, and waited about four minutes.  After that, I flipped them over for another four minutes.  I still wasn't sure if they were done, so I did two more minutes on each side.  By the end, the liquid was bubbling and my stove top was probably closer to medium.

I kept taste testing as I was going, which is my favorite thing about cooking for myself.  I can just scoop things out whenever I want.

Finally I decided the salmon were done, and I might as well go all out.  I put the salmon on a "bed" of lettuce.  Mom, you should be proud I was making sure no food went to waste and using what I had!  Haha, I didn't want the spinach to go bad, so I thought it would be a good thing to eat it with.  I also had the bottle of soy sauce to add on top.

It turned out really tasty!  I was pleased with my first attempt at cooking salmon and am sad I only have four fillets left.  I am going to have to make another Costco trip soon.
Side note: Did I spell fillet wrong?  Is it filet?

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