Friday, July 30, 2010


This was actually the tastiest pasta/meatballs I have ever made. I don't know why Pioneer Woman isn't a religion. I would praise like there was no tomorrow. I would follow her ways and pray that her humble spirit guides my fingers and senses while experimenting with every type of indulging deliciousness she provides. Everything that I have made from her website, I mean EVERYTHING, has been delicious. Do it. Try it. Grow some chest hair and just make these meatballs. They require zero effort. You can make them ahead and freeze them later. I usually end up making a huge batch and freezing half because they are that ridiculous. After one bite, you will be in your chair, laughing a big burly laugh, with chest hair and all, thinking you're a better cook than your coworkers. Go ahead, scoff at them.

Crispy boyfriend really enjoyed this meal sandwiched between two King's Hawaiian rolls. He had never had King's Hawaiian anything before. He, evidently, hasn't lived. I added red pepper to the meatballs, I like the spicies. We also drizzled a bit of olive oil on the rolls and heated them under the broiler for a bit. It provided a tasty crispiness.

P Dub's Mini Meatballs
Adapted from Pioneer Woman

1 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp salt
shake of pepper
1 egg
1/2 a small onion
olive oil for frying
slider rolls

Mix all ingredients together, leaving out the olive oil and onions. Roll into mini meatballs. You can freeze them at this point or go straight to cooking. Dice the onion and sauté. Brown the meatballs in the pan with onions. Add your favorite tomato sauce, I chose tomato and basil and added red pepper flakes. Place the meatballs on the rolls with a little sauce. Serve warm.

Carne Asada Reminiscence

I've had a pretty good week, so far. Work is, actually, working out for me, again. I'm enjoying my time there. It's an on-off, love-hate relationship with work. He gets a little boring. You know how writers can suffer from writers' block? Yeah, well I'm encountering a cooking block. Cookers' block. Whatever. I've lost the need to cook. I feel useless. The other night, I was so damn lazy, I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner. I had food. I had the meats and the unmeats (wtf unmeats), the produce, the seasonings, the flavorfuls, the I-couldn't-live-my-life-without-this utensils. I just couldn't put it together. So in the time, I was preparing almost nothing for dinner, I was remembering how I used to eat carne asada fries all the time. In high school. Of course I was skinnier then, and my metabolism faster, but really, ALL the time. My little threesome and I walked down to the taco shop after school, bought a whole order, walked back up to the lunch area, and ate. There was no way we could possibly down an order for each of us. It was pretty shameful to eat a whole plate of carne asada fries. I mean, carbs, fat, cheese, sour cream, and more cheese. I think the guacamole was cancelled out. With that being said, this was probably the most unhealthy yet popular dish in high school. This and a California burrito, which is basically carne asada fries wrapped in a burrito. Hooray for carbs. 

Carne Asada Fries
Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 lb thin cut meat
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 jalapeño, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 handful of cilantro
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil

half a bag of frozen french fries
sour cream
shredded mexican cheese
lots of hot sauce!

Mix all the marinade ingredients together and let the meat sit overnight. Before cooking the meat, prepare the fries. While the fries are cooking, grill or pan fry the meat. When the meat is done, dice then sprinkle on top a plate of fries. Spread guacamole over the meat, then the sour cream, and finally the cheese. Place under the broiler for two minutes, until the cheese is melted. Add hot sauce and enjoy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Stress relieving Teriyaki Salmon

My week has gotten of to a REALLY bad start. Parents, friends, school, work and health. Alla dat. Right before Crispy Boyfriend left to Atlanta, we made this recipe. NOT GOOD. We had actually used Kikkoman's Teriyaki marinade. Do not touch. Tastes nothing like teriyaki and more like regular soy sauce. I had mixed it with a little sambal and I'd like to think that was the only ingredient that gave the fish any type of flavor. It was agreed that the fish wasn't bad, but very salty. I think it's safe to say it received a 5 from me. Browsing around All Recipes, I found an interesting teriyaki marinade that consisted of cinnamon. The sweet and the spicy made me quite happy. I jumped around for joy after the first bite.

Teriyaki Salmon
From All Recipes

1 tbsp + 1 tsp water
1 tbsp + 1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp garlic
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp sambal (optional)

1/2 lb of salmon filets

Mix all the ingredients. Let the salmon filets marinade for about a half hour to an hour. I let them sit for an hour. When ready to cook, pour the remaining marinade over the fish and smother the sambal on top if using.

For the oven, bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes. For the grill, cook on medium until the fish is firm when you poke it. Pour heated marinade over warm rice.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Good times with Cake Balls

As I promised, the cake balls. I used red velvet cake mix but you can really do whatever you want here. Chocolate cake/chocolate frosting, spice cake/cream cheese frosting, strawberry cake/white chocolate coating. Get creative. My best friend was ridiculously excited about making these, it was ridiculous. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and these did not come out to that perfection. However, Nikki believed the only thing that mattered was how they tasted in her mouth, not how they looked. That, being related to my coworkers, was true. Throughout the day I kind of sat back and watched what happened. They went nuts. Their eyes were big and body movement was jittery. They weren't cake balls anymore, they were crack balls. While this isn't entirely true, it's how I remembered it. One of my coworkers came up to me and a friend while hanging out around the registers being lazy, and crazed about them. Her eyes were huge. It was a little creepy. She said she was confused at first, thinking they were chocolate covered cherries, then the cake fisted her face. Everyone started wondering who the hell made them, so I finally spoke up. And of course, they all asked for a written copy of the recipe thinking there was some crazy cooking science involved. CAKE and FROSTING, DONE.

Even today, after a week, people asked for the recipe. Another in particular who asked if I made them. Yes. They were SO GOOD. While she was saying this, her eyes grew huge and her head tilted back. The only thing I was thinking was, "Oh god, don't hurt me."

Nice and frosty.

Cake Balls
From Bakerella

1 box of cake mix
1 can cream cheese frosting
1 package of almond bark

Bake the cake according to directions on the box. Let it completely cool, then crumble. Don't crumble too much or you won't have nice cakey chunks. Add as much frosting to your liking. Also, add enough to make sure the consistency is strong enough to hold a ball form. Freeze for two to three hours. Melt chocolate and start coating! Freeze for about a half hour. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh What A Few Weeks

Well to start off with, Man Friend is no longer man friend. He is officially boyfriend. It's gross. Anyway, his absence has caused a slump in my willingness to share recipes, mainly due to laziness and that I have no one to cook for! And also, Crispy Boyfriend took my camera with him to Maryland. Cooking for yourself isn't as fun as cooking for two. However, there have been some yummies that have been cooking around the kitchen, one being delicious red velvet cake balls. They really take zero effort, but leave a big mess if you're not careful, which I wasn't. Of course. I will have to make them again so I can post because I'm a nerd like that. The wait goes on, oh boy.

Another reason why I haven't posted anything is because last week was my birthday week. I'm older. Meh. My best friend came to visit me for the week. I screamed and almost cried when she walked up to the gate. That was probably the girliest moment I've ever had. Don't make fun, you have them too. She was fun, I missed her. I could tell she was having a TERRIBLE time. Nikki, being a city girl, is certainly not amused down south. But we had a good time. ALSO, Crispy Boyfriend ALSO came down from Atlanta to ALSO celebrate my birthday with me. It was quite sweet. Gross. Lots of drinking and dancing and being young, for the moment. Went to Tybee and had fun at the beach where I discovered I was, in fact, a water pokemon in my natural environment.Crispy Boyfriend says it was pleasant. Crispy Boyfriend is crispy because we spent about 2 hours at Tybee on Sunday, then another 3 on Tuesday. This leads to a crispy Boyfriend, who evidently, tans better than I do. It's so stupid.

However, Crispy Boyfriend has left AGAIN. FOR THREE AND A HALF GOD DAMN WEEKS. Not happy.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rain, thunder, lightning and a sad panda

So, Man Friend left to Atlanta for the rest of the summer. I have no idea what to do with myself. FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Statesboro Farmers Market

OH. MY. WORD. If I could use only one word to explain this heat, it would be: BIG. This heat is big time. BIG TIME. Slappe de bess mon. You could stand outside for two minutes and feel your bangs stick to your forehead. It's great. I was standing on the porch while grilling some amazing chicken breast a couple days ago; I felt my feet burning in the sun. I could feel my skin cells dieing and screaming "WWWHHHHYYY!" There was little sympathy. However, all this glorious weather has led to only one thing, the even more glorious swimming pools. Swimming of pools. Pools of swimming. It's fun. Though I have been a beach bum for years, a good 22 years and counting (kinda), it has been some time that I have been in a pool. The idea of a giant tub with chlorine, dead bugs and debris is not very exciting, but the fact that I'm not pushed around by waves thus leaving me to legitimately swim is very exciting. However, ain't nothin' wrong with body swimming. I could do it for days. The summers here definitely beat out summers in San Diego that usually last 3-5 months.

Today was the first day of Farmer's Market. I haven't been to one since I was 12. There was the veggie section that had good prices and bad prices, arts and crafts, and BAKED GOODS. Oh my goodness. Honestly, we went for the vegetables, I swear. I didn't even know there was a baked goods section. And it was amazing. We ended up walking out with a whole and half of kalamata olive foccacia. Not really a big fan of olives, but damn, this was some good ass bread. We also bought a little over a pound of wonderful Georgia peaches that seriously, really, in all things serious, tastes like juice. From a bottled. Bottled peach juice. Beautiful peaches in a beautiful state. It's wONDArful.

Once I get through with my blood sugar baby, and all levels are normal, I will post up about a taco weekend we currently had. It was outrageous. 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A good feeling of bad feelings with canned meat

It's long, three months that I've lived here in Georgia. And three months that was estimated until I started missing home. Well Uncle John, you were right. I'm definitely not homesick, but I miss a few things here and there. First being my little brother. Now that I'm not around, it seems he is growing up faster than I can count to seven. I miss a lot of his goofy mannerisms. Another would be my two friends, ha. This is sad, moving on. Lastly, it would probably the convenience of having every type of business. Especially fast food restaurants. I miss taco shop and souplantation. Today after work, Man Friend mentioned he wanted Taco Bell for dinner. I didn't really approve of this because I actually wanted to make some healthy sandwiches, but I was also really tired from having to put in extra work because of a certain manager closing with me. Eventually, I gave in, drove over to Tbell and good lord. There were about 8 cars waiting in line in the middle of the night. I instantly turned around and said hell no. We ended up ordering a pizza and making a delicious salad, but the point here, is convenience. Only one Tbell here in town. Back home, maybe around 5 Tbells. I miss having better access/availability/convenience. You name it.

 I don't approve of eating meat from a can. But I've been doing a good job with keeping pace on my filipino cravings. At some point, I knew I eventually HAD to make this. I remember having to ask my mother to make this dish every other week or so. Some people like to eat it on the side, some like it on top, and some like it mixed with rice. I like it mixed. Man Friend liked it on top of a steamy bed of rice. I honestly think he liked it as much as he did only because I added a few teaspoons of sambal. He likes things spicy. This dish -- originally unspicy. Not a lot of filipino dishes are spicy. Lots of savory, less on the spicy. I usually have to eat everything with a salad. Everything. Especially adobo. I can't explain it. But I can explain the banana in the picture. When I was a lot younger, still being fed by my mom younger, there was always chunks of banana on the spoon. I now understand the point of that was to encourage easier feeding by adding in the mild, healthy sweetness. It worked very well. This makes about...I want to say 6-7 servings, maybe more. We definitely have a day or two of leftovers from this recipe.

Filipino Corned Beef
adapted from All Recipes

1 12oz can of corned beef
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 large potato, cubed
1 tbsp cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 tsp sambal oelek (optional)

Heat cooking oil in a pot over medium heat. Saute garlic and onions. Add tomatoes and potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are about half way done. Bump the heat up a little and add the corned beef. You'll have to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring here and there. Throw in some salt and pepper, sambal if you decide on that too. Serve with warm rice and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Filipino Lovin'

 Have you ever sat on your kitchen counter while eating a bowl of cereal thinking, "Why is this so easy?" I haven't. But I did sit on a kitchen counter this morning, eating a bowl a cereal thinking, "I'm going to regret this later." DO I EVER!! Who knew such a small amount of light cereal could be JAM PACKED with fiber.

Tonight was amazing. Tonight has made up for all the other nights I made not so impressive meals. Oh but this one!'re good, you. Bistek is the most simple filipino dish made that doesn't require a ton of effort. For those of you who can't understand this Bistek concept, Bistek = beef steak. Alpha Kenny Body. This "flavorful" dish has three basic main ingredients: beef, garlic and soy sauce for days. Onions make an exceptional garnish and an amazing side. Lemon juice bumps up the flavor. I made the marinade without measuring and with my mind glued to a ceiling with textures that reminds me of meringue. I've seen my mom and nanay make this dish so often, I know what to do just by the way it looks. I can proudly say, this Bitsek tasted exactly like my mom's. Man Friend was very happy with this dish and mentioned that the onions were quite pleasing. A lot of people choose to cut the onions fresh and saute them after you cook the meat. Personally, I think marinating them with the meat over night is the way to go. If you happen to have a bottle of soy sauce laying around, that you know you're never going to touch, USE IT. IN THIS. It's simple and "flavorful." Flavorful happens to be a big word when it comes to Man Friend and meals. One thing I would like to make clear, is Sinangag. Filipino fried rice. You can't do Bistek without Sinangag. Two to three day old rice, garlic, salt and pepper, skillet. Good to go.

Not to mention, dessert was absolutely delicious.Thanks to my Auntie Bining who gave me the idea of making Strawberry Delight; she had made a Blueberry Delight the other night I went to visit her. After taking a few bites, I wanted to turn into a bear and cry. It was so good. Thus instantly putting me into a baking craze. I put my rage mask on and went to town. Then I put on my wizard hat and robe. All jokes aside, I made our dessert with strawberries because it was less effort and cheaper. Had I used blueberries instead, I would have had to make blueberry sauce. Man Friend approved of this, and he actually ate more than I did. I don't know whether I should take this as a compliment, or a sad realization that I should, in fact, cut back on my sugar habit. Much like the main course, I made no measurements with this tasty creaminess. Though if I could change one thing about it, I would have made double layers of graham crackers, instead of singles. Ain't nothin' wrong with a little crust.


1 lb beef sirloin, thin cut
1 small onion, cut into rings
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp pepper
juice from half a lemon

Remove fats from beef and cut into preferred sizes. In a glass dish or tupperware (I used tupperware but mom uses glass baking dishes), place first layer of meat. Sprinkle a third of the garlic, and a third of the onions. Place another layer of beef, then garlic, and onions. Last layer of beef, garlic and onions. In a small bowl, pour enough soy sauce to cover the beef. You don't need to completely drown it in soy sauce, but just enough so the top layer gets some lovin' too. Add the lemon juice to the bowl and mix. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the tupperware. Cover and refrigerate overnight. It's worth the wait. When you're ready to start cooking, heat a skillet and add about a tsp of oil. Fry the meats and saute the onions to your preferred doneness. A lot of the meat will be cooking in it's own juices, so after frying everything, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pour the left over meat juice over the Bistek.


two day old, cold cooked rice
2 gloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of salt
oil for frying

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of oil and the garlic. You do not want to cook the garlic thoroughly as they will cook on its own when you add the rice. I would leave it on the pan for about two minutes. Add the rice. Try to break apart the chunks, it will have a better texture and consistency. Fry the rice for about 7-10 minutes. Not everyone's stove works the same, so keep an eye and stir every now and then to promote even frying. Add salt and pepper. Continue frying until you reach a nice dry type of stickiness, or your preferred doneness.

Looks unappealing, but very, very delicious.

Strawberry Delight

1 lb strawberries, sliced
2 8oz tubs of cool whip
2 bricks of cream cheese, room temperature
2 packages of graham crackers (not boxes)
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small glass cup, melt butter in the microwave. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool. Break apart graham crackers into perforated rectangles. Place in a baking dish and pour over cooled butter. Be sure that all pieces are coated. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until they turn almost a chocolate graham color. They will be soggy but will harden when cooled so separate the pieces for easy layering. Set aside. Cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the whipped cream.

Begin layering by spreading a thin layer of whipped topping on the bottom of a glass baking dish, or tupperware. I used a rather large tupperware. Then add two layers of graham cracker. Then whipped topping. Sprinkle half of the strawberries evenly. Carefully spread another layer of whipped topping, then two layers of graham crackers. Again, spread more whipped topping, then finish with the rest of the strawberries. Chances are, you won't use all the whipped topping. It would be a good idea to NOT use all of the whipped topping, because then you will end up covering the graham cracker and strawberry tastiness. So be sure you are spreading a thin amount of whipped topping, but enough to cover the graham crackers and strawberries.
Cover and let it sit in the fridge over night.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Strawberry Cakesters, wut


I can't explain this, but it was on All Recipes.

Cake Mix Cookies
Adapted from 

1 package of cake mix
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter, add eggs. Mix in cake mix. Drop by spoon fulls. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

A lot of the reviews on this recipe mentions to add two tbsp of oil and 1 tsp of vanilla. I read that the cookies will taste less like cake mix, which I think defeats the purpose of making cake mix cookies, aka cakesters. If you do intend on making the adjustments, keep in mind they will spread out a lot, so I would go with tsp sized drops.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An Amazing cooking week and Cold Feet

I have been doing some cooking lately.

Cooking. Me. Cooking.

It's been AWESOME. I've had home cooked meals everyday this week. On Monday, man friend and I grilled hot dogs, it's been some time. Tuesday, I cooked up some Filipino fudz, longanisa with rice, it has been SOME TIME. Emphasis on that; it's literally been years since I've had longanisa. Today, grilled burgers with chipotle mayo and bacon. I had mentioned the idea of using a full pound of meat between two people was a bad one, but man friend failed to realize that. I am so full. Men. Tunnel vision. PLEASE. I managed to snap a few of the burgers, but since I'm bad, I forgot about the other two dishes. I will post them when I get the chance.

As far as cold feet goes, I'm suffering. All I'm going to say is: I need to wow before I start having dreams about my sad blood elf. D2 is amazing and all, but damn.

6/4/2010 -- update

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hello World, I am here.

I am not dead.

Just reeeeally sunburned. Wearing pants is not an option for me. I went to Tybee with the cuz last tuesday. The tide was quite low so there were pools of water along the shore, which is a rare sight for me, at least. We also went to a seafood restaurant that had an alligator pool. There was also a lot of writing in the bathroom. Best crab soup ever too.

I've been busy with work, so I haven't found time for anything else. Hopefully, this may be the week I can get out of my work bubble and make time for myself.

There is this urge to make some nasty pasta. It is kind of unfortunate that the only place I can find some good pasta is from Olive Garden. Not to mention it had just opened up, so it's practically busy every night. So that's out the window. HOWEVER, I have done some thinking. Yeah, a lot of thinking. I just might use the kitchen. I mean, I'll probably have to buy my own pots and pans just because I can't bring myself to use things that are not mine, especially cookware. NOT HAPPENING. I'll have to buy some pots and pans anyway because of my apartment. Which is still in progress. Which still doesn't have walls. Or a sink or stove. The house owner's are taking their sweet time with the apartment. NOT COOL.

But aside from everything else, I'm a pretty happy camper.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Case of Work Overload and Marbled Pound Cake

It has been some time. I've been a mix of lazy, busy and uninspired. Mostly lazy.

A few updates:
 I am NOT getting my apartment. Apparently, I can't trust the leasing officer enough to feel safe with my deposits. The total rent ended up being so much more than I thought. But it turns out okay because I'm going to continue living where I am, but in the upstairs apartment. Yes, I get to come home to that huge beautiful house except WITH MY OWN KITCHEN. All for the same price as the room I'm living in now. The best thing about it is I get to share the apartment with my Auntie Bining who is so much more than what people think. This also means home cooked filipino dishes. This makes me infinitely happier.

I have been applying for higher paying jobs. One of which I hope to become a future employee. HOWEVER, I'm slowly enjoying where I work now. Everyone at my job is VERY friendly. After two weeks, I would be sad if I left.

My diet is terrible. There is absolutely no sign of vegetable in it. This brings me down. Not only is my health going down, but it does take effect on my stress levels. Healthy foods are not really influenced here as much as it is back home. I'm still having a hard time with the kitchen. However, I AM getting there. I've managed to bake a few things. Though baking is much easier than cooking. I'm also led to believe my sugar habits as of late is what is making me feel zombie-like at the moment. I'm fighting to keep my eyes open.


Last night, I had a chicken soft taco and a chicken bacon tortada from Taco Bell. It was not good. After, I had a pint (yes a WHOLE fucking pint) of Ben & Jerry's cake batter ice cream. Oh. My. God. If EVER you have a super simple chocolately craving, this is what you want. Heaps of nutella swirled into ice cream is YES in my book. No, it's not really nutella, but it had the same consistency. The only thing I would down vote about this is that the yellow cake batter ice cream did not taste like cake batter. Nonetheless, it was still amazing. You want to try this. Just don't be dumb and eat the whole thing. Save some for later. Or you'll end up buying another pint like me.

I was looking through a few blogs and came across a pound cake recipe from Martha Stewart. All of last week I had been craving something chocoately, dense and bread like. Pound cake sounded amazing to me. Now I had never made anything marbled, or anything cakey...that last part might be a lie. I had it saved as a document and wrote it down. I do not recommend writing out recipes, for chance of writing it out wrong. Now it's one thing to write it out wrong, but to write it out right (HAR) and STILL GET THE RECIPE WRONG is another thing. This was my ding dong fault. For some reason, instead of putting the 2/3 cup of sugar, I put the measurements of the flour: 1 1/4 cup. Of sugar. I mean, I had it written out. Not sure how I ended up doing that. About a half hour after putting it in the oven, I looked over the recipe and realized I did this. I raged. Pulled the cake out of the oven. Tried it. NOT BAD. Definitely not as sugary as I thought it was. But very bland. Not marbled at all. This resulted in my finding of B&J's cake batter ice cream. So either way, I'm happy.

The cake did actually taste better with the cake batter ice cream. But then again, anything tastes good with ice cream, even hot dogs.

Marbled Chocolate Pound Cake
by Martha Stewart

8 oz unsalted butter
2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
5 oz semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350F. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugar in another bowl. Add in eggs, one at a time. Alternate the flour mixture and milk. Do not over mix, only till combined. Melt the chocolate in the microwave if you're lazy like me, or a double boiler.
Add half of the cake mix to the chocolate. NOT THE CHOCOLATE TO THE CAKE MIX DUMB DUMB. Drop large spoonfuls of each batter into a buttered loaf pan, alternating. Use a knife to swirl the mixes together. Don't get excited and swirl the batter until it's all chocolate.
Bake for 1 hour, depending on your oven. I had to bake for an hour and 10 minutes because I'm a ding dong. Let the cake stand for 10 minutes before serving. I always find that it tastes better after completely cooled, refrigerated even.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Down South

Statesboro is so awesome! There isn't much here, but it's great. I don't have to drive so far to get to the other side of town. The past week has been busy. Lots of apartment searching. I've chosen not to live in the beautiful house I am now, because I have such an issue using the house owner's kitchen. Everything is so nice and decoratively displayed, I wouldn't want to mess it up. So I'm spending loads of money eating out, which makes me sick to my stomach. I want homemade rice and chicken, sad face. Anywho, the house is absolutely amazing. It looks exactly like the house that Noah built in The Notebook. I cringe when I bring that movie up, it disgusts me. I have my own bedroom and bathroom all for $300 a month. Then I'm asked, why in hell would I want to leave this? Well because. I need to eat. And it won't be from this amazing kitchen. It will be in a smaller kitchen in a one bedroom/one bath town home for DOUBLE THE PRICE. I rage, but it's okay. I don't have any pictures of the house yet, but I will throw some up once I remember to actually take one.s

The weather here is kind of ridiculous. It's been up around 88F all week except for today, dropped down to 76. While looked at apartments yesterday, one of the leasing officers was showing me around. I asked about the heat. She said it stays around 80 until June, then jumps up to 90 during July and August and back down to 80-70 through September and November. This is the best thing I've heard all week. Summers in San Diego were really short and sad. But this. THIS IS AMAZING. Heat and humidity is my thing. But there has been this strange thing in the air. Something is up with the pollen in the trees. Most cars are covered with a light yellow dusting. I have to wash my car every few days so it doesn't turn yellow. Tons of people are suffering from the pollen, like the house owner I live with. She's had a terrible cold and scratchy throat all week. BUT I'M GOOD BRO.

I do believe this is somewhere out in El Paso, TX.

 I can't remember was swamp/river/lake/huge ass body of water this was named, but it was huge. The bridge was a good 10 miles long.

 This is where people some to drown babies. Such as these folks.

And this one as well.

I unintentionally took a picture of the sign; I was aiming for the actual river.

Couldn't find the welcome sign, doh.

I hate how my own mother takes better pictures than I do.
I turned around and found my dad drinking the water. He said it reminded him of home in Ohio.

The streets of downtown New Orleans was WAY too crowded to find any parking. Next to the sign you could see a part of the Superdome where everyone stayed for shelter during the hurricane.

My mom had to beg and cry for us to stop and take this picture, it was funny.

This one is my favorite.

We managed to drive through four different states in one day. Hence the same outfit in a lot of these pictures.

Leaving Pensacola.

We made a detour in Jacksonville and visited my best friend(s) from elementary. There was supposed to be another twin there, but she was at work. Sad face.

Peaches, ha.

The last day my parents were here, we drove around Savannah.

 My mom was talking to a jogger, but she had headphones on.

This is probably the most epic picture of my dad. Much like this one.
Tybee Island.

I absolutely hate packing and unpacking.

 This is where I live. Fo cheap son.

I won't be sharing anything food related for a while, since I'm still in the process of looking for an apartment, but I will get there eventually. I must mention, to get it off my shoulders, that my life is a MESS. Thank you.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I made it!

Okay guys, so I'm here in Statesboro and LOVING this heat. I'll post up some pictures of the trip once I get the chance. I have to drive around in parking lots, stealing business owners wifi. I didn't fly off a cliff!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Coconut Banana Bread with Key Lime Glaze and a side of Moving Madness

 It's been a terrible week. So much going on, as well as going WRONG. But all in all, VERY WELL. This does not make sense. But it will after a few minutes, I swear. But where to begin.

Luck has been on my side lately, only for a few important things. Shouldn't be complaining right? WRONG. Since I got into school, my moving situation has been a success. I've managed to transfer jobs. This is good. Very good. However, my awesome super stupid manager who treats everyone like crap except me because I happen to be so amazing has given me a great review to my new manager in Georgia; I was spoken of with a high recommendation. This is good. But bad. Now I have to work hard and live up to that expectation. But that's fine. Why? Because Statesboro is MUCH smaller than San Diego. This means less customers, less craziness, less frustration and stress. I'm almost positive more than 35% of customers do in fact, speak english. I'm almost positive that 100% of customers will speak english. So I'm not complaining, yet. Also, I found a place to stay when I get there, until I can find my own apartment. This makes me a happy camper. Everyone has turned out exactly how I needed, not wanted. Which is EVEN BETTER!

HOWEVER, my driving situation went down the tiolet. My best friend happened to receive a speeding ticket (not surprised) and could find no one to work her shifts this weekend. It's unfortunate because she's my best friend, and well, that's how it works. So I have to drag my mom with me; it's really nothing to be upset about. BUT I AM. I COULD DIE. Last year, before we took a family trip up to Oklahoma, I had this dream. My mom and I were driving the corolla, brake got stuck, flew off a cliff and died. Why does this scare me? Last month my dad told me about there being a recall on all corollas. Apparently, a small family, driving this great quality car, flew off a cliff and all died. Why? The drivers mat slid up and locked the brake pedal. This should make sense now. I'm terrified to drive with my mom. We leave Saturday, stop in Austin, then make our way to Statesboro. I'm just happy that everything has been working out, sort of. I haven't even started packing yet, and I leave in two days. I'm a slacker. Welcome to my life.

There is also another part of my life that has been going WRONG, but yet well. And of course, this is the date life section. I used to be so good at men. Now I just fail so hard. I have seem to lost my mojo. I realized this yesterday when I summed up the past 8 months of my life. First, I date a guy I met on the interweb for a few months (SAD RIGHT?), then I get stood up by another guy, THEN I crush on another who only talks to me to show how great of a guy he is. This is also the pathetic part of my life. It also falls into the social category where I have lost all ability to socialize. I have a total of two friends here in California. Yes, two. And yet, I'm not bothered.

I attempted to make this banana bread a few months ago. It came out delicious and also came from the amazing Peabody. I have to say, the best part of this bread is the glaze. I couldn't get enough of it. I also added a little more lime juice to the glaze to thin out a little.

Coconut Banana Bread with Key Lime Glaze

2 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup mashed bananas
1/3 cup yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter down a large loaf pan.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a larger bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time. Add banana, yogurt/sour cream and vanilla. Mix well. On low speed, add the flour mixture. Fold in coconut. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the bread passes the toothpick test.

The other day I was reading someones blog who did something interesting. With cooling bread, he laid the pan on the side while cooling. I haven't tried this, but I think I will next time. Anyway, while the bread is cooling...

Key Lime Glaze:
1 tbsp shredded sweetened coconut, you can use more if you like
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp key lime juice

Combine all ingredients with a whisk. Drizzle over bread while warm. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Creative Reminiscence And Some Healthier "Fried" Chicken

All of my grade school years, I was creative. I wrote, I drew, I thought, I imagined. I'm old now, so a lot of that has disappeared, but I'm sure there is a tiny spark of creativity that will last me a good chunk of whatever years I have. In my last year of high school, I wrote a book. This is how I almost failed high school graduation. I had to lie about my community service hours because those hours were spent locked in my room, writing. I remember at one point it was so intense, I woke up in the middle of the night, lit a candle, and continued writing. Those nights, I felt so crazy; I couldn't stop my pen from forming words, to sentences, to paragraphs to pages. At one point, I forgot about reality. But lets not forget, I was young. Anywho, the book was mostly non-fiction, with a few personal experiences tied in. It was about war, family, and choices. One of my favorite parts is when the main character imagines her fantasies in a public library.

   "Excuse me."
   Everything disappeared. The dancers, the candle-lit ballroom, the mysterious shadow, all because of...
   "Excuse me."
   Alet caught herself before crashing into another body. She looked up and saw a tall boy with black hair and blue eyes. It was rare to see someone with that pair in her town. A sudden rush of embarrassment and anger flourished her face when she found to the words to speak. "How long were you watching?"
   "I just walked in. Someone left the door open."
   "You didn't....hear anything, did you?" Alet responded.
   "Besides your bad singing? No."
   Alet's face turned red; she looked as if she was about to explode in defeat. She tried to find the words to retaliate but nothing came to mind.
   "Who are you? You're not supposed to be in here! Get out, now!" Alet was so embarrassed, everything came out in a slur.
   "My name is--"
   "No, I don't care. You have to leave. Don't make me force you."
   "You? Force me? You're a funny girl. I was just checking to see if everything was alright.
   Another blow to her ego. "Okay well everything is fine. You can leave--." Before Alet even finished her sentence, the boy was gone. She never felt so ridiculed in her life. The town was small, so everyone knew eachother.
   "What an ass!" she yelled in frustration.
   Alet stood in the library for a moment, replaying what happened in her head. A view of a the moon from the windows reminded her of how late it was. Packing up her books, she headed out the door with her face still red.

I wrote this while under the effects of inspiration to do what I wanted. At that point, I had the idea I was going to attend the Art Institute and major in game design. As soon as I realized that wasn't going to happen, I lost it all. I picked up a job, and stopped writing. I even stopped playing music. Sucks right? Not entirely. We all have to grow up at some point. We put away our younger interests into a small box and keep that secured in a locked dresser. And when we get out of work, we pull it out and remember all those things we used to love. Exactly how Mrs. Darling states in the 2003 version of Peter Pan. Do I regret not going to the Art Institute? No. Do I regret not pursuing my creativity? No. I'm kind of glad I got it over with. Otherwise I think I'd still be a child, haha. I definitely would NOT know what I know now about life, how it works for us, and how it works against us.

So, being so old, I only make sugary sweets that could maybe, I don't know...kill you. Trying to move away from this, I have been making attempts at actual food, which has been GREAT. Cooking is as enjoyable as baking with a little less weight guilt. Typically, I like to eat healthier food versus healthier snacks/desserts. Since my mom has been in the Philippines for almost four weeks now, I have been searching for stupid easy chicken recipes you shouldn't fail. However, to get things right, you have to fail at least once. WHICH FAILS IN ITSELF. But you get the idea. My oldest brothers talk of healthier eating has kind of wormed it's way into my diet and...cravings. Yes, I crave healthy food. I found this great, easy chicken recipe off All Recipes that didn't require a trip to the store. AND it's not FRIED. It came out super moist and delicious. I didn't use the dried thyme and paprika because I didn't have any, might have tasted a little better with it. The only thing I do recommend is NOT using mayo for a coat. That sounds silly in a literal sense. Or maybe use a lot less mayo because the bottom of the chicken's crustiness will get a little soggy if you don't turn them over at a certain time. Or you can be real southern and use some buttermilk. Everyone's oven is different. KNOW YOUR OVEN!

Oven Fried Chicken
Adapted from All Recipes

6 chicken legs
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 milk

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and mayo until smooth. Coat the chicken in the mayo, ha. In a larger bowl, combine the crumbs, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cayenne. Coat the chicken in the crumb mix. Place the chicken legs on a lightly greased baking rack and bake for 20-25 minutes on both sides, depending on your oven. Don't use a baking dish, the juices from the chicken will soak and ruin the crispy coating. To make them extra crispy, broil for the last 5 minutes. Makes 6 legs.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rasberry Coffee Cake

I've been trying to stick to a healthy diet. But it's so damn hard! While eating more fruits, whole wheats, and less fats, I've managed to sneak in TONS of chocolate. This is bad. Yesterday, I had two snickers, pieces of some fancy dark chocolate/ginger bar, and a bag filled with chocolate chips and Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal. I got home from work and felt TERRIBLE. I was laying in bed thinking, "I've put myself into yet another sugar coma." Seeing as how all the sugar made me sick, I've decided I'm done with chocolate and high sugar foods. For now.

Months and months ago, I made this amazing coffee cake. Found it while browsing around Joy of Baking. There is something about fruits and cream cheese that make me go nuts. This cake is super soft and springy with the perfect amount of cream cheese and fruit. The recipe originally called for blackberries, but all I had was raspberry preserves. Love raspberries, love preserves. It worked out for me. Not to mention streusel completes my life. This statement does not help my previous paragraph at all, but you get the idea.

Raspberry Coffee Cake
1/3 cup AP flour
1/3 white sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp lemon zest (I left this out, but I'm sure it would taste much better with it)
1 tbsp AP flour

1 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh raspberries, blackberries, or whatever berry OR 1/2 cup preserves

Preheat over to 350F. Butter a 9 in. springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, my best friend, your best friend. Set aside.

For the streusel: Mix together the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the butter, cutting with a pastry blender or face smash with a fork until you get crumbs. Set aside.
For cream cheese filling: Beat the cheese until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar, egg, vanilla, zest and flour until well mixed and smooth. Set aside.
For the cake: Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt if using. In a larger bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, scrape down sides as necessary. Add the flour mix, alternating with the milk twice. Beat only until combined. You don't want to over mix.

Spread the batter on to the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides. Then spread the cream cheese mix on top of that. Then scatter the berries over, or dot the top with preserves, try to get an even finish. Lightly swirl with a knife if you have to, but try to not to let it interfere with the cake/cream cheese layer. Top with streusel. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown and passes the toothpick test. You may want to let this thing cool for a couple hours if you are using preserves.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Rant #1

You ever sit down to do something, and in that process of doing something your mind wanders off? You begin to think about something completely unrelated to what you were about to do. For instance, you sit down at your laptop, ready to hit the 'sign in' button to your email because you're hoping you've gotten something from Federal Student Aid; this excites you. After about half a millisecond you click that button, you think about sitting on a makeshift stool, milking cows. Then you start wondering about it, look back at your screen then think about why you were checking your email. You HATE that you do this. You hate that this happens. You then start to hate your laptop, and wonder why it's such a piece of crap. I mean, you spent $1500 on this thing, and yet it runs slow as shit. Then you feel a strange pressure in your bowels. Well this is completely unrelated to that.

I realized today how pathetic my life is so far.

I've waited about five months to get into school, which has been turning out the way I planned minus the timing. Yesterday, I received a phone call from a woman, whom I'm sure is annoyed with me; she told me that I have been admitted. Literally speaking here, I jumped and screamed not only because I was happy, but because I was so happy, I felt crazy. JUST like David after dentist. I know my parents aren't too excited about my leaving the state [zooms to mom and dad in the kitchen *crickets*]. It'll be worth it. So, now, down to a little less than a month, I have NOTHING to do with my life. I bake. I text two-three people. I play wow, again. Sigh. And I work. My job keeps me crazy occupied. I think I scored with my work at this point in my life, which is sad because my life plays out like this: work > social life. Because social life, DOES NOT EXIST. Why? Because of my one friend. Actually no, because I'm picky. It's hard to find friends here in south San Diego. I still blame this one friend though, she doesn't get away with shit. There is a possible second friend here, but she's in FUCKING OKLAHOMA. I love you Marie.

So not only do I rely on a kiddy pool of social networking, but I've found that entertaining myself through trolling people I don't know and don't like has been high on the list of interest. Example: Facebook. Who? I'd rather not say, but this person is someone I don't exactly care for. Why? Because he's in love with me. Why?...again? Well, it's not as bad as it sounds; I'm not explaining the story. Like I said, my life is pathetic. I've no one else to give my time to, so it will be given those people who ask, probably not in the most gracious of ways. I feel like an asshole. But hey, I'm happy. Real happy. It's been a while.

My oldest brother came to visit a couple days ago. He lost so much weight; I was so proud of him. There was no starving, no surgery, no crazy pills, just healthy eating and Muay Thai. I love that he's gotten into this fighting style. We talked for a long time about his whole change. His trainer is named Waachim Spiritwolf. I kinda flipped. Spiritwolf? Are you kidding me? That has to be one of the best last names ever. My brother mentioned how he was Native American. Then he mentioned that WE were part Native American. I have never heard this news and refused to believe it. That changed when I was looking for my parents tax forms from 2008. I found my dads birth certificate and looked it over. Then I saw that Grandma Edna was from freakin Canada. What does that mean? I'm 1/4 Canadian. How the hell?!?! Why are there so many things my parents decide NOT to bring up. You can't exactly specify on some application that you're American/Filipino/Canadian/Native American, but it's still nice to know.

As much as I'd like to keep this going (we have something good going here) I HAVE to sleep. Because I'm OLD now. AGE is GREAT. I think I've said enough here anyway.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I used to have so many issues making cheesecake. I could never figure out how long to wait before eating it. In the middle of the last week I worked at American Apparel (hated it there), we were having a Christmas party that weekend. I volunteered to make mini oreo cheesecakes. And my god, it was the worst idea ever.

A few days before the party, I made the filling and had it chilled over night. The next morning, I put everything together, baked and put back in the oven. The day after that, I tried one. It. Was. Terrible. Didn't taste like cheesecake, oreos, or anything edible. That also happened to be the day of the party. Knowing myself pretty well, I freaked out and assumed I messed up the ingredients somehow. So after the stupid rummage sale I signed up for, I sped to the closest grocery store, and made another attempt. I still had about 4 hours till the party started when I set it in the fridge to chill. After those four hours, I tried it again. AND AGAIN IT WAS FUCKING TERRIBLE. I raged, stomped over to Vons, picked up a boston cream pie, and drove my angry ass to work.

The next couple days, I noticed that no one had thrown out the cakes. My mom came into the kitchen and told me the cheesecake came out really good and insisted that I eat one. I refused. I didn't want to know if they tasted good or not. Either way, I would have raged. So hard. After this, I learned that the longer the cheesecake is chilled, the better the flavors combine, thus resulting in tasty goodness. Not to mention, you probably don't want to calculate all the unhealthy goods in this recipe, but nonetheless, it's adapted from the amazing Paula Dean. Southern Cooking is for the win.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 3/4 graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter

3 packages of 8 oz cream cheese
1 can of 15 oz pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter.
Press mixture down into a spring form pan. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add puree, eggs, yolk, sour cream, sugar and spices until combined. Then add flour and vanilla until well combined.
Pour on to the crust and spread out evenly. Bake for an hour, depending on your oven, or until the cake is set. Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Now you MUST chill this thing for a good chunk of hours; 4 is recommended, but hell, I'd go for 2 or 3 days.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Peanut Butter Amazing-ness

So last night, I realized how much parchment paper is my best friend. I would be a sorry baker had I not ever known about this paper. This thing has saved my ass countless times. There is no need to wipe down or rinse off sheets. Was I late to work the other day? No. Why? Because of parchment paper. Thank you parchment paper.

Lately, I've been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, every morning over the past week. EVERY morning. I was looking at the jar of PB I had, then was sparked to try make a delicious, creamy PB cookie. I usually go to Baking Bites for all my sweet cravings, but I couldn't find an interesting recipes. So I turned to All Recipes, where I found an amazing PB cookie find. Though I had to tweak it a little, some ingredients didn't make sense to me, but then again, what does? I was actually somewhat disappointed with myself when I took these out of the oven. For some reason, I decided to hide chocolate chips in some of the cookies while I was spooning on to the sheet. And because of that, I had to play with my luck and hope that I grabbed the chocolate filled ones. Out of 6, I found 1. Again, disappointed.

This cookie isn't like average PB cookies. Definitely not crunchy or flat like the old-fashioned ones. I made them with creamy PB and used a cookie scoop to get a nice thickness. They don't spread out a whole lot, so you can pack them on to your sheet. Oh, and a cup of milk IS required. These things are packed with tons of peanut butter flavor. If that's not how you roll, you can cut out the 1/4 cup. I halved the recipe here because I didn't have enough flour, but I managed to get 2 1/2 dozen using my little cookie scoop.

Soft Creamy Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375F. In a medium bowl, sift (or whisk, or whatever you prefer) flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.
Cream together butter and peanut butter. Add both sugars. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Then add vanilla.
Add dry ingredients to wet, in two rotations. Refrigerate batter for 1 hour. This will make the cookie thick, though you don't have to if you can't wait. I surely didn't.
Scoop 1 tbsp balls on to lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, depending on your oven. I went to 11-12 minutes, waiting till the sides browned up a bit.

Sunday, January 3, 2010