sarea: (fight my way)
Update on Lasik: I'm still enjoying not having to wear contacts/glasses, but my right eye seems to have gotten "fuzzy" again. Fuzzy is perhaps too strong a word; if I cover my left eye, I can see fine out of my right, it's just not as SHARP as my left. The result is that when I have both eyes uncovered, it "feels" like I have something in my right eye making things not as sharp, which makes me want to rub it, which is a big no no. Sigh. I'm not sure what's accounting for it, because previously I was told that it was due to post-op inflammation, but that should no longer be a factor. I guess I'll just have to see what comes out of my 1-month post-op checkup.

I have been making a lot of food recently. Details + recipe for Hong Kong style milk tea )

I've also finished a handful of K-dramas since the last time I think I wrote about them... Okay, maybe it's more than a handful... )

Football season has started again! I'm participating in 3 fantasy football leagues this year. Two are on ESPN and one is on, which totally sucks. Yahoo is my favorite, but it's not as popular as ESPN, and the one league that uses it, I bowed out of this season.
sarea: (spaghetti)
I have discovered a wonderful treat: the stroopwafel. Some people at work were in Germany last week, and they brought back this popular dutch cookie. It's two wafer-thin waffle cookies with a thin layer of caramel sandwiched in the middle. It's about the size of my palm, maybe a little bigger. I didn't know what I was getting into when I took one from the box... I thought it was a crisp waffle cookie, but it was oddly heavy. And then I bit down, and it had a soft, chewy give. I was like, what is this wondrous thing?! Then devoured it in about 5 seconds. I found out later that you're "supposed" to get a hot beverage, then place the stroopwafel over the mug, and the steam from the drink will make it all warm and gooey in the middle. Of course, I was forced, by scientific principle, to try it out, and I have to say, I actually prefer just eating the cookie without the steaming step. Three boxes of these things quickly (and I mean overnight) dwindled to half a box, so I was forced to do some research on where I might be able to get more, without having to go to Europe.

And I discovered that I had not one, but two sources! Supposedly they sell the full-size version at World Market. I haven't gone yet so can't confirm or deny their existence there, or if whatever brand is sold there is any good. The second source is Trader Joe's! I really should have known. They sell a mini version of the stroopwafel (the package says "Caramel Bites," but the TJ's in-store sign says stroopwafel), which I have now had, and I think it's even BETTER than the ones my coworkers brought back. It has a stronger hint of cinnamon, which I enjoy. And yes, they carry them even in far-away Trader Joe's locations, including (just for example) ones in the suburbs outside of Chicago.

I recently had a hankering for a shrimp roll. You know, like a New England lobster roll, but with shrimp instead, and not puny bay shrimp, but PROPER shrimp. I had a vision in my head of what it would be like, consulted a few recipes online, then made my own version. Some of my experiments like this turn out to be terrible, but some of them turn out to be AMAZING, and this was happily one of those times. Recipe for Sarea's shrimp roll )

Now... my thoughts on the Kids Baking Championship finale. )

[personal profile] adelagia and I saw Joel McHale at the Paramount last weekend, and he was, unsurprisingly, HILARIOUS. A lot of his comedy, however, is less about what he says and more about his delivery. He basically can say anything and make it funny.

Going to watch Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot next week, which I'm hoping will be good.

I may be doing some work travel in the near future, which I am semi-excited about. Semi, because I'm eager to go to San Francisco and New Orleans, which is where I'd be going, but it's back to back, which is a little brutal. :/

I met with 2 financial advisers last week. They were both fine, and who REALLY knows about these things, but I'm likely going to go with the one I felt more comfortable with. Is she a better financial adviser than the other guy? Can't really say, which is the trouble with these things, but at least I feel like I can talk to her more openly. I have a follow-up appointment with her tomorrow, and then we'll see where it goes from there. I also contacted a CPA that she referred me to, to help with my taxes this year... she seemed a little socially awkward, but as long as she's good with taxes, I suppose I don't care.

Two shows I'm into right now: 11.22.63 and the first season of American Crime Story, about OJ Simpson.
sarea: (sherlock and watson)
This is going to be a way-too long post about one of my favorite things to eat: dill pickles. I generally like to eat them with sandwiches, even strange concoctions like peanut butter with pickles (don't knock it til you've tried it. I'm serious).

The pickle saga. )
sarea: (spaghetti)
I am really hitting it out of the park in the food department recently. ;) I made some killer lasagna. This was the recipe I used. It took like 4 hours, what with grating my own cheese, making the bechamel and all that, but sooooo worth it. It made a ton, which is good for leftovers, but also problematic for my not-that-big freezer. I think the next time I make it, I may actually try making my own pasta, so that the pasta itself retains more "bite."

Recently I've been watching a lot of Food Network programs. My favorites include Chopped, anything with Guy Fieri in it (especially DDD), Kids Baking Championship, and I've only seen a couple of eps, but I also enjoy Worst Cooks in America. I feel so accomplished watching those people. LOL. Depending on the day, they just show like 6 hours straight of a certain show. So when DDD is on, I just watch Guy stuff his face over and over and over. One of the eps from last night featured him going to Kuma's in Chicago! Eee! And I swear, the food truck he went to in Key West was the one I went to, that had the really amazing food. But darn it, it looks like I didn't write about it in LJ (which is odd, because I could have sworn I wrote about it SOMEwhere...). :/ See, this is exactly why I need to be better about keeping this thing up to date! I'm sure I would have talked about it and given the name of the truck. >< I might still be able to go through my pics and hope I caught the name, I suppose. I'm pretty sure it had to be the same one -- Garbo's Grill is where Guy went. The food was AMAZING. Also in Key West was Better Than Sex, a dessert/alcohol place that was also a fantastic experience. Jeez, I'm going to have to dig up all my pics and make up for the fact that I didn't do a post! Wow, and in going through my email, I realize that I didn't do anything for Santa Fe, either. Mea culpa!

I guess it being an "El Niño year" is driving up produce prices. The biggest one is the price of green onions. They're usually maybe $0.50 for a bunch? In CA you can even get them for like $0.20/bunch. But recently it's been insane... $1.70/bunch??! I had to look up why, and found this article. Global warming is fucking everything up! (Duh.)


Jan. 17th, 2016 09:32 pm
sarea: (earl thomas)
The Seahawks won't be making a return trip to the NFC Championship Game, nor, obviously, the Super Bowl, and it really sucks. I mean, considering they started the season 2-4, they've come a long way, so kudos to them for making it as far as they did. But this loss was particularly annoying because 1) WTF with the way they started out; if they hadn't dug themselves that hole, they actually could have won the damn thing; 2) I really cannot stand Cam Newton; and 3) I really can't stand Panthers fans. Now I know how the rest of the league feels about the Seahawks/Seahawks fans, so I guess there's that, lol. But I guess we lucked into even making it to this game, because it was poor Blair Walsh and his missed field goal that got the Seahawks to Carolina in the first place. Kearse had a great game, so yay for that. Too bad the team as a whole completely choked in the first half.

In good news... I was actually productive the rest of the day, and I have the sore body to prove it. In addition to making a fabulous lunch (if I do say so myself!), I also put together three more furniture items: an entryway bench, my second bedside table, and my new TV stand. AND I moved the exercise room's TV up from the family room (and that thing is heavy!). Oh, and I unpacked and reprogrammed the new Todd (aka my Roomba). Now all I need to do is put together my mom's new desk, a really involved project, which is why I've saved it for last. After that's done, I'll be able to move her dresser from the guest room to her room, and set up all the upstairs TVs (you're supposed to do them all at once, so only the main TV is set up right now). I still have unpacked boxes, but I feel like I'm making sure (if slow) progress. Originally I wanted to host a Super Bowl party, but now I'm thinking it might be an anti-Super Bowl party. :P

Also, very excitingly, my new washer and dryer have finally arrived! Wow, I just did a check and it looks like I never told LJ the story -- yes, everything is a saga -- about that whole thing. That'll have to be in a new entry, I think. Anyway, pic! )

OK, couple of quick recipes and then I must dash... Fancy beet salad and butternut squash soup )
sarea: (Default)
Made more stuff that I enjoyed, so sharing (and archiving) here!

Homemade pickles and rosemary dinner rolls )
sarea: (spaghetti)
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it! And happy holidays, all.

It's hard to type this because I sliced open my thumb this morning with a plastic knife while trying to open a can of dog food for Talis. I'm such a winner.

But it must be done. My mom and I had bought some seafood with the intention of doing a seafood boil. However, I wasn't actually sure my mom would like it... it's pretty plain, and you're supposed to boil it with like Old Bay seasoning (which I didn't have), potatoes (which she can't eat) and corn (which I didn't have).

Then I had the brilliant idea to make cioppino instead. (If you've never had it before, it's a tomato-based fish stew.) See, there was this cioppino at Etta's that we loved, loved, LOVED, but they stopped making it. I've never made cioppino before, but in looking up recipes online, it didn't seem that hard. The only problem was that I had purchased ingredients for a different dish, so I was missing clams/mussels, but oh well.

Anyway, I am typing this up at midnight on Christmas because I'm waiting up for Santa, with a sore thumb, because it turned out excellently! And I must have the recipe here for posterity. It was actually REALLY easy, so I can definitely see myself making it again.

Cioppino recipe. )
sarea: (earl thomas)
I'm now in two paying fantasy football leagues. A guy from the first league asked if anyone was interested in participating in his league on Yahoo (which I did for fun last year), so I was like, why the hell not. He made league-wide introductions today, and it turns out that I'm not only the only girl, but am the only non-doctor/engineer! Ha! Fantasy football: underrated method to meet eligible bachelors. Okay, not really. I have no idea how old any of them are, how attractive any of them are, or even if any of them are bachelors. The draft for this league is tomorrow.

For the first (ESPN) league, our draft was last week, and I did okay, assuming my players perform up to expectations. I didn't get any Seahawks for many rounds. I chose Andrew Luck over Russell Wilson (because Luck passes all day long!), and from there on, all the Seahawks (including D/ST) I wanted at certain times got chosen before my turn came around again. However, I did select Tyler Lockett toward the end, as a potential explosion player (and of course, no one else would know who he was), and took a flyer on Fred Jackson, just in case he actually signed with Seattle. And a couple of days later, he did! So I have two Seattle players. I also did something kinda risky. A couple weeks back, I read an article that claimed running backs were overvalued, so to not even pick them until the later rounds. When Marshawn Lynch was selected before my first pick, I decided to give the strategy a try. And all the other top backs were taken almost immediately, so I didn't select a running back until waaaaay down the list. I have no idea if this strategy is going to bite me in the ass. I think for my Yahoo league I will go the more traditional route.

Meanwhile, I found the recipe for Lola's tzatziki (my mom's favorite spread) at Tom Douglas's blog, so I decided to give it a shot. I am REALLY happy with the results. It's not exactly like Lola's, but it's just as good, if not better. It's chunkier than what they serve in the restaurant; not sure if they're skimping or if I used more cucumber than I'm supposed to, but the directions aren't exactly 100% clear. Anyway, it doesn't matter. It's delicious. There's nothing like fresh tzatziki! Recipe and notes. )
sarea: (spaghetti)
It's kind of embarrassing to admit this, but I love kung pao chicken. It's a stereotypical Chinese dish that has, over the years, become overly Americanized, which means that it's usually made far too sweet. But I find authentic kung pao chicken delicious, especially when it's made with a lot of "wok hay," which is hard to get at home.

I decided to try making it anyway, with my new wok, which, if I can go on a little tangent right now, was really frustrating me initially because I couldn't get it seasoned properly. Taaaangent! )

The kung pao chicken was a smashing success! I really liked the recipe I chose, which claimed to have stuck to the original method as much as possible, and the new wok performed beautifully. I was reallllllllly happy with it. :D

Here's the recipe! )
sarea: (macaron)
They are one of the best things on earth. And so easy! No special equipment or ingredients required.

Recipe: Cream scones with chocolate chunks )

Don't skimp on the cream or change it to milk or whatever. There's hardly any sugar in this recipe (relative to other baked goods), and there's no butter or oil, so the cream serves that important role. Plus the flavor of the cream in the final baked good is just unbelievable. You'd only be cheating yourself!

(I guess I am drowning my SB49 sorrows in LJ posts.)
sarea: (Default)
For one reason or another, I've always found it challenging to use up my vacation during the early part of the year, creating a scramble at the end to use up all the time that would otherwise be forfeited. I always told myself that the next year, I would do a better job of taking vacation earlier, spreading it out, etc. As you've probably guessed, it never happened.

This year might be the first exception ever.

Now I seem to have vacation plans coming out of my ears, with my having to carefully balance it all out, and it's not even February yet! WTF. Why does it always have to be one extreme after another? :/

How it's looking for the first half of 2015:

- January
   Dec. 18-Jan 8, LA

- February
   18-21, in Vancouver to celebrate Chinese New Year -- my dad's idea
   23, just because. Or, to recover from Vancouver w/ the family

- March
   24-April 1, Miami

- April
   1, just because. Or, to recover from Miami
   TBD, short trip with J. I definitely do want to do this, but kept trying to get her to put this off until May or June, but she really wants to go asap, and I kept having other stuff crop up earlier than this, so I didn't feel like I could say no

- May (nothing so far)

- June (nothing so far)

- July
   8-14ish, San Diego (If can get tix to Comic Con... if not, then maybe somewhere else. Or will mope around SD.)
   15, Seattle, 1D concert (I thought about going to work, but... nah)

Seriously, this is insane for me. Usually I work straight through Jan-Nov, practically. Maybe for the first time ever, I won't be able to carry over any leftover vacation time to the next calendar year!

Meanwhile, I have another Instant Pot recipe that has gone over very well with everyone who's eaten it. Seriously this thing is a miracle machine! :P

Recipe: Chinese Turnip Cakes )
sarea: (Default)
I have been meaning to update for DAYS but just haven't been able to find the time. :/ But now I have about 20 min, before I have to do some work stuff -- YES AT 2 IN THE FREAKING MORNING -- so I want to take down what I made for dinner tonight, because it was ah-mayyyy-zing.

I sort of cobbled together various recipes that I read online, because I had short ribs, but wasn't going to be able to start cooking until after I got home from work. I didn't have time to marinate or do a lot of prep work or anything like that, so I needed a simple recipe that would work with a pressure cooker. Well I am either a cooking genius or very lucky (I would like to think the former, but am most likely the latter), because they came out so well it was probably one of the best meals I've ever made. So I need to take it down for posterity as I can't find it anywhere else, while it's still fresh in my mind.

On to the recipe! )
sarea: (troy and annie)
Holy crap, it's been almost two months since I last posted. *dusts this thing off* There's no way I can fully catch myself up (because let's face it, no one uses LiveJournal anymore. If any others remain, hello to you, wonderful people), so I'll just tackle stuff randomly.

Another Black Friday has come and gone. I got a bunch of Blu-rays and a pasta maker and a shelf I desperately needed because I have so much kitchen crap. But my FAVORITE new purchase is this 7-in-1 Instant Pot.

Yes, that is a little ironic considering what I just said about having too much kitchen crap. >.> BUT IT'S WORTH IT YOU GUYS. It is the best thing ever, and I have only made two things in it so far. I have no idea what the "7" things are, but what I know it is: a pressure cooker (without the stress and worry), a slow cooker, a rice cooker, and a yogurt maker. I am only going to get rid of my slow cooker, though. I'll keep my pressure cooker because of its portability, and it will take me longer to get rid of my rice cooker, because I have a really good one and I don't know if the Instant Pot does it as well or as quickly, but eventually that may be ditched as well.

Anyway, I made ox-tail soup the other night using the pressure cooker function, which is really nice because there's no futzing with keeping the pressure high/low or watching the clock, or being afraid of causing an explosion of food. Then yesterday I made yogurt. YOGURT! And it's soooooooo delicious! I had to follow some instructions given by someone in Amazon's reviews and he updated them and wasn't super clear in some parts, so...

Here are the instructions for making yogurt in the Instant Pot: )

Don't let my tendency for oversharing info and verbosity make it seem like it was complicated in any way. It was basically just pouring stuff from one container to another and playing the waiting game.

Also, you can make homemade yogurt without an Instant Pot. I've done it before. But you have to be more watchful and the consistency of the results will depend on temperature variations and what not.
sarea: (jeremy. and rope.)
1) Why. Why is Sunday already almost over? Why do weekends pass so quickly?? /SOB The only good thing about Sundays is that I have Breaking Bad to look forward to... except there are only two episodes left in this season cryyyyyyyy.

2) OK, I have taken a moment to pull myself together. I did so by watching this Firefly-style Avengers intro for the billionth time. If you haven't seen this yet, what are you waiting for? Take my love, take my land... )

3) I made cheese yesterday! Three kinds to be exact. One gallon of whole milk (well, just shy of a full gallon, I also made waffle batter and needed to take some) yielded: 11oz mozzarella, 4oz ricotta, and 2oz gjetost. (Links go to the methodology for each.) Except I messed up on the gjetost, I didn't pay enough attention at the end and the bottom of my pot is totally burned. >< Boy is that going to be a bitch to get out.

4) I did all my other dishes, though, which was a lot (and I haven't even made pesto yet, which I need to do by EoD). I told myself I could have a nice cup of coffee as a reward. Except I do not like this roast at ALL. It's some kind of Sumatra roast that I got at Whole Foods. I was picturing this idyllic time where I could browse Tumblr and drink coffee and now that dream has been shattered. </adult tantrum>

5) <consoles self with two new "Woman, this is Jeremy fucking Renner Talking" meme images> They just get better and better. )

6) You guys, you know I love all things Hawkeye... well, I thought I did, anyway. But this is just no. )

7) Remember how I was all excited about my new Blu-ray player and the fact that it could stream stuff wirelessly? I started watching Mad Men S5, and every 10 minutes, the player would say "cannot play." It doesn't have the best ffwding functionality (and besides, how annoying is it to have to ffwd to your last spot every 10 minutes?), so it was driving. me. crazy. I called Panasonic, which said that the player requires a minimum speed of 6Mbps, so I needed to call Comcast. I have pretty slow internet at home -- it's 3Mbps -- but it suffices for 99% of what I want to do. However, I have upped it to the next level (12Mbps -- that's right, there's nothing between 3 and 12 -.-) to see if it works. If not, I'll have to return the player as it's defective (and it doesn't even have resume playback functionality, which I assumed it would, like my Panasonic DVD player!). And if it does, I'll have to pay double what I currently pay for internet if I want to keep that speed. THERE'S NO WINNING.

8) Clearly, it's time to calm myself again. I think this time I will use... Jeremy in glasses. I know [personal profile] adrith will appreciate this. Glasses + arms = ded. )

9) OH OH OH I have another video rec to share. It's called "Reaching as I Fall" and it's about Hawkeye and Trickshot (as in Clint's brother Barney, not his circus mentor). It's flipping awesome because not only is it well put together, the artist used NORMAN REEDUS to play the part of Barney. OMFG at how much I'd watch a Hawkeye origins movie with that kind of casting. I know [personal profile] laria_gwyn would agree with me. Right? RIGHT??? 'Reaching as I Fall' )

10) I have nothing else to say so I will leave you with some Avengers porn. You heard me. )
sarea: (jeremy contemplating)
You guys, this is the best recipe ever posted. You must read the comments. I saw an article on Slate this morning that was all about this recipe, and my coworkers and I have spent the last 30 minutes crying from laughter. No recipe comment stereotype is left unsaid!

I have had a revelation about pour over coffee. Using a gift card that I got last year, I bought all the equipment necessary to make pour over coffee, and stopped by Whole Foods yesterday to buy some single-origin coffee beans. I wasn't sure what to expect, if this would be yet another disappointing hype, or if it'd be amazing. If you like coffee, I think the pour over method is definitely worth it. I can't believe how many flavors I got from the cup of coffee I made last night (though less so with the cup I made this morning, so it's still dependent on the type of coffee). Finally, I know what all those descriptions are talking about, when they say that a particular type of coffee has hints of chocolate/caramel/orange/what have you!

I have beautiful Jeremy Renner images to share with you from Tumblr. You know you want to click. )

So I forgot to mention another teen book that I read recently, maybe because it doesn't belong in the category of "terrible teen lit" that was the theme from yesterday's post. I finally read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I enjoyed it. It was well written, which is like, 90% of the battle. BUT. Potentially spoilery. )
sarea: (mcnulty)
I FIXED MY WATER HEATER! Yay. I found the breaker panel (it was in the garage) and it wasn't super well labeled so it took me two attempts, but I found the right ones for the water heater. The switch wasn't actually in the "off" position, so I was a little afraid that that wasn't the answer, but as soon as I flipped it back and forth, I saw the little light on the heater's control panel go on. There was a small moment of panic when, checking it again after 15 minutes to make sure it was still on, it was instead giving one blink, meaning that there was a start-up failure. So I flipped the breaker back and forth again but had to run off to dinner with [personal profile] slitherhither so couldn't wait around to see if it had really taken the second time. When I got home, it was blinking. I finally had to pull out the owner's manual and figure out that I actually needed to reset it (consisting of changing from one mode to another). And after that it was all good! I woke this morning and was able to take a hot shower, yay!

So dinner last night was at Lark and had a blast with B. Good convo, good food, it's nice to be an adult. I'd been to Lark once before and it was good, but last night was better than my first experience. What we ate. )

Lunatix Loop, the Matt Leacock game I bought from that guy in the UK, arrived the other day. Yay! Sadly I didn't do a lot of research on it beforehand, and it turns out that it's a 4-player game. >< BUT the cool thing is that our little group will have one more player come June... because that is when [profile] jade_okelani is visiting! Eeeeeeee! She's purchased her tickets and everything. I'm trying to plan out our itinerary -- because I'm like that -- and there's just NOT ENOUGH TIME to do everything. She's only going to be here 7 days, and there are a number of things we've planned that are immovable (such as seeing American Idiot, which is going to be here during that time! Actually that helped us narrow the dates), and so very many things we'd like to do. So that's exciting.

Nearly forgot. I wanted to share my favorite buttermilk biscuits recipe with you guys. I know, I know, everyone has their own favorite recipe for buttermilk biscuits, but I swear this is the best! Mile-high biscuits. )

And finally -- Game of Thrones renewed for season 3! Not that there was really any doubt. As expected they're going to split ASoS into two seasons. [personal profile] grrm has already said which episode he's going to write in S3. And he still thinks he can finish the book series before the the TV show catches up with the current published text? HA. The producers also confirm that, as I theorized, they're planning to deal with AFFC and ADWD as "one" text, since they deal with parallel events.
sarea: (jeremy renner's face)
I have slowly but surely been developing a huge crush on Jeremy Renner. HIS FACE. He wins at everything.

I don't think I realized that he was starring in the fourth Bourne film (I like Matt Damon and those movies). That makes me SUPER EXCITED for it. I would normally not be into any franchise movie without the original star, but... JEREMY RENNER. Plus Edward Norton is in it! And Joan Allen's back! I'm so there.

He's practically the only reason to watch Mission Impossible 4 (which was admittedly a fun action flick). And of course, he's one of the many, many reasons I'm excited about The Avengers.

Pink's video for "Trouble," which is a great song but a fairly ridiculous video, is watchable because Jeremy's in it. True story.

Also, this.

I made this lemon-scented pull-apart coffee cake today. It's pretty time consuming, as most baked goods involving yeast are, but it's delish (and makes your house smell awesome). Pictures and some baking notes. )

The other day while at Whole Foods I impulsively picked up a couple of heirloom tomatoes, even though they're not exactly in season yet and the price was outrageous (hurry up and get here, summer! I want to eat ALL YOUR TOMATOES). Today I made a simple and delicious tomato sandwich, recipe courtesy of Saveur. It's not much of a recipe, really. Just thickly slice a tomato. Butter two thin slices of toast, then spread mayo on both (yes, BOTH butter and mayo). Stack a few tomato slices inside, add a smidgen of salt and a tiny bit of sugar, then devour. It's incredible. I might've eaten two of these sandwiches. >.>

Tonight I'm going to be healthier. Making my favorite black cod dish along with a stir-fry vegetable medley. D made it for us for dinner last night, and I scarfed tons of it. Sometimes nothing is better than a heaping plate of veggies. Afterward he, K and I played a few games of Pandemic, none of which we won, lol. I couldn't really tell if D was all that into it; I know K really likes it though. Pandemic's turning into a pandemic. :))

SUCH fun.

Mar. 27th, 2012 09:33 am
sarea: (inbetweeners)
Last night I went to the Whole Foods near me that opened about 2 weeks ago. I'm super excited to have a gourmet/natural grocery store close by (though I'd rather it were Trader Joe's), but I also fear for my grocery bills. I left the store $50 poorer and I'm not sure where it went. I did buy some heavy whipping cream to make butter. Also, I loooooooooooooooove WF's bulk foods aisle. I bought all the stuff I needed to make the best granola ever. It's amazing (to me) how yummy it is, considering it's like, ridiculously healthy. There are many organic nuts involved. Recipe: Olive Oil & Maple Granola. )

I also made the World's Best Garlic Bread. That's actually the name of it, not what I think of it, lol. Though it IS very good; I just don't think it's necessarily the best ever. It involved smoking many garlic cloves. Do you know how long it takes to peel 40 cloves of garlic (I don't have one of those handy roller thingys that takes the skin right off, though after this I might have to get one)? Usually I mince garlic so I just smash them right on the cutting board, but in this case they had to be intact. By the dozenth clove I felt like I'd been doing it for hours and would never get to do anything else. Recipe: World's Best Garlic Bread. )

My only true ship in ASoIaF is Rhaegar/Lyanna, and there's a very quiet LJ comm for that ship. Today someone posted a fanmix based on Lyanna, from the POV of the other characters (which is pretty much the only way we know anything about her anyway). I thought it was a really cool idea and left a comment saying as much... and it turns out that the fanmix artist used to participate in D/G fandom! What a small world. Anyway, the fanmix is neat.

Woohoo, Hump Madness has begun! The matchups aren't anonymous, but the actual drabbles are, so I can at least say when I have a matchup going on. To be honest I don't expect to get very far. I haven't written a word since the last DG fic exchange and even that was a struggle. But this'll be a good opportunity to experiment with different pairings, since they're only drabbles. [profile] jade_okelani is also participating, but with the way the bracket is set up, she and I wouldn't compete head to head unless we both made it to the final matchup. Whew.

OK, so David Benioff, writer of the great City of Thieves book I was talking about yesterday, is married to Amanda Peet! I'm now reading The 25th Hour, his first novel. Anyway, his photos on the dust jackets for the two books crack me up because they're so different:

I'm so GQ suave!I'm so dorky and lovable!
sarea: (Default)
My diet is going... not badly, but not well, either. I can't seem to make myself make good choices. I can't believe how many calories everything has, and how few calories I am allowed to eat if I want to make my goal weight. WTF? I know partly that's because I don't do any exercise, which would help offset some of the calories I love to consume, but words cannot express how much I hate working out. So I'm screwed, basically.

In the last 3 weeks or so, Pinterest has suddenly rocketed into my radar. It's cropping up everywhere, including work discussions around social media. Seriously I cannot keep up with everything. I've only barely just started using StumbleUpon! Anyway, does anyone who's already on Pinterest have an invite they'd kindly like to share with me? (Thanks, [personal profile] ropo!)

In the last few days I watched all of Dexter S6. Dexter is one of those shows that is not must watch for me, but when I do watch it I usually have a good time. Spoilers! )

I made a delicious pasta the other night. It's like, my mom and mine's absolute favorite. Anyway, while I was using my mandoline to slice mushrooms I got over zealous and totally sliced into my thumb. It was fairly deep and bled a lot (ewwwwww). I've never actually cut myself on the mandoline before, because I am usually super anally careful, as mandolines are notorious for cutting people. Sigh, first time for everything. Anyway, I want to share the recipe for the pasta, even though there are no photos because it was devoured too quickly. It's actually a recipe that I adapted from D., K.'s husband. D.'s Pasta. )
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OK, another thing I learned from my knife class (I guess I got more out of it than I thought!): quickie guacamole, especially ideal of you have an unexpectedly hard avocado and can't make traditional guac. Put the flesh of an avocado, one clove of garlic, salt to taste, a seeded jalapeno (optional), and enough milk to almost cover the avocado into a narrow container (a tall glass rather than a bowl, for instance). I used my Magic Bullet, which works perfectly for this. Otherwise, use a blending wand to puree the contents. It's probably too small an amount to use a normal blender, but if you were making a bigger batch, you could use that. Texture wise, it's more like a spread/dip, and I normally prefer chunkier guacmole, but this is delicious, and great for when you're in a pinch or are working with a hard avocado.

So every once in awhile, I get a bee in my bonnet about a certain topic and I do a bunch of online research about it until I feel like I have a good grasp of it. You know how that happens. You read about something and then you get interested about some random factoid and do all this reading and you can't even remember how you got to that topic in the first place. Well, I've been reading up on polio. I can't even remember how I got on this... oh wait, yes I do. I was looking up the latest info on the Mortal Instruments movie, which led to an article about Ari Graynor at the Sundance Festival -- I assume because she was the narrator for one of the MI audio books -- which led to an article about John Hawkes' latest role, which got a standing ovation at Sundance. The role was that of the true story of Mark O'Brien, a man who suffered from paralysis due to polio. And that's when I started reading up on both the disease and the vaccination(s) for it. I learned about the two types of vaccines, OPV and IPV, and while right now the U.S. exclusively uses IPV, I believe at the time that I would have gotten vaccinated, I would have been given OPV (in fact, I distinctly remember taking this 'medicine' by mouth because of my relief that I would not have to get a shot, and thought that all vaccinations should be done this way). Both OPV and IPV are efficient, but have strengths in different areas. My question, which I have not found an answer for that satisfies me, is whether people (like myself) who have gotten OPV should or can also get an IPV vaccination. Is this totally overkill, since the polio virus is pretty much wiped out in developed countries (and I am unlikely to travel to areas that aren't developed, and even if I do, I was vaccinated with the version that's recommended for developing countries)?

Well, actually I know the answer to that. The answer is yes, it's totally overkill. But I'm kind of a hypochondriac, and I can't help but think, "But why not? Why not be extra immune (in that you strengthen both areas where the two vaccines are strongest)?" I would definitely not even consider it if I'd been given the IPV vaccine, because OPV has a small chance of actually causing polio (which is partly why it's no longer used in developed countries), as it uses a weakened virus, so the risk doesn't outweigh the benefits. But IPV uses a killed virus, so there's no risk of it turning into the form of polio that can paralyze. Then again, I could be exposing myself needlessly to something like the Cutter Incident, in which live polio virus ended up being in the vaccine, one of the most horrendous pharmaceutical accidents in history. Still, even if that happened, I'm in theory already immune, so...

Yeah. So now I know way too much about that.

Luckily I am going to have a spontaneous lunch with [personal profile] adelagia, so hopefully she will get my mind off this. >.>


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