Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I need a new camera. I took a million pictures but they are all so blurry. I've joined the anti-flash revolution. Now I need a camera to come with me.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Turkey Turkey

Thanksgiving was lovely but I am seriously at a place where I never want to cook again.

Nightly suppers are turning into nightly take out and it's getting vicious with the hamburgers people. Any suggestions on quick and inspiring suppers would be appreciated.

For example, these sound good but does anyone seriously think I'm going to make this as a side? I don't think so.

One by one my pregnancy cravings have just been dropping away. Chipotle?-over it. Pasta-it's done. Pizza-no more.

I don't want any more cheesy, gooey, carby stuff anymore. It just doesn't have the same appeal. As sad as that is, what does my appetite long for now?

So initially I had thought i'm going to make really consistent menus, like pasta Mondays, soup Tuesdays, sandwich Wednesdays, yeah. that um, is never going to happen. It's more like McDonalds Monday, McDonalds Tuesday,... OK it's not that bad, but you see where this is going.

What I really need is one day of cooking then three days of recovery.


All set


Monday, November 12, 2007


More blogs, about food?

right now i should be...showering.

Race man, Race

So I'm watching the Amazing Race last night, which I haven't in years because it gets kind of tedious when they play out the same old story lines over and over again ("we're dating--are we really right for each other?") with the same inevitable ending ("he's abusive! get away!!").

This season looks interesting because it features all sorts of DIFFERENT stereotypes like "goths!" and "hippies!" and Chris even notes, "granolas!" which are like hippies with money.

Immediately we notice the Asian-American team, Ronald and Christina, (ethnicity unknown apparently?), and all their Asian fervor. In my search for their ethnicity I come up with this link to Rice Daddies, a blog about being an Asian-American father or perhaps father to an Asian-American and all the stereotypical media confrontation we AAs deal with. Now I'm not a powerhouse in this community, having majored in WOMEN's studies versus ASIAN studies, but I thought his blog was linkworthy.

In this blog, I saw he accepts pictures of babies for his banner, and it said "Hapa babies are more than welcome." What are Hapa babies? They're half Asian-half Caucasian--Hapa babies are Gideon! Gideon is a Hapa baby. That's when the race thing really came out for me. There is a category for my child, one that is fettered with the many connotations of race in America (many not good, some just plain weird.) I'm not finished with my thought process yet, but I would recommend everyone read this article from this weekend's Post. My Favorite part of the article is about how "Whites"--are we allowed to say that now?--don't believe racism still exists, or that is as pervasive as it still is and because "white people 'control the discourse on what constitutes race in this country," says Paula Rothenberg, a senior fellow at City University in New York and author of "White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism."

I better put that on my goodreads list.

Anyhoo the whole point being that the reference to "yellow fever" sent me into a tizzy from which I have not recovered. More thinking on this will occur, no doubt.

Many cool blogs have been discovered from this initial interest in Ronald and Christina's ethnic background, and this conversation with self and others must be said (I believe).

Blogs to read later:
Rice Daddies

Kimchi Mamas

Note I have not read all the blogs above so if one is a crazy fascist group posing as a blog, please disregard.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Fabulous guesses everybody but there was only one winner!!

Nonny Jan-that's right, only grandma Ratke knew the final picture for what we supposed it could be (because it was totally made up and unintentional).

Picture one!: A representative of the Lollipop Guild. This would make sense, because it's Nonny's favorite movie. This is actually a Christmas outfit with the onesie turned backward. He can never wear this again because I bought a Newborn size like a dumbass.

Picture two!: A pea pod. This would also make sense, because Nonny bought him this costume. When I showed this picture to my students they were confused, with guesses ranging from a piece of candy to "dots" to "a vegetable thing?"

Picture three!: A boxer!! "Like Rocky?" Nonny asked? my alternate and also acceptable answer would have been: Backstreet Boy. We thought of both as we rolled his sleeves up.

This was my first week back at work and I think my body is going haywire trying to produce enough adrenaline to handle the load. There are definitely two realities in this world: Pre and post parent. There is seriously no in between.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


It's NaBloPoMo, and I forgot to blog yesterday. I suck at this. I could have totally blogged too, I just didn't.

Let me tell you what makes me happy.


That is all. (for now, not all that makes me happy.)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloweeeeen!!

Happy Halloweeeeeeen!

Guess what Gideon dressed as? He has three costumes!

Costume 1:

Costume 2:

Costume 3:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Coolest Thing Ever

Want to see the coolest thing ever? I made this. OK not really. I found a site that makes this. Consider the possibilities, people. CONSIDER!!!!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Quiet Moment

A special day has passed recently, without much fanfare. It was the day that Gideon was supposed to be born. That day was spent doing normal day to day things. Swinging in a swing, bouncing in a bouncer, smiling at nothing, sleeping sweetly. I could say schmaltzy things about babies and the sense of self, but those things have been said before. Instead I present you:



Pee Stories

In a pee update, things have gone from bad to worse in diaper town. I'm talking about a RASH. He has not bumps, but a little red swelling. A line of swelling has turned painful looking, though no reaction to touching has occurred. Imminently the search for strategies has ensued.

The cure for diaper rash, says the internet?

Good old fashioned nakedness.

What does nakedness mean? This question can not be pondered until you have dealt with a machine that produces foul foul things, things that hundreds of years of technology has attempted to trap.

Oh no, says nature, you can not hold ME down. And so the list of things that have been peed upon will continue.

And with it, a new list shall begin. Oh you know the list I am talking about, though its monstrous name will not be mentioned here.

Let us just say that every day is laundry day in our house.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

October Pictures

Will be adding more as the month continues, so keep checking back peeps.


I've been cooking a lot more lately!

Mon-Greek Shrimp Pasta-very good and very easy. Make a salad of feta, tomatoes, and oregano. Cook the shrimp with garlic, butter and olive oil. Make some pasta (we used penne). Add the shrimp to the pasta, add the salad to that, and you're done. Ate this for days.

Tues-Chris made a creamy corn and potato chowder (under my guidance). This reminded me of leek and potato soup and it was delicious. In Atlanta we used to go to this place called Taquieria del Sol and they had a spicy Shrimp Corn Chowder there that was to die for. This tastes exactly like that without the Shrimp and the spice. Easily modifiable-add some hot sauce and those little shrimp (or some cut up shrimp) and you're there. Ate this for days too.

Wed-McDonald's. It's Monopoly time at McDonalds. It's a good thing I don't gamble.

Thur-Spam Fried Rice. Chris claims this is his favorite dish. It's good comfort food, and after making it for six years, it's like sleepwalking. Freshly minced ginger makes the difference here.

He's Got the Moves

He's Got the Moves from Jane Yang on Vimeo.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Night Time

Night Time from Jane Yang on Vimeo.

How have I been sleeping, everyone asks. Is he sleeping through the night, they want to know. AHHH !! I don't know!!

Sometimes he sleeps. Sometimes he doesn't! Sometimes I don't know day from night!

Chris and I are trying to use the scheduling method of child rearing. Everything is going fantastically, except that 1) I keep getting off the schedule, 2) am not sure how to adjust for his developmental age, and 3) Gideon has gas and reflux which keep waking him up and off his "schedule." Two steps forward, one step back...now imagine it in sleepwalking terms. It all seemed so much easier when I was reading from the book. Then it was all head nodding and mmhmming and why doesn't everyone just do this-ing.

I think the facility that created this being should upgrade its manufacturing process or something. Oh wait. That's me.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Things that Gideon has peed on

Peepee "teepees"
My bra
My hand
The wall

Eating Well

Menu for this week:
Sunday: Smokey Shepard's pie-did not have cumin or paprika for some reason--so I used curry and it was just as good. This uses ground turkey which I told Chris was healthy, but then he noted all the butter, sour cream and heavy cream in the recipe probably added all the fat we needed for the week. I love this because it has lots of veggies and the best mashed potatoes in the world. These mashed potatoes have sour cream! They are so easy to make and yummy. I'm always using this recipe for my mashed potatoes. I don't like this recipe because it makes enough to feed way more people than Chris and myself. So we had to throw some away.

Monday: Linguini with White Clam Sauce. This dish is so good if you season well with salt, and so bland without the salt. Even better the next day, terrifically easy and seems like a grown up meal. Even though it seems barbaric, i use the baby clams. They're so ... teeny. I have the version from the book which did not include white wine or lemon. Both seem like good additions.

Tues: Supposed to have cream of mushroom soup, but alas, the lack of good produce at Shoppers thwarts us once again. Instead, we eat at Hollywood East with Jeff. . Yes we took our baby to a den of germs. Actually there were only about 10 people total in the large restaurant, and we sat in a corner. The baby always sits in the stroller with both his carseat canopy and his stroller canopy up, creating a bubble dome which prevents people from touching or even looking at the baby. Chris insists this cannot prevent germs from getting to him, but I beg to differ.

Wednesday: Ham, Cheese, Egg and Tomato grilled in a sandwich in the oven. We got a lot of ham people. Just butter the bread (particularly the edges) on one side, put in your ingredients, have your oven at 450, put your sandwiches (butter side out) on a baking sheet, 5 min per side, and you have some molten deliciousness. I bet this works with any combination of ingredients, like brie and pear, or ham and gruyere perhaps?

Thursday: Butter Chicken. I have sung the praises of this tremendous recipe before, and I shall sing them again. I took out the peas though. I always bought frozen peas and then had them in my freezer for months until I made this recipe again. But I used up the peas for the Shepard's pie and could not bring myself to have the peas in the freezer again. I just got rid of them!! But it was still good. It's that cream at the end--it just kills me..with deliciousness.

Tonight-Ledo's pizza?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I have to go to the dry cleaner, but I have this baby. Can't leave it in the car. Awkward to carry carseat and dry cleaning in together. Cumbersome to take stroller out. Don't even get me started on that sling.

I pour milk in my cereal and baby starts crying. Leave cereal to get soggy? Leave baby to hyperventilate?

I'm sleeping. Baby has gas. Aid baby with expulsion of gas? Continue sleeping? Try to force Chris to aid baby with expulsion of gas, given that he's going to work the next day, but also given that I haven't slept more than three hours straight in two weeks?

See also: Things I did not think about before expelling a baby out of my midsection.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ina, Fabulous Ina

How I love you
I love your warm smile
Your sparkling eyes
I love your laugh
And your deft spotlessly clean hands
I even love your bad perm husband Jeffrey
Your recipes look divine
So easy to make
So french in style
You can cook
And bake
Like so few of us can

Why did you never have kids Ina?
Were you too busy camping in France?
Were you too busy with your nuclear energy advisor position during the Ford and Carter administrations?
Were you too busy teaching yourself how to be an amazing chef?
I will be your kid Ina
Make me a coconut cupcake
Make me a potato pancake
Make me some brisket Ina
My soul to cook like Ina!

This is my ode to Ina Garten, whom I revere as perhaps the most fabulous chef/celebrity ever. Forget Rachael, Giada, Nigella and all the others. How could they compare?

Yesterday I made Croque Monsieur. 1) I made a roux. 2) It failed to thicken. It thickened after i let it sit. I failed to thicken it, perhaps is the correct statement. However, the sandwiches were easy and delicious and I will definitely make it again. I invited Jeff over thinking that 8 sandwiches would be too much. I think actually we could have eaten them all. I could have eaten them all. Thank you to all the ingredients that made this recipe possible. Thank you ham that my parents bought me that I didn't ask for. Thank you expensive Gruyere cheese that I'm glad I splurged on. Thank you cheap white Giant bread that helped me cut costs thanks to that expensive ass Gruyere but still tasted good toasted and smothered in cheese. Thank you broiler that works. And lastly, thank you Ina for making it all possible!!! Much love.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Baby Faces

This is no one trick pony. Gideon's many faces keep us entertained, especially as they're all caused by no reason we can discern.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Before we came home from the hospital, I asked Gideon a few questions about life. You may be surprised by what he had to say.

Gideon's First Interview from Jane Yang on Vimeo.

Want more videos?

Upon Request!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Gideon is Home!!

After 4 weeks and 1 day in the NICU at GWUH, Gideon is finally home ! We've already taken him to the doctor and he is doing great. He's on an apnea monitor which checks his heart rate and breathing rate, but it hasn't gone off (unless we accidentally pull one of the wires out, and then it makes a very harsh noise indeed). Thanks to everyone for your love and support!

Friday, September 07, 2007



You know how sometimes something bad happens and you take care of it and you think everything is going to be alright? And then the same bad things that happened last time start happening again and then you take your precious cat to the vet and they identify a lump that is not a bone on her hind leg and you leave the vet and all you have is a clay pawprint and an empty cat carrier?

As Angela said, I hope Esme is playing happily in kitty heaven with nobody to bother her and a big soft bed to lay in all eternity long.
Posted by Picasa

He Did It!

He's 5 pounds! We were at the NICU last night and he was up to 2295 grams--that's 5 lbs! They had him on a sleep apnea monitor yesterday morning, which had him covered in wires for a few hours and smelly glue afterwards. I didn't notice him doing anything, but that's for them to say. He's getting ready to go home now-he passed the carseat test, we were trained for infant CPR via "video" (don't forget the ABC's of CPR-Airway, Breathing, and Compression), and giving him a bath!

Bath Demo from Jane Yang and Vimeo.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Now We Know

Which elf he is...

Achoo from Jane Yang and Vimeo.

Taken August 23 at 6 PM

Is my baby a muppet?

muppets from Jane Yang and Vimeo.

Updates Food and Gideon-wise

Gideon update:
As of yesterday he was 1790 grams, which is almost 4 lb!! When he was born 10 days ago he was 1635 grams. What a difference!
He took 10 cc's of milk yesterday by bottle! He gets 35 cc's per feed!
He was awake when I fed him and changed his diaper. He looks really really confused all the time. I mean seriously, his brows are in a constant state of furrowment. What the hell is he so confused about? Like he looked at the window and the look on his face was blank amazement. I know that he can't even see to where the window is, just the bright lights (because of his newborn nearsightedness), but his eyes just read, "what the hell is THAT!??"
I think he's now officially out of the incubator, because they pushed it against the wall. He's only in the open air crib and bundled up in several thin receiving blankets and a onesie and hat. He reminds me of that character from the Radiohead "Paranoid Android" video.

Foodwise we have been eating out pretty constantly. Froggy Bottom Pub by GW has really good burgers and fries. Aroma is my new favorite place for Indian. I first discovered it when Lesley had them cater Susan's goodbye party, and have been dreaming about it since. It was just as good! We also ate at Meiwah, which was decent. My parents have also been great about bringing us dinner at the hospital--curry one night, steak and mushrooms another night. Always a lot of seaweed soup. We also have been trying to get lunches from trader joe's, which I love.

Also, just got turned onto goodreads.com by Sarah and now update it more. Maybe I will actually read more books this year. (yes, I know baby owners are shaking their heads in disdain. How many times have I heard a variation of 'kiss your life goodbye' in the past 8 months? I refuse to kowtow! I refuse!!) My "currently reading shelf" includes Anne of Green Gables, part of which I was reading aloud to Gideon and began crying at the poignancy of the passage in which Anne describes the wonder of the world, and "Julie and Julia" which I thought for some reason I would hate but actually have decided that I love (thanks Lesley for the tip). I read that out loud to Gideon and have no qualms about using the f word, but at some point I know he will figure out what that word means and then will never be able to say it out loud again, so I better get my kicks in now I figure. Every other word in Julie and Julia is the f word.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

At home!

I got home yesterday after getting a ride with Angela (thanks!!!) and it feel soo nice. Even though anxiety prompted me to go to Buy Buy Baby and spend lots of money on things we "need" I still was able to relax so much more. When I first heard of the store Buy Buy Baby from Paul (Melissa has heard this joke already), I thought he meant "Bye Bye Baby" because he bought his crib mattress there. Like a sleepytime store for babies. But actually it's "Buy Buy Baby" like, give me your money.


Awake from Jane Yang and Vimeo.

taken 8/18/07

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Arrive Gideon

This guy really wanted out. I tried not to prescribe personalities onto babies, but what can I say? At Friday, my water starts to leak out. On Monday, there is a flood of water followed by EXTREMELY painful contractions. On Tuesday at midnight, they decided to have the C-section. I remember thinking, I have to go to the bathroom in case they won't let me later. I come out of the bathroom and they're all waiting around to tell me, you're going to have a C section NOW!

Then I received blessed blessed spinal column numbness, and I was floating around on cloud 9. I was pretty tired because it was so late, and I remember closing my eyes and seeing an orange tangerine quilt and imagining myself flying around it. It was so calming. They put a big drape in front of me so all I saw the whole time was a big blue cloth. No wonder I wanted to go to sleep! I could feel the pulling as they got him out, and Chris pretty much (somewhat reluctantly) got to see that part. He described it as them pulling him out one limb at a time, with the head finally popping out at the end (after three big tugs!) He cried right away. His APGAR scores were 9, and he could breathe by himself. So I have to say, maybe he was just tired of being so squished in there? In either case, he's here, he's beautiful and we are completely entranced.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Even Though I'm on Bedrest I'm Lucky I Got To

Celebrate my birthday at Sonoma. This is one of the best dinners I've ever had! We started with the chicken pate, which is my favorite, and they kept sending out the bread, which there's never enough of. Then for my entree I had this amazing crab fettucine, which was the perfect pasta dish. We finished with the cheese plate, and even though I didn't love all the cheeses, it was a good adventure for my oft too complacent taste buds.

Enjoy the Baby Shower. Angela threw us a wonderful afternoon BBQ baby shower and so many of our friends were able to come. It made the room quite warm, actually. There was tons of good food there, and I think everyone had a terrific time. We got so many wonderful presents, and lots of babies came!

Final Meal: Hollywood East. I am so glad we did not stay in for grilled cheese and tomato soup. At Hollywood East I got to enjoy Mongolian Beef and Sizzling chicken casserole for the last time for months, possibly. They really upped their game and everything was delicious. Sometimes it's hit or miss there, depending on who's in the kitchen and the level of ingredients, but that was the night to be there! I left stuffed and satisfied and leaking amniotic fluid.

Fix up most of the baby's things. I am so glad I freaked out and washed so many of his clothes and started packing for the hospital and bought so many things I knew he would need. Now I am not half as nervous because when he comes home many things are already taken care of! Whew.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Baby Shower!

Baby shower this weekend had sooo many wonderful elements to it!

Friends and family gathered together having fun and hanging out
Amazing baby gifts that baby will soon be enjoying
Much enjoyment of the Wii
So many baby visitors and one special toddler visitor!
FOOD glorious FOOOOD

Kai's famous Curry Chicken
Curried chicken salad
Angela's awesome burgers
Linden's tomato salad
Courtney's famous Orzo with feta
Gourmet cheesecake
Hot spinach and artichoke dip
Mini Crabcakes
Sherbert punch
Farm Fresh corn on the cob

I mean really, the choices were endless. The parade of food was gloriously topped off with... a humongous cupcake!

Thank you to everyone who came and I hope you had as fabulous a time as we did!

Thursday, August 02, 2007


In eating news, the Birthday BBQ (Happy Birthday Mike!) was not a BBQ at all but a full blown house party with drinking and such. Which I could not partake in.

I did contribute my fabulous hot spinach and artichoke dip, which I will be recreating for the baby shower this Saturday. Angela made this amazing crab dip, which had I not eaten previously, would have sat on my lap and devoured. We ate at Adega, which is a wine bar and cafe in Silver Spring. I had this delicious Turkey Reuben, which had cranberry jelly in it. I am usually averse to this type of Thanksgiving fare, but it got good reviews. Frankly, I'm never getting a different sandwich there. They also have these yummy sweet potato fries and eggplant fries. Once baby is born, I'm going to strap him to his sling, grab a bottle of wine and some of those fries and wile away the happy hour. Does that seem irresponsible to you? Perhaps you'd like to carry around a water balloon full of baby INSIDE your body.

I must have forced Chris to starve on Sunday as I have absolutely no recollection of what we ate, or even, what we did. That must have been the day we were prodded by aliens.

On Monday Jeff took us out to dinner to Red Lobster for my birthday. The one near our house is not to be recommended, and perhaps Red Lobster in general should not be recommended, but the food is so good. I got a big helping of crab legs but on the very last claw my hand was cruelly sliced open in the last defensive move of this crustaceans worthy career. The sweet claw meat made it all worth it.

The last few days have been Super Suppers experiments. The dry rubbed flank steak was cooked on the stove as we were precipitously low on charcoal. It was tasty but not wow. I made a simple salad of mushrooms and celery and dressed it with a basic vinaigrette, as well as some box risotto.

Yesterday we had Sausage empanadas, and though they stuck together while defrosting, and one was more "free form" than most empanadas, the flavor was fantastic! Almost too strong, I would say. I am glad we have some more of these in the freezer.

Now here's a treat for our regular viewers. In a few weeks a child will born unto us, and that child will have some very eager grandparents and friends who will require some constant surveillance of said child. In awareness of concurring events, I have done some research into "video posting" and this blog is about to get a lot more fancy. Behold, a media event of such magnitude that despite my befuddlement of such terms as "embed," I bring you.. The Brainy Bees. Expect no further videos until child is produced or wedding occurs (not mine, good grief, I have SOME standards).

Brainy Bees from Jane Yang and Vimeo.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Super Suppers

Super suppers was actually a lot of fun. Chris and I got there at 11:45. He was a bit skeptical (about the quality of the ingredients, how much he would be participating, who else would be there potentially staring at him and his lack of knife skills). It's only 15 minutes away from our house, so if this works out, we might go there monthly.

The ingredients were pretty good--definitely what you would get a standard supermarket. We used chicken cutlets (frozen), fish fillets (frozen), pre-cooked sausage, pre-cooked canadian bacon, shrimp (frozen), and flank steak (refrigerated, so we could put a rub on there).
There wasn't a lot of produce, beyond fresh herbs. One dish required some broccoli florets, which you kept separately from the rest of the dish, and they looked pretty fresh. Otherwise it was wonderful to have everything just laid out in front of you with the appropriate measuring spoons already in there. I was just thinking the other day how when I first started cooking I thought it would be like, witchcraft or something. A little bit of this, a little of that, and poof! Magically delicious. Now I realize that it's actually the gathering of ingredients and prep that is all the work, and the "poof" part is the shortest part. Afterwards you get to clean up your disaster zone of a kitchen (or in my case, make your husband do it). At Super Suppers, someone else does that. Chris loved that part.

The recipes were really broken down and easy to follow-down to what materials you needed, which were all stacked next to the "stations." Chris even made one recipe on his own! I did one on my own, and the others we worked at together. Most of them were about putting ingredients into a bag or a pan, sealing it up and putting it away. The most fun recipe was the pork empanada, because you get to roll out dough, stuff it, and crimp it. I'm most skeptical about this recipe, though, because it came with the pre-cooked sausage, and I don't know what that will taste like.

The stations were like salad bars positioned against walls, and usually there were two recipes per station. This made it a bit crowded, but we never had to share a station with anyone. One person was there when we came in, and others came in after us, but everybody finished at their own pace. That solved Chris' other problem about interacting with strangers. The Super Suppers people were very friendly, and when we got to the empanada station, she was really helpful in showing us how to work with the dough. We definitely would have ended up with blobs if she hadn't stepped in.

I'll discuss how the recipes turn out (we split a lot of them in half to stretch out the portions, which are meant for six people). One recipe I'm doing on my own this week is a Creamy Spinach pasta from the Family Fun Month of Meals. I had never seen this website before! I'm kind of excited to try some of the recipes out. They all seem fairly easy and kid friendliness is on their mind. There do seem to be an overload of chicken breast rolled in cracker crumb type recipes though, and I generally don't like that.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Menu, revised and reworked

So what did we have for dinner this week? We didn't go grocery shopping until TUESDAY so actually it's been quite erratic.

Sunday-Got some jang-jo-reem which is like beef boiled in soy sauce (and eggs also marinated and boiled in soy sauce) from mom, tore it into small pieces (just the beef) and mixed into rice with some of the soy sauce. Korean comfort food is the BEST!

Monday-Tuna melts-tuna salad on bagel with tomato and cheese on top, then broiled. So simple!

Tuesday-Spam fried rice--Chris claims this is his favorite dinner. It does have a very comfortable feel to it, but favorite? That seems extreme...

Wednesday-felt frustrated with life and fat with artichoke and spinach dip (and Bruschetta). The above was served at Elaine's Office Marathon party, which I was not frustrated with, but I think the hormones are trying to consume me or something. I felt tired? Hence, I did not cook dinner and forced Chris to eat doritos for his meal.

Thursday-Slow cooker pot roast. Successfully plugged in the pot roast this time, so it did cook. I'll let you know how it turned out.

Friday-The plan is curried shrimp (another Bittman recipe). Seems very simple.

I am highly contemplating registering for Super Suppers (just to try it out..)

This weekend we are going to a Birthday BBQ but I'm on vacation for the next two weeks..perhaps I should try to make something fancy?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Menu and More

Before we get started, I just have to say that Violet Affleck (Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck's offspring) is the most beautiful child I have ever seen. She has these amazing dimples and eyes, just like Jennifer Garner. No idea what she got from Affleck. I look at pictures of that baby and I'm thinking how does that work?? Knowing that our baby could look adorable like me and Chris as babies or have a head the size of a basketball, like my brother.


Tues-Meatballs, potatoes, and salad
Wed-Spaghetti and meatballs with vodka cream sauce (trader joe's of course)
Thurs-Korean Chicken Stew
Fri-Out for dinner with friends!
Sat-Baby Shower BBQ (not ours)

What should we have for dinner next week?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

La Mer

Yesterday Chris and I went to the shores of Delaware for a lovely beach outing that included:

The ocean attempting to drown me by constantly pushing waves towards me and making water go over my head.

A delicious corn dog and not so delicious chili cheese dog (chili shouldn't taste like Chef Boyardee, right?) and delicious fries.

Maternity bathing suit. Nuff said.

Pina colada water ice. Funland--and a ride on the not recommended for pregnancy "Paratrooper" on which Chris claims he almost threw up. It's just a tilted carousel that goes somewhat fast and somewhat backwards sometimes. My biggest fear on the ride was that our cart would disengage from the main arm and fling us into the realm of Funland never to be seen again.

25 cent skeeball. Do you know how affordable that is? I could have stayed there all day. I won a small orca!!

Finishing my first Agatha Christie novel. Do you know how many times I've attempted to finish one of these books? I have millions laying around. I've seen so many of her mystery mini-series on Masterpiece Theatre. Yet, Murder on the Orient Express truly held my attention, and the ending was GASP worthy.

Our first Cold Stone ice cream. It just tasted like ice cream with a lot of stuff in it. My white chocolate ice cream didn't seem to have any flavor. Odd.. But calorific.

All in all a fantastic day with NO traffic and other bumps of life that ruin fantastic days. That is why I have no menu for this week. We'll probably be eating pasta every night.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tomato Sauces Used to Not Be My Thing

But now they are.

Note this week's menu is full of tomato-y goodness.

Sun: Angel hair pasta with tomato sauce
Mon: Chili with Rice
Tues: Baked Orzo with Feta and Shrimp < does include enormous can of crushed tomatoes!
Wed: Steak and Baked potato fries
Thurs: Omelet

Ok, the last two days have no tomato sauce on the menu, but did I mention I had Ledo's pizza on Saturday, which has tomato sauce??

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Weekly Menu

Sunday: Korean Chicken Stew-I have not eaten white meat chicken in months, I think. This recipe calls for chicken wings, but it's much easier to just use chicken thighs.
Monday: Beefaroni and Salad. Good old comforting casserole.
Tuesday: Spicy Shrimp with Mango Salsa-This recipe is out of control spicy and delicious! Make the marinade in the morning, and plenty of rice to go with it.
Wednesday: Brats, Corn and Twice Baked Potatoes. Chris is going to fire up the grill and I'm going to make what are truly the ultimate twice baked potatoes. I love these things. They're really a meal unto themselves.
Thursday: Potstickers-a Mark Bittman recipe. I used my How to Cook Everything book so much that it fell apart. I had to buy a new copy this weekend so I could make one of my favorite recipes!

Also have to mention a foray into Baltimore's Korean dining scene (which though limited is apparently doing quite well thanks to): Joung Kak, a BBQ Korean Restaurant which we visited with Angela and Mike and many friends and it was fantastic! Chris has particularly been craving this Korean restaurant outside Atlanta which grilled on hot coals rather than gas. They always offered a hot pot stew and fresh garlic and jalepenos. Until Joung Ka, we had not seen BBQ served this way. Plus all the meat was tender and really flavorful. Add to this walking the Race for the Cure in the morning, taking an awesome nap with my favorite napping companion (our new tripod Esme), and swimming at the pool of the most expensive house on the market in B-more, it was a FANTASTIC day.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Barbeque with the In-Laws

My in-laws came into town to see the new house on Sunday so we decided to have a BBQ to celebrate. We haven't grilled on our own before and a new grill was purchased at Lowe's for the occasion. We stick to regular old charcoal, and made a Memorial Day BBQ of fantastic proportions.

The menu:

1. Potato Salad
2. "Middle Eastern" salad-cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, parsley + paul newman light balsamic vinaigrette
3. Premio Brats
4. Hot dogs
5. Awesome BBQ steak-marinade was awesome and only for three hours--7 minutes per side and we are golden.
6. Corn on the cob
7. Watermelon

I was quite pleased. One thing I'm quite proud of is that I made three of the things from scratch, and that everything turned out quite yummy. I foresee more BBQ's in the future.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Menu for the Week

Sunday: Sausages and Rice with Salad and Fried eggs over easy. This is a simple supper that is satisfying. We had to add the salad to move away from the unhealthy white rice and fatty protein combo. Salad makes everything more nutritious and less guilt inducing.

Monday: Honey dijon salmon, risotto and asparagus. Trader Joe's premarinated salmon. Chris accidentally put it in the freezer. Hope it's ok.

Tuesday: Mystics game at the Verizon Center. These are free tickets. Much consumption of overpriced food articles anticipated.

Wednesday: Spam Fried Rice

Thursday: Perhaps we will eat out as there is a big show at the school that night. If not, leftovers and I will make quesedillas and tomato soup.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Eating Out

Of course in addition to cooking I like to eat out quite a bit. Where have we been eating? I know you're dying to know.

For Mother's Day Chris took me to get a dozen crabs at Bethesda Crab House. We ate outdoors, we had corn, a dozen mediums (all that were left by the time we called, and thank goodness we did as they are ALWAYS running out--they even ran out of CORN). It was delicious and oh so filling. I think the mediums are good for us, because it was the first time we actually finished the entire dozen. It was a wonderful date.

I also had a jonesing for Vietnamese food. Since the move we are incredibly far away from the mecca of Vietnamese food in the DC area, Eden Center. So we drove in from work one night since I had to work late anyway. We went to Huong Que (or Four Sisters) Vietnamese Restaurant where I ordered the standard Pork Ribs in Clay Pot and Chris got the vermicelli rice noodles with grilled pork and crispy spring roll. We started with the Crispy Spring Roll and it's always so flavorful and good. It's like the best egg roll you've ever had. It's all pork and just the right amount of filler with this awesome dipping sauce. The sauce is lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and water but it may as well replace crack on the black market because it is completely addictive. I bought a bottle for my house for when I have the Trader joe's Coconut Curry Stix.

Just a note about Trader Joe's...Where are my Pork Gyoza???? Apparently the factory that manufactured them in Thailand shut down suddenly.

After we get the Vietnamese food we always stop over at Song Que for some bubble tea and banh mi. I get the ham and pate banh mi for lunch the next day and hence two cravings are quenched in one trip. Why are there no places in Maryland that make these damned sandwiches? This trip I got the pineapple bubble tea and it was very sweet but also tart and had some pineapple pulp in there. MMmm, citrusy.

Finally, last night we went for Dosai at Woodlands Indian Restaurant. This was our first time at Woodlands, and the first time I have had dosai in the three years since leaving Atlanta, when we would go to Udipi Cafe all the time for this flavorful potatoey treat. Now just like there are a dearth of good Vietnamese restaurants in MD, there was a huuge hole of great Southern Indian restaurants in Northern VA. Now we're in MD and we can go to Woodlands and get the Butter Masala Dosai all the time. We also tried the Madhu Vada, which are donuts made from lentils and flour. They taste like savory donuts. They come with the two standard dipping sauces, sambar and coconut chutney. The sambar is like a thin flavorful curry sauce which is warm, and the coconut chutney is grated coconut and spices served cool. The dosai itself was really flavorful and exactly how I remembered it. I don't know if there's a formal way of eating the dosai, but I just tear pieces of the crepe off the edge, stuff it with potato, dip it in one of the sauces and pick my way through it. Even though the mound of potato looks so small, appropriate crepe to potato rationing will get you through the meal. Gorgeous!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


How do you make something that usually takes hours of flavors skillfully combining together easily in 30 minutes?

Use a crockpot.


I have used this recipe with great success in the last few years. Whenever I want jambalaya i just use this. It's spicy, it's meaty, it's delicious. I always use a polish kielbasa (sorry purists) rather than andouille. What is andouille. Where can I find it. Why does it scare me? Perhaps it will stand up to the slowcooker, as the kielbasa always turns out a little mealy.

The spices are perfectly spicy for me, but that is a bit spicy. Not knock your socks off, but 1 tsp of cayenne goes a long way. I add a cup of minute rice at the end. This is not the perfect solution, but my goodness, Jambalaya needs RICE. I also put in raw shrimp at the end, not cooked (what is the point of that? The shrimps cooks in about 15 minutes in the slow cooker and it's a lot more tender than chewy pre-cooked shrimp).

The friends all liked it, and most importantly I liked it and there were no leftovers. This makes a lot so that was a good thing.

Butter Chicken and Imitation Imitation Crab Bisque

I did not use imitation crab for the imitation Imitation Crab Bisque. This bisque combines two canned soup and some imitation crab to make some imitation bisque. It's not bisque. It's just two cans of soup and some milk with a can of crab meat in it. Do NOT use imitation crab. That's just pointless. It's probably easier to find the damn can of crab. You've already got the can opener out.
You can add various spices (the recipe recommends a pinch of curry powder). I also added a bit of cayenne. It tastes like a passable bisque at a crappy sandwich place. It's incredibly easy to make and hence I may make it again.

The butter chicken recipe is pretty ingenious. A few simple ingredients and a rotisserie chicken and you have some delicious Indian fake-out take-out. I love this stuff. It's got a kick, it tastes pretty close to real butter chicken, and the flavor of the rotisserie chicken is so good in this sauce. I do not do the step where they take the chicken out before adding the peas and cream. That would be lame.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


The reason that I haven't blogged in so many months is because I've been involved in some secret underground counter-revolutionary stuff that I can't go into right now because they're watching my EVERY MOVE.

Now that you know why I've been missing, perhaps you'd also like to know what I'm having for dinner this week.

This past week was a humdinger. We've moved in (relatively) to a new house with a glamorous kitchen, so there's been plenty of cooking and lots of leftovers.

One night I made Spaghetti Carbonara, which is just spaghetti, bacon, parmesan and flavored olive oil. Oh it's so delicious and easy to make, and oh the leftovers just taste so scrumdiddly-umptious!! I modified it from this Rachael Ray recipe, and instead of the pancetta I use half a package of thick cut bacon. Obviously I'm not using the Rigatoni and instead of two egg yolks I just used one egg. It still turns out like the most wonderful comfort food ever. Bacony.

I made this Spicy Chicken Stew without the spicy pepper paste, because that makes it "Dak Jim," or "Chicken Stew," and that is my most favorite thing in the world to eat. My mom makes this so much better than I do, but this tastes so close to my childhood memories, it's very good eats. I love using Yukon Gold potatoes because they soak in the stew juices. When you first put everything in the pot you think, Wow, that is so little liquid, but then it magically fills up with chicken juices and becomes pretty full. So don't worry so much, you'll get wrinkles. Also instead of the chicken wings I've just become lazy and use boneless skinless chicken thighs with the fat trimmed. It's probably not as flavorful but I hate that damned chicken skin.

Lastly we made what I call Cowboy Lasagna, mostly because of this woman's blog title, but it seems very hearty and cow-boy-y and who cares what's it's called because it's DAMNED good. I followed the recipe to a T and made enough to feed seven people with seconds. When you dream of lasagna, this is what you're thinking of--gooey cheesy mushy meaty goodness. And it's so simple!

On the menu for the upcoming week (if i get my sh*t together...):
Bulgogi-bought at the korean market pre-marinated. Serve with rice, conjure up nostalgic childhood memories. maybe add onion and impress your friends. or at least yourself.

Pork chops-marinade with crappy marinade stuff you always think is a good idea but generally isn't. serve with boxed risotto, and salad.

One night we're going to Hollywood East, which is this amazing Chinese restaurant in Wheaton. I love their pan fried triple delight and their Mongolian beef.

One night I'm going to try to garner the energy to eat in the city at Bistrot du Coin, my favorite french bistro that is unpretentious, down to earth and damned tasty. Though I can no longer swill their carafe of house red, the Mouclade de Charentes are calling to me.